Thursday, December 28, 2006

I really missed it

Unfortunately I had to work on Dec. 16, so I missed the SCOTS, Dexter Romweber show at Cat's Cradle. Thank goodness my Carrboro correspondent got some great footage of Dexter and his sister, Sara Romweber. Looks like he was true to form.

(video removed)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ear Farm sponsored show Wednesday at Bickett

Repost from the guy who blogs at Ear Farm. He's an N.C. native now living in New York.

Hello Raleigh-area friends of Ear Farm -

'Tis the season for holiday festivities and what better way to spend
the down time between Christmas (or Hanukkah) and New Year's than to
do it with drinks and good friends and live music and art? I'll tell
you what - there IS no better way and so I've decided to set up an
EAR FARM sponsored holiday show in my hometown over the holiday
break. The show is going to be an intimate one with three great
bands surrounded by the original art @ Bickett Gallery. Details
below - I hope to see everyone there and I hope all of you have an
excellent holiday season.

EAR FARM Presents... @ Bickett Gallery (http://
) in Raleigh (209 Bickett Blvd. in Five Points)
Wednesday December 27th 2006

8pm - Erie Choir (
9pm - Schooner (
10pm - Monologue Bombs (


*be sure to ask me for an Ear Farm magnet at the show.


Monday, December 18, 2006

Raleigh and Durham club news

I just received an e-mail about this: Apparently Broad Street Cafe in Durham has a new owner who, at least according to the person who e-mailed me, is dedicated to putting on local shows.

Unfortunately, the owner of Volume 11 Studios in Raleigh is still having trouble getting the proper permit to open his club on Maywood Ave (it's also a recording studio). He's been operating alcohol-free for the past year, which is death to a club, and from what I understand, was recently told to stop having shows until all permits are straightened out. I'm hoping to get the details on this and will report back soon.

Scumfeast zine returns

Those of you who were around in the early '90s may remember the Scumfeast that used to take place at The Caboose in Garner. Organizer Wolf also put out a zine of the same name, which he has now resurrected on Myspace. My more liberal friends will probably get their hackles up over Wolf's political commentary, but stay with him and give him a chance. He knows his stuff about local punk and metal, and his reviews -- particularly the restaurant reviews -- are pretty funny.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Indy disagreed with me

... but I still say acoustic just doesn't work that well at the cover-up.

Read the article.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

My Tiny Mix Tapes 25 best of the year

25. Lady Sovereign - Public Warning
24. Valient Thorr - Legend of the world
23. Portastatic - Be Still Please
22. The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
21. Thom Yorke - The Eraser
20. Brightblack Morning Light - Brightblack Morning Light
19. Regina Spektor - Begin to Hope
18. Drunk Horse -- In Tongues
17. The Rosebuds - Birds Make Good Neighbors
16. The Annuals - Be He Me
15. Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
14. Pontiak - Valley of Cats
13. The Sword - Age of Winters
12. The Whigs - Give 'em All a Big Fat Lip
11. TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
10. Roman Candle - The Wee Hours Revue
09. Vetiver - To Find Me Gone
08. Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
07. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
06. Priestess - Hello Master
05. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
04. The Gossip - Standing in the Way of Control
03. CSS - Cansei de Ser Sexy
02. Oakley Hall - Gypsum Strings
01. The Futureheads - News and Tributes

The Urban Sophisticates at Cat's Cradle

I missed the third night of the Cover-Up because I was at Cat's Cradle taping a band for a project we're doing at work. The opening band, though, was the one that really blew me away, so I went ahead and got a short video of them. It's amazing to see what I can get with a good camera, but strangely the sound is more distorted than I usually get from my little Nikon. Regardless, I'm thinking it might be time to upgrade to a mini-DV recorder soon.

(Video removed)

Anyway, the band is The Urban Sophisticates, and they're a hip-hop/funk/soul band from Greensboro. Check them out.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

This is why I like Myspace

It helps me find bands like Midnight Movies

Lessons learned fromNightTwo of The Cover Up

Kevin Collins from Double Negative performing Minor Threat (Videos removed) 1. Get there early. I should have known this considering my scheduling snafu with Thunderlip earlier in the week, but last night I lollygagged about the house until about 10:30, thereby missing "Weezer" (a.k.a. Goner). I understand they did a fabulous job. At least I did get to see Chris, who made my night by giving me a copy of Riot's "Fire Down Under." Yes, Chris, you're right. It's better than "Restless Breed." 2. No matter how dead-on an act is, acoustic generally doesn't work for The Cover Up. Let's be honest: The Cover Up is about seeing friends and having a rowdy time. The guy who did Nick Drake sure did a great job, but it kind of put a temporary damper on the mood. 3. Even if a band has been done before, they can be done again as long as you pick a different era. One of my Priest-loving friends disagreed with me, but I loved the early era JP, complete with a be-wigged, goofy-outfitted Rob Halford. Tyrant and The Ripper are two of my favorite Judas Priest songs, and that guy nailed them both. 4. I need a larger memory card for my camera. I recorded so much stuff that I ran our of memory when "Gary Numan" came on. In my haste to to back and delete some old photos I knew I wouldn't need, I accidentally deleted the video I'd shot of Double Negative doing Minor Threat. That's a shame because Scott Williams' crazy-looking wig was one of the funniest things I saw all night. 5. If you don't really look like anyone in the band you're covering, make papier mache heads so people will know who you are. The big-head Gallagher Brothers from "Oasis" were hilarious and disturbing. 6. Everyone loves Steve Miller. Just check out the videos, with Ben Barwick as Steve, for proof. 7. Sparks will sneak up on you, quick. The less said about that the better. Check out my other Flickr photos. Check out Liz Winfrey's awesome set of photos from the Cover Up. I should mention that I was also at Night One of the Cover Up, but was working shooting video of "Fleetwood Mac" for The News & Observer. Please check it out and let me know what you think. I'm still learning the ropes of "official" video making, but it's something I'd like to do more of. Here's the story. You may have to register to see it.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Local punk rock marching band

