by Ryan Snyder

Upcoming shows you should check out


The leap that Winston-Salem indie-rock soiree Phuzz Phest (happening April 4-6) has made in its third year is witness, first and foremost, to a genuine admiration for the little guy. In the festival’s first two years, it has further empowered artists who collectively form the city’s musical current, whereas they might otherwise be consigned to canvassing for house parties and back-alley holes in their home city, because, let’s face it, there aren’t many mainstream options for native indie rock outside of Phuzz Phest nexus Krankies and the Garage. For that weekend, they’re the Belles of the Ball; a critical mass too large to be unheeded. Phuzz Phest’s growth has afforded a lot of wiggle room for its organizer Philip Pledger, most perceptibly the additions of distinct third-year headliners in Lower Dens, Mount Moriah and William Tyler, but in the sort of tertiary booking pursuits that swell interest in the event simply by proxy. Most notably, the record label showcases sprouting up at Krankies can be likened to falling down the indie-rock rabbit hole. Last October’s inaugural showcase featured DiggUp Tapes, a North Carolina imprint doing enough (modestly) big things that one would only need a cursory knowledge of Tar Heel music to recognize, but the next installment goes just a little deeper. The Chapel Hill-based Potluck Foundation is an enterprise so artistically interwoven it is like North Carolina music’s version of the Henrickson family, but also home to rock music so diverse that it can’t be cataloged by any single modifier. Their Krankies showcase this Saturday will feature the cloistered electro-pop duo Robes, who will grace Phuzz Phest with a rare live performance in April, alongside Maria Albani’s meditative folk outfit Organos, which counts among its membership North Elementary’s John Harrison, who will himself be performing under his spaced-out solo banner Jphono1, along with Nathan White, who’s also bring his fledgling surf-psych band the Evil Tenors. Whew. By the way, the show is free, and the music kicks off at 9 p.m.


The life story of Mike Farris is almost begging to be scripted into a biopic with Kirk Cameron cast in the lead role. The former front man of Nashville hard-boogie band Screaming Cheetah Wheelies beat an early-age drug addiction that nearly killed him, formed one of the ‘90s hardest-hitting blues-rock bands and began a new life as a born-again in the early 2000s. Currently under the banner of his solo project Mike Farris & the Roseland Rhythm Revue, Farris’s transition has taken the shape of an amazingly powerful 10-piece backing band that possesses the inexorable energy of the Screaming Cheetah Wheelies — and Farris’s own massive voice — in a gospel-rock package that calls upon the best of Stax soul. They’ll come to Carrboro Arts Center this Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $27 the day of the show.