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.