Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Walkmen sell 'You & Me' for charity, play the Cradle

The new album from The Walkmen titled You & Me is not officially released until August 19, but you can download the album now for $5 from Amie Street. The pre-release sales will benefit the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. So go get 14 tracks for $5 and support a great cause.

In other Walkmen news, the band will be playing the Cat's Cradle on October 2. Tickets for the show will be $12 in advance and will be available via The band last played the Triangle in April opening for Spoon. Check out a review of that show here.

You can pre-order You & Me on CD here.

The Walkmen - "In the New Year" (mp3)

Ray LaMontagne announces tour to support new album

Soulful softspoken troubadour Ray LaMontagne will release his third album titled Gossip In the Grain on October 14 via RCA Records. LaMontagne will support the album with a North American tour this fall.

Leona Naess will open for LaMontagne on the entire tour. She is also featured on two tracks on Gossip In the Grain.

The tour will include a stop at Meymandi Hall in Raleigh on October 16. Tickets for that show will go on sale to the general public on August 12 at 10AM, but an internet pre-sale begins tomorrow, August 1 at 10AM. Tickets prices will range from $27 to $31 and will be available via the ticket giant.

Listen to the track "Let It Be Me" from Gossip In the Grain here.

Pre-order Gossip In the Grain here.

Ray LaMontagne tour dates with Leona Naess:
Sept 30 - Murat Theatre - Indianapolis, IN
Oct 1 - Chicago Theatre - Chicago, IL
Oct 3 - Union Theatre - Madison, WI
Oct 4 - State Theatre - Minneapolis, MN
Oct 6 - Royal Oak Music Theatre - Royal Oak, MI
Oct 7 - Queen Elizabeth Theatre - Toronto, ON
Oct 9 - Opera House - Boston, MA
Oct 10 - Opera House - Boston, MA
Oct 11 - Radio City Music Hall - New York, NY
Oct 13 - Keswick Theatre - Philadelphia, PA
Oct 14 - The Strathmore Music Center - Washington, DC
Oct 16 - Meymandi Concert Hall - Raleigh, NC
Oct 17 - Bijou Theatre - Knoxville, TN
Oct 18 - The Tabernacle - Atlanta, GA
Oct 19 - Ryman Auditorium - Nashville, TN
Oct 21 - Uptown Theatre - Kansas City, MO
Oct 23 - Verizon Wireless Theatre - Houston, TX
Oct 24 - Majestic Theatre - Dallas, TX
Oct 25 - Paramount Theatre - Austin, TX
Oct 27 - Macky Auditorium - Boulder, CO
Oct 28 - Murray Theatre - Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 30 - Wiltern Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
Nov 1 - Spreckels Theatre - San Diego, CA
Nov 3 - Paramount Theatre - Oakland, CA
Nov 5 - Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall - Portland, OR
Nov 6 - McDonald Theatre - Eugene, OR
Nov 8 - Vogue Theatre - Vancouver, BC
Nov 9 - Marion Oliver McCaw Hall - Seattle, WA

The Physics of Meaning set to release new album

Local chamber rock collective The Physics of Meaning, led by Daniel Hart (of St. Vincent and John Vanderslice's band), are gearing up to release their second full-length album. It's titled Snake Charmer and Destiny at the Stroke of Midnight. The album will be released via Trekky Records on October 16.

Snake Charmer was engineered by Mark Paulson (who has worked with The Rosebuds and Bowerbirds) and Alex Lazara (of The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers). The album features orchestral instrumentation as well as a choir, but also features an all-star team of local musicians. Hart solicited the help Adam Baker (of Annuals) and Annie Clark (of St. Vincent) for the album as well as members of Megafaun and Des Ark.

The Physics of Meaning plan to hit the road in the fall to support the album. No dates have been confirmed yet.

Check out the song "Aeroplanes and Hurricanes" from the album below.

The Physics of Meaning - "Aeroplanes and Hurricanes" (mp3)

The Rosebuds get 'Life Like' in October

The big local albums just keep rolling out this year. The Rosebuds will release their fourth full-length record on October 7 titled Life Like.

The band have reportedly returned to the breezy, acoustic sound of some of their earlier records while still retaining some of the dance elements of Night of the Furies. Touring drummer and Portastatic member Matthew McCaughan plays on the record which will also feature Rosebuds friends Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver) and Jim Brantley (of Ashley Stove/Bull City).

Life Like track list:
  1. Life Like
  2. Cape Fear
  3. Border Guards
  4. Bow to the Middle
  5. Nice Fox
  6. Another Way In Concordia Military
  7. Club
  8. Hello Darling
  9. Black Hole
  10. In the Backyard
There are no tour dates on the books yet, but The Rosebuds will play a benefit show for Cy Rawls with Superchunk and Birds of Avalon on August 29 at the Cat's Cradle.

