Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Soundchecks: Polo G, A Fragile Tomorrow, Dominic Fike, Metal 4 Metal, Los Stellarians

Live music to catch this week

Posted by Vincent Harris, Abrie Richison, Matt Keady, Kyle Petersen and Jeffrey Wilson on Wed, Sep 11, 2019 at 4:00 AM

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HIP-HOP | Polo G
w/ Luh Kel and Yungeen Ace
Wed. Sept. 11
8 p.m.
$25- $85
Music Farm

If one subscribes to the theory that an album serves as a snapshot of the artist's life while they were recording it, then Polo G, the 20-year-old MC from Chicago, is living a chaotic life at the moment. His debut album, Die A Legend, came out in June after a flurry of successful singles (most notably the double-platinum hit "Pop Out"), and G spends most of it caught in transit between his fast-growing fame and the pull of his old life on the streets. "Overcame a lot by myself ever since I got rich/ It's like everybody wanna come around," he raps in a lightning-fast flow on the album's opening jam, "Lost Files." That sets the stage for a whirlwind of bravado, confusion, tastes of the good life, and memories of the old one. Even when it seems like Polo G has found some sort of solace by moving to Los Angeles and pursuing his dream, the ghosts of his poverty-stricken childhood haunt him on tracks like "Through Da Storm." By the time the album ends with the harrowing, paranoid, and epic set piece, "A King's Nightmare," G's dream of "telling his life through these speakers" seems to offer him little respite from his demons. Even for a genre that often traffics in darker subjects, Die A Legend is pitch-black most of the time, but Polo G is such a skilled, compelling, and emotional MC that his anguish is impossible to ignore. —Vincent Harris WEDNESDAY

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TALKING HEADS COVERS | A Fragile Tomorrow
w/ Finnegan Bell
Thurs. Sept. 12
9 p.m.
$5
The Royal American

A Fragile Tomorrow continues to weave together the melodies of indie, pop, and rock influences, creating what Blurt called, "One of South Carolina's leading indie lights, period." They won't have anyone "Crying in the Wilderness" when they cover the Talking Heads' Remain in Light on Sept. 12, My Bloody Valentine's Loveless on Sept. 19, and The Clash's London Calling on Sept. 26, all at The Royal American. These shows will be a chance for the Charleston-rooted band to parade their limitless musical abilities — and pay tribute to some of the iconic musicians that came before them. With the recent release of their new album, Generation Loss, and these shows to back them, this four-piece band is bound to make waves in the world of music. In covering Talking Heads, the band that Rolling Stone called, "The great Ivy League of pop music," A Fragile Tomorrow is leaning on the experts of exploration. In an interview with The Pop Break, AFT said, "If something seems like the obvious choice, let's try something else to fill those shoes." It seems like they are filling those shoes with a string of cover shows and the continued evolution of their musical influences. Marvel at the then and now of pop music while AFT sings Talking Heads' "Once in a LIfetime," honor the mastery of '80s musicians and current musicians, and party with music lovers in a unique atmosphere through September. —Abrie Richison THURSDAY

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ALTERNATIVE HIP-HOP | Dominic Fike
Fri. Sept. 13
8 p.m.
$20
Music Farm

With as little as 15 minutes of material under his belt, Dominic Fike has been turning heads left and right. Since signing to Columbia Records for a reported $4 million in 2018, the "Three Nights" artist has plenty of momentum in the music industry. Dreamy guitar riffs and rose tinted lyricism are distinct to his own characteristics as an elusive extrovert. In his ​EP, ​Don't Forget About Me, Demos, Fike delves deep into thoughts about love, girls, and the inevitable lustfulness of being young and reckless. ​Demos will likely be referred to as the material that manifested a monumental beginning for the rising artist. In the song "Three Nights," which is his breakout on the ​EP, the ever-so-luscious guitar melody, accompanied by a music video promoted by BROCKHAMPTON, helps prompt Fike's vision and overall understanding. In the beginning of the music video, Fike sits down and is embodying a free-floating stream of consciousness, which represents his perception of his own art and all art. In "She Wants My Money," Fike soars across multiple genres and changes the singing pattern consistently, flowing seamlessly through the vastness of the song. Although Fike's angelic voice is not the only aspect that separates him from the rest, his guitar strum pattern and carefully layered music production matches his flow with complete uniformity. Across his limited discography, Fike encompasses elements of rock, croon, singer-songwriter, and hip-hop. —Matthew Keady FRIDAY

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  • Ray Live Photography

METAL-ADJACENT ROCK | Metal 4 Metal Festival
Sat. Sept. 14
8 p.m.
$8
Tin Roof

With a name like "Metal 4 Metal," you would expect, well, more metal bands. But maybe the diversity in this lineup is actually a plus. Running the gamut from DIY '80s punk-inspired riffage and traditional hard rock exultations, to the obliterating lows of extreme death metal, the festival offers something for everyone without tiring anyone out despite the shared intensity of the groups. Of the five bands, Decadence and Down Under seem most prototypical, with the latter luxuriating in dark extremes and punishing riffage, while the former is straight-ahead would-be stadium metal excellence. From there, things get a little more off-kilter, none more so than the horror-themed/classic punk outfit Monsters from Outer Space. But the punk-leaning vibe gets some kinship from Cult of Bastards, a group which brings a left-field, '80s DIY classicism to the proceedings, with a sound that bites from the Minutemen and Hüsker Dü as much as it does from headier hardcore. Caged Soul brings the bill home, aiming for the righteous glory days of Judas Priest and Dio, when melodic hard rock could bleed into metal and back again with panache and commercial appeal. Hey, maybe the name fits after all. —Kyle Petersen SATURDAY

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SOUL | Los Stellarians
Tue., Sept. 17
9 p.m.
$25/adv, $30/dos
Pour House

SA Martinez is a legend in his own right. As a leading man in multi-platinum rap rock innovators 311, he had a major cultural impact on what was then defined as alternative rock, helping to push the role of the MC into the frame. These days, Martinez has his sights set on another sound and vision. Los Stellarians, the brainchild of Martinez and musician/producer Ryan Siegel, are a crooning blend of retro soul and new age funk that could be compared to the likes of Mayer Hawthorne. Smooth, Motown-reminiscent guitar tones, grooves, and Martinez's signature vocal sound can be heard throughout their catalogue. Their latest release, 2019's Rucaz n Rolaz, is an eclectic offering with a few different popular musical approaches, but a consistent theme and a cohesiveness in direction. 311 fans, fear not: Martinez still carries the same swagger and delivery from his rockstar heyday and the trio backing him delivers some feel good, dance-worthy accompaniment. As a part of the '90s rock generation, it's truly a pleasure to see the people that helped that scene along still doing their thing, pushing themselves to create. —Jeffrey Wilson TUESDAY

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