Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Annuals gear stolen over holidays, new EP in March

Some bad luck hit Annuals just days before they are scheduled to headline the First Night New Year's celebration in downtown Raleigh. is reporting that the band's practice space in downtown Raleigh was burglarized over the holidays between the dates of December 15 and 29.

Among the stolen items are a Gibson Les Paul guitar with a tiger's eye wood finish (I believe the photo on the right is of the guitar in question), a Taylor brownish-red electric guitar, a Korg Triton LE keyboard, a MicroKorg synthesizer, a vocal effects pedal, two Shure SM57 mics and a Shure SM58 mic. If you have any information pertaining to the robbery, contact the Raleigh Police Department at 919-996-3555 or CrimeStoppers at 919-834-HELP.

Kevin's top albums of 2009

Another year has come and is almost gone. With that sentiment, here are my top albums, EPs and concerts of the year. This was easily the most difficult end-of-year list I've made because there are still many albums from 2009 that I need to pick up.

XX Merge as a whole was obviously the overall concert experience of the year, but it's really hard to compete with a massive concert in a park by a Beatle playing so many classic songs that I've held on high for so many years. So Paul gets the top spot.

Check out my full list below and feel free to criticize or compliment as you see fit.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Justin's top albums of 2009

Whenever compiling a list of my favorite records, I start with the records I can remember off the top of my head. My thinking behind this is that if an album hasn’t lodged itself into the easily accessible parts of my mind, it must not have made a big impact on me and therefore can’t be a favorite record of mine. In a good year, I can remember 10 or more records without help. In a bad year, I’m going to need some help just to get to 10.

This was an odd year. I listened to much more old music than new music as I was trying to brush up on my music history. For this reason, it was difficult to remember 10 records that came out in 2009, but when I sat down and pushed my memory to the max, I found that it was a pretty good year with some music I really enjoyed.

Loudon Wainwright III annoucnes distant dates, playing Durham

The venerable singer songwriter Loudon Wainwright III, who spawned other excellent songwriters Rufus and Martha Wainwright, will be touring sporadically in 2010 which will eventually bring him to Durham on Friday, September 24. The show will be at Duke's Reynolds Theater. Ticket information is not available yet, but we'll keep you posted.

Wainwright's latest album is High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project released in August. It is a double album paying tribute to the late singer and banjo player Charlie Poole. Check out a video documenting the song "High Wide and Handsome" from the album below along with Wainwright's tour schedule.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Triangle Music's 2009 readers' poll results

Thanks to all of the readers who participated in this year's poll. It was a heated race with a lot of great bands' albums vying for positions. Four of the top ten are Triangle-based bands this year including the number one spot which was grabbed by Megafaun's sophomore release Gather, Form & Fly. Check out the top ten and a couple of close calls below.

Also, this year we included a section to vote for your favorite shows of the year which was fun to dig through. The big U2 and Muse show at Carter Finley Stadium easily snagged the number one spot. Check out the top five below.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Megafaun give away holiday tune - "I Saw Three Ships"

Hometapes Records has released some free holiday tunes from their artists which includes local favorites Megafaun. Go here to download the song "I Saw Three Ships" by the group, which is a simple, yet nice holiday tune. You can download songs by Pattern Is Movement, The Caribbean, Shannon Fields and others there too.

Tickets for Megafaun's two-night stand at The Pour House with The Rosebuds on January 8 and 9 are still available here for $10. Megafaun will also be playing a benefit for the Central Park School For Children's art program at the Trotter Building in Durham on January 29 with Tea & Tempest, Hammer No More the Fingers, Midtown Dickens and The Beast.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Julian Koster shares songs, stories in Chapel Hill

Julian Koster rolled into Chapel Hill on Monday night around 9:30 p.m. with two friends in tow as well as a plethora of instruments including a stack of singing saws, two banjos, a chord organ, a guitar, a tape machine, a pair of light up toy soldiers and a pair of light up sheep. It's safe to say that from the get go, the crowd of about 20 who gathered in the small living room knew they were in for a treat.

Koster regaled the mesmerized crowd with charmingly bizarre stories about his saws, railroad cake, his grandfather and a number of other subjects. I won't try to recap it because I can't do it justice. Check out the video below of the beginning of the set where Koster introduces the saw named "North" and plays "O Christmas Tree."

