Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Merge to help celebrate Record Store Day

Cool stuff from Merge, including a re-release from Superchunk and new music from The Love Language!

Merge Record Store Day exclusives!

Merge will join in the celebration of Record Store Day on Saturday, April 17, with the release of three exclusive 7-inch from
TelekinesisSuperchunk, and a split 7" with The Love Language & Let's Wrestle

Superchunk - "Misfits and Mistakes" b/w "Misfits and Mistakes" (Meatwad Version)
Originally released in 2007 in extremely limited quantity, "Misfits and Mistakes" is the first and only picture disc we have ever produced. Recorded for Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters, "Misfits and Mistakes" is performed by Superchunk and covered on side B by Meatwad himself!  Each 7-inch picture disc arrives in stores autographed by all four members of Superchunk and is available at a special price exclusively for Record Store Day!

Telekinesis - "Dirty Thing" b/w "Non-Toxic" & "The Drawback"
This is the first new music from Telekinesis since their 2009 Merge debut, Telekinesis!, which was described by NPR Monitor Mix's Carrie Brownstein as "perfectly crafted and utterly gleeful." These three tracks will be available on 7-inch vinyl only!

Let's Wrestle / The Love Language - "I'm So Lazy" b/w "Brittany's Back (demo version)"
With this split 7-inch created exclusively for Record Store Day, we introduce two exciting new Merge bands: Let's Wrestle and The Love Language! Featuring brand new songs from both bands, these tracks will be available on 7-inch vinyl only!

Record Store Day is a yearly celebration in which independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances. 

For more information on Record Store Day and where you can find a store near you, visit

Horseback signs to Relapse

Jenks Miller just sent word that Horseback has signed to Relapse and that The Invisible Mountain will be re-released this summer. Here's the full info:

HORSEBACK, the brainchild of Jenks Miller, has released two full-length albums since forming in 2007. The band's second full-length, The Invisible Mountain, will be re-released through Relapse later this summer. Audio samples from The Invisible Mountainand more can be heard online now via the HORSEBACK MySpace:


    Miller commented on the signing; "Horseback is an ever-evolving project which will explore a variety of sounds and approaches in its lifetime. I am glad to have the opportunity to work with Relapse, and have long admired their commitment to new and challenging music."


    HORSEBACK is currently writing for the follow-up album to The Invisible Mountain, a companion album that is tentatively titledHalf Blood. Additional details on this release will be announced soon.


    HORSEBACK will take part in the Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh, NC this September. The Hopscotch Festival is presented by Raleigh's Independent Weekly and this year's fest will also include PUBLIC ENEMY, PANDA BEAR, LUCERO, HARVEY MILK, OCEAN, and many more. Additional information on the festival can be found here.

Hopscotch details and lineup announced!

This is directly from the press release, because every bit of it is good. Excellent lineup of local and national acts, including Public Enemy, so you will want to be there. Pertinent info for you: Tickets go on sale TOMORROW!


Public Enemy, Panda Bear, Broken Social Scene to headline

The Independent Weekly proudly announces the Hopscotch Music Festival, the Triangle’s biggest music festival yet and a strong addition to the country’s festival circuit. Scheduled for Sept. 9-11, 2010, in downtown Raleigh, with 120 bands in 10 venues over three days, Hopscotch offers fans high-quality local, national and international options in just about every genre you can imagine—rock, hip-hop, alt-country, heavy metal, dance, punk, classical, noise, drone, folk and more. Tickets go on sale Thursday, April 1, at and

The festival will be headlined by two nights in Raleigh City Plaza, downtown’s crown jewel, which opened last fall. Indie rock giants PANDA BEAR and BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE will headline Friday, Sept. 10, with support from Triangle favorites THE ROSEBUDS. Hip-hop’s most legendary group, PUBLIC ENEMY, will headline with a rare full-band set on Saturday, Sept. 11. Los Angeles trio NO AGE and Raleigh’s THE LOVE LANGUAGE will open. More than 110 bands will be spread between nine clubs throughout the festival’s three days. A sample of those bands includes: Washed Out, Tortoise, Lucero, 9th Wonder, Akron/Family, Marissa Nadler, Harvey Milk, Fucked Up, Javelin, Richard Buckner, Megafaun, Kylesa, Atlas Sound, Harlem and Bear in Heaven.

