Goodbye summer. Hello, awesome alt/folk show at the Grey Eagle.
Two free tickets to a Thursday night show to the first commenter who can tell us the name of the Kovacs song with an award-winning video starring a giant teddy bear.
Please comment with your correct first and last name so we know who to tell the Greagle to hold tickets for.
The trend in music these days is compartmentalization, the constant pushing and packing and squeezing of bands into genres and sub-genres and sub-sub-genres. Sure, it’s convenient up to a point, but in the end, what people want to know is if it’s good or not, and really, beyond that, they want to know if you can tap your foot to it.
Which brings us to Asheville’s own, Kovacs and the Polar Bear, four dudes brought together by music like music is wont to do. They’re a conglomeration of disparate influences, of old and new. At base, they’re playing folk music — an acoustic guitar and tales of love, of life, of living. This is the old-fashioned foundation, and built around it is a modern sound constructed of electric guitar and bass and the occasional cropping up of synths, all tied together by catchy hooks and vocal harmonies.
Based on description alone, the simple action here might be to dismiss Kovacs and the Polar Bear as yet another quaint indie rock band, but adjectives are one thing and reality another. There’s a sincerity there that never traipses over into self-seriousness and never becomes corny, all the while being played by a group of guys who just enjoy the hell out of playing music. And while all this is going on, they never treat rock ‘n’ roll like a taboo, never being afraid of adding a little punch (especially live) to their songs, meaning you get a little something to tap your foot along to in the bargain.
You Won’t is the Boston-based duo of Josh Arnoudse and Raky Sastri, fast friends ever since they squared off in a fierce but poorly executed sword-fight in 1999. The two Massachusetts natives collaborated on a litany of non-musical projects prior to forming a band, conspiring to produce a series of little-seen experimental films, guerrilla theater stunts, and duct-taped refrigerators filled with toxic sludge. You Won’t was born in late 2010 following three lonely, inspired months spent recording in the suburban woodlands of Eastern Massachusetts. Following the release of debut LP Skeptic Goodbye on Old Flame Records in February 2012, the pair has toured across the United States, garnering praise from the likes of SPIN and KEXP for their distinctly lyrical, insistently melodic, and thoroughly percussive sound.
More than a decade before Dolph Ramseur helped guide The Avett Brothers to a major label and late-night television appearances, he was a small-town tennis coach. Ramseur taught tennis in four states and for 10 years, a span of time and space that afforded him a broad spectrum of students. He remembers promising preteen prodigies and an elderly man who would swing his racket only to lose his shorts. On the courts, Ramseur learned to recognize talent and enthusiasm and, perhaps most important, how to distinguish between the two.
“If I had a kid that was 10 years old that came to me and he didn’t have really good strokes but he had great hand-eye coordination and he was a helluva athlete, I could see the potential,” says Ramseur. He now runs a successful record label and manages, among others, The Avetts and The Carolina Chocolate Drops, two of the country’s biggest roots music acts. He doesn’t coach tennis anymore, but he still likes to talk about it. “Give that little kid a year, and he’s going to be one helluva tennis player.”
About six years ago, Ramseur found one of those kids with potential onstage at the Great Hall, a wide and wood-floored auditorium in the student union of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. To be more exact, he found four of them—Bryan Rahija, Stuart Robinson, Daniel Michalak and his younger brother, John. They called themselves Bombadil.
8:30pm. $8 advance / $10 day of show.
Advance tickets available online and at our local outlets.
Standing room only.