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Friday, January 29, 2016

Live: Mipso, Mandolin Orange and more chip in at The Pinhook

Posted By on Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 4:56 PM

The Bronzed Chorus, Mipso, Mandolin Orange, Justin Robinson The Pinhook, Durham Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 Yesterday on Twitter, I spotted a rumor: That night, Twitter informed me, Ben Folds Five would reunite (again) for the second Save the Pinhook benefit. I didn’t realize this was something that people took seriously—it made zero sense—but at one point, an audience member told hostess Vivica C. Coxx that he’d bought tickets only because he expected to see Ben Folds Five. No, Ben Folds Five didn’t show last night, but the second sold-out night to rescue The Pinhook from financial trouble still offered a respectable...

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Live: Phil Cook and company bust up cabin fever at the Cradle

Posted By on Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 4:25 PM

Phil Cook & The Guitarheels Cat's Cradle, Carrboro Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016  Despite the Triangle's coat of ice and snow last Saturday night, Phil Cook and The Guitarheels held their ground, continuing with their scheduled performance at the Cat's Cradle. A surprisingly large crowd braved the elements to hear Cook and his Guitarheels pull from his acclaimed Southland Mission. The group was loose, using the occasion to give the crowd extended takes and mix in a few covers, too. Cook treats the members of the Guitarheels as more than band members, introducing each with a heartfelt story about what person added to...

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Live: N.C. Opera breaks Tchaikovsky out of his dense tomb

Posted By on Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 3:14 PM

N.C. Opera: Eugene Onegin Meymandi Concert Hall Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016 We mostly know Tchaikovsky for a handful of symphonic works—ballets, symphonies, concerti and a few overtures thrown in for kicks. Those pieces are so overexposed, so drilled into our collective musical consciousness that it’s hard to approach them with anything near freshness. But the North Carolina Opera’s concert performance of Eugene Onegin last weekend presented an opportunity to hear something by Tchaikovsky with new ears. While it is one of the few Tchiakovsky operas to enter the standard repertory in the West, it still doesn’t get performed with the regularity...

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Updated: Carolina Theatre loses another executive, chief operating officer Aaron Bare

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 3:27 PM

Less than one week after the resignation of Carolina Theatre CEO Bob Nocek, the company's chief operating officer, Aaron Bare, resigned this afternoon after a nine-year tenure at the arts center. Bare announced the resignation through an email shared  with undisclosed recipients.  "Effective immediately, I am resigning my position as Chief Operating Officer for the Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc," Bare wrote. "I have enjoyed working with all of you and am proud of what we have accomplished together during the last nine years."  Officials at the Carolina Theatre say there will be no press release on the matter and would...

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Live: Strings and synths mix at the eclectic first show to save The Pinhook

Posted By and on Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 11:57 AM

Save The Pinhook, Night One: Sylvan Esso, Flock of Dimes, The Hot at Nights, Chatham County Line The Pinhook, Durham Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016 Wednesday night’s surprise bill to save the Pinhook covered a lot of ground, from Chatham County Line’s sweet acoustic Americana to Sylvan Esso’s electro-pop. The bill reflected one of the most significant elements that makes The Pinhook worth saving at all: It’s a comfortable space for most anything, from institutions like Chatham County Line to new-to-town figures like Flock of Dimes, the solo offshoot of Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner. Still, before the show started, I wondered...

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hear The Dead Tongues' new "Graveyard Fields," from a forthcoming LP

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 12:50 PM

Since the 2009 release of his Donkey LP, Ryan Gustafson has delivered some of the state's best folk-inclined rock. He’s an expert at pitting brooding lyrics against warm, inviting arrangements. Gustafson expanded upon that premise under the name The Dead Tongues with 2013’s Desert. Three years later, The Dead Tongues’ new Montana is at last ready to roll.  “Graveyard Fields” is the first track from Montana, and it follows through on Gustafson’s brand of twang, but with a full-band arrangement that’s swampy and springy. The beginning conjures the blues, but “Graveyard Fields” leans just as heavily on Southern country funk and contemporary folk....

