I hope everyone is excited to get fat and stuff on Thursday. And then on Friday, to buy LOTS OF LPs!!! You can peruse the releases that you (might) be able to purchase here (more on that later), but first, check below to see what some real local record store employees are excited about for this upcoming sales extravaganza.
Schoolkids Records’ employee Kyle Rosko is excited about a whole lot of releases. Namely, the Beach Boys Surfin’ Safara 10″, the White Stripes Live at Hotel Yorba 7″, and the Skrillex Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites first press to wax. I may have made up that last one.
Chaz of Bull City Records fame is really excited about the Scettore Studios Sessions from The Velvet Underground. This is an acetate release from way back before The Velvet Underground & Nico was released, and features demo/alternate versions of some songs that ended up on that classic album.
Some guy from Offbeat Music in Durham, NC (sorry I didn’t catch you name, but your store is great!!) is apprehensive about the day, because as of when I called him, he didn’t know what was going to be coming to the store. He brings up an interesting point–that retail can be stressful, especially when you’re dealing with a bunch of stocking agencies that are smokin’ doobies rather than employing high-quality analytics systems that can give record store owners a better idea of what they’re getting. Alas.
That’s all I got,
Have fun, eat good food, buy good music!
Maybe it’s the “holiday spice” scent I’ve been spraying in my house or the copious amount of chai tea I’ve consumed today, but I’m giddy. Hopscotch gave everyone the gift today of announcing information about its fourth installment and will be spreading the cheer even more by giving away VIP tickets to the 2013 festival.
Hopscotch will take place September 5-7, 2013 , which is the first weekend in September. Like this year, that also means First Friday activities will weave through the festival, creating an unforgettable arts-packed weekend in Raleigh, NC.
Festival wristbands will go on sale February 1, 2013 — and because I know you’re wondering, that’s 85 days from now. While you’re counting those down, you can enter to win two 3-day VIP tickets to Hopscotch through the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Until then, I’m sure we’ll all be speculating headliners (I think Modest Mouse and Explosions in the Sky would be wonderful) and reminiscing about Hopscotch 2012′s highlights (running in the rain around downtown to the next venue, mimosa-drenched day parties, moshing at Nobunny and temporarily losing my hearing after Grohg, to name a few).
You can also look at our slideshows from past years:
Hopscotch 2011 Day 1 Gallery (Part Two)
Final Day of Hopscotch Photo Recap (Day 3, 2011)
It’s a firmly held belief for me that Haw River Ballroom is the finest venue in the state, and each show I attend at the gorgeous venue drives that point further and further home. Between the fine gas station dining of the Saxapahaw General Store (it’s not at all what it sounds like, incredible food with a diverse menu!) and the breath taking aesthetics of the ballroom, there’s nothing to dislike about this place. The crowd got surprisingly wild for a Monday night, but when you’ve got an incredible act like Dr. Dog on the bill the date is really irrelevant…it’s gonna be a party either way. Throwing in old favorites and plenty of gems from their latest album Be The Void, Dr. Dog had a little bit of something for everyone on Monday night.
Cotton Jones was the opening act, and while the band put on a great performance they suffered from a heart breaking condition that has been sweeping the nation for decades, OBS, or Opening Band Syndrome. When you’ve got an act like Dr. Dog headlining it takes a lot to maintain the attention of a packed crowd, an opening act has to be bursting with energy to become a memorable part of the evening when you’re opening for a powerhouse. While Cotton Jones’ folk pop tunes from Maryland blend rustic goodness with vivid lyricism, they lacked the presence needed to be anything other than an opening act. In any other setting their charm may have shone through brighter, with a one man brass section playing tuba and trombone, the band certainly had the potential to be an incredible opener. However, once Dr. Dog took the stage Cotton Jones’ laid back folk songs took a backseat to the raucous live act.
