Tag: Hammer No More The Fingers
by sarahnade on Aug.15, 2011, under Promotions
With all the students moving back to campus and all the fun activities going on this week (Wolfstock and FTW!, for starters), we here at WKNC couldn’t help but get excited and have a ton of awesome giveaways for you lovely listeners.
Here’s what you should stayed tuned in for this week:
PLUS Pictureplane’s new album, Thee Physical
Keep our requests lines on your speed dial so when the WKNC DJ asks for it, you can be a winner!
Durham trio Hammer No More The Fingers are set to release their new album, Black Shark, on April 5. To celebrate the release, the band will play three in-store shows at local record stores. The band will play at CD Alley in Chapel Hill at 3 p.m., Bull City Records in Durham at 5 p.m., and Schoolkids Records in Raleigh at 7 p.m. The shows are free, so get out and support some local music and businesses.
88.1 WKNC Pick of the Week 2/8/11, written by DJ Switch, WKNC deejay
You never think your kid’s ugly. Well, at least you never tell your kid you think they’re ugly. My parents never did. They did say I have a face for radio, but I never quite got what that meant. Either way, there’s no need to lie about the beauty of WKNC’s Double Barrel Benefit compilation, because even though the student radio station put it together, it’s a handsome piece of local music by all objective accounts. Recorded mostly in Caldwell Hall, this album was passed out to the crowd at 88.1′s annual benefit concert as they watched those very same bands bring down the house.
Showing the diversity of Raleigh’s music scene right off the bat is rapper Inflowential’s “Wherever.” It has a cheerful rhythm that reminds of Sugar Ray. As soon as you’re swaying to that, he slips in nonchalantly and starts commanding a pitter-patter of rhymes. Inflowential has an easy mastery of words like Nas or Jay Z, but with none of the intimidating lyrics.
Kid Future has some seriously artful song lyrics, such as “you were born with no blood, wind in your veins,” and the Old Ceremony has that simple beauty that you used to only be able to find in Bob Dylan or James Taylor songs.
Luego are students of the Guthrie school of folk rock, but, like Blitzen Trapper, they bring their modern indie rock sensibilities to give it a modern twist. Don’t let the song title fool you, “California” is an ode to the good old North State, done right by a group of native musicians with true Carolina accents.
Cassis Orange easily became one of my new favorite bands with their contribution, “May, June, July.” Now, normally I don’t like dance music. I think this aversion stems from a childhood of getting rejected by girls at the middle school dances — and an adulthood of getting rejected by some of those same girls at college parties — but this track made me forget all that entirely. It’s sort of like a mellowed-out Madonna, but not so dancey that it loses its beautiful, trippy melody and its mature songwriting.
Yardwork makes order out of chaos with “Hot Balloons.” The guitar solos seem to climb around the impassioned vocals like ivy, wrapping over the pounding snares in an effort to quell this eminent crescendo of emotion. Bright Young Things is a sort of happy hodgepodge resembling something like Kula Shaker or maybe even an experimental-era Beatles.
Like their name, Hammer No More the Fingers is something both indescribable and obvious. You can’t pin down exactly what it is that works for this band, but you know that it works— and “Blanko Basnet” definitely works. The vocals are some of the most unique I’ve ever heard. They have a slight adolescent twill, but still retain the power and resonance to howl above the rich intensity of the song.
No lie, this compilation is beautiful. Me, on the other hand—that might be another story.
There’s still time to get your own little piece of Double Barrel Benefit 8, while also supporting your local independent record store!
WKNC DBB 8 Compilation:
1. “Wherever” Inflowential
2. “Like a Camera” Kid Future
3. “Day That I Was Born” The Old Ceremony
4. “California” Luego
5. “May, June, July” Cassis Orange
6. “Hot Balloons” Yardwork
7. “King of Fools” Bright Young Things
8. “Blanko Basnet” Hammer No More the Fingers
Tracks 1-7 were engineered and mixed by WKNC staff, under the direction of WKNC Sessions Director Eric Scholz, in Caldwell Lounge on the campus of N.C. State University; track 8 was engineered and mixed by Pete Kimosh; all tracks were mastered by Kitchen Mastering in Carrboro, NC, and CD duplication was provided by Triangle Duplication Services in Raleigh, NC.
by alexsanchez on Feb.07, 2011, under Local
by Tommyboy on Jan.11, 2011, under Local
Night two of Double Barrel Benefit 8 features Kid Future, HaLo, King Mez, Yardwork and Hammer No More the Fingers.