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NANCE works up his wordplay on the new simile-saturated "Yogi Berra" with Tab-One and Drique London

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 9:15 AM

A baseball player, a New York Yankee, a Hall of Fame catcher: These are the things we typically remember about the late Yogi Berra. Being a rapper? Not so much. But consider his love of language and his wry wit, buried in his zany sentences, and it’s not so difficult to imagine that Berra was a dope emcee a few generations ahead of his time. That’s the thinking of rising Raleigh rapper NANCE, at least, who enlists fellow Triangle spitters Tab-One and Drique London on his new song, “Yogi Berra,” in advance of his promising upcoming EP, Everything I Need....

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Its name is Jonas: This weekend in music-and-arts cancellations

Posted By on Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 1:09 PM

In what is an unfortunate annual tradition, the Triangle has once again shut down due to a misery-making layer of ice, sleet and snow. The roads are dangerous, especially at night, which means a bunch of evening activities scheduled for this weekend are being canceled. Here's our running list of cancellations. If you've got one to add or update, tweet at us, send us an email or leave notice in the comments. Things, so far, that are still happening: • The Everymen will play two sets at Slim's • Naked Naps, Mothers and Less Western at Kings • The Hot at...

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Live: Still Ratatat after all these years

Posted By on Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 12:45 PM

Ratatat, Jackson and His Computerband The Ritz, Raleigh Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016 Let’s go back a little bit: In 2004, a relatively unknown Brooklyn band called Ratatat released a self-titled debut on XL Recordings. Within a few years, Ratatat became one of the largest success stories in indie music. Their pared-down instrumental rock fused guitar grandeur with hip-hop and the squawky remnants of electroclash to create something that was sonically exciting and accessible. On 2006’s Classics, we got a second serving. And on 2008’s LP3, a third. The heads loved it, of course, but by last year’s Magnifique, more than...

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Live: With arms wide open, Scott Stapp comes to Carrboro

Posted By on Thu, Jan 21, 2016 at 4:56 PM

Scott Stapp, Rockett Queen Cat's Cradle, Carrboro Monday, Jan. 18, 2016 "Man, I have a weird idea. Do you want to go see Scott Stapp and write about it?" My first thought, upon receiving that message, was, “Is there anyone less qualified than myself to act as pretend music critic, even with the bar for engagement set at Scott Stapp level?” My second thought: “How many consecutive nights have I spent playing Fallout 4?” So I said yes, yes to adventure—and to Carrboro for a night of fun and fellowship with proto-Florida Man Scott Stapp. Here's a brief recap for...

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Boogie with Boulevards' new single, "Cold Call"

Posted By on Thu, Jan 21, 2016 at 2:05 PM

In 1982, writer Val Wilmer proclaimed in New Music Express that Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five’s “The Message” was “the first really big political record since James Brown’s 1970 ‘Say It Loud.’” In many ways, the song also showed hip-hop’s versatility, how it could pivot from urban pop cool to socio-political raps. This crossover tradition continues on “Cold Call,” as Raleigh’s newly annointed guardian of funk couture, Boulevards, reimagines the signature synths of "The Message" into flirtatious pokes at a love interest. Then, he makes his move: He calls her up, she answers, he shoots his shot—granted, a shot...

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Live: Suspense and tragedy with the North Carolina Symphony

Posted By on Thu, Jan 21, 2016 at 8:12 AM

N.C. Symphony plays Andrew Norman,  Beethoven and Brahms UNC's Memorial Hall, Chapel Hill Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016 Of the three pieces on the North Carolina Symphony's program at Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill last Thursday, only two brashly announced themselves as orchestral works. Brahms’ Tragic Overture begins with two lacerating minor chords that hint at some horror that is never fully revealed. Beethoven’s "Emperor" Concerto, on the other hand, opens with a glowing major chord that sports a hint of regal reserve. A flurrying cadenza emerges from the piano as the chord decays. But Andrew Norman’s Suspend—the middle piece, which...

