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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 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:...

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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....

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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...

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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." "Hunchback" "KV Crimes"...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Live: Four songwriters test new waters (Videos)

Posted By on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Last Thursday, the Casbah in Durham continued its songwriters in the round series. The first installment featured Heather McEntire, Hiss Golden Messenger, Amy Ray and Phil Cook. The second installment featured an equally stellar lineup of Christy Smith, Justin Robinson, Shawn Luby and Katharine Whalen. Kudos to the Casbah for setting up this series which really takes these performers out of their comfort zone while trading stories and debuting new material. I hope it continues. Christy Smith (Tender Fruit): "Get Out of the Car" Justin Robinson: "Space is the Deepest Silence You'll Never Hear" Shawn Luby (Humble Tripe): "Old Time...

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Live: The Morning After finds unlikely pop success

Posted By on Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Turning to Jac Cain as The Morning After stepped off stage Friday night at The Pour House, I asked him for his impressions of the group: "You know," said the longtime sound engineer, "on paper it shouldn't work. But the thing is, it does." On paper, The Morning After has all the traditional elements of a bluegrass band, plus a soul singer and drummer. What The Morning After has created is a good-time, pop-and-soul band backed with the sort of solid instrumentation that allows lead singer Rachel Koontz to let loose vocally. Below, check two clips from Friday's performance. "Where...

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Live: Jacco Gardner and Schooner tweak pop in Durham (Videos)

Posted By on Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Stepping through the front door of The Pinhook, Jacco Gardner and company resembled a military battalion marching in lock step. Professional and organized, the group was there to get a job done. As they stepped on the stage Thursday evening, I had been interested to see how their lush soundscape of an album Cabinet of Curiosities would translate in the sometimes unforgiving confines of the Pinhook. What unfolded was a refreshingly delightful psychedelic performance lead by Gardner and accented by a solid crew. Below are a couple of videos from the evening, including Gardner and openers, Schooner. Schooner's "Trapped" Jacco...

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Live: Mandolin Orange shines in its little N.C. hometown (Videos)

Posted By on Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Photo by Dan SchramComing home: Mandolin Orange Saturday night in the small town of Warrenton, N.C., Mandolin Orange returned to the Southeast after several weeks touring in the North. Among those stops, they taught a workshop at the famed Berkelee College of Music (which rejected member Andrew Marlin as an applicant years ago) and the Folk Alliance Conference in Toronto. Warrenton is the childhood home of Marlin, and many of his family and friends turned out for the performance at Cast Stone Systems, an industrial warehouse outfitted with a stage made from recycled materials. A large crowd with many requests...

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Live: Slaid Cleaves plays new material in Durham (Videos)

Posted By on Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Last Thursday at the Casbah, Texas singer-songwriter Slaid Cleaves returned to the Triangle, accompanied by Scrappy Jud Newcomb. Cleaves has not been in the area in nearly four years, so he brought along a batch of new songs from an upcoming album titled Still Fighting The War. The title track, which you can hear below, surrounds military personnel returning home and dealing with reentry into the civilian world and the consequences of combat. The second song, "Go for the Gold," is a gospel number performed unplugged for the encore. Cleaves seemed pleased both with the sizable crowd and the sound...

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Live: Southern Culture on the Skids in one of their preferred rooms (Video)

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 3:51 PM

The Berkeley Cafe is one of the definitive venues in which to see local legends Southern Culture on the Skids. It could be the intimacy of the place or how the group's sound translates in the awkward room's layout—I'm not certain. What is certain, though, is that the Berk breathes new life into the group's material. When they play the Berkeley Cafe, they bring a little something extra. And at the end of the night, with ears ringing and a variety of drunken people exiting, the lights come up to reveal empty beer bottles everywhere and remnants of fried chicken...

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Live: Toddlers inaugurate their new EP (Video)

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Friday night at Kings Barcade, the Toddlers released their highly anticipated EP, 19. The evening began, though, with the frantic rock of Black Zinfandel, followed by the catchy and strange instrumentals of the Savage Knights. After the Toddlers took the stage, it soon became apparent that they are one of the most noteworthy new groups in the area. It seems that, with each show, they become tighter and much more comfortable stretching out with their material. With their EP out and focus forming on a full-length debut, the Toddlers should be on every to-watch list you've got. BLACK ZINFANDEL SAVAGE...

