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Friday, March 29, 2013

Valient Thorr announces sixth album, Our Own Masters, out in June

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Listen up, Earthlings: Valient Thorr, the Venusian (by way of Raleigh) prophets of boogie-metal, are back. On June 18, the denim-vested headbangers will release their sixth album, Our Own Masters, a 12-track platter recorded in Athens, Ga. by Harvey Milk drummer Kyle Spence. That’s the backpatch-ready cover art above. If Valient Thorr has proven anything across its catalog, it’s consistency. The band’s blend of classic thrash, punk tempos and New Wave of British Heavy Metal solos provides a perfect complement to the allegorical tales frontdude Valient Himself turns into gruff shout-alongs. Naturally, it’s even better on stage. There’ll be...

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Carrboro band Henbrain goes hi-fi with producer Mitch Easter

Posted By on Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 5:06 PM

If there’s such a thing as a lucky break, this might count: In February, Fidelitorium Recordings, Mitch Easter’s Kernersville studio, offered a free weekend of recording with Easter at the helm to “somebody awesome.” That somebody had to respond to a Facebook post requesting a description of “who you are and what you want to do and an mp3 of your current idea or something you've done in the past.” The winner is Carrboro’s Henbrain, a self-proclaimed “post-metal, psychedelic rock band with two basses and female vocals.” “Their bass-heavy organ freak out prog rock demo just made our jaws drop...

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Live: The Lollipops prove their worth

Posted By on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 11:30 PM

The LollipopsThe Pinhook, DurhamFriday, March 22, 2013 For me, it's standard procedure to listen to a band's albums while you write a review of their live show. The recorded output serves as a refresher for the group's sound, kick-starting your memories and giving you an easy point of comparison. In the case of Raleigh's Lollipops, this procedure is more confusing than helpful. Of all the intriguing young outfits making waves in the Triangle right now, the powerfully fetching psych-pop group boasts the biggest disparity between their recorded output and live show. This isn't to say that one is bad and...

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Live: Ray Wylie Hubbard says no to taping, yes to the blues

Posted By on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Photo by Dan SchramStill pictures: Ray Wylie Hubbard in Raleigh Ray Wylie HubbardBerkeley Cafe, RaleighMonday, March 25 Give them what they want, and give it to them again right before you sell them something: Ray Wylie Hubbard began and ended his Monday night set in Raleigh by offering the sizable audience “Snake Farm,” a tune even David Letterman had to request recently. Between playing the song and its reprise, Hubbard reached back to sample songs from his deep catalog and tell a few tales, too. Talking about co-writing with Hayes Carll, he smiled widely and said, “It’s really great to...

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Lyle Lovett to headline Band Together NC's May benefit

Posted By on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Band Together NC, an organization rallying musicians to raise money for nonprofits, has finalized the lineup for its spring concert, one that will likely garner a lot of attention. On May 4, Grammy-winning country singer and actor Lyle Lovett will headline at Cary's Koka Booth Amphitheatre joined by rising Durham folk-pop outfit Delta Rae and Chatham County Line, Raleigh's great bluegrass export. General admission tickets cost $34.50 in advance, while reserved seats are set at $69.50. The VIP package costs $150 and allows you to enjoy "catered food and beverage, premier viewing of the main stage, and a silent auction."...

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Cat's Cradle to open back bar

Posted By on Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Carrboro is growing; so shall the Cat's Cradle. Cradle owner Frank Heath has begun work on a small back bar for the longtime Carrboro venue that will serve Cradle overflow and non-concertgoers. Steve Balcom of The Splinter Group, which handles publicity work for the Cradle, confirmed the news Friday afternoon. According to Balcom, the freestanding bar—which does not have a name or an opening date yet—will, unlike the East Main Street venue, serve liquor drinks. It will be located directly behind Fleet Feet Sports, near the Cradle's back smoking patio. "If you want to chill out in between bands, if...

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Live: Four songwriters test new waters (Videos)

Posted By on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Last Thursday, the Casbah in Durham continued its songwriters in the round series. The first installment featured Heather McEntire, Hiss Golden Messenger, Amy Ray and Phil Cook. The second installment featured an equally stellar lineup of Christy Smith, Justin Robinson, Shawn Luby and Katharine Whalen. Kudos to the Casbah for setting up this series which really takes these performers out of their comfort zone while trading stories and debuting new material. I hope it continues. Christy Smith (Tender Fruit): "Get Out of the Car" Justin Robinson: "Space is the Deepest Silence You'll Never Hear" Shawn Luby (Humble Tripe): "Old Time...

