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Thursday, April 28, 2016

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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Saturday, April 23, 2016

We Talk to Henry Rollins About His Anti-HB 2 piece in LA Weekly, He Reads Our Minds

Posted By on Sat, Apr 23, 2016 at 4:31 PM

"North Carolina, I love you,"  Henry Rollins titled his latest LA Weekly column, "but your governor is an asshole." If you haven't read it, go do so right now. In his own foul-mouthed, egalitarian way, Rollins simultaneously condemns Governor Pat McCrory and the legislators behind HB 2 and defends the people of the state. He's always loved it here, he writes, and has memories of the kindness of North Carolinians dating back to his dead-broke touring days with Black Flag. What he does is rare in the current dialogue—he doesn't lecture North Carolina from a safe distance or lump us all...

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Rest in Purple: The Rosebuds' Ivan Howard Remembers The Time Prince Almost Played With Him

Posted By on Fri, Apr 22, 2016 at 4:30 PM

Growing up in Fuquay-Varina, Prince seemed like another universe away, an alien dressed in purple. Maybe it was because my family couldn’t afford cable TV (and cable lines didn’t exist on my tobacco farm, anyway), so I never really got to see him on MTV. Purple Rain wasn’t shown in the Howard house, either, because it wouldn’t have passed the religious test—way too sexy and probably something to do with some backward-masking paranoia in whatever church we went to at the time. But I was aware of him, from kids talking at school or from seeing him on posters at...

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Brittany Howard Blasts HB 2, Explains Why Alabama Shakes Will Play N.C.

Posted By on Fri, Apr 22, 2016 at 12:24 PM

Alabama Shakes lead singer Brittany Howard says the decision by her Grammy-winning band to play tonight's show at Charlotte Metro Credit Union Ampitheatre, despite opposition to HB 2, is based on a belief that band boycotts harm people that don't deserve it. Howard made her comments Thursday to podcaster John Norris on his "Official Sasquatch! Festival Podcast," as reported by Rolling Stone. "We are going to play the show. We couldn't just say 'No, we're not showing up and I'm sorry your government is behaving this way.' That’s not the right thing to do," said Howard. She also offered her...

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mike Robinson Thinks Pat McCrory Is a Jellyfish

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 1:36 PM

We here at the INDY have been glad to constantly call out Pat McCrory and the legislators who voted for HB 2 for both their bigotry and idiocy, but, sometimes, a song says more than we ever could. Local musician Mike Robinson of First Persons and suspected member of the ultra-secretive rock legends The Dinwiddies (and formerly Annuals and Lonnie Walker) has penned a short and sweet song about McCrory and Phil Berger. It's supposed to be goofy lo-fi indie song, but it's really, really good.  "North Carolina is a great state, don't be fooled. We're working a few things out,"...

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Use Your Voice: Kym Register on Why North Carolina Needs LGBTQ Artists Right Now

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 11:08 AM

The backlash over HB 2 from sympathizing powerhouses outside of North Carolina has been fierce. We’ve seen multibillion-dollar corporations such as Bank of America and Apple speak out against the law. Recently Fox and A&E spoke out against the bill, stating they will not consider North Carolina sites for future filming. New York City, Boston, San Francisco, and Connecticut have all restricted government-funded travel here.  Boycotts work because they put social and economic pressure on elected officials to reconsider legislation. They are designed to attack the Achilles' heel of those in power, to weaken them to the point of giving in.  The boycott also includes touring...

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Art of Cool Festival Will Receive $20,000 in Additional City Funding

Posted By on Wed, Apr 20, 2016 at 8:00 PM

During the last several weeks, the topic of funding equity for Durham's two May music festivals has been a very active one—and for good reason.  In early April, the City of of Durham approved $62,500 for community activities at Moogfest, which happens for the first time in Durham next month. The county subsequently matched those funds, citing economic development as the primary motivation. But The Art of Cool, a jazz-and-soul-centric festival that will present its third iteration in downtown Durham two weeks before Moogfest, felt that they'd been slighted, as their request for $20,000 from the city had been...

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Weed Is Legal in Dinwiddie! The Dinwiddies Wish You a Happy 4/20!

