Friday, May 30, 2008

Ed Harcourt's The Beautiful Lie finally gets US release

UK troubadour Ed Harcourt released his fifth solo album The Beautiful Lie in June of 2006, oh, but only in Europe. Now, 2 years after the European release, the album will finally be released on this side of the Atlantic. Better late than never I guess, but the best part is that Harcourt released a "Best Of" in the US in November with 3 songs from The Beautiful Lie.

Joking aside, the album is great, so if you didn't pick it up as an import like I did, you can find it in stores for a more reasonable price on Tuesday, June 3. It a lush pop record full of soulful songs that Harcourt has become known for. This album beautifully haunting yet accessible.

Ed Harcourt will open for The Gutter Twins on July 23 at Cat's Cradle. Tickets are on sale now via for $14.

Check out "Revolution of the Heart" (click to download mp3) from The Beautiful Lie.

Click here to pre-order The Beautiful Lie.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ben Folds to rock Cary's suburbs tomorrow night

The summer outdoor concert season may have kicked off weeks ago, but we'll be getting our first taste of it tomorrow night with Ben Folds out at Booth Amphitheatre.

The State of Things caught up with Folds last week for a chat about life and music, which you can check out here.

Tickets to the show are still are still available (even a handful of seats in the very back) through Ticketmaster.

The last time he was in town, at Raleigh's Memorial Auditorium, Folds made some pretty good cracks on Cary just before playing "Rockin' the Suburbs." Can't wait to hear what he says once actually in the town.

Check back later for our review of the show!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

iTunes Single of the Week: Hercules and Love Affair, "Blind"

This week's free single, "Blind," comes from the Brooklyn group Hercules and Love Affair.

"Blind" is a beautifully dark dance song that shares sonic elements of The Cure, Morrissey and Depeche Mode. In other words, the song takes it's cues from bands from the UK.

The song has a great groove held down by the drums, bass and low synths. The trumpet provides a great hook during the vocal breaks. The vocals are very Morrissey-esque.

Check out this song. It's a good one.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Rock & Roll Hall benefit lineup supremely unimpressive

After weeks of stringing us along with their little clues and riddles, the organizers of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame benefit concert have released the show's initial lineup. If you can't tell from this post's headline, I am underwhelmed.

The show will feature Blue Oyster Cult lead guitiarist and vocalist Buck Dharma and former Rainbow and Deep Purple frontman Joe Lynn Turner alongside drummer Steve Luongo and guitarist Mark Hitt.

Pardon me, but who???

Billed by the promoters as the biggest concert event of the year ANYWHERE, this lineup reads like the "plus 1" guest list of actually important people.

Where are our big name musicians? I'll admit I bought into the hype, dreaming of seeing Paul McCartney, Sting or Tom Petty right here in my back yard (yeah, I'm a sucker) but this is just sad. $80 per ticket for this? Good luck.

To be fair, this is not the entire lineup. Another "half dozen or so" artists will be announced every couple weeks throughout the summer, and it was rumored at one point that Robin Zander would perform, but geez. We'll keep you posted if anything noteworthy (or not) comes out of this.

She & Him announce tour, stop in Carrboro

She & Him (Zoey Deschanel and M. Ward) have just announced the details of their summer tour that will make it's way up the East Coast over July and August. The tour is complete with a stop in Carrboro at the Cat's Cradle on July 28.

Chapel Hill's own uber-label, Merge Records, released She & Him's debut album Volume One in March. Download "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here" from Volume One.

Tickets for the Cat's Cradle show will go on sale this Friday, May 30 at 10am via They will be $16. Get your tickets early because this one will most likely sell out fast.