My former bandmate Amy Wilkinson alerted me to this. The Scene of the Crime Rovers

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The way metal ought to be

Loud, sludgy and brutal. That about sums up The Sword (Myspace), who played Kings last night with Savannah, Ga., band Kylesa and Wilmington's own Thunderlip. Actually, their Myspace describes them as sounding like "a bunch of bison being pushed over a cliff," which is pretty damn accurate. (Video removed) Unfortunately I missed Thunerlip, who, for some reason, played at 9:30. Kings needs to either start all their shows early, or start them all late. I can't handle this back-and-forth. It seems like every time I go there I either miss one of the bands I want to see, or the band I want to see isn't going to start for another two hours. Kylesa (Myspace) was cool -- a good deal more brutal than The Sword, but with the type of throat-shredding vocals I don't normally go for. But I was really excited to see that they had a female guitarist/vocalist who was totally awesome. Here's their video: (Video removed) See more pics here.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Laid Out Level at Slim's

Last night I caught a couple of songs from this Raleigh power-pop band at Slim's. They sounded good, and had a talented guitar player -- though I'll admit the one I taped wasn't one of my favorites. They gave a way copies of their CD, which is now out on Radical 9 Records. Here's the video. And more photos.

Laid Out Level from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Guaranteed to be one of the best shows all year

That is, if you love metal. Wilmington's great Thunderlip with the legendary THE SWORD from Austin. Monday night at Kings.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Kenny Roby at Slim's

OK, I've been really slack lately. Work has been killing me, and my personal life has been busy too. However, I did manage to go out to Slim's for my 40th birthday on Saturday and catch a show by Kenny Roby (Myspace), a great local singer-songwriter who used to be in one of my all-time favorite alt-country bands, Six String Drag. One day I'll resurrect the podcast and do one on them. I also got to eat at a brand new German/Austrian/Polish place in town that's a little pricey but worth it. Here's the movie with Kenny Roby.

Kenny Roby from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Naught and Electric Sunshine, Oct. 20, 2006 at Slim's

Last night I checked out The Naught, a new band with Erik Sugg (Cherry Valence, Dragstrip Syndicate) and Chris Jones (The Loners, Vanilla Trainwreck, hundreds of other bands) at Slim's. Sorry, but I do not know the bass player. When someone starts paying me to do this, I will do a better job of finding out who is actually in all these bands I go see. Anyway, last night was The Naught's first show, and I was mighty impressed. I've said before that Erik is one of my favorite guitar players in the area. He hadn't been playing for a while, so I'm glad to see he's out there again. Chris was tight as always, and the unknown (to me) bass player was really good too. They played a few covers as well as some Nuggets-style garage rock with a little bit of shoe-gazing swirl. Check out the feedback-laden jam that Erik puts on in the video. I just wish my memory card hadn't filled up before the song was over.

The Naught from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Another one by The Naught from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Electric Sunshine is Eddie Taylor and Paul Dressel, both of Big Joe. Eddie has been in lots of bands that I love, including The Loners. Electric Sunshine also has a Nuggets feel, but a little more diversified. Several songs included hints of Big Joe's country-ish guitar rock, and one, possibly my favorite, was certifiably funky.

Electric Sunshine from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Movies and pics from The T's

The T's played on Friday, Oct. 13 at Kings, and they impressed me again. This time I got some video, so perhaps you can see and hear why I like them so much. They opened for Crave, a band that's certainly talented, but just didn't do anything for me. They had a lot of fans at the show, so I'm sure they aren't particularly concerned if I don't like them.

The T's from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Another one by The T's from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A Rooster for the Masses movie

... from last night's Alzheimer's Awareness benefit at Kings.

A Rooster for the Masses from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Bleeding Hearts and The Trousers at Kings

I only saw the last two bands at last night's benefit for Chris Plankers at Kings. I've seen The Trousers before, and they again impressed me with their laid-back take on English blues. Jim Pendergrast plays guitar like he's just walking or breathing -- completely effortless and natural. Here's a video from them.

The Trousers from Mann's World on Vimeo.

The last band was The Bleeding Hearts (Myspace), a great straight-up rock band that reminds me of Raleigh's late, great Finger. Here's a clip by them.

The Bleeding Hearts from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Back from Berlin

Hi all,
Sorry I haven't posted lately. I've been in Berlin, where I had an awesome time, and even got to see a German rockabilly band called Raik and the Chainballs at a cool club called Roadrunner's Paradise. I'll get back to posting local stuff later today, but for now, here's video (featuring a burlesque dancer) of Raik and the Chainballs.

(Video removed)

Monday, August 28, 2006

Roman Candle and The Whigs, Friday, Aug. 25 at Cat's Cradle

Finally got to see Roman Candle (Myspace), who put on a great show Friday at Cat's Cradle (yes, I actually made it out of Raleigh for one night!). I interviewed them for Tiny Mix Tapes, and they were all super nice. Got some fairly good footage and some OK pics.

