Author Archives: CB

TRK Fest 2011 Lineup Announced

Bowerbirds, Mount Moriah, Hammer No More the Fingers and a slew of other local bands have been announced for this year’s annual Trekky Records Fest, planned Aug. 13 at Piedmont Biofuels in Pittsboro, the label has announced.

The event started in 2008 as a fundraiser for the small label and has expanded now into its third year as a full-fledged day of music, arts and crafts. Food trucks including Only Burger, Pie Pushers and Parlez-Vous Crepes are also planning to attend.

A suggested donation of $10 will get you in.

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Thao & Mirah play the Local 506 Saturday, win tickets!

Thao and Mirah both often go by their first names only. That is mostly why they wanted to make a record together. Other reasons include: they are friends, they were finally in San Francisco at the same time, and both joyfully welcomed a short departure from their respective successful solo careers to collaborate on a project.

Mirah (K records) started making music in thelate 90’s in the Pacific Northwest, becoming a much beloved indie fixture there and well beyond. Her 5 celebrated solo records and multiple previous collaborations have brought her together with an eclectic assortment of dj’s, baltic music enthusiasts, entomologists and multi-media artists.

Thao signed to Kill Rock Stars in 2006 and has since released two records with her band, The Get Down Stay Down, to wide critical and popular acclaim. She has fast established herself as a well-loved songwriter and performer in and out of the indie realm.

The two enlisted dear friend and colleague Merrill Garbus (Tune-Yards, 4AD) as co-producer, guest musician (and for one song, guest writer) and the aptly titled album Thao and Mirah was recorded over 2 freewheeling weeks for Kill Rock Stars this past summer.

Thao and Mirah each wrote a new batch of beautiful songs which were jointly performed and produced by the three with some help from fine Bay Area friends. The album is a collection of songs from two distinctly different, highly respected songwriters, threaded and woven together with the creative energy and freedom of collaboration. Such freedom allowed for varied and rewarding levels of innovation, and a determination to keep the music-making as in-house as possible: both Thao and Mirah assume many of the instrumentation duties: from drums and bottles to slide guitar and knee caps. All songs maintain the writers’ shared gifts: profound emotional poignancy with lyrics and melodies to match and stay with you.

Both Thao and Mirah work closely with Air Traffic Control- an organization dedicated to helping musicians become better social activists. They will team up with ATC to focus the release and touring efforts of Thao and Mirah toward supporting causes and organizations they love.

Thao and Mirah are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to focus their album release and touring efforts toward social causes they hold very dear. The duo will work to support organizations which raise awareness and offer resources in response to physical, emotional and sexual abuse in the home. Thao and Mirah look forward to working with local domestic violence and childhood sexual abuse prevention organizations in each city they visit on tour. Such collaboration will include inviting local organizations to shows as an effort to raise community awareness and appreciation, and the application of nominal surcharges to ticket prices (don’t worry, they recognize everyone is broke). Collected funds will then be donated to each respective community and organization. Thao and Mirah have been collaborating with Air Traffic Control (ATC), a resource for musicians working on activism and philanthropy, on these efforts. The artists recognize the difficulty and discomfort often surrounding these issues and thus feel even more compelled to encourage action and discourse. Thao and Mirah thank you in advance for your openness and support.

Thao and Mirah play the Local 506 Saturday. Want to go? Be the first to reply in the comments and you’ll get a pair of tickets.

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Hopscotch schedule released, new bands added

Titus Andronicus, Times New Viking, Vivian Girls, North Elementary and Pepper Rabbit are among 14 new bands added to the second annual Hopscotch Festival, organizers announced today.

Planned Sept. 8-10 in downtown Raleigh, Hopscotch offers up 150 bands across 13 venues. Friday, Sept. 9, with Guided By Voices and Drive-By Truckers will headline Sept. 9 at City Plaza followed by The Flaming Lips and Superchunk Sept. 10.

View the full schedule or buy tickets.

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Scrap Exchange benefit set for June 4

The roof of Durham’s beloved Scrap Exchange partially collapsed May 14 and city inspectors have since condemned the building, leaving the reclaimed scraps arts-and-crafts/gallery/retail shop/non-profit collective scrambling to find a new home after temporarily decamping to 539 Foster Street.

To help raise funds, neighboring music venue The Casbah is putting together a benefit June 4. The event is being billed as 10 bands for $10 and more–though no bands have been named yet. Check out the Facebook page.

