Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Two 'The Ballad of Shovels & Rope' screenings scheduled for Raleigh

South Carolina duo Shovels and Rope are the subjects of a new documentary titled The Ballad of Shovels and Rope that documents the making of the album O' Be Joyful and their rise to popularity that followed the release.

Two screenings of the film have been set for Raleigh in the coming months. The first will be at the Colony Theater on Sunday, October 19, at 7 p.m. Tickets are only available at the box office.

The second screening will be at Regal North Hills Stadium 14 on Thursday, November 6, at 7 p.m. Advance tickets will be available soon HERE for $12.

Monday, September 29, 2014

T0W3RS announces two hometown release shows for 'TL;DR'

Photo by Reed Benjamin
After a triumphant set during the Hopscotch Music Festival a few weeks back (check out a review and a few photos HERE) T0W3RS, aka Derek Torres, is gearing up for the release of his new album TL;DR on November 11 and he has announced two big full band hometown release shows for the album.

The first show will be at the Cat's Cradle Back Room on Friday, November 21. Dad & Dad and Josh Moore will open. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketfly for $7.

The next night, Saturday, November 22, the band will play Kings in Raleigh. Ghostt Bllonde and Daddy Issues will open. Tickets will be $7 at the door.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Charlie Parr, Ryan Gustafson & Phil Cook to play special 'fingerpickers' show

Minnesota bluesman Charlie Parr will join local singer-songwriters and guitarists Ryan Gustafson and Phil Cook for a special fingerpickers show in a few weeks in the Triangle. The three musicians will play "round robin" style, meaning that they will be on stage at the same time and take turns playing songs.

The show will happen at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw on Friday, October 10. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketfly for $8.

Check out a clip of Parr and Cook performing the song "Just Like Today" together in Cleveland in 2010 below.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Shelby Lynne announces winter dates, coming to Durham

Singer-songwriter Shelby Lynne has just added some new winter tour dates to her tour schedule that will bring the seasoned performer to the Triangle early next year.

Lynne will play the Carolina Theatre in Durham on Friday, February 13. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 26, via the venue box office and Ticketmaster for $26 to $36.

[UPDATE: The show at Carolina Theatre has been postponed to due to a scheduling conflict. A new date has not been set yet but tickets purchased for the original date will be honored when a new date is announced. Those wanting refunds can get them from the original point of purchase of their tickets or by calling (919) 560-3030.]

Kacey Musgraves, Montgomery Gentry, more playing Country for Kids concert

The annual Country for Kids concert benefiting is returning to the Durham Performing Arts Center on Saturday, November 15, and the event includes some big names in country music.

Topping the bill this year are country veterans Montgomery Gentry, but the act that grabbed our attention is second on the bill, rising star Kacey Musgraves. The Cadillac Three and North Carolina native Jason Michael Carroll will round out the bill.

Tickets will go on sale at noon on Friday, September 26, via the venue box office and Ticketmaster for $25 to $75. The Friends of DPAC pre-sale begins at 10 a.m. today, September 25. Proceeds from the even will benefit the North Carolina Children's Hospital.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ace Frehley announces fall tour, coming to Durham

Former Kiss guitarist and singer-songwriter Ace Frehley was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year with his old Kiss bandmates and he also released a new solo album titled Space Invader. He now plans to head out on a short fall tour in support of the album that will stop in the Triangle.

Frehley will play the Carolina Theatre in Durham on Monday, November 17. Ticket information is not available yet but VIP packages are available via Frehley's website that will set you back $325.

[UPDATE: Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, October 3, via the venue box office and Ticketmaster for $41 to $72.50. The venue pre-sale starts at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, October 1.]

Centro-matic announces farewell tour, indefinite hiatus

After eleven albums and almost two decades of making music together, Texas rockers Centro-matic are set to call it day for the "foreseeable future," according to a statement by frontman Will Johnson on the band's website. But before they hang it up they're going to head out on one last tour this December.

The band will play Kings in Raleigh on Saturday, December 6. Elephant Micah will open. Tickets are on sale now via Etix for $12.

Centro-matic's latest album Take Pride in Your Long Odds was released earlier this year. Check out the music video for "Salty Disciple" from the album below.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Album Review: alt-J - This is All Yours

British psychedelic rock outfit alt-J has returned with their much-anticipated follow up to 2012’s massively popular An Awesome Wave. Sticking with a similar formula from the first release, This is All Yours continues to bring in comparisons to Radiohead. On their sophomore effort, alt-J uses layers of thick and distorted sounds to create a beautiful soundscape.

