Soundchecks: The Orange Constant, Buena Vista Legacy, McQueen, Holy City Hullabaloo, Diaspoura, Niecy Blues

Live music to catch this week

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PROVIDED
  • Provided

JAM-INFLUENCED ROCK | The Orange Constant
w/ Late Night Special, Lyn Avenue, the 3 Pegs Trio, Lagoona
Wed. Oct. 9
6 p.m.
$5
Awendaw Green

Statesboro, Ga. outfit Orange Constant has a lot of the hallmarks you might associate with a jam band. They've got that laid-back feel in their mix of acoustic and electric guitars and easy-flowing rhythms. They've got the instrumental chops to take a song and stretch it out into an experimental groove. And they've certainly got a grasp on how to keep their brand of vocal harmony-rich rock 'n' roll songs sturdy enough to withstand a little restructuring. But despite those trappings, on their debut album, the band doesn't really sound like a jam band at all, even though they won the 2016 Athens Music Award for Best Jam/Funk artist. In fact, tight songwriting and vocal melodies are what the band's 2015 debut, Time to Go, is all about. The album, recorded in Athens with producer/engineer John Keane (who's worked with everyone from the Indigo Girls to Warren Zevon) showed a lot of promise, piling gritty guitars on top of bouncing, syncopated funk grooves. The follow-up, 2017's Point of Reference, put another star producer behind the boards (Drew Vandenberg, who's worked with Of Montreal), and moved the band closer to what one might consider jam band territory. The first track, "Float," is a spacey, seven-minute workout that recalls early Pink Floyd in some places and Widespread Panic in others, and there are several more epic-length pieces on the album that stretch out without sacrificing the band's melodic strengths. Then the band's latest single, "Reliance," released earlier this year, threw another element into the mix: the song is based on a light, lilting reggae rhythm. So it seems like the only constant in the Orange Constant's music is change. —Vincent Harris WEDNESDAY



COURTESY CHARLESTON MUSIC HALL
  • Courtesy Charleston Music Hall

CUBAN/LATIN | Buena Vista Legacy
Fri. Oct. 11
8 p.m.
$25-$35
Charleston Music Hall

"There is truly an inexplicable beauty, complexity, and authenticity to the Cuban story that makes this music very special," says Charles Carmody, the Charleston Music Hall's executive director and the in-house organizer for the Buena Vista Legacy concert. Carmody is hopeful that this event can serve as an introduction for people who might not be too familiar with Latin sounds. "We want to be a space that presents all types of music," he says. "This can be difficult with a fixed seating layout, but it is our goal to be presenting more international and under-represented genres." To that end, Carmody enlisted the help of Charleston-based percussionist, composer, and singer Gino Castillo to recreate one of the more important and better known examples of Cuban artistry, the Buena Vista Social Club, for a one-night-only performance. "I immediately thought of Gino when I started putting this show together. I have worked with him on shows in the past, Strings & Salsa being one of them. He is an amazing musician and a great collaborator." More importantly, Castillo was, according to Carmody, instrumental in helping get some of the participating musicians to agree to come to Charleston from New York, Miami, and Cuba. Castillo and his team are currently charting out the music and setting up rehearsals, while Carmody is busy making sure that everything else falls into place, like the special pre-concert dinner add-on that is available to complete the experience. —Kevin Wilson FRIDAY


ERIC KORENMAN
  • Eric Korenman
COMEDY | McQueen
Thurs. Oct. 10  - CANCELLED
8 p.m.
$10
Theatre 99

McQueen, creator of the Comedy Central digital series "Heads Will Roll" and a Funny or Die member, will be performing a string of shows along the East Coast in order to promote his debut album, Black Cat, which will be performed with "original visuals for an audio and video adventure." "I am such a music fan, I wanted the album to musically and sonically have depth and context," says McQueen, who got help on this album with producers from the Fox show Empire. The inspiration for Black Cat comes from dreams when he was a child that were brought on when he was sick, and in those dreams, he was a black cat. "I was walking through this world of weird stuff," says McQueen. "I used to think Kevin Costner was my dad and had to go to therapy for eight months." His debut album goes above and beyond what is expected from a comedian. He throws the entire playbook out and unabashedly writes his own path by a nexus of different art forms. The Massachusetts native and multi-genre-bending artist is paying homage to the years of his youth and wants to express that through his in-depth art form. —Matthew Keady THURSDAY


PROVIDED
  • Provided
PUNK | Holy City Hullabaloo Vol. 3
Fri. Oct. 11 & Sat. Oct. 12
7 p.m.
$10/ one day, $15/ both days
Sparrow & Tin Roof

Holy City Hullabaloo is back for a third year with a promising 14-band lineup playing across two days at two local venues. "Holy City Hullabaloo is Charleston's only two-day punk festival," says Alex Hunter, founder of the festival. Punk music has been head-banging since the '70s, with bands like the Ramones, Wayne County, and the Heartbreakers refusing to be silent. Groups such as Rancid and Green Day followed in their footsteps, paving the way for the modern punk bands like the Independents and Hybrid Mutants to shine. Both of these bands are featured on the lineup for Holy City Hullabaloo, along with 12 others that are sure to satisfy fans' cravings for grunge and passion. Historically, punk was a genre that touched more than just the music scene — it was creative, political, and influential. It has always been a genre that refuses to conform, and this festival is no exception. "We keep it fast and loud," says Hunter. "We run a pretty tight stage schedule so once the music gets going, it's going to be nonstop entertainment for several hours." Each day, seven new bands will hit the stage at either the Sparrow or Tin Roof, offering new sounds and high energy with every passing set. The Charleston music scene continues to evolve, finding platforms for every band and every artist to share their unique creativity. Holy City Hullabaloo is a chance for punk musicians and punk lovers to consume and celebrate the underground genre while inviting us all to join in on the fun. "This year, we're going to party with 14 really fun bands, buckets of beer, and of course you're invited," Hunter says. What more could you ask for? —Abrie Richison FRIDAY


MEREDITH WOHL
  • Meredith Wohl
ELECTRONICA | Diaspoura + Niecy Blues
w/ Sista Misses
Sat. Oct. 12
9 p.m.
$10
The Royal American

In the past, the Charleston singer-songwriter/activist Diaspoura has worked with downtempo electronic music, giving their songs a pulsing, dreamlike glow. For their upcoming show at the Royal American, though, they'll be debuting some new tracks that are faster and darker than anything they've done before. But to get more detailed than that would spoil the surprise. "A lot of folks know me to play slower, downtempo electronic music, but I've started producing at a faster tempo," they say. "I don't want to give too much away, but you can expect it to be more bold and upfront; I'm excited to show y'all." Diaspoura says that the change in sound doesn't come from a deliberate decision, per se, it's more about following their instincts. And even though the music still has electronic elements, they cite punk as a partial inspiration. "It's been important for me to have inspiration come organically and not try to force a mood or direction," Diaspoura says. "And punk music has always been a place in my life where I can listen to a raw, candid perspective. Punk to me is about revolutionary spirit, not dependent on instruments, but how we use them to create energy and push ideas. It's definitely been there subtly in my work, but I feel more confident in my voice than before." Lyrically speaking, though, Diaspoura's message of liberation on both the musical and societal fronts hasn't changed. "These songs reflect on a lot of interpersonal issues that connect to a bigger picture," they say. "I've been organizing artists this year, which has been very empowering at times and disillusioning at others. The movement to free all black, indigenous, and working class people, and to protect our environment — that is fueling my music." —Vincent Harris SATURDAY

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