Extended Play

by Jordan Green

Our neck of the woods has something of a parochial streak when it comes to music, sure, but we also have plenty of homegrown innovators and a healthy interest in the world beyond. Witness the lineup of bands playing around the Triad this week; they defy categorization.

But first let’s look ahead to April 12 and 13, when Greensboro celebrates its bicentennial with live music at sites scattered around downtown. The event, billed as the Bicentennial Heritage Festival is accepting applications through Feb. 15 from entertainers and performers of all genres who have Gate City ties. To apply, contact Brenda Studt at 336.274.4595.

Mercy Mercedes, Love & Reverie, Cutaway Cutie and All At Once at Greene Street in Greensboro on Wednesday. The following night the Michael Roberto Band appears at the Press Wine Café, also in Greensboro.

On Friday, Asheville’s SeepeopleS and Old Stone Revue, a local band, share billing at the Blind Tiger in Greensboro.

The two-day Winterfest at Greensboro’s Somewhere Else Tavern commences on Friday with Forever Remains, Haiz Rail, Curse Your Name, Born From Punches and Contagin. The line-up for Saturday includes the 5 L’s, the 7 Method, Chosen to Suffer, Black Rose Mourning and Voices.

Hopping over to Winston-Salem, the Werehouse showcases songwriters on Friday with sets by Justin Williams, Stuart McLamb and Timothy Poovey. Also in Cancer City on Friday, the Garage’s “Catch a Rising Star Series” features Texas roots music gals Bonnie Bishop and Kristy Kruger joined by Nashville pop-folk stylist Joe Rathbone.

Local scenester Crystal Largen is promoting a “Rock the Cure” benefit for her aunt, Janet Gardner, to defray hospital bills, support medical research and raise awareness about pancreatic cancer at Greene Street on Friday. Among the bands donating their time and talent are House of Fools, Far Less, Classic Case, Beloved and Telescreen.

Also on Friday, Brian Regan performs the Greensboro Coliseum.

Moving up to Saturday, the Werehouse hosts ChImpS: The Children’s Improvisational Symphony, a jam session for children, from 4:30 to 5:30. There’s a fee, so make some advance inquiries before you show up with your younguns. The evening entertainment for the post-cherub set includes Bombadil, Love Language and Paleface.

On Saturday the Garage opens its doors to Jason Ringenberg, former lead singer of the path-finding country-punk band Jason & the Scorchers. He’ll be joined by Chapel Hill’s Two Dollar Pistols, who are legendary in their own right for carrying the honky-tonk torch into the 21st century, and 500 Miles to Memphis, who accurately (I checked it on hail from Cincinnati.

And in Summerfield (northwest of Greensboro for all you non-Guilfordians) on Saturday, 3 Feet Up rises at iCoffee, the venue formerly known as Moby’s Coffee.

Saturday finds the War, Baumer, Josh Thompson and Good Day Hayden at Greene Street. Meanwhile, Outformation, an Atlanta band notching up the road miles with former Widespread Panic guitarist Sam Holt, shows up the Blind Tiger.

Ringenberg will be back at the Garage as his alter ego, Farmer Jason on Sunday. This burgeoning genre of children’s music by aging alt-rockers makes sense in these recessionary times when original fans are trying to stretch a family budget by entertaining themselves and their tots simultaneously. The show starts at 2 p.m.

Born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico and raised across the border in Corpus Christi, Texas, Mando Saenz brings his eclectic songwriter’s craft to the Garage on Feb. 12 as part of the venue’s weekly “American Music Showcase.” Local chanteuse Martha Bassett hosts.

Also on Feb. 12, Greensboro songwriter Molly McGinn, who has recently departed from Thacker Dairy Road, performs with friends at M’Coul’s Public House in Greensboro.