Thursday, November 30, 2006

The return of the Zippers

Remember that whole swing music explosion of the mid-90s? And how a Chapel Hill-based band, Squirrel Nut Zippers, had a pretty big role in all of it? And how things didn't work out so well for them?

Well, forget all that, at least for now, because the band is reuniting (at least in part) for a series of shows on the east coast, one at Triangle indie rock haven Cat's Cradle.

The show is Thursday, Feb. 8. Tickets are $16 in advance or $18 at the door...but something tells me they might not have to worry about that. Snag your tickets now through Etix.

But before you get too excited, check this out. N&O music writer David Menconi wrote in his blog, "Yes, founding members Jimbo Mathus and Katharine Whalen will be there, along with drummer Chris Phillips, bassist Stu Cole and horn man Je Widenhouse. But this model of the Zippers doesn't include two members from the band's hit-making period, Tom Maxwell and Ken Mosher. Maxwell, of course, wrote and sang "Hell," the Zippers' big breakthrough hit. So if you go to the Cradle show expecting to hear that one (or the Maxwell-penned "Put a Lid on It"), there's an excellent chance you'll be disappointed."

Oops. But to the optimists and those who are just fans, I'll see you there.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Piano man to play RBC

The RBC Center has released yet another concert date for the 2007 season, and this is one that I'm particularly excited about.

Billy Joel will make a stop at the arena on March 3. Tickets go on sale this Saturday, Dec. 2, through Ticketmaster and the venue box office.

I know, Billy Joel isn't supposed to be "cool," but I really don't care. I'll take "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" any day over 99% of what they play on G105.

In related news, Movin' Out, the musical based on Joel's tunes will return to the Progress Energy Center in downtown Raleigh Jan. 2-7. Show info is here. Looks like there will be many places for dorks like me to get their Billy Joel fix over the next few months.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Kevin's weekday picks [Updated 11-29]

Monday, November 27 - The Von Ehrics @ The Cave (southern rock)
Wednesday, November 29 - The International Drive, Casket Salesmen, SEDA @ The Brewery (alternative rock/pop)
Thursday, November 30
- Straylight Run, Matt Pond PA, Kevin Devine, Street To Nowhere @ Cat's Cradle (rock/indie/pop)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Kevin's weekday picks

Monday, November 20 - The Evangelicals, Vague Angels, The End of the World @ Local 506 (indie rock/alternative/experimental)
Wednesday, November 22 - Earl Greyhound, Barbarella @ Local 506 (rock/soul)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Kevin's weekend picks

Friday, November 17 - Race the Sun*, Holiday Parade, Yearling, In Our Own Words @ The Brewery (pop/rock)
Saturday, November 18 - Cursive, Jeremy Enigk, Fin Fang Foom, The Cops @ Cat's Cradle (indie/rock/experimental)
Sunday, November 19 - Cat Power, Dexter Romweber Duo @ Cat's Cradle (indie/soul)

Race the Sun is billing their current tour as the "Last Tour Ever."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Zach Galifianakis at the Cat's Cradle

When I was a kid I had a huge fascination with Victor Borge. Something about his combination of music and humor (Borge was actually quite an accomplished pianist) just got me and I could sit and watch him for hours.

Now, it appears, I have developed a similar interest in Zach Galifianakis.

I won't waste my time telling you how funny Zach was or how great The Explorers Club, a band from Charleston, SC, sounded. Instead, through the magic of multimedia, I'll show you.

Here's my disclaimer: There IS foul language and there ARE jokes of, uh...questionable taste. Proceed at your own risk!

Zach berates Claudia, an audience member who just couldn't help talking on her cell phone from the front row.

The Explorers Club closed their set with "Johnny B. Goode." Be sure to stick around for the end when their guitarist defies gravity.

Not a "best of," but an assortment of jokes from Zach's act.

Wish you were there

Well, it's way past my bedtime but I still can't get over tonight's show at Cat's Cradle — Zach Galifianakis and The Explorers Club. A more detailed review will come tomorrow but for now let's just

Here's a video of The Explorers Club (a band that is further proof that the Charleston music scene is just awesome) performing their song "Forever" to tide you over until tomorrow.

