Sound Bites: Dec. 7, 2018

Johnathan Brown. Photo provided.

Thursday, Dec. 13th
WTPT 93.3 The Planet and The Firmament Present P.O.D., w/ Nonpoint and Islander
The Firmament, 5 Market Point Dr., Greenville
7 p.m.

The San Diego quartet P.O.D. may have come in at the tail-end of the nu-metal craze in 1999, but they made the most of their moment in the spotlight. In fact, the band managed an upward arc in the early 2000’s, something the other bands in their genre like Limp Bizkit failed to accomplish. While their 1999 album The Fundamental Elements of Southtown sold a million copies on the strength of hit singles like “Southtown” and “Rock The Party (Off The Hook),” their 2001 follow-up Satellite went triple-platinum, thanks to the dark, moody chart-topper “Youth Of The Nation.” P.O.D. isn’t scoring radio hits anymore, but they’ve managed to remain a popular live act thanks to their rapid-fire mix of heavy riffs, catchy choruses and the infectious rhythms of their rap-rock hybrid. Make sure to get to The Firmament show early to catch Islander, a popular Upstate alt-metal group that’s made some noise on the national scene in the last few years.

Friday, Dec. 7
Fell Out Of Bed: A Beatles Celebration
Gottrocks, 200 Eisenhower Dr., Greenville
9 p.m.

It’s a little harder than you might think to create a tribute show that takes on The Beatles, and that’s because the Fab Four stopped playing live about halfway through their existence as a band. Everything they made after 1966, from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band onward, was created in the recording studio with no thought of how it might sound live. That’s the challenge that John Durham of the Upstate reggae-rock band LOZ faced when he started to put together “Fell Out Of Bed: A Beatles Celebration.” Durham, who will perform classic Beatles material alongside an all-star local group featuring Rush Morgan, Russ Moore, Doug Jones, Neil Alexander, Adam McFarlane and more, had no template to work from. “It’s a tough needle to thread,” Durham says. “A lot of these songs were never conceptualized with the stage in mind. There was a lot of work involved during rehearsals to figure out what they had done, and to pre-suppose what they might have done in a live context. But it’s a blessing and a curse, because it’s nice not to have any preconceptions; it’s fun to guess.”

Thursday, Dec. 13
Jonathan Brown, w/ Sweat Lodge
Radio Room, 110 Poinsett Hwy., Greenville
7 p.m.

Jonathan Brown’s music is a mix of poetry and hip-hop. On his new album, Aggressively Vulnerable, he pours his heart out, tearing into his passionate delivery as he ruminates on own failings, mourns the death of one of his best friends and laments the increasing coldness of the world at large. His lightning-fast cadence allows him to flood his verses with words, but he can play with the beats and reshape his songs like a jazz singer, especially onstage. Hip-hop is a somewhat ironic genre for a poet to draw on, given the music’s usual emphasis on toughness and bravado, but Brown sees it as a good fit for a couple of reasons. “There’s this thing in hip-hop where you have to be MC Mack Truck,” he says. “There’s this machismo that runs through it. Some people believe you need it, but I think we’re better off without it. And I like to go against the rules; that culture is a fun thing to subvert.”


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