Monday, September 24, 2012

FTW - Church Key First One's Free @ The Pinhook, The Human Eyes @ kINGS, and Who Not to Miss at Carrboro Music Fest

name Tin Can Sailor performing at Motorco Garage on Thursday Aug 30th.

California Wives, Stars, Diamond Rings @ Cat's Cradle Wednesday 9/26
The big sound of California Wives' chiming indie guitar and smooth vocal harmonies should shine its brightest on the big stage at Cat's Cradle Wednesday night. This Chicago band has earned plenty of press since they started touring heavy last year. Wednesday they will take a shot at engaging the home crowd with immersible indie pop.

Farewell Blowout and Potluck @ The Cave Friday 9/28 5:00 PM
Being present when history occurs is an endearing opportunity for anyone who seeks a strong relationship with the local music culture. Rarely do we have a chance to make plans to attend history, but you can put it on your calendar right now. Current owner Mouse celebrates his last day at The Cave, passing the torch to the Slims team. The festivities kick off at 5:00 PM with a potluck. Music begins at 7:30 PM featuring round-robin style performances by Taz Halloween, Mark Simonsen, and Billy Sugarfix. 5:00 PM/pass the hat

The Human Eyes, Heads on Sticks @ Kings Friday 9/28
The Human Eyes strikes chords of retro pop and avant-garde electronica simultaneously. Their May 2012 album Guiding Eyes For The Blind is a confident envoy into the shimmer and shine that made "synthesizer" a buzz word in the eighties. Heads on Sticks primes from the same pump and blends in a bit of funk. 9:00 pm/$5

Frontier Ruckus, Magnolia Collective @ Local 506 Saturday 9/29
This is a Cat's Cradle presents billing at Local 506 and will be a honey of a roots rocker. Both bands blend Americana and indie to form an excitable brand of Southern rock. Local 506 and Cat's Cradle promoters strive to be matchmakers between locals and touring bands, and this billing has potential to go all the way. Doors at 8 PM/$10

Mount Carmel, Effingham @ Local 506 Monday 10/1
Mount Carmel is on tour out of Columbus, Ohio and hell bent to bring their surly take on blues rock to the indie underground. Next Monday the trio plugs in and rips through their riff drenched anthems in Chapel Hill. Durham indie folk-rock band Effingham opens with their patented high energy, short duration set of story teller rock. doors at 8:30 PM/$9

Church Key Presents Wood Ear, Some Army @ The Pinhook Saturday 10/6
This is another installment of Church Key Records highly successful "Churchkey Presents First One's Free" music series which occurs the first Saturday of the month at The Pinhook in Durham, is free, and has presented fantastic talent on stage since the series kicked off in June. Some Army, having secured their place in the hearts of the local scene with their sweet soft rock indie, has been quite ambassadorial lately...on the road promoting their sound outwardly. Wood Ear are masters of dark Americana sound scapes and could single handedly keep the spirit of rock and roll country from dissipating from the collective minds of the local culture, if it ever came to that. 10 PM, Free

Sunday 9/30 is the Carrboro Music Festival which is one of our last great all-play festivals featuring local-only bands. Its a feel good event for the community and musicians alike with a day of trans-Carrboro performances. SCNP selects from a large list and makes a few recommendations:

Rachel Kiel 1:00 Music Loft
Kiel's 2009 album Table Manners didn't reach the heights that it should have, as evidence by the fact that she isn't in Nashville drawing royalty checks from "Lights On" and negotiating big things with big labels. We'll selfishly keep her big talent to ourselves on Sunday.

Onward Soldiers 4:00 Milltown
Wilmington natives that have been given a key to our house and a permanent invite to come up and stay, Onward Soldiers are a favorite guest. Southern rock meets indie with distinctive vocals and well thought out guitar arrangements.

Saints Apollo 5:00 Southern Rail (Front Porch)
one of the best new harmony driven acoustic acts this year has to offer. Sweet airy songs with a beautiful mingle of voices and softly rendered keys and strings.

Morning Brigade 5:00 Music Loft
Fresh, clean, exciting, hooky...there is plenty to adore in Morning Brigade. Their music is a well rounded wall of sound with a gritty yet refined lead vocal.

Tow3rs 5:00 Milltown
Tow3rs continues to create unique and passionate electronic pop that reaches beyond the boundaries of the genre. Tow3rs sound scapes build more than just colorful rhythms, mystique is generated somewhere within the haze. Fun to listen to, fun to watch.

Magnolia Collective 6:00 Milltown
Carrboro darlings and favorites of SCNP, it's no secret why this band's raucous folk rocking charisma makes our list twice...MagCo is a performance that should never be missed.

Battlestar Canada 6:15 2nd Wind Sports Saloon
Street smart eclectic folk pop glorifying pulp-ish stories of urban decay. This Durham two piece brings a full on electronic wall of sound with the help of synth and loops.

Tin Can Sailor 7:30 Cat's Cradle
Tin Can Sailor is a sleeping giant of indie rock potential. A couple years in to being a band, but just now coming of age with focus and direction on tight arrangements and mind engaging lyrics. Their small cult following could and should multiply on Sunday as they lay it down at a prime time on a prime stage.

