South Carolina Musicians Band Together For Flood Relief Compilation

Artwork by Maria Fabrizio of Studio Ria (from her Wordless News blog)  wordlessnews.com Despite what you’re told when and if you call up a state office, it’s not a great day in South Carolina. In fact (and at the risk of severe understatement), the Palmetto State hasn’t exactly been having what you might call a banner year. But in the wake of the recent flooding and the devastation it’s brought to many of our friends and neighbors, a group of artists, musicians, organizers, and big-hearted citizens have pooled their talents and resources to bring us the SC Flood Relief Compilation. Featuring over 70 tracks—some previously released, some brand new—from homegrown acts (Say Brother, ColorBlind, She Returns From War, Abacus, Post-Timey String Band, Shallow Palace, E.T. Anderson, Ivadell, The Fishing Journal, Those Lavender Whales, and tons more), the compilation represents not only the massive amounts of talent we’ve got in this state, but the sense of community we share and the reassurance that we’re all in this together. The SCFRC has raised $750 as of Saturday afternoon and 100% of all donations are going to the Central Carolina Community Foundation. The music is available at http://scfloodrelief.bandcamp.com and any artists interested in donating their music can contact stereoflycollective@gmail.com. -Michael Spawn

 

Jasper Goes to Hopscotch, 2015 Edition

Photo by Thomas Hammond Photography, all rights reserved. In some ways, returning to Raleigh for Hopscotch 2015 felt like catching up with an old friend. This was the festival’s sixth year, and Jasper’s fourth year attending, so much of what the astoundingly dynamic and eclectic festival offered felt comforting, familiar. The convergence of noise artists and rappers, EDM ravers and folkies, metalheads and indie rock tastemakers is what makes this festival tick, with the diversity of its booking and venues locations (ranging from the seedy dive of Slim’s to the posh intimacy of Fletcher Opera House to the, well, festival-esque City Plaza) giving it the kind of distinct character and vibe such undertakings count on.

Photo by Thomas Hammond Photography, all rights reserved.

While talking about the event from year to year is always going to center on a few things focused primarily on the music itself. How did the headliners fare? Godspeed You! Black Emperor delivered a predictably swollen, cinematic head trip of a set that was a welcome counterpart to the opening night’s rain; TV on the Radio proved to be a phenomenal live band adept at bringing art rock to the masses; and Dwight Yoakam was a straight shooter who lets his songs bring the heat.

Thomas didn't like Mr. Yoakam's photography policy. Photo by Thomas Hammond Photography, all rights reserved.

Who blew the roofs off? Phil Cook & Friends at Fletcher felt like a celebration of everything that makes Hopscotch great as they played his new solo LP Southland Mission from start to finish (check out the amazing video our photographer Thomas Hammond shot below); Working with a dramatically different sets of tools, Lincoln Theater headliners Battles and Pusha T closed out Friday and Saturday nights respectively by putting on workshops on how to own the stage when compared to just about anybody; and Waxahatchee’s  last minute solo set proved just how entrancing some simple, heartbreaking songs and a voice can be.

THphoto_Hopscotch-23

THphoto_Hopscotch-61

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc6hfxGs7wQ&feature=youtu.be

What new discoveries had us buzzing? The haunting collection of traditional folk tunes by Jake Xerxes Fussell’s debut on Paradise of Bachelors is destined to end up on my year-end favorites list, and I’ll eat my shoe if Raleigh’s electro-R&B act Boulevards and/or upcoming rapper Ace Henderson aren’t making waves nationally by the end of 2016.

Mac McCaughan w/ The Flesh Wounds (moonlighting as the Non-Believers), another highlight from this year's festival. Photo by Thomas Hammond Photography, all rights reserved.

But part of what makes Hopscotch great is also what stays mostly the same—the day party traditions that range from the Trekky Records-centered lineups on Saturdays at Pour House to the noisy, avante-garde acts that fill Friday afternoon at King’s, the sprawling outdoor markets and official Hopscotch block parties, and the wonderful vendors and venues in Raleigh that team up to make the festival great from year to year.

Say Brother performing at the outdoor stage at Legends. Photo by Thomas Hammond Photography, all rights reserved.

What made this year especially memorable for South Carolina attendees, and what will hopefully be added to the list of traditions, is the collaboration between Stereofly, SceneSC, and Free Times that led to two day parties on Thursday and Friday that brought the first significant South Carolina presence to the festival since its inception.

While there have been some token inclusions from the Palmetto State in recent years—acts like Shovels & Rope, Say Brother, and Brian Robert’s Company have all been played official sets in the past, and Keath Mead got an early slot at Tir Na Nog this year—the bounty of North Carolina acts and the dearth of folks from our own music community has always given us pause, particularly when those NC acts benefit from national coverage of Hopscotch. This year was a welcome change.

