All hail the Silver Machine. Calling itself "a mytho-futurist-intergalactic-ohm-rock group," the all-woman band doesn't appear out often; therefore each performance is an event.
They're holding a celebratory "musical ceremony" June 1 at 14 E. Broughton St., the old Primary Art Supply.
The Machine includes Tracy Cox-Stanton, whom I knew back in Gainesville, Florida many years ago as a member of a somewhat bizarre performance art/music collective called the Causey Way (with her husband, Scott "Panhandle Slim" Stanton). She started this new Savannah project late in 2012.
"The Causey Way and Silver Machine parallels didn't really occur to me at the time," Cox-Stanton says, "but I recognize now that the connection is pretty clear ... I guess you can take the woman out of the cult, but you can't take the cult out of the woman!
"But the two bands are very different as well — the Silver Machine is matriarchal, non-hierarchical, shamanistic in its lineage, whereas the Causey Way was much more shame-anistic (!) and televangelist-inspired."
The tribal bottom of this dreamlike silver aggregate is Primary Art's beloved co-owner Robyn Reeder. "If the Silver Machine has a center or focal point, it is Robyn and her drums," Cox-Stanton says.
(The other members are Danielle Rose, Laura Easterling and Sheila Edwards; instrumentation is guitar, organ, drums and theremin.)
"The Silver Machine," Rose tells me, "has been a huge part of my personal and spiritual growth. The connection to the larger picture is something we want to share with our audience as well.
"In addition to playing guitar, theremin, accordion and percussion at this show, I will be administering a Communion ritual to the audience."
The Saturday event will also feature art from Panhandle Slim, Zteven Zangbang, Tim Kerr, and furniture from the SCAD furniture department.
The Causey Way was associated with Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra and his indie record label, Alternative Tentacles. According to Cox-Stanton, Biafra is interested in the Silver Machine and has convinced the ladies to make a record for the label.
It's at 7 p.m., and admission is free.
Live & local on River Street
Kudos to the Savannah Riverfront Association for recognizing, in this year of our lord 2013, the viability (and niceness) of hiring local musicians to play for their downtown events. It has not always been thus, as many a complaining player can tell you, but starting with the recent St. Paddy's Day weekend, things have been turning happily around.
This weekend, May 31-June 1, it's the Blues, Jazz & BBQ Festival on River Street. Come for the ribs, stay for the music — because there's some really good local stuff on the marquee.
Here's the lineup for Friday (3:30-10 p.m.): Georgia Kyle & the Magical Flying Machine; The Hitman; Betsy Kingston & the Crowns. Event hours are noon until 11 p.m.
Saturday (1-10 p.m.): Eric Culberson Band; Bottles & Cans; Those Cats; Jacey Faulk. Event hours are 10 a.m. until 11 p.m.
Sunday (1-4 p.m.): Jeff Beasley Band; Velvet Caravan. Event hours are 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.
And hot rodders will want to check out the Island Car Enthusiasts Car Club show, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
Yessir, it's all family-friendly. Admission is free, although there's a charge for your food and bev.
This week in the clubs
@ On Thursday, May 30, "Paws For a Cause" happens at the Sentient Bean. It's a music, art and dance benefit for homeless animals in the lowcountry, organized by the tireless, talented and sublimely beautiful Nicole Edge — she's the drummer for Dinosaur Tea Party (formerly Free Candy), and a belly dancer, and a full-time boutique soap-maker.
Nicole (with Gigi and Raluca) will do their Mideastern dance thing, Wendy Denney will perform modern dance, and there'll be sets from singer/songwriters Greg Rettig (Nicole's husband) and Basik Lee (winner for Best DJ 2013 in Connect's readers' poll). More stuff is promised.
See the event's Facebook page.
@ Savannah's PAC (Performing Arts Collective) brings it all downtown May 31 for its season-ending variety show, at 8 p.m. at Muse Arts Warehouse.
PAC, of course, is a collaborative made up of the Eastside Players, Spitfire Poetry Group, and Abeni Cultural Arts. The Friday program ($5 admission) includes singing, dancing, comedy, spoken word and more.
@ Indeed, the standup comedy scene in Savannah exists and gets stronger with each passing week. Phil Keeling and Wrath Nasty — two of the best and brightest — perform at the Wormhole Friday, May 31, with the proceeds going to the American Red Cross to aid victims of last week's tornado devastation in Oklahoma. Admission is $10. The next night (June 1) is the Wormhole's monthly "Comedy Planet" show, this one featuring Spencer Dobson and Brian Thomas. Conquistadork Keeling is the emcee.
@ At Dollhouse Productions June 3 (Monday) A Savannah Metal-Punx show with Teenage Bottlerocket, Crazy Bag Lady, Dinosaur Tea Party and still others TBA.
It's an all-ages show! See the Facebook event page.