Tuesday, December 28, 2010

This week's cool shows: You tell me!

Folks, I had a blogging snafu earlier this week and ended up losing all the entries in my calendar! I created a sub-calendar of my main personal Google calendar, and am in the midst of repopulating it now. So if you see "Doctor's appt. 10:30" or "Mr. C to vet, 9 a.m." in the middle of the music listing, you'll know what it's about.

That said, I generally don't think of New Year's Eve as a good night to go out and see a band. Usually I'm in the mood to either hang out with a select group of friends, or cook dinner and have a champagne toast at midnight with a  certain someone. That certain someone and I have not quite decided whether we'll be going out on Friday or not, but if we do, the most likely candidates are Yarn at Berkeley Cafe or the Chip Robinson/OakTeam show at Slim's. My mom always told me that whatever you do on New Year's Day you'll do every day for the rest of the year, so I can tell you I will most likely be at Dive Bar on New Year's Day to see Black Skies. I guess that means I'll be listening to some seriously heavy music all year.

Music news roundup

This has been out a few days, but with the busy holidays, I missed it. Horseback is No. 9 on the Haunting the Chapel Top 50 Albums of the Year.

And speaking of Horseback, they're going to be on my Invisible Oranges Readers' Choice entry. What's going to be on yours?

Guess how long it took The Avett Brothers to sell out Cat's Cradle.

The Love Language has a new demo out for your listening pleasure.

Jordan should have added that Locrian is perfect listening when you're stuck in the house because your entire street is one big sheet of black ice.

Stevie from Dark Castle talks to Nate from USX about tattoos and guitar tone.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Year end wrap-up and a look at what's ahead!

I generally don't like to do year-end best of lists, for the simple fact that I didn't listen to everything that was released in the past year, so there's very likely something out there that is much better than anything on my list. I can say that this year has musically been one of the most exciting I've experienced in a long, long time, and that the list below represents some of the most exciting musical moments for me during this year.

It's obvious that this blog has taken on a heavier, less locally focused tone lately. That wasn't really deliberate. It's just that recently I've realized that I'm a lot less passionate about local music than I once was.  Don't get me wrong: I'm extremely thankful to live in an area where there are so many amazing musicians, and a growing number of venues and small labels willing to take a chance on them. But these days the local bands that have me most excited are the heavier ones, and the shows that are most likely to get me off the couch and out to the show are the touring ones.

That means that my blogging is likely to change, but how it will change, I can't really say. I've toyed with the idea of scrapping Mann's World altogether, and starting a heavy music blog with a friend of mine who also goes to a lot of shows, including many shows in Europe. The big hold up there, believe it or not, has been coming up with a name. My friend Ken came up with Reign in Blog, which is awesome, but since we would be writing about a wide variety of heavy music, including a lot of European stoner rock and doom, I'm not sure how appropriate that would be.

I've thought about just dropping the idea of Mann's World being a local music destination and just letting other people post here. Triangle Music and Music.MyNC.com both do a better job of local music news than I do, and more local music blogs keep popping up. Obviously this blog will continue to be somewhat local because this is where I live, and this is where I go see shows. And shooting video and photos has always been much more fun than reviewing records.

I guess I'm not really sure what I'm going to do at this point, and I'm looking for advice from anyone who happens to read this blog on a regular basis. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Now, here's a wrap-up of some amazing shows I saw, and albums I listened to this year.


Hopscotch (Sept. 9-11): I'm just going to lump all of Hopscotch into one big group, because if I didn't, every show on this list would be a Hopscotch show. Dungen (most especially), Fucked Up, Best Coast, Cannabis Corpse, U.S. Christmas, and Max Indian's final show would all have been contenders for show of the year. Seeing them all in a concentrated dose was totally amazing, and made Raleigh actually feel like a real city. Kudos to Grayson, Greg and the Indy for putting this together. I'm already looking forward to Hopscotch 2011.

My day party at Hopscotch (Sept. 11): Putting this show together was a lot more challenging than I imagined, and plenty of times I questioned why I'd ever wanted to do so. But as soon as it was over, I was already planning the party for 2011. Next year's show will also concentrate on heavy music, hopefully with a few out-of-town bands in the mix.