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

New local company Record Tacks uses 3-D printers to help you display your records

Posted By on Wed, Jan 20, 2016 at 9:31 AM

I love to look at records. I have a framed copy of the U.S. pressing of The Who Sings My Generation hanging a few feet from where I'm now writing to prove it. But framing records is expensive; plus, in doing so, you consign an LP to the status of display item. And what good is Goats Head Soup preserved in amber? Still, it's always frustrated me that the artwork of my record collection is stowed away on shelves and in crates, largely hidden from view. Geoffrey Blakely, a record collector and seller from Chapel Hill, knew the feeling. One...

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Monday, January 18, 2016

"Right Now," right now: Watch the new video from Durham's The Real Laww

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 2:11 PM

Durham rapper The Real Laww released the video for the new single “Right Now," from his yet-to-be-released debut LP Accidental Masterpiece, late last week. The video is directed by Johnny J. Jones of Zoë Pictures and Roman Gabriel of Moonman Pictures and follows The Real Laww’s black-and-white daydreaming sequence at Durham Central Park as he battles the line of Durham's Cocoa Cinnamon. You may notice several Bull City musicians—Defacto Thezpian, Anonymous Jones, Mballa and The Real Laww’s longtime music and business partner, Professor Toon—making cameos. Vocalist Mailande Moran, who also appears here, is responsible for some of the song’s background...

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Neil Young's live movie theater event comes to Cary

Posted By on Fri, Jan 15, 2016 at 5:23 PM

On Feb. 29, The Regal Crossroads Stadium & IMAX in Cary will be one of six North Carolina theaters to host a Neil Young double feature, followed by a transmission of Cameron Crowe's live interview with the rock legend. The event takes place in theaters nationwide.  The three-and-a-half-hour program "An Evening with Neil Young—Presented By AARP" (don't laugh, kids ... or, sure, go ahead) begins with Young's 1982 comedy Human Highway, featuring co-director Dean Stockwell, Dennis Hopper and Devo. You can buy tickets for the nationwide event here. The second feature is the classic 1979 concert film Rust Never Sleeps, shot...

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Tomorrow, share your memories of the Cameron Village Underground for a book about its history

Posted By on Fri, Jan 15, 2016 at 4:57 PM

In recent years, interest in The Subway—a network of clubs, restaurants and shops that once thrived beneath what remains Cameron Village—has spiked, inspiring a series of tributes (and lame send-offs) to the memories of that once-thriving space. Though she certainly wasn’t the first to explore that bygone era online, Candid Slice editor Heather Leahwood helped spark the wave of nostalgia with a blog post in the summer of 2013. And now, she’s about a month away from finishing Raleigh’s Forgotten Underground, an oral and photographic history of the space and its legends. Tomorrow, she’ll get some help after a presentation...

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The time I toured with David Bowie: Daniel Hart reflects on his 2004 trek across North America with The Thin White Duke

Posted By on Fri, Jan 15, 2016 at 9:00 AM

A decade ago, violinist and songwriter Daniel Hart became one of the primary new driving forces in the Triangle's music scene. Along with a cadre of friends who relocated to the area, Hart launched Bu Hanan Records and the short-lived but interesting Go Machine. This hub spawned great records by David Karsten Daniels, The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers, Kapow Music and Hart's own The Physics of Meaning. (Read our 2007 cover story about Bu Hanan here.) Many members of that collective are now scattered across the country, with Hart back in his hometown of Dallas. Still, during his...

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Missing Major Tom: Triangle tributes to David Bowie

Posted By on Thu, Jan 14, 2016 at 12:35 PM

On Monday morning, we all learned that David Bowie—the brilliant artist who changed the landscapes of rock and pop music, just for starters—passed away at the age of 69 after an extended battle with cancer. Fans have been mourning the immense loss all week, sharing stories, memories and favorite songs in honor of a musician who refused to be anyone but himself. A handful of local tributes to Bowie have already started popping up; if you care to share your joy and sorrow with a few strangers who might be feeling the same way, here's a few. Let us know of...

