Thursday, July 31, 2014

David Bazan announces album with Passenger String Quartet, fall tour

Singer-songwriter David Bazan will release an album with the avant-garde Passenger String Quartet on September 9 simply titled David Bazan + Passenger String Quartet Volume 1 that will include songs from Bazan's solo career as well as songs from Pedro the Lion and Headphones. They'll head out on a big fall tour in support of the album that includes a Triangle show.

They'll play the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw on Sunday, October 26. David Dondero will open. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketfly for $20.

Check Bazan and the quartet performing the Pedro the Lion song "Bands With Managers" at a show in July 2012 below.

Mark Eitzel & Stephin Merritt play final Merge 25 show

Stephin Merritt at XX Merge in 2009
Photo by Kevin Norris
Even though Neutral Milk Hotel wrapped the big four-day Merge 25 festival on Saturday night, there was still one more anniversary show on the schedule which brought two phenomenal singer-songwriters to Baldwin Auditorium, Stephin Merritt and Mark Eitzel.

Eitzel was up first and got off to a rocky start when he reached the stage, started setting up his tuner and cables and he realized he had left his guitar downstairs. While his pedal steel player ran down to get it, he was awkward but charming as he talked to the crowd.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

[UPDATE] Guided By Voices announces fall dates, coming to Carrboro

Indie rock icon Guided By Voices released their 22nd album earlier this year titled Cool Planet and they're hitting the road this fall on a short tour in support of it.

The band will return to the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro Saturday, November 15. Bobby Bare Jr. will open. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketfly for $26.50.

[UPDATE: The band have suddenly broken up again after six years of touring with the reunited, classic lineup. All future dates are canceled including teh Cat's Cradle show. Ticket refunds are available at the point of purchase.]

The Rock*A*Teens & The Love Language returning to Carrboro next week

Photo by Kevin Norris
After blowing the roof off of the Cradle last week on the second night of the Merge 25 festival, Georgia band The Rock*A*Teens will return to Carrboro for proper headlining show with local favorites The Love Language.

The two bands will play the Cat's Cradle Back Room on Wednesday, August 6. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketfly for $10.

Check out a video of The Rock*A*Teens performing "Never Really Ever Had It" at the 40 Watt Club in Athens earlier this month below and photos and a write up of their set at Merge 25 HERE. Check out a write-up and photos of The Love Language's set HERE.

New Politics announce fall tour, coming to Carrboro

Danish pop rocker New Politics are heading back out on the road this fall on a big North American tour in support of their breakthrough sophomore album A Bad Girl in Harlem.

The second stop of the tour will at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro on Wednesday, October 15. Bad Suns and Some Kind of Wonderful will open. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketfly for $17.

Check out the music video for the song "Tonight You're Perfect" from A Bad Girl in Harlem below.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Merge 25 Day 4: Caribou, Neutral Milk Hotel

All photos by Kevin Norris
The sounds emanating from the Cat's Cradle parking lot shifted dramatically on Saturday evening as the Merge 25 festival's penultimate act took the stage.

As the four members of Caribou dressed in all white and grouped around the center of the stage launched into "Leave House," the festival was transformed into a dance party.

Dan Snaith stood at the front of the cluster leading the band with samples, vocals and drumming. They hit their new single "Can't Do It Without You" from their new Merge album Our Love along the way.

Merge 25 Day 4: Bob Mould, Teenage Fanclub

All photos by Kevin Norris
Kicking off the second half of Saturday's big outdoor party was indie rock icon Bob Mould with Jason Narducy on bass (his second performance of Merge 25) and Jon Wurster on drums (his third performance of Merge 25.

The band hit the ground running with "The Descent," "Little Glass Pill" and the oh-so-catchy "I Don't Know You Anymore." The entire set was high energy, turned up to eleven and incredibly melodic. The band rolled through a few more songs from Mould's latest album Beauty & Ruin before jumping back to the Husker Du days for "Hardly Getting Over It."