Posted By and on Wed, Apr 20, 2016 at 1:01 PM

In mid-March, a mere week before the passage of House Bill 2 prompted bands to start canceling their plans to play North Carolina, Raleigh welcomed two very special musical guests from out-of-the-way locales. The Snails, from a shoebox, headlined Kings on a Friday night. For openers, they invited the special human guests of The Dinwiddies—of a mysterious, delightfully marijuana-enshrouded town called Dinwiddie—to open with some songs about weed and life, man. We invited The Dinwiddies to return to Raleigh and record a secret session in Neptunes, the basement of Kings, in anticipation of the arrival of 4/20. In spite of...

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Eleven Things Eddie Vedder Is Probably Doing Today

Posted By on Wed, Apr 20, 2016 at 10:48 AM

On Monday, Pearl Jam announced it was canceling its stop at Raleigh's PNC Arena, which was supposed to be today, in protest of the state's HB 2. Though Vedder spoke to the audience at the band's Monday night Virginia about the decision, he didn't want to talk to us. We're pretty sure it's because he's busy doing any number of these things during his day off. —Hand writing stuff. —Finally getting around to that “How To Button a Shirt” YouTube tutorial. —Reading angry transphobic commentary from Pearl Jam fans in the Rolling Stone comment section and wondering when and where,...

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Raleigh's Season & Snare Wins Periscoper of the Year at the Shorty Awards

Posted By on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 3:12 PM

Many of us spend a lot of time—probably too much—on social media, but did you know how many awards there are for using it well? Last week, the Shorty Awards celebrated the biggest and boldest online presences. Though social media spans the globe, one of these awards hit close to home—in the local music scene, in fact. Season & Snare, a Raleigh-based folk pop duo, traveled to New York for the awards ceremony. Autumn Brand and Casey Allen took home the prize for Periscoper of the Year in the Tech & Innovation category, beating out eleven other nominees. “It was pretty...

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Live: The Direct Delight of Eleanor Friedberger in Carrboro

Posted By on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 2:46 PM

Two and a half years ago, when Cat’s Cradle opened its small-capacity Back Room, it was Eleanor Friedberger onstage. Last Saturday night, as my pal Peter and I leaned against the bar, we surveyed the sparse crowd and started listing other shows we’d seen there where the 160-capacity room was only one-half or one-third full. There was Algiers, The Clean, Sloan, Robyn Hitchcock... We stopped then, but I couldn’t help thinking that the slim crowd had to mean a slightly underwhelming return visit for Eleanor Friedberger, whose music has continued to take flight since she stood here singing songs from...

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Tres Chicas, The Veldt, Southern Culture on the Skids, More Join Anti-HB 2 Benefit

Posted By on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 9:28 AM

It's been a doozy of a week for artists canceling  North Carolina concert dates over HB 2—yesterday alone found both Boston and Pearl Jam announcing that they were scrapping their spring dates in the state, joining a growing list of other nixed appearances. But a big crop of local musicians are standing their ground with a day-long benefit at the Haw River Ballroom. The lineup includes local institutions Tres Chicas, Southern Culture on the Skids, The Veldt, The Connells, and The Backsliders, with Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, The Love Language, Brett Harris, Shirlette Ammons, and others joining, too. You...

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Monday, April 18, 2016

The Show Won't Go On: Pearl Jam Cancels Wednesday's Gig in Raleigh

Posted By on Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 5:38 PM

Bad news if you were looking forward to Wednesday night's Pearl Jam concert in Raleigh: The band has announced that it, too, will not perform in North Carolina, as a protest against the state's discriminatory HB 2.  Pearl Jam joins a growing list of performers canceling appearances in the state as protests against the bill. So far, that list includes Boston, Bruce Springsteen, Cirque du Soleil, Ringo Starr, and Ani DiFranco, whose cancelation affects the fund-raising efforts of the Eno River Association. But not everyone's bailing: Last week, Rhiannon Giddens said she wouldn't cancel her Greensboro and Asheville shows as her own...

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Boston Cancels May Dates in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Greensboro Over HB 2

Posted By on Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 1:59 PM

Boston has now joined the ever-expanding club of cancelations in North Carolina over HB 2. Frontman Tom Scholz issued a statement earlier explaining the band's decision to cancel its early May dates, on a run celebrating the band's fortieth anniversary. Most recently, Ani DiFranco announced that she wouldn't perform at the Festival for the Eno over HB 2, joining Ringo Starr, Cirque du Soleil, and Bruce Springsteen in the decision to boycott the state. We've got more than a feeling that Boston won't be the last band to do this. Read the full statement below. BOSTON CANCELS 3 MAY NORTH CAROLINA SHOWS...

