Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Comas and Great Northern heat up Local 506

North Carolina ex-patriots The Comas stopped by Local 506 Saturday night with their new friends from Los Angeles, Great Northern.

Hillsborough band, Wembley, opened the show with a short set of spaced-out pop with howling Buckley-esque vocals. The set included the song "Death Incarnate" which can be downloaded on the band's MySpace page along with three other songs.

Great Northern took the stage with an amazing set full of songs from their debut album Trading Twilight For Daylight. The vocals of Solon Bixler and Rachel Stolte blended beautifully throughout the set on "Just A Dream" and the band rocked out on the anthematic tune, "Home."

Great Northern was joined onstage by The Comas' Andy Herod and Nicole Gehweiler towards the end of the set. The two contributed additional percussion and backing vocals.

Great Northern were quick to return the favor as The Comas took the stage. Solon and Rachel quickly hopped on stage at the beginning of The Comas set to add percussion to the band's fuzzed-out, Spells heavy set. As the band rocked through "Come My Sunshine" and "Red Microphones," the temperature continued to rise throughout the set — literally. Guitarist/vocalist Nicole mouthed, "I'm going to pass out" towards the end of the band's set. The Comas played three more songs before leaving the stage. They quickly returned to play "Tonight on the WB" from their previous album, Conductor and one more song before calling it a night.

Fans at the show ignored the heat as the danced and sang along to The Comas set. It was quite different from the usual, arms crossed, apathetic crowd I'm used to seeing at most Cradle/506 shows. It was really good to see people having fun at a show rather than standing still.

Great Northern and The Comas will continue their trek across America for two more weeks before parting ways. The bands seem like old friends even though they only met two weeks ago. Great Northern drummer Davey Latter said when the bands get together "It's like a gang mentality."


Sunday, July 29, 2007

A special day for Chicago fans in Cary

I've lived in Cary for about 12 years, ever since my family moved here from Long Island in the mid-90s. So as a transplant, I do my best not to miss an opportunities to mock the town and its inhabitants. And so we have this post.

Today is a special day in Cary, you see, because at approximately 7:30 this evening, Cary Mayor Ernie McAlister will declare today Chicago Day in the fine town of Cary. Yes, Chicago like the band.

The group, currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, will play Cary's Koka Booth Amphitheatre tonight.

Here's a snippet from the town's press release...
"The music of Chicago holds so many special memories for each of us. I consider it an honor and a pleasure to recognize their tremendous accomplishments," said McAlister. The band will receive a copy of the proclamation and the celebration will continue during the show as the audience lights up the night sky with glow-stick birthday candles.
And there you have it — Chicago Day. I didn't receive a response from town staff when I called to inquire what other bands may have been bestowed such an honor in the past. The only one that comes to mind is polka king Frankie Yankovic, who actually has an annual festival in his name.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Nada Surf and Of Montreal returning to Carrboro

Of Montreal and Nada Surf are set to return to the Cat's Cradle.

Of Montreal will play on Friday, September 28. It will be the band's second show at the Cradle since the release of Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?. Of Montreal sold out the Cradle in March and will most likely do it again. Tickets are currently on sale via etix.com for $15.

Nada Surf will return to the Cradle on Halloween, Wednesday, October 31. The show will be the band's second show at the Cradle in support of 2005's The Weight is a Gift. Nada Surf played to a near sold out at the Cradle in January 2005. Pre-sale tickets are available today, July 24, via nadasurf.musictoday.com and will be available via etix.com on Friday, July 27 for $15.

Keep posted for more Cat's Cradle updates.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Comas "Come My Sunshine" video

The Comas have made their first video in support of their new album, Spells. The video is for "Come My Sunshine" and you can currently download the song on the band's MySpace page.

Don't forget that The Comas will be playing at Local 506 on Saturday, July 28 with Great Northern and Wembley.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Annuals and The Never team up for show

Two of the Triangle's biggest and best bands will team up for a show at the Cat's Cradle on August 18. Annuals and The Never can draw impressive crowds on their own, so when these two join forces, it's safe to say it'll be a cramped night at the Cradle.

