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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Horseback Muses Experimental

Jenks Miller is the force behind Chapel Hill's Horseback, primarily powered by the experimental guitar and other instrumentation by Miller and friends. In 2007, Horseback released its latest album, "Impale Golden Horn". I asked Jenks to tell us about his music and his recording label, Holidays For Quince Records.

D: What is your approach to your solo work? Is it mostly improv or composed?

J: Horseback's music is mostly composed, though elements of improvisation and indeterminacy do play an important role in those compositions. Some of the songs on Impale Golden Horn, for example, are based on very simple melodic figures and chordal vamps, with improvised guitar and processed textural elements added over top. The idea was to allow the basic improvisations to grow into their own shadow-melodies, then step back and compose complimentary textural layers that would themselves evoke new melodic phrases. Other songs on that record (like "Blood Fountain") involved more detailed composition work up front, in order to allow for the kind of vocals I wanted, as well as more complex rhythmic structures.

"Approaching the Invisible Mountain", the guitar record released earlier this year, was produced entirely through blues-based modal improvisation. The idea on that record was to maintain a very specific mood and create a ritualized/hypnotic mantra; so the entire thing was recorded in one sitting and mixed very soon after that. The only compositional processes on ATIM involved editing out a couple of shorter, redundant tracks and processing a cymbal swell for the intro to one song.

I'm currently writing songs for a new Horseback record, and the new songs blend the different approaches from these two records.

D: I checked out your list of influences, which is gigantic, but if you had to pick your top 5, who would that be?

J: This is a really tough question unless I narrow it down a bit ... What if I name the 5 guitar players who have influenced my playing the most? That would be Loren Connors, Keiji Haino, Junior Kimbrough, Robbie Basho, and Sir Richard Bishop.

D: What other musicians have you worked with?

J: Heather McEntire (Bellafea, Un Deux Trois and Mount Moriah) contributed vocals to "Impale Golden Horn". Horseback's live shows are all about testing out new ideas and combinations of instruments. Over the past couple of years, the following musicians have participated in Horseback's live performances: Aaron Smithers (In the Year of the Pig, Todos Somos Ninjas): bass, French horn; Jon Mackey (Bells): laptop computer; Scott Endres (Suntan, *Sons): guitar; Bradley Cook (Megafaun, Akron/Family, Cold Hole): bass, laptop computer; Joe Westerlund (Megafaun, Akron/Family): drums, percussion; Phil Cook (Megafaun, Akron/Family): melodica; Dave Cantwell (Cantwell, Gomez and Jordan, In the Year of the Pig): drums, percussion; Crowmeat Bob (Kolyma, Dex Romweber): sax, clarinet; James Wallace (Max Indian, Mount Moriah): drums, organ; Bryce Eiman (Bicameral Mind): electronics, tape loops.

D: Tell us about the 100 guitar performance you were part of. What was that like?

J: Earlier this year, I traveled up to Williamsport, Pennsylvania with the guys from Megafaun in order to participate in Rhys Chatham's guitar orchestra. Rhys Chatham is a minimalist composer largely responsible for expanding the rock-band aesthetic of punk music into the realm of American minimalist composition. His 1980's records (of which "Die Donnergotter/The Thundergods" is probably the best) were a sort of apotheosis for the early punk and no-wave movements in New York, in that they more fully realized the philosophy of "maximum volume brings maximum results" by simply bringing more guitarists to the table. Because multiple guitarists played very basic parts simultaneously, the natural overtones of the instruments rose above the din to create their own sort of melodic haze. Chatham then expanded these ideas to orchestra-sized proportions, perhaps in an attempt to reach the logical conclusion of his concept.