JKutchma. Photo by Thomas Hammond Photography, all rights reserved.

Settling into the cool, dimly lit confines of Deep South on Thursday for an imitate, story-laden set from JKutchma followed by the haunting songs of She Returns from War and the electrifying country-rock of Say Brother at their sloshy best, even with their mid-afternoon start, was a great start to the festival; even better was the sprawling eclecticism of Friday’s day party at Legends Nightclub. Packed to the gills with mostly-SC acts, highlights included a grand opening from Charleston’s The High Divers, a classic rock-minded indie rock act with impeccable harmonies and a debut LP out 10/9, a fiery, mathy set from recent Post-Echo signees Art Contest, who recently moved from Columbia to Athens, GA, and a seasoned performance the Justin Osborne-led alt-country act Susto, which has been touring hard in recent months, including some opening slots for Band of Horses, Iron & Wine, and Moon Taxi. Recent Jasper centerfold Danny Joe Machado’s performance was another standout, provided a fascinating window into how an unfamiliar audience dealt with the acerbic persona The Restoration has created as a solo act.

The High Divers. Photo by Thomas Hammond Photography, all rights reserved.

More than any one performer, though, what struck me the most about these day parties was a sense of pride in South Carolina, as well as a rare sense of home community in a Hopscotch world where Jasper has always felt like an outsider before. Whereas in prior years “hopping” from set to set would be the norm for day parties as much as it is for the evening sets, we were happy to camp out at Legends all day on Friday, content to revel in our hometown riches before taking in the official schedule.

We can’t praise the folks and bands who put this on enough. It can be hard to see or sense forward movement for a scene, but those few hours on Thursday and Friday felt like something.

Photo by Thomas Hammond Photography, all rights reserved.

 

Below are some selected photos from the festival by Thomas Hammond:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashammondphotography/sets/72157659157764610/

Happy Birthday to Arts & Draughts AND The Whig!

  arts & d

The Columbia Museum of Art hosts the 21st installment of its Arts & Draughts series onFriday, August 14, from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. The CMA's quarterly night of beer, music, and art activities is also celebrating The Whig's 10th anniversary with tons of things to do. "Having a program still thriving and growing after five years says so much about how Columbia has responded to this idea, and we're excited to celebrate this milestone with the strongest installment to date," says Phil Blair, owner of The Whig. "We've got an incredible exhibit, paired with the most genuinely talented musicians and wonderful human beings we know in this all local lineup, and a beer we made ourselves with the first brewery to ever participate in Arts & Draughts. Without a doubt this is the way we want to recognize our long standing relationship with the CMA and our 10 years of being in business on Main Street."

 

  • Taste local food and drinks by The Wurst Wagen, Bone-In Artisan Barbecue on Wheels, Island Noodles, and Sweet Cream Co. The Whig's 10th Anniversary Ale brewed by Redhook debuts and a beer tasting of Kona Brewing Company's Big Wave Golden Ale is also featured.
  • Live music is provided by Jade Janay Blocker, Bologna Eyes, Mustache Brothers, and Say Brother.

 

The CMA is also going all out with DIY and creative activities inspired by the exhibition From Marilyn to Mao: Andy Warhol's Famous Faces. "There's a lot of art in this Arts & Draughts. We really wanted to celebrate Warhol - both his ideas and his aesthetic," says Adult Programs Manager Glenna Barlow. "At our DIY station you'll be able to make your own Warhol-style piece with a simplified printing process and contemporary celebrity faces. We want to explore the question 'Who would Warhol be depicting if he were still around today?' Beyond that you can make your own digital selfie with a screen printing app and take a picture in our photo booth inspired by Warhol's famous factory." Guests can also get their own "15 minutes of fame" as Multimedia Production Coordinator Drew Baron records candid personal responses to the exhibition.

 

The night also marks the opening of Identity in the Community Gallery. Identity, featuring works by Michaela Pilar-Brown, Ed Madden, Betsy Newman, Alejandro Garcia-Lemos, and each artist's chosen protégé. Artist groups are:

 

Betsy Newman

Betsy Newman

Alice Wyrd

O.K. Keyes

 

Michaela Pilar Brown

 

Michaela Pilar Brown

Ariel Flowers

Roni Nicole Henderson

 

Ed Madden

 

Ed Madden

Alexis Stratton

 

Alejandro Garcia-Lemos

 

Alejandro García-Lemos

Mary Robinson

Anna Velicky

Kyle Alston

Kaitlyn Shealy

 

Identity is a collection of collaborative works or installations that seek to answer the enduring questions posed by Warhol's themes of fame, celebrity, and the public persona.

