Wednesday, October 31, 2012

White Denim at the Visulite tonight (10/31/2012)

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 8:58 AM

These Texans recorded their first LPs in a Silver Bullet caravan on the outskirts of Austin, making suitably scuzzy and fuzzy lo-fi records. But with 2011’s D, the band cleaned up its sound, reigned in some of its far-ranging songwriting palette, and added another guitarist to flesh out its live sound. The result was practically shocking; a hard 180 into (some say overly) polished soulful psychedelic pop. Once influenced by everything from acid-drenched 13th Floor Elevators and desert-noodling Meat Puppets to the Minutemen’s free-jazz punk-funk, White Denim instead now taps into mellower Topanga twang and jammy Hordefest-pop. The band put all this new sheen together in its hit single “Drug,” which, let’s just say, will not be serving as the theme song for the war-on-drugs agenda any time soon. The sonic clean-up is a mixed bag, as the band has traded some innovative energy — at least on record — for a more direct and streamlined approach. There’s still chops aplenty here, but one does miss the rough edges and freestyle genre-hopping of early White Denim. With Maps & Atlases. $12-$15. Oct. 31, 10 p.m. Visulite Theatre, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. 704-358-9200.

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Scarowinds' monster 'Gangnam Style'

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 12:13 PM

What do you get when you cross a bunch of monsters with a popular dance song? It might look a little something like this video. The monsters of Scarowinds offered their own video for Psy's song "Gangnam Style." Check it out the video:

(Who else wishes that the Grim Reaper would have danced at the end?)

It was announced earlier today that Psy will be performing at The Fillmore on Dec. 12 for the Kiss 95.1 Kissmas 2012 concert along with Cher Lloyd, Conor Maynard, Rita Ora and Cody Simpson.

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Live review: Moogfest top 5

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Asheville, N.C.
Oct. 26-27, 2012

Last weekend, Asheville played host to Moogfest, a musical celebration honoring the accomplishments of the late synthesizer pioneer Robert Moog. The two-day event followed a pair of three-day iterations in previous years, but even though its size was reduced, the latest Moogfest boasted a bounty of world-class talent. These five acts stood out above the rest:


1. Ahleuchatistas
Amid a diverse line-up of international talent, Moogfest’s best set came from its only Asheville act. Sourcing its art-rock from a staggering array of styles — free jazz, psych rock, Oriental music and on and on — the duo’s execution was mesmerizing. Shane Perlowin’s relentlessly shape-shifting guitar lines were driven into tightly controlled chaos by the tenacious rhythms of drummer Ryan Oslance. Of all the sets at Moogfest, Ahleuchatistas’ presented the greatest challenge. It also offered the most exhilarating rewards.

2. Death Grips
Sacramento hip-hop trio Death Grips caught a lot of buzz this month for No Love Deep Web, its second 2012 release. Much of the attention was spurred by the album’s X-rated art work — the album’s title written on an unsettlingly pink penis. The outfit’s intense live show was equally uncompromising. Violent synthesizer abrasions collided with ferocious live drumming as Stefan "MC Ride" Burnett assaulted the crowd with his snarling flow. It was vicious, loud and concussive, more physical than most bands of any ilk can manage. Hip-hop is rarely more forceful or fascinating.

3. GZA
For his set at Moogfest, the Wu-Tang Clan member was slated to perform Liquid Swords, his seminal 1995 offering, front-to-back. It didn’t turn out that way, but what he did instead may have been even better. Starting out with the first few songs from Liquid Swords, GZA then took the crowd on a tour through the Wu’s rich history, showcasing a flow that was simultaneously rough and smooth. But most impressive was his charisma, charming the audience with remarkable ease and displaying an effortless connection with his DJ, allowing him to improvise more than most rappers can manage. It wasn’t the set Moogers were promised, but GZA proved to be a master of his craft.

4. Divine Fits
Comprised of Britt Daniel (Spoon), Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs) and Sam Brown (New Bomb Turks), Divine Fits are a supergroup by any measure. And unlike many of their hastily assembled peers, they have a sound as impressive as their collective resumes. During their Moogfest set, the trio (aided by a keyboardist) elongated the tenacious grooves that power Spoon’s best offerings, pushing towards krautrock intensity while retaining a fleet sense of rock 'n’ roll melody. Cutting guitar fills and pleasantly throaty vocals augmented their songs, filling their set with time-honed confidence. Super, indeed.

5. Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin
This collaboration matched veteran ambient specialist Tim Hecker with Daniel Lopatin, who has helped endear such noise to the indie rock crowd with his Ford & Lopatin and Oneohtrix Point Never projects. Their enchanting performance likely won a few new converts. Delicate synth lines merged marvelously with waves of calming noise, luring listeners into a space where time moved slowly and outside concerns seemed miles away. Manipulating minds with their subtle constructions, Hecker and Lopatin offered fitting tribute to Moog’s history of sonic innovation.

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Live review: B.O.B., Dixie's Tavern (10/26/2012)

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Dixie's Tavern
Oct. 27, 2012

B.o.B’s final words to the crowd of thousands of Charlotteans summed up the tone of the Gravedigger's Ball at Dixie’s Tavern on Saturday night: “Don’t drink and drive,” he said. “Get high and fly.”

Not exactly the eloquence and poetry he’s become known for in his songs. Nevertheless, to a crowd which came to party, this was just the encouragement needed to keep the party going after B.o.B.’s high energy set took everything the crowd could give.

Atlanta-born B.o.B (or Bobby Ray, as fans fondly know him) took the stage in shades and a hat as though wanting to hide his face so the music could take center stage. For a guy whose biggest hits tend to be collaborations with bigger stars, the concept of him performing alone with nothing but a mic and a DJ could have been a disaster. Luckily, the moment he hit the stage, he quickly showed why he was able to make such great collaborations in the first place — the guy is talented.

Continue reading »

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jenny Besetzt, T0w3rs at Snug Harbor tonight (10/28/2012)

Posted By on Sun, Oct 28, 2012 at 8:45 AM

This night features a trio of up-and-coming regional acts. The frontman for Carrboro-based T0W3RS, Derek Torres, recently listed the songs he’d put on a desert island iPod limited to 10 tracks. They included cuts from the Who, The Band, Eno and Paul Simon. You’d be hard-pressed, though, to pinpoint any of that in the five-piece’s upbeat rock. It’s built on summery melodies, bubbly keyboards and winking lyrics — let’s not forget the band name’s hip spelling, too — and seems poised to make blog-noise à la Clap Your Hands, Tapes 'n Tapes, Black Kids, etc. For Greensboro-based Jenny Besetzt, on the other hand, the band name carries Teutonic specificity — “Besetzt” translates to “possessed” in German. And there is an OCD element to the quintet’s debut, Only, found mostly in the New Order-y rhythmic thrum. Add tragic-romance narratives and Smiths-like reverb to singer John Wollaber’s vocals, and you’re obviously drifting in another I Love the '80s slipstream. Headlining are local quartet Blossoms, whose Arthur Russell/Stephen Malkmus/Otis Redding hybrid holds its own with the visitors. $5. Oct. 28, 8 p.m. Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St. 704-333-9799.

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Kathleen Edwards at McGlohon Theatre tonight (10/28/2012)

Posted By on Sun, Oct 28, 2012 at 8:33 AM

With three albums of sturdy roots-rock crossed with hardscrabble country under her belt, Canadian songwriter Kathleen Edwards felt it was time to shake things up. Joining forces, both personally and professionally, with Bon Iver’s producer Justin Vernon, she’s broken out of the traditional Americana mold while still retaining the grit and compassion of earlier efforts. Edward’s dusty, spiky vocals have drawn comparisons to Lucinda Williams, but with songs about draft dodgers, abducted women and downtrodden housewives, Edwards’ songs have always borne a bit more gravitas than her contemporaries. With her latest LP, Voyageur, Edwards has ditched rollicking guitars for velvety production and slow burning instrumental interludes. Though her lyrics have become more personal, they’ve lost some of the heart-breaking bite of her previous thumbnail sketches of hard-luck characters. Still, this is not a case of a country girl gone all artsy-fartsy. While retaining her high, lonesome cred, Edwards embraces an exuberant, slightly queasy celebration of change and risk. With Jim Bryson, Gord Tough and Mandolin Orange. $22.50-$27.50. Oct. 28, 7 p.m. McGlohon Theatre, 345 N. College St. 704-372-1000.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Hrvrd at Tremont Music Hall tonight (10/26/2012)

