Local metal group Shake Azalia has the honor of launching this week’s Listening Party. The group claims to fall roughly between the “progressive” and “death metal” schools, but we prefer to think of them as being their own brand of thrashy, screamy and slightly whiny hardcore. (They’ve also been flatteringly refered to as “aurally bombastic neo-hardcore.”) The group appears to have recently relocated here from Port Charlotte, Fla., although Asheville’s clear lack of a hardcore scene (Sanctity and Secret Lives of the Freemasons aside) makes this move a bit of a mystery. To start your Shake Azalia experience, we suggest starting with “Best Day of Our Lives.”
Next up is another recent transplant, the memorably named Elijah Ebenezer Wyman. This somber acoustic performer hails from Massachusetts, but recently moved to our “wonderful little hippy city in the mountains.” Wyman’s recent album, Butterfly Needles (mixed and mastered by ex-Pedro the Lion member TW Walsh), documents his year and a half spent living with kidney failure, and it’s understandibly downbeat. We suggest starting with “Anywhere But Here,” which you can find on his MySpace page.
And lastly, we have Asheville-based pianist Brian Turner. Although probably known best for his work providing event music (he’s a regular at private parties and swank hotel lounges across the region), Turner also works as a session player and sideman to a number of diverse projects, ranging from jazz ensembles to hip-hop groups. We suggest starting with “Alone,” which you can listen to here.
Now, it’s your turn. Tell us your thoughts on these groups by posting into the comment fields below. This is your chance to be the music reviewer, so praise and pan as you see fit.
— Steve Shanafelt, A&E editor