Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Strangers Almanac set for re-release

Whiskeytown's 1997 album Strangers Almanac is set to be re-released on March 4. In addition to the original material , the two-disc deluxe edition including 5 extra tracks on disc one and 20 tracks on the second disc.

The extra tracks on disc one were recorded live at Los Angeles radio station KCRW in September 1997. The are "Houses On The Hill," "Turn Around," "Somebody Remembers The Rose," "Nurse With The Pills" and "I Don't Care What You Think About Me."

The album will include alternate takes and demos of some Strangers Almanac tunes including "Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart Tonight," "16 Days," "Somebody Remembers the Rose," "Avenues" and "Turn Around."

The album will also include songs recorded during the Strangers Almanac sessions that didn't make the album including "Kiss & Make-Up," "Indiana Gown," "Barn's On Fire," "Whispers," "Breathe" and "10 Seconds Till the End of the World."

The album will also include some choice covers including Johnny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone," Gram Parsons' "Luxury Liner" and Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams."

The other six songs on disc two have been released at various times on a variety releases, including "Ticket Time," Alejandro Escovedo's "The Rain Won't Help You When It's Over," "Theme For A Trucker," "My Heart Is Broken" and alternate versions of "Houses On the Hill" and "The Strip" (aka "Dancing With the Women at the Bar").

For those who don't know the history of it all, Whiskeytown was Ryan Adams and Caitlin Cary's band throughout the 90s before Adams started focusing on his solo records. For more info, check out the Whiskeytown Wikipedia page.

iTunes Single Of The Week - Raheem DeVaughn "Woman"

If you like Blackstreet, then you just might love the iTunes free single of the week.

Raheem DeVaughn's "Woman" is no worse than most of the songs topping the iTunes top song list, but that's not saying much.

It doesn't help the songs' credibility too much that it begins with a dedication to women including "your baby's mama's mama." Hello stereotypes.

"Woman" has a groovy beat and a catchy piano part that is very reminiscent of 90s R&B. Musically, the verses are strong even though the lyrical content is about as lame as it comes. The guy seems to appreciate the women in his life, but come up with a more creative/sincere way to express it than "I appreciate your glow, and when you get angry with us, the way that you let us know, and I think you're so cute when you get so emotional."

The chorus is truly awful though. It just repeats "woman, woman, woman, woman" over and over again.

I have to say nay to Raheem DeVaughn's "Woman."

[UPDATE: As it turns out, this song is nominated for a Grammy for "Best Male R&B Vocal Performance." Yikes. If they're only judging on vocal performance, okay, but the fact that this song is nominated proves once again how meaningless the Grammys have become.]

Monday, January 28, 2008

R.E.M. comes to the Creek, brings big openers

R.E.M. have announced plans to tour this summer in support of their new album, Accelerate. One of these dates is at Walnut Creek Amphitheatre in Raleigh. It's amazing that there's actually two shows worth going to so far at Walnut Creek this year (see Tom Petty to play Walnut Creek).

The Walnut Creek show will be on Tuesday, June 10. R.E.M. are showing impeccable taste in openers by bringing indie giants Modest Mouse and The National out for the entire tour.

Accelerate is due out on April Fools Day (April 1). Here's the tracklist.

01 "Living Well's The Best Revenge"
02 "Man Sized Wreath"
03 "Supernatural Superserious"
04 "Hollow Man"
05 "Houston"
06 "Accelerate"
07 "Until The Day Is Done"
08 "Mr Richards"
09 "Sing For The Submarine"
10 "Horse To Water"
11 "I'm Gonna DJ"

For a complete list of R.E.M. tour dates, go to Also, check out for cool videos of the band rehearsing songs, talking about their new music and other tidbits.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Nickel Creek members' tours stop in NC

Nickel Creek played their last shows at the Ryman Auditorium in November leaving the band free to focus on other projects. Two of these new musical projects will stop in NC in March.

Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek will try out her new solo skills, opening for Tift Merritt at the Carolina Theatre in Durham on March 22. It's unclear yet whether Sara will perform solo or with a group, but it should be a good show either way. Sara will start recording a solo record in late February will Led Zeppelin bassist and bluegrass enthusiast John Paul Jones producing.

