You may well be too late, but Atlanta-based psych-rock outfit Deerhunter is playing an intimate, un-publicized set in Durham tonight. The show is happening at the show at the Carrack (111 W. Parrish St.). Entry is only available via RSVP. As of about 9 a.m., there were 50 spots available. Shoot a message to email@example.com if you're interested in securing one.
Deerhunter — which rides the ever-wandering whims of Bradford Cox, also the man behind Atlas Sound — has become a critical darling and fan favorite these past few years, grafting tender and graceful psych textures onto garage rock momentum, mixing and re-mixing the constituent elements with increasingly diverse results. The band's new album, Monomania, drops on May 7. Jackson Scott and Mas Ysa will provide support at the 9 p.m. show. Tickets are $8 with an RSVP. There may be a few tickets released at the door, but I really wouldn't risk it. No RSVPs will be accepted after 5 p.m.
If you live in Durham, and you don't see a free, outdoor concert this summer, you'll only have yourself to blame. Hot on the heels of the recent announcement of the "Find Your Cool" concert series, Golden Belt has unveiled its own string of free shows in the humid air. "GB Live" celebrates the fifth anniversary of the multi-use downtown arts space that—like many of Durham's cooler spots—exists in a renovated industrial space.
The series of five concerts begins on Friday, May 17 and will occupy four other Fridays, concluding on July 19. The programming, which spans an impressive array of genres for such a compact set of shows, does its best to represent the diversity of Durham's music scene. Hammer No More the Fingers, a Bull City favorite thanks to their muscular and buoyant indie rock, play the first date. They will give way to proficient country-rock ensemble Michael Rank and Stag, super-smooth soul singer Kim Arrington, Greensboro-based afro-jazz exploration The Brand New Life, and quirky blues purveyor Justin Johnson backed by the cover-heavy Skinny Bag of Sugar. Again, all of the shows are free and outside at the Golden Belt — unless it rains, in which case the events move inside. Grab some shades and a shirt you won't mind sweating through and enjoy. The full schedule is below:
Hammer No More The Fingers — May 17
Michael Rank and Stag — June 7
Kim Arrington — June 21
The Brand New Life — July 5
Justin Johnson and Skinny Bag Of Sugar — July 19
An ambitious sort who could never be contained by mainstream country's need for normalcy, Lovett issued his 13th LP, Release Me, in 2012. It rumbles along with dark but lively honky-tonk offerings that suggest a more approachable Tom Waits. Delta Rae—recently rewarded for its innate accessibility with the major-label release of its LP debut, Carry the Fire—gets by on a rootsy core and arena-ready melodies lifted from '70s pop greats such as Fleetwood Mac. (In fact, they recently collaborated with Lindsey Buckingham.) You can't go wrong with Chatham County Line, a sprightly acoustic troupe that deploys its impressive bluegrass chops in service of songs that capture a melodic abandon more common in pop.
Correction: Band Together NC is not an offshoot of an organization; it is the original organization.
In June, the rock-novelty manufacturer Aggronautix unveiled the latest in its line of “Throbbleheads,” resin figurines cast in the likeness of some of rock’s most notorious figures: Jeff Clayton, leader of the enduring Charlotte punk rock band Antiseen would join perpetually nodding luminaries such as GG Allin, Wendy O. Williams, The Dwarves and Meatmen figurehead Tesco Vee.
It’s telling, too, that Clayton’s figure—bleeding from the scalp and clutching a baseball bat that’s wrapped in barbed wire—is closest in appearance to the blood-spattered Allin figurine: Antiseen backed Allin on 1991’s Murder Junkies, and share a certain, umm, je ne sais quoi, with the infamous scum-rocker.
For 30 years, Antiseen have peddled a remarkably stable sort of no-frills punk—heavy on offensive satire, nods to pro wrestling, military imagery and (sometimes a bit too much) Southern pride. Bloodletting live gigs often find the burly Clayton, a man built like a pro-wrestler trained at a biker bar, bashing his own face bloody with his microphone. It’s not for the faint of heart, or the ambitious of ear, but for 30 years, it never has been. Antiseen’s stubborn tenacity has earned them cult status, collaborations and covers with or by Hank Williams III, Blowfly and Zeke.
On this visit to Slim’s, the Queen City sluggers gather support from Richmond sludge-mongers The Might Could and Raleigh hard-rock revivalists KIFF.
The Southern Folklife Collection puts on a lot of cool events at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill every year, each surveying various aspects of traditional music. Few seem more perfectly suited to its mission, though, than Friday's free program, "The Southern Journey of Alan Lomax."
That's also the name of a book published last year by W. W. Norton & Company. The 136 pages document the legendary folklorist's 1959-60 journey through the backcountry of Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee. Along the way, Lomax captured a wide swath of Southern musicians with photographs and audio recordings. Friday's program features a discussion between Lomax's daughter, Anna Lomax Wood, and Grammy-honored writer Tom Piazza, who penned an essay accompanying the book's photos. Also on hand will be UNC professor William Ferris, who wrote the book's introduction; Columbia University professor John Szwed, author of Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World; and Alan Lomax Archive curator Nathan Salsburg.
