Monday, September 29, 2008

Folds reigns as king of the breakup song with 'Way To Normal'

More than a decade ago with the release of Ben Folds Five's Whatever and Ever Amen and its fan favorite track "Song for the Dumped," Ben Folds garnered somewhat of a reputation as a masterful songsmith when it comes to relationships in distress.

Whether it be the lighthearted anthemic "Song for the Dumped," or the more straightforward "Give Judy My Notice," or hell, even "Hiro's Song," Folds has a way to express both the funny and poignant moments in something nearly every person on this earth can relate to -- heartache.

Well, he's outdone himself this time with the release of Way To Normal. Folds runs the gamut of relationship distress from "Bitch Went Nuts" (complete with a hilarious intro on the track prior) to the heart wrenching "Kylie From Connecticut," telling the story of a woman who learns her husband may have strayed after more than 30 years of marriage.

While Folds is certainly best known for his pop songs (the commercial success of "Brick" aside), the album's two downtrodden songs, "Cologne" and the aforementioned "Kylie" assert themselves to showcase Folds' ability to craft a beautiful, emotive ballad.

Overall, though, the album is delightfully poppy, and it's easy to bounce on through from start to finish. Standout tracks include "Brainwascht," the Regina Spektor collaboration "You Don't Know Me" and the album opener, "Hiroshima (B-B-B-Benny Hit His Head)," retelling the true story of, well, when Benny hit his head in Hiroshima during a Ben Folds Five concert.

No matter what component of Folds' songwriting you're particular to, most every fan will find something they enjoy here. This is certainly an album that Ben Folds should be very proud of.

[Update] The Fratellis Cradle show canceled

Bad news for local Fratellis fans. The band's show at the Cat's Cradle this Wednesday, October 1 has been canceled. The band were to be joined by The Airborne Toxic Event and Electric Touch. No reason has been given for the cancellation.

All tickets for the show will be refunded at the point of purchase. Tickets purchased via will automatically be refunded.

It was cool that a moderately popular UK band was going to play the area seeing as that doesn't happen often.

[UPDATE Sept. 30: According to a statement released on the band's website, the band has canceled their remaining US dates due to a death and have returned to Scotland. Our condolences to the band.]

Oasis and Ryan Adams to tour again in December

Oasis didn't end their last run of dates on a happy note. For those who don't know, Noel Gallagher was ambushed on stage in Toronto and suffered three broken/dislodged ribs. This led to some cancellations including the band's much hyped club show in New York. Watch the much viewed video of the incident here.

That's not stopping Oasis and their new buds Ryan Adams and the Cardinals from heading out on another run of dates. The pair will hit the road on December 3 for string of US dates as well as a make-up show for a canceled show in London, ON.

Both Oasis and Ryan Adams will have new albums out when this next tour rolls around. Oasis will release their new album Dig Out Your Soul next Tuesday, October 7. Ryan Adams and the Cardinals will release their new album Cardinology on October 28.

Let's hope the jerks stay off the stage on this run.

Oasis w/ Ryan Adams & the Cardinals dates:
12/3 - Oakland, CA - Oracle Arena
12/4 - Los Angeles, CA - Staples Center
12/6 - Las Vegas, NV - The Pearl
12/8 - Denver, CO - Broomfield Events Center
12/10 - Minneapolis, MN - Target Center
12/12 - Chicago, IL - Allstate Arena
12/13 - Detroit, MI - Palace of Auburn Hills
12/15 - London, Ontario - John LaBatt Centre
12/17 - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
12/19 - Camden, NJ - Susquehanna Center
12/20 - Washington, DC - GMU Patriot Center

Butch Walker to release 'Sycamore Meadows,' tour

After postponing his one-man band tour a few months ago to finish his new album, Butch Walker has now completed said album and it's titled Sycamore Meadows. That's the album art to the right.

The album will be out on November 11 and will be self-released by Walker. The album features 12 new tracks including the song "Ships in a Bottle" which is about the fire which destroyed Walker's home in L.A. earlier this year (he was renting the home from Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers). Watch the video for that song below which features Walker in the rubble of his home.

Sycamore Meadows track list:
1. The Weight of Her
2. Going Back/Going Home
3. Here comes the...
4. Ponce De Leon Ave.
5. Ships in a Bottle
6. Vessels
7. Passed your place, Saw Your Car, Thought of You
8. The 3 kids in brooklyn
9. Summer Scarves
10. A Song for the Metalheads
11. Closer to the truth and Further from the Sky
12. ATL

Download the pre-release tracks "The Weight of Her" and "Ships in a Bottle" via iTunes by clicking the song titles. Also available on iTunes is a 3-song EP from Walker's set a Lollapalooza this year. Download that here.

