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Thursday, March 26, 2015

"We care about the human race": An interview with Black Pussy

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 2:02 PM

As a black woman who spent a large part of my young life in the mostly white world of rock music, I attended shows up and down the East Coast, threw gigs in my garage and even started a group of online friends with the purpose of uniting black hipster weirdos like myself. I never really felt like an outsider in the world of rock. But I have had a few reminders that rock ’n’ roll wasn’t always welcoming to the people of color who pioneered it. Enter Black Pussy, the Portland, Oregon, rock band whose controversial name led Raleigh's The...

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Live: The music of Boulez, in real life

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 12:06 PM

Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich play Boulez Memorial Hall, Chapel Hill Wednesday, March 18, 2015 Pierre Boulez turns 90 Thursday, March 26. During his decades, he has demanded a great deal from both performers and audience. His musical vision is as uncompromising as his notes are challenging to play. Consequently, his music doesn’t get performed all that often, even as his 90th approaches. While our classical institutions seem to celebrate every round-numbered anniversary of the birth and death of most every major composers, very few American ensembles dare to tackle Boulez’s music, even now. The Triangle could count itself lucky,...

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Durham poet Dasan Ahanu named Harvard fellow

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 11:25 AM

For the third time in recent years, Harvard University has selected another leader from the Triangle’s arts and academic community for the school’s hip-hop mission. On Monday, area poet Dasan Ahanu announced he had been chosen as the 2015–2016 recipient of the Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship at Harvard. The nine-month fellowship at Harvard’s Hip-Hop Archives Institute and W.E.B Du Bois Research Institute grants scholars and artists an opportunity to prepare an academic year’s worth of research for a project that contributes to “hip-hop and the discourse.” “I’m going to be studying and analyzing lyricism in hip-hop,” says Ahanu. “I’ll be...

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Live: At The Ritz, ego and a lack of safety combine for a Farruko failure

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 10:55 AM

Farruko The Ritz, Raleigh Thursday, March 19, 2015 Last Thursday, a hopeful crowd of a couple hundred arrived at The Ritz for a show from up-and-coming reggaetón artist Farruko. Despite the awkward, multi-station, bracelet-donning process and overly expensive drinks, aptly described by INDY music editor Grayson Haver Currin, the mostly young crowd seemed to be in a good mood. Selfies abounded, and the margins around the checkered dance floor filled with couples and groups of friends. The show was scheduled for 8 p.m. But as seems to be part and parcel for the reggaetón experience at The Ritz, the artist...

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Rapsody gets a bump from Kendrick Lamar, but stop with the pandering questions

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 3:29 PM

Less than 48 hours after the release of Kendrick Lamar’s sophomore LP, To Pimp a Butterfly, interviews with the album’s only featured guest rapper—Jamla Records’ first lady, Rapsody—began popping up on big-name spots like Complex, Spin, NME and MTV. The interest in the backstory of how the Snow Hill, North Carolina native made the cut for Lamar’s buckshot-jazz critique on intraracial colorism, “Complexion (A Zulu Love),” was surprising not only in terms of major coverage for such a minor player on a mega-release but also revealing for how such outlets cover female emcees in general. This question, for instance, from NME’s blog...

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Despite delay in official announcement, several sources confirm Rolling Stones coming to Carter-Finley

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 2:11 PM

Several high-level sources confirmed Friday afternoon that The Rolling Stones will play N.C. State University’s Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh Wednesday, July 1. Rumors of the show have been circulating for days, and the stop appears to be part of a tour that was expected to be announced yesterday, Thursday, March 19, as part of a Stones campaign dubbed #SatisfactionThursday. Billboards announcing the big reveal have shown up in cities including Milwaukee, Atlanta, Orlando and Minneapolis, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Stones have not appeared in the United States since late 2013, and they last played North Carolina in...

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Modernist master: Schoenberg conference honors retiring UNC Music Department professor

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2015 at 8:27 AM

When an eminent scholar retires, their department will often hold some kind of event—a conference, a panel discussion, so on—to celebrate their contribution to the field. And Severine Neff, the Eugene Falk Distinguished Professor of Music at UNC-Chapel Hill, is indeed a scholar worthy of celebration. During the past 40 years, she has helped expand our understanding of Modernist music in general, Arnold Schoenberg’s music in particular. In addition to untangling the thicket of Schoenberg’s theoretical writings and shining light on the internal structures of his compositions, Neff has also worked to trace the influences on his music and his influence...

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Black Pussy's Raleigh gig back on, kind of

Posted By on Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 2:03 PM

The canceled Raleigh set by the controversially named Portland, Oregon stoner rock band Black Pussy is back on for the capital city, but with a new date and venue. Slim’s—located on the opposite side of the same block as the show’s original locale, The Pour House—will host the group on Thursday, March 26, one day later than the previous date. “I find the band name stupid, and I find it offensive,” Slim’s owner Van Alston told the INDY Thursday afternoon. “But I don’t want to live in a town where threats of violence dictate who I can see and who...

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Live: Capsula's bilingual pursuit works in Raleigh

Posted By on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 10:17 AM

Capsula The Pour House, Raleigh Thursday, March 12, 2015 Last Thursday night, Argentine-Spanish rock trio Capsula took the stage at The Pour House, standing in front of an orange, black and white banner of a tiger being hunted in the woods. With Martín Guevara on guitar, Coni Duchess on bass and Iñaki Guantxe (a newer addition) on drums, Capsula have long been making their name on the American scene, playing SXSW seven times and touring constantly. The band have become known for high-energy performances of psychedelic-tinged songs, a match fitting the colors and kinetics of the background image.   Thursday's show...