(Kieran Moreira, WKNC Program Director)
Kid Future could possibly be one of Raleigh’s best kept secrets. The indie band maintains a low profile online only featuring one of their recorded tracks. However, it can only be a matter of time before their talent betrays their anonymity. After catching them at a packed Slims Downtown in July and seeing them perform at Hopscotch in front of Raleigh Times, it’s clear that Kid Future has a knack for mesmerizing audiences. What’s to be expected from their performance? Dreamy synth sounds mixed with frontman Bryan Costello’s moody voice creates a recipe that is very reminiscent of the National and the Killers.
(Tommy Anderson, WKNC General Manager)
Ahem, that’s “hah-low,” or “Mr. Ben Ready” to you, good sir. This guy is witty, upbeat, and dare I say funky hip hop out of Raleigh. HaLo is connected with 9th Wonder, and he appears on Kooley High’s much acclaimed recent album Eastern Standard Time. This gentleman has already developed a name in the area and beyond (he’s also got one Local Beer Local Band under his belt.) Request his stuff on WKNC during Local Lunch and Underground. Fantastic stuff.
(Tommy Anderson, WKNC General Manager)
What can you say? If you were fortunate enough to catch any of King Mez’s performances in the area (or elsewhere), you know what an energetic, committed show he is able to put on. Street-wise lyrics, lush beats (provided by Commissioner Gordon on his most recent release “The Parapalegics” ), and a style that is all his own, King Mez is unforgettable and singularly compelling. As with HaLo, request this during Local Lunch as well as Underground. We’re very very excited to have King Mez on board making night two that much more of a treat for anyone lucky enough to get a ticket.
(Nicole Kligerman, WKNC Local Music Director)
Hailing from Charlotte, NC, Yardwork is described as playing “South Eastern Minimalist Pop/Prog.” No matter what you call this band’s music, it is awesome, and those who have seen this band live know that this will not be a show to miss. Complete with a large and eclectic cast skilled in multiple instruments, this group puts on a kaleidoscopic show that will entertain your eyes as well as your ears. Usually working with two simultaneous percussionists, the sound is so rich and deep that you’ll find a completely new array to look for in each song.
There isn’t a lot known about Yardwork, and the biography on the band’s Myspace is a story including feral, mutant school teachers and PV rays. Whatever the history of the band, the music they play is bad ass and great for jumping around.
Their Local Beer Local Band performance in 2010 was barely contained by the stage. The larger space at Kings should be a perfect opportunity for this helter-skelter outfit to unleash their full furry upon downtown Raleigh. I saw Yardwork for the first time at last years TRKfest and am so psyched for another chance to see the live energy at this years’ Double Barrel Benefit 8.
Hammer No More the Fingers
(Kieran Moreira, WKNC Program Director)
Possibly the coolest name for a band, Hammer No More The Fingers, hailing from Durham, are local heavy hitters with a UK tour under their belt. They’ve graced WKNC’s airwaves since 2007, so it’s only natural that they take their place as Double Barrel Benefit night two headliners. Looking For Bruce, which released in 2009, cemented the band’s success meshing a blend of quirkiness, mid-twenties male humor, rock, and pop. What’s to be expected from HNMTF at Double Barrel Benefit 8? Raw energy. Although a lot of indie artists delve into bubbly pop sounds, HNMTF tries to remain edgier and grittier with sharp guitar licks and soaring vocals. We are very excited to have these fellas on board as headliners.
This past Saturday marked the the last night of the local music festival Troika in downtown Durham. Despite the cold weather, Anastassia and I, AndyQ, had a glorious time running around from venue to venue listening to the Triangle’s finest local music. This is our collaborative blog on our experience.
The first place we went to was at the new Motorco Music Hall, which had a nice upscale warehouse lounge vibe going on.
Filthybird started the evening out nicely with some mellow music. It was fun to watch the lead singer with her short stature play such a huge guitar.
After Filthybird, some men in snazzy suits and well manicured beards came to the stage. With their four-part harmonies and fancy finger work on the fiddle, Chatham County Line managed to crank out some good ole bluegrass reminiscent of classic Avett Brothers.
It wasn’t surprising when we looked back at the crowd and saw that they had packed the house filled with swooning listeners.
We were in for a surprise when we headed over to The Casbah.
Gray Young completely changed the atmosphere of the evening with their garage rock cords that were evocative of Explosions in the Sky. With their awesome stage presence and edgy music, it was impossible to stand still. Seeing Gray Young right after a nice folksy band like Chatham was an eye opening experience to the wide range of local music in the Triangle, and both of us really appreciated that.
Then, we saw The Loom from Brooklyn, who were well worth the walk to the Trotter Building, which was decorated nicely with lovely lanterns. I liked the band’s ability to start off with a mellow opening, only to build up to a crescendo of high energy horns, banjo, and drums. The “Middle Distance,” showcased their driving beats that backed haunting vocals. The sweet raspiness of the female vocalist accompanied by the male lead’s voice was very enjoyable.