Roman Candle - "Something Left to Say" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

"Something Left to Say"

The biggest surprise of the evening was The Whigs (Myspace), an Athens band who absolutely blew me away. I found out later that they were a Rolling Stone band to watch, and while I usually don't put much stock in such accolades, this time the mag is right on the money. I truly regret not buying their CD while I was at the show.

The Whigs from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

My new favorite band ...

Has to be The T's, who I saw last night at Slim's. And of course it was a night when I didn't have my camera. Originally we set out to go dancing at Alibi, but ended up at Slim's by accident, which is where I saw The T's, who weren't on Slim's schedule.

This is the new band featuring Lutie from The Semantics, and three guys. They're incredibly tight with good vocals (three of them sing) and awesome guitar solos. At times during their set they reminded me of a harder rocking Pretenders, a more intricate Ramones, and, for some reason, Golden Earring. Actually, after their set, The Cult's "Electric" was playing, and I thought that was the closest thing to their sound. The odd thing was, during their set, I kept thinking they were playing covers, because their songs, or at least parts of their songs, sounded really familiar, but I could never put my finger on who or what they were covering. Usually when that happens I can identify immediately a song or band that someone is obviously ripping off. In The T's case, I think they just have a strong ability to take universally great riffs and rhythms and make them into new songs that are familiar but still fresh.

They've only played two shows so far, and their Myspace page doesn't have much info. They're playing Slim's with Snatches of Pink on Sept. 22, which should be an awesome show.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Thursday, August 10, 2006

My interview with Oakley Hall

Can be found here on TMT.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Urge Overkill, live at Slim's

Following yesterday's downtown live show in Moore Square, Urge Overkill played another set for a customer appreciation party at Slim's. Here are four movies from the show. Go here to see the photos.
(Videos removed)

Every time I go to Slim's, I end up sitting in that booth up top, looking down at the album covers on the wall. The German Folk Songs album always catches my eye, so I thought I'd take a picture of it.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Pics and movies from Two Dollar Pistols and Hearts and Daggers

Two Dollar Pistols put on a great show last night at The Pour House. Watch out for a podcast on them, featuring new stuff, a short interview with John Howie Jr., and a treat for those who remember Howie's old band Finger. Check out the movies from last night.

Two Dollar Pistols from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Another one by Two Dollar Pistols from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Opening were Hearts and Daggers (Myspace), who impressed me just as much last night as they did when I first saw them back in March. Actually, the opening band were The Bo-Stevens (Myspace), who I enjoyed more than when I saw them the first time earlier this year.

(video removed)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Two Dollar Pistols/Hearts and Daggers at the Pour House Friday

Anyone out there going to this?

Howdy folks. Hoping everybody is keeping it between the ditches.

2 big shows to tell you guys about this coming up weekend!

THIS FRIDAY: August 4th, @ The Pourhouse, downtown Raleigh.
Two Dollar Pistols, Hearts and Daggers, and The Bo-Stevens will be showcasing some of the finest hillbilly and country music coming out of NC these days. Doors at 8pm, show at 10pm. Tickets are $8.

THIS SATURDAY: August 5th, @ Hickory Tap Room, Hickory NC.
Hearts and Daggers will be playing with our good buddies the Bo-Stevens. Show starts around 10pm and is FREE! All you folks in Hickory and Charlotte, get your ass out there!!!! We'd love to see you.

See y'all around the bend.

Hearts and Daggers

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

My first Raleigh Bloggers meetup

Last night I went to my first Raleigh Bloggers Meetup at Cafe Cyclo. Had a great time talking to cool new people about podcasting, using Audacity, social networking sites and more. I also got links to several new blogs you should check out, including a new local music blog:
-- Specializing in roots rock,, deep blues and early soul. The blooger is local, but the music isn't. -- Personal blog of Josh Staiger. He also heads up the Meetup. -- A blog about interface design for Web developers -- Podcast on Web development Open source blog server -- Personal and professional blog. Ryan also runs Podcast Free America, which offers advice and information for podcasters of all skill levels.

I also got word today of another Raleigh-based music blog,, which, as you might expect, is devoted to Americana.

Monday, July 31, 2006

A blog post about Welcome to Comboland

Thanks to my co-worker Stephen King, who played in The Othermothers, I'm recording this for an upcoming podcast. I actually bought it when it came out, but for the life of me can't find it. Anyway, I decide to google it, and found a couple of cool blog posts.

Some are local:
North Carolina Travels

Half-Life and Times

N.C. Music History

And some aren't
Little Elpees

Filter Tracks

And then there's the article by movie/music critic Godfrey Cheshire, who actually compiled the record.

Roman Candle coming back to N.C.

Got word today of a few new Roman Candle shows, including one at Cat's Cradle. Here's tour sched, which included a couple of audio links.

8/4 Knoxville, TN Corner Lounge w/ The Old Ceremony

8/5 Atlanta, GA The Loft w/ The Old Ceremony

8/18 Columbus, GA SOHO w/ The Whigs

8/23 Knoxville, TN Corner Lounge w/ The Whigs

8/25 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle

9/9 Greensboro, NC Go Downtown w/ The Violent Femmes and The Avett Brothers

9/28 New York, NY Sin-e’ w/ Keegan DeWitt

Audio links:

“Something Left To Say”

“You Don’t Belong To This World”

Table at Raleigh Music Hall tomorrow night

Re-post from Russ:

Raleigh Music Hall,
upstairs from Alibi,
on Martin Street,
downtown Raleigh


BML is Brian, Drew, and Josh doing a destructo take on garage punk, with Neal from Toomestone doing some moog. Syd fans note: they do a killer Interstellar Overdrive.

