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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tess Mangum Ocaña, former ArtsCenter booking agent, lands job with new downtown Durham concert series

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 6:00 PM

When Tess Mangum Ocaña left The ArtsCenter last December after a 10-year tenure there, many wondered if she’d land on her feet in a way that allowed her to stay in the Triangle and maintain her stellar track record as a music programmer. Wonder no more: As Downtown Durham Inc.’s new special events coordinator, Ocaña is already at work planning a summer music series for the CCB Plaza. The series, to begin May 9, will run Thursdays through August from 7–8:30 p.m. and feature “live, free music that reflects Durham’s funky, cool diversity, and all entirely local bands,” Ocaña...

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Live: Southern Culture on the Skids in one of their preferred rooms (Video)

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2013 at 3:51 PM

The Berkeley Cafe is one of the definitive venues in which to see local legends Southern Culture on the Skids. It could be the intimacy of the place or how the group's sound translates in the awkward room's layout—I'm not certain. What is certain, though, is that the Berk breathes new life into the group's material. When they play the Berkeley Cafe, they bring a little something extra. And at the end of the night, with ears ringing and a variety of drunken people exiting, the lights come up to reveal empty beer bottles everywhere and remnants of fried chicken...

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Live: Toddlers inaugurate their new EP (Video)

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Friday night at Kings Barcade, the Toddlers released their highly anticipated EP, 19. The evening began, though, with the frantic rock of Black Zinfandel, followed by the catchy and strange instrumentals of the Savage Knights. After the Toddlers took the stage, it soon became apparent that they are one of the most noteworthy new groups in the area. It seems that, with each show, they become tighter and much more comfortable stretching out with their material. With their EP out and focus forming on a full-length debut, the Toddlers should be on every to-watch list you've got. BLACK ZINFANDEL SAVAGE...

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Live: Some Army celebrates its Kickstarter success (Video)

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Tuesday night at The Pinhook, Some Army celebrated the successful funding of their Kickstarter campaign. They surpassed their goal of $7,000 to produce and record their first full-length album at Mitch Easter's Fidelitorium. Last night's set featured several new tunes, intended for the as-yet-untitled upcoming album. They played a fairly brief gig; considering it was as an early weekday evening, a sizable crowd remained. Below, Some Army performs"Telling Lies"...

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Pet-Tich-Eye brings together Triangle all-stars, but to what end?

Posted By on Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 12:16 PM

When it's used correctly, Kickstarter is a magnificent tool to get a project off the ground. The website allows users to post campaigns for stuff they would really like to create—new electronic devices, a Bicycle Bus, animated comics backed by big-time directors—and for the makers to solicit donations using rewards, which often include copies of the finished product. One catch: Each campaign chooses a set period of time to reach their fundraising goal; if they don't make it, they get nothing. Obviously, this has been a boon for independent recording artists. Just yesterday, Chapel Hill's Some Army found success...

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Tonight: Antiseen gets naughty in Raleigh

Posted By on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 11:53 AM

In June, the rock-novelty manufacturer Aggronautix unveiled the latest in its line of “Throbbleheads,” resin figurines cast in the likeness of some of rock’s most notorious figures: Jeff Clayton, leader of the enduring Charlotte punk rock band Antiseen would join perpetually nodding luminaries such as GG Allin, Wendy O. Williams, The Dwarves and Meatmen figurehead Tesco Vee. It’s telling, too, that Clayton’s figure—bleeding from the scalp and clutching a baseball bat that’s wrapped in barbed wire—is closest in appearance to the blood-spattered Allin figurine: Antiseen backed Allin on 1991’s Murder Junkies, and share a certain, umm, je ne sais...

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Friday night: UNC explores Alan Lomax

Posted By on Thu, Feb 21, 2013 at 10:15 AM

The Southern Folklife Collection puts on a lot of cool events at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill every year, each surveying various aspects of traditional music. Few seem more perfectly suited to its mission, though, than Friday's free program, "The Southern Journey of Alan Lomax." That's also the name of a book published last year by W. W. Norton & Company. The 136 pages document the legendary folklorist's 1959-60 journey through the backcountry of Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee. Along the way, Lomax captured a wide swath of Southern musicians with photographs and audio recordings. Friday's...

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Whatever Brains on recording their forthcoming third LP

Posted By on Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 3:35 PM

If you're into bands that stay the same with each record they release, Raleigh's Whatever Brains are not for you. In 2011, after a string of compelling 7-inches, the punk pranksters offered their self-titled debut, a marvelous mess of twisted psych-rock detritus that shifted from aggressively mumbled verses to sarcastically epic choruses without missing a beat. The next year, they released another LP called Whatever Brains, not caring one iota that this move might confuse ill-informed consumers. The second album is sharper and more straightforward, getting most of its mileage from the dizzying interplay between guitarists Rich Ivey and...