Seth Olinsky (of Akron/Family) offered to host a performance of Mr. Chatham's 100-guitar orchestra in Williamsport, where Seth helps run a music school for high-school aged students. The students themselves made up most of the orchestra, complemented by "professional" musicians that Seth recruited from around the country. We went up two days in advance of the performance in order to rehearse in sections, then had a full rehearsal the day of the show. The orchestra performed a variety of songs that Mr. Chatham had re-worked from his catalog, including sections of "An Angels Moves Too Fast to See" and "The Out of Tune Guitar." We also played an epic version of the Ramones' "Beat on the Brat," which highlighted the close relationship between early punk and Mr. Chatham's own brand of loud. Local music writer Grayson Currin reported on the actual performance for Pitchforkmedia -- his story is worth a look.

D: Are you still working with Holidays For Quince as your label?

J: Holidays for Quince is a locally-conscious record label that I run with Heather McEntire of Bellafea. This year, we released the first EP from Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies, as well as debut full-lengths from both Caltrop and The Curtains of Night. I have tried to keep HFQ's imprint on my own releases; both Burly Time and New American Folk Hero were kind enough to allow HFQ to co-release "Impale Golden Horn" and "Approaching the Invisible Mountain", respectively.

D: What are your upcoming plans?

J: I'm excited to be working on a new Horseback record, and in the meantime I'm testing out some of these new ideas in a live setting with James Wallace and Bryce Eiman. Horseback plays November 9th at 4pm on Ross Grady's local music show on WXDU. You can also catch us at Bynum General Store on November 22nd with Electric Bird Noise.

D: What's your favorite Halloween costume of all time?

J: My fiancée wants to go as Hunter S. Thompson this year. She is a beautiful woman with a luxurious, flowing mane, so if she can pull off a transformation into a bald, bombed iconoclast, that just might become my favorite costume of all time.

D: You play some very odd-sounding instruments! What's a shruti box? A tanpura?

J: These are Indian instruments that produce oscillating, tonal drones. An acoustic shruti box is much like a harmonium; I use a programmable, electronic version that's a lot less exciting. It's more like a computer, really.

D: Anything else you would like to tell people about your work?

J: Music is magick! And this quote from Aleister Crowley's Book of Lies is very important to my philosophy on music: "That which causes us to create is our true father and mother; we create in our own image, which is theirs. Let us create therefore without fear, for we can create nothing that is not GOD."

Thanks for that amazing discussion Jenks! Jenks Miller is performing as Horseback on November 9th on WXDU 88.7 (Duke) at 4PM.

Photo credit: Derek Anderson

Annuals Appear On Conan

Raleigh's own Annuals appeared on Late Night With Conan O'Brien on Monday, playing the song "Confessor" from their new release "Such Fun". You can check out their performance HERE. Annuals are currently on tour with Minus the Bear, playing TONIGHT at Lincoln Theatre.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Shows of the Week

Some places to be this week:

Tuesday, October 28th

Movers and Shakers, Jokes&Jokes&Jokes, Pretty Boy Thorson and the F'n A's, Cortez the Killer, at Reservoir, 10PM, 100A Brewer Ln, Carrboro, 919-933-3204,

Windy City Slim and the Sunnyland Rhythm Kings, Rocket Biscuit, at Mansion 462, 7:30 PM, 462 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 919-967-7913,

Deerhoof, Experimental Dental School, Flying, at Cat's Cradle, 9PM, $12, 300 E. Main St., Carrboro, 919-967-9053,

Aminal Music, Low Red Land, Black Skies, at The Cave, 10PM, 452 1/2 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 919-968-9308,

Wednesday, October 29th

Lus Verlexic, Slave to Addiction, Ninetail, Kill Mercy, Silver Judas, Killing Avarice, at Volume 11 Tavern, 6:30PM, 658 Maywood Ave, Raleigh, 919-839-0079,

Kerbloki, Astronautalis, Juan Huevos, Bluebird, DJ Fader, at Local 506, 9PM, $6, 506 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 919-942-5506,

Minus The Bear, Annuals, Sylvie, at Lincoln Theatre, 9PM, $16-$18, 126 E. Cabarrus St., Raleigh, 919-821-4111,

Thursday October 30th

Mercy Mercedes, Cursive Memory, Go Crash Audio and Single File, at The Brewery, 6:30PM, 3009 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, 919-838-6788,