Carefully assembled by Hopscotch Director Greg Lowenhagen and Curator and Independent Weekly Music Editor Grayson Currin, the lineup spotlights the core of the Triangle’s rich music scene by putting it on the same stages as some of the world’s best bands.

“Several music festivals in the Triangle make it clear how strong the talent in North Carolina is, and they do it better and better each year,” Currin says. “We don’t want to replace that. Rather, we want to expand on it by showing that this area has the caliber of bands and listeners that can support a big music festival.”
Lowenhagen hatched the idea for Hopscotch after moving to Raleigh following stints in Austin and Chicago, cities known for their support of live music festivals. He was surprised that no events in the Triangle regularly brought in a fleet of bands from outside of town.

“When I returned from being away, I realized the Triangle, with its strong music heritage and abundance of local talent, seemed ready for a different, more nationally recognizable festival to call its own,” he says.
After being hired as an account executive at the Independent Weekly, he approached owner Steve Schewel and publisher Sioux Watson with his idea to start such a festival. They liked the plan. And why not?
“It’s a financial risk, for sure, but we’re thrilled to be doing it,” says Schewel, who founded the Independent Weekly in 1983. “Hundreds of musicians from all over the country, thousands of fans flooding the bars and restaurants downtown, everybody riding the R-Line, gorgeous fall evenings of music in City Plaza in the shadow of the skyscrapers: The Triangle has been thirsting for a big-bang urban music festival, and that’s why—after 26 years of writing about music in our community—the Independent is bringing Hopscotch to town.”

Admission for Hopscotch Music Festival is designed to suit a wide range of fans. Individual tickets for the shows in Raleigh City Plaza—on Friday, Sept. 10, featuring Panda Bear, Broken Social Scene and The Rosebuds; on Saturday, Sept. 11, featuring Public Enemy, No Age and The Love Language—cost $30 each. For $45, fans can buy a wristband that allows entry into all nine festival clubs for all three days. A limited number of $85 wristbands gain fans admission to both City Plaza shows and all clubs, saving $20 off of face value. A very limited number of $120 VIP wristbands are available. Those wristbands include skip-the-line access to all shows and a VIP festival kickoff party on Thursday, Sept. 9.

In cooperation with cosponsor, Hopscotch Music Festival is offering wristbands and tickets to all fans with reduced service charges. To purchase tickets and wristbands, or

9th Wonder & Friends, Active Child, All Tiny Creatures, American Aquarium, Americans in France, Atlas Sound, Balmorhea, Bear in Heaven, Best Coast, Birds of Avalon, Black Congo NC, DJ George Brazil, Broken Social Scene, Brutal Knights, Richard Buckner, Burning Star Core, Cannabis Corpse, Caitlin Cary’s Small Ponds with Tres Chicas, Collections of Colonies of Bees, Cults, Greg Davis, Double Dagger, Double Negative, The Dynamite Brothers, EAR PWR, ExMonkeys, First Rate People, Followed by Static, Ben Frost, Fucked Up, Future Islands, Golden Boys, The Golden Filter, Goner, Gray Young, Ryan Gustafson, Hammer No More the Fingers, Harlem, Harvey Milk, Horseback, John Howie Jr. & The Rosewood Bluff, I Was Totally Destroying It, Javelin, Jeb Bishop Trio, Juan Huevos, Kill the Noise, The Kingsbury Manx, Kooley High, Kylesa, The Light Pines, Lonnie Walker, The Love Language, Lucero, Luego, Max Indian, Erin McKeown, Megafaun, Midtown Dickens, The Moaners, The Monologue Bombs, Motor Skills, Mountains, Jon Mueller, Marissa Nadler, No Age, Ocean, Old Bricks, Panda Bear, Pattern Is Movement, Pictureplane, Plague, Pontiak, Public Enemy, The Rosebuds, Schooner, Sightings, spcl gst, Spider Bags, Thien, Tigercity, Tortoise, Treasure Fingers, US Christmas, Sharon Van Etten, Veelee, Vincent Black Shadow, War on Drugs, Washed Out, Weedeater, Whatever Brains, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Yip-Yip … MORE COMING APRIL 12TH

EXCLUSIVE BOOKINGS: Panda Bear, of Animal Collective, is scheduled to play two American shows so far this year: He’ll take one of the top spots at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, Ill., and he’ll play Hopscotch Music Festival.

