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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

"Hard-Earned Fun": An Interview with Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace, in North Carolina

Posted By on Tue, May 17, 2016 at 3:36 PM

As Against Me! took the stage on Sunday night in Durham at Motorco, frontwoman Laura Jane Grace produced a lighter and her birth certificate. She lit it on fire. “Goodbye, gender!” she said as the band kicked into its first song, “I Was A Teenage Anarchist”. Grace, who came out as transgender in a 2012 Rolling Stone article, and her band bucked the boycott of North Carolina that Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, and Ani DiFranco fostered or followed. As one of the most high-profile transgender women in the country, Grace’s response when asked if she would join the boycott...

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Elton John Jumps on the Anti-HB 2 Train in a New Op-Ed

Posted By on Tue, May 17, 2016 at 2:49 PM

As North Carolina continues to sit in in the national spotlight of shame over HB 2, public figures have weighed in on the situation—Bruce Springsteen, Joel McHale, and, y'know, the Department of Justice. This morning, Elton John joined the chorus in an op-ed published online at The Hill, a D.C.-based publication that covers national politics. In his piece, John writes about McCrory's "failure of compassion" in understanding the rights of trans people, and how these failures stack up to devastating, discriminatory policy that harms marginalized communities. John also used his post to promote his Elton John AIDS Foundation, a nonprofit...

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Watch Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! Burn Her Birth Certificate on Stage in Durham

Posted By on Mon, May 16, 2016 at 10:57 AM

When Against Me! hit the stage at Motorco in Durham last night, frontwoman Laura Jane Grace had a few words regarding HB 2.  "I, for one, have come here to be reborn. How about you?" she said. "So let's start this off right. I brought my birth certificate with me." Then she took out a lighter and lit it on fire. The band kicked into its opening song, "I Was A Teenage Anarchist," off of 2010's White Crosses.  Later, Grace, who came out as transgender in 2012 and wrote the band's critically acclaimed 2014 record Transgender Dysphoria Blues about coming to terms...

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Trampled By Turtles to Headline Band Together Saturday Night

Posted By on Fri, May 13, 2016 at 5:00 PM

When Trampled by Turtles headlines Red Hat Amphitheater Saturday night, the progressive string band will do more than just burn through breakneck bluegrass-based numbers and dark bouts of folk balladry. As the top draw for Band Together's annual Main Event, the Minnesota quintet will help the Raleigh charity close on a goal to raise $1 million for the Triangle nonprofit Kidznotes, which introduces students at underserved local elementary schools to classical music while providing them with weekly lessons. So far, Kidznotes participants have shown improved attendance, grades, test scores, and other academic indicators; during Band Together’s year-long partnership, it aims...

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Q&A: Ryan Martin Talks Savage Weekend VI, Starting at Nightlight Tomorrow

Posted By on Thu, May 12, 2016 at 5:38 PM

Ryan Martin does not seem to mind the logistics of booking ninety bands during two days. Instead, Martin—as a musician, label head, and promoter, the area’s most steadfast experimental impresario—views his Savage Weekend as an ad hoc family reunion for international power electronics powerhouses, harsh noise blasters, and drone sculptors. Martin’s sixth-annual symposium of abrasion gathers touring festival standbys, like the great Rat Bastard, with prime locals, including Lack and Housefire. Martin’s also recruited some of his more recent favorites, including the damaged blasts of Chicago’s HOGG. For more than ten hours each day, the acts cycle through quarter-hour...

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Q&A: Charles Latham is Working and Singing For "The Living Wage"

Posted By on Wed, May 11, 2016 at 11:50 AM

Four years ago, Durham-based singer-songwriter Charles Latham recorded a song called "The Living Wage" for his LP Fast Loans. The song is an anthem about trying to keep your head above water and living on a dime—even if you're working a full-time job—and the effect it can have on your mental health. "For the living wage," Latham sings, "It's just enough to pay the bills and rent, it's not enough to spend." Latham's song seemed to foreshadowed a movement. Low-income workers, including those at fast-food restaurants, have recently won huge minimum wage victories in California, New York, and Oregon. In...

