Where you’re from and where you belong are sometimes at odds, and so begins the uneasy wandering, the searching for home in strange places, an exploring that hopefully reveals a deeper understanding of self and a proper place in the grand spectrum of cliques and purpose.
It’s what you find on local rock trio Heyrocco’s latest effort, “Teenage Movie Soundtrack,” a lesson in self-discovery, a reflecting collection of questions, doubts and hesitant answers about growing up. But the album also carries the inevitably irritated theme of outsiders stuck in places where being an insider grants keys out of the otherwise inescapable cellars of acceptance.
For that reason, terms like “teen angst” and “stoner apathy” roll off critic tongues at a rate not seen since the day Nirvana oozed over the sheen, sugar and excess of early ’90s radio, but there’s more to Heyrocco beneath the grime and alienation that begins to surface on “Teenage Movie Soundtrack.”
While its message and crunchy, mainliner delivery are worthy of a grunge retrospective, this time around Heyrocco updates the nostalgia with blueprints from Britpop, indie rock and dance rock. What emerges is being touted as the band’s most complex and polished release of its three-album body of work.
With label deals secured both in the United Kingdom and the United States and a resurgence of interest in ’90s rock culture by young audiences, Heyrocco may finally be set to break open the locks and escape the outsider status, for better or for worse.
Heyrocco will perform Thursday at The Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway, Thursday with the Oklahoma indie rock trio Broncho. Tickets are $12 at the door or online. Doors open at 8:30 p.m.; show starts at 9:30 p.m. Go to www.CharlestonPourHouse.com or call 571-4343.
There may be no one more underappreciated in local music than Oscar Rivers Jr., the great jazz pianist and saxophonist whose career is nearly as long as his Charleston roots are deep. Today, Rivers works as both a player and an educator, a beacon of inspiration for his students and audiences that’s perhaps brighter now than ever before. Behind it all is a humble man with a story so incredible that most might assume it’s more tall tale than truth.
He got his start as an 11-year-old saxophonist whose talent and dedication surprised veteran musicians so much that the label “prodigy” began following the teenager around local gigs and into his years as a Burke High School band member.
Rivers went on to graduate from South Carolina State College before receiving his master’s in music from Roosevelt University in Chicago. It was in the vibrant Chicago jazz scene that he spent the ’60s and ’70s as a player-for-hire, where his bebop-style sax playing was compared to Charlie Parker’s and earned him work alongside jazz great Sonny Stitt and music icons like Quincy Jones, the Temptations, the Jackson Five, B.B. King, Etta James, Roberta Flack, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder.
When the economy waned in the early ’80s, Rivers returned to Charleston to teach music, math and science at elementary schools before teaching himself classical piano to broaden his gigging opportunities.
Rivers now serves as the choir director and pianist at Morris Brown AME Church and plays regularly around town with Oscar Rivers Jazz at jazz sanctuaries like Charleston Grill, How Art Thou? and The Mezz.
Rivers will join jazz and soul vocalist Kat Keturah at The Mezz, 276 King St., Saturday. Sets begin at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Reservations for the evening’s dinner set are advised. Cover charges for the cocktail set start at $10 and are paid at the door. Call 853-4515 or go to www.MezzDowntown.com.
When local Americana/indie pop quartet the Tarlatans released its self-titled debut in 2012, the young Clemson grads were relative unknowns in the Charleston music scene, coming in at a time when local Americana warhorses were still trampling upstarts and staking claims in weekend shows and radio airwaves.
But the Tarlatans have matured now. They’ve shaped their sound and chops with help from industry vets like G. Love and Jay Clifford, who produced the group’s latest EP, last year’s “Good Luck,” to create a bolder, deeper sound that hails from closer to the hearts of men than the minds of students.
The Tarlatans will perform Saturday at The Royal American, 970 Morrison Drive, with She Returns from War and The High Divers. Tickets are $5 at the door.
Show starts at 9 p.m. Go to www.TheRoyalAmerican.com or call 817-6925.