TCP has Elizabeth from Blackstrap.

Table is Russ, Tom, Mike.

...and our promotional onslaught knows NO bounds!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Roosters on KNC

From A Rooster for the Masses

Tune in tonight 07.27.06 to WKNC 88.1 @ 5:30pm and tomorrow 07.28.06 @ 6pm.
We will be talking about what is going on with the Rooster and giving away CD's and tickets to Saturday's 07.29.06 show @ The Pour House Music Hall
So tune in and we will see you Saturday,

Caspian Sea Monsters tonight at the Underground

Mark from Caspian Sea Monsters wrote to say that they are playing tonight at The Underground which is part of the whole Charlie Goodnights complex. I've never been to a show there, so this could be interesting.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Metal for a good cause

My colleague David Menconi writes in his blog about a metal show this Friday at the Depot in Cary of all places. The band Speakers for the Dead is on tour to raise money for their guitarist's treatment for cancer. Also on the bill is Dreamscapes of the Perverse, who I have yet to see, so I will probably be there.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

New podcast with The Stugglers and All Night

This week's podcast feature Carrboro roots rock band The Strugglers (singer Randy Bickford is pictured above), and bass player Nikos Chremos' old band, All Night (pictured below).

Black Skies show and interview online tonight

From a Black Skies myspace bulletin


Sunday, July 23rd live radio show on WUAG 103.1 fm Greensboro!
Starts @ 8pm EST
Go to: for more info. Theres a live stream from this site so you can listen to the show from wherever you are!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Vetiver and Heavy Pets at Kings

Last night felt like old home week, with so many G-boro folk in town. The only thing that would have made it complete would have been if Mitch McGirt, grabbed the guitar from Andy Cabic and started playing some Duran Duran covers.

The first band was The Heavy Pets, including (pictured) Art from Mercury Birds and Allnight on vocals/guitar. I'd never seen Heavy Pets before, and they really reminded me a whole lot of Allnight, which always reminded me a lot of The Allman Brothers, with maybe a little Blue Oyster Cult thrown in.

The Heavy Pets from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Most of Vetiver

The rest of Vetiver: See-through Sanders

However, I was mainly looking forward to see Vetiver (Myspace), who just released a phenomenal new CD, "To Find Me Gone." Andy, who is the soul of Vetiver, used to be in The Raymond Brake (listen to last Sunday's podcast for more from Vetiver and The Raymond Brake), and both Sanders and Brend from the band used to be in another Greensboro band, Rebar. I enjoyed The Raymond Brake -- they were fun, poppy, cute boys who wrote fun, poppy, cute music. But Andy's music, lyrics and vocal presence have grown so far beyond the Raymond Brake that it's hard to believe both bands were fronted by the same guy. I've yet to get "Been so Long" or "Maureen" out of my head. Check out the videos from Wednesday's show.

Vetiver from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Another one by Vetiver from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Podcast featuring Double Negative, Willard, Vetiver and Raymond Brake

This is going to be a double podcast, featuring two bands (Double Negative and Willard) by Brian Walsby, whose latest comic book, "Manchild 2" was just released by Bifocal Media, and two bands by Andy Cabic, currently known for the San Francisco freak-folk band Vetiver, but remembered in Greensboro for his college band The Raymond Brake. Enjoy!

Also, here's a link to the Independent's feature on Brian.

Monday, July 03, 2006

A look back at Pure

Here it is: the long-awaited (well, by some folks) podcast on the early-90s Asheville band Pure.

As I stated in the podcast, Pure put out a 7-inch record on Merge that seemingly everyone in North Carolina loved before mysteriously disappearing. Before putting this podcast together, I asked several folks I know if they knew anything at all about this band. The only info I got was from former Shiny Beast guitarist David Sullivan, who remembered playing a show with the band, and thought that one of the band members worked for Bob Moog. I did some more searching and eventually got in touch with Martin Beeler, the band's former guitar player, who then put me in touch with bass player Steve Dunnington and drummer Danni Iosello.

Following are bits from e-mails from the various band members. If you'd like to leave a message for the band, you can do so here in this blog, or you can e-mail me.

From Martin Beeler:
I played electronics, guitar, and Moog Rogue, in a
band called "Or" in Knoxville TN in the mid-late 90s.
Droney, noisy stuff. Or still exists in theory, but
probably only in theory. We last played a show around
X-mas two years ago, which consisted of a sort of
homage to Tony Conrad's "Outside the Dream Syndicate."

I have a couple of other projects underway, but
nothing worth speaking about yet.
Pure released that one single on Merge and a
self-released demo cassette (cassette!) that included
a couple of songs not on the single. That was it. I
believe we recorded a couple of additional studio
tracks, which Steve engineered -- he probably still
has the masters --, but never got around to releasing

(I have a bunch of live cassette recordings and some
4-track stuff, which I plan to post on my
cassette-only mp3 blog, once I get that going. I'll
let you know once I do, if you're interested.)

From Danni Iosello:
Martin wants me to tell you that after I quit Sisiters Of Mercy, I joined a
convent in Oswego.

