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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Video: Southland Mission makes a stunning debut onstage

Posted By and on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 2:17 PM

Phil Cook's Southland Revue: Introducing Southland Mission Duke Gardens, Durham Wednesday, June 24 The program for the packed final night of Phil Cook's Southland Revue was straightforward and self-explanatory: With the show titled Introducing Southland Mission, the band tore through Cook's nine-song LP due out via Thirty Tigers in September.  After beginning with "Ain't it Sweet," the band followed with Charlie Parr's "1922" and Cook's "Great Tide" (you can listen to the studio version of it here). Cook previously played "Lowly Road" on Tuesday night, but beefed it up Wednesday with the full band, which included Tamisha Waden as a...

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See See Gulls' video for "Long Gone"

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 10:57 AM

Sarah Fuller isn’t going to let this boy get the best of her. In the Jacki Huntington-directed clip for “Long Gone,” the mid-tempo seducer from See Gulls’ forthcoming debut EP, You Can’t See Me, the band’s leader is first surprised with a living-room breakup as she sips from a glass of wine. Consternation follows, as do tears, shouts, mascara-streaming drives, couch-sitting sadness and awkward encounters at bars where the ex (local musician Wylie Hunter) shows up with a new fling. But she gets the last laugh here, emptying some neon-green vomit down his back and peering over a produce aisle...

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Video: The Branchettes and Charlie Parr bring more light to Phil Cook's Southland Revue

Posted By and on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 5:29 PM

Phil Cook's Southland Revue: Are You Ready for the Jubilee? Duke Gardens, Durham Tuesday, June 23, 2015 A smaller crowd gathered for Tuesday's portion of Phil Cook's Southland Revue, but the evening sported a deeper, more electrifying spiritual current than Monday night's (also wonderful) Trials, Troubles, Heartaches. Like the set before, the evening began with Cook taking the stage alone with an electric guitar. He offered one of his favorite gospel tunes, "Take Your Burden to the Lord and Leave it There," and followed it with "Lowly Road," a new Staples Singers-inspired track off his forthcoming Southland Mission. Cook then invited...

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Live: Rock N Roll Partyfest rages in Raleigh

Posted By and on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 3:38 PM

Rock N Roll Partyfest Slim’s, Raleigh Saturday, June 20–Sunday, June 21, 2015 To some extent, every music festival is an endurance test. But the inaugural Rock N Roll Partyfest in Raleigh somehow kept from becoming a dull blur. Its two nights might have started early and ended late, but a casual vibe and quick sets ensured it never got boring, while consistently good sound and dynamic contrasts between bands kept the energy high. The two-night dash, with more than 20 bands crammed between dinnertime and last call, was the brainchild of local musician Brian Cruse. He said the idea for...

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From Big Star to End of Love: Jody Stephens discusses his myriad musical projects

Posted By on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 at 10:18 AM

If End of Love is not on your radar, that’s perfectly understandable. The power pop/Americana trio earned a small following for its club performances in the early ’00s but didn’t stay together long enough to make any records—until now. And while the band may not ring a bell, the personnel on its first record are names you might recognize, like Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth, Nels Cline and John Stirratt of Wilco, and drummer Jody Stephens of Big Star. Speaking from Ardent Studios, the fabled recording venue for the Big Star records and End of Love’s forthcoming Ghosts on the...

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Live: Making sense of Lindsey Stirling in Raleigh

Posted By on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 3:22 PM

Lindsey Stirling Red Hat Amphitheater, Raleigh Monday, June 22, 2015 There's a mystique to the violin. It seems as though people automatically grant violinists respect more than other instrumentalists, as though it somehow takes more talent to play the violin well than it does drums or saxophone. Add a violin to a band, and suddenly that group is taken seriously, with high-brow terms like "orchestral" or "chamber" tossed around to describe the sound. And if that violinist looks good while playing—especially if they can gyrate expressively— you have a particularly winning formula. I'm a violinist, and although I find this appreciation gratifying, it is also confusing. Why me...

