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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Video: Chatham County Line cranks up the volume for its Electric Holiday show

Posted By on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Chatham County Line Sunrise Theater, Southern Pines Friday, Dec. 19, 2014 Chatham County Line's Holiday Acoustic-Electric set returned with a regional four-show schedule last week. These shows serve as a rite of the season and a yearly gathering of friends. The unconventional annual performance brings frequent collaborators Jay Brown, Zeke Hutchins and Johnny Irion into the fold, joining the core four members. The performance Friday evening in Southern Pines at the Sunrise Theater was the first for Chatham County Line. The group played a summertime concert series down south earlier in the year and discovered the theater and its history;...

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Video: A Dieselbilly Christmas spectacular with Bill Kirchen

Posted By on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Bill Kirchen Southland Ballroom, Raleigh Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 Bill Kirchen arrived in Raleigh last week with a two-piece band behind him and an artificial Christmas tree that illuminated with a foot switch. Complete with a Santa hat, the renowned Telecaster guitarist led the sparse group through a mix of holiday-related songs, as well as several of his own tunes. Kirchen's bread-and-butter revolves around the unique genre of "Dieselbilly," a combination of rockabilly, honky-tonk and traditional country music. He ripped through one twang-rich number after another. "Run Run Rudolph," which Kirchen labeled the "national anthem of Christmas" and which Chuck...

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Peter Holsapple on Big Star producer John Fry, 1944–2014

Posted By on Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 11:50 AM

John Fry, who died last Thursday in Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 69, was best known as the producer and engineer who made Big Star’s signature sound the totem it became for the thousands of guitar bands that arrived in Big Star's wake. He was not only the guy behind the board; he was also a mentor, teaching Alex Chilton, Chris Bell and Jody Stephens (as well as many other neophytes over the years) just how to manipulate the studio he owned. Fry kept Ardent Studios on the knife edge of technology for five decades, hosting everyone from Sam...

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bombadil's Hold On due in March, with "Amy's Friend" available now

Posted By on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 12:53 PM

The triumphant comeback tale of Durham’s Bombadil is old news—since 2011, the band’s been steadily cranking out delightful folk-pop records that boast the outfit’s signature balance of cheer and heartbreak. That streak continues through 2015, as the band has announced the release of a new record, Hold On, via Ramseur Records on March 24. Bombadil hasn’t returned to the graceful bombast that made 2009’s Tarpits and Canyonlands shine, but the single “Amy’s Friend” is still tender, sweet and a little sad. The single is available for purchase via iTunes. Bombadil will play a release show supporting Hold On March 21 at...

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Talking with The Wusses about the best and the wimpiest soft rock

Posted By on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 12:39 PM

From all indications, The Wusses are nine area musicians with an abiding love for the wimpiest, wussiest wing of 1970s AM radio. Bizarrely, the Wusses insist they play nothing but originals; they’ve just been the victims of extremely bad management and record company chicanery. I went along with this seeming ruse to get a closer look at this polyester-clad collective fantasy. Speaking via CB radio at their behest, we discussed the little known phenomenon of Amish bass players, inconsistencies in the lyrics of “Lonesome Loser” and the fragile nexus of "soft" and "rock." You can catch the band Saturday at...

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

WKNC announces Spider Bags, Eternal Summers as Double Barrel Benefit XII headliners

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 1:18 PM

For the 12th consecutive year, WKNC 88.1’s Double Barrel Benefit returns in February as the station’s major annual fundraiser. Double Barrel moved away from a back-to-back two-night stint at The Pour House or Kings in favor of spreading shows out over a week last year, with one on February 7 at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro and the next on Valentine’s Day at the Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh. That format continues this year: The station just announced headliners Spider Bags and Eternal Summers for shows on February 7 and 14 at the Lincoln and Cat’s Cradle, respectively. Spider Bags’ raucous, thrilling...

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Monday, December 15, 2014

NARAL Pro-Choice NC's Rock for Roe returns with MC Taylor and Friends

Posted By on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Last week, The Pinhook announced that NARAL Pro-Choice NC’s annual Rock for Roe benefit would return to the venue for the third consecutive year. While the past two benefits have featured special solo sets from the Mountain Goats, this year’s headliner is Hiss Golden Messenger’s Mike Taylor, billed as MC Taylor and Friends. The 2013 benefit featured Taylor playing with Mount Moriah as Blooz Travelerzz, a one-off act that covered classic tunes by the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Little Feat and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Past years have included Darnielle auctioning off requests and rarities, too. While Taylor might not have...

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Watch/love/loathe VVAQRT's new video

Posted By on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Detainee, the new LP from Orange County’s fragmented synth-pop duo VVAQRT, is one of my favorite local releases of the year. With songs that suggest phantom remnants of bygone commercial jingles laced around excerpts of old advertising copy and rueful wallflower observations, Detainee dances along the lines between the surreal and simple, between the illusory and actual, between the hooky and hazy. The new video for “Cul de Sac,” a short bit of prismatic poetry and beat-machine discourse, perfectly captures that feeling. Created by Boston film artist LSDV, the clip funnels recognizable features into a kaleidoscopic system that transforms familiar...