The return of COC as a trio at the Pour House (July 31): Like a class of '85 reunion for Raleigh's hardcore scene, this show was exciting for me personally because my video got picked up by Blabbermouth and ended up going viral. Mike Dean's wife, Sue Sturgis, told me that she kept seeing a link for "COC in Raleigh" on various metal sites, and that the link would always go to my video.

Bandway at the brand new Kings (Aug. 28): ... but believe it or not, COC was not the most-clicked video of the year. That honor went to my video of Bandway, reforming and breaking in the new Kings. That's a testament to how much you guys missed both the band and the venue.

The Love Language at the Pour House (April 15): An amazing, joyous show for everyone -- except for soundman extraordinaire Jac Cain, who had about three heart attacks when the entire audience jumped up on the stage.

Batillus, Kowloon Walled City and Machete! at Dive Bar (Sept. 28): A great show Tuesday night show by three bands I knew little about. Thanks to my friend Keith for talking me into going. It was very exciting to see my photos from this show used on Invisible Oranges. That, more than anything, made me decide it was time to go in a heavier direction with the blog.

Kylesa, High On Fire and Torche at Cat's Cradle (Oct. 27): Yes, I know that High on Fire was the headliner for this show, but for my money Kylesa totally stole it and made it their own.

COC and Double Negative at Dregs Grotto (Dec. 10): If the Pour House show was the high school reunion, the house party show was the ultimate after party.


Kylesa, "Spiral Shadow": Here's an example of a pretty amazing album kicked straight into greatness on the strength of one song: "Don't Look Back." Any song that can make me feel like I'm cruising around the Circle in Atlantic Beach, back when the Circle was actually a destination for people who loved loud music, surfing and cheap beer, is automatically a great song. "Don't Look Back" captures that moment perfectly.

High on Fire, "Snakes for the Divine": I probably listened to this more than any other release this past year. And I'm not ashamed to say that the majority of the time I was listening to it, I was on the elliptical trainer at the gym. I don't think anything has ever inspired me to throw myself into something and go full blast the way the opening riff of "Snakes for the Devine" does.

U.S. Christmas, "Run Thick in the Night": USX's latest was released on a night on which we had a rare autumn equinox that corresponded with a harvest moon. I'm not a pagan, so I can't discuss the significance of this astronomical event, but I can tell you that listening to this ominous, organic-sounding record under such a beautiful moon was a magical experience.

Ufomammut, "Eve": Never had a band so perfectly lived up to their name. Ufomammut, which means UFO mammoth in Italian, really does sound like a mammoth being chased by a bunch of UFOs. That combination of crushing heaviness and weird spaciness made this one of my favorites of the year.

Filthybird, "Songs for Other People": Renee Mendoza has the most gorgeous, slightly loopy voice, and a wonderful ability to spin a heartbreaking yarn that's more sweet than bitter. And she wrote a song about one of my Joycean heroes, Stephen Dedalus, which is just awesome in itself.

Cough, "Ritual Abuse": I described Cough's show at Nighlight as being like all the good things about drinking too much cough syrup without the sickness that usually follows (at least for me). That description also fits "Ritual Abuse," which is slow, oppressive and distorted. The last 1:16 of "Crippled Wizard" was probably my favorite crushing riff of the year.

Black Tusk, "Taste the Sin": Imagine leaving an overturned bong and a half-eaten Hardee's chicken biscuit in a broke down Camaro in a swamp in 95-degree heat. If the smell inside of that car had a sound, it would be "Taste the Sin": fast, hot and nasty as hell.

Zoroaster, "Matador": When I interviewed Dan from Zoroaster, I thought the band might be heavily into Eastern philosophies and religion, because "Matador" is so exotic, so psychedelic and so otherworldly. Turns out they just like to party. I guess that'll lead to an exotic, psychedelic, otherwordly experience too.

Horseback, "The Invisible Mountain": When I was about 12 my cousin and I had a serious discussion in which we decided that the Devil really should have won the Golden Fiddle because his solo was clearly more rockin' than Johnny's corny solo. But the fact that he brought in the Band of Demons meant that he cheated, so he couldn't have won anyway. If the Devil had just played "Invokation," with its weird, funky groove and gnawing vocals, he would have won despite the cheating.

