previous shows of 2015:

2014 shows
2013 shows
2012 shows
2011 shows
here's the link to even older (pre-Conundrian) shows
here's the link to the google calendar

Dave Rempis / Larry Ochs / Darren Johnson

This free-improvising trio came together in the fall of 2011, when Dave Rempis journeyed to the West Coast to discover some things about his compatriots on the Bay Area improving scene. Trumpeter Darren Johnston, a frequent visitor to Chicago, where the two had collaborated in several different settings in the years prior, suggested this trio lineup for a performance at Oakland's Uptown Nightclub. Although Rempis hadn't worked with Larry Ochs before, the latter's renowned experience in the all-horn lineup of The ROVA Saxophone Quartet made the idea especially appealing. From the first few notes, that initial meeting flowed comfortably, yet in totally unexpected ways, with all three making logical structural decisions that gave their improvisations the feel of through-composed pieces. Eager to continue developing this language that the three later came to dub 'invisible architecture', Rempis made a follow-up trip to the Bay Area in the spring of 2012 for two more concerts and a studio recording session. Spectral, the first document of their work, was the result of that visit, and shows an improvising trio playing out an audible game of chess. Not satisfied with simply existing in the moment, these three combine sensibilities to look many moves ahead, setting each other up time and again to capitalize on structural possibilities that give rare and meaningful form to an otherwise very spontaneous music.

Saturday, May 16 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)

Quark Lepton ~~~ Kelley Douglas ~~~
Sean Thomson

Quark Lepton- Psychedelic Folk
Kelley Douglas- Rootsy Soul Folk
Sean Thomson- Ragtimey Americana

Friday, May 15 2015
8:30 (doors at 8:00)

Marshall Chapman

Marshall Chapman is an American singer-songwriter-author who was born and raised in Spartanburg, South Carolina. To date she has released thirteen critically acclaimed albums. Her latest, Blaze of Glory, was hailed a masterpiece. (Click here for NPR interview.)

Chapman's songs have been recorded by everyone from Emmylou Harris and Joe Cocker to Irma Thomas and Jimmy Buffett. (Click here for complete list.)

In 2010, Chapman landed her first movie role, playing Gwyneth Paltrow's road manager in Country Strong. During filming, her musical Good Ol' Girls (adapted from the fiction of Lee Smith and Jill McCorkle, featuring songs by Matraca Berg and Marshall) opened off-Broadway. That fall, Chapman simultaneously released a book (They Came to Nashville) and CD (Big Lonesome). They Came to Nashville was nominated for the 2011 SIBA Book Award for nonfiction, and the Philadelphia Inquirer named Big Lonesome "Best Country/Roots Album of 2010."

Of her three rockin' albums for Epic, the Al Kooper-produced Jaded Virgin was voted Record of the Year (1978) by Stereo Review. Her album, It's About Time' (Island, 1995), recorded live at the Tennessee State Prison for Women, drew rave reviews from Time, USA Today and the Village Voice.

Chapman's first book, Goodbye, Little Rock and Roller (St. Martin's Press) was a SIBA bestseller, 2004 SIBA Book Award finalist, and one of three finalists for the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. The book is now in its third printing.

Most recently, Chapman has landed two more film roles. In Mississippi Grind, which opened to rave reviews at this year's Sundance Festival, she plays the blues-singing mother of a drifter-gambler played by Ryan Reynolds. In Lovesong, she plays the mother of the groom (Ryan Eggold) with Rosanna Arquette playing mother of the bride. Look for 2016 release for Lovesong.

Marshall is a contributing editor to Garden & Gun and Nashville Arts Magazine. She's also written for The Oxford American, Southern Living, W, Performing Songwriter, and The Bob Edwards Show (Sirius/XM). "But music," she says, "is my first and last love."

Carolina Greats Pt. 2

Saturday, May 9 2015
8pm (doors at 7:30pm)

East of Apollo ~~~ Nepotism ~~~ Waccamaw

CD release show! Angsty southern grit!

Saturday, May 2 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)

Dex Romweber ~~~ The Howling Man ~~~ Watson Village

For a quarter century, Dex Romweber has trolled the dark corners and back shelves of the haunted thrift store of Americana ephemera and honed an extraordinarily idiomatic sound, a particular and readily identifiable DEXness for those in the know. It's a creepy doll collection of surf, proto-rockabilly, garage, dark and vengeful blues, and nobody, but nobody, plays it like Dex. First with the legendary Flat Duo Jets and now with his Duo, Dex distilled the punk ethos of less-is-more to the essential guitar/drums template. Left in the wake of his lecherous and slithery Silvertone were early acolytes like Jack White, Neko Case, and the Reigning Sound as well as a current crop of the indie pack like Ty Segall, No Age, Japandroids, and The Black Keys. All owe an unclaimed pawn ticket of debt to his sublime and spine-tingling sound. He is a live wire back to the murky, sometimes dangerous and always unpredictable headwaters of real rock and roll.

Friday, May 1 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)

Dreiberg ~~~ 10 Car Pile-Up ~~~ Miles To Go

At long last, we're releasing our next record, #HereForTheAfter, at one of our favorite venues in town, Conundrum Music Hall! We'll be joined by our pals in 10 Car Pile-Up and Miles To Go, so it's gonna be good times all around. We're incredibly proud of this record and can't wait to get it into your hands, so make sure you're one of the first to experience it!

Saturday, April 25 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)

Thrifted Sisters Vintage Clothing Sale

Saturday, April 25 2015
12pm to 4pm

Rob Mazurek Black Cube SP

Rob Mazurek's newest ensemble, Black Cube SP, features his long standing São Paulo Underground trio with the addition of Thomas Rohrer. Rohrer earned his stripes as a master of the keening rabeca (Brazilian viola) through intense studies with the instrument's leading practitioners in Brazil's northeast. This quartet features Mazurek on cornet and electronics, Mauricio Takara on drums, electronics and cavaquinho (brazilian ukelele), Guilherme Granado on keyboard, synths, and sampler, and Thomas Rohrer on rabeca and soprano saxophone. The group released it's debut record, Return the Tides, on Cuneiform on Oct. 14, 2014. Return the Tides is a startlingly cathartic and magisterial post-tropicalia modern psychedelic spiritual that's as riveting as it is ravishing. You can read more information and hear sound samples from Return the Tides HERE .

Thursday, April 23 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)
$8 advance RIGHT HERE / $10 at the door
(online sales end at 8:30 on the day of the show)

Resonant Rogues ~~~ The Post-Timey String Band

The Resonant Rogues are hittin the road with their new album, Here & Gone Again! They are excited to come back to Columbia, SC, and share the stage with the Post Timey String band. Don't miss this show, as they have a busy year of touring ahead and won't be in Columbia again for quite some time. Mark your calendars and make it out!

