Thursday, October 27, 2011

Around The Triangle: Wild Flag, Blitzen Trapper, Sinful Savage Tigers, Emily Stewart & The Baby Teeth

Wild Flag @ The Cat's Cradle on October 21, 2011
This week's edition of Around The Triangle brings us yet another new Bottom String Session from Shakori Hills, this time with Emily Stewart & The Baby Teeth out of Greensboro, NC, as well as more awesome shots from Agatha Donkar's ventures around the triangle.  This week's shows included Blitzen Trapper and Smoke Fairies at The Cat's Cradle, Wild Flag and Eleanor Friedberger at The Cat's Cradle, and Sinful Savage Tigers album release show with Phil Cook & His Feat at The Station in Carrboro.

All of this week's photos as well as our latest Bottom String Session can be found after the jump!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Around The Triangle: Liam Finn, MC Chris, Driftwood, & Frontier Ruckus

Liam Finn @ The Casbah on October 17, 2011
The Triangle has been insanely busy over these past few months and it only appears to be getting better.  Between the upgrades to The Cat's Cradle leading to a larger capacity, Haw River Ballroom pulling increasingly incredible acts (Stephen Malkmus at the beginning of October and an awesome bill for November 11 with Megafaun and The Bowerbirds), and consistently strong bills from Kings, Local 506, and other small local spots, it's been week after week full of incredible acts stopping through the area.  This past week alone was filled with shows for our photographer, Agatha Donkar, Liam Finn at The Casbah, MC Chris at The Cat's Cradle, and Frontier Ruckus at Local 506 just to name a few.  Also included after the jump is our most recent Bottom String Session (BSS #13) from Shakori Hills with Driftwood, an incredible rootsy folk band from Binghamton, NY.  Coming with next week's Around The Triangle will be BSS #14 with Emily Stewart & The Baby Teeth of Greensboro, NC

Sinful Savage Tigers prepare for album release

Last Night of the Revel is being released
on October 22, 2011 at The Station
in Carrboro, NC
Sinful Savage Tigers have sculpted a wonderful folk soundscape with their latest release, The Last Night of the Revels and they're prepping for what's sure to be an incredible night of music on Saturday with their big album release show with Phil Cook & His Feat opening at The Station.  Sinful Savage Tigers is composed of Seth Martin, Andrew Marlin (of Mandolin Orange), and Seth Barden.  Special guests amongst the band include a who's who of the Triangle music scene with names like Phil Cook (Megafaun), Emily Frantz (Mandolin Orange), and James Wallace (Max Indian). Together these three have crafted a delightful bluegrass/folk album that glides along for just over forty minutes of catchy, heartfelt, and rustic tunes.

The Station is an absolutely incredible location for this release show, the vibes that will surely be radiating throughout the room will encapsulate the listeners with the sincerity and how relatable Sinful Savage Tigers' sound truly is.  Plus the show is free, so there's really no excuse to not go and check out these locals celebrating the release of this great collection of songs.  The album's opener "Chocolate Cake" draws back feelings of nostalgia, simplicity, going back home and most importantly, getting some of that chocolate cake.  The album is filled with moments like this, filled with tinges of southern anthems, but most importantly they don't just allow themselves to fall into the same old thematic same-old same-old.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Pinhook aims to renovate with Kickstarter project

The Pinhook recently started up a Kickstarter project in an attempt to renovate the already excellent space to provide for a much greater sound quality from the venue.  The Pinhook is one of the highlights of Durham's local scene, having housed excellent local and national acts in the first three years of it's existence.  Opened in November of 2008, The Pinhook is aiming to raise $15,000 before November 2 so that they can build a new sound-proof stage, design a new room with the help of John Koelle (engineered Kings and the fantastic Haw River Ballroom), and to purchase new equipment.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Shakori Hills Fall 2011 Review

