Spotlighted gigs and recommended shows 

Sinister Moustache, Port City Music, Surt {The Destroyer} ***

Back in the infancy of Savannah’s original underground music scene, it was not at all uncommon to find completely incongruous acts sharing bills. Jam-bands played with metal groups, art-pop bands played with blues singers, and hardcore bands played with singer/songwriters. True, often the crowds for each attraction didn’t exactly fall in love with the totality of talent on stage any given night, but across the board, local crowds of yore radiated a tangible sense of eclecticism and enthusiasm for live music of most stripes.

In many respects, as more and more bands and solo artists spring up ‘round here to meet the demand for particular genres, Savannah shows that mix and match broad musical categories have become almost nonexistent. That’s one reason this oddball triple-bill of unconventional area acts looks so refreshing.

Independent promoter Tim Walls, who cut his teeth as a high schooler organizing and hyping his annual series of AURA Fests as well as a steady stream of shows by touring punk, hardcore and brutal metal acts at various venues (such as the now-defunct Velvet Elvis and Felicia’s) before relocating to Atlanta, has returned for a few months. He’s wasted no time lining up this unexpected package at the Live Wire Music Hall — an upstart River St. venue hoping to appeal to both the southern rock and jam-band crowd as well as under served indie-rock and alt.country fans.

Sinister Moustache
  • Sinister Moustache

For many, the combination of headliner Sinister Moustache’s relentless, technical prog-metal and playfully snide Quisinart-rock and Port City Music’s throbbing exercises in textural, mid-’80s minor-key mopery may seem a mismatch. Throw in the debut public gig from Surt {The Destroyer}, a brand-new instrumental stoner-rock/Chicago noise/skate-punk/melodic metal trio (featuring two electric bassists and one trap drummer), and things seem even more confusing.

However, each of these groups share at least one common denominator: they’re all intent on writing and performing original music without giving a tinker’s cuss whether or not it’s particularly palatable for the masses, or even commercially viable. At the same time, based on these group’s past appearances (or, in the case of Surt, their members’ prior reputations), everyone involved —including Walls— cares deeply for how their shows come across.

Regardless of whether or not these groups’ songs would sound great butted up against each other on a mix CD, the spirit of camaraderie that runs through this home-grown show will hopefully encourage folks unfamiliar with any —or all— of the bands to use this as an easy and inexpensive opportunity to check out some of the least mainstream rock music being made in Savannah these days. Listen & Learn: sofro.com, portcitymusic.com. Fri., 9 pm, Live Wire Music Hall.

BoomBox ***

This Muscle Shoals-based duo of DJ/producer Russ Randolph (Saliva, Los Lobos) and singer/guitarist Zion Rock Godchaux (son of The Grateful Dead’s Donna Jean Godchaux), blends pounding rock and old-school psych with the driving, trancelike grooves of live-manipulated house music. The result? Trippy, high-energy, song-oriented jams that appeal to a wide (and growing) demographic. Listen & Learn: thisisboombox.com. Fri., 11 pm, Locos (downtown).

The Ruined Frame Quintet, Rock Banned

This Baltimore-based “surreal/real rock band” incorporates odd percussion, kazoos, tape manipulation, violin and whistles along with more expected instrumentation like electric guitars, sax and a drum kit. Their angular, cerebral and vaguely menacing compositions recall the percussive, worrisome vibe of early-period Feelies and PJ Harvey’s cacophonous claptrap of a debut LP. Rock Banned is the latest one-man project from locally-based Jeffrey Zagers, known in Savannah’s low-fi and anti-folk scenes as one half of Jeff & Martha, and for his work with Noche Rider and Kenneth Cowan. He records original tunes onto analog tape (playing guitar, bass, sax and organ himself) and then plays that back through a series of amplifiers, while adding live drums on top of the whole mesmerizing thing. Keith Kozel’s Kaleidoscope DJ Set rounds out the night. Listen & Learn: myspace.com/theruinedframe, myspace.com/rockbandman. Mon., 10 pm, The Jinx.


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Jim Reed


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