Instead, after Pure, I
a) went to school at Chapel Hill
b) lived in Germany on a Fulbright
c) moved back to Chicago and joined the band Califone
d) later formed my current band, Sin Ropas, (
e) moved back to NC to a town called Marshall

5 steps cover 10 years.

From Steve Dunnington:
That’s funny – I still have a test pressing of that single lying around somewhere. Pure was my first “real” band – I was 19 when we started it. One of my recollections is passing up an opportunity to open for Nirvana in Charlotte (when they were touring to support Bleach) because I had a calculus exam the next day. I guess that’s not very “rock”, eh? I heard there were only 15 people who went to that show anyway ha ha ha. I got a B in that calculus class. There were so many nice people in NC around that time – and some really good bands – I remember really liking willard – I also remember playing w/ erectus monotone, polvo, emmanuel lewis flea circus, porn orchard. It was a really fun time to be in a band – except in Asheville, it was so sleepy back then you could walk around downtown on a weekend around 11:00 pm and it would be totally deserted.

Since then I finished college in 93– got a job working for Bob Moog at the end of 94 and have been doing that since. He died last year, which really sucks (he was a really fun and amazing guy) but the company’s still happening. I’m now helping to design new products. I played guitars and/or keyboards in a bunch of other bands after Pure none of which ever really did anything but we did have fun – let’s see – There was Snorebox, Valve, Spool, Chandelier Swingers, Tripod (not the metal version), Roberts Street Quartet, Sexpatriots. Now I do a thing called Soldadura – it’s mostly electronic noodly sort of stuff – kind of out there. We play out once every other year or so or not.

If I can find the cassette and a cassette machine that works, I have a Pure song that I recorded at UNCA that never saw the light of day. I have some other demos on cassette too. I also somewhere may have the original 4-track demo of “Senseless” that’s very different – it’s acoustic guitar, clarinet and synth burbles – recorded at the very first apartment I had in Asheville. (must have been the fall of 88). That would be fun to get out there and available.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Schooner with Ben Davis and The Jets at Kings on June 24.

Schooner with Ben Davis and The Jets at Kings on June 24.

(Kathryn Johnson playing keys and xylophone for Schooner)

Last night I saw Schooner (Myspace) with Ben Davis and The Jets (Myspace) (Lovitt Records) at Kings. I was also able to do a podcast with them, successfully using for the first time my new iTalk. I spoke with them outside Poole's Diner in downtown Raleigh. Check out the podcast, which includes music from the band, part of the interview, and music from drummer Billy Alphin's old band, Ashley Stove.


Full interview with the band, including us trying to tell some lost woman how to get to "South Sanders Street":

I also got two partial videos from Schooner, and a video from Ben Davis (see below). Also check out my photos on Flickr.

(Megan Culton and Reid Johnson)

(Videos removed)

Monday, June 19, 2006

My first podcast! OK, so I've yet to actually make the feed and put it on itunes, but if you want to download the mp3 and listen to it, it's here: 

I hope to do this about once a week. I plan to talk about, and play music from local bands and artists who are playing in the area or releasing albums or otherwise doing something noteworthy. I also plan to include interviews with local bands. Finally, each week I want to play some forgotten gems from my collection of North Carolina music. The first podcast is on Bicycle Face. After I wrote my blog post on them, I got several e-mails from folks who wanted to get more music by them. This week's blast from the past is the song "Master of the Game" by Silica Gel, which includes a distorted newscast, recorded over the TV in Charlotte, appealing for information on a pedestrian who had ben killed while trying to cross I-285.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Olympic Ass-Kicking Team and Hearts and Daggers at The Pour House

Thursday night was the first time I'd seen Olympic Ass-Kicking Team (Myspace) in a while, and I'd forgotten how much I like them. The group features a bunch of North Carolina legends, including Terry Anderson, who might be best-know for penning Dan Baird's 1992 hit "I Love You Period," which is one of those songs I really hate to love.

This band's songs have a similar rootsy feel with clever sing-along lyrics. Two absolute stand-outs are "Thunderbird," which, like "I Love You Period," will have you singing it whether you want to or not, and "Sunday Dress," which probably would be a national hit if these guys didn't have the word "Ass" in their name (sad, but true). That song is sung by Anderson's old Woods/Fabulous Knobs bandmate Jack Cornell, who plays bass.

Other members of the Team include Cartridge Family keyboard player/vocalist Greg Rice on keys (pictured) and guitar player Dave Bartholomew who has played with too many bands to list. See video from the show, below.

Olympic Ass-Kicking Team from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Hearts and Daggers (Myspace) (pictured above) is outlaw country at its finest, a band whose songs always tell a good, but usually tragic, story. Check out their video below.

Hearts & Daggers from Mann's World on Vimeo.

See more pictures from the show.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Last night we checked out two bands I'd never seen before, one of which was in a venue where I'd never seen the band. Uncomfortable was winsome pop rock, though I really can't say much for their vocals. They have a pretty devoted following, though. They played at Alibi, where I've hung out for dance parties and just chatting with friends. it's a pretty small space, and the band was jammed back near the bathrooms, but it did have kind of a homey atmosphere. Here's their video:

Uncomfortable from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Next up was The Crossing, a band my friend Monty knows from Tennessee. They're originally from Johnson City, and spent time in New York, but now are in the process of moving to Nashville.

