Alt Pop | Guster
w/ Michael Flynn
Wed. June 10
8 p.m.
$25.50/adv., $28.50/door
Charleston Music Hall

Ryan Miller, Adam Gardner, and Brian Rosenworcel started Guster back in college, never really expecting to make their rock-band dreams a life-long career. Adding Luke Reynolds later down the line, the quartet has evolved a lot since their beginnings back in the ’90s. Now at age 42 with two kids, frontman Miller looks back on first album, 1995’s Parachute, with nostalgia. “Everything is different now,” he says. “I’m twice as old and have been making music for 20 years compared to one year. That was the first time we had ever been in the studio, too, and we didn’t really know much about writing songs, dynamics, arrangements … or life.” One thing Miller has learned over his double-decade career is that you have to constantly reach outside of your comfort zone. “As soon as you feel like you know what you’re doing, you’re stuck,” he explains. “All real artists feel that on a fundamental level.” That’s why Evermotion, Guster’s latest release, is all-together different from anything we’ve heard from them before. There are Beach Boys-influenced harmonies, new keyboard textures, and a certain unpolished edge that feels more real. “A lot of it was a reaction that we manufactured from our souls,” Miller says. “It was also the fastest we’ve ever worked, which didn’t give us time to overthink. There’s something to that. Like, one of my favorite records is Astral Weeks by Van Morrison, which is full of clinical mistakes, but that’s part of what I love about it — that’s humanity.” —Kalyn Oyer WEDNESDAY

Bluegrass | Grass in the Hall
w/ Red Cedar Review, the Lowhills, and South Carolina Broadcasters
Thurs. June 4
6:30 p.m.
Charleston Music Hall

Red Cedar Review’s Brad Edwardson sees Doc Watson, one of the men who legitimized acoustic guitar as a lead instrument in bluegrass, as one of his big influences. “I really love the storytelling aspect of folk music, as well as the ability that stories and songs have to travel around the world and stand the test of time,” says Edwardson. “I am very inspired by the finger-style guitar playing of Doc and Merle Watson. My attempt to learn some of their technique is what got the Red Cedar Review project started in the first place.” The influence really shines through on tracks like “Windy and Warm” and “Spike Driver’s Blues,” where the acoustic guitar breathes with infectious melodies. Although Edwardson, Aaron Firetag, and Fuller Condon (of Two Man Gentleman Band fame) have played the Music Hall in other groups, this is the first time they will take the main stage at the Hall as Red Cedar Review. The rest of the lineup for Grass in the Hall is rounded out by the eclectic sounds of The Lowhills and the old-time harmonies of the South Carolina Broadcasters. “Red Cedar Review is still a young project, and to be able to showcase it on such an amazing sounding stage along side such a great lineup of bands is really an honor,” says Edwardson. “What the Music Hall is doing for the local musicians and local fans of music is really a gift to this city.” —J. Chapa THURSDAY

Dark Synth Pop | Billie Fountain EP Release
w/ McKenzie Eddy & the Firewall
Thurs. June 4
9 p.m.
$7/adv., $8/door
Redux Contemporary Art Center

On the last night Corey Webb performed as a folk musician, he looked in the mirror and decided to reinvent his sound. “It was a New Year’s Eve show a few years ago, and I realized how apathetic I was to the music I was making,” he says. “I was bored yet crazed, and all I could envision was an uninspired future with a guitar. I traded my guitar for an analogue synth, and my mission was Billie Fountain.” After studying classical composition and singing opera music, Webb picked up and moved to East London, where Billie Fountain was really born. Inspired by Prince and David Bowie, Webb realized his new electro-pop path was the right one. “In the couple years I was gone, [Charleston] had grown to nurture original music, arts, and entrepreneurship in a new way,” he says. “A fresh and really interesting community was being cultured, so I decided I would plant Billie Fountain and finish the EP here. It’s important to me that this work is a bridge between these two personally influential cities.” The disc, Devil in My Head, will launch this week with a blacklight masquerade party. As for what’s next, Webb’s currently building a fantastical backstory to Billie Fountain he hopes to release as a graphic novel in conjunction with the first LP. “I’ve never been so excited for the music and arts scene in this town as I am right now,” he says. “So this next project — set in a darkly twisted hyperbolic version of Charleston called Harleston — will begin as something exclusive to Charleston and then grow from there.” —Kalyn Oyer THURSDAY

Death Punk | Denim Demons
w/ Hybrid Mutants
Sat. June 6
10 p.m.
The Sparrow

Turbojugend, or TJ, is the name of the underground fan club that celebrates the Norwegian death-punk band, Turbonegro. Formed in the late ’80s, the band has existed on and off ever since, while TJ is an international movement that started up in 1995 when guitarist Euroboy decided to model Turbonegro’s fans after the Kiss Army. Though it started out as a sort of joke, there are now more than 2,300 Turbojugend chapters around the world, with members cladding themselves in cutoff jean jackets bearing the band’s logo. Now Charleston can call itself home to fellow followers too, thanks to a few local fans — Emily Richards (president: EmprASS of Evil), Ambré Boroughs (vice president: Southern Helle), and Jamie Elliott (propagandaminister: Nauti by Nature). The show this weekend will serve as the launch party for the Charleston chapter, with Holy City Turbojugend patches, pins, and stickers already made and at the ready. In tribute to the band, the newly formed Denim Demons (named after a Turbonegro album) will perform, comprising Action City Blackout members, including the EmprASS of Evil herself, along with Collin Debruhl, and Ron Reddick. Currently listed on Facebook as a church/religious organization, the TJ Charleston chapter says it’s all about “talkin’ smack and smackin’ ass. TJ Charleston is officially ascending to full climax. Join the party!” —Kelly Rae Smith SATURDAY

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