[UPDATE: Added video of "Freeing Song For Reindeer" with the railroad cake story below.]

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Portastatic releases digital EP of Merge covers

Portastatic (aka Mac McCaughan) has released a brand new digital EP today as part of the Score! anniversary hoopla featuring seven covers of Merge bands titled Make It Sound In Tune. The EP is available as 320 kpbs mp3s and FLACS via the Merge store. Check out the complete track list below.

Mac played a few of these covers at the book release events for the Our Noise book including "Where's Your Patience, Dear?" and "Anything You Want." Check out our coverage of the Durham and Raleigh book events here and here.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Video: Superchunk cover Telekinesis' "Tokyo" in Tokyo

Mac McCaughan posted on his blog a couple of weeks ago that Superchunk had covered the Telekinesis song "Tokyo" while in Tokyo on their recent tour of Japan. As it tends to happen to the benefit of the masses, a video of the performance has made it's way to YouTube. Well, it's actually only part of the performance, which clocks in at a little over two minutes. The performance is certainly not flawless, but it is a killer version of the song. Enjoy.

Steve Winwood announces winter dates, headed to Durham

DPAC has become the venue that just keeps booking big names from the past. The newest booking is Steve Winwood, who just announced a short tour in February. The Durham Performing Arts Center show will happen on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 and tickets will go on sale Monday, December 28 at 10 a.m. here for $39.50 to $69.50.

I believe Winwood was last in the Triangle in 2008 when he was opening for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. His latest release is a live album with Eric Clapton titled Live From Madison Square Garden.

Check out Winwood's upcoming US dates below.

Album Review: Have a Holly Raleigh KIDSmas

Have a Holly Raleigh KIDSmas is a unique and varied collection of holiday music. It's unlikely that anybody would enjoy everything on this album, but there is something for everyone. It's a nice break from traditional Christmas music and that's about all one could ask for from these tunes.

The album is bookended by strong tracks, but sags in the middle. “Santa Claus is Strong” by Mommie has a wonderful rising steel guitar line. The brief “P-E-A-C-E” by Anthony Neff has love-them-or-hate-them kid backup singers, but this time of the year I'm leaning towards loving them. The Atomic Rhythm All-Stars turn in one the best tracks with “Our Friend the Gingerbread Man,” a snappy and clever dixie shuffle.

Photos: Starmount at Rock and Shop Market

This weekend, independent clothing designers, artists, jewelry makers and other such folks gathered at the All Saint Chapel in Raleigh for the Rock and Shop Market. It was a cool event which featured a set by Schooner early in the day, but I got their later and caught part of a nice set by Starmount. Check out some photos of the band below, who released their debut album Tyranny of the Sphere in October.

[all photos by Kevin Norris]

Friday, December 18, 2009

Yeasayer announces 2010 dates, plays Carrboro

Yeasayer are gearing up for a busy 2010. They are releasing their sophomore album Our Blood on February 9, 2010 via Secretly Canadian Records. They band will play a few shows around the release date but hit the road for a full-on, national tour in April.

The band will stop in Carrboro at the Cat's Cradle, where else, on Sunday, April 4. Tickets will go on sale "soon" for $14 via and local outlets.

Check out the full tour schedule and download the song "Ambling Alp" from the new album below.

Don't Forget: Vote in the 2009 Triangle Music Readers' Poll

Christmas is only seven days away, but even sooner is the deadline to vote in the 2009 Triangle Music Readers' Poll.

Click here to vote for your five favorite albums released in 2009 and three favorite concerts of the year. Ballots will be accepted through midnight on Dec. 24 and we will post the results, along with our own favorites on Dec. 28.

[link] Triangle Music Readers' Poll

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Harry Connick Jr. coming back to the Triangle

Harry Connick Jr. is set to return to Durham with his orchestra in 2010. He'll play the Durham Performing Arts Center for the second time on Tuesday, February 16. He may be the first musician so far to return for an second performance at the venue. Tickets for the show go on sale on Monday, December 21 at 10 a.m. here. Tickets range from $48 to $95.

Connick's latest album Your Songs was released earlier this year. Check out his tour schedule and stream his version of The Beatles' "And I Love Her" recorded with Carla Bruni below.