Check out this preview of the new album, which features photos by the talented Tim Lytvinenko.

Sunfold play short, tight set in Chapel Hill

Sunfold wrapped up their brief tour in support of Toy Tugboats Tuesday night in Chapel Hill.

The band played a short headlining set (about 45 minutes) for about 100 people which frontman Kenny Florence said was the biggest crowd they'd played for on the tour.

The set included songs from Toy Tugboats, the Wet Zoo EP as well as an Annuals song. The band played "Ease My Mind" from the Big Zeus EP (released in the UK; the track can also be found on the Frelen Mas b-sides compilation on iTunes). Kenny sings that song live in Annuals, so it was a logical inclusion in the set.

The band was tight and the set sounded flawless. Kenny was definitely the star of the evening though. His Buckley-esque voice sounded perfect all night and he showed off his virtuoso guitar skills as well.

The crowd seemed a little disappointed when there was no encore, but Kenny came out and said that they had nothing else to play.

Local band, Lonnie Walker opened to show with an eclectic set of tunes influenced by everything from Bob Dylan to 90s alt-rock. The band has a lot of potential though and a great presence on stage.

Sunfold will most likely be put on the back burner for a while in order to gear up for Annuals new album due out in October, but local shows will most likely pop up during Annuals' breaks. We'll keep you posted.

[all photos by Kevin Norris]


Lonnie Walker

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

iTunes single of the week: Belanova "One, Two, Three, Go!"

This week's free single comes from Mexican band, Belanova. It's not often that iTunes featured free song of the week is in Spanish so it's nice to hear some cultural diversity.

The song is titled "One, Two, Three, GO!" and is as poppy as the title would suggest. The vibe of the song resembles the 80s pop style of Blondie. It's a catchy, well crafted pop song.

I'm 50/50 on this one. One of my guilty pleasures is 80s pop, but, I have a heard time getting behind this one. The choice is yours alone this time.

The Fratellis announce tour, play Cradle

Scottish band The Fratellis, best known on this side of the Atlantic as the guys in the iPod commercials early last year, have announced a North American tour that includes a stop in the Triangle. The band will play the Cat's Cradle on October 1 with The Airborne Toxic Event and Electric Touch. Tickets for the show go on sale to the public on August 1 for $18 via

The Fratellis are currently supporting their second album Here We Stand which was released in June.

Check out an mp3 from opening band Electric Touch at the bottom of the post.

The Fratellis North American dates:
9/1 - House of Blues - Cleveland, OH
9/2 - Mr Smalls Theatre - Pittsburgh, PA
9/4 - Theater of Living Arts - Philadelphia, PA
9/5 - Roseland Ballroom - New York, NY
9/6 - Virgin Festival @ Toronto Islands Park - Toronto, ON
9/8 - St Andrews Hall - Detroit, MI
9/9 - Newport Music Hall - Columbus, OH
9/10 - House of Blues - Chicago, IL
9/11 - First Avenue - Minneapolis, MN
9/13 - Red Rocks Amphitheater - Morrison, CO
9/16 - The Wiltern - Los Angeles, CA
9/17 - Warfield Theatre - San Francisco, CA
9/18 - House of Blues - San Diego, CA
9/24 Exit In - Nashville, TN
9/25 - Parish Room @ House of Blues - New Orleans, LA
9/26 - Warehouse Live - Houston, TX
9/27 - Austin City Limits Festival @ Zilker Park - Austin, TX
9/28 - House of Blues - Dallas, TX
9/30 - The Loft @ Center Stage - Atlanta, GA
10/1 - Cat's Cradle - Carrboro, NC
10/2 - 9:30 Club - Washington, DC
10/3 - Orpheum Theatre - Boston, MA
10/4 - Webster Theater - Hartford, CT

Electric Touch - "Who Put the Fire Out?" (mp3)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

She & Him pack the Cradle

Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward played to a sold out crowd last night at the Cat's Cradle. The duo played a delightful 75-minute set of songs from their album Volume One as well as a few covers, a new song, an M. Ward song and a Lavender Diamond song. They squeezed 17 songs into 75 minutes so there was not time for a lot of banter, though Zooey did take time to tell the crowd how much she enjoyed the food in Carrboro.

"We've eaten better here than anywhere else, and we've been to a lot of places so far," she said, noting that the band had dinner at Lantern on Franklin Street but hadn't been to Carrburrito, to a slight boo from the crowd.

It's probably a safe assumption that about 98% of the population at Cat's Cradle was crushing on Zooey last night, dressed in a green rhinestone-bedazzled prom dress and sparkly headband. More cat calls came from the women in the crowd than men as Zooey bounced around the stage, tambourine in hand.

