Music News & Reviews

Walter Tunis: Metal bands headline at Cosmic Charlie's, Buster's

Corrosion of Conformity's Woody Weatherman, left, Reed Mullin and Mike Dean
Corrosion of Conformity's Woody Weatherman, left, Reed Mullin and Mike Dean Courtesy of Candlelight Records

Corrosion of Conformity, Zoroaster, Royal Thunder

10 p.m. Nov. 18 at Cosmic Charlie's, 388 Woodland Ave. $18 in advance, $20 at the door. (859) 309-9499.

Napalm Death, Municipal Waste, Exhumed, Speedwolf

8 p.m. Nov. 21 at Buster's Billiards & Backroom, 899 Manchester St. $12 advance, $15 day of show. (859) 368-8871.

Break out the earplugs, kids. We have two nights of cross-continental metal music heading our way.

On Sunday, Cosmic Charlie's plays host to the soothing sounds of Corrosion of Conformity. The longstanding Raleigh, N.C., band has been crunching ears for three decades. In fact, its 30th anniversary has been marked this year by the release of two recordings that essentially bookend its career.

In February came a self-titled work, COC's eighth full-length studio album. The record was built around a lineup that included three founding members — guitarist Woody Weatherman, bassist Mike Dean and drummer Reed Mullin.

Then last week, COC reissued its 1984 debut album, Eye for an Eye, a punk-flavored timepiece that remains the only record the band released with vocalist Eric Eycke. As a bonus, the new edition of Eye for an Eye includes a previously out-of-print 1989 EP of six tunes r ecorded with Dean as lead singer, titled Six Songs With Mike Singing.

Zoroaster and Royal Thunder will open.

Flash forward to Wednesday, and Buster's will present a metalfest that boasts co-headliners from both sides of the Pond: Napalm Death of Birmingham, England, and the Richmond, Va., troupe Municipal Waste.

Regarded as one of the world's most influential death-metal bands, Napalm Death has worked with essentially the same lineup for two of its three decades as a touring ensemble. Even by metal standards, its music is viewed as loud, aggressive and swiftly paced, and its lyrics regularly reflect political themes. Album titles such as Words From the Exit Wound, Order of the Leech and Smear Campaign are further clues to the dystopian narratives of Napalm Death's songs.

The comparatively young Municipal Waste, which turned 11 this year, is regularly viewed as a thrash-metal unit and has been compared to Corrosion of Conformity and other bands. It maintains a strong fan base overseas, just as Napalm Death remains wildly popular in the United States. Its newest album, The Fatal Feast, was released last spring.

Exhumed and Speedwolf complete the Buster's bill.

Return to Meadowgreen Park

Last month, the annual fall-to-spring series of Saturday night bluegrass concerts at Meadowgreen Park Music Hall, 303 Bluegrass Lane, Clay City, got under way. Still one of the homiest and most unspoiled performance venues of its kind, Meadowgreen Park offers the most complementary of settings for live bluegrass music and makes the drive to Clay City worthwhile regardless of what act is playing there.

This weekend, Meadowgreen Park just happens to be presenting one of the highlight acts on its schedule. Saturday has The Grascals — the award-winning string music brigade featuring guitarist/vocalists Terry Eldredge and Jamie Johnson along with banjo great Kristin Scott Benson — performing two shows. Jubilee Road opens. (3 and 7 p.m. $15. (606) 663-9008.

Here comes the dub

Take one of the masterful pop sounds to surface out of England and let it spend some time soaking up the Jamaican sunshine. The results come to us this weekend via Yellow Dubmarine, a Washington, D.C., ensemble specializing in reggae, ska and dub style treatments of classic Beatles music.

The band will offer groove-centric variations of the Fab Four's hits — be it through the entire Abbey Road album, which Yellow Dubmarine reimagined last year on a recording titled Abbey Dub, or the band's current repertoire of reggae-revised chart toppers from the 2000 Beatles compilation 1 — on Saturday at the Weisiger Theatre at Danville's Norton Center for the Arts. (8 p.m. $30. 1-877-448-7469.

More Jorma

One of the highlights of a still-active fall concert season was last month's Sunday session of acoustic blues and folk reflection by guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Jorma Kaukonen at Natasha's Bistro & Bar.

Kaukonen is back in the region for a show this weekend, although it will require a modest road trip. He performs Sunday at 20th Century Theatre, 3021 Madison Road, Cincinnati. Kaukonen will be in some slightly different company, too. The Cincy show is one of only four dates he is playing this fall with veteran San Francisco jam band guitarist Steve Kimock. (8 p.m. $20, $25, $30. (513) 731-8000 or