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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Video of Static Minds from the J. Betski's Rocktoberfest

I have to apologize for the tardiness of this particular blog post. I'm dealing with several things right now (some good, some not so good) that are making blogging difficult. Regardless, here's the video from the Static Minds' rockin' Rocktoberfest performance. My picks for the shows of the week are the COC/Double Negative show tomorrow night at Kings, and the Birthday/Benefit for Steven with Royal Nites, Hank Sinatra, Richard Bacchus & the Luckiest Girls, the Hell No
and The Infamous Sugar Sunday at White Collar Crime. If things calm down a bit for me, maybe I'll see you out and about. More photos.

Static Minds at Rocktoberfest from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Five Questions with Minus Sound Research

Artists often don't confine themselves to one genre. If someone is a musician, chances are they create some sort of visual art as well. Chapel Hill's Minus Sound Research is a collective of local musicians who do just that: create visual art. This weekend the group will showcase the art, visual and aural, of its members with a two-day showing and concert at Carrboro's ArtsCenter. Collective members Maria Albani (Organos) and John Harrison (North Elementary) answered my questions.

1. Tell us about Minus Sound Research. Who are the artists involved, and what kinds of art to they create?
(Maria) Minus Sound Research is an artist collective comprised of local NC musicians. This year, for our 5 year anniversary, we have invited all of our past participating artists to submit 1 piece. In addition, we've also invited 5 new artists into the collective, who will be showing 4-5 new pieces.

These are all of the artists (Past & new) who have work in MSR5 this year:

New Artists: Mac McCaughn (Portastaic/Superchunk) Casey Cook (Americans in France), Casey Burns (The Nein) , Wendy Spitzer(Felix Obelix), & Billy Sugarfix (Billy Sugarfix)

Past Artists: Laura Ballance (Superchunk), Melissa Swingle (The Moaners), Bill Taylor (KM) Ron Liberti (Pipe), Beth Tacular (Bowerbirds), Michael Triplett (Fin Fang Foom), John Harrison (North Elementary), David Koslowski (Free Electric State), Shirle' Hale (Free Electric Sate), Catherine Edgerton (Midtown Dickens), Nathan Oliver (Nathan Oliver), Mas Sato (The Sames), Reid Johnson (Schooner), Anna Bullard (Anna Bullard), Chip Smoak (Simple), Linc Hancock (Strange), Drew Robertson (Phon), Viva Cohen (Jett Rink), Laird Dixon (Shark Quest), & Maria Albani (Organos/Schooner).

As far as what kind of art you'll see: Various mediums. Michael Tripplet shows his photgraphy, Anna Bullard has done a leather collage', Nathan Oliver has made a wooden light box, Laura Ballance made a ceramic pot (complete with baby jade plant living inside), Ron Liberti has a screenprint, & Drew Robertson has created an audio.visual piece that is incredible. There really is quite a variety.

2. Why did you decide to do a two-day concert, and how did the ArtsCenter get involved?

(Maria) The main focus of MSR has always been the visual art. We have never featured live music with any of the shows for that reason. When we approached the Carrboro ArtsCenter about having MSR5 in their gallery, we discovered we would also have access to their
beautiful theatre. Since MSR5 would be a celebration of our 5 year Anniversary-we really wanted to have live music this year. What's even more fantastic about this portion of the celebration, is that all of the bands are performing for FREE. This means that when folks purchase a ticket to see the bands play on both Friday & Saturday-100% of that ticket money is being donated directly to our ArtsCenter!

3. When is the book coming out, and where can we buy it?

(John) The book is out now! Here is a preview.
There is a wall exhibit of the book at the opening along with a copy and bookmarks that will have information on where to purchase your very own copy.
The link to get your copy.

4. Tell us about your own art. What are the similarities between your visual art and your music?

(John) Mostly the art I do is mixed media involving screen printing, acrylic and spray paints on canvas or found objects such as wood/paper. Certainly there is a collage element to both....the sounds and random bleeps/static surround the songs in much of my music...and....the spray paint or drips of random color that surround much of the screen print that is more formed and concrete. I feel that in both ways the song or definition of the piece is presented in a fashion that creates an effect somewhere between creating and deconstructing. I really enjoy the process of creating both...they come from the same source inside of myself.
(Maria) I do a lot of different things. Sometimes acrylic paints. Sometimes pastel chalks or some form of printmaking. This year I am showing an screen print. I guess a main similarity in my art and music would be the element of spontaneity. Resulting in compositions that might not make a whole lot of sense? I don't know. I never sit down and make art with an idea of what I'm trying to execute already present in my mind. It's always a surprise to me. Same with my music.

