Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hear Here: Week of May 30

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

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Album Review: "We're Gonna Run" by Birds & Arrows

"We're Gonna Run" by Birds & Arrows was released on
307 Knox Records on May 7, 2011
Birds & Arrows is composed of husband and wife Pete and Andrea Connolly and Josh Starmer, and hails from Chapel Hill. The couple began in 2007 and released two EPs, an eponymous one, which tells of the tension of how the two met, and “Woodgrain Heart,” which tells of their maturing together. Since then they have added Starmer on the cello, and the the band have certainly matured as musicians. Just out is their new album, “We're Gonna Run,” a follow up of their 2009 debut LP, “Starmaker.”

Friday, May 27, 2011

Album Review: "Nursing Home" by Let's Wrestle

"Nursing Home" by Let's Wrestle was released on
Merge Records on May 17, 2011
Let's Wrestle are an English rock band based out of London who've stirred up quite a bit of hype for themselves in the states.  The band's first album, "In The Court of Wrestling, Lets" got them enough attention to get picked up for their second album on Merge Records.  "Nursing Home", the band's second effort isn't too far from the tree in terms of the sound that they created for themselves, but they've certainly evolved as a band.  The lyrics are quirky and catchy to perfectly compliment the driving indie rock sounds they produce, albeit the lyrics get a bit absurd sometimes.  Overall there's nothing wrong with the album, but it tends to drone on a bit with such similar subject matter repeating over and over.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hear Here: Week of May 24

This week has some good shows in store, from the noise of The Death Set to the folksy P. Wolf and Avi. It's a good time to get out and see some summer shows, if you can.

Show of the Week: Kopecky Family Band w/ Mynameisjohnmichael @ The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC ($10)

Wednesday, May 25

The Death Set w/ Win Win @ Local 506 in Chapel Hill, NC


The Death Set will grab your attention instantly with their catchy lyrics and riffs. Their songs make you feel all-around better and a little more alive, like just waking up from a weird dream. They have a very interesting and gratifying use of sound effects that integrates perfectly and makes for wonderfully inventive songs.

Win Win are in the same vein as The Drums, with interesting melodies and a generally feel-good sound, but a little less hyper and more deliberate with their songs.

Kopecky Family Band w/ Mynameisjohnmichael @ The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC


These guys started out in Nashville in 2007, when late night wistful conversations of life and the future turned into a band. Since then they've had an impressive track record. The six have been seen at festivals the likes of CMJ, SXSW, and soon Bonnaroo. They can really get the “rock” in indie rock down, but they meld it with gentler strings so it isn't just more indie rock, and their lyrics are thoughtful and elegant. The Family only have three EPs out so far, but they are all excellent, being produced by the likes of Russ Long of Wilco and Chris Grainger of None the Richer.

Mynameisjohnmichael is the result of a challenge to John Rouchell to write, record, and release 52 songs in one year. They have opened for acts like Phoenix and Surfer Blood and have seen their share of festivals and tours, and their music sounds mature and developed. You can really hear the influence of Rouchell's New Orleans origin, and the music is easygoing and fun to listen to.

Thursday, May 27

P. Wolf and Avi @ The Cave in Chapel Hill, NC

Patrick Wolf and Avi Vinocur are from the San Francisco, but are no strangers to North Carolina; Wolf also plays in Chapel Hill bands Semi-Formal and Attic Orchestra. Together, they produce some good folksy acoustic music, with clearly southern influences, to the extent that one would be surprised that they grew up in California and Connecticut. You'll hear touching lyrics and skillful finger picking from these two, whose last album, from 2010, is a really promising record.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hear Here: Week of May 16

With the awesome bit of Beaufort Music Festival I got to catch last weekend (A solo set from Justin Townes Earle being the highlight of that night which consisted of American Aquarium and Onward, Soldiers as well) the summer certainly kicked off well for me, and now the summer shows begin to pour in.  The next few months have some pretty awesome lineups coming to the Triangle, Asheville, and Eastern NC as well.  Check out some of this week's top shows below:

Show of the Week: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. @ Local 506 in Chapel Hill, NC on Thursday, May 19

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hear Here: Week of May 9

After such a busy week in the Triangle last weekend with the 4-night stay of The Love Language which featured some incredible surprises such as full length albums being played at each show (Night 3 was White Light/White Heat, have fun kicking yourself for missing that one!), plus the Interpol show and Phosphorescent.  But this week features some exciting shows all around the state, one of the most talented metal bands to come from NC in Between The Buried and Me has a show in Asheville, and the son of legendary Steve Earle, Justin Townes Earle, will be headlining the Beaufort Music Festival for the eastern part of the state.  Another week filled with incredible live shows for the tobacco state!

Show of the Week: Beaufort Music Festival in Beaufort, NC (FREE!)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bon Iver announces Summer tour dates with The Rosebuds, stopping in Raleigh

Bon Iver will be playing at Raleigh Amphitheater on July 29
with The Rosebuds opening

Bon Iver already announced the release of their second studio album, a self-titled endeavor that will be released on Jagjaguwar on June 21, but today we were graced with tour dates including a July 29 stop at the Raleigh Amphitheater with The Rosebuds.
Bon Iver have set the bar high for their new album, especially considering their debut album, "For Emma, Forever Ago", has been deemed an almost instant classic amongst fans.  "For Emma" featured deeply personal lyrics that covered loss, love, and redemption through the falsettos and croons of Justin Vernon.  It's going to be interesting to see how the music of Bon Iver has evolved since their first effort, and especially interesting to see how well the fans respond.

Either way you can color me excited to see one of the best new acts of the past few years at what's sure to be a crowded Raleigh amphitheater, especially since the local favorites The Rosebuds are opening. Plus then you can take into account the roots that Justin Vernon left behind in Raleigh whilst playing with DeYarmond Edison (his former band with members of Megafaun) and realize that this show is going to be a special one.

All of the tour dates are listed below:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Album Review: "Fortescue EP" by The Charming Youngsters

"Fortescue" was released on April 25, 2011 and is
available for purchase on Bandcamp
The Charming Youngsters are a band from Greenville, NC that's come from the humblest of beginnings in their bedrooms and attics, but their latest EP entitled, "Fortescue" shows the development that the band has had over the years.  In comparison to their "Famous For Something Magical" EP, the band has got a much more fully developed sound and seems to have finally found a niche to fit into with their music, filling the listener's ears with infectious melodies and catchy hooks.  The EP was recorded last winter in Altamont Studios in Asheville and the band will be releasing a special limited edition version of their EP on cassette for their show on Friday, May 6 at Motorco in Durham, NC when the band will be playing with Annuals and Oulipo.

Back in March The Charming Youngsters joined me for a special Bottom String Session from Spazzfest in their hometown of Greenville, NC.  Nolan talked a bit about the recording of this EP, their songwriting process, and joined the rest of the band to play two songs for their Bottom String Session.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hear Here: Week of May 2

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