Thursday, May 31, 2012

Larkin Poe at the Evening Muse tonight (5/31/2012)

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2012 at 8:49 AM

LARKIN POE The Lovell Sisters made plenty of waves as a bluegrass trio, but when Jessica left to get married in 2009, Rebecca and Megan formed a new group that leans a bit more toward folk-rock. That's not to say Georgia's Larkin Poe has forgotten their roots - Megan still plays dobro and Rebecca can shred a mean mandolin. The band is on the road in support of its fifth EP, April 2012's Thick as Thieves. There's something refreshing about a younger generation bringing solid harmonies and a modern flair to bluegrass. 8 p.m. $10. Evening Muse. (Jeff Hahne)

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May the circle be unbroken: a tribute to two Carolina legends

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Watson at the Sugar Grove Music Festival in 2009
  • Watson at the Sugar Grove Music Festival in 2009
A friend had converted the old movie theater in downtown Randleman into a concert space and he was bringing Doc Watson to town. I was a teenager living down the road in Asheboro and thrilled to be seeing the North Carolina folk legend perform live at the newly christened Old Liberty Music Hall.

Like most rock heads in the mid-1970s, who only recently had been reintroduced to the country and folk music of the Southeast, I'd first heard Watson on a compilation of country and bluegrass jam sessions put together by a contemporary hippie act of the time, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Called Will the Circle Be Unbroken, it was one of those albums, like the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack of 2000, that dropped seeds everywhere, causing American folk and bluegrass to spread like the kudzu that blankets the sides of North Carolina highways. In the mid-'70s it became chic to trade in your electric Fender Stratocaster guitar for an acoustic Martin D-28, and your Black Sabbath albums for Elementary! Doctor Watson.

Watson, whose popularity on college campuses had been steadily rising since the smaller, more elite folk revival of the early '60s, was one of the music's more beloved Johnny Appleseeds. His warm voice and deceptively simple and casual flat-picking on songs like Jimmy Driftwood's "Tennessee Stud" sent high-school wannabe folkies the world over into their bedrooms for hours of practicing every lick and nuance, just as they'd done with the electric blues only a few years earlier.

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Live review: Adam WarRock, The Milestone, 5-25-2012

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Adam WarRock
The Milestone
May 25, 2012

From the moment Memphis-based, Korean-American MC Adam WarRock took the Milestone stage on May 25, it was evident this wasn't just any rap show. Meticulously crafted and spit with speed, WarRock's rhymes aren't exactly what you'd fathom when you think of hip-hop.

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That's not to say the vibe at a nerdcore show is foreign to hip-hop. The crowd was swaggerin' and jumping to the beat. When it comes down to it, Adam WarRock's style isn't much different from any other rapper - he wants swag, ladies and a Cribs-worthy home. But the swag he craves is straight out of Marvel, the ladies he wants read comics and the mansion is built in Asgard next-door to Thor.

The only thing that screamed "nerd" was the lyrical content, occasional comic book shirts or a random dude jumping off beat. It seems as though nerdcore has created a subculture of fans from every walk of life who have blended in with each other based upon a passion for dope beats behind rhymes about subjects that got them picked on in high school.

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Jerry Joseph & The Jackmormons at the Visulite Theatre tonight (5/30/2012)

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 9:00 AM

JERRY JOSEPH & THE JACKMORMONS Overcoming drug abuse, self-destruction and squandered talent, Jerry Joseph has emerged as a road-ravaged populist and poet. Insanely prolific, he's collaborated with Vic Chesnutt, Dinosaur Jr.'s J. Mascis and Widespread Panic, singing of sex, disaster and redemption. Powerhouse trio the Jackmormons are equal to anything Joseph brings, be it no-frills ballads, bloodshot country or ragged rockers. A tough-but-compassionate lefty like Springsteen and Strummer, Joseph is still more likely to kick Tea Party ass, rather than open a feel-good dialog. Waxing primal, plain-spoken and pissed off, Jerry Joseph's closest kin may be The Grapes of Wrath's fallen but still fiery preacher Jim Casey: "I got a lot of sinful idears - but they seem kinda sensible." $10. Visulite Theatre.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Doc Watson dies at age 89

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Doc Watson died on Tuesday, May 29, at age 89. He had undergone colon surgery last week and was still at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.

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The icon and influential guitarist, born Arthel Lane Watson, was a master of both finger-picking and flat-picking styles which helped lead the guitar into the spotlight of folk music. He was the host of the annual MerleFest concerts held in Wilkesboro since 1988 that were a tribute to his son, Merle, who died in 1985.