5. One of your new artists is Mac McCaughan. Tell us about his work.

(John) The subject matter of Mac's work for this show is based in music....amp tubes (the one featured on the new Superchunk album) and headphones. Mac uses pen and gouache on paper. Gouache is similar to watercolor but with a smaller ratio of water to pigment.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Come celebrate Ashlea and Brian's wedding

Ashlea Green is the amazingly talented graphic designer who did the poster for my show. This is the poster she did for her wedding party, which will take place at Kings tonight. You probably know her betrothed, Brian Green, from his tattoo work or his DJ sets at Neptunes. Anyway, they're having a big, public party with several great bands and DJs. It's free, so come out and help them celebrate!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Photos and video of Batillus, Kowloon Walled City and Machete!

I have to say, last week's Nachtmystium show put me in a bit of a funk. Not only did I not get much photo-wise, but I was just really disappointed that so few people saw the show. When several friends told me I simply had to see Kowloon Walled City and Batillus (above) on Tuesday at Dive Bar, I decided to check the show out and see if it put me in a better mood. I knew very little about both bands, but ended up loving them both. 

The show suffered a bit from competition with the Wormrot show over at Volume 11. Seriously, why is it that we can go weeks without a good metal show, then have two must-see touring shows on the same night? Regardless, the turnout was fairly respectable, for a Tuesday night, and I think everyone had a good time. 

Living up to my promise to do a little better in the photo department, I also got some advice from a real photographer, Greg Cristman, who got some nice shots of the Nachtmystium tour for Brooklyn Vegan. I was happy with the results. 

The singer from Kowloon Walled City threw me off when he came onstage and announced the band as Batillus (you hear that on the video). As I said, I wasn't terribly familiar with either band, so it was only halfway through the set that I realized they were playing some KWC songs I'd been listening to just that day. 

Kowloon Walled City from Mann's World on Vimeo.

During Batillus' set, there was a suddenly a strong odor of burning plastic, and several people rushed onstage to see what was up. Since I had to be at work early today, I thought that was a good time to make my exit. I guess everything turned out OK. I didn't see anything on WRAL about the club burning down. 

Batillus from Mann's World on Vimeo.


The best surprise of the evening was Charlotte doom duo Machete! I'm looking forward to seeing them again. 
Machete! from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Well, I tried

Seriously, I did. Other than my own show at Hopscotch, I don't think I've ever spent this much time promoting a show, as I did last night's show at Kings with Nachtmystium (above), Zoroaster, Dark Castle and The Atlas Moth. All of these bands are amazing, with Nachtmystium, Zoroaster and The Atlas Moth releasing three of my favorite albums of the year. Why this show wasn't packed, I don't know. I've heard from two reputable sources that the metal community didn't know about it. Others speculated that people didn't want to try and figure out how to park and get to the club with all the Harley weekend festivities going on. Personally I would have thought having a metal show in the middle of a thousand bikers would be a sure hit, but evidently they were happier watching the Led Zeppelin tribute band on the street directly in front of the club. I didn't hear any of them, but I did look out and see that "Jimmy Page" was playing a gold top, which is just wrong. Any Led Zeppelin fan will tell you that.

Regardless, if any of the bands were upset over the crowd, they certainly didn't show it. All played well (though The Atlas Moth had some sound problems toward the end of their set), and all hung out and chatted with people and were very cool. Zoroaster in particular seem to have a whatever attitude and just had fun onstage. All of the bands are playing tonight with Buzzoven and Black Tusk in Charlotte, which should be a massive show.

