INDIE | Youngster
w/ M is We, 2 Slices
Sat. Apr. 7
9 p.m.
Tin Roof

Youngster’s indie tagline is a little deceptive. “The Changing Type,” the first song on their self-titled EP, would be right at home in a dingy underground New York music venue in the year 2000. It’s the kind of tune a live-hard-but-play-fun-music band would rock in the middle of their set at the turn of the century. Even the font they employ on the cover of their Youngster EP looks like it could be used on a Strokes T-shirt. But, digging past that first song (it’s not difficult) opens up a world of other influences. “We try and draw a lot from ’70s and ’80s kind of influence,” says guitarist Blake Ratliffe. That sound is audible in “Who Knows” and “Anybody Else.” The former song plays with a disco dancing hi-hat, while the latter throws out shoegazing guitar effects in its wavey intro. Youngster is currently putting together their first full album. “This full-length LP that we’re working on now almost has this hint of western or old-school country soul to it,” says Ratliffe. “But, the instrumentation is still rock ‘n’ roll.” Given their prior inclination to take older influences and put them through an indie filter, it’s feeling like Youngster’s new music will be just as interesting to sonically break apart and study. —Heath Ellison SATURDAY


CAJUN | Lowcountry Cajun Festival
w/ Shrimp City Slim, Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys, Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas
Sun. April 8
12 p.m.
James Island County Park

Once again, the full-day Lowcountry Cajun Festival will bring Louisiana to Charleston, with a full selection of Cajun and Creole foods like jambalaya, alligator, andouille sausage, etouffe and, of course, crawfish. But the music portion of this Saturday on the Lowcountry bayou is no slouch, either. Kicking off the proceedings will be the Lowcountry’s own Gary Erwin, a.k.a. Shrimp City Slim, a bluesy, roadhouse-ready pianist who has spent much of his life creating his own version of the classic low-down blues with a dash of virtuoso boogie-woogie skill on the keys and more than a little humor. Following Slim will be the non-stop zydeco dance machines Jeffery Broussard & The Creole Cowboys, whose frenzied, accordion-fueled raveups are damn near impossible to stand still for. Finishing out the bill are Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas, who channel the spirit of legendary bayou barn-burners like Clifton Chenier and have played everywhere from The Grand Ole Opry to Lincoln Center. And if you want to combine the best of food and music, check out the crawfish-eating contest during the breaks between bands. —Vincent Harris SUNDAY


PIANO COVERS | The Sound of Ivory: A Tribute to Famed Piano Singers by Manny Houston
w/ Manny Houston
Sun. Apr. 8
8 p.m.
$15/adv., $17/door
Music Hall

This one hurts to say: Manny Houston’s last show (don’t cry) in Charleston before he moves out to Los Angeles is going down, and he plans on going out with a bang. “It’s a show I’ve just had in my head for a long time, where I get a chance to play all these famous piano singers that people know and love,” says Houston. Some of the ivory legends he’s covering will range from classic (Stevie Wonder, Elton John) to contemporary (Alicia Keys, John Legend), alongside some that are not always thought of as piano singers, like Michael McDonald and Nina Simone. Houston chose these songs to cover so he could “perform at the highest level of my abilities, which includes singing, playing piano, and dancing.” Houston will perform with a nine-piece band, to fully realize the music that he’s covering. Doing a set of covers isn’t an indication that Houston is slowing up on his original material. Once he gets to L.A., he plans to keep Alan Fame (his original rap music) alive and well. “I’ve got a couple projects coming up that I’ll be releasing in this year and next year,” says Houston. Those projects include recent work Houston has done with world-beat, chill-hop band Terraphonics, and an all original Alan Fame album. “Both of those I plan on taking out to L.A. to try and shop around.” —Heath Ellison SUNDAY


INDIE | Season 1
w/ Von Strantz, Native Land, Boardwalks, Slomo Dingo, The Wafts
Sun. April 8
8 p.m.
$5, $7
Cory’s Grilled Cheese

Von Strantz, Native Land
Sat. April 7
10 p.m.
The Mill

When you look at the credits for the most recent album by Von Strantz, Apple of Your Eye, it looks like you’re in for a lush collection of orchestrated pop songs. Headed by sisters Jess and Kels Von Strantz (who play keyboards and strings on the album, respectively), the album lists three different synth players. But it’s not lush or layered at all. Kels’ strings are muted and judiciously used, adding accents and emotional undercurrents but never overpowering Jess’ vocals, and the same goes for the keyboards. If anything, this is far more like quirky indie-pop than studied neo-classical electronic music. It’s also quite different than what you’ll hear if you see Von Strantz in concert. On the road, it’s just Jess and Kels. “It doesn’t really matter how you arrange your songs, you can play them in a simple form or with robust production, and it’s still the same words and the same melody,” Jess says. “You have this point that you want to convey, and you capture it the best you can.” From a lyrical standpoint, Apple of Your Eye is full of broken relationships, broken promises, and broken dreams, and sadly, that’s not fiction. “The only way I write is autobiographical,” Jess says. “The point of it is the journey of this human being who is trying to find love, not in the romantic sense but in the sense of valuing themselves as a person.”
Vincent Harris SUNDAY


ROCK | Dweezil Zappa
Tues. April 10
8 p.m.
Charleston Music Hall

As influential, revered, and boundary-breaking as Frank Zappa’s catalog is, it’s not like he ever really burned up the sales charts. He had the occasional hit, but Zappa’s output of mind-bending guitar freakouts, large-ensemble compositions, classically influenced weirdness, and hilariously pungent experimental rock were never bound to bring in a mainstream audience. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons that Dweezil Zappa, Frank’s son and just about every inch the stunning guitarist his old man was, has spent the last decade of his life paying tribute to his father’s restless, endlessly inspired catalog. You could get lost in any one phase of Frank Zappa’s recording career, but for the “Choice Cuts” tour, Dweezil and his talented sextet will be revisiting some of the best (and most complex) Frank gems from the ’60s and ’70s, along with some pieces from his oft-misunderstood classical oeuvre. It’s not an evening for the musically faint of heart, but it will certainly reward those with more adventurous tastes and a love for both the brilliant and bizarre. —Vincent Harris TUESDAY