Merge 25 Day 4: Ex Hex, Mikal Cronin

All photos by Kevin Norris
The second quarter of Merge 25’s outdoor show began with a needed breeze and some brief cloud cover rolling in. Ex Hex took the stage with host Margaret Cho to take a photo with the crowd in the background before performing songs off of their anticipated debut record, Rips, coming out this fall on Merge.

Mary Timony, Betsy Wright, and Laura Harris are already in excellent form. Wright and Timony play off each well on stage and are clearly having a ton of fun in this new group.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Merge 25 Day 4: Vertical Scratchers and The Love Language

All photos by Kevin Norris
With a giant stage positioned on the west end of the Cat’s Cradle parking lot and enough volume to be heard anywhere in Carrboro, the outdoor portion of Merge’s 25th anniversary festival, hosted by comedian Margaret Cho, definitely had the feel of a big time music fest.

Vertical Scratchers were the first band to take the stage around 1 p.m. while the crowd continued to trickle in. With the temperature climbing into the 90s and decibels punishing in close proximity, most of the early crowd gathered in shaded areas toward the back of the parking lot.

Merge 25 Night 3: Wye Oak, Destroyer

All photos by Kevin Norris
The penultimate act of night three of Merge 25 was Wye Oak, the formidable duo that just five years ago at XX Merge were relative newcomers to the Merge family and who had just released their sophomore album The Knot. The band returned to celebrate their second Merge anniversary showing off their incredible growth as songwriters and musicians.

Jenn Wasner skipped onto the stage giddily and then they launched into "Before" from their latest album and hit the crowd with one fantastic song after another. While the new music sounds incredible live, there is still the undeniable ferociousness of the song "Holy Holy" that landed in the middle of the set and followed by "Glory."

Merge 25 Night 3: David Kilgour and The Heavy Eights, The Mountain Goats

All photos by Kevin Norris
Friday night continued on with one of the heaviest bands currently on the Merge roster or, at least, that’s what they sounded like during their performance.

David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights brought a wall of sound and an aggression to their performance that was surprising and energetic. It continued the trend at Merge 25 of bands that may sound lighter on their records, but were really bringing it for the festival.

Merge 25 Night 3: Hospitality, Imperial Teen

All photos by Kevin Norris
Friday night at Merge 25 was a showcase of some of the reasons the label has been successful: variety, quality, and bands that don’t fit into a cookie cutter mold.

Hospitality kicked off the night at the Cat’s Cradle. The Brooklyn band often sounds delicate and coy on their records and was anything but on stage in Carrboro. Live, the songs had a lot of power to them, but didn’t lose any of the catchiness that has made the band a critical darling.

Merge 25 live on the Dinner Party Download

Friday’s Merge 25 activities kicked off with something unique: the world’s sweatiest live podcast taping.

Dinner Party Download hosts Rico Gagliano and Brendan Newnam arrived on-stage to an unexpectedly large crowd at the Nightlight in Chapel Hill. Originally, the plan was to have a seated audience, but upon seeing the long line of fans stretching down the alley, the chairs were removed and the taping took on the feeling of an indie rock show. The air was thick and the heat constantly built up, but the show’s humor was not stifled.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Merge 25 Night 2: Reigning Sound, Superchunk

All photos by Kevin Norris
The Reigning Sound were the penultimate band to hit the Cradle stage on night two of Merge 25 and even though they had a set plagued with technical issues, mostly revolving around Greg Cartwright's guitar, they still rock and rolled.

The band opened with "North Cackalacky Girl" from their new album Shattered. They also played "Never Coming Home" and "Falling Rain" the album. They also played an awesome version of "Stop and Think It Over" from Cartwright's old band Compulsive Gamblers. The band sounded great even if Cartwright did say at one point during the set, "Seriously, we're a pretty good band. Check us out next time."

Friday, July 25, 2014

Merge 25 Night 2: The Clientele, The Rock*A*Teens

All photos by Kevin Norris
As night two of Merge 25 pressed on the recently revived London band The Clientele took the stage as a trio to share their dreamy, reverb-soaked, melancholy pop with the packed Cat's Cradle crowd.