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Watch and listen: The Hot at Nights' cover of Sylvan Esso's "Uncatena" is beautiful

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2016 at 12:01 PM

Cool It, the five-song EP from Raleigh instrumental trio The Hot at Nights, is wonderful and one of my favorite local sets of the admittedly young year. Collecting the trio’s reappraisals of familiar tunes by some of the area’s more popular acts, including Bowerbirds and Delta Rae, Cool It suggests a jazz-rooted take on those Chet Atkins records of yore, when the guitarist would re-create the favorites of his day with his sterling six-string tone. In this case, the role of Atkins goes to hyper-inventive, eight-string guitarist Chris Boerner and saxophonist Matt Douglas, who divide the themes of (and variations...

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Friday, January 8, 2016

Beats and The Breaks: Talking to Phonte Coleman about his work on VH1's TV movie

Posted By on Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 2:36 PM

At 688 pages, Dan Charnas’ The Big Payback tome is perhaps the most exhaustively researched book ever written about the near-half-a-century history of the hip-hop music business. On Monday, a piece of Charnas’ page-turner came to life on VH1 as the TV movie, The Breaks. The film is set in 1990 and follows the industry pursuits of three relentless hip-hop enthusiasts—Nikki Jones (Afton Williamson), David Aaron (David Call) and DeeVee (Tristan Wilds). Each is vying for a bona fide hip-hop industry position as A&R, radio program director and producer, respectively, at a time when hip-hop is on the brink of a mainstream...

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Getting the band back together, four decades later: An interview with Durham's The Bondsmen

Posted By on Thu, Jan 7, 2016 at 2:44 PM

Somewhere around late 1965 or maybe early 1966—that’s as close as they can get it—six Durham teenagers put together a band called The Bondsmen. Like every act back then, says founder Ken Haywood, the clean-cut sextet “had a name cooler than they ever sounded.” Augmenting the traditional rock setup with a Vox organ and a trumpet, the group made a raucous noise that was in tune with North Carolina’s homegrown scene of the ’60s. But after four years, they were done, at least until very recently. Having played together for the first time in 35 years this past summer, The...

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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Good news: Girls Rock NC's nonprofit status has been restored

Posted By on Wed, Jan 6, 2016 at 1:44 PM

Girls Rock NC is off to a good start in 2016: The organization—which promotes empowerment of girls and young women through music—has received notification that its nonprofit status has been restored. The organization learned of the initial revocation from the IRS in October 2014, just a few weeks before the INDY celebrated Girls Rock NC with an Arts Award. The problem was that 990s, a form necessary for nonprofits to maintain tax-exempt status, had not been filed for three years. Collier Reeves, the executive director of GRNC, says the organization subsequently worked with attorneys and accountants to piece back together financial...

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Listen to a new track from Shirlette Ammons, "Dear Nora"

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 1:46 PM

It's been a while since we've gotten a full new release from Durham rapper, singer and impresario Shirlette Ammons—her last "official" output was the 2011 EP she issued with the Dyanmite Brothers. But she's got a new LP on deck, Language Barrier, due in early February. Yesterday, Afropunk premiered another new song from the album, "Dear Nora." Meshell Ndegeocello—whose influence Ammons wrote about early last year for the INDY—sings on the sparkling, smooth song. Ndegeocello is one of many musicians on Ammons' impressive roster of collaborators for Language Barrier, which also features Sookee on "Language Barrier Segue" and the Indigo Girls'...

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Monday, January 4, 2016

Hear MAKE's surprise new instrumental EP, In Pursuit

Posted By on Mon, Jan 4, 2016 at 4:00 PM

No matter the rotation of its members or the format of its releases, the Chapel Hill trio MAKE has always been more than another doom metal band, content to plod away at punishing volumes. They’ve covered The Velvet Underground and nodded toward Spacemen 3, aimed for high-concept fare and eased into pastoral reverie. This was particularly clear on last year’s great LP The Golden Veil, an album whose heaviest moments landed like doom gut punches but whose more pensive passages suggested a twilit autumn evening. Those ruminative impulses take the lead on In Pursuit, a two-song, 16-minute, totally free EP...

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