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Friday, May 31, 2013

Video: James McCartney visits Durham

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2013 at 5:38 PM

Alternating between piano and acoustic guitar, James McCartney played solo Thursday night at the Casbah in Durham. McCartney is currently touring the Southeast, playing small clubs behind his debut LP, Me. The release showcases a collection of breezy pop numbers that at times touch on the abstract. The Durham crowd welcomed McCartney but seemed a bit unsure of what they were witnessing. The treat was an hour-long performance by a musician not likely to visit this area very often; still, he's a talented singer-songwriter and rangy instrumentalist who happens to look a bit familiar. As the evening came to a...

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Carolina Performing Arts unveils packed 2013-14 season

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2013 at 11:32 AM

All hail the power of competition. How it drives us to be better than we could ever be without it. Residing in towns separated by a scant 11 miles, Duke Performances and Carolina Performing Arts may not possess the same fierce rivalry as their hardwood counterparts, but their pursuits of excellence have escalated along similar trajectories. CPA, the annual performance series at UNC-Chapel HIll, has raised the stakes once more with its 2013-14 season. Running from September to April, the slate begins with one of the program's most exciting performances to date. Psych-funk legend George Clinton will lead his...

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Superchunk update: New album on the way, Laura Ballance steps aside from touring band

Posted By on Wed, May 29, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Photo by Jason Arthurs At this point, it’s safe to say Superchunk is back and won’t be leaving us again anytime soon. With 2010’s comeback album Majesty Shredding, the veteran indie rockers proved they could still deliver the goods. But when the quartet issues its hashtag-ready 10th album, I Hate Music, on August 20, they’ll prove that those same goods have never been better. Potentially the band’s fullest and most overtly pop album, I Hate Music marries indie-rock crunch to arena-rock gloss, big hooks to punk urgency, and ringing chords to jagged leads. Supported by clear, punchy production, the album’s...

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Birds and Arrows, but no cello (tonight at Casbah)

Posted By on Thu, May 23, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Photo by Bill Hudson for Birds and ArrowsBack to basics Birds and Arrows’ recent guest spot on WUNC-FM’s “The State of Things” found husband-and-wife Pete and Andrea Connolly joined on banjo by Kyra Moore—but notably without longtime cellist Josh Starmer, who recently departed the band after four years. Starmer joined Birds and Arrows in 2009 and recorded 2011’s We’re Gonna Run and 2013’s Coyotes with them. Earlier this month, the band sent a letter to its email list in which Starmer explained his decision to devote more time to his research work at UNC-Chapel Hill. “While I’m extremely lucky to...

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Videos: Last Year's Men, The Lollipops and more gather at Slim's to support Elijah Von Cramon

Posted By on Wed, May 22, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Last weekend at Slim's, more than 15 bands played to show their support and raise funds for Paint Fumes lead singer Elijah Von Cramon at "LIJApalooza." As detailed in last week's Indy Week, Von Cramon recently spent considerable time in the hospital after being hit by a car. Those on stage and in the crowd responded, coming out to support Von Cramon, who was in attendance and front and center throughout much of the weekend. If you weren't able to make the event but would still like to support, you can by purchasing Waste of Time: A Tribute to Paint...

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Saturday: The Backsliders, PKM raise money to battle Parkinson's Disease

Posted By on Thu, May 16, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Image courtesy of Return to Comboland Guitarist and producer Mike Gardner may forever be most renowned as one-third of the ‘80s hard-rock outfit PKM. With bassist Pee Wee Watson and drummer Kenny Soule, PKM managed a timely blend of styles. The band could meet Sunset Strip sleaze and Texas blues boogie, birthing a groove-carving cousin to Van Halen and ZZ Top, as easily as it could mine Joe Jackson’s crisp pop or Journey’s stadium rock scope. They shared stages with a motley host of headliners: among them, Bob Seger, Cheap Trick, Ozzy Osbourne, Stryper, .38 Special, R.E.M. and the B-52s....

