Wednesday, November 15, 2017

NEW VIDEO: Ron Lui, "Just Like I Said"

Ron and Brio are all about bikeability

Posted By on Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 1:31 PM

Charlotte rapper Ron Lui released a video today for his new single, "Just Like I Said." In the video, he and Brio, who produced the song, ride around the city on bikes, sometimes not so successfully. There's also time for some blunt smoking — which would fit well with Brio's trippy, Tetris-like beat — and a few stops at Uptown Charlotte's last remaining payphones, we imagine.

The single, which released on Friday, is currently available on most major streaming platforms, save for SoundCloud, and will be featured on Ron Lui's upcoming sophomore project, THX 4 the Balloons.

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Imagine Dragons remind fans of the power of music

Posted By on Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 10:12 PM

Imagine Dragons, Grouplove, K. Flay
Nov. 8, 2017
Spectrum Center

Pop-rock outfit Imagine Dragons had only performed one song, "I Don't Know Why," before singer Dan Reynolds addressed the crowd. "There are people in this world who don't want us to be here right now," he said. "I'm not going to live my life in fear. And everyone here has chosen to enjoy music instead of living in fear." He thumped his chest as the crowd roared. As he held up a peace sign with two fingers, everyone in attendance was instantly reminded of recent tragedies at music events and the power we have as humans and music fans to create positive energy. From that point on, it was a night of sing-alongs and radio-friendly rock. The band even found a moment to pay tribute to Tom Petty with a cover of "I Won't Back Down." The night started with a short set by K. Flay and a thunderous performance from Grouplove, who included covers of Beastie Boys and David Bowie.

Imagine Dragons setlist
I Don't Know Why
It's Time
Whatever It Takes
I'll Make It Up to You
Mouth of the River
Start Over
Rise Up
I'm So Sorry
On Top of the World
I Won't Back Down
Shots (acoustic)
Amsterdam (acoustic)
I Bet My Life
Walking the Wire
The Fall

Grouplove setlist
Welcome to Your Life
Itchin' on a Photograph
I'm With You
Remember That Night
Shark Attack
Ways To Go
Tongue Tied
Space Oddity

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

WATCH: Everybody's Loving the Groovy New Blame the Youth Video

Posted By on Wed, Nov 8, 2017 at 6:01 PM

Yeah, OK, so we're a little late with this one: Charlotte's Blame the Youth released their first-ever video last week for the combined songs "P.O.T.K./ABACA," from their 2016 EP The Hourglass. And we're finally getting it up for you right here on the "Vibes" blog.

Let's see now: What can we Blame the Youth for? We can blame them for making great new music. We can blame them for shaking up the Charlotte scene. Heck, we can blame them for those kick-ass election results last night that put so many young people on city council. Best of all, we can blame them for this new clip.

Blame the Youth, featured on the cover CL's August 23 Pride issue as well as a recent episode of our "Local Vibes" podcast, not only mesmerize on stage, they do good camera, too. Now, y'all enjoy this, hear?

Directed by Alexander, this video is A Grandiloquent Devise/RedBear Spirit Production. It was filmed at Camp North End in Charlotte. Listen to The Hourglass EP below or at Spotify or Pandora, then go purchase it at Bandcamp, Apple Music, Google Play, or Beats Music.

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HIM thrills Charlotte on farewell tour

Posted By on Wed, Nov 8, 2017 at 12:20 AM

HIM, CKY, 3Teeth
The Fillmore
Nov. 7, 2017

It's the moment fans have been waiting for and dreading. Finnish goth-rock band HIM returned to Charlotte for the first time in 10 years on Tuesday night. The problem? It's a stop on the band's farewell tour. The crowd soaked up every note and sang along to every lyric throughout the night. Even though te band cruised through a packed setlist for two hours, it wasn't enough for the diehards. Maybe opening act 3Teeth will be right and the band will return for an anniversary tour down the road... even singer Ville Valo hasn't ruled it out. The night opened with industrial rockers 3Teeth before skate-rockers CKY finally made their Charlotte debut.