The lighting for most of the bands was really dark and atmospheric, which worked with the music, but made taking photos difficult. In fact, the videos for The Atlas Moth and Nachtmystium were completely unusable. In the Zoroaster video, you can only see the drummer, Dan. Dark Castle, ironically enough given their name, were the only ones who had the lights up, and so that video and those photos are better. One of my goals for the year is to learn more about shooting in really low lighting. I don't claim to be a great photographer, but shooting in such conditions is way beyond my capabilities.

(Dark Castle)

Dark Castle from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Zoroaster - "Ancient Ones" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

5 Questions with Dan from Zoroaster!

I should have checked my e-mail before that last post. Turns out that my interview with Zoroaster, which I thought wasn't going to happen, was waiting for me after all. Thanks to drummer Dan Scanlan for answering the questions. 

1. It seems like you guys have a little more than your fair share of vehicle problems on tour (vans being stolen, breaking down, no AC). What are you riding in on this tour, and how’s it holding up?

We have the same van from the last tour but we got the a/c fixed before we left. Well, we thought we did anyway. It just went out again two days ago so that sucks but no one has stolen it again yet and we haven't had any accidents on this tour so far so it could be worse I suppose.

2. Tell us more about this new song, and the “badass metal compilation” it’s going on. (Note, I sent this question before finding out about the Adult Swim comp).

It's a song called "Witch's Hammer" which is part of a free Adult Swim/Scion compilation called 'Metal Swim'.

We were asked for an unreleased song and since we didn't have anything recorded we decided to do something new and wrote and recorded it in one week. We've been playing it on this tour so by the time we get back home it'll probably be a bit different so maybe we'll rerecord it for the next record.

3. Considering the band’s name, and trippy, almost mystical sound, do any of you have any interest in Eastern philosophy or religion?

Not really. We just like drugs and being nice people.

4. You guys always do something cool with your videos. What’s the next video from “Matador” going to be, and what will be the concept?

I'm thinking we might do one for "Black Hole" but we haven’t really discussed any concepts yet. Maybe we can come up with some kinda dance routine like a Michael Jackson video.

5. Is there a beloved, highly influential band (Beatles, Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, etc.) that you just can’t stand?

I used to really hate Led Zeppelin. I bought one of their records as a child and couldn't stand the vocals and the same for the Who but I eventually got passed it because the music is so cool.

This week's cool shows: Nachmystium, Zoroaster, Whatever Brains, MAKE and more!

If you're friends with me on Facebook, then you've had to endure me talking up this show for the last month or so. Kings even mentioned my excitement over the show on their Web site. But the truth of the matter is this: With the exception of the COC reunion, this is probably the biggest and best metal show to happen in this area all year. Seriously, if you love heavy music, you do not want to miss Friday night's show at Kings. It's going to be that good. 

Chicago's Nachtmystium is the headliner, and I'm certainly looking forward to seeing them, but the band I'm most excited about is Atlanta's Zoroaster (above), who I saw a year ago this week at Planet Caravan in Asheville. They put on an amazing early evening show of deep, spacey, psychedelic sludge-rock, and I've been dying to see them again ever since. Their early summer release, "Matador," might be my favorite release of the year (though USX's "Run Thick in the Night" could knock it out of the running). Zoroaster also has a song on an AWESOME new Adult Swim metal comp, which can be downloaded here

Also on this bill are The Atlas Moth (from Chicago), who released another of my favorite records of the past year, "A Glorified Piece of the Blue Sky." If you like Pink Floyd, I think you'll like The Atlas Moth too. Dark Castle, a duo from St. Augustine, Fla., is opening. I honestly don't know that much about them, but I've been checking them out since finding out about this tour, and I like what I hear. Get there early: Doors are at 7 and the show starts at 8. 

And if that's not enough for you, Kings has ANOTHER great show happening on Saturday night: Whatever Brains, who were amazing during Hopscotch (above, with their eagle friend) and Light Pines. Kind of an unexpected, but really exciting, line up. 

Other great shows this week include MAKE, who were amazing at my Hopscotch day party. They'll be with Gollum and Man Will Destroy Himself at Reservoir on Saturday. MWDH will also be at Slim's on Thursday with The Infamous Sugar (who is said to have some really nasty new stuff) and Torpor (Sean B and Flash's new band). And on Saturday Shit Horse, whose "They Shit Horses, Don't They?" certainly wins for album title of the year, will be tearing it up at the Cave. I did not have the stamina to see them during the all-night Ruby Red party, but I understand it was a magical experience. 

