Live Music: Jason Isbell; Daphne Lee Martin; Six Time Losers; Billie Fountain

Great live music to check out this week

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EDM | Billie Fountain
w/ Danielle Howe and Firework Show
Fri. March 21
8 p.m.
$5
King Dusko

Living a double life is getting harder these days. With streetlight security cameras, facial recognition software, and internet databases, secret identities are becoming a thing of the past. Luckily, Corey Webb doesn’t try to hide his secret identity. Webb is a College of Charleston graduate who now moonlights as “Billie Fountain,” a mysterious electro-dance musician. It all started when Webb moved to England to learn about contemporary music after college. “I accidentally became the resident DJ at a casino on Olympic Park the year of the 2012 Olympics. From that I got to DJ some big dance festival on a beach down in India, and some decent names were dropping my newest release. I was living some kind of crazy dream,” says Webb. But he was rudely awakened when Britain’s immigration laws changed, and he was sent home. Back in Charleston, Webb realized he wanted to do something different. “I didn’t want just a moniker or stage name, but something I could become. Something that people could dance to. I was hungry for newness and a breakaway from playing campfire songs. I wanted beats, big bass, and synths. I wanted a band and lilting falsettos and weird harmonies,” he says. Thus, Billie Fountain was born. On Fri. March 21 at King Dusko, Webb will host the Secret Identity Soirée. “Let your Tyler Durden show you a good time,” he says. “Don’t use your real name. Cross-dress. Put on makeup if you don’t. Put on more if you do. Show us the side of you that brings out the best and the worst in people. Lose yourself.” —Rebecca Stanley FRIDAY

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COUNTRY | Six Time Losers
Fri. March 21
9 p.m.
$5
Fiery Ron’s Home Town BBQ

Orlando’s Six Time Losers take their name from a line in Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” and their style of Southern-fried alt-country has hints of the Drive-By Truckers, Waylon’s hard-drinking backwoods sound, and a dash of JJ Gray’s swampy blues. The band’s core trio — singer/guitarist Lester McFly, bassist Otis Lee Miller, and guitarist Butch Winston — go back a decade, with the Losers comprising about half of that. Over that time, the group has released a self-titled EP and a couple of LPs, the latest being last year’s The Way It Goes. It’s an enjoyable mix that flows better than it should given the wide expanse it covers. There’s a pretty, piffling Nashville-style country-boy/city-girl meet cute (“City Girl”), a honky-tonk ode (“Country Music”), a bit of Marshall Tucker boogie (“When I’m Fishin’”), and a brooding ’70s-style ballad (“Lay It Down”). The Six Time Losers are at their best when their influences run a bit more wild and stray from conventional pop and country constraints. Such is the case of “Life’s a Gas,” a lingering bluesy jam reminiscent of the Black Crowes and the boisterous rockabilly rave-up, “Travelin’ Man.” —Chris Parker FRIDAY

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TORCH FOLK | Daphne Lee Martin
w/ James Maple
Sun. March 23
9 p.m.
Royal American

Daphne Lee Martin’s coquettish coo swoons over perky blues and cocktail jazz with a post-modern flair. While her sound is undoubtedly nostalgic, her latest LP Frost is not bound by tradition. Martin deploys plenty of contemporary elements, from the theremin in the mournful “Five Points” (before it turns into a trip-funk dance-floor banger for its final two minutes) to the noisy blues lead that opens the swinging “More Flies With Honey,” not to mention the arsenal of subtle electronic textures she employs throughout the record. As a whole, Frost is a playfully impertinent eight-song collection that sweats glammy indulgence, with Martin genre-hopping without losing her smoky torch-like bearing. She’s reminiscent of folk-tronic-loving Beth Orton in how she retains many traditional trappings without being mired in them. Frost follows last year’s earthier, thematically linked Moxie. That album, which was fueled in part by a Kickstarter campaign, was accompanied by a photographic art book developed by Martin and artist Pola Esther featuring women throughout history who have struggled to embrace their sexuality and self-expression. —Chris Parker SUNDAY

MICHAEL WILSON
  • Michael Wilson

Americana | Jason Isbell
w/ Cory Branan
Mon. March 24
7:30 p.m.
$25
Charleston Music Hall

Jason Isbell’s songs — his best ones, anyway — are stories packed with tiny details and intimate poetry. It’s always been this way, stretching back to his days in the Drive-By Truckers (“Decoration Day,” “Danko/Manuel”) and into his best work with The 400 Unit, with songs like “Alabama Pines” and “The Magician” revolving around a seemingly endless cavalcade of drifting souls. So to say Southeastern, Isbell’s 2013 LP, is his best record yet is to say it’s filled with his sharpest stories. “Elephant” is a devastating song about watching a drinking buddy get eaten alive by cancer. “Live Oak” is about a rueful ex-con who can’t outrun his past. Those songs, though fictional, come alive through their rich character studies. But Southeastern is also, at least tangentially, about Isbell’s path to sobriety. (He quit his prodigious drinking in 2012.) The full-throttle rave-up “Super 8” seemingly finds Isbell stinging with regret over lost years dulled by Jack Daniels: “It would make a great story,” he sings, after verses filled with gory details about long nights, bar fights, and where-in-the-hell-am-I? mornings, “if I could ever remember it right.” And sparse opening number “Cover Me Up” finds him searching for redemption — “I sobered up and I swore off that stuff, forever this time” — but it’s, at heart, a love story, possibly about his new wife. Whether they’re true or not is secondary. With Isbell, perhaps the greatest country songwriter of his generation, the characters always feel real. —Patrick Wall MONDAY


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