Saturday, February 19, 2011

Buzzov*en, Cough and Lurch at the Casbah

This has been an unexpectedly busy week, so I'm just now getting around to posting about Wednesday's Buzzov*en, Cough, Lurch show at Casbah. K-Lloyd, Kirk Fisher's solo project, didn't play. No word on why he didn't. See more photos from the show.

Buzzoven - "Kakkila" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Cough from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Lurch from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

This week's cool shows: Buzzov*en, Cough and more!

This week's show of the week is undoubtedly Buzzov*en with Cough (whose "Ritual Abuse" was one of my favorite albums of 2010), Lurch and K-Lloyd, Wednesday at Casbah. Nate from USX has an interview with Kirk Fisher from Buzzov*en on his blog. K-Lloyd is Kirk's solo project, so make sure to get to the show early to catch it.

Also this week:

Thank You will be at Nightlight on Thursday and the Berkeley on Friday. Check out their song "1-2-3- Bad" here.

I Was Totally Destroying It, The Bakers, J Kutchma, Jack The Radio will be at Deep South, and Gwar will be at Lincoln Theatre on Thursday. Schooner, Floating Action and The Tomahawks will be at Kings on Friday, and Weedeater, ASG and Hog will be at the Casbah on Sunday.

Also, looking ahead, Motorhead, Clutch and Valient Thorr will be at the Fillmore in Charlotte in March 5, but apparently every motel room in Charlotte is booked for that night. Just FYI.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Highlights from night two of Bull City Metal Fest

Wow! What an amazing evening! There are so many great things to say about all the bands on night two of the Bull City Metal Fest that I don't even know where to begin. Let's just say that I'm really looking forward to next year's festival. In order to conserve space on my cam, I only got video of a few of the bands. 

I arrived about mid-way through Monsonia's set, missing a few of the bands that played in the early afternoon. Even though this weekend was billed as a metal festival, there were quite a few bands that aren't strictly metal. Monsonia is one of them. This was my first time seeing them, and I thought they had a really cool Helmet/Jesus Lizard sound. 

Next up was Horseback, who put on the performance of the evening with a 15-minute version of "Invokation" and "Tyrant Symmetry." Rich from Hog was playing his first show with the band. He told me later that they're working on booking a European tour now. 

Horseback - "Invokation" and "Tyrant Symmetry" from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Gollum from Wilmington were next. At first I wasn't into them, but they grew on me during the show. I really liked the last two songs that they did. I can say they were one of the absolute true metal bands on the bill. 

Royal Thunder was the other band on the bill that wasn't really metal, but they ended up being my favorite band of the night. They were more like a really heavy Fleetwood Mac, with a bit of Led Zeppelin, Stooges, and even some U2 thrown in. They also had a phenomenal female singer/guitarist. I bought their CD and have been listening to it non-stop. 

The surprise of the evening was USX playing with just Nate, Josh and Justin on stage -- only half of their line-up. Nate said that they had played shows as a trio before, and it was no big deal to them. Lots of folks (myself included) have said that USX isn't necessarily a metal band. They're a band with metallic elements among a variety of influences. On Saturday, with just the three of them, they brought the metal, and were heavier than anything else I heard all weekend. After their show I was done (and so was my camera's memory card), and I ended up skipping out on Hog and Caltrop. See more photos from the evening. Ross Grady also has some great photos on his Flickr stream

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Night one of the Bull City Metal Fest

OK, first things first, I miscalculated. THIS is my 1,000th post on Mann's World! Now, a quick wrap up of the first night of the Bull City Metal Fest.

I got to the Casbah around 9 to find MAKE nearly done with their set. Apparently the show had been running a little early all night. It was my first trip to the Casbah, and I can say that it's a very nice, fairly spacious club with good sound and an efficient stage set-up (which I guess contributed to things running early). I'm looking forward to seeing Buzzoven and Cough there on Wednesday, and Weedeater and ASG on Feb. 20.

It was my first time seeing Music Hates You, Graves of Valor and Lurch. I liked all three, but I was most into Music Hates You. Lechuza Booking in Chapel Hill books them, and they play here fairly often, but had somehow missed them until now. I'll make sure not to miss them again. See more photos.

Music Hates You from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Graves of Valor from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Lurch from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Show(s) of the week: Bull City Metal Fest!

I don't even know where to start with the Bull City Metal Fest. Mostly I'm just really glad that I live in an area that can sustain a two-day predominantly local metal festival AND have 160 confirmed guests (as of this writing) on the Facebook event page. That's impressive, and I heartily give thanks to Steve Gardner, who is now booking the Casbah, for making it happen. 

Those of you who are in the local alt-country circle will recognize Steve's name. He's been promoting Americana house shows for years. I remember seeing an amazing Alejandro Escovedo show at Steve's house back in 1999. Some people have been a little surprised by Steve's seemingly sudden embrace of metal. Casbah IS booking some of the best metal in the area (including Buzoven and Cough on Feb. 16, and Weedeater and ASG on Feb. 20). Steve talked about this in my interview with him.

