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Friday, January 31, 2014

Live: Queens of the Stone Age heat up Raleigh

Posted By on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Queens of the Stone Age, Chelsea Wolfe Thursday, Jan. 30 Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh  The South is notorious for its habit of essentially shutting down (Hey, Atlanta.) after only a few inches of anything wintry. Following a couple days of being cooped indoors, some people in the Raleigh area found the release they needed at Thursday night’s sold-out Queens of the Stone Age concert in Memorial Auditorium. It began with opener Chelsea Wolfe, whose dark, sometimes droning heaviness offered a fittingly slow start to the thaw. Her ghostly vocals wafted through a hazy atmosphere, with barrages of guitar and drums puncturing the...

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Live: NC Opera presents La Bohème in Raleigh's big room

Posted By on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 1:08 PM

North Carolina Opera presents La Boheme Memorial Auditorium, Raleigh Sunday, Jan. 26 There are two questions I always find myself asking after watching a performance by the North Carolina Opera: Was this a creditable presentation for a second- or third-tier U.S. opera company, and was it something I would recommend to non-opera fans? After seeing NC Opera’s production of Puccini’s La Bohème last weekend, the first question was much easier to answer than the second. We really do have a treasure in the NC Opera company. It regularly brings internationally recognized singers to the Triangle for major roles, while filling...

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

"Ask me when I am no more": The Robyn Hitchcock interview

Posted By on Thu, Jan 30, 2014 at 2:08 PM

When Robyn Hitchcock takes the stage for a two-night stand in Cat’s Cradle’s Back Room on Feb. 4 and 5, he's almost certain to highlight songs from the soon-to-be-released Love From London. But nothing is set in stone for a man who has a catalog of more than 500 songs. From the skewed art-pop of his first band, The Soft Boys (named for a pair of William Burroughs titles) through his years as an ’80s college-radio cult hero to his current status as, er, elder statesman, this prolific Cambridge, England-born singer-songwriter has sustained a career rooted firmly and unabashedly in...

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Nikki Hill's long way home

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Nikki Hill’s show at Local 506 this Thursday night is something of a homecoming. The soul singer and her Blues Music Award-winning husband, guitarist Matt Hill, met in the Triangle before migrating to St. Louis together more than two years ago. When they left, Nikki was a supportive wife and music addict, not a performer. Hopefully, then, she will excuse the locals for their surprise over the prodigal’s artistic emergence. “I had no idea she was a musician,” says Glenn Boothe, who employed her as a bartender at Local 506. The same club where she once slung drinks now...

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Kat Robichaud hopes to Kickstart her career after The Voice

Posted By on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Almost three months have passed since Raleigh’s Kat Robichaud was eliminated from The Voice. The singing competition had been kind to her for the most part, providing Robichaud with a grand forum for belting her big notes and kicking her stretch pants high. She stage-dove and earned some 30,000-plus Twitter fans. Ultimately, Tessanne Chin grabbed the title, and Kat and the rest of the contestants entered a new phase—one without judges or a network to guide their futures.  “Reckless Boys” by The Design: Robichaud spent over a year creating this stop motion music video out of a Lite-Brite, completing the...

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Video: At the brink of stardom, Lee Bains III gives Moral Monday a shout

Posted By on Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires brought their Southern rock thunder to Slim's on Friday night, all the way from Birmingham, Ala. From the ear-splitting decibel level pouring from their amplifiers to the howling lead vocals and a nonstop flow of greasy guitar licks, it's hard for me not to get excited about this group, especially as they inject new energy into an oft-tired genre. During the evening, they dedicated a new protest song written to combat Alabama's Legislature to North Carolina's own Moral Monday coalition of North Carolina. The tune takes its name from Alabama's state motto,...

