Parker Gispert, w/ The Francis Vertigo
Friday, May 12, 9 p.m.
The Spinning Jenny, 107 Cannon St., Greer
$10 adv/$13 door
Fifteen years is a long time to do anything, and that’s how long the Whigs have been banging out their brand of infectiously catchy garage rock. So when singer/guitarist Parker Gispert began a solo acoustic tour recently, it might have made some fans wonder if the Whigs were no more. Turns out they’re just really busy. “Tim, our bass player, is playing with Kings of Leon as an auxiliary musician,” Gispert says. “And he’s also just has had his first child. [Drummer] Julian Dorio also had a son and got married and was playing in Eagles of Death Metal for a while. But the band hasn’t broken up.” After initially filling his sets with stripped-down versions of Whigs songs, Gispert’s tour has been going so well that he’s written his first-ever solo album. “I think for me it’s an opportunity to get back to my roots before I was in the band,” he says. “Some of my favorite stuff is early Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and Nick Drake — albums where there wasn’t a band, it was just a guy and a guitar.”
“OK Computer” 20th Anniversary Tribute, featuring Darby Wilcox, Donna Kay, Josh Riley, Joshua Jones, Brandon Gallagher, Mickey Kriese, Lisa Stubbs, Andy Welchel, Chris Larocque, Troy House, and more
Friday, May 12, 9 p.m.
Gottrocks, 200 Eisenhower Drive, Greenville
Hard as it may be to believe, Radiohead’s revolutionary masterpiece “OK Computer” is 20 years old this month. And that’s a milestone that Mickey Kriese, guitarist for the Upstate band the Trolls, wants to celebrate. “I’ve always been a huge Radiohead fan, ever since I first saw them on ‘120 Minutes’ on MTV back in ’95,” Kriese says. “And I think for people our age, ‘OK Computer’ is the quintessential record for any music enthusiast. I call it our generation’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon.’ It’s had a lot of influence on my development as a musician and songwriter, so I just wanted to pay homage to this incredible record.” Kriese reached out to some of the musicians who played at his tribute show to Weezer’s “Blue Album” last year, and expanded the circle a little to include some unexpected choices, like jazz singer Donna Kay and funk guitarist Troy House. “I wanted to branch out and get some other people involved,” he says. “I wanted to get people who wouldn’t normally interact or play with each other and embrace the community aspect of it.”
State of Illusion, w/ Anonymous Concept, From Identities, and Oak Wind
Saturday, May 13, 9 p.m.
Soundbox Tavern, 507 W. Georgia Road, Simpsonville
Greenville’s State of Illusion plays a seductive mix of tight, complex prog rock with beguiling vocal melodies over the top. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Jacob Porter has managed to keep the group focused on that kind of music for over 10 years, despite a series of lineup changes. “Melody is the most important thing to me,” Porter says. “I love progressive and complex stuff; it’s fun because four chords get boring, right? But ultimately if you can’t sing over it, who cares? I want the song to get stuck in the listener’s head. Even if there’s a complicated guitar part or a weird time signature, I want them to be able to sing to it.” Porter cites A Perfect Circle as one of his influences, and there are moments when his intense vocals are a dead ringer for A Perfect Circle (and Tool) singer Maynard James Keenan. “Was it Einstein who said you stand on the shoulders of giants?” he says with a laugh. “That’s the way I see it. We all start somewhere. Zakk Wylde might be who you want to be like on guitar, and then you develop your own style. I feel like that’s what happened with me. As you grow older, you find your own sound.”