Punch Brothers, Chris Thile's new band, will play at the Clayton Center in Clayton on March 29. The band will also play in Asheville at Grey Eagle Tavern on the 27th, in Greensboro at the Carolina Theatre on the 28th and in Charlotte at the McGlohon Theatre on the 30th. Thile inked a deal with Nonesuch Records (home of Wilco) last year who will release Punch Brothers first album, Punch, on February 26.

Tickets for Tift Merritt with Sara Watkins are available via and Punch Brothers tickets are available via

Tom Petty to play Walnut Creek

Attention Tom Petty fans!

The rock legend announced today a 2008 summer tour that will take Petty and the Heartbreakers across the country, including a stop at Raleigh's Walnut Creek Amphitheatre on July 12.

Steve Winwood will open the show.

Tickets go on sale Feb. 4, following the band's Super Bowl half time show.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Out Today: Cat Power - Jukebox

From the opening song on Jukebox, Frank Sinatra’s “New York,” it’s obvious that on Cat Power’s second cover record she’s going to make the songs her own.

While Sinatra may not be that big of a stretch, the next track, Hank Williams' classic “Ramblin’ Man” (which she dubs “Ramblin' (Wo)man”) is quite the contrary. With the help of her band, The Dirty Delta Blues Band, she’s gives all the songs on Jukebox a new life, though it may be a somber, heartbroken life.

Cat Power breathes life into “Silver Stallion,” a song by The Highwaymen (Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson). As great as the collective members of The Highwaymen were, their production is very dated (hello, 1990), but Cat Power brings the soulfulness out in the song by leaving production to the bare minimum.

The album features a new version of “Metal Heart,” from Cat Power’s 1998 album Moon Pix as well as one new original song, “Song For Bobby.” Both songs are beautifully arranged and written leaving plenty of room for Chan’s haunting voice.

While the album lacks a cohesive theme or genre, Cat Power has put together a strong album full of obscure song choices by many legends of music. Most people wouldn’t have the gumption to cover Hank Williams, James Brown, Janis Joplin and The Highwaymen on the same record, but she makes it work without seeming too contrived. We still can’t wait to hear a new record of originals, though.


Here’s a complete track list with the artists who made the song famous:

New York (Frank Sinatra)
Ramblin’ (Wo)man (Hank Williams)
Metal Heart (Cat Power)
Silver Stallion (The Highwaymen)
Aretha, Sing One For Me (George Jackson)
Lost Someone (James Brown)
Lord, Help the Poor & Needy (Jessie Mae Hemphill)
I Believe In You (Bob Dylan)
Song For Bobby (Cat Power)
Don’t Explain (Billie Holiday)
Woman Left Lonely (Janis Joplin)
Blue (Joni Mitchell)

iTunes Single Of The Week - Ashton Shepherd, "Takin' Off This Pain"

"I got a cold beer in my right hand. In my left I got my wedding band," Ashton Shepherd drawls in the opening line on this week's iTunes Single of the Week, "Takin' Off This Pain."

It's pretty much all I needed to hear before I knew I'd hate this song. The song exemplifies contemporary country at its worst, a jilted woman bitching about how her man don't treat her right. "You don't never even talk to me, I just get to do your laundry. You sit there and watch TV even when I'm looking sexy." Ugh.

Some will probably herald this woman as the next Gretchen Wilson, but would that even be a compliment?

If you really have a hankering for country music, try someone like Rachel Proctor, who has a real voice, writes fantastic songs and (unlike Ashton) doesn't make my ears bleed.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Everybodyfields heat up The Pour House

Temperatures dropped into the teens last night in the Triangle, but The Everybodyfields kept the crowd at The Pour House warm with their soulful country tunes.

The band's singers, Sam Quinn and Jill Andrews, have beautifully complimenting voices that rival Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Their harmonies and vocal interplay are amazing and were displayed throughout the night on songs like "Aeroplane" (click to download) and "Everything Is Okay."

Sam Quinn was feeling under the weather all night and coughed between songs and even between lines, but his tenor voice still sounded great despite what he called "singing through a goiter."

Pedal steel player Tom Pryor filled out the top end of the group's sound while guitarist and keyboard player Josh Oliver complimenting the band beautifully with subtle guitar licks and somber piano tones.