Two years ago, while doing an interview in a Brooklyn pizza parlor, Damian “Pink Eyes” Abraham of the reigning hardcore greats Fucked Up told Hopscotch Curator Grayson Currin he wanted to come to North Carolina and play with Raleigh’s Double Negative. On Friday, Sept. 10, they’ll finally appear together at The Berkeley Cafe.

BAND-CURATED BILLS: Hopscotch Music Festival asked five Triangle bands—Future Islands, Caitlin Cary’s Small Ponds, Juan Huevos, ExMonkeys and Plague—to curate their own shows as part of our Band’s Bands Series. Future Islands’ five-band bill puts their own electro-soul alongside the mash-up funhouse of Javelin, the meaty three-piece punk of Double Dagger, the dance music of Pictureplane and the zany EAR PWR at The Berkeley Cafe on Thursday, Sept. 9. Caitlin Cary recruited some of her favorite locals and Righteous Babe Records singer-songwriter Erin McKeown for a show at Deep South the Bar Friday, Sept. 10.

ARTIST-AND-AUTHOR SERIES: Through the length of the festival, Hopscotch Music Festival will present free discussions between musicians and authors at the Raleigh City Museum. For instance, when Public Enemy performs in Raleigh City Plaza on Saturday, Sept. 11, Christopher R. Weingarten—music critic for The Village Voice and Rolling Stone and the author of a new book about Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back—will join several special guests to talk about that album and its legacy. More events will be announced in the next several months.

POSTER SERIES: Several North Carolina artists, including Skillet Gilmore, Kristin Matwiczyk, Scott Nurkin and Chris Williams, will design limited-edition posters for Hopscotch Music Festival. They’ll sell them at the festival and keep all of the proceeds from each sale.

Hopscotch Music Festival is located entirely in downtown Raleigh, meaning all 10 venues are encompassed within a mere 8 block area. The participating venues include: The Berkeley Cafe, Deep South the Bar, Five Star, The Hive at Busy Bee, Kings, Lincoln Theatre, The Pour House, Raleigh City Plaza, Slim’s and Tir Na Nog.

“ATP New York and Hopscotch Music Festival are slowly unraveling their lineups, shaping up to be can't-miss events.” —Christopher R. Weingarten, music critic for Rolling Stone and The Village Voice, via his Twitter record review site, 1000TimesYes

“It takes real courage to launch anything bold and expensive in an environment like this, and the Independent Weekly is launching something that’s plenty ambitious this fall.” —David Menconi, The News & Observer

“We’re as excited about it as you should be.” —Triangle Music

Steve Schewel and David Birkhead, both longtime Durham, N.C., residents, dreamt of founding an alternative newspaper in the South during the early ’80s. In 1982, they hired the first editor and did just that, publishing the first issue in April 1983. In the 27 years since that debut, the Independent—or the Indy, as it’s often calledhas helped change the state’s press coverage and political culture by influencing the mainstream media, pressuring political leaders and moving its readers to positive action.

The Independent has also served as a consistent and strident cultural critic in North Carolina for decades, regularly winning awards for its arts and music writing, not to mention its long legacy of award-winning news coverage.

Greg Lowenhagen has worked at the Independent Weekly since 2009; Grayson Currin has served as the paper’s Music Editor since 2006.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Better late than never

Beach jaunt, plus houseguests plus ongoing computer issues = these videos from Thursday not going on the blog until today. Sorry about that. I'm thinking of correcting the computer problems by buying a Mac, specifically a Macbook pro. Should I do it? I've always been a PC person, but I'm just really tired of my computer not working correctly. Whatever I get, it needs to be able to handle me uploading large videos on a regular basis. Thoughts?

