Soundbites: Upcoming Concerts

The Black Lillies, The Independents, and Wasted Wine

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The Black Lillies, w/ Forlorn Strangers

SATURDAY, DEC. 3
The Spinning Jenny, 107 Cannon St., Greer
8 p.m.
$15 advance/$17 door

If you listen to the most recent album by Knoxville’s Black Lillies, “Hard to Please,” it’s like a mix of gritty roots-rock, bluesy stomp and just a bit of country twang. Most of the time, it sounds like a cross between Son Volt and the Drive-By Truckers. However, the country chart is where the album, the band’s fourth, has made the most impact, crashing the Top 40 and mingling in Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan territory. It might sound odd, but Lillies’ singer/songwriter Cruz Conteras doesn’t see it that way. “I’ve been into country music since I was a kid,” he says. “What’s considered ‘commercial’ changes a lot, so it’s funny that the music I’ve played has different labels. The labels and trends can change, but the country music connection is no mistake. I’ve loved it since I was a young age, and I think it’s a big part of what I do. I gravitate to classic country music. I see the connection our music has.”

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The Independents, w/ Horrible Girl & The Hot Mess and Prozac Dreams

SATURDAY, DEC. 3
Radio Room, 2845 N. Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville
9 p.m.
$5 (over 21)/$7 (under 21)

For the last 22 years, Florence, S.C.’s Independents have been kicking out an addictive mix of accelerated riff-heavy punk and skin-tight ska, topped by lead singer Evil Presly’s B-horror-movie-style shock-goth lyrics. The Independents have built a rabid, loyal fan base primarily through relentless touring, and they’ve remained true to their name over their two-plus decades, steadfastly avoiding major labels and adhering to the punk principles that their mentor and manager, the late Joey Ramone, passed on to them. “We had a lot of offers, especially in the ’90s,” Presly says. “We could’ve signed with a bigger label and made a lot of money for a year and then become a tax-write off. There are a lot of bands, a lot of friends, who sold over a million records, and now they’re playing to less people than we do. It’s crazy. If a label puts a record out and has a hit with it, then after the hit, you’re gone. If we’d done a big deal, we might have a little money in our pockets, but we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing now.”

 

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Wasted Wine

FRIDAY, DEC. 2
Dive N’ Boar, 2541 N. Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville
10 p.m.
Free

The best way to describe what Wasted Wine’s music sounds like is as follows: Imagine that someone built a creepy old-school funhouse, then placed it in the bowels of a 19th-century ship crewed by traveling gypsy musicians in the middle of a massive storm. The music reels and careens through various styles and moods, taking in Eastern European folk, melodramatic cabaret and straight-ahead indie rock, sometimes within the same song. Over this chaotic, kaleidoscopic maelstrom of sound, vocalists and multi-instrumentalists Robert Gowan and Adam Murphy wail, bellow, growl and moan, diving in and out of different characters’ heads and adding to the general feeling of unease the album creates. Murphy and Gowan work as a creative team during the recording process, with Gowan serving as the linear-minded half, engineering the recording and constructing a narrative flow, and Murphy being more intuition-driven. “I guess one of the ways I think about recording is similar to the process of creating a collage,” Murphy says. “When you’re doing collage work, you combine one thing with something else and occasionally things click in a way that you might not have seen before.”

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