Music Scene: Toro y Moi, The Polish Ambassador, Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights
By Matthew Godbey Special to The Post and Courier – Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Toro y Moi
Toro y Moi is the moniker Columbia native Chaz Bundick first started using to promote his bedroom-recorded tracks when he was 14.
Twelve years later, the singer-songwriter-producer has become a major name in the relatively recent chillwave and synthesized indie-pop phenomenon sweeping through the underground music scene.
Upon graduating from the University of South Carolina in 2009, Bundick signed to Carpark Records and released his debut album, “Causers of This,” in January 2010.
In an effort to keep progressing his craft, Bundick quickly sought to distance himself from the chillwave pigeonhole, moving to a sound more akin to the electronic and dance genres.
His latest album, January’s “Anything in Return,” features stronger synth-pop, house and R&B undertones and received mostly positive reviews, including three-and-a-half stars out of five from Rolling Stone and eight out of 10 from Paste.
Toro y Moi will perform with fellow rising electronic act Classixx on Saturday at the Music Farm, 32 Ann St. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 the day of the show, and are available at the door or online at Ticketfly.com. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the show starting at 9 p.m. Go to MusicFarm.com or call 577-6989.
The Polish Ambassador
David Sugalski began making electronic music several years ago in his native Oakland, Calif., but it wasn’t until 2007, under the name The Polish Ambassador, that he began making waves internationally.
Since then, Sugalski has released several LPs and EPs, spinning a live show of break beat and synth-funk that is as trancing as it is prodding.
His latest album, “Ecozoic,” was released earlier this year.
The Polish Ambassador will perform Thursday at the Music Farm, 32 Ann St., with DJ Vadim and Wildlight. Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 the day of the show, and are available at the door or online at Ticketfly.com. Doors open at 8 p.m. with the show starting at 9 p.m. The show is for an audience 18 and up. Go to MusicFarm.com or call 577-6989.
Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights
It’s refreshing to see a band that takes its time, the kind of band that prefers doing it right rather than simply doing it. Such is the case with the Dallas-based blues-rock quintet Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights.
Formed in 2007, JTNL spent its first year performing only in Dallas, quickly building a dedicated local following. It didn’t take long for the rest of the country to take notice, however, and after the band was named Best Blues Act by the Dallas Observer Music Awards in 2008, the band began receiving touring opportunities with a variety of big name performers, such as Erykah Badu, Chicago, Heart and The Black Crowes.
Even Kool & the Gang took notice of the band, inviting the group to open a series of performances for the longtime soul/funk legends.
By the time the band’s Atlantic Records debut “Pardon Me” came out in 2010, JTNL had already been seen as an opening act for Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kid Rock, AC/DC and ZZ Top, and had added to their award tally, netting a few more Dallas Observer Music Awards (including Best Group and Best Male Vocalist), as well as being named Pick of the Week by USA Today.
The driving force behind the band is clearly in vocalist Jonathan Tyler’s impassioned Chris Robinson-esque vocals that yearn with a raspy yet hearty ferocity. There’s a chest-pounding power to Tyler’s delivery that manages to not lose the heart or the vulnerability. Coupled with a thunderous concoction of blues and hard rock, JTNL is one of the most talked-about throwback rock bands in quite some time.
Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights will perform Thursday at The Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway, with Moon Taxi and Machines Are People Too. Tickets are $15 at the door or online at StrangerTickets.com. Doors open at 8 p.m. Go to CharlestonPourHouse.com or call 571-4343.