Some words about the new album-
"After years of traveling, collecting stories, tunes, and heartaches, the Resonant Rogues have come home again to capture their original songs for posterity. Recorded at the renowned Echo Mountain Studios in the band's home base of Asheville, NC, Here & Gone Again marks a big step for the young band. It's release coincides with the two year anniversary of the group, which was founded by Keith J. Smith and Sparrow, the songwriters, sweethearts, and creative force behind the Resonant Rogues. Here & Gone Again, like the band that made it, wanders from the streets of New Orleans, to the Balkan region of eastern Europe, meanders through the Hot Clubs of France, and comes back to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. In addition to the group's core sound of vocal harmonies, accordion, guitar, fiddle, upright bass, and banjo, the album features special appearances by Je Widenhouse on trumpet (Squirrel Nut Zippers) and Matt Smith on pedal steel guitar (Honeycutters). The Resonant Rogues have created an album that spans genres, decades and continents, with lyrics that hit home and music that will take you far. The band will tour the east coast of the US in May and Europe throughout the summer of 2015 in support of Here & Gone Again, and to satisfy their adventurous spirits."

With a good mixture of quirky and serious, The Post-Timey String Band produce an interesting blend of folk, ragtime, and blues that hails influence from the old and the new. Kelley McLachlan creates the picture with her vocals/kazoo/mouth trumpet and keeps everything in beat with her rhythm guitar (and sometimes banjo!) while Sean Thomson colors everything in with an assortment of stringed instruments.

Friday, April 24 2015
8pm (doors at 7:30pm)

The Writer's Block Poetry Show

The second in a series of monthly shows featuring the amazing Idlewild hosted by Queen It Shall Be.

Each month on the 4th Wednesday, this show will include an open mic, a segment called The Showdown and a feature.

The show will be begin promptly at 7:00 PM sharp! Sign-up for the open mic begins at 6:45 PM.

Tickets are $5.00 in advance and $7.00 at the door. Refreshments will be available for purchase within the venue.

Contact Queen It Shall Be for tickets at 770.727.5717, FB inbox or email at

Wednesday, April 22 2015
7pm (doors at 6:45pm)
$5 advance / $7 at the door

Russian Two Step from Naoto Abe on Vimeo.

9 String Theory

The finest instrumental music from the around the world finds a fresh new voice in 9 String Theory: the unique musical collaboration of Russian domra virtuoso Angelina Galashenkova-Reed and award-winning American classical guitarist John Huston. 9 String Theory performs music of great variety and intense virtuosity, evoking musical traditions both ancient and modern, sharing with audiences the world's diverse musical culture.

Angelina Galashenkova is among the greatest living virtuosos of the Russian Domra (the ancient 3-string lute of Russian folk and Gypsy music). Born in St. Petersburg, at the age of eight she began musical studies at the St. Petersburg School of Music and continued her training at the Mussorgsky College of Music and the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow. Angelina won First Prize in the Russian National Domra Competition in 1990 and First Prize in the International Folk Artists Competition in 1991. She has performed throughout Europe, Australia, Japan, and the United States (including her Carnegie Hall debut in 1991).

John Huston has distinguished himself as one of the most exciting and expressive guitarists of his generation. Guitart International has praised him as "a formidable talent", the Fort-Worth Star Telegram described his "considerable energy and impressive virtuosity", and La Stampa has called his playing "...mesmerizing." The accolades for Mr. Huston's performance are numerous, including First Prize in the 2001 Aranjuez Strings International Guitar Competition.

Together as 9 String Theory, Angelina and John create acoustic sounds like nothing you have ever heard. A 9 String Theory concert is like a musical trip around the world, featuring Latin American rhythms, Russian Gypsy fire, Spanish flamenco, echoes of Eastern Europe, and songs from America. Concerts by 9 String Theory delight and excite the most diverse audiences, and their combined virtuosity will win over the most discerning music lovers.

Tuesday, April 21 2015
7:30pm (doors at 7pm)
$10 adults / $5 students

Peace Potluck with Speaker Tom Clements, SRS Watch

Bring a labeled vegetarian dish and join us for a peace potluck. In honor of Earth Day, we'll hear from special speaker Tom Clements of Savannah River Site Watch about proposals to bring German HEU nuclear waste to SRS, the MOX program, and more.

6PM Dinnner
6:45PM Tom Clements presentation.

Free and open to the public.
Please RSVP. Share what food dish you are bringing if possible.

CONTACT David, 803-215-3263 or for more information

Sponsored by the Carolina Peace Resource Center,

Sunday, April 19 2015
6pm to 8pm

The Hootenanny

Join Cica (Collaborations in Contemporary Art) as we host our first ever "Hootenanny" at Conundrum! This good old fashion musical party includes Brazilian Choro, electronics, classical, contemporary, tango, drums, percussion, and much more! Come hang out, listen to great music, and do some day-drinking to support local music projects.

Appearances include:
Duo Cortado (guitar duo)
ebb:flow music collective (flute and live processing)
Ventus Duo (bassoon and trumpet)
Michael Bies (composer)
The SC Percussion Society
flusSion (flutes and percussion)

Of special note is the EARgarden:
Sponsored and organized by Steci, this production combines gallery-style art observation with music for individual multiple-percussionists. Presented as an outdoor segment, audiences will have a chance to buy a drink and walk around Conundrum's backyard and experience interesting percussive music from unique and individual vantage points. The EARgarden follows a strict timeline, allowing for performances to overlap and interact with one another in a shared environment.

Saturday, April 18th
3pm to 6pm
General Public $6 / USC Students $4

Trevor Watts and Veryan Weston

The duo provides a comprehensive glimpse of what can happen, when two giants of the improv scene coalesce. The musicians' intuitive responses and on-the-fly excursions span a wide-ranging spectrum of styles and fabrics of sound. They render dreamlike notions and contrapuntal motifs amid various peaks of intensity. This jubilant union of the musical spirits features a potpourri of minimalist overtures, circular patterns, and flowing thematic initiatives.' - All About Jazz

Trevor Watts is well known for his involvement with innovative music. In the 60's with the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and his own Amalgam. He went on to develop the unique sounding 10 & 14 piece Moire Music Groups in the 80's. Also the groundbreaking Trevor Watts Drum Orchestra in the 80's and moving towards the Moire Music Drum Orchestra of the 90's (ECM 1440 'A Wider Embrace'). Then Watts formed the Celebration Band, which was made up of young musicians who originally went to his workshops and he formed the band around them. For the last four years he has concentrated on a duo with percussionist Jamie Harris, this has now come to an end (Jan 2008). Latest CD of the duo is "Ancestry" on Entropy(USA)ESR 016. Trevor has played most of his life outside the U.K. and has taken bands to India, Singapore Arts Festival, China, Mongolia, Burma, Sarawak, Malaysia, Sudan, Cameroon, Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Mexico, Barbados, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St Lucia, Trinidad, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brasil, Greece, Turkey, Azores Islands, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Czech republic, Hungary, Poland and the rest of Europe. All under his own name!

His bands have performed at many major festivals like Monterey Jazz Fest, San Francisco Jazz Fest, Chicago World Music Fest, Seattle Jazz Festival, Dallas Museum of Art Summer series, Washington DC July 4th fest, Womad, Berlin Jazz Fest, Khartoum International Festival, Tampere Jazz Fest, Clusone Jazz Fest, Saalfelden Jazz Fest, Wangaratta Jazz Fest(Australia), New Zealand Festival of Arts, Glastonbury, San Sebastian Jazz Fest, Vancouver, Toronto and Quebec to name a few.