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Live: Covers and classics in Durham with Dwight Yoakam

Posted By on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Dwight Yoakam, Outshyne Carolina Theatre, Durham Wednesday, Dec. 11 Dwight Yoakam made the slow walk onstage last night at the Carolina Theatre while wearing his trademark crisp Stetson hat and bootcut jeans. Art Deco-style teardrop lighting hung overhead. The sold-out crowd greeted him with a standing ovation even before he and a four-piece band could kick into the country classic "Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music).” From that moment on, he and his band moved quickly through a 23-song set in almost exactly 90 minutes, pausing infrequently. Despite brief bouts of feedback, they were in fine form for...

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Live: The Black Keys and St. Vincent converge for guitars

Posted By on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 3:00 PM

The Black Keys & St. Vincent PNC Arena, Raleigh Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 A bill that pairs the stylized, experimental approach of St. Vincent with the crowd-pleasing retro rock of the Black Keys seems an odd one indeed, kind of like David Bowie opening up for Humble Pie. If there’s a point of agreement between the two, besides both acts receiving Grammy nominations last week, it comes down to an abiding love of the electric guitar played at satisfying volume. Yet the Keys’ adherence to traditional styles is the polar opposite of Clark, who seems to have all but dispensed...

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Live: Mandolin Orange takes a two-night sold-out stand at Cat's Cradle

Posted By on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Mandolin Orange Cat's Cradle, Carrboro Friday-Saturday, Nov. 28-29 Mandolin Orange has had a busy year in 2014. After a run through Europe with Chatham County Line, the duo brought it back home for their first two-night stand at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro. The first evening was stripped down and intimate, as hundreds of chairs filled the venue. Leif Vollebekk, hailing from Montreal, opened. He met Mandolin Orange when they toured together in September. Vollebekk's self-deprecating style combined with an impressive collection of songs that fit the mood of the evening well. Mandolin Orange reverted back to a familiar performance...

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Alice Gerrard's Follow the Music among 2015 Grammy nominees

Posted By on Fri, Dec 5, 2014 at 3:14 PM

While you might roll your eyes at the general relevance of the Grammys (did you see those Song of the Year nominations?), it’s hard not to get excited when a hometown hero gets a nomination. Among the dozens of other nominees announced today, Durham’s Alice Gerrard earned a nod for her album Follow the Music, which came out on Tompkins Square on Sep. 30, in the Best Folk Album category. She’s up against Old Crow Medicine Show, Jesse Winchester, Eliza Gilkyson and the Dobro trio of Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas & Rob Ickes. If Gerrard wins, it will be her...

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The reopening of The Ritz delayed until, at earliest, January

Posted By on Fri, Dec 5, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Live Nation will have to wait until 2015 to open its new Triangle club: Million-dollar remodeling efforts at The Ritz, the long-running Raleigh venue that the world’s largest concert promoter purchased earlier this fall, have been delayed indefinitely. The contractor failed to obtain proper building permits from the City of Raleigh. Though the club originally planned to reopen on Nov. 18, three subsequent shows were moved to different venues. A Chase Rice performance scheduled for Dec. 18 will be relocated, too. On Monday, according to city records obtained by the INDY, Dave Huffstetler, a code enforcement worker, visited the site...

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ratchet, the nickname Ian McLagan gave me

Posted By on Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 5:13 PM

In 2003, my band, Patty Hurst Shifter, was in Austin for SXSW. After a boozy afternoon of playing day parties, and with no shows to play that night, we piled into a friend’s car and headed away from the 6th Street madness, down South Lamar Boulevard to catch Ian McLagan’s set at the Saxon Pub. Eight of us crammed into a Camry. Marc Smith, our guitar player, rode in the trunk. It was worth it: One of Mac’s old bands, Faces, was a PHS favorite. Their music was never far from the stereo in our bubble-topped Econoline. The records were...

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Art of Cool Festival announces 2015 lineup: Roy Ayers, Snarky Puppy, Anthony Hamilton & more

Posted By on Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 10:00 PM

The Art of Cool Festival announced most of the lineup for its second festival, scheduled for April 24–26, 2015 in Durham. The talent will include Roy Ayers, Anthony Hamilton, Snarky Puppy, Kenny Garrett and Avery*Sunshine. If some of those names seem familiar, many were teased earlier in order to drive a festival Kickstarter. Unlike last year’s inaugural Art of Cool Festival lineup announcement, tonight’s grand rollout of the 2015 AOCF list of performers wasn’t complemented by any jam session or concert. That is, of course, unless you count the concert that just took place in Durham Performing Arts Center, where festival...

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Video: After a break, J Kutchma returns to the stage

Posted By on Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 11:39 AM

J Kutchma The Cave, Chapel Hill Wednesday, Nov. 26 After just two songs at The Cave on Wednesday, J Kutchma was down to three strings on his acoustic guitar. Never one to give a halfhearted effort, Kutchma's fingers also began bleeding after the third song. He mixed in a handful of numbers from the Red Collar catalog as well as his more recent Five-Fifths projects throughout his six-show stand in Chapel Hill. After not playing many local shows over the past few months, Kutchma remarked that he wanted to use this week-long residency as a chance to reconnect with his...

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Thank you, Mr. Tullis, for giving this news the attention it deserves. - Davie County

by growlybear on Durham poet Dasan Ahanu named Harvard fellow (Music)

Can you fix the link to the MP3 download?

by jefftb on Airiel Down cuts new N.C. State fight song: Intense, bro (Music)

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