One of the highlights of the night was a song Sam introduced by saying "here's a song written by a bald guy." It was The Smashing Pumpkins tune "Today." They played it beautifully with soaring harmonies. The Everybodyfields played the song with more conviction than The Smashing Pumpkins did back in Greensboro back in November.

The Everybodyfields will return to the Triangle on Friday, March 7 to open for Chatham County Line at Cat's Cradle.

Friday, January 18, 2008

CD review: James Dunn, The Long Ride Home

James Dunn will be the first to tell you he's a huge Bruce Springsteen fan.

It's a good thing, because take one listen to his new album, The Long Ride Home, and it will probably be the first thing that comes to mind.

Produced by the Nashville team of Brian Layson and Tres Sasser, The Long Ride Home showcases Dunn's songwriting in what seems to be perfect form.

At times alt country and others straight up rock 'n roll, influences from Springsteen and Tom Petty have enriched his music without overpowering it.

A follow-up to his 2006 EP Lonely American Dream, The Long Ride Home opens with simple drums and an acoustic guitar but blooms from there to reveal thoughtful lyrics and lush arrangements. I said before that Dunn's music is perfect for driving, and I'll stand by that. (And after all, if you can't rock out to an album in the car, what good is it?)

Check out "Oh My Don't Cry," "Cards on the Table" and "Crush on You," all of which have become favorites on my iPod. Get ready, guys. You're going to be hearing a lot more about James Dunn.

Dunn, a Cary native who now spends his time between Raleigh and Nashville, will have his official CD release party March 8 at The Pour House. If you'd like to catch him live before then head out to Oliver Twist this Thursday. More tour dates are available on his website.

Pick up The Long Ride Home at Schoolkids Records in Raleigh, at or on iTunes.

MGMT packs Local 506

It seems the stars have aligned for Brooklyn band MGMT.

A week after their performance on the Late Show with David Letterman and being featured with iTunes' song of the week, the group played to a packed house at Local 506.

At times 80s retro and at others psychedelic synth, MGMT is a really hard band to "classify." Maybe that's why on their MySpace page is says "Sounds Like: [image of a rotting carcass]." Or not.

Or, maybe the guy standing behind me said it best with, "They're so different," which he repeated about six times during their playing of "Electric Feel."

There's no doubt this show should have been moved down the street to the Cat's Cradle, but not too many people in the cramped crowd seemed to mind and they danced along to the group's single "Time to Pretend."

The band's recent exposure was undoubtedly part of the reason for such a large crowd — about a dozen people filed out of the room at the end of the song.

MGMT'S album Oracular Spectacular will be released on Columbia Records Tuesday, Jan. 22.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Rosebuds rock requests at the Cradle

The Rosebuds kicked off a short East Coast tour last night at the Cat's Cradle and were in great form.

The trio took the stage and kicked off the set with "Waiting For the Carnival" from their debut album Make Out. After some brief technical difficulties, the band continued their set with "Cemetery Lawn" and kept rolling for the rest of the night.

The Rosebuds took requests online a few weeks before the show which led to a set littered with old tunes. The band gave new life to songs from their first album, Make Out, playing the songs as intensely as ever.

One standout tune was the rare "Governor's Daughter," found on a Merge compilation disc. Kelly said they get requests for it all the time, so they finally decided to play it.

The night ended with a large group from the crowd on stage to sing along with "Silja Line." The crowd stayed on stage and the show ended like a big party with the crowd dancing to "Get Up Get Out."

Here's the complete set list.

Waiting For the Carnival
Cemetery Lawn
Hold Hands and Fight
Leaves Do Fall
Governor's Daughter
My Punishment For Fighting
Shake Our Tree
My Downtown Friends
Big Heartbreak
When the Lights Went Dim
I Better Run
Drunkards Worst Nightmare
Silja Line
Get Up Get Out

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Rosebuds cover Salt-N-Pepa... or did the dog do it?

The Rosebuds left the recording of their next hit song to their dog Jasmine. The duo left Jasmine alone for an hour to record a hit song and let her know that "covers are in." Jasmine delivered with an incredible cover of Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It." Want to know what the hell I'm talking about? Watch the video below.

