Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas from Karen, plus cool show this Saturday

Here's a repost from the folks in I Was Totally Destroying It (above). They're playing a benefit show this Saturday for a friend who inspired one of their songs. Here's what they sent out earlier today on Myspace: Merry Christmas Eve, y'all- We need all the support we can get at this one, so please join us at the benefit this Saturday for our friend Conrad Zaborowski. If you've heard our album you've heard the track "Conrad"- this was written late this past spring, right after Conrad was in a terrible car accident, sending him into a coma for months. Conrad is now awake and doing astonishingly well, but he and his family have massive medical bills that will continue to pile up over the years to come. Please come out and by doing so you will be donating to this good cause. We play first, early, so be there at 8, this will be a quick show- watch the 3 great bands and head out on the town and enjoy the end of the year with your friends... SATURDAY DECEMBER 29 -Ships -Will Donegan & The Apologies -I Was Totally Destroying It @Cat's Cradle 300 E Main St Carrboro, NC 8pm. $6/$8. All Ages.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Check out Polynya

NOW LISTENING TO: The self-titled debut by Polynya, a new pop/electronic band from Chapel Hill that includes, among other folks, local artist/musician and Girls Rock Camp founder Amelia Burch. Very sweet girl/boy vocals and happy pop guitar riffs turn unexpectedly tough and ominous. I don't see any shows listed on their Web site, but I'm looking forward to seeing them when they do play again.

Suburban Sweethearts last night at Slim's

Suburban Sweethearts lived up to my expectations last night with a short, but raw, set that included a few covers, including one by Bob Seger. Joe told me the name of the Seger tune, but since I know almost nothing about Seger, I don't remember which one it was. Since I had to work at an ungodly hour this morning, I didn't stick around for The Loners. Here's the video of Suburban Sweethearts. I started off on the stairs at Slim's, but too many people kept walking in front of me. I went downstairs and tried to stand behind the band, but from that angle I could only see Lucius' back, so I moved again to right in front of Joe. (see more photos).

Suburban Sweethearts from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

My top CDs for the year

I know everyone in the world has already released their top lists, but I generally like to wait just in case something comes out in December that wows me. OK, that's not true; I'm just lazy. Here's my list, with a few short notes on each. 1. Band of Horses -- Cease to Begin. No other CD affected me like this one this year. I absolutely love Ben Bridwell's voice. 2. Dungen -- Tito Bitar. I love the flute that comes in and calms everything down after the guitar freakout -- and that's just in the first song. 3. Midnight Movies -- Lion the Girl. Dark and psychedelic. Imagine if the Velvets were based in Los Angeles rather than New York, and hung out with the Manson Family rather than Andy Warhol. 4. Golden Dogs -- Big Eye Little Eye. Perfect, winsome pop. Check out "Construction Worker." 5. M.I.A. -- Kala. If for no other reason than the Clash sample, and suddenly controversial gunshots on "Paper Planes." 6. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings -- 100 Days, 100 Nights. I truly couldn't care less about Amy Crackhouse, but I'm glad her success is shining a spotlight on this truly deserving singer and her fabulous backing band. 7. The Lonely H -- Hair. Queen-inspired classic rock from a bunch of Seattle area teenagers. Imagine what they'll be capable of by the time they they turn 30. 8. Art Brut -- It's a Bit Complicated. Witty Britpop that, for my money, were even better than Hold Steady on this year's tour. 9. Justin Townes Earle -- Yuma. The son of Steve Earle, and named after Townes Van Zandt, Justin has a lot to live up to. Based on this CD, I think he'll do just fine for himself. 10. Pontiak -- Sun on Sun. Swampy, angry blues rock. A nice follow-up to their excellent "Valley of Cats."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Suburban Sweethearts with The Loners tomorrow night!

I don't need to tell you about The Loners, who just might be the most beloved band in Raleigh (and deservedly so), who will be at Slim's tomorrow night. But you most likely don't know about the opening band, Suburban Sweethearts, a new band with Joe Yerry from The Bleeding Hearts, Lucius from The Greatest Hits and Sir Arthur & His Royal Knights, and Erik Sugg (Dragstrip Syndicate), who, I have repeatedly said, is one of the best guitarists in this area. Erik knows raw, MC5-style rock, and Joe Y himself described this band to me as "Hellacopters-meets-MC5", so you should make a point not to miss it. I will be there, despite the fact that I have to work the following morning at 4:30 a.m.

Videos from Christmas at the Cradle

On Wednesday I got out to Carrboro to see the Trekky Records extravaganza at Cat's Cradle. I got to see at least one band for the first time (I Was Totally Destroying It), and got video of a couple others for the first time. But because it was a big show with lots of bands, I missed more than I saw. I was told by one woman I met that Sweater Weather was the best band on the bill. I haven't seen them yet, but will now make an effort to do so.

I Was Totally Destroying It from Mann's World on Vimeo.

When I got there, I Was Totally Destroying It (video and photo above) was already playing a spot-on cover of U2's New Year's Day. Seriously, as I was walking up to the club, I actually thought the club was just playing that song in between bands. Since everyone was supposed to play holiday themed music, I don't think I got a very accurate sense of what they're like. I will say that they're tight, they obviously have a thing for Telecaster Deluxe guitars and they had a rabid fan-base.

The Moaners from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Since it was a few days ago, my memory is a little faulty, and I can't remember if the Moaners or Midtown Dickens were next. Regardless, above is a video from The Moaners, who always impress me.

Midtown Dickens from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Midtown Dickens (above), is one of those bands that spends about 60 percent of the time blowing me away, and 40 percent of the time getting on my last nerve. They're very child-like, and seem to have an acute sense of wonder and joy with music and being on stage. The problem is that they're just not very proficient musicians. Maybe they think spending more time with their instruments will dampen that joy. I think it will only heighten it.

Portastatic from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Finally, Mac McCaughan performed solo as Portastatic. Unfortunately my memory ran out right in the middle of his lovely solo! And because my memory ran out, I didn't get video of the Annuals' amazing full-chorus version of "Christmastime is Here" from the Charlie Brown Christmas special.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Following up on Flat Duo Jets

Since I blogged about "Athens, Inside/Out", here's a clip Jessica forwarded of Flat Duo Jets on The Cutting Edge from February 1985.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Massive show tonight at the Cradle

I considered doing a blog post about all the Christmas songs I hate, but the thing is, I hate just about all of them (With "Little St. Nick", "Santa Baby" and "Jingle Bell Rock" being the top three). I have a feeling all those songs will be much better sung by the Trekky Yuletide Orchestra, which is playing tonight's Christmas at the Cradle show in Chapel Hill. If that doesn't excite you, check out the list of supporting artists. More info here. Portastatic Annuals Ivan Rosebud (of The Rosebuds) The Moaners Midtown Dickens I Was Totally Destroying It Schooner Hammer No More the Fingers Robo Sapien Sweater Weather Doors open at 7:30, and all proceeds benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Go see Chatham County Line tomorrow night

I've been listening to an advance of Chatham County Line's upcoming CD, and absolutely love it. They'll be at the Pour House tomorrow, so you should go see them, and hope they play some of their new stuff. In other news, Jeff Carroll writes to say that 96 Rock's "Locals Only" show will play Holly Raleigh Christmas Vol. II in its entirety this Sunday night at 10 p.m. If you haven't had a chance to hear the CD yet, this is a great opportunity. Finally, last night I watched "Athens, Inside/Out" for the first time in nearly 20 years, and boy, did it bring back some memories. Mostly I was just proud, just as I was back then, that the best band in the movie was actually from North Carolina. Fast forward to 3:52 for the Flat Duo Jets part.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The T's, Birds of Avalon and Grass Widow

Last night I went down to the Downtown Events Center, which used to be Raleigh Music Hall, and several other clubs, to see Birds of Avalon, Grass Widow and The T's. I'm not sure what's up with that place these days. I really don't know if it's an actual club, or if it's just available for rentals. It seems like I always hear about shows happening there AFTER they happen. The T's played a new song, which I got on video. I know everyone is tired of hearing me praise them, but I am really looking forward to their upcoming CD. Here's the video.