The band stuck to their first three albums for their Merge 25 set, kicking things off with "We Could Walk Together" and the always excellent "Since K Got Over Me." Though the band's music is quite mellow, some of the band's fans are pretty intense. One person in the crowd yelled out between songs, "Make more records." The band sounded as solid as ever as they rolled through their set with seeming ease as if their four-year hiatus had never been.

Merge 25 Night 2: Eleanor Friedberger, Telekinesis

All photos by Kevin Norris
The second night of the Merge 25 festival kicked off at the Cat's Cradle on Thursday with a solo set from singer-songwriter (and occasional Late Night with Seth Myers 8G Band member) Eleanor Friedberger with a stripped down solo set of songs from her two Merge solo albums, Last Summer and Personal Record.

Other than the occasional drum loop or sample, the set was just Friedberger's voice and guitar which made for an intimate performance. "Early Earthquake" and "Stare at the Sun" were standouts of the set. As a request taken before the set, she played the Fiery Furnaces song "Benton Harbor Blues."

As she reached the end of "My Mistakes" the members of Telekinesis appeared on stage to join her for a killer version of "Roosevelt Island." It was a shame they only joined her for the one song but it was great while it lasted.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Merge 25 Night 1: Lambchop, Mount Moriah, William Tyler

The big Merge 25th anniversary festival kicked off last night with a trio of mellower Merge acts in the recently renovated Baldwin Auditorium on Duke University's East Campus.

Soft-spoken guitarist William Tyler let his guitars do the talking as he kicked things off with a short yet stunning set featuring four of his guitar pieces including a new one dubbed "Going Clear." The big room complemented his beautiful playing adding fullness to the acoustic pieces and a wall of sound to the electric pieces, particularly the final song "Tears and Saints." He expressed his appreciation to Merge Records and noted that the Triangle has become a home away from home, particularly in recent years.

Farm Aid is coming to Raleigh in September

After John Mellencamp spilled the beans late last year that he and his Farm Aid cohorts (Willie Nelson, Neil Young and Dave Matthews) were looking at Durham to possibly host the annual benefit concert in 2014, it's been a long wait for confirmation that it was going to happen, but it's finally here.

The massive concert will come to Walnut Creek Amphitheater in Raleigh on Saturday, September 13. In addition to Mellencamp, Nelson, Young and Matthews, who will be joined by Tim Reynolds, other performers will include Jack White, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Jamey Johnson, Delta Rae, Carlene Carter, Pegi Young & The Survivors, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real and Insects vs Robots.

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 1, via Live Nation for $49 to $175. A pre-sale will begin at noon on Friday, July 25, via Farm Aid but it requires purchasing a $50 "presale pass."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Capital Cities announces fall tour, coming to Raleigh

Breakout pop group Capital Cities whose hit single "Safe and Sound" has been all over the place in the last year will set out on a headlining tour this fall after spending the summer touring with Katy Perry (they opened for her at the PNC Arena last month).

The group will play The Ritz Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh on Saturday, October 25. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 25, via Etix for $25.

[UPDATE: First the show was moved from The Ritz to the Lincoln Theatre and now it has been cancelled altogether. Ticket refunds will be available at the point of purchase.]

Hopscotch Music Festival announces 2014 schedule

The Hopscotch Music Festival rolled out the full 2014 lineup last month although they've just announced a new addition of Canadian electronic musician Tim Hecker. Now you can start planning your path to enlightenment as the full schedule has been announced.

Check out the festival schedule HERE or check out our easier to read, printable version HERE.

Three-day wristbands, one-day wristbands and City Plaza show tickets are still available HERE. VIP wristbands are sold out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Photos: Merge Records' Unbelievable Things art exhibit opens in Chapel Hill with Shark Quest

All photos by Kevin Norris
On Friday night an exhibit of artwork featured in Merge Records' releases over the label's 25 year history opened at the LIGHT Art+Design gallery in Chapel Hill. Local instrumental band Shark Quest was there to kick off the three week run.

