Friday, November 30, 2012

CLT's Greevace celebrates first EP release Saturday

Every time I see the word Greevace - as in the heavy Charlotte rock trio - I want to pronounce it like it’s a location in Italy with a subtle roll to the ‘r’, stressing the ‘va’ in the same way Giada DeLaurentis lapses into her native accent when layering “mozz-a-rel-la” on a dish (phonetically gre-va-chi). I realize this is ridiculous - though it may be hereditary. My father pronounced the first cell phone company in our hometown, CellularOne, as if it were a dish of cellular(maca)roni. But listening to the band’s first four-song release “The Eye Sees All” the idea that guitarist Andy Cauble is sometimes channeling the intricate picking of one of the romantic language cultures when not trading in distorted, choppy riffs isn’t that far off. 

The introduction of songs like “Cabal” and “The Onus is On Us” aren’t directly flamenco and the clean-tone is brief, but it adds a different layer that separates the group from a standard riff-rock unit. In fact there’s a section of “The Onus” before the haunting lyrics kick in where the guitar and bass enter into fluttering finger work that could be considered metal’s version of gypsy jazz. That’s where the European (and maybe a little Middle Eastern) reference is strongest. But that element and the shifting, varied instrumental sections give these songs weight and depth.

That’s not to say that Greevace is incorporating a weird, disparate mesh of styles. All the elements fit together. For the most part it’s rooted in heavy riffs and classic metal like Anthrax and Prong (they get a lot of Tool comparisons, but I hear Greevace's roots dating back earlier). Chris Cauble alternates between attacking and haunting vocals and lyrics spat in a confrontational style that remind me of Suicidal Tendencies if Mike Muir had done more singing and less talking and an intentionally creepier James Hetfield. The tracks shift from driving heaviness to more introspective instrumental parts that feature subtle guitar harmonies. The dichotomy keeps things interesting and provides that aforementioned depth.

Greevace features Charlotte music veterans from heavy bands that were a bit left of straight punk or metal - Black Lagoon and Drat. The trio (pictured, the Cauble brothers and drummer Thomas Whitley) plays Tremont Music Hall with Karma To Burn (who are from my native West Virginia, by the way - home of Cellularone) and Watch Husky Burn (formerly Husky) Saturday, December 1. The show starts at 9 p.m. and admission is $8 to $10. Tickets are available via

Greevace is already working on its second release at Sioux Sioux Studios. I’m anxious to hear where the next one takes them. You can hear all the tracks from “The Eyes Sees All” here

Thursday, November 29, 2012

This week's hot concerts

Caleb Caudle
8 p.m. Saturday, December 1, Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. $6-$8. 704-376-3737.
The Winston-Salem-based songwriter returns to one of his favorite venues to celebrate the release of his aptly titled new album, “Tobacco Town,” which captures the Carolinas’ dirt floor Americana while summoning legions of detail-oriented Texas songwriters as well.

2 Chainz
9 p.m. Saturday, December 1, Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. $33.
After over a decade on the hip-hop scene, the Atlanta area rapper became one of the hottest new national acts of 2012 with a number one album and collaborations with Drake, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj and Ciara easily garnering him a widespread stamp of approval.

Sum 41/IAmDynamite
8 p.m. Sunday, December 2, Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. $27.
The surprisingly versatile pop-punk band celebrates the 10th anniversary of its “Does This Look Infected?” album, which included hits “The Hell Song” and “Still Waiting,” with snappy harmony and hook-driven combo IAmDynamite (half of which is based in Raleigh).

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit
7:30 p.m. Monday, December 3, Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. $15. 704-358-9200.
The former Drive-By Trucker is coming off the award winning track “Alabama Pines,” an engagement, and a new live album that takes him into 2013 when he’ll tentatively focus on an acoustic album and tour.

I Fight Dragons
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 5, Amos’, 1423 S. Tryon St. $10-$12.
Old school gamers rejoice! This recent Warped Tour act embarks on its maiden headlining “War of the Cyborg Liberation Tour” while employing Nintendo Game Boys and Entertainment Systems into quirky tracks about geek empowerment that merge Devo and Weezer.

