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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Durham's Art of Cool Festival Has Been Sold; Nas, Erykah Badu, Damien Escobar and More Will Headline in Late September

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 8:30 PM

The Art of Cool Festival—which, for the past few years, has been a late-April staple for downtown Durham—is facing some big changes in 2018. Tonight, the festival announced a change in ownership and dates, as well as its headliners for this year's festival. The festival itself has been sold to the DOME Group, an entertainment promotion company headed by Soulaiman Mausi, a graduate of North Carolina Central University. The company regularly promotes shows at the Durham Performing Arts Center, and the company has offices in both Durham and Detroit. Previously, the festival fell under the umbrella of the nonprofit...

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Susan Alcorn's Heavenly Pedal Steel Landscapes Will Take You to a Higher Plane

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2018 at 4:00 AM

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28 Duke Coffeehouse, Durham 9 p.m., $5 or free with Duke ID www.dukecoffeehouse.org There's a small handful of musical instruments that suggest heavenly and celestial bodies in their timbres: harps, organs, French horns. But allow us to make a case for the pedal steel, which, in the right hands, can expel some of the most gorgeous, dreamy tones you could ever hope to hear. One of the finest practitioners of this sort of music is Susan Alcorn, who builds spacious, reverberating landscapes that are equally splendid and peculiar. A student of Pauline Oliveros' esteemed Deep Listening Institute,...

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Horizontal Hold Previews its New LP, The Silence, with "Return to Love Canal"

Posted By on Thu, Mar 22, 2018 at 10:54 AM

Four years ago, Durham's heavy-hitting Horizontal Hold released This Is Not a Living, its first EP. At last, the band has its first full-length record on deck, due later this week. Today, however, you can listen to "Return to Love Canal," the record's first track. The band celebrates the release of The Silence Saturday night at The Pinhook with No One Mind and Today's Forecast. Tickets to the show are still available here. The Silence is available on a CD or digitally, or you can purchase a special scented candle that comes with a download code. It smells like "a gingerbread...

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Dead Tongues Have a New Record Out This Spring. Listen to "Won't Be Long" Now.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2018 at 12:33 PM

As a solo artist and with a full band, The Dead Tongues, Ryan Gustafson has crafted some of the area's best twang-tinged tunes of the past decade. Happily, he's continuing that strong streak with a new record, Unsung Passage, which comes out on May 18. Today, you can listen to "Won't Be Long," the record's first track, which premiered via Stereogum earlier today. The song is a calm, easygoing balance of thoughtful lyrics, Gustafson's wavering voice, and intent acoustic guitar licks, lifted by breezy backing vocals and instrumentals. If you really like what you hear with "Won't Be Long," you...

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Abigail Washburn and Wu Fei Meld American and Chinese Traditions with a Banjo and a Guzheng

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Thursday, March 22 UNC's Memorial Hall, Chapel Hill 7:30 p.m., $10-$49 www.carolinaperformingarts.org Abigail Washburn is an equally enthusiastic scholar of the Southern United States and the farthest reaches of East Asia, and she uses music to examine the deep connections between the two seemingly disparate worlds. Her preferred instrument is the banjo, which she uses to pluck out fiery tunes from Appalachia like the Coon Creek Girls' "Banjo Pickin' Girl" and the Szechuan folk song "Taiyang Chulai." One of her frequent collaborators is Wu Fei, a Beijing native who now lives in Nashville. Fei's weapon of choice is the...

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Listen to "No. 2: Caution," a Heady New Solo Track from Matt Douglas

Posted By on Mon, Mar 19, 2018 at 3:18 PM

If you've spent much time in the Triangle music scene, it's almost guaranteed that you've crossed paths with Matt Douglas, the thoroughly talented multi-instrumentalist whose résumé includes work with The Hot at Nights, The Mountain Goats, Josh Ritter, The Small Ponds, and many more. In just a few weeks, Douglas is releasing a solo record of all-woodwinds material, titled Affirmation (with Discomfort). You can listen to the album's second song, "No. 2: Caution," below. If you've been charmed by records from fellow forward-thinking sax players Colin Stetson or Jonah Parzen-Johnson in recent years, you'll find plenty to love in...

