Live Music: Manny Houston, Long Miles, Valley Maker, Oblivion

Great live music to check out this week

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INDIE FOLK | Valley Maker
w/ Dear Blanca
Fri. Oct. 9
9 p.m.
Free
Redux Contemporary Art Center

The new album by Valley Maker, a.k.a singer-songwriter Austin Crane, is an exercise in mood. When I Was A Child contains layers of haunting vocal harmonies careening through a reverb-soaked, massive-sounding production backdrop, framed only by Crane’s delicate, spidery acoustic guitar and his fragile, angular voice. The lyrics are impressionistic and uncertain, painting a picture of a rootless man lost in his own thoughts and stranded in a permanent state of transition. It’s a startlingly cohesive body of songs, especially considering it was recorded in two sessions on opposite ends of the country a year apart. “I did the first Valley Maker record in 2010 as my masters thesis at the University of South Carolina,” Crane says. “I’d written a number of new songs, and I wanted to track them before I moved to Seattle to pursue my Ph.D. at the University of Washington. I had the opportunity in the summer of 2013 to go into Archer Avenue Studio with Kenny McWilliams, but I didn’t have much money or time. We only had four days. So we got the bedrock of eight of the tracks that are on the record.” Crane then departed for Seattle, but his doctorate degree wasn’t the only reason for relocating. “I had hopes moving out here that music was going to become a bigger part of my life, and that’s what happened,” he says. The album was finished at the Unknown studio in Anacortes, Wash. with a small group of musicians and harmony vocalist Amy Godwin. “It was the perfect place to take the material and try to make it cohesive, because it’s this huge space that used to be a church,” Crane says. “I don’t think this is a record that has singles, per se. I think it’s a record you sit with and listen to all the way through.” —Vincent Harris FRIDAY

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GOTH | Oblivion
Thurs. Oct. 8
9 p.m.
Free
Tin Roof

After spending some time haunting goth and industrial nights in New York City, Evelyn DeVere and her crew have returned to bring a little spookiness to Charleston. Their Thursday show at the Tin Roof is the first of what DeVere hopes will be a monthly goth/industrial event. “Charleston does not offer much in the way of alternative events or entertainment,” DeVere says. When we asked if she was trying to bring a little bit of NYC back with her, DeVere set us straight. “We don’t intend to ‘bring NYC’ to Charleston, but rather start our own event here,” she says. With Halloween just around the corner, DeVere will be performing what she calls “spooky burlusque” to accompany DJs XO and Chris#2. The projected song lineup will include music by Bauhaus, the Smiths, Skinny Puppy, Sisters of Mercy, and many more. —Kaleb Eisele THURSDAY

JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek

TRIBUTE | Higher Ground: A Tribute
to Stevie Wonder
Thurs. Oct. 8
10 p.m.
$8/adv., $10/door
Pour House

Local musician Manny Houston, a.k.a. Alan Fame, says he and Stevie Wonder go way back. “The earliest I can remember listening to Stevie Wonder was at the age of seven,” he says. “It was his song ‘Knocks Me Off My Feet,’ and after that day I was hooked. The first song I ever sang for a competition — at the age of 11 — was his 1969 hit ‘My Cherie Amour,’ and subsequently the first song I ever taught myself to play on piano by ear was his ballad ‘Never Dreamed You’d Leave In Summer.’” You may remember the City Paper posting a video of Houston covering Wonder back in June. “The moment the shooting at Mother Emanuel happened this past summer, the first song I sat down to play in order to calm my nerves was his 1976 Grammy-winning song, ‘Love’s in Need of Love Today.’” So it’s no wonder that Houston decided to organize a tribute to the musician who’s had such a profound influence on his life. This is the first Wonder tribute night he’s put together, but Houston has called on the musicians — drummer Brandon Brooks and bassist Alex Kellner — he used for a Jay-Z tribute night two years ago. The rest of the band will consist of David Grimm (guitar), Mike Quinn (sax), and Charlton Singleton (trumpet), plus special guests Quiana Parler (vocals) and Stephen Washington (keys). And though you can expect a lot of Wonder love, Houston notes it’s not going to be a night full of his No. 1 hits. “It is never my goal to just play music at any show I do, nor is it my goal to impersonate Stevie Wonder,” he says. “Rather, I would like the audience to walk in and feel like they are about to watch a direct descendant of Stevie Wonder perform a large portion of his father’s song book, with his own energetic twist and sound.” —Kelly Rae Smith THURSDAY

PROVIDED
  • Provided

ISLAND ROCK | Long Miles
w/ Ben Fagan and the Holy City Hooligans, John the Conqueror
Sat. Oct. 10
9 p.m.
$12/adv., $15/door
Music Farm

Melodic island rockers Long Miles formed in Philadelphia, which is where all the band members currently reside apart from local John Shields, who you may recognize from his solo project Leaf Eater, as well as the hip-hop duo Little Strangers. The guys from Long Miles met in high school in Philly, but they have Charleston roots, too. “We all applied and were accepted into College of Charleston and decided to continue the band,” Shields says. “Our freshman year, we recorded an album in the dorm room and played on King Street weekly.” Eventually, the band hooked up with producer Chris DiBeneditto (Slightly Stoopid, G. Love, Leaf Eater) and recorded A Philadelphonic EP, which was followed later on with the full-length album Shades, produced by Rick Beato in Atlanta. Though the band has been on something of a hiatus lately, they reunite when they can in both Charleston and Philadelphia. “So this is basically a reunion show, our first in Charleston since May 2014,” Shields says. But there’s also talk of recording a new album when the band is able to link up again. On Saturday, Shields will also play guitar with Ben Fagan and the Holy City Hooligans, and Long Miles’ drummer Adam Williams will perform with Philly’s John the Conqueror. —Kelly Rae Smith SATURDAY

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