Here's the complete list of summer dates:
July 23 - Toronto, ONT - Opera House
July 24 - Northampton, MA - Academy of Music
July 25 - Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero
July 26 - New York, NY - Terminal 5
July 28 - Carrboro, NC - Cats Cradle
July 29 - Atlanta, GA - Varsity Playhouse
July 30 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
July 31 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
Aug. 2 - Newport, RI - Newport Folk Festival
Aug. 5 - Chicago, IL - Park West
Aug. 7 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
Aug. 8 - Madison, WI - Barrymore
Aug. 10 - Washington, DC - Virgin Mobile Fest

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Black Crowes show not so intimate after all

A little over a month ago, we posted that the Black Crowes would be playing an intimate show on their upcoming tour at Lincoln Theatre. Well, it turns out the show is not going to be so intimate after all. Lincoln Theatre's schedule has finally been updated with the show and they note that the show will be outside on the Street Stage.

Buffalo Killer will open the show. Doors will be at 4PM and the show will start at 5PM. Tickets will go on sale on June 20 and will be $35 in advance and $40 on the day of the show.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Lost in the Trees perform near some trees

The incredible ensemble Lost in the Trees recently performed "Walk Around the Lake" as a part of the new video series, "Live! from Trekky House." The band set up outside in some tall grass to play the tune. Check out the video below.

Lost in the Trees wrapped up the recording of a new full-length album, All Alone In An Empty House, in March. The band plans to release the album in the Fall. Lost in the Trees will play at Local 506 Friday, May 23 with Slaraffenland and Efterklang.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

iTunes Single of the Week: Julianne Hough, "My Hallelujah Song"

iTunes is back to country music with Julianne Hough and this week's free single, "My Hallelujah Song."

The song is your typical upbeat country ditty, and while I'm sure Julianne is a perfectly sweet girl, I still wouldn't recommend this to 99.6% of our readers.

Some of you may recognize Hough from Dancing with the Stars, where she won the first season's competition with Olympic gold medalist Apolo Anton Ohno. Hough is an accomplished professional ballroom dancer who is now trying her hand at music. Her self-titled album was released today and she will hit the road this summer with Brad Paisley and Jewel, stopping at Walnut Creek on July 19.

And now you know more than you ever needed to about Julianne Hough.

The Swell Season at Meymandi Hall - 05.15.08

The Swell Season (Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová) came prepared to put on a show Thursday night. Not only was it a night of great music, but Glen Hansard puts on a hell of a comedy routine as well.

Glen opened by himself with "Say It To Me Now" played at the edge of the stage with no amplification. I've seen a number of performers do this over the years, but Glen does it the best. You can tell he spent quite a bit of time busking when he was younger.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

iTunes Single of the Week: Kardinal Offishall, "Dangerous"

We almost let this week's single review slip through the cracks, but here it is. The song is "Dangerous" from Kardinal Offishall which also features Akon.

"Dangerous" is catchy little song with a great beat and some nice synth parts. Akon's singing is great and the melody hook holds the song together. Kardinal's rapping is okay, but Akon is the star of the show.

"Dangerous" is a decent little song if you're into hip-hop/R&B.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bon Iver to open for Wilco, Teddy Thompson at NCMA

Bon Iver will join Wilco on the road from August 4-8 which will include the Cary date on August 8 at Koka Booth Amphitheatre. Bon Iver just released his debut album, For Emma, Forver Ago on February 19 via Jagjaguwar Records.

Download "Skinny Love" from For Emma, Forever Ago.


In other news, Teddy Thompson has been added to the North Carolina Museum of Art's summer concert schedule. Teddy will open for Tift Merritt on August 23. Tickets are on sale now (click here).

Dawn Landes, soulful songstress

Dawn Landes' newest album, titled Fireproof, is a beautiful collection of songs. The New York-based songstress has an amazing voice and sense of songwriting that is similar to Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power).

Dawn mixes simple folk, rock and pop sensibilities, with an eccentric sense of instrumentation. Some of the standout tracks on the album are "Tired of This Life" (a mellow pop song), "Private Little Hell" (a jazzy folk song), "Kids in a Play" (a catchy little pop song, similar to "Kamera" by Wilco) and "I'm In Love With the Night" (a mellow number with a hint of country influence).

The album is worth your time and will be a hit with fans of Cat Power, Norah Jones or anyone who likes a little mellow soul.


Download the opening track from Fireproof, "Bodyguard."

