Sound Bites: Captured! By Robots, Craig Sorrells Project, and Grand Ole Uproar

Craig Sorrells. Photo provided

Monday, Nov. 13
Captured! By Robots w/ Sh*t Karate
Radio Room
110 Poinsett Highway, Greenville
9 p.m.

There are few better visions of a dystopian, post-apocalyptic future than the San Francisco “band” Captured! By Robots. A disheveled, dirty man in rags stands center stage in manacles, screaming his head off while two skeletal robots with beaming eyes play merciless hardcore metal on guitar and drums, respectively. When the human in question, Jay Vance, began the project in the late 1990s, he ran those robots himself, literally. “I was controlling everything with my body,” he says. “I was running on top of pedals that I made that connected to bicycle brake cables that went to the hinges on the drums, and I controlled the motor of the guitar-bot, as well. But in 2000, everything got switched over to computer control. Since then, I haven’t really changed the technology of the band. What’s changed is learning how it all works, making the mechanisms more fluid, and learning how to program it correctly.” The harsh music (and harsh lyrical outlook) of the project stem from Vance’s bleak view of the future. “How many times a day do you look at your cellphone?” he asks. “We’re slaves to technology right now. I know I’m addicted. When the next technological thing happens, it’s going to be way worse.” ­–Vincent Harris

Friday, Nov. 10
Craig Sorrells Project
Tipsy Music Pub
1237 Pendleton St., Greenville
9 p.m.

Singer, trumpet player, and bandleader Craig Sorrells hasn’t played much around Greenville since moving to Myrtle Beach a year or so ago, but that’s changing with his two-night reunion of the soul-jazz-funk band the Craig Sorrells Project at the Tipsy Music Pub this weekend. “Greenville will always be my home,” he says. “It’s where I started my career from, and I played with those guys in the Project for two decades. Any time I can put them back together and tear them away from their projects is always a good time.” Sorrells is especially happy to be putting on the shows, which will feature guest appearances from Derek Trucks Band drummer Yonrico Scott and Soul Service singer Audrey Hamilton, among others, at Tipsy, which is partly owned by his friend and former bandmate Charles Hedgepath. “When I was running Blues Boulevard in Spartanburg, Charles was always there to support me booking bands and coming in to play if I needed someone,” he says. “Now that he’s got his venue, it’s only right for me to come back to town and show him some love.” –Vincent Harris

Friday, Nov. 10
Grand Ole Uproar
Smiley’s Acoustic Café
111 Augusta St., Greenville
10 p.m.

There are moments when Greensboro’s Grand Ole Uproar sound like a dead ringer for a 1970s outlaw country band, and then there are moments when they sound like an adventurous, experimental Grateful Dead-style jam-band. And those moments sometimes happen within the same song. On their recent album, “Good Long Spell,” they play what they like to call “hippie-tonk,” a blend of gritty, country-influenced rock ‘n’ roll stretched out jams. And they draw that experimental inspiration from some unexpected places. “To me, it has a lot of do with Bakersfield or Texas,” says singer/guitarist Josh Watson. “We were influenced by a lot of Waylon Jennings’ stuff, because he had a foot in rock ‘n’ roll and then was able to play country music with that backbeat and that Telecaster guitar sound. A lot of those guys, like Waylon and Doug Sahm, wrote those two-chord songs that were a little bit of everything. Those are the ingredients of rock ‘n’ roll.” –Vincent Harris



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