Sunday, March 30, 2008

Raleigh's new favorite band ...

... is The Sugar, judging by the reception this one-man band's bawdy Nuggets-style keyboard-rock got last night at Slim's. Imagine a cross between Ray Manzarek and Blowfly, and you have a good idea of what he's all about. (Credit to Mike Spence for coming up with the Manzarek part of that description).

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

Check out the video

Download The Sugar's theme song here.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Didn't see Citified, but did see Roosters and Future Islands

I went to The Pour House last night specifically to see Greensboro's Citified, but ended up missing them due to some unrelated birthday party festivities. In the process I ended up at Deep South bar which is located in the old Kulture location on Dawson Street. You can tell by the memorabilia everywhere that the folks who run it really love rock -- specifically '80s metal and classic rock. I was a little distracted, though, by the song lyrics all over the walls. From what I could tell, various folks who stopped into the bar were allowed to add their favorite lyrics. For the most part they were all fairly common lyrics, but everyone in our party was a little mystified that Stryper and Firehouse both made it up onto the wall.

Anyway, I got to the Pour House in time to see the new Roosters lineup. They have a slightly different sound too -- less dancy, more like early U2, which I guess isn't unusual considering they have so many new members. They also didn't seem to have their old energy on the earlier tunes, but got into it more toward the end.

Here are two videos from them.

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

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

After Roosters, we went over to Slim's and caught the tail end of Future Islands. Not only was the place packed, but I can honestly say I have never seen a crowd dance like that at Slim's! The floor was literally bouncing as I walked by. Check out the video from Future Islands.

Future Islands from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Math rock? Meth rock? Myth rock?

Maple Stave from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Last night I headed down to Slim's and caught Maple Stave, a hard-hitting Durham trio that seems to be equal parts Fugazi and King Crimson. I didn't know what to expect, so before the show I asked Lee from Noncanon, who were also on the bill, what they were about. He said, "math," but yours truly heard "meth." I guess that would kind of work. Danny, also from Noncanon, heard this miscommunication and said, "they're myth rock." "Myth rock" brings up images of gnomes and epic guitar solos, which doesn't work at all. See the video above.

Noncannon from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Next up were Noncanon, who were a bit quieter than I was in the mood for at that moment, so I ended up taking off early.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Valient Himself to donate kidney to his father

OK, now this is truly a heartwarming story. Valient Thorr singer Valient Himself is taking some time off to donate a kidney to his ailing father. Here's some info about the procedure, as well as the upcoming CD, "Immortalizer," which is scheduled for release on June 17. Plus, David Menconi interviews Valient on his blog. Best of luck to Valient and his dad. LOS ANGELES, CA (March 26, 2008) – Valient Himself announced today that Valient Thorr will be postponing all activities April 15th through June 10th to allow him to donate a kidney to his ailing father. Valient’s decision to take public what is a private family event stems from the National Kidney Foundation’s public outreach. As Valient Thorr is on a single-minded mission to spread their message of redemption wrapped in rock n’ roll, this is another chance to illuminate a critically important issue that people don't think about unless they are personally touched. Says Valient, “If I can go from a hospital bed to playing in front of a crowd of 75,000 at the UK’s Download Festival in just eight weeks, people out there might consider becoming organ donors as well. If they have family members who need a kidney, it's definitely something to think about; and if not, they can still learn about designating themselves as organ donors on their driver's license.” More information on kidney donations can be found at or <> Says Catherine Paykin, Transplant Services Program Director, National Kidney Foundation, “We are delighted that Valient Himself has decided to take his donation story public. We hope that it serves to shed light on the lifesaving power of organ donation and encourages others to get involved. We wish him and his father a speedy recovery.” Prior to Valient Himself’s scheduled surgery on April 29th, the band will play a private show at the Volcom skate park on April 8th to air May 29th on Fuel TV’s Check 1, 2. They will resume their European tour on June 13th and return to the U.S. for a nationwide tour beginning in July. Information on specific dates will be posted as available on </> Valient Thorr will release IMMORTALIZER on June 17 on Volcom Entertainment. The new record — their fourth in five years — is a testament to the band’s hard-working existence, with a staggeringly productive tour schedule that finds them averaging close to 250 dates a year (this surgery rest being Valient’s longest time off since 2003). IMMORTALIZER was recorded in Seattle with the legendary Jack Endino, producer of seminal albums by Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney as well as younger upstarts Hot Hot Heat and High On Fire. IMMORTALIZER follows in the footsteps of the band’s self-released 2003 debut Stranded on Earth, their 2005 Volcom debut Total Universe Man, and 2006’s Legend of the World. New guitarist Voiden Thorr brings a sharper metal edge into the fold, joining fellow six-stringer Eidan Thorr, drummer Lucian Thorr and bassist Nitewolf. ###