Dawn Landes will open for The Swell Season tomorrow night, May 15, at Meymandi Hall. The show is sold out, so if you don't have tickets, you're out of luck. For those who do, the show starts at 8 p.m., so be sure to get there on time to see Dawn.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Out today: Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs

Death Cab For Cutie decided to flirt with an edgier sound on their new album Narrow Stairs.

From the opening moments of "Bixby Canyon Bridge," it seems that this is going to be a typical yet sonically beautiful, mellow Death Cab album. But at about 1:40, everything changes. The drums kick in and the guitars get fuzzy and the band rocks harder than they ever have.

The dark edgy sound continues into the 8+ minute opus "I Will Possess Your Heart." The bass and drums driven song isn't as heavy as "Bixby," but it's a charged up tune.

Then, they shift gears. "No Sunlight" is the most pop Death Cab have ever been. The bass line and drum beat are reminiscent of 60s pop and the melody is catchy as hell.

The guitars take center stage on "Cath...," while "Talking Bird is more like the big open sound the band favored on Plans.

"You Can Do Better Than Me" flirts with the 60s sounds of the Beach Boys. The song clocks in at under 2 minutes and features an old school, Farfisa-type organ sound and steady snare/tambourine beat.

"Grapevine Fires" is a groovy, electric piano based song. It's a mellow song that grooves along to a steady, laid back beat. "Your New Twin Sized Bed" has a similar vibe as "Grapevine," but is a guitar based song with beautiful transitions. The flowing melody carries the song.

"Long Division" is a thumper. The bass a drums push the song from beginning to end. On "Pity and Fear," Death Cab explore some Hindi sounds. The song resembles how George Harrison would have written a Death Cab song. It features ethnic percussion and a melody that lends itself to the same style.

"The Ice Is Getting Thinner" closes the record in more typical Death Cab style. It's a somber song with no bass or drums, just guitars and vocals. It's a bit of a downer as a closer, but is a great song.

While Narrow Stairs finds Death Cab For Cutie expanding their sound into uncharted territory, they make it work. It still sounds like Death Cab and as an album, the songs are cohesive. This record is another great album from Death Cab For Cutie.

Portastatic, Bowerbirds, more to play Duke summer series

Duke University will hold a summer concert series from May 28 to August 3 that features acts ranging from classical, to indie rock, to gospel.

There series kicks off on May 28 with The Ciompi Quartet, but the shows that we're most interested in are the outdoor rock shows.

Portastatic, Bowerbirds and Les Savy Fav are all scheduled to play outdoor shows at Duke over the summer.

All of the shows will be free for Duke students and children under 12, $5 for Duke employees and $10 for the general public. For ticket info, click here.

Here's the schedule with individual venues:
May 28 - The Ciompi Quartet - Indoors at Duke Gardens
June 11 - Mallarmé Chamber Players - Indoors at Duke Gardens
June 18 - The Ciompi Quartet - Indoors at Duke Gardens
June 22 - Portastatic - Outdoors at Duke Gardens
June 29 - Bowerbirds - Outdoors at Duke Gardens
July 6 - The Allen Boys - Outdoors at Duke Gardens
July 12 - Les Savy Fav - Outdoors at Nasher Museum of Art
July 20 - Malpass Brothers - Outdoors at Duke Gardens
July 27 - Capial City Five & Gospel Jubliators - Outdoors at Duke Gardens
August 3 - Madison Elites - Outdoors at Duke Gardens

Monday, May 12, 2008

New album from The Faint, tour stop in Triangle

The Faint will release their first album in four years in August. Fasciinatiion will be out on August 5 on the band's newly formed label, blank.wav. Not only will the band release the record on their own, they took control of all aspects of the record. They recorded it, produced it and even art directed the album themselves.

The band will hit the road in support of Fasciinatiion. The tour will include a stop at Cat's Cradle on August 15.

