Monday, August 31, 2009

Rockin' the neighborhood (whether you like it or not)

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 11:31 AM

Since The Fray opened up the Uptown Ampitheatre at the N.C. Music Factory earlier this summer, Greenville, the neighborhood that surrounds the venue has been well within earshot of all the acts.

Now, some would some would say, "That's awesome , you got to hear Counting Crows for free," while others, and possibly the majority, feel like they're stuck at the stoplight next to the car with subwoofers, in their own home.

The recent Chickenfoot performance forced me and my folks to have to yell over the music just to hear each other in the living room, but like most things that have changed around here, lots of Uptown Ampitheatre's neighbors are taking things in stride.

Jokes like, "it sounds like motherfuckin' Kiss outside," and the realization that more young black people know Sammy Hagar from his Cabo Wabo Tequila than Van Halen or Chickenfoot kept me smiling. What else could've sparked my parents to talk about Hagar's appearance on Emeril Live way back?

Having lived in the neighborhood since the early '90s, I think people are happy to have our new neighbors at the Music Factory, considering it was just an abandoned factory by the railroad tracks before. They're just dying to hear someone they know or like perform. Watching a predominantly black community react to the noise from Uptown Ampitheatre instantly makes me think about this:

http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/5GRLcsr5Ej8/

(Take the black barbershops reaction to John Mayer on electric guitar, multiply that by our entire neighborhood and you have our general feels towards on the matter):

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Concert announcement: O.A.R.

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 11:27 AM

O.A.R. will perform at the Uptown Amphitheatre on Oct. 14 with Elmwood. Tickets go on sale on Sept. 2.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

10-in-10 CD reviews

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 12:21 PM

Each Friday, we bring you reviews of 10 recently-released CDs done in 10 words each:

Robert Glasper Double Booked — Pianist goes the route of traditional jazz for snappy songs.

Mew No More Stories — Danish trio, NIN opener offers up some “interesting,” dreamy music.

AT s/t — Quirky folk songs sound as if recorded in someone’s basement.

Tye Banks Living a Dream — Raleigh rapper known for Captain Flouride, writing “Carolina Hurricanes” song.

Jack Ingram Big Dreams & High Hopes — Award-winning, recent record-breaker releases his latest country effort.

The Elms The Great American Midrange — Fourth album from Indiana group sounds like charged up Mellencamp.

John Lefebvre Psalngs — Canadian singer kinda sounds like a poor man’s Neil Young.

The Jaded Rakes Three Songs — Sounds like Wilco on one song, Flaming Lips on next.

Paris Keeling End of Ride — Rock veterans get help from the likes of Don Dokken.

Waitiki 7 Adventures in Paradise — Contemporary version of Hawaiian music commemorates 50th year of statehood.

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Live review, photos: Chickenfoot

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 11:09 AM

Chickenfoot w/ Davy Knowles & Back Door Slam

Uptown Amphitheatre

Aug. 27, 2009

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The Deal: Supergroup Chickenfoot shreds Uptown Amphitheatre with the help of Davy Knowles and a special guest.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pitbull date change

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 4:26 PM

The Pitbull concert at The Fillmore scheduled for Oct. 22 has been moved to Oct. 13. Tickets purchased for the original date will be good for the new date.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A chat with Calvin Richardson

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 12:15 PM

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R&B singer Calvin Richardson has seen the ups and downs of the music industry.

The North Carolina native sold 100,000 records 10 years ago but was still dropped from Uptown Records. His second album, on the other hand, went certified gold earlier this year. But through all that, he never forgot where he came from.

So when it came time to shoot a video for his new record, Charlotte was the first place that came to mind. Richardson sat down with CL at his "Woman's Got To Have It" video premiere party at the Sunset Club on Monday night to talk about his new album Facts of Life: The Soul of Bobby Womack, that dropped on Tuesday.

Creative Loafing: So where are you from in North Carolina?

Calvin Richardson: Well originally I’m from Monroe, North Carolina but I’ve been in Charlotte for so long so that’s what I’m claiming; that’s home for me now.

