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May 17, 2013

Otis Taylor’s Picks of the Week

“Giants,” Back to Rockafellas’, Jonathan Byrd, Blythewood Beach Bash, “Story Squad,” Bad Veins, “Flight”

8:30 tonight: Ned and the Dirt at New Brookland Tavern. Ned and the Dirt, formerly known as Ned Durrett and the Kindly Gents, will release “Giants,” a record that is all over the place. Making no mistake, the preceding phrase was a compliment. Rock, Americana, blues, blue-eyed soul, Durrett, accompanied by an articulate working band, has documented the strength of his songwriting range. The key to presenting such robust ideas is making sure they remain cohesive, and “Giants,” recorded at Archer Avenue Studio, succeeds. Durrett’s falsetto on “Turkish Delight” is nothing short of gripping — and pleasantly surprising. It’s a risk that was worth taking. “Closer,” a clever rock song about a lover’s dwindling influence, has him closer to the radio than to burying his career in, well, the dirt. With Where’s Wolf, Foley and Ben Patat. NBT is at 122 State St., West Columbia. $5 for over 21, $7 for under;

6 tonight and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday: Back to Rockafellas’ at Jake’s Bar and Grill. The Jam Room Music Festival, scheduled for Sept. 21, is hosting a weekend fundraiser by turning Jake’s back into Rockafellas’, the vaunted local rock club that was the leader of the local music scene in the ’80s. (Jake’s now operates in the space where Rockafellas’ rocked.) The three-day event will be similar to a typical weekend at Rockafellas’: rock shows Friday and Saturday and a punk matinee on Sunday. Tonight Buck Stanley, Say Brother and Death On Two Wheels will perform. Saturday it’s Octopus Jones, People Person and Rachel Kate. On Sunday, The Fishing Journal, Bully Pulpit, Abacus and Deathstill will play the punk matinee. In the evening, there will be an acoustic set by Adam Corbett, Brian Hannon, Daniel Machado and Lawdan Mazloom. Go hungry, because the food at Jake’s earned a NFL-sized endorsement last week. Former USC star Marcus Lattimore, who was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, tweeted about Jake’s on May 7: “Everybody go check out the food at @JakesofColumbia.” Jake’s is at 2112 Devine St. $5 for each show; (803) 708-4788

7:30 tonight: The Sensational Epics at The Lourie Center. The Sensational Epics will play for the shag and swing dancers at the former Capitol City Center. Bring your own beer. The center is at 1650 Park Circle. $20; ( 803) 779-1971

8 tonight: Jonathan Byrd at Conundrum Music Hall. Jonathan Byrd, a singer with words that hover like inspirational quotes, is as much a storyteller as he is a singer-songwriter. With Alien Carnival. Conundrum is at 626 Meeting St., West Columbia. $15;

3 p.m. Saturday: Marina Alexandra at the Columbia Museum of Art. Marina Alexandra, a classical guitarist, will perform at The Baker & Baker Foundation’s Art of Music series. The concert will be held in the permanent collections galleries. The museum is at Main and Hampton streets. Free with membership or admission;

5 p.m. Saturday: Blythewood Beach Bash at Cobblestone Park. The fifth annual Blythewood Beach Bash, to be headlined by The Sensational Epics, is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. There will be a silent auction featuring custom-painted Adirondack chairs designed by members of the Blythewood Artists Guild. Bring your dancing shoes and lawn chairs, but no coolers. Food and drinks will be sold. The park is at 5 Links Crossing Drive, Blythewood. $15 per person or $25 for couples. Free for children 12 and younger;

6 p.m. Saturday: A Taste of Camden at the Town Green. The Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County, in conjunction with the City of Camden, will host the second annual tasting event featuring local restaurants. There will also be a variety of music. For more, call ( 803) 425-7676, ext. 300, or visit

9 p.m. Saturday: The Grand Ole Uproar at Art Bar. Later this year, The Grand Ole Uproar, a Greensboro, N.C.-based band, is planning to release its debut full-length “Hippie Tonk.” The title serves as an excellent description of the band’s music. With Plundershop, which is Brantley Fletcher of Cooter Scooters; Release the Dog, an indie-pop band; and Pharaohs in Space, a band fronted by Zach White (we know him from running Art Bar’s sound) that mines various genres from blues to Southern-flavored rock and country. Speaking of flavor, there’s a hot dog roast before the show. Art Bar is at 1211 Park St. $5;

3 p.m. Sunday: “Story Squad” at Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College. This is a sensory-friendly of the hit production “Story Squad,” which celebrates the ways humans communicate stories through music, spoken, lights and more. The show was successful in the fall, but this is a bit different. Though anyone can enjoy it, this performance has been designed particularly for “those along the autism spectrum and others who live with sensory sensitivity.” The theater is at 7300 College St., Irmo. $10; (803) 407-5003 or

6 p.m. Monday: Vista Queen at Trustus Theatre. Vista Queen, the pageant that turns local male personalities into beauty queens for a night, is turning 15. For the anniversary, the pageant is being dubbed “The Year of Crystal.” I have firsthand knowledge of how much effort the men are putting into their characters, because I am one of them — for the second consecutive year. I’ll be competing against Tyler Ryan, WACH-57 anchor; Billy Guess, Tapp’s Arts Center assistant director; Tim Goldman, an arts advocate and Trustus board member; Daryl Byrd, an arts educator and Trustus company member; and Richard Burts of 701 Whaley. The competition is friendly, I assure you. But I think organizers have made it difficult for me to win once again. Really, who could’ve beaten the wonderful Gerald Floyd last year? The pageant begins at 7 p.m. The theater is at 520 Lady St. $40; or (803) 254-9732

8 p.m. Tuesday: Bad Veins at NBT. Pop, when done well, is infectious and pretty nearly incapable of inciting boredom. The duo Bad Veins, through a mix of electro-pop and orchestral flourishes, has created a sound that is catchy, dancey and, best of all, interesting. The band played at the club in November. $8 in advance, $10 at the door

6 p.m. Thursday: “Eat, Drink and Give Local” at First Citizens Courtyard. “Eat, Drink and Give Local” is the finale of the Central Carolina Community Foundation’s 2013 Food & Wine series. The event will feature craft beers, wines and foods from local restaurants and catering companies. DJ GLDFNGR will provide music. The courtyard is at 1230 Main St. $30;

7:30 p.m. Thursday: South Carolina Contemporary Dance Company at Township Auditorium. SCCDC, under the artistic direction of Miriam Barbosa, will showcase various works, some of which contain aerial movements. The Township is at 1703 Taylor St. $25 or $50, which includes V.I.P. table seating a catered food by Miyo’s and Earthfare; (803) 758-5962 for table reservations or (803) 576-2350 for general admission

8 p.m. Thursday and March 24: “Flight” at Longstreet Theatre. “Flight,” an original play written by USC professor Robyn Hunt and conceived and directed by USC professor Steven Pearson, is, according to press notes, a “theatrical poem that explores the thrill and daring of the first women aviators.” The play, which was workshopped at USC, premiered in 2011 at the Connelly Theater in New York. The theater is at 1300 Greene St. $5; (803) 777-2551

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