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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Megafaun and Justin Vernon play together in Durham, but don't expect DeYarmond Edison

Posted By and on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 7:02 PM

Megafaun feat. Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) & Nick Sanborn (Sylvan Esso) The Pinhook, Durham Tuesday, April 29, 2014 Last night, a few songs into his band’s first set in nearly two years, Megafaun’s Brad Cook made a circle at the center of the stage. He talked and signaled to the other three members, counting off numbers and nodding in recognition. He stepped back to his microphone, and drummer Joe Westerlund cantered into the beat of “Ain’t No More Cane.” The harmonies rang rich and ragged for the song’s declarative opening line, suggesting a band that was a bit out of...

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Live: A look back as Merlefest 27 ends

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Sunday marked the close of the 27th edition of MerleFest, the storied "traditional plus" festival in Wilkesboro, NC. Before it ended, I sat down with a person who served as both a personal friend of Doc's and the spark for what would become MerleFest—Frederick William Townes IV, or “B.” Backstage at the Watson stage, a flurry of activity prepared for this year's headliner—Merle Haggard, commonly confused as the festival's headliner. Walking through the storied halls and past the handful of dressing rooms, hundreds of photos of past performers lined the walls, offering a veritable who's who of figures in bluegrass,...

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Live: MerleFest's big Saturday

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 12:28 PM

It was early Saturday morning when I crossed into Wilkes County and onto the Junior Johnson Highway, approaching the grounds of MerleFest's third day. Late the night before, word arrived that two Triangle songwriters took home first prize in categories of the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Content. In the Gospel/Inspirational category, Raleigh's Frank Hurd grabbed the top spot for his song, "Light." In the general set, Joseph Terrell of the Chapel Hill group Mipso, won for his song "Angelina Jane is Long Gone." I was excited to see what sort of surprises Saturday might hold. On the festival grounds, Lynda...

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Live: Nickel Creek gets in fine form for Charlottesville reunion, announces Cary tour date

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 11:45 AM

“Thank you, Charlottesville, for selling this place out,” Nickel Creek’s Chris Thile exclaimed midway through the reunited band’s Saturday night set at the relatively intimate 3,500-seat nTelos Wireless Pavilion. “It took us three tries here, but that’s a .333 batting average. Those are Hall of Fame numbers.” Given Nickel Creek’s six-and-a-half-year hiatus, it should have been no surprise that their fans were eager for the band’s quarter-century anniversary tour; a line stretched nearly two blocks down the college town’s brick-paved Downtown Mall. The Secret Sisters opened with a short, solid set of country crossed with doo-wop, delivered in a Deep...

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Live: Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings cover Doc Watson in Durham

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings Carolina Theatre, Durham Monday, April 28, 2014 For some of us, boredom is as an invitation to blow off steam after being busy for far too long. For Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, who recently decided they were bored sitting at home, it’s an invitation to hit the road. On Monday night, their tedium-induced tour brought them to Durham’s Carolina Theatre. Bless their boredom. Welch’s songs are so emotionally wrought that any evening with the pair could be somber and sad, but Monday’s concert, divided into two sets, was anything but. Welch and Rawlings kept it...

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Interview: After nearly 50 years, The Standells return to the road

Posted By on Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Photo courtesy of the band The Standells Rock ’n’ roll can be a cruel mistress. Innovations take a while to gain traction. Trailblazers often burn out. They watch as the groups they inspired ascend to fame and glory. Just ask The Standells: More than 50 years after the California garage-rock crew first emerged, they arrive tonight in Chapel Hill to play the Local 506, one of a litany of small clubs they’ll hit on their first proper tour since that initial burst of activity. Their early albums—littered with enduring classics like “Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White” and “Dirty Water,”...

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Live: The Art of Cool Festival ends on several high notes

Posted By on Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 11:42 AM

The Art of Cool Festival, Night Two Downtown Durham Saturday, April 26, 2014 After Friday night’s launch of The Art of Cool Festival in Durham, I asked readers where they thought the event’s musicians went to cavort after the horn-and-drum smoke cleared. Saturday night, they went to downtown Durham’s The Republic, one of the city’s only places dedicated to having its DJs spin hip-hop, new and old. The Republic is, unfortunately, in its last days, but at least they’re closing shop in the midst of what might be a new pinnacle for high-brow black culture in the Bull City. None of this...