Butch will hit the road for a short tour in November to promote the new album. Oh, and there's an October date thrown in there too. Unfortunately, Raleigh is not among the dates.

10/21 - Nectar Lounge - Seattle, WA
11/10 - The Loft - Atlanta, GA
11/13 - Blender Theatre at Gramercy - New York, NY
11/14 - North Star Bar - Philadelphia, PA
11/15 - Maxwell's - Hoboken, NJ
11/17 - DC9 - Washington, DC

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Is Led Zeppelin finally reuniting for a tour?

Led Zeppelin reunion tour rumors pop up regularly in the music world, but they've gotten more frequent since the band reunited in December for a one-off show in London. Well, it looks like it may actually happen in the summer of 2009.

The report coming out the UK says that Robert Plant has apparently agreed to tour with his old bandmates John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page for a tour next summer. Jason Bohnam, son of the late Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, will join the band on drums as he did in December.

I don't know about you, but I'll be at one of these dates on the tour as long as it's on the East Coast at least no further west than Nashville. Now we just have to wait to see how and if this whole thing pans out.

[I found this thanks to David Menconi's blog.]

[Update Sept. 29: Apparently we've been had again. Read what Robert Plant had to say about the reunion being a non-starter on his website.]

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Ting Tings line-up short US tour

The new UK phenom The Ting Tings will head out on a short US run next month and surprisingly enough, it includes a stop in Raleigh.

The duo will play at Lincoln Theatre on Sunday, October 26. Tickets are $12.50 and are currently on sale via

The band have risen to popularity rather quickly this year since the release of their debut album, We Started Nothing in June. The band were even nominated for a VMA this year, though that doesn't mean much anymore. We won't hold MTV's shittiness against the band though.

Check out the band on tour and to get an idea of what the show will be like, check out the band's performance on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic from December 2007 below.

The Ting Tings tour:
10/14/08 - Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern *
10/16/08 - Las Vegas, NV - Jillians
10/17/08 - Dallas, TX - Pontiac Room @ House of Blues
10/19/08 - Austin, TX - The Parish
10/20/08 - Houston, TX - House of Blues
10/21/08 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
10/23/08 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Theatre
10/25/08 - Williamsburg, VA - College of William & Mary
10/26/08 - Raleigh, NC - Lincoln Theatre
10/29/08 - Hartford, CT - Connecticut Expo Center (Boo Bash)
10/30/08 - Lancaster, PA - Chameleon Club (Boo Bash)
11/01/08 - New York, NY - Webster Hall

* w/ Santogold

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fans recount Rock Hall benefit concert, show to return in '09?

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Benefit was held at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary over the weekend, and while I did not intend to write about this little shindig again, the number of comments left on this site over the past 3 days have convinced me otherwise.

There's a lot of uncertainty regarding what went on back stage that night. Did Pete Townshend show up and was not allowed to play by the town or venue management because the event had gone past its curfew? That's what some people are saying. (Including concert organizer Rick French, though he didn't use Townshend's name and then the post he put up on the event's forum explaining the situation was "deleted by a hacker." I would not make that up. The entire forum has since been taken down.) If that's true? Such a scenario would demonstrate not only a lack of consciousness on the part of the rule makers, but also an incredible lack of planning on the part of those running the show.

But I digress. Instead of me ranting about the show -- because I wasn't there and did not care to be -- I'd like to share a small sample of the comments left by disappointed concertgoers who have shared their experience on this site.

Oh, and here's the kicker. After all this, Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht wrote on his blog that Rock Hall officials told him Saturday night that they'd be glad to return to Cary for next year's show, which will (according to French) focus on 80s hair bands and the period leading up grunge rock. Until next year, folks...

lukabrasie said: Well this show is now all said and done and I was one of the ones that was saying this is going to be a huge show. And while it wasn’t a bad show, but i must say it was more of a tease. … They should be ashamed of themselves for putting this show on and not producing what was supposed to be an incredible night.

gcoleman99 said: I am still incredibly pissed about this, because I ended up driving up from the Columbia, SC area and spent a total of around $4-500 to basically see Dennis DeYoung and Alan White (who were both very good, but not worth THAT type of money). ... I will NOT be making this same mistake when (or if) they hold this again.

Anonymous said: This show ended up being a huge letdown, just as I predicted in August when I posted the "bait and switch?" post on the Rock Hall's own forum (which was later conveniently deleted by them as ticket sales faltered). The show was ok for $50, but came nowhere near the hype, and flat-out lies that Rick French spewed for months.

