Monday, April 30, 2007

Tickets for sale!

Booth Amphitheatre announced ticket prices and sale dates for four events today, leading me in some cases to say things like, "You're charging HOW much??"

But drama aside, here's the deal:

Clay Aiken with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra
Friday, August 10 at 8:30 p.m.
Tickets on sale Saturday, May 5, at 10 a.m.
$32.50/lawn, $55 reserved and table seating

Elvis Costello with the N.C. Symphony
Thursday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets on sale Saturday, May 5, at noon.
$43/lawn, $48/tables, $53/reserved
Picnic baskets will be allowed for this event, which is a small victory when compared to the ticket prices.

G. Love & Special Sauce
Friday, August 31 at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets on sale Saturday, May 5, at 10 a.m.
$27.50/general admission

Robert Cray Band with special guest Koko Taylor and her Blues Machine
Sunday, June 24, at 4 p.m.
Tickets on sale Monday, May 7, at noon.
$22/advance and $25/day of show lawn, $35/advance and $38 day of show tables/reserved.

As usual, tickets will be on sale through Ticketmaster and at the Booth Amphitheatre.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Which Elvis will we see?

Of all the scheduled shows at Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, there's just one that has me particularly excited.

Elvis Costello will perform with the N.C. Symphony at the amphitheatre on Thursday, Sept. 13.

But I wonder, will we be seeing rock 'n roll Elvis or his more somber alter ego? I'd pay good money to see the symphony go all out for "Radio, Radio."

Monday, April 23, 2007

Greensboro band Farewell get record deal

Greensboro pop punk/powerpop band Farewell have signed a deal with Epitaph Records. Epitaph is home to Motion City Soundtrack, Dropkick Murphys, NOFX and other punk/punkish bands. Farewell plan on releasing their new album, Isn't This Supposed To Be Fun, on their new label "soon."

Friday, April 20, 2007

NC State Fair snags Daughtry for weekend performance

According to, Daughtry will be playing the J.S. Dorton Arena during the NC State Fair on Saturday, October 20. To that, I say bleh. I never expect anything from the fair booking agents, but that Nickelback wannabe Daughtry just makes me nauseous.

I have to say though, for the fair to actually be able to book Daughtry is impressive considering he's really riding high right now. His record has sold over 2 million copies and shows no signs of slowing down. This strengthens my theory that people will buy anything that is spoon-fed to them.

That's concludes today's rant.

Dance with The Rosebuds on Night of The Furies

On Night of The Furies, The Rosebuds shake the lo-fi sounds of Make Out and Birds Make Good Neighbors and embrace synths and dance grooves. The melodies on Night of The Furies are the strongest The Rosebuds have created and they are catchier than ever.

Singer Ivan Howard's voice fits in perfectly with the band's new sound. On "My Punishment For Fighting," Howard's singing is very low and subdued on the verses and gets higher and more intense on the choruses giving the song a great dynamic shift while the groove remains steady.

On "Cemetery Lawn" the sweeping synth strings hint at a time when ABBA was on the top of the charts (it's a good thing). While Ivan takes vocal duties on most of the track, Kelly Crisp steps in on the bridge adding a nice bit of color to the track.

One stand out track is "Silja Line," which builds from a very mellow acoustic tune and adds more sonic elements as it goes along. The drums and bass don't kick in until two-thirds of the way through the song. In the last 45 seconds, the track becomes an anthem with soaring group vocals coming in to finish the song (contributed by members of Shout Out Louds, The Rosebuds new labelmates). It's a beautifully dynamic song.

Night of the Furies is The Rosebuds strongest album to date. While it may be only nine songs long, it's quality, not quantity and The Rosebuds deliver.

The Rosebuds will be celebrating the release of their new album at the Cat's Cradle on May 19. Tickets are available via

Download Night of The Furies on iTunes
The Rosebuds - Night of the Furies

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bright Eyes thinks big on Cassadaga

Conor Oberst and the Bright Eyes gang achieve big sounds with their new record Cassadaga.

Some "too cool for school" folks would say that Cassadaga is too slick and that Oberst is abandoning his indie roots, but in reality he's doing what every artist really wants to do. He made a record with a decent budget and allowed the time to make the record sound great.

On Cassadaga, we find Oberst channeling Bob Dylan, The Band, and any number of classic country and folk artists of the past. He brings his own style and sense of melody to a very classic sound.