Monday, November 13, 2006

More events at the RBC Center

Looks like the bookers over at the RBC Center have been keeping busy lately.

Over the weekend came news of two additional shows for the 2007 season.

Red Hot Chili Peppers and Gnarls Barkley will make a stop at the arena Monday, Jan. 22. Tickets go on sale Saturday, Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster and the RBC Center box office.

Crooner Josh Groban is also scheduled to perform Friday, March 16. Tickets for Groban's show will go on sale Friday, Nov. 17.

For more information, go to

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Kevin's weekday picks

Monday, November 13 - Cities, So Many Dynamos, Eyes To Space, Grasshopper @ Wetlands (indie/rock/experimental/pop)
Tuesday, November 14
- Califone, The Judy Green @ Local 506 (rock/pop/indie)
Wednesday, November 15 - Zach Galifianakis, The Explorers Club @ Cat's Cradle (comedy/pop)
Thursday, November 16 - Lucero, Rocky Votolato, Drag the River @ Cat's Cradle (folk/indie/rock)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Kevin's weekend picks [UPDATED 10.11]

Friday, November 10 - Hearts and Daggers, The Triple Twins, The Della Rounds, Spader @ Kings (rockabilly/rock/indie/etc)
Saturday, November 11 - The Detroit Cobras, Taylor Hollingsworth and the Spider Eaters @ Local 506 (rock)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dirrty girl coming to the RBC

Christina Aguilera isn't just going on tour — she's going on a multi-city strip club extravaganza.

The "I'm sexier than Britney" pop starlet will turn the RBC Center into a strip joint May 1, 2007. Tickets will go on sale this Saturday, Nov. 11. Can't say the girl doesn't plan things in advance.

Rumor has it the singer's "Back to Basics" tour will be broken into three acts, 1920s, Juke Joint and Circus, and will include 15 different costumes. In one number, "Nasty Naughty Boy," Xtina will drag a certainly willing male audience member on stage and show off her S&M skills with five whips and a "burning wheel of death."

(Umm, okay. I guess it's not enough to give a concertgoer a lap dance anymore, a la Janet Jackson. Now we have to involve things called the "burning wheel of death.")

A leaked setlist includes mostly newer songs, but oldies "Come on Over," "What a Girl Wants" and "Lady Marmalade" (hello, strippers!) will still have their place. However, don't spend the night pining away to hear "Genie In A Bottle." Ain't gonna happen.

Tickets to the show will go for $49.50 and $75. Continuing the "stripper" theme is opening act The Pussycat Dolls and P. Diddy protégés Dainty Kaine.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Kevin's weekday picks [UPDATED 10.08]

Monday, November 6 - The Tyde, The Explorers Club, Oh No! Oh My! @ Local 506 (indie/pop)
Tuesday, November 7 - White Whale, Headlights, The Honored Guests @ Local 506 (indie/experimental/pop)
Wednesday, November 8 - Roman Candle, La Rocca*, The Changes @ Cat's Cradle (pop/rock)
Thursday, November 9 - The Black Keys, The Black Angels @ Cat's Cradle (indie rock/lo-fi)

*La Rocca has had to cancel. Their van and all their gear was stolen in Philadelphia.

Friday, November 03, 2006

A Holly Raleigh Christmas

That undeniable chill in the air can only mean one thing — winter's on its way and the holiday season is right on its heels.

It also means it's time for a barrage of Christmas and holiday-themed albums to hit the shelves. But instead of decking your halls to the tune of Mannheim Steamroller, you can rock out to some of the Triangle's own artists.

Have a Holly Raleigh Christmas features original holiday tunes by local artists like The Rosebuds, Schooner and Nathan Asher. The album is available at Schoolkids Records, Port City Java and a handful of other locations around town. For a complete list of bands and retail outlets, check out

Kevin's weekend picks [UPDATED 11.04]

Friday, November 3 - As-Is Ensemble, Chris Boerner Quartet @ Raleigh Music Hall (jazz/experimental)
Sunday, November 5 - Matthew Ryan, David Mead, Michelle Malone, Thad Cockrell @ The Pour House (rock/folk/pop)