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Crisscrossing sounds: Eric Tullis on Night One at The Art of Cool Festival

Posted By on Sat, Apr 26, 2014 at 3:14 PM

The Art of Cool Festival, Night One Downtown Durham Friday, April 25, 2014 As I was headed into a downtown Durham parking deck on Friday night to jump in my car and drive to Motorco for Thundercat, the last act of Night One of the inaugural Art of Cool Festival, I came across a vehicle full of young Durhamites blasting a trapped-out remix of the Keith Sweat and Jacci McGhee R&B duet, “Make It Last Forever.” The driver jumped out of his car and broke into a slow-motion Nae Nae-esque dance; naturally, I joined. Leaving the deck, I was positive...

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Videos: Mandolin Orange, Peter Rowan and more outstrip the weather at MerleFest

Posted By on Sat, Apr 26, 2014 at 11:52 AM

MerleFest, the "traditional-plus" festival in Wilkesboro, entered its second year without its patriarch, Doc Watson, this year. Though organizers continue to push and uphold what Watson started, he was not completely missing from this festival's second day—his voice could be heard throughout the festival grounds, his legacy in plain sight. At various stages between bands and at vendor booths luring customers, Watson recordings played throughout the day. Despite the somewhat foreboding weather forecast, the grounds of Wilkes County Community College were packed for the North Carolina ritual. In keeping with the festival's Friday tradition, grade school students from throughout the...

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Live: Springsteen, the charmer, delights PNC Arena

Posted By on Fri, Apr 25, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band PNC Arena, Raleigh Thursday, April 24, 2013 Roughly two hours into another grueling, sweat-drenched show, Bruce Springsteen looked puzzled. “Where’s my little girl?” he said into the microphone. A gaggle of Polo-clad college boys near center stage pointed to a slender, pretty brunette; she shared Springsteen’s generous Roman nose. Moments later, Springsteen pulled his daughter, Jessica, on stage for an awkward prance as “Dancing in the Dark” wound to its gleeful conclusion. It was an honest, sweet moment at PNC Arena Thursday night—something often lost in the populist pull of arena shows—but Springsteen has...

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Preview: Eric Tullis' guide to this weekend's The Art of Cool Festival

Posted By on Fri, Apr 25, 2014 at 4:14 PM

So, here it is: a full-fledged, modern collection of soul and jazz and what could possibly become one of country’s most unique soul music festivals. If Durham needs another platform for its budding profile, here it is.  Before Art of Cool co-founders Cicely Mitchell (a UNC statistician by day) and Al Strong (a jazz trumpet player by night) created The Art of Cool Festival as an offshoot of their jazz-advocacy nonprofit The Art of Cool Project, the Bull Durham Blues Festival—now limping toward its fourth decade year—seemed to be one of the few signs that the city was interested in maintaining and...

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

The General: Improvisation and a silent-film classic

Posted By on Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 4:22 PM

The General Improvisation can be difficult. For a group to respond to off-the-cuff ideas from its members without spiraling into chaos requires a chemistry and familiarity that is simply beyond most bands. Tonight, tenured Triangle musicians Dale Baker and Tim Carless will complicate things even further, leading a four-piece ensemble in soundtracking the Buster Keaton-starring The General, an enduring film from the silent-film era. The band—Baker on Drums and Carless on guitar, along with bassist Casey Toll (Mount Moriah) and pedal steel player Whit Wright (American Aquarium)—have practiced very little. They've played to the full movie only once, getting down...

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Live: The Freelon family inaugurates The Art of Cool Festival

Posted By on Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 12:50 PM

The inaugural Art of Cool Festival kicked off in elite fashion last night, inside the Nasher Museum for a “VIP Opening Party.” Designed as an appreciation for the festival’s sponsors, supporters and VIP ticket holders, the invitation-only event brought out attendees in jazzed-up suit jackets and cocktail dresses. By tomorrow, their attire should be remarkably more laid-back, as they bop around downtown Durham, from venue-to-venue, in search of grooves and, hopefully, indoctrinating a new Bull City music tradition. For the party’s showcase performance, Art of Cool Project co-founder Cicely Mitchell recruited six-time Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist and Durham resident Nnenna Freelon and her daughter, visual artist Maya...

