Tag: Midtown Dickens
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.
by DJ Kligz on May.19, 2010, under The Local Beat
Last month, Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance was held on a 75 acre farmstead in Chatham County. Kate “Riff Raff” Rafferty, Tommy “Tommyboy” Anderson, and myself, Nicole “DJ Kligz” Kligerman, got the chance to drive to Shakori to see what it was all about. Well, to put it simply, we had the time of our lives. After setting up our official WKNC tent on Friday, Riff Raff, Tommyboy, and I ventured around the grounds to see what there was to do. Shakori supplied its guests with kid-friendly activities, workshops for musicians and dancers, arts and crafts, a healing arts area, several stages, a vast camping site, and a food area that included a delicious “Veggie Thing”. While at the festival, Wolf TV videographer Jane Moon joined us to capture footage of the festival for the first ever Local Beat Video Exclusive, which includes interviews with Bowerbirds, Midtown Dickens, and festival-goers. This video has been posted on Wolf TV’s site for quite a while and I thought it deserved a place here as well. Take a look!
This week I sat down for yet another Local Beat Mini Exclusive as there will once again be no normally scheduled Local Beat (due to baseball programming). Rob Koegler and Jason Kutchma came in to chat about a really interesting and unique concert happening this Friday evening at the ETC Auditorium of the North Carolina School of Science and Math titled “Deliver Me From Nowhere- A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska.” A collaboration of different musicians from Red Collar, Midtown Dickens, COW, Mount Moriah, and the Rosewood Bluff are coming together to play the entire album in it’s entirely. The show is only $10 and all proceeds are going to benefit the Coalition to Unchain Dogs and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. The concert begins at 9:30 p.m. though a free showing of Terrence Malick’s 1973 film, Badlands, will begin at 7:30 p.m. The screening of the movie is free of charge.
In this Local Beat Mini Exclusive, Jay, Rob, and I chatted about the bands playing the show, the charities, and the reason behind throwing this concert. Jay also brought in his acoustic guitar and a harmonica and played two tracks from Nebraska for us which you can listen to in the music player to the left.
Take a listen to the podcast below and feel free to download the covers at the Local Beat ReverbNation page.
by Sweet Melissa on Apr.05, 2010, under Local
New month, new shows, new giveaways!
Check out the great shows that are happening this week that WKNC is giving away tickets to:
Monday, April 5
Wednesday, April 7
Thursday, April 8
Friday, April 9
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.
WKNC listeners and supporters,
We hope you have already bought your Double Barrel Benefit tickets; we’ve sold a bunch already. Physical 2-day passes are available at Schoolkids Records on Hillsborough Street here in Raleigh, and you can order your tickets online here.
We have a few exciting announcements as we get closer to the exciting two-night event.
1) Double Barrel Benefit 7 shirts are in, and they are awesome! Kudos to Kirsten Southwell for the design and Aardvark Screenprinting for making it work on a shirt. You can get yours for $12 at the shows. But, of course, supplies are limited!
2) We’re happy to report that the one and only Magic Mike Casey will be on hand for both nights, doing a little magic on stage and working the crowd. If you didn’t know, he is truly a wizard and will perform the kind of up-close wonders that will absolutely convince you he’s performing magic rather than tricks. He will take the stage before the first act of each night and be on hand, so be sure to look for him.
3) We’re very grateful to both Holly Aiken and Aardvark Screenprinting for their help with some special items: WKNC Stitch bags. You’ve probably seen the storefront on the corner of Wilmington and Hargett Streets in downtown Raleigh, or you’ve seen someone around with one of her stylish vinyl bags. We’re lucky enough to have a limited run of WKNC clutches and tote bags with a design relevant to the 7th annual Double Barrel Benefit. We’ll be holding a silent auction for these items each of the two nights, so you need to get in the door to see these for yourself. (Below are the bag types we will be auctioning, but you’ll have to be there to see them in person!)
4) We have a stockpile of really awesome swag that we’re dying to give away, so we’ll be conducting a raffle each night to give some of it away. Our raffle tickets will be ($1 apiece) numbered PBR temporary tattoos! Here are the items we’ll be be giving away for each night:
We hope you’re as excited about these developments as we are. Rain, sleet, snow, shine, whatever: the show will go on, and we hope we’ll see you at The Pour House Friday and Saturday night. Remember: doors at 8, show at 9!
Many words can cavalcade through a listener’s head when listening to the Durham based folk band, Midtown Dickens. One in particular has always caught my fancy. Organic. The beautiful duet vocals of Kym Register and Catherine Edgerton could only be fashioned with the various objects they discover to create music. ‘Objects’ seems to be the best term as they are not tied to conventional means of crafting sound. More recently, a chair and saw were used in demonstration at Pittsboro Elementary school to show Midtown’s versatility. In fact, it is almost memorizing to see each player’s list of instruments. Unlike most bands whose members solely focus on their individual apparatuses, this front-porch group creates a sense of camaraderie with their sharing of instruments.
It’s only fitting that my recent discovery and love affair with this local band came after I saw its performance at Shakori Hills Grassroots music festival this past spring. In a place of warmth, good vibes, and acceptance, Midtown’s spontaneity was only fostered into greater appreciation. Their sophomore album Lanterns, which released this past fall, is riddled with meaningful jolts of experimental sound that charms and awakens the listener. It is an engaging, yet actively involved listening experience not meant for the stomach of an audience bent on sole ambient noise.
Midtown had found strong support within the community for the development of Lanterns. With the dismal economy, high production costs for a large scale album, and the band’s personal financial limitations, Lanterns’ birth seemed dim. However, upon calling for help, Midtown received many generous donations from friends and fans. The band even received a $5,000 check from a complete stranger after he had seen the band perform at a festival.
