Triangle Music for Newbies

Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Durham music

Archive for October 2009

Halloween all over the Triangle

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in Chapel Hill

  • Local 506: Cover bands Some Girls (Rolling Stones), The Julies (60s psyche) and Southern Girls (Cheap Trick) should make for a rocking good time. Doors at 9:30 p.m., show at 10 p.m., $5 at the door. Note that this show is non-smoking. [map]EccentrikFestival
  • Mansion 462: Eccentrik Festival VI: The Mariner’s Revenge, an annual steampunk/gothic fest hosted by Mistee Kantrip with Unwoman (San Francisco-based cellist/singer), Veronique Diabolique (Durham-based French goth)and Vernian Process (San Francisco-based dark/whimsical post-punk). Show starts at 9 p.m. [map]

in Durham

  • The Pinhook: Halloween Bash with cover bands Girl Ramonas (female Ramones), Heart of Glass (Blondie) and Amps Do Furnish a Room (Television). Show starts at 10 p.m. [map]
  • The Broad Street Cafe: Halloween party with Once and Future Kings (Raleigh-based dystopian indie rock). Show at 10 p.m. with a costume contest and prizes at 11 p.m.  [map]

in Raleigh

  • Berkeley Cafe: Halloween show with UNTOLD, (Raleigh-based alternative rock)  ReAlign, Facedown, Melville Toast (Melville-based blues rock). All ages show, $5 with a costume, $8 without. [map]
  • The Pour House Music Hall: 15th annual Phat Smashing Pumpkin Jam. Doors and show at 9 p.m. $5 and must wear a costume for entry. [map]

Written by Elizabeth Lilly

October 27, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Spotlight on Merge Records, “Our Noise” book

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Although this blog is events-based, there are certain building blocks of Triangle music that anyone looking to learn more about it just needs to know, like the history of a little Chapel Hill record label called  Merge Records and its impact on the local scene. However it isn’t just important for the Triangle, it’s a staple in talking about indie rock in general, from Neutral Milk Hotel to The Magnetic Fields to Spoon. MergeRecordsLogo

Listen to an interview with founders Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance by Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal about the label’s impact and success.

The now Durham-based label kicked off its 20th anniversary celebration this summer with the XX Merge festival at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro and Memorial Hall at UNC-CH. Tickets for the July 22-26 festival sold out immediately and sad ticket-less locals (like me) were forced to constantly refresh a Twitter search for #xxmerge instead. But now other kindred  spirits can find solace in this performance and interview video archive on Babelgum.

Performances included 33 bands from Merge’s two decades, including The Rosebuds, Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band (Oberst’s otherwise known for his work in Bright Eyes), Telekinesis, Polvo, Arcade Fire, She & Him (M. Ward and actress/as of recently Mrs. Death Cab Zooey Deschanel) and Superchunk, which kicked off the festival and includes McCaughan and Ballance.

The founders recently teamed up with journalist/Superchunk fan John Cook (of Gawker and formerly Radar) to pen the history of Merge in “Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small.” The 320-page book is packed with plenty of text in an oral history from the founders and others integral to the label’s birth, and is balanced out with coffee table-worthy images of concert posters, its first company invoice and enough behind-the-scenes pictures to fill several photo albums. The forward’s even written by long-time Merge fan/N.C. native/musician Ryan Adams. It’s available in stores and Merge’s Web store now.

But the  celebration doesn’t end there, “The Merge Records Companion,” a limited-edition picture book discography of the label’s first two decades is available for pre-order now and set to ship on Nov. 3.

Check out this UNC TV special on the anniversary

For more info on Merge’s anniversary, check out this Indy article by Grayson Currin, the accompanying links on the same page, and an interview with Cook and favorable book review, both by Marc Masters.

If you just happen to be in New York on Friday, Oct. 23, Mac and Laura will  read from “Our Noise” and perform some songs at Housing Works starting at 7 p.m. Check here for more info.

There will surely be many more great things coming from the folks at Merge, but not just musically. It seems that they have a knack for innovation as the label was the first ever to sell “LP3s” in 2005, which means that when a customer buys one of its releases on vinyl, he or she also gets a digital version at no extra cost.

For more general info on Merge, check out its blog and Twitter.

Expect future installments on other locally based labels.

