INDIE ROCK | Steph Something
w/ Knightsquatch
Wed. July 24
9 p.m.
Tin Roof

There’s something comfortably ornery about the way local singer-songwriter Stephanie Gilliard, who records and performs under the name Steph Something, approaches her craft. An indie rock iconoclast in the mold of PJ Harvey or, say, Sharon Van Etten, she uses her rich, husky voice to pull and stretch at lyrics both forlorn and smarting. Hints of dream-pop, grunge, and lounge electronica all swirl around the edges of her sound, but there’s a rare aura of ambiguity for Gilliard that makes even her solo guitar offerings magnetic. The songwriter says that the shifting stylistic approach is something that just comes naturally. “I tend to sway between rock and electronic styles,” she says. “For a while, I played as Steph Something [with] the rock/grunge stuff, but rotated musicians for nearly every show, which was cool because each time the songs sounded so different. The setlist is largely determined by the venue and whether I have other musicians playing along, and who they are.” Her two latest EPs, After the Rock N Roll and a woman a guitar, emphasize these two molds. The former EP showcases a loose, DIY electronica vibe with some acoustic guitar feels, and the latter showcases a spare, bruising solo-grunge style. Her upcoming show, she promises, will split the difference between the quieter and more rambunctious sides of her creative output. “I will always produce electronic or dance style tracks because they are so much more fun to record, but nothing beats playing rock ‘n’ roll with a band, when it comes to playing live.” —Kyle Petersen WEDNESDAY


AFROBEAT-FUNK FUSION | Kaleta & Super Yamba Band
Tues. July 30
8:30 p.m.
$10/adv, $12/dos
Pour House

The Brooklyn group Kaleta & Super Yamba Band are an astonishing synthesis of styles. Their frontman is an Afrobeat veteran named Leon Ligan-Majek, also known as Kaleta. This singer, guitar player, and percussionist lived in Lagos, Nigeria as a young man, and was able to work with a couple of Afrobeat masters, Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade. When Kaleta eventually moved to New York City, he discovered the infectiously danceable polyrhythmic outfit known as the Super Yamba Band, and a new collaboration was born. The music that they make together is relentlessly groove-based, but to call it international or world music is a mistake. It’s more like a summit of like-minded, but culturally different master musicians, where skeletal percussion-spiked vamps and old-school R&B horns are punctuated by Kaleta’s joyful exhortations in various languages, from West African dialects to French to pidgin English. Above all else, though, it’s fun, moving, uplifting music. —Vincent Harris TUESDAY


ROOTS-ROCK/ALT-COUNTRY | An Evening with the Bacon Brothers
Thurs. July 25
8 p.m.
$39.50, $49.50, $59.50
Charleston Music Hall

It’s not necessarily surprising that actor Kevin Bacon would have a musical project, The Bacon Brothers, in addition to his film career. From Jared Leto to Billy Bob Thornton, actors often moonlight as musicians. What is perhaps surprising is how good Kevin and his brother Michael are at what they do. Kevin provides the gritty lead vocals while Michael handles the guitar, and together they’ve come up with some pretty impressive, wide-ranging roots-rock on their seven albums. Any fan of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, the Mavericks, or Jason Isbell could probably sit down with a Bacon Brothers album and find something to enjoy. They excel at deceptively tight, country-meets-heartland-rock tunes, and Bacon’s shockingly clear, nimble voice will surprise anyone familiar with his gruff speaking voice. This obviously isn’t a whim or a lark for either Bacon brother. The music they make is good enough to stand on its own without any of the residual movie-star fame. —Vincent Harris THURSDAY


TRAP | Trappy Hour
Sun. July 28
8 p.m.
The Royal American

Hosted by the famed Cocktail Bandits, Johnny Caldwell and Taneka Reaves, the award-winning Trappy Hour is back once again for a Summer edition. Renowned for tequila and hip-hop, this event is hugely popular. Specially curated for this summer’s edition, South Carolina’s number-one shejay, T.O., will be providing music along with several other live performances, featuring mostly Charleston based artists. The Cocktail Bandits have made a name for themselves by promoting female empowerment through the food and beverage industry, typically attacking things from a feminine and urban perspective. Trappy Hour is usually a perfect opportunity to immerse oneself in the local hip-hop scene and culture. Visitors are given the opportunity to also explore the various cocktails served at the event, making this is a recipe for a great night. Bring your friends or make new ones and prepare to get down and drink very responsibly. —Henry Clark SUNDAY


FUNK | Lady and the Brass
Wed. Jul. 24
9:30 p.m.

Saying that Lady and the Brass plays the hits is an understatement. According to occasional trombonist Hank Bilal, they’ve performed “the Childish Gambinos, the Beyonces, some Maroon 5.” But, often the band will let their personal backgrounds get into the mix, whether it’s from a funk club or a church. There’s a little bit of everything in the stew for the Paul Quattlebaum-created band. “We might have played up to five different genres of music,” jokes Bilal. “[It’s] something of everything. Some older pop, some current pop, some groups like Journey, some Motown, like the Temptations, we’ll do some jazz standards.” And with a rotating cast of musicians, every show is a little different. “It can go anyway,” Bilal offers when asked if they stick to a certain style. “Each night is unpredictable. Each Wednesday I go there, you never know what’s going to happen next.” Improvisation is a common occurrence at Lady and the Brass shows, making them easy to go back to. “It’s easy to do improv when you have those kinds of musicians that really understand the musical language.” —Heath Ellison WEDNESDAY

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