Honorable mention:

Salome, "Terminal"

Black Thai, "Blood from on High"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

COC and Double Negative at a house party in Raleigh

What is there really to say about this? If you were there, you experienced one of the most intimate and powerful shows of the year. For some it was a return to youth. for a whole lot of others, it was a chance to experience something that had its heyday years before they were born. See more photos

COC - "Animosity" and most of "Loss for Words" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

COC - "Holier" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Double Negative - "Torture Genius" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Righteous Fool and Black Thai at Dive Bar

Last night I skipped the Cover Up altogether and saw Righteous Fool with Black Thai at Dive Bar.

Unfortunately I didn't get there in time to see much of Black Thai, who are from Boston, but I liked the song and a half that I heard, and even bought a CD.

Black Thai - "333" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Righteous Fool sounded great as usual. I've been trying to get my boyfriend out to see them because I knew he would like them a lot. Finally he listened to me, and agreed with my assessment. Reed plays so hard at the beginning of this song that he actually loses his bandana.

Righteous Fool from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Photos and video of Devour, "The Animals" at the Great Cover Up

On Thursday I had intentions of spending most of the evening at The Cover Up at Kings. But after witnessing Sugar, Brian, Stephen and Joey totally nail "The Animals," I went down to Tir na Nog, and ended up staying for Devour. I understand I missed a Kyuss cover, but ultimately I think I made the right decision. I liked Devour a lot, and am looking forward to seeing them very (very) soon. Double Negative headlined the show, but I ended up leaving early. Looking forward to seeing them very (very) soon as well.

They had a few technical issues during the show. First there were problems with the bass amp, then the bass drum kept sliding around, so one of their friends actually sad on stage and held the drum in place. Brave dude.

Daniel from Devour says this song doesn't yet have an official title. See more photos.

Devour from Mann's World on Vimeo.

At the Cover Up at Kings.

Suge with "The Animals."

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

This week's cool shows: The Cover-Up returns to Kings!

You would really have to be completely out of the loop to not realize that this weekend is the return of the Cover Up, a three-day event that used to be the biggest end-of-the-year party, to Kings. I expect this weekend's festivities to have a joyous homecoming feel rivaled only by that of the opening night Bandway show. The strange thing this year is that I've heard almost nothing about who is playing. Usually by this point I have a good idea about some of the better covers being planned. If you have some info you'd like to share, feel free to post it here, but I ask that you only reveal who is playing, not who is being covered. I personally like to know in advance, but a whole lot of folks out there really do prefer to be surprised.

Other great shows this week:

Thursday: Double Negative and Nine Fingered Thug at Tir na Nog (free)

Friday: Pipe, Caltrop and Double Negative at Nightlight (DN had to cancel); Righteous Fool and Black Thai at Dive Bar; and Tom Maxwell, Bustello and The Breaks at Local 506

Saturday: The Carolina Chocolate Drops at Lincoln Theatre

Monday: Justin Townes Earl at Cat's Cradle

Monday, November 29, 2010

This week's cool shows: Annuals, Great Band Swap, Isaac Hunter's anniversary and more!

The after-Thanksgiving show line-up in the Triangle looks to be a good one, starting with three fine shows on Tuesday of all nights. If you're into metal, you do not want to miss Crowbar, Black Tusk (one of my current favorite bands) and Chapel Hill's MAKE. If you're into New Wavish singer-songwriters, you do not want to miss Amy Rigsby and Wreckless Eric at Motorco.

But yours truly will be spending Tuesday at one of my favorite, and I believe most underrated downtown watering holes: Isaac Hunter's Tavern. I love this place for their N.C. beer selection, and the fact that they have a Wii, and I can play Wii Tennis when I'm having a Shotgun Betty. The bar will celebrate its one-year anniversary tomorrow with The Loners and Revolutionary Sweethearts.