Doc Watson, who was blind from infancy, earned his nickname at the suggestion of an audience member during a radio broadcast. The North Carolina native, who gained notoriety during the folk music revival of the 1960s, recorded 60 albums over the years and earned seven Grammy awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award during his career.

Stay tuned for editor Mark Kemp's tribute to Watson.

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Church of Misery at Tremont Music Hall tonight (5/29/2012)

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 8:05 AM

CHURCH OF MISERY While their infatuation with serial killers and exploration of dark corners of the human soul informs their lyrics, these Japanese doom metal maestros can rattle the rafters like there's no tomorrow. Diving into psychedelic stoner-sludge, with plenty Sabbath and Electric Wizard-influenced riffs and moody effects fused into the blend, Church of Misery's slow-churning tornado builds layers of guitar drone and percussion. This vintage heaviness lands the band in the upper stacks of the genre. Also on the bill: The Gates of Slumber and Hail! Hornet. $13-$15. Tremont Music Hall.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Polyphonic Spree at the McGlohon Theater Tonight (5/28/2012)

Posted By on Mon, May 28, 2012 at 8:17 AM

POLYPHONIC SPREE If you've got any real mileage on your odometer, it may seem weird to talk about this act as seminal because it doesn't seem that long ago that Dallas native Tim DeLaughter and his robed choir took SXSW and "the music industry" (look it up) by storm in 2000. But holy shit, a lot has gone on in that span. Back then, the idea of a mega-band built around orchestral and rock elements (flute, trumpet, trombone, violin, viola, cello, glockenspiels and the electric stuff) seemed kinda novel. You could argue that the Spree has since spawned the whole orchestral rock rebirth (Sufjan Stevens' winged string section angels, Arcade Fire's roaring choruses), but then their debt to the Beatles and The Soft Bulletin-era Flaming Lips is just as apparent. Still, there's just something about a roomful of people singing their hearts and lungs out. $19.50-$27.50. McGlohon Theater.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Otis Taylor at the U.S. National Whitewater Center Tonight (5/27/2012)

Posted By on Sun, May 27, 2012 at 9:00 AM

OTIS TAYLOR "We all got to die. But some people got to suffer before they die." Iconic and iconoclastic bluesman Otis Taylor is stark, uncompromising and hypnotic. His "Ten Million Slaves" introduced many to his signature sound - nimbly plucked banjo melded to distorted guitar. While Taylor's dragged-across-the-tarmac vocals are pure blues, they engage with organic trance and Indian influences as well as gospel, soul and funk. Marrying past to present, the mythic flooded levies of Son House to our contemporary dismissive attitude toward life, Taylor's lyrics mark him as blood brother to activist poets Fela Kuti and Stephen Biko. But only Taylor would have the balls to frame the crucifixion as a "Woke up this Mornin'" blues about yet another act of terrorism. Free. U.S. National Whitewater Center.

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Ancient Cities at Visulite Theatre tonight (5/26/2012)

Posted By on Sat, May 26, 2012 at 8:47 AM

ANCIENT CITIES If you were a fan of Stephen Warwick before (and you should've been), buckle up - we may not be in Secondhand Stories land anymore. OK, sure, that's hyperbole and based on the one song - and a Shannon cover, at that - I've heard from his new group, Ancient Cities. Still, based on that admittedly tiny sampling, this new band relies more on the electronic elements Warwick dabbled on his marvelous debut, Talking Machine, than its organic voices of strings and trumpet. That said, this ain't no disco - Warwick's lo-fi folk guitar is prominent, and the song's wizened tempo transforms the dance floor into a far darker and lonelier venue. Frankly, it's one of the better recastings of a song you'll hear, and bodes well for a musician who deserves a much bigger audience. With Hello Handshake and Luz. $7-$10. Visulite Theatre.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

David Childers internet concert tonight (5/25/2012)

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Interested in seeing David Childers perform, but not interested in leaving the comfort of home? Childers will be performing live on StageIt on May 25 with special guest Randy Saxon.

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The show will take place at 8 p.m. and feature some favorites as well as unreleased songs over the course of 30 minutes with a 10- to 20-minute encore. Childers, a longtime solo performer who also fronted the Modern Don Juans, is also the singer for OverMountain Men featuring Bob Crawford of the Avett Brothers. The talented Mt. Holly singer-songwriter offers plenty of grit in his acoustic storytelling.

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