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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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Friday, March 12, 2010

A Funky Elegance: Bill Kirchen at Six String Cafe tonight

Posted By on Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 8:17 PM

It’s not a stretch to describe Bill Kirchen as one of the music world’s Zeligs. There he is back in his Ann Arbor, Mich., childhood in a school picture with Bob Seger and James “Iggy Pop” Osterberg, Jr. That’s him, Fender Telecaster in hand, in the team photos for Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen and for proto-new wavers (found in that big tent’s roots-revival corner) the Missing Moonlighters. Shots of Doug Sahm, Emmylou Harris, and Elvis Costello in a studio or on a stage would reveal Kirchen, guitar still smoking, nearby. Spot him backing Nick Lowe as an...

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tonight: Music Hates You, loud at The Reservoir

Posted By on Tue, Mar 9, 2010 at 5:54 PM

Athens, Ga., trio Music Hates You aren’t about to let you off easy. Like Jesus Lizard sunning on molten, accelerated Black Sabbath grooves, the Athens trio are hot to the touch and likely to drop right through the floor of your third story apartment. Frontman Noah Ray’s performances are possessed. He’s always been comfortable as the center of attention. That goes back to the last time you saw him, when he was the skater boy digging around in that dilapidated house of R.E.M.’s video, “End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).” It’s still that...

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Go see The Manx: Tonight at Slim's

Posted By on Fri, Mar 5, 2010 at 5:04 PM

Tonight at Slim's, one of the best, The Kingsbury Manx, joins Inspector 22 for a benefit show for a friend with cystic fibrosis. I received this note Wednesday afternoon, after our print preview hit the racks.Grayson,Thanks for getting this weekend's The Kingsbury Manx benefit show into this week's Indy. It is very much appreciated. Our friend is getting the lung transplant as I type this.Eugene WheelerSee you there, I hope....

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Five Words with Blag'ard (tonight in Chapel Hill, tomorrow in Raleigh)

Posted By on Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 3:09 PM

There’s a treacherous drive—alternating clay and gravel, and passing over a shallow creek—that turns off of a certain Chapel Hill road and leads into the trees. After several hundred yards, the red clay driveway opens, revealing a little house that’s more of a hermitage. It’s the warmest it’s been in several weeks today, and I’m sitting in the sun with Adam Brinson and Joe Taylor—together, Blag’ard. They’ve recently finished their second album, Mach II. It’s a solid unit, a catchy if menacing rock record that squeals off the lot like a muscle car and handles like Luke Skywalker’s X-wing....

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

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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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

DJ Ripley at Fuse Friday for C.H.A.T. digital media festival

Posted By on Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 5:53 PM

Oakland-based DJ Ripley comes from the branch of digital investigators like Wayne Marshall doing as much research on beats, ethnomusicology, or copyright as they are  with their mixing skills. So, it's natural she would be here for the C.H.A.T. festival, hosted by UNC's Institute for the Arts and Humanities this week. As the organizers put it, "CHAT will draw together the diverse digital resources of the Triangle area in a series of performances, discussions, exhibitions and workshops to showcase Collaborations: Humanities, Arts & Technology." As part of The Art and Culture of the DJ section of the fest, along with sociologist...

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Wanda Jackson, still meeting ‘em head on: An interview

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 7:34 PM

It was a good year for the future Queen of Rockabilly, Wanda Jackson. Yup, in 1952, still in her early teens, she won a talent contest, which led to her own radio show on a local station and, subsequently, an offer from bandleader Hank Thompson to perform with his Brazos Valley Boys. And 2009 was none too shabby either. Jackson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with Rosanne Cash handling the induction speech honors. She had a street named after her in her home city, and she was the subject of a documentary, which is...

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Five words without Jonathan Richman (tonight at Cat's Cradle)

Posted By on Tue, Feb 9, 2010 at 5:55 PM

There were warning signs from the start. The first two Web sites encountered during a little table-setting—the Vapor Records site and Richman’s MySpace page—delivered direct hits to my optimism. “Please note that Jonathan Richman does not have any direct involvement with the Vapor Records Web site and does not participate in the Internet on any level,” offered the former in polite parentheses. And the latter helpfully (and equally as politely, although the host did raise his or her voice twice) pointed out, “Please be aware that I am NOT Jonathan Richman nor has he anything to do with this...

