Thursday, August 31, 2017

Live Music: PoHo celebrates 15 years; Spirit of Motown; Of Montreal; The Winter Sounds

Great shows to check out this week

Posted by Vincent Harris and Heath Ellison on Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 11:58 AM

click to enlarge The Winter Sounds - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • The Winter Sounds

INDIE-POP | The Winter Sounds

Nashville's Winter Sounds are about to release a beautiful new album called Maximum Reality. Its 10 songs are incredibly arranged slices of lush pop welded onto an indie-rock chassis, putting a shimmering mix of keyboards, vocal harmonies, and heartfelt vocals on top of raw, guitar-driven tracks. It's a sound that the band's singer, songwriter, and keyboard player Patrick Keenan has been aiming for since starting the band in 2006. "I feel like even back then, I was looking for a really specific kind of sound which would be the kind of twinkly guitars, the vocal harmonies, peaceful lyrics, but really up-tempo at the same time," Keenan says. It's also an album that was supposed to be out two years ago, and it was almost finished before Keenan ran into budget issues — not just in terms of recording, but promotion, as well. "There's an underlying truth that you can put this stuff out, but if there's not any kind of push it's not going to get past your core fanbase," he says. "At any given time there might be 100 people who would wonder if there's new Winter Sounds music in the world without some kind of promotion." —Vincent Harris SATURDAY

click to enlarge BEN ROUSE
  • Ben Rouse

PSYCHEDELIC INDIE ELECTRO-POP | Of Montreal

Of Montreal is such a patently eccentric, artistically adventurous group that calling them "unpredictable" is almost too easy. That being said, their new EP, Rune Husk, is one hell of a gear-change. The band, led by visionary singer/songwriter Kevin Barnes, pretty much dove head first into electronic dance music (with a psychedelic twist) on their last full length, but Rune Husk sounds like it could've been recorded in 1968. In other words, Kevin Barnes & Co. have kept the day-glo psychedelia but largely jettisoned the electronic elements, creating a four-song throwback that could've come out in between The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band without anything seeming out of place. The echoing vocals ping-pong from speaker to speaker, the ragged guitars cut out occasionally for creamy piano and organ lines, and there's even a subtle post-Summer of Love string section here and there. And if those thumping drums aren't supposed to sound like Ringo Starr, my name's Richard Starkey. —Vincent Harris TUESDAY

click to enlarge Singleton - JONATHAN BONCEK FILE PHOTO
  • Jonathan Boncek file photo
  • Singleton

CLASSIC SOUL | The Spirit of Motown Performed and Conducted by Charlton Singleton

Charlton Singleton has played the hits of Motown at the Music Hall before, but that was with the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, giving the classic soul hit machine of the '60s the big-band treatment. This time, he's doing things a little differently. "The Spirit of Motown show is going to be with the band I did the Prince and Michael Jackson tribute shows with," he says. "It's going to be more in that soulful Motown style. We're going to have an electric bass player who's a huge fan of [legendary Motown bassist] James Jamerson. We've got a good horn section, a number of fabulous keyboard players and guitarists, and five different singers to replicate some of the groups we're going to be paying tribute to." So how the hell does one choose a setlist out of a roster that included the Four Tops, the Supremes, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and a whole host of other stellar talent? "One of the guys in the band recommended that we start with the No. 1 hits and then branch out from there," Singleton says. "But you can't have Motown without 'My Girl,' 'What's Going On,' and the other standards that are still played on the radio today." —Vincent Harris WEDNESDAY

click to enlarge Manny Houston - JONATHAN BONCEK FILE PHOTO
  • Jonathan Boncek file photo
  • Manny Houston

HIP-HOP | Alan Fame & the Death Row Allstars w/ Mardy Says (Speakerbox), Abstract, Sheed Staggs, Kevin Shields (Little Stranger)

Is there any better party music than West Coast rap? No, there's not. It's just a scientific fact. Alan Fame (Manny Houston) and friends are embracing that simple law of nature by performing two Death Row-era classic albums in their entirety: Snoop's Doggystyle and Dr. Dre's The Chronic. The night will be part of the Pour House's week-long 15th anniversary celebration. Fame, two live backing bands, and a roll call of local rappers will hit the stage to run through these two books of the G-Funk Bible. It's going to be a lot of talent at one time. "With it being the Pour House's anniversary and everything, everybody was just like, 'Of course, I'm going to be down to play,'" says Fame. "[Owner Alex Harris] has created such a great community in reference to making sure all the musicians feel a sense of togetherness." The backing bands will recreate the beats live, and, while Fame and Abstract will be the primary performers, the bevy of local emcees will lighten the word count by regularly jumping on the mic. Since their releases, Doggystyle and The Chronic have become hallmarks in the hip-hop world for their head-bobbing production, legendary hooks, and creative lyricism. Both albums had singles that became cultural standards, like "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" and "Gin and Juice," and heavily contributed to the explosion of rap in mainstream music. —Heath Ellison FRIDAY

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