Anonymous said: The show was pathetic and the after party was even more pathetic. I hope Rick French was volunteering his services because you definitely get what you pay for. ... I saw several people sleeping. SLEEPING at a Rock and Roll concert!! I only hope to forget about this show because today I have a serious case of buyer's remorse.

Anonymous said: Memorable? The BAD part is this WAS a memorable show. I will never again be able to listen to those great old songs without remembering how they were butchered at this show. THAT is the tragedy.

Anonymous said: The neysayers were correct- Rick you failed big time here. All of that pre-concert hype was a bunch of hot air. And if the Cary curfew was to blame, why wasn't this addressed PRIOR to the show? Hey maybe the Randy Parton theater has some work for you, Rick.

For full remarks, please go back and check out these original posts:
Rock Hall benefit announces "Saturday night showstopper"
Rock Hall benefit organizers announce more headliners 7/9/08
Backlash begins with Rock Hall benefit lineup 6/25/08
Rock & Roll Hall benefit lineup supremely unimpressive 5/27/08

Four local songwriters play 'Music on the Porch'

We've mentioned in recent Rosebuds posts that Ivan will be playing solo set at Love House on UNC's campus this Thursday and we now have more details on the show.

The event is called "Music on the Porch" and will feature four local songwriters including Ivan Howard of The Rosebuds, Sara Bell of Shark Quest and Regina Hexaphone, Michael Holland of the late Jennyanykind and Reid Johnson of Schooner. Each songwriter will play some songs and discuss how growing up in North Carolina has affected their music.

The event will take place this Thursday, September 25 from 4 to 6 PM. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. The Love House is at 410 East Franklin Street, at the corner of Battle and Franklin.

So don't miss these songwriters discussing their craft and growing up in North Carolina. It should be a fun and informative two hours.

iTunes single of the week: Ha-Ash "Already Home"

This week's free single is not what I expected at all. The song is "Already Home" from the duo Ha-Ash and it's categorized on iTunes as "Latin Pop." This song is as far away from Latin pop as it comes.

The song is a pretty standard, modern Nashville-style country song. It's not bad for what it is. It has a nice soaring melody and a climactic key change on the last chorus.

Oh, and the song features guest vocals from Brandi Carlile.

All in all, I don't recommend the song, but if you like modern female pop country, then go nuts.

There's also a Spanish version available for free as well.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Rosebuds gear up for 'Life Like' tour

With The Rosebuds' new album Life Like due out in two weeks, the tour dates are rolling out. The band's first show on the books is in D.C. at Black Cat in a short run leading up to a showcase at the CMJ festival in New York. The real tour kicks off at the Carolina Theatre in Durham at the Troika Festival on November 7. The tour will keep the band on the road right through Thanksgiving, wrapping up at The Earl in Atlanta on December 1.

Local rising stars Megafaun will join The Rosebuds for five of the dates. Check out the tour dates below to see which ones. Also, don't forget that Ivan has a solo show at The Love House at UNC on Thursday, September 25. Check out more info on that show here.
Life Like will be out on October 7 via Merge Records. You can pre-order the album here. Check out this post to find out where you can stream the album in it's entirety now.

09-25 - Chapel Hill, NC - The Love House at UNC (Ivan Howard solo)
10-23 - Washington DC - Black Cat
10-24 - Brooklyn, NY - The Bellhouse
10-25 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge (Merge Records CMJ showcase)
11-07 - Durham, NC - Carolina Theatre (Troika Music Festival)
11-11 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge *
11-12 - Indianapolis, IN - My Old Kentucky Blog Concert
11-13 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge *
11-14 - Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon *
11-15 - Iowa City, IA - The Picador *
11-16 - Saint Paul, MN - Turf Club *
11-19 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Media Club
11-20 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern
11-21 - Anacortes, WA - The Department of Safety
11-22 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
11-24 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent
11-25 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo
11-26 - Tucson, AZ - Club Congress
11-28 - Denton, TX - Hailey's
11-29 - Austin, TX - Mohawk
12-01 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl

* w/ Megafaun

The Rosebuds - "Life Like" (mp3)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ben Folds and Nick Hornby team up for album

There have been some phenomenal songwriting partnerships over the years -- Paul McCartney and John Lennon, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein... (What?? I like a good musical!) Why am I bringing this up? We may be about to see the next great team with Ben Folds and Nick Hornby.

The two will get together this December to record an album's worth of material over just three days in Dublin. Folds says the idea spurred from the fake album he recorded over the summer to confuse the internet prior to the release of Way to Normal later this month (which I've heard and is fantastic, but more on that another time.)

While this might seem like an odd pairing at first glance, anyone who's ever read Hornby's material knows he's serious about music. Forget High Fidelity -- Kirk Cobain was practically a character in About A Boy. Either way, I'm definitely looking forward to hearing this collaboration.