Admission is $9; $5 for CMA members, or become a member that night and get in for free!

For more information, visit columbiamuseum.org

Preview: Indie Grits 2015, Day 2

IG-Logo There’s really so much going on at Indie Grits each day that picking and choosing what to do comes down, more than ever, to time, taste, and happenstance. But here’s a few picks anyway.

We’ve already highlighted director Amanda Berg’s Every Body Hit Somebody, which screens at 7:30 tonight, here, but it’s worth noting that she also has another film in the festival, Welcome Home, Fayetteville Observer, a short about daily military life on Fort Bragg, that screens ahead of Old South, a fascinating documentary by Danielle Beverly that looks at the interactions between a predominantly (and historically) black neighborhood in Athens with a newly-arrived white fraternity house that just happens to fly the Confederate flag and hold an annual antebellum parade. Jasper got to see an early cut of this film last year and found it to be a fascinating exploration of naiveté and oh-so-tentative understanding between unlikely neighbors. Old South and Welcome Home screen in the 5:30 block today.

https://vimeo.com/122387929

We’d also be remised if we didn’t point out that today is the grand opening of all of the Future Perfect visual art installations that mark the first time Indie Grits has ventured so wholeheartedly into that arena. Over 20 artists are showing in various spaces throughout the 1500 and 1600 blocks of Main Street as they tackle questions about past, present, and possible futures for a 21st century South. Various tours are launching from the Nick at 6:00, 6:45, and 7:30, on which you’ll have the opportunity to ask the artists questions. We’re the tour guides on the 6:45 one, so you should probably cross the other two off your to-do list. We’ll have Oreos. Seriously.

In another bout of shameless self promotion, my podcast with Lee Snelgrove, Art, Pop, & Fizz, had a great conversation with Maureen Conner of the Institute for Wishful Thinking, which will have an installation in the One Columbia office at 1219 Taylor. Check that podcast out here.

A sample of Hollis Hammond's work, who will be showing in the Free Times gallery.

Last but not least, we’d like to strongly endorse checking out the Fork & Spoon and Friends show at Music Farm tonight. Fork & Spoon is celebrating five years in business, and they’ve consistently put out some of our favorite local records while also managing to be supremely talented and awesome individuals.

Below are a few of the bands playing tonight. See ya out there gritting it up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUr-7ftDa7U

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEkXiuYCmI0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk2Xj2dNDe0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXOucUbg2jA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_PpNmfHxk0

Show Preview: Free Times Music Crawl

 

Every year Columbia’s (rather under-appreciated) alt. weekly puts on a locals-centered music festival designed to illustrate just how much music gets made around these parts. This year, the crawl spans 2 days, features 41 bands, and takes place across 6 stages—all of which means any reasonably interested music fan is gonna have a hard time not finding some local music to blow their socks off. With so many options though, how does one choose where to be and when? Well, this week’s Free Times has provided extensive coverage to give you a feel for the bands here, but we thought we’d also tell you what Jasper recommends…

 

Friday Night: Arts & Draughts at the Columbia Museum of Art

 

This is the easy night, since none of the bands overlap. However, Jasper would like to HIGHLY recommend coming out tonight for the following reasons: 1) Arts & Draughts is always a good time—good beer on tap, the Bone-In BBQ food truck will be there, and you are supporting our thoroughly awesome art museum, 2) Jasper’s editor-in-chief is giving a unique perspectives tour of the museum’s permanent collection tour (see previous blog here), and 3) these bands are just awesome.  The night kicks off at 7 pm with a great buzz band out of Denver, CO, The Lumineers, who remind us of The Head and the Heart mixed with Mumford & Sons.

 

Listen to the Lumineers here.

 

Following them up are Columbia’s own Say Brother, who play amped-up blues and country tunes with punk rock fervor.

 

Listen to Say Brother here.

 

Mac Leaphart and his Ragged Company take the stage at 9 pm, and Leaphart’s songs are written with the poignancy and humor of John Prine, but this a band that takes it cues from Gram Parsons and The Rolling Stones.

 

Listen to Mac Leaphart here.

 

And, most, importantly, South Carolina’s most badass musical duo closes the show, Charleston’s Shovels & Rope. I could go on for pages about Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, the husband-and-wife team who power through their amazing songs with minimal accompaniment in a way that is simply breathtaking. Seriously, you only need to hear Ms. Hearst’s voice once live to be forever taken with the band’s music.

 

Listen to Shovels and Rope here.

