Soundchecks: KISS, Chaquis Maliq, Daddy's Beemer, Rebelution, Fusion Jonez

Live music to catch this week

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PROVIDED
  • Provided

HARD ROCK | KISS
Thurs. Aug. 8
7:30 p.m.
$69-$1,020
North Charleston Coliseum

KISS is one of the most commercially successful, visually eccentric rock 'n' roll bands of all time. With over 100 million records sold and a touring career spanning over 45 years, the band is bringing their journey to "The End of The Road," according to their tour's title. What is truly inimitable, and maybe even endearing, about the band has been the sincere, unwavering dedication to the craft of showmanship. As founding member, the serpent tongued and blood spitting Gene Simmons, told Australian television program Sunday Night, "In terms of physicality, we're the hardest working band on earth... Could I be in a band until my late 70s? Sure, but I'd have to join U2 or The Stones, put on a pair of sneakers and a T-shirt and just strum." Wearing an estimated 42 pounds of costume gear per night, complete with 10" platform shoes, the physical burden of a KISS performance isn't difficult to surmise. Co-founding member guitarist Paul Stanley has had two torn shoulders, a bicep tendon rupture, and several knee injuries. "My job is to make it look easy," he told news network KTLA 5 in Los Angeles. "It's a lot of work but I'm so grateful. To have any complaints would be like winning the lottery and complaining about taxes. I'm blessed." The band is overtly musically prepared as well. Complete with arena rock, levitating stages, elaborate pyrotechnics, and lots of face paint, the KISS Army can look forward to one last hurrah with the golden (aged) boys that wanna rock 'n' roll all night and party every day. —Jeffrey Wilson THURSDAY

KEELEY LAUGHLIN FILE PHOTO
  • Keeley Laughlin file photo

ACOUSTIC HONEY-SOUL | Chaquis Maliq
Sat. Aug. 10
6 p.m.
Free
Pour House

The story of soul-funk-rock singer Chaquis Maliq begins as many musical stories do: With the protagonist picking up a guitar. She quickly became adept at a jazzy, unpredictable style on the six-string acoustic, using it to accompany her ecstatic, elastic vocals and working in some pounding foot-percussion to accompany herself. That's where her "Eccentro-Soul One-Woman Band" concept was born, as Maliq cultivated a solo sound that feels more like a tight-but-loose ensemble than one performer. Since coming up with that winning setup back in 2014, Maliq has proven to be a surprisingly flexible performer. Her 2018 single "You Can't" is a study in minimalism, with a wild, fiery vocal, probing bursts of acoustic guitar, and a foot-stomp rhythm. But if you go back to her 2016 full-length album, Resilience Eludes Death, you'll hear a fuller version of Maliq's sound that brings in salty electric guitars, buoyant bass lines, and thicker percussion, with her acoustic-guitar-and-vocals nucleus still intact. That style has earned Maliq various kudos and opportunities, including a 2016 City Paper Music Award nomination for Soul/R&B Act of the Year, a 2012 RAW Artist Baltimore Musician of the Year nomination, slots on various festival bills around the country, and an opening slot with NPR Music's Best of Tiny Desk-winning neo-soul outfit Tank & the Bangas. Maliq calls what she does in her one-woman performances "Eccentric tasteful grooves and honey soul," and it's difficult to think of a more apt description. Regardless of the labels, it's a compelling synthesis of direct, mysterious, folksy, and full-on soulful. —Vincent Harris SATURDAY

PROVIDED
  • Provided

SOULFUL INDIE-ROCK | Daddy's Beemer
w/ Abstract, That Rapper, Darby Wilcox
Sat. Aug. 10
9 p.m.
$10
The Royal American

