Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Annuals gear stolen!

It's been a bad month for bands getting their stuff stolen. First Double Negative, and now Annuals, according to That's especially unlucky given that the band is headlining the huge First Night show tomorrow night. In better news, the band plans to release its next full-length in March, and has an .mp3 of "The Giving Tree" for you.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This week's cool shows: New Year's Eve edition!

New Year's Eve and Halloween tend to be weird holidays around here. Because both are major fun-time holidays, I always expect a lot of great shows to be happening. And usually, music-wise, there just isn't that much going on. This year there's at least one good show happening in the three corners of the Triangle -- the best of which will easily be The Love Language, Violet Vector & the Lovely Lovlies and Dirty Little Heaters at Local 506.

In Durham I'd advise you to check out The Beast and Hammer No More the Fingers at Broad Street Cafe.

And in Raleigh you can brave the chill and check out Annuals at First Night, then head to the Pour House and warm up with Brooklyn's bluegrassy Yarn. Y'all have fun out there, because I am 99 percent sure I will be at home cooking dinner and sharing some bubbly with a certain someone. This will be the first time in years I've spent New Year's Eve at home, and I'm kind of looking forward to it.

The most compelling show this week, however, is something I found on Triangle Rock, involving former Spatula guitarist Chuck Johnson. This show takes place Dec. 30 at Nightlight.

Dark "folk" Eve of New Year's Eve get-together at Nightlight!
Wednesday December 30 9PM $5

Chuck Johnson - Old and new music for parlor guitar. Piedmont Blues and American Primitive staring directly into the sun of West Coast Experimentalism.

Soup (Phil Blank and Jordan Huthinson of Gmish plus Katie Herzog) - Clarinet and accordion will slowly undress the contemplative side of klezmer, exposing a night sky, a mud rut and soup. Katie Herzog will hide secrets inside mostly lies.

Nervous Creep (Crowmeat Bob and Zeke Graves) - An uneasy spread of doom folk on your jelly roll.

DJ sets by Charlie Hearon - spinning blues, old time, world folk, folk "folk by folks"... ¡Viva FrequeNC!

Friday, December 25, 2009

If you go see the OAK Team tonight ...

You're in for a treat. Bob Davis, who produces one of the most fascinating music blogs I've ever read, just posted this on facebook:

"In honor of what would have been David Enloe's 53rd birthday today, the Olympic Ass-Kicking Team's first set tonight will all be songs that David wrote."

(The above photo was swiped from the Myspace photo album "David Enloe's Memorial Service 12.01.07" by Guitartown regular Fish Camp Barbie.)

A new holiday song from Megafaun

Thanks to Triangle Music for alerting me to this: Megafaun's version of "I Saw Three Ships" is one of the free holiday tunes available for download from Hometapes. Check it out, and Merry Christmas!

Win a pair of tickets to see The Love Language on New Year's Eve!

As promised yesterday, I have two pairs of tickets to giveaway to see The Love Language on New Year's Eve at Local 506, courtesy of our pals at Merge Records. Violet Vector & the Lovely Lovelies and Dirty Little Heaters are playing too, so this is going to be a great show.

Now, here's your question, and it's going to require a little North Carolina knowledge (or at least a quick Google search). Before signing to Merge, The Love Language released their first CD on Bladen County Records. Bladen County, N.C., is the original home of Bladen County Records head honcho (and former Ashley Stove guitarist) Matt Brown. Bladen County is also home to several lakes, notably White Lake, Jones Lake, Salters Lake and Baytree Lake. Lake Waccamaw is nearby in Columbus County. These lakes are all the same type of lake, and they are known for their distinctive shape.

What kind of lake are they, and what is their distinctive shape?

