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: 9/11 Benefit Lineup set
The Dead Dog Saloon has announced details on who will be participating in its 10th Annual 9/11 Benefit, which will take place from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11.
This event will honor American Heroes with an celebration that features free All-American food and fun, with raffles and giveaways all in the interest of raising money for the families of 9/11 victims.
There will be a formal remembrance ceremony at 1 p.m. with participation from local pop phenom Gabbie Rae and live music from a ton of local acts.
Performers will include a slew of Dead Dog regulars including acts such as Nick Andolora, Bil Krauss, Scoot Pittman Band, Backfire, The Mullets, Liquid Platinum, Josh Brannon Band, Band on The Rum, Act II, The Necessary Band, Painted Man and The Paul Grimshaw Band.
Here's a few photos from our coverage of last year's event:
2. Show update: September dates announced
It's pretty hard to believe, as Memorial Day seems like it was about a week ago, but summer is winding down on the Grand Strand. But with the end of tourist season in sight, there are a string of local bands, bars & venues determined to give a last blast of summer fun over the Labor Day holiday and beyond. Here's a look at some recently announced September events:
• The Island Bar & Grill Surfside will hold a birthday bash for Mark Fletcher — better known as "Fletch" the bar's bartender and booker — featuring a performance from Brooklyn-based party rock band Shinobi Ninja, Charlotte-based Hip-Hop throwback act Brody & Choch and local group QP-N-Shamroc. The event which will take place Sept. 2 will also features a $10 all-you-can-drink "free pour" from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. and plenty of other shenanigans in true Island Bar fashion. Check out details here.
• Stiletto Productions, which put on the S.C. Underground Music Awards in February, will host the South Carolina Underground Summer Jam on Sept. 1 at Bikini Beach Bar on Kings Hwy. Th event will feature local artists performing Hip-Hop, R&B and Rock music and will feature a freestyle cypher, a guest host and DJ Tron holding down the music. See details here.
• The second edition of the monthly Bourbon Street Underground series, featuring electronic tunes laid out by local group the Soul Beat Boutique and guests, will take place Sept. 2 from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. The night will feature SBB principle members Cooney and Bossaben as well as guests Randy and Kesas spinning Jazz, Funk, Soul, House and Pop throughout the night. See more details here.
• The Music Station in Socastee continues to increase its musical offerings including a couple of big September dates with The Beatholes set to play their first show since March on Sept. 16. In addition, local punk act Baboon Brigade will reunite for a show and local musical maven Drew Jacobs is in the planning stages of holding a Punk Rock Prom at the venue (formerly known as Socastee Station) on Sept. 23. Get more details here.
• This year's Pawley's Island Festival of Music & Art takes place Sept. 18-Oct. 2 with headlining act Spyro Gyra performing on Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. Get full details here.
3. Rants & Raves: A night on the Boardwalk
I spent a portion of Saturday evening in Myrtle Beach visiting my parents, who had decided to try dinner at the new Landshark Landing (underneath the Sky Wheel). During this trip to the heart of downtown, which lasted just about an hour, I managed to catch a total of four live performances from various acts without even trying.
Strolling one city block from Plyler Park to 9th Ave. N. along the boardwalk I managed to catch a Reggae act (Mystic Vibrations), a rock group (The Freeloaders), an Elvis Tribute artist and a country band (Lee Travis & The Bounty Hunters).
When you counted up the combined total of people watching these acts perform — actually watching, not just sitting there not paying attention — the number had to be more than a thousand fans. Now I understand that these are mostly cover acts drawing this crowd of tourists passing by, but the bottom line is that people love to listen to music and if you put it in a spot with enough people, it's bound to draw some attention.
Would it work with original music? Why not? If people 75 people can stop to sit around watching fellow tourists lip sync to bad pop music with their faces projected onto a drawing of people surfing at the "Big Headz" booth, then why is it so far fetched to think that people might also stop to hear good music, regadless fo whether they know the tune or not?
All it would take is 1-2 bar owners to believe that throwing original acts downtown once a week could serve their business just as well as cover acts can.
And as further proof that not all tourists are biologically tuned to only like covers, the one song I happened to catch The Freeloaders playing was an original tune highlighted by Elise Testone's soulful singing...and from what I could tell the crowd at Oceanfront Bar & Grill was loving it.
4. Links: What's happening online?
• The Digitel Myrtle Beach has this wrap-up of the inagural Myrtle Beach Gay Days event. Not really music-related but it's great to see folks supporting this and it made for a really cool photo.
• Go watch coverage of Saturday's KISS Coffeehouse 5th anniversary event via SCNow.com.
• Check out The Sun News' interview with The Movement, who will be performing at the Boathouse Waterway Bar & Grill this Thursday with Pacific Dub and Jah Harvest to kick off "I Love College Night" every Thursday.
• Local musician Bernie Kenerson will be on the radio this week talking about his Jazz Fusion album "Bernie Game (Art of the EWI)". Check out details on how to hear it on Facebook.
• Check out this collection of old fanzines and underground music publications from back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. So cool to see how scene's used to function before the days of the Internet. via Half Letter Press.
• Local hip-hop fans will want to make a point to visit http://www.schiphop.com/.
5. Song of the week: "Down to Ride"
This week's featured track comes from a Wilmington-based band called L Shape Lot, a quartet which mixes elements of Americana, Bluegrass and Country music up in to an upbeat sound that is both familiar and uniquely new. The track — which makes 3 1/2 minutes feel like about 90 seconds — has a rambling country vibe with some great Bluegrass-y vocal harmonies to match and is perfect listen for cruisin' the open road on a summer day.