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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Half a Century into His Career, Aaron Neville Keeps the Faith

Posted By on Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 12:13 PM

Aaron Neville claims he’s just a simple singer. When asked how he developed his signature falsetto, he says he never “tried to do anything special,” that he just expresses “his heart," and that his voice has merely changed along with him over the years. But he's clearly just being modest. Neville has one of the most distinctive voices in soul, one that will be on display when he kicks off the 2016–17 Duke Performances season Friday night in Baldwin Auditorium. It is his voice that has allowed him to sustain his fifty-five-year career in popular music. His trembling vocals add...

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Durham's Art of Cool Festival Announces Its 2017 Dates

Posted By on Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 3:53 PM

This evening, as part of Northgate Mall’s “Music on the Plaza” series, The Art of Cool Project is celebrating its five-year anniversary as the Triangle’s pivotal jazz and soul scene pillar. While the celebration undoubtedly hits its stride when AOCP cofounder and trumpeter Al Strong puts his horn to work alongside friends of an equally musical bent, it got an extra bump earlier today when the dates for next year’s Art of Cool Festival were announced: April 28-30, 2017. And yes, the festival will remain in its birthplace of downtown Durham. In the past, AOCF organizers announced the dates for the...

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Folkin' with Greensboro: The Gate City Hosts 2016's National Folk Festival

Posted By on Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 12:20 PM

National Folk Festival Downtown Greensboro Friday, September 9-Sunday, September 11, 2016 It's like a free, all-you-can-eat buffet. The National Folk Festival's second coming to Greensboro makes you want to load up your plate with goodies and gobble 'em up till you're so full you can't move. It may be a three-day event, but once it's laid out in front of you, it will be hard to resist taking it in as much as you possibly can. Although the festival officially began Friday night at six p.m., Saturday's noon kickoff seemed like the best starting point. Eleven-year-old N.C. native Presley Barker's...

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Come Out and Show Them, an All-Star Anti-HB 2 Benefit, Set to Light Up Raleigh

Posted By on Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 11:43 AM

Wow, just when you thought the last big festival was over and things had settled down a bit music-fest-wise, here comes another one, and it’s big. Come Out and Show Them is a large-scale anti-HB 2 benefit that will involve thirty-two musical acts at five venues in Raleigh on October 7 and 8. It brings together an all-star slate of Triangle’s finest—Sylvan Esso, Mipso, Mount Moriah, Tift Merritt, Mac MacCaughan, Tres Chicas—uniting forces for a two-night event that aims to raise funds to not only defeat the state's absurd bathroom bill but to take back the state itself. The proceeds...

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Hopscotch, Night Three: Hail, Baroness

Posted By on Sun, Sep 11, 2016 at 4:50 PM

Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown Raleigh Saturday, September 10, 2016 We made it! If you’re like me, making it to the end of Hopscotch weekend meant surviving a continual onslaught of Kind bars, realizing that your shoes aren’t quite as comfortable as you previously thought, and occasionally Googling to determine if hyponatremia should be an actual concern after constantly downing water for three days. Though the fatigue from a long Thursday evening followed by back-to-back all-day marathons was in full force midway through Saturday night, Baroness made it worth pushing through when it took the Lincoln Theatre stage to cap the...

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Hopscotch, Night Three: A Big Beat Closeout

Posted By on Sun, Sep 11, 2016 at 4:19 PM

Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown Raleigh Saturday, September 10, 2016 One quick note about Erykah Badu’s Friday night Hopscotch performance, because despite everyone’s crankiness over her showing up to Red Hat Amphitheater nearly two hours late, there's one major takeaway from the situation. For the previous six years, Hopscotch never seemed able to draw as many African-Americans as it did that night for Badu’s set. Not for Public Enemy in 2010, The Roots in 2012, nor De La Soul in 2014. But of course, many of those African-Americans who attended the Badu show were single show-ticket holders, which meant that they...

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Hopscotch, Night Two: Mic Checks and Balances

Posted By on Sat, Sep 10, 2016 at 2:48 PM

Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown Raleigh Friday, September 9, 2016 Was it something we said? After a smooth start to the festival, night two of Hopscotch was plagued by timing issues that led to extended periods of waiting around and listening to endless streams of piped-in house music, thanks to the delayed sets of two key performers. But amidst those snafus—more on that later—Friday also brought some very impressive highs that helped smooth things over. First, there was Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals, who claimed the middle slot at City Plaza. Admittedly, I’ve always had a hard time connecting with...