So you’re not new to this, everybody knows you sold 100,000 10 years ago ...

Yeah, I sold 100,000 10 years ago and my second album just went gold, officially, in February. I dropped another one that’s out there last year, and it’s still out there working. But I got another one getting ready to drop ...

Lets talk about the journey real fast, from ‘99 to 2009, how did everything go? Explain that trip.

From '99 to 2009, it was just a lot of hard work. A lot of set ups and set backs to me, it was a learning lesson for me. I grew a lot in the business. Now, I just feel like I’m more seasoned as far as the business goes.

Do you appreciate it more with the struggles you went through?

Oh, I definitely appreciate it, everyday, like I said, I don’t take nothing for granted anymore. When you come into the music business, it's easy for you to have a perception of the game like you’re going to be an overnight success and for some people that’s true. Like you can get on American Idol, but I didn’t have those outlets and stuff like that … but you cant build no house without no foundation that’s going to stand, so that’s what I am.

So you’re as much apart of N.C.’s soul roots — what can you say about the state and the kinds of artists we put out? You got Anthony Hamilton, you got Jodeci, you got people like that and you fit right in with them. How do you feel to be among that crew?

I mean it feels good. They are the keepers of real music ... WE are the keepers of real music, not just they, but that’s what we do. You know I grew up with K-Ci and Jo-Jo. And you know Anthony — he’s doing his thing, and he’s keeping it real as well, so it’s all good man to be a part of that elite crew from North Carolina.

So what can people look forward to on the album coming out tomorrow?

Tomorrow I have 11 songs on there, that were some of Bobby Womack’s greatest hits that I felt like, you know, he had some many, so I picked 11 songs that I felt like would really make a statement and introduce people that don’t know anything about Bobby Womack to who he is, to his music, to his greatness and so that’s what you’re going to get. You’re gonna get "110th Street," "Stop On By," "I’m Through Trying to Prove My Love to You," "Hairy Hippy," "Love Has Finally Come At Last," "American Dream" ... did I say "Daylight"? (laughing) I can go on and on, until I get to 11 of course, but that’s basically what you’re going to get.

Why Bobby Womack?

I say, why not? I mean Bobby Womack is the greatest storyteller of my time, our time, that I know of and my style is just so similar to Bobby Womack’s. My first album that I recorded 10 years ago, I did a cover of “I Wish You Didn’t Trust Me So Much” and who would know 10 years later I’d go back and do a whole cover of Bobby Womack’s songs man just to pay homage and tribute because that’s who’s shoulders I’ve been standing on for the last 10 years.

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Live Nation continues Wednesday deals

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Live Nation's Wednesday Blow-Out Sales are continuing today until midnight with $10 all-in lawn tickets and $15 all-in reserved tickets for a number of shows. They're also doing $10 all-in tickets for clubs, such as The Fillmore.

Here's what's available:

• Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre — $10 lawn and $15 reserved for Crue Fest 2 and Lil Wayne tickets

• Uptown Amphitheatre — $10 lawn tickets for Chickenfoot and $10/$15 for Heart

• The Fillmore — $10 tickets for Edwin McCain, Blues Traveler, Down, Pitbull, Mitchel Musso, Secondhand Serenade, KMFDM and David Allan Coe

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What's an album anyway?

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 11:09 AM

What happened to the days when an ENTIRE album was good?

Ok, pop quiz — What was the last album you bought? Easy question, right? Now, a harder one — When was the last time you enjoyed an album so much you could listen to it end-to-end? Harder, right?

While you’re thinking, it seems that the days of a good ALBUM may be behind us. For three main reasons:

1. In the digital/internet age, people can download just their favorite songs – if an artist has a couple good hits, it’s considered a successful album.

2. Today’s “albums” just aren’t that good from beginning to end.

3. Today’s artists just aren’t as good. Or at least that which makes the heavy rotation on radio airwaves.

I remember in the not-so-distant past that when you wanted to get your favorite song, you had to shell out $15-$20 bucks for the whole CD. Now, an album is like an elementary school dodge-ball game. The best songs get picked quickly, and the other, not-so-talented players, are left on the bench.

