Music Scene: City and Colour, Midtown Dickens, Jerry Joseph and The Jackmormons
By Matthew Godbey | Wednesday, May 30, 2012
City and Colour
Longtime vocalist for the post-hardcore group Alexisonfire, Dallas Green’s solo venture is a departure from his frontman duties.
Green began performing under the moniker City and Colour in 2004, seemingly as a way to express his softer side and showcase the songs he quietly had been writing since he was a teenager.
City and Colour’s 2005 debut, “Sometimes,” initially sold slowly, only to grow after doubts and assumptions began to fall under the weight of Green’s capable songwriting and vocal abilities. The album, as well as the 2008 and 2011 follow-ups, was certified platinum in Green’s native Canada.
City and Colour’s mix of song structure and lyrical histrionics of hard-core with the delicate and humble nature of folk has converted many of his early doubters from both sides, revealing the side project to be a crossover success of sorts.
City and Colour is Green’s main focus, following the announcement of Alexisonfire’s disbandment last year.
City and Colour announced plans to open several shows for The Avett Brothers and Death Cab for Cutie this year, as well as performing at the Newport Folk Festival, Bonnaroo, Outside Lands Festival and Catalpa NYC Music Festival.
City and Colour will perform Saturday at the Music Farm, 32 Ann St., with Dan Romano. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 the day of the show and are available at the Music Farm box office or online at www.etix.com. Doors open at 8 p.m. Go to www.musicfarm.com or call 577-6989.
It formed from laughter, you might say; two friends writing songs to amuse and entertain one another who, admittedly, have limited instrumental ability and no musical training other than what they taught themselves.
Kym Register and Catherine Edgerton began writing songs together in 2005, salvaging instruments from Dumpsters, friends, strangers, wherever, to turn the rejected and unwanted into musicmakers once again.
Slowly the duo began adding to its numbers, gaining credibility and popularity without caring too much either way. In 2007, the group calling itself Midtown Dickens released a debut, “Oh Yell!,” whose carefree innocence and awkward quirkiness propelled itself quickly in the North Carolina underground behind comparisons to Kimya Dawson and the anti-folk movement.
There’s a refreshing modesty in the Midtown Dickens. Even the members hesitate at labeling themselves “musicians” and instead seem to view their music as a way of exploring not just themselves but music as a whole.
Through all the aloofness, the smiling kind that echoes with spoons, mandolins and tambourines in the background, Midtown Dickens has managed to draw a serious ear from critics and fellow artists. NPR, MTV, Blurt and Relix all have praised the band’s latest release, “Home,” and such bands as the Mountain Goats and Megafaun have invited the group to tour with them as an opening act.
Midtown Dickens will perform tonight at the Tin Roof, 1117 Magnolia Road, with the South Carolina Broadcasters. Tickets are $5 at the door. Doors open at 9 p.m. Call 571-0775.
Jerry Joseph and The Jackmormons
Road-hardened and brimming with life experience, Jerry Joseph is the true singer-songwriter type, that unassuming vagabond kind with a weathered guitar and worn-out sneakers.
Always a sail without an anchor, Joseph moved to New Zealand as a teenager and received his first paid guitar gigs there at 15. He made his way to New York, Montana, Utah and Portland. It was his time in Salt Lake City that inspired Joseph to form his group, Jerry Joseph and The Jackmormons, and move to Portland, where the group eventually settled.
His talents as a songwriter and storyteller, coupled with the rasp of a voice hard lived, lend honesty and a sense of hardened reality to his music. There is a feeling of suffering overcome exuding from Joseph that can’t be feigned or rehearsed, and that appeals to people.
It would seem that Joseph’s sincerity also appeals to his peers. To date, he has performed with The Flaming Lips, Neil Young and David Lindley (Warren Zevon, Jackson Browne).
Jerry Joseph and The Jackmormons celebrated the release of its latest album, “Happy Book,” earlier this year.
The group will perform tonight at The Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available at www.etix.com or at the door. Go to www.charlestonpourhouse.com or call 571-4343.