Next, we ran back to The Motorco for Cassis Orange. This girly, but rough band was really fun to watch, with the singer dancing and jumping around. Their use of different and sometimes odd instruments came especially handy when a flutist joined them to cover Ke$ha’s “Tik-tok”. That was probably the best cover that I have heard, hands down.
Finally, after almost five hours of shows, the best was saved for last with Hammer No More the Finger. We had heard of them, but didn’t really know what to expect, and they definitely did not disappoint. It was obvious even from the beginning that they had a solid fan base in Durham. The venue was packed and a sort of mosh pit was forming. No one stood still because the guitar riffs and catchy songs were too good to not dance to.
In general, the festival not only presented some great local music, but it showcased the noteworthiness of downtown Durham, helping to disprove some people’s sentiments that Durham is Raleigh’s ghetto. We were very disappointed that there was not enough time in the night to listen to all the bands that performed. We also went with fellow DJ Godrik, who would like to add “beer should have been cheaper”.
Tonight on the Local Beat we begin our second installment of the Local Beat Roundtable Series. If you remember from back in August when we had our first in the roundtable discussions with Betsy Harris, Karen Mann, Jake Seaton, Linnie Green, and Bryan Reed the focus on these roundtable discussions is not to focus on the music that make up our scene but the people who promote it and document it.
This evening we are having several exemplary characters in on the program for what should turn out to be some great conversation.
Ross Grady has been the most prominent local music documenter probably ever in our region. It seems his dedication to the scene knows no bounds. In addition to running Triangle Rock and starting up Alt Music Chapel Hill Ross is also the guardian of his radio program on WXDU that happens every Sunday from 4pm-6pm. Be sure to listen in on 88.7 or stream it live on the internet!
Ryan Sweeney is another radio personality who was the general manager at 89.3 WSOE in 2009. He is now living in Cary and the Director of Communications at the popular website Choose Local Music. In addition to other things Ryan is a great local music connoisseur who should have plenty to share.
Glenn Boothe is the main man at one of the most significant local venues in the Triangle, the Local 506 in Chapel Hill. Commonly the central hub of local music in our area, the Local 506 is commonly mentioned by bands and fans alike as their favorite place to watch live music in our area. I can’t wait to chat with Glenn about his thoughts on the music in our area.
Another music venue owner, Chris Tamplin is stopping by. Chris was the main organizer for Local Beer Local Band and booked shows at Tir Na Nog before starting his own venture with Durham’s newest local venue, Motorco. Chris should have some fascinating insight into the different cities and their relationships to the music surrounding them among other things.
Eric Chen is also dropping by. You might have heard Eric on WXYC for nine years or seen him at many Hammer No More The Fingers shows (as well as others) with his video camera in tote. Eric has been documenting the music in our area for some time now and I am sure he will have plenty to add to our convseration. Check out his Vimeo Account here.
It is certainly a special treat to have each of these amazing individuals on the show all at once. It is not going to be a Local Beat you will want to miss. Be sure to tune in at 5pm on 88.1 or listen live online. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and ReverbNation.
Saturday, at the Piedmont Biofuel facility in Pittsboro, was the third annual TrkFest put on by Trekky Records. TrkFest has quickly become one of the most important local music events in the area and a group of WKNC folk made it out in full force. It was terribly hot and humid outside while the sun was out, but not one single person complained, and I believe everyone had a fantastic time. I was lucky enough to sit next to Rich and Mimi McLaughlin of the Pneurotics, and we had a fine view of both stages.
After a excruciatingly hot but fascinating tour of the entire Biofuel center, we caught the last half of Ryan Gustafson’s set. I have seen Ryan about six times now, but this was only the second with a full band, and he was awesome, as usual.
We had to escape the heat, so we headed into the shade during the Butterflies set.
Veelee went on next. Their sound has evolved so much in the past year while still keeping with their same general style. One song that stuck out to me was a new track named “T’morrow;” that was the first in their set.
Mount Moriah went on next and, as usual, played an incredible set. I cannot describe how much I love this band and how excited I am for their new album to come out.
Midtown Dickens played one of my favorite sets of the evening. Megafaun came on for a couple of songs, and Kym and Catherine are always entertaining but even more so for this event. Fun, outgoing, and fresh is the best way to describe them.
It has been awhile since I saw Embarrassing Fruits play, but with a new album in the works, theses guys were as tight as ever as expected.
