It’s winter, so there are tree-lighting ceremonies to attend, eggnog-making recipes to prepare, and Christmas parties to plan. But before we get to the usual holiday traditions, like loading up the office on high-octane rum balls then betting on who will photocopy their naked backside first, let’s consider rocking out a little before Christmas. You remember, don't you, that your 2012 resolution was to be Rockin' Like Dokken? But you did not bang your head enough. You still have time to make that up. Here are my tips for getting that done this weekend...
1. Best Concert of the Weekend: Flogging Molly at the Music Farm Friday. A lot of Fs in that sentence... as in freaking fantastic. (See my fabulous article for the Flogging Molly festivities here). In addition, they’ve added the Defilers to the bill, which excites me not only because there is another F in Defilers, but because the Defilers were one of the bands I knew about long before I moved to Charleston. I love their Pabst-fueled rock-a-billy. Let’s hope they bring every bit of redneck glory to the stage.
2. I’ve been asking around if anyone has heard of a tribute band called ZZ Topless. I don’t think it exists, but imagine the concept. It will be better than the Japanese Beatles, Pixie Chicks, or the Iron Maidens. My friend Paulie is offering to hold auditions every Tuesday night for potential members. He’s kind that way. He says he’d make a great manager. Paulie just sent me a text with links to images of bearded Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek—how he gets to these images so quickly really bothers me. I hate to have to tell him that Angelina and Salma may not show up for auditions. When I brought the concept up to Devin Grant, he inquired if the applicants had to feature fake ones or real ones. While ruminating on my answer to this, he clarified that he was talking about beards. Silly me. What was I thinking? Fake beards will be better. Much better.
3. But that led me to wonder more about his question. Do you prefer real ones because they are natural and each unique in their own way? Or do you like fake ones as long as they are full and lush? It’s really an important question. I’m talking Christmas trees. You were too, right? Cool.
4. Best Concert of the Weekend: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit Sunday night at the Pour House. How can I award two different shows my Best Concert of the Weekend designation? Did I just insert two unrelated points between my listing of Best Concert of the Weekend in hopes that you would not notice? No. Maybe. Perhaps. I’m running this blog, so I am supreme commander of its contents. Jason Isbell just released a live CD called Live From Alabama. I’m working on several Alabama jokes to insert after the title, but instead of printing any, I’ll just say that the former Drive-By Trucker (that’s a band, not a class of highway criminal) is worth catching live. His music is passionate, strong, literate, and intense. The CD is great, but nothing beats live music in a live setting. You promised to attend more live music in 2012. Here’s your chance.
5. Between these Best Concerts listings is a 5K run downtown. The Reindeer Run. What does that have to do with live music you ask? Nothing. Other than two years ago I finished with a time of 21:17, or 6:51 a mile. That pretty much rocked my world so I want to brag. (Remember, it’s my blog.) I will not be defending my awesome time, because my ears and head will still be ringing from the Flogging Molly show. If you do not go to see Flogging Molly, then I order you to punish yourself by trying to beat my time in the 5K. OK? K. Oh, and read up on Grit blogger Katie Hurst’s summary of other holiday races.
6. I’ve asked my friend Paulie to run the race in the costume he envisions for ZZ Topless. I’m starting to think that idea is actually pretty bad. He took his shirt off at the beach once and the crew from Finding Bigfoot showed up.
7. Best Local Band Concert of the Weekend: Nick Collins benefit at the Music Farm. Amazingly, Nick Collins is recovering better than most expected from the August 3rd car accident which led to the amputation of his legs and ongoing related issues. There will be more concerts like this, and a benefit CD is in the works (I’m helping to produce this and can use some assistance if you have the time). Meanwhile, the family can use all the support the music community can provide. This show features Nick’s band, Fowler’s Mustache, and Stop Light Observations—a band I desperately want to see because I think they may be on to something special. Their recordings have shown me that they can write soulful, melodic, and passionate songs, and couch them in very creative, yet expansive, arrangements. These recordings could sound great in huge spaces, but appeal right to a single person. That’s a rare feat and I want to see how they pull it off live. Also on the bill is Savage Tongues, and I have no knowledge of them. But if I based a judgement on their Reverbnation photos, they really, really, like to hang out in abandoned train cars.
8. On Wednesday, I’d love to have time to go see the Carolina Chocolate Drops with the Two Man Gentlemen Band at the Music Farm. The Drops play Southern black music right out of the 1920s and 30s, but use that tradition as a benchmark, not a shackle. The songs sound fresh. It’s pure back-porch music... with fiddle, jug, banjo, and a great voice. Their debut CD Genuine Negro Jig earned a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album. Their music just makes me feel good. It’s real. Not fake. Opening up is the Two Man Gentlemen Band. A counterpoint to the headliners, the Two Man Gentleman Band are two very white nerds who dress straight out of the 40s and play acoustic swing style songs about fancy beer, reefer, prime numbers, and a couple of dead presidents. It’s meant to be funny. Don’t laugh at them. Laugh near them.
9. Paulie just texted me another idea for his ZZ Topless auditions. Based on his latest text, the band idea is cancelled, and I am selling his ticket to Flogging Molly. Bad Paulie. Go run.