On Wednesday, there will be a celebration of long-time local music favorites The Connells at Kings. Apparently the entire Connells catalog is now available digitally. That means you can go download "Boylan Heights" before coming out to the show and hearing other local bands do their renditions of Connells songs.  Tonk will definitely be there, which should be interesting.

On Thursday The Loners will be at Motorco, so if you don't see them at Isaac Hunter's, you should check them out then. But the show of the week is that very same night at Tir na Nog with Annuals and Light Pines. Raleigh Denim is sponsoring the show and will apparently give away a free pair of their jeans. If you've seen the price tag on these jeans, you know that's a big deal.

Also that night in Durham, The Great Band Swap will take place at Pinhook. The concept is that every band must perform at least one song by each of the other bands on the bill. This will happen Thursday-Saturday, and will include a widely diverse bill, so it should be pretty amazing. I can only imagine what Hog covering Embarrassing Fruits will sound like.

Friday's big concert is undoubtedly Lost in the Trees at Motorco. But also that night (and on Saturday) Reservoir is celebrating its anniversary with Monsonia, jokes&jokes&jokes and Blag'ard. I'm most likely going to check out J. Roddy Walston & the Business at Local 506.

Saturday the Reservoir celebration continues with Colossus, Backwoods Payback and Caltrop. Finally, that same night, American Aquarium and House of Fools will be at the Pour House.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lemmy documentary coming to the U.S. next year!

Details on a new documentary about Lemmy will be revealed here tomorrow! Titled "Lemmy: 49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son of a Bitch,"looks to be insightful and totally rockin'. Looks like it's getting rave reviews too. Certainly it's a step up from his cameo in the John Wayne Bobbitt movie (Google that if you don't know what I'm talking about, but keep in mind that it's NSFW). I'm betting, and hoping, this will be at the Rialto sometime next year. Can't wait! 

While I'm at it, Happy Thanksgiving, y'all. I'm headed to Morehead City to celebrate T-day, and my birthday, with family. There's a chance I'll be back in time for Saturday's Hank Sinatra/Stegmonds show at Southland Ballroom. Looking forward to that because I understand from folks who were at the Chip Robinson benefit that the room sounds great. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Black metal without the silliness

I admit black metal isn't really my thing, mainly because I just find the trappings surrounding it silly. The big exception for me has been Ulver, who have always been willing to experiment, and have refused to allow themselves to be confined based on what people think black metal should look or sound like.

Liturgy is another band that, like their "transcendent black metal" tagline says, plays by their own rules. And they melt faces and expand minds in the process. Rich from Hog was standing beside me last night, and he summed it up nicely: "They made a whole song out of one note and it didn't suck!"

They played last night at Kings, where I managed to capture two new songs (as yet untitled). The first video was their first song, but I was so astounded by the playing of drummer Greg Fox, that I shot a second video where you really get to see him in action. I've seriously never seen anyone play so fast and yet move so little.

I was a little happier with Kings lighting, but it still doesn't present the ideal shooting circumstance. I ended up just playing around with my prints in Lightroom to see if I could get anything interesting out of my photos. See more photos.

Liturgy from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Liturgy 2 from Mann's World on Vimeo.

9 Fingered Thug - "Hun" from Mann's World on Vimeo.
Nine Fingered Thug, which includes Picasso Trigger bass player Sam Mauney, opened up.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

In case you haven't seen this yet ...

Birds of Avalon have a new album coming out on Bladen County Records in January, and New Raleigh has a sneak peek, with a download of the first song, "Invasion."Check it out!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bad news for Leslie!

Well, this sucks, especially considering what an awesome show they put on a couple of weeks ago at Slim's. Leslie's gear was stolen last night in Delaware! Here's the e-mail from the band:

All of Leslie’s gear was stolen last night in Delaware. They have no insurance to cover replacements and are currently filing a police report and checking pawn shops around the area.
Any donations would be greatly appreciated to help the band get back on their feet & can be sent to http://bit.ly/bixoW9 or you can mail a check payable to “Leslie Entertainment” to the address below.
Leslie Entertainment, PO Box 50009, Summerville SC 29485
We appreciate your support during this incredibly tough time for the band.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This week's cool shows and music: Monsonia, Static Minds and more

This week's two best shows are tied to CD releases, and luckily for you, I have some music for you to check out before the shows.