Check out photos of Shark Quest's first set at the event on Friday as well as photos of small sampling of some the art on display below. Be sure to stop by the gallery to check out the exhibit before it ends. It will be on display through Saturday, August 9.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Todd Snider announces fall tour, coming to Carrboro

Americana/alt-folk singer-songwriter Todd Snider has been leading a new band titled Hard Working Americans and released a self-titled debut album earlier this year, but this fall Snider will head back out on the road again on his own.

Snider will play the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro on Friday, October 24. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketfly for $20.

Check out the music video for "Down to the Well" from the Hard Working Americans' self-titled album below.

Sylvan Esso adds second show at Haw River Ballroom

After selling out their big Halloween show at the Haw River Ballroom, local electronic rising stars Sylvan Esso have added a second show to meet ticket demand.

The band will now also play the Saxapahaw venue on Thursday, October 30. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketfly for $15.

Sylvan Esso performed the song "Coffee" from their self-titled debut with Questlove on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon a couple of weeks ago. Check out that performance below.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Earth announces new album 'Primitive and Deadly,' fall tour

Washington drone metal band Earth will release a new full-length album on September 2 titled Primitive and Deadly and they'll hit the road after the release on an extensive U.S. tour in support of it.

The band will play Kings Barcade in Raleigh on Saturday, September 20. King Dude will open. Tickets are on sale now via Etix for $13.

Check out the loud and psychedelic track "From the Zodiacal Light" from Primitive and Deadly below.

New music from The Rosebuds - "Blue Eyes"

The release of The Rosebuds' new album Sand + Silence is a little more than two weeks away (it's out August 5) and the band has just released another fantastic new song from it.

The new song is the album's fourth track "Blue Eyes" that you may have heard at Duke Gardens if you were lucky enough to catch the band's show there a few weeks ago (see photos and a write up HERE). Check out "Blue Eyes" below.

The big Triangle Sand + Silence release will happen at the Cat's Cradle on Saturday, August 2. Tickets are available via Ticketfly for $15.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

James Vincent McMorrow announces fall tour

Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow released his sophomore album Post Tropical earlier this year and he'll return to the states this fall for a short tour.

McMorrow will play the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro on Thursday, November 6. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketfly for $20.

Check out the music video for the song "Gold" from the album Post Tropical below.

Video: Hiss Golden Messenger performs "Lucia" in England

As we've mentioned a few times recently, Hiss Golden Messenger's Merge Records' debut, Lateness of Dancers, is due out on September 9. On his current European tour he took the time to film a performance of a new song.

The filmmaking trio Before the Winter Fires used an old Beaulieu R16 film camera to shoot a performance of "Lucia" in Cornwall, England. Check it out below.

Hiss Golden Messenger will play a free Merge 25 day party at the Orange County Social Club on Thursday, July 24, from 4 to 6 p.m. with Amor de Días.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mary Chapin Carpenter coming to Durham with Tift Merritt

Singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter released her first orchestral album, earlier this year titled Songs from the Movie. She'll be on tour through the fall and will play the Durham in November with one of the Triangle's favorite expats.

Carpenter and will be backed by a pianist and guitarist/bouzouki player when she plays the Carolina Theatre in Durham on Tuesday, November 11, with Tift Merritt. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 18, via the venue box office and Ticketmaster for $37 to $88.50.

Check out the song "Only a Dream" from Songs from the Movie below.

Blonde Redhead announces new album 'Barragán,' fall tour

New York indie rock mainstays Blonde Redhead are gearing up for the release of their ninth studio album on September 2 titled Barragán and they'll hit the road to support it this fall.

The band will return to the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro on Friday, November 21. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 18, via Ticketfly for $17.

Check out the songs "Dripping" and "No More Honey" from the album Barragán below.

Album Review: Reigning Sound - Shattered

Reigning Sound’s first full-length record in five years continues Greg Cartwright’s recent upward trajectory. While Cartwright’s and The Oblivions return with Desperation last year was solid, Shattered is a breath of fresh air that stands out from the crowd.

