Monday, November 30, 2009

A new video from Bombadil




Yes, two videos in two days from a couple of my favorite local bands. Today's video is for Bombadil's song "So Many Ways to Die," and like the band's music, it's charming and a bit disturbing at the same time. Still no word on a live show as bass player Daniel Michalak is still dealing with severe tendonitis. 

Sunday, November 29, 2009

New video from Citified


Chris Jackson from Greensboro's Citified just sent me the link to a new video for the band's song "Weddings." The song is from the band's 2008 release "The Meeting After the Meeting," and the video was directed by Dave Liberstein. It's a nice, sepia-toned, dreamy video that goes along nicely with the swirly nature of the song.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cool shows this week: Thanksgiving edition!


Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! I'm down at the coast, and this is the quick and dirty version of Shows of the Week.

Just found out about Dirty Little Heaters, Pink Flag and Rat Jackson Friday night at Triangle Brewing Company. Three great bands, including one (Rat Jackson) that really impressed me at Troika. On the same night in Raleigh, Max Indian plays their rescheduled show at Busy Bee.

The following evening should be a real treat for alt-country fans: Thad Cockrell at the Pour House.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Polvo video on Pitchfork

Check out the video for "Right the Nation" here. (Thanks Jess.)
UPDATE: It's "Right the Relation", not "Right the Nation". Too early to be blogging!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Video of The Monolouge Bombs and Small Ponds


I'm so used to seeing Scott Philips with the stripped-down guitar-less Goner that it was a little disconcerting to see him with a band that includes two guitars and a cello. But the full-band version of The Monologue Bombs turned out to do Phillips' character-driven vignettes justice without overwhelming them.

The Monolouge Bombs are often compared to The Hold Steady, and I think that's fairly accurate, but I also hear a lot of Billy Joel (as well as some Big Country, which Scott doesn't totally agree with).


The Monolouge Bombs from Mann's World on Vimeo.




I Was Totally Destroying It and The Small Ponds opened for The Monologue Bombs. I missed IWTDI, and only caught part of Small Ponds, which, if you're not aware, is Caitlin Cary's latest band. If you're a fan of Caitlin's and haven't checked them out yet, do so because they are amazing.



The Small Ponds from Mann's World on Vimeo.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Video of Hank Sinatra and Hearts & Daggers



Yes, I know Hank Sinatra has been around here in one form or another for years, but It wasn't until Thursday that I finally saw them live. A fine group of  local players (including Danny Kurtz and Sam Madison), and a fine high-energy show. Check out the video.

Hank Sinatra from Mann's World on Vimeo.






I hadn't seen cow-punks Hearts and Daggers in quite a while, and I was glad to hear that they've got a new CD coming out. I liked what I heard, and look forward to the CD.


The only disappointment of the evening was that a rumored appearance by Phil Lee didn't happen.



Hearts & Daggers from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Beast to give music ed seminars at Triangle schools.

I'm copying this verbatim from a press release I just got from Pierce Freelon of The Beast. I wish they'd had cool events like this when I was in school!

HIP-HOP/JAZZ QUARTET THE BEAST PARTNERS WITH NCJRO TO GIVE MUSIC EDUCATION SEMINARS AT TRIANGLE HIGH SCHOOLS

The Beast will deliver jazz education workshops at Durham School of the Arts and Chapel Hill High School this semester.

Durham, NC – Local hip-hop/jazz quartet The Beast will be delivering music education workshops for the jazz ensemble and jazz artistry students of Durham School of the Arts on Tuesday November 24th. Three weeks later, The Beast will work with over fifty 10th through 12th graders in Chapel Hill High School's symphonic band on Tuesday, December 15th. Both workshops are a collaboration between The Beast and the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra (NCJRO) and are sponsored by the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation. 

In 2009 the NCJRO received a grant from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation to further educate high school students about jazz music. The Beast was chosen by the NCJRO to design and facilitate several educational workshops because of their extensive experience as performers and educators. As the former director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz' 
Bebop to Hip-Hop program, Beast emcee Pierce Freelon has lectured internationally on the relationships between jazz and rap. As a quartet The Beast has conducted hip-hop and jazz based workshops in New York, DC and Atlanta but never in their home town of Durham, North Carolina. The upcoming workshops at Durham School of the Arts and Chapel Hill High School provide The Beast with their first opportunity to connect with the Triangle's young jazz musicians. 

