A new month and a new week of great shows. April saw some awesome acts come through the state, but May packs an even heavier punch with some North Carolina favorites stopping through the state, whether it be Lost in the Trees or The Old Ceremony stopping through the Cat's Cradle in a few weeks or even indie powerhouses Interpol when they come to Disco Rodeo this week. But first and foremost is this week's awesome shows, we've got two album releases and loads of great stuff in between.
Show of the Week: Phosphorescent w/ Family Band @ Kings Barcade in Raleigh, NC
Tuesday, May 3
Sleigh Bells w/CSS, Bosco Delray @ The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC
Sleigh Bells are explosive, in your face, loud, awesome, wonderful. In short, go see
them. They consist of Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss, from New York. Imagine
bubblegum pop and out-of-this-world crazy experimental cosmically colliding, and
you get Sleigh Bells. Co-headlining is CSS, worthy stage-mates in a similar, if less in-
your-face, vein. CSS hails from Brazil and promises to be well worth seeing. I mean,
their name (translated) stands for “got tired of being sexy.” They have to be good.
Tuesday, May 3
The Love Language w/ Left Outlet @ Slim's in Raleigh, NC
This is the first night of a 4 night stay at Slim's in Raleigh for The Love Language. Tickets for all of these shows are completely sold out, so any chances of getting in without a ticket are slim (ehhhhhh!), but either way these shows are guaranteed to be filled with some incredible moments from the North Carolina local superstars with The Love Language. After signing with Merge Records and releasing "Libraries" last year the indie pop band has exploded, playing at Coachella last month and even opening for Merge label-mates, Arcade Fire. Each night offers a different local opener, and night one features Left Outlet, the self proclaimed "stoner-glam" band hailing from Raleigh. The band offers an energetic and frantic sound that's lined with influences of punk, classic rock, and clearly glam and stoner rock. Night one is sure to be a crazy one for those that were lucky enough to nab a ticket, but the rest of us will have to sit it out and kick ourselves for not getting tickets soon enough.
Wednesday, May 4
Interpol w/ School of Seven Bells @ Disco Rodeo in Raleigh, NC
$25 in advance/$28 day of
Interpol came strong out of the gates in 2002 with their debut album, "Turn On The Bright Lights" which received rave reviews from critics, and the band continued to follow up that success with three more albums. Now veterans on the scene, even opening for U2 on their famous 360° tour, Interpol weaves together post-punk and straight up indie rock to create a genuine and yet authentic sound, with comparisons drawn to that of Joy Division. Then you've got the perfect opener of School of Seven Bells, a band that came together because the members former bands met while opening for Interpol, oddly enough. The poppy shoegaze trio of SVIIB don't hide behind their layers of ethereal and ambient sounds, instead they embrace them and compliment them excellently with reverberated vocals that ring out personal and devastating lyrics.
The Love Language w/ Whatever Brains @ Slim's in Raleigh, NC
Night two of The Love Language's stay at Slim's features the indescribable band known as Whatever Brains. I got the joy of seeing this band at Hopscotch last year and will sure enough check them out once again this year. The band has a way of demanding attention, both on stage and through their recordings. It's an interesting blend of genres, it's lo-fi garage-punk in a nutshell but the band encompasses much more than that in their performances.
Thursday, May 5
The Love Language w/ Phil Cook & His Feat @ Slim's in Raleigh, NC
Night three of the sold out Love Language marathon at Slim's features an interesting opening act for the band. The first two nights provide high energy rock music while Thursday's act is Phil Cook of Megafaun. Recently signed to Trekky Records, Cook will be releasing his latest solo effort, "Hungry Mother Blues" on May 6, the next day, at a free show at Motorco. Phil Cook makes beautiful folk music with intricately plotted layers and rhythms that range from soothing and relaxing to head bobbing and body swaying. As previously stated, it's an interesting choice of an opening act but the mesmerizing sounds produced by Phil Cook will surely sway any doubters within minutes.
Friday, May 6
Skyler Gudasz and The Ugly Girls w/ Mandolin Orange, Josh Moore @ Local 506 in Chapel Hill, NC
The first of two album release shows this week, Skyler Gudasz and The Ugly Girls will be releasing their album "Two Headed Monster" at the 506 on Friday. The album was recorded at Arbor Ridge Studios with Jeff Crawford of The Tomahawks, Max Indian, and more as producer. Skyler Gudasz and The Ugly Girls bring a warming sound of dreamy folk music that boast layers of well-crafted parts to well-crafted songs. Their melodies are familiar but unique all at the same time, making the music incredibly accesible but different enough to stick out amongst the crowd of like-minded bands. Openers Mandolin Orange are going to be a hard act to top though, one of the fastest rising bands in the state, Mandolin Orange is the duo of Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz who can hush a crowd like no band I've seen before. Their harmonies are breath taking and their lyrics can send shivers down your spine. Josh Moore, hailing from Carrboro, is another artist sure to catch the attention of the audience with his sincere folk music. A night full of great artists for a cheap ticket price, cheap enough to leave you with some extra cash to pick up the great new album from Skyler Gudasz!