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Pop Up Chorus launches at Motorco tonight

Posted By on Mon, Jan 27, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Debuting tonight at Motorco, the Community Chorus Project's new Pop Up Chorus is a chance for adults whose busy lives don't allow for rigorous rehearsal rehearsal schedules to test out their pipes, in a motley group setting, on songs drawn from indie rock as well as contemporary and classic pop. Every Monday through St. Patrick’s Day, the ad hoc chorus will assemble to learn and perform two songs selected by theme. The theme for tonight’s event is "Indie Boy/Girl Duets," featuring “Sometimes Always” by the Jesus and Mary Chain with Hope Sandoval and “Young Folks” by Peter Bjorn and John. Singers of...

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Live: Hilliard Ensemble performs in Duke Chapel for the first and last wonderful time

Posted By on Fri, Jan 24, 2014 at 3:17 PM

“This is our first and last performance in these beautiful acoustics,” said baritone Gordon Jones before Britain’s Hilliard Ensemble sang its encore, Peter Erskine’s “Romeo and Juliet,” in Duke Chapel on Tuesday night. It was the sole piece of American music on a program that spanned 12th-century France and 21st-century Estonia, all knitted together in the traditions of sacred or courtly polyphony. The chance to hear these four male singers, unaccompanied and relying only on the heavenly natural reverb of the vaulted chapel for amplification, would have been special in any case. It was especially so because Hilliard Ensemble is...

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Lollipops plan new self-titled LP for spring, play Slim’s tonight

Posted By on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Iggy Cosky admits that organization was never his strong suit. Cosky, the leader of Raleigh band The Lollipops, says he has written and recorded more than 500 songs. Since joining Raleigh’s Diggup Tapes roster in 2012, though, the band he fronts has yet to release a physical album, despite several lo-fi LPs and EPs on Bandcamp.  “I just don’t know what to do with them,” Cosky says of his extensive songbook. But that is changing: The Lollipops will release a full-band record this spring. The self-titled effort includes tracks from Pop Narcotics and Your Royal Masochist & The Love...

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PineCone, other area nonprofits vie for technology makeover

Posted By on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Old-timey music has charms, but old computers do not. Few organizations know that better than PineCone, the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, currently in the running for a technology makeover from Southeastern communications agency, Milner, Inc.  The prize, one of two $35,000 transformations, could provide an important boost for an organization that pours most of its budget toward programming and is now dealing with the added resource burden of each September’s IBMA throwdown in Raleigh. With money going to talent, facilities and marketing costs, the three full-time staffers are left in a less-than-ideal computing situation. “We try to put as...

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mykki Blanco represents the new normal

Posted By on Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 10:59 AM

A few weeks ago, Mykki Blanco—a hyper-poetic noise-rapper who often dresses like a woman on stage—released a darn-near industrial rap track called “Booty Bamboo” that begins with Blanco slurring, “Y'all know I'm from North Carolina, right?” INDY readers may find that shout-out more heartening than surprising. See, back in 2002, the INDY afforded Blanco—who was then a 15-year-old Enloe student named Michael Quattlebaum Jr.—the superlative of “Performance Art Prodigy.” Quattlebaum was involved in experimental theater in Raleigh, producing a play entitled Paperdoll Psychology that the INDY described as being “based on the fictional diary of a girl named Anna who,...

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sylvan Esso announces new single; debut LP forthcoming

Posted By on Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Sylvan Esso, one of Durham’s most promising new bands, is the duo of singer Amelia Meath (Mountain Man) and electronic producer Nick Sanborn (Megafaun). The folksiness of their established projects gives way to intricate, dynamic electronic pop that mines an unsuspected seam between the experimental vocalism of tUnE-yArDs and the acid house of 808 State. Today, new song “Coffee” premiered on Stereogum. The stately track will appear on a twelve-inch single, backed with “Dress,” on March 25 via Brooklyn’s Partisan Records, which has previously released music by Mountain Man. Sylvan Esso’s 10-song, self-titled album, home-recorded by the band and mixed by...

