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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Video: Missed Out on IBMA Festivities? We Can Help You Catch Up.

Posted By on Sat, Oct 14, 2017 at 3:50 PM

International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass and Wide Open Bluegrass Various venues, Downtown Raleigh Tuesday, September 26–Saturday, September 30, 2017 With the fifth installment of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, it’s easy to get fatigued by the crowds as well as the bands, some of which have repeated with each year that the festival rolls into town. That's not to say that there weren't any exciting new acts at this year's festival—you just had to dig a bit to find them. But as it turned out, the very first act I checked out...

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Listen to "Heather," a Driving New Cut From Reese McHenry & the Fox

Posted By on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 2:02 PM

In mid-July, Reese McHenry released one of the Triangle's strongest LPs of the year: a collaborative record with the mighty Spider Bags, titled Bad Girl. But she's not satisfied to stop there, apparently. With her new band, Reese McHenry & the Fox, she's continuing her impressive streak of mighty musical output with a new EP, High Comma, that's due relatively soon. "Heather" is the first of High Comma's four songs, and it's a straightforward, shadowy rock number that moves at a quick clip. As with all of her projects, McHenry's hurricane vocals take the spotlight, and she's surrounded by an...

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Get a Sneak Peek of Rare Concert Shots in Raleigh Friday Night

Posted By on Thu, Oct 5, 2017 at 3:43 PM

Think of any recording artist who has gone on tour in the past four decades, and concert photographer Don Lawver probably has a picture of him or her. The word “any” can be used loosely at times, but in the case of Lawver, “any” means “any.” He has a collection of over four hundred thousand negatives of his own photography, with subjects ranging from Mick Jagger, Barbra Streisand, and Prince to the Beastie Boys, Nirvana, and 50 Cent. He amassed this vast collection over the course of his career as a concert photographer for his own independent magazine called Southern...

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Heading to Biff Rose Tonight? You Might Want to Check His Website.

Posted By on Thu, Oct 5, 2017 at 2:47 PM

Update, 5:42 p.m.: This show has been canceled. Tonight at Neptunes Parlour, the musician and comedian Biff Rose performs at 8 p.m. In the sixties, Rose worked as a comedy writer with George Carlin and released a few influential, popular records. In the seventies, he earned accolades from David Bowie for his creative efforts, and he's remained somewhat of a weirdo cult favorite. And then there's the Biff Rose of today, the one that Neptunes hosts in just a few hours. One quick look at Rose's website reveals blatantly racist and anti-Semitic material. A link on the front page that...

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Live: Top-Notch Bluegrass from the Soggy Bottom Boys in O Brother Mode

Posted By on Wed, Sep 20, 2017 at 4:10 PM

Soggy Bottom Boys Carolina Theatre, Durham Wednesday, July 5, 2017 “I’ll admit we did have a few problems with the law, but since they legalized a few things in Tennessee, the Soggy Bottom Boys are back in business” exclaimed Stuart Duncan, fiddler and founding member of the group. Earlier this summer, The Soggy Bottom Boys are out on the road bringing the critically acclaimed songs from the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? to the stage, as well as many other songs in the same spirit, casting a new spotlight on the entire genre of bluegrass and old-time music. Just...

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Live: The National Folk Festival Pays Off Before Parting Ways

Posted By on Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 1:53 PM

National Folk Festival 2017 Greensboro Thursday, September 8–Sunday, September 10, 2017 This stuff can be hazardous to your health, both mentally and physically. There's too much eye and ear candy in easy reach at the National Folk Festival in Greensboro. It's not really the festival's fault; its layout is such that, if you pace yourself, you can see every act on the three-day schedule. That's the theory, but in practice it's hard. Once you get there, you want to take it all in, and by the time the day ends and you've walked from one end of the two-mile...

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hopscotch, Night Three: Solange Reigns Supreme

Posted By on Sun, Sep 10, 2017 at 12:07 PM

Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown Raleigh Saturday, September 9, 2017 I didn’t make it out to any Saturday day parties, but the evening was more than enough entertainment. The Saturday of Hopscotch is always the most crowded day, as single-day passes for those who couldn’t or didn’t want to get off work Thursday and Friday are out in full force. My evening started with Big Boi, who managed to keep the crowded entertained with every other song, but only those from the Outkast oevure got the biggest reaction. “So Fresh, So Clean” and “Ms. Jackson” had the crowd going moderately...

