Sleigh Bells

In the mid-'80s, a genre emerged from the dark back rooms of U.K. and U.S. big-city clubs and the sulking bedrooms of all the places in between.

Out of the hum from distorted dissonance and warm feedback, some called it noise, some even affectionately, while others called it shoegaze and gave the difference subtle distinctions you could only hear if you really "got it."

It personified high-brow teen angst and restlessness, and lent itself to generations of arty brooding, carrying all the good and bad such a thing allows; not unlike a filterless sluice box, striking gold with such acts as the The Jesus and Mary Chain, Lush, Cocteau Twins and Sonic Youth, but collecting a lot of slush, as well.

More subgenres and labels piled on over the years - noise rock, noise pop, no wave, nu gaze, dream pop, ambient, industrial, and on and on - but the core attitude and expression behind the music remained.

Today, the Brooklyn duo Sleigh Bells is an electronic-affected reincarnation of traditional noise pop principles and aesthetics: catchy, sugary and stylish, delivered in a crumpled package like a tattered summer dress or some sweet, disheveled beauty too striking and unusual to be repulsive.

Simply put, it's a pretty mess.

The group released its third celebrated album, the Janet Jackson-inspired "Bitter Rivals," last year, landing at No. 49 on the Billboard 200 soon afterward.

Sleigh Bells will perform Wednesday at the Music Farm, 32 Ann St. Tickets for the 16-and-over show are $20-$23 and are available at the door or online at Doors open at 8 p.m. with the show slated to start at 9 p.m.

Go to or call 577-6989 for more information.

J. Roddy Walston & The Business

When J. Roddy Walston recorded a demo in his Tennessee basement more than a decade ago, he had no idea if anyone would even listen to it, much less want to come see him perform the songs live or buy his records. But the budding singer-songwriter's demo bested 350 other aspiring songwriters' demos for a showcase slot on a national music festival stage.

When Walston moved to Baltimore for a girl a short time later, he was introduced to musicians Billy Gordon and Steve Colmus, and the beginnings of The Business was formed.

Combining his experience playing piano in church and singing gospel music alongside his grandmother, Walston brings a revivalist's energy back to old-fashioned rock 'n' roll yet manages to preserve the soul and storytelling of his country and blues roots.

Walston and his band released their third album, "Essential Tremors," a title attributed to Walston's nervous system disorder that affects hand and arm movements, last year, drawing comparisons to the Black Keys, Kings of Leon, Dr. Dog and even "AC/DC fronted by Jerry Lee Lewis."

J. Roddy Walston & The Business will perform Wednesday at The Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway, with The Black Cadillacs. Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 the day of the show, and are available at the door or online at Doors open at 8:30 p.m. with the show starting at 9:30 p.m.

For more information, call 571-4343 or go to

Strap-On Face Funk Festival

Billing itself as a "softcore funk festival," the Strap-On Face Funk event extends its innuendoes and funk devotion into a sixth year with a celebration at The Pour House on Saturday.

This year's lineup will feature some of the region's best musicians and performers, including the Wallace Mullinax Super Funk Jam, Stereo Reform, Yellowknife, Gaslight Street, Bottom Feeder, Sex Bruise, The Oh Geez, Shonuff, the Folly Beach Reggae Allstars and MJ12.

Tickets for the festival are $8 in advance, $10 the day of the show, and are available at the door or online at Doors open at 9 p.m.

Call 571-4343 or go to for more information.