Friday, September 19, 2008

First Koka Booth show for 2009 announced

The 2008 season at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary isn't even over yet, but the first show of 2009 has just been announced. On Sunday, May 17, bluegrass mainstay The Del McCoury Band will play the outdoor venue with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver according to Pollstar.

Surprisingly enough, we don't have ticket info yet for a show that is eight months away. We'll keep you posted though.

The Del McCoury Band is featured on a newly released album titled Moneyland which is a collection of songs that take a look at economic injustice in modern times. The album also features Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, Bruce Hornsby, Dan Tyminski and many others. The album includes a fun cover of The Beatles' "When I'm 64" performed by the McCoury Band.

In more timely news, The Del McCoury Band will play the Shakori Hills Festival in Pittsboro on Saturday, October 11. Shakori Hills has a bunch of great bands lined up this year including The Everybodyfields, Megafaun, The Never and Carolina Chocolate Drops. Check out their site for the schedule.

Ben Folds Five at Memorial Hall

As the lights dimmed at UNC’s Memorial Hall Thursday night, an electric current cut through the air and the crowd of more than 1,400 let our a roar that only grew louder as Ben Folds, Robert Sledge and Darren Jessee entered the stage together for the first time in about eight years.

It was a big night in Chapel Hill – the now legendary hometown group Ben Folds Five reunited for a one-off show and the band's set was nothing short of spectacular.

The group played The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner from front to back during the first half of the set for the MySpace series aptly titled Front to Back.

The band launched into “Narcolepsy” with vigor, after which Folds commented, “If I'd know about this gig ten years ago, I'd have sequenced the record differently." It was the last time Folds addressed the crowd during the Messner portion of set until someone yelled "rock this bitch!" after “Your Redneck Past.”

But the shouts and cheers didn’t last long as Folds nodded to someone off stage and his father, Dean Folds, appeared to read "Your Most Valuable Possession" to another huge roar from the crowd. A cheer erupted as the elder Folds read “Good morning, Mr. Ben” and at the end of each line until the band kicked in with the song’s back lounge vibe.

"Army," an obvious stand-out song, got the crowd excited, though much unlike on Folds’ solo tours, no one in the crowd was instructed to join in on the horn parts as there was a brass trio on stage for much of the night. The song seemed to reenergize the crowd after the slower “Hospital Song,” but there was an energy that connected the band and crowd throughout the night.

After wrapping up the Reinhold Messner set with "Lullabye," the band left the stage briefly before coming back to play some older, classic Ben Folds Five tunes.

The set kicked off with "Jackson Cannery" from the band's self-titled album, which had the guy next to me who traveled from Kansas City jumping up and down with glee.

After the song, Folds took some time to address the release of Reinhold Messner, and commented that the song "Army" was "the beginning and the end of the commercial success of Reinhold Messner."

The encore continued with more classic tracks including from both the self-titled record and the most commercially successful Five album, Whatever and Ever Amen. Watching the band through the night, one would never suspect they hadn't played together in so long. Darren Jesse in particular sounded amazing – and he's not played drums seriously since the band broke up.

After closing the show with "Song For the Dumped" the crowd still wanted more, standing on their feet cheering and eventually joining in on a chant of “Ben Folds Five!” as the post-set music kicked in. After a few minutes the lights adjusted, causing a big cheer from the crowd, but a few minutes later, the stage’s work lights came on and a crew came out to break down the gear – of course to a chorus of boos from the crowd before everyone filed out.

While it’s safe to say no one left the show disappointed, they may not have been satisfied. Hopefully the band won't make fans wait another eight years to see the them play together again, because the magic is clearly still there.

Set list:

The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner
Don't Change Your Plans
Hospital Song
Your Redneck Past
Your Most Valuable Possession (w/ Dean Folds)

Jackson Cannery
Eddie Walker
Selfless, Cold and Composed
Battle of Who Could Care Less
Where's Summer B.?
Song For the Dumped

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

of Montreal push back release of Skeletal Lamping

Well, crud. Of Montreal have delayed the release of their forthcoming album, Skeletal Lamping, by two weeks, meaning the group's Oct. 7 show at Durham's Carolina Theatre will no longer be on release day. The album will instead come out on Oct. 21.

I'm sure that won't deter anyone from actually going to the show but it's still a little disappointing.

So why the delay? Apparently the "complexity of the design/packaging efforts" (you'll be able to buy the album with a t-shirt, tote bag, lantern, stickers and buttons accompanied by a digital download) was a little too much to handle before the originally planned Oct. 7 release. Oops.

