Pin It
Submit to Reddit
Favorite

QCI Books Out of Charlotte 

Lukewarm attendance dooms McKinney's show promotions

You can't say Brian McKinney didn't try. The head of Queen City Independent promotions is leaving town after nearly two years spent booking some of the best new rock acts to appear in Charlotte in recent years.

McKinney, 25, started QCI with Brice Griffin in March of 2005 when they noticed a paucity of new rock shows at the city's venues and decided to try and fill the bill. The first-time promoters were winging it, using independent bookers like Omaha's One Percent and Philadelphia's R5 as general templates. Unfortunately, they learned the hard way that Charlotte's big city status doesn't always apply to its musical tastes.

Still, despite hemorrhaging money over the course of 35 shows -- with two more to come, including Make Believe at the Milestone Nov. 11 and QCI's farewell finale, the Cursive/Jeremy Enigk (ex-Sunnyday Real Estate) blowout Nov. 17 at Tremont -- McKinney is convinced there's an audience for new rock in this town.

"You can't sell out a show and say there's not a market," McKinney says, citing his recent Band of Horses sell-out at Casbah and earlier well-attended shows by the Wrens, Of Montreal and hip-hop artist Little Brother. "Then the next show nobody shows up. You would think that out of a million people you could get 100 people to show up for virtually very show. But Charlotte's an anomaly that way, unlike any city I've lived in or visited."

Overcoming lukewarm coverage from the city's media outlets, QCI brought noteworthy acts to a town that's usually just a drive-by between other Southeast venues in cities half Charlotte's size. Too often, though, newer eccentric acts like Final Fantasy, Xiu Xiu and Devotchka, as well as more established names like Magnolia Electric Co., the Fruitbats, SMOG and Elf Power, drew disappointing numbers.

"I'd say four or five have been real successes," McKinney says, "which means getting enough people to cover the expenses and maybe make a little to hole away for the shows that don't cover the guarantee. I never did this to get rich, but I didn't do it to lose $500 to $1,000 per show either. That's a pretty expensive ticket for me to go to a concert."

McKinney says he does plan to keep the Queen City Independent Web site active, so you can contact him through there.

Winners' Circle: Trip Rogers, performing with percussionist Jeff Chester, won the Charlotte Music Awards' Inaugural Showcase, which was held on Oct. 10 at the Evening Muse. We'll have the Nov. 3 winner of the Urban Showcase in the next column two weeks hence. The Holiday Showcase takes place Dec. 7 at the Wadsworth House. For more information go to www.charlottemusicawards.org ... Congratulations to Conjure Hands (Tony Rogers & Kerry Smith), winners of the Solo/Duo Charlotte Blues Society Blues Competition held recently at JB'z:. 1st runner-up -- Mike Crowley & John Dungan; 2nd runner-up -- Port Authority (Bob Paolino and Don Berg); 3rd runner-up -- Rex McCann.

Studio News: Singer/songwriter and guitarist Mike Strauss has begun work on a new project with Chris Garges engineering. Randolph Lewis (Les Dirt Clods) is producing and playing guitar on the album, whose basic tracks are being recorded live (vocals included) at Old House Studio in Gastonia. Ron Brendle plays upright and electric bass, David Kim (Fence Lions) plays drums, and Jason Atkins (keys) and Rodney Lanier (pedal steel) also appear ... Poprocket front-man Jay Garrigan is working on a new solo project at the Old House Studio as well as Garrigan's own Stealth Kitty Studio ... Also in the works, a new record from Contagious Blues Band, made up of guitarist/vocalist Zack Rosicka, bassist/vocalist Jim Bolt, and drummer/vocalist Junior Howell ... Keep an eye out for Bobby Smith's new solo record, Black, White and Blind, engineered by Mark Williams. The record also features drummer Calvin Thompson, bassist Flavio Mangione, organist Richard Putnum, and Jamie Hoover on vocals ... Dallas-based twang-rockers the Von Ehrics have signed to Charlotte-based indie label Rocket 13 Records. The band's sophomore full-length, The Whiskey Sessions, will be out in the new year and the band has a couple local dates lined up: Nov. 10 at the Visulite and Nov. 25 at the Milestone ... Local rapper Tezzy (AKA The Carolina Kid) just dropped his mix-tape, Rock-Vegas, which was also recorded at Rocket 13 by Rob Stevens.

Seeya Next Year: Ramseur Records will release in early 2007 Martin Stephenson's Hell's Half Acre, which was recorded in North Carolina during 2003 and 2004 ... To listen to two tracks ("Salutation Road" and "Big Sky New Light") from this upcoming release visit Ramseur Records' Web site ... and congratulations to the Avett Brothers, whose New Year's Eve show at the Neighborhood Theatre has sold out yet again.

If you have local music information you'd like to see in Queen City Inferno, contact us at eldiablo@cln.com

Pin It
Submit to Reddit
Favorite

Speaking of 4.00000

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Creative Loafing encourages a healthy discussion on its website from all sides of the conversation, but we reserve the right to delete any comments that detract from that. Violence, racism and personal attacks that go beyond the pale will not be tolerated.

Search Events

www.flickr.com
items in Creative Loafing Charlotte More in Creative Loafing Charlotte pool

© 2017 Womack Newspapers, Inc.
Powered by Foundation