Friday April 19 New Brookland Tavern
The Sea Wolf Mutiny/Slow Runner/Heyrocco/Mechanical River
Saturday April 20 Furman University Earth Day
Music Presented by Awendaw Green and SceneSC
On February 26, 2013 we released our 4th official sampler in our 5 years of existence. On Friday April 19 at New Brookland Tavern and Saturday April 20 at Furman University Ampitheater we’ll be celebrating the release of said compilation with help from our friends at Awendaw Green.
I’ve always looked at SceneSC as some sort of time capsule, with 5 years of backlogged videos on Youtube, pictures, previews on the site, and the yearly compilations being a huge part of that.
“20TEN” was our first big year when we decided to grow out of being just another blog and working towards being something more. Other than the bigger alt weeklies like Free Times and Charleston City Paper we were the only online resource geared towards music made within the Palmetto State. In 2008 it drove me crazy that there wasn’t a blog focused on SC music, when in my opinion we had a lot of great bands here. So we started one to cover the music that we enjoyed, and loved, and also with the focus to cover SC related music news.
Early on it was easier in a lot of ways, and harder in different ways. No one was really looking so we could get away with more. Twitter and Facebook weren’t what they are today so there was less to manage. We rarely got emails so there wasn’t much to worry about there, and no one ever offered us stuff to giveaway so no worries there either. Meredith was going to more shows those days than I was. I had played in bands in my college days, but had distanced myself from the music scene for three years after I graduated from college and was really looking for a way to get back involved and actually put my degree to use, if only a little bit. With that being said, we didn’t have relationships with anyone in the music scene and I am pretty terrible at introducing myself to people. So we just started going to shows, and writing about bands, shooting some video, taking pictures, and hoping to get in people’s Top 10 on Myspace. And it somehow worked. And the slowness of the process, about a year to a year-and-half, helped us gain trust and respect from the bands we were covering.
So what does this have to do with the 2013 sampler? This years sampler has been by far our most popular one to date. We don’t really pay attention to hits, and traffic, and all that jazz around here, we’ll keep doing what we’re doing whether we get one hit or 100,000 a day, that doesn’t matter too much to us. But it’s very important to us that people listen to the bands involved, because we think we have some serious talent here and we love showcasing it.
Now let me tell you a little about the bands playing both showcases Friday and Saturday.
In 2011 Slow Runner toured the world with William Fitzsimmons opening each show, and then performing as his backing band. For years they’ve been one of the top bands in the state, doing what they do in a unique way that isn’t, “We’re going to put out a record and if it doesn’t make it we’re going to break up.” They’ve done their thing with major labels, know what it’s all about, and now both Michael Flynn and Josh Kaler have a grasp on it all. Towards the end of 2012 Slow Runner cleaned out their musical closet, releasing 3 b-side singles along with a re-release of their record No Disassemble. And while Slow Runner isn’t a full time job for either of them these days, music is. Flynn writes video game scores, while Kaler produces music at Hello Telescope recording studio in Charleston, SC. Which brings us to Heyrocco.
When we were putting together the 2012 sampler in October 2011 we had barely heard of Heyrocco when an email popped up in our inbox from them. It was the most perfect introduction email we’ve ever received with the video for their song “Brothers” attached. We were instantly hooked on the “very serious group of children that want to make beautiful music.”
“Rave Monks” is featured on the 2012 sampler, one of their more rock songs, which is a little out of character for them. This year their song “Elsewhere” captures more of a Strokes vibe, more fitting to their live sound. They recorded their first album themselves, they recorded their new EP with Josh Kaler (Slow Runner) and Jay Clifford (Jump Little Children) at Hello Telescope. They tour relentlessly, have toured as All Get Out’s backing band, focus their lives around music, and have the chops to make it to the next level.
The Sea Wolf Mutiny
The Sea Wolf Mutiny isn’t an easy band to wrap your head around or to describe. Soaring indie rock. Very smart diligent songwriting. These things come to mind, but it’s hard to label the band and do them justice. Their live show is a level above typical local bands. Bands that practice once or twice a week or less and play out on occasion. Lead singer Bobby Hatfield is electric live. Expressive, emotive, and connected to the crowd. As a band they feed off the energy from the crowd, like most bands do, but if it isn’t there they create it.
The first time I met Joel Hamilton he wasn’t talking. Other than singing live on stage he was only opening his mouth to eat and drink, which made it an awkward, but polite first introduction. Mechanical River isn’t on the 2013 sampler, and in 2012 Hamilton’s short-lived Babylips project was featured, but last year Mechanical River put out one of SC’s finest releases with Astral Castle. We even put his song “Pomelos” as the top SC song of 2012. Hamilton walks the line of experimental and undeniably catchy, two things that aren’t usually mentioned in the same breath. His live set is something else. A baseball helmet customized with a built in microphone, an ironing board keyboard stand, and a wonderful tambo shoe on his drum set. It’s only cool because the songs are great. Whoa, just wrote that without mentioning The Working Title….dammit!