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Hopscotch, Night Two: Timing Tangles Erykah Badu and Young Thug

Posted By on Sat, Sep 10, 2016 at 11:19 AM

Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown Raleigh Friday, September 9, 2016 How was your second day of Hopscotch? This year’s Friday ‘Scotch was a solid night of music filled with some stellar shows, a few of which were marred by that perennial problem of multi-venue festivals, aka the domino effect that results when acts go on late. If you were a fan expecting to see resplendent Atlanta rap star Young Thug or neo-soul icon Erykah Badu (or both) in addition to the rest of the festival’s programming, you probably had a rough night. Attendees flocked to the newly-Hopscotchized Red Hat Amphitheater to...

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Hopscotch, Night One: A Hurried Ramble Around Raleigh

Posted By on Sat, Sep 10, 2016 at 10:25 AM

Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown Raleigh Thursday, September 8, 2016 Biking back and forth from one venue to another may be convenient, but it’s completely overrated in all of its zippy and unsociable bee lines, as I learned on night one of my seventh year attending Hopscotch Music Festival. For one, you miss the opportunity to bump into complete strangers who may mistake you (in this case, an African-American male) for a rapper. Not any specific rapper on the festival lineup, but just any rapper with a set of teeth. Secondly, while it’s great that downtown Raleigh’s streets are demarcated to...

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Hopscotch, Night One: Semi-Charmed Kind of Start

Posted By on Fri, Sep 9, 2016 at 10:33 AM

Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown Raleigh Thursday, September 8, 2016 Not every Hopscotch is created equal. Poor weather always threatens to throw a curveball, as those who saw The Roots play a waterlogged set at Hopscotch 2012 may recall. The same goes for the looming possibility of acts throwing up a last-minute cancelation, as with Deerhunter last year. The winds of fate have so far been blowing in Hopscotch’s favor this year; Thursday’s proceedings went off with nary a missing band or raincloud to speak of. Friday’s shows, which include Hopscotch’s first at Red Hat Amphitheater, ramp the festival up, and...

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Old Dog, New Grass: A Q-and-A with Mandolin Monarch Sam Bush

Posted By on Thu, Sep 8, 2016 at 10:58 AM

When Sam Bush started his career in the early seventies, he was an unlikely candidate for bluegrass royalty. Accompanied by a band of scruffy, long-haired pickers, his irreverent takes on bluegrass were met with scorn and outright enmity by many of the older fans. But the elder statesmen of the time were surprisingly open to what Bush was doing, and in time, older fans grew to appreciate his dedication and talent. A new generation grew up revering Bush for his innovative ideas, incorporating the works of Bob Marley into his sets (“One Love” and “Coming in from the Cold” make...

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Listen to "Radio," a Sharp New Song from Sylvan Esso

Posted By on Thu, Sep 1, 2016 at 9:41 AM

Durham's Sylvan Esso has been laying low for much of the year after spending most of 2014 and 2015 tearing up the road in support of its self-titled debut LP. But overnight, the duo released "Radio," a bouncy new tune that jabs at the exhausting media machinations that boost and bully so many musicians.  The song isn't quite a departure from the Sylvan Esso's earlier cool electropop, but it seethes with a fresh urgency—and at times, even aggression—that makes for a sharp and interesting edge. You can grab "Radio" on a twelve-inch single that's out out on November 18...

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Watch Skylar Gudasz Rolling in the Deep in "I'll Be Your Man"

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 4:24 PM

The visuals for Skylar Gudasz's new video for "I'll Be Your Man," from her gorgeous new Oleander, make a dazzling visual accompaniment to her aqueous voice: the brilliant, sun-filtered water of a swimming pool, her blood red dress, orbs of crystalline bubbles. It's an immediately pretty song, but isn't just a simple devotional. The video premiered via Brooklyn Vegan today, and was directed by Gudasz's younger brother, Jason Gudasz. In each of the videos she’s released in support of Oleander, Gudasz has been conspicuously, even abjectly alone, wandering through surf on a deserted beach in “I Want to Be with...