Click here to download a mp3 of the track from Pitchfork.

Don't miss The Rosebuds tonight at the Cat's Cradle. The Honored Guests and Lake Inferior will open the show.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

iTunes Single of the Week - Black Tide "Shockwave"

Is it awful that the first thing I thought upon hearing this song was, “Wow, this would be great on Guitar Hero”?

Apple’s free song this week “Shockwave” comes from Black Tide, a heavy metal band from Miami.

The song itself isn’t anything spectacularly innovative — though it’s certainly not bad either — but what got my attention is that lead singer Gabriel "Weeman" Garcia is just 15!! In fact, the band’s oldest member is 19.

“Shockwave” is definitely worth a listen, so bounce on over to iTunes, crank the speakers and start head banging like it’s 1987 (which is, uh, before any of them were born).

Black Tide’s album, Light From Above, will be available in February.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Avett Brothers "Paranoia in Bb Major" video

Local superstars, The Avett Brothers have pieced together a video for the foot stompin' tune "Paranoia in Bb Major." The video includes clips of the band on tour and a bunch of behind-the-scenes footage.

The Avetts next North Carolina show is a headlining set on the main stage at Merlefest on April 25.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Radiohead to come to NC

UPDATE: Click here for dates and full details.

Radiohead announced that they plan to tour North America in 2008, but only released a list of cities. Leave it to Radiohead to once again tease fans by only releasing a list of cities, no venues or dates. Well, Raleigh didn't make the cut (no surprise), but Charlotte did. So all you Radiohead fans get ready to make the trip to Charlotte.

Here's the complete list of North American tour stops.

Los Angeles
New York
San Diego
San Francisco
Santa Barbara
St. Louis
Washington, DC

Stay tuned for more details.

In Rainbows snags #1 spot [UPDATED]

Even though Radiohead released In Rainbows online via the "pay what you want" model in October, the album still topped the Top 200 album charts during it's first week on shelves.

The album sold over 122,00 units. Oddly enough, it is reported that about 25% of the album's first week sales were digital downloads.

Though 122,000 units sold is good opening week for a record, it is safe to say that by releasing the album on January 1, there was little to no competition for the #1 spot. Alicia Keys' album, As I Am, came out in November has already sold over 3 million units and sold another 112,00 during the first week of 2008. Radiohead squeaked by Alicia Keys by approximately 10,000 records.

Radiohead's 2003 album, Hail To the Thief, sold over 300,000 copies in it's first week on shelves.

In Rainbows prematurely entered the top 200 chart a week early at #156 due to "street date violations." Apparently, more places than Circuit City in Cary put the album on shelves early but unlike Circuit City, other retailers were actually selling the record.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

iTunes Single of the Week - MGMT "Time To Pretend"

This is the start of a new feature on Triangle Music where, each week, we review iTunes single of the week.

This week's download is from Brooklyn's MGMT. "Time To Prentend" is a groovy electronic pop song. The synth riffs are catchy as hell and compliment the laid back beat. The melody is clever and catchy and the layered, multitracked vocals fit the vibe of the song.

Definitely download this song.

"Time To Pretend" can be found of MGMT's album Oracular Spectacular.

MGMT will be playing at Local 506 on Thursday, January 17, with Yeasayer 9 PM.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Triangle Music's Best of 2007

Valerie's Top 10 albums
1. Rilo Kiley - Under the Blacklight
2. Jay Clifford - Driving Blind
3. Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
4. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
5. Mika - Life in Cartoon Motion
6. The Films - Don't Dance Rattlesnake
7. Hot Hot Heat - Happiness Ltd.
8. VHS or Beta - Bring On The Comets
9. Travis - The Boy With No Name
10. The Rocket Summer - Do You Feel

Kevin's Top 10 Albums
1. Rilo Kiley - Under the Blacklight
2. The Films - Don't Dance Rattlesnake
3. Stars - In Our Bedroom After the War
4. Jay Clifford - Driving Blind
5. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
6. Dr. Dog - We All Belong
7. Office - A Night at the Ritz
8. Band of Horses - Cease To Begin
9. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
10. of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

Kevin's Favorite Local Album
The Rosebuds - Night of the Furies

Kevin's Favorite EP
The New York Fund - Guns EP