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Friday, June 1, 2012

One Megafaun cover you'll love to hate

Posted By on Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 11:25 AM

I sincerely doubt the creators of YouTube originally intended it to be inundated by videos like the one at the top of this post. But the reality is that funny(?) keyboard cats, crotch shots and awkward singers rule this medium, and Bryce McCormick is a solid example of the kind of material that racks up hits. In his surprisingly well-equipped home studio, he makes beguilingly well-produced covers of popular songs that he smothers in cliche synths and a laughable white boy-soul croon. In short, it's hilarious. He's covered Josh Groban, Prince and The Jackson Five. He also has one...

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Doc Watson, 1923-2012

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 11:45 PM

I have seen the DavidSeen the Mona Lisa tooAnd I have heard Doc Watson play Columbus Stockade Blues. That's the company in which the esteemed songwriter Guy Clark placed the legendary North Carolina musician Doc Watson, who passed away at age 89 on Tuesday evening in a Winston-Salem hospital. Indeed: There was no higher art. The eulogies for Watson will no doubt be plentiful and profound in the days to come. In this moment upon hearing the news tonight, my thoughts are of his daily appearances at Merlefest in the early-evening hours on the main stage, pickin' and singin' a...

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Red Collar magic saves evening at Motorco

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Photo by Jordan LawrenceJason Kutchma: one more boy, one more dream Red CollarMotorco Music HallMay 19, 2012 At the end of his short performance just before Red Collar took the stage Saturday, beloved Raleigh entertainer Magic Mike Casey reminded his audience of one of the most persistent rules in his craft: Great tricks have three parts. And it’s the final act that makes the illusion, not the preamble. At the moment he said this, he had just performed two clever but thoroughly un-amazing tricks, falling far short of the intricate head games he usually delivers. The latter involved grabbing an...

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Live: Confessor stuns in Raleigh

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Photo by Adam KissickConfessor, in preparation A reviewer’s nightmare, turns out, isn’t having to write about a show that sucked; it’s having to write about a show that was so phenomenal that the only thing left to say is, “Damn, that rocked.” That’s the position yours truly finds herself in—struggling to put into words exactly how good Confessor was Friday night at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre. Indeed, I’m wondering if I should cancel my vacation and instead go see Confessor a second time at next weekend’s Maryland Death Fest in Baltimore. Lord knows when this band might play again. Two locals,...

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Introducing the Independent Weekly's Simple Music Video Series: Frank Fairfield

Posted By on Fri, May 18, 2012 at 2:30 PM

The purpose of the Independent Weekly's Simple Music Video Series is to capture local and touring musicians who we feel are producing something special. The hope is to capture something very simple in order to mirror the experience of viewing a performance as if you were in a small crowd watching a quiet set. We hope for content of the music to be the primary focus of the series, not multiple camera angles meant to keep the viewer guessing and entertained. Most bands featured in the series will be a sample of the deep pool of talent in the...

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Yep Roc announces 15th-birthday bash

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2012 at 2:25 PM

To celebrate its 15th birthday this fall, local label Yep Roc Records is gathering the tribes in mid-October for a three-night blowout at Cat's Cradle with Nick Lowe, Robyn Hitchcock, Dave Alvin, Fountains of Wayne, Chuck Prophet, Jon Doe, the Minus 5 and many other artists who have released records on the label in the past decade and a half. The shows, set for Oct. 11-13, also will feature Liam Finn, The Sadies, Sloan, Cheyenne Marie Mize, Jim White, Eleni Mandell and others to be announced. Top local acts in the lineup include Chatham County Line and a reunion...

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Dwarr lives!

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Photo Courtesy of Drag City RecordsBig rocker: Dwarr [Editor's note: Dwarr was set to play The Pinhook in Durham tonight, Wednesday, March 16. His entire tour has been canceled.] ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT, Durham bar The Pinhook will host the fourth and final gig of South Carolina outsider-metal outfit Dwarr’s first-ever tour. More than 25 years in the making, this show might never have happened without divine intervention. Duane Warr, the band’s mastermind and sole consistent member, has maintained an on-and-off relationship with his musical alter ego for a quarter century. He self-produced two albums, 1984’s Starting Over and 1986’s Animals,...

