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Simple Music Video Series

Friday, October 26, 2012

Simple Music Video Series: Phil Cook & His Feat's "Frazee, Minnesota" and "Scorned"

Posted by on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 4:00 AM

If there could be good news from the fact that his full-time group Megafaun is taking some well deserved time off, it is that folks in the Triangle will get to see Phil Cook & His Feat perform more often.

Thursday, Nov. 1, Phil and his brother Brad are involved in a very interesting project. They will be live scoring the documentary Without a Fight, which centers around how the sport of soccer can bring about social change in Kibera, one of Africa's largest slums. The event is part of a block party premier of the documentary, with food trucks. See the Without a Fight website for further details.

Friday, Nov. 16, Phil will be joining a bill with Hiss Golden Messenger at The Pinhook along with Ama Divers. This should be an excellent show with likely a few collaborations as well.

It took nearly a near to track Phil down to join us to shoot these few songs, and it was well worth the wait. This week we present Phil Cook & His Feat playing, "Frazee, Minnesota" from his Trekky Records released Hungry Mother Blues and "Scorned," a track from Megafaun's self-titled release. Enjoy.


The purpose of the Indy Week'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 Triangle, while others will represent some of our touring favorites.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Simple Music Video Series: Josh Moore covers Ryan Adams' "Tomorrow"

Posted by on Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Since his time with Beloved and Classic Case, Josh Moore has occasionally appeared with new music—opening a local show, releasing a sporadic seven-inch record, popping up to sing background vocals. With all of these appearances, it's puzzling as to why he isn't playing out constantly. As you'll hear in this week's session, despite covering another artist, the pureness of his voice is something to behold.

There have been mentions of an upcoming solo project, and Moore recently released a clear-vinyl single featuring the songs "New Morning" (which you can listen to here) and "End of the Night." It is available at All Day Records in Carrboro.

Josh is also involved in another project of a very different nature. "This is my newest jam in this group, BIGDIXX," he explains. "We recorded it in Bollywood. We've got like five BIGDIXX records. That's mainly what I'm working on with Tommy 2 Strawz and Ol' Sidewalk. We have a Travelers Club EP dropping soon on Bandcamp probably."

Until then, here is Josh Moore with Ryan Gustafson, covering the Ryan Adams song "Tomorrow."


The purpose of the Indy Week'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 Triangle, while others will represent some of our touring favorites.

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    It's puzzling as to why Josh Moore isn't playing out constantly. The pureness of his voice is something to behold.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Simple Music Video Series: Town Mountain's "Run Junior Run" and "Greenbud on the Flower"

Posted by on Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 4:20 PM

When we set out to do this series, I wanted to represent all of North Carolina. Today, we feature friends from the western half of the state, Town Mountain. They are a traditional-leaning bluegrass band who should be included in anyone's discussion of the best Tar Heel bluegrass acts. Not only are they strong instrumentally, but lead singer Robert Greer is special. As far as traditional bluegrass bands go, if you don't have a lead singer with an authentic Southern drawl, it just doesn't seem right.

Here we present two songs from their latest, and arguably best, release, Leave the Bottle. The first song, "Run Junior Run," is an ode to Wilkes County's own Junior Johnson and his attempts to dodge the law while running moonshine in the '50s. The second, "Greenbud on the Flower," describes a stir-crazy person waiting for spring to begin. Both are solid numbers from a solid album.


The purpose of the Indy Week'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 Triangle, while others will represent some of our touring favorites.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Simple Music Video Series: Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express' "Willie Mays Is up at Bat"

Posted by on Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 12:03 AM

Three years ago at another of her roots shows in the damp and dark Berkeley Cafe, local promoter Marianne Taylor turned me on to Chuck Prophet. At the time, he was on tour with his backing band The Mission Express, supporting the then-new Let Freedom Ring. Since that evening the album has not left my car.

In doing this series, I had a list of "stretch" artists that I hoped might participate; Chuck Prophet and company were nearly at the top. When they agreed to come in, we had planned for him to only play a few songs solo, but that soon changed. He brought out the entire Mission Express—Stephanie Finch, Derek Brown, Kevin T White and James Deprat—to join. So a very stripped-down version of Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express played several songs off of the outstanding 2012 ode to their native San Francisco, Temple Beautiful. Today, in honor of the massive Yep Roc 15 celebration next week as well as the first day of the Major League Baseball playoffs, we present "Willie Mays Is up at Bat." Go Braves—and, I suppose—go Giants.