Bouncing Souls, Strike Anywhere, The Casting Out, Gimme Drugs, at Cat's Cradle, 7:30PM, $15-$17, 300 E. Main St., Carrboro, 919-967-9053,

Romero Lubambo Brazil for Six Strings, at Duke Campus Nelson Music Room, 8PM, $5-$20, East Campus, Durham, 919-684-4444,

Taz Halloween and Robert Griffin, at Blue Bayou Club, 9PM, 106 S. Churton St., Hillsborough, 919-732-2555,

Left Outlet (performing Rocky Horror Halloween Party, at Tir na nOg, 10PM, 218 S. Blount St, Raleigh, 919-833-7795,

Friday, October 31st

Dead Celebrity Party: 7:30PM, Jim Smith 10PM: Twilighter and Stu Col'e Spectral Spasms, at The Cave, 452 1/2 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 919-968-9308,

Across Five Aprils, Kong, Injun Joe, Columns, Betray Your Own, Any Port in a Storm, The Phantom Variant, at The Brewery, 6PM, 3009 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, 919-838-6788,

Spencer Scholes, Primitive Sound at Maximillians, 7-10PM, 8314 Chapel Hill Rd., Cary, 919-465-2455,

Aftermath A.D., Tub of Noise, Here Lies, at Volume 11, 8PM, 658 Maywood Ave, Raleigh, 919-839-0079,

Strange Faces, Taz Halloween's Carnival of Nightmares, at Mansion 462, 8PM, 462 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 919-967-7913,

The Everybodyfields, Katie Herzig, at Cat's Cradle, 9PM, $10-$12, 300 E. Main St., Carrboro, 919-967-9053,

Legendary Pink Dots, at Local 506, $13-$15, 9:15PM, 506 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 919-942-5506,

Halloween Party with Rat Jackson and Pink Flag, at Jack Sprat, limited tickets, 11PM, 161 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 919-933-3575,

Saturday, November 1st

Billy Bragg: Mr. Love and Justice, at Duke Page Auditorium, 8PM, $5-$34, West Campus, Durham, 919-684-4444,

Jamie Stewart (of Xiu Xiu), at Duke Coffeehouse, Crowell Building, 9:30PM, East Campus, Durham, 919-684-4069,

Bowerbirds, Megafaun, at Slims, 10PM, 227 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh, 919-833-6557,

FrequeNC Records Night Dance Party at Nightlight, 10PM, 405 1/2 W. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill, 919-933-5550,

Friday, October 24, 2008

Shakori Hills Gets Rave Reviews

My friend Andy Wood spent a couple of weekends ago at Shakori Hills Festival. I have never been there myself, so I asked Andy to give us his impressions.

D: What performances did you get to see? What were the highlights for you?

A: We saw Donna the Buffalo on Thursday, Saturday, and the Sunday finale. They are the anchor band and they always put on a fine show. They invite other artists to the stage with them on Sunday night. It’s very interesting to hear what they make up and how well they can fit in with other musicians' vibe.

We watched Eileen Ives on Thurs night. She was great. High energy and a very talented group. We bought her album and had a nice conversation with her after the show. My daughter, Hannah, really enjoyed her music and we got a chance to speak with her back stage after the show. She was very personable and encouraging to Hannah.

We caught the end of a group out of Greensboro, Thacker Dairy Road. They had a nice sound and played a wide variety of genres.

Friday we saw The Duhk’s, always a good show. They are regulars now to the festival and when you see their talent and hear their beat, you’ll know why. Some very interesting new stuff mixed in with some great older ones. They really feed on audience participation, and also a great way to learn French.

Toubab Krewe was awesome, a very different sound, mixing an African sound with reggae and jazz. Come to their show ready to dance. Very intoxicating.

Saturday started with The Carolina Chocolate Drops, on to Del McCoury Band, Donna the Buffalo at the Meadow stage, and ending with Soludos Compay and The Duhk’s in the Dance Tent. This is the stuff of great times and great memories. You can get as close as you want to the stage and the musicians all seem to really thrive on the energy of the crowd.

