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.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lineup change for the Mann's World party!

I am terribly sad and disappointed to announce that Caltrop will be unable to play the Mann's World Day Party at Kings on Sept. 11 because drummer John Crouch broke his hand! Best wishes and a speedy recovery to John. I'm bummed that they won't be able to play, but not nearly as bummed as I'm sure he is about breaking his hand.

Thankfully, the totally awesome Death Came Down the Mountain has agreed to step in at short notice. This is still going to be an amazing show, and I hope to see you all there soon! The digital poster will be updated, and hopefully I can get some new ones out around town.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bandway! Kings!

Last night Raleigh witnessed two of the most highly anticipated events in recent memory: Kings and Bandway both returned from the dead in one magical moment. I don't have to tell you that Bandway ruled (though I wish they'd played "Are You Mad at Me?"), and that the sold out audience pretty much went crazy over it. Check out the videos of "King Kong" and a new song that had something to do with recycling. See more photos.

Bandway - "King Kong" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Bandway - "Recycling is Here to Stay" (?) from Mann's World on Vimeo.

We ended up hanging out at Remedy beforehand, so we only caught the last bit of the Dynamite Brothers.

The Dynamite Brothers from Mann's World on Vimeo.

But the big news, for those of you who weren't there last night, is that the new Kings sounds amazing. Seriously. I understand that a good bit of the work that was done in that space was done to improve the sound, and that the club owners invested in top notch sound equipment. All that work and money paid off because everything, even the Billy Joel CD being played beforehand, sounded amazing. And it's true that no matter where you are in the club, you can see the band. In fact, there's a slight step up at the back of the club, so even back there you can see perfectly. But watch out for it because I ended up tripping on it.

And it looks good too. It was so packed there last night that I didn't get a chance to really look around, but I will tell you the old Kings wooden crown is on the wall over the new bar, and the lit "KB" sign is back. But everyone was talking about the two gigantic Statler and Waldorf Muppets dolls (I had to look them up to find out their names) hanging to the right of the stage, seemingly ready to heckle the band. I was told that they actually move, too, but I didn't see that.

But the best part of the night was seeing just about every person I know in Raleigh, together again and happy. I'm looking forward to many more shows there.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Weekend wrap-up: Bad videos from Ragnarock

I have to say, maintaining this blog, and taking photos at shows had made me appreciate light men (and women) everywhere. Seriously, there are a lot of clubs in this area that take great care with their sound (and some who don't) but few who bother to make sure the band looks good on stage. Now, by saying that, I don't mean to completely rip apart Reservoir, because they are hardly the only club in this area with bad lighting, but as you can see from these videos, their lighting is pretty godawful.

I caught much of the Saturday Ragnarok show at Reservoir, mainly so I could check out MAKE (above). As you may know, they're one of the band playing my day party during Hopscotch. And I had booked them simply on the strength of their recorded output. I am glad (and thankful!) to say that they rock just as hard live as they do on their recordings. Their show Saturday was amazing, and thanks to the fact that the lights were left all the way up during the show, it's the only video that even halfway decent. The others are almost pitch black and good for listening only.

MAKE from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Following MAKE were In the Year of the Pig, Systems and Ruscha. Ruscha didn't do it for me (though i'll give them another try), and Systems grew on me during the show. In the Year of the Pig was great, especially Dave Cantwell's super powerful drumming.

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

Systems from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Ruscha from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

... and another day party to report!

This from Chris Tamplin at Tir na Nog. When he says "This Friday" he means Sept. 10:

Hopscotch weekend brings us the chance to party all day without needing an excuse! We are doing a day party at the nOg this Friday with five great NC bands! New Raleigh and Aviator Brewing are sponsoring the party as well ans we are throwing a twist in it. We also be doing a Local Record Label rock n shop event where the each label will have a table set up selling artists from their respective labels. The show is free so it should give you a chance to buy some killer music. The show goes as follows

12:45- Cellar Seas
1:30- Veelee
2:15- Filthy Bird
3:00- Temperance League
3:45- A Rooster For The Masses.

Check out the Hopscotch Speakers' Series!

