Music Scene: Built to Spill, Midnite, Ben Rector

Built to Spill

There was a time when the term “indie rock” wasn’t so cliche, a beginning when the sound was hard to categorize and even harder to explain.

Nowadays, every band that is lighter than heavy, heavier than pop and weirder than radio is slackly tossed into the familiar indie-rock bucket.

Built to Spill is a band that came before the proverbial labelmaker for a genre so widely stamped and defined that it now defies its own meaning and parameters.

The Boise, Idaho-based band formed in 1992 during the reign of grunge, and slightly before the takeover of neo-metal and pop punk.

Close enough to Seattle and Portland to feel their influences yet remote and pristine enough not to be interrupted or strangled by them, Boise offered Built to Spill co-founder, vocalist/guitarist and lead songwriter Doug Martsch and bandmates the perfect location to develop an alternative sound.

Built to Spill will perform Saturday at the Music Farm, 32 Ann St., with Helvetica. Tickets are $20 in advance, $23 the day of the show and are available online at etix.com or at the Music Farm box office. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Call 577-6989 or go to musicfarm.com for more information.

With nearly four dozen albums released in its 23 years together, Midnite has spread its roots reggae sound to fans all over the world and back again during a career spanning longer than many of its fans have been alive.

Hailing from St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, Midnite is one of the only authentic Rastafarian reggae groups that adhere to the traditional reggae style first made popular in 1970s Jamaica.

In recent years, Midnite has mostly become the work of singer/songwriter Vaughn Benjamin and his producer/bassist/keyboardist brother Ron. A revolving cast of musicians tours with the group while the other founding members rarely all perform together.

Midnite’s feverish pace has not slowed as it approaches its quarter-century mark. The band has released its third recording of the year and recently wrapped a West Coast tour before embarking on a brief East Coast run.

Midnite will perform Wednesday at The Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway. Tickets are $20 in advance, $23 the day of the show and are available at the door or online at etix.com.

Go to charlestonpourhouse.com or call 571-4343 for more information.

Oklahoma-born, Nashville-based singer/songwriter Ben Rector isn’t snazzy or over-the-top.

His music isn’t groundbreaking, nor is it contrived or gimmicky.

No, Rector has made quite a name for himself just by doing things the old-fashioned way: chops and late nights.

The 25-year-old college graduate began writing songs as a teenager and became the youngest winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest when his song “Conversation” won the top prize in the contest’s pop category six years ago. Rector was a freshman at the University of Arkansas at the time, and went on to build the foundation of a respected music career during his tenure there.

His emotionally dawning lyrics and a capability for immersing himself in his vocals has led many of Rector’s songs to appear on film and television soundtracks. His latest record, last year’s “Something Like This,” charted on iTunes in several categories, even reaching the fourth spot on the top overall album sales chart.

Ben Rector will perform Thursday at the Music Farm, 32 Ann St. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door and are available online at etix.com or at the Music Farm box office. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Call 577-6989 or go to musicfarm.com for more information.