An ostensible mistake this morning on the venerable All Music Guide: Michael Jackson, dead since May 25, 2009.
Matt Vooris had just finished teaching drumming lessons in an area school when an inquisitive parent asked the question that became his light bulb: “Why isn’t there a boys rock camp in the area?”
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="208" caption="Red star."][/caption]
In defense of Twitter: There are some pretty sweet tweets floating around, including one yesterday from @hnmtf. "We just released a new track from the looking for bruce recording session Do the Human - FREE!," it read, offering a link to a bit of Web 2.0 marketing shared between Windows and ReverbNation—wherein one could, as promised, download "Do The Human."
For local fans, "Do The Human" isn't entirely new: It was (but isn't any more) offered as a digital bonus for folks who ordered Hammer's J. Robbins-produced Looking For Bruce directly from Churchkey Records, and I swear, I heard a demo of this song floating around more than a year ago. Hammer's Duncan Webster backs me up. "'Do The Human' was actually the third song we ever wrote. I think we wrote it in January of 2007. It was on our demo CD."
Before Pipe plays the first, second, third or fourth night of Merge's 20th birthday party (Merge isn't announcing which bands play which night, an awkward strategy for a sold-out festival ... that said, Merge, after 20 years, obviously knows what it's doing), it will go underground. Pipe (MRG037, 054, 055, 123, for those of you keeping track at home) will play The Cave with Durham's Tin Star. If you're wondering how the two divergent bands fit together on this bill, Kevin Bacon would remind you that Ron Liberti is in Pipe and Bringerer. Tin Star drummer Barton Moyers is in Bringerer, too. Bam! The Friday, July 17, show starts at 10 p.m.
Fractured Discs will release Tin Star's debut EP, Bettie Lane, in late July. The band will play an early CD release party Friday, July 3, at The Pinhook with Gray Young and Birds & Arrows. And, then, there's the Pipe show...
We strongly recommended tomorrow's triple-bill of trios—Dallas' Ume and locals Bellafea and Maple Stave—tomorrow night at the Durham's Pinhook. Turns out, Bellafea and Ume, who fell into kindred-spirit mode a few years ago at a thinly attended Kings show, will share a bill tonight, too: They'll play at Fuse at 9 p.m. with Raleigh duo Old Bricks, a sad-voiced pair that recorded (but has not yet released) one of my favorite local records of the year. Hey, if the notice is too short, there's always tomorrow.
I worried when I saw that the history of Merge Records, Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, was co-authored by Gawker reporter John Cook and the Durham/ Chapel Hill label's founders, Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan. It seemed like a recipe for bias or lack of candor, perhaps reading less like an intimate portrait than a 300-page press release.
A quick mention of a few local bands with some interesting online features today:
—In another early bit of promotion for I and Love and You (now due in September, NPR says), Concord quartet The Avett Brothers recorded a three-song installment of Tiny Desk Concert in the office of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen. The unrecorded "Down with the Shine" and the new staple "Bella Donna" make an appearance, but the real reason to watch is the opener, "Laundry Room." A gorgeous song with a dozen slogans for the taking, "Laundry Room" finds the harmonies of the Avetts hitting new strides. And it's good to see that Scott's banjo refuses to stay in tune, even for NPR.
“Beggar’s Bowl,” the first track to be unveiled from Polvo’s forthcoming In Prism, is as good as a fan could hope for, but not likely what they’d expect. (Download here, and read more after the jump).
I did a quick little dance earlier this week upon learning that Baltimore's Double Dagger made a music video for "Vivre Sans Temps Mort," the second and arguably best track from its third, best and most recent record, More. And I did a longer dance while watching said video for the first time, as it's always such a treat to see lyrics, music and image coalesce so powerfully: "Vivre Sans Temps Mort" builds slowly but steadily, walks of bass notes and a patter of hi-hat touches reflecting from the surface of a melodica drone. When the band finally leaps in, it chases a tense, three-minute march toward terminus, the action cresting and collapsing but ultimately just charging to something unseen. The lyrics reflect on teenage obsessions with death, or with forsaking a little bit of your life by fantasizing about the time when you won't be here. Kids write wills and memoirs...
And so, in the video, we find a young boy fastidiously building models of cars, building for the future instead of living his life. The cars, of course, eventually crash and burn, bringing one of the song's central lines to bear: "When the fire's burned out and all you're left with is smoke, smoke, smoke..." Double Dagger, which got love in this week's paper, plays The Pinhook tonight sometime after 10 p.m.
Also of note tonight: Phonte Coleman of Little Brother and The Foreign Exchange brings round two of Two-Step Thursdays with Tigallo back to Raleigh's Globe tonight after 10 p.m. Writing for Scan, Eric Tullis described last week's debut as "an attempt to offer a disco aesthetic in the Triangle and encourage the young, professional, urban clientele to come to the club and dance and sweat, rather than try and preserve their dry-cleaned ensembles by 'holding the walls up.'" Those parties are free.
Elvis Costello and the Sugarcanes
Koka Booth Amphitheatre, Cary
Sunday, June 14
Quick: What do Loretta Lynn, The Velvet Underground, The Grateful Dead and the Anthology of American Folk Music have in common? Sunday night in Cary, Elvis Costello gave them all the cover treatment during a 30-song tour de force with his new all-star bluegrass string band, the Sugarcanes.