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Moogfest Announces Partnerships Against HB 2

Posted By on Tue, May 10, 2016 at 2:29 PM

You may be aware that, yesterday, Gov. Pat McCrory and Republican leaders in the state legislature filed a lawsuit against the federal government, arguing that the Department of Justice's demand that North Carolina back off its plans to implement HB 2 is a “a baseless and blatant overreach." The suit was in reaction to a letter the Justice department sent last week to McCrory, informing him that North Carolina could lose millions in federal school funding if it moves forward on HB 2, which, among other things, restricts restroom access for transgender people.  U.S. Attorney General (and North Carolina native) Loretta Lynch...

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Monday, May 9, 2016

Erykah Badu, Beach House, Television, Andrew Bird Top Hopscotch 2016

Posted By on Mon, May 9, 2016 at 10:37 AM

Raleigh's annual Hopscotch Music Festival starts exactly four months from now, and today, the festival announced the lineup for its seventh installment. The big headliners this year include Erykah Badu, William Basinski, Television, Andrew Bird, Converge, Gary Clark Jr., Baroness, and area favorites Sylvan Esso. Hopscotch announced last night that Red Hat Amphitheater has been added as a venue for Friday night—that will be Badu and Clark's bill. Memorial Auditorium is back, too. Raleigh City Plaza remains a venue with its own three headlining shows, capped by Sylvan Esso and Vince Staples on Saturday, Sept. 10. There's an expanded hip-hop...

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Friday, May 6, 2016

The Art of Cool Festival Starts Today—Here's What Eric Tullis Says You Have to See

Posted By on Fri, May 6, 2016 at 12:24 PM

For our complete preview of Art of Cool 2016, here's quite a lot to read. Below, critic Eric Tullis weighs in on the five unexpected acts you must see. Tickets are still available here.  TAYLOR MCFERRIN—While not quite a destination festival, Art of Cool Fest’s streamlined jazz-and-soul-based agenda does suggest that it aspires to be an annual retreat for a specific kind of music lover. It’s already achieved this for its artists, most of whom share the same musical DNA, yet very rarely ever have the opportunity to gig in the same spaces with each other. For instance, composer/songwriter Taylor...

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Live: N.C. Symphony Handles Beethoven—and Addresses HB 2—at Memorial Hall

Posted By on Thu, May 5, 2016 at 2:08 PM

N.C. Symphony: Beethoven's Violin Concerto UNC's Memorial Hall, Chapel Hill Monday, May 2, 2016 Every orchestra concert is, at some level, about Beethoven. Even when he’s not on the program, the institution is built on and around his veneration. This North Carolina Symphony concert at Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill was no different, with one piece by Beethoven—his 1806 violin concerto—and one literally built from Beethoven—John Adams’s 2012 Absolute Jest. The concert began with the Adams, written for the highly unusual combination of string quartet and orchestra, with the quartet part played by the symphony’s principal players. Adams loosely took...

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The Mountain Goats Cover War's Classic "Summer," and It's Pretty Great

Posted By on Thu, May 5, 2016 at 9:07 AM

For me, very few songs have the power to summon the visceral sensation of my early-seventies childhood like “Summer,” the languid, Latin-tinged single released in June 1976 by War, a band then at the end of an exceptional run of singles. Somehow the tempo, abetted by scraped percussion and lyrical references to C.B. radios and carefree motoring, conjures the humid languor of bicentennial-era Me Decade in a way I can almost smell. Apparently, John Darnielle sees the song in somewhat similar terms. Enlisted by Amazon Music to contribute a track to its “Songs of Summer” playlist, coming June 3, Darnielle's...

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Southland Ballroom Will Likely Remain for at Least a Year

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2016 at 1:13 PM

The imminent demise of Southland Ballroom, it seems, has been exaggerated. In February, news broke that a somewhat mysterious venture between Raleigh development kingpins John Kane and Cross Williams had purchased pricey parcels on downtown Raleigh’s North West street. That property has widely been considered to be the home of a future Publix, which would be downtown Raleigh’s first full grocery. That seemed to signal the end of Southland Ballroom, which opened in 2010. New Raleigh even took the liberty of posting “R.I.P. Southland Ballroom.” But not so fast, says new owner Jim Shires. “There’s no real timetable for the site,”...

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Beyoncé Issues Statement in Support of Equality NC and Against HB 2, Sports "Y'all Means All" Shirt

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2016 at 11:46 AM

We waited and waited, and now, after her Raleigh performance, Beyoncé has finally made an announcement regarding North Caroina's HB 2. There was no Duran Duran-like speech, no Boss-like boycott. Instead, in a statement posted late last night, Beyoncé endorsed Equality NC as an organization to support in the battle against HB 2. The announcement is a part of the star's Bey GOOD operation, which encourages her fans to get involved in social justice and charitable causes. After the organization's discussions with Beyoncé's organization this week, Equality NC's executive director, Chris Sgro, responded to the statement this morning. "It has...