Hammer No More The Fingers has never been anything but a pleasure to see. They are one of the most technically sound and entertaining groups in the area. For a couple of songs they brought up Drew Anagnost and Leah Gibson from Lost in the Trees on the cellos and Brad Cook of Megafaun jumped on bass.
Lost in the Trees literally blew the crowd away playing second to last. I was surprised that they could cram onto the smaller of the two stages, but it ended up being truly magical. I feel like every time I see them live they sound different, which is always refreshing.
Megafaun ended the show as they always do: reeling the crowd in with their unique charisma and then putting them into a manic frenzy with their exceptional live performance. I took several videos of the group playing some brand new songs with a variety of different musicians, all off of their upcoming album, but the sound quality came out too poor to post them. Needless to say, every time I see Megafaun play, they retake the top of my list of local bands.
It has been longer than a month since we have had a live Local Beat, and, since February, we haven’t had a full, three hour show (mostly due to NC State Baseball). I have spent the past month recovering from throat surgery and also doing some summer traveling, but it is finally time to get back into the amazing local music scene here, and tonight’s show is going to be one for the ages.
We are dedicating the first two hours to Trekky Records and their kickass annual summer event TrkFest. The event happens tomorrow, June 26, and this year there will be two stages of live music as well as the usual crafts, food, and beverages including:
- Pants-off Dance-off
- Coffee Sack Race
- Cool Kids Yoga Session
- Musical Chairs Cake Walk
- Sprinklers and Water Things
- Tour of Piedmont Biofuels
- Free Haircuts
- Shadow Puppets
- Bliss Tent
I know I am going to get a haircut that I so desperately need and jam out to my favorite local musicians that include:
- Lost in the Trees
- Hammer No More The Fingers
- Embarrassing Fruits
- Midtown Dickens
- Mount Moriah
- Ryan Gustafson
- Ezekiel Graves
- Vibrant Green
This is the 3rd annual TRKFest, and tonight, on the Local Beat, we will be chatting about all of the old and new things about the festival, the bands, and hearing some live music from some of the performers tomorrow.
At 7 p.m. my favorite local band Bombadil will be dropping by for what is the first time in well over a year. As many of you may know, Bombadil has been on recent hiatus as some of the members have moved away and Daniel Michalak has been dealing with some health problems. With that said, this is their first interview as a group in quite some time, and one of the first since their Tarpits and Canyonlands hit the streets back in 2009 (If you remember, the album was my #1 album of the year). The entire band is going to try to make it and and perhaps play their first live music together since last summer. It is seriously going to be awesome.
Trekky Records has announce the initial lineup, as well as date and location, for it’s third annual TRKfest. The festival will take place Saturday June 26, once again at Piedmont Biofuels in Pittsboro, and will feature several of the Triangle’s best bands, including the experimental folk of Megafaun, the muscular indie rock of Hammer No More the Fingers, and the hauntingly beautiful folk rock of Mount Moriah. Admission will be a $10 suggested donation (and there is really no reason you should shell out less than that) and there will be a variety of activities going on throughout the day, including a coffee sack race, yoga, and free haircuts. You can check out more info here
Full lineup (with more acts to be announced May 16):
Hammer No More The Fingers
by bloggie on Mar.31, 2010, under Local
The Independent Weekly announced the line-up for its first Hopscotch Music Festival today. The festival will take place in downtown Raleigh on September 9, 10 and 11 2010. Headlining the festival are Public Enemy, Panda Bear and Broken Social Scene. A plethora of local favorites will be playing as well.
Here’s a list of the bands scheduled to play the festival, with more to be released April 12:
9th Wonder & Friends, Active Child, All Tiny Creatures, American Aquarium, Americans in France, Atlas Sound, Balmorhea, Bear in Heaven, Best Coast, Birds of Avalon, Black Congo NC, DJ George Brazil, Broken Social Scene, Brutal Knights, Richard Buckner, Burning Star Core, Cannabis Corpse, Caitlin Cary’s Small Ponds with Tres Chicas, Collections of Colonies of Bees, Cults, Greg Davis, Double Dagger, Double Negative, The Dynamite Brothers, EAR PWR, ExMonkeys, First Rate People, Followed by Static, Ben Frost, Fucked Up, Future Islands, Golden Boys, The Golden Filter, Goner, Gray Young, Ryan Gustafson, Hammer No More the Fingers, Harlem, Harvey Milk, Horseback, John Howie Jr. & The Rosewood Bluff, I Was Totally Destroying It, Javelin, Jeb Bishop Trio, Juan Huevos, Kill the Noise, The Kingsbury Manx, Kooley High, Kylesa, The Light Pines, Lonnie Walker, The Love Language, Lucero, Luego, Max Indian, Erin McKeown, Megafaun, Midtown Dickens, The Moaners, The Monologue Bombs, Motor Skills, Mountains, Jon Mueller, Marissa Nadler, No Age, Ocean, Old Bricks, Panda Bear, Pattern Is Movement, Pictureplane, Plague, Pontiak, Public Enemy, The Rosebuds, Schooner, Sightings, spcl gst, Spider Bags, Thien, Tigercity, Tortoise, Treasure Fingers, US Christmas, Sharon Van Etten, Veelee, Vincent Black Shadow, War on Drugs, Washed Out, Weedeater, Whatever Brains, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Yip-Yip.
