Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Stars video - "The Night Starts Here"

Stars have just released a new video for "The Night Starts Here," sort of. The new video features footage of the band used in the original video that came out a year ago. Both videos can be seen below.

Check out our review and photos of Stars at the Cat's Cradle in October 2007 here.

Stars' latest release the Sad Robots EP is out now.

New video

Old video

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Phantom Planet to split up after LA show

Phantom Planet have announced via their website that they will break-up after a final show in Los Angeles in December. They are calling it an "indefinite hiatus" which leaves the door open for touring and new music in the future.

Here's the statement from the band.
This could be the most difficult piece of news we have ever had to post.Sadly, Phantom Planet will be playing our last show, December 12, at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, the same venue that we played our very first live all ages gig, back in 1994. We have had an amazing time playing together for 15 years, but we have officially decided to go on hiatus, and will not be playing any more live shows or making any new records, indefinitely. There is so much more to write, but at this time, we just want to say thank you, to everyone, for their support, friendship, inspiration, attendance, and love.

-alex, darren, jeff and sam.
This is sad news but the band went out with a bang. Their album Raise the Dead which was released earlier this year is damn good.

The band included the video below with their announcement.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Download an old Superchunk cover of Sebadoh

To give people an idea of what kind of exclusive downloads will be available to Score! subscribers, Merge Records has offered up an old Superchunk track for free.

The song is a cover Sebadoh's "I Believe in Fate" from the 1991 7" EP Free Seed. The EP featured four songs, three of which were Sebadoh covers. Two of the covers were included on the singles collection Tossing Seeds but "I Believe in Fate" didn't make the cut.

Speaking of "I Believe in Fate," the note from Merge (presumably written by Mac) said "this came out sounding a bit like someone's high school hardcore band doing the two-step." With that, download the track below.

Superchunk - "I Believe in Fate" (mp3)

Sara Watkins signs with Nonesuch

Former Nickel Creek member Sara Watkins has signed a deal with Nonesuch Records. The label will release her self-titled debut, produced by Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, on April 7. Watkins former bandmate Chris Thile also is signed to Nonesuch.

Watkins' self-titled album features a slew of her famous and talented friends including Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello's drummer), Benmont Tench (of The Heartbreakers), Sebastian Steinberg (of Soul Coughing), Tim O'Brien, Chris Eldridge (of the Punch Brothers) and her former bandmates, Chris Thile and Sean Watkins.

Of the fourteen tracks on the album, Watkins co-wrote eight of them. Included among the covers are versions of Tom Waits' "Pony" (from Mule Variations) and Jon Brion's "Same Mistakes" (from Meaningless).

Check out the Nonesuch Journal for more details.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Annuals add more dates to 2009 tour

Annuals have added a bunch of new dates to their upcoming headline tour with What Laura Says and Jessica Lea Mayfield. The tour now extends through the end of February and all the way out to the west coast.

Tickets for the Cat's Cradle show are on sale now via for $10 plus fees.

Annuals tour dates:
01.20.09 - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity
01.21.09 - Iowa City, IA - Maintenance Shop
01.22.09 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
01.23.09 - Cleveland, OH - The Grog Shop
01.24.09 - Toronto, ON - El Mocambo
01.25.09 - Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa
01.27.09 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
01.28.09 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
01.30.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
01.31.09 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
02.06.09 - Charlotte, NC - Visulite Theatre
02.07.09 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel
02.08.09 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
02.10.09 - New Orleans, LA - The Parish
02.11.09 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
02.12.09 - Houston, TX - Walter’s on Washington
02.13.09 - Austin, TX - The Parish
02.14.09 - Dallas, TX - Pontiac Garage
02.17.09 - Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room
02.18.09 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah
02.19.09 - Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour
02.21.09 - San Francisco, CA - Slim’s
02.23.09 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
02.24.09 - Vancouver, BC - Pit Pub
02.25.09 - Seattle, WA - TBA
02.27.09 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
02.28.09 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive

Bruce Springsteen's new single FREE, today only

Bruce Springsteen's new single "Working on a Dream" which he debuted on the stump for Barack Obama is available for free today. You can download the track until midnight EST tonight via iTunes here or via Sony BMG's site here.