The first is Monsonia, who will celebrate the release of "33.3," out now on Holidays for Quince, with a release party Friday, Nov. 12, at Nightlight. This record reminds me a lot of one of my all-time favorite bands, The Jesus Lizard, with a little Shellac and Honor Role thrown in. MAKE and Minor Stars are also on this show.

Monsonia, "Age of Machines" Download

Also on the same night, Static Minds will celebrate their CD-release, "Electricity,"  with The Loners and Maldora at Kings. You can stream "Electricity" here.

Looking ahead, Brooklyn "transcendental black metalists" Liturgy will play with Nine Fingered Thug and Here Lies ... at Kings on Thursday, Nov. 18. They'll have a new album out on Thrill Jockey next year.

Liturgy, "Ecstatic Rite" Download

Finally, N.C. expats Future Islands, Lonnie Walker, NAPS and Veelee will be at Kings the following night, Nov. 19. Check out the Jason Urick remix of my favorite Future Islands song, "Tim Man," here.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Cough at Nightlight

Friday was another night where I had a difficult decision: Cough and Black Skies at Nighlight in Chapel Hill, or MAKE and In the Year of the Pig, at the exact same time, over at Troika in Durham. Since Cough are from Richmond, I opted to check them out, but thought I might stop by Durham first, and see what was happening there. The Sames were about to start over at Motorco (which, if you haven't checked it out yet, is a very nice, big club) when I realized I had left the battery to my camera back on the charger in Raleigh. I halfway considered just witnessing Cough without shooting photos, but at this point, it's really kind of weird for me to be at a show without my camera. It didn't take much for me to drive back home, get the charger and head out, thus missing Troika. 

Cough were definitely worth the effort, and lived up to their name. They have a sound that makes me think of all the good things about drinking too much cough syrup (slow, numbingly heavy) without the spins and intense vomiting that usually come afterward. Cough has an album called "Ritual Abuse" out now on Relapse.  See more photos

Cough from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

This week's cool shows: Troika!

Troika fest is easily the best way to see as many local bands as possible in a short amount of time and for a great price ($25 for three days). This year's line up is a fine one, with some of my favorite local heavy bands. See the full schedule here, and check out my list of the best shows of the festival.

Thursday: Valient Thorr with Double Negative and Hog at Motorco
Friday: In the Year of the Pig with MAKE, Americans in France and Naked Gods at Pinhook; also, try to catch Whatever Brains at 618 Foster
Saturday: Organos with Phil Cook & His Feat at the craft show (1 p.m.); Filthybird and Chatham County Line at Motorco (7 p.m.); Pink Flag at Motorco (midnight); Mount Moriah at Fullsteam (11:30 p.m.) and Spider Bags at Pinhook (11:30 p.m.)

Also, not part of Troika, but happening at the Casbah on Friday and definitely worth your time: a heavy show with Black SkiesCough (doomy Relapse band) and Resister (from Greensboro). CORRECTION!: This show is at Nightlight in Chapel Hill on Friday. Lurch, Black Skies and 38 Gauge are at Casbah TONIGHT (Wednesday)

New video from The Love Language

The Love Language - Heart to Tell from Merge Records on Vimeo.

Extra bonus: It was created by my former co-worker, the supremely talented Jason Arthurs. I'm pretty sure this footage is from last year's joyously crazy Pour House show, where the entire audience ended up on stage with the band.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Leslie and Corvette Summer at Slim's

Charleston rockers and Slim's favorites Leslie returned to Raleigh last night and played to a very appreciative audience. These guys play the type of heavy, hard, Zep-inspired Southern rock that sound perfect in a bar like Slim's, where the PBRs are cold, the shots are plentiful, and there's no need to be embarrassed if you fall off your barstool. Thanks to the band for letting me take numerous photos of them. They were cool guys and I think I got some good shots.

Leslie - "The Rescuer" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Corvette Summer, a new covers project with Larry Burlison and Erik Sugg, made a fine debut. Some of their covers included Pat Travers' "Snortin' Wiskey, Drinking Cocaine," Free's "Ride on Pony," and best of all, BOC's "Tattoo Vampire." See more photos. 