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Hopscotch, Night Three: ILOVEMAKKONEN Cancels, But Phonte Fills In

Posted By on Sun, Sep 10, 2017 at 11:33 AM

Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown Raleigh Saturday, September 9, 2017 Can we get another round of applause for Phonte? In lieu of a scheduled set on Saturday from ILOVEMAKKONEN that didn’t materialize, the Little Brother/Foreign Exchange member and Raleigh resident was brought in Saturday morning to patch things with a rare solo performance at City Plaza. As he hilariously framed the situation during his set: “Thank you Makonnen for canceling, you are paying for my wedding night.” There were more jokes, and also a spectacular rap set of the sort that's all too rare on larger stages in 2017. Sing-along backing...

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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Hopscotch, Night Two: Heavy on the Hip-Hop

Posted By on Sat, Sep 9, 2017 at 11:32 AM

Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown Raleigh Friday, September 8, 2017 For night two of Hopscotch, I encountered a similar "what now?" feeling to the one I encountered on the first day. Fortunately, the schedule had enough going that it gave attendees something to go on an adventure to fulfill that query. K 97.5’s day party at Pour House was surprisingly packed, and a satisfying place to start the day. The bill featured almost everyone in local hip-hop who was deserving of an official Hopscotch slot, but didn’t make the cut this year. Stand out performances from 3am, Imani Pressley, M8balla, and...

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Hopscotch, Night Two: Making the Most of a Musical Smorgasbord

Posted By on Sat, Sep 9, 2017 at 10:38 AM

Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown Raleigh Friday, September 8, 2017 Despite the growth of Hopscotch, over its eight years of existence, Friday proved that the festival’s hallmarks—its diverse smorgasbord of options and its ability to remind that North Carolina’s scene can compete on the same platform as national acts—are as intact as ever. Speaking with Nathan Price a couple of weeks before the festival, the new Hopscotch executive director mentioned his goal of trying to avoid pitting two acts of the same genre against one another as the festival grows—“you’ll end with two metal shows at the same time” and pull...

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Hopscotch, Night One: Slacking Off Pays Off

Posted By on Sat, Sep 9, 2017 at 8:58 AM

Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown Raleigh Thursday, September 7, 2017 The first day at any music festival, especially Hopscotch, brings a collective feeling of anticipation and excitement, but with a side of hesitation and caution because they start on a weekday. There’s an unshakable feeling that you’re slacking off somehow, even if you’re attending for work. At least that’s how I feel when I start my festivities every year at Hopscotch, and I’ve been doing this for four years now. Regardless, these events are a departure from normal life for everyone, from normal attendees to the artists to the people running...

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Friday, September 8, 2017

Hopscotch, Night One: New Spaces and Familiar Faces

Posted By on Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 8:08 AM

Hopscotch Music Festival Downtown Raleigh Thursday, September 7, 2017 Down an inconspicuous side hallway in the Raleigh Convention Center, a pair of glowing escalators will shuttle you to and from Exhibit Hall A, also known as The Basement, Hopscotch’s newest venue. Don’t be fooled by the DIY-sounding name, though: it's no scuzzy thirty-capacity show space. Stripped of the bulky booths and partitions that large regional events like Animazement typically use, the room is absolutely massive. Upon entering, I felt as though I was walking into a cavernous City Plaza-sized industrial warehouse, buried just beneath downtown Raleigh. The space is undeniably...

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Batalá Durham Gets Shut Down Again, Even as Liberty Warehouse Residents Offer Support

Posted By on Tue, Aug 8, 2017 at 10:01 AM

Last night, Batalá Durham assembled for its weekly practice at Durham Central Park. The community-oriented samba-reggae percussion ensemble has been at the center of a conflict that spotlights one of the ugly realities of Durham’s urban development. Though the group has had permission to practice in the park during warm months for over a year, complaints from a resident at the new Liberty Warehouse Apartments across the street have resulted in Durham police shutting down the group’s rehearsals. We ran a story about the issue last week, and several residents of Liberty Warehouse chimed in with their support of Batalá...

