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Sunday, September 9, 2018

Hopscotch, Night Three: Covering "Covers" of All Different Kinds

Posted By on Sun, Sep 9, 2018 at 12:26 PM

Hopscotch Music Festival: The Jayhawks, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Moses Sumney Downtown Raleigh Saturday, September 8, 2018 As much as my Friday night experience at Hopscotch was about the unexpected, my Saturday night turned out to be mostly about the expected, at least as far as the performances. While more delays at both City Plaza and Red Hat Amphitheater meant the big stages were running behind schedule with unpredictable set times, but I managed to catch bits of most of the performances at both. Moses Sumney was an early highlight, as he battled the stifling humidity by conjuring futuristic...

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Saturday, September 8, 2018

Hopscotch, Night Two: Making the Most of Daytime Substitutions and Nighttime Exhaustion

Posted By on Sat, Sep 8, 2018 at 11:30 AM

Hopscotch Music Festival: Red Fang, Mipso, The Revolution Downtown Raleigh Friday, September 7, 2018 No matter how much you plan in advance, Hopscotch always seems to have knack for throwing a few curveballs your way, whether with a last-minute substitution or delay or just an unexpectedly great performance. Considering I had built my Friday day party itinerary around seeing Moses Sumney at Ruby Deluxe until he fell off the bill twenty-four hours before, Mountain Man’s set—announced at roughly the same time—qualified as both. It was the first performance in six years by the captivating and charming trio of Molly...

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Hopscotch, Night Two: Thundercat and Miguel Nod to Mac Miller in Full-Throttle Sets

Posted By on Sat, Sep 8, 2018 at 10:15 AM

Hopscotch Music Festival: Thundercat, Miguel, Breathers, Circuit Des Yeux Downtown Raleigh Friday, September 7, 2018 I likely won’t ever forget the bizarre high/low scenario I was in when I heard the news that Mac Miller, America’s favorite frat rapper turned rap experimentalist, died. I was at Kings, having just witnessed an incredible Grouper set at the WXDU/Three Lobed Recordings day party. Slightly dampened at times by a noisy bar that clearly came to get loaded and network more than transcend to the cloud, it was everything you would want from a Grouper set: tape distortions; looping pedal bliss-outs; spare,...

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Friday, September 7, 2018

Hopscotch, Night One: Lifting Off for Year Nine with The Flaming Lips, Lee Ranaldo, Kilbourne, and Flasher

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2018 at 10:17 AM

Hopscotch Music Festival: The Flaming Lips, Das Drip, Kilbourne, Lee Ranaldo Downtown Raleigh Thursday, September 6, 2018 Thursday is always something of a ramp up day for Hopscotch. You scoot out from work when you can, pick up your wristband, maybe catch a few day show sets if you hurry. (Or, you duck out entirely because you've got a day job to get to bright and early Friday morning.) I managed to jet downtown early this year and started my Hopscotching at the always memorable DiggUp Tapes Orientation in Space party at Kings. After warming up downstairs at Neptunes at...

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Friday, August 31, 2018

Listen to "Back When I Cared," A New Track from John Howie Jr.'s Forthcoming Solo Record

Posted By on Fri, Aug 31, 2018 at 4:09 PM

For more than twenty years, John Howie Jr. has been a stalwart champion of twangy tunes, with the electrifying Two Dollar Pistols as well as on his own. In a few weeks, he's got a new record to add to his respectable collection: Not Tonight, which comes out September 21. Now, you can listen to "Back When I Cared," from Howie's forthcoming LP. True to classic country form, it's a mournful tune about heartbreak, opening with the line, "It ain't been easy getting by without you/But I guess that I'm stronger now after what we've been through. If you...

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J. Cole, Nelly, Young Thug, and SZA Top Dreamville Festival Lineup

Posted By on Fri, Aug 31, 2018 at 1:17 PM

It's been a long wait—and the festival is happening two weeks from tomorrow, on September 15—but J. Cole's Dreamville Festival has finally announced its lineup. The festival will feature Cole, who hails from Fayetteville, as well as hip-hop heavyweights Nelly, Young Thug, and Big Sean. The inimitable SZA also sits toward the top of the bill, and the undercard includes a handful of Cole's Dreamville label associates, like Earthgang, Bas, and Ari Lennox, plus hometown heroes Rapsody and King Mez. You can view the rest of the lineup here. The time for earlybird tickets has passed, but you can...

