ROCK | needtobreathe

w/ I-9
Fri. April 21

This week, alt-rock quartet Needtobreathe — four spiffy Piedmontonians aiming to “bridge the gap between college and mainstream rock” — celebrate the release of their major label debut, Daylight. The band hooked up with the Lava/Atlantic label late last year, secured a recording session in England with top studio producer Andy Green (Keane), and assembled an impressive collection of melodic, anthemic rock songs. “Green was on the top of our wish list for producers,” says lead singer and guitarist Bear Rinehart. “Luckily, he loved the demos we sent him and really got what we were trying to do with the music.” Rinehart and his bandmates — brother/guitarist Bryant “Bo” Rinehart, drummer Joe Stillwell, and bassist Seth Bolt — recorded about 60 song sketches in their own studio before the sessions. Twelve hit the final mastering tape. AllMusic.com‘s Stephen Thomas Erlewine recently described the disc as “a big, bright, shiny modern rock record, heavily influenced by U2 and designed for big, open spaces … or at least to be played somewhere between Coldplay and Train on modern rock radio.” —T. Ballard Lesemann FRIDAY


HARD-ROCK | Mother Jackson

w/ The Noise Machine
Sat. April 22
Village Tavern

Since their earliest days in 2002, slugging it out in the Roadhouse in downtown Athens, Ga., bassist Nathan Allen, drummer Jim Wilson, and guitarists “Brother Paul” McHugh and Richard McKulka (son of The Velvet Underground’s drummer Moe Tucker) have been delivering hard-drivin’ rock grooves and the “loud, straight-ahead sound of ’70s rock ‘n’ roll [bred] with polished, present-times-inspired sardonic humor.” Their early recordings suggested bits of James Gang, Rush, Grand Funk Railroad, and Arthur Brown. Their latest LP, Suck on This, stayed the course. “How rockin’ is the Village Tavern show gonna be?” asks McHugh. “We’re gonna rock your face off. Heads will blow, and the bras will be flying through the air. Unsuspecting clubgoers should expect some kick-ass Southern rock that sounds partly like the swamp creature lurching out of the muck, and partly like being lost on your horse in the middle of the desert.” The Mothers open for Myrtle Beach power-pop rockers The Noise Machine on Saturday. —TBL SATURDAY


INDIE-POP | Meredith Bragg & His Terminals

w/ The Chimney Sweeps
Sat. April 22
The Map Room

Washington D.C. singer/songwriter Meredith Bragg and his band The Terminals specialize in a sophisticated and sensitive style of contemporary indie-rock. Returning to town behind a recently-issued 11-song album titled Vol. 1 and a five-song disc titled The Departures EP (both released on Kora Records), the band hopes to present some inventive orchestral guitar-pop to the Charleston audience this week. The Terminals include drummer John Roth and keyboard player Brian Minter — both of whom played for four years alongside Bragg in the Va.-based indie-rock band Speedwell. Cellist Elizabeth Olson often joins the band on stage and in the studio. “With Vol. 1, I was bringing people in to fill in what needed to be filled,” says Bragg. “The new EP is definitely much more of a band effort, so it’s a fuller sound by far. Actually, there’s a lot less guitar in it. I really wanted to make it more of a full-band sound.”



INDIE-ROCK | Elf Power

w/ The Instruments, Hayloft Saints
Tues. April 25
The Map Room

Athens, Ga.-based Elf Power — longtime associates of the Elephant 6 collective — recently celebrated the release of a brand-new album titled Back to the Web (Rykodisc). The band’s story starts around 1994, when singer/guitarist Andrew Rieger and multi-instrumentalist Laura Carter began documenting song ideas on 4-track cassette recorders. Their new 12-song collection, a follow-up to 2004’s Walking With The Beggar Boys (Orange Twin), takes a “gypsy/eastern” musical approach. “I feel like this new album is a good change for the band,” Rieger recently told their hometown altweekly, Flagpole. “It kinda has some similarities with some of the older stuff in that it’s kind of a folkier, dark record, but at the same time, I don’t think it sounds too much like anything else.” The current Elves lineup includes a list of Athens indie-rock all-stars: bassist Derek Almstead (ex-Of Montreal), multi-instrumentalist John Fernandes (ex-Olivia Tremor Control), guitarist Jimmy Hughes, cellist Heather McIntosh (also of The Instruments), and drummer Josh Lott (ex-Paper Lions). Brooklyn/Athens act The Instruments and Charleston’s own Hayloft Saints open. —TBL TUESDAY