The Charleston Music Hall’s Top 10 Lists of 2013!

TopTen2013 was a huge year for the Charleston Music Hall.  The Music Hall hosted 113 events this year (up from 50 events in 2012), won Best Venue Reboot in the Charleston City Paper, began the transition from a rental only facility to an in house promotions facility, opened up new routing for many national acts, and also opened the doors to local musicians hosting over 15 locals bands this year.  We wanted to pay homage to the year and the amazing shows / musicians of the year.  Below you will find Charles Carmody’s and Bennett Jones’ (yes, there are only two employees at The Music Hall) Top Ten Lists of 2013 including: Top 10 Local Bands, Top 10 Music Shows in Charleston (Outside of the Music Hall), Top 10 Shows at The Music Hall.

Top 10 Local Bands (In no particular Order):
We lost some great local bands this year.  Unfortunately, Charleston still has a pretty low ceiling for musicians (which is why we all have to support them, so they stop leaving!), and quite a few musicians went to find greener pastures this year, such as Josh Kaler, the group Modern Man, Stefanie Santana, Steven Fiore, and Sarah Bandy.  We still love you, and we wish you the best in your endeavors out in the great big world.  A moment of silence please.  And our top 10 local bands of 2013 are:

Charles Carmody’s List:

1. Dumb Doctors
– A super troupe of local musicians ripping ceilings off buildings.
2. Boring Portals
          – What is Joel playing in that big black box?
3. Rachel Kate
          – Makes my heart swoon.
4. Johnny Delaware
          – Coolest cat in town, and the nicest, and a beautiful songwriter.
5. Nick Jenkins
          – Takes communal shows to a new level.
6. Stefanie Santana
          – Watching her blossom as a singer and a songwriter has been the most amazing.
7. Brave Baby
          – Makes me love America.
8. Jordan Igoe
         – She is a badass who makes me smile.
9. Slow Runner
          – Best love ballads ever written.
10. Steven Fiore
          – A Grade “A” Artist through and through

Bennett Jones’ List:

1. Southern Femisphere
          -Feminism is great.
2. Boring Portals
          -Just get weird.
3. Dumb Doctors
          -Sweaty-man, surf solos, and rock n’ roll.
4. People Person
          -Loud garage rockin’ with strong female vocals.
5. Godwin Falcon
          -Get a little evil.
6. Nick Jenkins
          -Awesome experimental artist.
7. Johnny Delaware
          -Excellent song writing.
8. DJ Party Dad
          -Great record collection and throwbacks.
9. DJ JeffET
          -Mixing old and new, hip-hop and nerd-rock.
10. Elim Bolt
          -Local indie rock that tells stories.

Top 10 Music Shows in Charleston (Outside of the Music Hall):
I (Charles) grew up in Charleston and have seen many amazing venues come and go, (rest in peace Cumberlands and The Village Tavern).  However, we still have some great places to see live music in this city: The Tin RoofThe Pour HouseThe Royal AmericanThe Music FarmThe North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center.  The people that run these establishments are top notch folks, and I look forward to continue working with and alongside them.  Below we have our favorite shows that were not at the Music Hall in 2013.  They range from house shows, to coliseum shows, to shows of every genre, and I think they are a testament to the greatness and the diversity of the music being presented in Charleston.  Here are our favorite shows in Charleston outside of the Music Hall this year.

Charles Carmody’s List:

1. We are the World Show at The Tin Roof
– Over 20 local musicians all playing the roles of the original We are the World cast = pure magic.  Check out the original recording HERE.
2. Sigur Ros at The Performing Arts Center
– Sentimental.  I wept through most of the show.
3. Can’t Kids at The Swamp House
– Wall shaking music in the downtown swamp.
4. Halloween Cover Show at The Tin Roof
          – One of my favorite annual local shows.
5. Charles Bradley at The Pour House
– He started crying at the end of the show, walked off the stage, and started hugging everyone.  He had sweat through his suit.
6. Boring Portals at The Royal American
          – The right kind of noise.
7. Avi Jacob at The Poets House South
– One of my first encounters with folk singer/songwriter Avi Jacobs, and a hauntingly beautiful show.
8. They Might Be Giants at The Music Farm
– John and John rule.
9. Man Man at The Pour House
          – Theatrical gypsy fun.
10. B.B. King at The Performing Arts Center
– A legend and a wonderful human plus Elise Testone opened for him.