Trevor has initiated some very important collaborations. The biggest being with his 7 piece Drum Orchestra and 28 musicians/actors/dancers of the black tradition of the Barlovento region of Venezuela's Caribbean coast. Their group was called Teatro Negro de Barlovento and the combined group project went under the name 'Una Sola Voz' taken from one of Trevor's Moire Music recordings 'With One Voice'. And they played concerts in Europe and South America in the early 90's.

He has also performed with Archie Shepp, Don Cherry, Steve Lacy and Bobby Bradford who was the first trumpeter with Ornette Coleman. And from the UK Tubby Hayes, Phil Seaman & Stan Tracey from the Jazz World. He has also collaborated with Adama Drame, one of the finest Djembe players in the World, he is from Burkina Faso and Cyro Baptista the Brasilian percussionist who also plays with Wynton Marsalis & John Zorn amongst others.

Veryan Weston is best-known for his work with such British avant-garde musicians as vocalist Phil Minton and saxophonist Lol Coxhill. He moved from Cornwall to London at the age of 22, where he began working as a freelance jazz pianist. In 1975, he received a fellowship from the Digswell Arts Trust in Hertfordshire which allowed him to revise a book he'd written on piano improvisation. While at Digswell, he co-founded and composed for the group Stinky Winkles (which also included saxophonist Simon Picard), and collaborated with potter Liz Fritsch and visual artist Stephen Cochrane. He also composed and performed music for film, the most notable being his work with Lol Coxhill on director Derek Jarman's Caravaggio (1985). Weston's interest in multi-media presentations led him to earn a degree in performance art from Middlesex University. He also earned a master's degree in music composition from Goldsmith's College University in London. In the '80s and '90s, Weston worked with the Eddie Prevost Quartet and Trevor Watts' Moire Music, and in duos with Minton and Coxhill. Weston has recorded for the Matchless, Acta, Ogun, and Leo labels, among others. In addition to being a prominent free jazz-oriented musician, Weston is also an accomplished mainstream jazz pianist.

Friday, April 17 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)
$12 advance RIGHT HERE / $15 at the door
(advance sales end at 8:30am on the day of the show)

Contour ~~~ Infinitefreefall ~~~ ACADEMIA_

Thursday, April 16 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)

Welcome to the Machine

Wednesday, April 15 2015
7pm (doors at 6:30pm)

Stage Hands ~~~ Magnetic Flowers ~~~ Infinitikiss ~~~ Naan Violence ~~~ The One and Only Matt Miller

Stage Hands is multimedia artist/producer Brandon Locher and drummer/producer Gerald Mattis. On Feb. 10, 2015, Johnstown, Pa. music and art archive My Idea of Fun released their self-titled debut LP in vinyl and digital formats. Since 2006 Brandon Locher has quietly disseminated more than 60 releases under various monikers and in various mediums. Mostly recently, Locher was at the helm of the 20-person avant-orchestra The Meets and the group's It Happens Outside LP. Also a visual and conceptual artist, Locher has recently debuted visual work with Ghostly International. Stage Hands is the most recent iteration of Locher's creative output, formed in 2013 with longtime friend Mattis. On the duo's debut LP, Locher constructs his signature sonic and rhythmic collages, weaving elements of jazz, ambience, and IDM into his production, alongside Mattis's sure-handed drumming, split between acoustic and electronic kits. Stage Hands revel in the binary -- not just zeroes and ones, but also binaries of acoustic/electric, analog/digital, abstract/accessible, and theory/praxis. Within its 26 minutes, the Stage Hands LP patiently burst and blooms from placid and mediative, to nervous and glitchy, to pulsing and malleable. Ultimately, Locher and Mattis create a self-contained cosmos ruled by their own theories, laws and forces, giving way to a polychromatic world with plenty of terrain to explore.

Magnetic Flowers is thematically poignant lyrics pushed through an American Rock Filter. What if Neil Young started a "punk" band?

Infinitikiss is a project of Mr. Jenkins. There will probably be a lot of instruments.

Fronted by sitar player Arjun Kulharya, Naan Violence creates dreamy, mirage-like sitar music that evokes the mystery of an endless expanse of desert sand.

The One and Only Matt Miller is a singing songwriter from Johnstown, PA, currently residing in Harrisburg, PA. He has a very common name. He has an identical twin. He is the One and Only Matt Miller. Forget all those other Matt Millers. You no longer need them. His songs emphasize a love for what the right words can do when twisted and layered into new meanings, and not a love for much else. Most songs are so dark they become lighthearted, or sad enough to make you laugh. He released his second full-length, Harasite, in November 2014, and released Butchers Sleep Little in March 2015. Butchers Sleep Little is 35 songs commissioned for a University of Pittsburgh Johnstown production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle, by Bertolt Brecht.

Saturday, April 11 2015
8:30pm (doors at 8pm)

Jacob Wick and Shane Parish ~~~ Occupants

Here's a review of their album objet a: "If memory serves, objet petit is a Lacanian term that stands for the interchangeable but ultimately unattainable object of desire (or something like that). How this concept is, beyond being its title, related to the duo recording to be reviewed in the next few paragraphs is admittedly a bit of a mystery to me, but the good news is that no knowledge of Jacques Lacan's esoteric psychoanalytic theory, let alone of 'Lacanese', is required to appreciate the music.

So, let's start over again: objet a is the outcome of a collaboration between guitarist Shane Perlowin and trumpeter Jacob Wick. Perlowin's name might be familiar to those interested in the more adventurous side of rock music; however, as he has proved on the more recent - and stylistically more varied - albums of his main band Ahleuchatistas, he's clearly not willing to restrict himself to any particular style or genre. By contrast, Jacob Wick is, at least to me, an entirely new name; that said, his playing here suggests a background in free improv.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, the music they make as a duo is almost as hard to pigeonhole as it is difficult to grasp Lacan: objet a sounds like the product of careful deliberation, but it's definitely not tightly composed; at the same time, it has a certain looseness to it without being a typical improv record; and finally, the 'structured improv' tag isn't appropriate, either, since there are hardly any typical recurring themes on display here. Style-wise, it's similarly ambiguous, with elements of jazz, new music, drone-y ambient and more creeping into the mix, but never taking center stage.

It's mostly slow-paced music that proceeds carefully and deliberately; unlike some other (improv-)duos, Perlowin and Wick are not afraid of silence and don't try to conceal emptiness with frenetic playing. On the contrary, they are clearly interested in the possibilities of negative space, in letting notes and sounds be shaped by the silence that surrounds them. Consequently, objet a is, in a way, 'nocturnal' music, with sounds emerging like shapes out of pitch-black darkness. This accounts for some of the record's appeal; it lends quasi-coherence to the proceedings and invites the listener to listen very closely, to grasp each sound before it is swallowed up again by the darkness.