HIM setlist
Buried Alive By Love
Heartache Every Moment
Your Sweet 666
Kiss of Dawn
Tears On Tape
Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly
Soul on Fire
Wicked Game
Killing Loneliness
Poison Girl
Bleed Well
Join Me In Death
It's All Tears
In Joy & Sorrow
Right Here In My Arms
Funeral of Hearts


CKY setlist
Intro/In HiFi
Flesh Into Gear
The Other Ones
96 Quite Bitter Beings
Close Yet Far
Escape From Hellview

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Friday, October 27, 2017

VIDEO PREMIERE: Charlotte's Th3 Higher Share "Lessons" in Their New #1SongAWeekChallenge

Posted By on Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 12:40 PM

Charlotte rap duo Th3 Higher have released a video centering on the life lessons the two have learned, not just as musicians, but as friends and fellow human beings, during their time together honing their craft from their teens to early adulthood. Produced by Shane Hush, the video for "Lessons" — which begins with the words "The woke must free the sleep" and "The conscious must enlighten" —  is part of the group's #1SongAWeekChallenge, in which they have released one song on Soundcloud each week for the past six weeks, and are currently at Song No. 11. "Lessons" was the first in the Soundcloud challenge, and this clip is the first video the group has released for the series.
"This song is a culmination of everything that we've learned over the years," says Th3 Higher's Tizzy Farragami, "and the video is the first of many [to come]. It symbolizes the time and effort we've put into developing our craft. We feel as though we've put in the hours, and now it's time to start harvesting the fruits of our labor."

Shot at a secret wooded area of Charlotte by @AntxShotit, and directed by @AntxShotit and Buddha the Shoota, the setting plays up the duo's nature-based worldview. In it, Tizzy wears an ankh — the ancient Egyptian symbol for life — around his neck as he and his cohort Kizzy slash their way through the woods with a sword.

"We know our time is coming and with this video we plan to take advantage of every resource in our network to reach our goals," Tizzy says. "Once we hit 50K [views], Part 2 comes."

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

VIDEO: The Eyebrows Set to Perform in Conjunction with Birdsong Beer Release

New Red Dress ESB Hemp a nod to local trio

Posted By on Thu, Oct 26, 2017 at 11:40 AM

Charlotte rock trio The Eyebrows are now the latest local musicians to be honored by Birdsong Brewing Company with a brew of their own: Red Dress, an ESB Hemp style beer. The brewery will tap Red Dress this evening in the lead-up to a 7 p.m. Eyebrows performance that will surely include the song the brew was named after.

In the video (above), released earlier this month, Eyebrows frontman Jay Garrigan rocks his own little red dress (or his wife's, rather), alongside Charlotte-based drag performers Kiana Layne, Macy Alexander, Andrea Carlisle, Aurora Carlisle and Skylar Michele-Monet. The song is a single from the band's upcoming full-length album, Volume, expected in 2018.

As for the beer, an ESB — which stands for Extra Special Bitter — is an English-style beer that, despite its name, is not all that bitter if balanced well. Red Dress is brewed with toasted hemp seeds, which "provide a toasty and slightly nutty flavor that pair well with specialty malts and a dry finish."

“I love English beer, and an ESB is one of my favorites," says Eyebrows drummer Shawn Lynch. "A few years ago Birdsong made a short run of ESB and I was lucky enough to try some. I’ve basically been asking them to make it again ever since, and it looks like I’ve finally got my wish.”

The beer taps at 5 p.m. tonight and The Eyebrows take the stage at 7 p.m.

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Charlotte's First Black Alternative Music Festival Rocked Camp North End

Posted By on Sun, Oct 22, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Charlotte singer-songwriter LeAnna Eden's Bla/Alt Music Fest drew hundreds to Camp North End on Statesville Avenue on Saturday, Oct. 21, for a full day of Afropunk, Afro-centric food and other merchandize, and some of the area's top rock bands of all kinds. Bands ranged from the shoegazy dreampop of Winston-Salem's Foxture, to the art-punk of Charlotte musician Lenny Muckle's Lofidels, to the indie-pop of The Business People, the rock-based hip-hop of Nige Hood and the alternative rock of Eden's outfit, LeAnna Eden and the Garden Of.

Camp North End seemed almost like a Garden of Eden as music lovers danced and sang along to familiar local songs like Eden's "Protest Song" and The Business People's "From NC With Love." Muckle played bass, sang and mixed up electronics during a compelling set of experimental punk, and Chocala blended Latin rhythms and experimental rock into a glorious stew of highly danceable sounds.

Behind the decks between the bands, DJ SPK crafted a dynamic mix that ranged from the sweet sounds of early Santana to the ska-punk of No Doubt's "I'm Just a Girl" to Cardi B's money-moving "Bodak Yellow." And acting as MC — ubiquitous Charlotte poet Bluz kept the crowd pumped and wanting more.

But most exciting was the mix of people — folks of all ages, races and gender identity strolled through the Camp North End corridor dancing, talking to each other, listening to music, and generally having a good time amid good vibes and a gorgeous fall afternoon and evening.