The album begins in typical Bright Eyes fashion. The opening track, "Clairaudients (Kill Or Be Killed)," begins with what Oberst calls a "noise collage." In the first few minutes of the record, when you hear the swells of an orchestra over a woman's voice which evolves into a beautiful song featuring pedal steel guitar, which can be heard all over Cassadaga.

As "Clairaudients" fades out, "Four Winds" launches immediately with fiddle screaming. "Four Winds" is definitely a stand-out track on the record. The fiddle, the quick tempo and catchy, almost gospel-like, chorus is incredibly convincing. This isn't a band trying to channel that 60s/70s era sound, they truly understand it and feel it.

The album continues on in a very grand fashion with the orchestra making many appearances. While the record seems like it would be this big, overdone production, with the large list of performers on many of the tracks, the album maintains a very intimate, real sound that Bright Eyes fans have come to love over the years.

There isn't a single filler track on this record. It's quality from beginning to end. Whether you love or hate Bright Eyes, it is undeniable that Cassadaga is an incredibly soulful, moving record from a truly gifted band/collective.

Download Cassadaga on iTunes
Bright Eyes - Cassadaga

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Downtown Live lineup disappoints

Sometimes there's nothing better than a free outdoor show in the summer. Other times, it's best to just stay home.

Case in point: this year's schedule for Raleigh Downtown Live. The fine folks with Deep South Entertainment certainly have scraped from the bottom of the barrel this year.

Think I'm just being mean? Headliners are Everclear, Weekend Excursion, Firehouse, The Romantics, Night Ranger, Soul Asylum and Warrant. Hellooooo, Yesteryear.

Sure, most of these acts aren't no-names and have had their 15 minutes, but those minutes passed by long, long ago.

Supporting acts are still being filled in, so check the schedule for updates (and I have to say I will be heading out to see Will Hoge earlier in the day July 14 — well worth the parking hassle).

Come on guys, is this the best you can do??

A change of venue

Have tickets to see either Wolfmother or Richie Spice this coming Tuesday? You'll need to alter your plans a bit.

Wolfmother has been moved from Disco Rodeo to the Lincoln Theatre, kicking Richie Spice down the street to the Downtown Event Center (formerly Raleigh Music Hall, formerly Martin St. Music Hall).

Got that? Good.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Merge signs Shout Out Louds

Durham-based label Merge Records has signed Shout Out Louds, Pitchfork reports.

The Swedish group was formerly signed to Capitol Records.

Shout Out Louds' new album, Our Ill Wills, will be released stateside Sept. 11 (though it's coming out April 25 in Sweden and in May in other parts of Europe).

Members of Shout Out Louds were recently featured on their new label mate's album — The Rosebuds' Night of the Furies.

Download Shout Out Louds on iTunes
Shout Out Louds

No f-f-f-foolin', Def Leppard coming to the Creek

Def Leppard will continue Walnut Creek Amphitheatre's ever-growing classic rock/country summer. The UK bunch will play the amphitheatre on August 21 with Foreigner and Styx in tow. Foreigner was originally scheduled to play the amphitheatre in June, but have opted to join the Def Leppard tour instead.

No ticket info is available for Def Leppard right now, but rest assured, the price-gouging Ticketmaster will have tickets available in the near future.

Download Def Leppard on iTunes
Def Leppard

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Follow Annuals with a new video diary

Annuals may currently be away on the road, but you can still keep up through the band's new video tour diary at Purevolume.

In the first installment we find our heroes with a bit of cabin fever driving for more than a day straight to Seattle.

Annuals is currently on tour with Kaiser Chiefs and the Walkmen. They'll return home for a show at Cat's Cradle May 5 with Blonde Redhead.

Download Annuals on iTunes

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Kings of Leon evolve Because of the Times

With two records behind them, Kings of Leon stepped outside of their comfort zone and explored new musical territory on their third album, Because of the Times.

From the start of the seven-minute opening track, "Knocked Up," this obviously isn't the same Kings we've heard before.

When I heard the first single, "On Call," a few months ago, I was honestly a little uncertain about the direction the Kings were taking with this new record. It wasn't until a few weeks later and a few more listens that I found myself liking the tune more and more and was even humming the chorus while wandering around the house. It was then that I knew the Kings may be onto something with their new music.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Flickerstick debuts new songs on mediocre live album

It’s sort of hard to believe that a live album recorded at Tree Sounds Studios, where everyone from Elton John to Outkast has logged hours, could sound so…bad.

