With Hellblinki Sextet, This Way to the Egress
At 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30
Yong's Country Club, 5115 Ogeechee Road. $10 advance, $12 door
Aurelio Voltaire Hernandez teaches stop-motion animation at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He's also an accomplished animator whose twisted short works have been used extensively by Syfy, the Cartoon Network, MTV and other TV outlets. And a toymaker. And the creator of short films. Add to that his books, What is Goth?, Paint it Black - A Guide to Gothic Homemaking and the comic book series Oh My Goth! and what emerges is a gentleman with a bottomless reservoir of imagination, albeit the dark stuff. "If I had to pick a job description," he told an interviewer not long ago, "it would be ‘professional daydreamer.' What I do at the end of the day is create."
His parallel career is as a singer, songwriter and musician, and that's what we're focusing on here. Voltaire is from the Dark Cabaret mold (think: Tom Waits in hell), which is why he's sharing this bill with longtime Savannah fave the Hellblinki Sextet. Both artists play sinister-sounding, minor-key tunes in a dramatically sinister setting, as if Satan himself had a guitar or a piano. The music is vaguely Eastern European-sounding, the lyrics are macabre and purposefully disturbing (and can be very, very funny - Voltaire lives inside Frank Zappa's dark streak).
Song titles include "When You're Dead," "Zombie Prostitute," "Day of the Dead" (that one's from his children's album), "Cannibal Buffet" and "Reggae Mortis." Out any day now is Voltaire's ninth full-length, Riding a Black Unicorn Down the Side of an Erupting Volcano While Drinking from a Chalice Filled with the Laughter of Small Children! See Voltaire.net
THE SHANIQUA BROWN
With Grand Prize Winners From Last Year, Bully Pulpit
At 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30
The Jinx, 127 W. Congress St.
There are parallels aplenty between Charleston's The Shaniqua Brown and Savannah's Cusses. They're both hard-playing, high-energy rock ‘n' roll bands with shredding electric guitar as the cornerstone, a galvanizing drummer and a woman vocalist who commands the attention of everyone in the room. The two groups are pals, too, and shared the stage in front of 500 screaming, sweating South Carolinians over the summer in TSB's hometown.
Since The Shaniqua Brown's local debut during the Savannah Stopover back in March, it's always been a party when they come to town.
This time, they've got a self-titled debut album to plug, and it's almost as fun as being there. With the full-tilt, dervish vocals of frontwoman Rachel Kate Gillon (who has, you'll see in the stage show, a fondness for tutus and bloomers) the band turns in screamers ("Epic"), bizarre boogie ("Foolish Heart"), exhausting faux metal ("Bike Ass") and the sort of indescribable rockabilly/metal mashup they do better than just about anyone ("Hills of Tennessee").
The other members of the band (remember these names) are guitarists Thomas Concannon and Jamey Rogers, drummer David Bair and bassist Denis Blyth.
"I want people to feel about our music the way I feel about the music I listen to," Bair said last month in the Charleston City Paper. "When I put on a Faith No More record, there's a euphoria I get. That's what I want people to have." See theshaniquabrown.com
At 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1
Star Laundry, 616 E. 35th St.
Cusses, the Train Wrecks and Word of Mouth will perform Saturday evening at Star Laundry, in a benefit show for the Humane Society for Greater Savannah and the sustainability non-profit Emergent Structures.
Re:Fest is a day-long event from Sustain Savannah, starting at 2 with live and silent auctions (of dog houses and cat structures built especially for the event), live painting demonstrations and pet adoptions. The music, beginning at 6 p.m., will also include IU and the St. Peter's A.M.E. Church Choir.
Numerous local businesses will be on hand with information, including Well FED, The Savannah Urban Garden Association, and The City of Savannah Environmental Services. The 2012 Green Event Guide will be introduced.
Music, food and beverages are free - donations are encouraged. For information: firstname.lastname@example.org, or see the Facebook page for Re:Fest.