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Video: Phil Cook's first night of Trials, Troubles, Heartaches and heat

Posted By and on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 1:12 PM

Phil Cook's Southland Revue: Trials, Troubles, Heartaches Duke Gardens, Durham Monday, June 22, 2015 Despite the late-June heat Monday night, a decent crowd gathered at Duke Gardens for a special presentation from Duke Performances—the first installment of Phil Cook's Southland Revue, a three-night stand celebrating Cook's forthcoming record, Southland Mission, which arrives September 11. Cook explained that this first night would help tell "the story of how the music got to where it got." While the evening offered a great set of songs, I suspect the next two nights will round out a better picture of the development of Southland...

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Live: Hunting geese with a rake, and other tales from David Crosby

Posted By on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 4:44 PM

An Evening with David Crosby Carolina Theatre, Durham Tuesday, June 16 Tuesday night brought David Crosby to Durham, still hot on the road in support of his 2014 album Croz. Unlike the show that I saw last year at Northern Virginia’s Wolf Trap, this was a solo gig, leaving his band at home and giving us a more intimate Crosby. I grew up as a direct product of the 1960s and early '70s culture my parents participated in, and some of my earliest and most lasting memories are hooked into the records and tapes my folks played. I can remember...

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Alison Krauss & Union Station, Earls of Leicester and more join IBMA's 2015 festival lineup

Posted By on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 3:14 PM

At a press conference in Raleigh this afternoon, representatives from the International Bluegrass Music Association, PineCone and other North Carolina organizations announced the full lineup for the 2015 Wide Open Bluegrass festival. Alison Krauss & Union Station, featuring dobro player Jerry Douglas, will be the main headliner, with The Sam Bush Band, Earls of Leicester, The Gibson Brothers, Blue Highway and the O'Connor Family Band joining, too. Krauss was supposed to perform with an all-star jam at the 2013 Wide Open Bluegrass festival, but illness prevented her from taking the stage. Krauss, Douglas and company join an already-announced lineup that...

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Don't try this at home: Boulevards' Jamil Rashad on the bold new "Got to Go" music video

Posted By on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 10:55 AM

At slightly more than two minutes long, Boulevards' "Got to Go" is an efficient little tune. It exudes early '80s Motown, from its chirruping synths to its nasty, strutting bassline, and the new video follows suit. In his denim jacket, turtleneck, and white high-tops, Jamil Rashad—Boulevards himself—could be from the same era. He struts on bleachers, he stands on the beach; he rides carnival rides and buys records: it's slick, stylish fun, like a fashion shoot set to music. Yet shortly before the final chorus, there's a shot of Rashad standing on a blacktop as a car drifts behind...

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Live: The pleasure, the privilege was ours, Morrissey

Posted By on Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 1:16 PM

Morrissey The Carolina Theatre, Durham Monday, June 15 Morrissey knows what his fans want. From the moment concertgoers cleared the surprisingly thorough security, they were confronted with imagery designed to push all of the buttons of a Smiths fan. At the merch table, “Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me” pillowcases were hung next to “Shoplifters Of The World Unite” totebags. The “opening act” was a 30-minute montage of videos. Ramones, Jacques Brel and New York Dolls live footage, was combined with Allen Ginsberg interviews, a Flamenco dancer and an Anne Sexton poetry reading—a curated tour of the icons and...

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Live: Dinosaurs? Not so much for Plant, Pixies

Posted By on Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 12:55 PM

Robert Plant & The Sensational Shape Shifters, The Pixies Koka Booth Amphitheatre, Cary Tuesday, June 16 This has been an extremely dinosaur-themed few days, and I’m not just referring to the rampaging box-office success of Jurassic World. Last week, an INDY reviewer likened the then-upcoming Pixies/Robert Plant pairing at Koka Booth Amphitheatre to a dinosaur double-bill. Not to mention there was another dinosaur playing nearby: a plant-eating variety known as Morrissey. If the former Smiths singer holding court at the Carolina Theatre was a long-necked, herbivorous sauropod, the former Led Zeppelin singer topping the bill in Cary was a slightly grizzled...

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Video: Josh Moore and friends convene in Carrboro to celebrate Parted Ways

Posted By on Mon, Jun 15, 2015 at 11:39 AM

Josh Moore Cat's Cradle (Back Room) June 12, 2015 Surrounded by friends and what seemed to be the majority of the Carrboro community, Josh Moore debuted his long-anticipated solo record, Parted Ways on Friday night. In years past, Moore had become a mainstay in accompanying a variety of groups throughout the Triangle, but over the weekend, it was their time to return the favor. With roughly 10 different musicians coming on and off to support Moore, they provided careful yet lush accompaniment that allowed the gifted singer to take his overdue place center stage. Below are clips from the evening's...