Here's the track list for Fasciinatiion:
1. Get Seduced
2. The Geeks Were Right
3. Machine in the Ghost
4. Fulcrum and Lever
5. Psycho
6. Mirror Error
7. I Treat You Wrong
8. Forever Growing Centipedes
9. Fish in a Womb
10. A Battle Hymn for Children

And here are the tour dates:

7/27 - Des Moines, IA @ Peoples Court
7/28 - Sioux Falls, SD @ Ramkota Annex
7/29 - Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
7/30 - Salt Lake City, UT @ In the Venue
7/31 - Boise, ID @ Big Easy Boise
8/1 - Vancouver, BC @ Commodore
8/2 - Seattle, WA @ Showbox at the Market
8/3 - Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
8/4 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
8/5 - San Francisco, CA @ Grand Ballroom
8/7 - Los Angeles, CA @ Henry Fonda Theatre
8/8 - Los Angeles, CA @ Henry Fonda Theatre
8/9 - San Diego, CA @ Soma
8/11 - Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa
8/12 - Dallas, TX @ Palladium
8/14 - Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
8/15 - Carrboro, NC @ Cats Cradle
8/16 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
8/17 - Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero
8/18 - New York, NY @ Terminal 5
8/20 - Worcester, MA @ Palladium
8/21 - Toronto, ON @ Opera House
8/22 - Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre
8/23 - Omaha, NE @ Soko Auditorium

Radiohead in Charlotte

While Kanye West played in the Triangle Friday night, alternative rock's biggest band played a sold out show in Charlotte at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre.

Radiohead took the Queen City by storm. (Literally. Just ask the people on the lawn who saw lightning flashing overhead.) The band played a two hour set that was heavy on In Rainbows. The band played 7 songs from their most recent album as well as two songs from disc two of the infamous In Rainbows discbox. The song "Bangers and Mash" featured dual drummers. Thom Yorke played a small drum kit wheeled out on stage. "Bangers and Mash" is a great live song. Other highlights of the night included "Myxomatosis," "Exit Music (For a Film)," "Sail To the Moon" and "Idioteque."

The biggest crowd reaction came when the band broke out a few classics. "Planet Telex" from The Bends was phenomenal and "Paraonoid Android" was as intense as ever.

The only downside of the night was the lack of many older tunes. "Planet Telex" was the only song from The Bends played all night, though the song "Talk Show Host" is from that era (it was a b-side for "Street Spirt (Fade Out)." As someone seeing Radiohead for the first time, it would've been nice to hear a few more older songs.

Thom Yorke is truly a sight to behold. The energy and passion that he exudes while on stage is amazing. As he dances and flings about throughout the night, I found it hard to take my eyes off of him. The whole band seems to truly love being on stage and that made the show even better.

In the spirit of staying green, the band's on stage lighting consisted of florescent and LED lighting that's energy efficient. The lighting did not suffer though. The lighting and use of five screens on stage behind the band only enhanced the music.

If you have a chance to see Radiohead live, do it! They are one of the best bands around.

On a political note, before playing "Sail to the Moon," it sounds like Thom Yorke endorsed Barack Obama. He dedicated the song to "the good people of North Carolina" and then said something about Obama. Check out a video here, where there are numerous interpretations of what he said.

All I Need
There There
15 Step
Sail To the Moon
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
Morning Bell
Where I End and You Begin
You and Whose Army?
Everything In Its Right Place
Bangers and Mash
Go Slowly
Talk Show Host
Exit Music (For A Film)
Planet Telex
House of Cards
Paranoid Android

Thursday, May 08, 2008

iTunes Single of the Week: Diego, "Losing Me"

This week's single sounds like something you'd hear on American Idol. The song "Losing Me (Perdido En Ti)" comes from 17 year old Mexican pop star Diego.

The song is a standard, safe pop song. Moms will like it. Girls will like it.

Yeah, not a lot to say about this one. I don't recommend it.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Shit rock fills last spot of Downtown Live

Well, Downtown Live has officially gone down the crapper. The last open spot on the schedule now has a headliner. The show on July 12 will feature Alter Bridge (yeah, the other guys from Creed) and Tantric.

Oh, it gets worse. It turns out that Eve 6 is not the headliner on August 23. Puddle of Mudd is.