You can't hardly put on a shindig like this without live music, and so the SFC has also invited the acclaimed North Carolina fiddler Rayna Gellert (whose credits include tenures with Toubab Krewe and Uncle Earl) to perform. A last-minute addition is a 5 p.m. pre-event screening of the short film Ballads, Blues, and Bluegrass, which features a half-hour of footage from a late-night gathering at Lomax's apartment in Greenwich Village in 1961 with Doc Watson, Roscoe Holcomb, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, the New Lost City Ramblers and more.
The proper program begins after the film at 5:30 p.m.; everything takes place in the Wilson Special Collections Library at 201 South Road on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill. For further details, visit UNC's website.
On Tuesday, Mount Moriah will finally release Miracle Temple, the Durham country-rock band’s captivating second album. To celebrate, the band will squeeze its gear between the vinyl stacks at Bull City Records for a free in-store performance at 6 p.m. Hungry attendees can have their dinnertime pangs quelled by pizza and popsicles; Pie Pushers will be parked outside, and Locopops is conveniently located next door to Bull City Records.
The follow-up to 2010’s all-too-brief self-titled album—which Merge Records reissued on vinyl last year, whetting appetites for this new batch—Miracle Temple continues the close interplay between singer Heather McEntire and guitarist Jenks Miller. With the guidance of producer Mark Nevers (Lambchop) and a Nashville studio setting, Miracle Temple also expands on the band’s sonic foundation, driving the songs with a heavier rhythm section and buttressing McEntire’s vocal with generous swells of organs and backing vocalists. Indeed, this fuller and more realized recording raises the already high standard of excellence Mount Moriah set for itself.
Following the album’s release, Mount Moriah will start a busy touring itinerary that sees the band traipsing across the country—including dates with Dent May and labelmates William Tyler and Telekinesis. Mount Moriah returns to North Carolina in April for an appearance at Winston-Salem’s Phuzz Phest and a proper album release show at Cat’s Cradle with Superchunk frontman (and Merge co-founder) Mac McCaughan, plus Airstrip.
Hit the break for the band’s whole tour schedule below.
It should come as little surprise that Durham's Pinhook leans pro-choice. The rock club is owned by members of Midtown Dickens, who willingly serve as ambassadors for the area's gay community. Last May, the venue hosted a large rally in opposition to Amendment One. This month, the bar is keeping up its socially conscious ways, hosting a pro-choice benefit on the 40th anniversary of Roe V. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that established the precedent that a woman's right to privacy extends to the ability to have an abortion.
Organized by NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, a group that works to protect access to the full range of reproductive choices in the state, Rock for Roe will be headlined by The Mountain Goats. In a press release for the event, Mountain Goat John Darnielle said his performance will be “one of the rare-these-days old-school just-John hesher-neck-snap take-requests style sets." If the promise of one of his intimate acoustic sets weren't enough, he also hopes to wrangle members of Midtown Dickens into playing with him as well.
Also on tap is a new collaboration built from two of the Triangle's best folk-rock acts: Mount Moriah and Hiss Golden Messenger. Under the name Blooz Travellerzz, HGM leader M.C. Taylor will join the full Mount Moriah ensemble to play "a number of classic rock covers in their own signature roots-y style." Adding to the special vibe is an opening set from Creedence Queerwater Revival, a cover outfit cobbled together from members of Midtown Dickens and Trip Knight to play CCR songs. DJ sets from on-air personalities at Duke University's WXDU will play between the bands.
Tickets cost $20 and will be available starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday at thepinhook.com. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door. Doors open at 6 p.m., and music starts at 7 p.m. The event is sponsored by WXDU. All proceeds benefit NARAL NC.
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 and the show starts at 9 p.m. And Frank's show just added will be at Cup 22 at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw. This show will start at 8 p.m., and donations are encouraged.
Below is a clip of Frank Fairfield playing "When the Roses Bloom Again" from earlier this year in Saxapahaw.
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.
Tickets are available via eTix for $20 in advance.
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 Morgan Frazier—a young country music starlet whose name, I found out later, appeared correctly elsewhere in the marquee’s rotation—is opening for John Michael Montgomery at Dorton Arena Saturday, Nov. 3. Growing up on a heavy diet of commercial country, I recognized Montgomery as one of the genre’s biggest stars of the mid-’90s. Although he hasn’t released an album in more than four years, Montgomery still has a handful of No. 1 hits to his name—including two tunes also made popular by R&B quartet All-4-One—and a strong set of baritone pipes intact.
If last night’s CMAs got you pumped for a big country show with Walnut Creek’s slate still months away, consider too that this show’s for a good cause—proceeds benefit the Raleigh Professional Firefighters Association, which promotes a number of causes related to the occupation and otherwise. General admission tickets are priced at $26 with doors at 7 p.m. and music at 8.