The major focus of the band on their two releases has been their ability to create enthralling musical pieces. That focus is evident on the first two tracks of the new album, as “Intro” and “Arrival in Nara” feature over eight minutes in musicianship with minimal vocals in the background Utilizing a multitude of instruments and editing and distorting them in unique ways, alt-J has been able to form a sound that makes them distinct from other current bands.

Melissa Etheridge announces fall tour, coming to Durham

Singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge will release her 13th studio album on September 30 titled This is M.E. and she will hit the road on a fall tour in support of it in November.

Etheridge will return to the Durham Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, November 11. Alexander Cardinale will open. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 27, via the venue box office for $41.50 to $101. A fan club pre-sale has already begun.

Check out the music video for the song "Take My Number" from the album This is M.E. below.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Justin Townes Earle & American Aquarium at the Carolina Theatre

On paper, the bill of Justin Towne Earle and American Aquarium at the Carolina Theatre in Durham is as strong as they come. One of the Triangle’s most beautiful venues hosting two of the more prolific country and Americana song writers. While the show had its moments, it was hard to overlook poor sound and a restless crowd.

American Aquarium are used to playing bars and managing a rowdy set of fans. Front man BJ Barham remarked that the Carolina was the nicest place they’ve ever played. They even put on button up shirts and jeans for the occasion.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Love Language & Friends to kick off Carrboro Music Festival

The annual Carrboro Music Festival will take over the town on Sunday, September 28, with more than 180 performers playing 25 venues. This year there will be bands playing the day before, starting with a show in Carrboro Town Commons from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

That night, Saturday, September 27, there will be a special free show at the Cat's Cradle Back Room featuring The Love Language and Friends. The show starts at 8 p.m.

The big event on Sunday will feature a ton of great acts including Big Fat Gap, Clockwork Kids, Jefferson Hart and the Ghosts of the Old North State, Tom Maxwell and The Minor Drag and The Stars Explode. Check out the complete, massive list HERE.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Delta Spirit brings down the house in Carrboro

While on tour for their fourth LP, Into the Wide (read our review HERE), California rockers Delta Spirit made a stop at Cat’s Cradle last night. And they absolutely brought down the house.

Although the band was touring for their new album, they kept a good balance of reaching back into their catalogue and playing songs from their three previous releases.

The sound at the show was second to none. No feedback, no static, no breaks. The band played loud and hard, shaking the floor of the venue and lead singer Matthew Vasquez screamed into the microphone with raw emotion.

Manchester Orchestra announces fall tour, coming to Durham

Georgia rockers Manchester Orchestra released their fourth studio album earlier this year titled Cope and the band is hitting the road on a fall tour that will bring them to a somewhat unconventional Triangle venue for a rock show.

Manchester Orchestra will play the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham on Friday, December 12. Chris Staples will open. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketfly for $26. Each ticket purchased comes with a digital download of the new album Cope.

Stream the album Cope in its entirety below.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thee Oh Sees announce fall tour, coming to Raleigh

San Francisco psychedelic rockers Thee Oh Sees released a new album earlier this year titled Drop and the band will be hitting the road again this fall in support of it.

The band will play Kings in Raleigh on Sunday, November 16. Jack Name will open. Tickets are on sale now via Etix for $14.

Check out the music video for the song "The Lens" from the album Drop below.

Generationals extend fall tour, coming to Chapel Hill

Indie rocker Generationals just released their fourth full-length album this week titled Alix and the band has just extended their fall tour plans into December when they'll make a stop in the Triangle.

The band will return to Local 506 in Chapel Hill on Tuesday, December 2. Lowell will open. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 19, via Ticketfly for $10.

Check out the song "Gold Silver Diamond" from Alix below.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Liam Finn joins Warpaint on fall tour, coming to Carrboro

Singer-songwriter Liam Finn released his third full-length solo album earlier this year via Yep Roc Records titled The Nihilist and he is coming back to the U.S. for a short tour this fall opening for Warpaint.

Finn will open Warpaint's show at the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro on Saturday, October 18. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketfly for $17.

Check out Finn and his band performing "Burn Up the Road" from The Nihilist on WNYC earlier this year below.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Album Review: Hiss Golden Messenger - Lateness of Dancers

Over the course of three records, MC Taylor’s Hiss Golden Messenger has questioned where we find God or — more broadly — Truth. Bad Debt looked for it in solitude, Poor Moon searched in ritual and his previous record, Haw, dug into the element of place, specifically North Carolina.

