Live Music: R. Kelly, Seth Faergolzia, BlueBilly Grit, Sirsy

Great live tunes to check out this week

Posted by Sam Spence on Wed, Oct 9, 2013 at 4:00 AM

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FREAK FOLK | Seth Faergolzia
Wed. Oct 9
10 p.m.
$5
Tin Roof

Freak folker Seth Faergolzia is about as freaky as freak folkies get. With song titles like “Look at the Weird” and “Pukes in Rides” and tunes that sound like the bastard love child of Frank Zappa and the guy in the Kingston Trio that could do that whole “Lemmiwinks” voice, Faergolzia is not afraid to let his freak flag fly right off the freakin’ flagpole. While many critics have compared him to Zappa, Beefheart, and Bungle, the New York-based Faergolzia says that while he respects those artists, they were never direct inspirations. “What’s funny is that, in general, I really hadn’t been influenced by these guys until people started referencing them in regards to my work,” he says. “I think the similarity is ... I wish to create something new and express it in whatever way I deem necessary. I’m definitely not trying willfully to do what I do. It just comes out that way.” While Faergolzia regularly tours with his 15-piece band 23 Psaegz, his Holy City stop will be a solo gig. As for his rather unique voice, he says, “I’ve definitely done a lot of work to make my voice do what I wish. Sometimes people laugh at the sounds I make, but generally I am very serious about music.” —Chris Haire WEDNESDAY

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Bluegrass | BlueBilly Grit
w/ Cranford and Sons,
The Grascals
Fri. Oct. 11
7:30 p.m.
$15 adv., $18/door
Charleston
Music Hall

Warning: listening to BlueBilly Grit is going to leave you smiling, tapping your feet, and nodding your head enthusiastically. Your overt happiness might make your coworkers punch you in the face and steal your lunch money (although City Paper editorial assistant Melissa Tunstall later apologized). When it comes to writing, the BlueBilly’s leader Mark Garrison says, “I don’t want to come up with a great melody line that will allow for some hot pickin’ and just add filler words to it to complete the process. The song should say something that has meaning or ministers to someone.” And Garrison didn’t want to imitate the modern bluegrass style of piling one solo on top of another. “So many [musicians] try to emulate their bluegrass heroes to the point that if you hear 10 different guitar pickers, they would all try to sound like Tony Rice, lick for lick.” Garrison, for one, offers his own take on bluegrass. “A pond becomes stagnant when there is no fresh source of water flowing into it. A particular genre of music will do the same thing,” he says. “There are those who want to keep it that way for the purity of it, but we all know what happens to a stagnant pond.” BlueBilly formed in 2008 and released its first album Mill Grinder’s Blues in 2009. Since then the band has put out Ready for a Change (2011) and Live at the Melting Point (2013). —Stephen Pappas FRIDAY

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ROCK | Sirsy
w/ El Camino, Jamie Lupini
Thurs. Oct. 10
The Sparrow

Melanie Krahmer and her partner in crime, Rich Libutti, are the sole members of the New York-based band Sirsy, and even though there are only two people in the group, Krahmer and Libutti’s music packs one helluva wallop. Case in point, Sirsy’s latest LP, Coming into Frame, a thick-licked collection of sexy swagger, catchy pop hooks, and dance-friendly, twerk-ready beats. OK, we’re joking about that last bit ... kinda. Regardless, Coming into Frame is easily the most radio-friendly release Krahmer and Libutti have put out to date, but it still packs plenty of spiked-punch punch, which is sure to come out in their rollicking live show. In case you didn’t know, Krahmer sings, plays the drums standing up, tickles the keys, and indulges in the occasional flute solo — seriously — while Libutti tackles the guitar and hits a keyboard with his feet. And unlike some pretenders, they don’t use loop peddles. —Chris Haire THURSDAY

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R&B | R. Kelly
Sat. Oct. 12
8 p.m.
$48-$101
North Charleston Coliseum

These days it’s impossible to write about R. Kelly without mentioning his magnum opus Trapped in the Closet or the trial that nearly ended his career. The former is clearly one of the most over-indulgent works of arts that has ever been created. It’s more excessive than the collected works of Kansas and Yes and Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, James Gandolfini’s final meal, and last weekend’s three-day bender — seriously, did you really have to mainline Buffalo wing sauce? That said, Trapped is entertaining from beginning to end, even if it is ultimately nonsensical and repetitious. As for the court case, well, we can’t talk about the particulars of it without winding up in the Blotter ourselves. The point is, from a pop culture standpoint, R. Kelly is now a punchline — albeit an ironically cherished one. However, far too many of us have forgotten that he’s also one of the best R&B singer-songwriters ever. If you need reminding, swing on by the North Charleston Coliseum on Saturday night. And afterwards, you will get laid. But for the love of God, please don’t pee on anyone without their permission. —Chris Haire SATURDAY

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