Tickets go on sale April 1. For more information, check out this article from the Independent Weekly.
2009 was one hell of a year for WKNC and for North Carolina music. On our end, we had the sad departure of local radio legend DJ Stevo (you can still hear him broadcasting over at taintradio.org) but also the beginning of something new with myself taking over the Local Beat in August after DJ Mick provided a couple months of Friday evening entertainment. We have also added to our ranks several different Local Lunch DJs who have all been doing a fantastic job of providing you with non-stop local music every weekday from noon to 1 p.m.
In the local music spectra of our community, many new bands have made their way onto the scene while others have begun establishing themselves as some of the premiere musicians in the country. Still, other groups broke up or left our region for better or for worse. Even some unfamiliar venues have begun making their mark in this region. Some amazing shows have been played and become ingrained in the memories of many and there is no doubt that more and more people within our community have been tuning into to the amazing local music this part of the country offers.
As it is a common trend in nearly every aspect of our culture at the end of the year to create some sort of countdown list in remembrance of the past 12 months many local blogs, newspapers, and magazines have been ranking their top bands, albums, and songs from 2009.
Not to be outdone, I have been preparing for this list throughout the year and after listening to every second of every song on all 154 albums that have been sent my way by local bands and artists (an exhausting feat that nearly killed my GPA). I have whittled my way down to my top 10. In total, I have listened to more than 1,400 local songs culminating in just less than 74 hours worth of North Carolina music from 2009. Many of these albums and bands are unfortunately not worth mentioning but after much debate I worked my way down to 38 records that in my mind would qualify as top-10 material.
First to be chocked off were EPs. Certainly, the Tomahawks Like a Horse on a Beach EP was one of the finest groupings of four songs I had the pleasure to listen to, and Violet Vector’s EP II could have made the cut, along with Aminal’s A Face To Fight EP, Mandolin Orange’s self titled EP, and Veelee’s Three Sides EP among others, but I feel that LPs are the ones that truly stand the test of time.
Second to go were the compilations. Hear Here will remain my number one album of 2009, but it is difficult to split the award to all 17 of those bands. I also always enjoy the Have a Holly Raleigh Kidsmas volumes but putting a holiday album on the list didn’t seem quite right either.
I finally worked my way down to the last two dozen or so and that is where things began to get difficult. I may never fully forgive myself for excluding I Was Totally Destroying It’s release Horro Vacui and I have no excuse for not including it. That album kicks serious ass. As does Americans in France’s Pretzelvania, Bowerbirds’ Upper Air, Calico Haunts’ After All, Hammer No More The Fingers’ Looking For Bruce, Old Ceremony’s Walk on Thin Air, Ryan Gustafson’s Donkey, and many others that unfortunately were not included (I will stop before I start second guessing myself). In any case, after much rambling here it is:
10. The Bronzed Chorus: I’m The Spring
This duo out of Greensboro has seemingly come out of nowhere in the past two years. Since recording their independently released debut thurtythurty in Adam Joyce’s bedroom, Joyce and band mate Brennan O’Brien have taken the state by storm after signing to Hello Sir Records and promptly putting out the masterpiece that is I’m the Spring. Post-rock noise ecstasy combines with powerful imagery of storms of overdriven guitar and bass pounding the skies with an untamed fury. The effect of two musicians creating such a visual component to their music speaks volumes of what this album truly is: art. Stay on your toes throughout this album and try not to miss a note, you won’t come back down after hearing this. More Reviews:
9. Starmount: Tyranny of the Sphere
Here is another instrumental album that cracked my top 10, the debut album from a newly discovered band from right here in Raleigh. Starmount is one of the most unique bands I have ever heard and likely ever will with their blending of pedal steel guitar, upright bass, synthesizers, and a drum/electronics kit to make quite an uncommon yet entrancing sound. Already signed to Superfan records, this album has begun making it’s mark on the community even if the group only plays a couple of times a year. To keep it short and simple, Starmount is a band that I cannot relate with another group but one which I will now begin to compare bands to. Their music is one of a kind and this album speaks volumes about the progressive and evolving nature of music. In my opinion, the best way to listen to this record is go sit in a dark room, turn the music up loud and let it wash over you like a fresh cool breeze.
