As Indie Grits has expanded each year into more than just a film festival, so to has the music portion of the festival. From bands like Toro y Moi and of Montreal in the past, this years festival pulls in both top-notch local artists and regional acts to round out five consecutive nights of music.
Opening Party Wednesday April 15
Where: Boyd Plaza at The Columbia Museum of Art
When: 6-11 PM Wednesday April 15
Who: Performances from Michael Parallax/Helado Negro/Hectorina
Why? As Indie Grits has expanded over the years so to has its opening party, establishing itself as one of the best free and open parties in downtown Columbia each year. This year’s opening party expands on past parties with this years downtown location moving to the Columbia Museum of Art and Boyd Plaza. There willl be helium balloon lights floating above and “Grit Man” in the plaza, a life-sized game playable for only a quarter, made possible by Indie Bits. They’ll be plenty of food provided by several food trucks, along with buskers lining the party adding an additional layer of music. The main music acts include electronic artist and performer Michael Parallax followed by the smooth electronic grooves of Helado Negro. Headlining the night is Charlotte’s Hectorina who play a spastic genre bending style of guitar based music. The trio made up of bass, drums, and guitar move way out of the realm of a typical rock band, performing high energy shows and this night performing their latest rock opera Collywobble.
Fork & Spoon & Friends April 16
Where: The Music Farm
When: April 16 8 PM
Why? This show at Music Farm is one of the biggest highlights of the week with all the artists being bands we’ve been fans of for a long time now. Valley Maker aren’t headlining the night, but they’ll surely bring out a large crowd on their return visit to Columbia for the band now based in Seattle. Same is true for Elvis Depressedly who’s seen a growing amount of success since leaving Columbia for Asheville. ED’s upcoming album New Alhambra will be their first on Boston based record label Run for Cover records. This signing and the new album have pushed them into a steady touring schedule and increased attention from national media outlets. This will be ED’s first Columbia show since the announcement of the new album, returning them to the town where the album was finished last summer.
Hunter Gather Hootenanny April 17
Where: Hunter Gatherer
When: Thursday April 17 11 PM-1 AM
Who: ET Anderson/Bellows/Sharpless
Why? I’m often asked who the rising bands in Columbia are, and ET Anderson is always one of the first names that pops up. Since moving back to Columbia, ET Anderson frontman Tyler Morris has been a work horse in the music community, assembling a top-notch band, slinging vinyl at Papa Jazz to help fund his efforts, helping with events like Art Bar Agora, and seemingly non-stop writing and recording music. So why? They’re incredible live and there is no more intimate venue than Hunter Gatherer who is coming out of show retirement to host this event. ET will be joined by two Brooklyn bands Bellows and Sharpless, who play two different styles of atmospheric music.
Hip Hop Family Day April 18
Where: 1700 Block of Main St.
When: Saturday, April 18th, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Who: Nice & Smooth/Monie Love/Big Gipp of The Goodie Mob
Why? Love, Peace, and Hip Hop and Columbia’s Hip Hop Family Day has become one of Columbia’s signature events on its own, but now teamed up with Indie Grits they’ve kicked it up a notch shining a positive light on hip hop with the family oriented event. This years performers include New York duo Nice & Smooth who released four albums in the 80’s and 90’s including their biggest radio hit “Sometimes I Rhyme Slow…” in 1991. Atlanta rapper Big Gipp of The Goodie Mob is an artist with a rich history, making him a perfect fit to headline the event. Festival organizer Sherard Duvall said “This festival mission is to educate Columbia about the hip-hop culture, Hip-hop is rooted in family, education, giving back to the community, discourse, and community engagement and our headliner artists live and breathe this culture.” Big Gipp was one of the key artists in the rise of the Atlanta hip hop seen and has collaborated with such artists as Outkast, Nelly, Ali, Jermaine Dupri, Three 6 Mafia, Ludacris and the Wu Tang Clan.
Closing Party April 18
Where: Nothing To See Here (1216 Taylor Street) – entrance down the alley in the rear of building
When: Saturday, April 18th, 10:00 pm – until
Who: Infiniti Kiss and Mechanical River
Why? Because you’ll want to talk about all of your wonderful Indie Grits experiences with fellow festival goers and there will be awesome music there from Infinitikiss and Mechanical River. Somehow Mechanical River flies under the radar in South Carolina, but is flying higher on the national level. Elvis Depressedly and Toro y Moi were in the same boat, both bands were more popular outside of South Carolina before they were popular here. So far this year we’ve seen a buzzsession with The Wild Honeypie featuring Mechanical River take off and an upcoming tour with Phox in June is sure to be a hit, but Mechanical River’s Joel Hamilton has even more on his plate. He’ll be touring with his other band The InLaws, which also features Owen Beverly, opening for Shovels and Rope. The InLaws also have a new album in the works, having recently finished up recording at Dixon’s Ramshackle Studios.