Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Live Music: Rap Show vol. 3; Drunk Couples; Big Sam’s Funky Nation; Steady Hand String Band

Great live music to check out this week

Posted by Kelly Rae Smith and Vincent Harris on Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 4:25 PM

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  • Provided

JAZZ FUNK | Big Sam’s Funky Nation
w/ Jonathan Scales Fourchestra
Thurs. Feb. 25
9:30 p.m.
$12 adv., $15/door
Pour House

In the early 2000s, when trombone player Big Sam Williams decided to form his own band after a year-long stint with the New Orleans jazz/R&B legends the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, he thought he had it all figured out. Surely, with enough planning, moving from musician to bandleader wouldn’t be that hard. But he was wrong, and one of his fellow Dirty Dozen alums tried to warn him. “[Sax player] Roger Lewis, he told me, ‘It’s never what you think it’s supposed to be,’” Williams says. “And I said, ‘Man, you don’t know what you’re talking about.’ But sure enough, later on I told him, ‘You weren’t lying. It’s not like it’s supposed to be,’” Williams explains. “It’s way more complicated, because people are way more complicated. As far as the performing aspect, that was easy — that came naturally. But to be on top of all the ins and outs of the business, and having to deal with so many personalities all the time, it was tough.” But the band, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, persevered, and the versatile quintet has created a decade’s worth of hard-edged funk grooves that mix vintage P-Funk with rock-solid New Orleans jazz-style ensemble playing. Williams says that blend is an extension of his own musical tastes, but he’s not always fully aware of it. “Sometimes I’ll write something and think, ‘That sounds funky,’ and when I listen back to it, I’m like, ‘That rocks really hard,’” he says with a laugh. “We do play funk, but it gets heavy.” —Vincent Harris THURSDAY

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OLD-TIME GRASS | Steady Hand String Band Album Release
w/ Becca Leigh and Roger Bellow
Fri. Feb. 26
6:30 p.m.
$10 Suggested Donation Gage Hall

The Steady Hand String Band perform old-time acoustic music — and boy, do they play up a storm. The group’s blend of fiddle, banjo, mandolin, and acoustic guitar takes its cue from bluegrass, folk, country, and Appalachian music, and it’s made to be played live. So when it came time to record their new self-titled album, they knew what to do. “Our approach was that we were going to do everything live off the studio floor with the amount of musicians that we had in the studio,” says Matt Lohan, who sings and plays banjo and fiddle. “We basically just set up some baffles, didn’t wear headphones, and played as if we were in a backyard or at a show. Pretty much everything you’re hearing when you listen to the CD is recorded live. It’s the best way to do it.” That immediacy is something that Lohan says is lacking in a lot of modern-day recordings. “The way people record now, it’s sort of like watching a brand new movie where there’s CGI and digital enhancement and all that stuff,” he says. “And then listening to older records is like watching a movie on real film, where they built the sets and it was all an original creation. That’s the vibe we go for. And the only way to get that sound is everybody playing together. You get mic bleed, you get people making little mistakes here and there, but that’s what makes it real, and I think that’s what attracts people to older records and vinyl in general.” —Vincent Harris FRIDAY

click to enlarge JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek

ELECTRO/HIP-HOP | The Rap Show Vol. 3
w/ Contour, Metvlmouth, Blue November, Alfonso X, Zae the Philosopher, Solis, Nelson, Illfigure, Lauren Truee, Lordfubu, and Warholtheghost
Sat. Feb. 27
7 p.m.
Free
APB Charleston

The Rap Show Vol. 3 is a collaborative showcase of artists from two collectives: Orlando’s Left Field Theory and Charleston’s own RaisedByFilm. Together, a dozen acts — Left Field Theory’s Metvlmouth, Blue November, Alfonso X, Zae the Philosopher, Solis, Nelson, Illfigure, and Lauren Truee, plus RaisedByFilm’s Contour, warholtheghost, and Lordfubu — will perform a mix of atmospheric beats and hip-hop inside downtown footwear shop, APB Charleston (460 Meeting St.). Contour, a.k.a. Khari Lucas, is a recent addition to the RaisedByFilm crew, which was started by his roommate and “creative counterpart” Austin Butler, whose stage name is warholtheghost. “He’s been slowly scouting each individual member for years,” Lucas says. “He told me that he had his eye on me since a rap open mic I DJ’ed at years ago. So when we ended up living together and clicking, everything just felt very natural.” Other than finishing up his next record and working on other projects with various vocalists and MCs, Lucas’ main focus at the moment is to continue merging local hip-hop and electronic music through events like the Rap Show. He says, “I think there are a lot of artists here who might feel more comfortable stepping out if they see that there’s a potential place for them.” —Kelly Rae Smith SATURDAY

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PUNK ROCK | Drunk Couples
w/ DUMB Doctors and Bully Pulpit
Fri. Feb 26
9 p.m.
$5
The Royal American

Three-piece band Drunk Couples formed last October after relocating to Charleston from Harrisonburg, Va. Two members — Andrew Barnes and CJ DeLuca — formerly performed as part of Gifts from Enola, a post-rock band that had a good six-year run that included touring around North America and Europe. In Charleston, the two joined forces with Paul King to make the kind of music fans of the Bronx, Doomriders, Misfits, and Bad Brains would dig. Drunk Couples have since gotten a lot of local buzz by bringing their heavy-but-energetic sound to house shows and dive bars and are on the brink of releasing a brand new EP. “We tracked guitars, bass, and drums for the full-length in Columbia at Jam Room Studios with Zac Thomas a few weeks back and are almost done tracking vocals here in Charleston just at our practice space,” Barnes says. “We’ll be playing pretty much the whole thing at the show at Royal, amongst some of the older jams.” The record is expected to release in May, but in the meantime, you can check out Drunk Couples’ debut EP Cruisin’ at drunkcouples.bandcamp.com. —Kelly Rae Smith FRIDAY

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