Carolina Chocolate Drops: great old time bluegrass that would have been lost if these folks didn’t learn it and keep it alive. Go see them when you get the chance. A history lesson with every song!

Del McCoury: what can you say? They are the best at what they do. They played some of their new album, but otherwise took requests from the audience. There was no lack of requests. They played to a special mic arrangement, none of the instruments were electronic and none of them had any special equipment. They all moved to the mics on cue and didn’t miss a beat, even when Del forgot the last part of one of his new songs. They just kept the song going, took turns playing solos, and Del went to his case and got his notes, came back on stage and they finished the song. From then on, when anyone forgot their lyrics, it was know as having a “Del

Soludos Compay was great, even though there were some technical issues. Come ready to dance if you see them. It would even be worth taking some lessons. Lots of ladies were looking for partners!

The Duhk’s rocked to the limit of the noise ordinance. They took the stage at 1:15 am and played to 2:35am. They were tight, the tent was packed, and it was a great way to end the night (or begin the day if you want to see it that way).

I started Sunday with Bubba George String band. Check their bio for group info, but they were unbelievable. They didn’t really have a playlist--they would have a group meeting and play through a couple of openings before deciding on a song for the moment. They were all very talented and played extremely well together. I got the impression they were all members of other groups and just decided to throw in together to see what happened. It was old time sound of bluegrass.

Stephanie's Id put on a good show, creative in their sound and good showmanship.

The Duhk’s and Donna closed the night, awesome as always.

D: How was it camping out?

A: Once you get your spot, it’s very nice. We car camped, and it was nice to truck our supplies in and out. The other campers are typically very nice and generous.

D: What activities did the kids enjoy most?

A: We played a lot of caroms. They have a tent set up with about 10 tables and anyone can play. We played teams with one other friend. Ben and I against Hannah and Tom. We played the best of three every day. The final game was the highlight of the weekend. Tom was not having a good game at all, missing easy shots. Then he had the most amazing combination shot and another tricky shot to win the game. You had to be there to appreciate it, but suffice it to say that game will live in infamy for the rest of our days. We also practiced our juggling, played catch, and made up some other games.

D: I noticed they had a solar project this year. Tell us about that.

A: They are promoting a program to help them get hardware in place to support 100% of all their energy needs. It sounds very ambitious, but it is very doable.

D: Are you doing solar installations now?

A: I am doing my own solar energy stuff, nothing for customers just yet. I need to practice on my own home first.

D: It sounds like this was a really great festival. What advice would you give to those planning for next year?

A: I think car camping is the best way to go. Bring what you need for 4 days, set up camp, and wander around and listen to music all day and night. Bring friends--it's a great time.

Thanks for that great weekend review Andy! Andy Wood runs a small residential remodeling company, is married with two kids who homeschool (the festival was part of the curriculum), and he practices and teaches Aikido in Carrboro and Hillsborough at Open Sky Aikido.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Merge Records Announces More Shows For Would Be Voters

Just when you thought it was safe to rock out without worrying about this election anymore--I mean, I have heard enough election coverage for about the next 50 years or so, and I'm a major political junkie--Merge Records has announced two more free concerts in support of early voting here in North Carolina. The first is in Asheville, Tuesday, October 28th at The Grey Eagle, 8PM. The lineup is:

The Reigning Sound
Tift Merritt
Chris Stamey (dBs)
Greg Humphreys (Hobex)
Electric Owls (ex Comas)

Tickets are free! As the fine people at Merge say:

Pick them up when you vote this week outside UNC-Asheville's Zeis Hall, which is by the Quad at 1 University Heights. Tickets will be handed out beginning at 10 am on Thursday, October 23rd, and will remain there during voting hours until they are all given away - from 10-6, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday.

