Live Music: Del Sur, Blues Romp in the Swamp, The Soil & the Sun, Cloud Becomes Your Hand

Great live music to check out this week

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JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek

TROPICAL POP | Del Sur
w/ Band and the Beat and Secret Guest
Wed. May 25
9 p.m.
$5
Tin Roof

With the local weather reaching beach-party temperatures, now's probably the best time for you to get acquainted with Charleston tropical-pop band Del Sur if you haven't yet. The brainchild of Michael Collier, Del Sur came together in 2012 as a solo project, with the solo project's first EP, H.A.G.S, debuting in 2014. Since then, Del Sur's dropped a string of releases, and Collier started up local garage-rock/indie-pop artist collective, Makeout Reef. Last month, Del Sur dropped its latest offering, Eating in Bed. Now available on cassette tape via Missouri-based Rough Beast records, the six-song EP is a vision of hazy surf-pop sounds inspired by Beach Boy Brian Wilson, a fact that's underlined by the title of Collier's original composition, "In My Room." Eating in Bed's lead single is the jangle-pop tune "Dirty Honey Lunar Lovely," which premiered recently on popular non-commercial music site CMJ. Collier, who also just debuted a psych garage-rock side project with Colin White called Hot Showers, says the future of Del Sur lies in a more psych-rock driven sound that simultaneously stays true to its pop-based roots. So tonight, prepare to be sonically transported to an oceanfront resort, complete with frozen drinks — yep, Tin Roof's got 'em — and plenty of rock 'n' roll hijinks. —Kelly Rae Smith WEDNESDAY

PROVIDED
  • Provided

BLUES | Blues Romp in the Swamp
w/ Wanda Johnson, Smoky Weiner & the Hot Links, Juke Joint Johnny, Silent Eddie Phillips, Nature Boy Nik, and Dr. Kim May
Sun. May 29
4 p.m.
$20
Bowens Island Restaurant

When you hear Clemson's 53 year-old Wanda Johnson tearing into a blues classic or one of her own tunes, you could be forgiven for thinking she's been playing in juke joints all her life. But you'd be wrong. "I'd been singing all my life, in church, but I didn't start singing rhythm and blues until the mid-'90s," says Johnson, who toured through Poland, Austria, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic last year. Whatever the history, Johnson's voice is a thing of beauty, sizzling with sass and grit on an up-tempo blues-rocker or gently caressing a soulful ballad as the song requires. Johnson said her entry into the music world was almost accidental. "There was a blues club that opened up in town, and they had an open mic, and I went over there and sang," she says. "The very first song I ever sang in a nightclub was 'Amazing Grace.' And I've been doing shows ever since. It's taken on a life of its own. It's been a pretty good ride." —Vincent Harris SUNDAY

PROVIDED
  • Provided

FOLK-SPACE ROCK| The Soil & the Sun
w/ Family & Friends and Mechanical River
Sun. May 29
9 p.m.
$5
Royal American

The Grand Rapids quartet The Soil & The Sun occupy some sort of heavenly soundscape where Lindsey Buckingham and XTC's Andy Partridge huddle together in the studio and create lovingly crafted, blissfully melodic little pop tunes that buzz and whir along like perfect miniature machines, every vocal harmony and delicately picked guitar line perfectly in place. The group, which began as a duo in 2008, has referred to their music alternately as "experimental spiritual folk-rock" or "New Mexican space music," and as unlikely as those descriptions may sound, there's a certain truth to them. The band's most recent full-length, 2014's Meridian, has a certain sun-baked brightness to it, and there's definitely an atmospheric, blurry, wide-screen feel to the songs as they spin off layered vocal harmonies into the stratosphere. They've refined that sound even further on the new two-track "Actual Replica, Vol. 1" release, somehow making their songs even more precisely arranged without losing any of the freshness and warmth. —Vincent Harris SUNDAY

PROVIDED
  • Provided

EXPERIMENTAL PSYCH POP | Cloud Becomes Your Hand
Mon. May 30
7 p.m.
Free
Local 616

Upon first listening to songs from Cloud Becomes Your Hand's 2014 album Rocks or Cakes, you'll immediately notice the whimsy and straight-up weirdness of this group. One moment, you're immersed in what sounds like an underwater medieval musical instrument convention, and the next, you're careening through a tent of probably drug-addled circus employees. But the band owns it, describing themselves as "avant blip" and "bumping insect rock." Behind all of the oddities, there are some serious technical chops — frequent changes of pace and scenery are executed effortlessly in tracks like "Bay Shamps" and also in the first single "Bridge of Innocence Returns" from their forthcoming album Rest in Fleas. There's a real soundness to the mayhem CBYH brings to the table, reminiscent of those chaotic outro moments from Sgt. Pepper's, or at times of a super-busy MGMT with lyrics that would feel at home in some of the more strange cuts from Beck's Mellow Gold. "I like to take the time to try out different sounds and feels," says Stephe Cooper, guitarist, vocalist, and "main instigator" of the band. What started as Cooper's solo bedroom project has become a sextet with a sound that begs for live performance. The singer offers a straightforward explanation for all the experimentation in regards to starting the band: "The convenience of having one project or umbrella to pursue different interests is the main reason." —Graham Crolley MONDAY


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