These 11 songs shift effortlessly between garage, soul, R&B, country, and pop. Cartwright’s songwriting is incredibly melodic and endlessly singable. There’s a song on Shattered for just about everyone. If something doesn’t catch your ear, you might want to call the audiologist and get checked out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Glenn Tilbrook announces fall tour, coming to Carrboro

Glenn Tilbrook of the British pop rock band Squeeze is heading out on an acoustic solo tour this fall and he'll make a stop in the Triangle.

Tilbrook will play the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro on Wednesday, October 1. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketfly for $25.

Check out a video of Tilbrook performing the Squeeze classic "Up the Junction" at a show earlier this year below.

All-star lineup to bring Big Star's 'Third' back to the Cradle

Photo by Kevin Norris
Back in 2010 Chris Stamey set out on an ambitious mission to bring Big Star's experimental and incredibly influential album Third to life at the Cat's Cradle with an all-star band and an orchestra. Those lucky enough to witness the shows at the Cradle or the few that happened elsewhere were treated to a truly special evening of music (see a review and photos of the debut night at the Cat's Cradle HERE).

Those who missed out will have another chance next month with an added bonus. This time, Stamey and friends will also perform Big Star's first album, #1 Record, in its entirety. The event is part of the Southern Folklife Festival, which celebrates 25 years of the Southern Folklife Collection at UNC.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ex Hex releasing debut album this fall, share "Don't Wanna Lose"

Breakout power trio Ex Hex, led by Mary Timony of Helium and Wild Flag, released their debut 7" earlier this year and now they're gearing up for the release of their debut full-length.

Merge Records will release Rips on October 7. The album was recorded with Mitch Easter in North Carolina and with Jonah Takagi in the basement of Mary's home. Check out the song "Don't Wanna Lose" from the album below.

Ex Hex will play there Merge 25 Festival in Carrboro on Saturday, July 26, with Neutral Milk Hotel, Caribou, Teenage Fanclub, Bob Mould, Mikal Cronin, The Love Language and Vertical Scratchers. Tickets are available via Ticketfly for $65.

Loamlands show off sharpened set at the Cat's Cradle back room

Photos by Justin Weber
After a nearly two-month tour opening for bands Mirah and The Mountain Goats, Loamlands had a homecoming at the Cat’s Cradle back room with friends Skylar Gudasz and The Dead Tongues.

Skylar Gudasz began the night with six song set that showed off her voice. The singer/songwriter started out on guitar and moved to piano, but the instruments were clearly secondary to her rich vocals. The sparse songs (presumably from her upcoming full length album, Oleander) showcased her talents as a singer, but the songs themselves wouldn’t be as interesting in the hands of another performer.

That changed when Josh Moore joined Gudasz on stage for a duet on “Car Song.” The harmonies and the incredibly slow tempo create a current that’s easy to get swept up in.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Warpaint announces fall tour, coming to Carrboro

California indie rockers Warpaint just released the self-titled sophomore album earlier this year and they're hitting the road the fall on a North American tour.

The band will play the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro on Saturday, October 18. Tickets will go on sale 10 a.m. today, July 11, via Ticketfly for $17.

Check out the double music video for the songs "Disco//Very" and "Keep It Healthy" from Warpaint below.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Google Play releases Merge Records mini-documentary, free downloads

With the Merge 25th anniversary celebration kicking into full gear with the festival coming up in a couple of weeks, the Music in the Gardens series going on in Durham, an art exhibit opening next week in Chapel Hill, reissues coming out each month and even more stuff, the label took the time to film a short documentary for Google Play that premiered earlier this week.

The 24-minute documentary features label co-founders Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance along with other Merge staffers and musicians Bob Moud, Wye Oak, Mary Timony, Jon Wurster, Julian Koster and many more folks, as well as some fantastically curmudgeonly soundbites courtesy Stephin Merritt. The whole thing is narrated by Daniel Handler, author of the Lemony Snicket books. Check out the full documentary below.