UPDATE: Congrats to winners Chris and Claire for answering correctly: The Bladen lakes are all Carolina Bays, and they're all oval in shape. If you're so inclined, you can learn more about the bay lakes from one of my favorite local nature blogs, Carolina Towns and Trails.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from Mann's World

It's a beautiful, but cold Christmas Eve down here at the beach, and yours truly is doing nothing but napping and eating, and will probably be asleep in a food coma by 10 p.m. tonight. If you're in the Triangle, your options for seeing a show tonight and tomorrow night are a little limited, but I do recommend the annual Terry Anderson Birthday Extravaganza, which takes place Dec. 25 at the Pour House. Since the birthday extravaganza is for Terry's own birthday, Happy Birthday to him!

I'm also going to give you a little Christmas present, and give you a sneak peak as to what it is: Tomorrow you will be able to enter to win two pairs of tickets (one winner for each pair) to see The Love Language at Local 506 on New Years Eve, courtesy of Merge Records. I'm going to ask you a question that involved North Carolina geography, so be prepared!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Karen's Top 5 local releases of the year

Yes, we've been fortunate enough to have some really fine releases in the Triangle this year. That said, this list wasn't a terribly difficult one for me to make.

1. The Love Language: "The Love Language"

No other local release got as much play in my world -- or as much attention from the masses. Kudos to Bladen County Records' Matt Brown for making the incredibly wise decision to release Stu McLamb's lo-fi solo compositions as-is. And kudos to Stu for putting together a very fine live band to interpret those compositions.

2. The Bronzed Chorus: "I'm the Spring"
A fine release from the most compelling band I've heard, local or otherwise, in a while.

3. Lonnie Walker: "These Times, Old Times"
Listening to "These Times, Old Times" just makes me happy. And that's good enough reason to put this on my list.

4. Megafaun: "Gather, Form and Fly"
On the other hand, "Gather, Form and Fly" often makes me feel apprehensive. Even the quietest numbers have a calm-before-the-storm feel to them.

5. Polvo: "In Prisim"
Polvo returns, and isn't afraid to show their Led Zeppelin influence.

Song of the year:
 I Was Totally Destroying It: "Done Waiting"
Nothing made me sing at the top of my lungs like the "Whoa-ohhhhs" in this song.

Snow day round-up

OK, not much of a snow day, but I'm home from work early nonthless!

Jake at has put together a local holiday music player!

The Indy selects Megafaun's "Gather, Form & Fly" as the top album of the year.

Get your local-music-loving friends a gift certificate from Cy Tunes!

Proof that those of us who were going to shows in the early '90s are getting old: The Jesus Lizard merits an article in The New Yorker.

UPDATE: Ross just posted his Top 10 list of the year.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

IWTDI gets into the holiday spirit

I Was Totally Destroying It has posted a haunting new (old) holiday song called "The Coventry Carol" on their Web site. It's not your typical Christmas carol, but after hearing "Jingle Bell Rock" and "Santa Baby" non-stop for the past month, it's a welcome and wonderful change, and just might actually put you in the Christmas spirit.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New video from The Love Language

Check it out on The Independent's YouTube Channel: The Love Language has debuted a new song called "Heart to Tell Her" from the Drughorse Collective show last Friday. Lots of other goodies from the show on there too, including videos from Mount Moriah and Max Indian

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

... and in other Best Of news

Deckfight has declared Red Collar's "Pilgrim" to be the best album of 2009!

12 Days of Avett

Yeah, it's pretty much what it sounds like. The Avett Brothers are giving away something for the next 10 days (we're already on day 2). Today's special is the dust fuzzer from the "Slight Figure of Speech" video. If day 2 is already this exciting, I can't wait to see what they dig up and throw online for day 12. In other Avetts news, Paste has declared "I and Love and You" to be the top album of the year!.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Old Habits at the Pour House

I've been meaning to see Old Habits for a long time now, and was happy to have the chance with last night's Christmas party at the Pour House. I don't know if they've done this before (I think they have), but I was told that the place would be absolutely packed by midnight. And indeed it was. This was one of the most joyous, fun shows I've seen this year.