The duo was backed by four musicians including Becky Stark (of Lavender Diamond) on backing vocals, Stefanie Drootin (of The Good Life and Bright Eyes) on bass, Mike Coykendall on rhythm guitar and piano and a drummer (anybody catch his name?).

The set was strong and Zooey's voice sounded great. She had taken a few shots for early performances where she didn't sound great and seemed uncomfortable on stage. She seems to be over that now and delivered a great performance and was playful on stage. She even stepped up and played piano on three songs, "Sentimental Heart," "Take It" and "I Though I Saw Your Face Today."

The set was pretty laid back, but once the band hit "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?," the energy level was kicked up making the last few songs of the night the high point of the show. Opening act, Freakwater came out during the last song of the encore to play Emmylou Harris' "Hello Stranger."

Speaking of Freakwater, the band opened the show with an HOUR LONG SET. Freakwater's run-of-the-mill folk country didn't excite the crowd, who got chatty after the first song of their set. Even when M. Ward and two other She & Him band members came out for the last two songs, the crowd reaction was mild at best. Freakwater is a respectable band doing what they do, but they seem more suited for the county fair circuit more than opening for the uber-hip She & Him.

Zooey thanked the crowd at the end of the night saying "You guys are the best, we should be applauding you!" before thanking their label, Merge Records. "Merge is the greatest label in the world," she said, the crowd joining in the applause.

She & Him's set list:

Black Hole
Change Is Hard
I Was Made For You
Sentimental Heart
(band leaves)
You Really Got A Hold On Me
You Turn Me On, I'm A Radio (Joni Mitchell)
Take It Back
And I Know (new song, uncertain about title)
(band returns)
Garden Rose (Lavender Diamond, sung by Becky Stark)
Got Me
I Though I Saw Your Face Today
Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?
This Is Not A Test
Sweet Darlin'

Bring It On Home To Me
Magic Trick (M. Ward)
Hello Stranger (Emmylou Harris, with Freakwater)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Howard Dean and Ryan Adams?

This morning, Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean spoke in downtown Raleigh, encouraging area Democrats to help register voters.

How does this relate to this blog you ask? One music choice this morning stood out compared to other Democratic campaign events. There were the usual Obama event tunes including Bruce Springstein's "The Rising" and Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" but my ears perked up when I heard a familiar tune from an ex-Raleigh resident. Ryan Adams' "Firecracker" was included in the pre-speech music. I don't know who's choice it was, but it was cool to hear standing on a sidewalk downtown at 9AM.

That's your polimusical trivia for today. And yes, I did just make up a word. I'm trademarking it like "truthiness."

[photo by Kevin Norris]

Iha and D'Arcy screwed out of Pumpkins' profits?

It would be safe to say that James Iha and D'Arcy are no longer big Smashing Pumpkins fans.

The two former members of the group filed suit against Virgin Records yesterday for not paying them for digital downloads of Pumpkins music. The suit alleges the Virgin entered a deal with Billy Corgin in 2000, five years after the group broke up, and began licensing the band's music.

"To date, Virgin continues to engage in the exploitation of electronic transmissions of the band's recordings without the plaintiffs' consent," the lawsuit states.

Corgin, as well all know, revived the band last year without Iha and D'Arcy, though we'd argue the success of that endeavor.

Incidentally, tickets go on sale tomorrow for the Smashing Pumpkins show at Raleigh's Memorial Auditorium on Aug. 17.

Liam Finn announces headlining tour, The Veils open

Our favorite pint-sized New Zealander Liam Finn has announced a six week headlining tour to follow a run of dates opening for Eddie Vedder. Finn released his debut album in the US in January and has been touring ever since.

The tour includes a stop at Local 506 on September 7. The last time Finn was in the Triangle was in March at The Pour House (read a review of the show here).

Finn won't be traveling alone on this trek. The Veils will be out to open the entire run. The Veils are a killer band from the UK and they tour the US infrequently. Like most UK bands, and generally play only major market cities when they do tour the US, so the show in Chapel Hill is a rare treat.

Liam Finn will release a live EP in August that was recorded at The Wiltern in Los Angeles earlier this year. The EP will only be available in independent retailers.

Download mp3s from Liam Finn and The Veils below the tour dates.