Howard Levy of The Flecktones
Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance is a unique experience in the sense that there is such a strong bond of community on these Chatham County farmlands.  Smiles are found on the faces of the flocks of families, festi-freaks, hippies, and just about everyone in between.  Shakori Hills doesn't carry the pretentiousness that comes with other festivals, it's a four-day marathon of bluegrass, folk, funk, motown, and just about everything in between.  Highlights of the festival can come completely unexpectedly, and one thing I've found with my Shakori schedule is that I more frequently bounce around from tent to tent and stage to stage than at any other festival.  Between the close proximity of the stages and the guarantee that almost every act you see will have redeeming qualities.  The worldly sounds of Sidi Toure filled the Meadow Stage, the legendary Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings brought high-energy and crowd participation to a new level, and Bela Fleck & The Flecktones brought a performance that will be remembered by many as one of the best of their lives.  The talent on display at Shakori Hills is astounding, but the best part is that there is so much more going on at the festival other than just great music.

Activities are abound at Shakori, with everything from a Jazz Workshop on the Front Porch on Friday with Peter Lamb & The Wolves to a Puppet Parade throughout the festival on Sunday afternoon.  While you may not always have a band you want to be checking out at Shakori, you're guaranteed to be able to find something to keep yourself preoccupied until the tunes start back up.  I wore myself thin this weekend at Shakori and between running here, there, and everywhere in that perfect fall weather I wound up with Bronchitis after the weekends festivities (I'm sure the massive amounts of campfire smoke didn't help either, nor did the handful of hours of sleep I got throughout the weekend) but still I couldn't find a negative thing to say about the entire weekend.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Around The Triangle: Shakori Hills Fall 2011

Shakori Hills is a four-day festival held twice a year in Pittsboro, North Carolina and if you've yet to attend then you're missing out on one of the guaranteed best weekends of your life.  From Thursday to Sunday the farmlands out in Chatham County are alive with music, love, and good vibes.  There's an aura to Shakori that spreads like wildfire and leaves its attendees feeling blissful and carefree, all the while allowing them to enjoy some of the best live music that has graced the state of North Carolina in a very long time.  Between the big headliners of Bela Fleck & The Flecktones (with their original lineup!) and Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Toubab Krewe, Des Ark, and Donna The Buffalo, this festival's lineup was filled from top to bottom with phenomenal acts.  I was out at the festival all weekend with Agatha dropping in for days two and three, but we got some incredible shots of some incredible artists this weekend.  Check back soon this week for a full write-up of the festival including two new Bottom String Sessions with Driftwood (Binghamton, NY) and Emily Stewart & The Baby Teeth (Greensboro, NC)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Shakori Hills Fall Preview

Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival is held October 6-9, 2011

With Shakori Hills (October 6-9) a mere two days away the anticipation has gotten to an unbearable level.  Each time I peek at the performance schedule I struggle between bands, I get giddy with excitement, I research unfamiliar artists, the list goes on.  There's so many incredible things going on at Shakori between workshops, children's activities, and not to mention the days and nights full of live music.  With all of the incredible local and touring acts coming through for Shakori it's hard to siphon through it all to pick out what you absolutely HAVE to see. Well that's what we're here for!  From funk to soul to bluegrass to jazz, Shakori offers a little bit of something for everybody.  Here's our day-by-day rundown of who you should be checking out at the glorious promised land of Shakori Hills out in Pittsboro.

Around The Triangle: Week of October 3

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks @ Haw River Ballroom
on October 1, 2011
There's been an abundance of incredible acts stopping through the Triangle lately, so much it's almost become rather daunting.  Within a week of each other Fleet Foxes and Wilco both graced the stage of Raleigh Amphitheater (Fleet Foxes in an absolute downpour has become my favorite show I've ever attended) as well as numerous local powerhouses making waves as well.  Our photographer Agatha Donkar has been here, there, and everywhere as well and this week we'll both be out at Shakori capturing Bottom String Sessions and photos of some of the incredible acts that will be playing throughout the weekend.  Below are Agatha's shots from the Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks show at Haw River Ballroom and from Mandolin Orange's big album release show at The Cat's Cradle:

The full sets of Agatha's photos can be found over at her photoblog