Live Music: Whitehall; Steven Fiore and Michael Flynn; BJ Barham

Great Live Music to Check Out This Week

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SINGER-SONGWRITER | BJ Barham
Wed. May 10
8 p.m.
$15
PURE Theatre

Let this be said about American Aquarium singer-songwriter/guitarist BJ Barham. He doesn't do anything half-assed. His drinking used to be so off-the-charts excessive that he had to stop entirely. Once he stopped, he became obsessed with running, working his body into a wiry mass of rail-thin muscle. So when he decided to do a solo acoustic tour this year, naturally it couldn't be anything but full-on nuts. Barham has launched what he's calling The Lower 48 tour, piling himself, his wife, their dog, and some acoustic guitars into the car and playing an unfathomable 53 shows in 59 days, playing at least one show in each state in the continental U.S. Maybe it's to showcase the stripped-down, acoustic roots-rock of his recent solo album, Rockingham, while taking a sightseeing trip across the country, or maybe it's because the only way Barham knows how to do things is by throwing himself into the deep end and seeing what happens. —Vincent Harris WEDNESDAY

FILE
  • File

SINGER-SONGWRITER | Steven Fiore and Michael Flynn
w/ Erich Skelton
Sat. May 13
7:30 p.m.
$10/adv., $12/door
Redux Contemporary Art Center

Steven Fiore (Young Mister) was a senior in high school when he first saw Michael Flynn (not quite Slow Runner yet, but almost) open for the Working Title, one of Joel Hamilton (Mechanical River)'s old projects. Gobsmacked by what he heard, Fiore snagged one of Flynn's free, limited-edition, two-song demos, which remained on repeat for months as he impatiently awaited the release of Slow Runner's debut LP, No Disassemble. "I skipped school, drove my '97 Ford Probe to Cat's Music in Summerville to buy the album, and spent the entire day driving around listening to it," Fiore remembers. "I can honestly say that album changed the way I think about music, and it still remains one of my most influential albums." Since then, Fiore has become an influencer himself, releasing well-received works as Steven Fiore and, most recently, as Young Mister, and this Saturday he'll spend an evening trading songs and stories with his hero, songwriters-in-the-round style — but with a post-prom theme. "Since we both lean toward the sadder songs, the theme will be something like a prom that's ended, but the band kept playing," Fiore says. "Also worth noting, Erich Skelton, somewhat of a local legend in the pop singer-songwriter circuit around these parts, is coming out of a four-year hiatus to open the show. He's a real heartbreaker, and Michael and I are both extremely excited to have him be a part of this." —Kelly Rae Smith SATURDAY

JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek

INDIE-ROCK | Whitehall
w/ Human Resources and MYFEVER
Sat. May 13
9 p.m.
$8
The Royal American

On Whitehall's recent single, "Come August," the Charleston quintet does a lot of different things at once. There's the slightest hint of ska in the song's tight beat and sax accents. There's a breezy pop melody over the top of the music, with a just-right layer of "ooh-ahh" backing vocals on the chorus. And the skeletal feel of the verses is straight-up indie rock, just choppy guitars and a wandering bass line. It's a lot for a band in their early 20s to do, especially in one song, and no one's more surprised they're doing it than Whitehall. "We were college roommates living down the hall from one another at CofC and we just kind of fell together," says singer/guitarist Paddy McKiernan. "Only one of us was actually studying music. It just sort of happened. I don't think any of us ever imagined that we'd be in this band making these sounds because we all have such different backgrounds, but I think it feels more honest because of that. It all just falls into place." —Vincent Harris SATURDAY


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