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Captured! By Robots

Ok. So, there’s a guy who used to be a member of the fairly well-known ska-punk act Skankin’ Pickle. But he was such a jerk that everyone in the band supposedly hated him, and he supposedly hated them. I’m not telling tales out of school. He admits as much to anyone who asks.

So, in a fit or frustration (after realizing that he had to share the meager money the group made with a bunch of guys he didn’t even enjoy spending time on the road with), he put his education to work, and hand-built a “band” of electronic, pneumatic and hydraulic-driven robots that he controls with his own custom computer program. They actually play the guitar, drums and brass instruments while he (and they) sing.

The clincher is that he claims to be imprisoned by the robots, who badger and torment him throughout the show with obscenities. Sound stupid? It is. It’s also one of the most impressive acts of artistic self-reliance you’ll ever see. The punk and metal-influenced songs aren’t half bad, and the borscht-belt comedy shtick falls somewhere between Willy Tyler’s Lester and Short Circuit. In other words, even if you hate the music, you’ll probably chuckle at the effort require to pull this shit off.

Each tour and album (he’s made several) are conceptually based. the last one was the story of the Old Testament as told by abusive robots, and this time, he (and they) celebrate the fondly-remembered TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation. I am not making this up. Wed., 10 pm, The Jinx.

Dodd Ferrelle & Tinfoil Stars

Savannah native Ferrelle has been living away from this area for about as long as it took for him to grow up and move off to Athens to concentrate on his musical career. However, there are still loads of family and friends who remember the gruff, raspy-voiced singer/songwriter from his days in the seminal local alt.rock group Me ‘an Mills (featuring a future member of Widespread Panic offshoot Barbara Cue). While I’m not sure how many new converts Dodd’s made around these parts, he’s certainly built up a fanbase elsewhere.

Those folks know him for a handful of indie CDs with his most successful backing group The Tinfoil Stars, who’ve helped him craft insistent, twangy albums filled with the same sort of Americana-based laments and barnburners that kindred spirits Steve Forbert and Drivin-N-Cryin’s Kevn Kinney (an early hero of Dodd’s) have been penning for ages. Their latest effort, The Murder Of Love, is the best record he’s ever made with any lineup, and this annual homecoming show will liekly feel like one big high school reunion. Fri., 10 pm, The Jinx.

Harry O'Donoghue

With a brand-new studio album just out, and a longstanding, crowd-pleasing gig at this perpetually popular Irish pub on historic River Street, this acoustic balladeer has become almost synonymous with the notion of Celtic music in Savannah.

A facile guitarist with a gentle litlt in his strong, clear voice, contemporary folk and acoustic pop rolls off his fingers and tongue with ease, yet he’s also equally at home with the traditional hymns, jigs and reels of his homeland. That’s evidnet in the knowledgable manner in which he structures and produces The Green Island, a Georgia Public Broadcasting radio show which originates locally on WSVH-FM.

Much like blues guitarist Eric Culberson, who has been such a familiar site on the Savannah bar scene that it’s easy to forget how inspired he can be on a good night, Harry’s one of those local treasures that deserves to be appreciated by the natives as well as the tourists (which make up the brunt of his audiences). Wed. - Sun., Kevin Barry’s.

Roger Moss & Friends

This award-winning vocalist is perhaps best known as the cat who has (in the past) sang the National Anthem during Savannah’s annual symphonic Picnic In The Park. However, he’s a much more nuanced and versatile performer than that (necessarily) bombastic gig would suggest.

In the past year or so, he’s experimented with doing cabaret-styled club shows, and exploring the Great American Songbook. Now – in his own words – he’s “taken the plunge” and quit his day job to pursue a musical career full-time. It’s a risky move, considering the fact that the type of show he does has not been entirely in vogue for decades. However, he’s one of the only folks in this area even attempting to tackle such a tall order in a small club setting. It’s a show that’s part jazz, part soul, and part classically-trained finesse – with a dash of storytelling and showmanship.

So far, he’s received high marks from those who’ve caught his occasional concerts at this upscale hotel lounge on the outskirts of the Historic District. While it an cost a pretty penny to spend a night in this hotel, there’s no cover charge to get into their lounge, and with a steady stream of some of the finest local talent (such as Moss and his backing group) on tap, it’s becoming a hip and mature after-dinner destination for music lovers in the know. Wed., 9 pm, The Mansion on Forsyth Park.