Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Frontier Ruckus and Samantha Crain tonight (June 30)

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Rock Band Live You've been knocking back beers and wailing away on Rock Band since 2007. Whether it was Metallica's "Enter Sandman" or a little David Bowie, you've sang them all like you penned them yourself. Now you can give that same legendary performance on stage instead of standing on your couch and have the opportunity to be discovered in process. Through July 11. Free with park admission, (no shows on Tuesday, July 6) Carowinds, www.carowinds.com (Mike McCray)

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Frontier Ruckus/Samantha Crain These Ramseur Records acts both released new albums recently and should make for quite a show. Both also just played, and wowed crowds, at Bonnaroo. Frontier Ruckus offered an impromptu set right after their stage performance that quickly gathered a small crowd. Crain's onstage energy is infectious as she dances and sings her heart out. $7, Double Door Inn, www.doubledoorinn.com (Jeff Hahne)

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Natalia Zuckerman What is the daughter of a composer and flutist and sister of an opera singer supposed to do when she gets older except make music. From a classical Manhattan upbringing, she's created folksy, Americana music with truthful lyrics you'd expect from someone who grew up seeing more back roads than big city lights. Recently touring the East Coast with Jeff Fullbright and Sam Baker, fans of guitarist with real musical chops will enjoy. $8-$10, The Evening Muse, www.theeveningmuse.com (Mike McCray)

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Live review: Dar Williams w/ Sara Watkins

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Dar Williams, Sara Watkins

McGlohon Theatre

June 28, 2010

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The Deal: Folk singer Dar Williams is joined by two-thirds of Nickel Creek for Monday night show at the McGlohon Theatre.

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The Good: The night started out strongly with a 40-minute set from Sara Watkins, formerly of Nickel Creek, who was joined by her brother, Sean, for the duration. Like her album, Watkins' set was a mix of originals and covers, each of which showcased her vocal range and fiddle skills. The smooth sound of her voice radiated perfectly in the seats of the Theatre, at times giving a hint of childlike innocence about them which made her vocals easy on the ears. Occasional foot stomping and the finger-picking of Sean made for a stripped down, sit-back-and-take-it-easy performance. Among the songs played were Morrissey's "The More You Ignore Me," "Pony," "All This Time," "Too Much" and "Long Hot Summer Days," which garnered decent audience participation.

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Dar Wiliams took the stage a short while later, with keyboardist in tow, and performed a good mix of rare and favorite tunes for her hour-and-15-minute set. The 43-year-old singer showed a youthful energy and shared tales of her days starting out as she often spent time between songs to offer short stories, also telling stories about the death of Kurt Cobain, living in New York and the Northeast and recalling the last time she was in Charlotte. She performed two songs, "Ocean" and "What Do You Hear" acoustically solo — the second song was one that was retired, but often requested, so she has brought it back into her performances.

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She was joined by Watkins for two songs — the duo offered great harmonies and balance during "Green Pastures." Her setlist had "Iowa" with Sara and Sean Watkins, but instead, Williams performed "The One Who Knows" by herself. An encore of "Mercy of the Fallen" was replaced by "Book of Love."

The Bad: There was nothing wrong with Williams, but at the same time, I can see why there wasn't a sold out show in a larger venue. I got the feeling that her style has remained generally the same — simple, well-written folk songs with solid vocals — over the years. Her coffeehouse style has been brought to the big stage which is more familiar than refreshing. I walked away thinking, "That was good" instead of "That was amazing" or "I need to bring friends next time."

The Verdict: For me, Watkins outshined Williams on the musical and lyrical fronts. Her voice had more range and her music was more relaxed, like you were sitting on a back porch watching a brother and sister have fun playing songs together. Perhaps it was also more of a youthful appeal for Watkins given the demographic of those in the audience and the adult contemporary style of Williams.

Dar Williams Setlist

Easy Way

Spring Street

If I Wrote You

Are You Out There

Beauty in the Rain

Ocean

Hudson

What Do You Hear

Buzzer

It's Alright (with Sara Watkins)

Green Pastures (with Sara Watkins)

The One Who Knows

Encore

Book of Love

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Lady Gaga is a man?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 11:29 AM

So, there have been plenty of Internet rumors claiming Lady Gaga is actually a man, or a hermaphrodite or an alien from outer space...

Regardless, the singer has posed for some shots as her alter ego, Jo Calderone, that aren't going to help those rumors for an upcoming issue of Vogue Hommes Japan.

Here's an example:

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Who the hell is Justin Bieber?

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 10:18 AM

“People write to me and say, ‘I’m giving up, you’re not talking to me.’ I just write them a simple message like, ‘Never give up,’ you know? And it changes their life.” — Justin Bieber on responding to Twitter posts.

Beiber fever is rocking America! Now, the only question is – what the hell is Bieber fever?

Usually, I think I’m in tuned with music. Usually, I know what’s going on – I may not like it (see: Hannah Montana, Joe Bros, Lady Ga(g) Ga(g)), but I can honestly say I’ve heard it, know it, and can give an educated guess on it. Not this Bieber kid. I’m lost. No clue. Don’t understand it. So I did what anyone in my position would do... I Googled the dude.