And finally, for the under-the-radar shows of the week,  Kowloon Walled City and Battilus will play two shows in the area next week: Tuesday at Dive Bar and Wednesday at The Cave. I'm not really down with the Tuesday night shows anymore, but I just might have to endure being exhausted at work the next day to see this one. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

5 Questions with Embarrassing Fruits!

Chapel Hill's Embarrassing Fruits write really fun songs about a lot of life's less fun moments - particularly those you might have experienced as a lazy 20-something with a crappy job, a dying relationship and a tendency to drink too much PRB. But even if you're a 40-something with a crappy job, a dying relationship and a tendency to drink too much PRB, you can still relate. Such well-crafted pop songs have garnered the band comparisons to Superchunk and Guided By Voices. They'll have a CD-release show this Friday (Sept. 17) at Duke Coffeehouse for their new Trekky Records release "Frontier Justice." Midtown Dickens and Lonnie Walker open. 

1. Of all the fruits, which is the most embarrassing and why? And why aren't there any embarrassing vegetables?

JOE NORKUS (guitar, vocals): Ah this question...The name comes from a work of art by David Shrigley. It's an immature inside joke that kinda stuck. Everyone seems to think the name sticks out, so I guess that's a good thing. That being said, I guess the most embarrassing fruit would be a combination of fruits, rather than any one, specific fruit (see attached).

2. In "Long Distance Breakup Summer," the protagonist deals the repercussions of various friends' breakups (the biggest of which being that he has "no body to party with tonight"). What is the best way to help a friend through a break up? And why do I get the impression that he's being a little overconfident at the end when he keeps singing "I'm so glad I got you"?

LEE SHAW (bass, vocals): I don't really know what the best way to help a friend through a breakup is. I feel like there isn't a lot you can do. That's kind of what the song's about. The Jersey Shore guys probably go to the gym together, drink jager bombs, and have guido gangbangs or whatever, but in real life it's different. Your friend gets mopey and doesn't want to do anything, and a lot of times his or her ex is a friend too--then it's a real pain in the ass. Other people's breakups are just a drag, and are to be avoided at all costs. And yeah, there's probably some irony in the last lines.
3. Your one-sheet states that "Frontier Justice" is the first "fully realized" album from the band. Why is that?

JOE NORKUS:  "Fully realized" is kinda just a marketing thing the label came up with - I like to think we're just starting to learn how to write better songs. I think we continue to realize what sounds good to us, and we try and capture that in song form. Also, Lee, who originally just contributed bass has been writing more and bringing in more material; as a result, the sound is broader than on previous records we've made. Some would maybe call it more of a "traditional" rock record at times. More blistering solos perhaps? It comes down to taking more influence from eachother, rather than one person just being the initial creative force behind the songs.

4. I like the fact that you guys are releasing this in a variety of formats (vinyl, CD and .mp3) to prove that "hard copy music is still important". How important IS hard copy music, and will the record be on colored vinyl?

JOE NORKUS: Hard copy music SHOULD BE important, and more and more I hope that it will turn out to be that way. Ripping music online is a good way to find out about new stuff, and see whether something is worth buying - I do it all the time. However, vinyl as an object is a lot more special to me than an artless mp3 that I get from megaupload. If I'm really into a band, I'll go ahead and pick up their vinyl record, because years from now I can go back and check out the art and the liner notes, while being able to listen to the jams. That seems more appealing than searching the hard drive of an old computer I have in my closet for a song I want to reconnect with. We're releasing the whole package for $12, and that's a friggin steal if you ask me, for all 3 formats. The record will be on classic black vinyl.

5. What's the worst job you've ever had, and have you ever written a song about it?

LEE SHAW: My worst job was delivering papers when I was 8 or 9. I've never written about it, and that's probably good. It sounds like a shitty song.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hopscotch Night 3!

In the Year of the Pig at Berkeley. Dave and Biz have similar expressions on their faces. After my party, a gang of us went to El Rodeo, then kept it fairly low key the rest of the evening. 

In the Year of the Pig from Mann's World on Vimeo.

