Live Music: Michael Flynn; Free the Robots; God Help the Girl; The Off White

Great live music to check out this week

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ELECTRO-INDIE POP | Michael Flynn
w/ The Lovely Few
Wed. March 18
9 p.m.
$7/adv., $8/door
Redux Contemporary Art Center

Hearts & Plugs’ five-week Redux Contemporary Art Center residency begins tonight with Columbia’s The Lovely Few, an act that often draws inspiration from the cosmos, and Charleston’s indie-pop artist Michael Flynn. Last year, Flynn took a break from his band Slow Runner, a staple of the Charleston indie-rock scene for over a decade, to focus on his solo debut, Face in the Cloud. Produced by Flynn and Brooklyn’s Villain Lighting, Face is an electrifying collection of songs awash with synth-keyboards, drum machines, and gorgeous melodies — the kind of record you’ll want to repeatedly tell your friends about months after you first fall in love with it. Tonight, the tracks will be brought to life with the help of local musicians Nick Jenkins, Ron Wiltrout, and Clay White. The following four Wednesdays will see more dynamic shows featuring Hearts & Plugs artists, including Elim Bolt and ET Anderson next week, Run Dan Run and Mr. Jenkins (Jenkins’ “greatest hits” LP release) April 1, SUSTO and Johnny Delaware (the two’s split-vinyl release) April 8, and Grace Joyner and Hermit’s Victory (Hermit’s Victory’s LP release) on April 15. —Kelly Rae Smith WEDNESDAY

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GARAGE-PSYCH ROCK | The Off White
w/ The Psychiatric Metaphors
Wed. March 25
10 p.m.
Free
The Mill

Hailing from Philly via Long Beach, N.J., members of The Off White are at a loss for words when it comes to describing the band. “We’re lacking inspiration in this van,” says guitarist Sean Jones. “We’re stuck in traffic in Virginia, and Pat has been trying to pee in a bottle for the past 20 miles. That could be the bio, actually.” The Off White is a four-piece garage-psych rock outfit featuring Jones, along with bassist Mike Bongi, Patty Bones on drums, and guitarist Justin Jones. Formed in 2012, The Off White released a four-song seven-inch on Little Dickman Records last year and have an LP slated for an April 7 release. The 13-track collection Don’t Take Kindly was recorded in Sean’s bedroom. “It’s got its real punk moments, its psychedelic moments, and its country moments,” Jones says. “We even have a little softer one in there to keep it interesting. We are really proud — it’s like watching all of our children grow up into 13 little individuals.” As for the band name, Jones contends ‘The Off White’ distinguishes themselves from the masses. He says, “We kind of like to think we are our own race of people, because the white people from our town are really annoying.” —Kelly Rae Smith WEDNESDAY

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ELECTRONIC | Free the Robots
w/ D!Z and DJ Bonzani
Wed. March 25
8 p.m.
$12
Tin Roof

Santa Ana, Calif.-based electronic musician Chris Alfaro is Free the Robots. Known for his distinct jazzy sound, the producer/DJ strives to create an amalgam of soundscapes including jazz, psychedelic, and hip-hop, whilst never sticking to just a single genre. Using older samples, trippy synths, and live instrumentation, Alfaro’s drum patterns and progressive harmonies blend to make melodically rich music. Started in 2003, Free the Robots was initially a side project, as Alfaro performed with various bands while he also produced and worked as a full-time DJ. Lately, the California native has been busy dropping a litany of projects, including his latest album, The Balance, while touring around the world at the same time. “I’m like a gypsy the way I move all over,” says Alfaro. “It’s not really inspiring to stay in one place.” One of the premier artists to come out of Los Angeles, Free the Robots continues to expand his sound and work with other artists, including contemporaries like Hieroglyphics and Nocando. “I’m lucky to be in such a creatively progressive area,” Alfaro says of L.A. “It’s great to feed off [other people’s] energy.” —Viraj Naik WEDNESDAY

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POP MUSICAL | God Help the Girl
Thurs. March 18
8 p.m.
$8/adv., $9/door
Charleston Music Hall

Fans of Scottish indie popsters Belle and Sebastian should be elated to know all their twee dreams are coming true this week with the screening of God Help the Girl. The musical was created by the band’s frontman Stuart Murdoch. Taking place in Glasgow during one whimsical summer, young Eve (Emily Browning) looks to her friends Cass (Hannah Murray) and James (Olly Alexander) to help her out of a slump and into a magical world filled with music — by forming a pop group. Produced by Barry Mendel (The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore), the film premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award. God Help the Girl is the central focus of a larger musical product of the same name that Murdoch began years before the movie was released. With songs written from the perspective of young women entering into adulthood, Murdoch made 2009’s God Help the Girl, the record, with vocalist Catherine Ireton. The two also collaborated for the project’s EP Stills and the single “Come Monday Night.” Though the film was trashed with poor reviews from The Guardian, we can’t wait to decide for ourselves at this one-night-only showing of Murdoch’s most ambitious venture yet. —Kelly Rae Smith THURSDAY


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