We've officially lost hope any hope we may have had left for this series (there was hardly any hope left anyway).

Here's the schedule as it stands now. Thanks, Deep South Entertainment. Have a wonderful summer.

May 31 - The Wailers, Saunter, Pete and J, Jive Mother Mary
June 14 - Cravin Melon, Pete Francis (of Dispatch)
June 28 - Carbon Leaf, Colourside, Bill West & the Sunshine Kids
July 12 - Alter Bridge, Tantric, The T's, Kennebec, Cori Yarckin
July 26 - Old 97s
August 9 - Brian Howe (of Bad Company), Jim Bianco
August 23 - Puddle of Mudd, Eve 6, Saving Abel

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Three new Oasis tunes leak

Three new tunes from British rock giants Oasis are making the rounds today on the web. The leaked tunes are supposedly demos of songs for their new album. They include the Liam sung rocker "Nothing On Me" and the more mellow, Noel sung tunes "I Wanna Live a Dream (In My Record Machine)" and "Stop the Clocks."

Oasis have been recording their new album with producer Dave Sardy (Jet, The Thrills) in London and Los Angeles. The album is expected to be released in the fall. The band finished their deal with Sony with 2005's Don't Believe the Truth and it has yet to be determined/released how the band will release this new album.

Check out the leaked demos below via YouTube before they get removed.

"Nothing On Me"

"I Wanna Live a Dream (In My Record Machine)"

"Stop the Clocks"

Friday, May 02, 2008

Arcade Fire and Superchunk rally for Obama in Carrboro

Thousands of people gathered this afternoon at Carrboro Town Commons to watch Arcade Fire and Superchunk rock out for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Superchunk started the show with an 11-song set that included "Detroit Has a Skyline." The band played with fervor and intensity of a band who was doing what they love, for a cause they truly believe in. The band had their children watching the show from the side of the stage with headphones to protect their little ears. They came out and jumped up and down on the stage next to bassist Laura Ballance. It was a sight to see.

Arcade Fire took the stage to a roar of fans who had been waiting in the sun for hours to see the band. The band opened with "Keep the Car Running" and rocked through a 9-song set that included a cover of David Bowie's "Heroes." After the song "Haiti," lead singer Win Butler said "George W. Bush policies have been insane to this country (referring to Haiti). I'm so excited about Barack Obama's candidacy. It's about so much more."

After the band left the stage after "Rebellion (Lies)," the crowd didn't budge. The band came back out and started leading a chant of "Yes we can!," one of Barack Obama's slogans. They then launched into "Wake Up" and the crowd sang along with incredible volume.

The band hung out after the show to meet fans, sign autographs, take pictures and encourage everyone to get out and vote. It was definitely the coolest event to take place in the Triangle in a long time.


Arcade Fire setlist

Keep the Car Running
Antichrist Television Blues
Heroes (David Bowie cover)
No Cars Go
Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
Rebellion (Lies)
Wake Up

Langhorne Slim has fun on self-titled album

Langhorne Slim's new self-titled album is a good old folk rock time. Think the energy of The Avett Brothers, the eclectic instrumentation of Elvis Perkins and a dash of Dylan influence and you get Langhorne Slim.

The majority of the album's songs are upbeat and happy, at least sonically. The vocals on "She's Gone" sound like they were recorded at 3AM by a some drunken partygoers and the speed vocals on "Tipping Point" give "Subterranean Homesick Blues" a run for it's money.

One standout track, "Hello Sunshine," pays homage to the pulsing beat of The Velvet Underground's "I'm Waiting For the Man." Another, "Colette," is a slower, soulful tune that turns into a foot stomping piano pop song halfway through.

The album is eclectic and references many classic folk and rock influences. There's nothing Langhorne Slim isn't willing to try and it makes for a fun listen. The album is out now on Kemado Records.


Download "Rebel Side of Heaven" from the album.

Langhorne Slim will play at Local 506 tonight, May 2, with The New Familiars and American Aquarium opening. Tickets are $8.