Every Monday, we help our readers get off to a musical start with five quick hits on some of the most interesting stories, sites and songs to wrap up the past 7 days and look forward to another great week:
1. News: New venue coming to downtown MB
Since Drink! left in February, downtown Myrtle Beach has been short a musical venue. However, it now appears that the void will soon be filled.
Club Traxxx, a new nightclub for the LGBT community, will open in the former Drink! location at 503 8th Ave. N. on July 1. Though the drag show with Miz Edukshun planned for opening night may not appeal to many local music fans, it's at least nice to see the longtime club get another burst of life with it's insides renovated and a brand new stage.
In more exciting local music news, a new venue called Mass Ave. is being planned to open in fall, with its first show scheduled for Oct. 21. Owned by local musician Nick Allen (From The Heart) and girlfriend Kia Conley, the bar is currently in the midst of getting itself together, having already built a stage, bar and green room while still waiting on a PA and other finishing touches.
"This venue is going to be what everyone has been wanting," said Allen.
According to him, Myrtle Beach has long been waiting for a venue run by musicians for musicians. Judging by the posts and comments on the Mass Ave. Facebook page, it appears the venue will focus heavily on pop punk, punk, hardcore, metal and other underground music with bands such as Bayside already on the wish list for a show in the first few months of the venue.
Check out Mass Ave. on Facebook for more details as they are announced.
2. Rants & Raves: Get outta town!
My rant this week has the dual purpose of begging bands to expand their horizons and also to plug an interesting website I've come across recently.
One of the biggest problems in this music scene is that really talented original bands are out playing 3-4 (or more) times per week playing four hours of covers. I absolutely understand they have to make a living, but this constant barrage of shows makes it really hard for fans to want to come out and support you, especially when they know they can catch you the next night at a bar just down the street.
I'm sure that this time of year it there are some good paying gigs around the beach, but if you just take a moment to look at the big picture, it's going to really benefit you to mix up where you play and make an earnest effort to book some shows beyond the beach. I really think that anyone who wants to do more than just play covers in beach bars for the rest of your life owes it to themselves to make at least a few road trips this summer.
By hitting places such as Wilmington, Charleston, Columbia, Charlotte, you're not only getting your music in front of new fans, but you're also giving your own fans a break from the constant barrage of Facebook Events and e-mail blasts and giving folks an incentive to come out in full force when you are here.
That said, the website Indie on the Move seems like a must-see for any band that is interested in booking beyond Myrtle Beach (and also for any booking manager or bar owner who's interested in bringing better talent into their venue.)
The site's goal is to provide the most comprehensive and reliable music venue database on the web, by fostering a collaborative environment in which artists, fans, agents, labels, venues, and promoters post, rate, and review clubs from all across the U.S. for free.
Having not actually toured in a band, it's hard to judge just how useful this resource is — the only two venues currently listed in Myrtle Beach are Fresh Brewed Coffeehouse & Island Bar Surfside — but there's no doubt that it's a great idea for bringing bands & bookers closer together.
Even if you're not a touring band, there's plenty of great advice on there for fledgling groups as to when to begin touring, how to creat a press kit, how to sell yourself, etc.
Do yourself a favor and check it out and then use one of those 15-minute breaks between cover sets to actually sit down and talk about a game plan for booking out of town and GO FOR IT! We'll see you when you get back!
3. Shows: New Tavern opens, Travis Porter closes club series
There are a variety of great shows on the south end Friday that you might want to stop by.
Beginning at 6 p.m., Raleigh-based alt-country group American Aquarium will take the stage at Rosa Linda's in Murrells Inlet, followed by local reggae act Jah Harvest who will perform at 7:30 p.m. at Spud's Waterfront on the Marshwalk, celebrating the release of a new EP.
In addition, Asheville's Leigh Glass will bring her sultry Blues vocals to the Pawleys Island Tavern beginning at 8 p.m. The new Carolina Tavern — which took over the former Hooter's location near Inlet Square Mall in Murrells Inlet — will host a grand opening party with local band Wide Open performing at 9 p.m. More details via Facebook.
The club scene continues to be hopping this time of year with the continuation of two series which have been going on the past few weeks.
Club Glow Global will continue to pack them in tonight at the House of Blues with DJ Christian Slick taking the stage beginning at 10 p.m. alongside dancers, lights and plenty of other partying. Details via HOB.com.
Kryptonite @ The Afterdeck will be the place to be on Wednesday night as hip-hop act Travis Porter performs to wrap up GlobalGroove Productions' Hot Summer Concert/Club Series. The show will start at 10:30 p.m., click here for more details.
4. Links: Rockin' the Bikini Fantasy
- Bikini Fantasy Rockin' The Park for Abandoned Animals is just a few weeks away with Stealing Anger, One Dragon and Chris King performing alongside some beautiful models showing off Kirsta Grinna Bikinis swimwear. Visit the Facebook page for more details or be on the lookout for a full story coming next week.
- Local DJ/artist Tyler Hinkelman will host another Transcend Art & Music exhibition on Aug. 5 at Pirate's Cove in North Myrtle Beach. The event will follow basically the same format as the one at Drink! in February, but this time with more live bands. Treehouse, 3 Weeks Notice and Two of a Kind will perform in addition to Hinkleman (aka Jestah) and possibly a few other electronic DJs. More info via Hinkelman's Facebook page.
- Check out deatils on a couple local, music-related exhibits via Kicks! Online. And because we know everyone LOVES tribute bands, here's some compelling coverage of that.
- The Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art is one of the fall's biggest musical events, with two weeks worth of classy musical and artistic offerings Sept. 18 through Oct. 2. The 2011 schedule is now out and features some great live enetratinment. Visit http://pawleysmusic.com/ for details.
- Hot Summer Nights is well under way, but Island Vista Resort is hosting it's own version of hot summer nights with weekly Hula & Fire Shows and a Reagge night featuring local musician Kevin Shiels & his band. Check out details here.
- In random news, Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is starting his own record label. Check out details via Paste Magazine.
5. Songs of the Week: "Wildfire" album
Each week we choose a song that's been in heavy rotation on our playlists and this week we couldn't narrow it down to a single track, but have chosen the entire new album from Atlanta-based electro rock act Today The Moon, Tomorrow The Sun.
Released in May, the album has been getting great reviews from all over (including this one from our friends at We Are The Upstate). And ever the progressive minds, Today the Moon is allowing a full stream of the album via Soundcloud, but we're guessing you'll only need to hear a few songs before heading over to iTunes to buy it for yourself.
Check it out below and learn more about the band on Facebook.