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Some cool new releases

Burly Time records is releasing the third album by Detroit acoustic guitarist Nick Schillace, who, according to his Web site, is in a post-rock duo and an Afrobeat band, though you won't hear much of either in his solo stuff. The two songs available for download on this page have a quiet, Appalachian feel. Also, local label Holidays for Quince has several local releases lined up, including releases from three different heavy rockers: Caltrop, female duo The Curtains of Night and In the Year of the Pig. Just to mix it up, they'll also release the debut EP from psychedelic pop group Violet Vector & the Lovely Lovelies.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Interesting story on the death of record stores

It references Schoolkids' closing in Chapel Hill.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Catching up: Jason Isbell to Fu Manchu

 I didn't go out Saturday night, but did manage to bookend my weekend with two very different, but equally spectacular shows. Friday night's big show was former Drive-By Truckers guitarist Jason Isbell, doing a an acoustic set with one other guitarist, at The Berkeley. The Berkeley is one of those places that I don't go to very often, and every time I do, I think, "why don't I come here more often?" If sluts love the Berkeley, as evidenced by the ladies room graffiti (see above), then maybe I should too. Anyway, Jason put on a fabulous show, and I got some fairly descent footage of The Magician, which is off of his solo CD. Check it out below. The guitarist from American Aquarium opened with a solo set, and I have to say, his stuff kind of got me down. He acknowledged as much during his onstage banter, so I guess saying that isn't really an insult. Jason played two sets, but I took off after the first one because I'd been told that Brooklyn's Teenage Prayers, who were playing down at Slim's, were not to be missed. They were pretty good indeed, but I liked the band who opened for them, Hymns, also from Brooklyn, more. They sounded a bit like The Strokes, but the same shaggy bluesy hippie feel of another New York band called Vietnam. Plus, they had a foxy bass player. That'll make any fairly good band great in my opinion. Easter Sunday, March 23Sunday was all about Fu Manchu, who blistered my (and every one else's) ears at Volume 11. They played most of my favorites, including teasing us with the opening of "Freedom of Choice." I got two and a half videos (memory ran out during "Hell on Wheels"). I also nearly lost my camera during "Squash that Fly" because the crowd erupted into absolute chaos. So, unfortunately, during most of these videos you get a great view of the two dorks who were thrashing around in front of me. Opening were ASG from Wilmington, who reminded me a lot of The Sword, and Burning Brides from San Diego. I particularly liked Burning Brides, though it seemed the folks I was hanging out with weren't that into them.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Check out the Friends of 307 Knox podcast!

Kim from 307 Knox Records in Durham has been podcasting and showcasing what's happening over in the Bull City. She just put up her second edition, so check it out here!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My strangest rock experience of the year so far

Yeah, I know 2008 is young, so something will come along soon to make this experience not so strange. But for right now, seeing two local hipster bands, and a very un-hipsterish sports bar, right off of Glenwood South of all places, is number one on the list. I e-mailed a friend earlier in the day and told him what I was up to last night. He e-mailed back and said "have fun tonight on Glenwood South (never thought I would write something like that)." The bar is called Double Down. As far as I can tell, they don't have a Web site, but they're located right behind Mojos on Peace Street, near the Glenwood intersection. Unlike that storied street, whose neon bars cater mainly to monied businessmen and surgically enhanced hot-bodied babes. Double Down is a metal-lovin' sports bar. The type of place where people go strictly to shoot pool, watch the game and get drunk. The type of place that plays Bruce Dickinson's solo CD before the show (I'll admit, I had to ask who it was -- I was convinced it was Queensryche). The type of place where you really wouldn't expect to see Proof and Sir Arthur & the Royal Knights. I hadn't seen Proof before, but I liked their Afghan Whigs-meets-Fugazi sound. Jeramy from The Greatest Hits recently became their singer, so if anyone out there has seen them before, please let me know how you think the band has changed since he joined. Here's a video. Needless to say, this place didn't have much in the way of stage lighting.

