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Monday, February 29, 2016

Live: Booker T. Shows His Mastery at The ArtsCenter

Posted By on Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 5:33 PM

Two songs in to Friday's Booker T. Jones concert at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, during “Hang ‘Em High” from the spaghetti western of the same name, I thought of James Honeyman-Scott. The original lead guitarist of the Pretenders had an expression for the kind of florid guitar soloing that was all the rage in the late seventies—“widdly-woo.” I thought of the late Scott’s phrase because, it seemed to me, things were beginning to get a bit widdly-woo onstage. And that surprised me. To me, the essence of Booker T. Jones’s music is less is more. But there were two guitarists...

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Live: Scharpling and Wurster (And the Chuck Garrison Superchunk lineup!) at Motorco

Posted By and on Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 11:45 AM

Scharpling & Wurster Motorco, Durham Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016 A few minutes after taking the stage Saturday night at a sold-out Motorco, Jon Wurster bailed. He told co-host Tom Scharpling that he was dissatisfied with his allotment of applause time. Wurster said he wanted to soak in applause comparable to what Bill Clinton gets in front of crowds—“or like when the tall guy from Arcade Fire gets on an airplane,” he said. Wurster deserved it, he said, because of his local status; next month marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of his move to Chapel Hill. “I’ve got a bunch of...

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Interview: Slayer and Exodus Guitarist Gary Holt Talks About When Bands Should Break Up, Internet Trolls, and Stapling Pizza to Slayer's Ceiling

Posted By on Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 9:54 AM

Gary Holt has two pretty good jobs these days. He's the guitarist in long-running Bay Area thrash pioneers Exodus. And for the last five years, he's been the guitarist in another thrash institution from just down the California highway, Slayer. That last job, though, comes with its troubles. Holt stepped in as a temporary substitute for metal icon Jeff Hanneman in 2011. Following Hanneman's death in 2013, Holt's position now seems to be a permanent one. He's a replacement half in one of music's most essential guitar duos ever, attempting to be himself while simultaneously honoring the work of his...

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

This Spring, Young Triangle Jazz Players Head to New York to Honor Ellington

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 1:33 PM

For three days in May, two dozen Triangle-area high schoolers will venture to New York City to play jazz, or, more specifically, the music of Duke Ellington. The Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble was just announced as one of 15 finalists for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 21st annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival. To audition, ensembles had to submit recordings of three Ellington tunes; the TYJE played “Blue Goose,” “Happy Go Lucky Local,” and Billy Strayhorn’s arrangement of “Laura.” While in New York, the ensemble will eat, sleep, and breathe jazz, with a full schedule of rehearsals,...

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

K97.5 Wants to Know Which Local Rappers It Should "Replay." Does It Matter?

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 12:43 PM

Though it may have taken WQOK-FM program director Derrick Baker several months to deliver on the radio station’s plan to bring back its weekly “919 Radio” show, he kept his word. Last October, he resurrected the station’s local hip-hop showcase as a once-a-month Sunday broadcast—at least until January, when K97.5 on-air personality Mir.I.am became involved. Baker turned the show into a weekly broadcast with Mir.I.am at the helm. (Mir.I.am also hosts the Saturday night “Real RnB Radio” show on WKNC 88.1 FM.) “Submissions have been out of this world,” Mir.I.am says. “We get about 75–100 per week.” According to Mir.I.am,...

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Track Review: King Mez Tackles Ups and Downs on the New "Changed"

Posted By on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 8:46 AM

To say that King Mez’s life has changed during the last 18 months would be an understatement. As recently as the summer of 2014, Mez was making music in a first-floor studio in a nondescript brick building in downtown Raleigh, surrounded by a tight circle of friends and collaborators. Since then, though, the rapper/producer has moved to Los Angeles, become a trusted confidant and protegé of rap legend Dr. Dre, been nominated for Best Rap Album at the GRAMMY’s for his work on Compton, and worked alongside Kanye West on The Life Of Pablo. And that’s just what we...

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Friday, February 19, 2016

The Byrds' Roger McGuinn To Be Honored by UNC for Folk Music Preservation Work

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 3:31 PM

As a founding member of the Byrds, Roger McGuinn helped shape the sound of the sixties with lysergic guitar solos, bewitching harmonies, and the meshing of country and rock into a lasting hybrid. For that, he holds an esteemed place in the firmament of rock and membership in its Hall of Fame, too. And on March 1, the seventy-three-year-old rocker will be honored by UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Sciences with its first-ever Digital Preservation Under the Radar Award—for pioneering work that does not involve a compressed 12-string Rickenbacker but rather archivist and curatorial work in the area...