I would like to add a personal note here: This post marks the 998th post on Mann's World. I'm saving 999 and 1000 for the Metal Fest. My first post was on Jan. 20, 2003. So much has happened since then. I truly can't believe I've been doing this for so long. 

1. You've long been known around the Triangle for promoting house shows -- usually by alt-country bands. Tell us how your foray into metal happened.

People often think I’m just an Americana kinda guy because of the house shows that I threw, but really I’m about as all over the map as you can imagine. I’m 43, so I grew up when the classic rock era was starting to change over into something else. I heard a DEVO album in the early 80s and it blew my mind. I swore I’d never listen to the Rolling Stones and the Beatles again and from then on I was just a punk/new wave kid. Ah, youth. As you can guess that didn’t happen and throughout my life I’ve delved into all sorts of different genres of music. Music is a high for me and I specifically get a high from music that is new to me and drives me to learn more about it. So back then I went from Led Zeppelin to DEVO. I then got into punk music in a big way with my first loves being the Descendents, Agent Orange, Social Distortion, Sham 69, Suicidal Tendencies and the Adolescents. That was all due to a mix tape that a workmate gave to me. Later I got into UK punk and spent a summer in England buying up a bunch of UK punk.

That’s how my life has kind of gone. From one thing to another. Americana was a stop along the way. Other stops have included folk, Celtic, Cajun, bluegrass, oldtime, all forms of college/indie/alternative rock, R&B, hip hop, blues, jazz and whatever else comes my way that excites me. Right now the thing that I’m most excited about is a varied mix of metal, New Orleans bounce music and top 40 Hip Hop (yeah, I know, kinda uncool, but a gave up worrying about what I’m “supposed to like” a long time ago).

Metal is pretty new to me, btw. As a punk kid in the early 80s you either liked punk or metal, not both usually. Some bands, like Suicidal Tendencies tried to bridge that gap, but it wasn’t a bridge that I, nor many of my friends, wanted to get on. I still am not a fan of a lot of metal out there, but the stuff that I really enjoy tends to be the more riffed-based music that has more in common with 80s hardcore than anything with tiny guitars and a million notes per second. Give me Black Tusk over one of those bands, any day. I think the festival I booked reflects this. It’s eclectic, but it’s also something that metal heads and your more indie rock fans can both enjoy.

I think you’ll see my eclecticism if you look at our show schedule. Right now at the club I have a Janis Ian poster hanging between ones for the Bull City Metal Fest and a Weedeater/ASG/Hog show. I love that. Casbah really allows me to book anything that I’ve liked in my life…which is about everything.

2. How is booking a venue different from booking a house show?

It’s pretty different. The biggest difference is worrying about the draw. With my house shows I got to the point where I would put tickets on sale and they’d sell out, usually in less than 24 hours, but sometimes in less than 24 minutes. I could pretty much book anything I wanted and people trusted my instincts and would buy a ticket. It was quite a luxury. The club is very different. I’m still trying to find what works, but getting people out to see live music in a club is much harder than you’d think. In the battle of Casbah vs. TV, sometimes I don’t know who is winning.

The other thing that is different is just the experience. I try to make the appropriate shows at Casbah to be an intimate experience as possible, but nothing is going to be as intimate as a performer sitting 4 feet in front of you with no mics or amps in someone’s living room. But I aim to approach that with our amazing best-in-the-area sound system, chairs for the right shows and generally keeping the place nice and clean and comfortable.

3. Why did you decide to do a two-day metal festival, and what can you tell us about the out-of-town bands you have booked?

I think the metal scene here is the most exciting thing happening in the Triangle right now. We’ve always been an indie rock town, and for a while it seemed to me like we were just spinning our wheels. Then this metal thing came along with bands like Black Skies and Tooth and people started to get really excited about it all. Now it has blossomed into a great lineup of bands. When I first moved to DC I used to love to go to Sleazefest at the Local 506. It was an amazing time and I just love the live music as a circus atmosphere, where a club turns into a badass theme park for a day. Before I was booking Casbah I always used to tell my friends that someone needed to do something that was like Sleazefest, but for metal. Since nobody else really did, I decided to take that on when I started booking the club. I’m by no means an expert on metal, I just like what I like and with the help of some friends, like yourself, Grayson Currin, Michelle Temple and a few other folks I decided to give it a shot. It was surprisingly easy to come up with 18 bands. That shows the quality of our scene.

Besides the great townies that we have in for the fest, there are also some fine out-of-towners.

Graves of Valor are a great band from Florence, South Carolina that should satisfy some of the fans in the audience that are more into the death metal side of things.

Unholy Tongues are a Wilmington band that probably fit into this festival more because of its expansive nature and rather loose definition of metal. They are an instrumental trio, that rocks hard and has great dynamics and skirt the line between instrumental metal and post rock and your classic power trio.

