Live Music: Hearts on Fire; Help the High Divers; Elevators Vol. 3; Mr. Blues

Great live music to check out this week


  • Jonathan Boncek

PUNK | Hearts on Fire
w/ Hybrid Mutants, Monsters from Outer Space
Fri. July 14
9 p.m.
The Sparrow

Who says punks have to be pissed off? The celebratory choruses Hearts on Fire brings to the stage are something of a rebuttal to the doomsayer Black Flag fan in every punk. The band's new EP Silver Scars fits into the continuity of their happiness narrative, with a few twists in the formula. "It's life stories," says bassist Chad Pressley. "It's about losing your job, it's about divorce ... it's not self-deprecating; it's telling a story of what we've all been through." The band rolls with the bad times, writing songs about "fucking up and making mistakes, but being OK with it," says vocalist/ guitarist Josh Marson. New track "Debutante" tells a story about a poor boy and rich girl, in the middle of a high-energy twin guitar riff and carefree chorus. "If you're gonna ignore me tomorrow, whatcha got to lose," Marson asks in the song's refrain, indicating the poor boy's good-riddance attitude toward the heartbreak. "Our music is all about loyalty, friendship, getting through the hard times, and coming out better for it," says guitarist Taylor Jenkins. Hearts on Fire will release their new set of uplifting tunes the day of the show at the Sparrow. —Heath Ellison FRIDAY

  • Provided

JAZZ-BLUES | Ermitt "Mr. Blues" Williams
w/ Trané N'Chel and The Oscar Rivers Jazz Trio
Tues. July 11
8 p.m.
The Pointe Event Center

One doesn't doubt a musician who goes by the name of Mr. Blues. Hailing from New York, Ermitt "Mr. Blues" Williams has long been vital in the local jazz scene. He'll perform on Tuesday alongside Trané N'Chel — the two originally met while performing a play together. N'Chel has undaunted, soulful vocals and a history of notable performances at venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden. Together with long-time local jazz ensemble, the Oscar Rivers Trio, the three acts offer up a night of euphonious swing this week. "This is a special show; the staging is really professional," says Williams, who also fears that jazz and blues are swiftly dwindling away from their former glory. "I'm hoping that people will get back to appreciation of jazz. I feel it's a great art form and actually America's greatest music, but nobody talks about it." ­ —Ashton Mullinax TUESDAY

  • Provided
  • J-Danzo

HIP-HOP | Elevators Vol. 3
J-Danzo, Sunny Malin, Mostafa, Landon Wordswell, plus DJs SCrib and Sista Misses
Fri. July 14
9 p.m.
The Purple Buffalo

Master creative curators IllVibeTheTribe are back with the third installation of their underground hip-hop series, Elevators. This particular showcase welcomes the talents of, for one, J-Danzo of Columbia collective 803 the Clique. Earlier this year, he dropped Young Basquiat, an 11-song collection of melodic tracks blending hip-hop, chillwave, and R&B. Also performing is local emcee Sunny Malin, who brings with him a jazz-infused hip-hop sound. His latest record, Malin, was released in January of this year and presents an even more energetic Malin, with the influence of Tribe Called Quest apparent in such tracks as "Beyond the Threshold." Finally, Oregon-based artist Landon Wordswell returns to the Holy City with his musical ride-or-die, emcee Mostafa, as well as another Oregon artist, Janelle Berger. Wordswell, who has toured frequently with Blackalicious' Gift of Gab, is fresh off a European tour with the legendary Artifacts, who made waves in the underground hip-hop world back in the '90s. Now Wordswell is busy with a new collaborative project entitled Commercial Break as well as a solo record, which he'll tease this weekend at Elevators. Each set will be stitched together with sounds from DJ SCrib and IllVibe's own DJ Sista Misses. —Kelly Rae Smith FRIDAY

  • Jonathan Boncek

BENEFIT | Concert to Benefit the High Divers
The Artisanals, The Mobros, Hunter Park, Matilda Dae
Fri. July 14
9 p.m.
$10 or more donation
The Royal American

Beloved local rockers the High Divers recently set off on a tour out west but it all came to a scary halt when their van was struck by a semi-truck. Though there were scrapes and minor injuries, the crew thankfully walked away from the messy accident and are currently on the mend back in Charleston. We are all lucky that the only serious injury was that of the van, but even still — that's a major setback for an up-and-coming band. To show the guys how much the community loves and supports them, Jean Hubbard, Corey Campbell, and Steven Fiore have organized a benefit concert for the band, with friends and musical acts the Artisanals, the Mobros, She Returns From War's Hunter Park, and Matilda Dae signed on to perform. The door cost is a suggested $10, but guests are welcome to donate more. —Kelly Rae Smith FRIDAY

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