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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This Week: Black Banjo Gathering in Boone

Posted By on Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Old time-enthusiasts, scholars, banjo-slingers and guitar-pickers will converge on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone this week for the Black Banjo Gathering. Stretching from March 24–28, the event features workshops, concerts, panel discussions, lectures, and late-night frolics all designed to commemorate the African, Afro-Caribbean, and African American origins of the banjo and recognize the merit of the black banjo tradition at large. The Gathering is the second to unite this cross-section of practitioners and devotees. At the first, which happened in April of 2005, hundreds congregated to champion the sound and the artists who have persisted, notably...

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Lost in the Trees sign to ANTI-

Posted By on Mon, Mar 1, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Big news from California and for Carolina today: Local orchestral indie band has signed to Lost in the Trees for a re-recorded take on last year's All Alone in an Empty House. We'll bring you an interview with the band about the deal tomorrow, and look for the full story in Wednesday's print edition of the Independent Weekly....

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Broad Street Cafe gets its permit, gets to keep the rock

Posted By on Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 3:43 PM

In a packed Durham City Hall Committee Room early this morning, the Durham County Board of Adjustment voted unanimously in favor of issuing a special-use permit to The Broad Street Cafe. For the past four years, Broad Street has operated as a nightclub in a district that is zoned so that such a special-use permit is necessary to host music after 10 p.m. Less than one year after the first noise complaint was filed by Clarendon Street neighbor Waldo Fenner, who was not present at this morning's hearing, Broad Street officially received the green light on amping up their...

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The Sound of Smart America: Motown lecture tonight at Duke’s Nasher

Posted By on Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 12:28 PM

HASH(0x1f09728)...

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Schooner hits the charts

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Listen up! You may need to download the free Flash Player. Good news for Schooner a few hours ahead of their release party behind the Duck Kee Sessions: Despite only mailing the minimum of 150 promo copies of the EP to radio stations nationwide, the disc has broken the CMJ Top 200. Landing at No. 99, just behind Merge's Shout Out Louds and 10 spots ahead of the new Xiu Xiu record, this is the EP's first week on the charts. The big show starts tonight at The Pinhook at 10 p.m. For more, see our review of...

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Blast from the past: Rosebuds + Aesop Rock climb the charts

Posted By on Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Way back in August 2008, just when Raleigh's The Rosebuds were about to released their fourth album, Life Like, Chicago mash-up duo The Hood Internet pitted "Get Up, Get Out," the hit from The Rosebuds' prior album, against "None Shall Pass," the title track from the fifth album by mechanical-mouthed rap slayer Aesop Rock. (That album also featured Durham dude John Darnielle, of The Mountain Goats.) The Internet seems to have mostly missed that mash-up, though, and paid more attention to the subsequent Hood Internet take on The Rosebuds, which put the duo up against, uhh, T-Pain. But "None...

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Megafaun + The Rosebuds + Bon Iver + more: Gayngs' stoned-soul

Posted By on Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 5:33 PM

This afternoon, big-time Indiana indie label Jagjaguwar finally dropped the official word on Gayngs, the psychedelic soul collaboration between all of Megafaun, Ivan Howard of The Rosebuds, Justin Vernon and Mike Noyce of Bon Iver and a slew of Minnesota and Wisconsin musicians culled from bands like P.O.S., Solid Gold and Andrew Bird's touring unit. And that was a long sentence. We mentioned the project last summer, and Megafaun and Howard even unveiled the album's sublime, surreal closer, "The Last Prom on Earth," at last year's TRKFest. But the band's debut LP, Relayted, now has a release date of...

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Organos on Sirius XMU last night

Posted By on Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 3:46 PM

After playing a few games of basketball in Raleigh last night, I climbed in the car, turned on the radio and headed to a meeting across town. Sirius XMU, billed as being "like hearing college radio but never having to go to class," was spinning Hot Chip's "One Life Stand," a college station standard of late. But when the DJ followed with "Lazy Lessons," a track from the not-yet-released The Limbs EP by Chapel Hill's Organos, I wondered if I'd actually switched the dial to WKNC 88.1 FM. After all, bandleader Maria Albani did all the press and radio mailing...

