Tuesday, May 29, 2007

And now for something completely different

Frankly, I'm sick of talking about Taylor Hicks. So in news about shows that will actually be happening...

The Maccabees are no longer opening for Bloc Party this Saturday, June 2, at Millennium Center in Winston-Salem. Annuals took their place to share opening duties with Noisettes.

Tickets to the show are $28 and available through Etix.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Taylor Hicks cancels Cary show

Turns out Idol Fever is a real thing after all, because last year's winner is just so darn busy he can't make it to his own engagements.

American Idol Season 5 winner has cancelled his June 28 show at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary due to "scheduling conflicts." Uh huh.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Avett Brothers draw Schoolkids biggest crowd

The Avett Brothers stopped by Schoolkids Records in Rlaeigh last Tuesday to celebrate the release of their new album, Emotionalism.

About 150 to 200 people showed up for the in-store. The crowd was a diverse mix of young college students, hipster kids, families (including children), older music fans and a lot of people who had obviously made their way to the store on their lunch break.

The band took the stage shortly after noon and played for about 30 minutes. The set included "Shame," "Die Die Die", "Paranoia In Bb Major" and "Go To Sleep." The set was truly electric, without the electricity. The band played acoustic instruments including guitar, upright bass, and banjo. They also brought cellist Joe Kwon with them to play on a few tunes. He played on as well.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Smashing Pumpkins tickets re-announced

If you're like us and spent a good part of yesterday afternoon wondering if all the Smashing Pumpkins tickets for the band's residency at The Orange Peel were sold out, don't worry. Thanks to some technical difficulties, not many people were able to purchase tickets.

Apparently, putting nine shows on sale all at once isn't as easy as the folks at Ticketweb thought. According to The Orange Peel there was "a major crash with the ticketing services server."

Tickets will now be sold through Ticketmaster beginning TONIGHT at 7 p.m., so get your clicking fingers ready. And your wallet ready, of course, for Ticketmaster's exorbitant fees. (Just kidding. Ticketmaster has agreed to charge the same fees that Ticketweb would have. One redemption point to Ticketmaster.)

One positive thing to note is that all tickets will only be available through will call, so anyone hoping to scalp tickets is going to have a rougher time than usual. Check here for some FAQs on the shows.

So are any of you planning to trek out to Asheville for one (or several) of these shows?

UPDATE: By our rough estimate, all nine shows sold out in 5-10 minutes. Were any of you successful in snagging tickets?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Review: Polyphonic Spree at Cat's Cradle

Polyphonic Spree are a lot like other alt rock bands. There's a drummer, a lead singer, two guitar players and a bassist. There's also a harpist, flautist, two keyboard players, another percussionist, a three person horn section and six backup singers dubbed the Polyphonettes.

OK, so maybe the Polyphonic Spree are a little different.

The group brought its 32 person entourage (band + crew) to Cat's Cradle last weekend for a one of a kind show.

Dressed not in their characteristic robes but instead in black military uniforms with hearts, red crosses and an arm patch, the Spree took the stage and launched into material covering all three of their albums, including the upcoming The Fragile Army, to be released June 19.

Lead singer Tim DeLaughter asked the crowd nicely to buy their new album so the group doesn't get dropped from another record label.

But if anyone in the group was feeling down, you sure couldn't tell. For the entire two hours they were on stage, every member of the group (21 at our best count) was spilling over with enthusiasm. The only unfortunate part is it wasn't as infectious as you might think.

From my spot about four people back, I was amid a sea of arm-crossed zombies. It was only toward the end of the show when DeLaughter essentially demanded that the crowd give back some of the energy they were sending out that people really started to bounce and sing to the music.

There was one moment, though, that absolutely stood out from all the rest. During the last song of the main set, "The Championship," a track on the new album, the band exited the stage one by one as the remaining band members and crowd sang in unison, "All in good time, raise our voices." While it may sound cheesy, the sheer power of that moment, of everybody coming together as one, was incredibly. Check out this video on YouTube (of the band at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York two days before the Cat's Cradle show) to see what I mean.

When the Polyphonic Spree first gained popularity in 2003 a lot of people said, jokingly or not, that the band seemed to be part of some cult. They wore robes, were always happy and seriously, there are 24 of them. But if it takes dealing with such accusations to get such innovative, awe-inspiring and downright fantastic music, I'd say that's a pretty good deal.

[all photos by Kevin Norris]

Friday, May 18, 2007

Josh Turner joins the state fair schedule

Continuing our NC State Fair coverage, another country artist has been added to the 2007 schedule. MCA Nashville artist Josh Turner will perform on Monday, October 15.

Here's the schedule so far.