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"The Super Bowl of Bluegrass Music" — and "the Hopscotch"

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM

from the IBMA Denny Edwards dubbed it "the Super Bowl of Bluegrass Music." Well, it (the World of Bluegrass) is coming to Raleigh in the fall of 2013, 2014 and 2015 — after which, maybe it'll be permanent? Edwards is CEO of the Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is busting its buttons at getting the International Bluegrass Music Association to bring its annual meeting, awards show and three-day festival of twangy 'grass to Raleigh in the fall for at least the next three years. (A press release with the dates is below.) But I liked what William Lewis called...

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Live: Pipe and Archers of Loaf, in pictures

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Triangle indie rock legends Archers of Loaf and Pipe shared two local stages last weekend—Friday, May 11, in Saxapahaw, and Saturday, May 12, in Raleigh. Independent photographer Adam Kissick paid a visit to Kings in Raleigh to capture the bands in their return to action....

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Tonight: Lee Ranaldo at Bull City Records

Posted By on Mon, May 14, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Courtesy of Matador RecordsWalking into Durham Before his opening performance for M. Ward tomorrow at Duke University’s Page Auditorium, Sonic Youth guitarist and sometimes-singer Lee Ranaldo has a treat for the rest of Durham: He will perform solo material tonight at 6 p.m. at Bull City Records. The event is free. Between the Times and the Tides—arguably Ranaldo’s first proper solo album, released earlier this year by Matador—still pushes pop-rock from the mainstream while keeping it extremely catchy. On Times, he employs eerie vibes to fetch sounds of The Yardbirds, Cream, Captain Beefheart and beyond, ball them up and present...

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Live: Esperanza Spalding, just enough

Posted By on Fri, May 11, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Esperanza SpaldingCarolina Theatre, Durham May 9, 2012 Esperanza Spalding makes an audience genuinely happy. Her music and the spirit of it are infused with a 20-something-year-old’s truth serum, which shows up in the form of between-song monologues about young love in the present day, and tender reconnection with pre-colonial ancestry. “Espey,” as her band mates affectionately call her, is the type of chick every mother wants to bear her grandkids and every bass enthusiast wants to be serenaded by. At a packed Carolina Theatre peppered with Durham’s multi-aged, -raced, and -gendered jazz and fusion aficionados, the lights opened on...

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

With Tutankhamen, 9th Wonder wants you to buy the beats

Posted By on Wed, May 9, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Tight spelling? Unless you’re an aspiring emcee looking for some quick beats to rhyme over, it might be hard to wrap your dollar bills around any legitimate hip-hop producer’s instrumental releases. Many of us don’t have any use for background boom-bap without vocals, anyway. But in 9th Wonder’s case—where many of his devoted followers pride themselves on collecting all of 9th’s jams, be they popular, unreleased or leaked—he’s now cashing in on an audience that views his work as classic compositions that mark a prestigious era in post-J. Dilla producer adoration. Earlier this week, 9th released his 40-track beat tape,...

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

'Baudelaire in a Box' comes to the Triangle

Posted By on Tue, May 8, 2012 at 12:30 PM

In the spring of 2010, Chicago-based artist and theater wiz Dave Buchen executed the first edition of Baudelaire in a Box. He and his songwriter friend Chris Schoen adapted some of the notable wine poems of famously macabre 19th century French poet Charles Baudelaire, setting them to music and illustrating them with scrolling images that played within a series of boxes. The performance was so successful that Buchen, a founding member of Chicago's Theater Ooblek, decided to expand the project. The plan now is to adapt the entirety of Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal by 2017, the 150th anniversary...