The Yep Roc 15 kickoff is Wednesday, Oct. 10, at Local 506 featuring Los Straitjackets, Southern Culture on the Skids, The Fleshtones and the Countdown Quartet. Tickets are sold out.

From Thursday to Saturday at the Cat's Cradle, a stacked lineup celebrates Yep Roc. Just to sample, Nick Lowe, Robyn Hitchcock, Dave Alvin, Fountains of Wayne, Jukebox the Ghost, Liam Finn, Josh Rouse, Sloan, Mayflies USA, Cheyenne, John Doe, Tift Merritt, Chatham County Line, Jim White and The Sadies will be on hand. All three nights are hosted by John Wesley Harding. Tickets are still available and for more info, visit yr15.com.


The purpose of the Indy Week'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 Triangle, while others will represent some of our touring favorites.

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    In honor of the massive Yep Roc 15 celebration next week as well as the first day of the MLB playoffs

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Simple Music Video Series: The Weather Station's "Came So Easy"

Posted by on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 11:25 AM

A farm in Hillsborough provided the perfect warm-up for The Weather Station, the Canadian act making their first North Carolina visit to perform at Hopscotch Music Festival. The event lends itself to the discovery of new acts, and Tamara Lindeman had been one of the more intriguing selections to play Fletcher Opera Theater in Raleigh, a highly coveted performance hall.

I had only listened to her latest release, All of It Is Mine Once, before seeking her out for a session. After hearing just one song performed live, the mix of The Weather Station's soft-spoken lyrics and beautiful finger-picking style proved wonderfully charming and mesmerizing.

Big thanks to Elysse Thebner of Ampersand Booking for hosting delightful performances at The Farm in Hillsborough.


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 Triangle, while others will represent some of our touring favorites.

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    The Weather Station's mix of soft-spoken lyrics and beautiful finger-picking style is wonderfully charming and mesmerizing.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Simple Music Video Series: The Morning After's "Higher Ground"

Posted by on Mon, Sep 24, 2012 at 10:25 AM

A little more than two years ago, Rachel Koontz — then a bartender at my favorite sports bar on earth, Woody's City Market — told me she was starting a band. And she was serious too. Slowly over these past two years she has not only built a solid supporting cast around her with the help of local banjo ace Hank Smith (Barefoot Manner, Kickin' Grass, Monkey Navigated Robot) but also carved out regional notoriety that has translated into a fairly busy touring schedule.

This success has come despite one obvious difficulty: The band's sound falls into three or four genres, which explaining to an already skeptical club owner can be difficult. There are elements of jazz, folk, bluegrass and soul as well as a few others. However, it really takes just one song to hear the strength of this group. The solid instrumentation provided by Shawn Chase, Pattie Hopkins, Mike Rosado, Jamie Dawson and Hank Smith complement Koontz's soulful voice in the most perfect of ways.

Today's video is an ideal blend of what makes The Morning After such a strong group. Here they are covering Patty Hurst Shifter's song "Higher Ground." Catch The Morning After at Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival Thursday, Oct. 4, 8 p.m. at the Dance Tent.


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 Triangle, while others will represent some of our touring favorites.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Simple Music Video Series: American Aquarium's "Jacksonville" and "Northern Lights"

Posted by on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 5:10 PM

When asking BJ Barham of American Aquarium about his then-recent recording session with Jason Isbell, an immediate smile came over an otherwise exhausted face: "Fucking amazing!" Not much more needed to be said.

In today's session, we present two songs from the Isbell-produced album Burn. Flicker. Die., released this week on Last Chance Records. "Jacksonville" and "Northern Lights" are two of the quieter numbers from the album; at times, these are the songs that suffer most at American Aquarium shows. Here's to hoping the large crowd expected Saturday night at the Lincoln Theatre will pause for the quiet ones…

American Aquarium plays the Lincoln Theatre (sponsored by our friends at New Raleigh & Jameson) Saturday along with Goner and House of Fools. Tickets are $10–$12, and the show is at 9 p.m.. American Aquarium will also be playing two day parties during Hopscotch this year: Saturday at Hibernian and Sunday at Slims for the Hopscotch Hangover.