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

Next up were Grass Widow, who, I believe, were playing their second show. I didn't like them at first, but during their set their fuzzy, jangly blues rock actually really grew on me. I didn't get much of them because the batteries in my camera were exhausted. One of my New Year's resolutions will be to adequately charge my batteries before heading to a show. I didn't stick around for all of Birds of Avalon, but what I heard sounded awesome as per usual, and I really liked their winter wonderland set. Finally, I'd like to say thanks to DJ Castro for playing several of my all-time favorite songs in between sets, including Johnny the Fox and Saturday Night Special.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Happy birthday to Michael Pilmer

Michael, known for being the co-editor of Jimmy'z Dumbshit, as well as such musical projects as Krapper Keeper and Silica Gel, held his birthday party at Slim's last night. For those of you who don't know Michael, that last sentence, as ridiculous as it may read, is absolutely correct. Anyway, DJ Roxxi Dott provided a disconcerting mash-up of such Pilmer favorites as Blondie, Carcass and Cheap Trick, while local black metal-bluegrass-karaoke outfit The Morbid Ramblers, did their thing. This was after the vibrator door prize giveaway.

Morbid Ramblers from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The T's and Birds of Avalon tomorrow night!

Please pass this show info along. As y'all know, The T's are my favorite local band, so if you've never checked them out, you owe it to yourself to do so. Birds of Avalon are among my favorites too, so this is going to be a killer show. From what I've heard, its some sort of Camel promotion, so if you smoke, you might get some free cigs out of it too! Only $3! What a deal!

Here's the original message:

Hi Folks...

Well, its not a "Kings Show" but thats okay I guess... The Birds of Avalon will be playing a Christmas party at the Downtown Events Center tomorrow night -- Sat. the 15th.. We will do our best to cheer the place up a bit and make it a good time for everybody!.

The T's and Grass Widow are also playing and DJ Castro is providing some supreme jams between bands... The Cost is $3 ..

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Seriously one of the funniest things I've ever seen

Sorry I haven't been blogging much lately. The holidays always end up being busier than I'd like. I was in New York last weekend, and have had a crazy work schedule this week, but I'm planning to see the T's and Birds of Avalon this Saturday at Downtown Events Center. While I was in New York, my old co-worker Barry Summerlin told me about this series of youtube videos where some guy in Finland makes fun of various guitar greats by replacing the soundtrack of concert videos with bad guitar playing. So far I've watched Eddie Van Halen, Carlos Santana, and Jake E. Lee. I think Jake E. Lee was my favorite mainly for Ozzy's crazy clapping. Here's the guy's channel. Also, let me say that if the rumors about Led Zeppelin playing Bonnaroo prove to be true, I'll be the first one there.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Weekend wrap up

First, I want to thank Jeff Carroll for passing along a copy of this year's Have a Holly Raleigh Christmas. If you haven't checked it out, it's a collection of local musicians covering Christmas tunes, and it's available at store's throughout town. Proceeds will benefit the Community Music School, so check it out. Last night I went out without my camera, and you know what that means: I saw something I wish I could have documented. Asheville one-man-band Shake It Like A Caveman was at Sadlack's, playing a selection of blues tunes, including some by R.L. Burnside. I think the best thing about his set-up was the sawed-off phone handset he used for a microphone, which unfortunately didn't want to stay properly duck-taped to the mic stand. After Sad's I headed out to rural Garner to catch Joe Swank and the Zen Pirates at the White Oak Grill, a cinder-block establishment with a hand-lettered sign and a distinctive "someone's going to get hit over the head with a pool stick tonight" vibe. Apparently the folks at Budweiser had sprung for some nice banners advertising the show. However, they mis-identified the band as the VEN Pirates. Anyway, the band sounded good, everyone was cool and no fights broke out (at least not while I was there). I didn't eat, but I hear that the onion rings and meat-lovers pizza were both quite tasty. Thanks to Alex, who bought me a White Oak Grill beer cozy with the slogan, "Where good friends & cold beer meet at!!!"

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Cartridge Family at Sadlack's

Last night I braved the cold, and Tony's dancing, to go see the Cartridge Family at Sadlack's. Check out the video below of "Party at My House" and "So Much," the first two songs from their new CD.

Cartridge Family from Mann's World on Vimeo.

The big event of the evening (no offense to the band) was that someone was giving away cans of Sparks. I'm not sure if it was Sadlack's proper doing the giveaway or if it was just a random box someone found. As one of the few people who absolutely loves Sparks, I hope this becomes a trend.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Three things

Charlotte's The New Familiars will be at The Pour House tonight, and they are issuing a challenge to Raleighites to come out and help them drink the kegs dry. Band member E-S Guthrie says: we're a conglomeration of folk, blues, rock, bluegrass, and country that we call folk-core, we're writing honest music from from the heart, and we perform it with all the passion and intensity that we can muster from the depths of our souls. they'll be with local all-girl bluegrass ensemble the Sweet By and By, so if you like drinking and bluegrass, get out to the Pour House tonight. Secondly, Brian Walsby has a new Blogger blog called Introverted Loudmouth, where he reminisces about his rock experiences. Check out his post on making a T-shirt for Tommy Lee. Thirdly, N&O rock critic David Menconi has a nice blog post and a story in memory of David Enloe, guitarist for The Fabulous Knobs and The Woods, who died Tuesday. I didn't know David Enloe, but other folks have been writing heartfelt tributes to him. I'll let them tell you all about him. From Terry Anderson's blog From Bob Davis' blog Video of Marti Jones, Tim Lee and Enloe coveringThe dB's "Neverland" 1986 Video of The Fabulous Knobs "Please You No More" Video of The Fabulous Knobs "Don't Stop"

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Girls on Film

Tres Chicas are going to record their upcoming concerts at The Pour House for a DVD. The shows to be recorded will take place on Nov. 24 and 25. Tickets will be $8 for each night, or $12 for both.