The relationship between The Beast and the NCJRO goes back to the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC pianist Eric Hirsh, bass player Pete Kimosh and drummer Stephen Coffman earned their music degrees under Professor James Ketch, the director of Jazz Studies. Ketch, who is also the president of the NCJRO helped facilitate The Beast's inaugural series of local workshops.

About The Beast
Equally comfortable in the worlds of hip-hop and jazz, The Beast developed its distinct sound on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill. While pianist Eric Hirsh, drummer Stephen Coffman and bassist Pete Kimosh were earning their music degrees, emcee Pierce Freelon was developing the foundation for his intelligent lyricism in the Department of African American Studies (where he currently teaches a course called, Blacks and Popular Culture). After graduating, the quartet joined forces in 2007 and quickly distinguished themselves as a pioneering force in the Triangle music scene through their high energy live show and exceptional compositions. "Built on the backs of three accomplished jazz kids who handle piano keys, drum sticks and bass strings like extensions of their own limbs, The Beast offers a dazzling springborad of beats, textures and solos for Pierce Freelon's positive but pragmatic verse" (Grayson Currin, Independent Weekly). The Beast released their debut album, Silence Fiction in October of 2009. Catch The Beast performing live at Tir Na Nog Irish Pub in Raleigh on December 3rd (9pm) and at Broad St. Cafe in Durham with Hammer no More the Fingers on December 31st (10pm).

For more information/interviews/inquires, please contact - Pierce Freelon: (919) 697-7728
www.thebeastmusic.com - info@thebeastmusic.com

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dates set for Raleigh Undercover


It's at Tir na Nog Jan. 7-10. As always, this should be a great time. Valient Thorr (Parliament/Funkadelic) and Left Outlet (Queen) were especially awesome this year. Can't wait to see what they come up with in 2010. http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=178627851172

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This week's cool shows: Monologue Bombs and more!



I hope you've got stamina because Friday is going to be one great show after another in Raleigh! Things kick off early -- 6 p.m.  -- with Kooley High and The Beast playing a free show at  the Wolves Den student center at N.C. State. I'm unfamiliar with Kooley High, but The Beast is worth coming out early. At 8 p.m., hilarious 70's-style AM radio honky tonkers Tonk will be at Marsh Woodwinds. Then, there's Max Indian at Busy Bee and the debut of the full-band version of Monologue Bombs (pictured) at Pour House. I'm planning to walk back and forth between the two, and suggest you do the same. Also, check out my interview with Scott Philips, the creative force behind Monologue Bombs, on New Raleigh!

Other can't miss shows this week include the Holly Raleigh Kidsmas showcase and Hank Sinatra and Hearts & Daggers at Tir na Nog, both Thursday night.

UPDATE: Max Indian has been moved to Nov. 27.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mitch Easter at Tir na Nog



I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering why legendary Mitch Easter was the opening act at Thursday's Local Band Local Beer night at Tir na Nog. And that's not a slam against Violet Vector & the Lovely Lovelies or The Catch Fire -- who had to cancel at the last minute because their guitarist is ill. It's just that given his musical output, and his key role producing some of the most influential records in American music, he shouldn't be opening for anyone. But at least that meant that the old timers like me who came out to see him didn't have to be bleary-eyed at work the next day.


Mitch Easter from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Finally got some use out of my Troika pass



OK, lesson learned. Buying a 3-day pass for a music festival only makes economic sense if you actually go all three days. And if you go to more than one show on any given night. I had good intentions of doing both at the Troika Festival but The Jesus Lizard kind of got in the way, and I underestimated my desire to drive around Durham going to different venues.

Seriously, here's a tip for the Troika organizers: Next year, buy an old school bus and ferry people for free between the venues. You could probably even get someone like local music-friendly Piedmont Biofuels involved. Maybe even have someone play an acoustic set on the bus. I know if they'd had such a thing last night I would have used it, because after hunting for a parking place at Broad Street Cafe, I just didn't feel like driving anywhere else.



We arrived at Broad Street early for The Dynamite Brothers (left), and the place was already getting crowded. I hadn't seen them in a while, and Dave hadn't ever seen them, so I was very much looking forward to the show. They were tight as always, and had me wondering once again if they aren't the best band in the Triangle. Not sure I'm ready to bestow that quite yet because The Love Language (above) are giving them stiff competition.