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Live: Cary gets all shook up with Alabama Shakes and Courtney Barnett

Posted By on Mon, Jun 15, 2015 at 11:37 AM

Alabama Shakes, Courtney Barnett Koka Booth Amphitheatre, Cary Wednesday, June 10 After the Alabama Shakes followed its gritty debut LP Boys & Girls with the ambitious Sound & Color in April, it was apparent there were changes afoot for the foursome. Last week’s show in Cary proved that the daring outfit’s evolution hasn’t been restricted to the studio, often appearing as a nine-piece ensemble to help re-create the lush arrangements of its freshest material on stage. From the jazzy, nuanced title track to the slow-burning blues shuffle of “Miss You,” the Shakes seemingly transformed themselves every few minutes while tackling...

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Live: Chris Stapleton brings his and others' hits to Raleigh

Posted By on Mon, Jun 15, 2015 at 11:32 AM

Chris Stapleton Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh Saturday, June 13 “I feel like Reba McEntire up here, I might need a costume change,” said singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton, referencing the steamy, sold-out Lincoln Theatre’s sweaty temperatures and McEntire’s '90s-era award show costume carousel. “Sorry for putting the image of me in that red dress in your head.” It’s a funny thought, picturing him in that infamous “Does He Love You”-era sheer, slinky number that raised so many pre-Miley Cyrus eyebrows at the 1993 CMA Awards show. Stapleton’s long, wild beard would cover up the most plunging of necklines, and his ever-present cowboy hat...

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Duke Performances unveils stellar 2015–2016 season

Posted By on Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 10:17 AM

Durham should expect a deluge of music during the coming year. Between September 10 and April 15, Duke Performances will bring more than 60 engagements to theaters, auditoriums and clubs both on campus and across town. And with a handful of notable exceptions, the shows hinge on sound, whether it’s as local as Durham’s Hiss Golden Messenger and Greensboro’s Rhiannon Giddens or as international as Turkish pianist Fazil Say and Indian violinist Lakshminarayana Subramaniam. As ambitious stylistically as it is geographically, the season roams from traditional gospel to soul, from choral music to Cuban rhythms, from Chinese classical to transcontinental...

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Live: Taylor Swift's very fun mutual admiration society

Posted By on Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 10:07 AM

Taylor Swift, Vance Joy PNC Arena, Raleigh Tuesday, June 9, 2015 Hours before Taylor Swift took the stage at a sold-out PNC Arena on Tuesday night, the parking lot held a party of its own. The white peaks of E-Z Up tents formed a small mountain range, sheltering parents who dished out fruit salad or helped their children put finishing touches on homemade T-shirts. Those old enough to pregame sat in the beds of extended-cab trucks, swigging from brown paper bags and blasting Chase Rice through tinny speakers. On the asphalt, proclamations came in chalk: “We love you Taylor.”...

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Live: Even with a new album, Third Eye Blind sticks to the hits in Raleigh

Posted By on Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 1:56 PM

Third Eye Blind Red Hat Amphitheater, Raleigh Tuesday, June 9, 2015 Shortly into Third Eye Blind’s midweek set at Red Hat Amphitheater on Tuesday, longtime leader Stephan Jenkins shared his relief and anticipation with the nostalgia-seeking crowd. “We can finally say that our new album comes out next week,” he announced, alluding to a career that’s been marked by long between-album cycles since the band dominated pop-rock airwaves in the late ’90s. The new Dopamine will be just the second full-length the group has released since 2003’s Out of the Vein, despite staying relatively active as a touring outfit....

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Live: In Raleigh, St. Paul forms a Cabarrus Street congregation

Posted By on Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 10:17 AM

St. Paul & The Broken Bones Lincoln Theatre Street Stage, Raleigh Saturday, June 6, 2015 A half-dozen songs into an explosive 90-minute set outside Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre, St. Paul & The Broken Bones’ force-of-nature frontman, Paul Janeway, introduced “Shake,” the group’s first cover of the night: “We’re gonna do a Sam Cooke song, Otis Redding-style, for you,” he proclaimed, acknowledging the pair of icons to which he is perhaps most often linked. Those comparisons are hardly fair, as Cooke and Redding were once-in-a-lifetime voices, and Janeway lacks the former’s smooth delivery and the latter’s raw power. Still, suggesting more contemporary...