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Video: Humanize Visits the New Sadlands in Carrboro

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 3:11 PM

Humanize, Teardrop Canyon Cat's Cradle Back Room, Carrboro Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016 Humanize (formerly, Human Eyes) have long seemed to fly just below the Triangle's collective musical radar. Three years after the quiet release of the great Guiding Eyes For The Blind, the group changed its name and issued Sadlands early this month. With Thomas Costello out front and Ryan Gustafson producing, Sadlands picks up where Guiding left off with a wash of synths, hooks and sharp beats. Read our review here. Below are clips from the CD release show with cohorts Teardrop Canyon. Teardrop Canyon, "For Once" Humanize, "I Found Heaven" Humanize, "Different" Humanize,...

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Listen to Body Games' Emotionally Brutal, Musically Exquisite "Special"

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 9:22 AM

“Special,” the first single from the upcoming Body Games LP, Damager, begins with a scene, cut perhaps from some dimly lit nightclub. With her clarion, gently plaintive voice curling around the rhythm, Kate Thompson details the moment—a former lover spotted across the room, all those old feelings dredged up in an instant, her “mind twisted in your faith” by the encounter. It sounds like a scenario best left alone. But as these things tend to do, the night progresses in a cloud of booze and beats, a cocktail of indiscretion. Two people go back to an apartment, and at...

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Live: A Bland Bryson Tiller Sleepwalks at The Ritz

Posted By on Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 6:25 PM

Bryson Tiller The Ritz, Raleigh Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016 In a post-Drake world—where hip, emotionally vulnerable music has returned to the Top 40—we’ve seen the zeitgeist turn toward an archetype: the masculine, sensitive R&B star. I can’t imagine anyone following pop music somehow avoiding this trend; it sometimes seems to be the moment's de facto soundtrack. Artists and labels alike have realized they can pair emotions (genuine or not) with that addictive chopped-and-screwed R&B sound that Drake and The Weeknd popularized and just enough sex appeal and rap bona fides to work in traditional hip-hop and pop lanes. Following the...

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Listen to Skylar Gudasz's Stunning New Oleander Right Now, See Her Tomorrow

Posted By on Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 5:05 PM

We aren't very far into 2016 yet, but Durham's Skylar Gudasz has one of the best LPs of the year in her hands. Oleander, Gudasz's first full-length, officially comes out tomorrow. She will celebrate with a short, early evening set in Chapel Hill at Flyleaf Books. The album begins with the decadent "Kick Out the Chair" before diving into twelve gentle songs that are deeply stirring. Backed by rich, beautiful instrumentation, Gudasz's voice stands out as a captivating force from start to finish during songs that are both tender and razor-sharp. Stream Oleander over and over again below, and take a...

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Moogfest, Art of Cool Collaborate to Boost Girls Rock NC at Thursday Benefit

Posted By on Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 4:18 PM

We showed you what it looked like when The Pinhook's Kym Register and a few friends showed up to the North Carolina Department of Revenue Friday to pay off the club’s $80,000 tax debt. With that issue resolved, the beloved downtown Durham performance space can get back to doing what it does best—  fostering an environment of community and collaboration. There’s no better example of this spirit than Thursday night’s “The Pinhook Is Off The Hook” benefit concert, co-presented by Art of Cool Fest and Moogfest. Originally intended to help rescue The Pinhook from the red, all proceeds from tomorrow night’s...

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Live + Video: American Aquarium Shows Off its Hometown at "Roadtrip to Raleigh"

Posted By and on Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 12:36 PM

American Aquarium, T. Hardy Morris The Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 Were it not for the T-shirts handed out to Krispy Kreme Challenge participants, "American Aquarium" would have been the most popular phrase sported on apparel in Raleigh during the first weekend of February. Legions of the alt-country outfit’s loyal followers descended upon downtown for the band's two-night stand at the Lincoln Theatre. Never was that more evident, of course, than when the Raleigh group greeted a sold-out crowd of eight hundred fans on Saturday night.  Each crowd member sang virtually every line of every song back to...