Anyway, on Thursday I finally got to see Free Electric State at Tir na Nog, and I liked what I heard. These guys covered The Pixies at the Raleigh Undercover, and I can definitely hear that band's influence in FES.

Free Electric State from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Two doors down at the Pour House four metal bands were playing, but since it was a school night I only got to see the thunderous Black Skies.

Black Skies from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Check out who's on the Volume 11 schedule

Classic doom metal band Pentagram on Friday, May 21. Really looking forward to a repeat of their Planet Caravan performance, and expect there to be a whole lot more people there to greet them!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Videos coming up

Folks, I am at the beach and don't have access to a very speedy computer, so the video I shot last night of Free Electric State at Tir na Nog and Black Skies at the Pour House will have to wait a few days. In the meantime, tomorrow night's Static Minds show at the Berkeley also includes Caltrop and the Huguenots, which means you shouldn't miss it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's official! Kings to return

Grayson has the details here.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Great 8 is back!

My former colleague at the N&O, David Menconi, has once again produced his Great 8 list of bands to watch in the Triangle, and he has some very fine choices. Check out the full list here, and see the multimedia of all the bands here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Yes, I went to an Irish pub on St. Patrick's Day

And it really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Sure, Tir na Nog was crowded, but not the most crowded I've ever seen it (last year's Raleigh Undercover gets that distinction). And the majority of the patrons, aside from wearing some truly stupid-looking faux Irish ensembles, were well-behaved and seemed mostly interested in downing another Guinness.

So for those of you who deliberately avoided seeing I Was Totally Destroying It do their U2 set simply because of the date and the place, well, you kind of missed it. John Booker lived up to his promise and had a very respectable mullet going on. That mullet seemed to inspire him too because he truly did channel Bono - much more so than the January show where he lost his voice. Not wanting to run afoul of any copyright laws, I only got a short snippet of "11 O'Clock Tick Tock," and you can only see it by downloading it here.

If you're a U2 fan at all, you really need to check them out because, not only are they dead on, but they play a wide variety of songs, including the old stuff that I love so much.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This week's cool shows: St. Patrick's Day and more!

I have always loved St. Patrick's Day, so much so that I am willing to brave the green-hat-wearing drunken fools  that will infest several of my favorite watering holes just so I can get a pint of Guinness and see some awesome rock. The Trousers (above - photo by Jenn Love) start things off at Big Boss Brewery for a reported 6:30 p.m. show. Guitarist/singer Jim Pendergast said himself on that Facebook page that the show will be an early one. 

After the Trousers you have at least three good options for live music downtown: Old Habits at 42nd Street, Unknown Hinson at the Berkeley Cafe, or IWTDU2 at Tir na Nog -- where you'll see me fork over my bet money to IWTDI's John, who apparently really and truly is going to style his hair like Bono circa 1983 just for this show. This is definitely the show to see if you want to get into the St. Patrick's Day spirit. 

On Friday, there's another early show for your enjoyment: Caitlyn Cary's wonderful new band The Small Ponds with Rob Watson opening at Six String Cafe in Cary. My understanding is that Rob will go on at 8, and Small Ponds no later than 9:30. 

Finally, on Saturday The Rosebuds and Mount Weather will be at Cat's Cradle. Over here in Raleigh, The T's, along with new drummer Trey McLamb (formerly of Viva La Venus) will be at the Pour House with Weezer tribute band Destroy All Sweaters. 

UPDATES AND CORRECTIONS: Trey is still in Viva La Venus as well as The T's. The Rosebuds show is cancelled. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

IWDT $100

If you remember my January post about IWTDI's U2 covers set, I offered John $100 if he would cut his hair into a genuine Bono-mullet for their St. Patrick's Day show this Wednesday at Tir na Nog. Word from the band is that it's really going to happen. And if the band's twitter feed offers a clue (check the part about "frosting"), it looks like he's going for the '83 era 'do. In which case my second offer still stands to buy him a beer if he wears a black sleeveless Western shirt.