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Video: An All-Star Durham Crew Pays Tribute to Tom Petty

Posted By on Mon, Mar 19, 2018 at 10:43 AM

Even The Losers: A Tom Petty Tribute The Pinhook, Durham Wednesday, February 14, 2018 When Tom Petty passed away unexpected ly in early October, he left behind an impressive artistic legacy and scores of admirers. A few months later in Durham, a tribute concert at The Pinhook served as a sort of communal mourning for an artist who affected so many. Below is a playlist of fifteen songs from the evening’s performance, which featured Kym Register, Joe Hall, Kamara Thomas, Phil Cook, Keil Jansen, Molly Sarlé, Tamisha Waden and Joel Holloway, Allie Mullin and Brad Rice, Skylar Gudasz, Shilette...

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Whether You're Going Out or Coming Down, Electro-Pop Charmer Porches Has You Covered

Posted By on Sun, Mar 18, 2018 at 2:00 PM

PORCHES MOTORCO MUSIC HALL 8 p.m., $14-$16 www.motorcomusic.com One of my favorite albums of the decade we're winding down is Pool, a 2016 release by New York-based electro-pop charmer Aaron Maine, who records as Porches. Contrasting soft, fumy stoner moods with dance music so sharp it seems etched in moonlight, Maine crafted a record that was somehow subdued and urgent at once, equally suitable for getting ready to go out clubbing or sinking into a beanbag chair with a hookah afterward. The chiaroscuro palette carries through in his synths and basses, the former high and shimmering, the latter low...

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Pat Junior Rides the Momentum That Has Made Him One of the Triangle's Most Talked-About Emcees

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 4:00 AM

PAT JUNIOR MARCH 16 NEPTUNES PARLOUR, RALEIGH 10 p.m., $10-$12 www.kingsraleigh.com Taking advantage of the momentum that has made him one of the Triangle's most talked-about emcees, Raleigh's Pat Junior prepares to release the sequel to last year's acclaimed black & mild EP at a release show featuring Nance, Tony G, R.J. Hatton, Miniluv, and Marc Anthony Figueras. The rapper has done a remarkable job garnering attention across genres by maintaining the enthusiasm of hip-hop heads through lyricism and tantalizing audiophiles with his eclectic production style. He could produce an instrumental album by himself or make a rap record...

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s On the Run 2 Tour Isn’t Coming Anywhere Close to North Carolina

Posted By on Mon, Mar 12, 2018 at 5:18 PM

Beyoncé and Jay-Z just released new dates for their previously rumored "On the Run 2" tour, but the duo won't be coming anywhere near the Triangle. Fans in North Carolina will have to travel to the next closest stop, Washington, D.C., on July 28 if they want to see the Grammy-award-winning couple in their first tour together since 2014. (Tickets for this and all of the tour’s other North American shows go on sale next Monday, March 19.) Other viable options include Nashville on August 23 and Atlanta on August 25. Queen Bey’s last stop in the Triangle almost didn't...

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Monday, March 5, 2018

Video: Rachel Baiman Brings Her "North Carolina Album" to Durham

Posted By on Mon, Mar 5, 2018 at 12:10 PM

Rachel Baiman The Pinhook, Durham Saturday, January 27, 2018 Rachel Baiman has referred to her 2017 LP,  Shame, as a "North Carolina album" because of the connections she made while recording it in Chapel Hill. The Nashville-based singer and songwriter called upon Mandolin Orange's Andrew Marlin to produce the album, and with that came contributions from local stalwarts Josh Oliver and Libby Rodenbough. Despite all of the North Carolina connections, the early show at The Pinhook this night was Baiman's first trip to Durham. Accompanied by Cy Winstanley and Shelby Lee Means, Baiman played a stripped-down, forty-five minute set....

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Video: Bat Fangs Bite Back at the Cat's Cradle Back Room

Posted By on Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 1:54 PM

Bat Fangs Cat's Cradle Back Room, Carrboro Saturday, February 3, 2018 Bat Fangs—the unstoppable duo of Laura King and Betsy Wright—brought their new self-titled album to the Cat's Cradle Back Room for a performance that sold out well before the date came around. With Solar Halos and Pipe to open the show, the back room was packed as the group took the stage for a roughly sixty-minute set. Bat Fangs' incredibly catchy tunes have made their debut record feel like an instant classic on a local level and beyond. Giant balloons bounced throughout the crowd during "Static," as the...