I Was Totally Destroying It give away holiday tune

The guys and gal of I Was Totally Destroying are offering up a free holiday tune with an interesting history. The song is titled "Coventry Carol." Here's drummer James Hepler's description of the song.
The more or less traditional song called Coventry Carol has a very interesting history. If not for some luck and maybe a little divine intervention, this song may not have survived to this day. The short version is that back when the Vatican had outlawed English versions of the Bible, people would use "mystery plays" to tell Bible stories. This song was part of a play called "The Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors" and is about how King Herod, after hearing about the birth of a new King of the Jews, sent out a decree that all male children in Bethlehem under the age of two be killed, also known as The Massacre of the Innocents. The song itself is a lament, sung by a mother about her doomed child.
Download the song in the ReverbNation widget below. Click the song titled then click download at the top of the widget. Check out IWTDI's upcoming tour dates below too.

Portastaic, Jeff Magnum, others featured on 'Stroke: Songs For Chris Knox'

In June of 2009, New Zealand songwriter Chris Knox suffered a stroke at his home. Fellow musicians have rallied around Chris and Merge Records have/is releasing a two-disc album featuring some big indie artists covering his songs. Some artists include Portastatic, The Mountain Goats, Yo La Tengo, A.C. Newman, Lambchop and others. The record also features the elusive Jeff Magnum (of Neutral Milk Hotel) covering "Sign the Dotted Line."

The album is titled Stroke: Songs For Chris Knox and is available digitally now and as a 2-disc set on February 23, 2010. Check out the complete track list below and download the album from iTunes here. Proceeds from the album will go to help Knox during his recovery.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Will Hoge reschedules Cradle show, opens for NeedToBreathe

Will Hoge canceled his scheduled show at the Cat's Cradle back in October, but he is now scheduled to return on a new tour in 2010. There's a catch though. He won't be headlining the show, but will open for the band NeedToBreathe.

The new Cradle show is scheduled for Thursday, April 22 and tickets will go on sale on Friday, January 8 for $15 via, unless you happen to be a member of the NeedToBreathe fanclub. If that's the case, you can buy your tickets starting Friday, December 18.

Check out the complete tour schedule below. Be sure to check out our review of Hoge's latest album The Wreckage here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Video: The Love Language debut "Heart To Tell Her"

We were not able to make it out to the Drug Horse Cartel show last Friday at Local 506, but thanks to YouTube and The Independent, we are able to enjoy The Love Language debuting a brand new song. The title of the song is "Heart To Tell Her" and it is super groovy. I certainly hope the song makes it's way on the band's Merge Records debut due out in 2010. Enjoy the video below.

Don't forget, The Love Language, Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies and Dirty Little Heaters will be rocking in the new year at Local 506 on December 31. Tickets are still available via for just $8.

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists announce 2010 tour

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists are gearing up to release a new album on March 9 titled The Brutalist Bricks and as is the custom, will immediately hit the road to support it. The tour will bring the band to the Cat's Cradle on Monday, April 5. The Cradle's site says tickets for the show will be $13 and go on sale Friday, December 18 via and local outlets, but as of this posting, they're available on now for $15 (this might change though if the mistake is caught).

Download the song "Even Heroes Have To Die" from the new album below and check out all of the upcoming tour dates.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Clientele announce 2010 dates, play Carrboro

UK band The Clientele, the only British band to perform at XX Merge, will return to the Triangle in 2010 in support of their latest album Bonfires On the Heath. The dates for the tour are just starting to make their way into the world, but we know it will include a show at the Cat's Cradle on Wednesday, February 24. Vetiver will open the show and tickets go on sale Friday, December 18 for $13 via

Check out the dates I've pieced together so far below which will be updated as new dates are uncovered. Check out the full tour schedule below. Also download "I Wonder Who We Are" from Bonfires On the Heath below.

Video: Lou Barlow rocks for KCRW, KEXP

Low Barlow has made a lot of major stops lately supporting his excellent new album Goodnight Unknown. He made stops at KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic as well as KEXP's studio recently while with his touring band The Missingmen.

The KCRW set features "Don't Apologize," "Home," "Sharing," "Too Much Freedom," "Take Advantage," "Praise," "Gravitate," "One Machine, One Long Flight," "On the Face" and "The One I Call." The KEXP videos feature "Don't Apologize," "Too Much Freedom," "Praise" and "Gravitate." Enjoy all of this Lou Barlow goodness below.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Album Review: Jon Shain - Times Right Now

Jon Shain's latest solo album, Times Right Now, is his usual stew of country, blues, ragtime, and bluegrass. Shain continues to put out high quality tunes that are executed exceptionally and full of southern flair.

