Columbia IS a music town! There - we said it.

Magnetic Flowers

Despite what people may tell you, most weekends in this town have so many opportunities for good live music, sometimes you are forced into a tough decision.


Case in point is this Saturday, when indie folk and rock fans have the opportunity to catch Say Brother, Kemp Ridley, and Ned Durrett & the Kindley Gents at The White Mule, or head over to the Art Bar for Magnetic Flowers, Elonzo, Sea Wolf Mutiny, and Famous Thieves. And while we have some serious love for the folks over at The White Mule, we’d tend to recommend the Art Bar show.


First off, headliners Magnetic Flowers are teetering on the edge of an extended hiatus/break-up, so it’s hard to say how many more times you are going to get to see these guys—and they have been one of the most exciting bands in Columbia over the last few years, with an energetic live show and some highly literate indie-folk-pop songwriting married to hyper-melodic and complex arrangements that throw keyboards, guitars, and an onslaught of separate vocal parts on the wall to see what sticks. Their last record, 2009’s What We Talk About When We Talk About What We Talk About, featured a delightfully cathartic re-working of “I’ll Fly Away,” a tune that riffed on the form of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” and such literary-informed song titles like “Southern Baptist Gothic” and “Books and Bad Poetry.” Hear Southern Baptist Gothic here. Plus, one of the most achingly beautiful songs about growing up Jasper has ever heard. Listen to Northern Lights here.


And even if that isn’t enough, they are supported by the Rock Hill band Elonzo, whose dreamy brand of indie folk takes a laidback, front porch-meets-chamber music approach to its subtly Southern songcraft, and Sea Wolf Mutiny, a darker, more prog-influenced folk-rock outfit whose mix of influences include The Decemberists, Flaming Lips, Band of Horses, and Mumford & Sons, for starters. Jasper doesn’t know Famous Thieves well yet but, in company like this, it’s probably safe to assume you are going to have 4 awesome bands for a cover of $5—just one of many examples this weekend that prove that Columbia is, in fact, a music town!

- Kyle Petersen


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Jasper Magazine - The WORD on Columbia Arts

debuts in print on September 15th, 2011