Saturday, April 30, 2011

Album Review: "Pretty Money" by Jack the Radio

"Pretty Money" was released on April 26, 2011
Jack the Radio is the brainchild of A.C. Hill and George Hage, who met at NC State University. It began as a side project back in 2005 between the two when they were roommates, but it soon faded in favor of other interests. Hill and Hage have recently revived the project, adding more members and a fresh focus. Jack the Radio sounds like country indie funk, somehow seamlessly mixing the genres into something unique. “Pretty Money” is their debut album, showcasing their amazing dynamic as a band.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Bottom String Session w/ Langhorne Slim

Photo by Kathryn Friedman
At Shakori Hills we sat down with two artists for Bottom String Sessions.  BSS #8 was an acoustic performance from Stephen and Kevin from Holy Ghost Tent Revival (which can be found here on our Youtube channel), but on Friday we sat down with Langhorne Slim for an interview and acoustic session.  Braving the cold weather and rain, Langhorne talked a bit about his upcoming releases, touring, and a couple of prime North Carolina acts and venues.

Before the interview though Langhorne performed a brand new song called "Leander Apple" which can also be found on the Youtube channel or beneath the interview below

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

Monday, April 25, 2011

Show Review: Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival

Shakori Hills Grassroots Music & Dance Festival was held
in Pittsboro, NC from April 21-24
Though the rain poured down on Friday, leaving Shakori a muddy mess for the weekend, the music shined throughout the festival brighter than imaginable. This was my first Shakori Hills and it certainly won't be my last, with every new act I saw I was finding a new band I'd want to delve into, and that's what you're looking for in a festival, isn't it?  Rain or shine there were fans standing outside and watching the festivities, it's a sign of the positive vibes flowing through the air at Shakori, and those vibes were present from day one.

Instead of giving a day by day update on who did what, when, where, and how, I'll be giving you a list of some of the outstanding artists I got to check out throughout the weekend and which ones stuck out the most.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Flaming Lips, Guided By Voices, and more to play Hopscotch Music Festival

The Flaming Lips will be headlining the 2nd
Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, NC

Hopscotch Music Festival announced their lineup on midnight Tuesday night, and with names like The Flaming Lips, Guided By Voices, The Dodos, Superchunk, and much more, they've proved that this year is a whole new ballgame.    Tickets will go on sale at 10:00 am on Wednesday, April 20 and tickets will range from $155 VIP Passes to $32/$34 for Friday/Saturday night City Plaza shows.  Tickets are $105 for an all-show wristband and $65 for only club shows.

The City Plaza show lineup is as followed:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hear Here: Week of April 18

This is one of the biggest weeks North Carolina has seen in a while in terms of the music scene, with Hopscotch announcing what's sure to be a knockout lineup combined with the start of Shakori Hills, and with the Hopscotch Free Shows all around the Triangle, it's sure to be another exciting weekend of local music in North Carolina.

Show of the Week: Shakori Hills from April 21-24 in Pittsboro, NC

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hear Here: Around The Town

Douglas Loren of Broad Street Music
Photo by Liz Bowles
As a branch of the Hear Here series, I'll be showcasing the local scenes and shows through the "Around The Town" feature that will pop up from time to time.  As something interesting comes up around town, you'll hear about it here.  And as an official statement, come August I'll be relocating from New Bern to Raleigh so these "Around The Town"'s will become much more frequent.  For starters though, there's a great show going on in New Bern on Saturday, April 16 that's being put on by one of New Bern's driving forces in the music scene, Douglas Loren.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Album Review: "Crawling" by Americans in France

"Crawling" by Americans in France
was released on Odessa Records on
April 12, 2011
Americans in France are a one of a kind band, it's such a brilliant cacophony of mixed genres and influences that are all spewed out with a tinge of punk and art rock that leaves the listener continually perplexed with what the band can pull out next.  The rhythms are frantic and filled with a sense of urgency, but they're distorted to the point of fuzz, which pleasantly compliments the unpredictable, but still catchy, vocal melodies.  It's hard to streamline Americans in France into one genre, but that's because it's also pretty hard to find other bands that are making the music that Americans in France are making.  "Crawling" is the band's second full-length record, released on Odessa Records on April 12, 2011.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hear Here: Week of April 11

We've got another busy release week for the Triangle, this time from local favorites like Mount Moriah and Old Bricks, both of whom have album release shows this weekend in different cities in the Triangle.  Between the album releases and the exciting touring acts coming through like Toro y Moi at the Local 506, this week is another eventful one.

