Monday, July 31, 2006

Record Exchange, take 2

More developments in the ongoing saga of independent record stores in Raleigh. Word now is that Schoolkids Records may be opening a second Raleigh site in the Mission Valley spot formerly occupied by Record Exchange. As for Plan 9, the store formerly rumored to be filling the void...we have no idea. But we promise not to confuse you, or ourselves, further until we find out which retailer is going in to the spot and when doors will open. But with classes at nearby N.C. State gearing up soon, it would behoove the suits to get going here!

Kevin's weekday picks [UPDATED]

Monday, July 31 - The Sibling Project, Gray Young, Kennebec, Ohio Farm Cats @ The Pour House (indie rock)
Tuesday, August 1 - The Minders, The Kingdom, The Physics of Meaning @ Local 506 (indie rock/pop)
Wednesday, August 2 - O.A.R., Jack's Mannequin @ Koka Booth Amphitheatre (pop/jam rock)
Thursday, August 3 - The Empties (late show) @ The Cave (indie/pop rock)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Kevin's weekend picks

Friday, July 28 - The Black Heart Procession, Devics, Castanets @ Cat's Cradle (indie/alt rock)
Saturday, July 29 - John Fogerty, Willie Nelson @ Alltel Pavilion (southern rock/country)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

State Fair concerts announced

After a whole four days of reprieve, the temperatures here in the Triangle are back into the 90s. With that in mind, I'd like to take this time to think of something a little...cooler. Autumn! Changing leaves! Funnel cake...the State Fair!

This year's fair will be held Oct. 13-22 at the usual location and, as always, along with the greasy food, pig races, 4-H competitions and rides that make you want to throw up the aforementioned greasy food, there will be the series of next-to-free nightly concerts.

Here's who's playing:

Oct. 13 / Chris Tomlin (Contemporary Christian) / $5
Oct. 14 / Jo Dee Messina (Country) / $10
Oct. 15 / Blake Shelton (Country) / $10
Oct. 16 / Eric Church (Country) / $5
Oct. 17 / NC Tunes: Earl Scruggs, Mike Cross and Tift Merritt (Bluegrass, Country) / $15
Oct. 18 / Little Big Town (Country) / $5
Oct. 19 / Chris Brown and Paula DeAnda (Dance/R&B) / $15
Oct. 20 / Casting Crowns (Contemporary Christian) / $10
Oct. 21 / Chris Cagle (Country) / $10
Oct. 22 / TBA

Anyone else notice a bit of a theme? I mean, there's nothing wrong with country music. Okay, that's a lie. There's nothing wrong with some country music. I've only got one disc in my personal collection (Rachel Proctor's Where I Belong ... highly recommended), but there are some decent songwriters out there, and some great music definitely has strong country roots (Johnny Cash, anyone?).

While it's certainly not a shock, this lineup is definitely a disappointment to me. Except for the NC Tunes concert on Oct. 17, there's nothing that remotely peaks my interest here. But, who cares what I think. What about you guys? Anything worth seeing here? And is anyone else willing to bet a certain local American Idol runner-up will fill that "TBA" slot on the last night?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Butch Walker rocks Raleigh Downtown Live

In case you were too drunk to remember, Butch Walker kicked some major rock 'n roll ass Saturday night at Raleigh Downtown Live in Moore Square.

After a day full of mediocre and at times flat-out lousy rock music (sorry guys, it was) Butch Walker took the stage with his band, the Let's Go Out Tonites, and just took over. Now if only 96 Rock, the radio station sponsoring the show, would actually play his music...

Walker, who released a new album, The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker and the Let's Go Out Tonites, July 18, played a healthy dose of songs off that album, but also threw in songs off his 2004 release Letters, two songs from his old band, Marvelous 3, ("Indie Queen" and "Cigarette Lighter Love Song," if you're keeping score at home) and even a cover of Gnarls Barkley's current hit, "Crazy."

Kevin's weekday picks

Monday, July 24 - Josh Ritter, The Proclivities, Slow Runner @ Cat's Cradle (folk/indie rock)
Tuesday, July 25 - Annuals, Vibrant Green, Future Islands @ Local 506 (indie/alt rock/new wave)
Wednesday, July 26 - Red Collar, Terset, Anaturale @ Kings (indie rock/hip hop)
Thursday, July 27 - Grasshopper, Red Collar, Alvarez Painting @ Wetlands (indie rock)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Kevin's weekend picks

Friday, July 21 - The Honored Guests, Dirty5Thirty, The Cheap Seats, Little Light @ Local 506 (indie rock/hip-hop)
Saturday, July 22 - Butch Walker and the Let's Go Out Tonites, Dillon Fence, Angie Aparo, Virginia Coalition, As Fast As, Boys Like Girls, Blue Marble Beat @ Raleigh Downtown Live (rock)
Sunday, July 23 - Ari Hest, Tom Hamilton (early), The Drownout (late) @ The Pour House (folk rock/indie pop rock)

Plan 9 to set up camp in Raleigh

A few weeks ago we brought you the unfortunate news that both Raleigh locations of the Record Exchange were packing up shop. But a new day is on the horizon, at least for the Mission Valley location.