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Video: Peter Yarrow Goes Beyond "Puff The Magic Dragon" in Raleigh

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 5:54 PM

Peter Yarrow Fletcher Opera Theater, Raleigh Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 Last month, seventy-seven-year-old folk singer Peter Yarrow hosted a career-spanning concert at Raleigh's Fletcher Opera Theater. It stretched well beyond three hours, as it should have. Yarrow has been everywhere, it seems, so he has many interesting stories to share from his fifty-year career. He told most of them. An early highlight came through a tribute to fallen Peter, Paul, and Mary bandmate, Mary Travers. He asked the crowd to join him in singing, to lighten the tone by mirroring her voice. The audience obliged; by the evening's second song, Yarrow...

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Live: Confusion with But Trust in Kid Cudi in Raleigh

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 5:26 PM

Kid Cudi The Ritz, Raleigh Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016 When Kid Cudi took the stage at The Ritz in Raleigh Saturday night, silhouetted by a glowing LED doorway and surrounded by giant tube TVs, he wasn’t just there to perform music. He was also there to perform a dicey balancing act, one that is more often stock-in-trade for stubborn rock stars than for six-year rap veterans—that is, subtly introducing new, as-of-yet unpopular material to a cult audience primarily interested in hearing dated hits.  Such is the dilemma for perennial music industry malcontent Kid Cudi, who, though still eminently popular and...

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Sci-fi Apocalyptic Thrash Metal: The Legendary Voivod Comes to Kings Tuesday

Posted By on Mon, Feb 15, 2016 at 6:22 PM

The Canadian prog-thrash crew Voivod was always idiosyncratic, always ahead of its time. Inspired equally by Rush and Discharge, science fiction and scientific fact, Voivod forged an ambitious and unusual form of thrash  that framed rich mythology and astute allegorical commentary. Those themes of nuclear proliferation, endless war, and brinksmanship have been vital for more than 30 years now. It’s an unfortunate sort of continual relevance. Fortunately, Voivod hasn’t grown jaded, even as the threats to human existence  perennially loom. Instead, the band has enjoyed a renewed energy and momentum through a still-new lineup of drummer/co-founder Michel “Away” Langevin, singer/co-founder...

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Take That, Tax Man: This Is What It Looked Like When the Pinhook Paid Its $80,000 Tax Bill

Posted By and on Mon, Feb 15, 2016 at 11:02 AM

Valentine's Day Weekend started with a strong showing of love for The Pinhook. Back in December, owner Kym Register announced that the club was $80,000 in debt from an accounting error—and the North Carolina Department of Revenue was demanding its money within a year. It was a worrisome state for the Durham spot, which seeks to be not just a concert hall but also a space for community and activism in an ever-shifting downtown landscape. But thanks to a crowdfunding page and four secret shows that featured Sylvan Esso, Mipso, Hammer No More The Fingers, and one big supergroup, The Pinhook...

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Love, Lust, and Loneliness: A Valentine's Day Mix Series, Volume Three (Mac McCaughan)

Posted By on Sun, Feb 14, 2016 at 5:20 PM

For Valentine's Day, we asked three of our favorite local singer-songwriters—Sarah Shook, Phonte Coleman, and Mac McCaughan—to create themed mixtapes. Each tackled a distinct theme related to the most Hallmarked of all holidays. Shook, a hard-living country badass, took on loneliness. Coleman, the Little Brother alumnus who now croons at the helm of The Foreign Exchange, accepted lust. And McCaughan, the perpetually energized co-founder of Superchunk and Merge Records, took on the topic of young, exuberant love. Listen to 'em as your mood sees fit. Below, Mac McCaughan's anthems of love: Here's my mixtape under the sub-header of "dumbstruck / teenage-like love." It's...

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Love, Lust, and Loneliness: A Valentine's Day Mix Series, Volume Two (Phonte Coleman)

Posted By on Sun, Feb 14, 2016 at 5:19 PM

For Valentine's Day, we asked three of our favorite local singer-songwriters—Sarah Shook, Phonte Coleman, and Mac McCaughan—to create themed mixtapes. Each tackled a distinct theme related to the most Hallmarked of all holidays. Shook, a hard-living country badass, took on loneliness. Coleman, the Little Brother alumnus who now croons at the helm of The Foreign Exchange, accepted lust. And McCaughan, the perpetually energized co-founder of Superchunk and Merge Records, took on the topic of young, exuberant love. Listen to 'em as your mood sees fit. Below, Phonte Coleman's picks of lust:  Teyana Taylor, "Request" King Floyd, "Baby Let Me Kiss You" Silk, "Freak...