Lost in the Trees play casual set at Schoolkids

Lost in the Trees stopped by Schoolkids Records on Tuesday to promote their new album All Alone in an Empty House. The set was very casual and featured a slightly smaller ensemble of only nine members. If you haven's seen the band live, a nine-piece Lost in the Trees show is on the small side.

The set included a number of songs from the new album including "Fireplace," "Walk Around the Lake" and "All Alone in an Empty House." The set also included songs from their previous release Time Taunts Me including "If You're Afraid of the Dark," "Time Taunts Me" and "Tall Trees." Ari interacted with the crowd frequently, asking them what music they've been listening to and telling them to make sure you're registered to vote. He also asked people where they were from which included people from Dunn and Kitrell. This led to each band member saying where they were born, which seemed to surprise multi-instrumentalist Will Hackney. Band birth places ranged from Canada to the Bronx to Durham.

All in all the afternoon set included a great performance and was quite informative. Check out this post for a list of upcoming Lost in the Trees tour dates.

[photos by Kevin Norris]

Lost in the Trees - "Fireplace" (mp3)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

iTunes single of the week: The Republic Tigers "Buildings & Mountains"

This week's free single comes from Kansas City, Missouri band The Republic Tigers.

The track is "Buildings & Mountains" which sonically sounds very much like Travis. The song is also reminiscent of the mellow, somber sounds of Matt Pond PA. The melody, specifically the chorus melody is a little more typical pop. The vocals are heavily layered. It sounds like they pulled the Billy Corgan technique of recording a higher vocal and doubling that vocal an octave or so lower and mixing the two, three, or eight. The layered vocals are present throughout the track.

While the track is sonically similar to bands that I like, this song really doesn't do much for me. I won't give this one a yay or nay because it's not bad, but it's just not outstanding.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lost in the Trees to play Schoolkids

Chapel Hill ensemble Lost in the Trees just released their new album, All Alone in an Empty House, last week and had a big release show at Cat's Cradle Friday night, but they're not done yet. The band will stop by Schoolkids Records in Raleigh tomorrow, Tuesday September 16, to play a free set. The band are scheduled to play at 5:30 PM. So check this incredibly talented band out after work or class.

The band will be on tour for the rest of September into early October. Check out the tour dates below.

Sep 16 2008 - Schoolkids Records - Raleigh, NC
Sep 17 2008 - Evening Muse - Charlotte, NC
Sep 18 2008 - Tin Roof - Charleston, SC
Sep 19 2008 - The Showroom @ Hub-Bub - Spartanburg, SC
Sep 20 2008 - Hell’s Kitchen - Wilmington, NC
Sep 24 2008 - The Lighthouse - Elon, NC *
Sep 26 2008 - Green Line Café - Philadelphia, PA
Sep 27 2008 - Galapagos (DUMBO Arts Festival) - Brooklyn, NY
Sep 28 2008 - Lily Pad - Boston, MA
Sep 29 2008 - Bug Jar - Rochester, NY
Sep 30 2008 - Cat in the Cream - Oberlin, OH
Oct 2 2008 - Uncommon Ground - Chicago, IL
Oct 3 2008 - Arabica of Solon - Solon, OH
Oct 4 2008 - Memorial Hall @ JMU - Harrisonburg, VA

* w/ The Never

Lost in the Trees - "Fireplace" (mp3)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Jay Clifford premieres new video

The long-awaited Jay Clifford music video premiered today on MySpace and you can watch it below. We first brought you the details of this video in April when the call for video submissions went out. The video was directed by Zach Braff and features people from around the world lip-syncing to the song "Know When To Walk Away." It would seem that the video ended up a little hammier than it may have originally been planned, but it's still pretty cool. They even made use of some of the videos that were more theatrical and didn't follow the specific guidelines during the instrumental sections.

Some of my favorite clips in the video are the sign language sections and the guy towards the end singing underwater. Check out the video and see if anyone you know made the cut. Oh, and if the shots of Jay look like they were shot in familiar locale, that's the roof of the Scrubs set.

You can go here to learn more about some of the videos submitted for the music video including one that was shot in Oslo, Norway.

Know When To Walk Away - Jay Clifford

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stream the new Rosebuds album, upcoming shows

The Rosebuds new album Life Life isn't due out until October 7, but you can stream it in it's entirety now on Merge Records website. So go check it out and let us know what you think.

Also, though we have no details yet, The Rosebuds will be playing at the Carolina Theatre in Durham on October 7 as part of the Troika Festival. We'll let you know when we know more.