Springsteen will also play the new track for a huge audience during the Super Bowl half-time show on February 1.

"Working on a Dream" is the title-track from Springsteen's new album with The E Street Band due out on January 27.

First NC Museum of Art performer announced

The first performer of the 2009 North Carolina Museum of Art concert series has made it's way to Pollstar. 85-year-old bluegrass/folk legend Doc Watson will play the outdoor amphitheatre on September 26. He'll be 86 by the time the show rolls through.

Watson will also host, as he does every year, the great bluegrass/Americana festival Merlefest in Wilkesboro on April 23-26. Headliners will include Travis Tritt with Jerry Douglas, The Del McCoury Band, EmmyLou Harris and The Waybacks as well as Triangle artists Tift Merritt and Carolina Chocolate Drops. Check out the full line-up here.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Prefix picks Merge's best albums

With Merge Records celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2009, Prefix Mag has picked their 20 favorite albums from the label. The list is an eclectic mix from the last two decades of Merge going as far back Polvo's 1993 album Today's Active Lifestyles.

Check out the list below and go to Prefix feature to see their reasons for each pick.

20. East River Pipe - The Gasoline Age
19. The Rosebuds - Birds Make Good Neighbors
18. Spaceheads - Low Pressure
17. Caribou - Andorra
16. Camera Obscura - Underachievers Please Try Harder
15. American Music Club - Love Songs for Patriots
14. Ladybug Transistor - The Albermarle Sound
13. Pram - The Museum of Imaginary Animals
12. Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
11. Crooked Fingers - Red Devil Dawn
10. Portastatic - I Hope Your Heart's Not Brittle
9. Lambchop - How I Quit Smoking
8. The Clientele - The Violet Hour
7. Polvo - Today's Active Lifestyles
6. M. Ward - The Transfiguration of Vincent
5. Superchunk - Foolish
4. Spoon - Kill the Moonlight
3. The Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs
2. Arcade Fire - Funeral
1. Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

Eagles of Death Metal play lo-fi set at Schoolkids

Eagles of Death Metal stopped by Schoolkids Records on Friday to play a short set before their show at Lincoln Theatre later that night. The band delighted the crowd of about 50 to 60 people with an energetic, yet lo-fi show.

Eagles drummer and Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme is not currently on tour with the band, but Queens drummer Joey Castillo filled the role nicely. His set-up included a snare, hi-hat and a microphone covered with a towel that he stomped on as his kick drum. It sounds ridiculous, but he made it work.

The set included "Secret Plans," "Now I'm a Fool" and "WannaBe in L.A." from the band's new album Heart On. The band also fielded a few requests from a fan in the crowd including "San Berdoo Sunburn" from 2004's Peace Love and Death Metal.

Frontman Jesse Hughes (aka Boots Electric) was full of jokes in-between songs, including a story about how he and guitarist Dave Catching were married in Vermont but it didn't work out. He's quite a charismatic leader, though in an off-color way.

The band wandered the store prior to the performance gathering up stacks of vinyl. Maybe that's how they were convinced to do the in-store.

[all photos by Kevin Norris]

Free Dr. Pepper thanks to Guns N' Roses available now

The coupon for a free Dr. Pepper is available now via You have to fork over you email and mailing addresses because they're mailing the coupons. The site is running really slow, so be patient. It is likely flooded with requests right now.

For those who don't know, earlier this year Dr. Pepper promised everyone a free soda if the fabled Guns N' Roses album Chinese Democracy was released before the end of 2008. It's due out today, November 23 exclusively at Best Buy stores and the soda coupon is available today only. You have until midnight tonight (Sunday, November 23) to request a coupon. There's a helpful timer on the site to let you know how long you have.