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Friday, August 4, 2017

Liberty Warehouse Apartment Residents Chime In to Support Batalá Durham

Posted By on Fri, Aug 4, 2017 at 2:28 PM

While Liberty Warehouse Apartments may not have offered any official comment on its tension with Batalá Durham, several residents have. As it turns out, many of them are in favor of Batalá Durham's Central Park practices, and blame a single unidentified resident for all of the trouble. Chatter began on Wednesday in the comments section of the original story, where residents Kirk Royal, Ashley Miles, and Lauren Faber expressed their thoughts on the matter. In a longer comment, Royal wrote, "I, for one, am going to be royally PISSED if this ONE person's quixotic pursuit of bland whitebread suburban 'bliss'...

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Video: Mandolin Orange Plays to a Packed House at NCMA

Posted By on Fri, Aug 4, 2017 at 1:09 PM

Mandolin Orange North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh Saturday, July 22, 2017 The heatwave sweeping the Triangle in late July continued as the gates opened to the North Carolina Museum of Art as a sold-out crowd lined up to brave the temperatures to see Mandolin Orange. Part of the museum’s twentieth season, dubbed its “homegrown season,” the evening also included a performance by Joe Pug, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate, who opened the show. In recent months, Mandolin Orange has been busy touring the country, with notable stops at the famed Red Rocks venue in Colorado...

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Here Are the Local Bands Donating Their Bandcamp Proceeds to the Transgender Law Center Today

Posted By on Fri, Aug 4, 2017 at 8:54 AM

At the end of January, the digital sales and streaming platform Bandcamp announced that, for one day, it would donate its entire cut of music and merchandise sales to the American Civil Liberties Union. That February 3 campaign was a raging success, raising more than $100,000 for the civil rights organization. This week, the site announced that it would hold a similar drive for the Transgender Law Center, a nonprofit that advocates for trans rights through law and policy. The campaign runs through midnight Pacific time today (so, 3 a.m. Eastern Standard Time). Below are the local bands and labels...

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Live: Belle and Sebastian Brings Summer Bliss to the North Carolina Museum of Art

Posted By on Thu, Aug 3, 2017 at 11:59 AM

Belle and Sebastian North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh Monday, July 31, 2017 There’s something you should know up front about my relationship with Belle and Sebastian: my wife, who accompanied me to Monday night’s concert at the N.C. Museum of Art’s outdoor stage, is an unabashed fan, such that our dogs are named Belle and Sebastian. More recently, she told me recently that if we ever had a boy child, he would be named Stuart, after frontman Stuart Murdoch. Which is to say that, in the interests of domestic bliss, I’d be disinclined to say anything derogatory about the band’s performance,...

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Durham Central Park Issues Statement About the Batalá Durham and Liberty Warehouse Apartments Noise Complaints

Posted By on Thu, Aug 3, 2017 at 10:05 AM

Last night, Durham Central Park issued a statement in response to the story we ran yesterday about a conflict between the community percussion ensemble Batalá Durham and residents from Liberty Warehouse Apartments. The park is the central location of the problem between the two groups. With the park's permission, Batalá Durham has been using the park to practice in warm-weather months since last summer. DCP is directly across the street from the new Liberty Warehouse Apartments, which opened in May. Multiple noise complaints to Durham police from an apartment resident have threatened to shut down Batalá Durham's rehearsals, and the...

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Live: Willie Nelson & the Family Band Play the Hits in the Heat and Haze

Posted By on Wed, Jul 26, 2017 at 2:42 PM

Willie Nelson & The Family Band Koka Booth Amphtheatre July 14, 2017 With temperatures hovering around the hundred-degree mark, eighty-four-year-old William Hugh Nelson causally walked onstage without introduction to kick off his latest appearance at Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre. After his longtime drummer, Paul English, helped the singer's sister, Bobbi Nelson, to her seat at the piano, Nelson's Family Band took the stage to raucous applause as the first notes of “Whiskey River” played and the Texas state flag dropped behind them. Those who have seen Nelson in concert over the past several years know that they're going to get essentially the same...