Friday, Oct. 12 - MercyMe
Saturday, Oct. 13 - Sara Evans
Monday, Oct. 15 - Josh Turner
Tuesday, Oct. 16 - Kellie Pickler
Friday, Oct. 19 - Steven Curtis Chapman
Saturday, Oct. 20 - Daughtry
Sunday, Oct. 21 - Trace Adkins

With the fair running October 12-21, that only leaves three more performers to be announced. At the rate they're being rolled out, we should have the entire schedule soon.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ben Gibbard plays to a sold-out crowd

Loyal Death Cab For Cutie and Postal Service fans turned out in droves to sing along with Ben Gibbard last week at the Cat's Cradle.

Gibbard opened the show with "Sing My Song," a Donovan cover which transitioned straight into "Brand New Colony." Through the night, Gibbard played songs from the entire Death Cab For Cutie catalog as well as a few tunes from his successful side-project The Postal Service. Most of the show was just Gibbard and his guitar, but he took a seat at the piano for a few tunes including "Soul Meets Body," "Passenger Seat" and a very interesting cover of Nirvana's "All Apologies."

While most of the crowd sang every word and respected the intimate vibe of the show, there was a lot of underlying chatter that made the one man show a little hard to enjoy. Gibbard played a great set and kept the bulk of the crowd happy through the night.

On a random note, there was a celebrity in attendance that night. John Krasinski, best known as Jim Halpert on The Office, could be seen ducking in and out of the backstage area throughout the night. Krasinksi and Gibbard are apparently friends. Kransinski hosted Death Cab For Cutie's DVD release party for Directions last year and Gibbard has a role in Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, a film directed, co-written and starring Krasinski. Unfortunately, Krasinski along with Gibbard, David Bazan and some others, snuck out of their bus and headed down the street to bar, leaving Krasinksi's attendance at the Cradle a mystery.

[photo by Kevin Norris]

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Review: Annuals at Urban Outfitters

I'm not sure how much more hipster you could get than by playing a show to support independent radio at Urban Outfitters.

Annuals did just that last Wednesday at The Streets at Southpoint.

A crowd of about 200 people lined up outside on the stormy day to see the Raleigh-based six-piece play the free show. The show was sponsored by WKNC 88.1 and Free YR Radio.

Inside, the band was set up in a back corner of the store (Note to UO: If you're going to have a band in your store again, please set up a riser to put them at least a few inches off the ground.) with a pretty cool looking neon display and the band name in huge letters on the wall. The signage also promoted the Toyota Yaris, a sponsor of the event, but what can you do. It wasn't nearly as obscene as Camel's display at the Bravery concert back in December. (And look, now they've done their job by getting me to mention it again.)

But back to the band. Annuals played songs of their album Be He Me to the crowd, many of whom bounced to the beat as they sang along. With any luck for those of us in the area, I really think this band is setting itself up to be one of the great music acts to come out of N.C. over time. The songs are catchy while still being meaningful — no easy feat — and they put together a solid live show that still has you singing along in your head hours later. Keep an eye on this band, with any luck you'll be hearing much more from them in the future.

And just because I like you guys? Here's a free song.

Annuals, "Brother" [MP3]

[all photos by Kevin Norris]

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Dr. Dog is fashionably late

Dr. Dog were scheduled to hit the Schoolkids Records stage in Raleigh last Wednesday at 4:00 PM. Well, at about 4:20 PM, the band pulled up in their van and after a quick set-up the band proceeded to rock out for the fans who had been waiting.

Dr. Dog hit the stage looking dirty and a little disheveled like any hard working, touring band should. They played a full band set that included songs from their most recent album, We All Belong. The set included "Ain't It Strange," "Worst Trip" and "Die Die Die." The thirty-minute set was intense and the band sounded great considering the lack of a proper PA system. The band has that old, dry, 70s sound down and they proved don't need a lot of tricks or technology to pull it off.

The short set left fans wanting more but the band had to head down the road to Local 506 for a set later that night. Dr. Dog plays Local 506 regularly, so keep an eye out for the band the return for another show in the coming months.

[photos by Kevin Norris]

Monday, May 14, 2007

Smashing Pumpkins set-up residency in Asheville

The newly "reformed" Smashing Pumpkins will play a string of residency gigs at of all places, The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC. The new Pumpkins tour will include original members Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlin but will not include James Iha or D'Arcy Wretzky.

The Pumpkins will play nine shows at The Orange Peel (June 23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 30 and July 2, 3 and 5). After the residency, the band will play Al Gore's LiveEarth event in East Rutherford, NJ before heading to San Francisco for an eight-show residency at The Fillmore.

The Smashing Pumpkins new album Zeitgeist will be out on July 10. Tickets for The Orange Peel residency go on sale May 20 at 1:00 PM via ticketweb.com. Tickets will only be $20. Not bad.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bored? Check out our events calendar

I know, sometimes living in the Triangle can seem kind of...lame. But our music calendar is proof that there's pretty much always something to do in the area.