Check out our previous post about the album release here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Stream The Killers' new album 'Day & Age' now

You can stream The Killers new album Day & Age now via the band's MySpace page (just click the album cover on the left side of the player). The album is quite a departure from the first two. It sounds like the band were listening to a lot of mid 80s Peter Gabriel while during the recording process.

Day & Age will be released Monday, November 24 via Island Records.

The Killers will play the House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach, SC on January 29, though it appears tickets are already sold out.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Explorers Club tour again, return to the Triangle

One of the best new bands around that we just reviewed and posted photos of last week will return to the area in January. The band I speak of is Charleston, SC's The Explorers Club.

The guys will play Local 506 on January 16 according to Pollstar. No details for the show are available yet, but we'll add them as soon as we have. [Update: The Huguenots will open the show.]

The guys will also play Charlotte and Athens on the same run. Check the tour dates below.

The Explorers Club tour dates:
01.15.09 - Athens, GA - Tasty World
01.16.09 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
01.17.09 - Charlotte, NC - Evening Muse

Also, check out The Explorers Club new video for "Do You Love Me?" from their debut album Freedom Wind below. It is totally cheeseball and really fun.

The Explorers Club - Do You Love Me?

Roman Candle to release four EPs prior to new LP

Last month we brought you some info on Roman Candle's plans for future releases. At the time, we thought the band would release only one EP prior to their new full-length Oh Tall Tree in the Ear. Wrong. They will release four separate EPs prior to the album's release, the first of which is titled Eden Was a Garden. It will be released on December 2.

Each of the four EPs will feature a track from the new album plus three b-sides. Not a bad deal.

Unfortunately, the release party for the first EP is in Nashville where the band have been working on the album. One would think the band would add at least one Triangle area show to their schedule before Christmas to move new copies of the EP. We'll keep you posted on that.

Check out the band's tumblr blog for regular updates from the studio as well as photos and stories from Logan who is currently out on tour with The Rosebuds.

Roman Candle date:
12.04.08 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy Christmas from The Films

Ever been having a rough day until an e-mail or IM pops up from a friend with something that, to be completely cheesy, makes your heart sing just a little bit? Welcome to my afternoon when a message from Kevin popped up with a link to the video below.

The Films, on of my very favorite bands, are back with a song just in time for the Christmas season. Watch the video for "It's Christmas (What's the Difference)" below. The song will be available on iTunes Dec. 2, in plenty of time to be in rotation on my iPod a good 3 weeks before Christmas.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Eagles of Death Metal to play Schoolkids?!!

That's right folks. Eagles of Death Metal will stop by Schoolkids Records in Raleigh this Friday, November 21 before their show at Lincoln Theatre later that night. The in-store will start at 6 PM and Schoolkids will most likely be packed.

The show at Lincoln Theatre the same night will start at 9 PM and tickets are still available via for $15 plus fees.

Eagles of Death Metal's latest album Heart On is out now on Downtown Records.

Monday, November 17, 2008

KCRW's Nic Harcourt to step down

Nic Harcourt, KCRW's music director and host of "Morning Becomes Eclectic," is stepping down after ten years with the station. His last day will be on November 30 though he will still deejay on Sundays from 6 to 9 PM.

Harcourt has been pivotal in introducing new bands to a much larger audience, especially in the Los Angeles area. I personally think "Morning Becomes Eclectic" is the best music program on the air right now. If you have never listened to or watched the show, go dig through the archives and you'll find performances from almost every great band of the last decade.

KCRW has not found Harcourt's replacement yet, but whoever gets the position will have big shoes to fill. A big question remains though. Will the bands still come to KCRW with Harcourt gone? Many bands have built a personal relationship with him and may be less likely to warm up to new blood.

Read KCRW's full statement about Harcourt's departure here.