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tonight and Friday: The Tannahill Weavers present Scotland sounds

Posted By on Wed, Feb 3, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Since forming in 1968, the Tannahill Weavers have grown into one of the world's premier conduits for traditional Scottish music. On the road six months of the year, an active touring schedule lets the band spread the sounds of Scotland—and often puts them in interesting, unexpected situations. While preparing for another U.S. tour at his home in the Netherlands, guitarist and singer Roy Gullane recalled two of those most interesting times. For one show,the band decided to drive from the north of Scotland all the way to Vienna. But a planned rest stop in Stuttgart, Germany turned into an...

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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, November 13, 2009

Tonight: Lambchop's Kurt Wagner talks XX Merge, painting and to be or not to be a country band [plus video]

Posted By on Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 6:11 PM

We spoke with Lambchop frontman Kurt Wagner Wednesday, on the eve of the announcement that his longtime band Lambchop would release its life-changing/affirming/ending/reviving set from this year's XX Merge fest in Carrboro, N.C., as Live at XX Merge. Tonight, they'll see if they can repeat the magic of that night at Duke University's Reynolds Industries Theater at 8 p.m. Lambchop splits the sold-out bill with Alejandro Escovedo. INDEPENDENT WEEKLY: Are you playing Asheville on the way to Durham, or Asheville on your way home? KURT WAGNER: We’re playing Charolette first, then ya’ll, then Asheville. It’s like a tour...

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tonight: The Love Language vs. The Foreign Exchange vs. the weather

Posted By on Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 4:54 PM

The word is that Chapel Hill's The Love Language and Durham's The Foreign Exchange have been practicing feverishly (and with many cans of the Bull) this week for tonight's Red Bull Soundclash, during which both bands will cover songs by their counterpart and offer themed rearrangements of their own material. Reggae The Love Language? Cockrock The Foreign Exchange? That's the sort of stuff you can expect from two of the Triangle's best bands at 8 p.m. beside The Hibernian on Glenwood Ave. "Outside?" you might be asking. "But what about this weather?" Don't worry, says Audrey Adair, a communications...

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Tonight: Sinful Savage Tigers get acoustic at The Cave

Posted By on Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 4:17 PM

With a name like Sinful Savage Tigers, you half expect cookie monster vocals, thundering breakdowns and a machine gun hardcore backbeat. But the Chapel Hill trio is a string band wedded to contemporary rock/pop sensibilities. In May, they released their debut, Rain is the Soup of the Dogs in Heaven. Their origins go back a lot further—to Seth Martin’s undergrad years at Sewanee College in Tennessee. It’s there that he met Rob Guthrie, his collaborator on the project’s songs. “He started playing guitar in college,” says Martin. “I heard him down the hall, playing nothing but Dave Matthews covers....

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Starting in 30 minutes: #troika2009

Posted By on Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 7:27 PM

This year's Troika Music Festival begins in about 30 minutes, which you might've heard if you pay attention to the piece of Triangle media that covers local music. Need evidence of how well publicized this year's festival has been? WKNC's interviewed one of the festival's organizers, Kyle Miller. WUNC interviewed Megafaun and asked about Bon Iver (very original). UNC's Diversions talked to Miller, too. Jordan Lawrence picked his Top 10 acts. Duke's The Chronicle talked to The Future Kings of Nowhere, Birds of Avalon, Megafaun, The Love Language and a few other Troika participants. Ross Grady talked Troika on WXDU....

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Tonight: Hoffs, Sweet and a few glorious covers

Posted By on Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 6:49 PM

I’m not lobbying for the position of song-choice consultant for Matthew “Sid” Sweet and Susanna “Susie” Hoffs if the pair decides to release a third volume of their Under the Covers series, following ’06’s Volume 1 and the new Volume 2 (both on Shout Factory). However, I would serve with honor and incurable geekitude. OK, so maybe I am lobbying. Past the jump are the 10 songs at the top of my Volume 3 wish list. Volume 1 stuck to the ‘60s, whereas Volume 2 was all about the ‘70s. My list reflects the hope that a third volume...

