Friday, January 23, 2015

CLT rapper releases another thought provoking music video

Charlotte rapper Deniro Farrar released another new video from his "Rebirth" EP this week. When it comes to thought provoking videos, Farrar isn't messing around. There's usually some interesting juxtaposition or unexpected twist in the up and coming artist's music videos that further places him in league with other national acts. It's not always pretty, but is much more cerebral than your average guns, booze, and booty clips. The video for "Burning Bills" features Farrar on the run from klan members, but what's interesting is it's not obviously set 100 or even 50 years ago. The story also plays out like a fantasy that is well matched with the eerie track.

The track does include profanity and the video features some violence, although mostly off screen. So keep that in mind before clicking play.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

This week's hot concerts

Gregory Alan Isakov
Friday  7:30 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., $17-$20,
The acclaimed South African singer-songwriter, who was raised in Philly and runs a small farm in Colorado, has released two stunningly good indie-folk records. His latest, “The Weatherman,” lit up Billboard’s folk charts and put him in the company of songwriters like Dylan, Springsteen, and contemporary Josh Ritter.

Destructo/Motez/Anna Lunoe/T. Williams
Friday,  10 p.m., Label, 900 NC Music Factory Blvd., Free, $15, $50 VIP,
The Ship2Ship Tour sails into Label captained by EDM pioneer Destructo (aka electronic music promoter, A&R exec, and DJ Gary Richards), Aussie by way of Iraq house DJ Motez, up and coming Australian producer and artist/DJ Anna Lunoe, and London's T. Williams, who perform individual sets as well as collaborate on stage later in the night. 

Saturday  8 p.m., Amos’, 1423 S. Tryon St., $20-$23/$32.95 VIP,
Since revving up his chainsaw for the 1992 hit “Lumberjack,” Jackyl singer Jesse James Dupree and his bluesy Southern rock band have enjoyed a recent renaissance thanks to his role on Reelz network’s “Full Throttle Saloon.” The show follows Dupree and co-owner Mike Ballard as they run the biggest biker bar in the world.

Marshall Tucker Band
Saturday  8 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $33.58,  
The Spartanburg country-rock stalwart kicks off its 44th year together this week with the Searching for Rainbow Tour. Led by singer Doug Gray the group continues to unearth old live recordings and tour relentlessly just as its music and name reach new ears thanks to TV, commercials, and Florida Georgia Line’s MTB name-dropping song “Cruise.”

Yonatan Gat
Saturday  9 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St., $7, 
During its run from 2005 to 2011, Israeli rockers Monotonix were notorious for outrageous stage antics and blistering garage rock. Guitarist Gat takes the unpredictability a step further experimenting with improvisations that bounce from surf to Middle Eastern to rock to Afrobeat - a task that led The Village Voice to crown him the best guitarist in NYC.

Saturday  10 p.m., Double Door, 1218 Charlottetown Ave., $12,
Armed with an instrument he created from metal, strings, and electronics called the Magic Pipe, Mike Silverman is like the MacGyver of music. He powers through quirky funk with a booming baritone that resonates with character. Magic Club VIP ticket holders can experience the pipe up close during a pre-show Q&A and demonstration.

Mac McCaughan
Sunday  6 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St., $10,  
It’s been over a decade since influential Chapel Hill indie rockers Superchunk played Charlotte despite touring again in 2013 and 2014, but Superchunk/Portstatic frontman and Merge Records co-founder McCaughan makes a rare solo appearance. Turn up for his scrappy, intimate set and remind him why his other bands should book shows here too.

Funk Cancer Benefit
Sunday  3 p.m., Amos’, 1423 S. Tryon St., $20,
The third annual benefit concert and silent auction has raised over $15,000 for brain tumor research at Duke University. This year’s lineup includes Pat Walters and Steve Stoekel from the Spongetones joining the Coconut Groove Band for a set of Beatles’ tunes, Coconut Groove pumping out Steely Dan and Chicago covers, and Bump City East charging through Tower of Power’s best.

Australian Bee Gees Show
Thursday  7:30 p.m., Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Blvd., $62.48-$81.59,  
While some tributes honor acts that may tour through town next summer, this Aussie homage to the disco-eclipsing trio offers something you won’t hear live unless Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake decide to take their “SNL” act on the road. This nostalgia trip - on loan from Vegas’ Excalibur Casino - captures the group’s look and sound.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Whitewater Center reveals lineups for Spring festivals

Tuck Fest, the US National Whitewater Center's annual outdoor lifestyle and live music festival, revealed part of the 3-day event lineup. Jason Isbell and J.J. Grey and Mofro will headline Friday and Sunday nights, respectively.

The festival runs April 17-19. Saturday's lineup has not been announced.