Lateness of Dancers, Taylor’s Merge Records debut, is still searching, but it’s more comfortable with not having complete answers. Taylor’s search for Truth hasn’t come up empty. “Yes, I’m learning now,” he sings on the title track and later in a song for his daughter Ione (“Chapter & Verse”), he admits that all he has are songs and experience and sings, “Ain’t that enough?” in such a way that the answer — yes — is implied.

John Densmore of The Doors signing books in Raleigh tonight

The Doors' drummer John Densmore is coming to town tonight to sign copies of his book The Doors Unhinged, which is about his legal battle with fellow Doors members Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger about the continued use of the band name for tours as well as other artistic integrity conflicts.

Densmore will appear at Schoolkids Records in Raleigh at 7 p.m. tonight, September 15. In addition to signing copies of The Doors Unhinged, he will also be signing one copy of a Doors' record for each person. The store has stocked up on copies of the book as well as Doors' albums.

Check out a video of Densmore playing The Doors' classic "Riders on the Storm" with some faculty from Bergen Community College in New Jersey earlier this year below.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Steve Poltz announces fall tour, coming to Chapel Hill

Singer-songwriter Steve Poltz, best known for co-writing some of Jewel's early songs including the hit "You Were Meant for Me," released a new album earlier this year titled The Accident and he is hitting the road this fall on a big North American tour in support of it.

Poltz will play Local 506 in Chapel hill on Sunday, October 26. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketfly for $12.

Check out the music video for the cheeky song "I Want My Fucking House Back" from the new album The Accident below.

Jukebox the Ghost announces new album, fall tour

Photo by Eric Ryan Anderson
Indie pop band Jukebox the Ghost will release their fourth full-length album via Yep Roc Records on October 21 simply titled Jukebox the Ghost. The band will hit the road on a short headlining tour in the fall that will bring the band back to the Triangle.

Jukebox the Ghost will play the Pinhook in Durham on Wednesday, November 5. Coins and Mike and The Branches will open. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketfly for $12.

Check out the songs "Sound of a Broken Heart" and "The Great Unknown" from Jukebox the Ghost below.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

New music video from Sylvan Esso - "Dreamy Business"

Local rising stars Sylvan Esso are going strong since the release of their self-titled album earlier this year. Following a sold out release show at the Cat's Cradle in the spring, tickets for the duo's pair of shows at the Haw River Ballroom this fall are also sold out.

Now the band have released a new music video for the song "Dreamy Business" from the album, which you can check out below.

You can read a review of Sylvan Esso's self-titled album HERE and photos and a write-up of their set at the 2013 Hopscotch Music Festival HERE.

John Mellencamp announces massive 'Plain Spoken' 2015 tour

Singer-songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Mellencamp will release a new album on September 23 titled Plain Spoken. He and his superstar cohorts are also bringing Farm Aid to Raleigh this Saturday, September 13.

In support of his new album, Mellencamp will launch a massive tour next year that will bring him back to the Durham Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, March 31. Carlene Carter will open. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 19, via the venue box office and Ticketmaster for $45 to $125. Various pre-sales will be active anywhere from Tuesday, September 16 to Thursday, September 18. Each ticket purchased online or by phone will include a download of the new album.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lost in the Trees announce indefinite touring hiatus, farewell show

Lost in the Trees have been staples of the Triangle music scene for the last seven years but following one more big Triangle show in December the band is going on an indefinite hiatus. Songwriter and frontman Ari Picker posted on Facebook that he plans to continue writing and releasing music but wants to "move away from touring for the time being."

The band will play one final show at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxaphaw on Friday, December 12. They plan to play songs from all of their albums and will have special guests there to play with them. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 12, via Ticketfly for $15.

Check out photos and a write-up my first time seeing Lost in the Trees at Schoolkids Records in Raleigh in 2008 HERE. The band's latest album Past Life was released earlier this year.

Album Review: Delta Spirit - Into the Wide

On their fourth full-length LP, Into the Wide, California-natives Delta Spirit blend styles from their first three albums. By scaling back on the rock instrumentation from their previous, self-titled release, the band has created a new, root rock sound.

On their first two albums, Ode to Sunshine and History From Below, the band drew comparisons to Mumford and Sons and other folk-rock bands due to their more acoustic nature. After adding a new guitarist in Will McLaren, their third LP took on a harder rock sound, shying away from acoustics and adding heavier riffs and drum lines.

Sloan release new album 'Commonwealth,' announce fall tour

Photo by Lisa Mark
Canadian pop rockers Sloan just released their eleventh studio album yesterday via Yep Roc Records titled Commonwealth and they have just announced fall tour in support of it.

