Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Soundchecks: People Person, Hudson, Cancellieri, Cole Connor

Great live music to check out this week

Posted by Sam Spence on Wed, Nov 13, 2013 at 10:00 AM


SYNTH-POP | Hudson K
w/ Lectra Lust
Fri. Nov. 15
9 p.m.
Royal American

It’s hard to imagine any classical pianist rocking a keytar as awesomely as Hudson K’s Christina Horn does. Before forming the duo with drummer Nate Barrett, Horn spent seven years as a piano student at a classical conservatory, but the piano alone wasn’t enough to satisfy her musical ambition. “I always wanted to be a singer and performer too, but it’s very difficult to do that from a classical stage,” she says. “People are very quiet, respectful, there’s a lot of tension in the room. It always felt kind of stale to me.” So she broke out of the classical mold and decided to find a way to fuse the complexities of classical music with the energy of rock ‘n’ roll. At first, she stuck with her accustomed instrument, even lugging the piano around on tour. “I was playing a lot of notes and hammering out these very complex songs with lots of scales and pairing that with drums,” Horn says. “That was fun, but it wasn’t suitable for the venues we were playing in.” Then she decided to go the tech route, subbing in a keytar for the piano, using a laptop and loop pedal, and going for simpler sounds and melodies. The new Hudson K swings from experimental rock to dance-pop, and Horn’s full vocals are equally suited for fun, cheery songs like “Stuck on Repeat” and darker, cabaret-inspired tunes like “Fade.” Hudson K just released the album Ouroboros and the Black Dove, which you can listen to on —Elizabeth Pandolfi THURSDAY

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NEW FOLK | Cancellieri
w/ The Dunder Chiefs
Thurs. Nov. 14
8 p.m.
The Sparrow

If you happen to pass by a busker on King Street sometime this weekend, make sure you stop and listen for a bit — chances are it’s Cancellieri, a Columbia-based folky who sings with a soft, unassuming sound and writes tenderly beautiful lyrics. For Cancellieri, a.k.a. Ryan Hutchens, it’s a refreshing way to expose people to his music. “The engagement between people and me is a little more free and open. Weird things can happen, funny things. I just connect with people more,” he says. “I might say it’s my favorite way to perform.” Hutchens began singing as Cancellieri about three years ago, releasing an EP called Early Spring in 2011. Two EPs and two years later, he’s developed a more performance-friendly style, writing for guitar and harmonica and sometimes bass, drums, and keyboard. As for his stage name, that came to him pretty easily. “Cancellieri came from my grandfather on my father’s side,” Hutchens says. His grandfather, the child of Sicilian immigrants, changed his name to Hutchens when he was 16, so the original name fell into disuse until Hutchens reclaimed it. “Instead of just making up a band name, it was sort of like using my real name in a sense,” Hutchens says. You can listen to all three of Cancellieri’s EPs at —Elizabeth Pandolfi THURSDAY


HIP-HOP | Cole Connor
w/ Fat Rat da Czar, Grand Royal, Ben Starr, Randy Bruce
Fri. Nov. 15
9 p.m.
Tin Roof

South Carolina is not a rapper’s delight. Just ask Sumter’s Cole Connor. “It’s tough man. There is so much bad-quality songs, business, and music in general floating around down here that when good artists with good sounds, a positive message, and unique concepts come around, people don’t know whether to believe it or not,” Connor says. “People become used to bad-quality music and can’t recognize the good stuff.” Fortunately, the rapper has joined forces with some of the state’s best, like FatRat Da Czar, to form a hip-hop movement, NewSC, to make sure that the public pays attention. “We have a team of talented people ready to show the world what South Carolina is capable of.” Speaking of showing the world, Connor is set to release his debut album, Through the Stampede on Nov. 26, and if you want to know what to expect, just queue up his single “kNOwledge,” a bumping, organ-driven diss of higher ed that sounds like a track from the novelty-and-message-powered hip-hop of the pre-G Funk era. “This song really means a lot to me. It really is about what I was starting to see school and education in America as, and it was huge for me because my whole life was based around going to college. All of high school was about getting into a good college, and I was about to throw all that away to chase a dream that may not work out,” Connor says. —Chris Haire FRIDAY

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GARAGE POP | People Person
w/ Southern Femisphere, Dear Bianca
Sat. Nov. 16
9 p.m.
Royal American

Jessica Oliver has a favorite interjection, and it’s one that fits her fire-breathing-pixie persona: Dag. And that injection is also the title of one of the standout track’s on Dumb Supper, the latest from her band People Person. “It’s a real namby-pamby word, if you ask me. It can convey mild disappointment, a sort of stoked-ness, or a sense of being just kind of impressed by something, like your cousin’s new muffler on his ’98 Mustang,” the Charleston-based Oliver says. As for the song itself, she says, “It’s about being mediocre at self-destruction,” like showing up for an hour late to work without telling anyone or giving your digits to a Domino’s delivery boy even though you have a man. Many of the songs on Dumb Supper — a Grade-A garage-pop winner — are new versions of People Person’s lower-than-lo-fi debut, Swimming for Keeps. “I was living in this big old craftsman house in Columbia. It had a really wonderful sound — high ceilings, hardwood floors — and I had recorded all of the demos that are on my Bandcamp in the dining room of that house over several months with no real goal in mind other than to post them as they were completed,” Oliver says. Both collections are well worth your time, and judging by both, Jessica Oliver and People Person are poised for big things. —Chris Haire SATURDAY

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