"Folk-inspired avant-garde music"

Thanks to Aaron from Hem of His Garment for letting me know about this show. Unfortunately work will prevent me from being there, but this looks pretty awesome. From Aaron: Old Noise and New Blues: Avant-Garde and Folk Traditions in the Southern Vernacular WHEN: Nov. 17, 2007 7:30 PM-10:00 PM [doors at 6:30 PM] WHERE: Gerrard Hall UNC-Chapel Hill 208 E. Cameron Rd. [Next to Memorial Hall, across from the Old Well] ADMISSION: FREE with UNC One Card General admission $5.00 All are welcome at an evening concert of experimental, electroacoustic, folk, and rock improvisation in historic Gerrard Hall on UNC's campus on Saturday November 17 at 7:30 PM. Performers include: R. Keenan Lawler, Mike Tamburo, Horse Operas, and The Hem of His Garment. Gerrard Hall, originally built in 1822 as a campus chapel, will provide an inspired setting for an evening of tonal and melodic exploration. The concert is FREE with a UNC One Card; general admission is $5.00. Presented by the Carolina Union Activities Board [CUAB], the UNC Curriculum in Folklore, and WXYC 89.3 FM. See bios below for more information. Questions/Contact: Aaron Smithers WHO: R. KEENAN LAWLER: Kentucky ’s R. Keenan Lawler plays a 1920s resonator guitar made of nickel-plated brass. Whether bowing his guitar with both traditional long bows and multiple tiny hand bows or coaxing piercing tones from his steel strings with an Ebow, Lawler’s plays a hybrid of folk and jazz that exhibits a disdain for expectations. Of Lawler, Pitchfork Media said he was proof that “a shiny guitar can become a magic wand.” According to Dusted, Lawler’s 2006 record, Music of the Bluegrass States, "runs through the sonic palette of bluegrass music that lands us in the liminal zone between the urban, the rural, and the suburban, between avant-garde ‘incoherence’ and the comfort of traditional music...while Fahey’s phraseology allowed each passage to stretch out, breathe, and merge into the next, the faster parts of Lawler’s playing reveal figures that emerge from other figures, melodies that aren’t quite, because they occupy both the negative and positive space of the song. Much could be written about this clamoring polyphony in the context of bluegrass music’s own gnarled history or the red state/blue state divide that the album’s title indirectly references, but one gets the feeling that Lawler’s not too big on words. Just colors.” Lawler has not performed in North Carolina since the heralded Transmissions festivals of experimental and improvisational music organized in Chapel Hill in the late 1990s. To hear his music and see him creating the sounds live in an acoustical setting like Gerrard Hall will be an extraordinary experience. MIKE TAMBURO: Pennsylvania ’s Mike Tamburo works to bridge compositional ideas for acoustic instruments and electronic techniques. Routing layers of six-string guitar, hammered dulcimer, percussion and voice through effects and looping systems, Tamburo builds folk melodies before bending them into challenging new forms. Of Tamburo’s latest album, Ghosts of Marumbey, Pitchfork Media wrote: “Marumbey…feels cosmic, infinite even. This is a record of extreme empirical and emotional breadth, its beautiful highs…and its savage lows…offering enough space for dozens of interlaced travails.” THE HEM OF HIS GARMENT: North Carolina ’s The Hem of His Garment is a large collective with a revolving membership comprised of musicians across the Triangle. With as many as 16 (and counting) musicians, the band builds dense, textural drones that provide a synesthetic sound experience for listeners. The band has played with downtown New York composer Rhys Chatham, noise acts Yellow Swans and Mouthus and acoustic guitarist Jack Rose. HORSE OPERAS: The Midwest’s Horse Operas play craggy rock-folk with elliptical and sometimes humorous lyrics spat out over wayward guitar solos and straight-ahead rhythms. The band is currently preparing its debut album for Southern Love Records.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fwd: [guitartown] Tift Merritt FREE show today in Raleigh @ 7 PM

Two things here: I'm testing out my ability to post via e-mail, and
I'm letting you know that Tift is playing tonight at Schoolkids.
Here's the forwarded post from guitartown below.

At Schoolkids Records in Raleigh at 7 PM per the e-mail from her
mailing list. Playing solo preview of songs from her new album
"Another Country".



Saturday, November 10, 2007

Man Will Destroy Himself -- video from last night

Man Will Destroy HImseli from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Check out the footage from last night's show at Slim's by Man Will Destroy Himself.

Polvo to reunite -- but not around here

Polvo are (mostly) reuniting to play the All Tomorrow's Parties Festival next May in England. Brian Quast (BQ's, Cherry Valence) will be drumming for them.

Here's the full article from Pitchfork

I had a feeling something like this was going to happen. I was seriously surprised when they didn't reunite during the Kings closing party.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

More local videos -- and Sharon Jones/Chocolate Drops news!

Turns out I wasn't the only videographer (and I use the term loosely) at Troika Fest. Bonnie from Sequoya made videos of Midtown Dickens and NonCannon, and apparently Ross Grady got at least one of Maple Stave. Check out Bonnie's Youtube channel. Check out Ross' Youtube channel. In Sharon Jones news, "Scion CD Sampler – Volume 19, Daptone Records Remixed," is out now, with remixes of various Jones songs collected along with the originals. Check out the remix of Keep on Looking below, and get more information about other downloads here. In other news, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, and The Carolina Chocolate Drops are among the bands tapped to appear on the soundtrack of "The Great Debaters," the new Denzel Washington biopic. Read more about it here. Oh, and in case you missed it, check out the video for "100 Days, 100 Nights".

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I'm published in Harp!

Harp Magazine published an article by me on the North Mississippi Allstars in its latest issue!

Monday, November 05, 2007

An update on the Journey tribute band

Folks, after my post on good tribute bands, I was contacted by Jeremey Hunsicker, the singer of Frontiers, the Journey tribute band that wowed us all at Kings a few years ago. Since that time he's had his own little Ripper Owen experience, documented on his blog. He was apparently asked to join Journey, but for various reasons, it didn't happen. Take a look at his blog. It's a compelling look at how massively famous bands operate behind the scenes.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Catching up from Troika Festival

I was only able to catch one night (Friday) of Troika Festival, but I was quite impressed with what I saw, bandwise and festivalwise. I really have to commend the folks behind Troika for putting it together. I've always thought this area was a good candidate for a SXSW-style mult-day festival, but no one, including myself during my Independent days, seemed to figure out a way to make it happen. I always dreamed of having it in all three cities, but logistically it makes more sense to have it in one, and it really seems like Durham has become the musical hub of the Triangle. I spent most of the evening at the Duke Coffeehouse, where I saw The Lodger (above) from Leeds, England, Gray Young from Raleigh, and Durham's Future Kings of Nowhere, who, for some reason were playing as a duo, but still sounded powerful. I really liked The Lodger's angular, angsty pop, and bought one of their CDs. Later I went to Alivia's where it was just too cold to stand outside and watch music. But they had a pretty good fried chicken salad. Check out the videos: (Video removed) (The Lodger)

Gray Young from Mann's World on Vimeo.

(Gray Young)

Future Kings of Nowhere from Mann's World on Vimeo.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

What it takes to be a good tribute band

Last night I had the chance to check out a new local tribute band. I don't want to say who they are right now, even though I have some severe criticisms of them, because it was only their second show. I will say that the singer had his part down, and if the rest of the band catches up to him, they could end up being one of the best for their particular band.

But last night's show got me thinking about a couple of things. First, I really wish that I could sometimes turn off my inner critic and just enjoy a show. This band had people singing and dancing around, and generally enjoying reliving fond old memories. Meanwhile, I was standing there eviscerating them in my head. I know I've irritated friends who have come up to me at shows saying, "isn't this band awesome??" only to have me say, "ehh, the drummer is off, and the guitar is out of tune, and that last song went on for a minute longer than it should have." It would be nice, for once, to say, "yeah, they are awesome, because they're making me feel good."

Secondly, I thought a lot about various tribute bands, and what it takes to be good. I admit I have a soft spot for tributes, especially if they're well-done. Some of the best I've seen include locals Appetite for Destruction, the Thin Lizzy tribute that the members of The White Octave did, and a French-Canadian band that did an incredibly theatrical tribute to the first two Genesis albums. The Journey tribute that came to Kings a few years ago had an amazing singer who sang and looked just like Steve Perry, and had the entire audience of bored hipsters singing along at the top of their lungs.