The band will play the Cat's Cradle Back Room in Carrboro on Saturday, November 15. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Thursday, September 11, via Ticketfly for $15.

Check out the song "13 (Under a Bad Sign)" and "Cleopatra" from the album Commonwealth below.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Hopscotch 2014 Night 3 Photos: Valient Thorr, Death, Mastodon, See Gulls, White Lung

All photos by Chris Powers
Photographer Chris Powers hits the streets of Raleigh on Saturday for the final night of the Hopscotch Music Festival and covered a lot of ground. Below you'll see photos of Valient Thorr, Death and Mastodon playing the City Plaza Stage, See Gulls at Deep South the Bar and White Lung at the Kennedy Theater.

Also check out Chris' other night three photos of Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Ava Luna and T0W3RS HERE and HERE.

Hopscotch 2014 Night 3: T0W3RS, Phosphorescent

All photos by Chris Powers
My Hopscotch ended as a music festival should: with the two performances that ended up being my favorite from the weekend.

At the Pour House, Derek Torres led a host of gymnasts and musicians for a show that will go down in Hopscotch lore. As T0W3RS, Torres is free to explore all angles of the musical spectrum. He started with a quiet solo introduction while the gymnasts danced behind him. Soon, several musicians joined him and they launched into an exhilarating, life-affirming set of pop.

Hopscotch 2014 Night 3: Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Ava Luna

All photos by Chris Powers
When examining the schedule, there didn’t seem to be a better venue/singer fit than Alexandra Sauser-Monnig and Fletcher Opera Theater. Sauser-Monnig’s delicate voice and the quiet of Fletcher’s seated space were made for each other. 

Sauser-Monnig is an incredible talent. Her singing was beautiful as expected and when she sings completely unaccompanied it’s truly impressive. While Fletcher feels intimate, standing on stage in the silence with nothing to carry you but your voice requires no small amount of bravery.

Hopscotch 2014 Night 3: Silent Lunch, Y'all

Photo by Justin Weber
The final night of Hopscotch 2014 began with Silent Lunch, one of the most compelling new local bands. 

The Durham trio is refreshingly laissez-faire with a sound that feels like it’s delivered with a shrug. Lyrics pour out of Emily O’Sullivan like she just wants to get them all out. They flow in a steady stream until they run out and she casually peels away from the microphone (always to the left and with a sigh it seems). The lyrics may not be delivered with much velocity, but they’re still razor sharp. 

“You put your hands on me and filled me with your rot. A million showers couldn’t wash away the thought,” O’Sullivan open on “Dead Meat.” 

Hopscotch 2014 Day 2 Photos: Black Santa, Lonnie Walker

All photos by Chris Powers
Photographer Chris Powers was out and about snapping shots during the second day of the Hopscotch Music Festival.

In addition to the photos of St. Vincent, Spoon, Ghostt Bllonde and Purling Hiss which have already been posted HERE, HERE and HERE, check out photos of Black Santa's day party set at Nice Price Books and Lonnie Walker's set in City Plaza to the right and below.

Check out the rest of our coverage of the 2014 Hopscotch Music HERE.

Hopscotch 2014 Night 1 Photos: Jenny Besetzt, Lilac Shadows, Drag Sounds, White Laces, The War on Drugs

All photos by Chris Powers
During the first night of the 2014 Hopscotch Music Festival, photographer Chris Powers was on the scene documenting the happenings in downtown Raleigh.

Below and to the right you'll see photos of day parties featuring Jenny Besetzt and Lilac Shadows as well as official nighttime sets featuring Drag Sounds at the Pour House and White Laces and The War on Drugs at Lincoln Theatre. Check out Chris' other photos from night one HERE and HERE.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Hopscotch 2014 Night 2: Tony Conrad, Purling Hiss/Spacin'

In Vintage 21 (formerly the Longview Center), Tony Conrad performed a fascinating set that could be used as an educational tool for what is good and bad experimental music.

The good was on display in Tony Conrad’s solo performance. The master violin player shook the foundations of the old church with constantly building tones. He played them with direction and enthusiasm. He explored the sound he created, altered it purposefully, and responded based on the results. Through experimentation he revealed deeper qualities of the notes and tones. 

When he finished, Conrad pumped his fist in the air several times in triumph and the audience washed him in applause. At its finest, experimental music can make you fist pump just like rock and roll or hip hop.

Hopscotch 2014 Night 2: Ghostt Bllonde, Open Mike Eagle

All photos by Chris Powers
Raleigh’s Ghostt Bllonde looked like they were having more fun than any other band at Hopscotch. The young pop band was clearly thankful for the opportunity to play the Contemporary Art Museum at their hometown’s showcase festival.