Midtown Dickens is gracing the stage of Double Barrel Benefit 7 at The Pour House on its second night, February 6, performing after The Tender Fruit. The night’s remaining acts will be Chapel Hill’s Spider Bags and headliner Roman Candle.
For the complete Double Barrel schedule and ticket information, click here.
I first heard about Spider Bags at Bull City Headquarters in Durham. I had gone to see a friend play with a band called Titus Andronicus. A few songs in, the leader singer says, “This is a song by the greatest band in the world — Spider Bags,” and preceded to sing Waking Up Drunk.
Now, if you were at this show you would probably remind me that Spider Bags themselves had played that night, but I got lost on the way to the venue and missed the set. Nevertheless, I made sure to look up this so called “greatest band in the world” — and you know what? Titus Andronicus wasn’t far off.
Spider Bags is made up of long time friends Dan McGee and Gregg Levy, two Jersey boys who magically ended up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Rock Forbes from the band Bad Checks is the drummer. The band themselves formed in 2006 and have been growing ever since.
Their tunes themselves sound like southern, gritty rock and roll with lyrics that consist of drugs, booze and just livin’ the hard life. Now there have been thousands of bands that have all sung the same tunes but some how Spider Bags figured it out. The mix sloppy with unique and transfix the listener with the sounds they are creating.
Spider Bags not only writes incredible music, they also put on an incredible live show. Comparable to other local favorite Red Collar,the band never lacks on emotion and energy. They can induce their audience to scream, shout or even cry.
This year the band released “Goodbye Cruel, Hello Crueler One” on Birdman records.
For the complete Double Barrel schedule and ticket information, click here.
by DJ Kligz on Jan.19, 2010, under Local
Back in 2006, Roman Candle’s release of The Wee Hours Revue impressed listeners everywhere with the excellent songwriting and catchy pop-rock present in the album. It was a personal favorite in high school and everyone who received the album from me became an immediate fan. Pitchfork gave it a 7.6 out of 10 and Paste Magazine a 4.5 out of 5. Since then, Roman Candle fans everywhere have anticipated the release of a new album to love. Enter Oh Tall Tree In The Ear, the long awaited 2009 LP.
This most recent album is everything that listeners have been craving, a “modern rock masterpiece” as told by Paste Magazine. “Oh Tall Tree In The Ear” is a breath of fresh air; it’s catchy, foot tappin’ music that’s good to its core. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at the reviews the album has gotten. Pop Matters has given Roman Candle’s newest effort a 9 out of 10 and Daytrotter describes the music as “tearing us out of the present, despite such modern feels and scents,” and I tend to agree. Listening to “Oh Tall Tree In The Ear” is an experience, a period of time where the listener can get away from their hectic life and escape, escape to the world of Skip Matheny’s vocals and Roman Candle’s melodies.
We at WKNC are very excited about having Roman Candle back in the Triangle to play in the Double Barrel Benefit 7. You may recognize Roman Candle if you went to the N.C. State Pack Howl homecoming concert in September 2009. The band will take the stage at The Pour House on Saturday, February 6 as the headliner of night two of the benefit. Bands The Tender Fruit, Midtown Dickens and Spider Bags will kick off the night.
For the complete Double Barrel schedule and ticket information, click here.
WKNC 88.1 FM will hold its annual Double Barrel Benefit Friday, Feb. 5 and Saturday, Feb. 6 at The Pour House Music Hall. The station’s seventh installment of the two-night concert will be feature Max Indian and Roman Candle.
Both headliners performed on the North Carolina State University campus in the fall. Max Indian played with Double Barrel Benefit alumni Schooner at the station’s October Fridays on the Lawn concert series and Roman Candle played the Pack Howl concert and pep rally during November.
Tickets are on sale now through wknc.org and the-pour-house.com. Prices are $7 in advance and $9 at the door for each night and all proceeds benefit WKNC. Two-night passes are also available at Schoolkids in Raleigh. The event is 18+, with an additional surcharge for patrons under 21. Doors for each show open at 8 p.m. with music at 9 p.m.
Our amazing poster was designed by Kirsten Southwell of Bad Apple Design.
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!
Tonight on the Local Beat looks to be a good time with three fantastic interviews lined up.
At 5pm, Carrboro natives Veelee will be joining me to promote their show this evening at the Local 506 with Free Electric State and Embarrassing Fruits. The show at the 506 tonight starts at 9:30pm and tickets are $7. They will also be playing some tunes live on the air which you will not want to miss.
At 6pm Hailey Queen of the Coalition to Unchain Dogs will be joining us at WKNC alongside Sara Bell of Durham based folk rock band Regina Hexaphone to discuss tomorrow’s third annual Music For Fences in Durham Central Park. Regina Hexaphone will be playing alongside Rey Norteno, The Kinksmen, and Superchunk. The show is from 4pm-10pm, $8 in advance and $10 at the door. All proceeds from the show benefit the Coalition to Unchain Dogs, which is a non-profit organization set up to raise money to build fences for chained dogs.
The last hour of the show is dedicated to Midtown Dickens who are having an album release party for their new record Lanterns, tonight at the Duke Coffeehouse with Mount Moriah and Des Ark (the show starts at 9pm and is FREE). Founding members of the band Kym Register and Catherine Edgerton are coming in to talk about the creation of Lanterns, gossip about their new band members, and recollect the past 2.5 years since their last album release. We will also be performing live unreleased tracks from the album as a sneak preview of whats to come this evening in Durham.
So tune into the Local Beat this evening. 5pm-8pm every Friday! If you don’t have a radio or are out of the area, listen online!