Here's the headlining tour schedule:
Sep-04 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
Sep-05 Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Live
Sep-06 Washington, DC - The Rock and Roll Hotel
Sep-07 Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
Sep-09 Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
Sep-10 Memphis, TN - Hi Tone
Sep-11 St Louis, MO - Billiken Club, St Louis UNI
Sep-13 Denver, CO - Monolith Festival
Sep-15 Albuquerque, - NM Launch Pad
Sep-16 Santa Fe, NM - Santa Fe Brewing Co.
Sep-18 Tuscon, AZ - Plush
Sep-19 San Diego, CA - Casbah
Sep-20 Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex
Sep-21 Las Vegas, NV - Beauty Bar
Sep-23 San Francisco, CA - Bottom Of The Hill
Sep-24 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
Sep-26 Seattle, WA - High Dive
Sep-27 Vancouver, BC - Biltmore Cabaret
Oct-01 Minneapolis, MN - 7th St Entry
Oct-02 Chicago, IL - Lakeshore Theater
Oct-03 Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
Oct-04 Toronto, ON - El Mocambo
Oct-05 Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa (Pop Montreal)
Oct-07 Boston, MA - Paradise
Oct-08 Portland, ME - Space
Oct-09 Northampton, MA - Iron Horse Music Hall
Oct-10 Providence, RI - Club Hell

Liam Finn - "Second Chance" (mp3) from I'll Be Lightning

The Veils - "Advice For Young Mothers To Be" (mp3) from Nux Vomica

Annuals to release second album in October

Annuals are a busy bunch lately. Sunfold just released their debut album and Annuals released a split EP and toured the US in support of it. Showing no signs of stopping, the band have now released the details of their second full-length album.

NME reports that the album is titled Such Fun and will be released on October 7. The album will feature 11 new tracks from the band produced by frontman Adam Baker and producer Jacquire King.

Such Fun track list:
  1. Confessor
  2. Hot Night Hounds
  3. Springtime
  4. Down the Mountain
  5. Always Do
  6. Talking
  7. Hardwood Floor
  8. Hair Don’t Grow
  9. The Tape
  10. Blue Ridge
  11. Wake
Annuals will tour in support of the album in the fall, but hometown fans don't have to wait. The band will play in downtown Raleigh at the Raleigh Wide Open Festival on September 5. They will play on the Cherry Bounce Alternative Stage. Montreal based band Islands will headline the stage on Saturday night (September 6).

Annuals - "Sore" (mp3) [from Wet Zoo EP]

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rock Hall benefit announces "Saturday night showstopper"

Before I go any further, I just want to say that the majority of this post will be snark- and opinion-free. I'm sticking to the facts, people, and you can do with them what you will.

Rick French was on News14 earlier today (nearly 2 hours after he said he would be on, but that's more likely to blame on News14's poor scheduling) to announce that Jack Bruce will headline Saturday night's portion of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame benefit concert on Sept. 20. (That's right, it's now a two-day event.) Bruce, who was the lead singer of Cream, will close with a set of Cream tunes, French says, before being joined by his to-be-announced buddies onstage.

Highlights from this morning's announcement include when News14 reporter Tracey Early repeatedly referred to the show as taking place in Raleigh until she glanced down at her notes near the end. Oops! The show will be at Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, which French says was chosen for "its proximity to the UK." I am not kidding.

Other fun "facts":
  • "The reserved and VIP [seating] sold out in 22 minutes, I believe," French said. Is that why more than a week later we were still able to find seats via Ticketmaster?
  • "The original members of Jefferson Airplane are reuniting with Jefferson Starship and several members of the Grateful Dead to play together," French said. I don't know where to start with this. Jefferson Starship, as it probably doesn't need explaining, is an actively touring band that consists of 2 founders of Jefferson Airplane, Paul Kantner and Marty Balin, as well as Tom Constanten of the Grateful Dead. No other members from Jefferson Airplane or The Grateful Dead have been announced.
Honestly, they could trot out Eric Clapton at this show and I still wouldn't be impressed based upon the high expectations this event's promoters set from day one. (Unless maybe they brought out Eric Clapton, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend AND Roger Waters — and he'd have to bring the pig, too. These are all names floated by people close to the event.)

It is painfully clear at this point that I'm not the target demographic for this event (and neither are the majority of this blog's readers, so we won't be talking about it much more).

This event is clearly geared toward individuals who were in high school or college in the early 70s and identify with the artists chosen. But you know, I think that's a damn shame. It's unfortunate that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an establishment with inductees spanning several genres of rock music, would go for such a niche audience as to alienate many true music fans.

Is that a little idealistic of me? Absolutely. I guess I just expected too much.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Conor Oberst album stream, "Danny Callahan" mp3

Conor Oberst's self-titled solo album will not be out for another two weeks, but you can currently stream the entire album on Merge Records website and on Conor Oberst's site. Also, we have the song "Danny Callahan" available for download below.

Tickets are still available for Conor's show at Cat's Cradle on August 9 via for $25 plus fees.

Pre-order Conor Oberst here.

