Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This week's cool shows: American Aquarium, Stephen Gardner's last shows in town and more!

This Saturday is going to be a little troublesome for me logistics-wise. Against my better judgement, I am going to try and see American Aquarium's album-recording show at the Pour House -- and I say "against my better judgement" simply because I expect the venue to be slam-packed. Given this band's ever-growing popularity, I fully expect there to be way too many people at this show, which I'm sure is really going to amp up the energy for recording. Can't wait. Kenny Roby is one of the openers.

Unfortunately, The Trousers, one of my all-time favorite local bands, will play their final show ever at Sadlack's that same night. Drummer Stephen Gardner is moving to Louisiana, and Sadlack's is featuring a weekend of final shows by three of his bands: Trousers on Saturday and The T's and The Cartridge Family on Sunday. Since Sad's tends to hold early shows, I'm going to hit this up before going to the Pour House, and hope the PH show isn't sold out when I get there.

Backing up a bit, there are several good options for going out on Thursday. Kings will be showing "Karp Lives, "the new documentary about Karp, while Tir na Nog will host the Hopscotch kickoff party with The Music Tapes and Depressed Buttons. BTW, writstbands for Hopscotch go on sale tomorrow (12/1). I was lucky enough to get in on the pre-sale this morning, so I am set, though it this sale did kind of put a cramp in my December budget. If you're expecting a Christmas present from me, you might want to seriously diminish your expectations.

Also on Thursday, Backwoods Payback, Bitter Resolve, Akris and Church of Wolves will be at the Casbah in Durham. That's most likely where I'll be.

Other great shows this week:

Friday: Valient Thorr at Kings
Wednesday (Dec. 7): LA Guns (you read that right) at Pour House
Next Thursday-Saturday (Dec. 8-10): The Great Cover Up at Kings with proceeds partially benefitting The Beehive!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Photos of Chimaira and Skeletonwitch

I am heading out of town for Thanksgiving (and my birthday), but wanted to quickly add these photos of Chimiara and Skeletonwitch from last night's show at Lincoln Theatre. This was my first time shooting there (other than an aborted attempt to shoot The Sword a few years back), and I have to give major thanks to the club for being so accommodating. The Eric from the club was super nice, the lighting was good, and there was a barrier that I could get in front of to shoot - though it did feel weird to be up there all by myself. See more photos.

I was not very familiar with Chimaira before the show, but Skeletonwitch's latest, "Forever Abomination," is one of my favorite releases of the year. Both bands put on great shows, though Skeletonwitch's set was shorter than I would have liked. Hopefully I'll get to see them again soon on a headlining tour.

The only thing I didn't like was the fact that this show was so EARLY. Seriously, Skeletonwitch went on around 8 p.m. I know I'm constantly complaining about shows starting too late, but 8 p.m. is a little much.

Finally, as most of you know, I am involved in the Beehive, and am currently involved in a fundraising effort for the organization. In honor of my 45th birthday, which is Friday, I'm trying to get 45 people to donate $5 apiece to my page. I am thankful to everyone who has donated so far, but I need a lot more people to participate. Please click on the link and donate. The Beehive is going to do great things in Raleigh in 2012, and this is your chance to be involved.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This week's cool shows: Skeletonwitch, Hull, Debonzo Brothers and more!

Show of the week for yours truly is undoubtedly Chimaira/Unearth/Skeletonwitch on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at Lincoln Theatre. Skeletonwitch (above) is actually one of the opening bands on that bill, but their recent release, "Forever Abomination," is one of my favorites of the year, so they're the band I'm most excited about seeing. It's also an early show (doors at 6!) so don't miss it. I've created a Spotify playlist of the best heavy music of 2011, and Skeletonwitch is on there, so check it out. Username is mannsworld. 

The other big metal show this week is Caltrop, Hull and Ruscha on Saturday, Nov. 19, at Chapel Hill Underground. Check out the Invisible Oranges review of Hull's "Beyond the Lightless Sky," which was posted today. I am genuinely torn about this, because I also want to see The Debonzo Brothers with North Elementary and Revolutionary Sweethearts (a very non-metal show) on the same night at White Collar Crime here in Raleigh. Also on Saturday, The Bleeding Hearts (with Joe Yerry back in the band) and The T's (playing one of their last shows ever) will be at Dive Bar. I wrote a small blurb about that show for the Indy. 

Also coming up:

Sunday, Nov. 20: Chuck Johnson / Fan Modine (full band) / Mark Holland from Jennyanykind at Nightlight

Friday, Nov. 25: Smashfest Scrap Exchange benefit with Church of Wolves, feast upon thy brother and Systems

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cough, Black Skies and Church of Wolves at Kings

Cough headlined Wednesday's show at Kings, but it really was Black Skies' night. They celebrated the release of their excellent new album, "On the Wings of Time," and played a powerful set. The video is of my favorite song on the album, "Darkness and Disguise."

Cough (above) seem to get more bonecrushingly slow and sludgy each time I see them, but that didn't stop some dude from trying to mosh, and even jumping on stage. Michelle from Black Skies has major cojones for stopping him.

Church of Wolves (below), which included Bret from Lurch and Chris from The Mouth of the Ghost, played a superb first show. See more photos.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

.mp3 of the week: River City Ransom!

This week's .mp3 is from Raleigh's River City Ransom, who I have been raving about since they stole the show as Meat Loaf a few years back during Raleigh Undercover. Their original stuff is just as impressive as their Undercover set. Think earnest, energetic anthemic pop with nods to U2 and Bruce Springsteen. Fans of IWTDI, Red Collar and American Aquarium will definitely like River City Ransom. This is "Bitter," off their just released album "We've Got Fucking Wolves."


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

This week's cool shows: Black Skies and more!

This week’s show of the week is undoubtedly tonight’s Cough/Black Skies show at Kings. Tonight is a CD-release show for Black Skies’ excellent new release “On the Wings of Time.” Cough is on their way back to Richmond after playing the Forward to the Apocalypse fest in Savannah. I had the pleasure of interviewing Michelle and Kevin of Black Skies last week, and was very proud to see the article in today’s Indy. Thanks to Michelle and Kevin for being gracious hosts, and thanks to Grayson for letting me write the article. Church of Wolves opens the show so get there early.

The other big show that everyone is talking about is Megafaun and Bowerbirds this Friday at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw. I have not been to the Hall River Ballroom, but it sure does look like a gorgeous spot that would be ideal for seeing both bands. A little-known fact about yours truly: I lived in Saxapahaw for about three weeks back in 1993. If Saxapahaw had been as interesting back then as it seems to be now, I might not have broken my lease and lost a whole bunch of money in an effort to get the hell out of there.

Also, this Saturday offers a prime opportunity to hear some great regional bands and drink local brews at the N.C. Beer and Band Festival at the Lincoln Theatre.

Old Habits, Holy Ghost Tent Revival and Greensboro’s House of Fools are among the bands on the lineup. Mother Earth, Natty Greene’s, Lonerider and Roth are some of the brewers. The event starts at 3 p.m. and is sponsored by the N.C. Brewers Guild

Finally, if you’re not celebrating National Metal Day on 11/11/11, you should check out The Loners, the Infamous Sugar and Soundsystem 13 at Kings

Other shows of note this week:

Friday: Colossus with Swordmasters of Ganz at Nightlight

Saturday: Wooden Shjips and Bird of Avalon at Kings

Saturday: Small Ponds and Sarah Suskind at the Pour House