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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Ponysaurus Presents Another ACLU Benefit with Rafiq Bhatia, Wye Oak, Body Games, and More

Posted By on Thu, Aug 30, 2018 at 11:37 AM

In the spring 2016, Durham's Ponysaurus Brewing released its Don't Be Mean to People saison as a way to push back against HB 2. The brewery hosted a day-long concert to benefit last spring, and these days, Don't Be Mean to People is a staple This fall, the beer's mission gets re-energized with two days of music at Ponysaurus. On October 19 and 20, the brewery hosts another benefit for the ACLU of North Carolina with an all-star crew of North Carolinians. Friday night features Rafiq Bhatia, electro-pop from Body Games, hip-hop from ZenSoFly and Kooley High, plus The...

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Friday, August 10, 2018

Gillian Welch to Receive the Thomas Wolfe Prize at UNC This Fall

Posted By on Fri, Aug 10, 2018 at 1:17 PM

For more than twenty years, singer-songwriter Gillian Welch has issued some of the most intimate, gorgeous songs of this generation. Her songwriting speaks to the unusual beauty and excruciating pain of the human condition, from the catastrophes and coincidences that fall on April 14, to a moonshiner's ruinous career, to a girl being blessed with a dark turn of mind. While plenty of music fans and institutions are keen on Welch's inimitable songwriting power, UNC-Chapel Hill's Department of English and Comparative Literature has recognized her talents, too. Thus, she'll be the recipient of the department's annual Thomas Wolfe Prize,...

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Thursday, August 9, 2018

Mountain Man Has a New Album Out Next Month, Listen to Three Songs from Magic Ship Now

Posted By on Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 10:01 AM

It's been a while since we last heard from Mountain Man, the three-woman ensemble of Molly Sarlé, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, and Amelia Meath—eight years, in fact. The trio issued its gorgeous debut record, Made in the Harbor, in 2010, and after finishing touring around the record, the band's members chased different projects (does Sylvan Esso ring a bell?). The women maintained close ties with each other, and eventually, they all settled in North Carolina. After performing at the Eaux Claires festival in Wisconsin last summer, they decided to reconvene as Mountain Man and make a new record. That record, Magic...

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Friday, July 27, 2018

Listen to Anne-Claire's Slick New Single, "Behind Me"

Posted By on Fri, Jul 27, 2018 at 9:42 AM

At the end of 2017, singer-songwriter Anne-Claire Niver—better known as just Anne-Claire—ran a month-long Kickstarter campaign, raising money to fund the production of her second full-length album. She exceeded her $15,000 goal and set off to record the nine songs on her new album, I Still Look For You, which comes out next weekend. Today, you can listen to "Behind Me," a punchy number that celebrates leaving doubts behind. “I don’t cry quite as much like I did,” Anne-Claire sings in the beginning of “Behind Me.” “Don’t get high quite as much like I did, I did go on.”...

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Lauryn Hill's Raleigh Show Canceled Due to "Unforseen Production Issues"

Posted By on Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 12:52 PM

Heads up, Lauryn Hill fans: if you'd planned on seeing her in Raleigh tomorrow night, you're in for a letdown. Her show at Red Hat Amphitheater, which was part of the twentieth anniversary tour for her landmark LP, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, has been canceled. LiveNation announced the show cancelation on Twitter yesterday evening, citing "unforseen production issues." So far, it doesn't seem as though there are plans for a makeup date. If you bought your ticket online or over the phone, a refund has been automatically processed, according to LiveNation. If you need more information, contact the...

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Friday, July 6, 2018

Spider Bags Ride Again with a New Record in August—Listen to Two Tracks Now

Posted By on Fri, Jul 6, 2018 at 3:26 PM

About halfway through the winding country-punk stomper “My Heart Is a Flame in Reverse,” which opens the B-side of Spider Bags' forthcoming record, Someday Everything Will Be Fine, frontman Dan McGee hits on a pithy aphorism filled with beautiful and brutal truth. “To live is to suffer and smile,” he croaks, “and to succeed at anything, you must fail for a long while.” I don’t know about you, but I find comfort in that line, especially during these trying times. Someday Everything Will Be Fine comes four years after the band's Merge Records debut, Frozen Letter, and the intervening...