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At Duke, Imani Winds beautifully blurs the boundaries of chamber music

Posted By on Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Imani Winds Baldwin Auditorium, Duke Performances It’s tough being a woodwinds fan in the Triangle. For every small wind group that passes through the area, you can choose from at least a dozen string quartet and piano concerts—really, I counted. Throw in a preference for unusual and/or modern repertoire in the face of programmers’ heavy bias for the 19th century, and the options diminish like piccolo notes in the winter air.  So, Saturday’s Duke Performances concert by Imani Winds—a mostly woodwind quintet of flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn and bassoon that commissions new work and includes two composers—was welcome. The group routinely...

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Live: Solar Halos album release party

Posted By on Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 6:19 AM

We've all heard the meteorological cliché "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes." Here's a variant for the Chapel Hill music scene: If you're curious what this bassist and that drummer would sound like together, wait five years. At Saturday night's Solar Halos album release show in the Cat's Cradle Back Room, the bands on the bill all had near-familial ties going back a half-decade or more. Just one example of the intricate web of connections goes that drummer Lauren Fitzpatrick joined Bitter Resolve after her psych-metal duo, The Curtains of Night, split; that band's guitarist, Nora Rogers, now plays...

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Videos: The Rebirth Brass Band marches into The Pour House

Posted By on Mon, Jan 20, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Tuesday night at Raleigh's The Pour House, iconic New Orleans eight-piece The Rebirth Brass Band arrived, riding the momentum after a number of appearances on HBO's Treme. They took to the stage in front of a sold-out Pour House crowd, collectively rabid for the big bass drum. sound A number of conversations leading up to the headlining act concerned people's connections to the Crescent City both major and minor. And as the night progressed, the drinks flowed, and the dancing continued until the last note was played. "Big Chief" "Do It Again" "What Goes Around Comes Around"...

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Friday, January 17, 2014

The Hopscotch Music Festival returns to Raleigh

Posted By on Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 8:08 PM

As was just announced on the festival’s website, the fifth annual Hopscotch Music Festival takes over downtown Raleigh Sept. 4–6. Though the lineup has yet to be announced, the festival promises to spread more than 160 bands from different genres throughout Raleigh nightclubs and performance spaces, surrounding the epicenter of a large outdoor stage in Raleigh City Plaza. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Saturday, March 1, following a presale on Feb. 27 and 28 for Hopscotch email list recipients (sign up here). With tickets going on sale later than in previous years, when they were available...

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Videos: Tony Williamson shares the mandolin's history

Posted By on Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Sunday afternoon, Tony Williamson brought his "Exploring the Mandolin" program to the North Carolina Museum of History, part of PineCone's "Music of the Carolinas" series. Outside of being an accomplished mandolinist, Williamson doubles as a collector and dealer of vintage mandolins. His program focused on the evolution of the instrument in both design and usage—from the Italian Bowl-Back to Gibson's early work, from the prized Lloyd Loar mandolin through the contemporary F-5 Gibson mandolin made famous by the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe. Williamson described the swell in the eight-string's popularity that led to mandolin orchestras across the country and...

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Q&A: Raleigh native Evan Rogister returns to conduct the NC Symphony

Posted By on Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Evan Rogister, a 34-year-old opera and concert conductor based in New York, is a fast-rising star within classical music. After leaving Raleigh about 15 years ago, Rogister made his name on the international circuit, manning the podium for many of the nation’s great orchestras and serving as Kapellmeister at the Deutsche Oper Berlin from 2009 to 2011. At 7:30 this Sunday, January 19, Rogister returns to Raleigh to conduct the NC Symphony—with the young, renowned violinist Hilary Hahn, whose daunting age-to-accomplishment ratio rivals Rogister’s—in a gala concert at Meymandi that centers on Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5. The INDY recently spoke with...

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Remembering bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs

Posted By and on Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 12:13 PM

I never got to see bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs perform before he passed away almost two years ago. There's no one person or thing to blame—it was mostly just bad luck—but it's still something that, from time to time, needles me deep down. The sensation of regret was acute when I attended the grand opening of the Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby last weekend. The Center honoring the banjo pioneer was in the works for a few years before he died, so the grand opening without the focal point himself was bittersweet. Scruggs was many things to many people: father, pal, musical mentor. It seemed like everyone who...