Next week is Chapel Hill's turn, Saturday, November 1st, which also happens to be the last day of early voting. The show is going to really piss off the neighbors from 9AM until 1PM, at UNC's Graham Terrace, adjacent to Morehead Planetarium, which is an early voting site. They are also advertising coffee and doughnuts, and what could be better than that?! Oh yes, the music:

The dBs
Superchunk (acoustic)
Ivan Rosebud
I Was Totally Destroying It
Greg Humphreys
Regina Hexaphone

This is a great opportunity to see some of the area's most notable performers, if you're awake for it. I will be there for sure, wearing my coffee and doughnuts as we slam dance the morning away.

Now here's a little tip: I voted yesterday at the Senior Center in Chapel Hill--NO LINES AT ALL!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Shows This Week

Here are some shows to check out this week.

Monday, October 20th

Cold War Kids at Cat's Cradle, 9PM, $16-$17, 300 E. Main St., Carrboro, 919-967-9053,

Suicide Silence, Dillenger Escape Plan, Emmure, Beneath the Massacre, at Lincoln Theatre, 8PM, $15-$17, 126 E. Cabarrus St., Raleigh, 919-821-4111,

Dirty Little Heaters, at Local 506, 506 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 919-942-5506,

Tuesday, October 21st

Music of the Japanese Biwa: Stories from the Tale of the heike, at Duke Richard White Auditorium, 7:30-9PM, Free, 113 Campus Dr., East Campus, Durham.

A Place To Bury Strangers, at Local 506, 9PM, $10-$12, 506 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 919-942-5506,

Wednesday, October 22nd

M.O.P. at Cat's Cradle, 300 E. Main St., Carrboro, 919-967-9053,

The Higher, Just Surrender, The White Tie Affair, The Morning Of, at The Brewery, 6:30PM, 3009 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, 919-838-6788,

Embarrassing Fruits, Soft Company, Kentucky Nightmare, at Nightlight, 9:30PM, 405 1/2 W. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill, 919-933-5550,

Thursday, October 23rd

919Noise Showcase, featuring: Subscape Annex, Pacific Before Tiger, Joe Hendrix, Bryce Clayton Eiman, Glass Witch, at Nightlight, 405 1/2 W. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill, 919-933-5550,

Eccentrik Festival V (23rd - 26th), at Hell, $35/$25 for 3-day pass,, 157 E. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill, 919-929-9666,

Janis Ian, at The Arts Center, 8:30PM, $29, 300-G E. Main St., Carrboro, 919-929-2787,

Born Ruffians, Plants and Animals, The Huguenots, at Local 506, 9:30PM, $10, 506 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 919-942-5506,

Friday, October 24th

Spencer Scholes and Primitive Sound, at Maximillians, 7PM, 8314 Chapel Hill Rd., Cary, 919-465-2455,

WXYC Backyard BBQ with Caltrop, Blag'ard, In the Year of the Pig, at Local 506, 10PM, Free, 506 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 919-942-5506,

Saturday, October 25th

Kung Fu Girls, at Mansion 462, 7:30PM, 462 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 919-967-7913,

Squirrel Nut Zippers, DaShawn Hickman and Steel Moven, at Cat's Cradle, 9PM, $20, 300 E. Main St., Carrboro, 919-967-9053,

Daily Tar Heel's Diversions presents Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies, Schooner, Max Indian, at Local 506, 10PM, Free, 506 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 919-942-5506,

Regina Hexaphone, Starmount, at The Cave, 10PM, 452 1/2 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 919-968-9308,

Friday, October 17, 2008

Because It's Friday, and You Deserve the Best.. or something..


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Discounted Tickets Available For Magnetic Fields

In times like these, you've got to appreciate the 50% discounted tickets that Cat's Cradle is offering for balcony seats at the Magnetic Fields show this Saturday, October 18th ($13 + $5.50 "(in)convenience" charge) at Raleigh's Meymandi Hall. Chapel Hill's Portastatic is opening the show.

New York's Magnetic Fields are heavy on the reverb, part-techno, part-surf, at least on their diatribe (anti-)"California Girls", part-power-pop, and vocalist Stephin Merritt's baritone voice recalls The Cure's Robert Smith.

Magnetic Fields is currently touring in support of their January CD release, "Distortion".