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Live: The Morning After finds unlikely pop success

Posted By on Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Turning to Jac Cain as The Morning After stepped off stage Friday night at The Pour House, I asked him for his impressions of the group: "You know," said the longtime sound engineer, "on paper it shouldn't work. But the thing is, it does." On paper, The Morning After has all the traditional elements of a bluegrass band, plus a soul singer and drummer. What The Morning After has created is a good-time, pop-and-soul band backed with the sort of solid instrumentation that allows lead singer Rachel Koontz to let loose vocally. Below, check two clips from Friday's performance. "Where...

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Jimmy Webb's songs and stories at Elon University

Posted By on Fri, Mar 15, 2013 at 2:31 PM

“I never thought of myself as a country songwriter, really,” Jimmy Webb mused between renditions of “Highwayman”—a chart-topper for Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson—and “Galveston,” one of Glen Campbell’s biggest hits. Ironic timing for such an observation, but it’s true that Webb was never bound to any one genre: Like the 20th-century titans who preceded him, including George Gershwin and Johnny Mercer, his territory has been simply the American popular songbook. Webb, who performed solo Thursday evening at Whitley Auditorium on the Elon campus in Burlington, is arguably the last of those legends left standing,...

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Live: Jacco Gardner and Schooner tweak pop in Durham (Videos)

Posted By on Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Stepping through the front door of The Pinhook, Jacco Gardner and company resembled a military battalion marching in lock step. Professional and organized, the group was there to get a job done. As they stepped on the stage Thursday evening, I had been interested to see how their lush soundscape of an album Cabinet of Curiosities would translate in the sometimes unforgiving confines of the Pinhook. What unfolded was a refreshingly delightful psychedelic performance lead by Gardner and accented by a solid crew. Below are a couple of videos from the evening, including Gardner and openers, Schooner. Schooner's "Trapped" Jacco...

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Live: Diplo does Diplo at a Major Lazer show, and little else

Posted By on Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 5:18 PM

MAJOR LAZER CAT'S CRADLE, CARRBORO THURSDAY, MARCH 7, 2013 While waiting for the stagehands at Thursday night’s sold-out Major Lazer concert at Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle, I found myself in a conversation with an attractive, 26-year-old Hare Krishna woman about how people abducted by aliens often see visions of giant owls. Aside from taking orders from Major Lazer hypeman Walshy Fire when he said, “I need everyone in the building to take off their shirts right now,” and participating in a “Harlem Shake” episode with the actual label (Diplo’s Mad Decent) that’s responsible for releasing the song, that was probably the...

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Friday, March 8, 2013

New ReverbNation initiative Music For Good helps bands direct money to charity

Posted By on Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Three clicks are all it takes for a musician to sign up and sell a song on ReverbNation. Now the Durham based music-marketing platform is making it just as easy for artists to donate to charity, too. Music For Good, a new e-commerce spinoff of the site, allows musicians to sell songs directly to their fan base while directing half the proceeds to a nonprofit of their choice. Pre-approved charities include those working toward clean water, funding cancer research, righting injustice and poverty and spreading music education. UNC-Chapel Hill’s own Beat Making Lab, which fosters music creation internationally, is...

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Live: Mandolin Orange shines in its little N.C. hometown (Videos)

Posted By on Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Photo by Dan SchramComing home: Mandolin Orange Saturday night in the small town of Warrenton, N.C., Mandolin Orange returned to the Southeast after several weeks touring in the North. Among those stops, they taught a workshop at the famed Berkelee College of Music (which rejected member Andrew Marlin as an applicant years ago) and the Folk Alliance Conference in Toronto. Warrenton is the childhood home of Marlin, and many of his family and friends turned out for the performance at Cast Stone Systems, an industrial warehouse outfitted with a stage made from recycled materials. A large crowd with many requests...

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Live: Slaid Cleaves plays new material in Durham (Videos)

Posted By on Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Last Thursday at the Casbah, Texas singer-songwriter Slaid Cleaves returned to the Triangle, accompanied by Scrappy Jud Newcomb. Cleaves has not been in the area in nearly four years, so he brought along a batch of new songs from an upcoming album titled Still Fighting The War. The title track, which you can hear below, surrounds military personnel returning home and dealing with reentry into the civilian world and the consequences of combat. The second song, "Go for the Gold," is a gospel number performed unplugged for the encore. Cleaves seemed pleased both with the sizable crowd and the sound...

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Pet-Tich-Eye's Ashlie White responds to criticism of her ambitious project

Posted By on Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Ashlie White certainly isn't lacking for ambition. The 30-year-old graduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill is also the instigator of Pet-Tich-Eye, a compelling (and confounding) project hoping to bring together local musicians, visual artists and community organizations. Close to many in the Triangle music scene—she's in a relationship with Hammer No More the Fingers' Joe Hall and is a close friend of The Rosebuds' Ivan Howard—White approached 10 of her sonically inclined cohorts, asking them to recruit two more musicians they don't normally work with to record a one-off song together. The resulting collaborations include members of Megafaun, Mount Moriah,...

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Can you fix the link to the MP3 download?

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