Live Music: Madam Adam; Umphrey’s McGee; Michale Graves; Elka Bong

Great live music to check out this week

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GOTH-PUNK | Michale Graves
w/ Glass Lashes, Hearts on Fire, American Murder
Wed. Sept. 21
8 p.m.
$5
Sand Shack Bar & Grill

Yes, singer-songwriter Michale Graves served as frontman for the Misfits from the mid-’90s to the early 2000s, taking Glenn Danzig’s place during a long period of acrimony between Danzig and the rest of the band. And yes, he does truck in many of the same goth-rock trappings that the Misfits are famous for. But in reality, that period is actually a small part of Graves’ career. Since leaving the band, he’s released 12 full-length albums, the most recent of which, Bedlam, came out earlier this year. Bedlam will come as a surprise to anyone who just knows Graves from the Misfits. The largely acoustic record, which reinterprets songs from his earlier When Worlds Collide album, is full of strong, catchy melodies, powerful vocal performances, and stripped-down arrangements, sounding more like a classic singer-songwriter album than a black mascara-ed goth-punk show. It’s a style Graves calls “monster acoustic,” and though there are occasional none-more-black touches, it’s more like a dark acoustic-blues album than anything theatrical. —Vincent Harris

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EXPERIMENTAL | Noise Church presents Elka Bong
Thurs. Sept. 22
7 p.m.
$1 (suggested donation)
Tua Lingua

A performance by Elka Bong, a duo consisting of viola/violin/clarinet player Al Margolis and electronics wizard Walter Wright, is an exercise in improvisation; neither man knows what they’re going to play before they go onstage. Margolis’ instruments are processed, echoed, and mimicked by Wright’s synthesizers, creating an off-beat but entertaining conversation between the two players that’s accompanied by Wright’s video projections. “We try to approach it completely fresh every evening,” Margolis says. “There’s a certain level where the sound is going to be fairly similar, depending on which synthesizers and electronics that Walter has, but I’m not trying to repeat last night. It’s mostly two people on paths that intersect in and out, so we certainly listen and interact, and there are definitely points where one’s following and one’s leading. There’s always listening, but there will be spots where we’ve each gone off where we’re going — but they’re still parallel paths. The end result is a unique sound that comes out of all that.” —Vincent Harris

JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek

ROCK | Back to School Bash
Madam Adam w/ Action City Blackout, Drunk Couples, Orange Doors
Fri. Sept. 23
8 p.m.
$10
Music Farm

You may have already received tickets to 98 Rock’s Back to School Bash — the station as well as the bands on the bill have been blanketing the city with freebies for weeks now. That’s because there are a lot of reasons to rock this weekend. Rather than getting stuck with the end-of-summer blues, local rockers Madam Adam, Action City Blackout, Drunk Couples, and Orange Doors want to give you something to look forward to — a last hurrah as a reminder that while mosquitoes are still rampant and, yes, it’s 90 degrees outside, beach days are (probably) on their way out the door. It’s also a shindig for 98 Rock’s relatively new radio show Stomping Grounds, which celebrates past and present local rock — from the now-defunct Shaniqua Brown Project to the goddamn resilient, longtime local faves, Wormbelly. Just another excuse to rock ‘n’ roll, y’all. —Kelly Rae Smith

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FESTIVAL | Chucktown Ball
Umphrey’s McGee
w/ Moon Taxi, The Hip Abduction, The Floozies, The Dead 27’s, Dangermuffin
Fri. Sept. 23-Sat. Sept. 24
4:30 p.m. Fri., 4 p.m. Sat.
$75/two-day pass, $45/one night, $169-$359/VIP passes, Free/kids six years old and under
Riverfront Park North Charleston Coliseum

Note: This event has been moved to N. Charleston Coliseum due to weather. Chucktown Ball looks like it’s officially an annual happening. Now in its second year, the two-day fest is hosted by genre-combative rock band Umphrey’s McGee, who are set to play both nights. While the sextet hails from Chicago, several members now call Charleston home, hence the band’s insistence on showing the Holy City a good time. Night one will also feature performances from Nashville indie groove-makers Moon Taxi and local Southern-soul rockers The Dead 27’s, while night two includes Kansas electronic duo the Floozies, local folk-jam troupe Dangermuffin, and Floridian Afro-pop band, the Hip Abduction. Umphrey’s McGee’s new mashup album ZONKEY drops on Fri. Nov. 11 and features lead single “National Loser Anthem,” which sounds like a spacey mix of Beck and Genesis. The rest of the album blends everything from ’70s reggae and ’80s pop to ’90s metal. The Chucktown Ball weekend will conclude with the first-ever Chucktown Ball Charity Golf Tournament on Sun. Sept. 25 at Wild Dunes Harbor Golf Course, which will benefit MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital. —Heath Ellison


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