There's no denying the technical skills of Jon Shain and his bandmates. They do a great job of expressing the subtle differences among the various styles. Their blues has a grit to it and their ragtimes display humor.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cast your ballot in the Triangle Music Readers' Poll

It's that time of year again when bloggers across the land are compiling their Best of 2009 lists and things are no different here, but once again we'd like to hear from our awesome, discerning readers (that's you!).

Click here to vote for you favorite 5 albums of 2009 and your favorite 3 concerts. If your favorite concert was a festival, please limit yourself to one night (or, if it was super amazing, you can vote for 3 different nights of the same event).

We'll crunch the numbers and post your favorites, along with our own selections, on Monday, December 28.

Please cast your vote by midnight on Dec. 24. Oh, and please only vote once.

[link] Triangle Music Readers' Poll

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Laura Veirs announces 2010 dates, plays Chapel Hill

Portland based songstress Laura Veirs is gearing up to release a brand new album titled July Flame which will oddly enough be released on January 12, 2010. She will hit the road on a US tour in February in support of the album which will bring her to Chapel Hill's Local 506 on Friday, February 19. Ticket details are not available yet, but we'll keep you posted. Old Believers and Cataldo will open the show.

Download the song "Wide-Eyed, Legless" from the new album and check out the tour dates below.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Physics of Meaning embark on short tour this Friday

The local lads of Physics of Meaning are heading out on a brief US tour that kicks off this Friday, December 11 at the Nightlight in Chapel Hill. The for the show is just $5.

The week long trek will take the band down to Texas where they'll wrap things up in Austin, TX on December 18. Check out all of the dates below.

Physics of Meaning mastermind Daniel Hart has had a busy year touring with St. Vincent in support of her latest fantastic new album Actor. Check out Hart performing the song "Marrow" with St. Vincent on the Late Show with David Letterman in June below. Also check out an mp3 of "Why Can't We Fall in Love Forever? (Anything is Possible)" from Physics latest release, 2008's Snake Charmer and Destiny at the Stroke of Midnight if you haven't already own it.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

She & Him 'Volume Two' set for March release

2010 just keeps getting bigger and bigger for Merge Records releases. Spoon will be out in January, Shout Out Louds in February and now the new album from She & Him is slated for a March 23 release. The album is appropriately titled Volume Two and will feature 11 Zooey Deschanel originals as well as two covers, "Gonna Get Along With You" by Skeeter Davis and "Ridin' In My Car" by NRBQ.

The first single from the album will be the song "In the Sun." We'll let you know when that will be available once we know. Check out the complete track list of Volume Two below and photos and a review of She & Him's set at XX Merge in July here.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Roger Daltrey joining Eric Clapton on 2010 tour

That's right folks. The Who frontman Roger Daltrey who just played the Durham Performing Arts Center in October, is hitting the road with Eric Clapton in February and March next year. We just told you on Friday that Clapton will play the RBC Center in Raleigh on Monday, March 8 and Daltrey will be with him. Tickets for the show go on sale this Friday, December 11 at 10 a.m. here.

If you haven't heard, The Who is also set to perform at Super Bowl half-time show in on February 7, 2010 in Florida. That should be pretty cool.

Check out the complete tour schedule that was just announced below along with a few choice videos of Daltrey's performance at DPAC.

The Big Pink announces 2010 dates with A Place To Bury Strangers

UK duo The Big Pink are riding a wave of critical acclaim since the release of their debut album, A Brief History of Love, in September. With that, the band are hitting the road on a North American tour with A Place To Bury Strangers in March. The tour will bring them to the Cat's Cradle on Friday, April 2. Tickets go on sale Friday, December 11 for $13 via

Check out the tour dates below along with a pair of mp3s from The Big Pink's debut album as well as a link to download a tune from A Place To Bury Strangers latest album Exploding Head.

Album Review: Roman Candle - Oh Tall Tree in the Ear

Oh Tall Tree in the Ear is like a game of checkers: friendly, uncomplicated, and an enjoyable way to spend 40 minutes. The third full length from Chapel Hill's Roman Candle takes is a large step in perfecting the band's balance between Americana and pop.

