8/24/2016

BJ Barham - Madeline (B-Side Sessions)

BJ Barham - Madeline (Live)

When BJ Barham of American Aquarium came through Charleston, he stopped in with Kris Smith of B-Side Sessions to record a live video of his song "Madeline", off his new solo album, Rockingham. Considering "Madeline" is my favorite song off the album, I was really glad to see this video. As explained during his show with Justin Osborne at the Charleston Library Society, this song is a letter to his future daughter, giving her advice on things she may encounter in her life, and how to deal with them from a father's perspective. It's a really well-written and beautiful song, and this video makes it sound even more awesome. Check it out, and go listen to Rockingham when you're finished.

8/22/2016

Justin Osborne And BJ Barham Live At Charleston Library Society

The Charleston Library Society was established in 1748, making it the oldest library in Charleston, and last night it was transformed into a beautiful concert hall, with Justin Osborne of SUSTO and BJ Barham of American Aquarium enchanting the room with their guitars. Most of the people in the crowd had never been to the Charleston Library Society before, but I think I can safely say that we were all impressed by both the building and the music. It was about as old school as you can get, and every sound echoed throughout the room. That means even the faintest whisper or beer can opening could be heard by everyone present, and more importantly that the music sounded amazing.

Photo: @driesipoo of @wavcreative
Justin Osborne
First up was Justin Osborne of SUSTO, playing the only hometown show on his Puddin' Swamp '87 World Tour. He played around ten SUSTO songs, the first part acoustic and then he picked up an electric guitar for the rest. When he played "County Line" he called up fellow musician and SUSTO band-mate Johnny Delaware, who was hanging out in back drinking beer, to sing harmonies for him. Quite a few of the songs Justin played were unreleased, coming from the new SUSTO album that is currently in the works. That album probably tops my list of anticipated albums, if you don't count Brand New's fifth album, but that's beside the point. Justin killed it and if you have a chance to go to any of the shows on his solo tour then you definitely should. I've included the rest of the tour dates below. Dates with a * next to them are with BJ Barham of American Aquarium.

*8/22 Jacksonville FL
Jack Rabbits
*8/23 Orlando FL
Will's Pub
*8/24 Tallahassee FL
Fifth and Thomas
*8/25 Atlanta GA
City Winery Atlanta
*8/26 Waverly AL
‪#‎standarddeluxe‬
8/27 Athens GA (FULL BAND)
Wildwood Revival 2016
8/28 Lexington KY
Willie's Locally Known
*8/29 Newport KY
The Southgate House Revival
*8/30 Asheville NC
The Grey Eagle
*8/31 Nashville TN
City Winery Nashville
*9/01 Charlotte NC
Visulite Theatre

Photo: @driesipoo of @wavcreative
BJ Barham
Next up was BJ Barham of American Aquarium, who played his new solo album Rockingham in its entirety, and then he played a few American Aquarium songs to finish out the night. In addition to the music, BJ also gave us background on each of the songs, which were mostly about growing up in the South, his family, and various things that had an impact on him along the way. The whole performance was good, but a standout track for me was "Madeline", which is set up as a letter that he wrote to his future daughter. He also talked about how Rockingham was inspired by the Paris attacks last November, as he was about 45 minutes away when it happened, and it sent him into a spiral of thoughts about his home and the people he loves. After that he started writing, and Rockingham was the result. It's a great album with a lot of emotional impact. I've included a Spotify stream of the album below for those of you who haven't heard it yet.

BJ Barham - Rockingham

8/20/2016

A Beginner's Guide To The Charleston Music Scene

south carolina music logo

Whether you've been living in Charleston for years, or you just moved here, you've probably heard some people talking about local bands, artists, and music venues. You may be thinking about starting your own band, or maybe you just want to know where some of these people hang out, want to hear the music for yourself. Drink some beer, feel a part of something that is growing faster than ever. It's an exciting thought, but you may be wondering where to start. Here are some of the basic things we think you should know about. Welcome to the Charleston Music Scene.