They were pretty slick, early '80s Southern jangle rock with some elements of U2 thrown in. I could imagine these guys on a bill with The Connells and Light in August (any Raleighites remember them?) back in 1986. Check out the video:

(Video removed)

Here are some more photos of both bands.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Black Skies at Slim's

If you think (like many of us in Raleigh) that bands from Chapel Hill aren't heavy enough, one listen to Black Skies will certainly change your mind. This trio is HEAVY and loud with a distinct Sabbath influence. Singer/guitarist Kevin Clark was in Snatches of Pink, and is known far and wide as the doorman at Cat's Cradle. Drummer Tom White has been in The Rails with Justin Gray and Johny Rock 'n' Roll, and was also the original drummer for Picasso Trigger. Together Kevin and Tom were in a band called The Man with bass player Michelle Temple. When The Man broke up, the three of them stuck together and formed Black Skies.

I took several cool photos (check out the Flickr set) and got two videos.

Unfortunately, because Slim's is pretty dark, my camera's movie mode doesn't work well there. The second one looks better; both sound OK, but not great.

Black Skies from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Black Skies performing "Aqua Dogs."

This was their second try on this song. "Aqua Dogs" was supposed to be their opener, but while playing, something happened to Kevin's amp head. They switched it out with the opening band's head, and tried again.

Another one by Black Skies from Mann's World on Vimeo.

I don't know the name of this one.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

I got a chance to see Oakley Hall (Myspace), a psychedelic folk-rock group from Brooklyn, last night at Kings. According to at least one knowledgeable person I talked to, the main male singer used to be in Oneida, and one of the women in the band has something to do with the Werehouse in Winston-Salem. Interesting male-female vocal dynamics, lots of guitars, lap-steel and an electric violin. They reminded me somewhat of The Band, not so much in sound but in the spirit of what they're doing -- putting a rustic feel on some good, spacey pop music.

Here's the video:

Oakley Hall from Mann's World on Vimeo.

They opened for TV Knife (Myspace), a band that I can honestly say doesn't sound like anything else around here. If anything, they sound like a time capsule from 1975, in which you might find a Hawaiian shirt, a hot-tub, a bag of cocaine, a pair of Candies and an 8-track copy of Boz Scaggs' "Silk Degrees" (OK, it would be a big time capsule). I will personally give every member of this band $1 if they cover "Lowdown" the next time they play.

Here's the video:

TV Knife from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Also, check out the Flickr set from the show.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

(From left: Brian Huskey, Mitchell McGirt, Chris Longworth) photo by Mike Traister)

I've been enjoying a real blast from the past these last couple of days. Mitchell McGirt, singer/guitarist of the old Greensboro band Bicycle Face finally put the band's music, and some of his hilarious Mixmaster Mitch mixes, on CD. I will admit that when the band was actually active, I wasn't a huge fan, but listening to these CDs has made me really appreciate what clever songwriters Mitch and Brian Huskey are. Of course, Brian is now known for his comedy, especially his work on Comedy Central and VH1's "Best Week Ever" (not to metion his Hardee's commercials), and his comic talent is evident in these old songs. I've included link's to two of my personal favorites: Irrelevant and I Fell in Love (In the Graveyard).

Here's a picture of the band with Evan Smith, who was never in the band, so I don't really know why he's in the photo. Eric Shepard from Geezer Lake took this one.

What makes the band good is the way Brian's quirky humor plays off of Mitch's self-referential weirdness. A good example of Mitch-style wackiness is the "Mixmaster Mitch" CD. One day back in 1991, Mitch decided, for reasons known only to himself, to create a tape with a bunch of songs and samples mashed together. Mitch's great loves were '80s new wave, local music and twangy country. He also had a bunch of old tapes of himself learning to play guitar, tapes of his old high school band playing such gems as "Sweet Home Alabama" and tapes of Bicycle Face doing dumb stuff. He also had one of the funniest things I've ever heard in my life: A secretly recorded telephone conversation between an older Southern man and his crying, drunk mistress. At one point duirng this conversation, the man tells her, "This is ridiculous," but he really draws it out, so it comes out as "THIS is ru-DICK-a-lus." Mitch combined this little nugget with Johnny Paycheck singing "Take the Job and Shove It," then put it over a power pop song that's either by Majosha (Ben Folds' first band), or Evan Olsen and the Straight Ahead. Or maybe it's a Snuzz song. Regardless, it was a local band. The result is classic.

After spending all day on this masterpiece, Mitch went to every party that took place in Greensboro for the next two weeks or so, and insisted on playing it. Other songs on the CD included a mix of Missing Persons' "Life is So Strange" with Rich Hall saying over and over, " ... now let me tell you about the shopping center"; a song with the opening drum beat from Foxy Lady, with a teenage Mitch struggly to play something (maybe Foxy Lady?) while either Jerry Clower or Mitch's dad says over and over, "Woo! Beautiful!"; a mix of The Shaggs and the full Eddie Murphy gay "Honeymooners" routine. Finally, there's a mix of a goofy, throw-away filler tune from R.E.M.'s "Reckoning" record, a recording of Bicycle Face getting into a mock fight on the air on WQFS (complete with Chris Longworth -- who apparently forgot he was being recorded live -- hollering out "We're leaving! Fuck this shit!"), and Brian Huskey talking about a song he had written about the pain his mother put him through. You can hear that one here.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Last night The Greatest Hits played with Dirty Johnny and the Make-Believes and the Caspian Sea Monsters at Kings. But since it was a school night (so to speak), I just caught the first two bands. The best part of the evening, though, was being introduced to Horniblow's (pictured above), a weird little brew pub in a warehouse in this industrial complex off of Atlantic Avenue. There's free pool and ping pong, and awesome site-brewed ales and lagers in a hidden-away place that looks like someone's rec room from the 70s. I ran into my old pal Dave Rogers who now manages who described the bar's aura succinctly: "This place looks like the bar that someone's dad decided to put in his basement." The place was pretty empty, but I hear that it gets busy on bluegrass nights (usually Tuesdays). I will definitely be going back. Now for the videos:

