Live Music: Elim Bolt, Modern Man, Charles Walker & The Dynamites, Swank Sinatra

Great live tunes to check out this week

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  • Megan Elder

SLACKER ROCK | Elim Bolt
w/ Estrangers, Black Top Desert
Sat. May 18
9 p.m.
$5
Royal American

Johnnie Matthews’ self-described slacker-rock, nostalgic-pop band Elim Bolt has the same kind of hauntingly vintage vibe as a soundtrack to a David Lynch movie, or better yet Twin Peaks, but without all the doom and gloom. In fact, Matthews’ forlorn warble seems particularly fit for the world of Lynch. Not that Elim Bolt needs a helping hand from the beautifully weird director. They’re doing just a little bit of all right on their own. Last fall, Elim Bolt — Matthews, Jordan Hicks, Christian Chidester, Dan McCurry, and Wolfgang Zimmerman — released their debut album Nude South on the local Hearts and Plugs label, recorded a Daytrotter session while on tour with Brave Baby, and played shows across the Southeast. Meanwhile, Creative Loafing Charlotte had some kind words to say when Elim Bolt played Winston-Salem’s Phuzz Phest. “Judging by the emphatic gyrations of the appreciative crowd,” Jordan Lawrence wrote, “the set — by far the weekend’s most fun offering — also earned the band an excited pack of Triad fans.” On Saturday, Elim Bolt will be joined by Winston-Salem indie pop band Estrangers and Johnny Delaware’s Black Top Desert, which will be releasing its debut album Secret Wave on the Hearts and Plug this fall. —Susan Cohen SATURDAY

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  • David Allen Glenn

NIGHTMARE NOISE POP | Modern Man
w/ Little Bull Lee and Braindead
Fri. May 17
9 p.m.
$5
Royal American

Modern Man’s Eyes No is a doomsday combo pack of Sonic Youth, Godspeed, and Comets on Fire that traps the listener in a tunnel of shadowy echoes and whispered warnings, all of which make it one of the strangest releases to come out of the Holy City in some time. “The only way I can explain what inspired this record are the roles that media, religion, family, sex, love, government, etc., play in our lives,” says David Allen Glenn, singer, guitarist, and Modern Man bandleader. “The vocals represent the layers of one voice shouting into the void of everyday nonsense that a person might get trapped in without even realizing what’s going on, which is nothing.” Fortunately, there’s a helluva lot of something happening on Eyes No as Modern Man — Glenn, drummer Nikki Calvert, guitarist Brian Draper, and bassist Jose Davila — explore the outer realms of noise rock, a place where abstract melodies reward the daring. Glenn himself is particular consumed by one quest. “How do we create a sound that doesn’t sound like the instrument normally would sound, and is it possible without colliding tones and overplaying?” He adds, “Right now, I’m really into classical compositions and the use of silence to create giant, impacting sounds.” —Chris Haire FRIDAY


EXPLOSIVE NEO SOUL | Charles Walker & The Dynamites
Fri. May 17
10 p.m.
$10/adv.,
$13/door
Pour House

Thanks to soul’s resurgence, 72-year-old Charles Walker is enjoying more success today than he did in his ’60s heyday when he opened for James Brown and sang alongside Bettye LaVette. A big part of Walker’s not-so-sudden popularity is due to his partnership with the members of his stellar backing band, the Dynamites, led by guitarist/composer/producer Bill Elder. Inspired by Gabe Roth, the mastermind behind Sharon Jones & the Daptones, Elder connected with Walker in 2005, and together they recruited a crack team of musicians to join them. In April, they released their third album, Love is Only Everything. Walker’s latest is more ballad-centric than his previous efforts, but the record sizzles on the dark and funky “I Just Want To Know,” pops on his soulful duet with LaVette “Yours and Mine,” and grooves to the big-band production of “Please Open Your Door,” where the senior soul singer channels the late, great Otis Redding. Overall, Love is Only Everything is Charles Walker and the Dynamites’ smoothest, tightest set to date. —Chris Parker FRIDAY


PROG-GARAGE| Swank Sinatra
w/ Bully Pulpit
Fri. May 17
10 p.m.
$5
Tin Roof

Last week, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong shocked the music world when he emerged from his 12-step cocoon and proclaimed that South Korean pop star Psy was “the herpes of music.” Ouch. Fortunately, someone was there to defend Psy’s honor. “It’s pretty obvious that Billie Joe Armstrong is the HIV of music,” says Swank Sinatra drummer Randy Garcia. “That dude never goes away and is controlled by a cocktail of medications.” Burn, Billie, burn. This week, Garcia and his Swank Sinatra cohorts — Bob Place and Brandon Pittman — will be in town to deliver a blast of full-throttle snark ‘n’ roll. “I think modern rock takes itself too seriously and doesn’t party as hard as it used to. We’re out to fix that,” Garcia says. Swank Sinatra is touring in support of their 2012 EP, Pretty Shoes, a blast of Sabbathy sludge, Kiss-y riffs, and lots of snot-rock swagger. In June, they’re heading back into the studio to record a new LP, Sober Cobra. “It’s a much headier mix of tunes than anything we’ve done previously,” Garcia says. “Sort of like prog-garage, if such a thing exists.” Call us intrigued. —Chris Haire FRIDAY

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