Monday, September 28, 2009

Shows This Week That We Are Either Going To See or Want To But Can't (because of the micro-economical recession)

The Tender Fruit Poster
9/30 WED (The Pinhook) Tender Fruit w/ Tenderhooks -i've gushed about Tender Fruit enough that this show making my list won't come as a suprise to anyone. This poster (above) was designed by Christy Smith's mind, ain't it neat.

10/1 THR (The Cave) Roberto Confressi (New Town Drunks), Brandon Herndon (Twilighter), and John Pardue (Puritan Rodeo) -each play the Songslingers Showcase

10/1 THR (The Pinhook) MAX Indian, Embarrasing Fruits, Lighthouse Music

10/2 FRI (Deep Dish Theater, located in University Mall, Chapel Hill) Songwriters Up Close ft. Django Haskins, Stuart McLamb, & Missy Thangs -i'll save everyone a botched attempt at describing this myself and offer a link to the organizer's description. Doors at 7:30 and starts at 8:00. cost is $12 and tickets can be purchased here: www.deepdishtheater.org

10/2 FRI (Nightlight) SMNMNMN, Josh Drye Consortium, The Toddlers -Nightlight is billing this as an SMNMNMN reunion show and i'm quote pumped. I was just wondering the other day what ever happened to those guys. There is just not enough tuba in rock and roll as it is, let alone without them. $5 cover

10/3 SAT (Broadstreet Cafe) The Sinful Savage Tigers -show at 8 PM.

10/3 SAT (The Black Flower) Once and Future Kings -This is a local release party for their CD Emergent Sea which I quite enjoy. Here are some words on their July show at Nightlight

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Show Review: Future Islands

Future Islands
The Brewery, Raleigh
September 23, 2009

You need to be ready, or at least know what is coming, when you step on the floor in front of Future Islands. If you are caught off guard when it hits, it’s too late already, you'll be wrecked by a complete shit storm of electronic brown sound synth game. Tunneling from a dark sky like a scorned mother nature, a Future Islands set is a force of physics governed only by laws of chaos. You won't control it, you probably won't contain it. There is just not a microphone on this earth brave enough to stare into Sam Herring's face and ask him to "take it easy." Any which were easy he has already taken, melted down to their properties, and re-formed by sheer will into ice-hard beads of sweat to cool the red hot stage floor boards before they combust from the friction of his passion.

This brings us to last night, there were no survivors. With the heat of his wrinkled brow, Herring mind melded the audience radiating desire, despair, zeal, fear and any other emotion that rose to the surface of his face. Streaking through the audience like bolts of lightening trying to run from the frying pan and hide in the fire, it's pure energy one by one enraptured and killed a solemn indy emo crowd and replaced them with fucking dance maniacs. Future Islands begged for mercy like a suicide case standing on the rail screaming in a tongue that only a wave form modulator could understand. By the time they jumped every hot blooded freak in the audience had lost self awareness and followed them with haste into the abyss of swirling whirling electro indie new wave modulation. --Carrboro Ninja

see their profiles and listen: myspace reverb nation

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Felix The Drum Machine
Future Islands
Members of Lonnie Walker, Future Islands, and The Annuals brought together their high school band Felix The Drum Machine for a one-night-only performance and opened the show.

Future Islands
Future Islands bassist William Cashion dons his poncho along as Lonnie Walker's Brian Corum, Annuals' Zack Oden, and DJ Ock&Shaw Brian Shaw each re-create the costumed appearance of the final show they performed in high school eight years ago.

Future Islands
Lonnie Walker front man Brian Corum wearing blue face paint and standing next to a dude wrapped in tin foil...yes it was a party.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Shows This Week That We Are Either Going To See or Want To But Can't (because of work or another proportionally exiguous excuse)

Gray Young concert poster

This week I'm trying to double book Wednesday and go out well more than my body can keep up with for the remainder so here goes;

9/23 WED (The Pinhook) Luego (Patrick Phelan solo) with Kelly McFarling - acoustic show

9/23 WED (The Brewery) Lonnie Walker, Future Islands, Felix the Drum Machine - paraphrased from Bart Tomlin's press release on the show:
"You've probably heard of Future Islands, Lonnie Walker and Annuals. You may even be familiar with Jackpot! DJ, DJ Ock&Shaw, but did you know that he and members of the aforementioned bands were all in a band called Felix The Drum Machine-- in High School? On Wednesday, September 23rd, In addition to The intensely emotive electro-pop of Future Islands and the energetic jangle-rock of Raleigh favs Lonnie Walker, you'll be treated to some gems from the past that a fan of any of these bands shouldn't miss! With Brian Corum (Lonnie Walker) on bass, William Cashion (Future Islands) on guitar, Zack Oden (Annuals) on drums and Brian Shaw (DJ Ock&Shaw) on guitar and vocals, Felix The Drum Machine will be polishing and revamping songs almost forgotten."
9/24 THR (The Pinhook) Honored Guests, Aminal, Low Red Land -this is The Honored Guests first show in 36 years and their blog hints toward new songs in the queue.

