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Friday, November 30, 2012

Mount Moriah's Merge debut, Miracle Temple, due Feb. 26

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Just two months ago, the Indy reported that Mount Moriah—the smoldering folk-rock intersection of Bellafea's Heather McEntire and Horseback mastermind Jenks Miller—had signed to Durham-based indie power, Merge Records. A few weeks later, the label reissued the outfit's sterling 2011 debut on vinyl. And now, right on cue, comes news that Mount Moriah's sophomore effort and proper Merge debut will be released on Feb. 26. The record is called Miracle Temple. That's the barn-burning album art above. In keeping with the band's momentum, Miracle Temple is a more up-tempo affair than its predecessor, filling some of the group's tension-inducing...

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Live: Chucho Valdés walks among us in Chapel Hill

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Chucho Valdés Memorial Hall, Chapel Hil Tuesday, Nov. 27 Looking relaxed in a turtleneck with its long sleeves pushed up and a Kangol cap worn in B-boy style, 71-year-old pianist Chucho Valdés revealed himself to be at the height of his powers Tuesday night in Chapel Hill’s Memorial Hall. He led a young, percussion-heavy quintet that represents the cream of Cuba’s next-generation sidemen. All of the backing musicians reside in Cuba and perform and record regularly with the island’s premiere artists, such as top arranger and flutist Orlando “Maraca” Valle, Buena Vista Social Club diva Omara Portuondo, and dance...

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Ryan Gustafson returns as The Dead Tongues

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 12:22 PM

It's been almost two years since Ryan Gustafson performed his own songs with a full band. At the time, he was rolling with the Drughorse Collective, a mostly defunct collection of Triangle artists with a knack for reinvigorating classic pop and rock styles, and supporting his Donkey LP, a colorful assemblage of old-school rock, soul and folk unified by Gustafson's emotionally devastating songwriting. It was a style that seemed certain to make Gustafson one of the area's newest stars. But it didn't turn out that way. Gustafson drifted from writing songs and playing with a band, instead oping to...

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Carolina Covers: American Aquarium takes on Mount Moriah

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 1:52 PM

It's been about 10 months since we recorded this song with B.J. Barham of American Aquarium. Over that time, I've received sporadic text messages from Barham, on tour in different spots across the country, asking, "When are you putting that cover out?" With the year coming to a close, and after recording nearly 30 Simple Music Video Series session, it seems time to inaugurate a new video series, Carolina Covers. Barham's decision to cover Mount Moriah seemed surprising. I had expected a Whiskeytown or Backsliders cover. "It was my favorite record of 2011," he explained. "Heather McEntire is one...

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Back in the studio: Last Year's Men to record new LP in December

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Last Year's Men play behind Slim's at Hopscotch 2012. Image courtesy of the band. Chapel Hill garage rockers Last Year's Men are going into the studio in December to record the follow-up to 2010's Sunny Down Snuff. With regular local shows, a delightfully bizarre Twitter feed, and unhinged, catchy songwriting, they have become a fun band to follow. And with the next LP taking a different, potentially more refined tack, this four-piece should remain one to watch. "All the songs on this record could be played on acoustic guitars," says guitarist and songwriter Ben Carr. "We're essentially going to make...

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Frank Fairfield adds second Triangle show

Posted By on Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Fans of Frank Fairfield, rejoice! Frank has added a last-minute show this Saturday evening at Cup 22 at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw. So if you can't make his performance tonight at The Pinhook in Durham with Deep Chatham, you'll have another chance. If you are not familiar with Frank Fairfield, he is a phenomenal old-time player. He utilizes fiddle, banjo and guitar in a rough-and-tumble style that harkens back to a more authentic presentation of how these old-timey songs were performed many years ago. See Frank tonight at The Pinhook in Durham with Deep Chatham. Tickets are $8...

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Monday, November 19, 2012

The Rosebuds pay tribute to Sade

Posted By on Mon, Nov 19, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Last week marked the 20-year anniversary of Sade’s classic, Love Deluxe. In tribute to the original, Raleigh-based band The Rosebuds (now living in New York) have released their own version of Sade’s Love Deluxe, recorded while frontman Ivan Howard spent some time on the North Carolina coast polishing up demos for The Rosebuds. Sade’s discography has always strongly resonated with the duo, explains co-founder Kelly Crisp in an essay, influencing the breadth of the band’s work over the years. The album was recorded independent of Crisp, but it still reflects all of the swooning moods and romantic battles that...

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Invisible's The New Obsolete ends its run in Chapel Hill

Posted By on Mon, Nov 19, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Corbie HillJust one part of Invisible's water-driven drum machine Invisible, Eros and the EschatonNightlightNov. 16, 2012 It's a rare Nightlight show that starts at 9 p.m., especially on the weekends. Yet this special engagement did exactly that, and was over by 11:15—per the design of headliners Invisible. The Greensboro art-music outfit (band is a tricky designation for them) typically plays alone and in a gallery space, per their elaborate multimedia setup and sculptural or visual elements. This engagement, however, saw them share the stage with Greensboro newcomers Eros and the Eschaton. The opening duo injected romanticism into dreampop forms, resulting...