Lead singer Marc Kuzio was dressed to the nines with a dapper vintage jacket and busted out a ton of 50s-style dance moves on stage. Drummer Billy Barnes did not stop smiling during the entire set.

Hopscotch 2014 Night 2: St. Vincent, Spoon

All photos by Chris Powers
St. Vincent and Spoon should put on better live shows than they do. Both are talented musicians with plenty of catalog to pull from and dedicated fans, but in City Plaza on Friday night they fell flat.

Annie Clark shields herself with the St. Vincent character and her performances lack the excitement that comes with not knowing what’s next. Her Hopscotch set was nearly identical to her set at the Haw River Ballroom in March right down to the stage banter. While that was no surprise, it still felt strange.

Hopscotch 2014 Night 1: Deniro Farrar, Tim Hecker

Charlotte’s Deniro Farrar produced a lot of mixed feelings. The small crowd was lively, but not nearly as into it as Farrar’s large crew who danced and shouted on the back of the stage. Farrar’s performance was strong, but the beats he rapped over weren’t as interesting as his recorded music.

Every song started and ended with nearly identical explosion and gun shot sound effects. The beats were obtuse and heavy handed whereas on his recordings they are dark, slick, and grimy. It seemed like everything was pumped up to juice the live performance, but it actually sapped some of the energy and meaning. “Old Tookie” went from sounding like a reflective warning to another boastful club song.

Hopscotch 2014 Night 1: Body Games, New Music Raleigh, IIII

All photos by Chris Powers
As the rain continued to pour down, drenched fans made their way to the Duke Energy performing arts complex to take in an interesting trio of acts that lived up to Hopscotch’s reputation for experimental music, but were outside of the typical ambient and drone genres the festival is famous for.

Chapel Hill’s Body Games lit up the Kennedy Theater with psychedelic projects of Johah Hill and various romantic scenes from Disney films (I spotted The Lion King and Robin Hood). Like moths to a flame, this attracted the glow stick crowd that has become an annual tradition at Hopscotch and a dance party began.

Hopscotch 2014 Night 1: De La Soul, Professor Toon and The Real Laww

All photos by Chris Powers
Hopscotch 2014 officially kicked off with the first Thursday night City Plaza show and it was a sign of things to come. If one thing was different about the fifth installment of Hopscotch, it’s that there was a lot more rhythm all around. More hip hop, more non-drone experimental music, and more dance music. This was a welcome change and I think the festival hit the right balance of genres across the board.

Durham’s own Professor Toon and The Real Law shared the stage as the opener for De La Soul. The duo’s no-frills show was the perfect intro to the night, much more appropriate than the Love Language/No Age combo that led into Public Enemy back at 2010’s Hopscotch. 

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Ian Hunter & The Rant Band announces fall US tour

Singer-songwriter Ian Hunter, best known as the lead singer of the English band Mott the Hoople, is hitting the road this fall on a short run of US dates with his band The Rant Band.

The tour's third stop is at the Motorco Music Hall in Durham on Tuesday, November 4. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 5, HERE for $22.

Check out a video of Ian Hunter and The Rant Band playing a medley of "Saturday Gigs," "Life" and "All the Young Dudes" at the Isle of Wight Festival last year below.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Robyn Hitchcock announces fall tour, two nights in Raleigh

Singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock just released a new album last week via Yep Roc Records titled The Man Upstairs and he has announced a fall tour in support of it.

Hitchcock will play two nights at Kings in Raleigh on November 5 and 6. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 5, via Ticketfly for $20.

Check out the song "The Ghost in You" from the new album The Man Upstairs below.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Run the Jewels announce sophomore album, fall tour

The super duo of Killer Mike and El-P, better known together as Run the Jewels, are gearing up for the release of their second collaborative album on October 28 simply titled Run the Jewels 2 and they have just announced a big fall tour in support of it.

The duo will play the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro on Monday, November 3. Ratking and Despot will open. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 5, via Ticketfly for $20.

Check out the song "Blockbuster Night Pt. 1" from Run the Jewels 2 below.

Wilco announces 20th anniversary tour, coming to Raleigh

Acclaimed rockers Wilco have now been a band for 20 years and they're marking the occasion with a best of collection and rarities box set, details to be announced soon, and a short fall tour.

The tour will come to the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh for what could be a slightly chilly show on Saturday, October 25. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 5, via Etix for $55 (reserved) or $40 (general admission). There are discounts for museum members and those ages 7 to 18. A pre-sale will begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 3.