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Video Premiere: Louis Landry's "I Know a Guy" Updates the Bible

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 5:36 PM

Louis Landry’s JJ vs the Digital Whale is a concept album that retells the biblical story of Jonah with a modern twist. Replacing the cetacean beast with the colossus of digital data, JJ tells the story of “a hesitant prophet” who flees the sprawl of ones and zeroes in order to transcend it. It’s the fourth LP by the multi-talented Landry, who also teaches music, creates scores for theater groups, and is proficient on some twenty instruments. The project is an attempt to connect the Jonah story to multiple religious traditions as well as to recast it using the modern...

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Corrosion of Conformity, Superchunk Top the State Fair's Concerts This Year

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 1:29 PM

This year’s edition of the North Carolina State Fair offers a slate of all-North Carolina musical talent that speaks to the vibrancy of the state’s musical riches and emphasizes a dazzling variety. Corrosion of Conformity, a legendary, notoriously intense Raleigh metal band formed in 1982, will lead a lineup dotted with other big names, including indie rock heroes Superchunk and sax man extraordinaire (and North Carolina Heritage Award winner) Maceo Parker, whose work with James Brown sealed his reputation as a master in the art of funk. Like last year’s festival, this year’s iteration consciously attempts to draw upon the state’s...

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Live: Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa Puff Puff Pass in Raleigh

Posted By on Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 2:23 PM

Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek, Raleigh Tuesday, July 26, 2016 “How many of y’all smoking right now?” Snoop Dogg asked a packed crowd during his set on Tuesday night at the Coastal Credit Union Music Park in Raleigh. The question might as well have been rhetorical. Even through a steady drizzle of rain, dozens of thin clouds of smelly smoke enveloped the amphitheater from all sides. Cops and venue security patrolled the venue with anxious looks, visibly aware of the absurd situation at hand. What do you do against an army of stoners?...

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Slow, Svelte Burn: Maxwell Discusses His New BlackSUMMERS'night and More

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 at 1:53 PM

For many R&B artists, a seven-year gap in between albums can be a death sentence. But then there are measured R&B songwriters like Maxwell, whose recent BlackSUMMERS'night LP arrives seven years after the similarly-titled BLACKsummers’night, which gave us the life-affirming ballads “Pretty Wings” and “Fistful of Tears.” The record is the second installment in a planned trilogy (the third is rumored to be released in February), and it captures Maxwell retracing a twenty-year lifeline of svelte seduction and survival. The breezy “Lake by the Ocean,” the lead single BlackSUMMERS’night, embodies all of those hallmarks, then sails into some of those...

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Video: William Tyler and Jake Xerxes Fussell Team Up in Durham

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 10:12 AM

William Tyler & Jake Xerxes Fussell Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Durham Wednesday, July 13, 2016 With shared connections to Mississippi, the duo of Jake Xerxes Fussell and William Tyler played a rare show together courtesy of Duke Performances' Music in the Gardens series. Both played short solo sets in the Southern July humidity before convening for a few sweet tunes. The relaxed atmosphere of Duke Gardens paired with the ambient sound of summertime bugs in the vast grounds surrounding the stage made for a wonderful setting for the easygoing pair. The guitarists concluded the evening with a couple of cover...

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Listen to Hiss Golden Messenger's "Biloxi," from a New LP Due This Fall

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 12:30 PM

In November of last year, Michael Taylor spoke to the INDY about the forthcoming record with his band, Hiss Golden Messenger. Titled Heart Like a Levee, the record was, at least initially, inspired by photographs taken by William Gedney, many of them depicting Americans living a hardscrabble existence while working in a Kentucky mining camp in 1972. Later that month, Taylor and a full band performed the work as a song cycle at Duke’s “From the Archives” series while Gedney’s photographs were projected around the stage area. Though the album has long been finished, it is now set for an...

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Video: Sarah Shook and Blue Cactus Bring Country to the Cradle

Posted By on Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Sarah Shook & The Disarmers, Blue Cactus Cat's Cradle Back Room, Carrboro Friday, June 17, 2016 A few weeks ago, Cat's Cradle'a Back Room hosted two of the Triangle's more promising roots bands. The first, Blue Cactus, is the latest project from Steph Stewart and Mario Arnez. Inspired by the Flying Burrito Brothers, the group took the stage decked out in fringed western shirts to deliver a handful of songs that adhere to the classic country framework of heartbreak and loneliness. As the crowd began to fill the room, Stewart and company rolled off one impressive tune after another, complemented...

