by Ryan Snyder

Upcoming shows you should check out

The Our State Magazine songwriting competition

A momentary shift in programming There’s a great contest going on for songwriting hopefuls courtesy of Our State magazine. Carolina Songs seeks the essential music of Tar Heel pride; in their words, music inspired by “our Southern roots, our sense of home, the people we know, and the land beneath our feet….” All genres are welcome, but let’s be frank — it’s Our State magazine. Your progressive black metal band stands no chance, no matter how kvlt the eulogy for the pork-chop sandwich you just smote at Snappy Lunch is. Real songwriting chops will win out, but chances improve with the addition of each bowed or plucked instrument. There’s some staunch competition posted on the contest’s playlist already (see: Marcy Brenner & Lou Castro’s “Hurricane, Flood & Tornado” is a little saturnine in topic, but it’s sung with a real spirit of resilience, the kind of values the eventual winner must possess. On a more perfunctory level, Stacy Claude’s “Dogwood” hits all the right buzzwords — dogwoods, banjos, mountains, water, etc. — but is a little heavy handed at the same time. It’s likely that the panel — Our State Editor Elizabeth Hudson, Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Yep Roc’s Glenn Dicker, Chatham County Line’s Dave Wilson and Laurelyn Dossett — will like pick something that splits those differences, something like Carrie Marshall’s swinging “Queen City.” Deadline for submissions is Sept. 30.

Quarter song, halfa song, whole song, aye!

Word of caution to ticketholders for OJ Da Juiceman’s show at Ziggy’s on Friday: His onstage work ethic can best be summed up by the line, “Rap game easy but the dope game gravy” from “Make the Trap Say Aye.” He was notoriously booed at BB King’s in Manhattan a few years back after dipping out following a three-song set, and Juiceman still treats his shows like Allen Iverson treated practice. That’s not to say there’s not some merit in his fleeting time on stage, but he’s an acquired taste for even the most dedicated trapheads nonetheless. His tense flow only knows one pace, one volume and one topic, but as a wordsmith, he’s the Edward Lear of crafting meaning out of the otherwise meaningless. Beatwise, well, A-Trak’s not there to save him. He’ll be supported by a handful of Southern no-names in Big Kutta, Rico Reed and Teflon (definitely not the Texas rapper by that name), so patience is a virtue, even if Juiceman’s work ethic isn’t. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.