Music News & Reviews

Harptallica rocks Hunter-Gatherer

Harptallica, the grand pedal-harp duo of Ashley Toman and Patricia Kline, rendered Metallica's hard rock and metal overtures as majestic and peaceful songs.

Hunter-Gatherer has become a late-night stage for avant-garde music, such as The Rempis Percussion Quartet, which will release its live two-disc CD

"Hunter-Gatherers" tonight (see The Essentials, page 4), but I can't recall the last time a crowd surged to standing-room-only on the upstairs balcony.

"It was one of the best shows we've had," Kline said after the performance.

One audience member bowed in a "Wayne's World" we're-not-worthy pose that seemed a bit out of place. So were the devil horns held in the air like lighters. But then again, these were Metallica songs.

What's most impressive about Harptallica is that the tension found in Metallica's churning guitars and dread-filled lyrics isn't lost. Songs like "One" and "The Unforgiven" retained their dreary mystique.

Besides being played on harps, the only other perceptible difference was that the performers smiled during the applause.

OPENING SHOP: All-In Entertainment, the local booking agency headed by Charles Wilkie, Dave Britt and Marshall Lowe that also operates Headliners, is now part-owner of Charleston's Music Farm. The Farm, which will be remodeled, will reopen later this month.

GIRLS WITH GUITARS: The girls playing guitar at the "Girls With Guitars Music Festival" won't sling like, say, Marnie Stern or Mary Timony, but they'll still play some music that shreds -- hearts, that is. The free outdoor festival, which begins at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Utopia, will feature more than 20 women playing a variety of styles, from folk to rock. Utopia is at 406 Howard St. off Rosewood.

A (NON) SMOKING YEAR: In 2008, you can flip calendar pages with photos of musicians who want a smoke-free workplace. The South Carolina Tobacco Collaborative, the Christopher Conner Foundation and the Musicians & Songwriters Guild of South Carolina have collaborated on the calendar titled, "Rock 'N a Hard Place, Musicians For a Smoke-Free South Carolina." Secondhand smoke not only makes it hard to sing, but it poses a health to the bands and you.

Bands such as Hootie and the Blowfish, The South, Villanova and Hot Lava Monster appear in the pages with please-stop-smoking testimonials. You can pick up your copy Saturday during the Free Times Music Crawl at The Flying Saucer, Art Bar, Wild Wing Cafe in the Vista and Headliners. Or order from

On the Scene is in favor of smoke-free clubs and bars. Smokers can get fresh air outside, and everyone's clothes will smell better in the morning. Art Bar: Are you listening?

LET'S DO BRUNCH: Every Sunday you can hang out downtown for Main Street Jazz, a sidewalk cafe at Main and Blanding streets. The cafe is hosted by

Eboniramm and her band, Rain, from noon to 2 p.m. Oh, the food? Capitol Cafe will sell it this Sunday. The shows will be broadcast live on WXRY-FM 99.3. Is it a date?

If outside jazz is your thing, the Skipp Pearson Foundation, in partnership with the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, hosts Le Jazz Cafe' from 6 to 10 p.m. Fridays in Finlay Park.

TORO Y CMJ: Toro Y Moi, the electro-folk solo project of The Heist and The Accomplice guitarist and singer Chaz Bundick, was selected to play at CMJ in New York. The CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival is sort of the indie rock fashion week. Bundick will perform at Bar 4 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, on Oct. 18 and at Matchless on Oct. 20. In other Toro news, Bundick's staticky cover of Beach House's "Master of None" was featured Wednesday on Pitchfork.