Old Habits from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Double Negative recording, 16-track machine stolen!

This is terrible news for Double Negative, their fans, and for Jennifer Thomas, whose portable 16-track Korg was stolen. Here's what Brian Walsby had to say about it:

A few evenings ago, someone broke into the Double Negative practice space. Anyways, they stole a portable sixteen track (I believe) Korg machine that belonged to Jennifer Thomas. Jennifer had been helping DN record their second album at the time.
This stinks on many levels. First off, we (DN) feel badly that her machine was stolen on our watch, so to speak. Jennifer is a sweetheart and has done a lot for plenty of local bands in Raleigh with her help and time in recording these bands. And of course we also feel badly that our new record is more or less gone, as the entire project was on her machine. So after months of work, we are back to square one yet again. Even worse, we were almost done.
 We just feel that she has done enough for other people in bands that we could easily put together a benefit show for her and try to get some bands to play it. So even though I don’t have any details that are concrete, we are determined to make it happen. We will have more details in a little while.
Anyways, thanks.
Brian Walsby.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

This week's cook shows: Drug Horse Cartel showcase and more!

I'm really not exactly sure what Drug Horse Cartel  Drughorse Collective is(UPDATE: see below). Triangle Music referred to it as a collective, so I'll go with that. Whatever it is, it includes a lot of really great bands currently playing in this area including Mount Moriah (left), Max Indian, and the Love Language, all of whom will be playing the Drug Horse Cartel showcase this Friday at Local 506, which is easily the show of the week.

Other notable shows this week include Hammer No More the Fingers at Tir Na Nog on Thursday, Caltrop with Hog at Dive Bar, and Benji Hughes at Local 506, both on Saturday, and The Cartridge Family with Goner's Scott Phillips at Sadlack's on Sunday.

And in case I don't manage to update this blog in time, next week's show of the week is the Trekky Yuletide Christmas  show next Tuesday at Cat's Cradle. Whatever Brains and Des Ark are among the bands scheduled for that show.

UPDATE: Thanks to James Wallace (Mount Moriah, Max Indian) for responding to my question about what "Drug Horse Cartel" is.

hey Karen, the Cartel thing was a mistake.  we are called the
Drughorse Collective.  one less drug reference i guess.  We are a big
group of friends that play in a number of groups the entire list is
the same as the bill for the 506 show.  We all help each other record
at our home studios and play together as much as possible.  We started
calling it a collective because we all truly love each other's music
and wanted to help put the word out as hard as we can.  It really
began because of the home studios and the albums that all took shape
at the same time and with a shared lo-fi aesthetic.  Jeff Crawford's
first record, Something for Everyone was recorded at his house and
Carter Gaj and i played on it and helped record it.  Around the same
time Carter and I began work on the Max Indian record at my house and
we met Stu Mclamb who was recording the first Love Language record.
Josh Pope and Tom Simpson were also recording The Light Pine
album(bassist and drummer for The Love Language) and we all met and
bonded over our shared diy visions.   Hope that helps!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

This week's cool shows: The Beast and more

Yes, I'm a little late on this one, but this week's show of the week takes place TONIGHT! (Thursday) when The Beast plays Tir na Nog. I enjoyed them immensely at Troika, and have been digging their latest CD, "Silence Fiction," so I highly recommend you check them out tonight.

Tomorrow night boasts a great show in both Raleigh and Chapel Hill. If you're in the Capital City, don't miss Dirty Little Heaters, The T's and The Loners, also at Tir na Nog. Over in Chapel Hill, the can't-miss show is the Daily Tar Heel Diversions Showcase with Lonnie Walker (named as one of Ear Farm's Top 10 Bands to Watch in 2010), I Was Totally Destroying It and Animal at Local 506.

I was going to mention Paleface's show at Marsh Woodwinds here, but apparently that show is canceled.

