w/ DUMB Doctors and Alswel
Sat. Dec. 17
9 p.m.
Tin Roof

Pop, post-classical music, and noise rock walk into a bar, and Teach Me Equals walks out. It’s an odd combination, but the Olympia, Wash. two-piece mixes it all together in a very natural way. Songs like “Coelacanth” use a feedback-centered wall of sound as the background for a melancholy pop-vocal melody, and the result is heartbreaking (in a good way). Other tracks, like “Swallow the Smoke” and “As the Crow Flies,” use classical instruments and distorted riffs to subvert and reinterpret the typical pop formula. “[We wanted to] forge a sound that worked a little bit more with texture and feel, so that when someone does put on the music that we’re making currently or comes to a show, they’re starting at a very pure, base level,” says cellist/ vocalist Greg Bortnichak. That focus on textures has yielded some killer results, like 2014’s Knives in the Hope Chest. Despite the ear-grabbing, fuzzed-out guitar licks, acoustic cello lines, and electronic drum beats, no instrument really sticks out on the album, forcing the listener to take the songs in as a whole. It’s refreshing, to say the least, to hear a band that doesn’t have a specific instrumental focal point. Since forming, TME toured like a band without a home from 2013 through 2015, only slowing down in 2016 to work on new music, which is expected to be out next year. Two tracks from their upcoming release have already been dropped. Titled “PCiii” and “Judas Goat,” the new tunes have the same experimental flavor that made Knives in the Hope Chest such an interesting listen, with a little more rhythm added in for good measure. “The songs were written in January of 2015,” says guitarist/ violinist/ vocalist Erin Murphy, when comparing the first album to the new material. “So a lot of the newer stuff brings back the intricacy of layering.” —Heath Ellison SATURDAY


GRUNGE PUNK | Heyrocco
w/ DUMB Doctors and Rico & Miranda
Fri. Dec. 16
8:30 p.m.
Woolfe Street Playhouse

Yes, Heyrocco’s upcoming Woolfe Street Playhouse show is called “Halloween on Christmas,” but it’s not like you have to go get a pirate costume or anything. “It’s nothing too special as far as holiday celebrations go,” says Heyrocco’s singer/guitarist, Nate Merli. “I was just listening to Blink 182 with my girlfriend and I really liked that line, something about Halloween on Christmas [from ‘I Miss You’].” The band recently returned from a European tour with indie-rockers Grouplove, and Merli says they learned a lot. “It was pretty smashing,” he says. “We got the chance to play in front of 1,000 people and learn what works and what commands a room. It was great. We learned you should always try to hit the back wall of the venue with your music, small place or big place.” The band also has some shows coming up with SUSTO in January. “It’ll be nice to be out there with another Charleston band,” he says. “They’re actually my favorite band out there right now.” —Vincent Harris FRIDAY


BLUEGRASS | A Grand Ole Bluegrass Christmas
The Barefoot Movement and Finnegan Bell
Fri. Dec. 16
7:30 p.m.
The Historic Old Brick Church of St. Thomas & St. Denis

For more than 20 years, Shane Williams and Warren Bazemore have been making music together. “We both grew up in Columbia,” Williams says. “Warren’s father is a music professor and both my parents were singers and songwriters. So we lived in similar worlds as kids. When we got together and started writing songs, it just clicked and made sense.” Most of that writing was done as the nucleus of a band called Silers Bald, and that partnership paid off when the band, which specialized in Appalachian folk-rock, got signed to a major label in Nashville. But the band’s taste of the big time was short-lived. “That year there were like four hostile takeovers in Nashville,” Williams says, “and our record company was dissolved a month after the record came out. At that point, we had been on the road so hard, living out of an RV, it was inconceivable to go back and start over again.” Silers Bald broke up, and the two men went their separate ways for three years. But they’ve since reformed as an acoustic duo called Finnegan Bell, a format that allows them to spotlight their undeniable songwriting chemistry and tight, heartfelt vocal harmonies. “One of the coolest compliments we get when we play is that a lot of people ask if we’re related,” Williams says. “We’ve sung together for so long it comes off like we’re family.” This weekend’s intimate, Grand Ole Opry-style show takes place in the historic wee, stucco-covered Old Brick Church of St Thomas & St. Denis. —Vincent Harris FRIDAY


HOLIDAY ACID JAZZ | The White/Bogan Duo’s Acid Christmas
w/ Jordan Igoe
Tues. Dec. 20
10 p.m.
Pour House

Last year, the White/Bogan Duo, keyboardist Ross Bogan, and drummer Stuart White, created a show at the Pour House called Acid Christmas, a set of holiday standards reworked into an improv-heavy soundscape that allowed both men plenty of playing room. It went so well that the two have decided to bring the show back this year. “It’s going to be pretty similar to last year,” White says. “The whole concept of the show is that we’re playing traditional Christmas songs that people know and putting our own twist on them, which can be a pretty big twist sometimes. Ross and I both studied jazz at the College of Charleston, and it’s kind of similar to that whole jazz concept of taking standards that everybody knows and improvising over them.” But it’s not quite a repeat of last year’s performance. For one thing, Jordan Igoe opens the show, and the Duo has added at least one new wrinkle to their set. “Last year, Ross sang with a vocal effect processor,” White says. “This year we’re going to have some guest vocalists sitting in with us.” —Vincent Harris TUESDAY

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