Ivan of The Rosebuds will play a solo set at the Love House on UNC's campus on September 25. The Love House is at 410 E. Franklin St. in Chapel Hill. He will also being playing with Portastatic Friday night, September 12 at Local 506. Mac's Portastatic blog says that Ivan will be playing multiple instruments during the set. It should be a fun show.

Kelly is currently pursuing comedy during The Rosebuds off time. She will perform a comedy set at the Cat's Cradle Friday night, September 12 at Lost in the Trees' album release show. [UPDATE SEP. 12: It's a little late, but Kelly's name has disappeared from the Cat's Cradle's listing for tonight's show. I'm not sure what happened.]

So Friday night is Kelly vs. Ivan. Let's get ready to rumble!

Pre-order Life Like here.

The Rosebuds - "Life Like" (mp3)

New Ben Folds video - "You Don't Know Me"

The Ben Folds posts just keep on coming. On Wednesday, Folds released a new video from his upcoming album, Way To Normal. The video is for the track "You Don't Know Me" that features Regina Spektor. Spektor is no where to be found in the video though some other familiar faces are there. Tim and Eric from the Cartoon Network/Adult Swim show Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job are the stars of the video. If you've seen their show, then you know what to expect. Also, towards the end, keep an eye out for singer Josh Groban and actor Abdul Goznobi (from Old School and My Name is Earl).

Way To Normal will be released on September 30. You can pre-order one of the four versions of the album via the links at the bottom of the post.

[Update: After taking a closer look at the video, there is a photo of Regina Spektor both in the living room and the bedroom behind Tim and Eric. During the breakdown, it's briefly animated to make it appear that she's singing. Regina is still technically not in the video though, just a photo of her is.]

You Dont Know Me (featuring Regina Spektor)

Pre-order Way To Normal:

The Veils and Liam Finn at Local 506

I've been a bit slack on getting this one up, but it's better late than never.

Young singer-songwriter and Yep Roc artist Liam Finn swung through the Triangle again Sunday night and this time he brought friends. Finn brought London band The Veils on tour with him on this run who played a phenomenal show.

The four-piece took the stage and played a short set of mostly new songs from a forthcoming album due out next year. The set also included three great tracks from the band's most recent album, Nux Vomica which I highly recommend. Lead singer/guitarist Finn Andrews has one of the most intense voices and delivery that I've heard in a while.

Liam Finn took the stage next and opened with the classic Beatles track "Birthday." It's an odd choice for a Beatles cover, but he made it work with his drum and guitar loops. He then launched into tracks from his debut album, I'll Be Lightning. About a hundred people showed up for the show which was considerably more than his show at The Pour House in March.

The Veils set list:
Turn Blue/Three Sisters
Sit Down By the Fire
Jesus For the Jugular
Killed By the Boom
The Letter
Not Yet

[photos by Kevin Norris]

The Veils

Liam Finn

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

NOTICE: Ben Folds Five student tickets require One Card at the door!

OK people, if you've bought tickets to next week's Ben Folds Five reunion from a UNC student off craigslist or anywhere else, take a breath before you continue reading.

Venue staff will be checking for UNC student One Cards at the door for any concertgoers possessing a ticket bought at the Memorial Hall box office on Monday with a student ID. ONLY UNC-Chapel Hill IDs will be accepted at the door. I just called the venue to confirm this. No other university IDs will be accepted. If you bought your ticket from etix, you of course don't need a student ID.

Don't say I didn't warn you...

iTunes single of the week: Lenka "The Show"

This week's free single comes from Australian singer Lenka. The song is "The Show" from her forthcoming album aptly titled Lenka.

The song is an incredibly catchy little pop song that mixes the whimsical nature of Feist's "1234" with the sugary nature of Colbie Caillat's "Bubbly" and a little bit of Regina Spektor. It's a pretty good song that'll probably make the rounds on Triple A radio pretty soon, if it's not already.

This a good song, but it's only for those who can appreciate a simple catchy pop song.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Ben Folds Five tickets sell out in 3 minutes flat

The headline pretty much says it all here — after going on sale at 10:01 a.m. (according to my computer's clock, anyway) Ben Folds Five tickets were sold out in, seemingly, a matter of seconds.

After manically refreshing the event listing on, I was able to snag a pair of tickets to the show.

One unexpected surprise was a $10 hike in the ticket fee. Tickets were actually $50 each, as opposed to the previously reported $40, with a $10 "donation fee" toward Operation Smile, according to the Cat's Cradle.

How about you guys? Who all is going and how far will you travel to get here? Did anyone have any problems with etix going down? Let's hear it!

UPDATE: If, for some reason, you find yourself with extra tickets...the craigslist board is already buzzing with "want to buy" ads. Listings like this one are guaranteed to keep me amused well into next week. (2nd Update: OK, that one was deleted probably due to, uh, sexual innuendo, but this post is a keeper, too.)