Monday, November 30, 2009

A new video from Bombadil

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

Sunday, November 29, 2009

New video from Citified

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

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cool shows this week: Thanksgiving edition!

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Polvo video on Pitchfork

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

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Video of The Monolouge Bombs and Small Ponds

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

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

The Monolouge Bombs from Mann's World on Vimeo.

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

The Small Ponds from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Video of Hank Sinatra and Hearts & Daggers

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

Hank Sinatra from Mann's World on Vimeo.

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

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

Hearts & Daggers from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dates set for Raleigh Undercover

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

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mitch Easter at Tir na Nog

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

Mitch Easter from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Finally got some use out of my Troika pass

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 06, 2009

Videos of The Beast and Megafaun from night one of Troika

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Songs of the week: Basalt and Filthybird

I think I'm coming down with something, so I'm going to skip out on seeing the Huguenots tonight at Tir na Nog. Instead I'm going to start what I hope will be a weekly, or at least regular, feature, and upload a couple of .mp3s I've been listening to recently.

First up is "Intimacy" from Basalt's new CD, "Treble." Basalt is mostly a one-woman band with former Mercury Birds/Taija Rae guitarist/singer Nicky Trimiar, though recently she's been working with a couple of drummers. Not sure how I feel about this. I love Nicky's voice, and I love the shoegaze-y guitar work she does. If she's going to add drums, then I think she should add bass as well and really flesh it out. "Intimacy" is my favorite on the CD, and it a little harder rocking. Basalt will be at the Maya Gallery Femme Fest in Greensboro on Nov. 7.

Next up is "Pickmeup," which is on Filthybird's soon-to-be-released sophomore album. Like Basalt, Filthybird specializes in dreamy music, built around Renee Mendoza's gorgeous voice. And, like Basalt, Filthybird was from Greensboro, but the band is in the process of moving to Chatham County, so I hope this means we see them around here more often. Their next performance in the Triangle will be Thursday, Oct. 29 at Nightlight, so check them out.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Local music round-up

I can't keep up with the Avetts' beard situation, so I'm just going to post this oldish photo of them, mainly because I like the bass player's coat. Triangle music is reporting that The Avett Brothers will play Merlefest 2010. I'm more excited that Elvis Costello is playing too.

In other Avetts news, David Menconi is reporting that  Lance Armstrong is an Avetts fan, and that one of their songs will be on the show "One Tree Hill" tonight. I don't watch TV, so I don't know what time or channel that show comes on.

And, just to get us away from the Avetts for a bit, Brian Walsby writes about his fascination with the Salton Sea, and reviews a documentary about it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Is Mercury in retrograde?

I don't know what's happening, but it seems like minor disasters have been popping up all week, culminating in a daylong free-for-all of confusion on Friday. 

I was one of the organizers of Friday's New Raleigh showcase at the Berkeley Cafe. After the Infamous Sugar got sick and had to drop out, we agreed to let Grayson, Brad from Megafaun and Jenks from Horseback play a "secret" set with their project, Man Blossom. I was already a little worried that the Mars Volta show would hurt us, especially after a comment war ensued on New Raleigh over whether people should go see our show or the Mars Volta. 

Then, in the space of a few hours I found out that 1. Man Blossom were NOT playing. 2. Mars Volta were cancelled 3. NAPS, which is the side project with members of Lonnie Walker and Annuals, were added to the bill and 4. two bands for today's Cherry Bounce finale couldn't make it, and they needed help getting someone locally to fill in. That's how the T's ended up playing down there at 1:30 today. 

During the day, I started feeling like I was coming down with something, so I knew I'd make an early night of it. I saw Colossus and thought they were great. The audience were really into them, and even started moshing, which seemed to take the band by surprise. I also purchased their new vinyl LP, "Drunk on Blood," and will give my opinion soon. Unfortunately my video of Colossus was corrupted. As I said, weird luck all night. 

