Even if the name rings unfamiliar, if you've listened to an alt-rock radio station for more than an hour in the last 20 years, chances are fairly certain that you have heard "Possum Kingdom," the seemingly timeless hit from Texas alt-grunge band Toadies.
Founded in 1989 by singer-songwriter Vaden Todd Lewis, the only original member remaining, Toadies emerged during the budding swell of a pivotal change in mainstream rock music.
By the time the group released its debut, "Rubberneck," in 1994, an album that carried the band's biggest singles to date, "Possum Kingdom" and "Away," bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam had all but replaced hair metal in the mainstream.
Similarly, bands like the Pixies, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Mudhoney and others were sweeping up support and credibility in the alternative rock underground, burying slivers of sardonic, enduring melodies beneath a dissonant sludge of intellectual angst and counterculture that defined an entire era for generations.
Toadies fit in more comfortably with the indie underground than it did with the chart-topping megastars of grunge and hard rock and began to lapse into mainstream oblivion after Interscope rejected the release of its 1998 follow-up, forcing the band to spend three years writing and recording new material. By the time "Hell Below/Stars Above" was released in 2001, the band had lost its guitarist and bassist and had spent seven years on the road to support its writing and recording efforts, all for an album that performed poorly commercially and only fairly with critics.
The strain eventually proved too much and five months after the album's release, Toadies announced its break-up.
Another seven years would pass, and in 2008, Toadies reunited behind a new studio album, "No Deliverance." Toadies self-released "Feeler," which Interscope had previously shelved, in 2010 and most recently surfaced with the 2012 effort "Play.Rock.Music."
Toadies will perform Saturday at the Music Farm, 32 Ann St., with Black Pistol Fire. Tickets are $17-$20 and are available at the door, the Music Farm box office 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 for more information.
About 10 years ago, Jonny Frits, then known as Jonny Corndawg, did what I assume a lot of us have considered doing once or twice: he packed up a guitar, jumped on a motorcycle and rode off into the horizon to see the other side.
He was born in Montana, raised in Virginia and has spent time honing his roots-country style in Nashville, Tenn., and New York, among other places, all the while roaming and touring throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and beyond.
It's a reasonable guess that Fritz likes the untethered approach to life and prefers spreading roots music as opposed to setting any of his own just yet.
Then there's the music - the primordial echoes from a newcomer as drifting as their maker, with a sound that reminds us of a time when country music was a little goofy but always fierce and honest.
Fritz has recently been touring with Dawes, Alabama Shakes, Deer Tick and Charleston's own Shovels & Rope.
Jonny Fritz will perform Sunday at The Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway, in support of his latest album "Dad Country," which he recorded with members of Dawes, Jackson Browne and others. Also performing will be with Elim Bolt and Izaak Opatz. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 the day of the show, and are available at the door or online at Etix.com. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. with the show starting at 9:30 p.m.
Call 571-4343 or go to Charlestonpourhouse.com for more information.
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