ryan’s forecast

by Ryan Snyder

upcoming shows you should check out


Every song has a story behind it, so says a lampooned version of AllMusic critic “Hollywood” Steve Huey in the occasionally awesome YouTube series “Yacht Rock.” The butter-smooth music of acts like Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Christopher Cross, Steely Dan, Boz Scaggs and Toto that “dominated radio airwaves from 1976 to 1984” was a product of detestable SoCali yuppie culture, recording bland homages to leisure pursuits and flirty ditties penned for the charts. Anyone who thinks there’s a market for that dreck these days, well, that’s what a fool believes. What a… fool believes. Atlanta’s PleaseRock are those fools, paying loving tribute to the crooners of yesteryear through the Yacht Rock Revue, a seven piece unit whose sounds evokes images of fine blue blazers, sturdy maritime canvas and absinthe service. They’ll play the Blind Tiger tonight with a full arsenal of smooth, smooth music starting at 10 p.m. Cover is $6, but you can rely on your old man’s money.


Consider the greatest MC duos of all time: EPMD, Mobb Deep, UGK, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Outkast — all either experienced their peaks during the gilded age of hip-hop or immediately after. The last decade of hip-hop has seen the truly great MCs arrive as individuals, which is why Watch the Throne is such a strange record. Jay-Z and Kanye West haven’t shied away from trading barbs in past records, and given that they stuffed themselves into a studio to make a record together, the final product was surprisingly bereft of that. It’s an old-school joint in theory — West and Jay-Z share their sonic space pretty evenly – but in practice, it’s not something one would expect from two rappers responsible for roughly a quarter of the rap hits of the past decade. There’s an inexplicable, long stretch of silence before one track, “Otis” is credited as featuring Otis Redding even though it’s clearly a sample, and they coattail the dubstep beats of Shabazz Palaces, and the album essentially comes off as the two rappers who are far and away the biggest alive shouting into a void. In their hubris, they go as far to sample Syl Johnson without credit (allegedly — that’ll be decided in court). Yet, it works for the most part on record. Live, it remains to be seen. It could be a singular hip-hop experience, or the stage could collapse under the weight of their egos. Find out at the Greensboro Coliseum this Sunday in only the second venue of the Watch the Throne tour. Tickets range from $39.50 to $218.05 and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.


They hit town too late for Halloween, but the music of the Black Angels can best be summed up as the soundtrack to a ‘60s slasher/ exploitation film. Their music is throwback garage rock soaked in nightmarish levels of reverb, their live shows inundated with seizureinducing Technicolor strobe washes, and their lyrics surreal and disturbing. They’ve been integral in the psychedelic revival, going as far as providing a backing band for his catalog of 13th Floor Elevators material. They’re coming to Ziggy’s on Wednesday, Nov. 2 with likeminded Matador Records artists Dead Meadow and Western-psych vets Spindrift. Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 at the door, and the music starts at 8 p.m.