Indiana-bred Strand of Oaks - songwriter Tim Showalter backed by a full band - will join award winning Americana singer-songwriter and former Drive-By Trucker Isbell Friday. Acclaimed NC songwriter MC Taylor, who performs under the name Hiss Golden Messenger will open Sunday's show followed by roots rockers Bronze Radio Return and Mofro.

The three-day festival includes a variety of outdoor exhibitions, demonstrations, and sporting competitions including biking, paddleboarding, trail running, kayaking, climbing, slacklining, and adventure racing.

The US National Whitewater Center hosts weekly live music and monthly outdoor concerts from March to October. It begins its concert season with the 5th Annual Green River Revival March 14. The daytime concert, which follows the Color Me Green 5K that morning and the dyeing of the river, features Durham's Bombadil and Charlotte's Matrimony.

Friday, January 16, 2015

This week's hot concerts

Dickey Betts & Great Southern
Friday  8 p.m., Chop Shop, 399 E. 35th St., $35/$60 VIP,  
Three months after his old band the Allman Brothers took its final bow and six years after giving up extensive touring, the 71 year old influential Southern rock and blues guitarist is back for a quick four day jaunt around the South.

Winter Jam
Sunday  6 p.m., Time Warner Cable Arena, 333 E. Trade St., $10 at the door,  
The annual touring Christian music festival celebrates 20 years with Skillet, Jeremy Camp, Francesca Battistelli, Building 429, For King & Country, Newsong, Family Force 5, and speaker Tony Nolan with a pre-party featuring Blanca, About a Mile, and Veridia.

Tosco Music Party
Saturday  7:30 p.m., Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St., $17-$23,  
The sing-along and variety-style live music sampling kicks off 2015 with the first of three annual concerts in the 25-plus year series. Acts are Charlie King, Charlotte Jazz Orchestra, Elias Roochvarg, Evan, Xie, Hawaiian Kine Band, Jenna Lindbo Justin Tosco, Kim Richardson, Little Big String Band, Renee Ebalaroza, Sweet Claudette, and others.

Monday  7:30 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $14-$17,  
With pop-punk anthems that pogo with angry calls for social justice and equality, the Pittsburgh political punk band began celebrating its 20th anniversary with the release of last year’s aptly titled retrospective “A Document of Dissent.” Now it commemorates the 10th anniversary of its album “The Terror State” by revisiting it live in its entirety.

River Whyless
Wednesday  8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $8-$10,
With its 2012 debut the Asheville roots quintet, who releases its self-titled EP Tuesday, traded in contemplative, pastoral songwriting, rich string arrangements, bright, but melancholy harmonies and frank delivery that evokes Band of Horses or the Avett Brothers mixed with the sweet female fronted `90’s alt-pop bands like the Cranberries or the Sundays.

King Tuff
Wednesday  9 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., $10-$13,
The rock n’ roll alter-ego of Kyle Thomas is a favorite of Sirius/XMU’s indie set. On his third record for SubPop, “Black Moon Spell,” he takes gnarly stoner-rock distortion and speeds up the tempos for a ride that’s more psychedelic garage rock funhouse than mid-tempo fuzz meltdown. It’s also bigger on pop hooks than college radio suggests.

Hot Club of Cowtown
Thursday  8 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., $22,  
On the Texas swing trio’s seventh album, “Rendezvous in Rhythm,” the band delves into Gypsy jazz and American standards using legendary French jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli and guitarist Django Reinhardt and Paris in the 1930s as inspiration.

Wednesday 13
Thursday  8 p.m., Tremont, 400 W. Tremont Ave., $12-$15,
The L.A.-based, China Grove native returns to his old rocking grounds two days after the release of his latest album, “Monsters of the Universe: Come Out and Plague,” which finds the punk/metal horror rocker focusing on recent interests in aliens and conspiracy theories. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of signature gore and camp.

Covers for a Cause
Thursday  9 p.m., Double Door, 1228 Charlottetown Ave., $5, 
A who’s who of local musicians pay tribute to Fleetwood Mac at this Community School of the Arts fundraiser. Performers include Reeve Coobs, Sam the Lion, Benji Hughes, Chalkies, Mike Strauss, Gigi Dover, Truckstop Preachers, Amigo, Pam Taylor, Lenny Federal, and Loose Lugnuts.

Michaela Anne/Girls Guns & Glory
Thursday  8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $8-$10,   
For a New York transplant and country singer-songwriter Anne has a knack for capturing honest longing, independent spirit, and the weepy twang of the Southern experience on her debut album, “Ease My Mind.” She’s paired with snappy-dressing, Boston roots rock outfit GG&G, who Rolling Stone named one of 10 bands to watch last fall.

Friday, January 9, 2015

This week's hot concerts

Michael McDermott
Friday  8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $8-$10,
Hailed early on by Stephen King as a new Springsteen and having since lived a wild life that inspired the film “Rounders” (its screenwriter gave him his first deal), the once down and out Chicago born singer-songwriter is on an upswing having raised over $50,000 for his next album with his band the Westies via Kickstarter.