If you missed it, check out this slideshow and pray there will be a Bla/Alt 2 in 2018.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Halsey leaps into headliner status

Posted By on Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 1:08 PM

Spectrum Center
Oct. 17, 2017

On Tuesday night, Spectrum Center played host to singer Halsey’s first-ever headlining tour. She’s visited the city in previous years as the opening act for major players like Imagine Dragons, but this was the first chance for diehard Halsey fans to get more than a musical snapshot from the singer. They were treated to a 24-song setlist spanning an already impressive career, some songs of which were voted on by the fans themselves.

Halsey, or Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, got her career start in 2014 after releasing original songs on social media. She was signed by Astralwerks and toured with heavy hitters like The Kooks on the strength of her EP Room 93 and debut album The Badlands. Her young career was rocketed to new heights when she was featured on The Chainsmokers track “Closer” last year.

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

AUDIO: Foxture Says Charlotte Music Fest Will Prove Alternative Sounds More 'Relatable' to People of Color

Posted By on Tue, Oct 10, 2017 at 2:32 PM

In the lead-up to the Black Alternative Rock Festival, or BLA/ALT, at Camp North End on Oct. 21, Creative Loafing has asked some of the artists to talk about why they're playing the event and what it means to them. Today, the Winston-Salem dream-pop band Foxture talks about why they believe more people of color should gravitate to the safe zone of alternative music and culture — and why BLA/ALT can help lead listeners to that space.

But first, listen Foxture's brand new song "Distance" from the band's upcoming EP, E D E N.

"BLA/ALT is important because it helps strengthen the presence of people of color within alternative bands and projects," the band wrote in an email to Creative Loafing. "The representation of PoC  within the alternative genre is fairly slim, and BLA/ALT shines a light on these talented and innovative artists.

"We decided to play BLA/ALT not only because the motive of the festival is astronomically beautiful and artistic, but because festivals such as this one aren't as common," the band wrote, adding that it "promotes the realization that alternative music can be more relatable to listeners of color."
Foxture is (from left) bassist Ross Barnes, drummer Andrew Irving, guitarist Eddie Reynolds and singer and keyboardist Marlon Blackmon. (Photo by Jim Pica)
  • Foxture is (from left) bassist Ross Barnes, drummer Andrew Irving, guitarist Eddie Reynolds and singer and keyboardist Marlon Blackmon. (Photo by Jim Pica)

"We hope to reach out  not only to fans of  alternative music, but people who normally don't listen to alternative music for skepticism of being able to relate," the band wrote. "We are looking forward to the first BLA/ALT festival, opening minds in the beautiful city of Charlotte, and rising up each year to become a staple in North Carolina's history."

Hit up Foxture on Bandcamp (, Facebook (, Instagram (@foxtureband) and Twitter (@foxture). Also, search for the band's releases on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Monday, October 9, 2017

VIDEO: SunQueen Kelcey Says Recent Unrest is Why Now is the Right Time for a Black Alternative Music Festival in Charlotte

Posted By on Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 8:00 AM

In the lead-up to the Black Alternative Rock Festival, or BLA/ALT, at Camp North End on Oct. 21, Creative Loafing has asked some of the artists to talk about why they're playing the event and what it means to them. Today, Greensboro-based SunQueen Kelcey, the front woman of SunQueen Kelcey and the Soular Flares, tells why she believes Charlotte is the right city for North Carolina's first black alternative music festival.

But first, watch Kelcey perform a solo version of her song "Thick Girls Do It Better."

Creative Loafing: Why do you think Bla/Alt is so important right here and right now?
This is the first festival in Charlotte created by a local black alternative musician just for the black arts and music scene. It will show the true variety of talent in the black community, making sure that people know that you cannot put black culture in one box. Black culture spans across many avenues including the social. political, musical, scientific and artistic realms.

Why are you and the Soular Flares playing it?
We are performing to be a part of such a groundbreaking movement. We are based in Greensboro, but we love the Charlotte music Scene. It's always so welcoming and feels like home to us. Given the recent unfortunate events that have occurred in Charlotte, it is everyone's duty to participate in something that uplifts and empowers the people of marginalized and oppressed communities in any way we can.

What are your hopes for the festival?
We want it to extinguish and overcome the negative stereotypes of what society deems as "black culture." In turn, this will provide a safe space for anyone to attend the festival for free and for black/POC artists and business owners to showcase their art, and network and sell their products to the public.

Hit up SunQueen on Instagram and Twitter (@sunqueenkelcey) and Facebook (SunQueen Kelcey).

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