Myrtle Beach shag club sheds image; October Chorus ready for next stage of band battle

For Weekly SurgeApril 30, 2014 

Clifton Parker of October Chorus onstage at Hard Rock Cafe. Photo by Scott Smallin.

The 2001 Entertainment Complex on Lake Arrowhead Road, Myrtle Beach, has long been a staple for beach music fans and a place for tourists and locals to congregate for dancing aside from the usual suspect, the Broadway at the Beach complex. The crowd is usually known for being a bit more seasoned than Broadway patrons, a 55-plus demographic.

Well hold on to your Bobby Socks, kids. Enter Jim Smith, Entertainment Director and consultant for 2001, who has a mandate and vision to “re-brand” the club (or at least a part of it) and reach out to a somewhat disenfranchised, generally much younger group.

“We want to reach out and broaden our scope and let [2001] be here for all forms of art,” said Smith. “We’re known as a beach club with the shag music, and an older crowd, but we’d really like to let the community of artists who live here have a stage that they can come to and focus on their original works.”

Three clubs in one, Smith is utilizing the more intimate of the three spaces at 2001 and on Facebook it is being referred to as 2001 MMI. He is letting various groups host events: visual artists, deejays, flow artists, musicians, actors, comedians, the floor is open. Each Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. artists and the public are invited to gather to discuss the arts, network with others and express themselves however best they can. “It’s a meet-up,” said Smith. “We had a group of eight actors run through a segment of their script on stage last week. It’s loose.” Allareone Productions, featuring alternating Synergy Sessions and Soulful Salutations, will host each Thursday night at 2001 beginning May 8. Expect visual artists, touring DJs, and groovy vibes at those events.

Want in on the act? The first traditional open mike for singers, songwriters and musicians is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, and Smith hopes to find a permanent home for the event as the season progresses.

Still in its infancy, word is spreading about the re-imagined 2001 among the artistic millennials who have few outlets for their creativity. Show your local or college I.D. for free admission and watch out for the curious shaggers who may quickly poke their heads in the door, and just as quickly run the other way.

Join the chorus

After recently resurrected local band October Chorus won the regional rounds at Hard Rock Café’s annual battle of the bands, the group will be back performing at Hard Rock Café in Myrtle Beach and seeking fans’ all-important online voting in hopes to move on in the international competition.

“This is great opportunity for us,” said Clifton Parker, lead vocalist for a band first came to light some 15 years ago. Parker and guitarist Brian McKenzie resurrected the band for a reunion show last December and again for the Hard Rock Café regional contest, which they won after several difficult rounds of voting and competition from among 75 local and regional acts. Joining Parker and McKenzie in the act are Darryl Cherry (bassist), and Mark Holt (drums).

The band will perform 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. Friday in a show billed as the “Global Battle of the Bands Voting Finale Kick Off,” a free, all-ages show at the Hard Rock Café, Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach. Brian Morrison’s band, The Revival, opens the show.

As a regional winner, October Chorus is now in competition with 89 other bands from around the world for the grand prize; an all-expense-paid trip and performance slot at Hard Rock Live Rome later this year. Runners up will receive prize packages valued at around $10,000.

“It would be great to see a local, South Carolina band go all the way,” said Parker. The competition, now in its sixth year, has not had a grand prizewinner from the local region. The online voting (April 28 – May 7) is crucial to October Chorus’ chances of moving forward. “We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible by providing a link at www.octoberchorus.com,” said Parker. Additionally friends and fans may register at the October Chorus Hard Rock Café show where each vote will count as three.

Support the local boys and send them abroad (that means overseas, and not a request for a woman).

Have a thought, comment or newsworthy item for Weekly Surge Music Notes? Send an email to pgrimshaw@sc.rr.com.

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