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Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith swears Nothing is Wrong, coming to Cats Cradle May 18

The sunny, laid-back vibe of Dawes’ new record Nothing is Wrong might shred just a little harder than the band’s 2009 debut North Hills but, once again, the LA rockers return with a hook and Wurlitzer-laden triumph that recalls their heroes, The Band and Tom Petter & The Heartbreakers. Laid back as it may be though, frontman Taylor Goldsmith’s lyrics undercut that vibe with verses about road-weary rootlessness and uncertainty. Still, Goldsmith enforced that idea that truly, nothing is wrong in the grand scheme of things during an interview from the van as the band toured Florida last week–and thankfully he wasn’t pulled by the state trooper that passed him as we spoke. Dawes are happy to be working and very humble by the ability to do so having carved out scores of passionate fans in nearly two years of constant touring, including Robbie Robertson of The Band, who asked Dawes perform as his backing band this spring.

Dawes return to headline the Cats Cradle on May 18. Luego and Wylie Hunter & The Cazadores open. Nothing is Wrong is out June 7 and features cameos from Jackson Brown and Heartbreaker Benmont Tench. Daytrotter posted the album trailer. The headlining spot is a far cry from the band’s last appearance at the Cradle when Dawes opened for Langhorne Slim in 2010.

Here’s a little more of what Goldsmith had to say to TVD:

You guys recorded both records in the old school analog-style. Why did you choose to go that route?

“It was mainly because we felt that that really brought the best out of ourselves as musicians. When we felt the pressure of recording analog and know we couldn’t as easily edit it as you can with digital recording. That was a huge difference for us. Like, for Griffin, our drummer to know he had to get a full take rather than just ‘play it the best you can and we’ll just edit the kick drum or something if it’s a little off,’ we couldn’t do that. It forces him to really deliver a really great performance.”

Given the upheaval of being on the road almost constantly for the last two years and the somewhat uncertain tone of some of your lyrics, is Nothing is Wrong as an album title being used as a defense or is there truly nothing wrong in your life right now?

“There’s a certain amount of denial or refusal to accept things as being less than ideal. There’s definitely a tongue-in-cheek aspect to it but it’s sort of like, I feel like it’s also not necessarily just like, ‘oh, everything is wrong.’ But, it’s sort of like the position that those songs have taken is that, where it’s like, nothing is wrong if you don’t want it to be. It’s like, yes, these are fucked up situations but there’s still an angle to look at it from. I feel like a lot of these songs what they’re about is like, a guy, finding himself in a certain situation, be it negative or positive and sort of making sense out of it… With Nothing is Wrong, it’s taking responsibility, it’s also trying to aggressively and stubbornly stay positive even if it seems a little unreasonable.”

What was it like working with Robbie Robertson? What was your response when you got the call?

We couldn’t believe it… it was a very special experience. We were very honored that he chose a band rather than session players or even if it was just members of this band, it was all of us and I think that that just shows that he maintains that same principal of knowing how important it is to have a band. He knows that I’m not the best guitar player on the scene and he can get anybody that he wants. but I think that he does maybe at the same time realize that there might not be anybody that understands how to play with Tay and Wylie and Griffin the way that I do and that comes from following each others’ dynamics and listening to each other and having a good sense of how the other guy plays. Being in The Band with a capital “B,” nobody understands that better than Robbie Robertson.

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The Rosebuds offer second track, Woods, announce second Raleigh show

The Rosebuds are already blooming this year with the announcement that the band’s fifth record, Loud Planes Fly Low, will be released on Merge June 7. Now the band has announced an extended summer tour, in addition to its own headline tour, in which they will open for Bon Iver. The two bands will hit the downtown Raleigh Amphitheater July 29. That’s just a little more than a month after the band’s show at Kings on June 11.

In accordance with their announcement, the band has offered up a download of a second song, “Woods” from the new record.

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Bull City Undercover announced

After two years presenting Raleigh Undercover, Chris Tamplin is bringing the venerable three-night event to Durham’s Motorco.

Bull City Undercover kicks off this Thursday at 9 p.m. sharp and runs through Saturday. Five bucks at the door gets you in each night or pay $10 for all three in advance. So far, Tamplin is keeping pretty mum on who is covering what, saying only to expect “a rocket man and crackling Rosie working on their night moves because they want you to want them and this charming man.” So, that should give a pretty good hint. And, if last year’s event was any guide, 2011’s inaugural Undercover in the Bull City should provide for some pretty good chops as well as a few laughs.

This year’s event will benefit This year the charities will be the Central Park Charter School of Durham and SEEDS.