Willie Nelson
8 p.m. Wednesday, December 5, The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. $60.50.
The country rebel surrounds himself with family on his new album ("Heroes") and tour during which he'll treat Charlotte to a rare intimate club set that includes his daughter Paula and son Lukas Nelson and  his band  the Promise of the Real as openers.

The Mastersons
10 p.m. Wednesday, December 5, Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. $8-$10. 704-376-3737.
With engaging harmonies and personality married songwriters Eleanor Whitmore and Chris Mastersons (who opened and backed Steve Earle here in May) echo the tradition of acclaimed country-folk couplings like Buddy and Julie Miller (who coincidentally once did the same with Earle).

Richard Marx
7:30 p.m. Thursday, December 6, McGlohon Theatre, 345 N. College St. $19.50-$39.50. 704-372-1000.
The `80s hit maker, who has since written hits for others, does the “evening with” approach where he’ll revisit his back catalog as well as newer material in an intimate “VH1 Storytellers”-like setting.

Jonathan Coulton & John Roderick
8 p.m. Thursday, December 6, Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. $18-$20. 704-358-9200.
You’ll practically forget your listening to Christmas music when geeky internet sensation Coulton (“Code Monkey”) and the Long Winters’ Roderick take on the holidays on their new effort, “One Christmas at a Time,” as well as play some quirky non-holiday favorites. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Avetts, Travis' 'CMT Crossroads' encore

Get More:
If you were too busy nursing a turkey hangover or recovering from your Black Friday battle to catch North Carolinians Randy Travis and the Avett Brothers sharing the stage on "CMT's Crossroads'" latest episode Friday you can catch the entire episode Sunday morning at 10 a.m. EST. But you can also watch the full episode here on the network's website.

My traditional country music loving babysitter, who watched it first, gave it a big thumbs up. I'm a sucker for the Avetts' "Murder in the City" myself and it's interesting to hear Travis' subtle twist on what I consider one of the group's finest tracks.

Aside from performances of songs like "January Wedding," "Three Wooden Crosses," and the obligatory "Forever and Ever Amen," the episode includes rehearsal footage as well as Travis sitting down and discussing topics like North Carolina's musical heritage and marriage with the core trio of Seth and Scott Avett and Bob Crawford.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

This week's hot concerts

Edwin McCain
8 p.m. Friday, November 23, Don Gibson Theater 318 S. Washington St., Shelby, $
The SC songwriter behind `90s hits like “Solitude” returns for his annual Thanksgiving week show - this time on the outskirts of Charlotte, yet closer to his old Greenville stomping grounds.

Ghost Trees
9 p.m. Friday, November 23, Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St. $5.
The experimental, avant garde jazz-rooted duo celebrates the release of its nautical themed 10-inch picture disc record with friends and colleagues Great Architect, Blossoms, and Bo White.

American Aquarium/Sons of Bill
9 p.m. Saturday, November 24, Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. $12-$14.
These Raleigh and Charlottesville roots rockers have released their most mature works to date with 2012’s “Burn.Flicker.Die” and “Sirens,” respectively. They team up before the latter embarks on a pre-holiday German run.

8 p.m. Sunday, November 25, Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. $44.50.
Just weeks after the release of the special 20th anniversary edition of the double platinum “Countdown to Extinction,” Dave Mustaine and crew are back to remind fans of its place in metal history.

Toubab Krewe
8 p.m .Tuesday, November 27, Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. $15-$17.
Once a group of college students studying African rhythms this Asheville outfit has grown into a hard touring world music unit bridging Appalachia and Mali on the world stage and recently working with Afropop Worldwide on the “Musicians for Mali” benefit that drew attention from the BBC. With John Brown's Body. 

Eric Church
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 28, Time Warner Cable Arena, 333 E. Trade St. $48.40-$
The Granite Falls, NC-native has reached arena headlining status with both a CMA and an American Country Awards with this his album of the year, "Chief." The Carolinian is joined by Kip Moore and Justin Moore.