Show of the Week: Old Bricks w/ Wild Wild Geese, Nests @ Kings Barcade in Raleigh, NC

Monday, April 11, 2011

Show Review: The Mountain Goats w/ Megafaun at The Cat's Cradle 4/8/11

The Mountain Goats at The Cat's Cradle on April 8, 2011
A barefoot John Darnielle entertained the sold out Cat's Cradle with a phenomenal double encore set that spanned over the Mountain Goats illustrious catalog with songs for the diehard fans and songs for the casual listeners as well.  But the joy of seeing Megafaun was still one of the brightest moments of the night, their set also tinged with old favorites like "Lazy Suicide" but some great newer songs like "Volunteer" and a song from their newly recorded record as well.  This sold out show at The Cat's Cradle is definitely my show of the year so far, the energy was fantastic and as a Mountain Goats fan through and through I walked away with an overwhelming feeling of joy from seeing one of my favorite bands absolutely kill it with another of North Carolina's best acts.  It was truly a showcase of the diverse yet breath taking array of music that North Carolina provides, and it was a night to remember.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Album Review: "The Huguenots" by The Huguenots

The Huguenots are a four-piece indie-pop band out of Durham. Since 2008 they have entertained crowds in the Triangle with their famously energetic and fun shows, and now you can finally take that energy home on their eponymous debut. Singer Sam Logan has admitted that The Huguenots are a “live band,” but that doesn't mean the band's strengths don't shine through on their album. In particular, Logan is concerned about the band's image. The band has certainly grown a lot from their early demos, and anyone willing to give the album a listen will realize that.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Justin Townes Earle, Chatham County Line, Onward Soldiers, and more to play Beaufort Music Festival

Justin Townes Earle will be headlining the free Beaufort
Music Festival, held May 13-14, 2011 in Beaufort, NC
Beaufort Music Festival has always had their finger on the pulse of the music scene in North Carolina, picking some of the finest local acts for their festival, and this year will be no different.  For the 23rd year, Beaufort, NC will be home to an incredible and free two-day music festival that will be held on May 13 and 14 this year with day one being headlined by Chatham County Line, the Raleigh based bluegrass group, and day two being headlined by Justin Townes Earle, the incredibly talented son of legendary Steve Earle.

The headliners aren't the only prominent names sticking out on Beaufort Music Festival's lineup though, Wilmington's Onward, Soldiers, the indie rock band that's oozing with Americana and country will also be playing on day two.  Acts such as Jeanne Jolly, the Carolina singer-songwriter with a jazzy voice that's been featured as a vocalist with Grammy winning trumpeter Chris Botti, will be playing on Friday night before Chatham County Line graces the stage.  This is just covering the tip of the lineup, with more acts to be announced on the Local Stage as well it will be interesting to see who the festival brings to the already solid lineup.  The lineup can be found below:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Swans to play at Hopscotch

Swans will play Sept. 10 at Fletcher
Opera Theater at Hopscotch in Raleigh
For the first time ever, post-rock icons Swans will play a show in Raleigh, NC.  This year's Hopscotch Festival announced Swans as their first lineup addition today, announcing that the band was in the works to play at last year's event but didn't start rehearsals until the week after Hopscotch.  After a year of waiting and working, Grayson Currin announced the lineup addition on Hopscotch's website today.

The Bottom String Session w/ The Charming Youngsters

The Charming Youngsters at Spazz Fest
Photo credit to Daniel Ely Rankin
The Charming Youngsters are leading a new breed of Greenville bands, and that was pretty evident when I saw the band at Spazz Fest for the first time since the name and lineup change.  With an EP coming out soon and a big show with Annuals at Motorco, The Charming Youngsters are steadily gaining ground on some of Greenville's finest to have come from the east and make a name for themselves in the Triangle.  The Charming Youngsters were kind enough to record a few songs inside of East Coast Music and Video during Spazz Fest weekend, and I got in a little chat with Nolan about the beginnings and the future of the band.  Check out the band's performances of "Friends and Foes" and "Dirty Feet" below or on The Bottom String's Youtube channel.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hear Here: Week of April 4

A new month and an insanely busy week around the state for music, numerous awesome releases and numerous awesome shows whether they be in the Triangle or out west (or both!).  North Carolina based Mountain Goats and Megafaun are stopping through and giving the state a one-two punch with The Cat's Cradle and The Grey Eagle, and Destroyer and War on Drugs are doing the same.  But with some heavily anticipated album release shows and awesome tour stops as well, there's a plethora of shows to hit up this week so lets get to it.

Show of the Week: The Mountain Goats w/ Megafaun @ The Cat's Cradle on Friday, April 8

Friday, April 1, 2011

Album Review: "Black Shark" by Hammer No More The Fingers

"Black Shark" by Hammer No More The Fingers
is being released on Friday April 1, 2011 at
Motorco in Durham.  "Black Shark" is being released
on Churchkey Records
The Durham indie-rock trio of Hammer No More The Fingers have been tearing up the Triangle music scene for years now, but with the release of their new full length "Black Shark" it feels like the band has really fallen into their stride.  With a highly anticipated album release show tonight at Motorco in Durham, with a special brew and pizza to boot, Hammer No More The Fingers are about to unleash "Black Shark" onto the world, and my guess is that it'll devour us all.