Conor Oberst - "Danny Callahan" (mp3)

iTunes Single of the Week: Kerli, "Walking On Air"

This week's free single comes from Kerli who lists WonderLand, Christmas Island as her location, but she's actually from Estonia. Her MySpace page may be a bit cryptic and cluttered with junk, but the song "Walking On Air" is very different from the image she puts forth, which is two parts goth, one part teenage girl.

The song begins with a jittery electronic beat that is similar to the Radiohead beat on "The Gloaming." The vibe of the verses also lends itself to a Radiohead comparison, but as soon as the chorus hits, the song shifts and is catchy and downright happy.

This is a pretty good song. It's worth checking out.

Ben Folds finds Way To Normal in September

We can't get enough of Ben Folds lately. On Monday, the piano geek announced the details of his forthcoming album, titled Way To Normal.

Much of the album was written towards the end of Folds' two-year divorce, though he has said the album is not about "the D-word." He did consider calling the album Blood On the Keyboard, an homage to Dylan's classic divorce album Blood On the Tracks. He obviously decided against that later.

Folds previewed a number of tracks from the album at his recent show in Cary, including "Free Coffee," "Hiroshima" and "Effington." One of the most anticipated tracks from the album is "You Don't Know Me" which features guest vocals from Regina Spektor.

Way To Normal will be released in the US on September 30 via Epic Records. Folds will tour in support of the record in the fall and into 2009.

Way To Normal track list:
  1. Hiroshima (B B B Benny Hits His Head)
  2. Dr. Yang
  3. The Frown
  4. You Don’t Know Me (featuring Regina Spektor)
  5. Before Cologne
  6. Cologne
  7. Errant Dog
  8. Free Coffee
  9. Bitch Went Nuts
  10. Brainwascht
  11. Effington
  12. Kylie from Connecticut

Monday, July 21, 2008

New Hotel Lights, "Firecracker People" mp3

Earlier this month, we brought you the details of Hotel Lights new album, Firecracker People. We now have a the title track from the album available for download below. The song is a beautiful ballad that is a little reminiscent of the Ben Folds Five days.

You can stream 3 other tracks from the album on Hotel Lights MySpace page. The album will be out on August 19 via Bar None Records.

Pre-order the album here.

Hotel Lights - "Firecracker People" (mp3)

Smashing Pumpkins include Raleigh in upcoming tour

Smashing Pumpkins have added one final date to their August tour and that date just happens to be in Raleigh. The band will play at the Memorial Auditorium at the Progress Energy Center on August 17. Tickets for the show will go on sale Saturday, July 26 at 10 a.m. via the ticket beast.

If you're going to the show to see the Pumpkins of old, you're probably out of luck. Check out my review of their show in Greensboro last November here to get an idea of what to expect. Who knows though, the band may take their back catalog more seriously on this tour.

The Pumpkins also plan to release a Gish box set sometime in future to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band. A Gish anniversary tour is said to be in the works for early 2009.

In other Pumpkins news, Fender guitars recently announced that they have released a Billy Corgan signature stratocaster (specs here). He's holding his signature guitars in the photo above. So if you've been trying for years to capture that signature, high-gain sound, your prayers have been answered. It doesn't come cheap though. Sam Ash is selling the guitar for $1199.99 so start saving.

Here's the August tour dates:
8 - Davenport, IA - Adler Theatre
9 - Hammond, IN - The Venue
12 - Louisville, KY - Palace Theatre
13 - Knoxville, TN - Tennessee Theatre
15 - Charlotte, NC - Ovens Auditorium
16 - Charlottesville, VA - Charlottesville Pavillion
17 - Raleigh, NC - Memorial Auditorium
19 - Boca Raton, FL - Mizner Park Amphitheatre
20 - Clearwater, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lost In The Trees album release show FREE!

Last week we brought you the information on Lost In The Trees debut full-length album Alone In An Empty House and now the band have announced a FREE album release show. Ari and the gang will play at the Cat's Cradle on Friday, September 12, three days after the album is released in stores. Midtown Dickens will open the show, which starts at 8:00PM.

Oh, and did I mention it's FREE, so be there.

Lost in the Trees - "Fireplace" (mp3)

Sunfold to release debut album

The Kenny Florence-fronted Annuals offshoot Sunfold is gearing up to release their debut album next week. The 10-track album is titled Toy Tugboats and it will be released on Tuesday, July 22, via the Raleigh based label Terpsikhore Records (essentially Annuals' label).

Download the eighth track from the record, "Sara the American Winer," at the bottom of this post. The song sounds more like Annuals than the two songs from Sunfold's split EP with Annuals, Wet Zoo, that was released in April. The two EP tracks are not on the new album. Toy Tugboats feature 10 brand new tracks.