Harcourt was also the music director on the short-lived and extremely underappreciated television show Love Monkey. If you never saw the show, try to track down the eight episodes. It's a must watch for music fans.

Check out Ryan Adams and the Cardinals performing on "Morning Becomes Eclectic" after the release of Easy Tiger below.

[UPDATE: Longtime KCRW DJ Jason Bentley will take over as music director and host of "Morning Becomes Eclectic." He is currently the host of the evening show "Metropolis" who debuted on the station 16 years ago. We'll see how he does starting December 1.]

Kathleen Edwards extends tour, coming to Triangle

The fantastic Canadian singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards has extended her 2009 tour and will stop in the Triangle in March. I think this will be her first stop in the area since her first album Failer was released. She now has two more albums under her belt.

She will play the ArtsCenter in Carrboro on March 11. Tickets will go on sale on Saturday, November 22 for $15 via

Kathleen's latest superb album Asking For Flowers is out now on Zoe Records.

Kathleen Edwards tour dates:
01.30.09 - Kent, OH - The Kent Stage
01.31.09 - Pittsburgh, PA - Rex Theatre
02.02.09 - Oakley, OH - 20th Century Theater
02.03.09 - Valparaiso, IN - Memorial Opera House
02.04.09 - Detroit, MI - Magic Bag
02.06.09 - LaSalle, IL - Uptown Grill
02.09.09 - London, ON - Aeolian Hall
02.10.09 - Kitchener, ON - The Gig Theatre
02.13.09 - Toronto, ON - Trinity St Paul’s
02.14.09 - Ottawa, ON - Bronson Centre
02.15.09 - Londonderry, NH - Tupelo Music Hall
02.16.09 - Norfolk, CT - Infinity Hall
02.18.09 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
02.20.09 - Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Live
02.21.09 - Norfolk, VA - Attucks Theatre
02.22.09 - Alexandria, VA - Birchmere
03.11.09 - Carrboro, NC - The ArtsCenter
03.12.09 - Decatur, GA - Eddie's Attic
03.13.09 - Knoxville, TN - Square Room
03.14.09 - Columbus, OH - The Basement

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Photos: The Explorers Club & The Never at Duke Coffeehouse

Here are some photos of The Explorers Club and The Never at Duke Coffeehouse on November 7. Check out the review here.

[all photos by Kevin Norris]

The Explorers Club

The Never

Annuals announce 2009 tour dates

Annuals are currently wrapping up their tour with Minus the Bear and they're looking toward the new year. They just announced new tour dates that will run from mid-January through February. Annuals will headline the tour and will be joined by Ohio singer-songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield and Arizona band and Terpsikhore artist What Laura Says for the entire run.

The tour includes a stop at the Cat's Cradle on January 31. No ticket info is available yet for this show. Tickets will go on sale on November 22 via and will be $10 in advance.

The schedule still has many holes in it, so expect more dates to be added in the not-so-distant future.

Also, watch a hilarious video of Kenny Florence apologizing for a bad solo in "Confessor" in Dallas on Monday night. The video is at the bottom of this post.

Annuals tour dates:
01.20.09 - Minneapolis, MN - Varsity
01.21.09 - Iowa City, IA - Maintenance Shop
01.22.09 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
01.23.09 - Cleveland, OH - The Grog Shop
01.24.09 - Toronto, ON - El Mocambo
01.27.09 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
01.28.09 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
01.30.09 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
01.31.09 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
02.06.09 - Charlotte, NC - Visulite Theatre
02.07.09 - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel
02.08.09 - Birmingham, AL - Bottletree
02.17.09 - Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Explorers Club and The Never rock Duke Coffeehouse

Charleston band The Explorers Club played the newly remodeled Duke Coffeehouse Friday night with local bands The Never and The Huguenots.

Unfortunately I missed The Huguenots, but I've heard from reliable sources that they're excellent. Next time guys.