Nowhere, perhaps, is close listening more amply rewarded than on "It's over there", where increasingly gruff trumpet sounds are juxtaposed with flamenco-like guitar runs. Still, to single out one track here is to miss the point, since the tracks segue into one another and are obviously meant to constitute a sort-of-narrative. If there's anything that does warrant being singled out, even against better judgment, it's probably Wick's playing. While Perlowin's skills and taste are almost a given by now, Wick has really amazed me here; he employs a wide variety of extended techniques, hissing like a leaky gas pipe in one moment and sounding like a rodent rummaging about in a garbage bin during the next.

To sum up, this is frequently fascinating listening on the borders between jazz, free improv and perhaps new music &aaccent; la Ligeti."

Occupants is the finest noise/jazz trio in the metropolitan Columbia area. Michael Crawford, drums; Gabe Madden, trumpet and guitar; Tom Law, live manipulations

Friday, April 10 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)

Carolina Greats, Part 1

Thursday, April 9 2015
8pm (doors at 7:30pm)

$300 Bounty Slam

The Bounty Slam 16 poets will compete in 3 rounds of poetry to get the chance to face off against one the only Ed Mabrey 1 on 1 in 3 rounds of poetry you can take away 3 of his poems the winner will get $250.00 the loser will get $50.00 the entry fee to slam is $25.00 for the public $15.00 at the door doors open at 7pm the slam will start at 8pm if you would like slam contact Bugsy Calhoun (803)206-3661 Who wanna take down Ed Mabery?

Saturday, April 4 2015
8pm (doors at 7pm)


Annual Sundresses, Sandals, and Spoken Word Poetry Showcase Dress Theme: Mama Africa. Wear your best African/Batik Print Dresses for an Impromptu Fashion Show!

Performers: Selah the Poet, Bugsy Calhoun, Candace Wiley, Tavis P. Brunson, James Harris a.k.a. IdleWild, King Shakur (new book release)

Features: Elliot Axiom (the Velvet Teddy Bear... TRUST, ladies!) and Tamika Harper a.k.a. Georgia Me

Sunday, April 5, 2015
3:00 p.m. -- 6:00 p.m.

For more information, please see

Ruba Say and the Cosmic Rays ~~~ Avi Jacob

Starts off with Charleston's Avi Jacob then the explosive sounds of Ruba Say And The Cosmic Rays in their ultimate performance,and possibly their last!!! End the night with big jam!!!So if you love rock and roll come on out for a night you'll never forget!!!

Friday, April 3 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)

Pinna ~~~ Waccamaw ~~~ Walk With Porpoise

"In truth, much of Pinna 's strength derives from its commitment to well thought-out musical explorations around solid, listener-friendly songs. Sure these guys have chops like nobody's business, but it never feels directionless or tepid. Instead, the group excels at high energy, entertaining sets that can win over almost any audience." - Kyle Petersen, Free-Times

On Waccamaw: "Their high-energy sets encompass a cornucopia of musical flavors; one minute they're wailing like the long-lost second half of the Allman Brothers, the next they're paying quick tribute to alternative rock gods Radiohead, all sandwiched between jam sessions. You don't always know what pulsating sounds are going to come next, and, truthfully, you may not want to." - Mary Cathryn Armstrong, The Daily Gamecock

"Walk With Porpoise has a sense of quirky sophistication that belies its members' youth. The band prefers laconic pop to teenage angst and singer/guitarist Richard Wells sounds like a not-so-grumpy Velvet Underground-era Lou Reed." - Michael Spawn, Free-Times

Friday, March 27 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)
$6 21+ / $8 <21

Kenosha Kid

In Thomas Pynchon's novel Gravity's Rainbow, the Kenosha Kid is a maddeningly ambiguous figure: it might be a cowboy, or a dance, or a Sodium Amytal-induced hallucination (or all of the above). Guitarist/composer Dan Nettles (who, by the way, has never been to Kenosha, WI) conceived his namesake band with similarly uncategorizable intentions. This Kenosha Kid might be an indie rock band, could be a modernist jazz ensemble, can probably be considered a jam band, and most definitely is all of the above.

All of those different identities emerge at different times (and, very often, several at once) on Kenosha Kid's new album, Inside Voices, due out March 3rd. The album is the first of two planned releases (the second, Outside Choices, will follow in 2016) to result from a week of intensive exploration in Nettles' native Athens, Georgia.

"We're kind of a family band", Nettles says. "I tell everybody, 'Do your thing and we're going to showcase that.' It's always a joy to be with these guys, and it always knocks me out that they want to come play."

As celebratory as much of the music sounds, it was also born out of its share of hard times. Nettles' mother passed away after an 18-month battle, and when he thought about recording again it was with one question in mind: "What would make my mom happy?" The answer was to create music in ideal circumstances with some of Nettles' favorite collaborators.

Gathering his core triomates, bassist Robby Handley and drummer Marlon Patton, and a trio of horn players who he met through the Banff Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music -- Mexico City trumpeter Jacob Wick, Berlin-based alto saxophonist Peter Van Huffel, and Seattle tenor/baritone saxophonist Greg Sinibaldi -- Nettles arranged for a six-night residency at Hendershot's Coffee that allowed the band to gig by night and record by day. The arrangement allowed Kenosha Kid to enjoy the best of both worlds -- stretching out with lengthy improvisations and experiments each evening, boiling the results down to concise, focused statements the next afternoon. The former are evident in a number of live recordings available on Nettles' website, while the latter make up Inside Voices and its upcoming companion piece.

"We have this wild, sprawling performance thing", Nettles explains, "but the studio is an instrument. I knew the players that I was writing for could really craft something for a five-minute window that would be interesting to listen to all the way through but at the same time have moments of wild improvisation that work within those compositional ideas."

Nettles claims that he only writes three types of songs: Action, Comedy, and Goodbye. Inside Voices' opening track, the atmospheric "Vanishing Point" is one of the latter; the oldest composition, it appeared on Kenosha Kid's 2005 debut Projector and is, Nettles says, "about being at peace with change. It's sad, but I feel like it's also uplifting. It's a song about finding the beauty of being able to say goodbye properly." On the flipside is a song like "Zombie Party", a raucous slice of surf-rock slapstick that imagines the undead romping poolside.

"Fabrication" was inspired by Nettles' "brushes with insanity", which he recounts in both his family and in the musical community. The song is built on the shaky ground of a 7/4 ostinato to, the guitarist says, "explore some of the dark places that your mind can create." Another Goodbye song, "Liberty Bell" uses a touch of southern-rock drawl to the uneasiness that can accompany freedom -- especially when it's unexpected.

The range of Nettles' influences can be summarized by a song like "Map of the Universe", which draws inspiration from both the classical guitar music of Cuban composer Leo Brouwer and from Sacred Songs, Daryl Hall's little-known debut solo album produced by King Crimson mastermind Robert Fripp. The abstract funk of "Mushmouth" pays homage to both James Brown and Fat Albert's Junkyard Gang; the palindromic closer "Everyone I Know" to Nine Inch Nails by way of Johnny Cash (the song's title is drawn from the lyrics to Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt", memorably covered by the country legend).