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Video: Watch Flock of Dimes Glow and Cover Joni Mitchell at Duke Gardens

Posted By on Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 1:55 PM

Flock of Dimes Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Durham Wednesday, June 7, 2017 Duke Gardens was packed by the time Jenn Wasner and her Flock of Dimes band mates took the stage under overcast skies in Durham last month. Wasner and company played numbers from last year's excellent If You See Me, Say Yes to an appreciative yet mellow crowd dotted with picnic baskets and, of course, plenty of kids for the first installment of this year's Music in the Gardens series. From the stage, Wasner discussed her move from Baltimore to Durham and how hard it was for her...

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Monday, July 3, 2017

Reese McHenry Is a “Bad Girl” With Spider Bags at Her Side

Posted By on Mon, Jul 3, 2017 at 1:23 PM

Reese McHenry first approached Spider Bags’ Dan McGee about making music together more than half a decade ago. McHenry, then, was the driving force behind garage-country outfit The Dirty Little Heaters, and she and McGee only casually knew each other. So when McHenry told McGee that she wanted to make a great record before she died, McGee shrugged it off as a casual remark, one every musician makes a million times in their lifetime. Not so for McHenry: In 2009, she started a six-year series of a half-dozen surgeries to correct atrial fibrillation and mitigate congestive heart failure; the same...

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Sunday, July 2, 2017

After Warped Tour's Wilmington Date Falls Apart, the Unofficial Warp '17 Detour Moshes Into Durham

Posted By on Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 2:50 PM

Warp '17 Detour Tuesday, July 4, 5 p.m.–midnight, $25–$30 Motorco Music Hall, Durham If you stroll down to Fullsteam or Surf Club for a Fourth of July beer on Tuesday, you might look around and find yourself wondering, "Since when is there a Hot Topic on Rigsbee Avenue?" There isn't one, but there will be an invasion of six bands from Warped Tour, the mall-punk festival that has been skating around the country on sneaker money for twenty-two summers. Warp '17 Detour at Motorco serves as an unofficial, last-minute substitute for the Warped Tour date in Wilmington, which fell apart after the...

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Jason Isbell Discusses Reckoning with White Southern Masculinity on His Excellent New LP, The Nashville Sound

Posted By on Thu, Jun 15, 2017 at 4:25 PM

Jason Isbell’s The Nashville Sound is the summer soundtrack for those of us who fled small towns because of the sexism or the racism or the lack of opportunities, only to see all of those things amplified with the election of Donald Trump, rendering our hometowns almost hostile to our very existence. “I used to think that this was my town/What a stupid thing to think” Isbell sings on "Hope the High Road," the first single off the album. “Hear you’re fighting off a breakdown/I myself am on the brink.” It is a white man’s record about the problems inherent...

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Durham's Beats n Bars Festival Needs Your Help to Keep Growing

Posted By on Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 2:29 PM

This fall, the Durham-grown Beats n Bars festival wants to be more than just a hip-hop festival: it wants to celebrate the many connected communities around hip-hop, from musicians to DJs, dancers, promoters, and more. After last September's festival, Beats n Bars has merged with the DURM Hip-Hop Summit for one cohesive showcase of the Bull City's hip-hop up-and-comers. And now, Beats n Bars is trying to raise an additional $25,000 to beef up its programming. It's got a Kickstarter campaign and a few events this month to make that happen. There are two more pop-up parties this month to...

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Friday, June 9, 2017

Concert Review: Decades After New Wave, Joe Jackson Keeps Looking Forward

Posted By on Fri, Jun 9, 2017 at 4:18 PM

Joe Jackson Carolina Theatre, Durham June 5, 2017 Since most of Joe Jackson’s compatriots in the British new wave have long since hit the Stop button—either that or they tour in perpetual Rewind—it’s a notable act of chutzpah that he named his latest album and current tour Fast Forward. Then again, the Staffordshire singer’s career trajectory never followed a predictable path. After first emerging among fellow angry young men of the late seventies like Graham Parker and Elvis Costello, in subsequent years Jackson rifled through a series of genres from Beat Crazy’s reggae and ska to the jump blues and...

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