I've also seen some pretty bad tributes, mostly by bands that seemed unfamiliar and even disdainful of the bands they were covering. The key to a good tribute, other than having a singer or guitarist that can really nail someone else's parts, is an almost stalkerish passion for a certain band. I once saw a Rush tribute band whose "Geddy Lee" told me he once had the opportunity to meet his idol, but couldn't because he didn't feel worthy enough to be around him, or something like that. That's actually really sad, and I'm sure this guy's friends were all a little worried about his obsession, but it made for a good tribute.

Keep in mind, I'm not talking about bands that do something clever with their tribute, like the various ethnic Elvises out there. Or about the all-female tributes to certain metal bands. I'm talking about bands that try to do it straight and fail miserably.

So, here's my personal list of what it would take to make good tributes to various bands.

KISS: Do you ever see KISS tributes anymore? I guess the reunion killed them off. Anyway, you don't need to be great players in a KISS tribute, but you have to have excellent costumes and pyrotechnics, and you have to have the moves and the banter down. It would be good if your bass player had a long tongue, but that's really not that necessary.

Guns 'n' Roses: Someone who looks and sings like Axl, and someone who looks and plays like Slash. and good costumes on everyone else.

Motley Crue: You'd need an OK singer, an excellent drummer, and, for at least part of the show, the early '80s costumes.

Judas Priest: A great singer and lots of leather.

Iron Maiden: A great singer and a phenomenal bass player.

Van Halen: A good, hammy singer and a phenomenal guitar player

Thin Lizzy: An Afro-ed bass player who knows Phil's moves and one really good guitar player.

AC/DC: Ideally, two singers, because I don't believe one guy should do both eras, unless he changes clothes and moves mid set. Also need a short guy who can play really well while running around like crazy, and a really tight drummer.

Black Sabbath: Good costumes, a left-handed guitar player, and a chubby guy who can mumble and shuffle like Ozzy.

Jimi Hendrix: You absolutely must be black, left-handed and an amazing guitarist. Otherwise, don't even think about it.

Led Zeppelin: One of the hardest. the only part you could possibly skimp on would be the bass, but a real fan would know.

Queen: THE hardest. You would have to have someone who could sing and prance like Freddie Mercury, as well as an amazing guitar player. You could possibly skimp on the drums, but you would have to have a good bass player.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mac McCaughan testifies before Senate committee

Read what the Superchunk leader/Merge Records founder had to say on the subject of "The Future of Radio" last week before the Senate Commerce Committee.

Troika Music Festival this weekend!

There's so much good stuff on here that it's difficult to know where to begin. I have been advised to check out Future Islands at 9 p.m. at Bull City Headquarters on Thursday. I can also say that Megafaun, who are on the same bill, are worth checking out. And since I have STILL not seen FKON, I might actually have to make it out to Durham on Friday night. Here's the full schedule: The 2007 Troika Music Festival will run November 1st, 2nd and 3rd with an extra special show on November 16th at Duke Coffeehouse. Thursday, November 1 Duke Coffeehouse Crowell Building, Duke's East Campus, Durham, NC All Ages — BYOB/Coffee Bar/Snacks $8.00 • The Dry Heathens 11:15 pm • Shakermaker 10:30 pm • Bull City 9:45 pm • Sleep Sound 9:00 pm James Joyce 912 W. Main Street, Durham, NC 21 and Over — Menu/Bar Free • Hundred Air 10:30 pm • Nathan Oliver 9:45 pm • Regina Hexaphone 9:00 pm Bull City Headquarters 723 N. Mangum Street, Durham, NC All Ages — Alcohol-Free Space Free • Melissa St. Pierre 11:30 pm • Megafaun 11:00 pm • Hazerai 10:30 pm • Push Pull 10:00 pm • Maple Stave 9:30 pm • Future Islands 9:00 pm Broad Street Cafe 1116 Broad Street, Durham, NC All Ages — Food and Bar $8.00 • Malcolm Rollick 10:00 pm • Dom Casual 9:15 pm • Sound of Singles 8:30 pm Marvell Event Center 119 W. Main Street, Durham, NC 18 and Over — Bar and a good time! $8.00 • Quitzow 11:15 pm • Setting Sun 10:30 pm • Can Joann 9:45 pm • Wedlock 9:00 pm Alivia's Durham Bistro 900 W. Main Street, Durham All Ages — Bar and good food! Free • Mingus Young 12:00 am • Resist Not 11:15 pm • Thought Speak 10:30 pm • Ships 9:45 pm • The Busy World 9:00 pm Friday, November 2 Duke Coffeehouse Crowell Building, Duke's East Campus, Durham, NC All Ages — BYOB/Coffee Bar/Snacks $8.00 • Luego 11:30 pm • Fontana 10:45 pm • The Future Kings of Nowhere 10:00 pm • The Lodger 9:15 pm • Gray Young 8:30 pm James Joyce 912 W. Main Street, Durham, NC 21 and Over — Menu/Bar Free • Beloved Binge 10:30 pm • Citified 9:45 pm • Carol Bui 9:00 pm Bull City Headquarters 723 N. Mangum Street, Durham, NC All Ages — Alcohol-Free Space $8.00 • Dirty 5 Thirty 11:00 pm • Kerbloki 10:30 pm • The Scott Waite Debacle 10:00 pm • Lam! Lam! 9:30 pm • Sawteeth McTweety and the Particles 9:00 pm • Nicky Click 8:30 pm • Anaturale 8:00 pm Broad Street Cafe 1116 Broad Street, Durham, NC All Ages — Food and Bar $8.00 • Gambling the Muse 11:30 pm • Soft Company 10:45 pm • Dan Bryk 10:00 • Oscar Begat 9:15 pm • The Pneurotics 8:30 pm Marvell Event Center 119 W. Main Street, Durham, NC 18 and Over — Bar and a good time! $8.00 • Armored Uprise 11:15 pm • Livalie 10:30 pm • Expire 9:45 pm • Glorydive 9:00 pm Alivia's Durham Bistro 900 W. Main Street, Durham All Ages — Bar and good food! Free • Mark Doughtery 12:00 am • Noncanon 11:15 pm • Dylan Gilbert 10:30 pm • Sequoya 9:45 pm • The Watercallers 9:00 pm Ringside 308 Main Street, Durham, NC 18 and Over — Bar $8.00 • Grappling Hook 11:45 pm • Jew(s) and Catholic(s) 11:00 pm • Pulsoptional 10:15 pm • The Late Virginia Summers 9:30 pm Saturday, November 3 Duke Coffeehouse Crowell Building, Duke's East Campus, Durham, NC All Ages — BYOB/Coffee Bar/Snacks $10.00 • David Bazan 11:15 pm • All Smiles 10:30 pm • Plumerai 9:45 pm • David Karsten Daniels 9:00 pm Bull City Headquarters 723 N. Mangum Street, Durham, NC All Ages — Alcohol-Free Space Free $10.00 • The Everybodyfields 11:00 pm • Bodies of Water 10:00 pm • Phosphorescent 9:00 pm • Ben Davis and The Jetts 8:30 pm • Bellafea 8:00 pm • Ex-Members 7:30 pm • Richard Bacchus and The Luckiest Girls 7:00 pm • New Dawn Fades 6:30 pm • On the Take 6:00 pm • Opening Flower Happy Bird 5:30 pm • Midtown Dickens 5:00 pm • (BREAK) 4:00 - 5:00 pm • Eberhardt 3:30 pm • Sweater Weather 3:00 pm • Fan Tan 2:30 pm • Simple 2:00 pm • Betty and The Boys 1:30 pm • The Drowsies 1:00 pm Friday, November 16 Duke Coffeehouse Crowell Building, Duke's East Campus, Durham, NC All Ages — BYOB/Coffee Bar/Snacks $20.00 • Les Savy Fav 11:45 pm • Des Ark 10:30 pm • Boy/Girl 9:45 pm • Veronique Diabolique 9:15 pm • Cantwell Gomez and Jordan 8:30 pm

A few things happening this week

Let's skip over Halloween for the moment, and go on to a few things happening later in the week.