Yet more interesting stuff from Hopscotch. The fest and Edward McKay Books are sponsoring an author series, taking place the afternoons of Sept. 9-11 at Raleigh City Museum. Check it out:

Partnering with local staples Edward McKay Used Books and Raleigh City Museum, Hopscotch Music Festival proudly announces its Edward McKay Artist & Author Series, featuring discussions with Grammy winners, Grammy nominees, bandleaders and some of the best music critics in the country.
During three late afternoon sessions on Sept. 9, 10 and 11, musicians like Andrew Whiteman of Broken Social Scene and Apostle of Hustle and hip-hop producer 9th Wonder will talk about music’s cultural and social impacts with critics and authors like Spin and Village Voice writer Christopher R. Weingarten and acclaimed author and Duke University professor Mark Anthony Neal. Other guests include Dolph Ramseur of Ramseur Records, Phil Cook of Megafaun and Charlie Smarts of Kooley High, with more panelists to be added as Hopscotch Music Festival approaches.
“Writing about music often feels like such a vacuum. It’s someone tucked behind a keyboard with their thoughts and their headphones, ultimately sending some message out into the world,” says Independent Weekly Music Editor and Hopscotch Curator Grayson Currin about the series. “My goal with this series is to break that vacuum by putting artists and their analysts in the same room and letting them talk about inspirations and ideas.”
Each discussion is free and open to the public, though seating capacity inside Raleigh City Museum is extremely limited. Early arrival is recommended. Tickets for Hopscotch Music Festival—Thursday, Sept. 9–Saturday, Sept. 11 in 10 downtown Raleigh venues—are still available in very limited numbers atwww.hopscotchmusicfest.com.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 9 (Free/ 5–7 p.m.)
North Carolina’s Musical Heritage: Past, Present and Future

From the old-time music and bluegrass that’s moved from the state’s mountains to the litany of jazz and soul icons that have called North Carolina home, this state has a tradition of fostering musical innovators. Several careful students of those lineages will gather to discuss the state’s musical past, how it’s being preserved, and why it has such an important influence on the music being made here now.
The speakers include Durham’s PHIL COOK of Megafaun, a band that blends folk sounds of the past with adventurous experimentation; Concord’s DOLPH RAMSEUR of Ramseur Records, who has helped turn both The Avett Brothers and Carolina Chocolate Drops into international emissaries for the sounds of North Carolina; Raleigh’s MARSHALL WYATT of Old Hat Records, a Grammy-nominated, Bob Dylan-approved label that collects historic recordings and curates them into rich compilations; and Chapel Hill’s AARON SMITHERS, who has traveled the state recording under-documented artists. Hopscotch Curator and Independent Weekly Music Editor GRAYSON CURRIN will moderate the discussion. Cook will also perform as his one-man band, PHIL COOK & HIS FEAT, to begin the discussion.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 10 (Free/ 4–6 p.m.)
Black Mountain College: Legacy and Inspiration

Andrew Whiteman writes, sings and plays guitar in the Canadian bands Broken Social Scene and Apostle of Hustle. Not long after Broken Social Scene confirmed their co-headlining Hopscotch set, Whiteman approached festival organizers about an event that would honor Black Mountain College, the influential interdisciplinary school that opened in western North Carolina in 1933. Whiteman will read his own poetry, as well as that of several Black Mountain acolytes, and discuss the school’s importance with a panel of local poets.
The speakers include Toronto’s ANDREW WHITEMAN, a Broken Social Scene staple who will read from his forthcoming book, Tourism; Durham’s KEN RUMBLE, an installation artist, musician and the author of Key Bridge (Carolina Wren Press, 2007); Durham’s MEG STEIN, an installation artist and musician working and playing in the 715 Washington art collective, along with Rumble; Durham’s CHRIS VITIELLO, a poet and artist and the author of Irresponsibility(Ahsahta Press, 2008); and Raleigh’s CHRIS TONELLI, a professor at N.C. State University, the author of four chapbooks and the founder of the So and So Series. Pitchfork Media Critic and Paste Senior Contributing Editor BRIAN HOWE, an accomplished poet himself, will moderate the discussion. Rumble, Stein and Vitiello will also present a performance inspired by the Black Mountain College happenings of John Cage and Robert Rauschenberg at the start of the event.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 11 (Free/ 4–6 p.m.)
Hip-Hop Planet: Music and Its Work in the World