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Third Expression will roll tape at Marsh Woodwinds

Posted By on Wed, May 15, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Photo courtesy of the bandThe Third Expression Concerts at Marsh Woodwinds are too few and far between, given that it’s the best listening room in Raleigh. You can forgive owner Rodney Marsh for the infrequency: His priority is the instrument sales and repair store downstairs, so the shows in his second-floor space—lovingly decorated with a sensory-overload motif—are a bonus, born of his desire to fill the building with warm and radiant sounds when time and circumstances allow. The next such occasion arrives Thursday, May 16, when Durham instrumental band The Third Expression sets up for a live recording in the...

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Interview: Lost in the Trees' Ari Picker discusses the band's new, non-orchestral lineup

Posted By on Wed, May 15, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Photo by Jordan LawrenceAri Picker leading his new-look Trees at Phuzz Phest About a month ago, the crowd at Krankies Coffee in Winston-Salem was treated to a far different Lost in the Trees than anyone had seen previously. Playing the city's third annual Phuzz Phest, the Chapel Hill outfit—known for swelling strings, complex arrangements, and the uninhibited emotions of frontman Ari Picker—debuted a new line-up. There was no cello. No violin. No French horn. No orchestral instruments of any kind. Joah Tunnell—once Picker's bandmate in The Never, now the husband of keyboard player Emma Nadeau—added guitar, filling the gap left...

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Live: Phil Cook and his Guitarheels celebrate Ry Cooder

Posted By on Mon, May 13, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Photo by Jordan LawrencePhil Cook and the Guitarheels Phil Cook and the GuitarheelsHaw River Ballroom, SaxapahawFriday, May 10, 2013 When it was released in 1972, Boomer's Story felt original, even though it contained no original material. As with much of Ry Cooder's work at the time, the influential LP features his versions of traditional folk numbers and blues favorites, soul songs and diverse instrumentals. The sounds are cobbled together from all over the spectrum of Americana, lush Latin melodies sharing space with rowdy Band-style folk-rock. With Boomer's Story, the songs aren't nearly as fascinating as the way they're put together,...

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Live: The Darkness thrusts itself upon Raleigh

Posted By on Mon, May 13, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Photo by Scarlet PageYeah, baby. “We’re The Darkness from the United Kingdom, and we’re here on business!” By the time frontman Justin Hawkins made that introduction early in Friday night’s set, it was unnecessary: The nearly full Lincoln Theatre was clearly familiar with the British quartet, and the band was giving the crowd exactly what they came to see. While opening with the crude, autobiographical “Every Inch of You” from last year’s comeback record Hot Cakes, The Darkness eventually played through almost all of its breakthrough debut Permission to Land, only leaving off album closer “Holding My Own” from an...

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Two weeks without the Possum, Part Two: Tom Maxwell considers George Jones' vocal poignancy

Posted By on Fri, May 10, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Editor's Note: Country legend George Jones died two weeks ago, on April 26, 2013, in Nashville. Longtime area musicians John Howie Jr. and Tom Maxwell provided reflections on Jones. Below, Maxwell, meditates on Jones' voice and why it had the impact it did. Meanwhile, Howie presents an overview of Jones' life from the perspective of a budding country fan whose own band went on to open for Jones. Read that piece here. George Jones is gone now, finally. It’s surprising he made it this long, given his once prodigious appetite for alcoholic and chemical refreshment. It’s possible that he...

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Two weeks without the Possum, Part One: John Howie Jr. reflects on his youth and an evening with George Jones

Posted By on Fri, May 10, 2013 at 9:21 AM

Editor's Note: Country legend George Jones died two weeks ago, on April 26, 2013, in Nashville. Longtime area musicians John Howie Jr. and Tom Maxwell provided reflections on Jones. Below, Howie presents an overview of Jones' life from the perspective of a budding country fan whose own band went on to open for Jones. Maxwell, meanwhile, meditates on Jones' voice and why it had the impact it did; read that piece here. Legend has it that the great Frank Sinatra once referred to George Jones as, “The second best male singer in America.” It’s one of my favorite quotes...