2nd annual Cherry Bounce Fest, Oct. 18-24

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Get ready to gear up because like Shakori Hills, this post is going to be a long one. poster 11

This week-long Raleigh festival is named for a drink that an inn owner, Joel Lane, served to men who were searching for the site of N.C.’s state capital. Apparently this drink was so fantastic that it persuaded the powers that be that the place where the inn was located (which was what is now Raleigh) would be the destined site instead. Check out the full story and drink recipe here.

The artist lineups are almost completely local and it’s affordable as admission is free three nights and $5 the other four. Indy Week’s Scan points out that the festival has expanded by five days since it’s inaugural year and David Menconi’s On the Beat notes that this year that conveniently most of the venues are indoor since last year’s event was rather wet.

There’s only one stage a night so no worrying about trekking across muddy fields to catch another local favorite. Here’s the complete schedule:

Sunday, Oct. 18

Show at 9 p.m., $5

Deep South the Bar [map]

Angie Aparo

Alex Lawhon of Colourslide

Monday, Oct. 19

Show at 9:30 p.m., FREE

The Raleigh Times [map]

All acoustic:

Brian Corum of Lonnie Walker

Matt Douglas of The Proclivities

Jason Kutchma of Red Collar

Tuesday, Oct. 20

Doors at 9 p.m., show at 9:30 p.m., $5

Music.MyNC showcase at Slim’s [map]



Americans in France

Gray Young

Wednesday, Oct. 21

Show at 9 p.m., $5

The Busy Bee/The Hive [map]

Kooley High

Mount Weather

Thursday, Oct. 22

Show at 10 p.m., FREE

WKNC showcase at Tir Na nOg [map]

Free Electric State

Gross Ghost

The Poles

Friday, Oct. 23


New Raleigh showcase at Berkeley Cafe [map]

The Infamous Sugar


A Rooster for the Masses

The T’s

Saturday, Oct. 24

Show at noon, FREE

The Raleigh Times

Sky Larkin

Old Avenue (1:45 p.m.)

Peggy Sue (3 p.m.)

The Balance (4:15 p.m.)

Schooner (5:30 p.m.)

Fin Fang Foom (6:45 p.m.)

The Hood Internet (8 p.m.)

Man Man (9:30 p.m.)

Raleigh Wide Open fireworks will follow

Jupiter One, Tripp, Wylie Hunter at Players Club, Oct. 16

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Local acts Tripp and Wylie Hunter will open up for New York-based Jupiter One in recently renovated Players Club in Chapel Hill on Friday, Oct. 16.

The headliner will play the show as a break in its tour with Regina Spektor and grace the stage of the bar that’s most commonly known for its naughty schoolgirl-themed parties but has hosted music-related events such as Anoop Desai “American Idol” watch parties. This concert is one of the bar’s first in carving a name of its own as a local music venue since its summer renovation.

Chapel Hill’s Tripp is currently selling their light-hearted powerpop wares while promoting their 2008 self-released album “Good Boy Charm.”

Check out their performance of “St. Jane” at Local 506:

Other Chapel Hill opener Wylie Hunter plays his pop rock as an solo acoustic singer-songwriter in the vein of John Mayer.

Doors are at 7:30 p.m., the show begins at 8 p.m. and the cost is $5/$10. [map]

For more info check out the Facebook event here.

Written by Elizabeth Lilly

October 14, 2009 at 12:18 am

The Beast album release at Duke Coffeehouse, Oct. 16

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Durham-based hip-hop group The Beast will kick off the release of its debut album “Silence Fiction” Friday, Oct. 16, at Duke Coffeehouse. The self-produced CD marks its first full length, but the group has practiced its blend of jazz, soul and hip-hop  on EPs “Belly” in 2008 and “Catalyst” in July.

But don’t take P. Diddy’s word for it, download  “Catalyst” for free here to check out their sound and see the band and Nnenna Freelon (who’s a Grammy award winner, mother of the band’s emcee Pierce Freelon and song “A Prelude to a Kiss” played during the closing credit’s of Oct. 10’s “Mad Men”) lay down the EP’s track “Once Again” in the studio.

Carlitta DurandKooley High and Freebass 808 open. The show starts at 8 p.m. and costs $10 at the door. [map]

For more info on The Beast visit its Web site.