Allow me to preface this by saying I’ve already had a failed attempt at seeing Dr. Dog this year when I was stuck in a traffic jam on I-40 on my way to see the band at Music on the Mountaintop back in August, so my excitement for this show was through the roof. Haw River was the PERFECT venue for this band, with fantastic acoustics and a wide open room the ballroom perfectly housed the heart warming sounds of Dr. Dog. From open to close, Dr. Dog lead the crowd in a joyous singalong with a fantastic career spanning set. While the bulk of the set came from Be The Void, with tracks like “How Long Must I Wait”, “Lonesome”, and “That Old Black Hole” standing out amongst the crowd, the band scattered in personal favorites from Fate and Shame, Shame like ”The Breeze”, “Shadow People”, and set closer, “Jackie Wants A Black Eye”.
The band’s harmonies lived up to all of the high expectations I’d set for them, lead vocalists Toby Leaman and Scott McMicken put on dazzling performances filled with passion and energy. While there wasn’t much stage banter, the band did plenty of interacting with the crowd, like Leaman grabbing a camera bag from the front of the stage and using their cell phone to make a phone call mid-song. The band’s lyrical depth can easily define their music in the studio, but their live performance breathes vivacity into otherwise low-key songs. Dr. Dog is a band like no other, they perfectly blend elements of indie rock with psychedelic folk to make for an array of beautiful textures that are perfectly suited for their devastatingly brilliant lyrics.
Despite being a college student, I’m pretty much an old man. I watch my Jeopardy every night and I’m usually nodding off during The Daily Show, but every now and then I’m compelled to drag my lazy ass out of the house on the weekdays. Thursday was one of those fated days, with a handful of incredible acts playing in downtown Raleigh including a stellar lineup for GZA’s Liquid Swords tour, I chose the local route with DiggUp Tapes standouts The Lollipops and Jenny Besetzt. While the initial showing was a bit lackluster, as the night went on the crowd got gradually larger and more raucous. While Jenny Besetzt had a handful of swaying head-nodders, by the end of the night The Lollipops were leading Kings in a full on PBR-fueled dance party.
The night began with one of the most heavily lauded local bands of the year, Jenny Besetzt. The band just made their way back to North Carolina for their tour after playing a bit further up north and what a homecoming it was. The band recently added Justin Flythe (formerly of Lonnie Walker) as their new keyboard player, and while their regular drummer wasn’t playing on Thursday the band still proved to be incredibly tight and harmonious. Blasting through favorites from their debut full length, Only, these songs shine in a new light during live performances. The band packs a bit heavier of a punch with live performances, guitar lines feel less ethereal and more jaunting, but the vocals still perfectly counteract that added grit with raw intensity while maintaining it’s dreamlike aspects. Jenny Besetzt continues to impress me with each show I see, they’ve made the leap that many can’t by transitioning their shoegaze-y sound into a driving and powerful live act that not only grasps your attention but leaves you speechless, thirsting for more.
After Jenny Besetzt was Companion, a stellar Brooklyn band that played with Jenny Besetzt in New York and made their way down the coast for their first official tour. The band is relatively new but displayed a fantastic sense of self with entrancing three part vocal harmonies that counteracted their driving rhythms perfectly. Fueled by a tasteful mixture of electronic beats and physical drums, the addition of an electronic percussion sound added an entirely new layer to this already dense and lush arrangement. I must say I was thoroughly surprised by this band, and I think they were equally surprised by the Thursday night outing, as the band’s lead vocalist Pepi Ginsberg brought out a camera of her own to take a big family picture of the crowd. This was the perfect band to transition from the depth and wonder of Jenny Besetzt to the simplistic yet equally invigorating bedroom pop sounds of The Lollipops.
As the band was taking the stage, brainchild Iggy Cosky was frantically writing out a setlist, an image that perfectly encapsulates the essence of The Lollipops. Everything flows together wonderfully yet still feels spastic and urgent. Painfully infectious pop melodies perfectly counteract the gritty lo-fi bedroom recordings and transition into one hell of a live show, Cosky leads the band with a commanding presence, Iggy seems genuinely excited to be on stage and that excitement permeated throughout the once spread out crowd of Kings. The crowd condensed into one tightly packed dance party that was bursting with energy, bouncing along to favorites like “I Love You” and “Wolves”. During the show Iggy announced a soon to be released album, making for their “third release in 8 months”. To put it simple these guys go hard in the paint. This lineup was excellent from top to bottom, and ending with the brilliant pop sounds of The Lollipops was the best way to go out. An incredible way to spend a Thursday night!