Posted By on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 8:51 AM

Before they dropped the vowels in their name to avoid litigation with a certain hallowed educational institution, HRVRD was Harvard, a post-hardcore, neo-prog crew frequently compared to propulsive post-emo rockers Circa Survive. An emo hangover still hovers in HRVRD’s busy drumming, and prog (“neo” or otherwise) still echoes in coruscating guitar work that recalls Larks’ Tongues in Aspic-era King Crimson. Still, HRVRD’s shorter, sharper name signals a tightening and maturation of the band’s intricate sound. Comparisons to Circa Survive still surface in HRVRD frontman Jesse Clasen’s pure and ethereal vocals, but Clasen seems to hew closer to Tim Booth of ’90s Brit alt-rockers James. Indeed, HRVRD’s swooning melodies and swirling atmospherics suggest an update on Booth and the Bad Angel, the James frontman’s quirky and neglected collaboration with Twin Peaks composer Angelo Badalamenti. Even that cult LP is just one of many sonic touchstones for this band. Complex, soulful and soaring, with a tinge of darkness, HRVRD charts its own disquieting course. Performing at the 4th Annual Philip & Terrence Birthday Celebration featuring Junior Astronomers, Yardwork, Oddczar, It Looks Sad, That’s Why I Said It’s You. Free. Oct. 26, 8 p.m. Tremont Music Hall, 400 W. Tremont Ave. 704-343-9494.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

STS9 at The Fillmore tonight (10/25/2012)

Posted By on Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Unlike most jam bands, STS9 doesn’t go off on long solos; instead, the group melds rock and electronics into a whole, while occasionally showcasing individual mood swings with short solo forays. The electronic rock quintet’s seemingly open-ended jams are akin to beats that swirl away into the ether. Spacey instrumentals ebb and flow into layered, trancelike tracks. The keys and guitars commingle while the jazzy, world beat percussion lifts improvised jams into dub-touched psychedelic outings. The compositions are laden with mystical rhythms and percussion that lends itself to musical adventurism without sacrificing an organic sound. The music is danceable, of course, yet also propels listeners into an intergalactic trip. Spin an appropriately titled track like “We’ll Meet in Our Dreams” for a primer. With Kap10 Harris. $22.50. Oct. 25, 8 p.m. The Fillmore, 1000 N.C. Music Factory Blvd. 704-916-8970.

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Weedeater at Tremont Music Hall tonight (10/25/2012)

Posted By on Thu, Oct 25, 2012 at 8:27 AM

Weedeater is a band that practices what it preaches: the coastal N.C. sludge trio’s live shows can be noisome assaults of sweat, volume and vomit. Southern music, by these guys’ model, can be an unapologetic steamroller of cranked amps and seething grudges. Weedeater swings and boogies, owing as much to Muscle Shoals-descended blues-rock as the obvious swamp-metal touchstones, while wildman bassist and vocalist Dave “Dixie” Collins — who once accidentally shot off his big toe — rants and hollers nihilistic Southernisms in his perennially shredded voice. So, come get some, but bring earplugs and maybe a change of clothes. With Sourvein, Murdercycle, Vulture. $12-$14. Oct. 25, 9 p.m. Tremont Music Hall, 400 W. Tremont Ave. 704-343-9494.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Tontons at Evening Muse tonight (10/24/2012)

Posted By on Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Sometimes The Tontons feel like twee done right, replete with bright colors, danciness, splashing guitars and just a bit of reverb-soaked nostalgia. And sometimes they come in sultry or swing with cabaret flavors, not unlike a full-band take on Morcheeba. Asli Omar, vocalist for this Houston outfit, is not only possessed of a remarkable voice, but has learned to control it well — presenting everything from smoky lounge-jazz to assertive trip-hop and indie-rock within a band capable and willing to try these styles on for size. After all, the new EP, Golden, closes on ukulele-driven jazz swing. Who knew? With Banditos. $6. Oct. 24, 10:30 p.m. The Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. 704-376-3737.

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