Video: Sylvan Esso perform "Coffee" on the Tonight Show with Questlove

Last night the Triangle's swiftly rising stars Sylvan Esso made their network television debut on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and took the country by storm with a performance of "Coffee" from their self-titled debut album with a little help from Questlove. Check out the performance below.

As we previously mentioned, Sylvan Esso will play the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw on Halloween but the show is now sold out. We'll keep you posted when the duo announces another Triangle show.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

The Features announce fall tour, coming to Carrboro

Tennessee rockers The Features are heading out on the road this fall on a headlining tour in support of their fourth album The Features, released last spring, and they'll return to the Triangle.

The band will play the Cat's Cradle Back Room on Tuesday, September 2. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketfly for $10.

Check out the groovy song "This Disorder" from The Features' self-titled album below.

We Were Promised Jetpacks prep new album 'Unraveling,' announces North American tour

Scottish rockers We Were Promised Jetpacks are preparing to release their third full-length album this fall titled Unraveling and they're coming back across the Atlantic for a North American tour this fall in support of it.

The band will play the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro on Tuesday, November 18. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 11, via Ticketfly for $15.

Check out the song "Safety in Numbers" from the new album below which premiered on yesterday.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Album Review: Willie Watson - Folk Singer Vol. 1

When first introducing a friend to traditional Appalachian folk and blues, there’s always the question of where to start. With Folk Singer Vol. 1, Willie Watson has provided an effective gateway.

Watson, a former member of Old Crow Medicine Show, makes his solo debut with a collection of 10 traditional songs that have been covered several times, but still are unlikely to be known by the common listener. He avoids loving and praying songs and sticks to working songs, living songs, and blues.

This subject matter still resonates in a modern context. Whatever decade it’s sung in, the lesson of “Mother Earth” — on which Watson reveals a surprisingly great blues voice — will still ring true:

Win tickets to see Neutral Milk Hotel, Caribou, Teenage Fanclub & more at Merge 25

Merge Records' 25th anniversary festivities may have begun months ago, but we are finally just two weeks from the main event: the Merge 25 Festival.

Thanks to the fine folks at Merge Records, we have a pair of tickets to give away to the outdoor party on Saturday, July 26. The concert will be hosted by Margaret Cho and feature Neutral Milk Hotel, Caribou, Teenage Fanclub, Bob Mould, Mikal Cronin, Ex Hex, The Love Language, and Vertical Scratchers

Enter through the Rafflecopter widget below by noon on Monday, July 14. We will select and notify one winner that afternoon. If you don't win, fear not. Tickets to Saturday's event are still available via Ticketfly for $65.

Monday, July 07, 2014

John Oates to play Holly Springs this fall

Hall and Oates were just in the Triangle in the spring to play the big Band Together benefit show at Walnut Creek Amphitheatre and now John Oates will return to the Triangle on his own this fall.

Oates will play the Holly Springs Cultural Center on Thursday, October 9. Ticket information is not available yet but we'll let you know when it is. Tickets will go on sale at 5 p.m. on Friday, August 22, via Etix for $40 ($35 for seniors and $25 for students).

John Oates released a new album earlier this yea titled Good Road to Follow. Check out the song "Stand Strong" from the album below.

Merge to reissue two Teenage Fanclub albums on vinyl

Continuing their series reissues celebrating the label's 25th anniversary, Merge Records has just announced vinyl reissues of two albums by Scottish pop rockers Teenage Fanclub.

Vinyl reissues of 2005's Man-Made and 2010's Shadows will be out on August 5 and each album will include two bonus tracks not found on the original releases. Check out the complete track lists for each album below as well as the songs "It's All In My Mind" and "Baby Lee."

Teenage Fanclub will play the Merge 25 Festival on Saturday, July 26 with Neutral Milk Hotel, Caribou, Bob Mould, Mikal Cronin, Ex Hex, The Love Language and Vertical Scratchers. Tickets are still available via Ticketfly for $65.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Hundred Waters and GEMS bring down the house at Local 506

The crowd at Local 506 was treated to a sonic and visual experience like no other Wednesday night. GEMS and Hundred waters, playing their final show on tour together, brought down the house.