Ben Folds Five reunion tickets sure to go fast

Ben Folds Five to reunite in Chapel Hill

Aimee Mann dazzles Greensboro crowd

Aimee Mann and her magic band with no electric guitars rolled into Greensboro Saturday for a great show at the historic Carolina Theatre.

On this tour, Mann decided to leave electric guitars at home bring two keyboard players out on tour. There are no electric guitars on her new album @#%&*! Smilers, but it was more interesting to hear the older songs with out them. Players Jebin Bruni and Jamie Edwards made use of a slew pianos, organs and synths to either mimic the guitar sounds of older songs or adapted the songs around the new setup.

The set relied heavily on the new album but included select tracks from Mann's previous albums as well and the Magnolia soundtrack. The band was as tight as they've every been and Mann's voice sounded great.

Towards the end of the set, Mann invited the winner of her YouTube contest on stage to sing with the band. The winner was Winston-Salem singer John Galt who performed his version of "Freeway" which won him the contest as well as a cover of the Kings of Leon song "Fans." Galt was confident on stage and definitely had some friends in the audience, but his performance was weak and a bit sloppy. I think most of the crowd including myself would've rather seen Mann perform "Freeway" herself. Check out the video that won Galt the contest here.

Mann's stage banter seems to get funnier and funnier every time I see her. This show included an explanation of how the song "Borrowing Time" was originally written for Shrek 3. The producers of the movie asked her to write a very "Yes I can!" song which Mann pointed out is "not my specialty." She also explained that during the process of pitching various versions of the song, the producers asked Mann if she could make the song sound more like Fall Out Boy. In the end, the song was rejected for inclusion in the movie but Mann re-wrote the lyrics and based them around the story of Snow White. She proceeded to rehash the entire plot of the story in a way only she could.

The night ended the hauntingly beautiful song "Deathly" from her album Bachelor No. 2 as well as the Magnolia soundtrack. Through the entire set, Mann delivered a great performance as she always does and left the crowd wanting more. I'll definitely be at her next show in the area.

Carolina Theatre set list:
Stranger To Starman
Looking For Nothing
31 Today
Save Me
Wise Up
The Great Beyond
That's Just What You Are
Red Vines (solo)
Columbus Ave.
Freeway (John Galt on lead vocals)
Fans (Kings of Leon cover w/ John Galt on lead vocals)
Borrowing Time
Today's the Day
How Am I Different
Going Through the Motions

Photos: Annuals at Raleigh Wide Open

Annuals braved Hannah Friday night to play their set at Raleigh Wide Open. Here's a few photos from the show.

[all photos by Kevin Norris]

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Chuck Berry is still rockin' at 81

The rain bands of Tropical Storm Hannah started moving into the Triangle Friday night, but that didn't keep people away from downtown Raleigh to see the legendary Chuck Berry perform.

Berry's set was moved up an hour in an attempt to avoid heavy rain and the move was mostly successful. I arrived at the main stage during some moderate rain to find a sea of umbrellas leading up to the stage. It made it hard to find a decent vantage point, but it was great to see approximately a thousand people toughing it out to see Berry play.

Chuck Berry is now 81 and though he doesn't quite have the chops he once had, he still puts on an entertaining show and seems to still love doing what he does. The set was short, but included "Johnny B. Goode" which got the crowd excited.

Berry invited women up to dance on stage during the last song which turned the close of the set into a big party. The women were really into it, some maybe a bit too much, but who I am to judge.

All in all, it was a wet but good night.

[Update: Check out this great story of how Chuck Berry arrived for his show Friday night. Once again, this proves just how cool Chuck Berry is.]

[photos by Kevin Norris]

Friday, September 05, 2008

New Annuals - "Confessor"

We have the first track from Annuals forthcoming sophomore album, Such Fun, for you to check out. The track is called "Confessor" and you can download it at the bottom of the post.

"Confessor" does not stray far from the sound Annuals fans have come to love. Really, the production is just cleaner and the arrangement feels grander and more sonically aligned.

Also, check out the album cover for Such Fun to the right. The art is a painting by the late Bob Ross. Yeah, Bob Ross, the guy with the fro on PBS that paints trees and stuff.

Don't forget, Annuals will be playing in downtown Raleigh tonight, Friday September 5, as part of Raleigh Wide Open on the Cherry Bounce stage. Also, Annuals will be on tour this fall with Minus the Bear. Check out those tour dates here.

Such Fun will be released on October 7. Check out more info on the album including the track list in this earlier post.