Here’s the line-up:

Cantwell, Gomez, & Jordan
The Huguenots
The Mercators 

Brett Harris
Sea Cow
Wylie Hunter & The Cazadores

Reduced To Ruin
The Stars Explode
Restoration Hardware (All Star-Supergroup type band)
Another yet to be named All Star band (You’ll love them I promise)

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Birds And Arrows “We’re Gonna Run” CD release show Saturday

Husband and wife team Andrea and Paul Connelly, otherwise known as Birds and Arrows ,will release their follow up to 2009’s Starmaker, called We’re Gonna Run, on 307 Knox Records May 10. To mark the release, the band will play a CD release show at the Local 506 Saturday.

The band is also slated for a live performance on WUNC’s State of Things at noon EST Friday.

We’re Gonna Run’s 10 songs remain true to the folk rock tradition while interspersing lush orchestration. Andrea Connolly’s smoky vocals recall the country-tinged heartache of Caitlyn Cary or the Indigo Girls, punctuated by Josh Starmer’s weepy cello. The perfect marriage of Andrea and Paul’s harmonies on songs like “Weeping Willow” and “Time Alone” show a band at its most-finely tuned.

Download “Time Alone” and “Arrows in the Air.

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Duke releases 2011 Music in the Gardens lineup

Lost in the Trees, Hammer No More the Fingers and Greensboro’s Holy Ghost Tent Revival are among local bands slated to play Duke University’s outdoor concert series.

The seven-week-long outdoor series kicks off June 1 with Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys. For the uninitiated, this is a great way to catch local–and national acts–in a twilight setting at the beautiful Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Expect Lost in the Trees tickets, on-sale May 16 at 11 a.m.

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Superchunk: I Can Haz “Crossed Wires”

In case you missed it–we almost did here at TVD–1990s pop-punk purveyors Superchunk recently released a video for Crossed Wires, from the band’s 2010 LP Majesty Shredding.

The video features some amazing feline tricks way more interesting–and of more questionable legality–than those fuzzy little LOL cats.

We hope no cats were harmed in the filming of this video.

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Hopscotch Festival tickets on sale today

Tickets for the second annual Hopscotch Music Festival went on sale earlier this morning and the Independent Weekly, which sponsors the event, has released its first batch of names playing the event, which is set across several venues in downtown Raleigh Sept. 8-10.

The Flaming Lips, Japandroids and Guided By Voices have been announced as headliners with a number of other notables–Superchunk, Drink-by Truckers, Toro Y Moi and John Vanderslice taking stage around the city. Locals including Bombadil, The Love Language and Cassis Orange are also on deck.

Tickets range from $34 for the final day City Plaza show to $155 for a three-day VIP pass.

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The Rosebuds, Heads on Sticks at Local Beer Local Band Thursday

We’re eagerly anticipating The Rosebuds’ follow up to 2009’s excellent Life LikeLow Planes Fly Low–coming out on Merge June 7.

In the intervening years, much has changed for The Rosebuds, formed by Kelly Crisp and Ivan Howard while students at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in the earlier part of this decade. The former couple have divorced and Crisp has moved to New York. Merge calls the new record “a sad-eyed and bright new start for Kelly and Ivan, beautifully born of the struggle to define their relationship as bandmates-and more importantly, friends-outside of the context of marriage.”

Hear for yourself when The Rosebuds will play the free Local Beer Local Band series at Tir Na Nog in Raleigh this Thursday with Heads on Sticks. The night is billed as a launch part for this year’s second annual Hopscotch Music Festival.

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Mount Moriah talks about new record, touring with Indigo Girls

Mount Moriah’s self-titled LP isn’t out until May 3 but the band is playing a FREE CD release show tonight at the Cat’s Cradle along with label mates Filthybird and The Moaners.

MM’s Heather McEntire and Jenks Miller took some time to answer a few questions for TVD a while back… so while they each may have added a few new titles to their collections, what they have to say about vinyl is just in time for Record Store Day tomorrow.

Like most musicians, I’m sure you guys have a shared love of vinyl. Tell us about it… what is it about the sound that you like?

HM: I starting collecting records by visiting thrift stores as a teenager and finding neat old records with interesting artwork in the dollar bins. Then, in college, I bought my first used turntable at a thrift store and began to actually listen to these old records – which I still have and listen to. I’m always drawn to more analog and antique things, stuff with history and stories.I like the process of listening to vinyl – how warm it sounds, how you can sometimes hear the crackle of overuse, watching the record spin and needle read the grooves. Hearing our own music on vinyl makes me feel like I’m a part of the history, the longevity, of documented music. Vinyl has outlasted many other formats, and that’s very telling.
JM: I do love vinyl, but for me it’s less about the sound and more about maintaining a physical connection to the music. Sound is an ephemeral thing top begin with, and it and becomes even more ephemeral when it’s delivered through a computer file. The art object itself requires an investment in the process of consumption, and that investment results in a greater appreciation for the art.

