Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Live Music: The Killers, Tickle Switch, Spred the Dub, Drunken Prayer

Great live music to check out this week

Posted by Sam Spence on Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 4:00 AM

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MUTANT ROCK | Tickle Switch
w/ Flat Foot Floozies
Thurs. Aug. 8
Tin Roof

Featuring Royal Tinfoiler Mackie Boles on vocals and guitar, Bandi Tomaschek on bass, and Marshall Hudson on drums, the mutant rockers known as Tickle Switch are all but guaranteed to bring a high-energy show when they perform at the Tin Roof on Thursday. Boles, Tomaschek, and Hudson are a terror trio, mashing up a wallop of brontosaurus beats, grizzled vocals, and electro-blues brutality to create a magnificently discordant wall tof wail. While Tickle Switch has played the Tin Roof several times before, this go-round they’ll be joined on stage by an as-yet-unknown guest performer. Who could it be? Boles’ Tinfoil bandmate Lily Slay? Mechanical River’s Joel Hamilton? “Dangerous” Darius Rucker? “Look forward to a special secret guest who can play the oboe backward. We’re not allowed to give out his name, but he calls his oboe ‘The Whipmunk,’” the band says. As for what’s ahead for Tickle Switch, we’re told there will be more touring around the U.S. of A., along with stops in Pompeii, Budapest, and a five-night stint in Iceland, supporting the release of their 2011 EP Oopsie. Ha. Hey, are you guys pulling our leg? (Actually, the band does have an EP called Oopsie, and it’s pretty dang good.) —Kalyn Oyer THURSDAY

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ARENA ROCK | The Killers
Tues. Aug. 13
7:30 p.m.
$21.50-$61.50
Family Circle Stadium

The Killers are emblematic of their Vegas upbringing: Long on spectacle and epic sprawl, but lacking in substance. If Bruce Springsteen mined dance-happy new wave and gloomy Britpop instead of Philly soul, he’d probably be embarrassed, but he might explore the same anthemic, grandly emotional music of Brandon Flowers and the Killers. It’s really not the Killers’ fault; U2 already strip-mined this territory to great effect. Like the Boss, the Killers’ dramatic songs are about scrappy underdogs and love that won’t surrender. It’s designed to translate to an arena, so everything’s overly expressive which is to say, big, loud, and safe as a Hollywood ending — not to mention wildly derivative. On their hit “Runaways” (which begins like “Jack and Diane” as reimagined by The Cars), Flowers sings, “Let’s take a chance/ Baby we can’t lose/ Ain’t we all just runaways?” — which, of course, is what you say when you’re “Born to Run.” It’s not bad music, although fellow earnest arena rockers Muse are more impressive sonically, but it’s hard to deny the Killers’ gift for crafting catchy, swelling choruses. Seriously, “Somebody Told Me” has one of the best choruses of the past decade. —Chris Parker NEXT TUESDAY

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SOUTH FLORIDA SKA | Spred the Dub
Fri. Aug. 9
7 p.m.
Free
Brick House Kitchen

Spred the Dub has been spreading their white-boy-reggae jams across the Southeast since 2007, when they originally formed as a 12-piece ensemble. These days the band has downsized to a core unit of seven. Micky Vintage provides the vocals, Kevin “KJo” Johnson the bass, “Jean-Claude Van” Sam Szpendyk the trombone and keys, and Johnny “Fresh” Leonard the drums. Spred the Dub’s newest band members Eric Cohen-Greenberg and Hunter Hutchings don’t have cool nicknames like their bandmates just yet, but they’re in the works. “Hopefully, we’ll have nicknames for them by the time we make it to the Charleston show,” lead singer Micky Vintage, a.k.a. Mick Swigert, says with a laugh. The band’s good-time sounds infuse rudiments of funk and R&B with a groundwork of roots-reggae and ska. Their first full-length album of original material, Reggae Wave, was released last year, though the band still throws in a few classic covers for good measure. “We like to do the unusual Bob Marley stuff, though. Everyone else does ‘Stir It Up,’ but we like to throw in some of his obscure songs,” Swigert says. Spred the Dub has played beach bars and clubs, opening for bands like Passafire, Eek-A-Mouse, and The Aggrolites, but this time around, they get to be the headlining act. “It’s what I’ve always dreamed of doing since I picked up a guitar,” Swigert says. “It’s a really good feeling to be doing what we love.” —Kalyn Oyer FRIDAY

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AMERICANA | Drunken Prayer
w/ David Wayne Gay and Jordan Igoe
Fri. Aug. 9
Free
The Sparrow

Portland, Ore. singer-songwriter Christopher Geer of Drunken Prayer pens bittersweet songs with blasts of humor in the vein of Randy Newman and Todd Snider, and his latest LP Into the Missionfield is packed with them. There’s the opening track “Brazil,” a flip-flop rock-meets-country number about unrequited love, and “Always Sad,” a poppy, pedal-steel-driven gem. But that doesn’t mean that Geer and his band are rock challenged, because they can blast it with the best of them. All you have to do is give “Ain’t No Grave” a spin and hear the defiant blues-rocker deep down inside the normally plaintive Geer. But Drunken Prayer doesn’t truly unleash the fury that Geer tries so hard to hide until Into the Missionfield’s closer, “Never Tends to Forget.” That beastly beauty sounds like the abandoned bastard love child of Doug Martsch, Bob Mould, and Patterson Hood. The track also features one of Missionfield’s best lines: “Don’t buy wedding rings from secondhand stores/ You get what you pay for, my friend.” Classic. —Chris Haire FRIDAY


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