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Live: In Raleigh, Beyoncé Reigns

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2016 at 9:34 AM

Beyoncé Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh Tuesday, May 3, 2016 Beyoncé’s stop in Raleigh last night seemed doomed from the start. Consider, for instance, that Beyoncé announced her current world tour and its only North Carolina date during the Super Bowl, the first of two national championships Carolina teams have lost this year. Soon thereafter, members of the Raleigh police union threatened to boycott the show in response to the condemnation of police brutality and negligence written into the music video for “Formation,” the song that lent its name to the entire run. And in the weeks since the passage of...

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Stream Test Out These Records, from Great New Raleigh Rapper P.A.T. Junior

Posted By on Tue, May 3, 2016 at 3:00 PM

Local hip-hop scenes are generally pretty niche communities, and the Triangle hip-hop scene seems even smaller than most. It’s rare, then, that someone comes out of nowhere. But one such surprise in the past year has been the ascent of Raleigh producer and emcee P.A.T. Junior, whose steady flow of songs, videos, and local appearances has made him a nearly impossible name to miss. Junior stands out because his brand of hip-hop is not easily categorized. It’s not breezy Southern boom-bap, nor is it gangsta street tales or entitled suburban posing. Though he sports a calm, friendly demeanor in person,...

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Live: Revelations with Roomful of Teeth in Durham

Posted By on Tue, May 3, 2016 at 9:44 AM

Roomful of Teeth Duke's Baldwin Auditorium, Durham Saturday, April 30,  2016 It’s always exciting to see Baldwin Auditorium full, especially when it’s full for a group playing two works written in the past decade. It helps, of course, that the New York-based vocal octet Roomful of Teeth counts the multitalented Greenville native Caroline Shaw as a member. And that they were singing her Partita, the piece that won her the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in music. Shaw was also quick to point out that her parents met not far from Baldwin and that her mother would often come in at night...

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Monday, May 2, 2016

The Mountain Goats, Loamlands Team Up for FU HB 2 Benefit

Posted By on Mon, May 2, 2016 at 11:42 AM

Local benefits raising money to fight HB 2 continue to pop up, and there's a great new one on deck in Durham. Next Thursday, May 12, John Darnielle will perform a solo set as the Mountain Goats at The Pinhook for a show titled "FU HB 2." Loamlands, the excellent folk rock outfit of Pinhook owner Kym Register, takes the opening slot. The show will benefit the Southern Vision Alliance, an activist network that helps develop infrastructure and leadership among and within youth-oriented social justice organizations. Tickets to the show are $30, and they go on sale tomorrow at 10...

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Live: The Overwhelming Feeling of Michael Gordon's Timber & Rushes

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 12:17 PM

Michael Gordon's Timber & Rushes Durham Fruit & Produce Company, Durham Saturday, April 23, 2016 On Saturday night, the Durham Fruit & Produce Company brimmed with thousands and thousands of tiny pulses. Each on its own was fairly insignificant, but the aggregate was overwhelming. This concert marked the first attempt at pairing Bang on a Can co-founder Michael Gordon’s Timber (2011) and Rushes (2012), a pair of hour-long pieces. Both are built from the same DNA—multiple copies of the same instrument; wave after wave of quickly pulsing notes; slow-moving or static harmonies. But from there, the two pieces diverged wildly....

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Tony Williamson, Mandolin Master, Talks This Weekend's Mando Mania at MerleFest

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 11:09 AM

Raleigh resident Tony Williamson has been a fixture at the Wilkes County bluegrass festival Merlefest since 1995. Each year, his "Mando Mania" serves as a must-see event. The hour-long program brings the best mandolinsts on the festival grounds together to sing songs, pick, and discuss their love for the instrument. Outside of being an accomplished mandolinist, Williamson doubles as a collector and dealer of vintage mandolins. He sat down with the INDY to discuss his annual and rightly lauded "Mando Mania" showcase at Merlefest. Merlefest runs throughout the weekend in Wilkesboro.  INDY: What are your earliest memories of Merlefest? Tony Williamson:...