Longtime producer/musician Jeff Carroll is hosting a release party for Have a Holly Raleigh Christmas Vol.II, proceeds from which will benefit the Community Music School. The party is Thursday, Nov. 1, 7 p.m. at Amra's and it's free. So if you're not still hungover from the Motley Crue tribute band at Slim's the night before, come out and celebrate a good cause. But, like I said, I'll get to Halloween in another post.

Also on Thursday is Band of Horses, perhaps my current favorite band, at Lincoln Theatre with The Drones. Band of Horses also includes former Archers of Loaf bass player Matt Gentling. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 at the door.

Since Friday is First Friday, Lump is showing Teenbeat 432, a retrospective of the design work of Mark Robinson, Teenbeat Records founder and member of the D.C. bands Unrest, Grenadine and Air Miami. The opening reception is from 7 to 11 p.m. on Friday, and the exhibit continues through Dec. 1

Finally, I caught part of Jac and Lutie Cain's wedding party Sunday at the Pour House. Check out the photo of Lutie rockin' in her veil. And check out the video of her band, The T's.

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

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Videos from The Hold Steady and more!

(Videos removed)

Last night I caught The Hold Steady, along with Art Brut and Demander at Lincoln Theatre. I had really been looking forward the The Hold Steady, but, man, I was not prepared to pay $18 to get in. A friend of mine at work accused me of always "bitching" about the price of shows. Well, I'll bitch about having to pay $18 to see a band in a club! I noticed that the lead singer from Train is performing at Lincoln Theatre next week, and it's $25 to get in! Back in 1989, I paid $25 to see the Rolling Stones at Carter Finley (and I had good seats, too). I thought at the time I was paying a mint. I don't care who it is -- it just doesn't sit right with me to pay that much to see a band in a club. It reminds me of the story Dion tells about why he didn't get on the plane with Buddy Holly. He could have afforded the $36 for the flight, but that was the same amount he had paid years before for rent in New York. The symbolism made him decide not to get on the plane.

Having said that, all three bands rocked, and were definitely worth my $18. Demander, a female-led three piece that sounded a good bit like The Sugarcubes, was playing when I walked in. They grew on me as I watched them, so I bought their CD, "The Unkindness of Ravens," which turned out to be more focused and exciting than their live show. I don't like their name, though. I can't remember it. I keep wanting to call them Defender, which would be a great name. I think more bands should name themselves after classic '80s video games. WHY WON'T SOMEONE TAKE MY ADVICE AND NAME A BAND WIZARD OF WOR?

Art Brut were up next. I had one friend tell me he was going to get there early specifically to see them, and another tell me he was going to avoid them at all costs. I ended up liking them, dare I say it, MORE than The Hold Steady. Real English, dancey new wavish pub rock. Their front man was a funny, sloppy beer-budget version of Bryan Ferry, and gave shoutouts to both Birds of Avalon and the Mountain Goats (see the first video, below). After their set I ran into Cheetie and Paul, who were mystified as to how this band knew about them. Cheetie's suggestion was that maybe they hype a local band each night, and ask the sound man at each venue who they should mention. Since they know the soundman at the Lincoln, maybe he suggested them. All this is speculation of course. If anyone has seen Art Brut in another town, I would like to know if they do this schtick elsewhere.

Finally, The Hold Steady came on. I started off the evening up in the balcony, and got some crappy video as a result. If Bruce Springsteen was a dweebish, drug-obsessed Minnesotan with a button down shirt and a really raspy voice, he'd be Craig Finn. But most impressive to me was guitarist Tad Kubler, who won my heart by slinging his guitar, Yngwie-style, backwards around his back, and then ended the set by using some strange Theramin-like item to create sonic chaos. After the show I ran up to the roadie and asked if it was a tiny Theramin. He showed it to me (it fit in his hand) and said it worked with light. I don't know enough about guitar electronics to know what that means, but it sounded cool. Other than Craig and Tad, I enjoyed watching the band's keyboard/accordion player, who looked like a cross between Gallagher and a minor henchman from The Godfather.

Here are two Hold Steady videos.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

New Thunderlip!

Wilmington's Thunderlip has had a bit of a rough time lately. For a while, it seemed like they couldn't keep a bass player, yet every time they played live, they still had amazing energy. But now, with their second CD, The Prophesy, they seem ready to put the past behind them, and finally hit their stride.

The first thing to note, is that, as good as this CD is, it doesn't truly capture the band's live energy, which is phenomenal. As far as full-on rock 'n' roll energy, they're one of a handful of bands in the state (Valient Thorr being one of the others)who truly know how to rock a stage. I think it would have been awesome if they'd recorded the CD live in front of an audience. Nevertheless, The Prophecy is still a solid, heavy record with plenty of Thin Lizzy-style double-guitar leads. If that's your thing, I think you should buy this CD, but make sure you catch them truly in their element.

Hear part of "Mister Informer"

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Jim Lauderdale video

(Video removed)

I had big plans Sunday to catch Jim Lauderdale during his early (7 p.m.!) show at the Hideaway, then head down to Slim's for The Makes Nice and Sir Arthur. Turns out I underestimated how much an early, acoustic show would make me NOT feel like rocking later. Anyway, here's Jim Lauderdale, who told me himself he is NOT from Beaufort, performing "Chances."

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A whole bunch of Annuals news!

