SOUND CHECKS ‌ Notable Shows in the Next Week 

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HEAVY-ROCK | Valient Thorr
w/ Genrevolta
Wed. May 31
The Village Tavern
$5

Get ready for the Venusian invasion. Valient Thorr return to Charleston this week with a vengeance, bringing their nonstop hot rock to the Village Tavern for an evening of sweat that'll make you feel all holy. Last year, the band, ostensibly from Venus but possibly with some earthbound origins in N.C., released their debut CD, Total Universe Man, and propelled themselves into the national consciousness, due in no small part to lead singer Valient Himself's distinctive blend of rock 'n' roll howling, snake oil peddling, and crowd interaction. This is a man who made an entire club full of Brooklyn hipsters squat for 10 minutes as he pant-screamed his way through the extended bridge of a VT soon-to-be-classic. If you're up for a high-energy, interactive performance from a band that simply will not tolerate frigid indifference, you're ready for the Valient Thorr experience. A tip: Catch VT at the VT this week before they head out on the Warped Tour with their new label, Volcom. —Sara Miller WEDNESDAY


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MIX-MASTERS | Soul Position
w/ One Be Low
Thurs. June 1
The Village Tavern
$12

Ohio-based rhyme-master Blueprint (pictured at the right) and master mixer/producer RJD2 (left) were childhood friends before joining forces as the hip-hop beat-heavy Soul Position five years ago and forging a unique partnership that veered away from the hip-hop mainstream and major label world toward a more sophisticated musical spot. Regarded by fans and critics as two of the hardest working producers in contemporary hip-hop, the two maestros create and record some of the most sought after beats and rhymes today. Their latest album, Things Go Better With RJ and Al is a blast of funky rhymes and samples. On the album's track "No Gimmicks" Blueprint says, "No slogans, no 20-inch rims rollin', no gold fronts, no publicity stunts ... no MTV cribs, no crib at all," which demonstrates their independent attitude and refusal to play into the traditional stereotypes. RJD2's recent solo albums, The Horror and Deadringer, demonstrate his versatility and high-minded approach to assembling sounds and beats. Blueprint's 1988 solo debut and his work with his group Greenhouse Effect and Illogic put him on the map in the '90s. —TBL THURSDAY


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REGGAE | Steel Pulse
w/ The Movement
Thurs. June 1
Music Farm
$20

Starting out as an authentic roots reggae group in Britain the late '70s and early '80s, Steel Pulse have always kept an edge about their sound and message. Their 1978 debut, Handsworth Revolution (the title referred to their home neighborhood in Birmingham, England), helped shape UK reggae and influenced "new wave" pop of the likes of The Police, The Clash, The Specials, and The Members. Vocalist David Hinds (pictured to the left above) has long been the band's main songwriter, rhythm guitarist, and lead singer and guitarist. After releasing a few indie singles, they landed a deal with Island Records. Shortly after, they released the classic single "Ku Klux Klan" (there's great footage of the band in the 1981 concert film Urgh! A Music War playing this song live while clad in Klan robes and military outfits). In 1999, the group released a collection of live performances titled Living Legacy. Last year, the Rhino/Elektra label reissued remastered versions of the early albums True Democracy and Earth Crisis (both supplemented with bonus tracks). This show is the rescheduled date from March 8 (tickets from the original gig will be honored). —TBL THURSDAY


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ROCK | The Redbelly Band
Fri. June 2
Cumberland's
$5

"It's Southern Rock, but not quite as greasy as what you might think of when you think of Lynyrd Skynyrd or Molly Hatchett," says lead singer/rhythm guitarist, Hardy Morris of Ga.-based rock act The Redbelly Band. "We are all from the South, though, you know ... loud guitars and drums. The live show is high-energy. It's rockin' and fun to watch." Getting their start in Augusta, Ga. in the late '90s, they kicked off as "Redbelly" and delivered more of a conventional guitar-rock band in the vein of Southern-rock brethren The Drive-By Truckers and Widespread Panic. Recorded at the acclaimed Chase Park Transduction Studios in Athens, Ga. with engineer David Barbe (known for his work with the Truckers, Bloodkin, Jucifer) at the mixing desk, their newly-released Petition to the Queen is a sprawling, bleeping, echo-filled collection of loose-rockin' anthems and confidently messy pop songs. While they site the Allmans, Pink Floyd, and My Morning Jacket as influences, things get a bit more outta bounds ... further into Kings of Leon and Giant Sand music territories. —TBL FRIDAY



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