Sons of Tonatiuh (the most misspelled band name at the fest, often by me) are from Atlanta and are sludgy half the time and rather punkish at other times and should be of interest to the Hog/Lurch crowd here. I’m very excited to see these guys, personally.

Also from Atlanta is Royal Thunder who have a badass female lead singer and also are the only band in the crowd to have an NPR feature under their belt. They also are more hard rock than metal, to be truthful, but it doesn’t bother me much to include them at this fest, because I love the variety. To me they sound like a Deep Purple with a female lead.

US Christmas, hail from the unlikely town of Marion, NC. They were noticed by many locally at first due to an article that appeared in the Independent a year ago. They, again, play a pretty unique brand of metal; one which isn’t constrained to any preconceived notions of what metal is supposed to be. They are a large band, with more than a half dozen members, and one of them even plays the violin. So typical metal? No. But if you want to experience a wide variety of sounds instead of a straitjacketed definition of the genre, then the Bull City Metal Fest is right for you.

4. Where should I eat in Durham before the show?

With your ticket from the Casbah you get 10% off at the James Joyce and Alivia’s, so that’s a good option. James Joyce has a new chef and menu, by the way, so if you haven’t tried them in a while and think they just have mediocre pub grub, it’s time to give them another shot. Other great options in the area are the Federal, of course. They’ve always been my favorite place to eat in Durham. They also have a new chef (from Nana’s) and a new menu and the food has only gotten better, I think. The nice thing about the Federal is that you can spend a little more and go fancy with one of their specials, or you can keep it cheap and get the excellent nachos or their amazing pork and jalapeno sandwich.

People forget about Parker and Otis sometimes, I think, when thinking of cheap dining options downtown, but I have to say that their grilled pimento cheese sandwich is the best I’ve ever had. I also love their curried chicken sandwich and their egg sandwich on their brunch menu. Delicious.

If you want to go really cheap (but still really good), hit Cosmic Cantina on Perry street for an excellent burrito (next to Chaz’s Bull City Records, one of the places where you can buy our tickets to shows in advance without any service charge.)

People should also sample our many fine food trucks in the area. I believe we’ll have some parked out near the venue for some cheap, convenient (and good) eats.

5. Priest or Maiden?

Priest. Less notes per second. Plus, how can I not respect a hard rock band that in the midst of the fairly homophobic 80s metal scene had a gay lead singer?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

New music from Paleface!

Concord-via-Brooklyn singer Paleface will also be in town Thursday at the Pour House. He and drummer/girlfriend Monica Samalot have a new album out on Ramseur Records called "One Big Party." Here's my favorite song from the record, "She's So." Check it out!

Monotonix's last tour??

That's what Monotonix singer Ami Shelev says in this article (thanks to Robby for alerting me to this). Guitarist Yonatan Gat didn't mention that when he answered five questions for this interview. 

Their PR guy girl, Dean, forwarded this statement when asked about it:

Reports that they are breaking up are a little exaggerated. What's really going down is Haggai, the drummer, has a kid on the way, and Ami wants to spend some more time with his family, so this will be their final tour for a while, but they are not looking at it as the end of the band or touring for good. Just an extended break to focus on the other parts of their lives. 

Whether or not it's their last tour, you need to be at Kings this Thursday night for the band's show with Federation X and Pujol. And you need to pick up their new album, "Not Yet," which came out last week on Drag City.  

1. You guys have such a crazy live show. How do you bring that energy into the studio when you're recording?
We just try to play it the same way.
On this record we were much more about being spontaneous than about getting the takes right. We felt we have nothing to prove ourselves anymore and just wanted to have fun recording it. That made the work easier and more fun and spontaneous than anything else we ever did, and I think you can hear it.

2. Now that the zodiac signs have all changed, what are the new signs for each band member, and how do you feel about them? Are any of you now an Ophiuchus?

I am now officially a Leo. That Virgo thing never sat right in my head.
It's funny the whole "zodiac change" thing got all blown out, astronomers have known all about that for years.

3. What's the worst injury you've ever sustained during a live show?

I got a steel trash can thrown on my head and it was burst open in Athens, GA. Blood was dripping from my hair to my face.
When the same trash can hit Ami, he smeared his own blood on my chin, so my face was full of blood. It was a gay bar full of mirrors. I looked like Freddie Kruger.

4. The band has actually played in Raleigh quite a bit. What do you like about Raleigh, and how does the music scene here compare to that back home in Israel?

I like Raleigh bands. Birds of Avalon are good friends of ours, and I saw a few other good bands from the area.
Raleigh is a personal favorite of mine, I always enjoy the people and how nice and quiet the city is. Maybe i'll move there one day.

5. What's your favorite song on the new album, and why?

It changes every time I have to listen to it. Maybe "Everything That I See" cuz it's fast and fun. I like the fact the song starts with Ami singing "I wanna get everything that I see". It kind of reminds me of a Monk's song.