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Matthew E. White performs "Big Love" in the WKNC Lounge

Posted By on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 1:10 PM

In October, the N.C. State radio station WKNC launched a new online feature called The Lounge: They’d invite local or touring acts to stop into their Raleigh studios, sit down in front of a few branded banners and bumper stickers and play some songs in a stripped-down setting. It’s not a new idea, of course, but it’s a good way to hear tunes you might know in a different context. To date, the series has offered interesting versions of tunes by acoustic guitarist Daniel Bachman, indie rock dude Jackson Scott and local favorites The Love Language. Today, we’re excited to...

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Photos: Highlights from Raleigh's inaugural To Live A Lie Records Fest

Posted By on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Fitting several grand punk traditions at once, the Raleigh-based label To Live A Lie Records organized its inaugural festival as an all-ages matinee at In The Groove Records, in the unfinished basement of The Carter Building. From the finicky, borrowed PA to the self-styled collages of patches covering audience members’ jackets and vests, To Live A Lie Records Fest was a decidedly DIY affair. That dovetails well with the label’s modest business model. Four bands—D.C. punk-meets-metal hybrid Genocide Pact, Raleigh and D.C. grinders Abuse., Arizona powerviolence crushers Sex Prisoner, veteran Florida fastcore outfit Assholeparade—attracted a crowd of more than 50...

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Robert Glasper cancels Art of Cool Festival appearance, replacements still being negotiated

Posted By on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Downtown Durham’s inaugural two-day jazz party, the Art of Cool Music Festival, is steadily approaching; it commandeers eight Bull City stages April 25–26, 2014. As is the case with most music festivals of its caliber (especially those in their first year), you can almost bet on some late cancelations and additions for its lineup. And so it comes to pas for the Art of Cool, who have just announced that Grammy-winning jazz pianist Robert Glasper and his outfit will not be part of this year's lineup. “All we have confirmed is the fact that Robert Glasper had a scheduling conflict,” Art...

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Live: Mandolin Orange at Fletcher Opera Theater

Posted By and on Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Fletcher Opera Theater can pack a lot of people into its relatively small space, and Carrboro's Mandolin Orange sold out the 600-capacity room Friday night. The curving rows of seats all but guaranteed an unobstructed view from anywhere in the house, and a respectful silence fell over the room during two sets and an encore, though the theater emptied out almost as the final notes rang. There was none of the dawdling that accompanies club or bar shows; hundreds of attentive eyes and ears very quickly gave way to empty seats. Given the miserable onslaught  of rain and more rain...

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Live: Magnolia Electric Co., revisited in Durham

Posted By and on Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 6:01 PM

Magnolia Electric Co. with Michael Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger The Pinhook, Durham Wednesday, Jan. 8 It’s hard to leave home sometimes, isn’t it? Especially during a week where the temperatures dipped and stayed at levels that meteorologists say might become a new area benchmark, and especially during a week when you’re still clinging to resolutions about drinking less and sleeping more, peeling yourself from the couch or extracting yourself from the easy chair can feel like real manual labor. At that point, you still haven’t left the house, either. Michael Taylor, who lives in his Durham home with...

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Perfect Pussy and Raleigh rules

Posted By on Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Perfect Pussy with Whatever Brains, Davidians Kings Barcade, Raleigh Thurs., Jan. 9, 2014 Last night, when Perfect Pussy singer Meredith Graves proclaimed three times from the stage that “Raleigh hardcore rules,” I had no trouble agreeing with her. Graves’ Syracuse-based outfit has been riding a swell of buzz surrounding their fiery, self-released, four-song demo I have lost all desire for feeling. The upper echelon of music publications, from Pitchfork to Rolling Stone, all praised the band’s chaotic but appealingly hopeful take on noise-blasted hardcore. The in-vogue indie label Captured Tracks signed the band for a full-length, due later this...

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