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Lilac Shadows Reappears with "True Ever After"

Posted By on Thu, Jun 28, 2018 at 12:54 PM

For the past few years, Lilac Shadows has cranked out plenty of excellent, shoegazey rock songs drenched in plenty of fuzz. The band released its most recent album, Brutalism, in early 2015, but following the 2016 presidential election, frontman Sam Logan says he struggled to find creative motivation amid what felt like a perpetual tsunami of bad news. At a loss, Logan put his guitar aside and took a break from songwriting that lasted for more than a year. But today, the band is sharing a new song wherein Logan frankly addresses the concerns that held him back from...

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Nile Rodgers & Chic, The Flaming Lips, Sleep, and More Added to Hopscotch

Posted By on Wed, Jun 27, 2018 at 2:30 PM

This afternoon, Hopscotch announced the second round of acts for this year's festival, which happens from September 6-8 in downtown Raleigh. The biggest addition is, by far, Nile Rodgers & Chic. As a producer, Rodgers has worked with names from David Bowie to Daft Punk, and his mark on pop, funk, and disco is indelible. He headlines the Red Hat Amphitheater Saturday night with Moses Sumney and Boulevards. Other additions include The Flaming Lips, who return to City Plaza after performing there in 2011, and Chicago rapper Vic Mensa. There's also the renowned doom band Sleep, who last appeared...

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Friday, June 22, 2018

Removed from YouTube, The Muslims Take Their Protest Punk to Facebook Live

Posted By on Fri, Jun 22, 2018 at 10:00 AM

You need to see The Muslims’ excellent video to their ninety-second punk track “Muslims at the Mall.” After a closeup of someone’s hands squishing cheese through their fingers, Saba Taj wanders through Southpoint Mall, drawing stares in her “Alpha Delta Burqa,” a pink and green burqa made of Lilly Pulitzer fabric and cotton, glitter, gold spray paint, and sequins. It cuts to the band jamming and shouting the words in a garage-like recording space. The only lyric is “Muslims at the mall.” You need to see this video, but don’t look for it on YouTube. The Google-owned video-sharing site...

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Video: Midtown Dickens Reunites for a Good Cause in Durham

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2018 at 5:16 PM

Midtown Dickens The Pinhook, Durham Friday, February 23, 2018 After five long years apart, Midtown Dickens reformed at The Pinhook in Durham to benefit the nonprofit organization Durham For All. In that hiatus, core band members Catherine Edgerton and Kym Register have pursued other creative projects—Register running Loamlands and running The Pinhook, Edgerton growing as a visual artist—but on stage, they clicked as though no time had passed at all. The Pinhook was sold out as the packed crowd sang along to nearly every song at one point surprising Edgerton who remarked, “You actually remember our records?” The crowd...

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Schoolboy Q, and a Top-Notch Top Dawg Crew Bring West Coast Flair to Raleigh

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2018 at 9:00 AM

Saturday, May 26> Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek, Raleigh 7:30 p.m., $35–$174, www.livenation.com Top Dawg Entertainment's aptly titled Championship Tour, which stops in Raleigh this weekend, features a rare reunion of much of the label's roster of contemporary hip-hop luminaries. Bringing their West Coast flair, the championship team includes Kendrick Lamar, SZA, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, and more. The leading star is Lamar, who recently made history by becoming the first hip-hop artist to win a Pulitzer Prize. Lamar's 2017 album, DAMN., was "a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism," in...

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Mary Lattimore's Weightless Waves Are Unlike Anything Else

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2018 at 4:00 AM

Saturday, May 26 The Artscenter, Carrboro 8 p.m., $15, www.artscenterlive.org It's hard to make an elevator pitch for Mary Lattimore, a North Carolina-raised musician who now calls Los Angeles home. She plays the harp, but her music is unlike anything you might usually associate with the instrument, which she processes through effects pedals to sublime and otherworldly ends. Lattimore wrote most of her new record, Hundreds of Days, at a residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts in California's Marin Headlands, but her music has always felt like it's free from any earthly bounds. It drifts along in...

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Moogfest, Night Three: Overcoming a Different Kind of Drone

Posted By on Sun, May 20, 2018 at 11:16 AM

Moogfest, Night Three: Jenny Hval, Pete Rock, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, DJ Stingray Downtown Durham Saturday, May 19, 2018 There was a dull ambient roar at Moogfest this weekend, and I’m not even talking about whatever Wes Borland’s drone set was. No, this particular sound emanated from the back end of the cavernous Armory all weekend, coming to a head as it threatened to engulf Jenny Hval’s set on Saturday night. It was the sound of dozens of people, choosing to pound their beers and chat instead of watching the stage. For a delicate set like Hval, their voices became...

