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Friday, October 30, 2015

Sway into Halloween with Mac McCaughan's cover of The Undead

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 5:54 PM

It's something of a Halloween tradition for Superchunk and Merge co-founder Mac McCaughan, often with the band, to offer up a take on a song from the greater world of the Misfits. This year, he's reached a bit deeper than normal into the archives than normal, drafting The Undead's charged, looking-for-lust anthem, "When the Evening Comes." It's perfect. "When the Evening Comes" debuted on the first EP from The Undead back in 1982, just after Bobby Steele had left the Misfits, only to reappear a decade later on Dawn of the Undead. Creepy only if you consider it to be about...

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Check out Made of Oak's "silent rap video" with Toon and Well$

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 4:27 PM

In August, one-half of the Durham electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso—Nick Sanborn, or Made of Oak—shared a bill at Kings with Chapel Hill rapper Well$. Since that night, rumors that the two were exploring collaborations have abounded. For Well$, that meant an invaluable opportunity to rethink and recalibrate his solo direction; for Made of Oak, it meant a new opportunity to garnish some of his own untapped hip-hop sensibilities with one of the area’s most fueled-up rap artists. Just a week ahead of the release of his solo debut, Penumbra, Sanborn has at last made a foray into hip-hop with the video for...

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Press problems: MAKE talks about their slow return to the scene—and the slow return of their vinyl

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 12:54 PM

It's becoming a familiar story: As vinyl increases in popularity, small bands, labels and most of all, pressing plants, have felt the crunch of major labels cashing in on the format's resurgence. MAKE, the Chapel Hill-based heavy metal trio, recently experience the uncomfortable squeeze of having to wait around for the records they poured part of their lives—and often, a lot of their own money—into. Though MAKE began recording their excellent new LP The Golden Veil two years ago, the record didn't come out until mid-July. Even then, the album was only available via Bandcamp. Almost four months later, the...

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Video: Catch up on the N.C. State Fair's re-organized local music offerings

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 2:01 PM

N.C. State Fair Fairgrounds, Raleigh Friday, Oct. 2–Sunday Oct. 25, 2015 I spent three days at the North Carolina State Fair this year, filming local bands playing in new spaces and to crowds largely unfamiliar with them. After heading up a group to tape both Spider Bags and The Love Language's sets inside Dorton Area Friday, I set out solo the next two days to track down several Triangle favorites. Each group met a positive reaction from the diverse fair crowds, which either lingered for a while or merely passed by for one song before moving on to one of...

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"Snake Stuff," slugs and beets: Watch the creepy, gorgeous new Des Ark video

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 1:57 PM

Des Ark's new Everything Dies, released earlier this month via Graveface Records, is one of the year's best local records. Full of lush arrangements and devastating songwriting, the "proper" follow-up to 2011's Don't Rock The Boat, Sink The Fucker has been well worth the wait. Now there's a new reward: The video for the standout "Snake Stuff" has premiered on NPR.   The video features some slightly unsettling imagery—larvae writhing in dirt, slugs sliding across vegetables, beet juice that looks like blood—but the soft lighting and gentle arrangement of the song make it all strangely soothing. Guitar strums and sparse pedal...

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Video Premiere: Au Pair's "Waiting For the First Time"

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 3:31 PM

For their first video together as Au Pair, Gary Louris and Django Haskins play it straight—well, almost. As the clip opens, we hear a raspy, cathartic laugh before we see the laugher itself coming from Louris, seated in a sunlit living room. Haskins, a few feet away, asks if he’s ready, so Louris gets his game face on. From there, they stay true to the intimate spirit of “Waiting For the First Time." The mesh of harmonies is unforced, brotherly even, and the timing of their call and response is as natural as a coffee chat, only far more uplifting....

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Listen to Skylar Gudasz, who's so happy she could die, in a new song and video

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 2:23 PM

If you’ve spent some time paying attention to local music, Durham’s Skylar Gudasz should be a familiar name. Of late, she’s been involved with Big Star’s Third, the Chris Stamey-led project that pays tribute to the great, late pop band. She also lent her voice to Josh Moore’s Parted Ways earlier this year. Under her own name, though, Gudasz has only put out a 2011 EP and a few more great singles, like last year’s “Dream Lover." Earlier this week, she finally announced that her first-ever full-length, Oleander, would drop in February. Consequence of Sound also premiered the first track...