When people talk about the political importance and immediacy of hip-hop, perhaps no group gets mentioned more than Public Enemy, and perhaps no records more than their It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and Fear of a Black Planet. With Public Enemy headlining Hopscotch Saturday night, we decided to talk about the social impact that hip-hop has historically had and if that role might be changing.
The speakers include Durham’s 9TH WONDER, the Little Brother cofounder and Grammy winner who has gone on to make music with Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child, David Banner and Murs; New York’s CHRISTOPHER R. WEINGARTEN, “the last rock critic standing” and a scribe for Village Voice,SpinRolling Stone and the author of a new book on Public Enemy; Durham’sMARK ANTHONY NEAL, a Professor of Black Popular Culture at Duke University and the author of several books on music and culture; and Raleigh’sCHARLIE SMARTS, a member of the exuberant, emerging hip-hop crew Kooley High. Hopscotch Director GREG LOWENHAGEN and CuratorGRAYSON CURRIN will moderate the discussion. Weingarten will spin his tribute set to It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back before the discussion begins.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

An interview with Eddie Taylor for the Churchkey Three Day Party

The free day party action at Hopscotch is going to be almost as good as the main event. Case in point: The Churchkey Three Day Party taking place at noon on Saturday (Sept. 11) at Tir na Nog. The name is a celebration of this indie label's third anniversary, and the line-up is a great one: Dirty Little Heaters, Free Electric State, Last Year's Men, The Dry Heathens and Hammer No More the Fingers. To get everyone in the mood for the party, various local blogs are posting interviews with bands on the Churchkey roster over the next few weeks.

I chose to interview Eddie Taylor from The Loners because I've known him for ages, and think he's a great musician and all-around swell guy. I can't tell you how much fun I had during this interview.

This interview began and ended -- and was briefly punctuated in the middle -- with a round of shots. That’s how yours truly found out that Eddie really isn’t one for tequila or Jaeger. If he’s going to do a shot, which isn’t often, he says, he’d prefer to do something “girly” like a Lemondrop. That was the one in the middle.

I also found out that Eddie, one of the friendliest and most gregarious people I know, doesn’t much like talking about himself. In fact, he’s downright shy at times. Sitting in a dark booth at the newly opened Neptunes, with ska in the background, we downed that first round of 1800, and I tweeted that I was about to interview him. The Love Language immediately replied “tell eddie we said hey!!” He seemed flattered and almost a little embarrassed that his name was being thrown about on Twitter. That’s the sort of thing associated with rock stars, or people who think they’re rock stars, and Eddie definitely doesn’t want to be a rock star.

“I don't like rock stars,” he says. “I don't like seeing friend get changed into something they aren't. I like them the way they were. I have a friend who did a video game. He's making bank. I've had a lot of friends who have become real successful, and they're not the same as they were after that.”

Really? Even if being a rock star meant that he, as a newly single dad, would have women throwing themselves at him, plus a nice nest egg for his daughter?

“It's an integrity factor that gets lost in all that,” he says. “There are very few that hold on to that integrity. Neil Young has always held on to that integrity. There's a lot of people I respect that have been able to granted they're great, they're famous, but they haven't lost touch with where they came from.”

He doesn’t even care that much about playing anywhere other than the Triangle.

“I'd like to go out and play more in other places but I can't dump money into that, get to that town and play for five people who don't really give a fuck,” he says. “I just can't do that, cause I've done it. If someone offers us something in New York, and have a weekend in New York and go play at WFMU, I'm there. But playing to nobody? I can practice and do that!“

Despite, or perhaps because of, this total lack of giving a damn, The Loners have gained a reputation around town as the band that you don’t miss. If you want people to come out and see your band, you make sure to get a show with The Loners. It doesn’t really matter if they play Slim’s three times in the same week. People will go see them, and will love them, all three times. That’s been especially true since they reformed in 2007 (at the goodbye party for the first Kings) after breaking up for several years. During their first incarnation, they were known for putting on shows that might be great and might be crap, but were always entertaining. Now they’re solid every single time.