Friday, October 29, 2010

High on Fire, Torche and Kylesa

Here's a quick post with some photos from the High on Fire, Torche and Kylesa show on Wednesday at Cat's Cradle. I was skittish about getting video for this one, so these are still shots only. All three bands rocked, but I personally thought Kylesa put on the best show. My companions disagreed and favored High on Fire. If you were there, what did you think?

(High on Fire)



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This week's cool shows: Slurpeeeee reunion, High on Fire and more!

For those of you who only know Jac Cain as the sound Nazi behind the boards at The Pour House, he is also a bad-ass bass player who was in one of my favorite bands back in Greenville in the late '80s. Though they played under a few different names (Soul Train, Hop on Pop), they got the most recognition after they moved to Raleigh and became Slurpeeee. Jac and his wife Lutie (bass player for The T's) are celebrating their anniversary this Friday night (Oct. 22) with a rock show featuring a Slurpeeee reunion, the Bad Checks (another of my college faves) and Leadfoot at - you guessed it - The Pour House. Come on out and relive the old times. 

A little further afield, but also worth checking out this weekend is The Heavy, a funky, soulful English quartet that will be at The Orange Peele in Asheville on Monday night (Oct. 25). You're probably sick of hearing their big hit, "How You Like Me Now," on that car commercial, but don't let that stop you from checking them out. 

Finally there's High on Fire, who are not funky and soulful at all, but are very heavy. They'll be at Cat's Cradle next Wednesday (Oct. 27)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hell yes for The Hell No!

Before the world discovered Beth Ditto as a fashion icon, her band The Gossip was known as an amazing, dirty, blues-punk trio whose frontwoman had a sexy persona and a sexy wail. The Hell No still has a fire that I think The Gossip lost when fashion designers suddenly jumped into the mix. I checked them out at Sunday's birthday bash and benefit for Steven, a young man who is bravely battling cancer. He wasn't feeling well enough to be at the show, but the rest of us had a great time in his honor. I got a couple of videos, including an amazing cover of "Fever", but since this was taking place at White Collar Crime, a spot not known for its great lighting, these are very dark. 

And yes, I know that singer Brenna has some serious red-eye in that photo. I thought it made her look even more menacing, so I left it as is. See more photos.

The Hell No from Mann's World on Vimeo.

The Hell No covering "Fever" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Friday, October 15, 2010

.mp3s of the week: Butterflies, Gray Young, Monotonix and more!

It's been a while since I posted some .mp3s, so I'm making it up to you now with six new songs and two new videos!

First up is Butterflies (above), whose new album, "Residual Child," will be out on Trekky on Nov. 23.

Butterflies - "Goodbye (Like a Stranger)" Download

Next is Gray Young, whose album "Staysail" will be out on 307 Knox next Friday (Oct. 23). Gray Young will hold their record release party that same day with Free Electric State and Invasion at the Pour House.

Gray Young - "Meridian (Picture)" Download

North Elementary's latest, "Southern Rescue Trails," will be out tomorrow (Oct. 16), also on 307 Knox.

North Elementary - "Sons of Turbo Town"Download

Veelee's "The Future Sight" will be out Oct. 19 on Grip Tapes. They have a record release show tomorrow night (Saturday) at Duke Coffeehouse with label-mates Cassis Orange and Old Bricks.

Veelee - "When You Gonna Come Home"Download
(editor's note -- song swapped out at the request of the label. This one's good too)

And the final local .mp3 is from Last Year's Man, whose debut, "Sunny Down Stuff," is out now on Churchkey Records. They'll have their record release with Spider Bags on Oct. 23 at Duke Coffeehouse.

Last Year's Men, "Paralyzed"Download

Finally, Monotonix aren't local (they're from Tel Aviv), but they've played around here a lot, and they have a huge local following. Their new cd, "Not Yet," will be out Jan. 25 on Drag City.

Monotonix - "Give Me More"Download

Next up, check out the video for "Old Gowns" by Mount Moriah:

And the video for "Double Crossed" by Valient Thorr (sorry, had trouble with the embed code for this one).