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Video: Happy Traum presents tales and tunes at The ArtsCenter

Posted By on Tue, Oct 27, 2015 at 5:51 PM

Happy Traum The ArtsCenter, Carrboro Saturday, September 26, 2015 Happy Traum delivered an all-encompassing trip at The ArtsCenter on a late September Saturday. The founder of Homespun, a media company focusing on specialized music lessons on video, started the afternoon off with a finger-picking instructional session. Later that evening, a performance and fascinating presentation on Traum's time at the heart of the folk movement in New York City's Washington Square followed. Traum also had his first record in 10 years in tow, Just For The Love Of It, co-produced by Larry Campbell. The CD is essentially a collection of folk standards...

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Hear "All Them Houses," a new track from Jon Lindsay

Posted By on Mon, Oct 26, 2015 at 6:29 PM

Between preparing two solo LPs for release, maintaining a month-long residency at the Raleigh cocktail bar Common 414 and juggling a load of side projects, Jon Lindsay has kept a blistering pace this year. Appropriately enough, “All Them Houses”—the lead single from the upcoming Cities and Schools, out in early 2016—is a sugar rush of infectious beats, gleaming keyboards and Lindsay’s bell-bright tenor vocals. It is catchy to the extreme. Eschewing some of the baroque tendencies of his first two LPs, Lindsay sharpened his focus for record number three. Aiming for an ’80s pop feel reminiscent of the clean-toned, layered...

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Live: Citizens Kahane and company give a Guide and more to Raleigh

Posted By on Mon, Oct 26, 2015 at 1:57 PM

An Evening with Jeffrey and Gabriel Kahane Meymandi Concert Hall, Raleigh Saturday, September 24, 2015 I will admit—without a drop of pride—that I haven’t seen the full North Carolina Symphony perform since I was a child. Having grown up in Cary, it was an annual tradition for the fourth-grade kids to head to Meymandi Concert Hall for a morning of cultural exposure. I haven’t been avoiding the symphony; circumstance is generally to blame. So I was eager to return Saturday night for a program featuring the father-and-son tandem of Jeffrey and Gabriel Kahane. I’m more familiar with the younger Kahane’s...

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Dedicated band parking in Raleigh? Not so easy or quick

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2015 at 3:28 PM

Last year, Raleigh mayor Nancy McFarlane returned from South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, talking about band parking. She’d visited the technology-and-music festival in part to recruit businesses and boast about the rise of the city’s tech start-ups and in part to see what Austin did right that perhaps Raleigh didn’t do at all. She noticed that, in Texas, bands were often able to park in front of clubs for a spell without fear of tickets or blocks with no free spaces. Given the success of events like Hopscotch and the then-new World of Bluegrass, she wondered why Raleigh wasn't...

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Video: Tim Easton and Brett Harris bridge Nashville and Durham in Cary

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2015 at 11:16 AM

Tim Easton & Brett Harris The Cary Theater, Cary Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 A rainy Friday evening in Cary greeted the latest edition of the Six String Presents series, hosting roots musicians Tim Easton from Nashville and Brett Harris from Durham. The crowd clutched their insulated cups of warm beverages, as they attempted to fight the early fall chill. Brett Harris kicked off the evening. With a set of new songs set for an early 2016 release, he offered a preview of the coming material. He mixed in a heartwarming story around the song "Grey Skies Blue," which describes his mother's...

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Art of Cool announces its 2016 lineup, gets back to jazz

Posted By on Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 10:00 PM

Tonight, before Los Angeles jazz adventurer Terrace Martin hit The Pour House stage in Raleigh for The Art of Cool Project and 9th Wonder’s monthly soul series Caramel City, Art of Cool president Cicely Mitchell announced the full lineup for next year’s third annual Art of Cool Music Festival, scheduled May 6–8, 2016, in Durham. Two months ago, the festival got an early lead in the festival announcement game when it revealed two of its headliners, famed jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard and Detroit soul maverick Dwele. In previous years, the festival’s lineup landed in late November, just before Thanksgiving. AOC...