This was my first time seeing El Ten Eleven. The LA-based post rock (even though they hate being categorized) duo recently released its fifth full-length album Transitions, a fast-paced hypnotically layered ten-track.
Kristian Dunn plays a Wal fretless bass and a guitar/bass doubleneck, using multiple loop and effects pedals to create full sounds. Tim Fogarty has his drum kit fed into some of the pedals, giving Kristian the ability to control loops on that as well. By the way — this is all done live. No samples, no pre-recorded loops. They made it a point to make sure the audience knew this. Without dropping names, they were able to subtly bash artist who essentially just hit the play button on their Mac.
As a matter of fact, when a mic went out on stage they decided to do an improv song. Kristian asked the audience for a key to play in, and major or minor. This led into an album-worthy rendition he dubbed “Raleigh in F minor.” This equated to the best stage banter I’ve heard, and compensated for when he tried to say something generic like “so how about that local sports team?” to the audience. Usually this wouldn’t have stricken a nerve, but he got booed for that comment. Apparently only NC State fans were at the show. (Our football team unfortunately lost to UNC for the first time in six years, and it was also their first in-state win of the season.) I forgive you, Kristian.
I couldn’t stop smiling or dancing the entire show. Seeing how the songs came together was incredible and added a lot to the experience of listening to them, live or at home. The projection panels behind them intensified the beats. Plus, being surrounded by zombies, mimes and a Bob Ross was great.
A little after 1:00AM, Kristian announced that they would be playing their final song — they’re “real” final song. He called other artists out for “faking” the encore, the say goodbye but let’s still leave our instruments on stage and walk back out after we let the audience tell us how much they love us for approximately 75 seconds. From the opener “Thanks Bill” (my favorite) to the last note of the last song, the band was on point and engaging. I’m looking forward to catching them again sometime.
by Beth Moore on Oct.26, 2012, under Daytime
Here are my top five songs to start off a Halloween playlist. Some of the first albums mentioned have several other spooky songs that are more than appropriate so be sure to check them out!
1. They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From The Dead!! Ahhhh! – Sufjan Stevens. Here’s a song from “Come on feel the Illinoise” while Stevens’ was toying with the concept of a 50 states project. During this project, Stevens’ did actual research on the state of Illinois to use as song material. Many songs on this album make references to some of the scary but true things he found such as UFO sightings, serial killers, and ghost towns.
2. Cemetery Lawn- The Rosebuds. This song is pulled from the album “Night of the Furies” that is made up entirely of dark fantastical stories. “The Furies” are mythological creatures of torment and evil. “In the dead of night, better hold on tight to your loved ones. The rumor is the truth: the Furies are here upon us.”
3. The Killing Moon- Echo & the Bunnymen. A great song from the post-punk English band with an impressive cult following. One day Ian McCulloch woke up with the soon to be lyrics “fate up against your will” stuck in his head. This song, in my opinion, is David Bowie meets The Doors in the best and most haunting way possible.
4. Lose Your Soul- Dead Man’s Bones. First of all, it is scary how hott Ryan Gosling is and how his band just adds even more to his appeal. Sometimes it’s overkill for celebrities to take on more projects but Gosling’s band is a very cool and unique venture for him. For the album, he invited the Silverlake Conservatory Children’s Choir to sing with him. Their chants about monsters, werewolves, graveyards, etc. make it even creepier.
5. The Monster and the Count- The Extraordinaires. This band turns all sorts of stories into songs. They went so far as to release two albums in hardback handmade and fully illustrated books.
Everyone expects you to have Thriller and The Monster Mash so throw those in IF YOU MUST and then here are 10 more songs to make your playlist last roughly about an hour! Sip on some Beetle Juice or a Bloody Mary and get yo dance on!
6. Black River Killer- Blitzen Trapper
7. Dance for the Dead- Cloud Cult
8. Satin in a Coffin- Modest Mouse
9. Walking with a Ghost- Tegan and Sara
10. Phantom Limb- The Shins
11. Vampire- Dr. Dog
12. Shape Shifter- Local Natives
13. Animal Backwards- Minus the Bear
14. Psycho Killer- Talking Heads
15. The Ghost of you Lingers- Spoon
Happy Halloween from WKNC!
