With all the focus on out-of-town bands and artists making their way Savannah-ward for the Stopover, it's easy to forget that many of our city's finest are also coming to the party.
Here's a quick look at six of the most compelling Savannah acts participating in Stopover-mania. Whether you're visiting the Hostess City from somewhere else, or a local somehow unfamiliar with these performers, Connect says check ‘em out.
KidSyc & Brandywine
Our most popular hip hop/R&B band has been busy - in fact, Lloyd "KidSyc" Harold and company will be heading out to Los Angles this weekend, to record a pair of songs at Capitol Records' legendary Hollywood studios. The guys took top honors in the recently concluded Georgia Lottery All-Access Music Search - as top hip hop/rap act in the state - and will play a halftime show during the Hawks/Nets game on March 26 in Atlanta. Out now is the full-length Live in Indiana, available through iTunes and other online outlets. March 9, The Jinx.
A singer/songwriter whose music seems to incubate in some exotic hothouse before being brought out into the world, Dukes is in the process of finishing up his second album. Many of Athens' finest and most eclectic players have joined the sessions, and Dukes reports that Marla Hansen (viola player and voice for Sufjan Stevens, the Nationals, My Brightest Diamond) is adding voice and viola to several tracks. Jim White (of David Byrne and Aimee Mann fame) has produced one of the songs. As for Dare himself, he (and his wife) recently welcomed what they think is their best production yet - a son. March 12, Civvies.
"I don't know who that person is up on the stage," says hyper-kinetic Cusses frontperson Angel Bond. "I have no idea what she's doing up there. I'm just trying to let her do what she wants to do." Bond, the sweetest and most humble person offstage, is a ball of energy when paired with guitarist Bryan Harder and drummer Brian Lackey. Cusses' music has roots in punk, R&B, straight-ahead rock ‘n' roll and even the heavily syncopated dance beats that Lackey, an unabashed electronica fan, loves. But it's all raw, and hard and organic - Harder's processed electric guitar is the lynchpin here, propelling the others forward and growling a foundation without the use of an actual bass player. March 11, The Jinx. March 12, Hang Fire.
A new arrival in Savannah, Chicago's Ryan Graveface is the owner and sole employee of Graveface Records, an independent label proud of its limited-edition vinyl with cool graphics and unusual extras, with quirky acts such as Tobacco and The Seven Fields of Aphelio. As for Dreamend, he's the sole member; it's a soft-focus pop/electronica sound resplendent in low-fi dynamics and eerie imagery. But the songs on the Dreamend album So I Ate Myself, Bite By Bite are, at the end of the day, clever and catchy. So who cares if he likes bizarro disguises and wears a black, full-head leather hood with a zipper over the mouth? Are you experienced? March 10, Wormhole; March 12, Live Wire.
General Oglethorpe & the Panhandlers
Savannah's pre-eminent art-school-nerd band makes pleasing and poly-syllabic pop music, with guitar, bass, drums, accordion ... and a musical saw. General O's recently-minted recorded debut is the full-length Whistle the Dirges. The band is fronted by SCAD filmmaker Devin Smith and creative writing graduate Anna Chandler; they collaborate on the obtuse (and often hilarious) lyrics and the deceptively complex music. March 10, Civvies.
The uber-contemporary sound made by Baby Seal (aka) Brady Keehn and Sam Cooper (aka 8000 Bam Bam) is am intoxicating blend of heavy bass and drums with overt pop sensibilities. "Imagine a sturdy electronic foundation peppered with psychedelic pop, Animal Collective and tribal drums," observes Connect's Patrick Rodgers. Perhaps not surprisingly, the dynamic duo met up at SCAD, where Keehn majored in sound design, Cooper in film and television production (colorful, innovative visuals are a key element of the Sunglasses experience). Their first full-length, on Lefse Records, drops any second now. March 10, Live Wire. March 12, Hang Fire.