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Boulevards talks his new Captured Tracks record deal, taking the funk to the kids

Posted By on Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 2:50 PM

Yesterday, Jamil Rashad got an early birthday present: News broke that the Raleigh funk revivalist had landed a deal with Captured Tracks, a vogue New York record label whose promotional and industry cachet stand to push Rashad to bigger audiences rather quickly. That’s already started to happen for Rashad. Since his debut single, “Got to Go,” first began to land on national music blogs in January, the name has been near the top of many bands-to-watch lists. With the new deal, an excellent EP, NPR love, a much-buzzed Hopscotch appearance and a South by Southwest slot confirmed for next...

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Hear the first sample of the fourth, final Whatever Brains LP

Posted By on Thu, Oct 22, 2015 at 12:54 PM

You might have heard whispers for the past five months that Whatever Brains—to my mind, one of the absolute best bands to emerge from this state during the last decade—have broken up, playing their final show while opening for Lighting Bolt back in May. Indeed, Bryan C. Reed alluded to the dissolution in his recent review of Whatever Brains’ presumably last single and, again, in his review of the Brains side-project ISS this week. But aside from a Facebook quip, Whatever Brains have kept publicly mum about the split—until today, when the band announced that its upcoming fourth self-titled...

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Foreign Exchange's tour documentary premieres online tonight, 8 p.m.

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 8:55 AM

Fans of The Foreign Exchange’s Phonte Coleman may have already caught wind of his upcoming television roles, both in the HBO series Brothers in Atlanta and the VH1 movie The Breaks. Though you’ll have to wait just a little bit longer before the former Little Brother emcee makes his small-screen debut, you can catch him on your computer screen tonight. Coleman, producer Nicolay Rook and key members of The Foreign Exchange’s soul unit serve as the subjects of the new documentary Suite Sessions: On Tour With The Foreign Exchange. As seen in this two-minute trailer, the film chronicles the band’s...

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Corrosion of Conformity sign with Nuclear Blast Entertainment for 2016 LP

Posted By on Mon, Oct 19, 2015 at 6:05 PM

Next year, Corrosion of Conformity will release a new album, on a new label, with a new lineup. Kind of.  The band's forthcoming 10th album, to be released by the multinational metal imprint Nuclear Blast Entertainment, will be the first since 2005’s In The Arms of God to feature singer/guitarist Pepper Keenan (also of Down). It follows 2012’s self-titled and 2014’s IX—both recorded by co-founders Woodroe Weatherman, Reed Mullin and Mike Dean. Still, ever since the trio reconvened in 2010 to reignite the band, they’ve been dogged by fans clamoring for a return to the Keenan-led hard rock of the...

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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Dave Alvin: The wisdom of Big Joe Turner and making up for Lost Time

Posted By on Sun, Oct 18, 2015 at 5:23 PM

Dave Alvin and his big brother, Phil, made roots-rock cool in the ‘80s with The Blasters. Between Phil’s phenomenally soulful singing and Dave’s incisive songwriting and searing licks, they stirred up something special. But they parted ways in 1986, with Dave going on to a distinguished solo career and Phil continuing to lead various lineups of The Blasters. Despite some reunion shows in the 2000s, the Alvins never recorded again until their 2014 duo record, Common Ground, an album of Big Bill Broonzy songs. With another Alvins album of covers out, Lost Time, Dave shed some light on the brothers’...

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Live: MAKE—yes, the heavy metal band—at the second day of the North Carolina State Fair

Posted By on Fri, Oct 16, 2015 at 4:09 PM

MAKE N.C. State Fair's Waterfall Stage, Raleigh Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 The North Carolina State Fair cannot be accused of being shy with its decisions. When the 162-year-old agricultural institution announced its music-booking facelift earlier this year, followed in short order by a schedule of bands, one of the most surprising features was the inclusion of MAKE, an unapologetically dynamic and thoughtful doom metal trio from Orange County. What’s more, the State Fair didn’t seem interested in steadily escalating the volume, or in warming up the crowds to the sounds of softer rock or more polite pop or folk...

