Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Live Music: Matadero; Black Girl Magic; Psychic Pets; Soggy Po' Boys

Great live music to check out this week

Posted on Wed, Aug 9, 2017 at 3:00 PM

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NOLA BRASS BAND | Soggy Po' Boys
Wed. Aug. 9
9 p.m.
The Sparrow
$5

The phrase "soggy po' boys" is one that should strike terror into the heart of any true Southerner, but once you get past that, the music of the brass-heavy New Orleans septet of the same name is pretty damn easy to enjoy. On their most recent album, Perhaps it is Time to Go Home, the band swerves from moving versions of traditional gospel material ("Old Rugged Cross") to torn-throat Latin-spiked dance numbers (the deceptively titled, irresistible "Darkness,") to smoky after-hours blues ("Opium Tea") before they ever get to the more expected Big Easy second-line party tunes like "Rhymes With Propane" and "Cocheco Strut," which even comes with a Tom Waits/Louis Armstrong hybrid vocal. In other words, they're a lot of fun and they can handle the stereotypical New Orleans brass band stuff, but listen more closely and you'll hear a far more versatile group than you might expect, no matter how familiar the horn section sounds. —Vincent Harris WEDNESDAY

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PSYCH-ROCK | Psychic Pets
w/ Secret Guest, Peyote Coyote
Fri. Aug. 11
8 p.m.
$7
Tin Roof

Psychic Pets are a concoction consisting of one-part punk, two-parts psychedelia, and best served while moving. Their first EP Pets:: (fuzzy home recordings) came out one year ago, and the title succinctly describes the three-song collection. "ISATOPES" puts the whole thing into perspective with hypnotic keytar riffs and mesmerizing guitar rhythm. "Big Wavez" rides the same formula to make a pleasant psych-surf jam, and "Dem Boiiz" takes the listener down the rabbit hole with a mystifying guitar track and unrestrained interludes. The band kept things loose and turbulent by recording everything with four cell phones. And, although their recording equipment came with a family plan, every track on Pets sounds as good as any lo-fi recording. Drummer "Thomas [Berkau] mixed it," says synth player Josh Jay. "I don't know how he did it, exactly." The majority of Psychic Pets' tunes come from guitarist/vocalist Ross Heath, who formed the band with Jay a week and a half before their first show. The group has been occasionally working on new material in the past year, but has no release date in sight. Luckily, fans can listen to Pets anytime they like. —Heath Ellison FRIDAY

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SOUL | Black Girl Magic
w/ Christian Smalls, Dominique AshleySeven Moore, Zandrina Dunning, Aisha Kenyetta, Shineika Robinson Townsend
Sat. Aug. 12
9 p.m.
$15/adv, $20/door
Purple Buffalo

Diva showcase Black Girl Magic puts the spotlight on local songstresses with an evening of classic soul and funk. The night will feature every artist on the bill doing solo performances, and playing tunes like Tweet's "I was Created for This" and "Four Women" by Nina Simone as a group. "It's kind of our way to put our own spin on the cover songs that we love to listen to," says organizer Zandrina Dunning. The event's focus will be well-loved tunes, but Dunning hopes to emphasize the strength that comes with getting on stage. "We want to empower black women," she says. "There's a lot of women I know who are battling with self-esteem issues. A lot of them are really curvy and some of them are really dark-skinned, and there's a lot of discrimination around that they feel. I think this event is really geared towards those women." This is the first event for Dunning's showcase series Melanin Music and was put together with the help of Chef Mac (a.k.a. Philip McAlister). In future performances, Dunning wants to incorporate originals into the showcase. She says, "This is just something too good to do this one time." —Heath Ellison SATURDAY

click to enlarge JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek

JAZZ-SOUL | Matadero
w/ 2 Slices
Sat. Aug. 12
9 p.m.
$5
Tin Roof

The music of Charleston's Matadero quartet is a dark, haunting mix of swirling keyboards, subtle-but-insistent rhythms, and singer Lindsay Holler's stunning wail of a voice, which can go from jazz-level control to feverish intensity with ease. It's just a shame the six-year-old guitarless group doesn't get to play together more often — they're all busy with their own projects. But Holler says that sometimes that time apart can be a plus. "We get really excited when we see each other," she says. "We enjoy each other's company a lot, and we don't get to see each other every day. It keeps things fresh. If we were doing the same thing every day we might not be as good at listening to each other as we are." They've been seeing a bit more of each other lately, though. "I'm trying to finish up a solo record, actually," Holler says. "The last time I released something was 2010. And, ironically, it's usually the members of Matadero playing with me on the solo album, too." —Vincent Harris SATURDAY


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