Silversun Pickups
8 p.m. Thursday, November 29, Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. $33.
It’s unclear how the 106.5 Xmas Weenie (which includes Morning Parade and Civil Twilight) differs from WEND’s annual Not So Acoustic Xmas two weeks from now, but it brings the solid live show of the dynamics-driven band back to town.

Bank Cormorants
8 p.m. Thursday, November 29, Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. $6-$8. 704-376-3737.
Gaston County-based singer-songwriter and local favorite David Childers and multi-instrumentalist Matt Ranck put their spin (and Childers’ deep baritone) on Christmas music with the new holiday album “Madonna & Rose.”

Big Gigantic
8 p.m. Thursday, November 29, Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. $17-$20/$
Conceived by a well educated jazz saxophonist as a means to create DJ-based music with live instrumentation, this combo morphs into a marathon club act big on improv and remixes.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Fuzzy locals release weekly $5 video series

Charlotte band Your Fuzzy Friends is in the midst of releasing a series of music videos the first of which features a couple of dancing mustaches. The purveyors of said `staches received five dollars for their trouble. That's the hitch. The funny, electro-pop band, which consists of puppet master Lee Grutman and a series of literally stuffed fuzzy friends, teamed with "Shutter16 Magazine" to recruit folks through the website where artists post what they're willing to do (and film) for a measly five bucks. Christopher Olson of Springfield, Missouri, for instance advertised his willingness to make a mustache dance to any song the buyer wanted him to. You can watch the video here.

The latest installment - released today - pairs Your Fuzzy Friends' rather beautiful synth-pop song "Mathletes" with equally stunning anime. You can view that one above.

It all sounds a bit confusing until you watch the videos. The first, for YFF's "Don't Touch My Mustache," is pretty self-explanatory. For the second video for the less G-rated song "Banana Hammock" a Turkish video editor strung some very strange footage of nearly nude, not svelte men running around the woods in animal masks and what very well could be the after hours dance party at a convention for sports mascots, birthday party entertainers, occasional Flaming Lips' employees and other people who run around dancing in full animal costumes. You can check that one out here.

Your Fuzzy Friends will be releasing five dollar videos for a new track each week for the next eight weeks. Grutman (pictured), who was also in L.A. Tool & Die and Fat Camp, is the sole member but he creates his wacky ditties about the high school social structure and dancing body parts on guitar and sends those files to programmer Kelly Shane who turns them into electro-pop songs. Combined with the fact that there are stuffed animals involved in the live show, it's a pretty great endeavor. It's so delightfully strange in fact it's been voted one of the weirdest bands in the world by, which places it alongside some of my favorite famously weird artists Devo, Frank Zappa, and Rasputina.

`80s explosion for 2013 concert season

Maybe it's not quite an explosion, but the 2013 concert schedule is racking up names that made it big in the `80s faster than you can sing "Cuts Like a Knife." Neighborhood Theatre previously announced Christopher Cross ("Lau-ra," which my dad would sing every time Luke came on screen while I was watching "General Hospital" as a child) will play the NoDa venue January 20. Blumenthal Arts also previously announced the return of Bryan Adams' Bare Bones acoustic tour, this time at Knight Theater.

Yesterday Time Warner Cable Arena announced Bon Jovi will make its return March 5. Yes, Bon Jovi's popularity has never truly wavered over the decades, but it was the `80s that gave us "You Give Love...," "Livin' on a Prayer" and "Wanted Dead or Alive."

To top it off today I got word that one of my favorite `80s ladies, Pat Benatar with her husband Neil Giraldo, are scheduled to play the rather intimate McGlohon Theatre January 22 (if aspiring six-year-old performers/music nuts could have role models, she was it. The 1982 clip above was a favorite). Benatar's show is just two days after Cross, one after Adams, and two days before the `80s-heavy Yacht Rock Revue at Visulite, which covers everything from Cross to Hall & Oates to Boz Scaggs. Sounds like a week for a live-in babysitter (oh, Mo-om?).

