30 Days Out, August 2022 #1: Local Punk Showcase, Fireside Collective, Man or Astro-Man?, Thundercat

Two show showcasing local talent of of very (very) different character, some super-quirky original rock, and one of today’s hottest tickets: those are among the highlights of live music in Asheville over the next 30 days. Let’s dig in.

Artists: Local Punk Showcase: Deathbots, Cloud City Caskets, Pink Eye, Busy Weather
Venue: The Orange Peel
Date: Thursday, Aug. 4, 8 p.m.
Door: $10
From a commercial standpoint, punk can be said to have come and gone in the course of a few months in the late 1970s. There’s a strong argument to be made that even that was but a ripple I nthe pop music landscape. But the form has exerted incalculable influence over music (and pop culture in general that far outstrips commercial considerations, which were rarely part of the equation to begin with. Asheville has its own brand of the stuff, and Deathbots are among its exemplars. This should be a fun night as well as a great opportunity to see some of the region’s best modern-day punk acts all on one bill.

Artist: Fireside Collective
Venue: Salvage Station
Date: Friday, Aug. 5, 7 p.m.
Door: $15 advance / $18 day of show
When Fireside Collective got their start, the idea of hybridizing bluegrass with other styles was a pretty radical concept. Today it’s less so, with many other groups having picked up o nthe idea. But this North Carolina-based outfit remains the exemplar of what can be done. They do it with style, passion, dedication and a strong sense of fun. The bill also features The Grass is Dead and Cristina Vane.

Artist: Man…or Astro-Man?
Venue: The Grey Eagle
Date: Tuesday, Aug. 16, 8 p.m.
Door: $22
Combining surf instrumental rock, a kind of space age bachelor pad aesthetic and wonderful trappings of retro-futuristic kitsch, this long-running (and constantly evolving) band is supremely entertaining live onstage. With wacky sets, eye-popping gear and a sound that envelops you, Man or Astro-Man should not be missed. Their albums are always great, but seeing the group in person is the way to go. Shutups and Seriously open. No, seriously.

Artist: Thundercat
Venue: Rabbit Rabbit
Date: Saturday, Aug. 27, 6 p.m.
Door: $35 advance / $45 day of show
The term “renaissance man” is perhaps bandied about too wantonly, but I’d nonetheless argue that Thundercat (born Stephen Lee Bruner) richly deserves the sobriquet. Not yet 40 years old, he’s mastered a wide array of musical styles, bagged two Grammy Awards, lend his skills to the work of other artists (including Kendrick Lamar), and made forays into acting. Getting him for a local date is quite a coup.

As always, support live music!