GUTTER COUNTRY | Whiskey Diablo
Fri. July 17
10 p.m.
Home Team BBQ Sullivan’s Island

After a great local response to Whiskey Diablo’s debut album, Wail & Serenade, the guys still aren’t sure what to expect while on tour. “In some towns and cities, people go ape shit, and then others we’ve felt like wallpaper,” frontman Patrick Blake says. “We played a show in a very small town that we felt like the crowd was not with us throughout the show, and then afterwards a large part of them bought our record and T-shirts. They asked to take their pictures with us, they bought us booze, and tried to convince us to join them in various illicit activities. It was quite bizarre. We’re just a rock ‘n’ roll band trying to go back to the hotel.” The band’s self-described gutter country sound is one that continues to evolve with each performance, and one that the band is prepared to showcase on their sophomore album, which they are busy working on. “I’m not entirely sure the signature sound was solidified on the first album,” Blake says. “We started recording it when the band was only three or four months old, and we’ve grown into something quite different than what it originally was. It’s still a rock ‘n’ roll band with a country twang and swing, but there are many more nuances and a lot more meat.” —Isaac Weeks FRIDAY


GOSPEL | Musicians United
Sat. July 18
4 p.m.
Ashley River Baptist Church

Ever since the morning after the June 17 shooting at Emanuel AME, the people of Charleston have taken to the streets, churches, and area vigils to remember the victims with spiritual songs. This weekend, professional artists from the Charleston Gospel Choir, Charleston Spiritual Ensemble; musicians from the Colour of Music Festival Orchestra and Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Chorus; and other local artists will bring the comfort of gospel music to West Ashley as they remember the Charleston Nine. Led by South Carolina native Joseph Young, maestro of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the groups will perform spirituals and orchestra music, including arias from sopranos Lori C. Hicks and Kimwana Doner-Chandler and baritone Kenneth Overtone. Event organizer Lee Pringle says, “After thinking about how significant of an event June 17 was to the region and beyond, I contacted the city to avail myself to help.” Pringle has personally selected each song in an attempt to convey sorrow and reflection and garner inspiration for healing. He says, “Music is indeed the universal language.” The concert is free and open to the public, though tickets are required and can be obtained at the Charleston County Public Library (68 Calhoun St.). Donations to support the Emanuel African AME Church Memorial Fund are encouraged. For more information, go to charlestonspiritualensemble.org or charlestongospelchoir.org. —Kye Toscano SATURDAY


Sat. July 18
10 p.m.
The Mill

Scott Walus and Keri Cousins met in college nearly a decade ago and started a jangly garage-pop band called Pat Boone’s Farm. But after four years of bright and bubbly, guitarist Walus and bassist Cousins devoted themselves to a different calling. “Keri switched to drums, and I went to an octaved eight-string bass,” says Walus. “We were chasing this sound, this sultry, seedy, menacing sound that could score a film noir or early Bond film.” The result is the Ex-Bombers, with its darker, femme-fatale, beatnik vibe. “We want to tell a story and lure you into our world, both sonically and visually, and tell you about our hi-fi approach to lo-fi situations. We try to embrace villainy in a manner similar to early Velvet Underground,” Cousins says. “We basically recreate the style and content of 1980s synth pop using 1960s instrumentation and vocals.” As for the name, Walus says it’s a statement on obsolescence. “In World War II, there were these amazing bombers,” he explains. “One day, they were deemed worthless and decommissioned. What do you do with a bomber in the jet age? Turn it into a swing set? A theme restaurant with a too-hip name? Recycle it into modular furniture? We felt like we were living in a world where we were obsolete with our penchant for writing letters, listening to records, holding photographs, and using tubes to amplify things. Rather than integrate, we decided to infiltrate.” The Ex-Bombers just released their second vinyl-only LP, Five Star Night, which was created sans a computer. “We recorded it entirely on open reel and mixed it to open reel in mono,” Cousins says. “We really engineered it to hold up to repeated listens, where it grows on you a bit more with each spin. It’s intentionally very different from our live show.” —Kelly Rae Smith SATURDAY


INDIE | Hearts & Plugs’ Summer Shindig
Sat. July 18
1 p.m.-10 p.m.
Palmetto Brewing

Partnering with Awendaw Green, Scene SC, BACE League of Charleston, and Pop-Up Charleston, the second-annual Hearts & Plugs Summer Shindig will touch down again, this time at the loading dock at Palmetto Brewery, featuring food trucks, good-time summer vibes, and 11 bands from the local label. Double those digits and you’ll get the number of plastic pink flamingos that’ll be lurking around since the colorful bird is this year’s theme. “Hearts & Plugs has flamingo fever!” McCurry enthusiastically admits. Last year’s Summer Shindig at King Dusko was a major summer highlight, but with more artists signed to the label and a growing following, a bigger space was necessary for this year’s bash. The acts that will take the stage this year include Brave Baby, SUSTO, ET Anderson, Johnny Delaware, Michael Flynn, Grace Joyner, Elim Bolt, Hermit’s Victory, the High Divers, Gold Light, and the Lovely Few. If that doesn’t get your musical juices flowing, then we don’t know what will. “The shindig brings together the H&P roster in the form of one big summer music blowout. We only come together like this once a year really, so it’s a special treat,” says Hearts & Plugs founder Dan McCurry. The festivities will include pink flamingo everything — temporary tattoos, tanks, tees, and totes — for purchase. And be on the lookout for a fun countdown across the label’s social media featuring silly flamingo-friendly videos and photos. —Kalyn Oyer SATURDAY