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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Videos: Swamp rock legend Tony Joe White returns to the Triangle

Posted by on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 10:29 PM

Tony Joe White, Hoodoo
  • Tony Joe White, Hoodoo
Tony Joe White
Southland Ballroom, Raleigh
Saturday, Feb. 15

Touring Hoodoo, his first domestically released album in nearly 10 years, swamp rock legend Tony Joe White made his way to the Southland Ballroom on Saturday night. He was greeted by a large and enthusiastic crowd of fans, and many of them could be overheard proclaiming that they attended White’s previous Triangle appearance at The Pour House a decade ago.

With his trademark rattlesnake guitar strap, White’s hour-long set included many numbers from his new Yep Roc release. His latest offering is as close to the heart of Louisiana swamp rock as one could hope for: brooding song lyrics, greasy guitar licks and solid percussion with a blues man’s howl on top. Check out some videos of the performance below.

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    Watch videos from the Southland Ballroom of “The Gift,” “Gypsy Epilogue” and more

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Video: Phil Cook at Cat's Cradle for his latest EP, This Side Up

Posted by on Tue, Aug 13, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Sunday evening at the Cat's Cradle brought the Trekky Records-sponsored EP release for Phil Cook's latest effort, This Side Up.

Cook is fresh off his Boomer's Story tribute performance with a host of Triangle musicians as well as his work on the upcoming Blind Boys of Alabama record.

The show, which was moved indoors from the Steel String Brewery to the Cradle, was a gathering of Cook's friends. Ryan Gustafson opened, playing solo acoustic and debuting a number of new songs. The Loamlands followed, with a new bass and rhythm section that added more depth to their previous duo lineup.

Cook took the stage starting off in his familiar solo format. He told a few stories and played a few songs before being joined by the rest of his band. In addition to playing a few numbers from This Side Up, they touched on a few numbers from Boomer's Story as well as Cook's previous release, Hungry Mother Blues. Below are a few clips from the performance.

"D.L.'s Holler," named after former INDY Week staff photographer D.L. Anderson:

"Take Your Burden to the Lord and Leave It There," a traditional gospel number dedicated to Cook's grandfather:

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    Phil Cook performing "D.L.'s Holler" and "Take Your Burden to the Lord and Leave It There" at the Trekky Records-sponsored release

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Videos: The Love Language and Bombadil play album-release shows

Posted by on Tue, Aug 13, 2013 at 6:46 AM

Last month, on the same weekend, two of the Triangle's most popular acts held release shows for their respective new albums.

On Friday, July 26, at a packed Cat's Cradle, The Love Language debuted Ruby Red in their retooled format. While it sounded as though the group was still ironing out a few arrangements, what they played from the new album mixed well with their back catalog. A three-piece string section, saxophonist, and vibraphonist Mark Simonsen complemented the band well. The encore included the McLamb brothers and Ben Carr of Last Year's Men performing "Stars" from the center of the crowd; nearly everyone sang along.

Below, see the group perform "Kids" and "High Life" from Ruby Red, plus the group's take on The Strokes song, "The Modern Age."

The next day at Raleigh's The Lincoln Theatre, Bombadil released Metrics of Affection. The group seems to be stronger than ever, presenting their material to a younger crowd who seemed to know the words to every song, no matter how dated or fresh. As the crowd danced to the upbeat numbers and swooned to the love songs, balloons dropped in the room, sending them into fits. When the evening ended, even getting out of the door seemed tough, as I'm uncertain the last time I saw a merchandise line so long.

Below are two new numbers from Metrics of Affection: "Have Me" and "Angeline," featuring Christy Smith from The Tender Fruit.

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    Check out videos of The Love Language and Bombadil, playing their CD release shows last weekend.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Live: Kurt Vile finds the feeling

Posted by on Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 12:21 PM

Kurt Vile & The Violators pulled into the Cat's Cradle on Thursday, touring behind Wakin on a Pretty Daze. A large banner with the band's name hung behind them as they walked on stage for the near-capacity show. The tempo of the tunes varied a bit, as Vile and company tend to lean back and stretch out live. But no one seemed to mind, as the group still packed a lot of new and old material into a 100-minute set. 

Below, hear 2009's "Hunchback" and the new "KV Crimes."


"KV Crimes"

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    Watch Kurt Vile & the Violators perform two tracks at Cat's Cradle.

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Video: American Aquarium moves its quiet Duke Gardens show indoors

Posted by on Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 11:36 AM

On Wednesday evening, Raleigh favorites American Aquarium were set to perform at the lush Sarah P. Duke Gardens for the Duke Performances "Music in the Gardens" series. Due to expected rain, though, the show was moved indoors to Motorco Music Hall.

American Aquarium had planned a very quiet acoustic set that usually wouldn't fly in the loud rock clubs where the group typically performs. In the move to Motorco, some of the delicate songs were lost on a crowd who seemed to switch to bar mode spontaneously. Still, with the assistance of cellist Kaitlin Grady, the group put on one of their strongest performances to date, digging deep into their back catalog to pull out songs they have never performed live. American Aquarium is no longer a one-trick-pony playing only rock shows; it can turn on a dime and deliver a different type of performance now.