Having NAPS on the bill turned out to be good because it was the first time I've seen them. I only got to see one song, so I can't really give much of a review, but I did capture some video so you can see them for yourself. I heard that Rooster were great, and that The T's had some trouble when Lutie broke her bass strap. 

NAPS from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Before the Berkeley show I checked out Mommie and Tonk at Seaboard, and I can say that Tonk's first show was no fluke. They're really good. Imagine drinking a bourbon and Coke and chatting up a peroxided woman named Lurleen in a dark, wood-paneled honky tonk bar, circa 1975. Tonk would be playing on the jukebox. Can't wait for the next show, because I have it on good authority that singer Graham "The Night Honky" Fry's next outfit will be a denim suit adorned with some sort of big-mouth bass design.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Chef Shirle' will be on Rachel Ray!

Chef/rocker Shirle' Koslowski, whose latest band is Free Electric State, is going to be on the Rachel Ray show this Monday, Oct. 26! Shirle' sent out this note and Facebook invite this morning:

Just a quick note to let you know that I will be on The Rachel Ray Show on Monday Oct 26th.

She does a segment called "Double Duty Tips" where people turn one thing into something else.
Her production assistant (unknowingly to me) subscribes to my blog Rockin' The Stove and saw that I made a wine rack out of coffee cans and thought that it was a perfect thing to feature on Rachel's show. They contacted me almost 2 months ago, asked me to video the steps and send it to them. Monday it will air. Check with your local times that the Rachel Ray Show (It's not her Food Network show, but is her Daytime TV talk show, on either CBS, NBC or ABC)

Also, does anyone locally (to me) have the capabilities to tape this for me? If so, please let me know.

Hope you get to see it (and have a good laugh!)


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Videos from Americans in France and Veelee

As promised, here are the videos from Tuesday's showcase for Cherry Bounce. This show was good for me because I got to see two bands I'd heard a bit about, but hadn't seen.

The first video was from Veelee, who I think have a lot of potential but need to tighten up, especially on the drums.

Veelee from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Next were Americans in France, who were a very pleasant surprise. I'd heard their CD earlier this year, and thought it OK, but I really liked them much more live. Check out their video.

Americans in France from Mann's World on Vimeo.

The evening was also a bit of a birthday party for which is celebrating its first year and has become an excellent source for local music information. Congrats to Jake Seaton and all the other folks at

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fun at last night's showcase

Just a quick note to say I caught Veelee and Americans in France at last night's showcase for Cherry Bounce at Slim's. I enjoyed them both, Americans in France more so. Would have loved to have seen Gray Young, but it was past my bedtime. I'll add videos and more details later. Right now here's a photo as a quick tease.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Send good thoughts to Suge

The Infamous Sugar will NOT be playing the New Raleigh showcase this Friday because he has double pneumonia! So send him good thoughts, and check him out the next time he plays.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tonk debuts on a cold day

Yesterday all-star honky tonk band Tonk finally had their debut at the Cooke Street Carnival. They didn't disappoint, though they did have some major competition from the Aviator beer truck, which was located about halfway down the street. I should note that the songs they played, including the one in the video below, have a definite comic edge to them. Tonk needs to watch out or they might end up being The Darkness of honky tonk music.

And take note of Graham "The Night Honky" Fry's comments about the cold. The day wasn't as bad as had been forecast (no rain at least) but it was mighty cold, which contributed to the shakiness of the video. Between shivering, and trying to hold a beer while shooting (which never works), it was hard to keep still.

Regardless, Cooke Street was an awesome party, and I hope it really does become an annual event.

Tonk -- "Big Love" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Next up were A Rooster for the Masses, whom I hadn't seen in quite a while. They've gone through some lineup changes, and they've emerged with a slightly harder sound, which I like. They'll be at the New Raleigh showcase for next week's Cherry Bounce festival on Oct. 23 at the Berkeley.

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

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This week's cool shows: Steve Howell and more!