Next up was a Rat Jackson (left), with whom I was unfamiliar, and, for the first part of their show, unimpressed. But something happened, and by the end of their show I found myself really getting into their geeky, straight-forward rock. At the end of their set, the guitarist introduced The Loners as a band that would "rock twice as hard with half as many people -- damn them!" That was pretty funny, and I have to hand it to them rocking pretty hard on their own.















Indeed The Loners were next, and they did rock. Twice as hard? I don't know, but they did rock pretty hard. 




By the time The Love Language came on, Broad Street was packed and uncomfortable. I got up front a good 20 minutes before they played, and I still couldn't get right next to the stage. But The Love Language made up for it because they are easily the most exciting band, and maybe the best, in the Triangle right now.






Friday, November 06, 2009

Videos of The Beast and Megafaun from night one of Troika




Last night was a perfect example of why The Triangle is an awesome place to live if you love music. Not only did I get to see two great local bands (including one that was new to me), I also got to see one of my favorite bands of all time, reformed, in a club setting. My only complaint was that the timing of the two events clashed, otherwise I could have seen a lot more local music.


We started off with the free kick-off for Troika at the Farmer's Market at Durham Central Park. Durham Central Park really isn't a bad place to see a band. It was spacious, and the sound was good. But yours truly had underestimated how cold it would be outside in early November, so I spent most of the time shivering.


I did get to see  The Beast, a band I'd heard about but hadn't seen. Wow. Seriously. Wow. This band is impressive. Hip Hop, but with a lot of other musical flavors (particularly jazz) thrown in, reminding me of De La Soul. Vocalist Pierce Freelon is the son of local jazz legend Nnenna Freelon, and keyboard player Eric Hirsh is the brother of IWTDI keyboard player Rachel Hirsh.Check out the video below for "Interfaith Dialog."



The Beast - "Interfaith Dialog" from Mann's World on Vimeo.





After The Beast was Megafaun. I hadn't seen them in a while, and my two companions hadn't seen them at all, and weren't that familiar with their music. Let's just say they had completely different opinions. One liked them a lot and wants to hear more. The other spent her time in the only warm spot out there, the ladies room, Facebooking about how much she hated them. Among her gems:


"Bunch of hipsters clappin and singin along...feelin like dey gettin dey country influenced indie rock on...I want to machine gun everyone here..."


and


we're at some outdoor uber-hipater fest and thse guyz sound like a more pretensiou version of the avett brotherz if that's possible...ready for the JL dammit!!!"




Megafaun at night one of the Troika Music Fest from Mann's World on Vimeo.
Well, I don't agree with her, but I did think that was pretty funny, and by that point I was ready for the JL too, so off we went to Chapel Hill. I didn't take the camera in because I'm still paranoid about shooting anything other than local bands, but there were probably about 50 other people shooting, including some who bravely got right up in David Yow's face as he swam through the audience, so you might see some photos and video floating around. Yow at one point announced that it felt good to be "old guys playing young guy music." I can say on the opposite side that it felt good to be an old gal once again watching one of the most electrifying live bands I've ever seen. 



















Wednesday, November 04, 2009

This week's cool shows: The Jesus Lizard and Troika



That's essentially it for this week: The Jesus Lizard Thursday at Cat's Cradle and Troika Thursday through Saturday at venues throughout Durham. I know there are other shows going on, and with apologies to the bands and venues, none of them comes close to The Jesus Lizard and Troika. (Check out the interview I did with David Wm. Sims of The Jesus Lizard for New Raleigh)

It will be interesting to see how much of an impact The Jesus Lizard has on Troika's Thursday shows. I kind of suspect that most people going to see The Jesus Lizard are kind of like me: 40-somethings who remember what an amazing show they put on back in the day. That leaves all the young hipsters to hang out in Durham that night. I know I'm actually going to try and catch the free Megafaun show at Durham Central Park before heading over to Cat's Cradle that night. But if I wasn't going to Carrboro, I would definitely stick around for Pink Flag, The Moaners and Max Indian.

On Friday I will absolutely be there for Pipe (note to Christina - really and truly this time). I'm tempted to just stay at Broad Street all night and also catch Dirty Little Heaters and Whatever Brains, but I will probably also try to catch part of The Pneurotics at Duke Coffeehouse. On Saturday I'm looking forward to Sea Cow, The Dynamite Brothers (pictured) and The Love Language. Also check out Adam's planned Troika itinerary here.