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This infectious, mostly acoustic, white pop-funk duo from Ohio has made quite a name for itself through relentless touring on college campuses and large clubs throughout the country – and it’s paying off.

Of late, they’ve been racking up accolades from folks who are probably worth bragging about (like Dave Matthews’ henchman Tim Reynolds), and folks who the band should probably drop from their press kit (like Michael Jackson’s manager Frank DiLeo).

True, while this group’s entire image is all about kicking back and having fun, you have to give it to them – they’re fairly straight-up. What you see is what you get. They’ve recently attracted some bigtime investors who seem determined to give these dorks the proverbial “push.”

It’s not my cup of tea, but this polished stage show and goodtime party music will likely appeal to fans of Barenaked Ladies, G Love & Special Sauce, and Maroon5, so it’s a recommended gig of the week – or should I say gigs?

Friday night finds them out at a large venue on Wilmington Island that infrequently hosts touring bands. The next night they’re on the main stage in the cavernous NV, with local radio-rock favorites Liquid Ginger opening. Bring some earplugs to that gig, as it can get uncomfortably loud in there. Fri., 9 pm, Shamrock’s Irish Pub (Wilmington Isl.) + Sat., NV Night Club (Sedah/Main Floor).

Left Front Tire, Conshafter, Modern Skirts

Here's a triple-bill of up-and-coming power-pop bands that comes at you from all different directions… current, retro, and somewhere in between.

Opener Modern Skirts hails from Athens, and in a matter of less than a year has emerged as one of the most promising new acts in that vaunted alternative music town. Their mix of British-influenced rock and dreamy American pop stands out like a sore thumb amongst the Gov’t Mule clones and Elephant 6 wannabees that seem to be crowding up the Classic City’s last remaining cheap apartments. Their calling cards are soaring and inventive vocal harmonies which they’re said to be able to nail live, and piano-driven compositions which at times border on prog-rock, while maintaining a healthy respect for memorable hooks. Cross middle-period Radiohead with late-period Joe Jackson and you might come close enough.

Richmond, Va.’s Conshafter is dedicated to crafting “the perfect 3 1/2 minute rock anthem,’ and to that end, they’re eagerly mixing up some of the better aspects of the The Kinks, The Cars, Big Star, and The Beach Boys. Their latest EP sounds quite a bit like Semisonic and Saturation-era Urge Overkill.

Headliners Left Front Tire started way back in 1992 in the humble burg of Cornelia, Ga., when they were barely teenagers. Over the past decade, they’ve coalesced into a breathtaking example of slick, commercial punk-pop. Their powerful stage show helped them nab impressive slots at large festivals, like Atlanta’s Music Midtown.

A few years back, one of their songs got picked up and placed on the soundtrack CD for the smash film American Pie 2, alongside such mainstream success stories as Blink-182 and Green Day. Buoyed by that, but still lacking major label support, they’ve soldiered on, and their newest LP 42 ways To Lose A Friend is out now on an established indie.

It’s a punishing slab of compressed cock-rock whose attack, attitude and production is on par with similar projects that have taken the youth market by storm. Anyone into The Marvelous 3 or Sum 41 will get plenty of instant gratification from this CD – and I’m supposing that’s the point. Fri., The Jinx.

Terrapin’s JamFest

For those Festafarians out there who love nothing more than immersing themselves in the all-day (or multi-day) outdoor jam-band experience – you’re in luck.

An intrepid promoter and a specialty brewing company have joined forces to roll out a compressed, indoor version of the same kind of event, and they’re bringing it to you, instead of the other way around. While the weather’s still a bit on the nippy side, you can enjoy a variety of funky, organic rock bands, sample wares from a variety of counterculture vendors, and enjoy a scaled-down version of the circus-like atmosphere that pervades such gatherings as Bonnaroo and Coachella.

It’s a three-act, six-hour smorgasbord of kind vibes that’s hitting thirteen cities between January and March, and it features non-stop entertainment, intelligent lighting displays, tented vendors, drumming circles, hula-hooping areas, and info from environmental groups.

How exactly will they cram all of this into JJ Cagney’s? I have absolutely no idea, but it might be worth a ticket just to check that out. Bands include headliner Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, as well as regional faves Barefoot Manner and Cadillac Jones. Sat., 8 pm, JJ Cagney’s.


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Jim Reed

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Connect Today 10.26.2016

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