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Friday, June 27, 2014

UNC-Chapel Hill gives Ringo Starr a plaque—and a hat

Posted By on Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 10:12 AM

On Sunday, Mark Katz, the chairman of UNC-Chapel Hill's music department, helped secure a Carolina-blue mortarboard to the head of the man who sang “Yellow Submarine.” Ringo Starr, in town to play a show that evening at DPAC with his All-Starr Band, arrived on campus to accept a proclamation from the music department in recognition of his contributions to music, culture and life at large. The idea of issuing such academic proclamations originated with the music department’s entrepreneur-in-residence, Ken Weiss, a music business veteran who Katz appointed to the position he created in 2010. Weiss sought to make meaningful connections between the university and...

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Live: In Raleigh, the Counting Crows get listless

Posted By on Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Counting Crows, Toad the Wet Sprocket Red Hat Amphitheater, Raleigh Wednesday, June 25, 2014 Last night in Raleigh, the Counting Crows did not save “A Long December” until the encore, or even for the end of their humid Wednesday evening set. Instead, the 1996 hit about hope in the face of abject despair came not long after the midpoint of the 90-minute show, embedded into the sequence with casual modesty—not the hit, the order seemed to suggest, just another one. The band’s crew lugged a piano onto the stage. Adam Duritz sat behind it. The Crows played the tune, and the night...

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Waiting a lot for a little: Sunburned Hand of the Man at Nightlight

Posted By on Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Sunburned Hand of the Man; Cantwell, Gomez & Jordan; Head of Wantistiquet; Terry H. Garrish Jazz Ensemble Nightlight, Chapel Hill Tuesday, June 24, 2014 For all of the urgency and energy a band on a stage can offer, live music is mostly an exercise in patience. A touring act, for instance, spends 23 or so hours each day waiting to play, while an enthusiastic fan might withstand days, weeks, even months waiting for the coveted evening to arrive. On the more situational and pragmatic front, shows are divided between spells of engagement and lulls of idleness—underwhelming opening acts, long set changes,...

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Art of Cool jazz camps brings decades of tradition to the next generation

Posted By on Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 1:26 PM

After inaugurating a heralded Durham jazz-plus festival in April, the nonprofit Art of Cool Project has launched a summer jazz camp in cooperation with Global Scholars Academy (GSA), a Durham charter school. The 6-day program, which started on Monday, will give 33 kids between third and seventh grade an introduction to jazz and the blues, and they’ll showcase their talents in a Saturday, June 28, performance that’s open to the public.  They’ll be under the guidance of trumpeter Al Strong, an associate professor at Saint Augustine’s University and adjunct professor at North Carolina Central University’ acclaimed Jazz Studies program. As Art of Cool’s vice president, Strong wanted...

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Video: Local alt-country legends The Backsliders rock The Pour House (again), release new EP

Posted By on Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 12:51 PM

It's been 15 years since Raleigh alt-country icons The Backsliders released new material. But earlier this month, the streak ended with a new five-song EP, Raleighwood; on Saturday night, the group roared into The Pour House to celebrate the release with renewed urgency. Every song was tight. Each member played with electrifying energy, as if they had something to prove. The new tunes fit in perfectly among the back catalogue, which already reads like a partial list of alt-country greatest hits. The Backsliders keep rolling on, next playing the Festival of the Eno Saturday, July 5. In the meantime, you can...

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Live: Ringo, Toto and a surreal night in Durham

Posted By on Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band DPAC, Durham Sunday, June 22, 2014  Ringo Starr first took his All-Starr Band on the road in 1989, which means they have been around twice as long as the Beatles, or, as the  drummer put it to a rapturous DPAC crowd last night, “that other band I used to be in.” That wasn’t the night’s only irony. When I left the building following the rousing finish of “With a Little Help From My Friends,” for instance, it was Toto’s “Africa” that remained in my head. Indeed, it was the kind of night where the hard-to-pin-down sensation of being in the...