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Love Language returns with new single and a third LP due in July

Posted By on Thu, May 9, 2013 at 3:58 PM

“Calm Down” (streaming below) is the opener from Ruby Red—the third album from Chapel Hill and Raleigh's reliably hook-happy and heartbroken The Love Language, due via Merge Records on July 23. That’s the cover art at the top of the post. “Calm Down” is also the first of a handful of songs on Ruby Red that finds the normally grandiose pop outfit digging into deep garage grooves, taking cues from rising Bay Area rock acts such as Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall. Stuart McLamb—the outfit’s singer, songwriter and only reliable member—seems to have been paying attention to his...

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Raleigh hardcore bands Last Words and Abuse. ready new LPs for To Live a Lie Records

Posted By on Thu, May 9, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Since debuting in 2005 with a split 7-inch featuring California’s Godstomper and Maryland’s Magrudergrind, To Live A Lie Records—the one-man operation of Raleigh’s Will Butler—has steadily issued solid slabs of grindcore, powerviolence and hardcore from bands across the globe. Of the 91 titles in its catalog, though, only a few are homegrown. Of particular note: Thieves’ 2010 EP Positive Vibrations, Torch Runner’s 2012 album Committed To The Ground and Brian Walsby’s latest Manchild book. This summer, To Live A Lie’s local-interest catalog will grow with the release of full-length debuts from two young Raleigh bands, each spun from the...

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Mandolin Orange's third album, This Side of Jordan, out on Aug. 6 via Yep Roc Records

Posted By on Thu, May 9, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Photo by D.L. AndersonMandolin Orange Long one of the Triangle's more popular young bands, Mandolin Orange is now taking a big step toward the national spotlight. In an announcement earlier this week via CMT Edge—the country TV station's online sounding board for alternative Americana—the Carrboro folk duo revealed that This Side of Jordan, the group's third album, will be released by Yep Roc Records, the N.C. label that claims such stalwarts as Nick Lowe and Robyn Hitchcock. The album drops on Aug. 6. Lead single "House of Stone" is currently streaming here. Arriving on the scene with the 2010 debut,...

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Pierce Freelon (The Beast) and Apple Juice Kid's Beat Making Lab now subject of PBS digital series

Posted By on Fri, May 3, 2013 at 11:50 AM

A new digital series from PBS will shed some national light on one of the Triangle's more unique music initiatives. In the fall of 2011, local producer Apple Juice Kid, otherwise known as Stephen Levitin, began teaching a class at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Called the Beat Making Lab, the course equipped college students with the skills and know how to produce high-quality hip-hop beats. In the spring, Mark Katz, the music professor who helped create the class and taught alongside Apple Juice, wasn't able to participate, so Pierce Freelon, a hip-hop scholar as well as the...

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Without Doc and Rosa Lee Watson, Merlefest marches on

Posted By on Wed, May 1, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Photo by Bob Alexander/Courtesy of MerlefestChatham County Line gathers 'round The 26th annual MerleFest returned to the campus of Wilkes Community College last weekend. One major figure was missing, of course: This year's Merlefest somberly marked the first without the festival's patriarch, Doc Watson, who passed away in May 2012. Many asked if, after the passing of Watson, his beloved gathering in western North Carolina would change. “This year we thought it was important to celebrate the life and music of our dear friend Doc Watson,” answered Ted Hagaman, director of the festival. “For the past 25 years, he has...

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I want to take a minute to thank the Indy for covering these events. Music is the area's main export. …

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Comments

I want to take a minute to thank the Indy for covering these events. Music is the area's main export. …

by Russell Scott Day on The Cave Closes on April 30 in Chapel Hill, Local 506 Changes Hands (Music)

Boots Riley has a Durham connection, including influence from the civil rights movement, worth exploring.

by Walter Riley on At UNC, Catch the Rapper Who Puts the "Conscious" in "Conscious Rap" (Music)

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