Check out individual venues for ticket information and on sale dates. Tickets for most shows are already on sale. Benatar/Giraldo tickets go on sale to the public Saturday, November 24. A sale date for Bon Jovi seats has yet to be announced.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Clapton returns to Charlotte in 2013

Eric Clapton returns to Charlotte April 2 at Time Warner Cable Arena. Special guest, the Walflowers, will open the tour. Clapton's band will consist of Doyle Bramhall II on guitar, drummer Steve Jordan, keyboardist Chris Stainton , bassist Willie Weeks with newcomers Paul Carrack on organ and keyboards and Greg Leisz on pedal steel and returning backing vocalists Michelle John and Sharon White. 

Tickets to the April 2 show go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday, December 15 at Ticketmaster,, by calling 1-800-745-3000 and at the Time Warner Cable Arena box office and select Walmart stores. 

The guitar great's tour, which kicks off in Phoenix March 14, will end with a two-night stay at Madison Square Garden for the fourth installment of Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival, the first of which was held in Dallas in 2004. The 2004, 2007 and 2010 Festivals were also captured on DVD. Profits from the Festival will benefit The Crossroads Centre in Antigua, a treatment and education facility for those with chemical dependencies founded by Clapton.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Crow, Blind Boys, SCI part of Haynes' Xmas Jam

NC-native Warren Haynes will hold his 24th Annual Xmas Jam in his old hometown of Asheville, December 15. The Gov't Mule/Allman Brothers' guitarist always welcomes an interesting group of guest musicians to the long running holiday fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. Some have been there practically every year since the jam's humble beginning at the 45 Cherry Club in 1989, but it also attracts new A-listers to the mountains each holiday season. This year's headliners include Sheryl Crow, Blind Boys from Alabama, String Cheese Incident, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, and Haynes himself. Frequent participants Mike Barnes, Anders Obsborne and Kevn Kinney (of Drivin' n' Cryin') are listed as special guests and more will be added before the December show.

The 24th Annual Xmas Jam marks both String Cheese Incident and Crow's first, although SCI's Michael Kang appeared as a guest in 2003 and Crow's band - Audley Freed, Robert Kearns, and Fred Eltringham -  are considered Jam regulars.

The Xmas Jam isn't the only attraction that weekend. Kinney will lead an All-Star Acoustic Jam at Jack of the Wood on Friday night and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are only available at the door day-of. Anders Osborne, the Revivalists, and the Lee Boys will perform Saturday at Asheville Music Hall while Velvet Truckstop, Jeff Santiago, the Folkadelics & Delicious perform at the Emerald Lounge. Tickets for the additional shows are available here.

The actual Jam takes place Saturday at The US Cellular Center Asheville (the former Asheville Civic Center). VIP tickets are available here. General admission tickets are available for $69.10 here. Proceeds, as always, benefit Habitat for Humanity. Find out more at

Thursday, November 15, 2012

This week's hot concerts

Justin Townes Earle/Tift Merritt
8 p.m. Friday, November 16, McGlohon Theatre, 345 N. College St. $20-$25.
Since playing Evening Muse for a rapt, but sparse room in 2008, Steve Earle’s eldest son has released four albums that paint him as a tradition-steeped musical explorer. Opener Merritt is an NC native with a voice that’s as sweet and pure as honeysuckle.

Tom Russell
8 p.m. Friday, November 16, Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. $20-$22.
Though not as well-known as many of his peers, Russell is a songwriter’s songwriter who channels his outsider status into his impeccably written originals. He’s also an author whose published three books and a regarded painter.

Rosie Flores
8 p.m. Saturday, November 17, Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. $15-$17.
The 62-year-old rockabilly firecracker takes the lead (guitar that is) on her new album “Working Girl’s Guitar,” which makes up part of her set along with a tribute to one of her heroes, Janis Martin, who died in 2007.

