Ratdog, Smashion, Mad Tea Party, Eat Drink and Be Green 

The Scene

"I want to kill you, but like, not literally..."
— a concertgoer at the Explosions in the Sky show at the Music Farm

click to enlarge STRATTON LAWRENCE

Head North
Blackbirds, Terrapins, and RatDogs

There wasn't much of a parking lot scene at Friday night's RatDog show at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center — the Deadheads were sharing the asphalt with the Walking with Dinosaurs crowd at the Coliseum. Stay away from the brown allosaurus, kids. Although the show had a quiet beginning, Bob Weir and crew found their stride around the first set closer, "Liberty," which led into a second set that included "Blackbird," "Mexicali Blues," and "Terrapin Station." Mark Karan's guitar sounded eerily close to Jerry's lingering leads, and Bobby's voice was as fresh as ever. The highlight may well have been when the whole room sang along to the closing line's of "Mississippi Half-Step" — "Across the Rio Grand-ee-oo/ Across the lazy river" — a scenario which was repeated during the "Ripple" encore. —Stratton Lawrence

click to enlarge JON SANTIAGO

Artists, models take over Map Room

Perhaps your invitation to Charleston Fashion Week got misdirected in the mail. Mine, too. And perhaps watching that unfortunate model vanish through the runway floor on YouTube only made a dent in your disappointment. I feel you. (Hit replay.) So, what? Were we supposed to sit out an entire year until we could get ripped with fashion models and rub elbows with the artsy crowd? I don't think so. Smashion at The Map Room on Saturday night made it all better. In part a benefit for the Diabetes Association, Smashion brought together poets, painters, rappers, breakdancers, and haute couture —that's French for models, baby — for an unevenly paced, but ultimately rewarding evening we hope to see again in its next incarnation. And let's not forget the Goddess of Orbital Dynamics, Miss Hoopstress, demonstrating that all things come back around in time. No more sulking. Vindication! —Jon Santiago

click to enlarge JON SANTIAGO

It's Tea Time
Mad Tea Party steal the show

Things got lively at the Pour House on Friday with a cool three-act bill. Local singer/ukulele player Noodle of The V-Tones warmed things up with an elegant solo set of antique ditties and love songs, which made for some great beer-sippin' and hip-swayin' vibes. The next act, Asheville-based duo Mad Tea Party got their motor runnin' right away, energizing the small crowd with the swingin' opener "Blues Slip In." Though they used to resemble the same 1940s-style, vaudevillian/blues/jazz thing The V-Tones embrace, singer/ukulele player Ami Worthen and guitarist/singer Jason Krekel looked and sounded more like a polite rockabilly act from the late 1950s. One old fan commented that Worthen looked more "dishy" these days. If so, it didn't distract. Their graceful performance was laden with strong vocal harmonies, loads of jumpy energy, and the percussive thump of Krekel's odd drum kit at his feet — a small bass drum, a high-hat stand, and an old field snare drum on its side with a pedal attached. Watching him keep time with both feet while simultaneously singing and picking was as amusing and impressive as anything the funky prog/folk headliners Snake Oil Medicine Show attempted in their weird final set. Bravo. —T. Ballard Lesemann

click to enlarge MADELYNE ADAMS
  • Madelyne Adams

Eat, Drink, and Be Green
CofC raises greenbacks for green buildings

At first glance, the Eat, Drink, and Be Green fest looked like any other beach party in Charleston. Kids were building sand castles, some people were playing Frisbee, and some were just laying around on blankets soaking up the sun. The weather was perfect, the Blue Dogs were playing our favorite beach tunes, and the crowd was decidedly relaxed. If you looked a little closer, though, this event was distinctly ... green. There were recycle bins placed about every 10 feet throughout the area, all of the food was served on Tater Ware (yes, dishes and utensils made from potatoes — who'd have thought it?) and every booth at the event was aimed at educating the crowd on environmental issues. The College of Charleston Sustainability Committee, the Lowcountry Earth Force, and several other groups were passing out free green goodies. The mood was light, the Frisbees were flying (I should know — I took one to the head) and at least for one day, a green planet seemed possible. —Madelyne Adams


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