Last week was an exciting one for North Carolina with the opening of the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw, NC being host of an incredible lineup of The Old Ceremony and The Love Language. However, this week boasts an absolutely PACKED schedule with some incredible shows coming through our state, so let's get right to it.
Show of the Week: Okkervil River w/ Titus Andronicus, Future Islands @ The Cat's Cradle in Carborro, NC
Wednesday, June 1
Okkervil River w/ Titus Andronicus, Future Islands @ The Cat's Cradle in Carborro, NC
Quite the diverse lineup, but good god is it an excellent one. Okkervil River are on the heels of their new release, "I Am Very Far", and will be bringing their unique twist on Alt-Country/Indie Rock to the Cat's Cradle for a night full of incredible bands. Okkervil River have made quite the name for themselves over the years with incredible albums like "The Stage Names", and "Black Sheep Boy", and their latest effort is another powerhouse. Will Sheff, the bands vocalist and songwriter, produced "I Am Very Far" and it's got a much darker and more somber sound than previous efforts, but that energy and excitement that the band may lack in their new songs can be found in bundles with openers Titus Andronicus and Future Islands. Titus Andronicus are the indie-punk band who've been making waves over the past few years, especially with their 2010 concept album "The Monitor" based on the famed Civil War ship. Plus, Future Islands always leave a crowd yearning for more, and when you lump in the fact that it's a North Carolina show (the band used to live in Greenville), you can be damn sure that this is a show that you MUST see.
Thursday, June 2
Matt and Kim w/ The Hood Internet @ The Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC
Matt and Kim are a dancey indie-pop band that's picked up a rather large fan base thanks to being featured in commercials and tv shows left and right. Their commercialization should by no means detract anyone from listening though, because one listen to their dance-able tunes and there's no wonder why everyone and their mother seems to be picking up on this gem of a band. The Hood Internet will act as an excellent opener for the indie-powerhouse of Matt and Kim. The Hood Internet is a mash-up group that specializes in hip-hop and indie rock songs, featuring some pretty awesome combinations like Jay-Z and Phoenix, Puff Daddy and Volcano Choir, and Drake and Beach House. This sold out Cradle show is going to surely be a night to remember, full of dancing and awesome tunes.
Holy Ghost Tent Revival w/ Dirty Bourbon River Show, The Woes @ Kings Barcade in Raleigh, NC
$6 in advance/$8 day of
Holy Ghost Tent Revival are quickly becoming one of the most exciting and invigorating acts in the state, hell in the country. The band boasts are certain type of energy when they get on stage, the feeling that all of the members are truly doing what they love night in and night out absolutely permeates throughout the crowd and makes it damn near impossible to have anything but an incredible time as you dance along to their Folky/Ragtime-y tunes. Their incorporation of electric guitars into their sound sent them over the edge in terms of excitement, seeing Matt Martin wailing on an Epiphone while Stephen slays on the banjo is something that everyone needs to experience. Not to mention throughout it all you've got trombone and trumpet parts driving you through the set with their catchy parts and explosive energy. They give it their all every time they go on stage, and openers in Dirty Bourbon River Show will be doing much of the same. I got the joy of seeing HGTR and Dirty Bourbon in New Bern last Halloween and it was certainly a night to remember. Dirty Bourbon River Show have a sound of their own straight out of New Orleans, it's an self proclaimed "Carnival Blues" but it's another breathtaking live show all the same.
Anna Rose Beck w/ Wind and Willow, Arielle Bryant @ The Casbah in Durham, NC
$8 in advance/$10 day of
This seated CD release party for Anna Rose Beck is a night full of great folk artists from all over the state. While Anna Rose Beck is the headliner of the night, the talent lies all throughout the lineup. Anna Rose Beck's full-length album "The Weathermaker" is getting it's full release which you can get for free with the price of admission. Beck weaves together her innermost thoughts with catchy melodies to provide a soothing and entertaining sound of her own. Wind and Willow are a folk duo out of Raleigh whose harmonies and instrumentation (including guitar, banjo, harps/autoharps, and much more) are enough to hook the listener in for an incredibly enjoyable ride. Their call and response vocal styles can keep songs interesting and when they're not doing that they're harmonizing beautifully. The gem of the lineup to me is the Raleigh based fireball of a singer/songwriter, Arielle Bryant. Her style is poetic and personal, knowing no boundaries. This red-headed songstress can whip out acoustic riffs that alone would leave the listener entranced, but then she spits out quick paced vocals that turn into catchy melodic choruses that stick around for days. Arielle Bryant is in the last few days of her Kickstarter project to help fund a full-length album, "Singing For Strangers" that can use all of the help she can get, so if you enjoy this artist then donate, donate, donate. I implore you, it would be a phenomenal way to spend some extra cash so here's the link to her Kickstarter.
Saturday, June 4
Save The Scrap Benefit w/JKutchma, Midtown Dickens, Phil Cook, and more @ The Casbah in Durham, NC
The Save The Scrap Benefit features a pretty awesome lineup that gives a day full of music for $10 and a good cause, something I'm always willing to get behind. Acts like JKutchma, Midtown Dickens, Phil Cook, The Pneurotics, Thee Dirty Beats, Mary Johnson Rockers, Hindugrass, LiLa, Rainbow Nerdc, and Durham Ukulele Orchestra will be playing throughout the day to help support The Scrap Exchange and The Liberty Arts Foundry. These organizations have been displaced from their location due to a heavy rain fall on May 14 which resulted in a partial roof collapse. So from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. great folk, rock, hip-hop, garage rock, and Americana acts will be helping raise money for these great non-profits from Durham. An excellent cause and an excellent lineup gives no excuse for you local music fans to come out and show your support for this!
Sunday, June 5
Bowerbirds w/ Mount Moriah @ Motorco in Durham, NC
$8 in advance/$10 day of ($2 surcharge for under 21)
Bowerbirds are a name that have been prominent in North Carolina for a while now, but this Sunday's show at Motorco marks something truly special because next Wednesday on June 8 they'll be opening for Arcade Fire in Charlottesville, VA. Catch them on their last show before they open for the Grammy-Award winning act at what's going to be an awesome show. Bowerbirds bring a pure and rootsy sound to the stage, one that's filled with beautiful harmonies. Bowerbirds make the most of their simplicity, it's where the beauty lies in their music. Their songs can fit any environment, but most importantly they can fit for any individual. They're relate-able, catchy, and personal which are three traits that are very hard to find together. Not to mention Mount Moriah are no strangers to beautiful sounds created on bare minimum instrumentation. Their first effort was a stripped-down EP, but their latest release, a self-titled debut full length, features some of Carolina's finest musicians offering up their chops for the record. Mount Moriah will be joined by Will Hackney, Casey Toll, and Yan Westerlund on-stage at Motorco.