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Watch the New Video for Sarah Shook & the Disarmers' "Heal Me"

Posted By on Fri, Jul 1, 2016 at 5:09 PM

The fireworks have arrived early for Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, whose in-your-face video for the incendiary single “Heal Me” made its debut today on Rolling Stone Country’s list of “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know.” The high-visibility platform praises Shook not only for her music but also for her outspokenness and repertoire of sailor's curses. It's hard to imagine a first-time watcher being unmoved by the video, which features Shook solo as she puts across this hard-bitten tale of regret with the aid of several cool guitars (including the Rickenbacker that plays on the song’s outro)....

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Video: Skylar Gudasz Moves Oleander into Motorco

Posted By on Fri, Jul 1, 2016 at 4:48 PM

Skylar Gudasz Motorco, Durham Wednesday, June 15, 2016 The mid-June installment of Duke Performance's "Music in the Garden" series was moved indoors to Motorco because of forecasted rainfall. No matter, as Skylar Gudasz still treated the substantial crowd to a complete rendition of her acclaimed album Oleander. With a backing band that reached up to eight members, Gudasz held the audience in the palm of her hand throughout, beginning with a string of piano numbers: "About Great Men," "Aviary," and the mesmerizing "Ships." Shortly thereafter, Gudasz delivered the one-two punch that made this show so memorable. She and frequent collaborator Josh...

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Kym Register and Endless Endless Discuss the Easygoing New Video for Sam Evian

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 3:50 PM

When Sam Owens launched his solo project, Sam Evian, he called upon Adam Heathcott and Sara Padgett Heathcott for creative direction. The two released Enter Ghost by Owens's band Celestial Shore on their label Hometapes in 2014—the same year the two relocated from Portland to Durham—but this would be a new sort of collaboration. Instead of putting out the future Sam Evian LP (that'll be Saddle Creek's job), the Heathcotts have undertaken Owens's visual aesthetics for the album cycle as a part of their multimedia arm Endless Endless. Their latest effort is the gorgeous new video for Sam Evian's "Sleep Easy,"...

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Video: Tony Joe White Brings His Three Decades of Songs to Raleigh

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 3:35 PM

Tony Joe White Southland Ballroom, Raleigh Saturday, June 18, 2016 Tony Joe White is in the middle of a resurgence. Returning to the Southland Ballroom after two years, he brings with him another critically acclaimed album, Rain Crow, released by local record label Yep Roc Records. With his familiar drummer Bryan Ownings, the duo filled the room with about the heaviest groove a two piece band can do. The large crowd inside responded at time adding a gator chomping motion with both arms while dancing throughout the set. Outside of a smile and brief comment here and there, White was all business,...

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Durham's Blackspace Hosts Fundraising Parties Tonight and Tomorrow

Posted By on Thu, Jun 23, 2016 at 2:58 PM

The downtown Durham “hub for Afrofuturism, digital media, and social entrepreneurship,” dubbed Blackspace, is just a couple of days out and still several thousand dollars short from reaching its $22,000 Kickstarter goal. In an effort to reach that target, Blackspace is teaming up with two other local businesses—Runaway Clothing and The Parlour—to throw a dance party tonight and a DURM Block Party tomorrow. Tonight, the organization's pan-African dance party goes down at The Vault. It will feature live drummers, plus DJ Skaz on the decks. Admission is on a sliding scale, with a donation of one to twenty dollars suggested;...

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Though I know it isn't Redhat's fault she was late, I do think they could have handled the situation better. …

by mandeelion on Hopscotch, Night Two: Timing Tangles Erykah Badu and Young Thug (Music)

Most amazing times Catching you with old friends in Grayton Beach ...Kyle , Bouder ...and our dear lost love Kenny... …

by Milissa Hargrave Schang on Old Dog, New Grass: A Q-and-A with Mandolin Monarch Sam Bush (Music)

Would not miss this show at Ardmore Music Hall or any opportunity to catch Sam Bush ! So grateful he …

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by Louis Landry on Video Premiere: Louis Landry's "I Know a Guy" Updates the Bible (Music)

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Though I know it isn't Redhat's fault she was late, I do think they could have handled the situation better. …

by mandeelion on Hopscotch, Night Two: Timing Tangles Erykah Badu and Young Thug (Music)

Most amazing times Catching you with old friends in Grayton Beach ...Kyle , Bouder ...and our dear lost love Kenny... …

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