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Live: A new concert series at Cat's Cradle Back Room explores North Carolina's musical identity

Posted By on Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 9:43 AM

The “Breath and Bow” concert at the Cat’s Cradle Back Room last Thursday did many things. It showcased the homecoming of a few stellar North Carolina musicians: violinist and mandolin player Jennifer Curtis, the event’s impresario, and composer, violinist, vocalist and Pulitzer-Prize-winner Caroline Shaw. Shaw grew up in Greenville, while Curtis grew up in Chapel Hill, but their paths have been intertwined for years. So this was a show about their friendship and their shared musical adventures. It also concerned Curtis’ vision of her musical “home” and the community that grows around it. And last, this was a concert of folk music, relating...

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Video: William Tyler plays a new tune in Saxapahaw

Posted By on Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Nashville guitarist William Tyler has strong ties to the Triangle: He plays on Hiss Golden Messenger albums and joined Nick Sanborn's "Lend Me Your Voice" presentation at Duke last year. He's played often at The Pinhook and Duke Coffeehouse, and his new LP, Impossible Truth, and forthcoming EP, Lost Colony, are Merge Records releases. On this Friday evening in Saxapahaw, he opened for Grizzly Bear’s Daniel Rossen at the spacious Haw River Ballroom. Tyler debuted a song called "Highway Anxiety," written for anyone who becomes hypnotized by the drone of the interstate and needs a melody to push them along....

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Videos: Elizabeth Cook and The Del McCoury Band withstand Shakori Hills rain

Posted By on Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Despite the rain, the music at Shakori Hills wasn't dampened Saturday. Sure, many campers slept in less-than-ideal conditions, and the festival grounds themselves became a mud pit. But most attendees were able to overcome that wet atmosphere. As the traditional Saturday afternoon parade ended, country music singer/songwriter Elizabeth Cook took to the Meadow Stage. As a Sirius/XM DJ, Cook hosts a weekday afternoon program called "Apron Strings." It often comes across as Cook's own mental stream, as she touches on random topics between tunes from modern Americana artists and traditional country music. As on the radio, Cook's stage banter on...

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Live: Ryley Walker channels the old, Cloud Nothings the young at Cat's Cradle

Posted By on Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Ryley Walker, Cloud Nothings Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro Thursday, April 17, 2014 Young people, studies say and have been saying for years, no longer use email. It’s apparently an outdated form of communication, not ruthless enough in its efficiency or opportune enough for spontaneous photography. This information makes me uncomfortable, I told a friend over email. I wasn’t old enough to feel this old. I felt even worse when I couldn’t find the entrance to the Cat’s Cradle on Thursday night, a place I’ve been countless times. I complained about the multiple reconfigurations the way an elderly person might complain about how...

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Live: American Aquarium teases new material at Slim's anniversary

Posted By on Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 3:18 PM

American Aquarium, Gross Ghost, Paint Fumes, Left Outlet Slim's, Raleigh Friday, April 18, 2014 I arrived on Wilmington Street just in time to hear the last howls of Paint Fumes at Slim’s  Though I was greeted by a sold-out sign taped to the front door of Slim’s, the narrow music hallway that celebrated its 15th anniversary throughout last week, the room was still filling in as owner Van Alston introduced Left Outlet—the “house band,” he called them—for their final show. It’s been quite some time since I’ve seen the often over-the-top Raleigh outfit, but their rowdy set of shout-along anthems proved...

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Videos: Phil Cook, Tonk delight Friday crowds at Shakori Hills

Posted By on Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 2:24 PM

The local roots music festival Shakori Hills returned to its Chatham County homestead over the weekend, marking the first fest since organizers purchased the land late last year  Early Friday afternoon, the volume of people streaming into this Spring's event seemed especially considerable. The line of ticket purchasers snaked well past the designated waiting area.  Below, check some clips from day two of the festival; Saturday footage is on the way. Phil Cook & the Guitarheels, "1922" Phil Cook and his revolving band of Guitarheels played the Meadow stage in the early evening. Cook's set sported high anticipation, as he was...

