Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ear Farm's 10 N.C. Bands to Hear Right Now

Looks like this little post on Ear Farm has generated a little controversy. North Carolina nativeturned Brooklyn music blogger Matt Tyson listed 10 North Carolina bands you should hear right now on his influential blog. The problem for quite a few people is that the list is pretty Triangle-centric. A notable exception is The Bronzed Chorus (above) who are from Greensboro.

The Triangle-centricity of the list doesn't bother me. My personal list would have been different, but all in all, I think he did a great job. But it did make me wonder: Who ARE the best non-Triangle North Carolina bands? I honestly don't know. And I also don't know who the most reliable and readable non-Triangle North Carolina music bloggers are. I bet if I figure out that last part, the first will follow.

So, help a Triangle-centric out. Who, outside of the Triangle area, should I be listening to and reading. Please provide links and any pertinent info. And if you're affiliated with the bands or blogs you list, please also be up-front about it.


Anonymous said...

2013 Wolves from Charlotte

I'm just going to do one so other people can say who their favorites are.

I thought the list was great! It's too bad it wasn't the top 100 bands from NC - but it was 10 and I think many have been spoiled by the bangin' available music in the Triangle, because for Lonnie Walker to have been recognized by a site that is NY based is crazy good! The fact that people are arguing over very subjective opinions shows how rich this region is with good music!

"Hey everybody, let's look at the bright side" Said Mr Rogers.

Reese McHenry

C. Hill said...

I've been active in several NC music scenes before making it to the Triangle and I would say a Triangle-centric top ten is a pretty accurate gauge for what's happening in the state. This isn't to say that good music doesn't come from other towns, it's just that it's harder to survive on the venues that exist (or don't) elsewhere. Bands of this quality rarely get the chance to play in front of the requisite amount of people to actually build a following in a music unfriendly town. The other major population centers in NC can be pretty unfriendly to musicians. Topically enough, all the bands I would mention as being talented non-Triangle acts, have since contributed to the populations of Splitsville.

NC bands that didn't get started in the triangle often move and rarely claim the town that spawned them. Greenville, for instance, is responsible for such buzzed about bands as Future Islands, the Kickass/Valient Thorr and, yes, Lonnie Walker. However, none of these bands remained in Greenville nor do they actively claim it.

Karen A. Mann said...

And don't forget that the Avett Brothers, the biggest N.C.-related band in the world right now, got their start in Greenville.

I don't know any of the clubs in Greenville right now, but I always thought that town had the potential for a music scene rivaling anything in Chapel Hill. It's a college town with an internationally known art school (meaning lots of creative kids bringing ideas from everywhere) and a compact little downtown party district where, if there were forward thinking clubs, the bands would have a place to play. Like I said, I don't know what's happening there now, but when I was there (1985-1989) there were quite a few bands in a close-knit little scene, but the one or two clubs that were friendly to alternative music kept switching formats to bring more of the frat crowd in. I hope things have changed.

C. Hill said...

When I lived there it was totally underground. The Spazzatorium hosted all kinds of fantastic acts... pretty much everyone on the top 10 had played there a half-dozen times before the place was closed down by the city. No venues whatsoever there. Every once and a while the skate park holds a show, but it's not often enough to really be a viable venue.

You're so correct - the Avett Brothers are pretty much the founding members of the "From Greenville, Don't Claim it" club. In their defense, it is a pretty lousy town.

Ross Grady said...

Some non-Triangle bands I like a lot, off the top of my head:

Yard Work from Charlotte:

Invisible from Greensboro:

On The Take from Asheville:

Ahleuchatistas from Asheville:

Wayne Robbins & the Hellsayers from Asheville: (check out "Jesus" and make sure you stick with it until all hell breaks loose midway thru: )

Floating Action from Asheville:

Ponchos From Peru from Wilmington:

I thought the earfarm post was pretty obviously the work of someone whose knowledge of the NC music scene was too limited to really make such a post advisable, but it's never a bad thing for folks to give props to NC bands. And it's worth restating that they didn't say "top 10" or "these are the very best" or anything . . . so that's nice.

Karen A. Mann said...

I still haven't heard of any N.C. music bloggers outside the Triangle. Surely there's someone out there! Is Creative Loafing still important in Charlotte?

Matt said...

actually Ross, I was raised on and in the NC music scene of the '80s and '90s and have done my best, since moving to NYC in 2001, to keep in touch with the goings on in NC music. in fact, to create the list referred to here, I made my own list and then contacted a friend who is supremely connected to the Triangle music world and asked for her own list. when more than half of hers matched mine, I figured I was indeed on the right track and not too "Mr. NY music guy" to be writing about some NC bands.

there are sooo many bands I ended up leaving out, great bands, but I stand by those picks as being "Ten NC Bands People Should Hear Right Now." they're all awesome, and vastly under-appreciated outside of North Carolina.

anyway, my favorite part about the post is the discussion it has brought about and the MANY MANY new NC bands I've found out about as a result. keep the suggestions coming yo.