Word is that Plan 9 Music will take over TREX's space next to Cup a Joe.

This would be Plan 9's first N.C. store. The chain, based in Richmond, Va., currently has five locations around Virginia.

As soon as we hear anything definite we'll let you know!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Guster gets booed in Cary

Most bands wouldn't play a show to a couple thousand adoring fans and end it by asking to be booed off stage. But that's just what Guster did last night at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary.

"Are you guys feeling nice or sadistic," frontman Adam Miller asked the crowd before the last song of the set.

"Just boo like we really suck," he said. "We'll just turn that negative energy into something awesome."

And with that, the band launched into "Fa Fa."

While it was a great performance of the song, at the end there were no cheers. Only the sound of disapproval.

Miller and bandmates Brian Rosenworcel and Adam Gardner stood on the stage dumbfounded as fans yelled expletives and asked them not-so-nicely to get off the stage.

"That was the weirdest feeling of my life," Miller said. "It feels really dirty or something. ... I feel like I just looked at porn for 45 minutes."

Don't worry Ryan, speaking on behalf of the crowd, we felt a little dirty too.

But Guster's performance was anything but boo-worthy. The band kicked things off with "Barrel of a Gun" before rolling right through a 20-song set that spanned a decade of material.

Highlights of the evening were "Either Way," which Miller said they only perform once per tour, and "Airport Song," complete with vocal effects that made Miller sound like Vincent Price a la Michael Jackson's "Thriller." (Find a complete set list is below.)

All in all, it was definitely something worth cheering for.

It was Guster's first performance in the area (sans a show at Duke a few months back) in about three years. But Miller also noted that it was their biggest headlining show in the Carolinas to date. Guster also played the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in 2002, opening a sold out show for John Mayer.

Co-headliner Ray LaMontagne warmed up the crowd as he drove the ladies (and even some gents) into a screaming frenzy with his soulful, laid-back brand of music.

“This is panty-dropping music,” one crowd member mused out loud.

While there were no signs of explicit activities from the third row, LaMontagne’s music was just the thing to wind down the day — perfect for spreading a blanket on the amphitheater lawn and enjoying the late afternoon sunshine.

Guster set list:
Barrel of a Gun
The Captain
I Spy
Manifest Destiny
Airport Song
Either Way
Ruby Falls
New Underground
Keep it Together
Come Downstairs and Say Hello
Fa Fa
One Man Wrecking Machine
Red Oyster Cult
Hang On

[photo by Carrie Ochal]

Monday, July 17, 2006

Kevin's weekday picks

Monday, July 17 - Southerly, Lauren Hoffman, Midtown Dickens @ Local 506 (indie pop/rock)
Tuesday, July 18 - Guster, Ray Lamontagne, Fruit Bats @ Koka Booth Amphitheatre (pop/indie/folk)
Thursday, July 20 - Bobby Creekwater @ Local 506 (hip-hop)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Patrick Park visits The Pour House

I'll 'fess up and let you all know that I hadn't really heard of Patrick Park until a couple days ago. And I'd only heard a couple of his songs before seeing his show at The Pour House this evening. But now that I'm privy to the world of Patrick Park, I must say...I'm intrigued.

Park played a free show at The Pour House this evening to a sparse but loyal crowd. The 45-minute set was filled with songs from...I don't know what albums. Either way, new material will be coming soon. Park is in the area recording an album with Chapel Hill-based producer Chris Stamey (Whiskeytown, Tift Merrit, Caitlin Cary, Thad Cockrell, etc.)

We had a chat with Park after the show to find out a little more about him and this mystery album. Turns out, Park just left his record label, Hollywood Records.

"It was a trainwreck of a place to be," he said.

Now on his own, he'll be releasing an EP of new material at the end of this year and a full album sometime in 2007.

Keep an eye out for this guy. If Sunday's performance is any indication, you can expect big things.

[photo by Kevin Norris]

Pete Yorn Day celebrated across the Triangle

There weren't any ticker tape parades, and maybe there wasn't any dancing in the streets either, but Saturday was definitely Pete Yorn Day in the Triangle.

Yorn played a special in-store at Schoolkids Records in Raleigh. About 130 people crammed into the store's aisles to hear a half-dozen songs: "The Golden Road," "June,""A Girl Like You," "I Feel Good Again" (by Junior Kimbrough), "Don't Mean Nothing" and "Simonize." "The Golden Road" and "Don't Mean Nothing" are both on Yorn's new EP Westerns, available only at shows.

