Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Live Review: Levon Helm

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 12:28 PM

Levon Helm @ Merlefest

April 26, 2008

By Grant Britt

If you were looking for the high and lonesome, you had to do some rooting around to dig it up at Merlefest on Saturday. Headliners Rhonda Vincent, and Tony Rice and Peter Rowan provided the purest mountain music during the day, but after the sun went down, even Doc Watson used his time to play old standards and rock chestnuts. Though the crowd sat politely for Ricky Skaggs set hoping for some Kentucky Thunder as advertised, little was forthcoming. Skaggs’s prime time Saturday night show was taken over by Bruce Hornsby, who turned it into a 45 minute personal set of noodling on his tedious faux jazz.

But it was the artist most folks categorize as a rocker who offered a better sampling of roots music than any act all day.

Levon Helm is a survivor. Diagnosed with throat cancer in 1996, Helm was advised to have his larynx removed. The singer opted instead to undergo rigorous radiation treatments to save his voice. He was unable to sing for years, able to communicate verbally in a soft rasp. But in 2004, he started singing again, and as he showed Saturday night, he’s back in top form.

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She's gone crazy!

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 10:39 AM

Everyone is going to be talking about this today...

Paula Abdul, last night on American Idol, commented on Jason Castro's two songs — problem was he only sang one.

Some people are saying that proves the show is scripted, others say it's proof that Abdul is nuts.

Check it out:

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As far as my thoughts on last night — I wasn't impressed by any of them.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

This week's new releases (4/29)

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 4:10 PM

Here's a quick list of some of this week's new releases:

Def Leppard Songs from the Sparkle Lounge — The "What Year is This?!?" album of the week.

Foxboro Hot Tubs Stop Drop and Roll — A little something to hold you over until the next Green Day album.

Lil Mama VYP - Voice of the Young People — If she's the voice of the young people, I'm very scared for the future of this country.

Madonna Hard Candy

Mudcrutch Mudcrutch — Tom Petty's first band releases new record.

Portishead Third

The Roots Rising Down

Santogold Santogold

Langhorne Slim Langhorne Slim — Opened for The Avett Brothers' New Year's Eve show.

Steve Winwood Nine Lives

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Live Review: Bruce Springsteen

Posted By on Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 10:03 AM

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

April 27, 2008

Time Warner Cable Arena

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The Deal: "The Boss" returns to the Queen City and rocks it for two-and-a-half hours.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Hip-hop summit hits Charlotte

Posted By on Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 11:51 AM

Russell Simmons and a number of hip-hop stars and music business representatives will be at Johnson C. Smith University on Saturday, April 26, for the Hip-Hop Summit's "Get Your Money Right" Financial Empowerment International Tour.

Simmons will be joined by singer Anthony Hamilton of Charlotte, MC Lyte, Melyssa Ford, Cheri Dennis, Terrence J of BET's 106 Park, DJ Drama, Gorilla Zoe, Power 98's Tone X, No Limit Larry, Congressman Mel Watt and a number of others to teach young people about financial literacy.

The event will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Brayboy Gymnasium at 100 Beatties Ford Road. Doors open at noon and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Live Review: Ministry

Posted By on Fri, Apr 25, 2008 at 11:04 AM

Ministry

April 24, 2008

Tremont Music Hall

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The Deal: Industrial rock legends say C U LaTour for final Charlotte show.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

News bytes from the '90s

Posted By on Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 3:41 PM

* Nine Inch Nails has released yet another song. "Discipline" is available as a free download at discipline.nin.com There's also mention of something happening in two weeks - yet another album?

* Jane's Addiction's original lineup performed yesterday for the first time in 17 years. Wish I could have been there... They played "Mountain Song," "Ocean Size" "Stop" and "Jane Says." Rumors of a the reunion leading to a tour are of course running rampant... One can only hope they'll continue to make new music, though Eric Avery recently released a solo album.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

American Idol - Top 6

Posted By on Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 12:15 PM

I didn't comment on the Top 7 performances last week because, frankly, no one should be singing Mariah Carey songs.

Now, America's largest karaoke contest had the top 6 singers perform Andrew Lloyd Webber songs last night... No doubt everyone would sound very "Broadway."

Here are my thoughts on last night's contestants:

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Worst song ever?

Posted By on Wed, Apr 23, 2008 at 12:02 PM

A sure sign of the downfall of civilization is that this woman is actually getting any attention for one of the stupidest songs I've ever heard...ever!

It's not safe for work, and probably not safe for any human ears, either.

That's right — someone named Riskay actually wrote a song called, "Smell Yo Dick." I'm sorry to share it...

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Baar Wars results

Posted By on Tue, Apr 22, 2008 at 3:37 PM

To do my part for AIDS Walk Charlotte 2008, I volunteered upon invitation to be a judge for Baar Wars, the battle of the bartenders that went down last night at Alley Cat. As it turned out, my call to duty was to sample 57 different cocktails.

"Celebrity" (using the term loosely in regards to myself) judges included my fellow paid partier (but for the Observer) Sarah Aarthun, Brotha Fred of 96.1 The Beat's Morning Mayhem and FOX News Edge, as well as NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin. Upon realizing how many cocktails we were ordained to consume, Sarah Aarthun and I looked at each other in fright and made the executive decision to chug water in order to prepare our livers for the irreparable damage we were about to cause to it.

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Using our superior taste buds and not so high tolerance, we judged Best Martini, Best Shot, Best Vodka Cocktail and Best Red Bull Cocktail. We scored from one to 10, one being "yuk" and 10 being "awesome."

Now, I am 5' 2" and weigh about a buck-20 with like 11 percent body fat — and I rarely (if ever) drink liquor. Thus, I am the epitome of a lightweight. It takes a mere two beers to get me drunk; I was inebriated by like the tenth sip. Correction, I bypassed drunk and went straight to stupid.

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