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Members of Megafaun and Bombadil try out new looks

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Photo by Jordan LawrenceJames Phillips on his own for the first time Phil Cook & His Feat, Sumner JamesTir na nOgNov. 15, 2012 Among the advantages of free showcases like the Tir na nOg's Local Band-Local Beer night is the ability to try out new things without much pressure. With no cost to get in and a reliable weekly beer special, the Thursday crowd at the Raleigh Irish pub varies in size, but is always willing to give unfamiliar acts a chance. This week, two Durham talents seized the opportunity to debut new performances that, while occasionally rough, overflowed with...

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Simple Music Video Series: "Painter Man Blues" by Dan McGee of Spider Bags

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 11:57 AM

It took us a while, but we were finally able to track down Dan McGee of the Spider Bags to come do a few songs. Between playing a get-out-the-vote rally in Durham, in-store performances and a number of recent club shows, Spider Bags have been busy of late. That's understandable, as their latest album, Shake My Head, is bound to turn up on a number of year-end lists. Today we present a song from Dan that is neither in his usual tempo nor at his typical decibel level—unless you happen to catch him doing a solo performance at places...

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Live: Jeb Bishop and Jorrit Dijkstra weave simplicity, complexity

Posted By on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Jeb Bishop & Jorrit DijkstraNeptune’s ParlourNov. 15, 2012 Against a backdrop of exposed brick and dimly lit by scattered lamps and tabletop votive candles, the casual performance Jeb Bishop and Jorrit Dijkstra offered last night at Neptune’s in Raleigh offered welcome shelter from the chilly breeze and spitting rain outside. The set began unassumingly, as trombonist Bishop and saxophonist Dijkstra convened near the back of the bar, in the loosely defined patch of floor they treated as a stage. Bishop offered a brief introduction, and the musicians lifted their horns and began to play an hour-long, 14-song set notable...

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Live: Macklemore skates into the Cat's Cradle

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 3:13 PM

MacklemoreCat's CradleFriday, Nov. 9, 2012 On Friday afternoon, several hours before Macklemore’s Friday performance at Cat’s Cradle, he and a female companion sat down across the street for a meal in a secluded corner of the patio at Carrboro gastropub, Milltown. They ate, and Macklemore washed the food down by reading a few pages of the paperback version of Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad. Minutes later, Macklemore hopped on his skateboard and rode down Franklin Street, amid a town full of folks celebrating UNC’s homecoming. This isn’t the standard routine for most visiting...

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Stranger Spirits release new album, Masterpiece Rock Parlour

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Photo By Dudley Merrifield Check out a Stranger Spirits set, and you may find yourself faced with a hype ninja or a surfing Amazonian librarian or the Sherriff of Rockingham himself. “We call ourselves rock ’n’ roll pilgrims from another planet,” explains Aubrey Herbert, aka Destructika Poppins, a most evil take on a favorite English nanny. Adds Chris Wimberley, the regal Lord Wimberley of Bitchfield, “We have delusions about having our own set of action figures.” Whatever their excuse, these seven pilgrims are dressed to kill and ready to unleash a new record of altiverse melodies on audiences. Masterpiece Rock...

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

An Evening for Richard Adler, late UNC alumnus and musical theater legend

Posted By on Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Photo by Ashley Melzer An Evening for Richard AdlerMonday, Nov. 5UNC’s Hill Hall Crowds gathered early last week to celebrate the legacy of UNC alumnus Richard Adler, class of 1943. Adler, who died this past summer, was a prominent figure in musical theater of the 1950s, best known for The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees. Theater geeks will remember him for his (and partner Jerry Ross’) drive to relates stories about issues of the day; masses will know him for songs like “Steam Heat” and “Whatever Lola Wants.” Students and faculty alike contributed to this night of performances. The rotating...

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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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Friday, November 9, 2012

This weekend: Durham welcomes a reggae festival

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 4:01 PM

The One Love Reggae Fest—billed as “the last big reggae festival of the year”—brings 10 bands, emcees and DJs to the Durham Armory Saturday night from as far away as Jamaica and as near as the Bull City itself. Former WNCU DJ Cayenne the Lion King assembled the line-up and will perform his own solo material, while author and artist Antony Leonard Pierre hosts the night. Jamaican-born vocalists Grindsman and Devon “Bobo Saw” Clarke headline: The former offers dancehall with a heavy hip-hop influence, while the latter’s ethereal, experimental roots vibes promises the night’s most intriguing set. A trio...

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Simple Music Video Series: Chip Robinson's "Angelita" and "Bells"

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 3:13 PM

It was difficult not transforming into a complete fanboy when Chip Robinson came to perform several songs a few days ago. It was election night, after all. But midway through the first song, perhaps sadly, I no longer cared who won. After seeing and hearing the fire coming from Robinson as he performed a familiar "Angelita>Bells>Angelita" medley, I was day dreaming what it was like to see the Backsliders in the mid to late '90s. I was underage and a few dozen miles west, but I'd like to think I could have gotten into The Brewery or Local 506...

