Brett Barest on Upstate Music: Let the Holiday Madness Begin

  • By cvbizz
  • November 27, 2019
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I have never made a list of all of the things I hate in this world, mostly because I do not have that kind of time on my hands. If I did, though, I am sure that somewhere on the list near mayonnaise and Salt Life stickers, I would have “holiday commercialism” listed in extra large print. The fact that Black Friday begins earlier and earlier every year to the point that people are going straight from their Thanksgiving dinners to the local Wal-Mart that evening is a concept I will never understand, no matter how much they are saving. As such, my Christmas shopping often gets delayed until Christmas Eve or so but somehow it always seems to work out okay.

It does not have to be that way, however, and this weekend actually has a few great opportunities to support local businesses and get a jump on that holiday shopping for yourself or fellow music lover.

First off, Black Friday does not seem so troublesome to me when it is happening at Horizon Records. Record Store Day’s Black Friday is a celebration of sound and nearly 200 albums are going to be released upon the world in commemoration of the event. Everyone from Beck to Cardi B and Frank Zappa will be available in an onslaught of musical releases perfect for the music lover in your life. I suspect you could knock out a large chunk of your Christmas shopping at this event alone, if you are surrounding yourself with the right kind of people, that is. The fun starts at 8am so Thanksgiving dinner can remain sacred and lasts until the doors close at 10pm.

Horizon really celebrates the spirit of the season with Swag Saturday the following day.  The store will be taking collections of food, winter clothing, and cash to benefit the Triune Mercy Center and the work they do to help the homeless and others in need in our community. We often forget the importance of helping others – especially on the way to the checkout aisle during December – so this is a nice chance to give a little kindness to those who see the holiday season as little more than one of cold weather and gloom. What is up with the swag, you ask? Well, those who donate to the cause will get to take home a little something from the bottomless pit of freebies a store like Horizon accumulates throughout the year. CD samplers, LP test pressings, posters and all sorts of other merchandise will be available as a thank you for supporting Triune’s good work.

 The shopping fun rolls right into Sunday with the return of the Greenville Punk Flea Market at The Radio Room.  This is not your typical journey to the Jockey Lot as Greenville Punk Flea Market celebrates all things underground and downright cool. Everything from original artwork and jewelry to vintage clothes, B-movie oddities, and so much more make this the most unique pop up market you will find in town. If you cannot find some killer Christmas presents here, you probably have a Salt Life sticker on your Yeti cooler.

Weekend Concerts

On the concert side of things, there are plenty of shows to enjoy for those just not inclined to think about shopping at all. The most interesting one to me is a Thanksgiving evening concert featuring Fabio Frizzi at The Radio Room. Admittedly, I had never heard of him before seeing this event posted as I am far from a horror movie buff, but Frizzi is best known for writing the musical scores for Italian horror movie legend Lucio Fulci. While I will probably never watch the “Gates of Hell” trilogy, A Lizard In A Woman’s Skin, or Don’t Torture A Duckling, listening to Frizzi’s work was downright enchanting and I think it is great that a local venue is hosting something like this. As a side note, you do not have to feel bad for Frizzi working on Thanksgiving because they do not have that in Italy.

The Radio Room also plays host to The Parlor Pinks Events’ second annual Spaced Out Fest on Saturday. Boo Hag (swamp rock), Horrible Girl & the Hot Mess (punk), The Parlor Pinks (goth-pop), Canopy Hands (electro-rock), Foreign (hip hop), Antiquarian (electronic), and Aunt Vicki (psych-folk) all join forces for exactly the type of eclectic blending of genres that TPP Events prides itself on. This embodies everything about the “something for everybody” type of show I cannot help to love.

Finally, if you are looking to keep the weekend going until Monday, Larry Hoskinson returns to the Bohemian Café for his annual John Lennon tribute show and Robert Earl Keen will be at The Peace Center for his “Countdown to Christmas” tour. The latter performance will see Shinyribs open things up which, if anyone has ever seen them at Skunk Fest or remembers The Gourds, is reason enough to catch that show.  

However you choose to spend your weekend, be kind and stay safe in all the madness, and enjoy a show or two. Most importantly, don’t talk politics over Thanksgiving dinner… I assure you Grandma is in no mood for that nonsense.

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