Proof from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Sir Arthur took a few songs to warm up, but once they got going, they totally tore it up. And speaking of tore up, if certain folks out there can't remember much of the show last night, this video is for you.

Sir Arthur & the Royal Knights from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Video and photos from Thursday night

(Jesse Malin) Thursday night I was torn between going to see Jesse Malin along with his former D-Generation bandmate Richard Bacchus at Slim's, and Team Robespierre at Downtown Events Center. The choice was between New York gutter punk at one club and New York synth-punk at another. Well, I decided to try and walk back and forth between both clubs, which basically means I walked around a lot and only saw bits and pieces of each show. I didn't catch the end-of-set collaboration between Jesse and Richard's band, but I've been told it was fabulous. Jedidiah from the blog New Raleigh was at the Team Robespierre show, and he got some nice photos. Check them out here.

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

Here's Richard Bacchus & the Luckiest Girls performing "Terrible Love" (Video removed) Here's the worst video I've ever shot -- Team Robespierre performing a song I don't know, in almost total darkness. Plus they tune and mess around for the first 30 seconds or so. But once the song kicks in, maybe you'll understand a little why I like them.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Tonight's RTX show CANCELED!

In case you haven't heard, tonight's RTX show at Downtown Events Center is canceled. Apparently RTX is stuck in traffic.

Citified tonight in Chapel Hill!

At Jack Sprat Cafe, which is located at 161 E. Franklin St. I've never been there, but I imagine it's the type of place where you could get a good sprout sandwich. Go eat and see the show, which starts at 10 p.m. Line-up is Gray Young, Citified  and Tin Star.

Music tonight at Rebus Gallery

Just got this e-mail:

Eddie Taylor, of the Loners, and Ivan Howard, of the Rosebuds, will each perform a solo set tonight at Rebus Works.
The music should get started around 8 pm, and we'll be open our normal First Friday hours, 6-10 pm. 

The First Friday trolley will be making its loop.  Click here for more information.  

Hope that you can make it! 

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Jesse Malin show moved to Slim's

If you bought tickets to see Jesse Malin, along with Richard Bacchus, at Blend on Thursday night, the show has been moved to Slim's. All previously purchased tickets will be honored. Tickets at Slim's will be $10.

Here's info that Slim's sent out on myspace:

The Jesse Malin show that was scheduled at Blend in Chapel Hill has
been move to Slim's in Raleigh. The date is the same. Any tickets that
were purchased for the Blend show will be honored at the door at Slim's.

Here's the info:

Jesse Malin (full band)
w/ special guests De Novo Dahl
and Richard Bacchus

at Slim's Downtown
227 S. Wilmington St.
Raleigh, NC
at the corner of Martin St. and Wilmington St. next to parking deck

Cost: $10.00 at the door.
(Sorry, no advance ticket sales are available)

21 and UP ONLY!!!!

Showtime is 10pm.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

Video from Monty Warren & the Friggin' Whatevers

It's a work weekend for me, so I'm taking it easy. If anyone gets photos of video of the Track & Field Fest in Carrboro this weekend, please let me know and I'll link to them.

Last night I checked out an early show by Monty Warren and the Friggin' Whatevers at Sadlack's. I'd seen Monty solo before, but liked his bluesy, Stones-inspired rock more with a full band behind him. He's got a good band, too, with Joe Yerry from The Bleeding Hearts and Suburban Sweethearts, and Lutie Cain from The T's.

Check out Team Robespierre!

Thanks to Nick for bringing this band to my attention and letting me know they'll be at Downtown Events Center this Thursday. Team Robespierre is a Brooklyn-based synth-punk band with snotty vocals, heavy beats and the occasional metal guitar. And if the photo above is any indication, they put on a heck of a show. Death Set, also from Brooklyn, will be with them. While we're at it, here are a couple of other Downtown Events Center shows you should know about: Sunday, March 2 (tomorrow night): Blue Cheer with Thunderlip and Rocket Cottage Friday, March 7: RTX with Double Negative and Black Skies Oh, and can someone tell me why this club requires an email or last name to be their friend on myspace, then won't even accept messages from folks who aren't on their list? I'd be a lot more likely to mention their shows if I had a better idea of what's going on there.