The Love Language
8 p.m. Saturday, November 17, Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. $12-$14.
It hasn’t released a new record since 2010’s “Libraries,” which simultaneously captured the indie-rock sound of the Raleigh band’s home base and grand, atmospheric reverb-heavy pop-rock that drums up images of remote North Carolina vistas.

Perpetual Groove
8:30 p.m. Saturday, November 17, Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. $15/$30 VIP. 704-358-9298.
The original lineup including keyboardist Matt McDonald is on board for this improv-heavy outfit’s latest trek, which will include plenty of the dynamics-driven mix of funky R&B, jazz, prog-rock, and electronic music that’s long fueled its flame.

Kaki King
8 p.m. Sunday, November 18, Tremont, 400 W. Tremont Ave. $15-$17.
The ever-evolving and prolific guitar virtuoso’s elastic style can veer from jazzy and percussive to exotic, ethereal and foreign to mysterious and funky on her new record “Glow.” Her otherworldly instrumental work and her film scoring has attracted several A-list admirers.

Lamb of God
7 p.m. Wednesday, November 21, Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. $45.
The Richmond metal band is back on the road after a tumultuous year that includes cancelling summer dates due to singer Randy Blythe’s controversial incarceration in the Czech Republic. With In Flames, Hellyeah, and Sylosis.

Benefit for Mike Martin
8 p.m. Wednesday, November 21, Double Door, 1218 Charlottetown Ave. $10.
Martin has been undergoing cancer treatment while continuing to man the Double Door’s bar. With the Spongetones, Gigi Dover & Big Love, the Federal Brothers, Don Dixon and the Jump Rabbits, and Sonny Skyyz and the Rainmakers.

Madonna - not the only feminist, gay icon in town Thursday

Madonna graces Charlotte for the first time ever tonight, but she isn’t the only groundbreaking feminist icon performing in town Thursday. Kaia Wilson, who plays Evening Muse with Lucy Wainwright Roche and Lindsay Fuller, was a driving force behind lesbian punk band Team Dresch and Durham-based rock trio the Butchies and remains an accomplished solo singer-songwriter.

Madonna was hugely important to my generation. Whether I agreed with her fashion and music decisions (those late`80s  eyebrows, cheese like “Cherish”), she pushed buttons and continued to evolve. Sometimes her work was brilliant. Sometimes it bordered on silly, but I can’t imagine pop culture over the last 30 years without her.

Wilson isn’t as well known, but when the Portland-based guitarist/singer-songwriter emerged along with the Northwest’s riot grrrl and queercore movements, the number of well-known, all female lesbian groups was, well, the Indigo Girls. While there was something empowering about humorous stereotype-skewing tracks like Team Dresch’s “Song for Anne Bannon,” much of Wilson’s output I find extremely universal. She also never shied away from gender bending imagery, but her music was never presented as exclusive.

I found myself thinking the same thoughts listening to her new album “Two Adult Women in Love.” Who can’t relate to songs of love and loss? More than anything it’s Wilson’s gentle, unique vocals that draw me in every time whether she’s raging with Team Dresch, popping along with the Butchies (my favorite of her projects), or making intimate, quiet acoustic folk (featured in the above video).

While Wilson’s notoriety has been on a smaller scale than the Material Girl’s (whose hasn’t really?), her impact is comparable. Like Madonna she stood up, stood out, and did her own thing, which in turn makes being different a bit more widely accepted for the rest of us.

Having traveled to see Madonna twice - once for the momentous 2001 Drowned World Tour and again in 2004 for the disappointing (I barely remember it) Re-Invention Tour - I’m sitting this one out in part so my editor and his wife can witness the spectacle that is MDNA for the first time. But really, I don’t mind. I’d rather remember the Drowned World Tour fondly and there’s no way she’ll play “What It Feels Like for a Girl,” which to me remains one her most feminist musical statements.