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Love, Lust, and Loneliness: A Valentine's Day Mix Series, Volume One (Sarah Shook)

Posted By on Sun, Feb 14, 2016 at 5:18 PM

For Valentine's Day, we asked three of our favorite local singer-songwriters—Sarah Shook, Phonte Coleman, and Mac McCaughan—to create themed mixtapes. Each tackled a distinct theme related to the most Hallmarked of all holidays. Shook, a hard-living country badass, took on loneliness. Coleman, the Little Brother alumnus who now croons at the helm of The Foreign Exchange, accepted lust. And McCaughan, the perpetually energized co-founder of Superchunk and Merge Records, took on the topic of young, exuberant love. Listen to 'em as your mood sees fit. Below, Sarah Shook's picks on loneliness: Junior Wells, "Come On In This House" The aching, bleeding pleadings of...

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Schoolkids Has Purchased CD Alley, Will Change Names March 1

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 5:08 PM

Come March 1, CD Alley—the cozy, narrow Chapel Hill record shop that Ryan Richardson has owned and operated since 2006—will not be CD Alley. Schoolkids Records, which left Chapel Hill in 2008, will make its return to the college town at CD Alley’s West Franklin Street location. This will be the third Schoolkids. Several factors compelled Richardson’s decision. For one, the store’s ten-year term is coming to an end shortly, and he figured “ten years felt like the right amount of time.” The agreement with Judge arrived just in time. With Richardson starting accounting school in May, the store would...

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Live: Finding Surprises and Solidarity in Songs with Jennifer Nettles & Co.

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 7:43 AM

Jennifer Nettles, Brandy Clark, Lindsay Ell, Tara Thompson DPAC, Durham Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 For last week's all-sisters-no-misters country showcase at DPAC, I brought a close female friend along as my “date.” This seemed to be a trend in the audience, as I heard several enthusiastic crows of “Girls’ night out!” in the lobby. Indeed, the evening proved to be a much more significant feminist foray than I’d expected. Though headliner Jennifer Nettles and her main opener, Brandy Clark, are well established in country  circles, the first two performers have been branded CMT’s “Next Women of Country.” Both Tara Thompson and...

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Video: Watch Mipso Pay Tribute to David Bowie in Raleigh

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 at 7:31 AM

Mipso Fletcher Opera Theater, Raleigh Friday, Jan. 29, 2016 Continuing 2015's victory lap, Mipso returned to a Triangle stage for a sold-out show at the pristine Fletcher Opera Theater to close January. The group was relaxed, working through a set list that included many songs from the new Old Time Reverie as well as a handful of covers. The group kicked off the second set around a single microphone; really, the acoustics suggested they needed no amplification at all. Mipso's cover of "Modern Love" served as a poignant tribute to David Bowie, and their rousing, closing take on the traditional, "Water...

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Live: How Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage Left Me Stranded in Space

Posted By on Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 4:22 PM

Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage DPAC, Durham Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016 On Thursday night, I went to see Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage at DPAC. It is a live orchestral performance of Star Trek music, accompanied by a cinematic clip show. A week has passed, and I'm just now forming my opinion.  I was supposed to review the show. Simple enough, I thought: I would bang out a quick few paragraphs before lunch the next day. But I typed and deleted, typed and deleted, typed and deleted, and eventually just started to forget about the assignment. I realized I didn't have...

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Video: Arlo Guthrie Celebrates a Half-Century at the Carolina Theatre

Posted By on Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 8:42 AM

Arlo Guthrie Carolina Theatre, Durham Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 Last month, Arlo Guthrie stopped in Durham to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of his landmark, Alice’s Restaurant. But first, his daughter, the excellent songwriter Sarah Lee Guthrie, opened with a few numbers of her own. Those expecting to see Arlo onstage by himself with just an acoustic guitar were pleasantly surprised, no doubt, by a full backing band and elaborate lighting and multimedia presentation. Guthrie walked on stage while a delightfully bizarre, pickle-themed claymation played on a screen above. The band kicked into “The Motorcycle Song.” An early highlight arrived in the second...

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I want to take a minute to thank the Indy for covering these events. Music is the area's main export. …

by Russell Scott Day on The Cave Closes on April 30 in Chapel Hill, Local 506 Changes Hands (Music)

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

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So freaking talented. Unbelievable.

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I want to take a minute to thank the Indy for covering these events. Music is the area's main export. …

by Russell Scott Day on The Cave Closes on April 30 in Chapel Hill, Local 506 Changes Hands (Music)

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)

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