Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Photos and video of Mark Holland at the Station

I've been working on a story on Mark Holland (Jennyanykind, Jule Brown, various solo projects) for the Independent, so I went to see him play his acoustic country blues set last Thursday, Jan. 26, at the Station in Carrboro. Mark is a good guy (as is his twin brother Michael), and it was good to talk to him again. I have to say, it was pretty amusing to see some of the Chapel Hill hippies dance to this stuff. He'll be at the Blue Note on Feb. 15

Monday, January 16, 2012

Photos of O C O A I and Generation of Vipers

Here are some photos of Johnson City's O C O A I (above), and photos and video of Generation of Vipers (below) from Friday at Dive Bar. O C O A I was as compelling (and loud) as when I saw them back in the summer. Unfortunately I couldn't get in a good position to record them, so I just stuck with still photography for their show.

Generation of Vipers shares a member with O C O A I and two members with U.S. Christmas, but is a lot sludgier than either band. I wasn't really in a good position to record them either, but since I'd never seen them before I went for it anyway. The kind of caught me off guard with the beginning of the song, though! Looking forward to seeing both bands again. See more photos.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This week's cool shows: O C O A I, Hog, Monoslang and more!

I have a short Hearing Aid piece on O C O A I and Generation of Vipers (Saturday at Dive Bar) scheduled to run in tomorrow's Independent Weekly, so I'll let you read what I had to say about this show there. I'll just sum up my thoughts like so: It's gonna rock and you should go. 

I also have a short "Introducing ..." piece on Church of Wolves, but I actually had the privilege of seeing COW one more time after writing that piece. I have to say, I am very impressed with how good these guys are after only a few shows. They'll be with Hog and Orthrus (Virginia black metal) on Tuesday at Nightlight. 

Also on Saturday, Monoslang will hold their EP-release party with Minor Stars and No Eyes at Kings. You can hear the latest from the new EP below.

Saturday: Rat Jackson, Spiderbags and Red Collar at Local 506
Sunday: 3 p.m. early show with Vile Discourse presents: Curmudgeon, Torch Runner, Mad Dog, Pure Scum, Abuse at Kings


A partial lineup was released today for this year's 2nd Annual Bull City Metal Fest, Feb. 3 an 4 at the Casbah, and it looks like a good one. Here's the announcement from the Casbah:

Tickets are now on sale for the 2nd annual BULL CITY METAL FEST, Durham's premiere 2-day eclectic heavy music festival to be held at Casbah Durham on Feb 3 and 4. Headlining the festival this year is Black Tusk. Other bands include The Body, Braveyoung, Hog, Bitter Resolve, Shadow of the Destroyer, Make, Widow, Gross Reality, Church of Wolves, Ruscha, Dark Sea Dream, Knives and more to be announced. Tickets (on sale now at www.casbahdurham.com) are $10 for Friday, $15 for Saturday, or $20 for a 2-day festival pass.

The lineup for this year's Double Barrel Benefit, at the Pour House, also on Feb. 3 and 4, will be announced  this Friday, Jan. 13, on WKNC during the local lunch.

New music from Lost in the Trees, Kingdom of Rust and Monoslang!

Continuing the mellow vibe that started with last week's post, this week's batch of new music is pretty and somewhat mellow. First up is "Red," the first song from Lost in the Trees' upcoming (March 20) Anti- Records release A Church that Meets Our Needs. It's streaming now on NPR, so check it out.

Next up is "Sweet Carolina" from the self-released first album by my longtime friend Mark Roper's band Kingdom of Rust. Mark and his friend Kevin Mitchell have been working on songs for more than a decade, so I'm glad to see them finally release a CD.  This one is very mellow, and even a bit jazzy at times.

Kingdom of Rust - "Sweet Carolina"

Finally, Monoslang will have their EP-release show this Saturday with Minor Stars and No Eyes at Kings.  Check out Monoslang's "Methlab," which reminds me of Pylon more than anything else. I'm really looking forward to hearing the rest of the EP!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Whores. and Church of Wolves at Dive Bar

Here are a few photos and video from the Whores. show, Friday at Dive Bar. I hadn't seen them live before, but I really like their just-released Brutal Panda album, Ruiner. I didn't expect to get three songs on the video, but they kept playing, and I kept recording. This video really doesn't do drummer Travis Owens' powerful and totally insane playing justice. Throughout each song he was twirling drum sticks and at one point bouncing them off the ground.  Unfortunately you can barely hear the vocals in this video. 

Durham's Church of Wolves opened up. It was only the second time I've seen them (and only their second show), and they sounded great. They'll be with Hog and Orthrus at Nightlight on Jan. 17. See more photos.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

New music! Mark Holland, The Spiveys and more!

Mark Holland, along with twin brother Michael, is probably best known as one of the creative forces behind Jennyanykind. But he also releases music under his own name, and also as Jule Brown. Holland's most recent release is "The Best Country Blues of Mark Holland," which is pretty much as the name says: acoustic country blues at its best. Hear the menacing "Go Rider," and the rest of the album, on Mark's Bandcamp page. He'll be at the Station in Carrboro on Jan. 26, and The Blue Note Grill in Durham on Feb. 15. Mark is also recording a Jule Brown record now -- the first since 2008's Surreal Folk Blues.

The Spiveys, from Charlotte, haven't been together very long, but they already sound incredibly polished, with charming pop hooks and lush vocal harmonies. They're also looking for a show in the area, so someone out there (Mark Conner? Chris Tamplin?) needs to book them. Check out their songs, especially "Lavender."

Sea Cow's "Tell Me Where It Hurts," has been out since early November, but I'm just now getting around to hearing it. I love the vocals on the vaguely psychedelic "Laughing All the Way." Check it out here. 

Finally, continuing with tonight's theme of pretty vocals, Russell Howard, also from Charlotte, released his first single, "Safe to Say," in November.

This week's cool shows: Concert for Oliver and more!

This week's Show of the Week features good music for a really good cause. Oliver, the 2 and 1/2 year old son of New Raleigh co-founder Jedidiah Gant, has cancer, and Sunday's benefit show at Tir na Nog will help his family pay for his treatments. As you can see from the poster, the band lineup is stellar, and there will be raffle prizes and even a Hot Date Auction (!).  Other benefits are being planned and will be announced soon. Come on out and support this brave little guy and his family. 

Also this week: Not heart-warming, but totally ass-kicking, Whores. and Church of Wolves will be at Dive Bar on Friday.  Whores. are an awesome Atlanta trio that sound like they spent the '90s immersed in the entire Amphetamine Reptile and Touch & Go catalogs.  Church of Wolves is a new Durham doom band that impressed me with their first show, opening for Black Skies and Cough back in November. 

Finally, on Saturday, regional metal legends Maxx Warrior will reunite for their first show in more than 20 years at the 2nd Annual Cliff Jackson Memorial Jam at Lincoln Theatre. This isn't a benefit show -- it's simply a celebration of the life of promoter Marty Burns' friend Cliff Jackson. Word is, this is not a full reunion. After this event, the band does not plan to play any more shows, so if you don't catch them now, you'll probably have to wait another 20 years for them to reunite again. 

Also this week: Hopscotch presents Akron/Family with Bad Weather California, Saturday at the Pour House.