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Moogfest, Night Two: Making Sense of a Muddled Divide Between Past and Future

Posted By on Sat, May 19, 2018 at 3:07 PM

Moogfest, Night Two: Yves Tumor, Caterina Barbieri, Katie Gately, Tess Roby Downtown Durham Friday, May 18, 2018 Unlike most other music festivals, Moogfest has an overarching message: “to grow a global community of futurists.” But what a “futurist’ is, or ought to be, or does, is unclear. The auras of the Moog synthesizer and other high-tech musical apparatuses hover over one’s imagining of the festival, as do talks entitled things like “Encoding Information in Waves and Patterns,” which evoke vague, appealing notions about the potential for new technologies to create novel and transcendent musical moments. But Moogfest’s ideal offering of...

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Moogfest, Night One: Ominous Armory Noises to Divine, Danceable Pop

Posted By on Fri, May 18, 2018 at 4:42 PM

Moogfest: Kelela, Author & Punisher, Jon Hopkins Downtown Durham Thursday, May 17, 2018 Moogfest is a land of circuits and loops, so I guess it’s apt that I got stuck on a track between The Carolina Theatre and The Armory all night, as if I too were a digital packet or analog wave spinning in some machine’s brain. After whiling away too much time with wristband-less friends at Accordion Club instead of seeing music, I finally made it to The Armory at ten to see San Diego noise auteur Author & Punisher, a good get in the experimental-music part...

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Moogfest, Night One: Sprinting Toward Synths—And Out of the Rain

Posted By on Fri, May 18, 2018 at 12:56 PM

Moogfest: Helena Hauff, DJ Haram, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Emily Sprague Downtown Durham Thursday, May 17, 2018 Torrential downpours marked the first evening of Moogfest 2018, and everyone dealt with it in their own way. Many people probably tweaked their schedule and camped out at one or two close venues for the night. Others did the same as my friends and I, playing a goofy game of stop-and-go every thirty minutes. We hid under dry Main Street spots and sprinted in bursts when the rain would ease for a second, frequently switching sidewalks to dodge the wild amount of construction...

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Hopscotch Announces Miguel, Grizzly Bear, Belle & Sebastian, Thundercat, and More as This Year's Headliners

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Moogfest might be right around the corner, but today, Hopscotch has announced its headliners for this year's festival. Miguel and Grizzly Bear top the bill, with Belle & Sebastian and jazz-funk titan Thundercat following close behind. MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer leads MC50, which features members of Soundgarden, Fugazi, Zen Guerilla, and King's X. Together, they'll celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of MC5's explosive debut LP, Kick Out the Jams. Liz Phair, whose renowned Exile in Guyville LP turns twenty-five this year, will take an anniversary victory lap of her own. The lineup also features The Revolution—yes, as in "Prince and."...

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Cave Closes on April 30 in Chapel Hill, Local 506 Changes Hands

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 2:06 PM

It's a sad day for music fans who love tiny, rowdy rooms: The Cave, the longstanding Chapel Hill watering hole and incubator for countless local bands, will close on April 30. Mark Connor, who runs the venue, shared the announcement this afternoon. In a statement on The Cave's Facebook page, the club thanked the musicians, bartenders, and patrons who have kept the bar in business over the years. The club had been trying to find a buyer for the past six months, but none came through. "Unfortunately, as of this past Monday it became clear that would not...

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Rakim & Eric B Show Off What it Means to Live and Breathe Hip-Hop

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 1:58 PM

Thursday, April 19 The Ritz, Raleigh 8 p.m., $30, www.ritzraleigh.com While some may not understand the difference between hip-hop culture and rap music, Rakim, one of the all-time greatest emcees, is an innovator in both of the symbiotic realms. He was one of the pioneers that introduced multisyllabic rhyme schemes, way beyond the commercial genesis of The Sugarhill Gang's single "Rappers Delight." Last year, he delivered an amazing live-band performance at Durham's Art of Cool festival with ZooCrü. Now he returns to Raleigh with renowned deejay and producer Eric B. Few hip-hop albums have been as influential as their...

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Thank you, Mr. Tullis, for giving this news the attention it deserves. - Davie County

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