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.