8. Polvo: In Prism
I will be the first to line up and shamefully admit that I was never a big fan of Polvo. The fact of the matter is that I never really gave them a chance. However, after watching them at the Double Barrel Benefit back in February I was converted and anxiously awaited their new album after news of them hitting the studio began to spread. What resulted was one of the grandest vindications of the year.
In Prism was Polvo’s first album in 12 years, but boy did they come back with a vengeance. Classified from anywhere to Math Rock, post-hardcore, to psychedelic, you can put them in whatever genre you like, but to me Polvo and especially this record stands to no-one’s label but their own. The entire album plays seamlessly like a single beating entity whose life unfolds out to you through each track as it’s own but also as a part of the whole organic form Polvo creates. Call me a noob to their works but In Prism is one of the finest, if not best album of the Polvo catalog. Here are a couple of reviews to dignify my claim:
7. Lonnie Walker: These Times Old Times
I remember the first time I saw Lonnie Walker at the Terpsikhore Collective Leap Year Extravaganza back in 2008. They played alongside IWTDI and Annuals, two of the best bands in the Southeast, but it was Lonnie Walker who stole the show and the hearts of everyone in the crowd that night. Stevo and I harassed lead singer Brian Corum that night and he brought a demo to WKNC the next week. The rest they say, is history.
These Times Old Times contains several remakes of the same songs from that first demo but also quite a few newer tracks as well. The whole album is reminiscent of Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks but a bit hardier and with a more intense rock ‘n roll feel while still keeping that same folky edge that they are known for. Tunes like “Grapefruit”, “Back Home Inside With You”, and “Crochet” add on to the already set LW standards and are surrounded by short sentimental ditties like “Old Birds In The Seas”, “Horse Boots”, and “Country Crowded Trees” to create an album that never gets old after each listen. The effect of their debut release was immediate as they were one of the top headliners for Artsplosure ’09 and named Ear Farm’s band of the week back in August and are now one of the most sought after live shows in the state for fans.
6. Avett Brothers: I and Love and You
It is becoming difficult for me to label the Avett Brothers as a local band in the past two years only because they tour so god damn much. But these boys out of Concord have without a doubt become the shining beacon of North Carolina music in recent years and are obviously the most successful group in the past 10 years from our state. I and Love and You is their most recent output, their major label debut, and without question their best since forming in 2000. Known for their heartfelt and emotional songs as well as their raucous and mesmerizing live performances this album captures all of those things better than any other. It has the ability to make your hair stand on end through one sentimental song and then the next throws you into a whirlwind of acoustic picking heaven.
Many questioned the Avett’s move to a larger label after the band promised to stay close to their roots but one listen to this record, produced by music legend Rick Rubin, proves the move right. Just check out some of the reviews below:
To prove the Bros. success over the past 9 years I and Love and You peaked at #16 on the Billboard 200 best selling albums, #8 in best selling digital albums, and #7 in rock albums. Point proven.
5. Midtown Dickens: Lanterns
Much to my surprise this album dropped to number 5 on my list for when I first gave it a listen I was sure it would be in my top 3. The two women (Kym and Catherine) founded their group back in 2005 have now expanded the band into a sextet after adding four of their best friends to play alongside them. What results from this addition is a fuller and more satisfying full band sound to back their already magnificent song writing and singing skills. Midtown Dickens is fun and enjoyable to listen to halfheartedly but once you take them seriously the music just opens up into something deeper and more profound than most bands can pull off. Grab the album and take a seat because listening to Lanterns might knock you flat out.
4. Megafaun: Gather, Form, and Fly
If you have ever seen Megafaun live you will know what I mean when I confess that watching these guys play is like having a deep religious experience. So believe me when I say that listening to Gather, Form, and Fly is nothing short of transcending. Megafaun has always been terrific whether as the original lineup of DeYarmond Edison before the split or on their first album Bury The Square, so it is difficult to say they have “matured.” I prefer the word “evolved” instead as Megafaun has taken their already well-developed earthy sound and transformed it into music so beautiful and sententious that the sheer vastness of the sound is almost indescribable. This album moves and breathes around you as you listen to it almost as if the whole world starts opening itself up to a Megafaun induced dream.