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Live: Gabriel Kahane and Timo Andres Paint the Piano in Fresh Colors

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 2:26 PM

Gabriel Kahane and Timo Andres Memorial Hall, Chapel Hill Saturday, April 9, 2016 A few weeks ago, at the Big Ears music festival in Knoxville, Tennessee, I realized that I don’t pay much attention to pianos anymore. It is everywhere, of course, from big pop songs on the radio to department store background music and ringtones. But immersed in an hour-long performance by The Necks’ Chris Abrahams, I realized that the piano is something I hear a lot of, because it's ubiquitous, but rarely actually listen to. Like Abrahams, Timo Andres and Gabriel Kahane had me thinking about the piano during their...

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Run River North Wants to Shape Race in Indie Rock

Posted By on Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 3:11 PM

Even though his band was created as a quick entry for a band competition, lead singer and songwriter Alex Hwang of the all-Korean-American rock act Run River North has big dreams for the future. The band, which got its big break after an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show, is now slowly starting to realize some of those ambitions after releasing its second album, Drinking From a Salt Pond. The band will play at the Cat’s Cradle Back Room in Carrboro tonight, showcasing sounds and songs that differ greatly from the 2014 debut, Run River North. While the first album was...

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Sun Ra Arkestra Out at Moogfest

Posted By on Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 1:59 PM

Another cancellation, but actually not tied to House Bill 2 this time: The Sun Ra Arkestra has scratched its appearance at May's Moogfest in Durham. Festival director Marisa Brickman confirmed the move this afternoon, citing the outfit's choice to take a European tour instead. Now, if only there were going to be some more jazz at another festival in Durham in May... Moogfest announced the rest of its sizable schedule earlier this week.   Hat tip to occasional INDY contributor Justin Weber for spotting the Arkestra's absence. ...

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Ani DiFranco Cancels Festival for the Eno Appearance, Citing HB 2 and Leaving the Eno in a Tight Spot

Posted By on Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 12:42 PM

The hits just keep on coming, folks. Ringo Starr announced yesterday that he was canceling his summer concert in Cary, and now, Durham's Festival for the Eno has lost its headliner. Today, the festival was set to announce Ani DiFranco as a Fourth of July headlining performer, but DiFranco has pulled out, citing the prejudicial HB 2. This cancellation, though, is a little different: DiFranco is bailing on the Festival for the Eno, a major fund-raising event for the Eno River Association, a nonprofit that seeks to promote environmental stewardship and conservation.  DiFranco's cancellation is a direct hit to exactly...

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Live: In Carrboro, The Veldt Is Not Beholden to Its Long History

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 5:32 PM

The Veldt Cat's Cradle Back Room, Carrboro     Monday, April 11, 2016 As The Veldt closed its Cat's Cradle Back Room set Monday night, the last words vocalist Daniel Chavis sang were "wanna find another way." The midsize crowd was pressed close to the stage, as requested by the band before starting "Symmetry." Daniel, his guitarist twin Danny Chavis, programmer and multi-instrumentalist Hayato Nakao, and drummer Marvin Levi seemed incredibly content. The Veldt got its mid-eighties start in neighboring Chapel Hill, so these four were in their element, with a small room half full of familiar faces. It seemed hard...

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Ringo Starr Cancels Cary Show over HB 2

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 5:07 PM

And another one: Ringo Starr announced this afternoon that he has canceled his June 18 All Starr Tour show at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary due to HB 2.  "I'm sorry to disappoint my fans in the area, but we need to take a stand against this hatred," the former Beatle, who played DPAC in 2014, said in a release. "Spread peace and love."  Ringo then quoted Canned Heat ("Let's work together") and the Beatles ("All you need is love"), because of course he did. The full statement can be read here.  Starr is the second boomer hero in...

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Listen to a Sweet New Single from Beauty World, "Joypop Turbo"

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 3:28 PM

In Durham, there are two Beauty Worlds: There's the store on Avondale Drive, one of a few locations, that's a sprawling palace of every beautification item you could ever want. And then there's the band, which is just two people—Leah Gibson and Duncan Webster—who craft warm, cozy tunes from cello and guitar. Beauty World has a great new tune out today, and the song might just be the duo’s best work to date. "Joypop Turbo" is the title track to a forthcoming EP, due via the PotLuck Foundation some time this summmer. It is an immediately compelling new direction for the...

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