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Video: NC Heritage Awards honor contributions to state culture

Posted By on Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Last month, at Raleigh's Fletcher Opera Theater, the North Carolina Arts Council awarded North Carolina Heritage Awards to five traditional artists for a lifetime of contributions to the arts. Last held in 2007, the ceremony recognized recipients who have mastered their craft and contributed to the enrichment of North Carolina. The honorees were: • Sid Luck, a Seagrove man who creates oversized moonshine jugs with unique faces. • Arnold Richardson, a Haliwa-Saponi Native American who has taught and preserved Native American traditions throughout the state. • Bobby Hicks, a fiddle player known for adding a fifth string to his instrument and playing along with...

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Watch Bronson in Action at Time-Out Restaurant

Posted By on Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Time-Out’s chicken biscuits were famous long before Adam Richman's Man v. Food came through town a few years back. But, the late-night Chapel Hill food beacon has gained more national prominence after New York emcee and self-anointed foodie, Action Bronson, found the place while in town for a March performance at Cat’s Cradle. I was at that show, and, yes, I saw him suplex, body slam and throw a few overzealous fans who thought that it was a good idea to hop onstage and attack him. It’s become a routine part of his shows. “The college towns are always the craziest places...

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Video: A reenergized Sarah Borges returns to Raleigh

Posted By on Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 1:56 PM

In the four years since Sarah Borges' last visit to Raleigh, she's started a family and dissolved her former backing band, The Broken Singles. On her previous trips through the Triangle, Borges would typically play early week gigs, often roadworn from a constant touring schedule. Her shows would be wild, but her voice just as weary as the Broken Singles behind her. But on May 31st at the Southland Ballroom, Borges and her new backing band—Girls, Guns and Glory—sounded refreshed and powerful. Below are a handful of clips from the show. Sarah Borges and Girls, Guns and Glory, "Record on Repeat" ...

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Video: Poor Rich Boy collaborates with Plume Giant at Motorco

Posted By and on Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Wednesday night's major storms weren't enough to stop Poor Rich Boy and Plume Giant from taking the stage in Durham. The bands were supposed to play at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens for Duke Performances' annual Music in the Gardens series, but the weather forced the show inside to Motorco Music Hall. Poor Rich Boy, whose hometown is Lahore, Pakistan, stopped in Durham as a part of Center Stage, a cultural exchange program funded primarily by the State Department that brings bands from abroad to the U.S. to tour. Opening the set was Brooklyn-based chamber pop trio Plume Giant. Each...

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Video: New Reveille takes the stage at Oak City 7

Posted By on Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Brushing back the threat of rain on Thursday night, Americana upstarts New Reveille brought their 7-piece band to the Oak City 7 concert series in the Raleigh City Plaza. The band flows well blending fiddle, banjo, electric guitar, cello, bass, drums along with powerful female lead and back-up vocals. The outdoor stage wasn't very well-suited for the outfit—I look forward to seeing them in a larger space when their full sound can be mixed to let each instrument stand out a bit more. Despite that, the group packed a lot of good material into their 30-minute set. Below are a...

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Bishop Nehru teams up with Dizzy Wright, 9th Wonder for new EP

Posted By on Fri, Jun 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM

New York rapper Bishop Nehru threw his first curveball a few months ago when he got U.K.’s dance music duo Disclosure to produce his cut “You Stressin’”. It was the brothers’ best attempt at nailing the oddball soundwaves of Nehru’s upcoming collaborative LP with MF Doom, Nehruvian DOOM. In the meantime, the teenage emcee Bishop Nehru—who’s currently touring throughout Europe with Nas—hooked up with stoner spitter Dizzy Wright and Raleigh’s 9th Wonder for the three-track, LRG-sponsored EP, brILLiant youth. The first thing you’ll notice about this treat is that 9th’s approach sounds slightly relaxed than normal, which leaves more than enough space...

