NEW YEAR'S EVE: LIVE MUSIC EVENTS GALORE
As always, there's more than too much going on across Charleston on New Year's Eve. Things are shaping up on City Paper's cluttered Music Board calendar already. Some of the large-scale events this year include the Club N.Y. New Year's Eve Party (at "Charleston's Biggest Night Club") inside the Gaillard Municipal Auditorium (77 Calhoun St.), with music from Dub Island Sound System, DJ Natty Heavy, DJ Luigi, and Fuse; and the popular Grand Ball at the S.C. Aquarium (100 Aquarium Wharf), featuring a cool mix of classic funk, Motown, soul, and disco hits from vocalist Quiana Parler and her band. The newly opened aloft Charleston Airport & Convention Center (4875 Tanger Outlet Blvd.) presents "A:NYE '09" (a "pink is the new black" party) with DJ Shortee, a nationally-acclaimed female turntablist.
On the rock 'n' roll side of things, there are tons of gigs to consider. Alabama songwriter Jason Isbell (formerly of The Drive-By Truckers) and his band The 400 Unit share the stage with local rock bands The Explorers Club and The Firework Show at the Music Farm (32 Ann St.). Georgia jam band Outformation concludes a three-night stint at the Pour House (1977 Maybank Hwy.). Athens, Ga. rock band Bloodkin headlines a rootsy set at Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ (1205 Ashley River Road). Local rock/metal cover band Dante's Camaro headlines the "Under the Sea Prom" at The Tin Roof (1117 Magnolia Road). On the IOP, local party band Playlist plays a new set of '80s and '90s hits at the Windjammer (1008 Ocean Blvd.). On Folly, The Hed Shop Boys rev some classic and Southern rock, British Invasion, and vintage metal at the Sand Dollar (7 Center St.). Groove-heavy rock/reggae ensemble Sol Driven Train returns from its latest tour to play Art's Bar & Grill (413 Coleman Blvd.). Halligan's Restaurant & Bar (3025 Ashley Town Center) presents a heavy-rock evening with Souls Harbor and Saint Diablo. Local quartet AS/IF tackles the hits of the 1980s with its "fast, hard-rock style" at the Village Tavern (1055 Johnnie Dodds Blvd.). Those are just some of the highlights. Please check out the Music Board listing for complete coverage.
100.5 THE DRIVE CATCHES THE GHOST
According to a report in The Post and Courier, local Clear Channel Communications radio station The Drive at 100.5 (WALC FM) will switch formats from adult/alternative rock to Christian music this winter. Over recent months, word had it that Clear Channel was considering selling the station at a reasonable price. Lakeland, Fla.-based company Radio Training Network ("RTN") bought the station and the frequency for $2.3 million from Clear Channel. A contemporary Christian music format will start once the Federal Communications Commission approves the sale. RTN operates a number of Christian music stations in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Alabama as part of the His Air Network. It currently broadcasts in Charleston on the 91.1 FM and 91.9 FM frequencies. See www.hisair.net for more.
FLK reconvenes at the KC
They're back! The on-again/off-again Charleston punk band FLK (a.k.a. Funny Looking Kids) plans to reconvene this month. Drummer Jason McFarland, guitarist Clint Fore, bassist Tom Duke, and singer Kevin Taylor (a former Charlestonian now based in San Fran) secured a date at the downtown Kickin' Chicken (337 King St., 843-805-5020) for 9 p.m. on Sat. Dec. 27. The last time these three played was last January at the now-closed Map Room for a Pour It Now benefit when Taylor was in town for a visit. They were funny-looking then, and they'll surely look funny next week. Check www.thekickinchicken.com and log on to the audio page at www.kevinearltaylor.com to hear some killer FLK tunes ("Teenage Punk Rock Girls" is a winner).
METAL MONDAYS AT WET WILLIE'S
It's been four years since the popular weekly live band karaoke Metal Monday events kicked off in West Ashley at the old Johnny Ola's Anchor Café. When Johnny Ola's closed in 2005, the band started a residency at Cumberland's and the weekly Monday night live "heavy metal karaoke" became a beloved tradition for two years. After the venue announced its closure last December, bassist Jonathan Gray led a new lineup west to the Pour House to revive the series, which lasted until this summer. On Mon. Jan. 5. Metal Monday returns to downtown with a kick-off night at the recently renovated live music venue Wet Willie's (209 East Bay St., 843-853-5650). The lineup includes Gray, Josh Kaler on guitar, drummer Jack Burg, and a rotation of special guests. Check out www.myspace.com/wetwilliescharleston and www.myspace.com/mondaymetalmonday for more. —T. Ballard Lesemann