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tonight: Proud Valletta aims for a legacy

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 4:40 PM

"As my children get older, I started thinking about what I was going to leave behind or pass on to them—how they're going to remember me," says Tofer Moran, graphic designer, father of two and singer/guitarist of Durham's Proud Valletta. "I hoped to leave behind a sort of anthology of music for or inspired by my sons as a kind of patrimony," Moran continues. "Music is something that can live on, hopefully, long after I'm gone, and it's my hope that they'll be able to have some of my music to mark the days we have together." With his wife...

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Talking to The Red Clay Ramblers' Bland Simpson

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2009 at 11:45 AM

The Red Clay Ramblers got their start in 1972 and, over the years, have evolved with many personnel changes. Once a string band, the group now offers smatterings of American roots music from New Orleans to Tin Pan Alley. The Ramblers have a history of spreading their music through theater productions as well as music performances. Pianist Bland Simpson has been involved with the band almost since its inception. At band mate Chris Frank's house, Simpson helped mail out discs of the Red Clay Rambler's newest album, Old North State earlier this week. Before calling an end to the...

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Stream the LP: I Was Totally Destroying It's Horror Vacui

Posted By on Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 12:00 AM

The player has expired, but listen to some of Horror Vacui here. Per our review of I Was Totally Destroying It's second album, Horror Vacui, and our feature about the band in this week's newspaper, it's safe to assume that we're pretty into IWTDI's work of late (which, we know, might shock some). Trouble is, you can't pick the record, released via Portland label Greyday Records, in stores until Tuesday. After the jump, though, you'll find the whole thing streaming—at least until the band's CD release show at Cat's Cradle Saturday, Oct. 10, at 8:30 p.m....

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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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Friday, September 25, 2009

Scott McCaughey and Steve Wynn talk baseball (some more)

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Scott McCaughey and Steve Wynn co-captain the Baseball Project, a four-piece that brings its diamond-centric songs (not to mention some non-national-pastime-themed works of McCaughey and Wynn) to Cat’s Cradle on Saturday night. We asked the pair to name their five favorite ballplayers and five favorite baseball songs. And because there wasn’t a game on, they agreed....

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Tomorrow: WXDU's fourth-annual Record Fair

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 4:03 PM

Like most college radio stations, WXDU 88.7 FM holds events to shore up its reserves. For the last four years, they've put together a group of record dealers with a dual mission: getting collectors and fans together over a bevy of that exhilarating black wax and raising some money through some of their own sales. This year promises to be one of the best yet, with tons of records and, well, that other blackened platter in play: the burger. But don't just take our word for it:...

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Poetry in points: Songwriter and Roman Candle member Keegan DeWitt talks Islands

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 7:52 PM

Keegan DeWitt draws on his background in theater and acting to convey moments of poignancy in his music. Rather than creating entire film stories, he constructs song scenes that look for the poetry of everyday life. DeWitt is probably best known at this point for scoring independent films or playing with local act Roman Candle, whose members include his sister and brother-in-law, Timshel and Skip Matheny. DeWitt's now on his own, touring with what he considers his first real album, Islands. Driving through rural Virginia, DeWitt spoke with The Independent about poetry, past relationships and growing up. Click here...

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Pneurotics, The Rosebuds, more to play BugFest Saturday

Posted By on Tue, Sep 8, 2009 at 7:05 PM

BugFest—the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences' annual day-long celebration and study of all things insect—revolves around butterflies, moths, bees and, well, local bands this year on Saturday, Sept. 12. Talks including Caterpillarology by the museum's Mike Dunn and Sound Strategies: The Bat-Moth Arms Race by Wake Forest University's William Conner accompany movies, kid's activities and a workshop for backyard beekeepers. While the bugs get discussed, six bands will take to a stage on Jones Street: The Sandbox Band (11 a.m.), Gambling the Muse (1:30 p.m.), The Pneurotics (3 p.m.),  The Rosebuds (4:30 p.m.), Graffiti Monkeys (6 p.m.) and The...

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