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Friday, March 27, 2009

HNMTF Tour Diary #7: Wilmington, Del.

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 11:43 AM

Thursday, March 19 Wilmington, DE The next morning we finally said goodbye to our Caverns brethren, then drove to our friend Brad's apartment in Philadelphia. Thursday night we played in Wilmington, Del., just outside of Philly. Brad's apartment is two blocks from the Pat's/Geno's cheesesteak corner in South Philly. We immediately crushed a few steaks from Pat's, watched a little NCAA basketball, and later drove out to Delaware. Wilmington is a fairly large banking town on the outskirts of Philadelphia—not the most happening place in the world. However, we heard it was the hometown of WKNC's own DJ Stevo,...

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HNMTF Tour Diary #6: Baltimore, Md.

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Wednesday, March 18 Baltimore, MD Next we made the short drive from D.C. to Baltimore. It was the first time we have been back to Baltimore since we recorded our album here almost a year ago with our longtime hero, J. Robbins. That was the best week of our lives: We spent our days in the studio, living on pizza and coffee. The pizza was delivered from the world famous "Pizza Deal" restaurant. We made many pizza deals that week. J Robbins is the sweetest guy. It was such a pleasure to work with him. Baltimore was also the setting...

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HNMTF Tour Diary #5: Washington, D.C. [day off]

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 11:37 AM

Tuesday, March 17 Washington, D.C. The trip from the Black Cat to the House of Caverns is one for which we no longer need directions. At the house we kicked back, drank some more Coors (the "silver bullet" this time), watched more Eastbound and Down and generally chilled out. Two of Patrick's friends stopped by and were running around like headless chickens. With good reason, as it turned out: From here they're hitting the road and driving to L.A., hoping to live their dreams as filmmakers....

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Live: Cut Copy Paste

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Cut Copy Tuesday, March 24 Cat's Cradle The last time I ate at a Chuck E. Cheese, it was for a frat brother’s 25th birthday gathering. I remember it fondly, how a pal and I pulled off a plot to smash a piece of cake in the birthday boy’s face. But what I remember most about that day is where we all sat—right in front of the giant, animal-bot musicians. Periodically, music would come on, and Chuck E. and his bandmates would move around as if they were actually playing their instruments, performing their songs. It really creeped me...

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Live: After Austin, two tired bands handle themselves differently

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Titus Andronicus, Here We Go Magic Tuesday, March 24 Local 506 How do you know when you’re back from South by Southwest? You’re sick, and the more prominent buzz bands from the year’s festival are rolling up Interstate 95 on their way back to Brooklyn. Wednesday night, two of those bands—New York’s Here We Go Magic and Glen Rock, N.J.’s Titus Andronicus—stopped together at Local 506....

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

SXSW09, Days 3-4: Who designed this iPod, btw? [Grayson Currin]

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 2:58 PM

Earlier this year, the Web site furia.com tossed all the votes from the Village Voice’s 2008 Pazz & Jop Poll into a database and determined—of the year-end corral’s 577 voters—which were the most similar in terms of the albums they considered to be the best. Only Brent Burton, a contributing writer for Washington City Paper, shared my 2008 tastes more than Marc Masters, another near-D.C. denizen who was one-sixth of the team this newspaper took to South by Southwest this year. Funny thing, though: Until I caught a ride into South Austin Sunday night to meet Marc and a few...

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Carolina Performing Arts announces 2009-10 season

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 1:03 PM

It's going to be a good one, too: Highlights include appearances by Ravi and Anoushka Shankar, Sonny Rollins, Gilberto Gil, Pat Metheny solo, Béla Fleck with Edgar Meyer and Zakkir Hussein, the union of the Blind Boys and Preservation Hall, arrangements of Philip Glass, the return of Bang on a Can and a revisiting of "Pictures at an Exhibition." Also of note: Mali's mighty Tinariwen finally makes it to the Triangle after falling from Duke's roster for the 2008-09 season....

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

HNMTF Tour Diary #4: Washington, DC

Posted By on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 7:16 PM

Over the next two weeks, Durham’s Hammer No More the Fingers will offer daily glimpses into its touring life as the band tours the East Coast in anticipation of its Triangle CD release parties April 3-4. Monday, March 16 Washington, DC Oh no. Do I remember correctly? Five guys, no shirts, duct tape, terrible accents and a video camera? I'm pretty sure that happened. I searched Facebook to see which ones possibly made the cut. Seven videos popped up as soon as I logged in. Fortunately, I laughed a lot harder than I thought I would. On the downside, the...