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Live: Chatham County Line brings the listening room to Fletcher Opera Theater (Videos)

Posted By on Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Roughly two and a half years after Chatham County Line first appeared at Raleigh’s Fletcher Opera Theater to record Sight & Sound—released last year as both a live DVD and CD/LP—the Triangle’s preeminent purveyors of Americana returned to the auditorium last Friday to a sold-out crowd. Much of the set was stacked with the quartet’s best-known newer cuts—singer/guitarist Dave Wilson joked that these are hits as far as the band’s mothers are concerned—to the delight of the appreciative audience. The band did reach back nearly a decade to “WSM (650),” from its self-titled debut. Wilson introduced the early tune by...

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Mount Moriah celebrates Miracle Temple release with a free in-store performance in Durham

Posted By on Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 1:20 PM

On Tuesday, Mount Moriah will finally release Miracle Temple, the Durham country-rock band’s captivating second album. To celebrate, the band will squeeze its gear between the vinyl stacks at Bull City Records for a free in-store performance at 6 p.m. Hungry attendees can have their dinnertime pangs quelled by pizza and popsicles; Pie Pushers will be parked outside, and Locopops is conveniently located next door to Bull City Records. The follow-up to 2010’s all-too-brief self-titled album—which Merge Records reissued on vinyl last year, whetting appetites for this new batch—Miracle Temple continues the close interplay between singer Heather McEntire and...

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Midtown Dickens enter indefinite hiatus as members pursue other projects

Posted By on Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Photo courtesy of Trekky RecordsMidtown Dickens, all together In eight years, Durham's Midtown Dickens transformed from a lovably amateur duo into one of the most purposeful and refined folk outfits in North Carolina. It was one of the more impressive transitions made by any local band in that time. But now, after three albums and a recent rise to some national recognition, Midtown Dickens is more than likely finished, taking an indefinite hiatus as its members move on to different projects. "I'm really proud of us and what we accomplished last year with Midtown Dickens," says founding singer and songwriter...

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Desaparecidos return to Carrboro, highlighting Conor Oberst's inadequacies

Posted By on Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Photo by Zach HollowellConor Oberst (left) with Desaparecidos Desaparecidos were not the first musical enterprise for Conor Oberst. By the time the bombastic post-hardcore outfit played its first show in 2001, the Nebraskan songwriter had already released three solo cassettes and three LPs as Bright Eyes, the feverish and emotional folk project that would catapult him to the pinnacle of indie stardom. But Desaparecidos’ mix of violent emotions and unflinching political tirades allowed Oberst to solidify a brash songwriting voice that would make him simultaneously one of the most exciting and frustrating artists of the last decade. Today, with the...

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Live: The Dead Tongues and Ryan Gustafson have their night (Video)

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 3:06 PM

When Ryan Gustafson and company stepped on stage Saturday night at the Cat's Cradle, he barely could have had a stronger band behind him. From the allstar back line of James Wallace and Jeff Crawford to Thomas Costello, Thomas Simpson and Mark Simonsen, each member of the group has their hand in several projects. Still, despite the show being booked as The Dead Tongues, it was definitely the Ryan Gustafson party. The band kicked off a nearly hour-long set that reached back to his Donkey LP to reprise "Soul Train." From there, they ran through most of the new...

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Live: Chris Stamey gets intricate (Video)

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Chris Stamey's Lovesick Blues seems to be a breezy album, but keep listening, and notice the layers of depth. Going into Friday's performance at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, I was interested to see how they would pull off those arrangements live. Backed by an 18-piece band, Chris Stamey and company delivered a concert not like one I've seen in recent memory. It was meticulous, an onslaught of meticulousness characteristic of Stamey's high expectations for himself and whatever he presents. The evening began with Skylar Gudasz stretching out on the piano (and joined by Casey Toll) for a strong dose...

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Friday, February 8, 2013

HELP WANTED: PineCone and Old Hat's campaign to restore ancient recordings from WPTF ends today

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Last month, PineCone, or the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, and Raleigh archival folk label Old Hat Records joined forces to launch a campaign to crowd fund an anthology of bluegrass and country music from artists that performed on the Depression-era North Carolina radio program “Crazy Barn Dance.” The show took its name from Crazy Water Crystals, the snake oil elixir served as a sponsor, and aired Saturday nights on Raleigh’s WPTF and Charlotte’s WBT. During its time, it showcased roots pioneers like the Monroe Brothers, the Dixon Brothers, the Blue Sky Boys and Snuffy Jenkins. Old Hat founder...