3. Luego: Taped-Together Stories
A second reincarnation of this band Simply put Luego is the catchiest band around. With Patrick Phelan heading the gang and welcoming the likes of Jeff Crawford, Peter Holsapple, Nick Jaeger, Rob DiMauro, Cameron Lee, and Charles Cleaver Luego is as close to a local music supergroup as one might find. Taped-Together Stories is a one of a kind in today’s music world with personal and heartfelt lyrics that anyone with a soul can relate to combined with bluesy rock/pop and craftily set beats that are easy to move your feet to all underneath Phelan’s raspy and grabbing vocals. It’s all based off of that fun jangly pop and lo-fi production technique so popular among bands in our area (ie: Max Indian) but with an indie spark to complete the album’s character. Simply put, it’s the catchiest local album of the year. In 20 years this will be one of those albums you look back on and say “I was there.”
2. Horseback: The Invisible Mountain
As difficult as it is to describe this album, I am going to try, so bear with me as I fail to give this album it’s due indulgence. Only four songs long, this masterpiece takes on 38 minutes of grinding harsh satanic laced vociferations backed by acrid droning that comes together like a choir of demons singing straight from the pits of hell. It’s dark, malicious, and pierces the soul with a pointed tip but finally salvation is granted in the form of the nearly 17 minute finale “Hatecloud Dissolving into Nothing”, one of the most breathtaking and articulate pieces of instrumentation to grace my well worn ears. Its beautiful, heart wrenching, and sincere. Every note on this album is well placed and delicate to the overall fabric of the sound, nothing is taken for granted and nothing is overdone. It’s perfect.
After listening to this album for the first time I found myself sitting on the edge of my bed staring at nothing for almost an hour trying to absorb what I had just heard. Do yourself a favor and give this a try.
1. Bombadil: Tarpits and Canyonlands
After hearing the first and then second song from Bombadil’s new album I knew that all of my expectations for it were going to be fulfilled. After the eighth song I realized that this might be the best album of 2009. After the third or fourth listen to Tarpits and Cayonlands it occurred to me that this album was one of the greatest records I had ever heard. Few albums have ever reached me quite like Tarpits has and I am having a difficult time writing this piece so that it fully encompasses my true
The first review I ever read on Bombadil was after their first EP came out. The review read “It sound’s like a group of hobbits from Durham got together and made some kickass folk music.” Nothing could have been truer then. Their songs were joyful expressions of life and bewilderment and innocence at the world. Listening to their old stuff makes you want to kick off your shoes and go frolicking in a grassy field next to a lazy stream. But as Tarpits and Canyonlands, their second full length began to emerge through live performances and hearsay I knew that this album would be different. Many critics will ramble about the tides and maturation of bands and either bombast their new ways or extol progressive features from album to album. Overall it really is what the band decides to do with their sound that makes a difference. Fortunately for us, in Tarpits Bombadil did very little to their style. The upbeat melodies and piano heavy chords are still wrapped in their folk tinged harmonies and buoyant vocals, but something is different, something hard to put your finger on. What arises is a sense of depth and emotion lacking from their previous works, a sense of death and not just life, of powerful heartbreak arising from potent love, of creating a fulfilled legacy, and a justification to experience all of these sensations without remorse.
When I first heard the album back in April I could not stop listening over and over. It’s a work that speaks to each person in their own individual way and makes its mark on the listener. From the ever present goosebumps during the very first song “I Am” through the seemingly drifting ‘Kuala Lumpur” (my personal favorite) all the way to the final four songs of redemption, loss, and ultimate love, Bombadil grabs you by the ears and the mind and takes you on a journey of illumination and enlightenment.
Overall this masterpiece is nothing short of lyrical genius coinciding with instrumentation that matches the mood perfectly. If you enjoyed their old albums, you will find this better. If you never did like Bombadil before, this one will grab you. Tarpits and Canyonlands isn’t just the best local album of 2009, it is one of the best album of any regard in the past decade.
Below is a brief list of my top 10 Local albums of 2009 as well as DJ Ray’s my awesome assistant in the Local Music department at WKNC:
|Adam Kincaid’s Top 10 Local Albums||DJ Ray’s Top 10 Local Albums|
|1.Bomadil: Tarpits & Canyonlands
2.Horseback: The Invisible Mountain
3.Luego: Taped-Together Stories
4.Megafaun: Gather, Form, & Fly
5.Midtown Dickens: Lanterns
6.Avett Brothers: I and Love and You
7.Lonnie Walker: These Times Old Times
8.Polvo: In Prism
9.Starmount: Tyranny of the Sphere
10.Bronzed Chorus: I’m the Spring
|1.Bomadil: Tarpits & Canyonlands
2.Megafaun: Gather, Form and Fly
3.Lonnie Walker: These Times Old Times
4.Hammer No More the Fingers: Looking for Bruce
5.Bowerbirds: Upper Air
6.Americans in France: Pretzelvania
7.You and Your Effects: Wire Sharks
8.Midtown Dickens: Lanterns
9.Bronzed Chorus: I’m the Spring
10.Spider Bags: Goodbye Cruel World, Hello Crueler World
Gonna be in town over the winter break? Entertaning guests? Wondering what to fill all that free time with?