Thursday, March 26 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)

The Writer's Block Poetry Show featuring Tavis Brunson

The first in a series of monthly shows featuring the very talented member of The Unusual Suspects, Tavis P Brunson hosted by Queen It Shall Be.

Each month on the 4th Wednesday, this show will include an open mic, a segment called The Showdown and a feature.

The show will be begin promptly at 7:00 PM sharp! Sign-up for the open mic begins at 6:45 PM.

Tickets are $5.00 in advance and $7.00 at the door. Refreshments will be available for purchase within the venue.

Contact Queen It Shall Be for tickets at 770.727.5717, FB inbox or email at

See you there!

Wednesday, March 25 2015
7pm (doors at 6:45pm)
$5 in advance / $7 at the door

Columia Infringement Arts Festival 2015

Conundrum Music Hall will be the focal point of the Columbia Infringement Arts Festival on March 21. The venue has opened its doors to festival participants for free and is offering a day full of artistic expression.

12:00 Artists Hour- Student and community artists will be showing some of their artwork and participating in an open discussion about their processes and inspiration.

1:00 Artists Showcase- Sunshine Delusions, a favorite local band, will be playing while festival attendees can continue to enjoy artwork as well as live painting by Tucker Prescott.

2:00 Artists Showcase- East of Apollo, local student indie rock band, will be playing while festival attendees can continue to enjoy artwork as well as live painting by Tucker Prescott.

3:00 Circus Hour- Rachel Hipszer and fellow circus artists will be demonstrating their expert skills at Conundrum.

3:30 Film Hour- A showcase of the talented cinematographers in our community.

4:30 Witching Hour- A performance by Ritual Abjects, the loose-membership spontaneous radical pomo witchcraft collective that does noise music, performance art and other witchery.

5:30 The Special Half Hour- Watch Alice Aaron Wyrd, of Ritual Abjects, and OK Keyes film the last segment of Witchcraft Now!

Saturday, March 21 2015
Noon to 6pm

Bruce Molsky

To play traditional music, you've got to be something of a folklorist, hand-selecting songs learned from field recordings, festivals, and old-timers. Bruce Molsky goes above and beyond: the world's premier old-time fiddler walks around with a library's worth of lyrics and music humming in his head. Molsky's brand of "global folk" has led to stints with the GRAMMY-nominated Fiddlers 4 and the Irish, Hungarian, and Dutch musicians of the supergroup Mozaik.

His latest work is a collaboration with the group Anonymous 4, a new CD entitled 1865 - Songs of Hope and Home from the American Civil War.

Thursday, March 19 2015
7:30pm (doors at 7:00pm)
$12 advance RIGHT HERE / $15 at the door

Cathy Stayman Productions and bigSphinx Productions present

Anne McCue ~~~
Marv Ward and The Blessed Souls

Bluesy songstress and multi-instrumentalist Anne McCue has just recorded her 6th studio album -Blue Sky Thinkin' - with co-producer Dusty Wakeman (Lucinda Williams, Dwight Yoakam) in Los Angeles. The album has been mastered by Ray Kennedy in Nashville. The album reunites the band from her critically acclaimed 'Roll' album and allows Anne to explore some of her favourite influences, including Billy Holiday, Charlie Christian, Howlin' Wolf, Albert King, Nick Drake, Astor Piazzola, Peggy Lee, Bessie Smith.

"I've been a fan of guitarist/singer/songwriter Annie McCue for many years so I'm very honored and happy about singing with her on a damn fine song for her upcoming album. She wrote the song with John Hadley and the brilliant David Olney. You can't go wrong with such talent." - Dave Alvin

"I had done some gigs with Annie McCue out in California and thought that besides her phenomenal playing and great songs she had a unique presence. She has an angelic quality to her but also a Charlie Chaplin-esque vibe. Fearless and tender and alluring." - David Olney

Veteran blues guitarist Marv Ward grew up in the small town of Lorton, Virginia. He played his first gig at 10 and started performing professionally at age 16. He's played in literally dozens of bands over the past 45 years and has secured his place among bluesmen with his straight-forward no-nonsense blues style. It's a little bit Delta, a litle bit Piedmont, a whole lot of R&B, but mostly, it's straight up Rev. Marv Ward.

Tuesday, March 17 2015
6:30pm to 9:30pm
Hors d'oeuvres at 6:30
$12 in advance RIGHT HERE / $15 at the door



Three stages set up around the room.
Audience in the middle.
Each act does one song per round.
No openers.
No headliners.
Non-stop action.

Friday, March 13 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)

Ava Mendoza's Unnatural Ways

Unnatural Ways is the main project of Brooklyn-based guitarist Ava Mendoza. Originally formed in early 2012 in Oakland, CA as a trio with west coast musicians Dominique Leone- keys and Nick Tamburro (Dead Science)- drums, the band toured steadily in the U.S. and Europe before Mendoza relocated to NY in 2013. Soon after the move, she reformed the band with NY musicians Tim Dahl- bass and Max Jaffe- drums.

In the last year Unnatural Ways has toured in the U.S., Canada and Europe surrounding performances at the 2014 Victoriaville Festival in Canada and the 2014 Moers Festival in Germany. Over the course of these shows the band developed their highly personal sound; sharp, heavy, and psychedelic.

Drawing from complex rock, avant jazz and warped blues music, the players push the boundaries of their own vocabularies and of the written music to put on powerful and unpredictable live shows. Their self-titled full-length LP will be released on the New Atlantis label (William Hooker, Microwaves, Elliott Sharp) in Feb. 2015.

Thursday, March 12 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)

Musician and Songwriters Guild of South Carolina present
3/9 Songwriter Showcase

The Musician and Songwriters Guild of South Carolina ( is pleased to celebrate the talent of the Guild and support the growing culture of local music aficianados by hosting a "Songwriter Showcase" event. This showcase will feature three exceptionally talented Guild members "in the round": Laurence "Luckyman" Beall, Susanne Kappler and Tom Coolidge.

Monday, March 9 2015
7pm to 9:30pm (doors at 6:30pm)

Der Wawawa ~~~
Keefe Jackson & Jeb Bishop

Der Wawawa:
Rico Baumann, Drums; Marco Mülle, Bass; Benedikt Reisin, Saxophone.
They've fished in troubled waters in Lüneburg thwarted bad weather on a Vorarlberg meadow with their rainfall-resistant rhythms, and dared to eat andouillette sausage before going on stage at the La Défense Jazz Festival in Paris. They've been on the road together making music for more than ten years, but the long years haven't taken the spring out of their step. Rumor has it they're still "one of the freshest and most agile saxophone trios since Sonny Rollins forgot to give his pianist directions to the gig" - (Jazzthing)

Sunday, March 8 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)

The Power Co. Collaborative

The Power Company Collaborative will present a one night outdoor collection of our most recent dance works at Conundrum Music Hall on Saturday March 7th, 2015 @ 7:00 pm.