9/25 FRI (Slims) Gray Young, A Rooster for the Masses -Gray Young doesn't know me and I don't know Gray Young and I don't know why this is.

9/26 SAT (Slims) Ryan Gustafson, MAX Indian, The Tomahawks -MAX Indian doesn't have this show listed on their myspace but The Tomahawks list them as playing and they should know since half of them are in MAX Indian.

sneak peak at next week:
MAX Indian, Embarrasing Fruits, Lighthouse Music 10/1 - The Pinhook
Words To Music: Songwriters Up Close ft. Django Haskins, Stuart McLamb, & Missy Thangs 10/2 - University Mall, Chapel Hill
The Sinful Savage Tigers 10/3 - Broad Street Cafe

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Pneurotics Second Skin CD Release Party in Pictures

Local 506, Chapel Hill
September 18, 2009

A smooth and easy solo electric guitar riff from Rich tickled the opening of The Pneurotics set.

The Pneurotics CD Release Party
it didn't take long for Rich's passion filled guitar performance to drench through his shirt.

The Pneurotics CD Release Party
Bonnie Pivacek of Sequoya offered back-up vocals on those songs which she joined The Pneurotics for in the recordings of Second Skin.

The Pneurotics CD Release Party
A bonafied sweetheart, Mimi took every opportunity to address her crowd of friends between songs with genuine and exuberance for their outpouring of love and excitement for the event.

The Pneurotics CD Release Party
The Local 506 stage room was deep with The Pneurotics lovers

The Pneurotics CD Release Party
shoulder to shoulder camera wielders met The Pneurotics at the forward of the stage all night.

The Pneurotics CD Release Party
The Pneurotics closed the night with an epic performance of Second Skin's pedigreed track "Indian Tune" which filled the stage with contributing musicians.

The Pneurotics CD Release Party
Pink Flag's Betsy Shane lent her copiously driven guitar to the "Indian Tune" ensemble.

The Pneurotics CD Release Party
Joe Hall matching wits with Rich McLaughlin in a breath taking guitar refrain during the "Indian Tune" outtro.

Rat Jackson
The Pneurotics CD Release Party
Tad Jackson and Steve Oliva of Rat Jackson heating up the opening slot of the night with the pageantry of their indie rockabilly

The Pneurotics CD Release Party
Steve Oliva enjoying a moment of heightened awareness

The Pneurotics CD Release Party
The Pneurotics CD Release Party
Steve Oliva, one of this town's hottest most expert electric guitar wielders salutes Rich as his superior which is followed by whistles, hoots, and a red-faced Rich McLaughlin.

party pics
The Pneurotics CD Release Party

The Pneurotics CD Release Party
Card tricks on the sidewalk between sets

The Pneurotics CD Release Party
The Pneurotics CD Release Party
Faces in the crowd from left; Jeremy Blair of Jeremy Blair From Effingham, Seth Martin of The Sinful Savage Tigers, Bonnie and Matthew of Sequoya.

full photo stream

SCNP would like to extend an offer of a rain-check to The Travesties whose middle slot performance between Rat Jackson and The Pneurotics went unphotographed as bar room antics occupied our attention. Please accept our apologies. We were however, listening intently.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Show Review: New Town Drunks, John Howie, Jr. and the Sweethearts, Taz Halloween

Local 506, Chapel Hill
September 12, 2009

Much has been made of the Triangle’s rock music scene by numerous publications and blogs (both local and not-so-local). Yes, the Triangle is host to a well-known record label that specializes in releasing Pitchfork-ready rock, and yes, there are many bands that strive to create this type of music, the merits of which should only be debated after several pints of draft beer. So it’s interesting that the musicians who make a more folk-driven and not-so-indie-raucous kind of music here in this part of North Carolina are rarely lauded.

This past Saturday night at Local 506 in Chapel Hill was a perfect showcase of the latter. The New Town Drunks were celebrating the release of their full length album The Ballad of Stayed and Gone, a collection of tunes that are smoky and folky and cabaret and fun. And their performance was the same. The chemistry on stage between Roberto Confresi and Diane Koistinen is only matched by their showmanship. And we are talking grand showmanship. Between the trombone licks (supplied by Seamus Kenney), and the pedal steel wails (supplied by Nathan Golub), there was something hyper-entertaining about the set. It was New Vaudeville. And I mean that as a compliment.

On the country end of the folk spectrum, John Howie, Jr. and the Sweethearts turned in a tight, focused, and beautifully executed set. This was touching stuff. Upright bass, pedal steel guitar, and heartfelt delivery; the trio moved through songs effortlessly. Most memorable was a cover of Larry Murray’s “Bugler.” Cynics beware: Howie and company’s version is extremely potent.

