byRyan Snyder The first three days of Merge 25 are as sold out as sold out can be, but Saturday is still wide open and Whitney Baker will have a pair of tickets for her at the gate to see Neutral Milk Hotel, Caribou et al. Wednesday evening, Diali Cissokho of Kaira Ba will be among the many treats at Mosaic: Tastes of Africa and the Middle East at the downtown Greensboro Railyard, where he’ll perform a rare solo kora set.
On his debut album Pretending Perfection last year, West Virginia rapper Huey Mack positions himself as sort of a white Drake circa Room for Improvement without the same caliber of bullets in his beat clip. He’ll try to prove his headline billing at Greene Street Club with support from Caskey, whose own debut is due out on Cash Money, and standout local emcee Akidnamedpollo. Ex-Dexateens guitarist and grungesoul firebreather Lee Bains III travels the southern roads paved by the Drive- By Truckers on his band the Glory Fires’ second album, Deconstructed, and he’ll play it for you at Krankies, while Killswitch Engage’s Ziggy’s show might be without founding member and shredder extraordinaire Joel Stroetzel after he left the tour to be with his family.
On Thursday, Charleston future-funk maestro Curt Heiny brings his retinascorching dance party to the Blind Tiger, while the Garage hosts blues chanteuse Kaleigh.
The Green Bean give a booking caveat on their ReverbNation page that they don’t book hip-hop, but they’ll lift that embargo for a set by Daily Planet with the Koolest and KingMdot on Friday. If Canadian reggae can make a comeback through Magic!, then there’s hope for Canadian ska, and it might start with Chris Murray at New York Pizza when folks hear his sneakily familiar “Why So Rude”. Knoxville quintet the Black Cadillacs were pretty awesome at Bonnaroo this year, and their garage-blues will be a nice complement to the mile-a-minute rock of Thomas Wynn & the Believers at the Garage. At the High Point Theatre, Juice Newton and Exile hook up for a night of pillowy-soft country pop.
On Monday, WUAG celebrates a huge milestone, having gone on air 50 years ago to the day. That’s the only way to rationalize having a day-long concert on a Monday, but the music is good, in particular the Bronzed Chorus, Jenny Besetzt, Oulipo and Breathers are worth knocking off that day (and probably Tuesday) !