They call it "retro-futuristic." Fair enough.
Equal parts The Day the Earth Stood Still, Pulp Fiction and Mystery Science Theatre, Alabama’s Man or Astro-Man? built a career out of combining surf rock, sci fi, and punk-infused weirdness.
There’s a definite Devo-meets-the Cramps vibe to a Man or Astro-man? show, as you’ll see if you investigate the Alabama band Friday, April 25 at the Wormhole.
The band started in Auburn, an otherwise conservative college town where bizarre-ness was often met with intense gratitude from students hungry for quirky diversions.
Although MOAM? formed in 1992, and indeed shared a club-circuit heyday with such southeastern artists of the era as Southern Culture on the Skids, the Woggles and They Might Be Giants, a lengthy (12 year) hiatus ended with the Steve Albini-produced Defcon 5 .. 4 .. 3 .. 2 .. 1 in 2013.
Hail to the Duke
Russian-born saxophonist Nikolai Panov is the Coastal Jazz Association’s guest artist for this year’s The Rite of Swing, the 28th annual Savannah tribute to the immortal Duke Ellington.
The multi-piece Savannah Jazz Orchestra, as always under the direction of Teddy Adams and Randall Reese, takes the lion’s share of the Duke salute; this time around, the vocalist is Priscilla Albergottie-Williams, who sings on the SJO’s album Satin Doll (The music of Duke Ellington & Johnny Mercer).
It’s free at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 27, at AASU’s Fine Arts Theatre.
The Rody goes on forever
Longtime Savannah musicians Thomas Claxton has put together a nostalgic day-long concert in memory of Rody’s Music co-founder George Rody and his wife, Carol. It’s at Coach’s Corner May 24, with performances by (among others) the reunited Shut Up & Drive, one of Savannah’s most well-regarded ‘80s bands.
The bill also includes the Rogues, the Born Brothers, the Tradewinds, Roy and Martha Swindell, Saxton/Love/Standard, Claxton and his band the Myth, and still more on the way.
For more info, see thomasclaxtonmusic.com.
News and other stuff
• Let us not forget that the wonderful Woggles are at The Jinx this Thursday, April 24 (you read Jim Morekis’ interview with Mighty Manfred in last week’s issue). Sharing this bill, it bears reminding, is the only Savannah band to ever come close to marching the raw grit and guitar ferocity of Sticky Fingers-era Rolling Stones. Of course, I’m talking about Superhorse. Any band with Kevin Rose and Keith Kozel out front is gonna be the real deal. If you snooze, you lose.
• Jazz guitarist Jackson Evans is one of our city’s musical treasures; I, for one, wish he’d play more concerts and fewer restaurants. Aha! Evans and fellow guitarist Tyler Ross will perform (individually and together) at the next installent of the Trinity United Concert Series, April 30. This series is organized by another player we’re lucky to have, Velvet Caravan pianist Jared Hall. Admission to the 7:30 p.m. show will be $10 at the door.
• Tuesday, April 29 at Graveface Records and Curiosities: Uku Pacha EP launch featuring live electonic sets by Obamabo, Good OJ, Sunglow and Vinay Arora, with after party to follow at the Wormhole with Djs Aeo, Electronic Underground, ADRV and Sleepless Music The Graveface festivities start at 7 p.m.
• See you at the Jinx May 3, as Whaleboat and Ambrose share a bill.
• Also want to remind you about the DJ party of the year, Jonathan Toubin’s Soul Clap and Dance-Off, May 10 at Dollhouse. This was great fun at Stopover 2013.
• The Accomplices are on the road this week, but there’s something local in the works: A second full-length recording, to be called A Truck, a Train, an Old Dump Pile. The band will debut the new record with a show May 24 at Southbound Brewery.