We will be presenting work by Erin Bailey, Amanda Ling, and Ashlee Taylor.

Entry is $10 general admission and $7 with a student ID at the door. Beer and wine will be for sale inside the event.

Come see what PoCoCo has been up to lately!

7pm (doors at Saturday, March 7 2015)
$10 General Public / $7 Students

Ultrafaux ~~~ The Ruby Brunettes

Baltimore gypsy jazz trio Ultrafaux and Columbia's The Ruby Brunettes will share the stage once again at Conundrum Music Hall.

Baltimore band UltraFaux performs original acoustic music with Romani, Sinti, Musette, Swing Manouche, Funk, Blues, and Dixieland influences. The band is an acoustic powerhouse of two guitars and upright bass. Sami Arefin and Michael Joseph Harris trade dazzling leads and harmonize together on rich gypsy-inspired melodies. The dynamic Eddie Hrybyk on upright bass holds down the steady swinging pulse and brings his passion for improvisation to the group.

Ever wonder why they named the band Ultrafaux? Here is the story:

Their friend Tomas from Orchester Praževica suggested the name UltraFaux on their FB site when they asked fans for the best band name. They kept coming back to Tomas' suggestion, noticing the various layers of meaning it could have. It was also unique and unmistakable. Ultrafaux means 'out of tune' in French which is just funny. Like naming a restaurant 'bitter' or something. The juxtaposition of the fox with the word 'faux' also kind of hints at our notorious mispronunciation of French words here in the states. Another important element is that it alludes to Django Reinhardt's composition 'Ultrafox', one of Django's first originals he recorded in 1935. Django was known for his play on words and the title Ultrafox was based on the name of the studio where they recorded called Ultraphone. Ultraphone sounds a lot like Ultrafaux doesn't it? So we have come full circle.

It was the song Ultrafox (and other original compositions) that really set Django's Hot Club of France apart from all the other Jazz bands at the time. So the name means a variety of things for the band. Its a funny play on words, but it also signifies their move into the arena of original music much like the song Ultrafox did for Django's group in 1935.

Friday, March 6 2015
8:30pm (doors at 8pm)
$12 in advance RIGHT HERE / $15 at the door

Hypercolor ~~~ Occupants

Hypercolor is a trio with Lukas Ligeti on drums and Eyal Maoz on guitar, and James Ilgenfritz on electric bass... sort of a 'no-wave shred' concept... John Zorn calls it "A crazy collaborative jazz-rock unit out of the new generation of Downtown improvisers, Hypercolor is a bizarre trio that blends Beefheart, Sonny Sharrock and "80s punk with contemporary classical orchestral textures, spastic world music rhythms and noise improvisation".

Occupants is a freeform improv/noise/jazz trio consisting of Gabe Madden (guitar/trumpet), Michael Crawford (drums), and Tom Law (live manipulations).

Monday, March 2 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)

Cathy Stayman Productions and bigSphinx Productions present

An Evening with Webb Wilder

There are Roots-Rockers, and then there's Webb Wilder.

Hardly a purist, he has described the music he and his band, The Beatnecks, make as, "Rock for Roots fans and Roots for Rock fans." In essence: Rock and Roll. There's nothing new about combining R & B, Rock and Roll, Country, Blues, Pop and Rock. The Rolling Stones and the Beatles proved that it can yield marvelous and diverse results. I said he wasn't a PURIST. I didn't say he wasn't very PICKY about the quality of the music. That includes everything from the sonics of the recordings, the choice of players, the influences he draws on, the songs he chooses to cover, or how attentive he is to the craftsmanship of his own songs.

Saturday, February 28 2015
7pm to 10pm
Hor d'oeuvres at 7pm -- bring a dish or snack!
$15 in advance RIGHT HERE / $18 at the door

Boyfriend ~~~ Ahomari ~~~ Autocorrect

Boyfriend ~ Schoolteacher by day, cabaret rap instigator by night, New Orleans-based rapper Boyfriend creates a truly unique persona--witty, pansexual, librarian, super heroine, nerdy, sex-positive, predatory rapper. With her signature granny glasses, raunchy lyrics, reversal of clichés, catchy hooks, and commanding performances, this show is not to be missed.

Ahomari ~ chillwave, electronic experimental, lo-fi goodness from Columbia.

Autocorrect ~ noise rap, experimental nerdcore, retrowave trip hop from Columbia.

Friday, February 27 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)

Rock N Roll Rebels Show
Skull Baby ~~~
Mac the Ripper ~~~
Dr. Roundhouse ~~~
PB&J ~~~
You, Me and Us

Thursday, February 26 2015
8:30pm (doors at 8pm)

Pisaro/Stuart/Halverson: Congaree Nomads

Friends of Congaree Swamp presents a FREE event at Conundrum Music Hall. Congaree Nomads, a 72-minute film by Michael Pisaro, Greg Stuart, and Nathan Halverson, combines sound and video from Congaree National Park with a large-scale instrumental score. The audio for Congaree Nomads uses 24 three-minute field recordings made by Pisaro and Stuart along Cedar Creek--the Kingsnake, Weston Lake Loop, and River trails--that create a nomadic series moving gradually from the sounds of Cedar creek towards the Congaree River. Instrumental "fogs"--harmonies composed by Pisaro and recorded by Stuart on percussion--overlay these audio recordings. Finally, video shot by Halverson and Stuart near Cedar Creek and the Kingsnake trail intersect with the field recording and percussion layers to create a continually evolving sound-image.

Saturday, February 21 2015
8:00pm (doors at 7:30pm)


What is Beauty Slap?

It is electronic music. It is five horns, a laptop, and a guitar. It is beautiful. And it slaps.

Friday, February 20 2015
10pm (doors at 9:30pm)
$12 advance RIGHT HERE / $15 at the door

presented by the USC School of Music and bigSphinx Productions

Von Strantz ~~~
Frederick Ingram ~~~
Tyler James Cook

Fast-rising Americana act Von Strantz (Mishawaka, Indiana) creates honest, beautiful and brilliant folk music that leaves you wanting more.

"If you don't have a soul child, you're gonna have one by the time we're done," declares front-woman Jess Strantz. She and multi-instrumentalist Kelsey Horton write music "for real depth and real community . . . what's important is that we be humans and love each other."

Launched in 2012, Von Strantz has already received some love from the international press, with Canada's CBC Music blog pronouncing "Cigarette Smoke" (from their latest release, NARRATIVE Chapter III: 1818) "a song you need to hear." An intensive touring schedule, with more than 270 shows booked, has helped the band forge connections with thousands of fans in true indie style.

Armed with an array of acoustic instruments such as the mandolin, violin, bass, and cello, Von Strantz presents the ebb and flow of two different musicians, exploring the dark and emerging with hope. The sound is described as folk n' roll, akin to the tradition of Over the Rhine and the sacredness of The Vespers; the spirited instrumentals stir the soul much like those of Mumford and Sons.

Sounds like just the ticket for a Post-Valentine's Day Soul Recovery Matinée, perfectly timed to restore your spirits as you return from romance to reality.