The Pinkerton Raid 8:00 Jessee's Coffee and Bar
With energy still sizzling from their east coast tour, this Durham three piece will plug in and continue to cook up their witty brand of heavy pop.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Album Review - Beloved Binge: Pockets

Beloved Binge Pockets front

On Pockets, Beloved Binge displays a matured creativity which rends quirky lyrics and unlikely harmonies into genuine emotion, and they find an electrified zeal in the common space between the poles of pop and rock. The most colorful of these movements is the parade of genres that weave in and out of songs like Shriners on mini bikes. Mix and match arrangements high step with a confidence conjurable by only the most devotedly free minds. 80's inspired joy synth, Spanish style classical guitar, industrial metal, new wave, and indie jangle aren't only found on the same album together, they are throwing candy in the same songs. But the diverse range of genres aren't the only opposites that are found marching harmoniously here, there is a marvelous attraction between the two vocals. The fragile confidence of Eleni Vlachos' girlish squeal locks on and strides the album in a defiant harmony with Rob Beloved's graveled and charismatic dead-pan baritone. Yes, on Pockets, the opposing vocal styles and impossible genre match ups win because they succeed in occupying the same space while offering mutual respect, as if Cyndi Lauper and Iggy Pop romanced over an album without trying to change one another.

The fundamental abilities that allow this duo to compassionately mingle unlikes are found in their lifestyle. Rob Beloved and Eleni Vlachos embody warm old word bohemianism. It’s an immaculate strangeness that finds comfort in the gathering of all things that contrast. These habits direct their music toward extremes and then enjoy the curious juxtapositions once connected. It’s as if parts and pieces of songs were held up to one another on their hangers and stared at in the mirror...only those which didn't match were combined. These themes play out from front to back of Pockets and offer a dramatic window into the creativity of Beloved Binge.

Applauding the diversity of style and genre doesn't do justice to the aesthetic of the sound however and it’s most important to note that the result of all these mash up's is a fun pop record that delivers hook after singable hook. The mutual respect between pop and rock can only happen because both sides are at their best here. Vlachos owns pop and has its rhythm and melody gleaming beautifully. Beloved is a rocker and his arrangements on the six string are complex, interesting, and deft. For a duo of writers to reach so far into their soul and return with the truest elements of their persona and then form them into defendable pop music places Pockets close to self-actualization for Beloved Binge, and close to perfect for all of those standing on the sidewalk dazzled as it parades by. --Carrboro Ninja

The Pockets parade pulls up to The Pinhook at 117 W. Main St in Durham on Saturday Sept 22, 2012 for a record release party, which is triple billed with record releases from Billy Sugarfix, whose EP Carousel offers smooth, chiming, vintage instrumentals accentuated by charismatic baritone vocals...and (E)O(T) from Ellertronic, a lesson in electronic ambient 8-bit pop from local folk heroes Bonnie Pivacek (Sequoya) and David Zielinski (All Your Science). Additional theatrics will be performed in the form of improv comedy. This description was scraped from the New Town Drunks who offer their guitar player Roberto Confressi as one of the actors; "During the Beloved Binge set, there will be several short improv acts based the 70's show Three's Company."

Beloved Binge Pockets back

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Show Review: Arborea With Mariee Sioux and Sarah Shook

name Arborea

September 5, 2012
Nightlight, Chapel Hill, NC

By Tommy Kurosawa

The shared experience of a live music show is something long past. The same is true for a random trip to the local multiplex on a saturday afternoon. With the advent of internet -- film and music at our fingertips, Pirate Bay and the like -- well, we can find anything our "hip" friend tells us to download and devour. The problem is the lack of effort it took to find the diamond in the dust. Let's face it, if it rained Van Gogh's every morning, that walk through the Louvre wouldn't be so precious.

CUT TO: A child pointing at the wall of the museum nonchalantly mutters, "Mommy, one of those fell in the backyard yesterday" as others shuffle past the Monet.

But occasionally, still, we stumble into the arena blindly. Not because it was hyped up by some local promoter. Not because the "cool kid" with no musical talent down the street championed it. No, simply because, it was a Wednesday night in Chapel Hill and you had nothing to lose.

Sarah Shook took the stage first with her haunting take on American-ized ballads. I have seen her with a full band before (Sarah Shook and The Devil), gushing the desperation of Hank Williams and bleeding the sharpness of Wanda Jackson. However, solo, Shook was a lullaby in waiting -- smart songs, soulfully stripped down to the bone -- all while coddling a large, hollow bodied guitar.

Mariee Sioux was second. This is where Shook's subtle genius became palpable, for without her as an opener, Sioux's entry into the foray would have seemed less grande. With primal and delicate lyrics floating over Joan Baez-esque finger picking, Sioux hypnotized the crowd. There were songs of blood and flowers and teeth. There were songs where verses dissipated into choruses -- maybe -- or perhaps there was no chorus at all (you lost track while the siren whispered something about "tongues").

But Arborea was the headliner. Now, after the openers' songs had faded into the walls. Now, after the crowd had thought better of the spell they had been seduced by earlier, a new magic filled the space. Arborea's primitive banjo coupled with Robert-Johnson-pact-made-with-the-devil electric guitar, fuzz wailing over the sweetness of Shanti's Bathsheeba-esque vocals, now, this is what we had stumbled into: like staring at the taken woman, beautiful, and bathing upon the roof.

Most of us sat silent. Oh, we laughed at the banter in between -- and the technical problems. And a few drunks chattered in and out during the set. But the most of us listened spellbound.

We were haunted by the sound. We were in love with the moment. We were amazed that these things can still happen.

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Mariee Sioux at Nightlight in Chapel Hill, NC Pictured Above: Mariee Sioux at Nightlight in Chapel Hill, NC on September 5th, 2012.