It's difficult to pinpoint the individual aspects that make this album so enjoyable, but the sum of the parts is warm and inviting. The songs create a sense of motion that drives my mind toward thoughts of home. This effect was magnified as I made my way home in the dark across long stretches of highway 64.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Eric Clapton coming to Raleigh on 2010 tour

Slowhand himself, Eric Clapton, is hitting the road in early 2010 and will be making a stop in the Triangle. He'll play the RBC Center in Raleigh on Monday, March 8. Tickets for the show will set you back $45, $65 or $85 each. They will go on sale Friday, December 11 at 10 a.m. here.

Clapton has a few dates scheduled in February with Jeff Beck, but there's no mention of him appearing at the Raleigh show. Dates are still being announced, but check out what's surfaced so far below.

His latest album is a double-live album with Steve Winwood titled Live From Madison Square Garden released in May.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Video: Bowerbirds perform in a Brooklyn surf shop

Here's another video of Bowerbirds performing in an interesting place. This time, the trio performed the song "Matchstick Maker" in the Mollusk Surf Shop in Brooklyn, NY for The Village Voice. Check out the performance below as well as an interview with Phil Moore.

Bowerbirds are in New York to play a show at Bowery Ballroom with Elvis Perkins on December 4. They will make their way back to North Carolina for a show at Gerrard Hall on UNC's campus on Sunday, December 7.

Those Darlins announce winter dates, play Chapel Hill

The lovely ladies of Those Darlins have announced a new round of tour dates in early 2010 in support of their self-titled debut album released July. The tour includes a stop at Chapel Hill's Local 506 on Friday, January 29. Tickets for the show are on sale now via for $7.

Download the oh so groovy tune "Red Light Love" from the album below and check out the complete tour schedule too.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

David Gray announces 2010 tour, coming to Durham

British troubadour David Gray, best known for his breakout hit "Babylon" released in the US in 2000, is hitting the road in the spring to support his latest album Draw the Line released in September. The tour will bring him to the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) on Friday, April 9. Tickets for the show will go on sale on Friday, December 11 at 10 a.m. for $35 to $60 here.

Check out the music video for the lovely little song "Fugitive" from Draw the Line after the break along with Gray's complete North American tour schedule.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Broad Street Cafe seeks petition signatures to keep music playing

Durham's Broad Street Cafe could use your help. In order to continue offering live music past 10 p.m., the venue needs to obtain a permit from the City of Durham.

In order to make their permit hearing next week go a little smoother, they are seeking petition signatures from their patrons.

New music, video from Shout Out Louds - "Walls"

Shout Out Louds new album Work is still more than two months away from it's release date on February 23, the first track and music video have just been released. Download the the song "Walls" from the album below and check out the music video for the song too. The video features studio footage of the band recording the song.

Check out our previous post on Work here. The band currently only have one US show scheduled, but hopefully they'll return to the Triangle in 2010. Check out our review of their Cat's Cradle show in October 2007 here.

New music video from Bombadil - "So Many Ways To Die"

Bombadil may not be able to tour is support of their latest album Tarpits and Canyonlands, but that isn't stopping them from spreading the word. They have just released their first music video from the album that features the song "So Many Ways To Die." The video is just a series of black and white clips that are all pulled from public domain footage showing ways one could die. The end result is a quirky art piece set to a fantastic little tune. Watch the video after the break.

The XX announces 2010 dates, plays Carrboro

British band The XX were just in Chapel Hill on November 16 playing a sold out show at Local 506, and they've already planned their return. This time they'll take over the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro on Thursday, March 25. Tickets for the show are already on sale for $14 via

The date is part of a North American tour that includes some shows with Hot Chip on the west coast. Check out the dates I've come across so far after the break.

Dave Rawlings Machine plays 23 song set at the Cradle

The Dave Rawlings Machine rolled into the Cat's Cradle last night, giving the packed crowd over two hours of music before calling it a night.

Rawlings, donning a Stetson hat he says belonged to Bill Monroe with a denim shirt and jeans, was joined by his long time musical partner Gillian Welch as well as Ketch Secor, Willie Watson and Morgan Jahnig from Old Crow Medicine Show. The group played the Dave Rawlings Machine's entire debut album A Friend of a Friend which was given a shot in the arm live.