Charleston-based rapper, turntablist, and producer DJ Chuck T (a.k.a. David Thrower) started assembling underground regional mixtape collections in 2001. By 2002, totally independent and unaffiliated with a record or radio company, he began working on his own record label, magazine, and management firm, Port City Productions, Urban Timez magazine, and DownSouthMixtapes.com. Chuck T recently served as a special guest judge at Atlanta's big-industry Almost Famous Spring Edition talent showcase — one of the region's "most consistent and reputable talent showcases" (check www.almostfamousshow.com). His recent mixtape projects are under the name Down South Slangin'. He and the United Carolina Movement present Charleston's Marly Mar (a 10-year veteran of local hip-hop, also of ChuckTown Ballers Production) and his new single "Stay Fresh" (produced by 40 Oz.), Charlotte's S. Dub (a.k.a. S. Dub the Great) and his new single "I'm Fly," and North Charleston's Carlos Cartel's "All for the Money." Young rapper Lil' Homie (a.k.a. The Papuh Boi) hails from Charlotte/Rock Hill scene. His latest singles "Hatuh Wave" and "Lean" are among the Mixtape King's latest projects. Check out www.djchuckt.com for more.
The CofC's Student Public Relations Club hosts the first-annual Rockstock Music Festival on Sat. March 29 at the Visitor's Center Bus Shed on John Street. Festivities go from 7-11 p.m. with live rock music from three S.C. bands — Spartanburg's After August, local groove-rock quartet Overstood, and local emo/hard-rock quartet The Valkyrie. All proceeds will benefit the PRSSA chapter and MIMA Music, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to "inspire students of all ages in undeserved communities with a lifelong appreciation for music making." An after-party at Charleston Beer Works (468 King St.) follows. See Music Board and log on to www.charlestonrockstock.com for more info.
EOTO LATE NITE
Although initially scheduled to play at the Pour House on Tues. April 1, "dance/rock duo" EOTO (pronounced "E-oh-toe") — a mix of live-action breakbeat, house, drum 'n' bass, trip hop, and vintage disco from String Cheese Incident's Jason Hann and Michael Travis — is now set for late-night on Fri. March 28, just after the conclusion of the Kimya Dawson early-evening performance. EOTO welcome special guest Michael Kang on mandolin (also of String Cheese Incident). Doors open at 11 p.m. Tickets are $18 ($15 adv.). "It is two separate shows, so after Kimya we will clear the room and start letting people in for EOTO at 11 p.m.," says Pour House main man Alex Harris. "This is a first for the Pour House, two big shows in one night, but it will be fun." Go online to www.charlestonpourhouse.com and
Local rock station 98X announced this year's Live X May Day concert lineup. The all-day music festival is set to take place on Sun. May 4 at the Exchange Park Fairgrounds (9850 Hwy. 78 in Ladson) with loud rockin' stuff from Seether, Flyleaf, Cracker (who may have to crank it to fit in), Theory of a Deadman, Hurt, Red, and local band Souls Harbor. Gates open at noon. Tickets are available for $29.80 in advance and for $40 on day of the show. Check www.98xonline.com and www.etix.com for more.
R.I.P. SKEETER BRANDON
Sad news from Gary "Shrimp City Slim" Erwin came this week. Calvin "Skeeter" Brandon died on Thurs. March 20 at the age of 59 after a series of health problems. Brandon was a longtime blues and soul artist who spent time with Walter "Lightnin' Bug" Rhodes' band, Highway 61, Clarence Carter, and The Chi-Lites. "A man with a huge, rich voice, virtuoso keyboard talent, and a fat songbook of classic and original material, Brandon brought joy to audiences from Spartanburg to Spain during his life on this planet," says Erwin, who booked Skeeter for last spring's Blues by the Sea event. Visit www.skeeterbrandon.com for more info.
Speaking of Erwin's local blues action, he recently booked a new series of acoustic performances at the Circular Congregational Church (150 Meeting St.) under the title Circular Blues Unplugged. Paul Geremia, an acclaimed singer/guitarist (on six and 12-string acoustic guitars) handling classic country blues, headlines the kick-off event on Sun. March 30 at 7 p.m. Erwin calls him a "master country bluesman." Acoustic Guitar magazine called Geremia "one of the best country blues finger-pickers ever." Australian guitarist Geoff Achison performs on Sun. April 20, vintage blues singer Lightnin' Wells plays on Sun. May 18, and celebrated S.C. blues vet Drink Small gets down on Sun. June 15. Visit www.bluesbash.com and www.paulgeremia.org for more. —T. Ballard Lesemann