Wilson’s show begins at 8 p.m. at Evening Muse (3227 N. Davidson St.) and given Madonna’s chronic tardiness you probably have time to see both acts if you’re so inclined. Tickets are $12-$15.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sugar Glyder's new video, new bassist

Charlotte-based rock four-piece Sugar Glyder were tentatively scheduled to celebrate the release of its new album earlier this month during a show at Amos' Southend. The record has been pushed to 2013, but the show was a memorable one regardless as it was bassist Emily Aoyagi's last with the band. The concert drew upwards of 400 fans, which is quite a feat for an independent local outfit. The band released the above video a few days after the show.

It's currently on tour with fellow Charlotteans HRVRD and Junior Astronomers, which I imagine is serving as quite an impressive ambassadorial package tour for the Queen City while traveling the East Coast. The tour is the first with brand new bassist Robby Hartis, who was an integral part of two of my favorite Charlotte bands My Captain and the Lights, Fluorescent. The tour ends tomorrow at New York City's Bowery Electric.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Musicians bring music to Charlotte students

The decline of arts in public education is no secret, but educators are working out interesting ways of bringing music into schools. Tuesday Charlotte-based BNR Records' artists help kick-off Career Week at Ridge Road Middle School. Eighth grade students will be treated to performances by Pradigy GT (pictured above), J Da Realest, and G-Tee featuring HumbleCreations. In addition to those performances BNR's Jermaine Spencer will talk music and marketing and another of the label's artists, Young Jules, will discuss the industry from an artist's perspective. 

Career Week at Ridge Road isn't the only interesting music education opportunity in Charlotte schools this week. Touring jazz violinist Christian Howes, who plays the Double Door Wednesday, November 14, will lead master classes and workshops with Renaissance students at Olympic High School Tuesday. The classically-trained violinist has recently received accolades and awards from "Downbeat Magazine" and the Jazz Journalists Association. The Ohio-based musician's show at The Double Door begins at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10-$12. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

This week's hot concerts

The Lacs/South 85
8 p.m. Friday, November 9, Amos’, 1423 S. Tryon St. $12-$15.
The hick-hop duo follows label mate Colt Ford’s curious combo of rap and country (as well as Southerners like Bubba Sparxxx and Yelawolf) with its YouTube smash “Kickin’ Up Mud,” which has logged over 6 million views. South 85 adds a bit of female empowerment and Southern rock to the bill.

Social Distortion/Lindi Ortega
8 p.m. Friday, November 9, Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. $32.50.
The punk legends last seen opening for Foo Fighters this time last year return for a headlining gig with Canadian country-esque crooner Ortega who - with her Johnny Cash-like writing and lonesome, longing sound - does for Tex-Mex what Amy Winehouse did for Motown.

Anthony David/Avery Sunshine
9 p.m. Friday, November 9, Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. $20-$30. 704-358-9298.
The Grammy nominated, Atlanta-based R&B singer-songwriter, whose work is intelligent and often topical, celebrates the release of his new album, “Love Out Loud.” Gospel-rooted former choir singer, Sunshine, sings mature, relateable soul and R&B.

Bruce Hornsby
7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 10, McGlohon Theatre, 345 N. College St. $29.50-$59.50. 704-372-1000.
The busy, eclectic songwriter takes a break from scoring Spike Lee’s latest movies and working on his own musical (“SCKBSTD”) to play a rare intimate solo piano set that will includes material from Lee’s “Red Hook Summer.”

Pretty Lights
8 p.m. Saturday, November 10, Bojangles’ Coliseum, 2700 E. Independence Blvd. $39.35.
The electronic DJ, who leads his Illumination Tour, flits between electro-soul and hip-hop while flirting with thick dubstep and synthesized atmospherics (all of which is available on his website for free download).

Stephane Wrembel
8 p.m. Saturday, November 10, Amos’, 1423 S. Tryon St. $15.
With a performance at the 2012 Academy Awards and score for Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris,” the French-born gypsy jazz guitarist (who honed his craft around Gypsy campfires in the French country side) expands on that style with blues, rock, and flamenco on his latest “Origins.”  