If you haven’t been brought to your front door by the knocks of canvassers urging you to vote early yet… well, you may be the only one. But the efforts to encourage early voting here in the triangle have taken a more enjoyable turn, and a turn away from your front door.
This Friday, October 26, Durham’s Central park will host a midday early voting rally. The rally will kick off at 11am and will feature three amazing acts and delicious soup to warm your heart and soul. Mac McCaughan (Superchunk, Portastatic), the triangle’s own Spider Bags, and Titus Andronicus will all play to urge potential voters to get out and vote early. If you missed Spider Bags at Kings on September 20, let’s just leave it at you don’t want to miss these guys again.
Early voting kicked off in NC on October 18 and will continue until 5pm on November 3. NC State’s own Talley Student Center is an early voting location this year, but there are 20 other locations through Wake and Orange counties housing early voting this year. To find your early voting location, check out the early voting websites for Wake and Orange counties. And don’t forget — even if you’ve forgotten to register to vote here in NC, you can still register AND vote in one stop at early voting.
Have your voice heard and get out to hear some awesome bands this election year!
by sarahnade on Oct.23, 2012, under Daytime
Friday night proved to be another fantastic time at The Cat’s Cradle, as the freak-folk rock act of Father John Misty took the crowd by storm with their swagger and prowess. Father John Misty is the moniker taken on by J. Tillman, former drummer of Fleet Foxes for his latest musical project. Bored with the pedantic, sad-sack songwriting of many of his peers, Tillman took a road trip with no destination and a bag full of mushrooms, eventually leading him to Los Angeles in an unexpected turn of events. Tillman hulled up and found himself writing with a new voice, one that’s filled with equal parts of self deprecation and self aggrandizement. With a bit of snark and honesty, Tillman has created a unique and captivating sound that serves as the perfect outlet for his oftentimes poetic lyricism.
Fear Fun is the debut full-length from Father John Misty and it’s been filling my ears for quite some time now, but hearing the songs live breathes a new life into them. Father John Misty is a refreshing take on the current folk music trend, the songs feel grounded with familiar themes, but explore content that contemporary folk artists wouldn’t dare. If your average songwriter spends his albums licking his wounds, Tillman takes an approach of patching them up and raring past the bad times for a drug-filled haze of enlightenment and wonder. Father John Misty feels like classic country clasping on to its rustic roots while adapting to the commercial and occasionally vapid world we’re surrounded with. Tillman had a presence that I doubt anyone could have expected, he crooned and swayed across the stage for an enchanting and lively set that felt more like a rock n roll show than a display of one man’s lyrical prowess. It’s always awesome going to a show where you can thoroughly enjoy all of the acts that you see, and The Cat’s Cradle usually provides just that.
I arrived just in time for the end of Jeffertitti’s Nile, placing myself dangerously close to the speakers. Just my style. The psychedelic sounds of Jeffertitti’s Nile swirled garage punk with folk for a brief yet welcome encounter. I wish I’d gotten to see more than three songs from the band, their songs weren’t breaking the mold or anything, but I’ll be damned if they weren’t a blast to kick off the evening with. As the bands loaded in and out I pondered upon the state of my hearing and found myself a bit taken aback by the off-kilt crowd at the Cradle. Filled with chatter like, “Yeah, I don’t really go to shows anymore. Nobody good plays around here!” and endless Obama/Romney chatter, I couldn’t have screamed louder when L.A’s La Sera took the stage.
La Sera is a bright, upbeat pop act led by Katy Goodman of Vivian Girls. Their songs were the spark of energy needed to get the crowd moving and as the set went on the crowd packed tighter and tighter. La Sera’s music isn’t groundbreaking, but the trails that they blaze for themselves are certainly worth walking down. Their lyrics are intelligent, yet approachable, never too dense to lose yourself in but with enough attention to detail to leave the listener satisfied and waiting for more. Songs like “Please Be My Third Eye” display this perfectly, Goodman prefaced the track with a simple, “This song is about telepathy”, then jumped into another short blast of pop goodness. With soaring vocals and a driving rhythm section, La Sera was a welcome addition to this diverse lineup and the perfect lead-in for Father John Misty.
