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College guide: Eight to Watch 

New to the Savannah music scene? Here are a few recommendations

MAGIC PLACES

Paul Goerner is an electronic composer, mixmaster and performer, and his sights are set squarely on the future. He wants to artistically strengthen what he thinks of as “Savannah’s weakness.”

To wit: “Everybody knows it’s a great place to come and see a lot of great forms of music and art preserved and explored extensively, and really well, by dedicated artists. But I’m kind of feeling a lack of some brand new things.”

Goerner is the ringmaster of a rangy collective called the Buttonpusher’s Society. The group consists of electronic artists, spoken word performers, performance artists, standard–issue musicians and anyone else with a creative vision.

The Buttonpusher’s Society does a monthly show at the Sentient Bean, and is working on a regular deal with the proprietors of the Co–Laboratory.

“It was really loose at first,” says Goerner, “but it’s really become pared down to this definition: Electronic and modern experimental musicians and artists.”

He sees the collective expanding into a sort of nexus for modern artists in Savannah. “We start with the performances, and we just go from there – connecting the artists, trying to find other performance venues and events, that sort of thing,” he explains.

All interested parties are encouraged to e–mail magicplacesproductions@gmail.com.

“What I’m looking for is people who are making not necessarily extremely modern music, but are just making their music in a new way,” Goerner adds.

“We’re so good at preserving the past around here, but I want it to stay vibrant and lively. So that’s kind of like my challenge – if we’re gonna keep going, we’ve got to find some new avenues.”

As Magic Places, Goerner’s music is hypnotic electronica based ever–so–firmly on rhythm ‘n’ blues beats and melodies, and what he calls the “pop song structure.”

In the meantime, he’s determined to move Savannah forward by fostering collaboration. “I’m really pushing for people who really have something to showcase, and that they haven’t been able to find the right way to express.”

DARE DUKES

Like the illegitimate love child of Ben Folds and Tom Waits, Dukes is a singer and songwriter of great depth and charming melody. His band, the Blackstock Collection, includes bass, drums, mandolin and accordion. Brainy and smart, Dukes’ music still manages to be uber–accessible at the same time.

SUNGLASSES

Brady Keehn (MNUVR) and Sam Cooper (Hula Hoop, Food Colouring) blew up the blogosphere earlier this year with their single “Whiplash,” and recently returned to Savannah after a stint in New York promoting the release of their debut EP on Lefse Records. Their sound is hard to pin down, but imagine a sturdy electronic foundation peppered with psychedelic pop, Animal Collective and tribal drums.

CUSSES

Punk, metal, thrashy guitar and ... incredibly energetic transfusions of ‘70s disco and ‘80s dance music. A lot of the credit goes to charismatic vocalist Angel Bond, an onstage dervish with a wall–of–power vox, but guitarist Bryan Harder and drummer Brian Lackey drive the car, without a bass guitar – but you’ll be so hooked you’ll never notice.

THE TRAIN WRECKS

Look no further if you’ve got a jones for the type of raw Americana that bleeds Johnny Cash and Hank Williams into Wilco and the Jayhawks. Throw in some Dylan, some Springsteen, and fast picking lead guitarist Stuart Harmening and you get the idea. Texan Jason Bible is the singer and songwriter out front of the hardest–gigging band in Savannah, with a new CD, Saddle Up, set to arrive any day now.

KIDSYC@BRANDYWINE

KidSyc was a mainstay of the local hip hop scene as a solo artist before linking up with the four piece Brandywine this spring. The result is what bassist Charles Hodge describes as “living hip hop,” and the newly minted group has wasted no time bringing it to the people. They just won the grand prize in the GearFest competition off the strength of their first single “Snapshot,” and are about to release a few videos.

NICHE

Justin Dick, Michael Redmond and Tim “Suga White” Clough are a pile–driving trio that delight in highlighting the threads between punk, blues and what they call “hee haw country.” It’s boogie Southern rock, with wicked guitar playing and a surprisingly svelte way with melody.

D.CIANO

He might not be headlining shows  just yet, but D.Ciano has been putting in time at open mics across the city to  promote his most recent mixtape Freshman Year. The SSU student’s debut could draw Kanye West comparisons for more than just its college–themed concept – his  beats are refreshingly musical, and lyrically he’s among the city’s best.

 

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