“You’ll have to air dry.”
—Instructions given to long-haired CP reporter Stratton Lawrence after styling gel was worked into his hair. In preparation for his turn on the runway at the Bids for Kids Bachelor Auction, Lawrence received his first professional haircut in 8 years.
No Camo Required: Wild times at the SEWE Soiree
On Friday night, the Visitors Center Bus Shed was filled with nature-minded party-goers for the SEWE Fall Soiree. There was surprisingly little camo gear among the crowd — though there were several people walking around with giant shotguns (for raffling). The advertised “wild game treats” turned out to be things like quail, meatballs, and pork barbecue still hanging on the bones. The expansive line-free open bar and help-yourself kegs helped get the party started pretty quickly, and the Men of Distinction kept it going all night with a fun, interactive set of crowd favorites from Marvin Gaye to Def Leppard. The dance floor was full of people of all ages, and it was just as fun to watch the different styles — particularly the older, experienced shaggers — as it was to dance. —Erica Jackson
Monks Rock ’Jammer
Newly-established Charleston rock quartet SEWE Fall Soiree, Modern Day Monks celebrated the release of their self-titled debut album on Fri. Oct. 12 to a full house of friends, fans, and family at the Windjammer. Led by tall-standing longhair Jon Hager, the band performed their new collection from font to back in the first set and unveiled some brand-new tunes in the second set. An enormous banner from Fusion Five Studio and their sister record label Indie Records hung on the backstage wall. Hager, organist Johnny Boyd, six-string bassist Nathan Gee, and drummer Kellett Arnold played well and looked stoic, determined, and ready for the next step forward. (www.myspace.com/moderndaymonks) —T. Ballard Lesemann
Kenny G. Would’ve Barfed
Just before the Oct. 9 show by SEWE Fall Soiree, Modern Day Monks, The Dead Kenny Gs at the Pour House, I noticed drummer/percussionist Mike Dillon applying duct tape to his top hi-hat cymbal. “Hey man, do you need hi-hat clutch?” I asked. “You actually have one on hand? Hell yeah! I left mine in New Orleans,” he replied. Sometimes leaving one’s drum gear in the car comes in handy.
Dillon, sax player Skerik, and bassist Brad Houser (all three are members of Critters Buggin’) performed one of the weirdest, most schizophrenic instrumental gigs I’ve ever heard. Dillon switched from kick/snare/cymbals to marimba and vibes to tabla and back. Skerik’s wild sax work bounced and sang over the top of it, often enhanced and heavily distorted by a battery of effects pedals. At times, the horn sounded more like a three-guitar heavy-metal onslaught than a normal reed instrument. Mind-blowing stuff, indeed — and quite a stretch from the smooth crap-jazz of their namesake. (www.thedeadkennygs.com).
—T. Ballard Lesemann
Snapalicious: Adams rocks the house, Allman proves he still has it
Asking folks at Friday’s SEWE Fall Soiree, Modern Day Monks, The Dead Kenny Gs, Gregg Allman show if they’d be back to the North Charleston Performing Arts Center for Ryan Adams the next night, most looked surprised and wondered why I’d dropped the “B.” Someone even said to me that this new guy should go by Ryan “middle initial” Adams, just to clarify.
On Saturday, Adams played to a sold-out house. His acoustic albums did little to prepare me for the sonic onslaught he and the Cardinals delivered. The closing moments of “I See Monsters” were so perfectly orchestrated, each member of the band hitting increasingly heavy riffs in perfect time, that I forgave Adams for any preconceived notions about his onstage perfectionist idiosyncrasies.
In between songs, Adams took sips from beer cans atop his piano, repeatedly muttering, “Oh, snap,” while bantering with his band. He recruited the crowd to sing “Happy Birthday” to bass player Chris “Spacewolf” Feinstein and clearly enjoyed himself throughout the night.
Not that Allman didn’t. But there’s something to be said for a fresh band, playing songs written in the last year, and still inspiring countless girls (younger ones, at that) to stand up amidst a fully-seated crowd and twirl wildly. Then again, there’s also an indescribable joy in hearing the man who wrote “Melissa” sing and play it on his Hammond B-3, while seated next to his old friend Bunky Odom (pictured above) back in the tenth row. After the show, we met Allman backstage, and I even got to help carry some dog treats a friend dropped off out to the bus, beaming all the way. —Stratton Lawrence
Charitable Society Oyster Roast
After Friday’s SEWE bash, Saturday night’s SEWE Fall Soiree, Modern Day Monks, The Dead Kenny Gs, Gregg Allman, Charitable Society Oyster Roast at the Bus Shed was pretty tame, with a smaller crowd, only beer and wine for sale, and a too-loud DJ instead of a live band. But if oysters are your thing, you wouldn’t have been disappointed — the tables were set up in rows, filled with steaming oysters, a bowl of cocktail sauce, and packs of slightly-soggy crackers. Technical issues prevented their showing football on the big screen (there was a channel guide up instead). Overall it was a family friendly event (though there were very few children in attendance) benefitting a very worthy cause — the Windwood Farm Home for Children. —Erica Jackson
Mr. October: Bare chests are fine at the beach but not a beer fest
Folly Beach is an appropriate place for a guy to go bare chested and catch a few rays. The same goes for Marion Square, regardless of whatever Councilmember Wendell Gilliard thinks. But right in the middle of SEWE Fall Soiree, Modern Day Monks, The Dead Kenny Gs, Gregg Allman, Charitable Society Oyster Roast, Oktoberfest at Blackbaud Stadium? Nope. That should never happen. But happen it did on Sun. Oct. 14. While scores of folks were drinking Warsteiner and Budweiser and others were scarfing down sauerkraut covered brats, this one camo shorts-wearing nitwit was kicking back in the midst of the celebration in not one, but two, plastic chairs sans shirt and any sense of decorum. And considering this was Oktoberfest and not the St. Cecilia Society’s annual ball, there wasn’t much of that to begin with. Although the goal-end of the field closest to the parking lot was filled with boozehounds and their brood, no one was within a 15-foot radius of this guy, even though he occupied a prime piece of real estate right next to where the Beer Stein Relay was taking place. Needless to say, not a single one of the hundreds of folks who attended the beer fest was standing around with their shirts off. There wasn’t even a topless two-year old running around in his diapers, something of a requirement at these sort of outdoor events. If ever somebody was in need of a yellow card, this was it. —Chris Haire