Record Labels

Hearts & Plugs
First of all, you need to know about Hearts & Plugs. Much of the development of the scene in this town stems directly from the growing success of bands and artists signed to the H&P Label. Charleston bands and artists such as Brave Baby, SUSTO, The High Divers, Grace Joyner, Johnny Delaware, The Lovely Few, and more are all represented by Hearts & Plugs. Founder Dan McCurry and the rest of the H&P crew do a great job of perpetuating the growth of the music scene in Charleston. Follow Hearts & Plugs on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up-to-date on what's going on with their musicians, and find out about a ton of local shows.

Coast Records
Next, there's Coast Records. They are probably the second biggest record label based in Charleston, and represent bands and artists such as Human Resources, The Give & The Take, The Dunder Chiefs, Becca Leigh, and more. In addition to representing many local bands and artists, Matt Zutell, founder of Coast Records is a very skilled producer, and has helped tons of other artists record songs, including Mark Bryan and Darius Rucker of Hootie & The Blowfish, and many other local artists. Keep up with Coast Records on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and you won't miss a show.

Venues of Note

This won't even begin to tackle the enormous list of venues in Charleston, but there are a few places where you're pretty much bound to see some people who are heavily involved in the Charleston music scene, and obviously some great live music. We've got a few of the main ones listed below. There is also probably some writer's bias in this one, considering the following venues are some of my favorites. For a more complete list of music venues in Charleston, check out Extra Chill's Charleston Music Venue Directory.

The Royal American
We wouldn't be where we are today in terms of Charleston's music scene without The Royal American. So many local bands have gotten their start at Royal, and they continue to bring in killer acts on a weekly basis, whether it's bands from out of town, or local acts based right in Charleston, you are pretty much always guaranteed a great show at The Royal American. Aside from the music itself, a lot of local musicians hang out there when they aren't on tour or playing somewhere else, so there's a very good chance you can meet some cool people who are heavily involved in Charleston's music scene if you get out there for a show one night. Plus, they have cheap beer and great food.

The Commodore
The Commodore is a fairly new music venue in Charleston, but they have already claimed their place in the music scene. Since opening their doors in April, they have already attracted some of Charleston's best bands and artists to play on their stage, including some Hearts & Plugs bands, and an epic performance by Charleston's very own, Heyrocco. Even more awesome are the shows that are coming up. In September, Hearts & Plugs will have a Tuesday night residency at The Commodore. More on that later, but for now just go out to The Commodore and check out this renovated jazz club for yourself.

The Pour House
If you're interested in a more jammy side of Charleston's music scene, then The Pour House is a good place to start. They have live music every night, including Charleston band The Reckoning playing Grateful Dead covers at Dead on the Deck every Wednesday. Runaway Gin is a Phish tribute band that also plays at The Pour House quite often. It's not all jam bands, but the vast majority of acts at The Pour House are groovy as hell. The place is super chill, with indoor and outdoor bars and a large viewing area for both stages. If that sounds like your thing, get on out to The Pour House on James Island.

Music Farm
This wouldn't be an article about Charleston's Music Scene if I didn't mention the Music Farm. This 800 capacity music venue has brought in hundreds of acts over the years, and they are huge supporters of the scene in general. There is always something going on at the Music Farm, and it isn't hard to find out about it, either. Just check their concert calendar to see if they're bringing in any of your favorite artists in the near future. Remember, though, that since the Music Farm is a relatively small venue that brings in big-name artists, many of the shows sell out, so get your tickets early to reserve your spot!

Other Resources

Charleston City Paper
Since the City Paper recently released a similar article on this subject, I wanted to show them some love. They interview a lot of artists and cover a lot of the bigger events that happen in town, and without their coverage, the Charleston music scene would still be mostly underground. You can check their music section to get an overview of what's going on in Charleston's music scene. The best part about the Charleston City Paper is that it's free, so you really have no reason not to read it. Unless reading isn't your thing. In that case, I don't know how you got so far into this article.

The Fringe
The Fringe is a weekly podcast that got started not too long ago, and they are currently in their third season. Along with conducting interviews with local artists and talking about happenings in the Charleston music scene, they also feature new music from outside of Charleston. It's a great mix of local music stuff and not-so-local stuff, and the hosts have good taste, so you can find out about some really cool music from listening to/watching The Fringe Podcast.

Holy City Sinner
Holy City Sinner is probably Charleston's largest independent website, covering happenings of all kinds in the Charleston area. That being said, they do write some about the music scene in Charleston, and they are a good resource if you just want to keep up with what's going on in the Holy City.