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Listen to Al Riggs Dress Up and Chill Out with "Revolutionary Costume"

Posted By on Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Few, if any, Triangle bands crank out fresh (and more importantly, good) songs at the rate that Al Riggs does—we last heard from him less than a week ago, when he loosed a pair of Valentine's Day covers on the world. Today, he's got yet another new track, the mellow "Revolutionary Costume." You can stream it via Bandcamp below, or give Riggs a digital dollar and download it to cherish forever. Riggs shared the song today with the announcement that he'll be hitting the road with the Mountain Goats in late summer. They'll stop in Texas, Florida, and a few...

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Video: American Aquarium Rolls Out New Songs in Raleigh

Posted By on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 3:59 PM

American Aquarium Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh Friday, January 26 and Saturday, January 27 2018 It was the fourth year of American Aquarium’s Roadtrip to Raleigh, the annual gathering of the group’s considerable fandom descending upon the band's home town. Many things about the weekend have remained the same year over year: two sold-out nights at the Lincoln Theatre, confused patrons cramming into Slim’s for a Saturday afternoon acoustic matinee, new songs debuted. Since the major changes in the band lineup last year, this year's Roadtrip to Raleigh was the first time many in the crowd would hear the same songs...

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Friday, February 16, 2018

David Bazan Discusses The Beatles and the Next Chapter of Pedro the Lion, Roaring Again After a Decade of Quiet

Posted By on Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 2:30 PM

Like any longtime fan of pop music, David Bazan has experienced falling out of love with songs and bands that used to totally light his fire. Granted, some music ages poorly, but he’s mostly talking about how personal tastes shift over time. “You know how you change and mature, and you’re like ‘Yeah, that’s still cool, but now I have expanded view,’ or whatever? And you can kind of see the way you used to view something?” Bazan asks. Now forty-two, he says that hasn’t happened for him yet with The Beatles, the first secular music he identified with...

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Still Heartbroken Over Tom Petty? These Events Might Help You Heal.

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 3:58 PM

When Tom Petty passed away unexpectedly in early October, he left a gaping hole in the American musical landscape. Tonight, a big crew of locals celebrate the songwriter's life and legacy the best way they know how: playing some of his many beloved songs. The crew includes Shirlette Ammons, Phil Cook, Molly Sarlé, Skylar Gudasz, Hiss Golden Messenger's M.C. Taylor, Kym Register, and several others. The show is close to sold out, but you can still snag one online here, or say your prayers and hope for the best at the door. Tomorrow, M.C. Taylor hosts a conversation with Andy...

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Get Some Free Valentine's Day Love from Museum Mouth and Al Riggs

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 9:58 AM

Happy Valentine's Day! Whether you're into the holiday or not, there's nearly an infinite number of songs that can satisfy your soft or salty side. Today, a couple of locals have their own sweet treats to share. For the past few years, Museum Mouth has had an annual tradition of offering a new cover song for Valentine's Day—but it's only up for twenty-four hours. Past entries have included The All-American Rejects' "Swing Swing" and Taylor Swift's "All Too Well." The band chose to do Everclear's "Santa Monica" this year and...it's pretty funny. Get your several dozen listens in now before...

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Sarah Shook & The Disarmers Have a New Record Out in April—Listen to "Good As Gold" Now

Posted By on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 4:32 PM

Last year was a big one for Pittsboro honky-tonk hero Sarah Shook and her band The Disarmers. In the spring, the renowned Bloodshot Records reissued the band's excellent 2015 LP, Sidelong, which propelled the band toward national attention and rigorous touring to match. Now, the band has its next record ready to go. It's called Years, and it comes out on April 6 on Bloodshot—you can listen to opening track "Good As Gold" below. That night, the band plays a release show at Cat's Cradle in Carrboro with the mighty Spider Bags, which ought to be a roaring good...