First off let me say that if anyone can tell me where the photo to the left was taken, please let me know because I bet their "steam clams, wine and steak" are delicious.

Now, having said that, this is the type of week that makes picking one show to spotlight rather difficult. But this week's standout, David Dyer & the Crooked Smile Band with Steve Howell & the Lonesome Teardrops, wins for two reasons. 1. Steve Howell is an awesome honky tonk guitarist, and he has an amazing band backing him up.2. This show, which will take place Friday at Nash Arts Center in Nashville, N.C., hasn't been well-publicized, and I'd like to get the word out. I haven't seen a show at Nash Arts Center, which is in an old church in a little town just this side of Rocky Mount, but I've heard that the setting is beautiful and the sound is really nice. Plus, this is an early show (doors at 6, show at 7 - tix are $10) so if you push it, you can get over to Chapel Hill to see Megafaun that same night at Nightlight or Lonnie Walker, Goner and Gray Young at the Berkeley. 

The other big show this week is undoubtedly Monotonix, who will be at the Pour House Thursday with Whatever Brains. That's the big show because every single person I know is planning to be there. If you haven't seen Monotonix, you should go too, because they are definitely a band that needs to be seen. The spectacle is what matters with Monotonix. The music is kind of meh, though Whatever Brains are certainly going to rock. 

Whatever you do, make sure to get to Tir na Nog on Thursday night for one of the most jaw-dropping bands in North Carolina right now, Greensboro's The Bronzed Chorus. These guys don't play around here nearly often enough. And it turns out they're playing in the area twice this week (they'll also be at Duke Coffeehouse on Saturday), so you have no excuse not to miss them. 

Finally, this Saturday is the FREE! Cooke Street Carnival, with music by A Rooster from the Masses, plus the debut of Tonk, on Cooke Street (duh) in Oakwood. Lots of great music and fun, so check it out. And also check out my interview with Tonk on New Raleigh

Interview with Tonk on New Raleigh!

Check out my interview on New Raleigh with Tonk! They'll be at the Cooke Street Carnival this Saturday. No one has seen or heard this band yet, but based on the reputations of the members, and the fact that they're incorporating the Lowenbrau theme into one of their songs, I think it will be a good show. But bundle up. Saturday is supposed to be cold and rainy.

Troika to host "Backstage at DPAC and Triangle Music both have the details on this. Basically Troika's Thursday line-up of venues will also feature a show on the stage of the Durham Performing Arts Center with Bowerbirds, Future Kings of Nowhere, Humble Tripe and Ghost Cats. That means (as far as I can tell) that the audience and the bands will all be on the stage.

The Rosebuds on

Will the news on XXMerge ever end? Apparently not. Yesterday afternoon I got word that The Rosebuds are the latest XXMerge video to be featured on Here's the release below.

Today on, see The Rosebuds play an acoustic version of “Leaves do Fall” from their 2007 album, Night of the Furies during XX Merge.
The Rosebuds performance completes the six week series at showcasing Merge bands performing stripped-down sets somewhat spontaneously in various locations during the festival. Visit the XX Merge section of for videos from Superchunk, The ClienteleTelekinesisLou BarlowWye Oak, and The Rosebuds.
Visit to watch the complete series, and don’t forget to check out the Merge channel atBabelgum for live footage from the XX Merge 20th anniversary shows held July 22-26th at the Cat’s Cradle and Memorial Hall.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cy Tunes is now on Twitter!

Follow them!

Music news roundup

(Annuals by Autumn de Wilde)
Gogoraleigh says Annuals are scheduled to play First Night.

The Indy is streaming the new IWTDI CD. It's definitely worth a listen.

Tony Plutonium has opened an Etsy shop for his photos (or rather just one for now). Maybe he'll include the photos he shot at the Carrboro Music Festival.