The Never took the stage as a three-piece with no proper drum kit or bass. Noah was on acoustic guitar, Joah was on keys and electric guitar and Johnny played a floor tom, a snare, a wooden stomp box and various hand-held percussion.

The set was phenomenal and included a bunch of new tunes from the band's forthcoming album. Even with the sparse set-up, the band was as energetic as I've ever seen them, if not more so. I think they should play that way more often.

The last band of the night was The Explorers Club. I had not seen the band play live since November 2006 when they opened for Zach Galifianakis at the Cat's Cradle (read/view here and here). Since then, the band have grown from a sextet to a septet and their live show has become a force to be reckoned with.

The group has the presence of a band who have toured the country over the past few years, which they have. People got up and danced thanks to a few guys from The Huguenots getting things started and the set evolved into a big party with the band seeming to to feed off the crowd response. Even sound problems that plagued the set did not hinder the band's performance. Oh, let's not forget the music. The band's 60s inspired sound shimmered and the vocal harmonies were as good as ever.

You need to see The Explorers Club live and check out their album Freedom Wind.

A photo post will follow shortly.

The Explorers Club set list:
Do You Love Me?
Don't Forget the Sun
Lost My Head
Kind of a Drag (The Buckinghams)
If You Go
Hold Me Tight
Carry Me
Honey, I Don't Know Why
Last Kiss
Proud Mary (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry)

[photo by Kevin Norris]

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Rosebuds add Raleigh date

The Rosebuds have tacked on a hometown date to the end of their current tour. They will play The Pour House on December 3. The Loners will open the show. Tickets are $8 and are not currently available to order online.

The Rosebuds just released their fourth album Life Like in September. Check out the title track from the album below.

The Rosebuds - "Life Like" (mp3)

Friday, November 07, 2008

I Was Totally Destroying It gives away new EP

I Was Totally Destroying It is giving away their brand new EP Done Waiting free on their Reverb Nation page. The tracks are leftovers from the band's forthcoming album Horror Vacui due out in 2009.

The EP was produced by the band along with Al Jacob and Joshua Cain (the lead guitarist of Motion City Soundtrack) and was recorded in Chapel Hill at Warrior Sound.

Here's the Done Waiting track list:
  1. Done Waiting
  2. Teeth
  3. The Masquerade
  4. Get In Line
  5. Like Calvary
  6. I'm Broke and So Is Everything I Own
  7. Radar Song
The band have a few upcoming shows in the area which you will find below.

11.08.08 - Durham, NC - Pinhook (Troika Music Festival)
11.28.08 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
11.29.08 - Raleigh, NC - The Brewery

Photos: Ivan Howard, Superchunk, The dBs @ UNC early vote rally

Here's the last set of photos from Saturday's early vote rally for Barack Obama at UNC. Included here are photos of Ivan Howard and his NC choir featuring members of Bowerbirds and Megafaun, Superchunk and The dB's featuring Mitch Easter on bass.

[all photos by Kevin Norris]

Ivan Howard set list:
In the Backyard
Get Up Get Out
Life Like
Blue Bird
Nice Fox

Ivan Howard and friends

Superchunk set list:
1,000 Pounds
I Guess I Remembered It Wrong
Cursed Mirror
Detroit Has a Skyline
Throwing Things


The dB's set list (may be a little out of order):
Big Brown Eyes
Dear Valentine
Shapes of Things (The Yardbirds)
Send Me Something Real
V.O.T.E (Public Service Announcement)
That Time Is Gone
Ask For Jill

The dB's

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Photos: I Was Totally Destroying It, Megafaun, Billy Bragg @ UNC early vote rally

Here's the second set of photos from Saturday's early vote rally for Barack Obama at UNC. Included here are photos of I Was Totally Destroying It, Megafaun and Billy Bragg. There are still more photos to be posted later.

[all photos by Kevin Norris]

I Was Totally Destroying It


Billy Bragg