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 Triangle, while others will represent some of our touring favorites.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Simple Music Video Series: Shirlette Ammons

Posted by on Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 1:53 PM

It’s always a pleasure when an artist comes in to debut new material, as was the case recently with Durham emcee Shirlette Ammons. Apart from her work with the Dynamite Brothers, she’s been making a solo concept album as a tribute to and in the spirit of Gladys Bentley.

"Bentley was a dyke performer during the Harlem Renaissance who was backed by a chorus of drag queens. Her show was one of the more popular shows in town. She often took popular blues songs and changed the lyrics to make them more raunchy,” Ammons explains. “During McCarthyism she toned down her performance and began dressing 'like a woman' for fear of being blacklisted. She died in 1960 of a flu epidemic and she was studying to be an ordained minister at the time.

"My vision with this project is to re-imagine Gladys Bentley,” she continues, “present-day by creating music that celebrates renegade prowess and raunch using the popular genre of our time which is hip hop."

Here, Ammons is backed by the production of Apple Juice Kid.

Shirlette & The Dynamite Brothers have a warm-up for their Hopscotch performance at Kings Barcade Saturday, August 25 along with Birds & Arrows. From there, they will then open the City Plaza stage at Hopscotch on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 5:45 p.m. Tickets are available here. Shirlette will release her solo concept album at the Pinhook September 21 with Humble Triple.


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 Triangle, while others will represent some of our touring favorites.

[Correction: Here, Ammons is backed by the production of Apple Juice Kid (not Juan Huevos).]

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    Apart from her work with the Dynamite Brothers, Ammons has been making a solo concept album as a tribute to and in the spirit of Gladys Bentley.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Simple Music Video Series: Kutchma's Orphanage and I'll Survive

Posted by on Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 12:33 PM

I don't know that there is a harder working musician in the triangle than Jason Kutchma. Rather writing, recording or performing live, he is a musician who does not allow his audience to be bored. As most people know, Kutchma has released two albums this year: The first was Welcome Home, by the rock band Red Collar, which he fronts. Then there was Pastoral, the roots-rock project of JKutchma & The Five Fifths. That's not to mention the album's companion book. Both records have different styles of presentation, but when stripped down to their barest bones, they are very similar.

Today's session presents two songs, one from each of these albums. When Kutchma came into the studio on one early Saturday afternoon, it was extremely warm. Kutchma ran through several songs with only a few slip ups. Notice the uncommon focus and intensity of his performance. This really lends the viewer just a small window into the dedication and passion Kutchma has for what he is doing.

And speaking of the hard working, Kutchma will be performing all three days of the upcoming Hopscotch festival. With the Five Fifths Thursday at Tir Na Nog at 10pm, solo during the Hopscotch at Hibernian day party Friday, and finally with Red Collar at the Raleigh Times-sponsored day party Saturday.


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 Triangle, while others will represent some of our touring favorites.

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    Today's session is comprised of two songs, Orphanage and I'll Survive, from Jason Kutchma's new albums.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Simple Music Video Series: The War on Drugs' "I Was There"

Posted by on Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Today's session is the first we shot at Capital Club 16. We had the bright idea of filming this outside, not taking into consideration the late-winter chilly wind or the general ambient noise that comes with being in downtown Raleigh. Despite an en route ambulance, a few cop cars and buses, it turned out pretty well. Granted, it is much easier to try these setups when your subject is both a friend and genuinely enjoys visiting your hometown.

Adam Granduciel of The War on Drugs (TWOD) sat down with us and ran through several numbers off of 2011's Slave Ambient, lauded by many as Album of the Year. Today we present "I Was There." Later that evening, the 2010 Hopscotch alumnus played an amazing set at the Lincoln Theatre. Double cool points to TWOD for being taper-friendly so we all can enjoy hearing that show again until the next one.

Although TWOD is not playing Hopscotch 2012, you might see Adam wandering around downtown at this year's festival. "I think I'll be coming down anyway to watch awesome music, hang with friends and maybe book some studio time. I'd be super psyched to see Hiss Golden Messenger, Philly boy guitar jammer Chris Forsyth, Yo La Tengo, and hells yeah to Wye Oak!!!"

Also performed during our session was one cover song common to TWOD's setlist around this time; however, I don't believe it was performed often as solo acoustic. We will be posting that in the upcoming weeks.


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 Triangle, while others will represent some of our touring favorites.

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