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Journey through the Badlands: An interview with Jack the Radio

Posted By on Fri, Oct 16, 2015 at 10:33 AM

With the release of Jack the Radio’s terrific third studio album looming, Spencer Griffith sat on the back patio of Slim’s on an early October weeknight to talk with the Raleigh outfit’s singer/guitarist George Hage and multi-instrumentalist Danny Johnson. They discussed their songwriting and recording processes, Badland’s two-sided sound and growing through the local community. Jack the Radio plays Lincoln Theatre Friday, Oct. 16, at 9 p.m. with Young Yonder and Caleb Caudle. The band also plays at Mystery Brewing in Hillsborough Saturday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. INDY: What inspired the concept of differentiated sounds on each side for...

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Video: After a year offstage, Mount Moriah picks back up at the Pinhook

Posted By and on Thu, Oct 15, 2015 at 11:01 AM

Mount Moriah The Pinhook Friday, Oct. 9, 2015 Almost exactly a year since its last performance in the Triangle, Mount Moriah received a warm hometown welcome at The Pinhook Friday. After kicking off with “Calvander,” the bright lead cut from the new 7-inch the band was celebrating, Heather McEntire expressed her gratitude for the sold-out crowd. Mount Moriah's set didn’t quite last an hour, and the 11-song romp keyed largely on new material. The new songs—including those from the 7-inch—were a thrill to hear, and the addition of Daniel Faust on drums felt like a good fit, too. McEntire...

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Live: At The Ritz, age hasn't devalued Mint Condition

Posted By on Thu, Oct 15, 2015 at 9:42 AM

Mint Condition The Ritz, Raleigh Friday, October 9, 2015 It still surprises me when concertgoers don’t understand encores. Friday night’s nearly sold-out Mint Condition concert inside The Ritz in Raleigh spotlighted a few of those folks. One such woman stood next to me for the entire night as she swayed and sang along to the sextet’s beloved ballads. But when the stage faded to black and the band walked off stage after putting the finishing touches on “What Kind of Man Would I Be?,” she stormed off, too, bemoaning the fact that the guys had ended the show without performing possibly...

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Video: New Riders of the Purple Sage bring their renegade rock to Raleigh

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2015 at 5:46 PM

New Riders of the Purple Sage Southland Ballroom, Raleigh Thursday, October 1, 2015 More than six years passed since New Riders of the Purple Sage last stopped off in Raleigh. At that time, co-founding member John Dawson had just passed away from stomach cancer. In the interim, the group has carried on, anchored by David Nelson, the group's other founding member, and renown steel guitarist Buddy Cage. New Riders have said their goal in reforming the group in 2005 was to carry the music forward, paying respect to their own legacy while taking their special brand of strange country rock...

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Chapel Hill's Mipso hits the top of Billboard's bluegrass charts with Old Time Reverie

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2015 at 9:54 AM

Released last week, Mipso’s new album Old Time Reverie has already left its mark on Billboard’s sales charts. The album debuted at the top of the music industry trade magazine’s Bluegrass Chart, and notched No. 20 on the Folk Chart and No. 23 on the Heatseekers Chart—all on the strength of an album on a local label.  The band got the news last week, but didn’t see it published until yesterday after Googling “billboard bluegrass.” “It's sort of like hearing your song on the radio for the first time and thinking, ‘Whoa, that's really us,'” guitarist Joseph Terrell says. “It's an...

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Friday, October 9, 2015

Live: Ana Tijoux bridges language gaps with beats and attitude

Posted By on Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 3:25 PM

Ana Tijoux Motorco Music Hall, Durham Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015 There was some mild cognitive dissonance when Ana Tijoux started her set Thursday night at a sold-out Motorco. Wearing her signature large hoop earrings, a chevron print dress and braided hair, the rapper launched into her first song, "Antipatriarca," a rousing womanist anthem. Attendees who had crowded near the stage jumped and grinded in excitement to the beats, but barely sang along—the rhymes were all in rapid-fire Chilean Spanish. Tijoux didn't take long to point out and take advantage of the situation's oddity, wryly testing the crowd. "It really is...

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Boots Riley has a Durham connection, including influence from the civil rights movement, worth exploring.

by Walter Riley on At UNC, Catch the Rapper Who Puts the "Conscious" in "Conscious Rap" (Music)

So freaking talented. Unbelievable.

by April Miszler on Video: H.C. McEntire Celebrates Lionheart at The Pinhook (Music)

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