But even with all the great stuff mentioned thus far, the night was owned by Taz Halloween. Halloween, (backed by Stu Cole, Nathan Golub, Marty Johnson, and Nathan Logan), truly turned in a transcendental set. They opened with Nick Lowe’s “The Beast in Me” and unapologetically never looked back. Halloween’s voice was sultry and haunting and beautiful. And those performing with her demonstrated a poise and tastefulness rarely found in ANY music scene. It was a rare performance that served as a reminder of how fleeting gorgeousness can be.

So, where does this leave us? Well, no place particularly special if a lowly show-goer like myself has to be the lone voice in the music blog wilderness praising these bands. But there does seem to be a sort of folk resurgence going on here in the Triangle. And some might say, “Well, it’s always been here.” And my response to that would be, “But it hasn’t been this good in a long while.” --Tommy Kurosawa

Visit their profiles: myspace New Town Drunks blogger

myspace MyNC's "Sessions At Studio B" with The New Town Drunks

upcoming shows
10/1 THR (The Cave) - Roberto performing at The Songslingers Showcase
11/7 SAT (The Cave) - w/Joe Swank and the Zen Pirates

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Pneurotics: Second Skin

Second Skin
album art by Julie Rollinson

Nestled in the Piedmont foothills and the North Carolina coastal plain, the art community of Chapel Hill draws as much inspiration, purpose and character from within as it does from beyond. Piedmont blues and old fashioned Appalachian folk art and gentility stand in simultaneous kinship and contrast with the modern lines of pop culture and indy sophistication. Within the overlapping threads of influence there exists a practical artist's farmer's market where art, literature, and music harmoniously weave in and out among one another to shop the wares of style, form and texture. Art flourishes in its animated climate, literature thrives among its supports, but none have favored from this interdependence more so than the local music culture.

Capitalizing upon these benefits, the past five years have been a boon to local music which has witnessed a number of music dedicated venues emerge, countless bands form to fill the stages, and reclamation of the consumer's entertainment dollar. Among these new bands stood The Pneurotics. The Pneurotics rose up in 2006 to deliver their debut album Forty in Chapel Hill during the sweet spot of this good fortune and hastily established their place. The brilliant tone of lead singer Rich McLaughlin’s telecaster and their continuously grabby and hooky songs quickly made it onto the must see lists of the local denizens. For three years then, The Pneurotics have seen the local stage as their play ground and have been the first ones through the door when the recess bell rang and the last to drag their feet back inside when the teacher's whistle blew. They see the atmosphere for local music as a gift of fortunate proportions and have taken every joy of being part.

Entering with this state of mind to their new album Second Skin, and the Wilburys like happiness of the anthems and ballads gain an explanation. This album has been created, recorded, and produced from a perspective of musicians having the time of their lives while making it. As Forty is to hello, Second Skin is to where be the after party? Patiently derived and deliberately executed, no signs of hurry are found in this album, just traces of meticulous song crafting and excitable detail which can only be derived through the pure love of making rock and roll. Rich, Mimi, and Gabe are living for the stage and this album is the air they are breathing.

The Pneurotics step in their own tracks through much of this album. The crunchy guitar chords and forward lashing lead riffs are delivered in their anticipated exquisiteness and Rich once again delivers his swoonful lone wolf contours to the mic. "Roses" is a danceable jaunt with a contagious bass dish and reconfirms that The Pneurotics are here to have fun watching people have fun, but they also depart from their tried and true path in interesting and unexpected ways. "Indian Tune" polishes down their garage slang to reveal a mysterious Jane's Addiction like hue. Raspy and spacey, it delivers a depthfully forlorn interlude to their folk inspirations and expands the headroom of the album. It's the quality of the middle and late story teller folk tracks that this album is filled with which will give it staying power though. Brilliantly tailored "Sirens" hauntingly draws emotion and at song number 10, drives the listenability of this album deep into the track listings. "White Man's Disease" and "Sunshine", are also late blooming tracks with considerable re-play power. "Second Skin" will be a delightful redux to The Pneurotics faithful and an exciting introduction for those yet to be enlightened. It is music for all occasions. Cheerful and exciting when you need cheerful and exciting, somber and long when you need sobriety and reality.

The Pneurotics have a fall East Coast tour arranged to spread the love and then they will be delivered back home to continue the party. For us locals, an extraordinary local CD release party will be held this Friday 9/18 at local 506. Eight dollars will gain us admission and possession of the first copies of their CD. --Carrboro Ninja

Tour dates:

Sep 18 Local 506 - Chapel Hill, NC w/Rat Jackson and The Travesties
Sep 19 The Whiskey - Wilmington, NC w/Onward, Soldiers
Oct 16 East Coast Opera House - Wilmington, NC w/Ponchos from Peru!
Oct 17 Sweet Melissa’s - Savannah, GA w/Chaos in Gotham
Oct 18 The Oasis Bar and Grill - James Island, SC w/Chaos in Gotham
Oct 22 Goodbye Blue Monday - Brooklyn, NY
Nov 6 Duke Coffeehouse - Durham, NC (Troika Music Festival)

The Pneurotics on Myspace: myspace

The Pneurotics
image by Besty Harris