upcoming shows you should check out
SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: TOBACCO CAN BE BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH
A quick exercise in apophenia: Black Moth Super Rainbow frontman Tobacco was born in 1979. Tobacco is named after a plant known to kill large amounts of people. Orchestral Manoeuvres In the Dark wrote a song called “88 Seconds In Greensboro” about the 1979 Greensboro Massacre. Like the massacres and his namesake plant, Tobacco is also known to kill crowds. OMD’s song was on the follow-up to their hit album Junk Culture. Oxford, Miss. electronic duo Junk Culture will open for Tobacco during his Greensboro date at Artistika on Sept. 29. Coincidence? What a fool believes, which is also the title of a Doobie Brothers hit released the year before the Greensboro Massacre. This show is clearly the nexus of the time-space-music continuum and thus should not be missed; just watch out for the black helicopters flying overhead. Unlike the previous exercise, there’s nothing subtle about the music of Tom Fec, otherwise known as Tobacco. When the synthpop wizard performs his solo material at Artistika next Wednesday, expect nothing and you’ll get everything. His junkyard electro can be abrasive, confusing, mellowing and frightening all at the same time, but when you find yourself on the dance floor moving in ways you’ve never thought possible, it’ll all make sense. The Steel City iconoclast’s new album Maniac Meat is a free-for-all of candy-coated synth riffs, robust hip-hop beats and skull-rattling bass fuzz. It’s not for the faint of heart, but intensely rewarding at the same time. He’s joined on the bill by BMSR cohort and bassist Ryan Graveface, also known as Dreamend, whose own music hedges toward the chilling and unsettling. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are available at the door.
THIS WEEKEND’S OTHER FREE LOCAL FESTIVAL
If you’re going to pick a weekend to indulge in free local music, there’s none better than this one. On top of the expansive Greensboro Fest (see this week’s lead story), a veritable institution of street entertainment will take place this weekend when the Tate Street Festival will hit Greensboro for its 37th year. Happening — where else? — on Tate Street, the festival draws its origins from the day street people: hippies, drug users and the homeless, otherwise known as ’70s-era musicians, gathered in the area to do what they do. The gatherings evolved into what you see today: a free open-air crafts and music exhibition featuring locals artists of several media and a fine assortment of local musicians taking to the streets. Starting at noon on Saturday, Matty Sheets & the Blockheads will kick things off only hours after their Lyndon Street Artworks set for Greensboro Fest. Aside from Sheets, there’s zero overlap between Tate Street Fest and this weekend’s other big event, creating an even more robust sampling of local music. After Sheets & the Blockheads, jazz fans will be treated to a show by rising star drummer Ben Jensen’s trio. It gets a little funkier with the Brand New Life afterwards, who had a major hand in making this year’s event happen and will surely feature numerous guests throughout their set. Brand New Life saxophonist Casey Cranford will stick around for a set by local bard and easily the most seasoned Tate Street vet Bruce Piephoff, who’ll also be joined by percussionist Sandy Blocker. Lastly, Latin fusionistas Braco end the day (or start the night) off with a 5 p.m. set, leaving plenty of time to make it to the Green Bean or Studio B for Night 3 of Greensboro Fest. The festival is completely free to experience, but bring cash for the vendors.