Opener GEMS started the show off right with their distinctive brand of spacey, electric pop. A duo with a more reserved stage presence, the band played loud and wowed the crowd with their raw talent. Lead singer Lindsay Pitts moved flawlessly from high to low notes while partner Clifford John Usher complemented her beautifully on the guitar and keyboard.

Flesh Wounds to play Merge 25 afterparty in Durham

Photo by David Winton
After Lambchop, Mount Moriah and William Tyler kick off the Merge 25 Festival with a sold out show at Baldwin Auditorium in Durham on Wednesday, July 23, the party will continue with an afterparty at Motorco Music Hall.

The show will start at 11 p.m. and feature a set by local rockers Flesh Wounds as well as a DJ set from Greg Cartwright of the Reigning Sound. Folks with four-day festival passes will get into the event for free as space allows. The public can also get tickets at the door for $5.

Check out the song "Bitter Boy," released on a 7" by Merge Records earlier this year, below.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Ryan Adams announces self-titled album, shares "Gimme Something Good"

One of the Triangle's most famous expatriates, singer-songwriter Ryan Adams, has abandoned his prolific ways in recent years but he's back with his first new album in three years this fall.

Adams will release his self-produced album Ryan Adams on September 9 via his own label, Pax-Am. He has released the advance single "Gimme Something Good" which you can check out below along with the complete album track list.

Adams has announced a few tour dates this year but so far there's none anywhere near the Triangle. Let's hope he breaks his nine-year absence in the not-too-distant future and returns home to play for his former hometown.

tUnE-yArDs announce fall tour, coming to Carrboro

Experimental indie pop band tUnE-yArDs just released their third full-length album Nikki Nack in May and the band have just announced a North American fall tour that will bring them back to the Triangle.

They'll play the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro on Thursday, October 16. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 12, via Ticketfly for $18.

Check out a video of tUnE-yArDs performing the song "Water Fountain" from Nikki Nack at the Glastonbury Festival a few days ago below.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

NC State Fair announces 2014 lineup, Joan Jett, Vanilla Ice & more

The North Carolina State Fair is a little over three months away and the lineup for the Dorton Arena concerts has just been rolled out with a few interesting inclusions.

Along with the usual country and Christian acts, this year's lineup will begin and end with two anomalies. First, the concerts will kick off on Thursday, October 16, with rapper and reality TV star Vanilla Ice. Then the series will wrap on Sunday, October 26, with venerable rocker Joan Jett and The Blackhearts.

In between those two performances will be Tamela Mann, Clay Walker, Parmalee, Love and Theft, James Gregory, Brandy Clark, Newboys and Trace Adkins. One date has yet to be announced. Check out the schedule with ticket prices below. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 1, HERE.

Merge Records to showcase album art with Chapel Hill exhibit

Continuing a big year of 25th anniversary festivities, Merge Records has announced a new exhibit showcasing original artwork featured on the label's many releases from the past 25 years dubbed Unbelievable Things: 25 Years of Art on Merge Records.

The exhibit will run from July 18 to August 9 at LIGHT Art + Design at 601 W. Rosemary Street in Chapel Hill, NC. It will feature art from albums by Superchunk, Lambchop, Arcade Fire, Spoon and more than 40 other bands.

An opening reception will be held on Friday, July 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. and will feature a performance by Shark Quest. It is a free event that is open to the public.

Gardens & Villa announces fall tour, coming to Carrboro

Photo by Tom Griffiths
Up and coming California indie rockers Gardens and Villa released their sophomore album Dunes  earlier this year via Secretly Canadian and the band has extended their 2014 tour plans into the fall, including a stop in the Triangle.

The band will play the Cat's Cradle Back Room in Carrboro on Friday, October 3. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketfly for $10.

Check out the Gardens and Villa's new music video for "Domino" from Dunes below.