Live Music: Tall Tall Trees, Marytre, Needle Points, PitchBlak Brass Band

Great live music to check out this week

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GRUNGE METAL | Marytre
Battle for 98Rockfest
w/ Beyond Intent, The Shipwrecked Losers, and Ellen Drive
Mon. March 9
7 p.m.
$5
Ocean Cowboys

Marytre (pronounced “merry tree”) is a grungy, metal-esque quartet hailing from Charleston, whose current incarnation consists of James George (vocals/guitar), Aaron Pugh (guitar), Brandon Hicks (bass), and David Dietze (drums). Originally formed in 1996, the collective has since been able to establish a sound that’s hardcore yet melodic. Influenced by Nirvana, Black Sabbath, and Faith No More, Marytre has two LPs under its belt — available on their website, marytre.com — Seed and Merry Tree. But there’s more music to come for the quartet. “[With our] new lineup, we’re getting ready to start recording our next CD,” says David Dietz. “We haven’t played a show in Charleston since November in order to rebuild and strengthen our music.” With the combination of the band’s ambition and their overall progression, it’s clear the band aims to stick around. Or as George sings on Marytre’s “Dont Ask Me How,” “Practice what we preach, and we will be delivered/ Average in our reach, but we will be remembered/ Living on the brink, but we will think of something/ Give with all our strength, or we will live for nothing, now/ Don’t ask me how.” —Viraj Naik MONDAY

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GARAGE PSYCH | Needle Points
w/ HoneySmoke and Dumb Doctors
Thurs. March 5
9 p.m.
Free
Big Gun Burger Shop & Bar

Garage-psych quintet Needle Points got their start in Philadelphia about two years ago. Lead vocalist Colin Holloway and guitarist David Ulrich met in high school while eating snacks outside a 7-Eleven, but the two wouldn’t strike up a musical friendship until years later. Shortly after, Needle Points formed when Holloway and Ulrich recruited a crew — bassist Brian Langan, drummer Danielle Kinoshita, and, also a drummer, Judy Kaplan — based on key ingredients like “sound, wardrobe, good looks, and energy,” Holloway says. Describing themselves as “glam, garage rock vibes with a dash of psychedelic soul,” the band’s influences range from The Rolling Stones to Tom Jones. Fans of 13th Floor Elevators, Small Faces, and The Sonics will go ballistic for Needle Points’ debut collection, Bom Tugangu, while the band’s last release, 2014’s Cripple Street, has a more rock ‘n’ roll, hook-driven vibe. The title track is full of R&B, and “Black Hurricane” has moments reminiscent of both Queen as well as The Kinks. This summer, Needle Points will release a brand new full-length LP produced and recorded by Dr. Dog’s Scott McMickon, and, good Lord, we can’t wait to hear it. —Kelly Rae Smith THURSDAY

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PSYCH-BANJO FOLK | Tall Tall Trees
w/ Christopher Paul Stelling
Sun. March 8
10 p.m.
$7
Tin Roof

Michael Savino is Tall Tall Trees, a one-man psych-banjo band from New York City. Savino has spent the past few months touring as support for and as a member of Kishi Bashi, an Athens-based orchestral indie-pop band. We caught the two acts a few weeks ago at the Pour House and were blown away by Savino and his banjotron, an instrument he created himself. “I wanted Tall Tall Trees to be as portable as possible,” Savino says. So how does it work? “Through modifications to the banjo and my pedal board, I’m able to get drum sounds, bass, organ, electric guitar, and even achieve and manipulate synth sounds, all without a computer. I can’t tell you exactly how it works, but let’s just say that, through a lot of trial and error, I’ve discovered a magical blend of pickups and microphones and the right banjo head that can withstand a beating.” Believe it or not, the banjo wasn’t Savino’s first love. He went to a music conservatory in Manhattan to study jazz and play upright bass, all the while playing the banjo as a hobby. Five years ago, Savino finally recorded music with the banjo as Tall Tall Trees. “I always imagined myself as a touring and studio bassist,” he says, but I really fell in love with composing and songwriting and eventually found my voice as a singer and songwriter, as well as becoming very passionate about the banjo and pushing the limitations of that instrument.” In December, Tall Tall Trees finally released a follow-up to 2012’s full-length Moment. The Seasonal is a vibrant four-song EP that includes a cover of Animal Collective’s “My Girls.” “I love that song,” Savino says. “It came on shuffle one day, and when I heard that opening synth line I knew I could pull it off with banjo.” Another track, “Say Something Real!” was inspired by West African music as well as dishonest relationships. “It’s a plea for people to say what they mean and mean what they say,” Savino says. “It also speaks of George Harrison, who was my favorite Beatle, despite being quite underrated.” —Kelly Rae Smith SUNDAY

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BRASS HOP | PitchBlak Brass Band
w/ Les Racquet and Empire Strikes Bass w/ Philo
Fri. March 6
9:30 p.m.
$8/adv., $10/door
The Pour House

Despite its New Orleans influence, the PitchBlak Brass Band hail from Brooklyn. The 12-piece hip-hop brass band comprises Chanell “Tubafresh” Crichlow (sousaphone, MC, band leader), Alison Shearer (saxophone), Bryan Walters (trumpet, MC), Brian Lotze (trumpet, MC), Kyla Moscovich (trumpet), T.J. Robinson (trombone), Maximillian Sholl (trombone), Alaina Alster (trombone), Jovan Johnson (trombone), Benjamin Brody (guitar, French horn), Christopher Johnson (percussion, MC), and Ashley Baier (drums). While studying at the Manhattan School of Music Conservatory, Crichlow met the rest of the PitchBlak pack, and they played their first show in December 2010. The troupe has toured the country ever since, playing energetic tracks like “All to the Ill,” which was written by Charleston native, Robinson. “Each verse portrays overcoming the hate and being yourself, being fly,” he says. “That’s what leads to success, and this is an anthem praising this mind state, and that most definitely is ill.” PitchBlak recently released the single “Like Us,” a track that speaks to the band’s uniqueness. Songwriter Chanell says, “We take pride in what we do and want other groups to learn from us, but they gotta come with their own style and their own energy. At the end of the day, you can only do you, and we can only do us.” —Kelly Rae Smith FRIDAY


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