Tour, new tracks and a video! This is almost too much to digest. Take note that the Annuals will be at Cat's Cradle on Oct. 27. Here's what the press release says: After a summer of touring around the world playing festivals such as Glastonbury, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, as well as getting voted in for the UK's ATP vs. the Fans, ambitious Raleigh, NC six-piece Annuals are excited to announce their new signing to Canvasback/Ace Fu, starting with a 20-date fall tour co-headlining with labelmates and friends Manchester Orchestra. This homecoming tour will be a particularly special one for both bands, as Annuals and Manchester Orchestra have recorded a one-of-a-kind split 7-inch, covering the others' songs (mp3s below), to be sold exclusively at their shows. Annuals cover Manchester Orchestra's "Where Have You Been," and Manchester Orchestra cover Annuals "Brother." As a special added bonus, the artwork for the 7-inch split features each band reinterpreting the others' album cover. The band is also preparing for the release of their digital-only EP entitled Frelen Mas (Be He Me B-Sides), which contains b-sides from the Be He Me sessions and also includes their cover of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot." Details to follow. After a final stop at Iceland Airwaves the band will return to the states to kick off their fall tour in Atlanta Oct. 26th (dates below). Annuals/Manchester Orchestra Tour Dates: October 26 - Drunken Unicorn - Atlanta, GA October 27 - Cat's Cradle - Carrboro, NC October 28 - Rock and Roll Hotel - Washington DC October 30 - Northstar - Philadelphia, PA October 31 - Bowery Ballroom - New York, NY November 1- Great Scott - Boston, MA November 2 - Le Gymnase - Montreal, QUE November 3 - Mod Club - Toronto, ONT November 5 - Shelter - Detroit, MI November 6 - Subterranean - Chicago, IL November 7 - Varsity - Minneapolis, MN November 10 - Crocodile Café - Seattle, WA November 11 - Plaza Club - Vancouver, BC November 12 - Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, OR November 14 - Bottom of the Hill - San Francisco, CA November 15 - Troubadour - Los Angeles, CA November 16 - Epicentre - San Diego, CA November 17 - The Clubhouse - Tempe, AZ November 19 - HI-Dive - Denver, CO November 20 - The Bottleneck - Lawrence, KS Frelen Mas EP Tracklisting: 1. Nah Keseyi 2. River Run 3. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot 4. Misty Coy 5. Sewn to Kites 6. Such a Mess 7. Ease My Mind 8. Frelen Mas Check out the video for "Carry Around"! (Takes a while to load.) Can someone tell me where they're playing croquet? I want to go there!

Sarah Borges rocks

I wouldn't have thought good honky tonk could come from Boston, but Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles proved me wrong last night. She's a pint-sized girl with a big voice, and a phenomenal backing band, including a guitarist with an incredibly natural feel for his instrument. Check out the video. This is the first song they played last night at the Hideaway.

(Video removed)

Coming up on Sunday at the Hideaway is North Carolinian Jim Lauderdale, who, I was told last night, is from Beaufort. But when I checked that online today, I see that he's from Statesville. Maybe I'll get to chat with him on Sunday and find out the scoop. Following Jim (it's an early show), The Makes Nice and Sir Arthur and His Royal Knights will be at Slim's. The Makes Nice include a former member of The Champs, but my understanding is that they're much more pop-oriented than that band.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Music for a good cause

Folks, this is an awesome charity that I wholeheartedly support. The Coalition to Unchain Dogs goes to homes where dogs are being kept on chains and offers to build fences. Please support them by checking out the concert below. Here's the info straight from one of the Coalition's members: Enjoy an evening of music and help raise money to unchain dogs. 100% of the proceeds will go to buy supplies to build fences for dogs that have been chained. To date, 30 dogs are now free and happy. Help us free more dogs! Saturday, October 13, 2007 5:00-6:30PM $10 in advance $12 at the door Cash ONLY at door Bands performing: Competent Drummer, Sequoya, Beloved Binge, Jon Shain, Jamie Purnell and Bull City Bring lawn chairs/blankets No coolers or pets For tickets or concert information go to

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Perm and Skullet podcasts

I've somehow missed this but The Perm and The Skullet is now podcasting!

Manchild 3/Melvins CD released

I just got my copy of Brian Walsby's Manchild 3, which partially chronicles his adventures on the road last year with The Melvins. The book, which was released by Bifocal Media, also includes a pretty rare eight-song CD of early demos by The Melvins. Walsby got a copy of the demos when they were released in 1987 and held on to them, even after the band lost theirs, and eventually ended up with the only copy. So, for fans of the band, and fans of Walsby's atwork, this is a must-have. Check out Dime Lined Divide, from the CD -- as well as other Bifocal Media stuff such as Des Ark and The Cherry Valence -- on the label's Myspace page.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Kennebec re-recorded

I mentioned in a previous post that I was sad to miss Kennebec at SparkCon. I haven't seen them in a while, but really liked them when they first started out in 2004. Anyway, I scored a copy of their new CD, and was pleasantly surprised to hear that they've re-recorded several of my old favorites, and I'm happy to report they sound better than ever. Check out "Can't Figure Why," one of my old favorites, re-recorded and still sounding amazing. Finally, I have to say I'm really digging Band of Horses from Mount Pleasant, S.C. They'll be at Lincoln Theatre on Nov. 1.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

New smoking policy at Local 506

If you're a smoker who patronizes Local 506, you can no longer smoke up front near the band. Owner Glenn Boothe outlines the new policy in an e-mail to the Guitartown group:

Firstly, Local 506 has a new policy regarding smoking. Smoking is now
prohibited in the room where bands play; however, smokers are welcome to
smoke in the room where the bar is. This is still an experiment to see if
this can work and I think so far the results have been positive. But we
appreciate your continued cooperation (and welcome any feedback you may

And because our Sundays are all booked in October, we are moving our 506
Music Trivia Nights to Tuesdays this month: it will be held on Tuesday,
10/16 and Tuesday, 10/30. With that said, because there are good shows at
the Cat¹s Cradle on those nights (Cat Power and Shout Out Louds
respectively) - the start-time for trivia will move up to 7pm allowing
people to do both (trivia normally lasts about 2 hours.) If you haven¹t
been able to make it out on a Sunday, please join us this month. Each
member of the winning team wins a pair of tickets to any Local 506 show.

Glenn's message also included the band's upcoming schedule, which included some pretty exciting shows including The Golden Dogs on Nov. 19 and Pylon(!) on Nov. 5.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Short and sweet

OK, I'm a little behind here, so I'm basically going to put these movies up without comment. Friday, I caught a fully functional Cartridge Family (above) at Sadlack's before heading to the bikerfest downtown. Actually I went to see Kenny Roby and The Houstons, but since the bikerfest was happening at the same time, I actually saw part of Great White too. All I can say is Jack Russell is actually looking a lot better these days.

The Cartridge Family from Mann's World on Vimeo.

(Cartridge Family)

Kenny Roby from Mann's World on Vimeo.

(Kenny Roby's Mercy Filter)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Might as well ...

So, yes, I went to see Van Halen last night, and the quick and dirty verdict is that they've still got it, and Wolfie held his own but Michael Anthony was missed. But before I get into what happened last night in Greensboro, let me take a trip down memory lane, because, when you get right down to it, classic rock is just oldies music for Boomers and older Gen-X'ers such as myself. What better way to start a review of an oldies act than with a look back at youth.

I saw Van Halen when I was 13 on the Women and Children First tour at Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Va. That revelation always elicits a "wow" from the VH fans I know, most of whom saw them either on the 1984 tour or during the dark Van Hagar years. It was in August, and I had gone to Busch Gardens with my mom, our neighbor Miss Margaret, and Miss Margaret's teenage daughter Suzanne. As it turned out, the hotel where we stayed was right beside the coliseum, and the show wasn't sold out, so that night, Suzanne and I just walked up, bought tickets and went in. I don't know why I remember this, but the opening band was called Cats. It was general admission, so we ended up getting great seats in the first level up from the floor. I remember Dave's awesome high kicks, and thinking that Eddie seemed a little out of it because he kept turning his back on the audience. I also remember the smoke was so thick in there that we could barely see the beach balls that people kept batting back and forth. And I remember the crowd being a sea of denim and hair.

But one of the many big "D'oh!" moments in my rock life is that I was supposed to see them two years earlier opening for Boston with Poco and The Outlaws at Carter-Finley Stadium, but couldn't go because I came down with mononucleosis. Three school friends of mine, Pat, Herb and Louise (all real names) went with Louise's older sister driving. That could have been my first rock 'n' roll road trip, but instead I was sick in bed with a stupid infectious disease!

