Extended play 2.14.07

by Jordan Green

We talk frequently around the office about the relative health of the Triad music scene, especially our corner of it in Greensboro. Of course, we have a long-running complaint about the domination of cover bands, karaoke and second-string ’80s nostalgia acts. When something good comes along, we ask ourselves: Should we pull out the stops to bring it to the public’s attention?

The truth is, there is great music happening in this faded textile, furniture and tobacco hub at the western crook of interstates 40 and 85. As far as I can tell, highlighting it seems to have little discernable effect on turnout. But putting together national touring acts and local artists, the overall picture is somewhat muddled if occasionally stunning in close proximity.

Consider that the most fertile rock and roll scenes have always featured an obsessive interest with innovation and newness, combined with a fierce pride in nurturing local talent. Think Memphis, ca. 1955; Liverpool, ca. 1963; San Francisco ca. 1967; Minneapolis, ca. 1985; Seattle, ca. 1989; Chapel Hill, ca. 1992.

Could it happen here? The elements would appear to be in place but, crucially, the chemistry is iffy. Make what you will of the following rundown:

The Clubhouse in Greensboro has launched a 3-4-5 Live Music Tuesdays series. The deal is three bands for five dollars. Booking agent Holly Daquioag says she’s looking for “emerging bands and bands with original music new and old.” This week the High & Mighties and Hammer No More the Fingers, both from Chapel Hill, will be playing.

Is it a coincidence that tickets for torch singer Norah Jones go on sale on Valentine’s Day? Call me a cynic, but my guess is no. Jones plays Greensboro’s War Memorial Auditorium on April 24.

Seven Mary Three returns from the post-grunge era to play at Bandana’s in Greensboro on Thursday.

Beach music standard-bearers Chairmen of the Board play the N Club on Friday. If you don’t think these guys know how to do a Valentine’s week show, just tune into WQFS FM’s beach music show or the oldies station du jour any odd day of the week to hear the General Norman Johnson-penned “Carolina Girls” and “The Blacker the Berry, the Sweeter the Juice.”

On Saturday, Nanci Griffith’s cabaret tour will swing by the Greensboro’s Carolina Theatre as the Texas troubadour promotes her new torch song collection, Ruby’s Torch.

Los Angeles blues guitarist Debbie Davies will be at Backstreets in Greensboro on Saturday for a concert promoted by the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society.

Jews & Catholics will celebrate their new release, God’s Trash, on Saturday at the Garage in Winston-Salem.

The Wailers, the original band of the late Bob Marley, will be at Ziggy’s, also in Winston-Salem, on the same night.

Back in Greensboro, promoter Kemp Stroble has lined up three local avant-rock outfits, including the Royal Sun, Autopassion and his own Tiny Meteors, for a show at Two Art Chicks on Saturday.

Lastly, the Hot’lanta hip-hop due the Ying Yang Twins will be at Ziggy’s on Feb. 20.