What’s the last vinyl record you bought?

HM: Sharon Van Etten, Epic & America, History: America’s Greatest Hits.
JM: Hell’s Headbangers Records’ gorgeous 2LP reissue of the metal classic Into The Infernal Regions Of The Ancient Cult, by Inquisition.

How was the last tour with the Indigo Girls/Amy Ray? Any fun stories from the road to share?

HM: Touring this fall with Indigo Girls and Amy Ray was such an incredible experience. Amazing music to sing along to every night, and amazing people to share with in the adventure. Our bands became quite close, like a family. I can’t speak more highly of them. A highlight for me, on the Indigo Girls tour, was playing to the largest audiences in very unique theaters and rooms. On the Amy Ray tour, the highlight would be singing a duet with Amy Ray every night and having Julie Wolf sit in on our set.
JM: We traveled a bit with Melissa York, which means we accumulated way too many hilarious stories than we could ever hope to relay here … Tour was a blast, and we got to play a number of excellent venues. It was easily the most enjoyable experience I’ve ever had on the road.

What’s next for Mount Moriah? Any new sources of inspiration that went into the new record?

HM: This year has been a difficult year, personally, and I feel I have a reservoir of inspiration from it that I can’t wait to shape into a new batch of songs. I’m also very inspired by the bands we toured with this fall, and the traveling we did. My heart feels really wide open.
JM: One of the highlights of our tour was a visit to Walden Pond State Reservation, near Cambridge MA. It’s a very powerful place, with a unique history. I’ll carry that memory with me for a long time. A new source of inspiration, for sure.
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No reason for lament: Mount Moriah releases a full length; treats a Volvo like a clown car

The absolutely wonderful Mount Moriah has been haunting audiences for a while now but the excitement has been building since the Durham-based band led by Jenks Miller and Heather McEntire played a handful of shows last fall, knocking listeners flat back on their asses at the Troika festival.

The band’s first full length, released on Holidays For Quince (which is also run by Miller and McEntire) is out today. It’s an eight-track testament to alt-country, Americana/southern gothic wrapped around McEntire’s vocals, which project every bit of breathless late night longing Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” could have ever committed.

The band will play a FREE show Friday at the Cat’s Cradle. Label mate Filthybird and The Moaners will open the show. Get there early; it will be packed.

After Friday’s show, the band will play a handful of regional dates along with a will play a few solo dates. The band will head out on yet another jaunt with the Indigo Girls on a Midwest/West Coast tour this July.

TVD will post an interview with the band later this week.

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So, what do you do, Chris Tamplin?

Chris Tamplin likes wearing wigs, as you can see in the photo above. He also runs and books Durham’s Motorco. After months of blood, sweat and swearing, the rock club opened last fall to much fanfare and Tamplin decamped from his perch behind the bar at Raleigh’s Tir Na Nog, where he ran the uber-popular Local Beer Local Band series, to Bull City.

Here’s what Tamplin had to say about the new club:

Why open your own venue and, why Durham?
Well, it was time for me to move on and do my own thing. I had pretty much done everything I could do with Local Band and an opportunity arose for me to take the next step and I took it.

What has been one of the most memorable moments you’ve had at a local show, either one you attended or one you booked?
There really are so many it is hard to really name name one but things like Valient Thorr doing Funkadelic during the first Raleigh Undercover always stands out. My birthday show a couple years back with Red Collar, The Loners, and Goner that we turned into an Obama rally and voter registration drive was memorable as well. In all honesty though there were a lot of great moments.

What have been the challenges in running a new venue so far?
The challenges in opening a new place are things like trying to fill the calendar everyday where at Tir Na Nog I had Thursdays and the occasional weekend events. Then there is the whole thing of getting national agents to work with you. Being well known in the local scene doesn’t always mean a lot to out of town agents so you have to really work to get them to believe in you.

What’s your fantasy billing? If you could book any three bands–or any three bills–what would they be?
Any three bands? That might be too small a bill for me. I really don’t know. I probably won’t sound too hip but Wilco, Billy Bragg, and Red Collar to have local but could fill that with bands like Megafaun, Love Language, Lost In The Trees, Hammer No More The Fingers, etc, etc. There really are so many great ones out there I could do this all day and come up with totally different line ups.

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