After the show, they couldn't stop talking about the crazy opening band with the swaggering lead singer and lightning-fingered guitarist. They also brought me a T-shirt with the Boston space ship and the words "BOSTON SMOKES RALEIGH!" with Van Halen in small letters on the back. That T-shirt disappeared off of a clothes line a few years later at my aunt's house in Johnston County when I spent the summer there working in tobacco. I had worn it to the tobacco field in hopes of impressing some cute guy. Double "D'oh!"

Anyway, the point of all that is that while I have a cool Van Halen memory, my old friends, whom I haven't seen in years, have much cooler memories.

Last night's scene was much different than that show I saw at Hampton. The bell bottoms had been replaced by tapered dad jeans, and what little hair was left was topped by baseball caps. And I can honestly say this was the only major rock concert I've ever attended where I did not smell any marijuana smoke. And this time my seats were in the nosebleed section, but thankfully there was a huge screen behind the stage, to prevent us all from having eyestrain.

They opened with "You Really Got Me," and followed the same set list from Charlotte. Strangely, half the folks in my group insisted later that they played "D.O.A.," while the other half (including me) insisted that they didn't.
Dave seemed to have a few mic troubles during the first song, and there were a couple of times during the show where Alex seemed to lose the beat, but otherwise they were musically on it. Wolfgang Van Halen did an impressive job with the bass, and his and Eddie's backing vocals were good, but Michael Anthony's presence was missed.

Dave strolled the "S"-shaped stage, looking age-appropriate rock-starish in leather pants and a series of trim-cut blazers, including a military-style jacket to start off the evening. Eddie looking healthy and trim with close-cropped hair, went shirtless with a pair of white man-pris and some low-top sneakers. Wolfgang wisely stuck to all-black.

They played one of my favorite VH songs, "I'm the One," but DIDN'T do the "shooby-do-wah" breakdown -- probably because you really need Michael Anthony to do that. Instead they stopped, and Dave and Eddie hugged each other. They actually wiped tears away from their eyes as the audience roared. Other highlights included "Everybody Wants Some," "Somebody Get Me a Doctor," and "Ain't Talking Bout Love," which had every single person in the coliseum pumping their fists to the "Hey, Hey, Hey" part. Dave began "Ice Cream Man" with a rambling, but touching, story about getting high, shining a black light on a wall where people had been throwing darts, and imagining that the paint chips were stars. Apparently he met someone he lived with for several years while doing this, and "Ice Cream Man" was her favorite song.

But there were some definite low-lights, including Alex's drum solo, during which every woman in the coliseum, including yours truly, decided to take a bathroom break. I've never liked the song "Little Guitars," so I decided to take a little catnap (I have the ability to fall asleep anywhere and at any time except at night in bed). I was snoozing pretty nicely too, until Jessica elbowed me to ask me if I was asleep. That's why I can't say for sure if they played "D.O.A." or not. I swear they were still playing "Little Guitars" when I woke up, but I guess it's possible they did some sort of medley in the middle of that song.

The other stinker was "Jump," in which Eddie's guitar suddenly began emitting an ear-splitting, atonal wail. The look of disbelief on the faces around me was hilarious. It was so bad, that in the van ride home later, Chris kept going on and on and on about how this was the best concert he'd ever seen, that it was the best concert EVER, but he ended every word of praise with, "except for "Jump."

Friday, September 28, 2007

Bridges and Powerlines

New York's Bridges and Powerlines, a catchy pop group that also includes former Raleighite Keith Sigel, has just finished recording its first CD and will be in Chapel Hill tonight at The Cave.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Van Halen cartoon from the N&O

In honor of the group's upcoming shows in the state this week, N&O cartoonist Grey Blackwell, the same guy who did the Coach K spoof and the presidential Law & Order send-up, created a new cartoon lampooning Van Halen. Check it out!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Megafaun among group robbed in Toronto

According to Pitchfork -- with the Indy's Grayson Currin as contributor -- Megafaun was touring with Akron/Family and Greg Davis, and the bands' vans were apparently all broken into. Read more here.

Make a video for Beloved Binge

The Durham duo Beloved Binge is seeking help making a video for their new song, "(Got) Married on Myspace," which will be on their upcoming Jerry Kee-produced CD, "Porch Life." Eleni explains a little of what they're looking for:

"If you have any talents or better yet a complete lack of talent relating to the music video-making business, please do drop us a line at and we can talk camcorders, super-8, or whatever camera language you prefer. If you've seen other videos BB has made, you might understand why we're asking for your help. We'll give you cookies."

Get a head start by checking the band out tonight at Duke Coffeehouse with Yeasayer from Brooklyn, and Shapes and Sizes from Montreal.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Moaners at MusicSPARK

I caught a couple of the bands at Lincoln Theatre last night, Regina Hexaphone and The Moaners. I actually got a short movie of Regina Hexaphone (it was their CD-release party), but later as I was video-ing The Moaners, my memory suddenly died, and I realized I still had some photos and videos from Europe on the card. I was faced with the decision of going back and deleting individual photos, or just wiping everything clean. I opted for the latter.

To make up for it, I got two videos of The Moaners, who ought to be a whole lot more famous than they are. I remember seeing Melissa Swingle in the very first incarnation of Trailer Bride, YEARS ago at The Cave. Her songwriting abilities and musicianship have grown over the years, but she hasn't lost any of her swampy, innocent charm. Drummer Laura King has some serious power, and is a good heavy rock foil for Melissa's bluesy tendencies. There were a couple of times when they seemed to be channeling Led Zeppelin.

Check out the videos!

The Moaners from Mann's World on Vimeo.

The Moaners from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mann's World around the world!

(Videos removed)

During my recent trip to Europe, I decided to document a couple of the shows I saw over there. First up are two clips from a show on Friday, Sept. 7, at Roadrunner's Paradise, my favorite club in Berlin.

The first clip is from an English band called Steranko, whose frontman looked like a punk rock Borat and had a penchant for running around the club wildly. We spoke to him afterward, and he was actually a really nice, cool guy.

Next up was Poolstar from Berlin, who reminded me of Green Day, and whose members all wore matching white shirts and ties.

Finally, the next Friday, Sept. 14, we saw a French band called the Naive New Beaters at The Rock Cafe in Prague. They were sort of electro-pop with hip-hop tendencies, and a decidedly 1980s sense of style. Seriously, I haven't seen so many raglan-sleeved sweaters in one place since high school. I don't know how popular they actually are in Czech Republic, but there was actually a TV crew there to film them.

Contribute to the Mann's World camera fund!

Gentle readers,

After more than two years of taking photos and making movies of local bands, I've decided it's time for me to get a better camera. My little Nikon Coolpix has served me well, but it doesn't have the settings I need to take the spectacular band photos I would really like to take. So I'm doing something that makes me really uncomfortable: I'm begging you guys for money.

I realized recently that if every band I've ever photographed, and everyone on my Myspace Friends list were to send me $2, I would have more than enough to get a really nice digital SLR camera, either a Nikon D40 or a Canon Rebel. Y'all know I've been writing about local music for a long time, and except for my time at the Indy, I haven't gotten paid for it. I do this because I love it, not because it makes me rich. If I could figure out a good way to make cash from this blog, I would (I've yet to see any real results from adsense). In the meantime, I'm just going to stick my hand out and see what happens.

