Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Soundchecks: The Dunder Chiefs, And We Were Saints, Paleface, The Dirty Names

Live music to check out this week

Posted by Sam Spence on Wed, Jan 9, 2013 at 4:00 AM


Pop-Folk | The Dunder Chiefs
w/ The Head, Wrenwood
Thurs. Jan. 10
9 p.m.
$5
The Royal American

Reggae is a big deal in Rock Hill, believe it or not. So while Dunder Chiefs guitarist and lead singer Will Thompson enjoys playing shows with the dreadlocked denizens of the suburban Charlotte bedroom community where he lives, he and his bandmates sometimes feel like square pegs with their twangy folk-newgrass sound. The three members of the Dunder Chiefs (so named because banjoist Michael Linog misheard the chorus to the AC/DC song “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” as “Dirty deeds and the dunder chiefs”) all grew up in the Charleston area, and they hope to move back soon. Thompson, who draws inspiration from the Band and the Avett Brothers, thinks they’ll find their niche back home — and they probably will. They’ll no doubt find fans on the Americana circuit, but with a twist: Thompson has a voice tuned for clean pop punk, and he even sounds a bit like Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump on the breakdown for their song “On and On.” “We kind of went into ‘On and On’ wanting to write a song that we knew would be fun for us to play live and we knew would stick with people,” Thompson says. “It’s something people can chant.” —Paul Bowers THURSDAY

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  • Carter

Anti-Folk | Paleface
w/ The Collection and Introducing Fish Taco
Fri. Jan. 11
10 p.m.
$5
Tin Roof

Paleface might not know “how many roads must a man wander down before you can call him a man,” but after nearly a quarter-century of making music, he could hazard a good guess. The Charlotte-based singer/guitarist was tutored in songwriting by Daniel Johnston at the end of the 1980s, and roomed with Beck around the same time. Though he enjoyed major label deals with Polydor and Sire during the ’90s, his shambling, largely acoustic rock found little purchase in the popular consciousness. By the ’00s he’d returned to the underground, finding a home amidst the vibrant New York anti-folk scene (Langhorne Slim, Regina Spektor, Kimya Dawson). Like his anti-folk peers, Paleface brings an iconoclastic, offbeat spirit and wit to his strummy folk duo (with girlfriend/drummer Monica Samalot). Lately his more self-consciously odd side has receded since he moved to North Carolina at the encouragement of the Avett Brothers; Paleface previously worked with the Avetts on their 2006 full-length, Four Thieves Gone and 2007’s Emotionalism. The association hasn’t brought him anything close to the Avett’s level of success, but it introduced him to the region where he now enjoys a dedicated following. He’s currently working on the follow-up to 2010’s One Big Show. —Chris Parker FRIDAY


Moody Indie | And We Were Saints
w/ The Blackout Heist and Meet the Sky
Thurs. Jan. 10
8 p.m.
The Sparrow

Zack Howse, the drummer and singer for the Louisiana-based band And We Were Saints, has a favorite saint. And it’s not St. Peter or St. Patrick or St. Nick or any of the other seemingly endless number of saints. For Howse, there’s one saint and one saint alone who stands above them all: Drew Brees. The drummer says that when it comes to the New Orleans Saints, Brees is “by far the best quarterback we’ve ever had.” And while Howse loves to cheer on Brees, you won’t find him and his fellow And We Were Saints bandmates — who count As Cities Burn, Brand New, Manchester Orchestra, Incubus, Thrice, and Conor Oberst among their faves — in a cheery mood on the group’s latest disc, Bones. As the title suggests, the disc is a moody, gloomy affair. “We felt the songs all had a feeling of struggle, but the glimmer of hope was always just in reach,” Howse says of Bones. “Most of our music isn’t very happy-go-lucky. We tend to write very serious and almost movie-esque type songs.” —Chris Haire THURSDAY


Neo-classic Cock Rock | The Dirty Names
w/ L Brown Odyssey
Mon. Jan. 14
8 p.m.
$5
Tin Roof

We don’t have to tell you that the 1970s were the greatest decade in rock ‘n’ roll. Yes, the ’50s have a certain new-born puppy charm, but a lot of the music of that era was fouler than a well-used puppy pad. And the ’60s — yeah, a lot of great bands came out of that era, but far too often the music was geared toward teasing virginal teeny boppers. It wasn’t until the 1970s that rock ‘n’ roll finally put on its big-boy pants and dropped the cutesy nickname. From then on, it was simply called rock. Well, if the post-Flower Power era is your fave time for music, then Maryland’s the Dirty Names are sure to tickle your fancy. The Dirty Names’ latest offering, Double Your Pleasure, is a giddy, go-with-the-flow throwback to the glory days of arena rock, and the band wouldn’t have it any other way. “Shit is rough enough on people as it is, and if you’re going to go out to a show, you should be having a good time,” says Dirty Names’ bassist Sam Wetterau. When asked about his band’s decision to avoid the self-indulgent, navel-gazing morass that so many modern rock bands fall into, Wetterau says, “We are more of tit and ass gazers. We are wizards and we have long shafts.” Let there be cock rock. —Chris Haire MONDAY

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