It often seems like we're trying to find new ways to describe Future Island's infectious music—essentially, three-piece, bass-and-beat driven emo-soul from dudes that (partially) grew up in Raleigh, moved to Greenville, N.C., and then Baltimore, Md.—on a weekly basis. And it's sort of true: The trio tours as hard as frontman Sam Herring sings, and they don't miss a chance to play in the Triangle. Last week, the band played a packed headlining set at Berkeley Cafe; tonight, they'll play Pizza Fest at The Cave. More on that event in this week's paper. We spoke with Future Islands' smoking bassist (like, literally: dude smokes while he plays) William Cashion last week about the band's new deal with Thrill Jockey Records, one of the finest labels in the land.
If it’s too loud, shut it down: Durham’s The Broad Street Cafe is collecting petition signatures in preparation for a hearing before the Durham Board of Adjustment Wednesday, Dec. 9, that could limit the venue’s late-night music.
Acting on complaints about noise coming from the venue first filed in March, the City investigated the cafe, which is open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, and determined it was in violation of its commercial zoning district. In order to allow live music past 10 p.m., the club will need to obtain a special minor use permit.
Adding drums to your two-man indie lit-folk thing recalls what Chekhov said about pistols hanging on walls: Eventually, they’d best to go off.
Adding a light show, roadies, a Rhodes and a shaggy-haired, blazer-clad lead guitarist—as Durham’s John Darnielle did to his expanding band The Mountain Goats during their just-concluded Life of the World to Come tour—and, well, you have something else entirely.
When Durham quartet Free Electric State booked studio time to make the follow-up to their excellent two-song debut demo, they aimed only for the next step in size: Cut an EP, and see if any labels were interested in a longer project. Turns out, they didn’t have to wait.
“Kyle and Steve said, ‘We’re not interested in putting out an EP. We’d rather do a full-length,’” says Free Electric State’s Shirlé Hale Koslowski of Kyle Miller and Steve Jones, who run the Durham label Churchkey Records. “We had the songs, so we said we would record more. It wasn’t our initial plan, but it made sense.”
The band cut the core of the LP over three days in late October at the Mebane studio of producer Jerry Kee. Over the last two-plus decades, Kee has worked with Superchunk, Ryan Adams, Bad Checks, Shark Quest and, oh, about half of the bands in the Triangle. In fact, Koslowski and husband David, who plays guitar and sings in Free Electric State, worked with him in their former band, Gerty! Just before Thanksgiving, they returned to Kee’s to add overdubs and finalize mixes. Chicago’s Carl Saff is currently mastering the disc.
The nine-song LP, titled Caress, features a reworked version of “Hawks,” from this year’s demo release, as well as two new songs that the band has yet to play locally, “Matching Scars” and “The Black Sea.” Those tunes will get their premiere Friday, when Free Electric State joins Irata and The White Cascade for a 10 p.m. show at Slim’s.
The record, though, will have to wait: Churchkey plans to drop Caress in mid-April 2010.“I feel like it’s so far away,” says Koslowski, laughing, “that we’ll have another album written by then.”
For Free Electric State's alternate version of how the deal with Churchkey went down, hit the jump.
Durham Performing Arts Center announced this morning that British singer-songwriter David Gray will perform at DPAC Friday, April 9. Tickets ($25-$60) go on sale next Friday, Dec. 11, but, more important than the show itself, is Gray's youth, at least relative to many of the other musical acts booked in the city's 2,700-seat theater. Since opening in December, the core of DPAC's musical bookings has been a stable of aged heroes and icons—B.B. King, Roger Daltrey, Leonard Cohen, John Prine, Willie Nelson. There have been exceptions of note (Ben Folds, Maxwell, Indie. Arie), but Gray's youth and my suspicion that Gray, who's slipped well out of the mainstream since his stateside hit "Babylon," from 1999's excellent White Ladder, won't fill all of those seats are good signs for DPAC's booking future: They're looking to be more than a hall of legacy, even if it means landing artists who've met some share of apathy in America.