by Ryan Snyder

Upcoming shows you should check out


You’ll never catch anyone saying that the Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival doesn’t come at the right time of year. The biannual Chatham County music festival precisely bookends the beginning and end of the summer festival season, greeting on the way in and offering one last shot for a four-day camping experience on the way out. You’ll never be woken up by 85 degree heat at 8 a.m., but even in this weekend’s fall installment, it’ll be warm enough during the day to help break a good hula sweat. Per the usual, there are four days of good options to help in that regard. The Brand New Life will, for real this time, play their last gig before hitting the Big Apple, and they have the privilege of popping the cork on Thursday afternoon. Chapel Hill psych-folk group Virgins Family Band is the third iteration of what began as Group Mentality before becoming Virgins and putting out a highly satisfying record last year called RGB. However pointless the new name change seems, they continue that trend with the quiet and pop-goodness-laden Honeylion. Shakori is showing its Miami roots more as time goes by, and several sets by Miami bass veteran DJ Billy Kelly digs the EDM niche ever deeper into the typically rootsy event. Vancouver’s Community Trees will come a long way to play Friday evening, and their sumptuous, highly patient brand of orchestral folk will be a perfect mood-setter as the sun sets.

Arguably the must-see band of the entire weekend, massive LA funk outfit Orgone released two more dynamite records this year on the vaunted Ubiquity imprint. That’s not to say the Letter Jackets are chopped liver; their “other” band, Chatham County Line, are Shakori staples. The heart and soul of the festival is its many iterations of Americana, all of which Randy Dean Whitt will explore at some point in his Saturday night set. What he doesn’t, the Mississippi Delta-meets-Mali collaboration of Sidi Toure and Cedric Watson will pick up at the International Blues Express. Kamara Thomas is a rare example of a great rock-and-roller settling in North Carolina, and she extracts the soul from the blues-rock inferno that is her Brooklyn trio Earl Greyhound for her solo sets. What would Shakori Hills be without a great headliner? Robert Randolph is that man, and one need not look far to see who’ll be joining Donna the Buffalo for their closing all-star revue.


In his much-anticipated rock biopic All Is By My Side, director John Ridley has the unenviable task of presenting the life of Jimi Hendrix in two hours without the actual participation of the Jimi Hendrix estate. That means not a single Hendrix-penned tune is present as Outkast’s Andre 3000 assumes the afro and headband onscreen. There will be, however, music by those whom Hendrix called his greatest influences. Among them will be the music of legendary bluesman Buddy Guy, who has inexplicably outlived his greatest circumlocutory protégé by decades, but it’s not as if Guy has, or even could, slow down. The 77-year-old remains a remarkably charismatic guitarist in his advanced age, and he’s in the midst of a lengthy tour that will come to the Carolina Theatre this Friday night. Who knows? After his recent run on the Experience Hendrix tour, maybe he’ll even play some Hendrix tunes. Tickets are $39.50 to $69.50, and Jive Mother Mary will open at 8 p.m.


As much as the internet has been a boon for music, it’s likely that it’s been a curse for They Might Be Giants. The band that burrowed into the brains of late Gen-Xers and early Gen-Yers by getting synced on Nickelodeon and “Tiny Toons Adventures,” simply because they’re weird, catchy and extremely genuine, must find the rowing tough against waters occupied by the way-out likes of Ylvis and rapper Hot Ham N Cheese. Novelty is a hard act to maintain — see the video for “You’re On Fire” from TMBG’s new Nanobots; Laura Lapkus from “Orange Is the New Black” dances around the kitchen while a wad of ground beef serenades her. Talking, sympathetic ground beef? It’s been done, though Nanobots still boasts 15 other mostly quality full-length tracks amidst various comedic bits. The ace is still up TMBG’s sleeve, however. Just like they planted “Birdhouse In Your Soul” as a Pete & Pete interstitial, their children’s catalog is in heavy rotation in by the playpens of the kids of those former kids, so that one day those babies will rock out just like the adults will this Sunday night when TMBG visit Ziggy’s. Tickets are $22 in advance and $25 at the door, and the music starts at 9 p.m. with Moon Hooch.