Caspian Sea Monsters from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Caspian Sea Monsters

Dirty Johnny & the Make-Believes from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Dirty Johnny and the Make-Believes

Monday, April 10, 2006

I finally got to see Double Negative last night at Kings -- but just barely. This is the only band I know that actually starts their shows on time. They were playing when I got there, but I ran to the back of the stage and was able to get three songs (all under 10 minutes!) on video. Got a few less-than-stellar pics. When Jodi gets hers online I will link to them. Scott (not Williams, don't know his last name) also got some professional video which he will put on Youtube. I'll link to that as well. Here's the video of them at Kings. (Video removed)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

I have a new favorite band.
If The Needles are Wilmington's answer to The Hellacopters, then Thunderlip (Myspace)is surely that city's answer to Gluecifer -- with a little Queen and Thin Lizzy thrown in. Strangely enough, I'd never seen the band before, but as I found out last night, all my friends' ravings were correct. They are a fierce rock machine with a wild-ass frontman (who, from what I hear, wasn't as wild-ass last night as he normally is), and two phenomenal guitarists who play blistering twin leads. The highlight of the evening was when Craig Tilley of Birds of Avalon joined them onstage for a dead-on cover of "Highway Star," which is probably my favorite Deep Purple song of all time. Unfortunately I was so excited about them playing "Highway Star" that I didn't think to record it until halfway through. I've included that recording here, along with a recording of "Meet the Snake."

Thunderlip from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Thunderlip performs "Meet the Snake."

Another one by Thunderlip from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Thunderlip performs "Highway Star" with Craig from Birds of Avalon. Also, I got a lot of good photos from that show. Check out the Flickr set.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A link to my Hellacopters review on The Red Alert.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Red Smokes White and The Trousers at Kings Last night I had a chance to check out Red Smokes White (their singer is pictured above) and The Trousers at Kings. I'd never heard of Red Smokes White, but I was very impressed with their sludgy, swampy Black Sabbath-meets-Deliverance rock. Their bass player switched between an electric and a stand-up bass, and one of the guitarists also played sax. I found out later that the bass player is Daryl White, who used to be in Trailer Bride, among other bands. I also found out the sax-playing guitarist is his brother, and they both used to live in Havelock, down the road from my old hometown, Morehead City. I always love meeting folks from Eastern N.C. who have escaped. If someone knows who Lee Canipe is, or has been to the Elbow Room in Greenville, I know we'll have a special bond. I got footage of Red Smokes White, but truthfully I didn't like this song as much as the others they did. I plan to see them again and will try to film a different song. I'd heard a bit about The Trousers (above), but apparently not enough because I was expecting a new wave band. Instead, they were more psychedelic British blues. As if to reiterate that, they actually played "Train Kept a Rollin'." Definitely good (their bass player was amazing to watch). Here's a couple of movies. (Videos removed) Also, you can take a look at some more photos from the show on my Flickr stream.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Damn it. I made plans to video and take photos of the innaugural Double Negative show last night, but got to Kings after the band played. I took lots of hilarious pics of Jessica and the gang at her birthday karaoke party (they're on Flickr, but set for friends only) and went home to download those photos before going out. As soon as I got to the club I was greeted by a chorus of wide-eyed punks all saying, "you missed it! That was the most awesome show I've seen in years." Well, anyway. Brian says they'll be playing in a couple of weeks. Will try again then.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Last night I checked out Strange and Dark Meat at Kings. I've always had trouble getting photos of Strange because they tend to use dark, atmospheric lighting. (If you haven't heard them, dark and atmospheric is a pretty good way to describe their music, too. I hesitate to call them goth, though their music really wouldn't be out of place on a compilation with Sisters of Mercy or Joy Division. A couple of the photos from last night came out nicely, and I was able to get at least one whole song on video.

Strange from Mann's World on Vimeo.

I actually like the song in this second video more, but the memory in my camera ran out before the song was finished. 

Another one by Strange from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Before Strange, I also saw Dark Meat, a collective of at least 13 musicians from Greensboro that's part blues-rock, part Motown and part Mardi Gras parade. Check out the video I got of them. (UPDATE: I just found out Dark Meat are actually from Athens.)

Dark Meat Vomit Lasers Family Band from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Also, check out the Flickr stream from the show.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Table and Dude Garden at Kings

I had big plans to start a podcast this weekend for the Table/Dude Garden show saturday at Kings. My mom gave me a Griffin iTalk for Christmas, and I'd been waiting for an opportunity to use it. Since it was Russ DeSena's birthday, I thought Saturday would be good. I planned to interview Russ and Tom Cushman, and even have a few folks say happy birthday to Russ. I got Mikey Ross to do it, then suddenly the italk, which gave me problems when I first tried it out, wouldn't work. So, I have temporarily scrapped the podcast idea (need to take the italk to the Apple store).