8 p.m. Thursday, November 15, Time Warner Cable Arena, 333. E. Trade St. $57.65-$381.65.
It’s taken the pop culture icon her entire 30-year career to grace the Queen City. The production alone should make this 22-track set (which relies heavily on current material) worth it if the ticket price doesn’t have you questioning your inner material girl.

8 p.m. Thursday, November 15, Amos’, 1423 S. Tryon St. $15-$18.
The long running Oakland duo brings something different to the hip-hop playbook with subtle electronic dance-flavor, mid-tempo, synth-heavy melodies, and thoughtful rhymes. Dubstep up and comer Minnesota, who worked on Zion I’s latest, also appears.

Dirty Bourbon River Show
9 p.m. Thursday, November 15, Double Door, 1218 Charlottetown Ave. $8.
This prolific New Orleans-based, self-described gypsy brass band creates lively vaudevillian rock with horns and accordion and a taste for vintage theater and timeless fun.  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Local band scores new car commercial

If you saw the new Chevy Malibu commercial that premiered during the World Series you heard Charlotte's Matrimony. The group's track "Obey Your Guns" (which you can hear in the above music video) is available on iTunes here.

The band reports it has completed recording its major label debut, which should be out next Spring. You can catch them live before then as they'll be hitting the road in anticipation. You can follow their antics on Twitter here.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Download Charlotte rapper's free mixtape, see clip

Charlotte-based hip-hop artist KiDD Saturday's recent video for "The Gamechanger" is worth a look and a listen. There's quite a bit of Charlotte in it and you get a sense of the emcee's personality. His latest mixtape, "T.L.A. The Love Anecdote" is also available for download for free from his website along with some of his earlier work. Click here. It includes the above track as well. There is a parental advisory label on it - so take note. There's also a blip of profanity in the video above, but it's pretty blink-and-you'll-miss-it.

KiDD Saturday's next Charlotte performance is at a multi-genre Battle of the Bands at Tremont Music Hall December 8. Tickets are $10-$12 and are available here.

This week's hot concerts

Chris Robinson Brotherhood
7 p.m. Friday, November 2, Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. $20-$30. 704-358-9298.
The Black Crowes’ frontman continues to explore his trippier, hippier side with rootsy cosmic Southern blues and funk on two albums released in the last six months after relentlessly tweaking CRB’s material on the road.

Brandi Carlile/Blitzen Trapper
8 p.m. Friday, November 2, Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. $39.
With a soaring alto, rich, textured songs, and her incredibly charismatic backing twins, Carlile is like a young, hipper Shawn Colvin - Americana that flirts with rock, soul and gospel. Psych-folk fellow Northwesterners Blitzen Trapper brings its dreamy rock to the big stage.

Tony Lucca
8 p.m. Friday, November 2, Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. $15. 704-358-9200.
Long before the former actor/Mouseketeer was second runner-up on “The Voice,” he was growing his fanbase the old fashioned way on the singer-songwriter circuit performing fairly regularly at intimate venues like Evening Muse. With Matt Duke.

Wolf Gang
8 p.m. Saturday, November 3, Booth Playhouse, 130 N. Tryon St. $15. 704-372-1000.
This British band, who has become a fixture on Sirius/XM’s college and alternative stations, proved it’s capable of working an arena crowd with infectious alt-pop when it opened for Coldplay in July. The concert was originally scheduled for Stage Door Theater, but has been moved to the larger Booth. 

Jimmy Herring Band/Victor Wooten
9 p.m. Saturday, November 3, Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. $30-$40. 704-358-9298.
On his second solo album the Widespread Panic/Allman Bros/Dead guitarist tackles jazzy instrumentals with lyrical playing that aims to mimic the human voice in tone and style. Grammy winning Flecktones’ bass wizard Wooten gets jazzy on two versions of his own new album - one with soulful female vocalists and one instrumental.

The Whigs
8:30 p.m. Saturday, November 3, Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. $12-$15.
Like the Little Engine That Can, this spunky Athens’ rock trio makes each album better than the last and has grown into a live force. The underrated group can go lick-for-lick material and performance-wise with better known acts.