Triangle Music says the Triangle is represented in Uncut's Top 150 Albums of the 2000s. More accurately, Merge, Ryan Adams and Justin Vernon (who live here that long anyway) are represented.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Video of Dirty Little Heaters at Tir na Nog

Caught part of Dirty Little Heaters at Tir na Nog on Thursday. I liked the keyboard player, and thought they gave them an bit of a Deep Purple sound, which is always nice. Not sure if he's a permanent addition. Check out the video.

Dirty Little Heaters from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Full disclosure: Yes, I get free stuff

In yesterday's post I mentioned something about needing to tell you I'd gotten the IWTDI music for free (download, not CD). If you read other blogs, you've probably seen the same sort of disclaimer. Basically, the Federal Trade Commission, in an effort to bring a little more honesty to bloggers who actually get paid by companies to review their products, has ruled that bloggers should include a disclaimer when they review items they received for free. The New York Times has a good explanation here.

As a music blogger, I can tell you that the majority (but not all) of the music I review was given to me for free by the band or the label. A lot of times those bands or labels will throw in some sort of goodie like a T-shirt, or stickers. On more rare occasions I accept an offer to get on a guest list, but honestly, I've never liked doing that because I actually like supporting the bands when I go hear them play. I actually paid to get into my own birthday show last year. I usually only do that if the label makes the offer, and it's a big show where the band won't miss my admission price.

But I have never been paid by a band or a label to write anything about them. Last year I wrote the liner notes for the T's and Bleeding Hearts CDs. They graciously offered to pay me and I refused. I thought that would be crossing some sort of moral line I didn't want to cross. I do not get paid for writing for New Raleigh, and didn't get paid for writing for any music publications in the last year, though that wasn't intentional. I was actually hoping to get paid for those!

I wouldn't mind making a little money, honestly. If you notice, I've beefed up the Google Ads and iTunes presence on the blog. But I looked at my Google Ads account the other day and noticed I'd made $8 for the year. If I end up making more than that, great. But if not, that's OK too. I'm really in this for the music, not the money.

The point of all this, if you see an .mp3 or a music review on this blog, most likely I got the CD for free, but I will try to additionally point that out in each post.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Cool shows this week: IWTDI, Valient Thorr and more!

I admit, this week's Show of the Week was almost a tie between I Was Totally Destroying It (Saturday at Cat's Cradle) and Valient Thorr (Wednesday at Pour House). I fully expect VT to put on a high-energy show, and I think the Pour House will be the perfect spot to see them (great sound, can watch the band from upstairs, plus Wednesday is mug night). But IWTDI sneaks ahead because I've been loving their new CD (which I'm now obligated to tell you I got for free -- more on that in another post), and Saturday's show is their CD-release party. Read the review at Triangle Music and see photographer Jason Arthurs' video of the photoshoot here. Admission gets you a free copy of the CD, so if you blog about it yourself, you might want to mention that. Lonnie Walker, Des Ark, Rat Jackson and the awesomely named Lake Inferior open.

Also this week: Dirty Little Heaters with Ricky Bacchus at Thursday at Tir na Nog, Gray Young at Friday  Nightlight, and Antiseen with KIFF and Prostitute Hostage Friday at the Berkeley

Monday, October 05, 2009

Americana Music Association Wrap-up

Here's a pretty comprehensive review of the Americana Music Association festival over at Check it out!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Curmudgeonly reflections on the U2 show, or: I didn't find what I was looking for at that show

