In the department of spacey alt-country or cosmic American music - or whatever it is we're calling folk-tinged country-rock these days - Kamara Thomas, the former bass player for indie power trio Earl Greyhound, has dropped a video from her upcoming solo album, Earth Hero, that's a real stunner.
I'll be offering up a full review soon. For now, enjoy "You Wreck Me."
We thought this issue went away, but it's rising up from the ashes to provide headaches to area restaurant owners and musicians once again.
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Department is holding several meetings, the next one is on Jan. 24 at 6 p.m., to address the current regulations of restaurants, nightclubs, bars and lounges. The most recent proposal being discussed would eliminate sources of entertainment inside such establishments after midnight if they are within 400 feet of residential areas. The city is concerned that some restaurants may technically meet the current definition of a nightclub, bar or lounge.
The Charlotte Zoning Ordinance currently defines a nightclub as any commercial establishment serving alcoholic beverages and providing entertainment for patrons including bars, lounges and cabarets. A restaurant is defined as an establishment designed, in whole or in part, to accommodate the consumption of food and/or beverages.
As we stated last year when this subject was brought up -
For establishments in areas such as Elizabeth (Kennedy's, Philospher's Stone, etc.), Plaza Midwood (Snug Harbor, Common Market, etc.) and locations outside of uptown, this would mean no live or recorded music, no karaoke, no comedians, no playing pool or other entertainment-related activities after midnight. (In other words, it would affect some of the city's better music clubs in some of its more artistically adventurous neighborhoods. Uptown establishments would not be affected.) Does anyone else hear the Footloose theme song in their head?
The Jan. 24 meeting will be held in room 267 at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center (CMGC), 600 E. Fourth St.
We're a little late in linking the Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop poll, and if you're a music geek you've no doubt already checked it out. But for the rest of you, the Voice's 2012 poll looks a little like Creative Loafing's own best-music lists this year. Frank Ocean, which topped my personal Top 10, also topped the Voice's list this year, and other CL faves, including Kendrick Lamar, Fiona Apple, Swans and Japandroids, also fared well at P&J.
Charlotte music fans came out in droves to see punk stalwarts Hot Water Music at Amos' Southend on Sunday, Jan. 21, but more focus was on The Menzingers and their singer Tom May. The bulging veins on May's head and neck weren't precursors to an imminent stroke, but symbols of the energetic epicenter of the band's own scrappy punk songs which shared the headliner's spotlight.
May chopped, spun and bounced his way through the songs while May's somewhat more sedate counterpart, co-vocalist Greg Barnett, made up for his lack of movement with soaring vocals - a mix between a choirboy and dying dreams. Despite the band's innate sadness, May never lets the melancholy of Barnett's songs becoming overpowering, always injecting rough energy into what might otherwise slow the momentum. It's the two vocalists' interplay - singing and screaming over, under and through each other's voices - which ultimately drives the band's set.
Not for nothing, the punk community treasures headliner Hot Water Music. Coming off of a 2008 reunion and new album (Exister released last year), Gainesville, Fla.'s favorite sons might well be under the dictionary heading for "raspy." Vocalist Chuck Ragan doesn't sing so much as growl through his beard, though his sandpaper voice never seems to lack an ounce of soul, while co-vocalist Chris Wollard isn't far behind.
You probably missed it, but over the weekend, Knight Theater became one of the premier concert venues in town. The difference? An acoustic shell that Charlotte Symphony flight-tested in two separate pops programs - Friday evening's Buddy Holly-Richie Valens-Big Bopper tribute and Saturday morning's LolliPops ode to "Dancin', Rockin', and Hip-Hoppin'."
The Symphony missed the boat. Former Symphony maestro Christof Perick and managing director both spurned the Knight as a concert hall when blueprints were finalized and construction was in the works. But as the Book of Exodus says, "there arose a new king over Egypt," and no one has been more enterprising or visionary than current maestro Christopher Warren-Green in seeing and developing the potential of the Knight.
A handful of new shows were recently announced, so here's a quick roundup:
* Crosby Stills and Nash will perform at Ovens Auditorium on May 19.
* Band of Horses has added a second night to the Fillmore. The band's May 10-11 shows are the first two-night run in the Fillmore's history.
* Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre announced its country megaticket for 2013:
Tim McGraw with Brantley Gilbert, Love and Theft - May 3
Brad Paisley with Chris Young, Lee Brice - June 7
Luke Bryan with Thompson Square, Florida Georgia Line - July 12
Keith Urban with Little Big Town, Dustin Lynch - July 25
Kenny Chesney with Eli Young Band, Kacey Musgraves - Aug. 1
Miranda Lambert & Dierks Bentley - Aug. 23
Jason Aldean with Jake Owen, Thomas Rhett - Sept. 12
* Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell & Richard Thompson Electric Trio will perform at Belk Theater on April 1.
* Anthrax with Exodus, Municpal Waste and Holy Grail will perform at Tremont Music Hall on April 13.
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