Bennett Jones’ List:

1. The Killers at The Family Circle Tennis Center
          -Stadium rock for people that can’t see Bruce Springsteen every year.
2. Southern Femisphere at The Royal American
          -The bass player’s vocals rule, the songs are catchy, and everyone is doing funny dances.
3. Johnny Delaware at The Tin Roof
          -He is so darn attractive.
4. Godwin Falcon at The Recovery Room
           -This town needs more metal, Godwin Falcon rules.
5. DJ Party Dad at The Local 616
          -Get, get, get, up and get down, Party Dad is ruling this town.
6. Dumb Doctors at Tivoli’s Halloween party
          -Just a bunch of sweaty dudes making other people sweaty.
7. R. Kelly at North Charleston Coliseum
          -He is a total creep, but his voice is like butter.
8. Built to Spill at The Music Farm
          -Re-living every skate video from my adolescence.
9. Elim Bolt at The Royal American
          -Vibrato, tremolo, fun times.
10. Nick Jenkins at Tivoli’s Halloween Party
          -We all need to just be quiet and listen sometimes.

Top 10 Charleston Music Hall Shows:
We had a blast this year.  We made custom sets for bands, built a 20 foot stage extension for a 200 piece Bulgarian Orchestra, hosted comedians, dance troupes, plays, musicals, bands, a big band jazz series, SEWE, law seminars, weddings, corporate functions, a body building competition, and 13 Christmas shows.  We created a movies series, created a bluegrass series, created a local music series, and created Live at The Charleston Music Hall: a potential live music TV series.  Here are our favorite shows at the Music Hall in 2013.

Charles Carmody’s List:
1. Jeff Mangum – Jan. 29
          – A dream come true.
2. Shovels and Rope – March 2
          – The best couple I have ever met.
3. Brendan James with Steven Fiore – July 13
          – Built a custom camping set and a said farewell to a dear friend, Steven Fiore.
4. Slow Runner’s Final Show with Brave Baby – Sept. 27
          – Amazing to see the torch pass between the two bands.
5. Rachel’s Kate “With Love and Hate” Album Release Show – Sept.14
          – A 50 foot homemade paper chain and a balloon drop to accompany a wonderful album and major accomplishment.
6. David Sedaris – Oct. 23
          – He said I was “enchanting.”
7. Grass in the Hall: Town Mountain, Cumberland River, Barefoot Movement – March 1
          – A wonderful series that kicked off with a bang.
8. Pecha Kucha XX with Elise Testone – Nov. 20
         – 1,000 of Charleston’s coolest people in one room.
9. Steep Canyon Rangers and Shannon Whitworth – August 22
          – Amazing music, ’nuff said.
10. Charleston Jazz Orchestra: Coltrane – Jan. 26
          – An amazing tribute to an amazing musician.

Bennett Jones’ List:
1. Tommy Emmanuel with Jacob Johnson
          -Unbelievable virtuoso performance from a guitar legend.
2. Crowfield’s Final Concert
          -Southern rock done right.
3. Rachel Kate’s Album Release Show
          -Quirky rock with a great set design.
4. Bill Burr
          -Really funny comedian.
5. Brendan James with Steven Fiore
          -Two of Charleston’s best songwriters, and evidently Steven Fiore’s farewell concert.
6. Angel Snow, South Carolina Broadcasters, and Mandolin Orange
          -My favorite of the Grass in the Hall Series with our buddy Eddie White with solid song writing, vocals, and boot stomping.
7. MOJA Arts presents Miles & Coltrane Blue
           -Great renditions of my favorite Miles Davis and John Coltrane songs.
8. Charleston Jazz Orchestra’s Latin Night: Jobim
           -I love “Girl from Ipanema”.
9. Charleston Jazz Orchestra’s Bebop Night
          -The speed metal of jazz.
10. Lebowski Bash
          -White Russians, crazy costumes, and my favorite movie.

So, there you have it.  Comment below and let us know your favorites of 2013!  Also, if you ever want to see a musician in Charleston, just let us know, and we will do our best to get them here.  Send requests to  Happy New Year!

– Charles Carmody and Bennett Jones