I just spent the last half hour reflecting on my idealistic teenage years and writing up the reasons why I'm a bit let down by last night's U2 show at Carter-Finley. They were all more personal than need be, so I decided to strip out the self-reflection and just dive in. I don't want to give the impression that I hated the show, because I didn't. It was actually a very good show (Jonathan Lee called it a "multi-media spectacular," which sums it up perfectly), but it wasn't the eager, revolutionary U2 that once galvanized me. The main point is this: If you love the new stuff, you would have loved last night's show, because that's mostly what they played. They did whip out a few requisite oldies, including "Sunday Bloody Sunday," during which the stage was bathed in green lighting to support the Iranian opposition party. And they did play one of my personal favorites, "The Unforgettable Fire." But no "I Will Follow"? No "Gloria"? No "Bullet the Blue Sky"?? No "Pride"???? I realize that when you have a body of work as vast as U2's, some songs have to drop by the wayside, but generally a few of the old classics manage to stay on. Also, as impressive as that spaceship stage was, with its revolutionary collapsible video screen, I really just wanted them to toss all that aside and just play. I mean really play like they still believe their music will change the world. Yes, there was plenty of talk about changing the world, but no specifics (other than joining Amnesty International) on how to do it. Every call to action seemed calculated not to offend anyone. Bono managed to even call out both the John Edwards and Jesse Helms families for praise, which is, I'm sure, the first time anyone has done that. The only things the band was willing to point out as wrong were the government crackdown in Iran, and the decades-long house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar. Pretty easy targets. Lets see them take a stand on Israeli settlements in the West Bank or demand a public health care option for the poor and unemployed in the U.S. Looks like the only thing that's revolutionary about these guys now is that video screen.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Love Language signs to Merge

Triangle Music, via Pitchfork, has the details here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Videos from the Tom Cushman Benefit

OK, this photo of Tom and Skillet Gilmore really does kind of sum up Sunday's Tom Cushman Benefit at White Collar Crime. A bunch of bands came out and rocked, and everyone you know came out and saw them rock, all to help out local punk icon Tom Cushman.

(Local rock glitterati The Infamous Sugar, Russ DeSena and Jennifer Halifax)

The love for Tom was palpable. Tom himself was looking healthy and seemed amazed and touched.

(Eddie Taylor and yours truly)

The suggested donation at the door was $10, but if you gave $15, you got a handmade T-shirt with the TCB logo. I picked a silver-logo-ed black T-shirt that had originally been some sort of tequila promo. And even though I have another, much better photo of me and Eddie showing off our shirts, I decided to sacrifice my dignity and post this one because the logo is more clearly visible.

(These little guys were a hit with the folks at the bar. Their owner told me they are service dogs!)

(The Trousers)
I was at the benefit for most of the early shows, and got there while The Trousers, who had the 4:30 p.m. slot, were playing. I've said before that White Collar Crime is THE worst place in town to shoot bands, but a skylight overhead made the daylight hours somewhat OK. For some reason I always seem to record the same song by The Trousers.

The Trousers at the Tom Cushman benefit from Mann's World on Vimeo.

(Greg Rice and Caitlyn Cary)

Richard Bacchus & the Luckiest Girls were after The Trousers, but I feel like I've got more than enough videos of them for the time being, so I just stood back and enjoyed the show. This was the first time I had seen them as a three-piece, and I seriously couldn't tell the difference.

Caitlin Cary was next, and she started with a song by Snuzz. Pay attention to what she says at the end of the video. I think she summed up the thoughts of many that day.

Caitlin Cary at the Tom Cushman benefit from Mann's World on Vimeo.

(Kenny Roby and Scott McCall)
The last show I saw was Kenny Roby, who played with his regular guitarist, Scott McCall. I really love seeing Kenny with a full band, and wish he would do it more often, but it was nice to see him with Scott. But "seeing" is a relative term here because by this time the sun had gone down, and the stage was almost pitch black.

Kenny Roby at the Tom Cushman benefit from Mann's World on Vimeo.

About mid-way through Kenny and Scott's set I found out that every single toilet in White Collar Crime had overflowed, which made our decision to take off that much easier. If anyone wants to provide a report on the latter half of the evening please do.

We ended up going next door to Jibarra, which features half-price bottles of wine on Sundays, and is actually somewhat reasonable if you stick to the appetizer menu. We enjoyed the lovely malbec pictured above.

See more photos on my Flickr page.