SOUL-ROCK | Regina Ferguson
w/ George Porter Jr., The Runnin' Pardners
Thurs. July 21
Regina Ferguson has spent most of the last two years in Charleston doing a wide variety of gigs, from straight jazz to weddings. Those shows paid the rent and showed off her versatile, powerful voice, but there was a problem. "I was doing all kinds of different things, and through that process, I realized that what I really wanted to do was original music," she says. "And if I continued to do these types of gigs, I was progressing financially, but I wasn't progressing as an artist." So rather than hit an artistic dead end, Ferguson gathered up a year or so's worth of songs, headed out to California and made her debut full-length album, Movin' On. Fergusons' music is an alluring mix of jazz phrasing, pop hooks, and old-school soul, a blend that her flexible vocals fit perfectly. "I wanted to make a record I was proud of," she says. "This is the music that I've been inspired to write." —Vincent Harris THURSDAY
POST-PUNK GAZE | Gláss
w/ Sad Baxter, Townhouse
Fri. July 22
Gláss' Aaron Burke isn't used to the god-awful heat of the South. "I'm standing outside work right now and fucking sweating," he says. "I hate it." He wrote about such sentiments — see "Stifling Quarters" or "Glass(-accent)"— in his band's most recent offering, Accent, which chronicles everything that sucks about transitioning to a new home. The lyrics are always simple, but that doesn't mean the depth of the song suffers. Rather, the post-rock tracks build textures through interesting garage and surf-rock rhythms, over which Burke's deep vocals sing of the sweltering heat and going home again. Burke was born in London and raised in Ireland before moving to Scotland for 10 years. When his American father got a job in Greenville, S.C., Burke was still in high school in the U.K. "When you're 16, that is such a pinnacle age," he says. "Your friends are the most important thing in the world. You're starting to develop opinions and create strong bonds." So starting anew in the States was not awesome at first. No one understood his background or his accent, which is all over the place — the first Southern/Scottish/Irish one we've ever heard. But at least he got some songs out of the experience. And besides, he's past all that now. "I was thinking about being in the States [with Accent] but also looking around and realizing that I am going to adjust to change and adjust to living here and that I might start to feel at home here, whether I like it or not — which has happened," Burke says. "You get to that point where you just get on with it. Before you know it, a lot of time has passed, and it's a funny moment when you stop thinking about when you're going to move back." —Kelly Rae Smith FRIDAY
DOOM METAL | Hooded Eagle
w/ Circle Back
Tues. July 26
When Hooded Eagle singer/bassist Lynn Wise started looking for some musicians to play with in 2009, he didn't exactly have a monolithic stoner metal band in mind. "I had put up an ad as a guitarist looking to start a hardcore punk band," Wise says. "And I got a response saying, 'This is not what you're looking for at all, but we're a stoner metal/sludge band looking for a bassist.' So I went and tried out for that." After a couple of months as an instrumental group that played none-more-black music that doesn't so much flow as it oozes, the band asked Wise to become their singer, and he added his demon-being-exorcised voice over top of the group's thundering, slow-moving epics. Most of the band's riff-heavy songs, which typically stretch past 10 minutes, drip with a brooding atmosphere that would make Nick Cave shudder. Wise says that mood is entirely intentional. "Whenever we discuss songwriting, the general idea is that we're willing to play anything as long as it is evil or sad or heavy," he says. —Vincent Harris TUESDAY
JAM ROCK | Dave Matthews Band
Tues. July 26
North Charleston Coliseum
Who else ordered Under the Table and Dreaming as a freshman in college through one of those infamous 12 CDs for a penny offers? I know I did. And I admittedly went on to become one of those semi-stereotypical Dave Matthews Band junkies of the '90s. I traveled on a shoestring to see DMB live simply because I got to roadtrip, party, and listen to music with about a jillion of my closest friends. Since those memorable days of driving to Tampa in a borrowed car on a whim or taking a 20-hour Greyhound to New York City or tailgating in an RV at Soldier Field in Chicago or camping out at the Gorge in George, Washington, I've moved on. But there will also be a part of me (and maybe you?) that gets nostalgic during the first few notes of tracks like "Two Step." And I may not get the same high from those old songs 15, 20 years later, but I'll never regret those days. Especially that one day when a dozen new CDs arrived at my dorm — you know, the ones every college freshman in 1995 owned. The first track off Under the Table, "The Best of What's Around," was an instant favorite, and its words are some that I still remember probably as often as every single week, because they still ring true: "Turns out not where but who you're with that really matters." —Kelly Rae Smith TUESDAY
Charleston sure does love a good tribute concert. Here are some other novelty acts you can catch in the next week, honoring Talking Heads, David Bowie, Prince, Black Sabbath, and Curtis Mayfield.
