Together for just over a year, Nighty Night assembled in Carbondale, in Southern Illinois, where the snow falls, heavily, with seasonal predictability. This is, in fact, the band’s first trip south, and it’s as much about getting away from the bitter cold as anything else.
The band plays a sort of shimmery, neo-psychedelic folk-rock (they call it “twinkly”). There’s acoustic guitars, reverb-y electrics, insistent bass, drums and ethereal vocals from lead singer Mary Stemper. “It’s rock music,” she tells me, “but it’s a little sweeter than that. It’s a little softer than a lot of rock music, and we use a lot of different effects on guitars and stuff like that. It’s kind of poppy but I think it’s a bit more interesting than that.”
Stemper and the band’s guitarists have been playing together since around 2005, but the bassist and drummer are relatively new additions. “I think a lot of the folk stuff comes from that original three-piece band,” she says. “But since then it’s been transformed, I think in a really good way.”
Nighty Night explored the clubs of the west coast last summer. “And it was cold when we were in California,” Stemper says. “So I hope that it’s a little nicer down south. It should be fun.”
The band’s 7-inch, Belle, was released on Let’s Pretend Records. Listen & learn: www.nightynight.us.
At 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10 at the Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave.
A NICKEL BAG OF FUNK
"It's genre-ambiguous," says Leslie Adele of the selection of tunes her band will be recording live at the Live Wire. The live recording sessions - there'll be a CD out shortly - were part of the package A Nickel Bag won at the recent Rockin' On the River Battle of the Bands (the quintet took the competition's top prize).
"Because nobody ever told me that there are any rules, I don't really have any," explains Adele, the band's lead singer and co-songwriter, with guitarist Johan Harvey). "I think when you're given boundaries up front, then you think ‘OK, I need to stay within these parameters.' But they just said, OK, you've won the Battle of the Bands so you get to record an album of original music.
"And the night that we won, we didn't really have any, but I went home and started writing. It was really that easy." Check it out: Along with the Bag's famous bag of R&B grooves and funk, they'll be playing ‘60s pop, jazz fusion, Latin ballads and speed metal (!) The band's name, incidentally, is a nod to the fact that there are five musicians. "Everybody thinks it's a drug reference," Adele laughs, "but it's not." Listen & learn: www.anickbag.com.
At 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Jan. 7 and 8 at the Live Wire Music Hall, 307 W. River St.
It's been 12 years since aural beatmaster Ramble John Krohn broke into the hip hop scene, and he's since become one of the best-known and most admired producer-slash-artists, from the groundbreaking Dead Ringer and Since We Last Spoke albums and his work with rapper Blueprint as Soul Position, to his music's inclusion in dozens of films, TV episodes, commercials and sports videos and games. He's evolved from the rap and hip hop of his earliest days in Ohio and now is a multi-instrumentalist drawing from all sorts of different genres. His newest release is The Colussus, and you might be familiar with his instrumental track "The Beautiful Mine," which is used as the theme for TV's Mad Men series.
The RJD2 live experience combines DJ work, sampling, electronics, vocals and live instruments. "With the show," he said recently, "I feel like having this band is in a way a culmination of this little perverse desire that I've had in the back of my head. Because from the beginning of doing production, part of what I wanted to accomplish when using a sampler was to trick people into thinking it wasn't a sampler. I'm not saying I've accomplished that, but that was a little side note to what I've been doing from day one with my solo records." Listen & learn: www.rjselectricalconnections.com.
At 10 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12 at Live Wire Music Hall, 307 W. River St. Tickets are $15 advance, $20 day of show.
A professional golfer turned country music singer/rapper? Perhaps there's a second career in Tiger Woods' future? Colt Ford did it - the Athens native was a seasoned linksman before taking up the microphone with Cletus T. Judd, Montgomery Gentry and others. He also wrote "Buck ‘Em," the theme song for the Professional Bull Riders Association. This Savannah Civic Center all-Georgia country fest also includes appearances by Valdosta's Rhett Akins ("Don't Get Me Started," "That Ain't My Truck") and Lance Stinson (from Lumber City, halfway between Savannah and Macon). Listen & learn: www.coltford.com.
At 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9 in the Johnny Mercer Theatre, 301 W. Oglethorpe Ave. Tickets are $25.