frontier ruckus @ local 506

I’ve spent the last two years, since I discovered Frontier Ruckus’ astounding record Deadmalls & Nightfalls, trying to figure out what, for me, and for so many other people, makes them stand out. Partially it’s Matthew Milia’s voice, which doesn’t sound like it should come from him; it’s haunting and eerie and grounded all at…

because fuck you, that’s why

“[Y]ou should lie to people to get what you want; you can make things happen for yourself just by acting confident.” — Kathleen Hanna in Girls To The Front, on the start of her writing career “There was a point when I realized that you could get away with just about anything so long as…

antibalas & the brand new life @ cat’s cradle

I’ve had a bit of a week: I’ve shot gothic Americana, kickass lady punk, electro-synth indie pop, and last night, a double bill of great, great Afrobeat. To be honest, I was almost completely ignorant of Afrobeat as a genre or a movement until I started going to see my friend Seth’s project, the Brand…

two sentence reviews of reasonably new albums i listened to in september

California Wives — Art History: sparkling, thickly layered guitar pop that makes great use of vocals as instruments, and repeated choruses as sonic texture. Really compelling listening, and the only word for it really is ethereally beautiful. (Saw them this week opening for Stars, and they fucking blew me away. Get this album now, because…

the corin tucker band @ local 506

Corin Tucker can flat-out rock. That’s what I took away from last night’s show; it was an aural assault of highly danceable tunes from her airtight band off Kill My Blues, her latest solo release on Kill Rock Stars. It’s excellent, her show was excellent, and I’m kind of ashamed that I didn’t tell her…

delicate cutters @ motorco garage

I still believe in the record label; that is, I believe in finding the small labels curating a select roster of bands and, if you like the bands they have, trusting them to find you new ones. One of those labels, for me, is Skybucket Records out of Birmingham, who used to release the Dexateens’…

bristol rhythm & roots reunion 2012

If you ask me, Bristol Rhythm & Roots is the best bang for your festival buck in the country — $40 gets you a weekend of the best traditional and new Americana artists out there, plus you get to watch the Tennessee/Florida game with Tennessee fans, and the quality of the street food is top-notch….

tift merritt @ carrboro town commons

No way to make my heart swell with love for where I live than a free show outside on a perfect fall evening, featuring three of North Carolina’s most beloved. Tift Merritt made me cry (for some reason, “Mix Tape” just destroys me) and made me laugh, Megafaun blew the crowd away by swinging between…

will johnson & anders parker @ haw river ballroom

If you have a chance to catch Will Johnson and Anders Parker on their current (mostly) living room tour, you need to do it — it was one of the most intimate, reverent, and fun evenings I’ve had in a long time. The third balcony of the Haw River Ballroom sounds just as good as…