Welcome to the Krewe Picks! Every month or two, we will select one member of our esteemed staff (aka The Krewe) to give you an insider perspective about a few interesting shows coming up. We hope you enjoy their recommendations (The Krewe have varied and impressive musical tastes…we’ve seen lotsa shows!)
April/May from SARAH J.
Born in New Jersey and raised in North Carolina, I finally made my way west from Raleigh in 2008. It wasn’t until last August that I began living in Asheville and working at the Orange Peel. Music has been such a large part of my life since farther back than I remember. My parents in lieu of a babysitter took me multiple times to see the Grateful Dead, and I’ve never stopped attending shows since. Even though I take pride in the wide variety of music I listen to, working at the The Peel has definitely expanded my musical horizon even further allowing me to witness a smorgasbord of genres I would normally not think to buy a ticket for. The shows below are just a few of the ones that will really impress you, and I hope to see you there!
Charles Bradley & his Extraordinaires
Wednesday, April 17thth
This past summer I worked for a few music festivals, starting with Bonnaroo. Our campsite was maybe 100 yards behind the main stage and early that Sunday afternoon as I was eating lunch I heard James Brown start his set. Knowing it couldn’t be the legend himself I grabbed the schedule and saw it was an act called Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires. It amazed me how similar their voices are, how the musical styling captured perfectly the essence of Soul/R&B in the 1960′s, and how I had never heard of him before. Turns out even though he and Brown are only 15 years apart, Bradley didn’t get his big musical break until Daptone Records produced his first studio album in 2011. His new album Victim of Love was released April 2 which means this tour will bring more variety to his set. Focusing more generally on love and it’s intricacies rather than his own past, Victim of Love has everything from upbeat, almost bitter, funky grooves to down-tempo ballads that’ll make you want to slow dance real close with that special someone. Bradley expresses a wide range of feelings we have all had before. Every word he writes and every note he sings comes straight from his soul and it is a truly beautiful thing to experience live. Be sure to listen to his track “Confusion” if you are confused about attending the show or not; I guarantee it’ll make you slip on your dancing shoes and head out to The Orange Peel.
To buy tickets, click here.
Wednesday, April 24th
Once again the first time I saw Flying Lotus was this past Bonnaroo, but unlike Bradley I had listened to a few of his tracks prior to the festival. You may have heard him as well; his tracks fill the bumps on Adult Swim and an episode of Adventure Time, and recently he has performed under the name of Captain Murphy alongside Earl Sweatshirt of Odd Future. In contrast to many other electronic artists in the scene today Flying Lotus provides listeners a chance to delve deep into an almost trance-like state with his live performances, without sounding anything like trance. As a nephew of Alice and John Coltrane, FlyLo‘s music not only involves deep bass and embellishing synth lines, but draws heavily from jazz and hip-hop rhythms and arrangements. In his live sets every song flows seamlessly from one to the next and no song is cut short or drawn out too long. There are no sick-to-your-stomach bass drops or constantly repeating hooks, just elegantly formed hip-hop fit for any club or festival. Everything he performs has it’s perfect place and everything will make you want to dance.
To buy tickets, click here.
Monday, May 13th
Hands down one of my favorite artists to ever walk the Earth, this man and his Royal City Band know how to put on a show. Every year since 2004 I’ve been seeing these gentlemen perform and it never gets old, it only gets better. Ritter, who performs in a folk-Americana style, was named one of Paste Magazine’s 100 best living songwriters, is best known for his lyricism which up until his latest album involved an immense amount of story-telling and metaphor (check out “Harrisburg” or “Another New World“). However after an unanticipated divorce Ritter took his writing in a different direction. His new album The Beast In It’s Tracks is by far the most blatantly introspective music he’s released yet. It’s more melancholy and brutally honest than his past 6 albums but has an overwhelming sense of true hope and happiness that seeps through all the sadness. One thing I can attest to is that no matter how many times you listen to his songs through speakers, nothing beats the real thing. The energy that he and his band bring to the stage make the songs more true-to-life and less like a narrative, all the while exuding a strong sense of familiarity and welcome as if everyone in the crowd is a long-lost friend, somebody he can’t wait to tell all his stories to. Twice now in two different years I have taken two separate friends to see Josh Ritter, both not knowing much of him beforehand. Each one left thoroughly enjoying their time spent, no complaints.
Tuesday, May 7th
It came as a surprise to me that this show did not sell out in 15 minutes. Fronted by Jakob Dylan, Bob Dylan‘s son (with a more pleasant voice), The Wallflowers have been around since ’89 but didn’t seem to reach much notoriety until the 1996 release of Bringing Down The Horse which yielded such tracks as “One Headlight” and “6th Avenue Heartache.” In the following years the band produced 3 more studio albums until taking a hiatus in 2007. Now they’re back and it’s like they never left. In October of 2012 The Wallflowers released their 6th album entitled Glad All Over, bringing back their alt-rock sound will a little more rockabilly blues and funk infusion. The first single “Reboot the Mission” and “Misfits and Lovers” both feature Mick Jones, guitarist and vocalist for The Clash. The album is a nice mix of the older, softer, Springsteen-esque anthems, “Constellation Blues” for example, along with somewhat experimental hard rock like “The Devil’s Waltz” which has guitar hooks reminiscent of The Black Keys with flourishes of piano and heavy, animalistic drums. Above all I am most impressed by how fresh yet true to themselves their music is after 24 years. Expect to hear both old and new songs at the show; they’re not the type to only bring a portion of their work to the stage. I can’t think of a better way to let off some steam after work, finals, or whatever you’ve got going on that Tuesday night than to see such a classic band, such excellent musicians, live after all these years.