In other news, David Byrne is making his way to Meymandi on December 8th, a new date added to his US tour of his and Brian Eno's release, "Everything That Happens Will Happen Today". While Eno is not on the tour (grumble grumble), I'm excited to see that Mark Degli Antoni is on the tour on keyboards. Mark was in one of my favorite bands ever, Soul Coughing. This show will include dancers--there are three different choreographers listed!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Shows This Week

First and most importantly, this week in NC, early voting begins on Thursday! You really really should vote early, because voting day is going to be super-crowded. What does this have to do with the music calendar for today, you ask? Don't make me write a song about it now, let's just get on with the shows for this week.

Tuesday, October 14th

Dead Confederate, The Heartless Bastards, at Cat's Cradle, $10-$12, 9:30 PM, 919-967-9053.

JJ Grey & Mofro, Hill Country Revue, at Lincoln Theatre, $14-$17, 8PM, 919-821-4111.

Wednesday, October 15th

I Was Totally Destorying It, Huzzah!, The Informants, Sinister Archetype, at Reservoir, 100A Brewer Ln, Carrboro, 919-933-3204.

Buckethead, That 1 Guy, at Lincoln Theatre, $16-$20, 8PM, 919-821-4111.

Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, at Meymandi Concert Hall, $20-$35, 8PM, 919-644-8302.

Thursday, October 16th

Early voting begins! (but you knew that already)

The Magic Babies, Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies, at Tir na nOg, 919-833-7795.

Chuckfolds, at 42nd Street Oyster Bar, 308 W. Jones St, Raleigh, 919-831-2811.

Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Heyday, at Lincoln Theatre, $20-$22, 919-821-4111.

Auxes, Hammer No More the Fingers, at Nightlight, 405 1/2 W. Rosemary, Chapel Hill, 9:30 PM, 919-933-5550.

The Homewreckers, Resist Not, Blood Red River, at Broad Street Cafe, 1116 Broad St, Durham, 10PM, 919-416-9707.

Friday, October 17th

Pee Wee Moore, Ed Moon, and Emily Scott, at Irregardless Cafe, 901 W. Morgan St., Raleigh, 919-833-8898.

Spencer Scholes, Primitive Sound, at Maximillians, 8314 Chapel Hill Rd., Cary, 7PM, 919-465-2455.

Red Elvises, Poonhounds, at The Pour House Music Hall, 224 S. Blount St. Raleigh, 9PM, $12-$15, 919-821-1120.

Saturday, October 18th

Armand and Bluesology, at Papa Mojo's Roadhouse, 5410-Y, Hwy 55, Durham, $8, 919-361-2222.

Monsters of Mock Tribute Festival, at Lincoln Theatre, $13-$15, 919-821-4111.

Lost in the Trees, T-Rox, The Beast, Down River, Bull City, at Duke Coffeehouse, 2PM, 919-684-4069.

Green Jelly, Rosemary's Billygoat, The Radioactive Chickenheads, Mandown, at Volume 11 Tavern, 658 Maywood Ave, Raleigh, 8PM, 919-839-0079.

Monday, October 20th

Cold War Kids, at Cat's Cradle, 9PM, $16-$17, 919-967-9053.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dead Confederate Haunts The Cradle

This Tuesday at Cat's Cradle, Athens, Georgia based Dead Confederate brings their haunting rock to life along with Dayton's Heartless Bastards.

The obvious question: what does a dead confederate sound like? I hear barely a hint of southern tinged rock, but primarily this is rock "Athens style". Their newly released album, "Wrecking Ball", was first available in stores on September 16th. Songs like "The Rat" remind me of fellow Georgians R.E.M., while most of the rest are more raw, and yes, haunting, as you might expect from a dead confederate around Halloween--minor, heavy, sometimes doleful.

From their publicity page:

The Georgia group conjured the haunting sound of their debut full-length album WRECKING BALL the old-fashioned way: by making it in the tiny concrete box of a studio in Austin, Texas, where the sound effects for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre were recorded. "We're kind of like a Jackson Pollock painting," explains singer/guitarist Hardy Morris, 28. "Brutally honest. There isn't some big twist or turn, it just lays it all out there. Immediate, no frills, primal, emotional.”

