At 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18
The Jinx, 127 W. Congress St.
The A through Z of this grungy hard-rock quartet is Donald Moats, a local guy who played drums in a lot of Savannah bands - The Reply being the best-known - before deciding to take the guitar, and songwriting, seriously.
(Yeah, we know there are only three people in the photo. Moats has since added a second guitarist, joining bassist Lisa Lombardi and drummer Chris Nelson.)
There are four songs on the EP Habitat Noise, all written by Moats, who played all the instruments and sang all the vocals himself.
"I just went through bands to where the singer was flaky or something like that," Moats explains, "and I said ‘You know what, I'm gonna learn to sing and play.' That way, I don't have to worry about anybody being flaky. It's just me."
This all happened after he'd spent four years in Los Angeles "to explore the musical adventure." After playing 40 or 50 shows, for precious little dinero, he returned to Savannah two years ago and put together a home studio.
"I've been playing guitar since the end of high school, just kind of messing around, but a year ago I couldn't play and sing at the same time," Moats says. "At all."
Making a true "solo" record presents a problem, especially when it comes to live performances. "I knew when I wrote all these songs I was going to want to play them out and promote them," Moats says. "I have friends in town that I knew from when I was here before - hey always liked the music, the sound that I created. They're not hired guns, so to speak, because they're friends, but they understand that I will take the band wherever I go, that kind of thing. It's my project.
"Honestly, now that we've been gigging around I'm way better than I was when I recorded that EP."
Habitat Noise shares a fan base with the punk band Cusses - they're all friends, they have a lot of the same friends, and as a matter of fact Cusses is playing this show with them.
And, Moats adds, every performance is better than the one before. "We're starting to spread out as a band, to where the people in the band are putting more effort in - because they're really getting into it now." The bill also includes Cusses and the Charleston band Firework Show. See reverbnation.com/habitatnoise.
At 10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15
Live Wire Music Hall, 307 W. River St.
What, you ask, is a chupacabra? According to urban legend, it's a hairless, bear-sized animal with sharp teeth and a voracious appetite for the blood of livestock. The word, Hispanic in origin, means "goat sucker." In this case, however, the results are far more pleasant: Chupacabra is a three-member band consisting of guitarist Ted Bowne, drummer Nick Kubley and bass player Will Kubley - all members of the Savannah-bred pop/reggae band Passafire. "We're just playing cover songs, basically, but throwing our own spin on it," Bowne tells us. "The guitar element is acoustic guitar, and we sit down. We switch back and forth, Will and I, and we play some obscure covers. A lot of the songs that we play, people don't know and haven't heard of. But they're just our favorite songs. It's just kind of an outlet for us to play stuff other than Passafire stuff. It's nice to do something a little bit different and still be playing professionally. And we definitely drink a lot more in the Chupacabra setting, because it's not as serious an adventure." See passafiretheband.com.
At 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17
Wormhole Bar, 2307 Bull Street
In what has to be one of the oddest double-bills in Savannah history, the screaming rock trio Howler shares the Wormhole stage with the downtown hip hop collective Dope Sandwich. Dopers Basik Lee, Righteous and Knife (pictured) are rappers wit hthe souls of poets - check out their spring release Union of Sacred Monsters. Basik, in fact, oversees hip hop nights every Tuesday at the Jinx. "All of it's poetry to me," he told us. "I started off doing poetry, and it led into this - starting to rhyme by just putting the words to the beat, and how the technique of putting it to the beat made it different." You know, maybe this pairing is not so strange after all - the two groups are friendly, and reportedly there'll be a fair amount of collaboration on the Wormhole stage. See dopesandwich.com.