I was VERY glad to see an actual full set from U.S. Christmas. They did not disappoint. 

Finally there was Dungen, which was the most packed show I attended all weekend (once again the VIP pass came in handy). Worked my way to the front, where unfortunately my camera's memory card AGAIN went out, so this is only a partial video. Originally I planned to go back to the Berkeley to see Kylessa or over to Slim's to see Pontiak, but I was just too drained after the weekend's festivities. I called it a night after Dungen.

Dungen from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Hopscotch Day Parties, Day 3: Mann's World Party and Local Time

Many thanks to everyone who came out to my day party yesterday at Kings! The bands sounded awesome, and we had a good crowd. Thanks to all the bands who played, thanks to Patrick from Death Came Down the Mountain who actually flew in from Portland for the show, thanks to Kings for letting me hold it at the club, and thanks to Kaci from Pabst Blue Ribbon who came out and gave out some cool goodies, including bike bells, T-shirts and headbands. We got started a little late, but we had fun. 

Hog was the first band. 

Before my show I caught Flute Flies at the Raleigh Times Local Time party.

The Flute Flies from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Hopscotch Night 2!

Monologue Bombs at Deep South from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Whatever Brains at the Berkeley. The eagle was apparently a salute to the Enloe Eagles. It was extra fun when he jumped into the pit during Harvey Milk. 

Whatever Brains at Berkeley Cafe from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Harvey Milk from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Bowerbirds at Pour House. VIP pass definitely came in handy AGAIN for this show.

Bowerbirds at Pour House from Mann's World on Vimeo.

F'ed Up at the Berkeley. For my money the best show of the entire night, and probably the second best (after Dungen) of the entire festival. There's a similar picture of me and singer Damian Abraham somewhere out there. The photographer got my e-mail address but so far hasn't sent it to me. If you know the folks in this photo, please pass this on to them.

Fucked Up at The Berkeley Cafe from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hopscotch Day Parties, Day 2!

Megafaun at the Pour House. New CD was for sale. Maybe they'll have it tonight at Kings too.

Megafaun from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Bellafea from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Filthybird from Mann's World on Vimeo.

The Pneurotics from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Pinche Gringo at Slim's. Last time I saw him, it was Pinche himself, and he was great. His female sidekick, and her awesome voice, made it even better. 

Pinche Gringo from Mann's World on Vimeo.

All Tiny Creatures at Pour House

All Tiny Creatures from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hopscotch Night 1: More videos!

Ear Pwr at the Berkeley

Ear Pwr from Mann's World on Vimeo.

John Howie Jr. and Rosewood Bluff from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Max Indian (last show) at Lincoln Theatre. Carter's outfit was very 1965 JV basketball coach. 

Max Indian from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Birds of Avalon at Pour House. First time seeing them since Craig's departure. I like the fact that they're all singing now and didn't hire another lead singer. 

Birds of Avalon from Mann's World on Vimeo.

And Best Coast at Pour House. Too crowded to get a good photo. Definitely the buzz band of the night. My VIP wristband came in handy!

Best Coast from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Hopscotch Night 1: Cannabis Corpse

The Mac is choking on having to upload seven videos at once, so I'm going to put up this one, head downtown for some day shows, then finish up this evening. Right now it's telling me that the Birds of Avalon video will take another seven hours to upload, so you may not see that one until tomorrow. 

Richmond's Cannabis Corpse at Slim's was my final stop of the night. I didn't know a whole lot about them, but I mostly trust Hank's opinion (he curated the show), and I had read this hilarious interview with singer Andy Horn on Invisible Oranges. They did not disappoint. I think I got a contact buzz just listening to them. Last show of the night, and the best in my opinion. Planning to download some of their stuff today, and will definitely check them out again.

 But wouldn't you know, my memory card ran out midway through recording their first song. Here's that partial video, plus some photos I got on my phone. These were ones I took just messing around with the Retro Camera app, and believe it or not, they came out better than the regular phone cam photos! 

