by Ryan Snyder

Upcoming shows you should check out


Perfection in jazz is impossible to quantify. To some, it’s Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, an album whose elegant simplicity inducted countless ears into the wonderful world of jazz. For others, John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme represents all that is great about jazz — it’s an expansive, boundary-pushing masterpiece that demands immersion and rewards like few others. Davis made several great records and soloed on a plane that few have come to truly understand, but Coltrane’s catalog in his decade of recording is beyond reproach. My Favorite Things, Impressions and Giant Steps all approach the sylvan ideal of jazz perfection, but their all only a small part of Coltrane’s monolithic legacy, which will be honored this Saturday in his hometown of High Point with the second annual John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival at Oak Hollow Festival Park. The lineup includes a host of artists touched by Trane’s legacy both directly and indirectly, including a headlining set by Stanley Clarke and George Duke, two titanic jazz figures in their own right. The festival will be hosted by Kirk Whalum, whose new album Romance Language is a smooth-jazz ode to Coltrane’s lone album with a vocal lead, the eponymous John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. Tickets are $60 at the door and $100 for VIP, and the music starts at 12:30 p.m. For the full lineup, visit


Like Slate’s David Wiegel stated in his recent treatise on progressive rock as epic and magnificent as Larks’ Tongue In Aspic itself, you can’t completely eradicate a musical form. No matter how despised and ridiculed it becomes, it will persists in the margins. There will always be tape traders, young Dean Ventures who fall into “Floyd Holes,” bands that base their creative direction on the theories of obscure Italian mathematicians, song cycles inspired by apocryphal Tolkien and niche festivals where bands most have never heard of are salivated upon by übernerds. Prog had its day in the ’70s, but the rock establishment turned on it just as quickly as it was embraced, and has been the black sheep of popular music ever since. It still has its fans though, and with the recent demise of NEARFest after 13 years, a Chapel Hill festival stands to become the country’s most recognized event of its kind. ProgDay will enter its 18th year this Saturday at Storybrook Farms, and the two-day event brings eight bands running the gamut of “unclassifiable.” Among them, there’s the cinematic synth odysseys of Ephemeral Sun, the artier modern rock leanings of Canada’s Karcius, the free-form-minimalism fusion of Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, mutant jazz by Doctor Nerve, the jammier side with local reps Consider the Source and the grandiose symphonic movements of Iluvatar. Weekend passes are $100 and individual day tickets are $65. Kids under 15 are free, just beware the “Floyd Hole.”


Exactly one year ago this weekend, the Triad had a Carolina Chocolate Drops performance, the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival, and a visit from Slick Rick. Seems not much has changed. The rap legend will make a return trip to Ziggy’s on Sunday, and for this show, not much is likely to change with it either.

There’s going to be a “Children’s Story,” a “La Di Da Di,” a “treat Her Like A Prostitute” and maybe his non-canonical verse from Outkast’s “Da Art of Storytelling (Pt. 1).” He’s going to look like he just robbed the Tower of London, it’s going to last about 30 minutes, and it’s going to be fantastic. Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the door, and the music starts at 9 p.m.