Motion City Soundtrack
7 p.m. Saturday, November 3, Tremont, 400 W. Tremont Ave. $18-$21.
Having Rocked the Vote at UNCC during the DNC, the punky pop outfit is back for more heartfelt tales that veer between snappy and snarky, nerdy and fun. With Jukebox the Ghost, who is always a live standout and has a fervent Charlotte following.

Kishi Bashi
9 p.m. Sunday, November 4, Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. $10-$12. 704-376-3737.
Last seen on stage in Charlotte with Of Montreal in June, the looping violinist (whose sound can be beautiful and experimental) returns for a solo show after his date with Passion Pit in July was cancelled. With Tall Trees. Read my story from July here

Del the Funky Homosapien
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 7, Tremont, 400 W. Tremont Ave. $15.
Having followed up a triple disc collection, “Golden Era,” in 2011 with the resurrection of Deltron 3030 this summer, the critically acclaimed underground hip-hop legend remains busy and vital.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Charlotte's Jupiter Tide unveils EP at free show

Charlotte hard rock quintet the Jupiter Tide celebrates the release of its new six-track EP Friday, November 2 with a free show at Chop Shop in NoDa.

The group’s debut release is a polished slice of new rock that’s both heavy enough for metal fans, but accessible enough for mainstream radio.

The closing track “Regret Nothing” for instance while heavy with ample riffing contains interesting, personal lyrics that beg for a deeper listen and a continuous layer of fluttery metallic guitar work just beneath the surface that manages to simultaneously remain subtle and showy. Diverging guitar harmonies add texture to other tracks as well. In fact the interplay between Monte Anderson and Brett Baker is one of the band's strengths. As players they know when to stay quiet and let a song breathe. And when the arrangements grow busy with complex layers they don’t play all over each other. Instead the arrangements are tasteful and well thought out while remaining heavy.

The song “Lydia” is a good example of those dynamics with quiet, almost flamenco-flavored picking that swells into a barrage of tension-building riffs.

There’s other interesting musical moments like the echoing bell sound on the opening track “This Is Us.” That song demonstrates the band’s more radio-friendly emotional arena rock side and strong vocal harmonies. It seamlessly blends post-grunge `90s rock with a soaring solo and heavy bridge that plays up its metallic tendencies.

The charging yet steady rhythm section of Joey Garrett and Daniel Hoover add colorful fills and runs while singer Adam Nelson serves as the emotional anchor and provides lyrical depth.

In addition to the Chop Shop show at 8 p.m. Friday, Jupiter Tide plays Greensboro Saturday and Rock Hill’s Firewater 110 on November 9. For more about the band click here or find it on Facebook

Folk Society traces Carolinas' Scotch-Irish roots

The Charlotte Folk Society's annual monthly gathering features storytellers and musicians David DiGuiseppe and Rober Sharer (pictured above) Friday, November 9 at The Great Aunt Stella Center (926 Elizabeth Ave). Titled "Bound for Carolina," the program promises to be entertaining and educational as DiGuiseppe and Sharer guide audiences through an exploration of Scottish and Irish folk traditions from the homeland to the Carolinas through dance, song, and stories.

They'll introduce less common instruments like Irish cittern and wooden flute alongside the more familiar fiddle, dulcimer, accordion, guitar, and banjo. In addition to traditional music from Scotland, Ireland, and the newly settled South, the program will hit on geography, migration patterns, history, and the stories and experiences of immigrants.

DiGuiseppe is a well known accordionist who began his career in the late `70s. He's also a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and storyteller. Sharer relocated to Ireland's County Clare in 1998 and has toured the US, China, and Europe playing traditional Irish music with Irish musicians Dennis Liddy and Michael Hynes. 

Refreshments, a song circle, and a jam follows the hour long concert. The Charlotte Appalachian Dulcimer Club will have loaner instruments on hand for anyone that wants to try it. The event, which begins at 7:30 p.m., is free, although donations are accepted and appreciated. For more information check out