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Video Premiere: Schooner's “It Won’t Matter

Posted By on Fri, Apr 18, 2014 at 9:00 AM

”It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a flying baguette! No really, it’s a flying baguette. The latest Schooner video, “It Won’t Matter,” is a food fight for the eyes. Directed by Jacki Huntington, the clip mixes the playful mess of fistfuls of coleslaw and bean-dripping faces with stop-motion Play-Doh titles and reverse-motion playback. Check it out: It Won't Matter from Jacki Huntington on Vimeo. Speaking of Schooner, they’ll play live this Saturday at Duke Coffeehouse with Curtains (who have a new cassette out next week via Potluck Foundation) and Estrangers. Tickets are $5 (free for Duke students), and cupcakes to the face are not provided, a...

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Videos: The Backsliders celebrate Slim's at 15

Posted By on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 4:23 PM

On Wednesday night, the downtown Raleigh dive Slim's celebrated the second installment of its 15-year anniversary, or "Anniversapocalypse." The Backsliders, The Bleeding Hearts, The Vibekillers and El Dealer (the first band to play the former Lakeside Lounge) joined; all four have helped pour the foundation for Slim's. The Backsliders, who strangely began the night, opened with a menacing instrumental, "Twang," which allowed lead guitarist Steve Howell to stretch out more than normal. Even in this loose environment the group seemed to be as tight as ever. There has been talk of new recordings from the group. Check some videos of...

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Live: At Duke, a day of sacred and secular new music

Posted By on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 11:46 AM

For those local classical music fans who prefer to listen to music by the still-living rather than the long-dead, April is not so cruel. Of late, we’ve had Brooklyn Rider deliver vivid new work by composers Evan Ziporyn and Colin Jacobsen; an enlightening residency from Alexander Goehr, the elder statesman of British modernism; and an evening devoted to new work by UNC faculty composers  This Thursday, Caroline Shaw, one year out from winning a Pulitzer, plays Cat’s Cradle Back Room; head over to Duke that same night and hear the premiere of David Kirkland Garner’s soprano saxophone concerto.  Last Sunday was another new music double-header, this time...

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Hopscotch Music Festival announces partial 2014 lineup

Posted By on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Entering its fifth year, Raleigh’s Hopscotch Music Festival had some changes to face: Grayson Currin, the INDY Week music editor who helped create the festival and served as its co-director, stepped away in January. Former day party coordinator Nathan Price stepped into his role, helping founder and director Greg Lowenhagen book bands for the bulk of the three-day festival. What's more, the September event will be without Memorial Auditorium this year, as it will be closed for renovations. The loss leaves the festival without its second biggest stage, a room that has hosted marquee names such as Velvet Underground alumnus John Cale...

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Merge signs Spider Bags, new album out this fall

Posted By on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 12:06 PM

The Merge Records signing spree continues: Today, the label announced that the rangy garage-rock trio Spider Bags joined the roster. Merge isn’t taking its 25th anniversary off: In the past year, the imprint has boosted its quotient of veteran garage rockers—such as King Khan & The Shrines and Asheville’s Reigning Sound—as well as its local contingent, including Chapel Hill garage punks Flesh Wounds and Durham folk-rock auteur Hiss Golden Messenger. Meeting both descriptions, Spider Bags feel like a natural fit to the new Merge M.O. The band will follow 2012’s much-lauded, Odessa Records-released Shake My Head with a new album for Merge, promised “later this summer.” The band will also perform at Duke’s annual summertime concert series,...

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Live Review: Over the Rhine, Joe Henry and The Milk Carton Kids quietly stun

Posted By on Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Wild Edges: A Musical Collaboration with Joe Henry, Over the Rhine and The Milk Carton Kids Hayti Heritage Center, Durham Friday, April 11, 2014 The ambition was, as Joe Henry put it Friday night in Durham, to write a batch of new music that will "stand, no matter how abstractly or cozily, in response to existing pieces from the Great American Songbook." That sounds pretty wild, wild? Yet, for those in attendance for the first night of Wild Edges, a new collaboration between Henry, Over the Rhine, and the Milk Carton Kids, the feeling was perfectly gentle. The Hayti Heritage Center...

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Goede dag, ik ben Josef Lewis, een particuliere kredietverstrekker die leningen verstrekt aan particulieren, bedrijven en overheidsinstellingen tegen een lage …

by Josef Lewis on The Cave Closes on April 30 in Chapel Hill, Local 506 Changes Hands (Music)

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