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

As Weller, Nathan Toben debuts new material

Posted By on Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Former Toddlers frontman Nathan Toben will release 1, the first music from his new project Weller on July 1st. Engineered and co-produced by Wesley Wolfe, the album features 13 tracks of spirited indie rock inspired by the four elements.  “Weller is a music project rather than a live band, so I am putting the attention I would be putting in to a release show in to having the online release be pretty focused and fun,” writes Toben from the road where he’s been on a guerilla spree. The flyers he’s plastered from Asheville to Raleigh ask "What is Weller?" in...

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From the road: Purple Velvet International Female Hip-Hop Tour Diary, Vol. 5

Posted By on Thu, Jun 12, 2014 at 10:02 AM

We’ve also received housing at each stop. Sometimes it’s a hotel or hostel, but quite often, it’s a band apartment situated atop the venue. The flyest of these accommodations was in Munich, at a spot called Feierwerk. The apartment, like most of the band housing, was outfitted with multiple beds in each room, a kitchen (where the snacks greeted us on gallery-type exhibition), and a bathroom outfitted with a shower. There was a sitting room with a view of outside where folks waited before doors opened. There was also a spiraling staircase that spat us out right at the stage....

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bands unite for Willapalooza Benefit for Willa Stein

Posted By on Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 1:10 PM

A variety of local bands are coming together for “Willapalooza” to lend support to longtime local artist Willa Stein.  A photographer who has lived in Raleigh’s Boylan Heights neighborhood for the past 24 years, Stein was diagnosed with Uterine Papillary Serous Carcinoma, a form of uterine cancer. Within three days she was in the hospital and having surgery. She now faces an extensive—and expensive—series of treatments. David Burney, the lead singer for the Johnny Folsom 4, heard about Stein’s situation and suggested having a fundraiser. From there, the urge to help spread through the musical community and there are now...

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Video premiere: See Gulls' "You Can't See Me"

Posted By on Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM

There are lots of firsts for new bands: first show, first record, first music video. Durham outfit See Gulls just checked off the last one, premiering the video for "You Can't See Me." Sarah Fuller fronts the punchy rock foursome, with Maria Albani on drums. The band recently shifted its lineup around after guitarist Jacki Huntington (who appears in the video) moved to Brooklyn, making room for Duncan Webster and Leah Gibson on guitar and bass, respectively. The video was directed by Nikhil Shah and is a fun and slightly spooky play on the song's title, "You Can't See Me."...

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

From the road: Purple Velvet International Female Hip-Hop Tour Diary, Vol. 4

Posted By on Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 10:07 AM

As much as unpredictability is a central part of touring, so is exhaustive driving. If someone were to create a touring pie chart, it’d probably look something like this: So many unplanned incidents can happen—one can lose a valuable part of one’s wardrobe, the sound guy may have trouble getting sound to emanate from your vocal pedal, someone may forget someone’s lyrics. Just saying. The possibilities are endless. The one unremittable fact is there will be driving from one venue to the next. Sometimes this drive begins on an early morning following a long night of performance and frolic. Sometimes...

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Monday, June 9, 2014

The Rosebuds announce new LP—due Aug. 5—with a video teaser

Posted By on Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Six years ago, The Rosebuds—the pop duo of Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp—seemed insistent on doing everything at once. 2008’s Life Like, the group’s fourth LP, struck out in a variety of directions. There were flashes of the chilly synth hooks from the previous year’s Night of the Furies, sweeping folk sing-alongs and sleekly propulsive rock songs, each one accomplished with a new level of finesse. For once, The Rosebuds refused to rein in their various ambitions. The lack of focus served them well. The years that followed were marked by a far different approach, one that continues on...

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Hiss Golden Messenger's fifth LP, Lateness of Dancers, due September 9 on Merge Records

Posted By on Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Back at the beginning of April, Hiss Golden Messenger frontman and Durham transplant Michael Taylor announced that he’d signed with fellow Durham heavyhitters Merge Records to release his next album. Today, Taylor announced today new details about the record: it’s titled Lateness of Dancers, and is set to hit shelves on September 9. The album features ten tracks, one of which, “Drum,” first appeared on 2010’s Bad Debt. Others like “Southern Grammar” and “Lucia” made appearances at the late February Bad Debt re-release show at the Cat’s Cradle Back Room. Lateness of Dancers features several names familiar to HGM fans,...

