Otis Taylor’s Picks of the Week

April 27, 2012 

  • INDIE GRITS ONLINE Find live coverage, stories and previews of the Indie Grits festival, concluding this weekend, at thestate.com/indiegrits.

7 tonight: Randy Houser at Tin Roof. Randy Houser began his country music career as a scruffy, long-haired country gentleman. While his look has changed — he’s got a hip haircut — he’s still a country gentleman, a throwback in a genre where looks sometimes steals the show. With Weston Burt and Rick Monroe. Tin Roof is at 1022 Senate St. $17; (803) 771-1558

7:30 tonight: An Evening with Jay Ungar and Molly Mason at Ebenezer Lutheran Church. Jay Ungar, probably best-known for “Ashokan Farewell,” a song used in “The Civil War,” a Ken Burns documentary. Ungar and Molly Mason, his wife, have performed in various folk and Americana bands, including The Mammals, a band that includes Ungar’s daughter Ruth Ungar. Ebenezer Lutheran Church is at 1301 Richland St.; (803) 765-9430

8 tonight: Loretta Lynn at Newberry Opera House. The last time we saw Loretta Lynn in concert, she sat in a chair on the Koger Center stage — and the show was wonderful. Country was great when it was simple, wasn’t it? She did stand for “Honky Tonk Girl,” “Portland, Oregon,” and, of course, “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Lynn’s been having some health issues of late, but when she hits the stage, she gives her all. The opera house is at 1201 McKibben St., Newberry. $60-$85; (803) 276-6264

8 tonight: Magnetic Flowers at Conundrum Music Hall. Magnetic Flowers tend to have jubilant performances. The harmonies are instantly recognized, but the more we hear this band, the more we appreciate the vibrant and clever arrangements. With Judas Horse, a violin-guitar-bass trio that plays experimental shoegaze music. Or something like that. Conundrum is at 626 Meeting St., West Columbia. $5; www.conundrum.us

8 tonight: The Restoration at New Brookland Tavern. The Restoration, with its historically filtered rock music, accentuates its quality performance with a professional stage presence that makes the band’s music more tangible. And memorable. The band has a literary quality much like The Decemberists. We’re looking to hear new music from the band. Soon, please. With Timshel and Channing and Quinn. NBT is at 122 State St., West Columbia. $7 for over 21, $10 for under; (803) 791-4413

9 tonight: Fork & Spoon Records Showcase at 5 Points Pub. Fork & Spoon, a local record label, has provided a connective, uh, table, for some of the scene’s most creative bands. Hear some of the best indie bands in town, the bands that will be remembered as part of this city’s overall cultural movement. (We’re in it now.) Columbia-based Those Lavender Whales, Can’t Kids and Chemical Peel will be joined by Southern Femisphere from Charleston. So good, so good. The pub is at 2020 Devine St. $5; www.indiegrits.com

8 p.m. Saturday: Tish Hinojosa at the Unitarian Universalist Coffeehouse. Performers within the folk music genre can get repetitive, which is systematic of a lot of music by nature. Tish Hinojosa is something different, refreshing. The Latin flavor in her folk music adds a richness that is both smart and warm. The UU is at 2701 Heyward St. $5 to $15; (888) 849-4224 ext., 4

8 p.m. Saturday: An Evening with Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas at Township Auditorium. Alison Krauss is one of the most capable country music performers in terms of tradition. Her music isn’t buoyed by lights and flashy on-stage outfits. She and her brilliant band play the songs and the songs provide the electricity in the room. The fact that Krauss, who has won almost 30 Grammy Awards, isn’t as popular as, say, Taylor Swift, isn’t a knock against Krauss’ talent. It simply suggests that the people who feel music know what’s up and they’re not blinded by all of the lights. It helps to have Jerry Douglas, a Dobro player who is one of the most respected musicians touring and recording. The Township is at 1703 Taylor St. $34.50 to $59.50; www.thetownship.org

9 p.m. Saturday: Kemp Ridley at Art Bar. The rock quintet Kemp Ridley pulls from various music genres to form an amalgamation rendered as blissful pop. The band, fronted by the magnetic Cayla Fralick, has balanced cool-kid swagger with fine musicianship. This band should do more jamming. With Marshall Brown Band, Company and Brave Baby. Art Bar is at 1211 Park St. $5; (803) 929-0198

4 p.m. Sunday: Form and Function at Conundrum Musical Hall. Form and Function is Brett Lee and Dave Robbins. The bassist and drummer, formerly of From the Land, began Form and Function shortly after the former went on indefinite hiatus. Lee and Robbins have been working on this for more than a year, so this debut show should be tight with well-timed bursts of sound. For those familiar with FTL’s post-punk instrumentalism, Form and Function also doesn’t have lyrics, but the music is more broad. Form and Function uses sampled sounds and loops and ambient noise. Take a listen at www.soundcloud.com/form-and-function.

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