For those with a real hatred for a compelling story told with a Southern twang (i.e. country music), Shannon Whitworth's show at the Pour House last Thursday was not for them. Fellow former-Biscuit Burner Jon Stickley swapped his Martin for a hollow-body Gibson electric, while the Trainwrek's Matt Smith made the journey from Asheville to lend all four of his limbs to the pedal steel. Honk a' plenty and tonk spread heavy.
Whitworth's first set drew heavily from her new album, No Expectations, and included a few of her older tunes from the Burner years, embellished by Smith's meandering lead. Jill Fromewick of the Grit Pixies joined the band to kick off the second set with Bob Dylan's "Buckets of Rain," and post-midnight the band never slowed down, bringing Charleston's Hungry Monks on stage for a three-song finish that wrapped up with a rollicking, fiddle-heavy "Sittin' On Top of the World" encore. If that ain't country...?
And as evidence that parents should pay more attention to the lyrics in their children's' iPods, Afroman's show at Barrier Island Surf Shop on Friday looked like the James Island High School prom. I squeezed my way through pelvic-thrusting barely legal bodies to snap a couple photos of the Mississippi rapper belting out "Because I Got High" — the second time he performed his hit that night — with a Colt 45 in hand and mumbling "I'm so fucked up y'all" in between lyrics. After his performance, a flood of kids pushed their way onto the stage, evidently eager for the chance to touch the famed 'fro.
When I saw him step away from the crowd and duck behind his van, the opportunity seemed ripe to say hello. Turning the corner, I found Afroman grinding up on a voluptuous young girl from the crowd. I thought I'd spoiled the moment, but he smiled, so I introduced myself as the writer he'd left several humorous messages for last year while we played phone tag for an interview. As fate would have it, the young lady had matches in her purse, a flame was lit, and life goal No. 7 was soon complete. "I was gonna drive you home, but then. . ." Cheers, Afroman. —Stratton Lawrence