Instead, I interviewed Russ and Tom on camera, so here's a five minute video of them discussing how the band formed, why they called it Table, and their working relationship (or lack thereof). This takes a long time to download, so if you have a slow connection, go to work or someone's house and try downloading it from there. (Video removed)

Later, I got a video of them performing a song. Tom told me what it was called, but I couldn't figure out what he was saying. It sounded like he said "Muggawhere," which sounds like the name of a Black Metal band. I'm sure that's not the title, but that's what I'll call it. Actually, Russ called this their Manowar song, so maybe it's called Manowar.

Table from Mann's World on Vimeo.

I also got decent video of Dude Garden doing "Brown Bagger."

Dude Garden from Mann's World on Vimeo.

I've now got a YouTube account, and I see that Myspace has video capabilities now, so I may play around with that a bit later.

You should also check out a few photos I took of the show. Check out the Flickr stream.

Some of the photos came out OK, mostly because, like at the Patty Hurst Shifter show, someone else was there taking photos with a flash. In this case it was Jodi Donkel, who is an actual class A professional photographer. She's already put at least one photo from the show on the Rock the Triangle group, so check it out. Thanks, Jodi, for letting me glom onto your flash.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A couple of cool upcoming shows:

Saturday, March 4: Birds of Avalon, Destructionaire and Tiger Bear Wolf at Kings. I'm really looking forward to this one because I've never seen TBW, who are from Greensboro. Birds of Avalon always rock. Planning to film it and will post here.

Saturday, March 18:

From Stephanie: FAME: MARCH 18: BURNING (WO)MAN

It's time for annual Burning WOman Party! One you just don't
want to miss!

Loosely based after the Burning Man party of the west coast, this
party gives you permission to dress as crazy as you want! There
are no limits! :) Be creative! Be painted by SORROW or paint
yourself up at the party!

We have special DJ friend IMPLICIT visiting from Boston to join
LEMOORE for this rocking party. You know you are in for a pumping
night of music. IMPLICIT ( / –
Boston, MA). With over a decade of industry experience as an
established electronic dance music DJ, Producer, and Mastering
Engineer, Implicit is pushing the envelope of sonic innovation
with his house music knowledge, technical savvy, and
uncompromising work ethic. He has been featured in magazines such
as URB, BPM, and Music Monthly and continues to be a prominent
house music force on the east coast.

Please welcome back this now Boston-based artist for a very
special set at FAME.

DANCE on the BRAND new dancefloor and watch visual artists
perform such things as poi, hoops, and flagging! As always, every
sense will be stimulated at the annual Burning WOman FAME.

RINGSIDE: 308 West Main Street, Durham Doors open at 10. 18+

Come play with us!

Ringside charges $8 (members) and $10 (non-members) on Saturday nights.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Great news for those of you who remember a great band. I'll post more details as they become available. From Gus Engstrom:

i am pleased to announce the FIRST release to be Shiny Beast on my label, Made In Kansas. They were a killer band that was around in the early to mid 90's. The band put out an e.p. on Boner Records. This was a 5 song release. The also put out a split LP with Regraped on blast-o-platter records. this was a very limited release. the compilation will contain the following:

-complete Boner Records demo 11 songs
-complete Split Regaped LP demo 9 songs
-Ian Davis demo 4 songs
-last show . show was at Gilley's Raleigh,NC 12 songs

this cd is a GREAT example of this band and their influence. i am stoked to be putting it out. i will be posting few songs soon so people can hear. Stickfigure Distro will be the exclusive distro of the cd. more to come...


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Last night I saw the first Patty Hurst Shifter CD-release show at Slim's (Patty Hurst Shifter Myspace page). They've scheduled two: One last night with Goner opening (Goner's Myspace page), and another tonight with Trousers.
I listened to the new CD ("Too Crowded on the Losing End") in the car on the way home and liked it a lot. I'm quite impressed to find that the great Ian McLagan plays organ on one of the songs. That's kind of appropriate since PHS really reminds me of a more maudlin Faces.

Goner, pictured below, was great as usual. For some reason I always forget how much I like them until I see them again. Then the next day I'm always thinking "Goner really is one of the best bands around here." They're not that far removed from their legendary first incarnation, Boy Wonder Jinx. So if you were ever into BWJ, you'll probably love Goner even more.

A couple of these photos turned out nicely by accident. As per usual, I was using my digital camera, which doesn't have a manual switch. So therefore it takes a second to focus, and if I'm not using a flash in a dark club, the aperture stays open a long time to get as much light as it can. It turned out that several people, including a woman to my right, were taking photos with a flash. A couple of times she used her flash while I was taking a photo without a flash, which created a neat stop-action effect.

I wish I could say that the films came out well. Slim's is so dark that it's really difficult to get anything worthwhile there. The Goner one came out OK. The PHS ones are way too dark, but sound OK. Especially take a listen to "Shake," which really rocked, and which appears on the new CD.

Finally, I'm thinking about buying server space on yahoo and eventually putting some of these little movies on iTunes so people can download them more easily. Is this a good idea? I'd appreciate any feedback.

Also, take a look at all the photos from this show on my Flickr set.

Goner from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Here's the Goner movie.

Patty Hurst Shifter - "Shake" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Here's Patty Hurst Shifter doing "Shake" (you really can't see very much but it sounds OK).

Another one by Patty Hurst Shifter from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Here's another Patty Hurst Shifter movie (you can see even less here).