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Monday, February 1, 2010

The Foreign Exchange swaps snapshots for a Grammy

Posted By on Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 5:34 PM

Given our (sometimes controversial) familiarity with Phonte Coleman and Nicolay Rook’s run over the past year as they supported their second LP as The Foreign Exchange, Leave It All Behind, we’re, of course, a tad disappointed that North Carolina’s newest R&B resource didn’t walk away with this year’s Grammy in the Urban/Alternative Performance category for the song “Daykeeper," a joint effort with D.C. vocalist Muhsinah. Rather, neo-soul benefeciary India.Arie won the award for a song called “Pearls"—a tougher-than-tofu number dedicated to caring about people and the rainbow and stuff, which doesn’t sound too different from the other 30...

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Friday, January 22, 2010

The Carolina Shag and UNC Women's Hoops

Posted By on Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Beach music and the Carolina Shag dance phenom still carry a lot of weight in North Carolina. It was evidenced when Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, an avid shag dancer, established Beach Music Day in 2004, coinciding with a concert celebration in Downtown Raleigh. Now, UNC Women's Basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell has invited shaggers to perform their footwork in front of the halftime crowd in Friday's game against Clemson. Hatchell is a member of the Eno Shag Club, and an old friend of beach & oldies DJ Charlie Brown, one of the primary voices for the scene from the mid-60s...

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Will McFarlane plays Nigeria, Papa Mojo's

Posted By on Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Pastor Paul Adefarasin of House on the Rock church led The Experience, and Lagos, Nigeria certainly shook the night of December 4. Lasting from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., the fourth annual interdenominational gospel concert drew over 450,000 people. Local guitarist and minister Will McFarlane traveled over the Atlantic to be one of the many. McFarlane has spent the past decade in the area, but he spent years before backing up Bonnie Raitt and as part of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. Even with his solid résumé, McFarlane was surprised to be invited to the concert. “They called me out...

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Annuals talk new EP, rumors of membership shift

Posted By on Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 1:29 PM

It seems 2009 was largely a regrouping one for Raleigh six-piece Annuals: Such Fun, the band’s second album and first for major-label imprint Canvasback Music, was released in 2008 to mixed reviews and comparatively low sales. According to Nielsen Soundscan, Such Fun sold only 7,341 copies, compared to their debut’s 17,999. And Canvasback was cooling on Annuals’ former blog-buzz property, even as the band was working on new material back in Raleigh. “We found out that our deal with Canvasback was getting messed up over the summer,” says Annuals bassist Mike Robinson. “So, we decided, ‘Let’s do an EP and...

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

WKNC Double Barrel Benefit: No. VII is smaller, but focused and looking forward

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 3:09 PM

N.C. State's student-run radio station, WKNC 88.1 FM, announced the lineup for its seventh annual Double Barrel Benefit this morning: The vintage pop of Max Indian will headline the first night of the two-show weekend on Friday, Feb. 5, with The Light Pines, Veelee and Bellafea in the opening slots. Ex-Chapel Hill, current-Nashville album rock enthusiasts Roman Candle headline Saturday, Feb. 6, with The Tender Fruit, Midtown Dickens and Spider Bags opening. This year's Double Barrel represents a logical and somewhat necessary shift for the station, away from some of the bigger names that have headlined or opened in recent...

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Rapper Big Prince?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Following Michael Jackson’s death in June 2009, BET aired a show called Michael Jackson: 10 Things You Didn't Know. In it, The Roots drummer Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson made viewers privy to some comical trivia about the history of the King of Pop’s song “Bad." According to ?uestlove, “Bad” was originally slated to be a duet that featured another member of music royalty—Prince. Prince declined the offer. Apparently, the opening line—“your butt is mine”—wasn’t too appealing to Prince. At a dinner, Prince told Mike, “You ain’t singing this line to me, and I sure ain’t singing this line to you.”...

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Raekwon, Elliott Yamin cancel local dates

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Raekwon the Chef was due at Lincoln Theatre Thursday, Jan. 14, while American Idol ex Elliott Yamin was expected at Cat's Cradle on the same date. They've both canceled their appearances. No reason has been given for the missed gigs, but if you've seen Up in the Air, perhaps Raekwon is Vera Farmiga to Yamin's George Clooney? Scandalous....

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fraggle Naggle: Meet 9thmatic, the rapper

Posted By on Thu, Jan 7, 2010 at 12:24 PM

The Wonder Years LP? Who cares anymore? While we’ve all been impatiently waiting on 9th Wonder to deliver his long-awaited album, we have a surprising new distraction here—9th Wonder as 9thmatic, the emcee. Yes, Mr. “Make-Me-Hot-P,” Pat Douthit, is rapping now. Oh, hell. When hip hop producers decide to pick up the microphone and start rapping, they’re suggesting, in essence, that they’re just as verbally endowed as their rap peers, or they’ve come to the conclusion that sitting behind the production boards all day and making beats isn’t as thrilling as it used to be for them. The...