Annuals - "Confessor" (mp3)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Manchester Orchestra to release new EP, tour

Manchester Orchestra are currently in the studio working on a new full-length album due out early next year, but fans won't have to wait long to hear new music. The band will release a new EP/DVD on October 14 titled Let My Pride Be What's Left Behind.

The EP will feature two new tracks as well as three live tracks. The DVD will feature a documentary about the band filmed and edited by Erickson who worked on Dave Matthews Band's Live at Radio City DVD.

Let My Pride Be What's Left Behind tracklist
01 - I Can Feel a Hot One
02 - I Was a Lid
03 - Wolves At Night (Live from WBRU-FM)
04 - Badges And Badges (Live from
05 - Sleeper 1972 (Live from The Loft/Atlanta)

Manchester Orchestra will kick off a US tour on November 28 in Carrboro at the Cat's Cradle. The tour will run just shy of Christmas and will also include Kevin Devine, Dead Confederate and All Get Out on the entire run. The complete list of dates are below.

11/28 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
11/29 - Nashville, TN - Rocketown
11/30 - Newport, KY - Southgate
12/02 - Des Moines, IA - House of Bricks
12/03 - Chicago, IL - Subterranean
12/04 - Lansing, MI - Mac's Bar
12/05 - Akron, OH - Musica
12/06 - Pittsburgh, PA - Diesel
12/07 - Philadelphia, PA - Northstar
12/09 - Allston, MA - Harper's Ferry
12/10 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell's
12/11 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
12/12 - Richmond, VA - Canal Club
12/13 - Wilmington, NC - Soapbox Laundrolounge
12/14 - Columbia, SC - Headliners
12/16 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt
12/17 - Orlando, FL - The Social
12/18 - St. Petersburg, FL - Orpheum
12/19 - Jacksonville, FL - Jack Rabbits
12/20 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse

Manchester Orchestra - "Slow To Learn" (mp3) from You Brainstorm... EP

Ben Folds Five reunion tickets sure to go fast

UPDATE: Tickets sold out in less than 3 minutes.

Update #2: Read this notice about student tickets.

With people just not across the country but around the world hoping to congregate in Chapel Hill on Sept. 18 for the Ben Folds Five reunion show, it's becoming painfully obvious that even those of us in the area may not be so lucky as to snag some oh-so-coveted tickets to this show.

Here's what we're dealing with, just to lay out the facts:

* Memorial Hall at UNC-Chapel Hill has a capacity of 1,434. A total of 630 tickets will be held for students. For reference, Ben Folds on his own packed Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh a couple years ago, which has a capacity of 2,277.

* Tickets will go on sale Monday, Sept. 8 at 10am (NOT noon, like reported elsewhere) via THREE outlets: the Memorial Hall box office for students (where they don't allow camping, so don't even try, but apparently don't enforce that rule ), and (though it's unclear if that will just loop you back to eTix.) Tickets are $22 for students (limit 2, one OneCard per ticket) and $40 for the rest of us.

* Scalping is not cool. Just saying. They money forked over to a scalper won't benefit Operation Smile, which is the show's official beneficiary.

* The good news: If something goes wrong and eTix locks us all out, they're located in Morrisville so we won't have to travel far to picket their offices.

* If all else fails, the show will be recorded and rebroadcast on in October.

And with that — good luck!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Ben Folds Five to reunite in Chapel Hill

After last week's tease, it's been reported that Ben Folds Five — Ben Folds, Robert Sledge and Darren Jesse — will reunite on Thursday, Sept. 18 for a show at UNC's Memorial Hall for the group's first public appearance in a decade.

As if that weren't enough, is reporting that the trio will play The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner in its entirety.

Darren Jesse's band Hotel Lights will open the show. Hotel Lights new album Firecracker People was just released a few weeks ago.

Tickets for the general public are $40 and will go on sale Monday, Sept. 8 at 10 a.m. via etix. The show will be presented by MySpace Music. UNC student tickets will go on sale at the same time for $22 at the Memorial Hall box office. Tickets will have a policy of one ticket per One Card, two One Cards per student.

As someone who never had the opportunity to see the trio during their heyday, I'd just like to say: HELL YES.

iTunes single of the week: Jazmine Sullivan "Need U Bad"

This week's free single comes from 21-year-old Philly singer Jazmine Sullivan.

The song is "Need U Bad" and while I hate the use of instant messenger/text messaging lingo in song titles, the song is actually pretty good. It mixes a little reggae vibe with modern R&B production to create a compelling sound.

Jazmine's voice stands front and center and is more soulful sounding than her 21 years. The melody on the verses is more reggae while the chorus pivots to catchy hook that sounds more like modern R&B.

It's a good track that I recommend if you like R&B/soul.