Cannabis Corpse from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Quickie update from Wednesday's pre-Hopscotch party

Trying to get out the door for night one of Hopscotch (1st stop: the VIP party at Sheraton) but wanted to put up some videos and photos from last night. Here's the lowdown: Caught a good bit of Valient Thorr (had to work today) who were totally on it, thought Howl were amazing, and ended up liking Junius, even if they had to grow on me a bit. Will update these videos with details later. I like how I managed to only get Valient Himself in the above photo. Looks like he's rockin all by himself onstage. I was very glad for Junius' dramatic stage lighting because it made it easier to take photos of them.

Valient Thorr from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Junius at Kings from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Howl at Kings from Mann's World on Vimeo.

See more photos here.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Covering the shows

OK, I'll be tweeting from the shows, starting tonight with Valient Thorr and Howl at Kings, then posting photos and video the next day. I haven't used the Incredible's video feature, so I might try it tonight. So far haven't been impressed with the camera, but I will try to post a few photos anyway. Follow me on Twitter here! See you out tonight!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

5 Questions with Chris Tamplin, plus this week's cool shows!

With all the excitement over Kings reopening this week, it's worth a hat tip to one of folks who made sure Raleigh kept rocking during that venerable club's absence. Chris Tamplin is the man behind the Local Band Local Beer series at Tir na Nog, which introduced Raleigh to a lot of new local bands, and became the de facto to do event  on Thursday nights. I interviewed Chris earlier this year for New Raleigh. Now, with the last Local Band Local Beer coming up, and with the opening of Chris' new venture, Motorco Music Hall, I thought it was time to interview him again.

1. Give us the scoop on Motorco: When will it open, who do you have booked so far, and why did the name change from The Geer?

Motorco will be open Sept. 24th with a CD release party for North Elementary w/ Schooner and The Tomahawks. As far as the name goes we just felt there was a need to change it especially after the post office changed our address from Geer St to Rigsbee Ave. Wouldn't have made much sense to call it The Geer after that.

2. Who is taking over booking of Local Band Local Beer, and what advice do you have for him?

Local Band-Local Beer is going to be taken over by Mikey Perros. He was my representative at WKNC for a while then moved on to Ground Control Touring, so he knows the how to set up a show and also knows the local scene. As far as advice, don't ignore the little bands. If I would have done that bands like Red Collar, Hammer No More The Fingers, and too many to mention here might no have been heard. I'm pretty sure Mikey will do just fine though.

3. What will you miss most about working in an Irish pub, and what won't you miss?

What will I miss most about working at the pub? The Money? Ha ha, in all honesty it will be the people I have met. In a pub you get such a diverse group of people that you might not meet anywhere else. I have made so great friends at Tir na nOg that I would have never made without working there. As far as things I will not miss, would say the cover bands and all the panhandlers and shady bastards that hang around the bus station late at night.

4. How is living and going out in Durham different than living and going out in Raleigh?

The difference that I have really noticed in Durham maybe the neighborhood feel the each bar district has. Durham is a lot more eclectic or diverse in the type of bars and who hangs out in them. There doesn't seem to be a "this type bar is for this type person" feel. You'll see college kids, hipsters and yuppies all in the same bar on any given night. I hope that make sense. I guess I can answer that question a lot better once I get settled in Durham.

5. What was the best show you saw at Tir na Nog during your time there?

As far as the best show at Tir na nOg? There were a lot of them so hope nobody gets offended if I leave them out. Ones that come to mind are both Raleigh Undercovers because of the performances and also the fact that so many people came to support the event after all the controversy. Valient Thorr as Funkadelic is still one of the most bad ass things ever! My birthday show in 2008 with Red Collar, The Loners, & Goner is another because we did an Obama rally/ voter registration that night and well the bands rocked. The Rosebuds playing Local Band was another one as well. There really are too many to mention because most of the shows were really great.

Chris has two remaining shows at Tir na Nog: This Thursday with Soft. Co., The Houston Brothers and Darien, and the New Raleigh Local Band Local Beer Day Party on Sept. 10. Go by and wish him well, then say hello when you go to a show at Motorco.

Other cool shows this week:

The Carolina Rollergirls will present a Benifit for Interfaith Food Shuttle with Man Will Destroy Himself, The Infamous Sugar, RBT, and DJ Pangean Saturday at the Pour House. The Pneurotics will be at Slim's and Sea Cow will be at Sadlack's, both on Sunday.