“I think hip-hop artists respect me because I’m real. I think they see where I came from, and they can relate.” Justin Bieber on being accepted by other artists.

Here is what we know:

Continue reading »

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Today's $10 Live Nation deals

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Tickets are on sale today for the last day of Live Nation's $10 lawn ticket deal for the following shows:

KISS – Saturday August 28 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Charlotte

GOV’T MULE – July 18 – Road Runner Mobile Amphitheatre Charlotte

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pushing beyond normal boundaries

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 1:54 PM

Let me tell you a quick story...

Back in the '90s, I went to see Morphine play a show at Tremont Music Hall. I had been a fan of the band for some time and was pumped about seeing them play in my hometown. I’d never heard of the opening act that they were touring with, a band from Denver, Colo. — Sixteen Horsepower.

This opening act put on a show that I will never forget. The show was unforgettable — not only because they were talented musicians and performers but because it was one of those shows that you go to and leave a different person. I mean, I couldn’t exactly figure out what I was listening to and the group played with a terrifying kind of intensity that kept me riveted to the floor.

Continue reading »

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This week's new releases (6-29-2010)

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Here's a quick rundown of some of the new albums hitting stores on Tuesday:

3Oh!3 Streets of Gold

Alejandro Escovedo Street Songs of Love

Indigo Girls Staring Down the Brilliant Dream

Scissor Sisters Night Work

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The Doobie Brothers tonight (June 29)

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 8:37 AM

The Doobie Brothers Every time I see that the Doobie Brothers are coming to town, I immediately have a handful of their hits running through my head – "Jesus is Just Alright," "Listen to the Music," "Long Train Runnin'" and "China Grove" – or that line from What's Happening?, "Which Doobie you be?" Then I realize it's only half of the original members and Michael McDonald isn't with them and I wonder if it'll be the same ... Only one way to find out. $32.50-$79.50, Road Runner Mobile Amphitheatre, www.livenation.com (Hahne)

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Your band could open for KISS

Posted By on Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Legendary rock band Kiss is holding a contest to find its opening act for upcoming shows, including the one in Charlotte.

Currently, Charity Case is in the lead for the Charlotte show on Aug. 28 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre.

Find out more information here.

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Live review: DudeFest 2010

Posted By on Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 11:27 AM

DudeFest 2010

NoDa

June 26, 2010

The Deal: Inaugural DudeFest descends on NoDa neighborhood for long day of music and fun.

The Good: From beer tastings and wing eating contests, to a dunk tank and plenty of music — the first-ever DudeFest Charlotte rocked into NoDa and left its mark. Along with being a fundraiser for Save the Ta-tas and Pints for Prostates, it was a great way to hear a lot of local and regional talent.

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Dylan Gilbert got the night started at the Neighborhood Theatre with a 30-minute set. His honest approach, sincere vocals and instrumental talent was on display for a toned-down set — compared to what I have seen in the past.

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Jeremy Current started off the night at the Evening Muse. The talented singer-songwriter joined his band in wearing fake mustaches in celebration of "dudes" — but didn't take anything away from his music.

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While the indie-pop of gogoPilot followed Current, I made my way to the Neighborhood Theatre to see M4 Messenger, who appeared to have a great time on stage. The band is still tweaking its lineup since the death of its guitarist, Rich Parris, but heart means a lot for the group.

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Transmission Fields continues to impress with its brand of rock — they followed Messenger with an energetic set showcasing songs from its latest album. The band is quickly building a solid following and more and more people are paying attention.

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Newest band member Jay Garrigan seemed to enjoy every moment as well — jumping around and adding as much in backing vocals as he did on keyboards and guitar.

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Leslie rocked the stage outside of Salvador Deli starting at 10:30 p.m. with their brand of bluesy Southern rock.

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Big Mamma D brought her House of Burlesque to the Neighborhood Theatre for some classic dancing, prancing and stripping. The show from her and the girls is always entertaining in the classic style of performing.

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Truckstop Preachers rocked a packed Evening Muse next — with the deer head, a Johnny Cash cover and plenty of PBR to go around.

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The night wrapped up with a set by Evelynn Rose who showcased their new drummer and plenty of songs from their upcoming album, Like Royalty. Singer Joseph William's growing vocals continue to shine as his band's musicianship grows tighter. They're getting ready for a long summer tour, but be sure and catch them the next time they're in town. It's clear that the quartet is putting a lot into their music and performances these days.

The Bad: That more people weren't out enjoying it. I also have to wonder how many people were aware of the Neighborhood Theatre bands — the Muse and Salvador Deli had good crowds, but people seemed to be few and far between at the Theatre.

The Verdict: Sure, the crowd wasn't as big as expected or hoped for, but you've gotta give credit to Joe Kuhlman and the organizers of DudeFest for taking a chance on what should be a fantastic annual event. Will there be another?

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