Go with live music, of course!
Below are my recommendations for shows between December 17 to January 11 (N.C. State’s Winter Break)
Who: Sea Legs & Old Bricks
Where: WKNC’s Local Beer Local Band atTir Na Nog Irish Pub in Raleigh
I must say it, these are actually two of my favorite local bands. Both bands are new to the scene but I predict they will have quite a name for themselves by this time next year. Catch um while their new so you can be the cool guy who knew them when they were the little people.
Where: Pinhook in Durham
If you haven’t yet been to the Pinhook, this is your excuse. Not only is it one of my favorite places to drink, they have a killer patio, these local bands are all worth seeing.
Who: Holiday Honky Tonk and Burlesque Show
Where: Local 506 in Chapel Hill
Where: Nightlight in Chapel Hill
What: Nightlight Holiday Craft Fair from 2 to 6 p.m.
Okay, so it’s not music. Think of it this way though, its local art and any local art that is presented to me will get a moment of my time. Stop by, especially if you haven’t checked everyone off your shopping list yet.
December 21 to 24:
It’s my birthday week so I would love to celebrate with some tunes! Unfortunately, the world seems to shut down around these dates, I’m not sure why. If YOU want to serenade me happy birthday feel free to find me at one of these shows!
The Cave in Chapel Hill is holding an all day open swap December 22 and 23. You can buy and trade your doodads. Sounds like fun!
Where: The Pour House in Raleigh
You can celebrate Christmas day along with Terry Anderson, who will be celebrating his birthday as well. He brings his band, The Olympic Ass Kicking Team to the Pour House. You know there isn’t much to do after the family is done opening gifts and eating food so bring them to sing along!
What: The Merch Holiday Party
Where: Local 506 in Chapel Hill
The Merch is a local screen printing and design business whose logos are plastered all over the triangle. They are huge supporters of local music and we love that! Not sure what the night entails but it should be something great! The party starts at 10pm
Ring in the new year right! Surround yourself with the amazingness this town has to offer. First Night is offering performances by The African American Dance Ensemble, Crucial Fiya and the Annuals (plus a million other amazing things to see and do). While your downtown don’t forget to stop by Slims to see A Rooster for the Masses.
New Years Eve Party at Local 506 in Chapel Hill
HAPPY NEW YEAR! there isn’t much going on this week so make sure to rest up for next week because it is jam-packed with shows to witness!
Where: The Pour House Music Hall in Raleigh
Who: The Ex-Monkeys are spinnin in downtown Raleigh this night. Great to see if you’re in the mood for a different kind of electronic music to dance too.
Where: Tir Na Nog Irish Pub in Raleigh
IT BEGINS! RALEIGH UNDERCOVER STARTS TONIGHT!!
This a weekend all local music lovers should look forward too! Your favorite bands will cover the bands that have inspired them. Last years performances included Valient Thorr covering Parliament Funkadelic, Hearts and Daggers covering The Beastie Boys and Embarrassing Fruits as Pavement. Make sure to be there for at least one night this weekend!
Where: The Pour House Music Hall in Raleigh
Who: Your favorite local artists Lonnie Walker, Megafaun and The Rosebuds are all joining together to put on one amazing show. The night will be a prom theme and fun for everyone! If you can’t make it out on the 8th, no worries, Megafaun and The Rosebuds will be performing again, same place same time, only this time the amazing Hammer No More the Fingers will be joining them.
Where: The Nightlight in Chapel Hill
Who: Midtown Dickens takes the stage with Joe Romeo and the Orange County Volunteers. Midtown Dickens is a group that consistently keeps a smile on my face. They are a joy to watch and with this year’s release of Lanterns, you wont be let down.
Also right down the street North Elementary will be playing at The Local 506. A classic local group that is worth the short walk!
That is it for now!
The new year seems to be starting out well here in the Triangle!
by Stoville on Dec.10, 2009, under Local
This Thursday, December 10 is Local Beer Local Band night at Tir Na Nog, which it hosts weekly in conjunction with WKNC. This Thursday’s bands are Hammer No More the Fingers, Gift Horse, and Today the Moon Tomorrow the Sun. Hammer No More the Fingers should ring a bell for most of you. There’s a good chance you’ve heard the song “Shutterbug” at least once a week since the release of the Full length album “Looking for Bruce.” Yes, they are that good! They are performing with two out of town bands this week that fit this bill ever so perfectly. Thanks, Chris at Tir Na Nog, for booking an awesome line-up!