As Tillman and company took the stage I turned around to see a surprisingly dense crowd that was arguably more excited than me for this show, something thats always wonderful to experience. The energy was palpable, and as “Fun Times In Babylon” kicked off the set it was clear that the crowd was in for a treat. Tillman played perfectly off of the crowd, his stage banter opening the door for adoring shouts from the audience. An obligatory “I love you” was shouted before the band even began and Tillman responded quickly, “Let me prove my worth first!”, setting the tone with his quick wit and obvious excitement. Tracks like “Only Son of the Ladiesman” and “Nancy From Now On” were songs that took a brand new form on stage, Tillman opens up his soul as he glides across the stage often taking the mic stand with him wherever he pleased. Through his smooth vocals and commanding stage presence, Tillman had the crowd in the palm of his hands. Blasting through staples of the album, the show felt like it was over before it started simply because of how fun it is to watch this band perform. As Tillman sang, “Look out Hollywood here I come” the crowd shouted with joy, and this line can perfectly sum up the new vibe of Tillman’s music. Gone are the days of the sad, sappy songwriter and here’s a new headstrong, vivacious young man that is ready to take on the world in its fucked up glory. As the show was coming to a close with the powerhouse “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”, my ears rang loudly and my soar throat was begging me to stop shouting along. The crowd sang along proudly to the helpless reprise, “Someone’s gotta help me dig!” and I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed at how perfect the show was.
I weaved in and out of the crowd as the song was ending, evidently missing the tail end of the show and a bottle being thrown on stage. Tillman apparently shrugged it off as excitement, an endearing snapshot of the character displayed by this act. My old mannish tendencies were rearing their heads on the ride home, the yawns set in, my ears were ringing, and my back was aching…but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t worth it. I know I for one will be making a point of seeing Father John Misty whenever they stop through the area, mostly because it would have been hard to walk away from that show without a smile on. Another night at the Cradle filled with incredible tunes!
by sarahnade on Oct.19, 2012, under Daytime
Speakers thumped out bass-heavy remixes while flashing neon lights danced through a fog machine. Blue banners hung behind the make-shift stage and from the third floor balcony of Witherspoon Student Center, matching the rectangular area on Harris Field bound by Obama yard signs. This was all part of Wolfpack for Obama’s event featuring Rock the Vote with Passion Pit. Two members of the band took turns playing a DJ set, featuring remixes of popular songs and random assortments of beats. The crowd awkwardly toe-tapped during the 6:00 p.m. set. They did take the time out, however, to say, “I don’t care who you vote for. Obama, Gary Johnson, whatever. Just don’t say Romney, because you’re educated. You know better.”
Musicians have been using their celebrity to try to persuade fans’ political opinions for ages, but with the upcoming presidential election and accessibility to every kind of social media platform, we’re seeing more of it than ever before: email blasts, tweets, Facebook posts, Tumblr reposts, stage banter and of course, the sharing of infamous memes. Some artists just want to end the apathy of voting by teaming up with nonpartisan voter registration organizations like HeadCount and Rock the Vote. Wilco, for example, took a team of volunteers with them for every American tour date this year to canvas the audience.
Others want to voice their opinions about politics not so subtly. Many local artists during the spring Shakori discussed voting against Amendment One and what that vote would mean to them — informational calls to action without any sugarcoating. Like Passion Pit, other artists have participated in rallies, forums and concerts supporting a particular candidate or party. President Obama’s reelection campaign has been supported by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Jay-Z, Beyonce (and probably Blue Ivy, too), Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Katy Perry, Jon Bon Jovi, Kanye West, Dave Matthews, The National, Pete Wentz, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, Joel Madden, Jason Mraz, Gwen Stefani, David Grohl, Cyndi Lauper, Adam Levine and more. In 2008, Durham-based Merge Records hosted Obama rallies featuring their artists, including Grammy-winner Arcade Fire. Superchunk, Baobab and Future Kings of Nowhere have more or less live tweeted the recent debates, not being shy whatsoever about their thoughts.
