Upcoming shows you should check out
CHARLIE WILSON’S TOUR
You know you’re a player when Snoop Dogg calls you “Uncle,” but as the frontman for one of hip hop’s most sampled band of all time, Charlie Wilson is more like a Godfather.As the voice of the Gap Band, Wilson was at the helm of a 12-man funk juggernaut throughout the late ’70s and early ’80s. Now at age 57, Wilson is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance as a (still funky) solo artist. His 2009 album Uncle Charlie featured hooks by T-Pain, Jamie Foxx and Snoop himself, and Wilson was rumored to be signed to Kanye West’s label GOOD music after lending his vocal’s to West’s track “See Me Now.” It’s hard to say that Uncle Charlie is making a full comeback when he really never left, but regardless, his Saturday performance at the White Oak Amplhitheatre should be a hot one. His live shows are grooving explorations into his full catalog, from the loud and funky to the Quiet Storm, with a six-piece band, backup singers and dancers in tow. If his music hasn’t already done enough to keep your bedroom funky, Wilson has been a leading advocate into prostate cancer research after both losing his father to it and announcing in 2009 that he had been diagnosed with it. Tickets to the show start at $29.50 and the show starts at 8:00 p.m.
WHODAT, WHODAT, THE FESTIVAL YOU’VE BEEN WAITIN’ FOR
Just on the outskirts of southern Greensboro, there’s a little place called DooDad Farm that will play host to a rather unique, homegrown mini festival. The WhoDat Festival returns for Year Two this Saturday and Sunday and its mission remains being a platform for community-created and -supported art and music that focuses inwardly. It’s fully participatory, with workshops, a release party for Greensboro ‘zine Amplifer, mustache competitions and an open mic on Sunday to follow a full day of local music on Saturday. Neo-soul from Dalton Village and the gnarliest of funk by the Chit Nasty Band bookend sets from power-prog duo the Bronzed Chorus and former Carolina Chocolate Drop Justin Robinson, all performing from the intimate, wooded stage at DooDad. Admission is a suggested donation of $15 to $30, all of which goes to the bands, and more information and a full schedule can be found at whodatfestival.com.
FLOYDFEST, SOLD-OUT, AND THAT’S OKAY
There was a time when FloydFest was among the most unsung music festivals in the Southeast, but if the Sandman comics have proven anything, there’s no middle ground between underrated and overrated. In its 12 th year, the festival just recorded its first complete sell-out more than a week before the gates open, but to get there, it has compromised its playfully one-of-a-kind, yet sharply appealing booking philosophy in favor of gambling on bands that could be the flavors of the summer. Well, the headliners were, and the result is that with Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and the Lumineers at the top of its lineup, FloydFest is getting its big-festival sloppy seconds and now it just has to like it, so it’s doubled down on that with the addition of a DJ-dedicated stage and a random comedy act. But hey, selling your event out sure does make it go down smoother, and it’s not like being within earshot of the Chickeneers is going to ruin your weekend (at least not likely). That said, you don’t have to go too far down the lineup to see that this is still a great festival. Despite their major-label debut lacking the teeth of their SideOneDummy records (and Eugene Hutz looking bafflingly clean cut), Gogol Bordello remain one of the best live bands of any order. Ben Sollee plays the best cover of Sam Cooke’s “Change Is Gonna Come” outside of R. Kelly, and the secret is out on Tuareg guitar hero Bombino, but his playing is still an uncommon joy to behold. Likewise with Yancarlos Sanchez, who isn’t limited to strings. Jason Isbell put out one of this year’s best records, which also illustrates a symptom of FloydFest this year: There’s just no mystery, but that also might be the key to throwing a successful festival.