Otis Taylor’s Picks of the Week

March 16, 2012 

8 tonight: Martha Reeves and The Vandellas at Newberry Opera House. Martha and the Vandellas had their hits, such as “Jimmy Mack,” Heat Wave” and Quicksand.” But all were dwarfed by Dancing in the Street,” which became a Motown anthem. The group headlined the Celebrate Freedom Festival in Finlay Park in April. The opera house is at 1201 McKibben St., Newberry. $45; (803) 276-6264

8 tonight: WUSC Presents at Conundrum Music Hall. This show has a lineup good enough for its own stage at the St. Pat’s. Elvis Depressedly, Cameron Gardner Trio, Dear Blanca, Paleface and Dylan & Dayne will perform. Conundrum is at 626 Meeting St., West Columbia. $5 for over 21, $7 for under; www.conundrum.us

10 tonight: Cumberland River Fly Boys at State Street Pub. Harris Gardner, John Satterfield, Bobby Britt, Rick Hauchman, Jeremy Holt and Dan Eubanks formed this bluegrass band for a Saturday night wedding in Pineville. Instantly, we now think this is the best wedding band in the state. Go see them practice. The pub is at 136 State St., West Columbia; (803) 796-2006

4 p.m. Saturday: Keep Da Peace Car & Bike Show at The Well. Performers include 48 Roy, Lil Brod, BJ Cash, Young Foolio and Blacc Zacc. The Well is at 5880 Farrow Road.

1 p.m. Saturday: St Pat’s Day at 5 Points Pub. OK, the venue is inside the festival, but if modern rock isn’t your flavor and if you get tired of bumping into people, perhaps you might like to listen to some music inside. Taylor Moore Trio, The Dirty Lowdown and Funky Junk Band will perform during the day. It’s $5 to get in, a small price to pay to not have to wait in a long line to use the bathroom. After the Columbia Police Department starts clearing the street of revelers, go to the pub to hear Lefty at The Washout and Brian Conner & His Amazing Friends. The pub is at 2020 Devine St.; (803) 253-7888

7 p.m. Saturday: Angela Easterling at Alien Carnival House Concert. Angela Easterling, a vivacious singer, recently released “Mon secret,” her fourth album but the first sung entirely in French. Easterling wrote the songs with co-writer Marianne Bessy, a Furman University French professor. The CD has been reviewed warmly. She’ll be accompanied by Brandon Turner. The potluck dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. Bring something to share — and your own beer. Elizabeth Cameron will open. $15. To reserve a seat, call 803-413-5676 or email bocelts@yahoo.com.

8 p.m. Saturday: Mix Masterson at Conundrum Music Hall. Mix Masterson is playing this St. Pat’s dance party.

9 p.m. Saturday: Irish Punk Nite at Art Bar. Here’s another direct alternative to the St. Pat’s lineup. Or can it be viewed as an extension of the day? The Bare Knuckle Champions, fronted by Donald Merckle, who played in the Celtic rock band Loch Ness Johnny, will play Irish punk tunes, including music by the Pogues, The Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly. With Buck Stanley and Scottie Frier Band. Art Bar is at 1211 Park St.; (803) 929-0198

8 p.m. Thursday: Steep Canyon Rangers at Newberry Opera House. Steep Canyon Rangers has had their profile raised significantly because the actor Steve Martin likes to sit in with the bluegrass band. In September, Martin and the Rangers shared the entertainers of the year award at the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards. The band had earned respect and notoriety long before the fame. $25 and $30

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