In an electrified haze wafting through influences dominated by the likes of art rock icons the Velvet Undergound, VietNam (not to be confused with the Atlanta-based new wave band Vietnam) has spent more than eight years atop an especially crowded New York indie rock culture.

Stirring elements of blues and psychedelic art rock around in alternating patterns and doses, VietNam was signed by Vice Records in 2004 after being recognized as playing a leading role in the rebirth of N.Y. avant-garde rock.

After releasing its debut EP, “The Concrete’s Always Grayer on the Other Side of the Street,” in 2004, the band went through a series of personnel changes that have led to vocalist/songwriter Michael Gerner standing as the only original member.

VietNam’s self-titled full-length debut followed in 2007.

Despite a lack of Internet presence or mass appeal, VietNam continues to be a highly respected musical innovator in an ultra-exclusive scene that prides itself on innovation and pushing boundaries.

The band’s latest album, “An A.merican D.ream,” came out just last month.

VietNam will perform Friday at The Royal American, 970 Morrison Drive, with Rachel Kate and Justin Jones. Tickets are $10 at the door. Show starts at 9 p.m.

Go to for more information.


Though not particularly well-known on a mainstream level, Athens, Ga.-based band Bloodkin has earned the respect of some of rock music’s biggest names.

Vocalist/guitarist Daniel Hutchens and backup vocalist/guitarist Eric Carter started Bloodkin in the ’80s, writing and performing a distinct formulation of Americana, country and rock music.

Despite having several of their songs covered by multiple bands, most notably Widespread Panic, and Hutchens recording and performing with ex-Velvet Underground member Moe Tucker throughout the early ’90s, Hutchens and Carter had yet to release a full album of their own.

In 1994, Bloodkin recorded its first full-length album, titled “Good Luck Charm,” produced by Johnny Sandlin (Allman Brothers, Eddie Hinton), solidifying the duo as a recording band. Bloodkin has released eight albums since then, working with such acclaimed producers as John Keane (R.E.M., Cowboy Junkies) and David Barbe (Son Volt, Drive-By Truckers).

Bloodkin will perform Saturday at the Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway, to celebrate its 25th year together as well as the release of its box set, “One Long Hustle.”

Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 the day of the show, and are available online at or at the door. Doors open at 9 p.m.

Call 571-4343 or go to for more information.

Mandolin Orange

Relative newcomer Mandolin Orange wasted little time in making an impact.

The modern folk/rock and country-grass duo from Chapel Hill, N.C., strips away all the nonsense and wraps its songs instead in a sincerity that lingers long after the song falls silent.

Perhaps it’s for that reason that Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz have caught the attention of so many, including Rosanne Cash, Chatham County Line and Steep Canyon Rangers, all of whom have performed with the pair.

With its debut album, “Quiet Little Room,” released in 2010, Mandolin Orange is quickly gaining a wide fan base, having already toured in the U.K. and North America.

The duo released its latest effort, “Haste Make/Hard Hearted Stranger,” in 2011.

Mandolin Orange will perform Thursday at the Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway, with The South Carolina Broadcasters. Tickets are $8 and are available online at or at the door. Doors open at 8:30 p.m.

Call 571-4343 or go to for more information.