With the holidays over and cabin fever setting in, live-music events are snowballing. There are bands of exotic varieties crisscrossing the nation, and talented local players proving themselves night after night. A modest entertainment budget of $15 generally covers the door charge and gets you a couple drinks, so go out and support live, original music this week.
On Thursday, Ed E. Ruger takes his hip-hop mafia to Kernersville for an MC spit-fest at Plum Krazy’s Too featuring Will Zay, Ty Bru and Ignite Minds, with beats supplied by DJ Phillie Phresh.
Also on Thursday, Hot Politics surfaces at the Blind Tiger in Greensboro and Selah Dub appears at Elliott’s Revue in Winston-Salem.
Not to be missed for anyone who likes Afro-beat and music with a geo-political context, the Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars play at the Sawtooth School for Visual Art in Winston-Salem on Friday, with proceeds going to benefit the Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem. Their publicity sheet sums them up as well as I might: “Born in the midst of a violent, decade-long civil war, the band and its music celebrate our ability to sustain hope, inspiration and creativity even in a climate of rage, loss and madness.”
In High Point, Silence the Sky plays the Red Lion on Friday, while the Radials ply their trade at the Flatiron in Greensboro.
Over at the Werehouse on Friday, Asheville’s Baker Family Band and Talk Show Hosts join forces with Winston-Salem’s River Ghosts for a folk-pop confab.
Meanwhile, the Garage (the roots yin to the Werehouse’s avant-exploration yang) showcases Carrboro’s Max Indian and Nashville’s Brother Henry, alongside Jeff Crawford, a Winston-Salem native and current Chapel Hill denizen.
Dr. J’s House of Soul Food Restaurant, located on Winston-Salem’s Martin Luther King Boulevard, inaugurates a weekly residency with Cle Thompson, a Triad jazz vocalist, who will be joined by keyboardist Mark Freundt, bassist Matt Kendrick and drummer Colin Tribby. Thompson and her band are set to appear every Friday at Dr. J’s through the end of February.
The 5 L’s, Steel Standing, Jones for Juliet, From This Day and Return to Life play share the bill at Big Cans in Winston-Salem on Friday.
“A rap and rock hoedown” with Gillotine, Nightmare Sonata, Army of Gorillas and Heavy Contact takes place at Big Cans on Saturday. Gillotine’s Burton Brown reports that its the venue’s last hurrah.
If you prefer your entertainment more homegrown, you can catch the Mantras at the Blind Tiger instead.
You probably have never heard anything like Eileen Ivers & Immigrant Soul. I caught one of their songs on 90.9 WQFS FM during my morning commute earlier this month; their sound is Celtic fiddling, mixed with dusky African-American male vocals and a stirring concoction of funk and other musics. They’ll be at the Carolina Theatre in Greensboro on Saturday. Meanwhile, on the other side of downtown, Jazz Peru Internacional, whose name is probably a pretty apt descriptor for the band’s sound, show up at the Greensboro Cultural Arts Center.
Quick on the heels of his recent departure from Taking Back Sunday, Fred Mascherino brings his new vehicle, the Color Fred, to Greene Street in Greensboro on Saturday.
Noisebleed, a progressive metal outfit from Thomasville, does the honors at Elliott’s Revue on Saturday.
Speaking of Thomasville, Chair Town’s house of brutal noise, the Soundvent hosts a stop for the Rise Record Tour on Jan. 28. Five bands on the Oregon post-hardcore emo label’s roster will be destroying ears: For the Fallen Dreams, It Prevails, Recon, Every Bridge Burned and American Me.
Pianist Jura Margulis, lauded by the Washington Post for his “titanic reserves of sheer power,” performs Bach, Chopin and Brahms at the Organ Hall at the UNCG School of Music on Jan. 29.
On the same day, Canadian fiddler April Verch, an exponent of the Ottawa Valley, brings her game to the Garage in Winston-Salem.