When the members of Daddy's Beemer graduated from Clemson University a couple of years ago, they could have decided to move on with their respective lives. They certainly had done plenty with music at that point, both creating an edgy and angular, but soulful, indie-rock sound, alongside running a seminal Clemson house-show venue called Pablo. But they decided to keep pursuing music against all odds, and after a brief stay in Charlotte, the band moved en masse to Charleston back in May. "Our lease in Charlotte was up," says Daddy's Beemer singer/guitarist Brady Sklar. "We'd just gotten off a really big tour, and we wanted a change of scene. We wanted to get in on the music scene in Charleston while it was still budding and new. It's very alive right now and we wanted to be part of it." That certainly sounds like the ethos of a group that wants to do music full-time. "We're still full-steam ahead with this after finishing school," says bassist Wesley Heaton. "We still have day jobs going on, but we're trying to put as much time and effort as we can into the band in-between all of that." Daddy's Beemer's new two-track single, "Indoors/Serotonin," hints at some further, non-geographical changes for the band. The jagged-edged, mournful guitar rocker "Serotonin" could fit in very easily with their previous work, but "Indoors" is another matter. The synths and violin on the song point the band in a more melodic direction, and the production is more polished than anything on their two prior EPs and various singles. "'Serotonin' was the last of the songs we made in the basement of Pablo," Sklar says, "and 'Indoors' was written after we'd moved to Charlotte, so they come from different places. We're leaning towards more synths right now as far as arranging goes." Saturday's show, with Abstract and Darby Wilcox, will be hosted by music blog Extra Chill. —Vincent Harris SATURDAY

PROVIDED
  • Provided

REGGAE ROCK | Rebelution
w/ Collie Buddz, Ballyhoo
Sun. Aug. 11
6 p.m.
$32.50-$97.50
Hanahan Amphitheater

Though one could point to a literal link back to Bob Marley (through sound engineer Errol Brown), it wouldn't be quite right to drop Rebelution in the strictly-reggae bucket. According to frontman Eric Rachmany, "whether someone comes up to me after a show and says, 'Rebelution is my favorite reggae band,' or, alternatively, 'you guys aren't reggae at all,' I can always see how either statement might be true." Still, like a real reggae renegade, Rachmany is constantly hooking the band up with opportunities for activism, such as the Last Prisoner Project, an advocacy group for prisoners incarcerated for marijuana possession. "We are actually in the cannabis business ourselves," Rachmany explains, "and it just wouldn't feel right to be making money that way while ignoring the fact that earlier entrepreneurs are sitting in prison for doing the same thing." While discussing their new 13 LP box set, Rachmany seems to marvel at the group's longevity and slow-release fanbase. He credits predecessors like the Grateful Dead and Slightly Stoopid for making him think that it might be possible to build a following by connecting with audiences, rather than obsessing over radio airplay or album sales. It is certainly a marker of success that Rebelution is celebrating 15 years of music-making and awareness-raising with the headlining slot on the dub-drenched Good Vibes 2019 tour. —Kevin Wilson SUNDAY

CAROLINE BELL
  • Caroline Bell

JAZZ FUSION | Fusion Jonez
Sat. Aug 10
8 p.m.
$15/dos
Charleston Pour House

Named the City Paper's 2018 Jazz Artist of the Year, Fusion Jonez continues to impress. Blending aspects of funk and heavy rock, the band is ready to bring something hot out of the oven. "With our new music, we have begun to push the boundaries of funk. We have taken on more complex rhythms, time signatures, and just hard hitting riffs that will make anyone feel it," says lead guitarist Walker King. "We have a lot of progressive rock and funk in our sound and it really holds true to our name, Fusion Jonez; a fusion of a lot of different genres." The beauty of their approach is that they can't quite be defined, as they metamorphose between songs. On their latest record, Around Town, the band jumps from a track like "Munk," that sounds like it belongs in a space dogfight sequence from Cowboy Bebop, to a track such as "Dazed on Soullivans" with enough synth and thump to make Sting blush. "We kind of approach our writing process by either one member coming to a rehearsal with an idea, be it a riff or a horn line with chord changes, then from there we kind of just jam on it and try and figure out a structure that is easy to understand, but also interesting, groovy enough to be official," King explains. "With all the creativity from every member in the band, writing and creating new songs and tacking ideas on to other peoples' ideas comes very fast and very efficient for us." The band is prepared with about eight or nine new songs for the studio, and their upcoming show is set to be their last before they take a brief hiatus. —Henry Clark SATURDAY

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