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Wanna Fight HB 2 and Actually Protect Kids? Download a Great Sumner James Remix of Some Army

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 6:31 PM

Talk about timing: about a month ago, as the rural space-rock band Some Army was preparing at last to release its excellent One Stone and Too Many Birds, the band received a gift from pal James Phillips, the Bombadil member who moonlights under electropop moniker Sumner James. It was a remix of "Infinite Mirror," the brooding third track from Birds. That same week, the North Carolina Legislature passed HB 2. Yesterday, Some Army released the remix in response to HB 2 and in support of institutions fighting the sweepingly discriminatory legislation. The remix—which enhances the original’s eerie mood by...

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Trying Out for AC/DC: The Frontman of a Local Cover Band Remembers His Day Leading the Legends

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 9:55 AM

Last month, for two hours, a twenty-nine-year-old construction worker from Butner, North Carolina, fronted AC/DC. It was an audition, not a public performance, and he was ultimately passed over for the big name of Axl Rose. Still, Lee Robinson experienced something electrifying and unforgettable, and he came away with the kind of ego boost that pays dividends in perpetuity.  In March, Robinson received a call from Jeff Young, his bandmate in Thunderstruck, a Raleigh AC/DC tribute band. AC/DC’s people had left Young a voice mail asking that Robinson audition for the position of lead singer for the remaining dates...

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Video: Hank, Pattie & The Current Make Their Debut at Kings

Posted By on Wed, Apr 27, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Hank, Pattie & The Current Kings, Raleigh Friday, April 22, 2016 On a Tuesday night at the erstwhile Tir Na Nog, Hank Smith was performing his weekly hosting duties at the Beer & Banjos series (which has since moved to Raleigh Times) when he came across an interesting pair of musicians called The Reckless Brothers. At that moment, Smith was between a handful of projects. This was certainly a change, as Smith has spent many years as a member of Barefoot Manner, Kickin' Grass, The Morning After, and, more recently, his Blu-Bop Bela Fleck tribute band. He had planned to form...

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Friends, Bandmates Remember Original Polvo Drummer Eddie Watkins

Posted By on Wed, Apr 27, 2016 at 11:37 AM

On Monday, musicians and Polvo fans began paying tribute to Eddie Watkins, the distinctive, powerful drummer of the indie rock institution Polvo. Watkins died Sunday evening in Durham at the age of forty-seven. But the members of the great Chapel Hill band, whose template Watkins helped create, instead remembered Eddie, the guy they knew and friend they had. "Everybody's talking about the band now," says Polvo singer and guitarist Ash Bowie, "but that was just sort of the setting in which we became friends, you know?" All three other original members essentially say the same things about Watkins. "He was...

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As a Special Snub to HB 2, Hopscotch Announces Lavender Country—the First Openly Gay Country Band—as its First 2016 Act

Posted By on Wed, Apr 27, 2016 at 11:10 AM

With Shakori Hills, Art of Cool, and Moogfest on the immediate horizon, we're in the full swing of music festival season. Today, Hopscotch teased its full lineup announcement, which lands on May 9, with one band: Lavender Country, a Seattle act heralded as the first openly gay country band. On September 10, the pioneering queer act will take the stage at Fletcher Opera Theater for the band's debut performance in North Carolina. Frontman Patrick Haggerty is an immensely charming, charismatic figure, and Lavender Country dates are few and far between—this one should be a treat. Chapel Hill's Paradise of Bachelors...

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Monday, April 25, 2016

After Tuesday, Beyù Caffè Will Close for a Week to Relocate to Bigger Space

Posted By on Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 6:48 PM

When Raleigh jazz pianist Andrew Berinson played Beyù Caffè’s brunch show on Sunday, he became the last person to ever perform in Beyù—that is, until the downtown Durham coffee, cocktail, food, and jazz destination relocates to its newer and larger space just two doors down at 341 West Main Street. The restaurant will serve dinner tonight and tomorrow night and then complete its relocation.  The move, which began nearly three months ago with the help of a $44,994 Kickstarter campaign, comes as the result of the rising rent market in downtown Durham. But rather than put himself through the exhaustive,...

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Comments

Thank you so much for these clips; it was a special show.

by Gee Funk on Video: William Tyler and Jake Xerxes Fussell Team Up in Durham (Music)

Billy Strings was amazing as well!

by Brian Moyer on A Look Back at Merlefest 2016 (Music)

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