Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Live Music: John Wilkes Telephone Booth; Aloha Radio; Zulu Wave; There is No Mountain

Great live music to check out this week

Posted by Sam Spence on Wed, Oct 2, 2013 at 9:00 AM

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TIME LORD ROCK | John Wilkes Telephone Booth
w/ Clint4 and Tiger Mask
Fri. Oct. 4
8:30 p.m.
$5
Tin Roof

It’s virtually impossible to describe John Wilkes Telephone Booth’s “Tone-Bone-Poem-Phone,” but we’ll try: Imagine if you mixed the Police in their early punk-rock days with the Butthole Surfers circa Hairway to Steven and made them gargle the spittle from the Misfits during one of their “whoa oh” shout outs, all while Timothy Leary leered at you with murderous intent because he had been mainlining LSD-laced Pop Rocks all day long. The Charleston-based noise rock band’s origins are even more difficult to discern. Here’s what the guys in the group told us: “We formed in the previous time before the world builders existed. Our first show was at the Plex in 2001, but as we took to different astral planes, we did not do another show in this plane until 2010.” So far John Wilkes Telephone Booth has posted a handful of songs online, and near as we can tell, its members are seemingly unconcerned with making it big, making it little, or making much of anything about anything. “We give our music away so all those in each dimension can have access to them since money does not exist in some planes,” they write. “There might be a collection and there might not. It all depends on which time period we are making music in at that point.” Well, here’s hoping that time is now because these guys are quite good at being weird. —Chris Haire FRIDAY

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SURF SOUL | Aloha Radio
Fri. Oct. 4
10 p.m.
Surf Bar

The surf rock genre is not known for producing rock ‘n’ roll’s finest voices. In fact, you can probably count the number of surf rock bands with singers on one shaka-shaking hand. And then there’s SoCal’s Aloha Radio. With singer Lauren Mulderrig at the helm, Aloha Radio has found a way to mix right-up-front vocals with the genre’s signature guitar-driven, Dick Dale-inspired acrobatics. “We are by no means a traditional surf rock band,” Mulderrig says. “With our first record, Big Wave Madness, we took multiple elements, such as the reverb-drenched guitar, Hawaiian accents of lap steel and ukulele, and even a hint of reggae, and separated these styles into different songs. The mission with our upcoming record, Pulling Me Under, was to take all these styles and integrate them into our own sound. Instead of hearing a surf song, then a Hawaiian song, and then a reggae song, you will hear all these elements throughout one song.” Consider us intrigued. And unlike so many surf rockers, Mulderrig is in fact a surfer. “I always compare surfing to writing or playing,” she says. “You are so focused on the present moment and looking ahead down the line. It’s like switching chords on the guitar or thinking of the next lyric. You have to tune out the rest of the world and get lost.” —Chris Haire FRIDAY

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ROCKIN’ JAZZ ROCK | Zulu Wave
w/ Fiasco
Mon. Oct 7
10 p.m.
$5
Tin Roof

Tampa, Fla.’s Zulu Wave crafts bed-sweating indie rock, the kind of music that sounds like the best dream you’ve ever had and the worst nightmare the next second. Not that the band’s music is frantic. It’s carefully crafted experimental pop that’s a little hard to genre-fy. In part, it’s because the guys in Zulu Wave create their songs out of little snippets. “Generally, when we write new music we are inspired either by an individual part or instrument,” says Michael Barrow, Zulu Wave vocalist and guitarist. “We will all try to creatively piece together something which in our minds sounds good. We try to make the whole process as creatively free as we can.” Zulu Wave’s most recent collection is 2012’s Nyami Nyami, and the Tampa outfit’s performance at the Tin Roof will be their first show on tour outside of their home state. Barrow and the gang couldn’t be more excited. “My family has always mentioned how beautiful the city is, drawing from a French, English, and West African culture. I think we as a band have a great appreciation for history and unique cities, so we are very excited to experience Charleston.” —Tamara Younkins MONDAY

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PYSCHE FOLK | There Is No Mountain
w/ Free Clinic, alswell
Fri. Oct 4
$5
The Sparrow

Here in the Holy City, we see plenty of great acts, and some are quirkier than others. Case in point: Portland, Ore.’s There Is No Mountain, a psyche-folk duo featuring vocalist and guitarist Matt Harmon and vocalist, percussionist, and keyboard player Kali Giaritta. “With the live show, we have a broad two-part mission statement: keep ourselves entertained and try to also keep things catchy and engaging for the audience,” Harmon says. “So you can expect a lot of intricate, surprising arrangements and dynamic twists and turns.” There Is No Mountain spends a lot of time touring, and right now, they’re touring in support of its solid 2013 self-titled LP, a stripped-down collection of left-field folk and mescaline Americana. So far, Harmon and Giaritta are feeling the love from their growing fanbase. “Our favorite thing about performing is seeing people smile from ear to ear for the entire set,” Harmon says. If you catch this clever duo at the Sparrow this week, we bet you’ll be smiling too. —Tamara Younkins FRIDAY

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