ReverbNation will sponsor the show. The bands will also be joined by Chapel Hill band, Auxiliary House. Details are sketchy at the moment, but Annuals' MySpace page says the show will be $5 for the general public and free for ReverbNation members (it's free to join). We'll have more details on the show as they become available. [The details are in. The show will be free and it IS on August 18. There had been some confusion about the date and now it's official. The show will start at 9:00 PM and doors will open at 8:30 PM.]

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Liars open for Interpol at Disco Rodeo

Los Angeles band Liars will open for Interpol at Disco Rodeo in Raleigh on September 16. The band has a dark, post-punk sound, fairly similar to Interpol.

Liars will have a new self-titled record due out on August 28 which they'll be promoting. Check out songs from the new album on the band's myspace page. Also, download a remix mp3 below.

MP3: It Fit When I Was A Kid (Crystal Castles remix)

Monday, July 16, 2007

An open letter to Aretha Franklin

Dear Ms. Franklin,

We here in North Carolina are wondering what sort of bone you have to pick with us. First you cancel two shows at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary in 2005 and 2006 due to some sort of "scheduling conflicts." When Carolina Performing Arts announced in the spring that you'd be opening their 2007-2008 season, we were skeptical but you know, it's good to give people the benefit of the doubt that they'll follow through with their engagements.

But now we find out that you cancelled your Sept. 13 show in Chapel Hill as well. Al Green, who apparently doesn't have some sort of mysterious allergy to the Triangle, will be filling in.

So really, Aretha — may I call you Aretha? What gives? Could you not find someone in the area willing to pick the green M&M's out of your candy dish? Is our warm climate not good for your aging vocal cords? Were you once wronged by a gentleman from Raleigh and now just like to toy with his emotions?

Whatever it is, I hope some foolish, vainly optimistic promoter doesn't take a chance on you for their 2008 concert season. I just don't know that our little hearts could take another letdown.

Triangle Music

P.S. If anyone had tickets to this event and doesn't want to see Al Green instead, call the Memorial Hall box office at 843-3333 and they'll help you out.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cradle booking big falls shows

The Cat's Cradle booking agent(s) have been busy lately and it seems to be paying off. There are a ton of big acts coming this fall. Here's a little info on a few.


Meat Puppets will play the Cradle on Monday, September 10 supporting their new album, Rise to Your Knees. This will be the band's first release since 2000's Golden Lies. What's truly notable about Rise to Your Knees is that it will be the band's first album since 1995's No Joke! that will feature both Curt and Cris Kirkwood. For those who don't know the Kirkwood brothers, they were the two long-haired guys playing with Nirvana during their legendary Unplugged set.

Rise to Your Knees comes out next Tuesday, July 17. Tickets for the September 10 show at the Cradle are on sales now via etix.com for $15.


Peter Bjorn & John will hit the Cradle on Tuesday, September 11 with Merge artist The Clientele opening. The band is out supporting last year's release, Writer's Block. The group had a small hit with the catchy tune "Young Folks" which has kept album sales steady.

Prices are little steep for this one. Tickets for the September 11 show are $23 and are currently available via etix.com.


Montreal indie-pop band Stars will play the Cradle on Friday, October 26. The band will be supporting their fourth album, In Our Bedroom After the War, due out on September 25. The CD and vinyl versions will be released in September, but you can buy it on iTunes now [click the iTunes logo below that will take you straight to the album page]. Check out a free mp3 of "The Night Starts Here" from the new album (click song title and save as).

Tickets for the October 26 show will be available on etix.com on Thursday, July 19.

Stars - In Our Bedroom After the War


Canada's very own indie superstar twin sisters, Tegan and Sara will play the Cradle on Saturday, November 17. The girls have a new album, The Con, due out on July 24 and already have a bunch of sold-out shows on the books in the US, Canada and the UK. It'd be a good idea to get your tickets early for this one.

Tickets for the November 17 show go on sale this Saturday, July 14 via etix.com for $18.


These are just a few of the bands the Cat's Cradle have booked in the coming months. Don't forget to check out the Triangle Music Calendar regularly for show updates (updated daily). Also check out our post about the Interpol show at Disco Rodeo ("Interpol announce tour, stop at Disco Rodeo"). It has been updated with ticket info.