Sunfold will hit the road for a week to support the album that will culminate with a show at Local 506 on July 29. Tickets for the 506 show are available via for $8 plus fees.

Here's the Sunfold tour dates:
July 22 - DC9 - Washington, DC
July 23 - The M Room - Philadelphia, PA
July 25 - Union Hall - Brooklyn, NY
July 26 - Mercury Lounge - New York, NY
July 27 - The Middle East Upstairs - Boston, MA
July 29 - Local 506 - Chapel Hill, NC

Toy Tugboats track list:
  1. Oregon
  2. Shrinking The Sphere
  3. Sailed Off To The Sea
  4. Gnosis
  5. To Wake The Eye
  6. Gorgée de Rubis
  7. Shapeshiftin'
  8. Sara The American Winter
  9. Osk
  10. Holding The Charm
Sunfold - "Sara the American Winter" (mp3)

Order Toy Tugboats here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Performers for 4th HopeFest announced

Organizers of Carolina HopeFest have announced the first few artists for this year's event, to be held Saturday, August 30, at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary.

Colbie Caillat, Edwin McCain, Raleighite Thad Cockrell and Alli Rogers are all scheduled to perform. We'll keep you posted as additional performers are announced. Tickets are available now through Ticketmaster and the venue box office.

We've gone to this event the past couple of years and had a really good time. Not only is it a fun day full of music from both local and national acts, they put the show on for an incredibly worthy cause.

The event raises money for Beacon of Hope, a group based out of Nairobi, Kenya, that helps women and girls affected by AIDS learn skills that allow them to make money and support themselves and their families. Items made by women at Beacon of Hope, including beautiful woven handbags and rugs, are available for sale at the event.

The Magnetic Fields tour US, stop in Raleigh

The Magnetic Fields have announced an 11-show US tour that will include a stop in Raleigh. The band will kick off their US run in Minneapolis on October 10 and stop in Raleigh at Meymandi Hall on October 18. Tickets for the Raleigh show will go on sale to the general public on Friday, July 18 via that bad company that I won't say by name as well as at the Progress Energy Center box office. The fan club pre-sale started Tuesday, July 15.

The Magnetic Fields released their most recent album titled Distortion in January via Nonesuch Records. Check out the first track from the album, "Three-Way," below.

The Magnetic Fields - Three-Way (mp3)

10-10 Minneapolis, MN - State Theatre
10-11 Madison, WI - Capitol Theater at Overture Center for the Arts
10-13 Dallas, TX - The Majestic
10-14 Austin, TX - The Paramount Theater
10-15 Boulder, CO - The Boulder Theater
10-17 Atlanta, GA - Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center
10-18 Raleigh, NC - Meymandi Concert Hall at Progress Energy Center
10-23 Jersey City, NJ - Loews Jersey Theatre
10-24 Columbus, OH - The Southern Theatre
10-25 Philadelphia, PA - The Merriam Theater
10-26 Washington, DC - Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

iTunes Single of the Week: Scars On Broadway, "They Say"

This week's free single comes from LA band Scars On Broadway. The song is "They Say" and it's a fairly bland modern rock song.

The vocals are just annoying and sound like they're trying to mimic Scott Weiland and Raine Maida, unsuccessfully. The guitar squalls in the song are just painfully irritating and faux attitude is just sad.

I have nothing good to say about this song, but I'm sure you'll be hearing it soon on 96 Rock.

Tift Merritt playing at the Grand Ole Opry

Local songstress turned New Yorker will played the famed Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night. The performance will air on the Great American Country channel, GAC (channel 131 in Wake county), at 8PM (ET) this Saturday, July 19.

The following day, Sunday July 20, Tift will play a live show at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville that will be broadcast on the Nashville station WRLT, Lightning 100. You'll be able to stream that performance live at 10PM (ET).

So even though Tift will be over 500 miles from the Triangle this weekend, there are still plenty of chances to see/hear her.

Tickets are still available to Merritt's August 23 show at the North Carolina Museum of Art here.

Oasis 'Dig Out Your Soul' track list, album art

We reported a few weeks ago that Oasis will release their seventh album in October, titled Dig Out Your Soul. The band have now released the track list and album art for the album. The art can be seen to the right and the track list is below.

Dig Out Your Soul:
  1. Bag It Up
  2. The Turning
  3. Waiting For The Rapture
  4. The Shock Of The Lightning
  5. I'm Outta Time
  6. (Get Off Your) High Horse Lady
  7. Falling Down
  8. To Be Where There's Life
  9. Ain't Got Nothin'
  10. The Nature Of Reality
  11. Soldier On

Monday, July 14, 2008

Les Savy Fav rocks the Nasher Museum of Art

It's probably a good thing that I went into the Les Savy Fav concert at Nasher with minimal expectations other than to be entertained, because even now, two days later, I'm still processing the whole...experience.

