Live Music: Allen Toussaint tribute; Hectorina; The Independents

Great live music to check out this week

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HORROR PUNK | The Independents
w/ Longshot Odds
Fri. Dec. 18
8 p.m.
$5
The Sparrow

Formed in 1992 by Evil Presly and Willy B, horror punk band the Independents were formerly managed and produced by the late, great Joey Ramone. From 1995, the year the legendary frontman discovered the band, until his passing in 2001, Ramone played a major role in shaping the enduring sound of the Independents. “Joey really got what we were doing and loved it. After hanging out with him on that tour, we just hit it off and became best friends,” Presly says. “He started managing the band, and it was a dream come true. He had already been there and done that ya know?” The band has brought its fun blend of Ramones-flavored punk and Elvis Presleyed vocals to international stages shared with the likes of the Ramones, the Misfits, the Queers, and Cheap Trick. To date, the Independents have released 11 studio albums, including 2001’s Back From The Grave — which was produced by Daniel Rey and Joey Ramone on Suki Records shortly before the singer’s untimely death — and 2013’s Christmas EP Ho Ho Ho, What a Party. Now with the release of Into the Light, the band reveals a darker, more personal side of the Independents. “There was a lot of loss in that time period of writing that record, and it shows,” says Presly. From new titles like “Black Angel” to “Corpses in the Rain,” the band proves its label as a horror punk duo is a fitting one. As for how the Independents have managed to power through so prolifically for more than 20 years, it all goes back to Ramone. “I love what we do, and I know how lucky I am to still be doing it,” says Presly. “I also know that Joey put his name on us, and I don’t ever want to let him down.” The band will be joined this weekend by growling punk-rock band Longshot Odds and riff-heavy surf rockers Sex Wax. —Kelly Rae Smith FRIDAY

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THEATRICAL ROCK | Hectorina
w/ Dei Mozzi and Motel Glory
Fri. Dec. 18
9 p.m.
$5
Tin Roof

In 2013, Charlotte three-piece Hectorina released their debut Collywobble, a rock opera that developed into a full-stage play last year involving a costume designer, choreographer, the works. The theatrical rockers — guitarist Dylan Gilbert, drummer John Harrell III, and bassist Zachary Jordan — have since dropped last year’s A Thousand Jackals and this year’s self-titled LP, the latter of which Gilbert says was more focused on mood and arrangement. From the soulful, Mick Jagger-like wails of “Alright, You Win This Time, But Next Time” to the rock ‘n’ roll falsetto vocals on “I Want to be Well,” it’s clear that Hectorina is firmly rooted in R&B but with a graceful handle on rock, blues, and punk. Gilbert says it’s their most well-planned release to date. “We’ve never been afraid to be prolific,” he says. “But I think with this newest record — and to a larger extent the material we’re writing together currently — we’ve taken a more critical look at the work as it’s being developed, which has allowed the songs to mature in a more natural, less cluttered way.” —Kelly Rae Smith FRIDAY

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NOLA R&B | Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky: A tribute to Allen Toussaint
Gaslight Street w/ Jeff Kozeslki, Corey Stephens, and more
Sun. Dec. 20
9:30 p.m.
$8
Pour House

There are very few times when the sentence “It was our drummer’s girlfriend’s idea” works out well for anyone, but Gaslight Street may have just bucked that trend. The Charleston trio are longtime admirers of the late New Orleans musical giant Allen Toussaint, and when he passed away earlier this year, the aforementioned girlfriend, a NOLA native, made a suggestion. “She said we needed to put a show together and celebrate his music,” says Gaslight Street’s singer/guitarist Campbell Brown. “And we immediately thought of (bassist) Corey Stevens, from Josh Roberts’ band, and (guitarist) Jeff Kozelski and (drummer) Allen Brisendine from Outervention. We’ve played in different projects with all of those guys, and all of us have an appreciation for Allen. And everyone was all in as soon as we mentioned it.” Given Toussaint’s multiple musical roles — in addition to being a performer and pianist, he was an often-covered songwriter and a renowned producer and arranger of others’ material — the potential set list could’ve been a challenge, but Brown says they’ve focused on Toussaint the solo artist with some occasional nods to his extracurricular activities. “We’re doing some things that Allen produced,” he says. “And we’ll be doing some songs with arrangements that he did later in his life, all the way up ’til right before he died. But it’s mainly going to be his songs, from his Toussaint album in 1971, Life Love and Faith (1972), Southern Nights (1975), and Motion (1978). It’ll be a good span of his work.” —Vincent Harris SUNDAY

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