The calendar is painstakingly updated several times a day and lists shows at every venue from Hideaway BBQ (yes, it's a real place with actual bands) to the RBC Center. But because not every show is a gem, our top picks are highlighted in red. New additions are in green.

The link is always found in the sidebar at the top of our links list. (See that one in all caps that says TRIANGLE MUSIC CALENDAR?) So check it out, and maybe we'll see you at the next show.

Video: Annuals at Cat's Cradle

Annuals performing "Fair" off their album Be He Me. The band wrapped up their run of shows opening for Blonde Redhead at Cat's Cradle Saturday night.

Jay Clifford at Cat's Cradle

For those who missed it, Jay Clifford once again put on a striking solo show at Cat's Cradle last week.

But perhaps even more exciting than the show itself was Jay's announcement that his first solo album is complete and will be released in August. Details such as album title and track listing (and who's releasing the thing) are to be announced, but surely the album will include some of the new songs he played that night. A full set list is below with asterisks next to new songs and the album's track list can be found here (thanks, Michael).

The favorite of some in the crowd seemed to be "Little Ranger," a song he wrote about his one-year-old son Wyatt who roams about the back yard like Vasco da Gama. No, it's not a real song, just something he made most of up on the spot, but such is the greatness of Jay Clifford.

Set List:
Safe Keeping
Dim and the Dark
Know When to Walk Away*
No God, No Country
Waltzing Past the Grave*
Rains in Asia
Don't be Fooled*
By the Way They Dance
Mountains So Grand
Say Goodnight
Do You Love an Apple (with Amanda Kapousouz)
Little Ranger
Where She Lies
* denotes new song

[photo by Kevin Norris]

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

NC State Fair 2007 schedule taking shape [UPDATED]

The North Carolina State Fair concert schedule for this year is starting to take shape. Here is how the schedule stacks up so far.

Friday, Oct. 12 - MercyMe
Saturday, Oct. 13 - Sara Evans
Tuesday, Oct. 16 - Kellie Pickler
Friday, Oct. 19 - Steven Curtis Chapman
Saturday, Oct. 20 - Daughtry
Sunday, Oct. 21 - Trace Adkins

So far there are no big surprises. It's the typical line-up of country and christian performers (plus another American Idol contestant). So far Daughtry is the only "rock" act on the schedule. Read this older post to find out how I feel about that ("NC State Fair snags Daughtry for weekend performance"). We'll have more on the State Fair as it becomes available.

Projekt Revolution comes to Walnut Creek

Since the Vans Warped Tour is skipping Raleigh this year, the closest thing to it will be the newly announced Projekt Revolution Tour.

The tour will feature two stages. The main stage performers will be Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday, HIM and Julien-K. The smaller stage, dubbed "The Revolution Stage," will feature Mindless Self Indulgence, Saosin, The Bled, Styles of Beyond and Madina Lake.

The Projekt Revolution Tour will stop at Walnut Creek Amphitheatre on Monday, August 13 as well as Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Charlotte on Wednesday, August 8.

We don't have ticket information right now, but tickets should be available soon via Ticketmaster. Fore more information on the tour, check out projektrevolution.com.

Download Linkin Park on iTunes
Linkin Park

Download My Chemical Romance on iTunes
My Chemical Romance

Monday, May 07, 2007

CocoRosie cancel North American dates

Planning to see CocoRosie at Cat's Cradle Wednesday night? You might want to come up with something else to do.

The band has cancelled its shows through the next week or so after sisters Sierra and Bianca Casady — that would be the whole band — were arrested recently.

The duo announced the news in a MySpace bulletin, writing "the band got arrested, thats all i can say."

Free Annuals show Wednesday

After months of reading about them in magazines and making posts on this blog, we finally caught an Annuals show Saturday night when they opened for Blonde Redhead at Cat's Cradle. (Video from that show is coming soon.) And guess what, they're pretty damn good.

If you missed it, you can catch the band for free this Wednesday. They'll be playing a free show at Urban Outfitters at the Streets at Southpoint in Durham at 7 p.m.

You MUST have a ticket to enter, but no worries — they're free. Go to freeyrradio.com/wkncguest to print out an invite form. It's important to note that the ticket does not admit entrance. Space is limited, so get there early!

Show it at the door and you're good. Space is limited, though, so get there early and browse the sale rack while you wait.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Avett Bros. take in NC in one day

The Avett Bros. may be moving up in the world, but that doesn't mean they've forgotten where they come from.

May 15, the release date for their new album Emotionalism, the trio will take on central and western N.C. with a three city in-store spree.

Raleigh — Schoolkids Records
In-Store Performance

4 p.m.
Greensboro — BB's Compact Discs
Meet and greet

8 p.m.
Charlotte — Manifest Records
In-Store performance

In unrelated in-store news, Dr. Dog will perform at Schookids on Hillsborough Street next Wednesday, May 9, at 4 p.m.