Several hundred people packed the back lawn of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke Saturday evening to see Brooklyn's Les Savy Fav play about an hour and a half of ear melting punk-infused indie rock.

No one was safe as lead singer Tim Harrington wandered through the crowd midsong, webcam strapped to the side of his head and microphone cable trailing behind. A second person, not in the band, also meandered through the crowd with a camera on his shoulder. Feeds from both cameras were projected on to large screens behind the band.

Harrington mostly roamed about, occasionally stopping to lay down next to one woman and sing a verse, or ask a young child what book he was reading during a solo.

The show was the first concert held at Nasher, and hopefully not the last. Aside from the fact that the lawn actually sloped downward away from the stage, it was a great venue.

"It's cool to play in a classy sort of joint," Harrigton told the crowd. "A lot of times we're on the seedier side of town."

The band itself was tight, if not deafening. They closed their set with their own version of "Precision Auto" in homage to Superchunk which I'm sure Laura Ballance, who was in attendance, enjoyed.

"This is the most concerty concert of all time" Harrigton said before the band played its last song. Indeed it was.

Set list: (taken straight from the band's list -- I take no responsibility for errors or omissions!)
  1. What Would Wolves Do
  2. Patty Lee
  3. The Equestrian
  4. The Year Before the Year 2000
  5. Reprobate's Resume
  6. Yawn, Yawn, Yawn
  7. The Sweat Descends
  8. Scotchguard the Credit Card
  9. Scout's Honor
  10. The Lowest Bitter
  11. Dishonest Don Part II
  12. Rage in the Plague Age
  13. Rome
  14. Who Rocks the Party
  15. Precision Auto (Superchunk cover)
  1. We'll Make a Lover Out of You
  2. Blackouts on Thursday

[all photos by Kevin Norris]

Farming it out for the Jonas Brothers

David Menconi and the folks over at the N&O are running a contest that is sure to get dozens upon dozens of entries.

One lucky winner who submits an essay of 300 words or less will get to the review the Jonas Brothers concert at Walnut Creek on July 30 for the News & Observer. Read the contest details here.

The Jonas Brothers, if you're not "in the know," are essentially a Disneyfied version of Hanson.

And David, good call -- I wouldn't want to go see the Jonas Brothers either.

On a semi-related note, teen hearthrobs of my own generation New Kids on the Block recently announced a show at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte for Oct. 30. Roadtrip, anyone?

New Radiohead video, "House of Cards"

The fabled Radiohead music video that everyone's been talking about has finally been released. Why has everyone been talking about it you ask? Because the video uses no cameras. Thom Yorke and the other people and places in the video were captured using 3D plotting technology called Geometric Informatics and Velodyne LIDAR. If you're just scratching your head right now, well so am I? Just watch the second video below after watching the video. It's a "making of" piece that explains some of the elements of the video. It's pretty neat.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

She & Him video = animated birds, ghosts, blood

Who would've thought that the first video from She & Him would be so dark, but in a Disney sort of way? Well it is and it's also one of my favorite music videos in a long time.

The clip for the song "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" features Zoey dead in a pool of animated blood, beheadings, an apathetic M. Ward, birds, little ghosts and other odd animated and ghostly creatures. This description does not do the video justice. Just watch it.

Tickets are still available for She & Him's show at Cat's Cradle on July 28 via

She & Him - "Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?" (mp3)

Friday, July 11, 2008

of Montreal to release Skeletal Lamping, celebrate release in Durham

Kevin Barnes and his gang, better know as of Montreal, are set to release the follow-up to 2007's Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? in October. The album has been dubbed Skeletal Lamping and Barnes told Billboard that it "incorporates more tension and dissonance, while still remaining a super poppy sound." That's the album cover on the right.

Tracks from the album will include the songs "Beware Our Nubile Miscreants" and "Nonpareil Favor" among others. Here's the complete track list:
  1. Nonpareil of Favor
  2. Wicked Wisdom
  3. For Our Elegant Caste
  4. Touched Something's Hollow
  5. An Eluardian Instance
  6. Gallery Piece
  7. Women's Studies Victims
  8. St.Exquisite's Confessions
  9. Triphallus, to Punctuate!
  10. And I've Seen a Bloody Shadow
  11. Plastis Wafers
  12. Death Is Not a Parallel Move
  13. Beware Our Nubile Miscreants
  14. Mingusings
  15. Id Engager
The best part of this news for Triangle fans is that the album will be released on October 7, the same day of Montreal are scheduled to play the Carolina Theatre in Durham. Durham is also one of three shows on that initial US run that includes Asheville and New York.

