Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hear Here: Week of April 25

Last week was huge for North Carolina, with Shakori Hills popping off and the gigantic announcement that Hopscotch dropped with their headliners of The Flaming Lips, Guided by Voices, The Dodos, and much more (check out the full lineup here), but this week offers some exciting bits of it's own.  Some big names like Peter, Bjorn, and John are stopping through the Triangle, Smith Westerns are stopping in at Kings, and Valient Thorr is throwing a 10th anniversary show.

Show of the Week: Smith Westerns w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra @ Kings Barcade on Friday, April 29

Thursday, April 28
Man Man w/ Grandchildren @ The Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC
Man Man is an experimental band who've been making their own boundaries for years now, their sound borders from jazz to experimental rock to "Viking vaudeville".  See it to believe it.  The band is known to have an incredibly frantic and energetic set, with each member decked out in white and war paint.  Their vocals can range from deep and throaty with a vintage and worn tinge to it, or to a high pitched and chilling vocal.  Comparisons to Modest Mouse are warranted, especially since they toured with the band previously.  Check out their live show for sure, it's one you don't want to miss.

Friday, April 29
Smith Westerns w/ Unknown Mortal Orchestra @ Kings Barcade in Raleigh, NC
$10 in advance/$12 day of
Smith Westerns have been a name that it's been hard to go too far without seeing lately, especially after they dropped their second full length, "Dye It Blonde".  "Dye It Blonde" has been one of the standout records of early 2011, and the band only continues to pick up steam as they're slated for shows with Wilco and are on the lineup for Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza.  They've perfected the nostalgia filled fuzzy pop sound that is topped off with excellent harmonies and melodies.  Unknown Mortal Orchestra is another great band to stay on watch for as well though, a soulful 70's-esque pop band with a danceable rhythm to boot.  By far show of the week for me, two excellent and highly promising bands who are going to be putting on excellent sets.

Peter, Bjorn and John w/ Bachelorette @ The Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC
Peter, Bjorn and John could have been one of those bands that crumbled after having a gigantic single with a song like "Young Folks", but instead the band has flourished and has continued to explore their musical horizons.  Their latest release, "Gimme Some", is an upbeat and engaging pop record that still features some meaningful lyricism as well.  Another band known for their excellence live, this sold out show at The Cat's Cradle is one that will be sure to entertain.

The Old Ceremony w/ Onward, Soldiers @ The Pour House in Raleigh, NC
Two members of this years Hopscotch lineup and two of North Carolina's finest live acts.  Onward, Soldiers are always a risky opening act, because if you're not absolutely on point then they WILL steal the show from you.  Their raucous and energetic Americana-Rock sound can lead to broken hearts, swaying bodies, and bobbing heads all in the same song, it's a truly unique and endearing trait of a live act.  But then theres a band like The Old Ceremony, featuring intricately layered songs, mapped out with melodies that soar and lyrics that resonate.  Crafted initially as an outlet for frontman Django Haskins, The Old Ceremony has blossomed into something much bigger, and it's led to some incredible tunes that deserve to be heard.  Check out this incredible pairing!

Saturday, April 30
American Aquarium w/ Martha Ann Motel @ The Pour House in Raleigh, NC
American Aquarium are an alternative country/rock powerhouse that refuse to quit.  Their lyrics are filled with honesty and personality, and the band holds nothing back when it comes to live shows.  Returning from a stint in Europe, this home town show is sure to be filled up with faithful fans of the band, making for an incredible energy amongst the room.  Plus, hometown shows are always a blast with touring bands because their happiness of being home usually permeates through their songs and it makes for an all around excellent night for everyone.

Valient Thorr 10th Anniversary Show w/ Dynamite Brothers, The Static Minds @ Kings in Raleigh, NC
$10 in advance/$12 day of
The metal band from Venus is returning back to their earth home of Raleigh to grace their fans once more with whats sure to be an incredible show at Kings.  The band is celebrating their 10th anniversary and the Carolina favorites will be sure to bring their A-Game to Kings, their live shows are full of head banging and hair spinning but it's all to off the wall yet still frantic and screamable lyrics spat out by Valient Himself.  A good time is always had with Valient Thorr, I saw them at Troika last year and walked away thoroughly impressed with how much more lively their songs are in concert rather than in studio.  An excellent show for sure.

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