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Jphono1 releases "Know Your Clouds" with two weekend shows

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 10:34 AM

John Harrison, guitarist and vocalist for Chapel Hill fuzzy smart-rockers North Elementary, plays two release shows this weekend for his latest solo record. Know Your Clouds, the second LP under the Jphono1 identity, diverges a bit from the finger-picked debut, especially in the addition of hypnotic extended instrumental sections. Harrison's newest gadget, a Roland JUNO synthesizer, features prominently, resulting in textures that range from early Beck abstractions to noisy, homegrown psych-outs. Tonight at 9:30, Jphono1 plays Chapel Hill's Nightlight with Prisms, Ye Olde Shoppe and Wichita Falls. Tomorrow sees a 2 p.m. in-store at Flyleaf Books, alongside Wesley Wolfe and...

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tonight in Chapel Hill: A performance of Terry Riley's In C

Posted By on Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 3:29 PM

In many ways, Terry Riley’s 1964 composition In C set the bar for musical minimalism. The single-page score collects 53 short melodic motifs, to be played in sequence, though not necessarily simultaneously, by any number of musicians with any variety of instruments. It is, in essence, a series of contradictions subject to the chemistry of whichever ensemble is performing it. “Minimalism began with this apotheosis. You couldn’t come up with something at once simpler and more sparkling than In C, or more relentlessly chugging yet so infinitely slow,” New York Magazine critic Justin Davidson wrote in 2009. “The piece...

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Airstrip lands with intensity at Kings

Posted By on Mon, Feb 4, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Photo by Jordan LawrenceMatt Park and Airstrip land with intensity AirstripKings, RaleighSaturday, Feb. 2, 2013 Airstrip, led by former-Veelee partner Matthew Park, plays hook-laden indie rock with unusual heft. It's a trait that makes sense when you consider the personnel: Bassist Nick Petersen and drummer John Crouch also constitute the rhythm section of the slow-burning Chapel Hill metal troupe Horseback. But as Park will tell you, the aim of the band's aesthetic isn't so much heaviness as intensity. Airstrip's songs resound with strung-out feelings of frustration and isolation, crystallized by oblique observations that seethe with devastating sarcasm. Willing, the band's...

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Live: Ty Segall sings rock 'n' roll in Raleigh

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Photo by Bryan C. ReedPacked room, real close: Ty Segall Ty SegallKings, RaleighWednesday, Jan. 30, 2013 If rock ‘n’ roll has ceded its commercial and cultural dominance, you wouldn’t have known it Wednesday night, when Ty Segall stirred a large, and largely underage, crowd into a screaming mass. This was Segall’s fourth Triangle visit since 2011, his third at the 250-capacity Kings Barcade in downtown Raleigh, and the first to sell out in advance. Segall’s growing local fanbase reflects the sharp ascent in national prominence that has followed Segall’s 2011 signing with the label Drag City. Since then, the 25-year-old...

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Kid stuff: The Buzztown Band makes the children sing—and the parents content, too

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 3:25 PM

As a veteran of the Triangle music scene, Brian Buzby has faced his share of low turnouts. But when he and his Buzztown Band took to the Broad Street Cafe stage two weeks ago, it was, as he happily proclaimed before kicking off the first number, the largest gathering he had ever played for. But there was a key difference between this gig and his previous ones: The average age of Sunday’s crowd could be counted on one hand. Indeed, some were so small they had to be held. The Buzztown Band formed when Buzby found himself feeling, well,...

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Simple Music Video Series: Old Quarter's "Wolves"

Posted By on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Today's session features Old Quarter, a band that, despite having released only one EP to date, is one of the more promising groups in the Triangle. Old Quarter carries the alt-country torch, so we didn't dream of doing this acoustic session anywhere but Slim's. Old Quarter's sound combines some of the best elements of traditional country with a rock 'n' roll propulsion, putting them in the same conversation that includes The Backsliders and American Aquarium. With only an EP out, they've got a lot further to go to stay in that conversation, of course. At least there's a full-length...

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So excited!!! (About the Dickens show, although I'm also happy that things are working out for you, Tamara. Tell Dr …

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Have to say Im onboard with this take on The Beatles influence and joy in my life... not at all …

by Liam Brady on David Bazan Discusses The Beatles and the Next Chapter of Pedro the Lion, Roaring Again After a Decade of Quiet (Music)

So excited!!! (About the Dickens show, although I'm also happy that things are working out for you, Tamara. Tell Dr …

by vidvis on Midtown Dickens to Reunite For One Show Next Month (Music)

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