Later in the evening, Yorn played to a sold-out crowd at Cat's Cradle. While his "You & Us" tour is being billed as acoustic, the feel of the performance was anything but. There was a definite absence of electric guitars, but the bass and drums surely made up for that.

Yorn played a fair number of songs from his forthcoming album, Nightcrawler, due out August 29, but not enough to weigh the set down too much. What resulted was essentially a greatest hits performance, which certainly pleased the 600 people in attendance as they sang along to their favorites.

If you missed out on this weekend's show, keep an ear out as fall approaches. Yorn said he'll be back with a band in tow once his album is released.

No touring for three years, then two shows in six months? I'll take that.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Kevin's weekend picks

Friday, July 14 - Farewell, Tokyo Rose @ The Brewery (rock/pop/emo)
Saturday, July 15 - Pete Yorn @ Cat's Cradle (acoustic/rock/pop)*
Sunday, July 16 - Patrick Park @ The Pour House (acoustic/folk rock)**

*Pete Yorn is sold out. Check out his instore performance at Schoolkids Records on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh at 5pm.
**Patrick Park is an early 6pm show (FREE)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Schoolkids stage opens for business

We understand your dilemma. You're the World's Biggest Fan of the Drive-By Truckers, but you just don't want to shell out the cash to see them open for the Black Crows Wednesday night at Walnut Creek. Never fear, dear reader.

The Truckers will play a free show Wednesday at 2 p.m., christening the brand new stage at Schoolkids Records on Hillsborough Street.

Also coming to Schoolkids is Pete Yorn, this Saturday July 15 at 5 p.m. The show will be recorded for an "exclusive EP," so be sure to get there early so someday you can tell your kids that you were there. According to Schoolkids, the EP will be available for sale in-store in a few weeks.

Hootie to rock for the kids in Raleigh

It would be really easy to make a joke right about now regarding purple cowboy outfits and washed up rock stars...but I'll refrain. Because the fact is, Hootie and the Blowfish are using what celebrity they have left to do a pretty cool thing.

The band has expanded their annual concert to raise money for Charleston, S.C. schools to an 11-stop tour.

They will make a stop in Raleigh at Walnut Creek August 20. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, July 14 though Ticketmaster.

Ticket holders are asked to bring school supplies to the concert as a donation to fill an actual school bus that will be on site. Supplies will be donated to the Wake County Public School System following the show.

Better Than Ezra will open the show.

The tour kicked off in Nashville, Tenn. on July 3 and will end in West Palm Beach, Fla. on Sept. 16.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Kevin's weekday picks [UPDATED]

Monday, July 10 - Dirty5thrity, Doco @ The Pour House (hip-hop/funk rock)
Tuesday, July 11 - Camera Obscura, Georgie James @ Cat's Cradle (indie pop)
Wednesday, July 12 - The Black Crowes, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Drive-By Truckers @ Alltel Pavilion (Blues Rock/Soul)
Thursday, July 13 - Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles (early show) @ The Pour House (folk/country/rock)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Kevin's weekend picks

Friday, July 7 - Acid House Kings, The Legends @ Raleigh Music Hall (60's pop/Indie rock)
Saturday, July 8 - Kyler England, Cole Guerra (early show) @ The Pour House (folk/pop rock)

Click the band/artist names to hear music.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Kevin's weekday picks

Monday, July 3 - Kelly Clarkson, Rooney @ Alltel Pavilion (pop rock)
Tuesday, July 4 - Def Leppard, Journey @ Alltel Pavilion (classic rock)
Wednesday, July 5 - Against All Authority, Scout's Honor @ Cat's Cradle (punk/ska)
Thursday, July 6 - Honeybrowne (early show), Hollywood-Red (late show) @ The Pour House (Southern/Folk Rock)

Click the bands to hear some music.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Record Exchange closes its doors

Sad news, Raleigh music lovers. The Record Exchange's Hillsborough Street location has gone out of business, and the Mission Valley store isn't far behind.

TREX President Don Rosenberg cited declining sales due to competition from stores like Wal-Mart and Best Buy as well as the popularity of online downloads.

Rosenberg said he tried to diversify the stores by selling DVDs and video games, but it wasn't enough.

Even though TREX is calling it quits, Rosenberg said there's still hope for independent retailers.

"There is potential out there for stores to do well even in an iPod world," he said. "There is a future in this. It just may not be me that does it."

TREX's Mission Valley location is in the middle of a clearance sale and will only be open for about another week.

UPDATE: Sources tell Triangle Music that the Mission Valley location will reopen with a new distributor, and this whole thing is actually for the best. But still, go check out the sale while it's still going on — 20% off CDs, DVDs, etc and 50% off vinyl and bargain bin merchandise.

[photos by Kevin Norris]