A Night with Charlotte Legends
Saturday  8 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $10,  
The trio of Donna Duncan, Gigi Dover, and Lenny Federal open this ongoing series showcasing the city’s strong musical roots with artists that built the local scene and have been playing here for decades. The first night focuses on three staples in blues, Americana and soul.

Sext Message
Saturday  9 p.m., The Milestone, 3400 Tuckaseegee Rd., $5-$7,
Milestone owner Jonathan Hughes (25 Minutes to Go/HU/LK) and his rock n’ roll fashionista wife Stephanie make adorably sexy, lo-fi keytar pop - having purchased the totally `80s instrument after a big tip from Ke$ha no less - in this electronic duo. They celebrate the release of their ton-of-fun first album.

Pullman Strike
Saturday  9 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., $7-$10,  
The Charlotte roots rock quintet celebrates the release of its second album, “Silver Lining,” a classic country-rock effort built on lonesome pedal steel, earnest delivery, shuffles and waltzes with complementary guitar picking that adds color and texture with echoes of Drive-By Truckers, Ryan Adams, and Fleetwood Mac.

Radok Fest
Saturday  10 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St., $5,  
Greevace, Lavamouth, gogo Pilot, Pig F****r, and David Childers pay tribute to the Creative Loafing photographer Chris Radok on the anniversary of his death. Radok, who was known for his music photography and shot for the publication for many years, was murdered during a break-in at his home in January 2011.

Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra
Wednesday  7:30 p.m., McGlohon Theater, 345 N. College St., $14.50-$34.50,  
This 12-piece New Zealand ensemble started by Flight of the Conchords’ Ben McKenzie has drawn global attention for its loose, humorous stage show, choir-like harmonies and inventive multi-ukulele renditions of Justin Timberlake, Kings of Leon, Prince, Dolly Parton and Toto songs.

The Independents/Black Cat Attack
Thursday  9 p.m., The Milestone, 3400 Tuckaseegee Rd., $8,  
It’s hard to think of a better indie horror punk pairing than the Carolina-based stalwarts the Independents and Ontario’s Black Cat Attack. Both make charging, dark and catchy punk. The former was managed by Joey Ramone before his death and the latter features female singer Valerie Knox.

The Whigs
Thursday  9 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $12-$15,  
Since blasting out of Athens with a nerdy garage rock swagger in 2005, the trio has become one of the hardest working American rock bands touring clubs and releasing consistently good albums that show slow growth and maturity while never hampering the original energy. Its latest is its fifth album, “Modern Creation.”

Jarekus Singleton
Thursday  9 p.m., Double Door, 1218 Charlottetown Ave., $10-$12, 
A former college basketball star and rapper who formed his blues combo the year an injury ended a potential career in sports, the Mississippi electric blues guitarist merges innovation through his mix of rock, blues, and hip-hop played on unique custom Clevenger cut-out guitars while carrying the tradition of B.B. King and Muddy Waters. The above video features footage from Charlotte's Double Door Inn. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Charlotte rappers Farrar and Duru Tha King drop new video

Rising Charlotte rappers Deniro Farrar and Duru Tha King released a new video for Duru's track "Torn Love" earlier this week. Farrar also appeared with YB, Bankroll, and Bird on Duru Tha King's hometown anthem "#NewCharlotte" last September.

Farrar enjoyed national attention in 2014. MTV aired his videos and he garnered favorable write-ups in major music magazines as well as toured the US.

You can watch the haunting clip above. It does contain a bunch of profanity, so consider yourself warned. Like much of Farrar's work it presents the struggle and conflict between the hardcore lifestyle of drugs, guns, and crime and spirituality and knowing what's right and wrong, which comes from family and community.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Avett to release duet tribute to Elliott Smith

On the heels of the announcement Tuesday that the Avett Brothers will headline Merlefest this year, comes the news that Seth Avett and singer-songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield will release an album of duets by Elliott Smith. "Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith" will be released on Ramseur Records March 17.

The album was produced by Avett and recorded at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville and in Concord and Mayfield's home of Kent, Ohio. The album also features Scott Avett on banjo, cellist Joe Kwon and violinist Tania Elizabeth of the Avett Brothers' band and Nashville bassist Paul Difiglia, who played with Langhorne Slim and has filled in for the Avett's Bob Crawford live.

Avett and Mayfield talk about the project, which started in October 2011, in the video above.

Dates for a subsequent tour will be released shortly.

Smith died in Los Angeles in 2003 at the age of 34.

The tracklisting is below:
1. Between the Bars
2. Baby Britain
3. Fond Farewell
4. Somebody That I Used to Know
5. Let's Get Lost
6. Twilight
7. Ballad of Big Nothing
8. Angel in the Snow
9. Pitseleh
10. Angeles
11. Roman Candle
12. Memory Lane