Down Yonder, a film project featuring performances from 8 Charlotte musicians, is available today.
The documentary, produced by local creative agency Priceless Misc., was filmed earlier this summer at Camp North End, a game-changing new development just outside Uptown.
The goal is to spotlight established and up and coming performers and generate buzz for the Charlotte music scene.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at production at Camp North End.
All Down Yonder performances are available online as well as for purchase in a charity bundle benefitting Girls Rock Charlotte, a local nonprofit music camp for girls.
The $35 Down Yonder bundle includes a CD, visual album and limited-edition t-shirt designed by Elisa Marie Sanchez.
Check out all 8 performances below along with commentary from the producers.
Commentary has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
Alexa Jenson – “Alexa Jenson joined us at Camp North End first thing in the morning because she was graduating from high school later that afternoon. There’s a vitality and wildness in her voice that is at one moment powerful and at another tender and vulnerable. She is using songwriting and singing to navigate the often confusing teenage years. Alexa is writing past the ability of many of her older and more experienced contemporaries and she’s growing into one of Charlotte best music acts.”
Alright – “Sarah and Josh Robbins have been a part of the Charlotte music scene for years. They’ve released records by local and national bands at their record label, Self-Aware Records, and also screen print many of the t-shirts and merch for many Charlotte performers. Alright was Sarah’s first time in a band and their sound has evolved quickly as she’s figured out the way she likes to write and what works best with the musicians around her. Their brand of pop-punk is fuzzy and sweet but with a bite that is unique to their own.”
Bless These Sounds Under the City – “Electronic folk duo Albert Strawn and Derrick Hines is one of Charlotte’s most dynamic groups. They write music on acoustic guitars, keyboards, sequencers, drum machines, iPads, melodics, and glockenspiels played with a violin bows and pretty much anything else they can get their hands on. Not only gifted multi-instrumentalists, Strawn and Hines are gifted songwriters, as well, featuring lyrics that are often dense in poetry, metaphor and meaning. Sometimes electronic, sometimes hip hop, sometimes singer/songwriter, sometimes something else entirely, Bless These Sounds Under the City is pushing the boundaries of what Charlotte music can be.”
Dollar Signs – “Dollar Signs is a punk band who doesn’t play by too many of the conventions of the genre. They look and sound more like IT people than punk rock badasses. They describe their music as “punk rock for polite people.” Dollar Signs’ lyrics are at one moment funny and sharp and at another honest and vulnerable, singing about the perils of being alive in your late twenties and navigating the space between college and careers.”
George Banda – “Watching George Banda play guitar leaves his audience awestruck. He effortlessly dances his fingers up and down the neck of his guitar. Banda’s music creeps up on you with surprising and strong melodies that smuggle in ripping guitar harmonies and heartbreaking lyrics. He sings about love and heartbreak as both an optimist and a veteran of those feelings. Banda’s live shows are loving and sweet as he tells stories and interacts with the crowd.”
Ghost Trees – “The jazz duo Ghost Trees is a visceral experience. The drums and saxophone clang and clash, acting simultaneously as partners and competitors in their sound. Ghost Trees is definitely a jazz group but has been known to crash a bill of other genres and explore territory outside of their comfort zone. Beyond that, they also often play without using microphones, on the floor near the bar so they can share a moment with the audience that is intimate, immediate, and sweaty.”
Junior Astronomers – “Junior Astronomers are long time staples and supporters in the Charlotte music scene. Founded in 2008 Junior Astronomers have crafted a sound together that is raucous and jangly at times and sharp and dancey at others. Their new record is largely about living in Charlotte and how their relationship with the city has grown and changed over the years. Seeing Junior Astronomers at home in Charlotte is must do here. The audience feeds them love and they are more than happy to feed it back.”
Sinners and Saints – “Sinners and Saints are the premiere toe-tapping, beer-drinking, sing-a-long folk band in Charlotte. The audience wants to sing along to Perry and Mark’s songs even before they know the words. Perry, who is also is an owner of the music venue Petra’s, writes songs that are fun and ernest. Don’t be surprised watching them live that everyone in the audience is singing along and whooping and hollering at the end of every song.”