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Live Review: Red Fang, Black Tusk, Lord Dying at Kings

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Last night, Kings hosted a sold-out crowd for a touring trifecta that brought varying flavors of heaviness. Portland's Lord Dying opened with a tough blend of trash and doom, its twin guitar attack relentlessly crushing riffs alongside E. Olson's raspy bark. The band only eased up on the pummeling for guitar solo heroics and a cover of "Forget the Minions" by the now-defunct post-hardcore act Karp, which also makes an appearance on Lord Dying's tour-only EP—oddly enough, only 666 copies were pressed. Savannah's Black Tusk took the stage next in a uniform of beards and muscle tees that left...

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Yoderfest grows in year two

Posted By on Thu, Nov 8, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Chris Yoder: self-portrait Chris Yoder's friends are doing what they can to honor his memory. The local music lover died of heat stroke at Bonnaroo 2011, and Sunday sees the second Raleigh festival bearing his name. The first Yoderfest, a four-band affair at the Pour House, took place in August of last year. This weekend's expands to two venues—Deep South the Bar and again the Lincoln Theatre—and seven acts, including a headliner that organizer Chris Badders is fairly excited about. "The fact that we have a nationally-known band like Big Gigantic is huge for the festival, only in its second...

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Live: Erykah Badu DJs in Raleigh

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Photo by Eric TullisOn and on: Erykah Badu spins in Raleigh's Five Star, while 9th Wonder looks on. Erykah BaduFive Star, RaleighFriday, Nov. 2 The celebrity DJ hustle earned a bad rap when Jersey Shore's Pauly D started pissing people off with his outrageous booking prices and piss-poor skills. But it's a lot different when a class-act artist like Erykah Badu offers her services for a room of dance-ready folks accustomed to 9th Wonder's True School Corporation's juiced parties. So last week, on the Friday night kickoff of N.C. State and N.C. Central's homecoming festivities, 9th hosted the best party...

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Review: COC reissues Eye For An Eye

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Corrosion of Conformity Eye For An Eye (Candlelight) As Corrosion of Conformity celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, the Raleigh hard-rock institution has invited plenty of opportunity to reflect on its storied and varied career. In January, the band released a new album that linked the urgent rush of their early hardcore punk days with the mid-tempo metal swing of subsequent eras. The dudes then kicked off an active tour schedule, a reminder of their road-dog reputation. Soon, COC will release an EP of new songs called Megalodon, mere weeks after reissuing their 1984 debut, Eye For An Eye....

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Monday, November 5, 2012

MAKE's Scott Endres talks about new EP, Axis

Posted By on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Jeffrey HollisStudio time: MAKE's Scott Endres (L) and Matt Stevenson (R) MAKE's debut LP, Trephine, got folks' attention: The 2011 offering made many best-of lists, including the Indy's, and garnered a flurry of press. Last Wednesday at midnight, the band released the first post-Trephine EP, Axis, on its Bandcamp site. The titular opening track is a 17-minute drone-metal meditation, like an exploded Pelican riding a much slower, sweeter build than usual. Middle track "Chimera" weaves in hard-nosed metal textures and harsh roars from bassist Spencer Lee. Closer "The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters" inverts the opener's slow invocation, yet deposits...

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Simple Music Video Series: The Human Eyes' "Born to Die" and "Let Me In"

Posted By on Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 5:07 PM

"A Sight for the Human Eyes," the opening track of Guiding Eyes for the Blind, is mesmerizing—very dynamic and layered. I was surprised to learn, then, that Human Eyes leader Thomas Costello and company recorded the entire album at his home. Producer Ryan Gustafson had urged Costello to record a few songs that ended up turning into an album, released on cassette. A digital download of the album is available on their bandcamp page and is highly recommended. At the DiggUp Tapes day party during this year's Hopscotch Music Festival, the band made quite the splash. Their set from...

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Saturday: With or without Morgan Freeman, John Michael Montgomery comes to Dorton Arena

Posted By on Fri, Nov 2, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Driving home from work earlier this week, I was taken aback when I saw Morgan Freeman’s name appear on the North Carolina State Fairgrounds’ marquee at the corner of Hillsborough Street and Blue Ridge Road. Not only did I wonder why the hell an award-winning actor would be making an appearance at the Fairgrounds without some major publicity push, but I was also puzzled by the accompanying photo of a blonde teenager. (No, this is not the time for a joke about Freeman’s rumored relationship with his much younger step-granddaughter; we’re talking about Red here). Subsequent research revealed that...

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Samson and Delilah is a Rev Gary Davis song, not in the set list though.

by Doug Mlyn on Video: Jorma Kaukonen settles at the Lincoln Theatre (Music)

Allison. Stay home. There may be too many middle aged white folks and their twangy music at this show for …

by Rebecca 1 on American Roots Music & Arts Festival lineup is here, with Willie Nelson, The Roots, Modest Mouse and more (Music)

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