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Friday, November 18, 2016

Live: Sloan Feels Good, Does It at the Cradle Back Room

Posted By on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 at 1:38 PM

Sloan Cat's Cradle Back Room, Carrboro Wednesday, November 16, 2016 When my dad was in college, he attended some of Vladimir Nabokov’s lectures, and his most concentrated nugget of wisdom from that experience has always stuck with me. He told me the great man of letters told his students that when reading a novel for the first time, read for plot. But the second time through, toss away the plot and look deeper at everything else to excavate the work's essence and the author’s intent. After I saw Sloan play almost exactly two years ago at Cat’s Cradle Back Room,...

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Live: No BS! Brass Band Cuts Up in Carrboro

Posted By on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 11:01 AM

No BS! Brass Band Cat's Cradle Back Room, Carrboro Friday, November 11, 2016 If I had looked away for another second, I probably would’ve missed it. From a raised balcony in Cat’s Cradle’s Back Room, I watched the No BS! Brass Band coolly take the stage. The band’s leader, Reggie Pace, hopped up from within the crowd, pressed his lips to the trombone, and began to play. The crowd’s chatter ceased. No one made a sound. Then the drummer, Lance Koehler, let out an unholy scream. A few beats later, and the eight-person band joined in all at once. No...

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Moogfest Announces Joint Pass with Art of Cool for 2017 Festivals

Posted By on Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 3:41 PM

Moogfest and Art of Cool Festival have had a patchy past, marred early this year by the City of Durham prioritizing funding for the tech-heavy, Asheville-based Moogfest over the Durham-grown Art of Cool Festival. While Art of Cool eventually got more money, it seemed as though the city was putting Moogfest's promise of out-of-town over the grassroots, community-focused Art of Cool. This checkered episode seems behind them, though, as evidenced by the festivals’ latest partnership in selling DURM Flex Passes for $249. The pass allows patrons to attend both festivals for one price: Art of Cool from April 28 to...

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Live: Pacifica Quartet and Johannes Moser Unravel Splendid Hopes

Posted By on Fri, Nov 11, 2016 at 12:23 PM

Pacifica Quartet featuring Johannes Moser, cello Saturday, November 5 Duke's Baldwin Auditorium, Durham Both quintets in Saturday's concert featuring Pacifica Quartet with Johannes Moser began with glowing major chords gradually emerging from silence. From there, each work spun out in a completely different direction: Julia Wolfe’s Splendid Hopes into a tightly wound ball of nerves, Franz Schubert’s cello quintet into deep exhales and perpetual melodies. The Wolfe piece was co-commissioned by Duke Performances, and this was its world premiere. Wolfe—a 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner and 2016 MacArthur Fellow—is one of the foremost composers of our time, and it’s fantastic that...

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Friday, November 4, 2016

Durham Central Park Passes First Hurdle to Nabbing Free Music Series

Posted By on Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 4:28 PM

A bunch of free music might be headed Durham’s way this summer—but to get there, you've got to vote for it. Durham Central Park stands to increase its free concert offerings if it can win a grant for which it is currently competing. The group has already completed the first round in its application for a Levitt AMP Grant, a national competition in which the creators of five winning proposals are awarded $25,000 each toward the establishment of a free music series. As of this writing, the group holds second place nationwide in the voting stage. Tess Mangum Ocaña, one...

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Monday, October 31, 2016

Ne-Yo Stops by The Ritz Tuesday for a Free Get Out the Vote Concert

Posted By on Mon, Oct 31, 2016 at 4:45 PM

It’s fitting that the man who released a record called Year of the Gentleman would stump for Hilary Clinton over a candidate who is definitely not a gentleman. To get his point across—and to help get out the vote—Ne-Yo will throw a free concert in Raleigh at The Ritz Tuesday night. You can nab tickets by signing up online here, and you can pick them up at either the McKimmon Conference and Training Center or the John Chavis Memorial Park baseball field on N.C. State's campus. Ne-Yo's “Love Trumps Hate” Get Out the Vote performance is part of a series...

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Superchunk Plays the State Fair Tomorrow—Stroll Down Memory Lane with Mac McCaughan

Posted By on Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 1:56 PM

Over the past two years, the North Carolina State Fair has made tremendous strides in improving its music bookings. The giant Dorton Arena concerts that lost thousands of dollars were replaced by smaller acts taking the stage both in the arena and at smaller outdoor stages scattered around the fairgrounds. The results, like last year's showing from Spider Bags, have been solid so far. Tomorrow night, the state fair welcomes another North Carolina institution: Superchunk, the band that helped launch indie rock and cement the Triangle on the map of the music world. Frontman Mac McCaughan told us about his...

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Talking with Banjo Player Kaia Kater: The Director's Cut

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 4:35 PM

This is a longer version of an article that appeared in print and online under the title "Tense Strings."  Kaia Kater never wanted to mix her racial identity with her music. She grew up in a mixed-race Canadian family where folk jams were the norm every Thanksgiving and Boxing Day, with a luthier grandfather who made her a guitar—a twin of her grandmother’s instrument—when she had barely started elementary school and her bluegrass-playing fourth-grade teacher gifted her with a bandmate’s banjo soon after. In her early teens, Kater saw an ascending Carolina Chocolate Drops perform at the Ottawa Folk Festival—for...

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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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I'm so happy to see this collaboration, and this affordable way to attend both!

by Ruby Sinreich on Moogfest Announces Joint Pass with Art of Cool for 2017 Festivals (Music)

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 …

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

Comments

I'm so happy to see this collaboration, and this affordable way to attend both!

by Ruby Sinreich on Moogfest Announces Joint Pass with Art of Cool for 2017 Festivals (Music)

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)

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