Nickelback tour coming to Walnut Creek

If you have any musical taste whatsoever you'll stay far, far away from the Walnut Creek amphitheatre on August 26. (Mean, who, me?)

Nickelback, Finger Eleven and Puddle of Mudd (the latter two of which I had no idea where still around) will play Walnut Creek. Tickets range from $29-59 and go on sale via Ticketmaster this Friday.

Usually, this would fall into my category of "If you can't say something nice, keep your mouth shut," but the radio announcers have been going nuts over this announcement since the weekend so I guess it's a big deal... Anyone? Bueller?

In all seriousness, could someone please explain the draw to these groups? I'm going out of town for a couple days, so I'll look forward to your thoughtful comments upon my return.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Summer concert series at North Hills

Miss the free concert series that used to be held at the now-demolished Raleigh Civic Center?

North Hills shopping center has picked up some of the slack with a free series of shows highlighting new artists.

Raleigh native James Dunn will take the stage this Thursday at 5 p.m. on the lawn across from the movie theater. Dunn was recently featured on CMT as an up-and-coming artist for his song "The Oak Tree." He was named one of 64 top unsigned acts in the country.

The series is sponsored by Mix 101.5 and takes place every other Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. through Sept. 27.

July 12: James Dunn and band (American rock and vocals)
July 26: Joe Robinson (jazz)
Aug. 9: Reggie Buie Trio (smooth jazz)
Aug. 23: The Kickin Grass Band (Carolina bluegrass)
Sept. 13: The Cadillac Stepbacks (bluegrass)
Sept. 27: Steve Hobbs (instrumental jazz)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Interpol announce tour, stop at Disco Rodeo [UPDATED]

Interpol announced a big US tour today that will include a stop at Disco Rodeo in Raleigh on September 16. The band will be touring in support of their new album, Our Love To Admire, due out next Tuesday, July 10.

Our Love To Admire will be Interpol's third album and their first for Capitol Records. Check out the video for the first single, "The Heinrich Maneuver," below.

For a complete list of tour dates, check out interpolnyc.com.


UPDATE - Tickets for the Disco Rodeo show on September 16 will go on sale on Saturday July 14 via etix.com and the usual sources (Schoolkids, Cat's Cradle, CD Alley). They will be $25 in advance and $27 on the day of the show. Doors will be at 7:00pm and the show will start at 8:00pm. No opener(s) have been announced yet.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Review: Rooney at Cat's Cradle

California pop group Rooney came to town and along with them hordes of screaming fans. At first it was a bit disconcerting to see my favorite local venue transformed in to the set of TRL, but it was actually quite refreshing to see people actually get excited at a concert — even if it meant I wish I'd brought ear plugs.

The band, gearing up to release a new album July 17, played a nearly even mix of material off their 2003 self-titled release and their forthcoming album, Calling all the World.

In their new material, including songs "When Did Your Heart Go Missing," "Are You Afraid" and "Tell Me," the group sounds as if they were literally hit over the head with all things 80s — and I mean that in the best way possible.

As if to cement their appreciation for the decade, Rooney entered the stage to the theme from Beverly Hills Cop.

In all, the show reminded me how much I like the songs off their self-titled debut. This group represents pop rock at its purest and, dare I say, its best.

[photos by Kevin Norris]

Pop music will eat your soul

In case any of you needed another reason not to listen to Fergie, here's a new one.

The Times is reporting that the formerly methed-out pop star was recently paid nearly $4 million to incorporate the Candie's clothing brand into the lyrics of her songs.

Now, I know rappers and other performers, including The Dutchess herself, have been doing this for years, but this is the first time it's been reported that someone was actually paid to do something like this.

“With record sales in decline, you must find novel ways to make money out of the music. The trick is to make the brand part of the song so that it slips down easily rather than chokes the fan,” said an executive at Interscope, Fergie’s record company in Los Angeles.

“Candie’s will reach teens, but it has no say over exactly what Fergie will sing, or when. Fans might think she is just singing about candy. But it’s got to work in the song. Fergie does not sing jingles.”

Yeah. Right. So what do you guys think? Is this no different than P. Diddy swilling Cristal in his videos, or does it worry you for the future of what's left of the "music" business?