Below are two deep cuts: "Water in the Well" from Small Town Hymns and "Road to Nowhere" from The Bible and the Bottle.

Water In The Well

Road to Nowhere

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    With rain on the way, Raleigh's American Aquarium retreated from the Duke Gardens into Motorco—and pulled off one of its best sets yet.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Video: Mike Cooley of Drive-By Truckers at Local 506

Posted by on Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Saturday night, Mike Cooley of the Drive-By Truckers returned to Local 506 in Chapel Hill for the first time in many years. Cooley reminisced on his time living in Durham and the plethora of songs he had written and first played out in the Triangle. Throughout the evening, he picked his way through 20-plus songs in his deep catalog of contributions to the Drive-By Truckers. Some were quickly identifiable during the introduction, while many had been given new arrangements. Cooley displayed ninja-like skills to ignore a rowdy crowd in the front row; they constantly tried to talk to him and yell out song requests.

In the end, everyone got what they came for—an up-close look at a brilliant body of work sometimes lost behind a wall of muddy vocals and roaring guitars.

Below are a few clips from the evening, including a few stories from Cooley's time in the Triangle.

"Loaded Gun in the Closet"

"Zip City"


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    The Drive-By Trucker songwriter stops in Chapel Hill to play songs and tell stories about his days in Durham.

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Video: JKutchma & The Five Fifths at Duke Gardens

Posted by on Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Duke Performances' annual summer series, Music in the Gardens, kicked off Wednesday evening as JKutchma & The Five Fifths played a record-release party for Sundown, USA, which Kutchma released in two different versions (with the band and solo). Kutchma and company performed to a full crowd on the lawn of the gardens as, fittingly, the sun went down on a cool late-spring evening. They were joined by members of D-Town Brass and Prypyat as they ran through most of the new album and a few numbers of Kutchma's excellent previous release, Pastoral. Kutchma played a few numbers solo in the middle of the set. For more on the dual release of Sundown, USA, see Peter Blackstock's feature in the June 5 INDY Week.

Below are two clips from Wednesday evening's show.

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    JKutchma & The Five Fifths kicked off Duke Performances' annual Music in the Gardens series at Duke Gardens on Wednesday.

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Friday, May 31, 2013

Video: James McCartney visits Durham

Posted by on Fri, May 31, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Alternating between piano and acoustic guitar, James McCartney played solo Thursday night at the Casbah in Durham. McCartney is currently touring the Southeast, playing small clubs behind his debut LP, Me. The release showcases a collection of breezy pop numbers that at times touch on the abstract. The Durham crowd welcomed McCartney but seemed a bit unsure of what they were witnessing. The treat was an hour-long performance by a musician not likely to visit this area very often; still, he's a talented singer-songwriter and rangy instrumentalist who happens to look a bit familiar.
As the evening came to a close, much like any other performer playing an area for the first time, McCartney stood in the back of the club, thanking people for coming to see him. He signed every autograph.

Below is a number from last night's performance—"Life's a Pill," from Me.

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    James McCartney played an hour-long solo set last night in Durham.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Videos: Last Year's Men, The Lollipops and more gather at Slim's to support Elijah Von Cramon

Posted by on Wed, May 22, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Last weekend at Slim's, more than 15 bands played to show their support and raise funds for Paint Fumes lead singer Elijah Von Cramon at "LIJApalooza." As detailed in last week's Indy Week, Von Cramon recently spent considerable time in the hospital after being hit by a car. Those on stage and in the crowd responded, coming out to support Von Cramon, who was in attendance and front and center throughout much of the weekend.

If you weren't able to make the event but would still like to support, you can by purchasing Waste of Time: A Tribute to Paint Fumes from Bandcamp.

The Lollipops

Bitter Resolve

Last Year's Men

Black Zinfandel

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    After being hit by a car, Paint Fumes frontman Elijah Von Cramon gets a lot of help from a lot of friends in Raleigh.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Live: Dex Romweber Duo rips through the catalog in Durham

Posted by on Wed, Apr 3, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Friday night at the Casbah in Durham, the underground heroes of the Dex Romweber Duo took the stage. Running through a blistering set, the Duo showed no signs of rust, despite having not performed in some time. Romweber dipped into his extensive catalog of solo records, duo releases and Flat Duo Jets material.

Summoning a spectrum of rock ’n’ roll, surf rock and crooning county, they covered all the bases. Despite Duke playing in the NCAA tournament during set time, there was a sizable crowd for the Duo. They played only an hour, leaving the crowd waiting for the next round as they filed out of the Casbah just after midnight.

Below are two clips from the evening: The Flat Duo Jets' "Go Go Harlem Baby" and the Dex Romweber Duo number, "Is It Too Late?"

"Go Go Harlem Baby"

"Is It Too Late?"

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    Dan Schram finds Dex and Sara Romweber sampling from the days of Flat Duo Jets at Casbah.

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