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Watch a New Video for "Heather" from Reese McHenry & The Fox

Posted By on Mon, Feb 12, 2018 at 4:58 PM

On Wednesday, we ran a story about Heather McEntire, whose work with Bellafea, Un Deux Trois, and Mount Moriah has made her an essential local presence. Today, we've got a video for a song she inspired, by another one of our local favorites: Reese McHenry. "Heather" appears on High Comma, the debut EP from Reese McHenry & The Fox, and you can check out the video—which features some familiar Raleigh spots—below. You can pick up a vinyl 7-inch copy of High Comma on Bandcamp, or snag one in person Friday night when the band plays at Local 506 with...

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Friday, February 9, 2018

Sonic Pie Productions Marks Five Years of Business in Durham This Weekend

Posted By on Fri, Feb 9, 2018 at 3:50 PM

The music industry is notoriously dominated by dudes, but this weekend, one woman is celebrating her success as an independent promoter—and looking toward expanding her business. Tess Mangum Ocaña runs Sonic Pie Productions, staging and promoting shows in the Triangle and all over North Carolina. She's served stints booking for The ArtsCenter (for which the INDY gave her an Arts Award in 2012) and with Casbah (which is now Social Games and Brews), but more recently, she's worked with the Art of Cool Festival, the Festival for the Eno, and the International Bluegrass Music Association's annual World of Bluegrass...

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Raund Haus Celebrates Its Second Anniversary This Weekend—Get Started With a New Track from Treee City

Posted By on Fri, Feb 9, 2018 at 1:49 PM

Two years ago, Raund Haus sprung up in Durham as a tight-knit family of beatmakers and associated artists. Since then, the collective has established itself as a strong curatorial hub and launched a record label, delivering solid albums from Trandle, OG Senpaiii, and more. Tomorrow night, the group celebrates its second year with a party at Durham's Living Arts Collective. It'll be a smorgasbord of a dozen or so surprise sets from folks from the Raund Haus roster, plus a few extra friends. Tickets are on a sliding scale from $5 to $15, cash only at the door. You can...

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Listen to the Title Track of Blanko Basnet's New LP, Plus Another New Tune from Christy Smith

Posted By on Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 3:14 PM

It's been a while since we've heard anything new from Durham's Blanko Basnet, led by Hammer No More the Fingers guitarist Joe Hall—the band's self-titled debut came out in August 2013. But the band recently announced that it at last has a new record out on March 16, titled Ocean Meets the Animal, and released the song "Get Away" to go along with it. And as of today, you can hear the album's easygoing title track. You can listen to "Ocean Meets the Animal" below, and preorder the album, which will be available on vinyl, here. And over in...

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Live: Aimee Mann Offers Affirmation and Introspection in Durham

Posted By on Tue, Feb 6, 2018 at 11:09 AM

Aimee Mann The Carolina Theatre, Durham Friday, February 2, 2018 I fell in love with Aimee Mann’s music the same spring that I dropped out of college. At first the decision to withdraw from classes felt exhilarating, like a real “damn the man” move. But sooner than I thought it would, that post-defiant-act-adrenaline-high dwindled and I found myself paralyzed by the ennui that surfaces when life becomes structureless. On a day in the middle of that lost spring, I clicked on a friend’s MySpace profile and “Save Me" began auto-playing. I hadn’t been able to do in months: cry....

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Wye Oak Has a New Record Out in April—Listen to the Title Track Now

Posted By on Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 3:51 PM

Wye Oak may not quite be a local band, as it originated in Baltimore, and one of its two members, drummer Andy Stack, lives in west Texas. But the band's other half, Jenn Wasner is a somewhat recent Durham dweller, so we're counting it. Earlier this week, the pair announced a new record, The Louder I Call, the Faster It Runs, and shared the album's restless, excellent title track. The record is out on April 6, and if you like what you hear so far, you can preorder it via Merge. If you're really into planning ahead, you can...

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Spare Seven Minutes for a Trippy Journey with Carrboro's JPhono1

Posted By on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 at 4:04 PM

If your week is a drag so far, consider taking a break with a new cut from Carrboro's Jphoho1, the main project of longtime scene staple John Harrison. Harrison's work is consistently easygoing and accessible, and "Be Down Be Free" is no exception. Its video, which you can watch below, morphs slowly from a casual living room scene into something a bit more trippy. The song will be on the next Jphono1 and the Chevrons record, which is titled Meadow Magic Hour and will be out via PotLuck on March 30. You can get a copy of a seven-inch...

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