Same As It Ever Was
Talking Heads, Prince, and David Bowie Tribute
Fri. July 22 and Sat. July 23
$12/adv., $15/door, $20/both nights
Knoxville, Tenn. tribute band Same As It Ever Was (SAIEW) is packing the hits and star power of Talking Heads, Prince, and David Bowie into two nights. For years now, SAIEW has been performing Talking Heads sets that reflect the legendary band's avant-garde, nerd-punk style, both musically and visually. This time, SAIEW will stick to embodying David Byrne and company the first night, while the second night will consist of a shorter Talking Heads set followed by an evening of hand-picked Prince and Bowie tunes.
"I think the common thread in that music is the fact that it all cuts through genre and stereotypes," reflects founder and lead vocalist Curtis Geren. "All three were innovators in different ways, transcending and breaking beyond more than just the boundaries of music."
The show will certainly reflect breaking boundaries in its Psycho Killer-meets-Darling Nikki-meets-Ziggy Stardust premise — but in the best of ways. "As I've said in the past, creating music that moves both the body and the mind simultaneously is a special thing," says Geren. "And these guys did exactly that."
White/Bogan Duo and Jordan Igoe
Black Sabbath Tribute Sun. July 24
Commune. Supper Cult & Event Collaborative, Farm To Table Event Company, and Music Farm Productions have teamed up to give Charleston some rock 'n' roll with a side of pork. WarPigs! is an event that exists somewhere within the more badass and admittedly carnivorous definition of "dinner and a show." Audience members can enjoy four courses made with heritage pork and catch White/Bogan Duo, who will be joined by local singer-songwriter Jordan Igoe on vocals.
The unconventional crew will perform a fresh tribute to Ozzy and company. "It will be a little different than a four-piece band," says Ross Bogan, guitarist, keyboardist, and vocalist of the duo. "I can't sing like Ozzy, so I used a lot of strange effects to get my vocal sound."
While the local musicians bring the rockin' entertainment for the night, chefs Kristian Niemi, Frank Bradley, and Blair Machado will provide the eats. McCarus Beverage Company will pair wine with each course, so you can enjoy some Sabbath in true Ozzy Osbourne style.
Curtis Mayfield Tribute
Tues. July 26
San Diego Latin-funk rockers B-Side Players are hitting up Charleston to honor the music and message of Curtis Mayfield in what looks to be a socially aware tribute show. In this musical celebration, the soulful and empowering hits of Mayfield will meet the West Coast Latin groove for which the Players are known.
"Organizing this show was a great pleasure because of the great music we had to learn and the social content of the lyrics that are so relevant in what's going on today," says lead vocalist and guitarist Karlos "Solrak" Paez. "The timing could not have been better for this tribute."
The culturally celebratory vibes of Mayfield and the Players couldn't be a better fit either. The Players bring Latin American genres and styles such as Cumbia, Samba, and Son Montuno into their tunes just as Mayfield worked Chicago soul, gospel, and R&B into his.
"Mayfield's music has been very influential to us in the 20-plus years that we have been together," Paez says. "We have always been a socially conscious band and will always be students of funky soul with the universal message of love."