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Talking to The Pour House about its canceled Black Pussy show

Posted By on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 7:13 PM

A week ago, the calls started coming for The Pour House owner Adam Lindstaedt. One after another, familiar customers, enraged civilians and even an anonymous person using voice-masking software let him know that they would never return to his club. The Pour House had offended them. Several weeks before, he’d booked Black Pussy, a Portland, Oregon stoner rock band whose name is more provocative than its musty riffs and tepid tempos. Lindstaedt wasn’t a fan of the band and admits he didn’t ponder their name very long; he simply had an open Wednesday night, and a familiar booking agent was...

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Merge Records announces Record Store Day party at Bull City Records

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 10:59 AM

Last week, Record Store Day—the annual event that champions and aims to boost sales at independent record stores—announced its list of releases for the worldwide celebration on April 18. With it, Merge Records unveiled that it would be reissuing William Tyler's 2008 LP Deseret Canyon, which was originally released under the name The Paper Hats on the German label Apparent Extent in 2008. It was Tyler's first full-length album of (mostly) solo long-form jams; the 45 RPM double-LP reissue will give new life to a record whose original release was limited to, Tyler says, 500 copies. But Merge's RSD plans don't stop...

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Video: Wrinkle Neck Mules make rows in Raleigh again

Posted By on Wed, Mar 11, 2015 at 1:13 PM

Wrinkle Neck Mules So uthland Ballroom Saturday, Feb. 21 Celebrating 15 years as a band, and with their sixth full-length release in hand, the Wrinkle Neck Mules returned to the Triangle with a recent stop at Southland Ballroom. I Never Thought It Would Go This Far is an appropriate title for the band's latest album. The group tours minimally, but every few years they return to Raleigh via promoter Marianne Taylor; their rabid fan-base always makes a strong showing, with beer bottles in hand and ready to sing-along to nearly every word. Even with six releases under their belt, each...

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The N.C. State Fair will not book headlining Dorton Arena concerts in 2015

Posted By on Wed, Mar 11, 2015 at 10:40 AM

The North Carolina State Fair has decided to stop the bleeding: The Department of Agriculture announced yesterday that they are putting the customary headlining concerts inside Dorton Arena on pause, replacing them instead with free exhibitions during the day and a “Homegrown North Carolina” concert series focused on area acts at night. The decision follows an INDY investigation in December 2014 that found the State Fair had lost nearly $900,000 in only four years by spending inordinate amounts on national touring acts. For decades, such concerts had been free at the fair, though a switch in booking agents in 2002...

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Follow the music home: A post-Grammy game of catch-up with Alice Gerrard

Posted By and on Fri, Mar 6, 2015 at 12:10 PM

Last month, Durham's Alice Gerrard made the trip out to Los Angeles to attend the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. Her Follow The Music, which came out via Tompkins Square in September, was nominated for Best Folk Album, but Old Crow Medicine Show took the prize for Remedy. Still, Gerrard says she had a great time and talked about the once-in-a-lifetime experience in an email conversation. Just days after the nomination announcement in December, Gerrard met with her old friend and former Blue Grass Boy Peter Rowan to play a few tunes at the Monroe House in Raleigh. The two worked through...

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Schoolkids Records to open in Brightleaf Square

Posted By on Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 8:23 PM

It wasn’t officially open, but today in Durham’s Brightleaf Square shopping center, Schoolkids Records sold music. Stephen Judge, who owns the Schoolkids in Raleigh, is close to completing a deal that will see him open a second location in the space recently vacated by Offbeat Records. Judge was at the new space corresponding with distributors to secure more inventory when he decided to open his doors to the day’s warm breezes. “I’ve actually been kind of quietly open today,” Judge confirms. “Because the weather’s really nice, I actually opened my doors, and I’m in here doing work. Brightleaf’s been a...

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Ben Folds to join yMusic in Durham in April

Posted By on Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 1:47 AM

Ben Folds may run his music career from Nashville these days, but the piano-playing pop star (does that title still apply?) hails from Winston-Salem and built his music career in Chapel Hill, of course. Monday afternoon, Duke Performances announced that Folds will come home again in April, teaming with Brooklyn new music sextet yMusic for a tour beginning April 22 at the university's remodeled Baldwin Auditorium. Folds and yMusic have recorded an album of new material together, and it's expected this spring. yMusic is currently an artist-in-residence at Duke, too, and they'll play Ph.D. student compositions tomorrow night at Motorco. ...

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Girls in bands and Girl in a Band: Kim Gordon and Jon Wurster talk her book at the Cradle

Posted By on Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 11:00 PM

Kim Gordon and Jon Wurster Cat's Cradle, Carrboro Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015 When I was 14, I bought Daydream Nation, my first Sonic Youth record. I’ve been a fan since, especially by following Kim Gordon’s art and music. I have admired her energy and the way she’s presented herself. Now, at age 41, I find myself writing about her memoir, Girl in a Band, and a chat she had last week with Superchunk drummer/The Best Show co-star Jon Wurster at the Cat's Cradle's about it. Some daydream, right? The book came out the day of Gordon's reading, so attendees—many of whom...

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