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HNMTF Tour Diary #3: College Park, MD

Posted By on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 7:09 PM

Over the next two weeks, Durham’s Hammer No More the Fingers will offer daily glimpses into its touring life as the band tours the East Coast in anticipation of its Triangle CD release parties April 3-4. Sunday, March 15 College Park, MD & Washington, DC Oh, Washington DC—our home away from home. A network of bands and people are truly devoted to the success of the independent music scene here....

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SXSW09, Day 4: [Kelly Reid]

Posted By on Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 7:03 PM

After circling the blocks of 6th and 7th streets east of Interstate 35 for about 10 minutes, I finally found a parking space so big that I could squeeze my brother’s pick-up truck—a ’94 GMC, a real Texas ride with straight pipes that emit a gnarly roar even while parallel parking—inside. Jumping from its cab, my heels hit the asphalt hard, and I was reminded that today would likely be my fourth and final 15-hour day of music. The thought hurts. It’s not that I don’t want to see live music. Actually, I have a whole list of bands...

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Monday, March 23, 2009

SXSW09, Day 4: Fantastic Gimmicks [Marc Masters]

Posted By on Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 3:53 PM

When it comes to musical performance, there seems to be a thin line between showmanship and gimmickry. I prefer bands who play great music with their heads down, but even with my favorite groups whose unique stage acts approach gimmickry—Wolf Eyes, Boredoms, Prurient, etc.–the difference is that I could close my eyes and still enjoy them. But by the fourth day of SXSW, even though I had heard more great sound than I could imagine, I started to crave something novel to see, too....

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SXSW, Day 4: Swollen Ankles and Happy Accidents [Jason Crock]

Posted By on Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 3:36 PM

No matter how I tried to pace myself, my Saturday became a gauntlet. By drifting to whatever show seemed semi-interesting and close enough to walk to, I somehow saw more bands than all previous days combined. Inevitable schedule delays meant I saw a lot more sets than I'd intended, and most of the time, that was a great thing....

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SXSW09, Day 4: We major? No question [Paul Thompson]

Posted By on Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 3:11 PM

I hate getting stuck down here. You show up at the spot a little early to get yourself good and situated for whoever's up last and find more often than not that every little thing's been pushed back, so that drought in the back of your throat or the crimsoning of your forearms (If you're me, that is...) in the unforgiving Texas sun will just have to wait another 45 minutes for somebody else's schedule. I'm that dude who, even back home, buys tickets for a show and intentionally gets there to avoid the openers, even when I like...

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

SXSW09, Day 4: Hot freaks and these things called "Blogs," Vivian Girls and PJ Harvey (no relation) [Eric Harvey]

Posted By on Sun, Mar 22, 2009 at 1:14 PM

As Scottish indie pop band Camera Obscura were tuning up in advance of a 5 p.m. set, covered from the blazing sun by a huge canopy, lead singer Tracyanne Campbell asked the audience: “Are you hot, and freaky? A bunch of hot freaks?” The crowd yelled in approval, but not because they were anticipating the sort of sweaty dance party that question might imply or from the temperature outside, either. It’s because they were attending the second day of the Hot Freaks day party, curated by six of the best and most hardworking music bloggers (MOKB, Gorilla Vs. Bear,...

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

SXSW09, Day 3: The local universe [Kelly Reid]

Posted By on Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 3:38 PM

“This is the center of the universe—well, our universe,” said Josh Moore, a folk singer-songwriter from Carrboro, his face was glowing with child-like excitement. Moore caught a ride to Texas with Wilmington band He Is Legend. He isn’t in Austin to play his own music, but rather to absorb everything else that's here. As we sat on the pavement together, we listened to The Love Language run through a quick soundcheck. I thought about all the North Carolina bands who are at SXSW this year. North Carolina—in particular the Triangle of Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh—sent several dozen bands...

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SXSW09, Day 2-3: Beers, bands and bickering about business bullshit [Grayson Currin]

Posted By on Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 2:25 PM

O' DRAMA SCENE I: THURSDAY NIGHT [Standing in a balcony overlooking a venue beneath the cool Texas night. A stranger approaches a music writer (myself) and a group of friends, all in a band the stranger has just signed] Band Friend 1: Grayson, [Redacted.], have you two meet? [Writer extends hand.] Stranger with Record Label: You're dead to me. [Writer extends hand again and smiles in what he is sure is the most disarming Southern way ever, right?] Stranger with Record Label: Nope, we're done. [Without smiling, Stranger walks away.] Three Hours Pass. More alcohol is consumed. The group reassembles...