 

 

Saturday Night: Free Times Music Crawl, the Main Event

 

Alright, where to begin? First off, it is worth noting that the stages are set up roughly to accommodate a music fan’s particular interests. Wet Willie’s features R&B and Hip-Hop acts (including joke rappers Sweet Vans, who might actually appeal more to the indie rock crowd), Flying Saucer has mainly bluegrass/alt. country bands (with Myrtle Beach’s new wave-ish Octopus Jones being the odd man out), and Art Bar, Kelly’s, and the Tin Roof are the primary rock stages, with each venue having a pretty thorough mix of acts. Jasper always has a difficult time getting down to Wet Willie’s at these events despite best intentions, largely because the distance between that stage and the rest of the venues eats up valuable time. Anyway, let’s get down to the schedule:

 

7:10-7:40pm – Pinna (Kelly’s)

 

Even if you are the kind of person who hates jam bands, this is still an act worth checking out. Lead guitarist and singer George Fetner (who has a degree in music composition from USC) is one of the town’s most gifted guitar players, and he and his band mates, more than most jam bands, actually engage and surprise their listeners with their adventurous improvisational forays.

 

7:30-8:00pm – Those Lavender Whales (Art Bar-indoors)

 

A quirky indie pop act who don’t quite sound like anyone else, this is a group also worth checking out because they run Fork & Spoon records, one of the most admirable record label/collectives in town.

 

Check out Those Lavender Whales here.

8:10-8:40pm – Ye Mighty! (Kelly’s)

 

Although it might seem silly to call a band “buzz worthy” within the confines of a local scene, it’s easy to call Ye Mighty! just that. Featuring the wonderful vocals of Beth Dickerson and a cast of well-known scene members backing her up, the group plays swirling post-punk that threatens to burst into full-blown anthems.

8:40-9:10pm – Marshall Brown (Tin Roof)

 

Brown is a singer/songwriter whose music is absolutely drenched in 60s and 70s psychedelia, mixed with a bit of the bedroom pop eclecticism that sprouted up in the 90s. Even in a town with a music scene as diverse and quirky as Columbia’s, Brown stands out for forging his own, singular path.

 

Here's some Marshall Brown

 

9:20-9:50pm – Fayth Hope (Wet Willie’s)

 

Hope makes music in the neo-soul tradition, which means an earthy mix of soul and R&B with a decidedly retro feel. She has a gorgeous voice, and the advance tracks from her forthcoming LP are positively tantalizing.

 

9:30-10:00pm – Death Becomes Even the Maiden (Art Bar – indoors)

 

This overlaps a bit with Hope, and could not be more different, but Jasper is also equally excited to see the heavy, complex post-rock of DBETM again as well—although, full disclosure, guitarist Heyward Sims is our design editor. Even if he wasn’t, though, it would be hard not to champion dark, propulsive tunes and formidable chops.

 

Listen to DBETM here.

 

10:10-10:40pm – Elonzo (Kelly’s)

 

A Rock Hill family band with a definite Southern vibe, these guys make dreamy, grandiose indie folk-pop with a hint of Americana. This is the kind of music that tends to disarm even the most cynical of us with its buoyant, cathartic musical releases into the stratosphere.

 

10:50-11:20pm – The Unawares (Flying Saucer)

 

Jasper has previously reviewed the band’s new record  here, and we are psyched to see some of these new songs played in action.

 

11:00-Midnight – Magnetic Flowers (Art Bar outdoors)

 

Kinetic, literary indie folk/rock at its finest.  Built around three songwriters, four singers, and the dizzying keyboard parts of Adam Cullum, the band’s well-layered sound and penchant for capturing the unvarnished truth about their generation (for better or worse) in their lyrics makes them one of the scene’s most powerful acts.

 

12:10-12:40am – Junior Astronomers (Kelly’s)

 

Built upon the ferocity and dynamics of emo, Charlotte’s Junior Astronomers can credit their success to incorporating classic rock arrangements and energetic, prog-like guitar parts. That, and the unfettered passion of lead singer Terrrence Richard’s vocals and on-stage charisma.

 

Here's some Junior Astronomers.

 

1:00-1:45am – The Restoration (Art Bar – indoors)

 

This is where we are closing out the night (unless John Wesley Satterfield is still playing over at Kelly’s). The Restoration are one of our favorite bands in the city. Their 19th century concept is heartfelt  and authentic, the stories are told with complexity and death, and Daniel Machado and Adam Corbett just write great songs. This ambitious, chamber pop-meets-old-time folk band deserves to be a national name—and we here in the Capitol City should just count ourselves lucky that they happen to sprout up here, and are willing to share with us their tunes in the wee hours of Sunday morning…

 

And it's The Restoration

 

-- Kyle Petersen is the Music Editor of Jasper -- The Word on  Columbia Arts

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

 Elonzo

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www.jaspercolumbia.com

Jasper Magazine - The WORD on Columbia Arts

debuts in print on September 15th, 2011