Filling out the bill with a decidedly masculine counterpoint and a bit of comic relief are Frederick Ingram ("A Bard for our Time") and Tyler James Cook (of Brass to the Future and The Lovecrafts).

Sunday, Feb 15 2015
3pm (doors at 2:30pm)

Reno's Birthday Trip, featuring:
Space Coke, Mason Jar Menagerie, Smoke Dog, Ritual Abjects

Friday, February 13 2015
8:30pm (doors at 8pm)

Christian Lee Hutson ~~~ Post-Timey String Band ~~~ Mario McClean

Thursday, February 12 2015
8:30pm (doors at 8:00pm)

Sean Gaskell

Sean Gaskell features traditional songs on the Kora, a 21 string harp that he learned how to play throughout the course of multiple visits to its homeland in Gambia, West Africa. The Kora is native to the Mandinka people who live within the countries of Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, and Guinea Bissau. The music is traditionally played by oral and musical historians known as Griots (Gree-ohs). The Kora is a very melodic and seemingly peaceful instrument, which is contrary to its musical repertoire.

Many songs tell ancient stories of war and hardship, while others praise people of high political status and those who helped expand the Mande empire. While the Kora is only 300 years old, some commonly played songs can be traced back 800 years to the founding of the Mande empire. Gaskell has studied extensively under the instruction of Malamini Jobarteh and Moriba Kuyateh, both of Brikama, Gambia. He was first inspired to play by Kane Mathis, a Kora player formerly based in Seattle who has lead 'The Kora Band' and 'The Sahel Band'. Gaskell relocated from Seattle to Asheville, North Carolina in 2014. He has been featured at a number of music festivals in the US, Gambia, and Senegal.

Sunday, February 8 2015
4pm (doors at 3:30pm)
$10 for adults / $5 for students

The Columbia Community Drum Circle will be playing in the Conundrum courtyard before the show,
from 1:30pm to 3:30pm!

Joie. ~~~ The Lovely Few ~~~ Infinitikiss

Saturday, February 7 2015
8p (doors at 7:30p)

Twin Courage ~~~ Pretty Feet ~~~ Stefanie Santana ~~~ the good witch and her familiars

Twin Courage, an acoustic duo from Greenville, SC will be ending their Winter Tour with a performance at Conundrum Music Hall on Friday, February 6! Joining them will be local acts including PrettyFeet, Stefanie Santana, and the good witch and her familiars! This will be such an amazing show! I promise that this show will blow you away! For any additional information, feel free to click on the tagged names to see their Facebook music profiles OR on the links below that lead to their music.

Friday, February 6 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)

Tracy Shedd ~~~ Susanne Kappler ~~~
Tonya Tyner

"Tracy Shedd has surely been someone's best kept secret! Upbeat, bittersweet and intimate lyrics coupled with a musical style quite human and bringing the right amount of balance needed to ensure there's nothing pretentious about any of it. There is real grit and honesty within her songs that will endear her to you." - Subba-Culcha

Susanne Kappler: "Her strength as a performer and her dramatic, smoky vocals provide poignant narration to complement her powerful talent as a songwriter." - Cola Town Fizz

"Tonya Tyner... [is] a gifted musical communicator... [with] appealingly honest vocals... extremely original... [with] an obvious spark. Her songs make points and they get to them quickly." - Big Western Flavor

Saturday, January 31 2015
8pm (doors at 7:30pm)

Husband ~~~ Ghosts of the Kodiak ~~~ Daddy Lion ~~~ Matt Crumpton (of Two Fell in a Foxhole)

Friday, January 30 2015
7:30pm (doors at 7pm)

Battle Trance Promo Video from Travis Laplante on Vimeo.

Battle Trance ~~~
Dan Voss + Nic Jenkins ~~~

Battle Trance transcends genres, but also transcends time and space. Existing in the cracks between contemporary classical music, avant-garde jazz, black metal, ambient, and world music, Battle Trance is an ensemble that pushes the four saxophonists to the limit, shedding new light on the saxophone as an ensemble instrument. The players use circular breathing to build continuous, hypnotic waves of sound; multiphonics layer to create intricate textures that seem to come from an ancient time; and blisteringly fast lines seem to liquefy into each other. Unorthodox articulations and unusual fingerings are also part of the vast sonic vocabulary that the members of Battle Trance have painstakingly mastered

Dan Voss + Nic Jenkins will be playing a sort of free verse melodic spazzing with angular to minimal song structures. Happy, uncertain.

Occupants is a freeform improv/noise/jazz trio consisting of Gabe Madden (guitar/trumpet), Michael Crawford (drums), and Tom Law (live manipulations, synth).

Thursday, January 29 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)

Amelia White ~~~ Sergio Webb
w/ Hobart Trotter & Jennifer Griffitt

Many of you are already familiar with the guitar work of Sergio Webb. You may know mostly of his work with David Olney. He is a master! He is a songwriter in his own right, too. On Wednesday, January 28th he will be laying down his phenomenal guitar licks and background vocals with songwriter Amelia White. She is touring in support of her new CD, "Old Postcard" which came out this past February.
We hope you can join us for our social hour. If you'd like, bring a light dish or small bites to share. The Conundrum stage will be graced by a couple of duos who are dedicated to the art of music and have carved out a piece of their lives they'd appreciate sharing with us. It leaves little doubt the evening will be one of exemplary music, laughter, and comradery.

Amelia White: Home, history, and family take different shapes on Old Postcard. Over steadily propulsive drums and echoing guitars, the album's title track finds White looking back at the ghosts of her family, realizing that dreams that don't come true are still dreams after all. "Big Blue Sun" is told from the perspective of a homeless man who dreads the daylight and the masses that flood in with their daily routines of normalcy. It features ethereal backing vocals from Sally Barris and gorgeous nylon-string guitar from Sergio Webb. With a haunting, noir-ish sound, "Hollow Heart" is the dark tale of a motherless child and the deep sense of longing that develops within. "River Of My Dreams" features snarling guitars, as White sings of all the crazy, mysterious, otherworldly things -- flying, breathing underwater, being pulled back from Hell -- which one can astonishingly accomplish in their dreams. With lines pulled straight from her father's memoirs, "Daddy Run" is a rousing anthem with a sing-along chorus.

Hobart Trotter & Jennifer Griffitt: Kelly Gilbert, who plays a vital role as a board member of the Woodshed Archive, describes Hobart Trotter's music: "Columbia native Hobart Trotter -- a singer/songwriter/guitarist with a passion for music and its ability to connect us all. Hobart's love of music traces back to his early childhood, with memories of his mother playing Rachmaninoff on their spinet piano and of singing and harmonizing with his parents and siblings to old gospel tunes during long trips in the family car. Mastering piano and guitar would land him in a few high school bands, his first band with renowned jazz guitarist Joe Taylor who is now Hobart's producer and occasional bandmate. His tunes can be classified as Americana, a blend of folk, country, and bluegrass, sung with soothing vocals to heartfelt lyrics." Hobart will be accompanied by vocalist, Jennifer Griffitt.

