Soundchecks: Hale Bopp Astronauts, Boney James, Blue Ricky, Extra Chill Fest, Short Division

Live music to catch this week

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PROVIDED
  • Provided

PUNK | Hale Bopp Astronauts
w/ Eat Defeat, Problemaddicts, RushmoreFL
Wed. Nov. 6
9 p.m.
$5
The Sparrow

Charleston's Hale Bopp Astronauts are punk-rock to the bone. Their new album, Cabra De Mendes is chock full of three-chord rockers heavy on guitar noise and sneering attitude. The album, their second, is probably the closest thing to seeing Hale Bopp live, and singer/guitarist Scott Burns says it sounds like that for a reason. "Cabra De Mendes in particular sounds like a live show because it comes with all the flaws of a live performance," he says. "We really rushed that album so there is a very raw sound to it. It's not quite what I envisioned but it is what it is. Our next album, JESOMET (pronounced jeez-o-met), will be more polished hopefully, and still harness the live energy." Burns is nothing if not honest; when asked about the multi-band bills that Hale Bopp often plays, he's quick to mention the positives and negatives of that format. "There is good and bad with a stacked lineup," he says. "The good thing is that you get to network with lots of cool people at one time and the crowds are usually bigger with more bands; the bad part is the rush to set up and using backline equipment." Burns does seem to be cautiously optimistic about one thing, though: The future of Charleston's punk scene. "Charleston is growing at a ridiculous rate and I think the scene will get bigger," he says. "We've had promoters like Johnny Puke and Rachael Dantzler that brought punk to Charleston throughout the years, and now we have some new faces like Rick Burick and Alex Hunter that are making an impact. As long as we have the Sparrow, Tin Roof, Burns Alley, and the Mill providing a place for punk bands to play, the scene will survive in Charleston." —Vincent Harris WEDNESDAY

DESCRIBE THE FAUNA
  • Describe The Fauna

JAZZ/R&B | Boney James
Fri. Nov. 8
8 p.m.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort

The 10th annual Weekend of Jazz on Kiawah Island promises to be another great musically driven getaway for jazz enthusiasts. One of this year's headliners, hand-picked by Earl Klugh himself, is modern jazz saxophonist Boney James. Surprisingly, as a teenager, James actually wanted to play the trumpet, but his school set him up with a clarinet instead. When there were too many clarinets in the band, James was encouraged by his teacher to try the saxophone, and that has been his primary instrument ever since. James admits that even at a young age he was always more drawn to the soulful R&B leanings of Grover Washington than the straight-up bebop riffs of Charlie Parker. As such, James started out playing a supporting role, on both sax and keyboards, for more established artists in that realm, most notably, Morris Day and the Isley Brothers. After finally stepping into the spotlight as a solo artist when he was 30 years old James quickly began to establish himself as the smooth jazz saxophonist for our times. Having earned tons of industry accolades, and with more than three million records sold over the last three decades, James is now in a league of his own. For this weekend's performance, folks can expect a career-spanning set with James' latest song cycle, Honestly, as the focal point. —Kevin Wilson FRIDAY

PROVIDED
  • Provided

PUNK | Blue Ricky
w/ Stock Footage, Circles, Ash Vapor
Fri. Nov. 8
9 p.m.
Free
Tin Roof

Blue Ricky lead guitarist Ben Somewhere describes his band as "straightforward," taking influences and inspirations from the original New York punk scene and early West Coast hardcore sound. "When you can make out the lyrics, we're singing about anything from video games, to relationships, to explosive diarrhea," he says. On their debut EP, Let's Go to the Show, Blue Ricky approaches each song with an intense and high energy production value that can only be described as purified modern punk. On the song "Tattoo," there is an emphasis on rhythm, which purposefully overshadows their lyrics. "We're not up there to fuck around or tell you our life story," says Somewhere, who is accompanied by Scott Brawner on bass and Roger Mindwater on drums in Blue Ricky. "We lay it all out on the line every time." In the music scene today, there is a competition for perfection in every aspect. Blue Ricky, however, prioritizes the rustic and unique sound of Charleston punk. Perfection is not always the most satisfactory thing for the listener. —Matt Keady FRIDAY

TERENCE MILLS/NEWSTAR STUDIOS
  • Terence Mills/Newstar Studios

FESTIVAL | Extra Chill Fest
w/ Secret Guest, Jah Jr., Darby Wilcox & the Peep Show, Dead Swells, Keon Masters, Gardeners, Motel Glory, Ivory Keys
Fri. Nov. 8-Sat. Nov. 9
9 p.m.
$10
The Royal American

Last year, Chris Huber, the creator of popular local music blog Extra Chill, got together with D.J. Edwards from Real South Records and created a diverse, all-local music festival at the Purple Buffalo called Extra Chill Fest. The lineup, which featured Whitehall, Human Resources, Contour, Niecy Blues, Daddy's Beemer, and more, was an exciting mix of R&B, experimental, dream pop, hip-hop, and rock 'n' roll, which was exactly how Huber intended it. "We were trying to bring together different parts of the music scene that may not usually hang out at the same shows," he says. "We wanted to show people all of the music that's happening in South Carolina." The festival was successful enough to spawn a second edition, this time including Jah Jr., Dead Swells, Keon Masters, Ivory Keys, a reunion of punk band Secret Guest, and many more musicians as part of an expanded, two-day lineup. Huber says that he and Edwards learned some things at last year's festival about what to do and what not to do. "One thing that we had trouble [with] was the parking situation," Huber says. "We didn't really think that out well enough and it ended up kind of being a little bit crazy last year. We took care of that by doing it at the Royal American this time. Other than that, it went really smoothly last year, and everyone had a great time." In fact, many of the musicians on this year's lineup were in the crowd for last year's festival, which made booking pretty easy this time around. "A lot of the bands had heard about the event or had hung out at the show last year," Huber says. "It was really fun booking it. That was probably my favorite part; curating it to make sure I got a good mix of different types of music." —Vincent Harris FRIDAY-SATURDAY

PROVIDED
  • Provided

INDIE ROCK | Short Division
w/ Fiasco, Cicala
Sat. Nov. 9
8 p.m.
$5
Burns Alley

New and noteworthy are two ways to describe Short Division. Having just formed in 2018, the four-piece band has already mastered their unique blend of indie, pop, and rock. It's not easy cultivating an individual vibe this early in the game, but this Charleston-native foursome has done just that. With the release of their new EP, You Do the Math..., it's evident that Short Division has been crafting their art behind the scenes and gearing up for their own ebb and flow. Fans can expect more of the rhythmic groove and upbeat riffs that have made a home in Short Division's music. And, with the new EP on Spotify, fans can hear their idiosyncratic sound before the show. Short Division has a little bit of something for everyone in their sound. With the ability to satisfy teen's love of angst alongside the lyrical skill to mimic adulthood, Short Division creates music that connects people across age groups — making a perfect song for every occasion. Their captivating sound draws in listeners, alongside their meaningful lyrics. One can expect a full sound, dancing fans, and a stage full of dudes that love making music. —Abrie Richison SATURDAY

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