Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Live Music: Legendary Shack Shakers, Queen Street Harmony Series, Sun June, Walter Brown & Friends, and Bowie book talk

Hip-hop, punkabilly, sci-fi music, and more

Posted by Kelly Rae Smith, Vincent Harris and Heath Ellison on Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 3:25 PM

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BLUES-PUNK| The Legendary Shack Shakers
w/ The Pine Hill Haints
Fri. July 27
9 p.m.
$15
Tin Roof

Once upon a time in this great land, cries of “God bless the Ramones” could be heard ringing out everywhere — not just because of the band’s ever-enjoyable proto-punk blast, but because year in and year out, they remained solidly, unbreakably, the Ramones. Well, I’m here to say God bless the Legendary Shack Shakers, because for 23 years, the pride of Murray, Ky. has been bashing out a raw, primitive, and propulsive mix of filthy blues and revved-up punk, sounding like some sort of electrified hillbilly apocalypse and more or less torching every stage or recording studio they’ve ever been in or on. And the blessing especially goes for lead singer, harpy player, and rock ‘n’ roll true believer J.D. Wilkes, one of the most compelling, frightening, jaw-dropping frontmen to ever grab a microphone. These guys are the real deal, unleashing a torrent of Southern-fried punkabilly chaos at every show. A must-see show, if there ever was one. —Vincent Harris FRIDAY

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DREAMY INDIE-ROCK| Sun June
w/ Amber Grace Joyner & Joe Chang
Wed. July 25
9 p.m.
$7
Tin Roof


There was once a band called the Blue Nile who didn’t so much create songs or albums per se; what they did was make slow-moving, hypnotic sound-paintings that drifted by and through the listener’s psyche in waves of restrained, shimmering sound. Add some truly gorgeous, muted vocals, and a slightly more insistent rhythm section, and that’s what the Austin quintet Sun June does. On their just-released debut album, Years, the band largely settles into a mid-tempo indie-rock-style groove and lets the winding, blissful melodies flow. More than an album, the result is a 10-song suite where the vocals drift by in a blurred, hushed haze and the guitars briefly peek their heads above water before retreating to the safety of the gently pulsing bass and drums. The word “beguiling” is probably an overused one when people describe dreamy guitar pop like this, but it’s an accurate term for music this melodic and soothing. —Vincent Harris WEDNESDAY

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VARIETY | Queen Street Harmony
w/ Marcus Amaker, Michael Flynn, Infinitikiss
Sat. Jul. 28
7 p.m.
$10/adv., $15/door
Footlight Players


Awendaw Green’s original music showcase at the home of the Footlight Players is back for another mixed bag of artists. This go-around features Charleston’s first poet laureate Marcus Amaker, left-field singer-songwriter Michael Flynn, and electronic experimentalist Infinitikiss. “This Harmony Series has just been an attempt to have a listening room series,” says organizer Eddie White. “Artists that I’m trying to curate deserve this type of presentation.” The series gives artists a spot to play in that promotes a more attentive audience. Amaker says that the quieter environment of Footlight Players works well with his original music. “I’ll be performing music with my analogue instruments and doing poetry on top of that,” he says. —Heath Ellison SATURDAY
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  • Provided

HIP-HOP | Walter Brown and Friends
w/ B. Kiddo, Matt Tuton
Fri. Jul. 27
9 p.m.
$10
Purple Buffalo

Coming hot off the release of his new LP IMOW and the announcement that Sony will distribute and market the album, Walter Brown is putting together a victory dance with some friends. “The show is basically me and everybody who I have had features with since I started rapping,” says Brown. Plenty of contributing artists from his latest and from 2017’s Saturdaze will stop in to perform a song of their own alongside the tunes they made with Brown. “It’s me and all my friends, everybody I’ve worked with kind of getting the chance to celebrate all of our music,” he says. Brown is currently focusing on promoting the newest LP as much as possible in the hopes of putting it on the iTunes Top 200. The rapper will perform IMOW in its entirety at the show, alongside some old favorites from his last two releases. —Heath Ellison FRIDAY

click to enlarge JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
ROCK ‘N’ ROLL BOOK TALK | Jason Heller’s Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded
Thurs. July 26
6 p.m.
$5/members, $10/non-members
Charleston Library Society

Fiction author and music journalist Jason Heller (Rolling Stone, The New Yorker) is the first person to ever extensively examine how science-fiction music has never really been considered part of the science-fiction canon — that is, comic books, TV, cinema, and literature. That’s what Heller explores in his new book Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded, a work that was inspired by the record, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. “I have always kind of thought that David Bowie and a lot of other songwriters, that the way they approach doing science-fiction themes in music, was kind of novelistic in a lot of ways,” Heller says. So what is science-fiction music? “It’s music that expresses science-fiction themes in some way, whether they’re original ideas dreamed up by the songwriter, or whether they’re drawn from other works of science fiction and interpreted through someone’s music,” he explains. “Or in the case of a certain strain of groups, particularly in the later part of the ’70s, groups that don’t necessarily exhibit the influence of science-fiction themes, it’s more about music that sounds like science fiction itself, in whatever way we might imagine that. Bands like Kraftwerk and Devo who didn’t sing about science fiction and didn’t talk about science fiction, they just basically appeared as if they were the bands that were in a science-fiction movie or in a science-fiction novel — mostly bands with instrumental and lyrical content that expresses science fiction and futurism.” This week, Heller will talk about Strange Stars at the Charleston Library Society (CLS) as his own curated playlist of the music mentioned in the book plays. CLS’s Leah Rhyne will join the author and discuss his writing and research, as well as rock, pop, disco, and popular ’70s music. Strange Stars cocktails will be concocted as well. —Kelly Rae Smith THURSDAY

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