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Live: Some Army celebrates its Kickstarter success (Video)

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Tuesday night at The Pinhook, Some Army celebrated the successful funding of their Kickstarter campaign. They surpassed their goal of $7,000 to produce and record their first full-length album at Mitch Easter's Fidelitorium. Last night's set featured several new tunes, intended for the as-yet-untitled upcoming album. They played a fairly brief gig; considering it was as an early weekday evening, a sizable crowd remained. Below, Some Army performs"Telling Lies"...

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Live: The Dead Tongues and Ryan Gustafson have their night (Video)

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 3:06 PM

When Ryan Gustafson and company stepped on stage Saturday night at the Cat's Cradle, he barely could have had a stronger band behind him. From the allstar back line of James Wallace and Jeff Crawford to Thomas Costello, Thomas Simpson and Mark Simonsen, each member of the group has their hand in several projects. Still, despite the show being booked as The Dead Tongues, it was definitely the Ryan Gustafson party. The band kicked off a nearly hour-long set that reached back to his Donkey LP to reprise "Soul Train." From there, they ran through most of the new...

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Live: Chris Stamey gets intricate (Video)

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Chris Stamey's Lovesick Blues seems to be a breezy album, but keep listening, and notice the layers of depth. Going into Friday's performance at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, I was interested to see how they would pull off those arrangements live. Backed by an 18-piece band, Chris Stamey and company delivered a concert not like one I've seen in recent memory. It was meticulous, an onslaught of meticulousness characteristic of Stamey's high expectations for himself and whatever he presents. The evening began with Skylar Gudasz stretching out on the piano (and joined by Casey Toll) for a strong dose...

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Live: See The Toddlers' private Kickstarter concert

Posted By on Tue, Jan 8, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Friday at Local 506, The Toddlers hosted a private concert to reward their Kickstarter contributors. Opening the evening was Ari Picker & friends, running through a brief set of cover songs. The Lost in the Trees frontman also mentioned a solo project he will be releasing in the future. The Toddlers subsequently took the stage, unleashing their brand of spacey melodies that include menacing and, at times, frantic tones. They offered a number of new tunes from the EP and a few others previously released on 7" singles. Finally hearing "Starlight" as it should be played to an attentive...

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Videos: The Backsliders bring it all back in Raleigh

Posted By on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Walking toward the Pour House Saturday night, I ran into a wide-smiling Jac Cain. This made me a little nervous, so I asked The Pour House soundman, "What do you think about tonight?" He responded with a deep, menacing laugh and not much more. The Backsliders had not even partially reunited in a number of years until a benefit show at Slim's in late September. So, why now? "Chip called, said he was doing a set at Slim's for a benefit and did I want to join him as a duo. I said, 'Sure, sounds like fun.' I found out...

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Live Video: Mount Moriah & Bowerbirds at Cat's Cradle

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Mount Moriah, Bowerbirds Cat's Cradle Dec. 8, 2012 Saturday brought one of the more anticipated local performances in recent memory to the Cat's Cradle. Mount Moriah — stirring up recent buzz around their signing to Merge Records and the announcement of their next release, Miracle Temple — debuted a handful of rich and powerful new songs. And headlining were the Bowerbirds, fresh off of a nine-month tour and returning to the Cradle for the first time since their CD release for The Clearing in March. While Mount Moriah played several selections off their new disc, you'll have to see...

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Video: The Love Language brings a big band to the Lincoln Theatre

Posted By on Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 12:50 PM

The Lincoln Theatre hosted quite the three-band bill on Friday with The Love Language, Gross Ghost and The Toddlers. One act after another unveiled refreshing material, making this one of my favorite shows of the year. The Toddlers offered a number of new songs, presumably from their upcoming Kickstarter-funded release. As they began to play the sparse "Starlight" in near total darkness, the crowd slowly began to quiet down behind the eerily perfect vocals of Nathan Toben. Gross Ghost barreled their way through 10 songs in just about 30 minutes; frontman Mike Dillon seems to be becoming more and more...

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Video: Kathleen Edwards talks "giant boner for Durham," collaborates with Mandolin Orange

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 5:20 PM

"I really wish I hadn't written this song because I kind of have a giant boner for Durham," said Canadian singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards as she transitioned into "Empty Threat," the first song of her most recent release Voyageur, Friday night at the Haw River Ballroom. The song revolves around the idea of her moving to America but not wanting to do so. Despite it being her first performance at the venue, Edwards continuously heaped praise on the room and venue co-owner Heather LaGarde. Edwards played a nearly two-hour set, featuring selections from each of her albums. Jim Bryson and...

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