March 31, 2009

Triangle Explorer: The Love Language

When I met Stuart McLamb, singer/songwriter for The Love Language, before their CD release party at the Local 506 in Chapel Hill, he told me that he would wink at me the most since I was reviewing his show. But fortunately for McLamb, his music did all the winking for him.

Never leaving anyone wanting less, the band expertly put on more of a carnival than a concert, one where everyone in the room was as much a part of the act as the band itself; and the sold-out crowd clearly appreciated it. They performed everything from whimsical ballads to gutsy waltzes and circus-reared rock tunes, showcasing their ability to create a wide variety of soundscapes live. And not only did the band and the audience clearly have a blast, the music itself seemed to have a great time, drawing everyone into the lush and sophisticated indie pop songs, despite the ever present lo-fi grit.

READ ON for more of this month’s Triangle Explorer…

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Tour Dates: More Jenny Solo Shows

The ever adorable Jenny Lewis will once again hit the road for a lengthy solo tour that finds the former child actor and Rilo Kiley front woman hitting a mix

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Review: Blues & Lasers @ Sullivan Hall

We’d like to welcome back Alex of Hipster Resistance to tell us all about the Blues & Lasers show at Sullivan Hall with the help of Rachel Balik

The combination of Gregg Allman’s improved health, The Allman Brothers 40th anniversary and the Phish and the Dead reunions is creating a perfect storm for an American rock and roll revival. Blues music is a key component to rock and is finally getting the recognition it deserves here in NYC. As the Allman Brothers 40th anniversary is shaking the foundation of American pop culture, bands like Blues and Lasers are catching a ride of the wave of good music, as evidenced by their post-show performance.

Blues and Lasers are made up partially of the backing band behind Grace Potter, in Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and consist of GPN lead guitarist Scott Tournet, Benny Yurco on lead and rhythm guitar, Matt Burr and Steve Sharron on drums and their new Bass player, John Rogone. Rogone is a Vermont area session musician that replaced former Blues and Lasers Bassists Bryan Dondero who first stepped down from Blues and Lasers and in just the past week Grace Potter and the Nocturnals as well. Dondero leaving GPN resulted in the last three shows of their tour being cancelled. Despite this fact I was told at the concert that the split was “very happy” and there are no hard feelings, that Bryan is multi-talented and has chosen to go work in the engineering and producing side of music. This good natured sentiment is also reflected on a statement released on the GPN website.

READ ON for more from Alex and Rachel on Blues & Lasers…

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HT Review: The Dead @ Gramercy Theatre

On New Year’s Day, when the news that the surviving members of The Dead were reforming for a spring tour I couldn’t have been more excited. Bob Weir and Phil Lesh have hit the road hard over the past few years and I’ve been underwhelmed with their solo projects. Yesterday, The Dead took Manhattan harder than the Muppets did back in the day performing four times at four completely different venues including a spot on The View. I caught the band’s 8PM show at the Gramercy Theatre and I left an hour later thoroughly impressed and excited to see a show or on the tour.

[All photos by Adam Kaufman]

As a varied mix of Deadheads entered the 700 person capacity theater there was a sense of excitement in the air that all of those with golden tickets felt. The venue filled up just before showtime and The Dead – on a tight schedule – came on shortly after ticket time. Warren Haynes started noodling and his bandmates followed along. Unlike in the solo bands, there was no clear leader which was a marvelous thing. Phil picked up on Warren’s riffs and would follow along for a few minutes before asserting himself. Bobby would throw in some weird, choppy chords that added a nice spice to the mix with all of the ingredients lining up for an interesting jam that was more psychedelic than blues.

The jams on this evening were reminiscent of ’73 Dead – one of my favorite periods. Keyboardist Jeff Chimenti channeled Keith Godchaux thanks to a slew of rollicking ragtime licks and quick changes in tempo. Eventually, the jam turned a corner and the band kicked off Playing In The Band. Bob Weir has taken some knocks lately for his singing, but he did a nice job with one of his signature songs. The Dead sounded surprisingly tight for a band that hasn’t started their tour yet.

READ ON for more of Scotty’s thoughts on The Dead…

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Rancid Lets The Dominoes Fall June 2nd

Seminal punk band Rancid – Tim Armstrong (guitar/vocals), Lars Frederiksen (guitar/vocals), Matt Freeman (bass/vocals), and Branden Steineckert (drums) – have set June 2nd for the release of Let The Dominoes

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Metric Plans U.S. Tour Dates

METRIC today announces the first tour dates behind the release of their fourth full-length studio album Fantasies starting with June 4 in Seattle at Showbox. Additionally, the band announces that

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Rachael Yamagata – Lost and Found

Yamagata's latest  double disc set: Elephants…Teeth Sinking Into Heart was produced largely by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley, The Faint), and also John Alagia (John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Happenstance), Elephants is darker and more vulnerable while the more guitar-driven Teeth Sinking Into Heart is grittier and more defiantly cynical.  With a double disc on her mind, Rachael had a lot of other stuff to let loose with Glide…

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