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.