The Loners formed out of the ashes of Big Joe, Eddie’s alt-country band that moved to Raleigh from Tucson (via Kentucky) after being invited to play the SPITTLE Fest at the Brewery. He struck up a friendship with popular local drummer Chris Jones, who shared his love of ‘60s garage and psychedelic music as well as ‘80s hardcore.

“Chris Jones is one of my heroes,” he says. “I have the utmost respect for that person. I like the fact that I've heard us referred to as a Raleigh tradition. That's a nice feeling. we're not a national act. we don't tour. we are what we are.

The band’s sound has changed a little bit over time, he says, but still retains those two influences, but still retains a healthy dose of ‘70s punk and arena rock. That’s fitting because his first concert, back in Murray, Ken., was Rush, Angel and Blue Oyster Cult. He was 15 and tripping his balls off. His main memories are that he accidentally ripped up his own ticket, and the members of Rush wore silk outfits and appeared to over over a massive shag carpet on the stage.

Eddie says he’s had more time to write lately and that he’s been listening to a lot of Guided by Voices. One of his old pals has an “Eraserhead-meets-’50s-Sci Fi” film that will debut at the Fright Night festival in Louisville, and a couple of Loners songs are in the movie. There are a couple of other things in the works too, but he doesn’t want to jinx them by talking about them prematurely. Buy him a Lemondrop and maybe he’ll spill his guts to you.

Take a look at the other interviews:

July 28: Diversions (The Daily Tar Heel) talks with The Dirty Little Heaters
August 4: WNnG (Bull City Records) talks with Hammer No More The Fingers
August 11: Mann’s World talks with The Loners
August 18: Triangle Music talks with Last Year’s Men
August 25: Recess (The Chronicle) talks with Spider Bags
September 1: The Independent Weekly talks with The Dry Heathens
September 8: On The Beat (The News & Observer) talks with Free Electric State

Monday, August 09, 2010

Check out the Mann's World day party poster!

Thanks to the very talented Ashlea Green for designing the poster for the Mann's World Day Party! Please also note that start time is now 1 p.m., and the line up on the poster is the line up for the show. Make sure you get there early because you do NOT want to miss Hog!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The ultimate Raleigh rock reunion

The accolades have been coming fast and furious on Facebook this morning about last night's COC reunion at the Pour House. The band was killer, old friends were reunited, and despite a few sore necks and throbbing heads, everyone had an awesome time. As advertised, the band played songs from "Animosity" and "Technocracy" with a few new songs in between. The band has recorded a new 7-inch, "Your Tomorrow (Parts 1 and 2)" which will be out soon on Southern Lord.

Reed and Mike's side project Righteous Fool opened up. I hope they don't end up on the back burner now that COC has reunited.

Corrosion of Conformity -- "Animosity" and "Loss for Words" from Mann's World on Vimeo.
With a cameo by the hardest-working sound man in America, Jac Cain.

COC -- new song from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Righteous Fool from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Also opening were Savannah's Black Tusk, who blew me away when I saw them open for Pentagram, and whose "Taste the Sin" album is one of my favorites of the year so far. They'll be back in town on Aug. 31 opening for Fu Manchu at Volume 11.

Black Tusk -- "Prophesy One by One" and "Fixed in the Ice" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

But other than COC I was probably most looking forward to openers U.S. Christmas. Imagine my displeasure when I arrived at the Pour House at 9:30 to find that they were just about finished with their set. WTF? I checked the venue's Web site beforehand, and saw that doors were at 8:30 and the show at 9:30. Apparently that meant music started at 9. I think a lot of people missed them which is really too bad because I liked what I heard. As far as the Pour House goes, I have to give thanks to Chris Malarky who, unsolicited, sold my extra ticket for me so I could rush inside and catch what I could of U.S. Christmas. They'll be back in Raleigh during Hopscotch.

U.S. Christmas from Mann's World on Vimeo.