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Live: Chatham County Line completes a career circle in Durham

Posted By and on Sat, Jun 7, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Chatham County Line Carolina Theatre, Durham Friday, May 30, 2014 Nearing the end of Chatham County Line's Tightrope release show at the Carolina Theatre, frontman Dave Wilson reminisced about seeing the Del McCoury Band there in the late '90s. He even pointed out where he sat in the balcony. Wilson recalled the impact of watching McCoury and his boys gather around a single microphone; that show helped convince him to pursue bluegrass. He cited the Chatham County Line show at the Carolina Theatre as “full-circle moment." Of course, Chatham County Line has long been the best bluegrass band in the...

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Pop-Up Chorus pops up Sylvan Esso's "Coffee"

Posted By on Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 9:10 AM

Buzz has been growing steadily regarding the Pop-Up Chorus, a Durham-based project that gathers community members to get together and sing. Songs are put together in just a single session, with tunes ranging from M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” to Lost in the Trees’ “Daunting Friend," from Guns ‘n’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’Mine" to Outkast's "Hey Ya." One of their newest re-imaginings is Sylvan Esso’s “Coffee." They take a more warm and relaxed approach to the slick, cool electronic track. The tune blooms from Sylvan Esso’s close intimacy to a grand, joyful rendition. The Pop-Up Chorus began in January as an extension of the work...

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Bull Durham Blues Festival expands for September

Posted By on Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 4:19 PM

The annual basketball Battle of the Blues stirs a lot of rambunctiousness in the Triangle, but there's no reason to fight about the blues taking over Durham in September, is there? The Bull Durham Blues Festival, founded in 1987, returns this year Sept. 5–6 at the Hayti Heritage Center and the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Angela Lee, the executive director of the Hayti Heritage Center, says she hopes the festival can help boost local interest in the blues and roots music. “A lot of tremendous blues and other types of music just do not get played,” Lee says. “As part of our mission at Hayti,...

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At CDS, photos of hardcore's early history

Posted By on Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Lucian Perkins was just a 26-year-old Washington Post intern when he began chronicling the incipient D.C. hardcore scene in 1979. Perkins, who graduated with a degree in biology before being enticed into photography, would go on to win two Pulitzers as the Post’s staff photographer, a position he still holds. The images featured in this traveling exhibit, now showing at the Center for Documentary Studies, and last year’s book Hard Art 1979 were taken at four shows at the Hard Art Gallery, Madams Organ Artist’s Cooperative and the Valley Green public housing complex in late 1979 and early 1980. The shows featured...

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Video: Drivin' N' Cryin' weave old and new in Raleigh

Posted By on Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Over Memorial Day weekend, Southern rock stalwarts Drivin' N' Cryin' returned to Raleigh's Lincoln Theatre. The group mixed in a handful of new material from recent EPs; it worked well with material from their classic albums like Mystery Road and Fly Me Courageous. For two hours, the rock riffs of new lead guitarist Aaron Lee Tasjan combined with the magnetic personality of frontman Kevn Kinney for a catalogue-spanning evening. Below are several clips from the performance, featuring both old and new material. You can read music editor Grayson Currin's feature about some more of Drivin' N' Cryin's efforts at running...

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Video: Double Fridays at Slim's

Posted By on Wed, Jun 4, 2014 at 1:03 PM

The Debonzo Brothers have stayed busy, playing behind their new release, Carolina Stars. On May 23rd, the brothers teamed up with Charlotte-based group Amigo for a show at the boisterous bar Slim's. The week before, also at Slim's, Aim North, which features several member from Jack the Radio, offered a preview of their new material. The group is anchored by one of the Triangle's best one-two punches, Danny Johnson and George Hage. Leaning more on the rock side instrumentally, but with the pop vocals of Chris Sayles, Aim North already has an impressive batch of songs.  Below are clips from the performances,...

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