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Stopover starting
Celebration of indie music is March 7-9
Tampa's party/pop punk trio Merchandise plays at the Knights of Columbus Hall Thursday night.

Let's take a moment to congratulate Savannah Stopover Festival founder and executive producer Kayne Lanahan and her support staff for another amazing celebration of American indie music, in all its myriad and fascinating forms.

The 2013 Stopover - the third annual fest - takes place this week (March 7-9), and it's perhaps the best lineup yet. There's more diverse and compelling music over these three days than Savannah usually gets in a year's time.

Some of our best local bands are performing in this Stopover, too, making this truly a community-wide event, one we can all be proud of. And enjoy.

For the day-by-day, blow-by-blow, show-by-show (plus all ticket information), see

We'll see ya ‘round the clubs.


At 9:30 p.m. March 7, Knights of Columbus Hall

"I still don't think anything is as powerful as Nina Simone or Miles Davis," says Carson Cox, one of the founders of Tampa's party/pop punk trio. "There's all this shoegaze music going around, but whatever people hear in us, the shoegaze is just Miles Davis. He played some of the most melted music, and you can still get his records in dollar bins everywhere."

The jazz influence is there if you look for it, as well as the spirited ghosts of Krautrock bands, industrial pioneers, Jesus and Mary Chain, DIY punk and even classic rock. The band's second album, Children of Desire, got a mostly-rave review from Pitchfork, which called the record "an outsized, emotionally rich pop album that practically begs for your attention."

"I'm taking the chance that there are people like me outside of punk by playing whatever I like," says Cox, one of the band's main songwriters and its lead singer. "Genres are not for us."

 Hear "Anxiety's Door," a track from Merchandise's new EP Totale Nite:

Mac DeMarco

At 1 a.m. March 7 at the Jinx

Maybe it's the missing front tooth, or the occasionally bugging eyes, or the dirty, omnipresent baseball cap. There's something about this Canadian rocker that brings Jim Varney, in full Ernest Cuts a Record mode, to mind.

He may get goofy in his promo pics and videos, and during the raveups in his four-man band's live sets, but this 22-year-old (previously known as Makeout Videotape) is a seriously good song-crafter with a refined sense of melody and lyric. He does a sleazy croon in a voice reminiscent of laconic Lou Reed or (the young) Leonard Cohen. He has Jonathan Richman's sense of humor, pathos and playfulness. He rocks. He rolls. He crawls on his belly like a reptile (seriously, he does, and he sometimes gets naked onstage, too).

In a rave review, the almighty Pitchfork praised the Mac DeMarco 2 album as "downright greasy; his unpredictable, louche guitar melodies rise above the warped production and showboat with a laidback, lubricated clarity that's more ‘Sultans of Swing' than slovenly slacker."

 Hear "My Kind of Woman," a track from Mac DeMarco 2:

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