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SXSW09, Day 3: Ordinance-free noise, solar power, and other alternative sources of energy [Marc Masters]

Posted By on Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 1:42 PM

My favorite surprise about SXSW is that most of the live music booms out of the clubs and onto the streets with no complaining neighbors or disgruntled cops showing up. Apparently, this is somewhat routine in Austin even when SXSW isn’t happening, but it’s a bit of revelation for someone from D.C., where just one instance of noise blaring into the streets would likely result in a law against live music itself. They should probably mention this excellent benefit in Austin’s tourism ads. ...

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SXSW, Day 3: Same Shit, Different (Perfect) Venue [Jason Crock]

Posted By on Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 1:31 PM

As mentioned by my comrades here in Austin, hanging your hat on a few must-see bands at festivals as large as SXSW is preferable to running yourself ragged trying to catch everything. I've done my best to keep my schedule loose and hope the wind takes me toward some new and interesting bands—one of which was the charming weird pop of Woods, who play a warped and loping brand of folk that's still wholly accessible and melodic, and another was Pictureplane, who I describe a little more below. But even the unofficial parties at SXSW seem dominated by acts who...

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SXSW09, Day 3: Go weird (or go big) or go home...Go Metallica! [Paul Thompson]

Posted By on Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 1:19 PM

If you want to make your mark at SXSW, a high-profile showcase slot will get you a ways, but you can't stop there. Nobody plays just a time or two down here if they know what's best for 'em; if you want to keep the buzz going, you've gotta haul your stuff down 6th Street just as fast as you can get between makeshift stage and cramped backyard. The younger the band and the bigger the buzz going into SXSW, the more gigs they seem to rack up. So often, though, these bands get that positive word behind 'em...

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SXSW09, Day 3: Actual Women This Time [Eric Harvey]

Posted By on Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 12:25 PM

[/caption] Yesterday, while standing in the back of the room at Emo’s watching a typically stunning performance by Brooklyn’s The Dirty Projectors, I noticed out of the corner of my eye an especially short girl standing right behind me, leaning up against the wall. I’m an especially tall guy by most measures, so I quickly turned around to ask her if she’d like to swap places. As she was replying to me with something along the lines of “No thanks, I prefer to lean against the wall,” I realized that the exceedingly short girl was in fact Janeane Garofalo....

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Friday, March 20, 2009

SXSW09, Day 2: Surprises and masks [Grayson Currin]

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 5:31 PM

The first few years I attended South by Southwest, I treated the whole affair mostly as if I were a Boy Scout. I’d bind the official nighttime schedule in a notebook with a few guides to the hundreds of day parties sponsored by magazines, beer companies, Web sites and whatever product you’d imagine might make even a little sense marketing itself here. I'd go through with a highlighter and ink pen, prioritizing my must-sees and second options, taking care to ensure that the walk between clubs was feasible. This year, though, I decided to forego the meticulous planning in...

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SXSW09, Day 2: Fake stages and the beast [Kelly Reid]

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 5:21 PM

At South by Southwest, the room is often too small for the band booked. Consider buzz band Here We Go Magic, who played the inside stage of The Mohawk during the middle of a hot Texas day.  Maybe next year someone will book a show in a closet so it will look super packed. ...

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SXSW, Day 2: Lies and Repeats [Jason Crock]

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 1:07 PM

The barrage of showcases and parties of SXSW are easy to navigate and choose between so long you're not being lied to, which is all the time. Start times for the sets? More of a guideline. RSVP? Whatever. Enjoy that line down the block. Free food? Sorry, all out. Free booze? We're all out of that, too, or wait for the promo girls to hand it out, or I wouldn't know anything about that, I'm just a bartender. Special guests? Yeah, they can come out perform one song, as I learned last night at Austin Music Hall. So when "Daniel...

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SXSW09, Day 2: The Real World, Austin [Marc Masters]

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Traveling can be frustrating: Visiting any place is great, but I want to know what it’s like to live there, and that’s pretty tough to do without spending time with locals. It seems almost an impossible task at SXSW, as daily life in Austin gets masked by layers of bands, filmmakers, industry types and reams of other visitors. But I think I got lucky enough today to catch a glimpse of the real town, or at least its underground art world....

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SXSW09, Day 2: Another Pretty-Great British Band, The Wrens, Girls and Women (with no actual girls or women), and That Bizarre Feeling of Time-Space Compression [Eric Harvey]

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Time and space are both weirdly compressed at South by Southwest, which you don’t realize until you’ve done the festival for two 12+ hour days. You see a dozen shows in a day at a half-dozen bars, and don’t have to walk all that far to see them. It’s different than something like Bonnaroo because you’re traversing city blocks, not fenced-off pastures, so you don’t feel like you’re part of some separate music colony as much as that you sort of own an entire downtown. SXSW is a microcosmos of music cultures, a huge disposable music scene that feeds...

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