THE BRIGHT LIGHT SOCIAL HOUR
At 11 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26
Hang Fire Bar, 37 Whitaker St.
One of Austin's most beloved bands in its Savannah debut. For just four guys, TBLSH makes a mighty sound - it's got a a guitar-based, classic rock and blues core, with intense flurries of funk (killer rhythm section) and psychedelia, too, topped off by piano and organ and the occasional heart-stopping four-part vocal harmony. "In college, the guitar player and I were into some artsy experimental, hardcore kind of stuff," bassist Jack O'Brien tells us. "But once we started working with our current keyboard player and drummer, we started doing everything real naturally. And we kind of stopped forcing it, or doing what we thought we needed to do to be unique. The current music has come out of that; and we're a lot more happy with that direction."
A good, strong sense of humor can add to an artist's mystique (especially when the music's this good). To finance their 2010 album sessions, the members of TBLSH started a "please send us money" campaign online (see jacksmoustache.com). In a hilarious video, they informed fans that, for specific donations, they'd bake cookies, wash cars, scrub toilets and/or write a love song using the fan's name (of course, each scenario was appropriately acted out by a grateful band). Top prize was the privilege of shaving O'Brien's trademark handlebar ‘stache (it would then be mounted, suitable for wall-hanging). "Usually, it's just us joking around after practice," says O'Brien, who still has his facial hair. "Like, ‘wouldn't it be cool if the moustache talked?'" The band plugged a the vinyl release of their new album with a video called "The Vagina Dialogues" (and yes, it's what you think it is). "I've had some experience with editing video and stuff, so we're able to do those things," laughs O'Brien. "More for entertaining ourselves, really." See thebrightlightsocialhour.com
INTERNATIONAL GUITAR NIGHT
At 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27
Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St. $20-$55 at scadboxoffice.com
San Francisco six-string maestro Brian Gore has been the cog in the IGN wheel for 11 years; he utilizes open tunings, unique chordings and unexpected harmonic structures to make his acoustic guitar sing in most pleasant ways. This is IGN's second visit to Savannah, but Gore - the event's founder - is the only holdover from last year's (incredibly well-received) program. The 2011 virtuosi are Great Britain's poly-dextrous Clive Carroll, Brazilian guitar magician Alexandre Gismonti and the Italian melodicist Pino Forastiere. They'll play individually, in small couplings and as a quartet, demonstrating that the acoustic guitar is both a dynamic and versatile instrument - in the right set of hands. It's a concert, not a jam session, Gore told us last time around: "We don't think anybody that's part of IGN, myself included, should apologize for their chops. The players who are part of the show use their chops to support good music. And that's really the main way you keep it from being out of control." See internationalguitarnight.squarespace.com
CHECK IT OUT
Charleston's Gaslight Street, playing Friday (Jan. 28) at Loco's Grill & Pub, is a bluesy, swampy funk band - Southern Gothic blues with a Macon-in-the'-70s edge to it ... More live electronica and dance music Friday at the Livewire, with Thumbprint opening a show for The Polish Ambassador ... Savannah special: Our own Niche and Damon and the Shitkickers share the Saturday bill at the Jinx ...