They've already shared the stage with R.E.M. (at a lauded 2008 SXSW appearance), Dinosaur Jr., Drive By Truckers, the Black Angels, Deerhunter and Black Lips and are looking forward to tossing aside their day jobs (everything from catering to construction) to get back into their live groove this summer. "Offstage, I'm not going to sit there and bother people with my problems. I can get everything out of me onstage and I'm back to normal offstage," Morris explains. "We're just all pretty laidback and light-hearted guys. People meet us and are like, y'all are not what we expected at all."

You can check out Dead Confederate's tour blog HERE! Even better, you can catch them this Tuesday evening in Chapel Thrill at Cat's Cradle.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Shows and Festivals This Week

As many of you may know, I have been blogging on our local CBS affiliate's website, covering local music in this area. Generally I do a concert calendar for the end of the week/weekend and one or two other posts, which I also post here. Until now I have not posted the calendar here, but beginning this week I will post everything everywhere! Exciting? Don't answer that question, but here's the link to the Research Triangle Rock blog.

Have you had enough festivals yet? I hope not, because this weekend we have another two to entertain you. The Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival starts Thursday and runs through the weekend. Located in Silk Hope, about 20 minutes southwest of Chapel Hill, this is a community oriented festival including camping, many different performers, participatory events like drumming, arts and crafts, food, contests, workshops, open jams, and a whole lot of mosquitoes. Admission prices vary from $22-$85 depending on your length of stay, with free tent camping included. The musical selections lean more in a roots/folk direction, but there is a wide enough selection to satisfy those with eclectic tastes.

Alas, as far as I can tell, Shakori Hills is a bit lacking in the metal department. For that you should head to The Brewery (3009 Hillsborough St. Raleigh, 919-838-6788) for the Slave to the Metal Music Fest, featuring 9 bands on Thursday, the 9th, and 10 more on Saturday the 11th. Doors open at 6PM on Thursday, 5PM on Saturday.

Here are a few more shows if you want something a bit less of a commitment:

Thursday, October 9th

He Is Legend, Boxbomb, House of Fools, Telescreen, at Cat's Cradle, $10-$12, 919-967-9053.

Galactic, Crown City Rockers, at Lincoln Theatre, 126 E. Cabarrus St, Raleigh, 8PM, $20-$25, 919-821-4111.

I Was Totally Destroying It, at Tir na nOg, 10PM, 919-833-7795.

The Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour, at Local 506, $10, 9PM, 919-942-5506.

Friday, October 10th

Roctoberfest at Volume 11 Tavern, 658 Maywood Ave, Raleigh, 919-839-0079.

Spencer Scholes, Primitive Sound, at Maximillians, 7PM, 8314 Chapel Hill Rd., Cary, 919-465-2455.

Jonathan Richman, at Local 506, 9PM, $12.

... and bzzzt! That's all for this edition. Have a nice weekend.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Farewell Cy Rawls

Today we send our condolences to the family and friends of Cy Rawls, who passed away last Friday morning after battling cancer. Cy was a great supporter of the Triangle music scene, and in the past several months many benefits to support him have come together. Visit the blog dedicated to him here.

Cy worked as a DJ for local stations WXDU and WXYC, as well as interning at Durham's Merge Records.

In August, The Independent ran this article describing one unique effort to help with the mounting medical bills, CyTunes, which donated proceeds of online music sales to him.

Music critic David Menconi has also written a lot about Cy on his blog.

Farewell Cy--may your memory rock on with us.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Pink Flag Plays Girls Rock Girls Rule Tour

Durham's own Pink Flag is taking part in a major benefit this Sunday at Local 506. PF fills us in on the details.

D: Tell us about the Girls Rock Girls Rule tour. It looks like seven bands performing. Isn't that a lot to fit into a single evening?