Written by Elizabeth Lilly

October 13, 2009 at 12:23 am

Shakori Hills Festival, Oct. 8-11

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This Pittsboro-based semiannual festival is about more than just the music, (although that’s the biggest draw), with steps toward environmental sustainability that vary inShakori_logo size from a  solar panels project meant to offset the electricity used for the festival to separate waste containers for compost, trash and recyclables placed throughout the festival grounds. There’s even a biodiesel shuttle that picks up festivalgoers from Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Durham.

Many local music acts are booked each time and as with most festivals there’s almost too much to do. So here’s a quick and dirty breakdown of recommended (mostly) local artists:

Thursday Oct. 8

  • 5:15 p.m. Midtown Dickens at the Meadow Stage (The Durham self-described punk-folk quintet just self-released their newest “Lanterns” in September, which has received quite a bit of attention from UNC’s The Daily Tar Heel and Duke’s The Chronicle. )
  • 6 p.m. Haw River Rounders at the Dance Tent (The all-acoustic Durham band channels the spirit of jug music from the 1920s and 30s.)
  • 9 p.m. Roman Candle at the Meadow Stage (One of the festival’s more pop-leaning acts, Paste magazine calls the Chapel Hill band’s latest release “Oh Tall Tree in the Ear” a “modern-rock masterpiece.” )
  • 10 p.m. The Hotwires at the Cabaret Tent (Expect energetic traditional bluegrass and a lot of instrumentals from the Raleigh-based band. )
  • 11 p.m. dub Addis at the Meadow Stage (This roots reggae band hails from Ethiopia and resides in Durham.)

Friday Oct. 9

  • 4 p.m. Cyril Lance at the Meadow Stage (Carrboro-based Lance has decades of blues jamming experience.)
  • 7:30 p.m. The Duhks at the Meadow Stage (These Afro-beat playing Canadians are an expected addition to the festival lineup and actually have a sustainability project of their own.)
  • 10:30 p.m. Kellin Watson at the Cabaret Tent (The Asheville folk rock songstress is no stranger to the festival’s other acts as her latest release “No Static” features fellow performer The Duhks.)
  • 11 p.m. Holy Ghost Tent Revival at the Grove Stage (This Greensboro-based group’s genre is too difficult to define, but one definite thing is that they inspire a swinging good time. Check out the band’s music video for “Getting Over Your Love” to get a taste of their sound.) 

Saturday Oct. 10

  • 2:30 p.m. The Never at the Meadow Stage (The Chapel Hill group builds upbeat pop upon three-part harmonies.)
  • 6 p.m. Chatham County Line at the Meadow Stage (The Raleigh bluegrass quartet is kind of a big deal in Norway and is currently supporting its 2007 collaboration with Jonas Fjeld “Amerikabesok” and 2008 release “IV,” which track’s “Birmingham Jail” was named one of the best songs of 2008 by the Independent Weekly. Check out the band’s 22-minute  edition of Sessions at Studio B at NBC-17 in Raleigh on Music.MyNC.)
  • 10:30 p.m. Lost in the Trees at the Grove Stage (The Chapel Hill folk makes music equally beautiful and complicated with a lineup that includes most musical instruments imaginable.)
  • midnight The Jackets at the Cabaret Tent (An acoustic side project of Chatham County Line’s fiddle/ mandolin player John Teer and banjoist Chandler Holt.)

Sunday Oct. 11

  • 1 p.m. The Grady Girls at the Meadow Stage (The Ithaca, N.Y., quartet carries on the tradition of southwest Irish dance music.)
  • 1:30 p.m. Big Fat Gap at the Grove Stage (There’s a good reason this Chapel Hill bluegrass outfit is repeatedly mentioned on TMFN.)
  • 8:30 p.m. Donna the Buffalo with Jim Lauderdale and friends at the Meadow Stage (Who better to close out the festival than its founders DTB?)

Check out the full festival schedule and ticket info. [map]

(Don’t fret if you can’t make this installment, the spring edition is on April 22-25, 2010.)

Where in Durham can I go see free music…

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…and eat?

…and have a drink?

…at open mics?

…and sing karaoke?

Written by Elizabeth Lilly

October 3, 2009 at 2:32 am