Wednesday, January 28 2015
7:30pm (doors at 6:30pm)
$12 in advance RIGHT HERE / $15 at the door

Coast 2 Coast Live Interactive Showcase

"Giving Indie Artists Major Opportunities"

Tuesday, January 27 2015

Steve Marquette Quintet

A group capable of producing moments of frightening power and striking sensitivity, the Steve Marquette Quintet (formed 2012) features the talents of musicians Mars Williams (reeds), Nick Mozzarella (alto), Anton Hatwich (bass). and Quin Kirchner (drums). Though primarily showcasing Marquette's compositions, their democratic nature provide a vehicle for all the musicians to inform and alter the shape of each piece. Drawing upon free jazz, collective improvisation, noise / rock and other strains of the jazz tradition their debut recording,"I Knew it Then" (2013), also marks the first release on Two Cities Records -- a record label started by Marquette dedicated to documenting Chicago and New Orleans' improvising music communities.

Saturday, January 24 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)

Jonathan Byrd and The Pickup Cowboys

Jonathan Byrd is a North Carolina flatpicker and a Texas songwriter, a Gulf War veteran and a preacher's son, and an award-winning songwriter whose songs you've probably heard, even if you haven't heard Byrd sing them. Covered by Tim O'Brien, Steve James, Red Molly, Jack Lawrence, Melissa Greener and more, Byrd's music will seem familiar to any Americana fan.

Byrd quit the rock bands of his youth and hit the road solo in 2000, flatpicking and singing new songs in an old style. A tip from a friend led him down to the Kerrville Folk Festival, a dusty ranch where he discovered the rich Texas songwriting culture and made it his own.

The word began to spread in 2003, when Jonathan won the festival's "New Folk" songwriting competition, a milestone for Americana's most influential artists: Steve Earle. Lucinda Williams. Nanci Griffith. Lyle Lovett. Byrd broke the record for CD sales at the festival, and has played there nearly every year since.

Byrd's 2008 release, "The Law and the Lonesome" is the fruit of this interstate cross-pollination, what might have happened if Townes Van Zandt had made a record with Doc Watson. Tamara Kater of Canada's folk mag Penguin Eggs called "The Law and the Lonesome" her "album of the decade."

"Cackalack" is the newest Jonathan Byrd release, an homage to his home state. Recorded live in a day while on the road, "Cackalack" hit #1 on Roots Music Reports folk radio chart, #22 on the Americana chart, was the #91 Americana album of 2011, and made John Platt's "Best of 2011," along with strong international airplay and a dozen other "best of" lists.

Most recently, Jonathan won a 2011 SESAC Americana Music Award beside Bob Dylan, Seth Avett, Hayes Carll, Jim Lauderdale, and Colin Brooks from The Band of Heathens. "One of the top 50 songwriters of the past 50 years." -Chicago Tribune.

Thursday, January 22 2015
7:30pm (doors at 7pm)
$12 in advance RIGHT HERE / $15 at the door

Altar of Excess

Cum Kneel @the Altar of Excess. featuring performances by Ahomari, Dendera Bloodbath, FOODCOMPUTER, Ritual Abjects

Sunday, January 18 2015
8:30pm (doors at 8pm)

Young Blaze ~~~ House of Whales ~~~ Nepotism ~~~ The Haves

Friday, January 16, 2015
8pm (doors at 7:30pm)

Ken Vandermark & Nate Wooley

Ken Vandermark ~~~ Nate Wooley

Chicago saxophonist/composer Ken Vandermark and New York trumpet player Nate Wooley had been operating in each other's orbits for several years- having worked together with Paul Lytton, Joe Morris, Agusti Fernandez, and Terrie Ex- before putting together their duo project in October 2013, when they toured the United States for the first time. With this unique ensemble, they deal directly with each other's iconoclastic compositional and improvisational vocabularies, and have created a book of original material that takes inspirational cues from the under-appreciated work of John Carter and Bobby Bradford (two of their compositions are part of the group's repertoire). Vandermark and Wooley have worked together to create an organic combination of the jazz tradition, free improvisation, and modern composition, and have then placed it into the raw and intimate context of this duo.

On June 22nd, 2014 they recorded an album that combined their performance at Okka Fest 6 in Milwaukee with a studio session the following day. Entitled, East By Northwest, the record was released in December of that year as a co-production between their two independent labels, Pleasure of the Text Records (Wooley) and Audiographic Records (Vandermark). In January 2014, the duo goes back on the road in the United States for their second tour together, and they will again join creative forces in September with the start of a brand new quartet which will include Steve Heather on drums and Jasper Stadhouders on guitar and bass for a tour of Europe.

Wednesday, January 14 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)

Kayo Dot ~~~ Autocorrect ~~~ Toothbrusher

Led by founding member Toby Driver (also of Secret Chiefs 3), Kayo Dot emerged in Boston, MA in 2002 from the ashes of metal group Maudlin of the Well. Since then, Driver has led Kayo Dot through several lineup changes and dramatic stylistic shifts: from traditional metal, to atmospheric, avant-garde metal; and now with their new album Coffins on Io, the bats-in-your-belfry hard rock of Sisters of Mercy meets Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, Scritti Politti and early Roxy Music.
In 2013, Kayo Dot demarcated the beginning of a sonic change by releasing their critically acclaimed conceptual double-albumHubardo. Undeniably experimental, but largely unclassifiable, Hubardo received rave reviews: SputnikMusic ranked it among their best albums of 2013, and CVLT Nation called it, "mesmerizing avant garde blackened doom," and a "towering achievement."
But when it comes to Kayo Dot, change is the only constant. And like the best pop culture chameleons of the past, Kayo Dot's evolution is governed by an inscrutable inner-logic. Despite the accessible songwriting of Coffins on Io and the emphasis on vocal melody and electronic percussion, Kayo Dot fans will find the record's darkness and intensity familiar and relatable. For example: the dark wave of Coffins on Io album-track "Off-ramp Cycle" might be unrecognizable to Kayo Dot's metal fans. "The sound is kind of like a sexy combination of Type O Negative, Peter Gabriel, Sisters of Mercy," Driver says. But the track also encompasses the brooding menace of classic Bauhaus as well as current dark wavers Cold Cave and Crystal Stilts: artists young and old who live and die in those unknowable corners where heaviness meets delicacy and sincerity meets theatricality.
Elsewhere, Driver's penchant for prog rock surfaces in the ethereal "Spirit Photography", complete with a saxophone melody line -- strikingly gentle when compared to Kayo Dot's brutal back catalog. "Long Time Disturbance on the Miracle Mile" could be a Bryan Ferry-era Roxy Music cut, and "The Mortality of Doves" could be Eno-produced David Bowie.

Autocorrect have been called "the Sonic Youth of noise rap". They are comprised of Cecil Decker, Sean Burns Chris Johnson Moses Andrews III and a revolving cast of friends.

Toothbrusher are fine upstanding young humans who intend to play by the rules for the sake of the children. They are like a puppetless Happiness Bomb.

Tuesday, January 13 2015
9pm (doors at 8:30pm)