If you’re like me, you want the ability to put in one CD and let it play – able to enjoy the entire experience. Today, you’d better build your own play list to accomplish such a feat.

So, if you find yourself in the same quandary as me, I offer you the following list of great ALBUMS to listen to. Without further ado, here they are in no particular order:

* AC/DC's Live — I intentionally left greatest hits albums off the list but a couple live albums make the cut. Nothing more fun than AC/DC at full tilt.

* Michael Jackson's Thriller — Easiest pick on the list. You could re-release this album brand new, and it’d be number one all over again (and not just because Michael left us).

* Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. — There may be better Bruce songs than on this album, but no album is better cover-to-cover. May explain why seven of the 12 tracks were top-10 hits.

* Johnny Cash's At Folsom Prison — The second live album on the list – but this captures the Man in Black in his heyday finest.

* U2's Joshua Tree — Yup.

* Elvis' The Sun Sessions — Notice a trend occurring on this list? They don’t make ‘em like they used to.

* 2Pac's All Eyez on Me — Rap makes an appearance with this trend setter.

* Pearl Jam's Ten – You may not appreciate grunge, but can still appreciate Pearl Jam.

* The Beatles' Revolver — Hardest part is which album makes the list.

* Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St. — See: Beatles.

* Prince's Purple Rain – Yes, it’s a soundtrack. And yes, it’s awesome.

What’d I miss? Which Clapton, Wonder, southern rock or legend did I leave off? And don’t say Pink Floyd.

So try an album out for a change, your OCD will appreciate the time off...

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Concert announcement — Silversun Pickups

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Silversun Pickups are coming to The Fillmore Charlotte on Oct. 10. An Horse and a yet-to-be-announced act will open the show. Tickets go on sale on Friday, Aug. 28.

Note — Cage the Elephant are opening other gigs for the band, but not in Charlotte... I'm not happy about that.

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CD Review: Slaughterhouse's Slaughterhouse

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 10:53 AM

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The Deal: Four notoriously lyrical rappers, Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Crooked I and Royce Da 5'9, join forces to create hip-hop's latest "super group."

The Good: This album delivered more than its fair share of "oooh" lines. On "Killaz," Royce Da 5'9 spits "you fuckin with a killa/take your body, rape your body, dump it in the river/turn myself in then, beat the case for it then/turn around and put 'I really did it' on my Twitter" — not into murder rap but I had to admit that was clever.

All four styles meshed well but didn't break away from their distinctive regional sounds (Royce Da 5'9 - Detroit, Ortiz - New York, Budden - New Jersey and Crooked I - California).

The lyrical segues between verses put you in the mind of old school joints and made sure you we're never confused about who's on the mic. "Not Tonight," "Onslaught 2" and "Cut You Loose" are all solid. "Cuckoo" is far from a single but still hot, biting Jay-Z's "No Hook" over a hip-hop-meets-horror beat. "Pray" is a very truthful and autobiographical track with a great beat by RealSon, hot even without a Budden verse. "Raindrops" could be the theme song to a single parent upbringing, with Novel doing his best Jodeci on a Death Row-hook impression.

The Bad: The problem with lyricists is they have trouble turning hot lines into hot songs, and Slaughterhouse is no different. It says something that the most “nod-worthy” track, "The One," was a lyrical lightweight. Slaughterhouse’s empty lyrical threats were better suited for a freestyle on the corner than a studio album. I wish Pharaoh Monche had a verse on “Salute” rather than just singing the chorus. Some of the hottest tracks from the Internet bootleg weren't on the retail but could've definitely made the album better.

The Verdict: Chances are you'd never hear any of their songs on the radio below the Mason-Dixon but fans of lyricism will proclaim its glory while people just looking for good hip-hop will only bump it every now and again.

INFO:

Artist: Slaughterhouse

Label: E1 Music

Release Date: August 11, 2009

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