Monday, September 30, 2013

Will N.C.'s environmental watchdog be destroyed by 2016?

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Last week I told you about the new regime at the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources and its startling refusal of $600K in federal grant money, intended to monitor water quality, particularly near fracking sites. As bad as the department's refusal of money to keep tabs on the fracking industry might be, it's just the tip of the iceberg of the damage being done to the state's supposed environmental watchdog. John Skvarla, McCrory's pick to wreck, er, run the department, is apparently in the process of stripping the department down to a minimalist version of its former self.

North Carolinas Outer Banks
  • sugargliding (Flickr Creative Commons)
  • North Carolina's Outer Banks

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Live review: Legendary Pink Dots, Tremont Music Hall (9/29/2013)

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Legendary Pink Dots
Tremont Music Hall
Sept. 29, 2013

Veteran outer- and inner-space-rock outfit the Legendary Pink Dots have always been a mass of pleasurable contradictions. True to form, their music engulfed the Sunday night Tremont crowd like a gray clammy fog, yet within that swirling cloud were blinding flashes of colored light that triggered giddiness, dread and fascination. LPD can be thought of as Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd strained through a glass of absinthe. Yet that description of these goth-hued avant gardists is only partly accurate, since the Dots are also hard rocking, dancey and funny as hell.

While guitarist Erik Drost and synth-master wingman Phil Knight (AKA Silverman) laid down a hissing electric hive buzz, singer-squadron leader Edward Ka-Spel half trundled, half glided onto stage like Alfred Hitchcock slipping into his silhouette at the start of the Master of Suspense's classic TV show. That's if you can picture Hitchcock with a mop of unruly red-brown hair, an ankle length coat copped from Tom Baker era Doctor Who and a frilly blue kerchief knotted at the neck. To top-off his idiosyncratic style sense, Ka-Spel was also barefoot for the entire evening, and he never, ever took off his shades.

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Live review: ZZ Ward, Visulite Theatre (9/27/2013)

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 1:14 PM

ZZ Ward
Visulite Theatre
Sept. 27, 2013


Halfway through ZZ Ward's opening song, "Overture," she had the sold-out Visulite Theatre crowd waving their hands back and forth in the air. Dozens of fans up front sang along to the "over to the left, over to the right" chorus from Ward's 11 Roses mixtape song. As the song ended, the all-ages (and I mean all ages - from the young kids up front to a few elderly patrons sitting on the bar rail) crowd erupted and Ward flashed a big smile instantly setting the night's tone.

The last time Ward was in town, it was a sold-out co-headlining bill with Delta Rae. This time around, she was the lone name at the top of a concert which included solid opening sets from the Wild Feathers and James Bay. For more than an hour, Ward bended the definition of numerous genres - rock, folk, blues, soul and even a bit of hip-hop.

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Live photos: Weenie Roast, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (9/28/2013)

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 12:52 PM

2013 Weenie Roast
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Sept. 28, 2013

Music fans couldn't ask for more perfect weather on Sept. 28, 2013, as the 106.5 Weenie Roast took a hold of Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre with a long day of rock. Charlotte's own Matrimony kicked things off on the main stage, performing a 30-minute set of folk-rock that quickly got the crowd warmed up. From there, the amphitheatre's main stage included performances by Biffy Clyro, Manchester Orchestra, Airborne Toxic Event, Sick Puppies, Awolnation, Sublime with Rome and headliner 30 Seconds to Mars. A second stage set up in the parking lot featured short sets by Leogun, The Unlikely Candidates, Langhorne Slim, New Politics and Filter.

The original 10-year run of the Weenie Roast ended in 2005, but it returned in 2012 after much demand. The event often features a mixture of nostalgia with modern rock and up-and-coming bands.

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Live photos: Nervo, Label (9/28/2013)

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Sept. 28, 2013

Australian EDM duo Nervo performed a blistering two-hour set at Label on Sept. 28, 2013. Hitting the DJ decks just hours after a TomorrowWorld performance near Atlanta, Ga., Miriam and Olivia Nervo fed off the energy of the crowd as much as they were giving it back. The packed venue danced to a set which included "Like Home," "Hold On" and a few new songs until the final notes rang out at 2 a.m. One member of the audience was even "Face Timing"with a friend, holding up their iPhone so the person on the other end could watch (and dance).

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Today's Top 5: Monday

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Sept. 30, 2013 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

* Liz Miller: Invasive Adornment exhibit at UNC-Charlotte


* Find Your Muse Open Mic at The Evening Muse

* All You Can Bowl at Strike City

* The Monday Night All Stars at Double Door Inn

* Trivia at Sir Edmond Halley's

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Justice Department expected to sue N.C. over controversial voter-ID bill

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Various news outlets are reporting that the Justice Department will sue North Carolina over its controversial, Republican-backed voting law, which limits early voting and same-day registration and requires an ID at the polls. Experts argue the law disproportionately affects minorities, the poor and the elderly, groups that often lack reliable transportation and government-issued identification - and often support Democrats.

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First Drip (9/30/13): new trash ordinance, invisibility cloak, Breaking Bad and more

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 9:53 AM

A new proposed ordinance would ban items from garbage roll-out carts that North Carolina doesn't permit in licensed landfills, including plastic bottles, aluminum cans, yard waste, discarded, electronics, used oil, oil filters, car batteries and fluorescent light bulbs.

Good news for local Harry Potter fans: a UNCC professor is working on developing an invisibility cloak.

Reviewers loved the Breaking Bad finale. (WARNING: Story contains spoilers).

The Justice Department plans on suing North Carolina over its controversial voter ID law.

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Today's Top 5: Sunday

Posted By on Sun, Sep 29, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Sept. 28, 2013 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

* Anthony Jeselnik at The Fillmore


* The Legendary Pink Dots at Tremont Music Hall

* Campground Massacre

* Kathleen Purvis & Belinda Ellis at Park Road Books

* The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds at CPCC

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Legendary Pink Dots at Tremont Music Hall tonight (9/29/2013)

Posted By on Sun, Sep 29, 2013 at 8:06 AM

News of NASA's Voyager leaving our solar system reminds me of V'Ger, the sentient mash-up of an earth probe and alien consciousness that drove the plot of the first Star Trek movie. If V'Ger, grounded in earth culture yet also detached and otherworldly, had listened to Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd and snapped up a copy of poet W.B. Yeats' The Second Coming on its way back to our planet, it would sound a lot like the Legendary Pink Dots. Thirty-plus years into its singular career, the London-by-way-of-Amsterdam combo trades in spaciness, miasma and dread over a foggily soothing mix of goth, English eccentricity and jauntily psychotic folk. Narcotic but surprisingly hooky and pretty, LPD were spawned by the British post-punk scene and championed by industrial outfit Skinny Puppy. Yet they echo the best of Floyd's prog: Barrett's transcendent playfulness plus the comfortably numb chill of "Wish You Were Here." Frontman and driving force Edward Ka-Spel's lisping, surreal vocals suggest a less macho variation on the Cure's Robert Smith, mixed with the polite occult ramblings of Psychic TV's Genesis P-Orridge. Against all laws of the universe, Ka-Spel and crew make slouching toward Bethlehem seem like such good fun. With Orbit Service. $20-$25. Sept. 29, 9 p.m. Tremont Music Hall, 400 W. Tremont Ave. 704-343-9494.

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