It’s harder to find the same allegiance among musicians on the conservative side. This year’s Republican National Convention’s lineup included Oak Ridge Boys, Conrad Oberg, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Philip Alongi, Neal E. Boyd, Lane Turner, Randy Owen, Jack Blades, 3 Doors Down, Ayla Brown, Beau Davidson, The Kantinas, Danny Gokey, Taylor Hicks and BeBe Winans. Nicki Minaj, despite having Obama’s endorsement in her fight against Mariah Carey, favors Romney on Lil Wayne’s newest mixtape. The Killers, who Romney allegedly enjoys, would “be open” to performing in support of the candidate.
Now, it’s not all that surprising that musicians tend to lean towards more liberal views. The imbalance is interesting though. Why do so few indie bands (that aren’t offered to play big gigs) publicly support conservative ideas and candidates? And if there were a “Wolfpack for Romney” group on campus, who would they get to perform? Even in the 2008 election, there was a significant difference in musicians’ support between parties. Hank Williams Jr. and Gretchen Wilson were among the most prominent McCain supporters.
Is this just a genre division? If you’re trying to reach younger voters through music, what’s the best way to accomplish this?
Each week, the WKNC music directors tally up spins for new releases and submit their top charts to CMJ.
by sarahnade on Oct.03, 2012, under Daytime
Each week, the WKNC music directors tally up spins for new releases and submit their top charts to CMJ.
Have you heard this breezy Major Lazer track featuring Amber of the Dirty Projectors yet?
If you haven’t, check out this subtly badass music video before continuing on to the rest of this post (my personal favorite is the part with the T-Rex skeleton)
How about this awesome mashup between Major Lazer and N.C. rapper J. Cole producer and DJ Diplo posted to Facebook this week?
[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/61416261" params="show_comments=true&auto_play=false&color=ff0400" width="100%" height="81" iframe="false" /]
by sarahnade on Sep.18, 2012, under Daytime
Each week, the WKNC music directors tally up spins for new releases and submit their top charts to CMJ.
WKNC Radio 200
|1||MUSIC TAPES||Mary’s Voice||Merge|
|2||WILD NOTHING||Nocturne||Captured Tracks|
|3||DEEP TIME||Deep Time||Hardly Art|
|6||TANGO IN THE ATTIC||Sellotape||Domicile Crocodile|
|8||ORWELLS||Remember When||Autumn Tone|
|10||JUNK CULTURE||Wild Quiet||Illegal Art|
|11||MARIA MINERVA||Will Happiness Find Me?||Not Not Fun|
|12||ALBERTA CROSS||Songs Of Patience||ATO|
|13||MICACHU AND THE SHAPES||Never||Rough Trade|
|15||ALLEN STONE||Allen Stone||ATO|
|17||TURTLE GIANT||All Hidden Places [EP]||Self-Released|
|18||FANTASMES||Redness Moon||Last Bummer|
|19||FRESH AND ONLYS||Long Slow Dance||Mexican Summer|
|21||HELIO SEQUENCE||Negotiations||SUB POP|
|23||CULT OF YOUTH||Love Will Prevail||Sacred Bones|
|24||FERGUS AND GERONIMO||Funky Was The State Of Affairs||Hardly Art|
|26||STAGNANT POOLS||Temporary Room||Polyvinyl|
|27||ARIEL PINK’S HAUNTED GRAFFITI||Mature Themes||4AD|
|28||ETERNAL SUMMERS||Correct Behavior||Kanine|
|29||VAN SHE||Idea Of Happiness||Modular|
WKNC Radio 200 Adds
|1||UNGDOMSKULEN||Secrecy||Young Aspiring Professionals|
|3||JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION||Meat And Bone||Mom And Pop-Boombox|
A dozen years after their last worldwide tour, the original members of Ben Folds Five are back on the road for a major tour that includes a Sept. 11 stop at Cary’s Koka Booth Ampitheatre. AC Entertainment has provided us with tickets to share with our loyal listeners and all you have to do is listen for the DJ’s prompt and call in at 919-515-2400 or 860-0881.
The new Ben Folds Five album “The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind,” goes on sale a week after the Cary show, on Tuesday, Sept. 18.