Last, but certainly not least, you have Extra Chill. Here at Extra Chill, we dedicate ourselves to the promotion of Charleston's music scene. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay in the loop. Also, don't forget to share this article with anyone who wants to learn more about Charleston's music scene!

8/19/2016

SUSTO Stories Episode 2: Wasted Mind

SUSTO Stories Episode Two: Wasted Mind

Here we have the second installment of SUSTO's newest series of videos, this one for the as of yet unreleased track, "Wasted Mind". In this video, they talk about how they've been working on this song for a while, but it didn't really come to fruition until they started to go on tour a whole lot, and realized the importance of taking care of themselves in between bouts of playing shows and getting wasted. Sage advice, as per usual from the SUSTO squad. Anyway, "Wasted Mind" is a sick song, and this performance takes place at Hearts & Plugs founder Dan McCurry's house in Charleston. I can't help but think this series is going to culminate in the release of SUSTO's sophomore album, but who am I to say? We'll just have to wait and see.

As a closing note, I want to give another shout out to the dudes from WAV for putting together yet another great video. Matt and Dries are just getting that project off the ground, and I'm excited to see what they come up with next. Stay tuned for the next installment of SUSTO Stories on Wednesday, August 31st. You can bet your ass you'll find it posted on Extra Chill.

SUSTO - Wasted Mind

8/18/2016

Grace Joyner - Dreams (Music Video)

Grace Joyner - Dreams (Music Video)

Charleston-based artist Grace Joyner has been getting a lot of love on the web (and in real life) lately from the likes of music sites such as Performer Magazine, Echoes Radio, and now The Wild Honey Pie today with the premiere of the music video for her song "Dreams", off her debut album Maybe Sometimes In C. "Dreams" recently went viral on Spotify, reaching #7 on the Top 10 Tracks in the U.S. for a week in July, and now we have this stunningly cinematic music video to go along with it. Hearts & Plugs artists are seriously killing it these days, and you should keep an eye out for more from Grace Joyner in the near future. She's on track to keep doing really awesome stuff.

If you'll be up in Columbia, SC this weekend, check out Grace Joyner's show at the Columbia Museum of Art on Friday, August 19th from 7-11pm. Tickets are $9, or $5 if you're a member of the museum. Also, if you haven't yet listened to Maybe Sometimes In C, I strongly suggest you go do that right now. You can find it on Spotify, Itunes, etc.

8/16/2016

Woolfe Street Playhouse Presents: Comedians Dusty Slay, Hannah Hogan, and Evan Berke on Sunday, August 28th


If you're looking for a night filled with good times and laughs at a great venue in downtown Charleston, then look no further. You've got to go see Dusty Slay, Hannah Hogan, and Evan Berke performing at the Woolfe Street Playhouse on Sunday, August 28th. Doors are at 7pm, show starts at 8pm. General admission tickets to this event are $15, but if you're a student you can get your ticket for $10, just bring your student ID.

Dusty Slay is a comedian from Charleston who currently lives in Nashville. He has appeared on many television and radio comedy shows, such as NBC’s Last Comic Standing, LAUGHS on FOX, The Bob and Tom Radio Show, and TMZ. When he lived in Charleston, he won the Charleston City Paper's Best Local Comic award not once, but twice, and he was also a two-time winner of the Charleston Standup Comedy Competition. He has an album out called Making That Fudge, which has received positive reviews from critics and fans alike.

Evan Berke is a graduate of the College of Charleston who got into comedy as a Freshman. While he was there, his comedy career blossomed into an early form of what it has become today, and by the time he left Charleston he had performed at the Charleston Comedy Festival, Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and was twice a finalist in the Charleston Standup Comedy Competition, as well as becoming the resident comedy director for the JAILBREAK Music & Arts Festival. Now he returns to the city that started his career to perform at the Woolfe Street Playhouse.

Hannah Hogan is a Canadian actress, comedian, and writer who starred in the City TV comedy series Meet The Family. She won a Canadian Comedy Award for her performance in the YTV hit sketch comedy show That's So Weird, which had a very successful three-season run. Currently she travels around North America performing comedy, and most recently she appeared at Just For Laughs in Toronto.

For tickets and more information, go to woolfestreetplayhouse.com/events/dusty-slay.