While I'm not looking forward to forking over the cash, I AM looking to seeing the band play this Wednesday, cause I bet that mullet will have John channeling Bono like never before.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Video of The Jackets at 42nd Street

Raleigh's 42nd Street isn't normally on my list of regular music venues. Food venues, yes. It's the only local seafood place my Carteret County friends and I wholeheartedly approve of. Music-wise, they tend toward cover bands, and as you can see from the photos, they don't exactly have a great stage set up. But some folks whose musical opinions I trust raved up and down about The Jackets, who were at 42nd Street on Thursday. Knowing that the band is led by the supremely talented Roger Gupton, and that the show was both early (9:30-ish) and free made the decision to go a no-brainer. Turns out the sound in the place isn't that bad, even if the lighting is terrible. We caught a bit of the show, and liked the band's rootsy rock. Turns out they're not really as alt-country-ish as I had assumed. Check out the video below. Oh, and that's not Scott McCall on guitar, even though it sure does look like him. It's a guy named John Teer.

The Jackets from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Video from Kingsbury Manx

Yours truly has had a very busy weekend and is just now getting around to posting this video of Kingsbury Manx from their show at Slim's on Friday. Sad to say, this was my first time ever seeing the band, and I'm glad I got a chance to catch part of the show. This video is of their first song, "Indian Isle". Other songs from the show have already made their way onto Youtube, and apparently some other folks at the show were shooting a documentary, so be on the lookout for that.

Kingsbury Manx - "Indian Isle" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Friday, March 05, 2010

The return of Kings?

I am still waiting to hear from Steve, Paul or Ben whether or not this is true. Now Chico, one of the founders of Sunday dance night Neu Romance, which got its start at Kings and continued at Alibi, just posted this on a Facebook page advertising the last Neu Romance (this Sunday) at Alibi:

After three or so years of hearing, "I miss Kings", and' "When are they going to open another spot?" from all the folks that thought I had inside information (which I never did) finally, I am not the last to know. I haven't heard this from Ben, Paul, or Steve yet, but the Alibi folks are telling me that the Kings folks have taken over control (in agreement) of all entities at the 14 West Martin St. address.

Now Castro, myself and the other members of the Neu Romance/Sweatt Bros. collective can only hope that our services will be required in the future by the Kings ownership. Kings history aside, we worked hard over the last two years or so to establish an old school dance scene down in the basement, and of course we would love to see that continue to grow. But more importantly and immediately when have some last nights to deal with.

This Friday (I'll be at Flanders Gallery from 6 to 9 btw) we will celebrate our last full weekend at Alibi. It's my second to last Friday, but Castor's last Saturday night and the last Neu Romance - in it's current incarnation. Shaun has been setting small fires with Serotto for quite some time now down at Alibi, and he would really appreciate a "community good bye" Saturday night. As for Neu Romance, we hope to resume our status after the re-opening, however we're planning on this being the last one for awhile. Khoa Dinh, the manager of Alibi, has offered food from the pizza parlor to celebrate our last night with him (and he has been a joy to work with).

March is also the month we celebrate our anniversary. Seven years ago this month we started this little Neu Romance thing at Kings Barcade, and it's still all about the music and the people, and we still don't get paid. It's beautiful irony that maybe we will be under the Kings umbrella again. For now just come out and enjoy yourself, and help us celebrate downtown music and culture. It's gonna be your last chance for ahwile.

The Final Neu Romance (again)
@ Alibi Bar & Lounge
14 W. Martin Street
Downtown Raleigh

Photo above by Abbyladybug.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

This week's cool shows: Kingsbury Manx and more!

Even though Kingsbury Manx got a lot of attention with last year's "Ascenseur Ouvert!" the band has actually been around for a decade, and they're going to celebrate their anniversary with a few shows this year featuring original member Kenneth Stephenson. One of those shows is this Friday at Slim's in Raleigh, and it's a benefit for a friend of the band who is undergoing a lung transplant.

Also this week, Ben Davis & the Jett$ will be at Nightlight on Thursday, and Static Minds are having their single release party at the Berkeley on Saturday. Tuesday brings two great shows with Lonnie Walker at Slim's, and Mount Moriah, Sandwitches and Filthybird at Nightlight.