Triangle Music for Newbies

Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Durham music

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.

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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

Max Indian at The Pinhook, Oct. 1

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Experience one of Chapel Hill’s infant bands at Durham venue The Pinhook this Thursday, Oct. 1. However, don’t expect novice musicianship as  members, like so many in the incestuous local music scene, dip their toes in multiple projects like Luego, Roman Candle, The Tomahawks and Mount Moriah, to name a select few.

Recent music fixture Max Indian (Nick Jarger, Carter Gaj, Jeff Crawford, James Wallace, Jamie McFarlane) combines the retro with current indie rock and catchy, not kitschy elements of pop-rock. OK and maybe a little bit of folk rock.

Check out a video of the band performing “Free as the Wind” from their “You Can Go Anywhere, Do Anything” release show at Local 506 last year.

Floridians Lighthouse Music open at 9 p.m. with the headliner at 10 p.m. Check out The Pinhook’s music calendar and blog. [map]

Where in Raleigh can I go see free music…

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…and eat?

…and drink coffee?

…at open mics?

…and sing karaoke?

Expect an upcoming installment on Durham.

Curtains of Night, Black Skies at Local 506, Sept. 26

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Introduce yourself to some local metal this Saturday, Sept. 26, when Chapel Hill venue Local 506 hosts a lineup that transcends the town’s milder toe-tapping indie rock reputation, but don’t expect it to sound anything like the more publicized hair-sprayed niche of metal that conjures Motley Crue.

Black Skies Photo Credit: AlisonNickles

Black Skies, Photo Credit: Alison Nickles

Chapel Hill’s Curtains of Night (Nora Rogers on guitar and Lauren Fitzpatrick on drums) take it slow and steady with aggressive distortion and punctuating screams on local label Holidays for Quince.

Carrboro’s Black Skies (Kevin Clark on guitars, vocals and Michelle Temple on bass) merge plentiful cymbal crashing and chugging guitars with a few southern rock-ish riffs to create stoner metal for those partial to head banging

(Want to get in on what you hear? Black Skies is currently looking for a new drummer.)

Doors open at 9:30 p.m. and Make kick off the show at 10 p.m. A Local 506 membership is required to attend shows, but it can be purchased at the door for $3 in addition to the show’s $10 admission. Be prepared to show you’re ID as all attendees must be at least 18 years old. Buy tickets on etix, CD Alley or at the venue.

Written by Elizabeth Lilly

September 25, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Where in Chapel Hill/Carrborro can I go see free music…

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…and eat?

…and drink coffee?

…at open mics?

…and sing karaoke?

…before football games?

Expect more in this series as I’ll cover free music in other areas of the Triangle.