I wasn’t there, so I don’t know who’s to blame, but Flickerstick’s latest release, Live From Altanta: Two Nights at Tree Sound Studios just isn’t all that good.

The band will be at Lincoln Theatre this Thursday with local at The Motion opening.

On Live From Atlanta, Flickerstick debuts six new songs, with none of them garnering much more of an “eh” rating. Muddled sound, incomprehensible vocals and, dare I say, uninspired, borderline generic songwriting all leave me less than enthused.

Even the old standards included on the album turn out sort of blah, with lead singer Brandin Lea sounding like he’s reciting the lyrics rather than singing them with any sort of commitment.

Now don’t get me wrong—I’m not a hater. I am no stranger to the love for Flickerstick.

(I can actually be seen in the DVD released with the band’s EP To Madagascar and Back, screaming enthusiastically — and no doubt embarrassing the hell out of Kevin — at Flickerstick’s Cityfest performance in Charlotte a few years ago.)

But sadly, I’ve been given few reasons over the past several years to continue my devotion.

However, I’m not willing to write these guys off quite yet. I’ll be there on Thursday, watching and hoping this album is just a fluke rather than a sign of things to come.

Who: Flickerstick, The Motion, Under the Flood
Where: Lincoln Theatre
When: Thursday, April 12. Doors @ 8, show @ 9.
Tickets: $8 adv through etix. $10 at the door.

Download Flickerstick on iTunes

Roman Candle name new album

Roman Candle have been hard at work lately on a new album called Oh Tall Tree in the Ear. The band have been hammering out the tracks at Trip Cove Studios in Wilkesboro as well as at Arbor Ridge Studios and Modern Recording, both in Chapel Hill.

In addition to working on the new record, vocalist/guitar player Skip Matheny will be playing a last-minute acoustic show in Chapel Hill tonight (April 10) at Vespa on Franklin St. Go check it out.

Download Roman Candle on iTunes
Roman Candle

Monday, April 09, 2007

Sean Lennon brings Friendly Fire to the Cradle

Photo by Kevin Norris
Sean Lennon and his band made a stop at the Cat's Cradle Friday night and really brought their A-game.

Lennon took the stage after openers Kamila Thompson and Women and Children. He played his latest record, Friendly Fire, in its entirety. Highlights included the Marc Bolan-penned tune "Would I Be the One" and an energized version of Lennon's tune "Headlights." Honestly, there were no songs throughout the night that were not hauntingly beautfiul.

As much as I don't want to compare him to his father, Sean undeniably inherited his father's sense of humor. He spent almost as much time during his set talking in-between songs as he did playing and he was incredibly funny and charming the entire time. As he slipped into a British accent at one point, I couldn't help but be transported to one of the old Beatles' press conferences we've all seen footage from. It was uncanny.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Video: The Films @ Cat's Cradle

Check out these songs from The Films' March 22 visit to Cat's Cradle.

"A Good Day"

"Strange Hands"

Download The Films' Being Bored EP on iTunes
The Films - Being Bored - EP

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Beyonce set to shake it at RBC

Sadly, I have no decent jokes to make about this, so I'll get to the point.

Former Destiny's Child bootyshaker Beyonce will perform at the RBC Center in Raleigh on Saturday, July 28. Ticket info is TBA. Yeah, that's all I got. Oh, and what the hell is up with her outfit?

Will Hoge to play free downtown show

The Raleigh Downtown Live schedule is slowly starting to reveal itself.

Will Hoge and his rowdy gang will roll into town for a performance with the free concert series Saturday, July 14.

Raleigh Downtown Live is in its third season out at Moore Square Park. The first show of the season is scheduled for June 2.

[Photo by Kevin Norris]

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Another one bites the dust

More sad news for the Triangle scene. Raleigh's Bickett Gallery have announced that the contemporary art gallery/venue will be closing it's doors after May 20. Bickett will close just over a month after Kings Barcade will close it's doors. It really seems to be a rough time for venues in Raleigh. Let's hope the virus stops with Bickett and doesn't continue to spread throughout the area.

Check out "Bickett Gallery Closing in May" for more information about Bickett's closing and history.