ryan’s forecast

by Ryan Snyder

upcoming shows you should check out

Taylor Swift’s Speak Now tour hits Greensboro

It’s okay to like Taylor Swift. A lot of people do. Neil Young does. She hasn’t really done anything to warrant dislike unless you count writing her own music, responding to haters with astounding resiliency, and stubbornly refusing to be pigeonholed by the music industry.

When the 21-year-old starlet’s “You Belong to Me” was parodied by “Weird” Al, it was just another rite of passage to mega-stardom. Her most recent album Speak Now feels stretched a little thin compared to her first two, but Swift remains the only female pop country artist with a number-one album to retain songwriting credits for all of her work. That says a lot about the genre, but even more about her as an artist. Swift’s “Speak Now” tour will come to the Greensboro Coliseum on Thursday with a band that’s indicative of her successful crossover status, the Christian Rock band Needetobreathe. Tickets range from $28.00 to $72.50 and the show starts at 7 p.m.

Greaser-goth king brings the big band to Heavy Rebel

Dexter Romweber has made a career of playing with the smallest arrangement possible for a rock band. The legendary Flat Duo Jets were early pioneers of the drums/guitar arrangement while they were resurrecting rockabilly for a punk crowd, eventually inspiring the White Stripes to follow suit. Even though Romweber’s music has mellowed considerably in the last 10 years, his Duo with sister Sara remains true to the old style. Sometimes though, he likes to stretch it out a bit. When he pays a visit to headline the Heavy Rebel Weekender this Saturday night at the Millennium Center, he’s making a fairly rare appearance with his other band the New Romans. The 10-piece arrangement that includes horns and a trio of backup singers has a sound that’s intensely gothic in interpreting of the sounds of Bill Haley and 20 th century classical composers for Romweber’s own music. Of course, Romweber isn’t the only game in town. Aside from muscle cars, wet T-shirt contests, PBR crushing, and bass-slapdowns, the entire weekend is full of the scummiest, rowdiest collection of rock bands this side of Flatbush. Among the must-sees are Sasquatch & the Sickabillies, the Cheats and the Atomic Rhythm All-Stars. The fun starts Friday afternoon and carries through late Sunday, and tickets can be had for $80 in advance and $90 at the door. Single day passes are $35.

Beer, wine, music at Floyd Fandango

Getting lit up like a Roman candle has long been a Fourth of July tradition, and it’s safe to say that this weekend’s Floyd Fandango in Floyd, Va. offers as good of a chance as you’ll find to do just that. There’s a full roster of awesome craft brew and wine vendors on tap ready to get you in the proper mindset to celebrate our nation’s 235th birthday, in addition to a stellar lineup of bands, many playing multiple sets nonstop on the festival’s three stages over two days. At the top of this year’s bill is Swedne-via-New Orleans guitar great Anders Osborne, playing a lengthy two-hour set Saturday night and a shorter one at dusk on Sunday. Back again is the swampy Fandango staple JJ Grey & Mofro. Acoustic Syndicate will play three sets, one of which is full acoustic, and making their Floyd debut are DC garage rockers These United States, also playing three sets. Weekend tickets are $50 through July 1 and $60 after.

EMFfringe kicks off with the Roys

Booking a festival that’s positioned as fringe music with bluegrass, Afro-fusion and folk-rock may seem like an Irish bull of sorts, but within the rigid context of a classically-focused umbrella, it only makes sense. It’s the 50 th Anniversary of the Eastern Music Festival, and July 1 brings the beginning of EMF’s summertime nod to popular music with a performance by the Massachusetts’s bluegrass duo the Roys. The hot-pickin’ brother-sister group possesses a spare style that’s uncommon to contemporary bluegrass that puts their gorgeous harmonies at the forefront. The Roys will play the opening night of EMFringe this Friday at the Triad Stage. Tickets for the show are $22 and the show starts at 8 p.m.