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Future Islands (tonight at The Cave) talk Thrill Jockey

Posted By on Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 5:10 PM

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...

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Broad Street Cafe fights for volume

Posted By on Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 3:13 PM

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....

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Free Electric State signs to Churchkey Records, prepares debut LP

Posted By on Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 3:20 PM

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...

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Red Collar: Distribution deal, red vinyl, Troika video

Posted By on Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 12:30 PM

For Durham’s Red Collar, self-releasing its first full-length album, Pilgrim, in February was an impetus to take the show on the road and make a full-time go of rock ’n’ roll. The CDs were pressed and packaged, a publicity campaign was implemented and dates were booked. The band members packed into “Vandrew Blass,” the vehicle named for former keyboardist Andrew Blass. And, so far, it’s been paying off: The band picked up favorable reviews and college radio airtime nationwide and earned a slot at the recent CMJ Music Marathon in New York. But Pilgrim, save for local consignment, wasn’t...

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

And They Say Alliteration Is Dead: Big Bang Boom at Broad Street

Posted By on Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Having kids can inspire you to do crazy, amazing things. In the case of power-popping dads Chuck Folds, Steve Williard and Eddie Walker—musicians with over 50 combined years of North Carolina music scene experience—it inspired the parent-friendly kids music (vice versa also accepted) trio Big Bang Boom. First, Chuck reveals the key to making kids music: No secret, just make good music. Kids aren’t as dumb as I think most kid’s music musicians think they are. You can make the production and arrangement of the song (instrumentation, sounds, etc.) fit for contemporary pop radio. You can make the melody worthy...

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Aminal readies full-length debut

Posted By on Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 6:32 PM

“We've got three songs done,” says Aminal frontman Patrick O’Neill. “We leave in like three weeks to go back up to do another three songs. Then back the first of December to finish.” The nine (and maybe 10) songs he’s alluding to comprise an album tentatively titled Loud It’s You, and tentatively scheduled for release in mid- to late-2010. It’s being recorded, little by little, at Landslide Studio in Asheville. “Hopefully we're going to get our feet wet with touring in the spring," he says, further explaining the band's plans. "Somewhere around spring break, we'll do a week, and...

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Friday, October 2, 2009

The Love Language signs to Merge, readies ‘celebratory’ second album

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2009 at 11:53 AM

With yesterday’s announcement that The Love Language had signed to Durham's Merge Records, frontman Stu McLamb told the press, “I've overdrawn my bank account by $200, my girlfriend dumped me, and my car won't start. I think this Merge deal could be a real turning point.” It was said with a tinge of sarcasm—“I hope people do read that and realize that musicians are all broke-ass motherfuckers, no matter how ‘successful’ things can seem,” he now says—but, given that I caught him shortly after he’d finished lunch with the aforementioned ex-girlfriend, things did indeed seem to be looking...

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tonight: Wendy Spitzer's The Liminal Festival

Posted By on Sat, Sep 26, 2009 at 6:23 PM

What if more music existed purposefully at the borders, or at the nexuses of genres? And what if that happened so often that we no longer though of it as unexpected when something good actually came of it? That is, what if the norm was to shirk expectations of what any one form had to offer, to always think across the boxes? That's the central question Wendy Spitzer, longtime Chapel Hill musician in Eyes to Space and Felix Obelix and a conceptual artist, is asking with The Liminal Festival, her three-night, three-venue event that ends tonight with a seven-band...

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Black Skies search for drummer No. 5 (tonight at Local 506)

Posted By on Sat, Sep 26, 2009 at 3:51 PM

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="(photo by Karli Stephenson & Mark Reidy)"][/caption] Chapel Hill doom trio Black Skies had to cancel a recent show in Athens, Ga. The band had never before canceled a confirmed date, a trait in which frontman Kevin Clark had always taken pride. “I’m super-bummed that we had to bail out on that show,” he says. But it would be hard for Black Skies to pull off a set without its drummer, right? Cameron Weeks, who, until recently, was splitting his time behind the kit between Black Skies and the decidedly different-sounding Aminal, left the band in...

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