The band sold out their last two shows at the Cat's Cradle (see reviews here and here) and will be taking a step up to the Carolina Theatre. The theatre's larger stage will better accommodate the band's theatrics and use of props.

Tickets for the Carolina Theatre show are on sale now here for $20.

Here's the current list of tour dates:
08-08 Myslowice, Poland - OFF Festival
08-09 London, England - Field Day Festival
08-10 Leicester, England - Summer Sundae Weekender
10-07 Durham, NC - Carolina Theatre
10-08 Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
10-10 New York, NY - Roseland Ballroom
10-15 Paris, France - Elysee Montmarte
10-16 London, England - Koko
10-17 Barcelona, Spain - Razzmatazz
10-18 Rome, Italy - Circolo Degli Artisi
10-19 Berlin, Germany - Lido
10-20 Stockholm Sweden - Debaser Medis
10-21 Copenhagen, Denmark - Amager Bio
10-24 St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
10-25 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
10-26 Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theatre
10-27 Chicago, IL - The Riviera
10-28 Toronto, Ontario - Queen Elizabeth Theatre
10-30 Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre
10-31 Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
11-01 Richmond, VA - The National
11-08 Atlanta, GA - The Tabernacle
11-11 New Orleans, LA - Howlin Wolf
11-12 Houston, TX - Warehouse Liv
11-13 Austin, TX - 507 E. 6th Street
11-14 Dallas, TX - House of Blues Dallas
11-15 Lawrence, KS - Liberty Hall
11-16 Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
11-17 Murray, UT - Murray Super Theatre
11-19 Seattle, WA - Showbox So Do
11-20 Portland, OR - Roseland
11-21 San Francisco, CA - Regency Center Grand Ballroom
11-22 Los Angeles, CA - TBA

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lost in the Trees new album details, mp3

The Chapel Hill based orchestral indie pop group Lost in the Trees are gearing up to release their first full-length record on September 9. The album is titled All Alone in an Empty House.

The album was recorded by Ryan Pickett who has worked on albums Johnny Irion, Bull City and The Never. Additional recording was done at Trekky's new in-house recording studio, dubbed "The Owl Room."

The physical release of the album will include a CD, vinyl and coupon for a 320 kbps mp3 download. Trekky Records has dubbed the release the "everything you could ever need" package.

Download a new track titled "Fireplace" from All Alone in an Empty House below. Check out this older post to watch a live performance of "Walk Around the Lake."

Lost in the Trees - "Fireplace" (mp3)

Portastatic set to release double disc rarities collection

Good news for Portastatic fans. The band (Mac McCaughan and friends) is gearing up to release a collection of covers, demos and other rarities as a 2-disc set. The collection is titled Some Small History and features songs that were released as b-sides, on 7" vinyl and on other releases. There are also seven previously unreleased tracks.

Some Small History will be released on September 9 on Merge Records. Check out our review and photos from Portastatic's recent show at Duke Gardens here.

Some Small History track list:

Disc 1:
  1. Starter
  2. Sandals With White Socks
  3. Oh My Sweet Carolina [Ryan Adams cover]
  4. Lousy Penpal *
  5. A Cunning Latch (acoustic) *
  6. Teenage Kicks [The Undertones cover]
  7. Too Trashed to Smoke *
  8. Skinny Glasses Girl
  9. Trajectory
  10. Power Supply
  11. Josephine [The Magnetic Fields cover]
  12. Race You Home
  13. Make You Up *
  14. Your Own Cloud
  15. Love Breaks Down [Prefab Sprout cover] *
  16. Portraits From Before the War
  17. Soft Fruit
  18. Easily Aroused
  19. Guessing
  20. Little Fern
  21. All I Need Is You [Sandy Denny & the Strawbs cover]
  22. You Love to Fail [The Magnetic Fields cover]
Disc 2:
  1. Some Small History
  2. San Andreas Crouch
  3. Not the Same
  4. And I Was Boy From School [Hot Chip cover]
  5. Spying on the Spys
  6. Weighted Raft
  7. Dragging a Crow
  8. Gray Robins
  9. I Wanna Know Girls (acoustic demo)
  10. Feel Better
  11. Useless Switch
  12. Had (full band) *
  13. Secret Session
  14. Tugboat [Galaxie 500 cover]
  15. Codes, Runes, Dunes
  16. Candy Cigarettes
  17. Firefly [American Music Club cover]
  18. La Pelicula
  19. Look, Honey, Peaches
  20. Replacement Parts *
  21. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue [Bob Dylan cover]
* previously unreleased

Pre-order the album here.