I promise that any cash I get from this will go directly toward buying a camera, which will be used primarily to take pictures of local bands. And I promise that once I get that camera I will make more of an effort to cover goings-on in Chapel Hill and Durham (I know I'm too Raleigh-centric). If I happen to get more than I need, I promise to donate the extra cash to the SPCA of Wake County, a fine organization of which I am already a member.

So, please consider donating to the fund, by going to PayPal and sending $2 to You will have my undying appreciation.

Catching up on MusicSPARK

I'm back from vacation, but was still a little too out of it to make it out to SparkCon's first two nights. But I fully intend to be at Lincoln Theater tonight for the big finale.

I admit I'm not that familiar with Apples in Stereo, but this video is pretty catchy.

Here's another song, "Can You Feel It."

Here's the full line up of events for tonight

Sep 22: 9pm
Experimental Film + Music Show @ Downtown Event Center $5
Roger Flake's Films with music by:
Left Outlet
Odd International w/ Crowmeat Bob
Odd international w/ B-Nice
Sep 22: 7 pm
Indie/alt country/pop @ Lincoln Theater $12
Apples in Stereo
Regina Hexaphone [Record Release]
The Never

Sep 22: 10pm
House Music @ Riviera $5
Q-Burns Abstract Message
DJ Sleazy McQueen
Sep 23: 1pm
Classically in the Park @ Moore Square
NC Symphony and the Opera Company of NC
Sep 23: 4pm
Blues Barbeque @ Berkeley Café $10
Annual Triangle Blues Society Blues BBQ
Josh Preslar

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hatchetfest needs you!

hat is, it needs you if you're in a band. This year's fest, sponsored by The Raleigh Hatchet, is set to take place at Hell with The Monologue Bombs, Jews and Catholics and Cantwell, Gomez & Jordan. Think your band can hold its own on that bill? E-mail Music Editor Amanda Becom to let her know.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Go see Midlake for me

This week Cat's Cradle is hosting two shows I would love to go see -- if I wasn't going to be out of town. You already know about The National (Sept. 7), but you may not be familiar with Midlake, who, honestly, are pretty new to me too. They'll be at the Cradle on Sept. 5. Check them out and let me know what I missed.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Rosebuds secret show

Triangle Music is reporting that The Rosebuds will play a secret show Saturday at the Downtown Event Center. Check it out.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Check out this site: Return to Comboland

I haven't had a chance to really peruse this site, but it looks pretty interesting. I'm glad to see the person who put it together included PKM, who, for my money, are one of the most underrated bands ever to emerge from this area, and who were always unjustly overshadowed by Nantucket.

Good Golden Dogs review

Here's a review from Hear Ya, a blog I just discovered and will make part of my regular Web reading.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Check out The Golden Dogs

No, they're not from the Triangle, but their new CD, "Big Eye, Little Eye," IS on Yep Roc, and it is incredibly infectious. Therefore you should check out the following track, "Dynamo," from Toronto's awesome Golden Dogs.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

To-do this weekend

Even though I've been blogging since 2002, in some ways I feel like I really started only a couple of years ago. That's when I began taking photos and video with my trusty little Nikon and uploading the results to Flickr/Youtube. One of the first bands I documented in this manner was Dirty Johnny & the Make-Believes, who played at Slim's on Nov. 11, 2005. They'll be back in town this Saturday, again at Slim's, with the Straight 8's. As this picture from that November evening shows, they put on a rowdy show. Go see them.

The night before, the T's are playing an early show at Sadlack's for free! For those of you who hate driving to Raleigh (which is understandable, since I hate driving to Chapel Hill), they'll be at The Cave the night before. That will not be an early show, and as far as I know, won't be free.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Spark Con needs your help

The good folks who are putting together Spark Con are looking for volunteers, and especially supporters (you know, people with cash) to help out for the mid-September event. If you have a local business and want to support the arts, contact them about sponsorship possibilities.

There's a pretty amazing line-up for the Music Spark part of the festival, including Apples in Stereo, The Moaners, Bleeding Hearts and The Never.

Monday, August 20, 2007

If you missed Leslie at Slim's last Thursday

Here are a couple of shots by Mike Spence to show you what you missed.

Give the Hideaway some feedback

The owners of the Hideaway have started a Myspace page asking for feedback on their service, food, etc. It looks like you have to be their friend to comment, but I suppose you can just send a message. Here's what they want to know:

Hello and welcome to the Hideaway BBQ survey page. We welcome any concerns or comments you have about the Hideaway. We are trying to improve the Hideaway and we need your help. Please don’t be shy, say whatever you want, you won’t offend us. We really need some feed back from you. Do you still come to the Hideaway? What do you like/dislike about the food? Do you like the music? How do you feel about the price of shows? How do you like the staff? If you have stopped coming to the Hideaway could you tell us why and what we can do to get you back in here? Please be honest in helping us to improve the Hideaway. We have some new and exciting things happening here and we need your help to make the Hideaway, your HIDEAWAY!! Thank you for your time…………

OK, here's what I plan to tell them:
1. Bring back the mac & cheese
2. Hire a better waitstaff, or train the staff you have to be quicker, friendlier and more knowledgeable about what you have on the menu. This one pains me to say because I've been a waitress, and I know it's a difficult job, but I can honestly say I've never had good service at the Hideaway (the bartenders are great, however).
3. Have a late-night menu available during shows.
4. Consider dropping prices for weekday shows. Every time I go there for a show, I feel like I'm spending about $3-$5 more than the show is worth.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Valient Thorr tonight at the Brewery

I guess the Brewery didn't want a mad crush of people there for tonight's Valient Thorr show. That's the only reason I can think of for them not promoting this show until the last minute. I should note that Riverboat Gamblers are also a really good band.

Why don't more people have house parties in the country?

I have to thank my co-worker Sherry for having a fabulous party at her home in Harnett County yesterday, complete with free-flowing beer and wine, lots of delicious food (ribs, pork, wings, chocolate trifle, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus), and great music. Knoxville's Mic Harrison played a boozy set of rockin' originals and half-remembered covers. I think the best part was when Mic hollared out that the bass player had "lost her mind." Take a look at the video. You'll see the bass player is not a woman.

Mick Harrison from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Round up: Four bands, two clubs, one Raleigh block

Last night I started off at The Pour House, where The Loners were playing with The Heavy Pets and Adult Film Makers. AFM have been around for years, and include two members of one of my long-time favorite bands The Bad Checks, and yet I had never seen them. Their bass player was unable to be at the show, so this isn't entirely representative of their sound, but they still managed to rock.

Adult Film Makers from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Adult Film Makers A couple of doors down at Tir na nOg, Richard Bacchus and the Luckiest Girls were putting on a free show sponsored by WKNC. I swear, I can't figure out how Richard doesn't roast in that buttoned-up jean jacket he always wears. Here's their video.

Richard Bacchus & the Luckiest Girls from Mann's World on Vimeo.

After Richard Bacchus, I headed back to the Pour House and caught The Heavy Pets very last song.

The Heavy Pets from Mann's World on Vimeo.

My camera memory died at this point, which was too bad because I decided to go around the block to Slim's to see a Charleston, S.C., band called Leslie, rather than stick around for The Loners. These guys were strutting, bombastic blues rock, the type of band that hollers out "ALRIGHT" and "CAN YOU FEEL IT RALEIGH????" after every song. I think they really should be seen to be believed, but unfortunately you'll just have to take my word for it. Finally, I had no idea Uncle Kracker was even in town!