PF: GRGR is sort of a dual purpose tour. On the one hand, GRGR is a showcase for local bands like Pink Flag and PATC, which allows them to play at a larger local venue with more seasoned touring acts like G-Spot, Loki the Grump, RewBee, Marisa Mini & The Underage Hotties and America's Sweetheart and in front of A&R reps from label. GRGR also provides all of the artists with pretty valuable promotion packages, subscriptions and publicity opportunities. On the other hand, it places a spotlight on women in rock and helps to highlight the beneficiary of the show: Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, a New York City-based non-profit summer day camp serving girls ages 8-18. The program offers girls the chance to learn how to play musical instruments, write songs, perform and generally "rock out" in a supportive environment that fosters self-confidence, self-esteem, creativity, tolerance and collaboration.

PF: Seven bands might seem like a lot, but when it's only six tax deductible dollars, it seems like a bargain. Every band plays exactly half an hour, so when the show starts at 7:30, it starts at 7:30, and when it ends at 12:00, it ends at 12:00. It's a good way to get a real taste of what's out there over the course of four and a half hours.

D: How many dates are on the tour?

PF: There are 11 dates on the tour, and at least two amazing local bands on each one. Pink Flag is really honored to be representing North Carolina on our home turf. The full list is:

Oct 3 2008 7:30P The Red and The Black Washington DC
Oct 4 2008 7:30P Hershee Bar Norfolk, VA
Oct 5 2008 7:00P Local 506 Chapel Hill, NC
Oct 6 2008 7:00P Ground Zero Spartanburg, SC
Oct 7 2008 7:00P The Stage Door Tucker, GA
Oct 8 2008 7:00P 3rd & Lindsley Nashville, TN
Oct 9 2008 7:00P Dirty Jacks Cincinnati, OH
Oct 10 2008 7:30P Smiling Moose Pittsburgh, PA
Oct 11 2008 7:30P Sidebar Tavern Baltimore, MD
Oct 21 2008 7:00P Trash Bar – CMJ Brooklyn, NY
Dec 6 2008 7:00P Ace of Clubs – 7th Annv. New York, NY

D: I saw your MySpace mention that Pink Flag is more a cult than a band. How do I join? Would I have to get an operation?

PF: For us, it was almost as if when we got together, there was a magic between us, like we'd known each other forever. We travel in a pack, we have our flag names, we have little rituals and traditions around practice and shows. We've recently started "initiating" new members--giving them flag names and sort of bringing them into our fold. There are no operations necessary to join the cult! All you have to do is pledge allegiance. In truth, I think when people are really happy doing something together, other people automatically want to be included in the joy and we are more than happy to include people who are positive and supportive.

D: What are your influences?

PF: We took our name from Wire's debut album. Post-punk does have a large influence on our taste, but we love riot grrl, top 40, reggae and pretty much anything you'd have heard growing up in America in the 90s. One of the best things about the band is that we've got three very different personalities with varied tastes. Individually, Lucky loves to get compared to Sleater-Kinney, Dork is happy to sound like the Slits or Ted Leo and Sick would take a comparison to Travis Barker as the highest of compliments.

D: How did the band come together?

PF: Lucky answered Dork's ad to start a girl band on craigslist and then mentioned it to Sick, who expressed interest. We snapped her up because she's the sickest drummer around.

D: Are you planning to record more?

PF: We just finished our first EP, which will be released on a full-length split with our friends The Homewreckers on November 22 at the Duke Coffeehouse. We've just informally released a bootleg recording of a live show and plan to do a Session at KNC in the near future. We're headed back into the studio early next year, because we've already got about 10 new songs, dying to get recorded.

D: How do you write new material for the band?

PF: We write new material like it's going out of style. Everyone in the band writes songs, brings them in and then lets the other girls write their own parts. We usually try to have those songs ready to play out within a month.

PF: Thanks again and please come out to see GRGR on October 5 at Local 506.

Pink Flag will be releasing a split album on Break Yr Heart Records with The Homewreckers on November 22nd at the Duke Coffeehouse.

Also appearing this Sunday with Pink Flag is Princess and the Criminals, from Greenville, North Carolina.