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Live: Algiers win an uphill battle in Carrboro

Posted By on Tue, Jun 9, 2015 at 7:07 PM

Algiers Cat's Cradle Back Room, Carrboro Saturday, June 6, 2015 Among members of the press, there seems to be general agreement that Algiers—an Atlanta-born, New York-based three-piece inevitably described as post-punk-meets-gospel—is something special. The raves have been notably effusive. “If I had to pick one new band that you should absolutely listen to, it’s Algiers,” from NPR, typifies the tone. But judging from the anemic attendance at Saturday night’s performance at the Cat’s Cradle Back Room, the message has been slow to translate to tours. As he took in the debut performance of Muffled, an endearingly ragged Charlotte trio, two...

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Live: The Decemberists best Raleigh's mid-week drizzle

Posted By on Tue, Jun 9, 2015 at 6:41 PM

The Decemberists, Shovels & Rope Red Hat Amphitheater, Raleigh Wednesday, June 3, 2015 Last Wednesday night, Chris Funk, a guitarist for The Decemberists, stood on an onstage monitor with his arms spread wide and slightly bent. He slowly undulated from his fingertips back through his chest. Everyone screamed. Funk was imitating Raleigh’s Shimmer Wall—or “that shiny corporate tree” as band leader Colin Meloy called it. This was the signal for everyone to yell as though they were being eaten alive by a giant sperm whale. In short order, and in a storm of confetti, a giant whale puppet massacred the...

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Hear new tunes from Phil Cook, MAKE

Posted By on Mon, Jun 8, 2015 at 6:24 PM

Two Triangle favorites—Durham roots revitalizer Phil Cook and Chapel Hill doom dudes MAKE—offered previews of their forthcoming albums today. Though they take wildly different approaches to their respective topics and tunes, both tracks foreshadow excellent area LPs to come in the next three months. Due September 11 through Thirty Tigers, Cook’s Southland Mission is earmarked as his proper debut as a bandleader, despite his previous turns as a solo singer-songwriter and instrumentalist and long history as one-third of Megafaun. Southland Mission is a vibrant and well-built record, with fiddles and horns, harmonies and keyboards crawling across Cook’s great syntheses of...

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Friday, June 5, 2015

Live: To Live and Shave in L.A., in Chapel Hill

Posted By on Fri, Jun 5, 2015 at 5:07 PM

To Live and Shave in L.A.,Holly Hunt, Clang Quartet, Jim Capps and Severed+Said Nightlight, Chapel Hill Thursday, June 4, 2015 Tom Smith has long been one of the underground’s most imposing performers. Gasping, twisting, moaning, contorting, chanting and frowning, he’s a large, gnarled coil of energy and muscle. You can’t take your eyes off him. Not unlike John Lydon during Public Image Limited’s earliest and finest years, he plays both clown and devil, madman and genius. These qualities were on fine display last night, when To Live and Shave in L.A.’s 25th anniversary tour—their first full trek in seven...

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Video: Finding the most relaxed music festival around during Memorial Day weekend

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Turning off North Carolina Highway 87 and navigating the winding roads of rural Chatham County brought me, during Memorial Day weekend, to what might be the most relaxed music festival. Past green pastures and grazing cattle, I found the Cane Creek Campground and RV Park. For the 37th year, the grounds hosted the Lil' John's Mountain Music Festival. I parked a short distance away, but a volunteer in a golf cart soon asked "Would you like to park closer?"—a first in festival-going experience for me. Stepping out of the car for the second time, I met the smell of hickory-smoked...

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

An interview with Future Islands, playing their 1,000th show in Carrboro in July

Posted By on Wed, Jun 3, 2015 at 5:04 PM

This morning, North Carolina natives and Baltimore residents Future Islands took to Instagram to announce important summertime news: They're coming home—or at least to Carrboro—to play their 1,000th show on the Carrboro Town Commons. Scheduled for July 26th, the concert's commemorative number is indicative of just how hard Future Islands worked before signing to Thrill Jockey and 4AD and before wowing Letterman and going viral. They've played those 1,000 shows in less than a decade, as they first hit the stage in 2006. This will be much more than a normal set for Future Islands. It will be an all-day...

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