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Waiting for the Pirate Party while Bob Mould, David Cross help raise $18,000 for Coalition to Protect NC Families

Posted By on Tue, May 8, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Photo by Kirk RossMac McCaughan and Jim Wilbur at the Haw River BallroomWhen I arrived at the Haw River Ballroom Sunday night for a concert benefit to fight Amendment 1, all that remained of Saturday's river celebration, the annual Haw River Festival, was a collection of multicolored fabric streamers that hung, Christo-like, from the bridge that crosses the river just upstream of the mill. The light shed by the setting sun was very pretty. I talked to a lad in a striped shirt who was tossing a fish he'd caught back into the water. The bass, alas, looked rather the...

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Proud to call him Lumbee: Willie French Lowery, 1944-2012

Posted By on Mon, May 7, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Community man Willie French Lowery Lauded Lumbee songwriter, artist, husband and father Willie French Lowery passed away May 3 at the age of 68. Lowery’s legacy includes more than 40 years worth of music, shaped by Indian, African, and European American traditions alike. His prolific career spanned psychedelic rock and children’s music, painting and stagecraft. Arguably, his most important career role, though, was as a cultural figurehead in the Lumbee tribe. An assistant curator at the North Carolina Museum of History and member of the Lumbee community, Jefferson Currie III calls Lowery a hero: “His entire career makes proud....

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Foreign exchange: UNC Beat Lab curriculum to be taught in Goma, DRC

Posted By on Mon, May 7, 2012 at 11:11 AM

May 13th is UNC's graduation date, which makes it an appropriate day for the UNC Beat Making Lab to release its free compilation. These 13 tracks—which draw samples from a wide variety of North Carolina acts—represent the final project from a course on beat-making taught by The Beast emcee Pierce Freelon and Chapel Hill producer extraordinaire Stephen Levitin— better-known in music circles as the Apple Juice Kid. While the compilation will be free, there's currently an Indiegogo campaign set up to send Freelon and Apple Juice to Goma, DR Congo, this summer, where they'll teach the same course at...

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Live: Nick Lowe fits them in

Posted By on Thu, May 3, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Cool and calm, always: Nick Lowe "I'm bound to wind up one lonely, lonely twisted old man," Nick Lowe sang midway through his set Wednesday evening at Fletcher Opera Theater in Raleigh. The lyric—from "I Trained Her To Love Me," a song on Lowe's 2006 album, At My Age—partly portrays how Lowe has painted himself in his autumn years: an ultra-cool crooner of songs about hard knocks in life and love. And yet there's something inherently and utterly charming, even jovial, about Lowe's latter-day disposition. He may be down and out as he confides in us about how "Lately I've...

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Covered with intensity, Xiu Xiu rocks Kings

Posted By on Wed, May 2, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Photo by Jordan LawrenceStriking and intense, Xiu Xiu at Kings Xiu Xiu, OulipoKings BarcadeMay 1, 2012 At this point, Xiu Xiu’s knack for darkly twisted cover songs is semi-legendary. The electro-flavored avant-pop outfit makes a habit of subverting well-known tunes to fit the bleak and frenzied aesthetic that leader Jamie Stewart has refined during a decade under the moniker. This summer, Stewart will depart from Durham, his home for the past four years, after a fraught and frustrating stint in the area. But on Tuesday night at Raleigh’s Kings Barcade, he gave the Triangle one last parting gift: a cover...

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In Memory of Matt Brown: John Howie Jr., Mike Nicholson and Brian Hill remember their friend and drummer

Posted By on Wed, May 2, 2012 at 11:12 AM

[Editor’s note: Matt Brown—a drummer with John Howie Jr. & the Rosewood Bluff, Stratocruiser, the Venables, Penny Prophets and many other local bands over the years—died of a heart attack last Wednesday afternoon. He was 42. Below, we have collected three remembrances from friends and bandmates of Brown. These entries have been edited by Grayson Currin and Peter Blackstock with permission. Howie originally posted his text in a different form on his Facebook account.] Photo courtesy of Yep Roc RecordsAt center, John Howie Jr; at right, Matt Brown By John Howie Jr. As I was putting my son to bed...

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