Breast Fest Night 1 @ Volume 11 Tavern in Raliegh, NC
This isn't what you'd typically see on The Bottom String, but the lineup for this show, combined with the charity it's going towards is way too great to pass up on. Breast Fest is a benefit for breast cancer research and it's brought some of the finest hardcore and metal bands on the scene to Volume 11 this weekend for what's sure to be an incredible two-day event. Day One features Death Threat, Death Before Dishonor, Fight Like Hell, Palehorse, Clenched Fist, Foundation, The Mongoloids, Lionheart, Daylight, Hate Your Guts, Word For Word, Fingers Crossed, and Broadcast. Now amongst it all I'll admit there's names I don't listen to, but with bands like Death Before Dishonor, Death Threat, The Mongoloids, Pale Horse, and Fight Like Hell all in one day for only $25, it sounds like a guaranteed incredible show. You can also buy a 2 day pass for $45 and save yourself $5 if you plan on attending both shows, and with the lineup that day 2 pulls out that's something I'd definitely recommend if you're a fan of the hardcore scene.
The Love Language w/ Lonnie Walker @ Slim's in Raleigh, NC
This is arguably the best lineup of The Love Language's 4-night stay at Slim's, and what better way to top their stay in Raleigh off with what's sure to be an amazing show. Two hometown juggernauts on one stage in a room that's sure to be packed to the brim with rabid fans of both bands. Lonnie Walker will act as the perfect opener for The Love Language, especially in their hometown with their fans shouting back lyrics as they truck through their highly entertaining and energetic set. If you've gotten tickets to this show then consider yourself lucky, and let me know if you'd like to fist fight for your ticket. Because I'm so down.
Saturday, May 7
Breast Fest Day 2 @ Volume 11 Tavern in Raleigh, NC
Another day full of awesome and surely exhausting live music. Day 2 of Breast Fest brings the hardcore powerhouses of Shai Hulud and Advent to the stage at Volume 11 along with acts like Wisdom In Chains, Reign Supreme, Steel Nation, Harm's Way, Ten 33, Expire, Venia, Signs of Hope, Overlooked, The Fake Boys, Endwell, Young And In The Way, and American Soil. Advent is the name that shines the brightest on this lineup for me, after seeing them back in 2008 when they opened for Between the Buried and Me at The Soapbox in Wilmington I was captivated by the band and the sheer energy and intensity that they bring to the stage. Vocalist Joe Musten commands the attention of the room and drives the bands sound with his unapologetic and bold lyrics. Breast Fest is a cause worth supporting and a weekend full of incredible hardcore and metal bands that should definitely be seen if you're up for it.
Birds & Arrows w/ Gray Young, Justin & The Mary Annettes @ Local 506 in Chapel Hill, NC
The second album release show of the weekend marks the release of Birds & Arrows new album on 307 Knox Records entitled, "We're Gonna Run". The album features the harmonies and delicate lyrics that Birds & Arrows have become known for, but this album boasts a much more mature and fleshed out sound for the band. Each song has a much wider perspective than their previous efforts, the band seems to have really pegged down their sound and, pardon the pun, ran with it. Their sincerity and unfiltered lyrics are what push this band further down the road, and it's a journey that will be a joy to follow. Their live show is one I've had the joy of seeing a few times now, and while I didn't get to physically see them at Shakori, Andrea Connolly's voice soared through the farm and their set was loud and clear from my campsite. The band talked about how much they enjoyed playing with Gray Young when I sat down for a Bottom String Session, so between the high energy of their album release show and playing with such great local bands, this is another show that you'll need to be sure to catch.
Monday, May 9
Phosphorescent w/ Family Band @ Kings Barcade in Raleigh, NC
$12 in advance/$14 day of
Phosphorescent is a project that's evolved greatly since it's beginnings as Matthew Houck's solo project. Starting out with a folksy base, Phosphorescent has evolved over the years, with his 2007 release, "Pride" gaining critical acclaim for it's haunting songs like "Wolves" that display Houck's beautiful lyricism at it's finest. His latest effort though with 2010's, "Here's To Taking It Easy" shows off a different side of his writing, it's catchy and uplifting with songs like "It's Hard To Be Humble (When You're From Alabama)" but it also retains the values that made "Pride" such a hit like the vivid pictures painted by his so carefully chosen words. Openers Family Band will provide for an excellent preparation for Phosphorescent. The Brooklyn based band has a unique sound, their instrumentation sounds heavy while their vocals from Kim Krans are best described as a crooning and soothing, a stark contrast to the background. They craft beautiful melodies on top of their atmospheric sounds that also feature steel guitar and many other rootsy sounds. This is a night full of excellent musicians who have crafted incredible songs. Definitely the can't miss show of the week.