Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lia Ices, Phantogram, and Human Disco Balls

Lia Ices, a dream-pop goddess,  took the Haw River stage as the opener for Phantogram.  Ices performed several of the tracks from her most recent album, Ices, which was released through Jagjaguwar.

Ices has a natural and engaging stage presence; her tone is mesmerizing with an impressive range.  The songs from Ices provide a span of sounds with middle eastern rhythms and trip-hop atmospherics.  Her live performance and catchy tunes create happy vibes and an upbeat mood.

The self-proclaimed "street beat/psych pop" duo, Phantogram, brought a high-energy and a visually-pleasing performance to the Haw River stage.  Phantogram, named after a type of optical illusion, consists of upstate New Yorkers, Sarah Barthel (vocals/synth) and Josh Carter (vocals/guitar).  The pair have a natural and contagious chemistry on stage that transfers to the audience.

Endless time and forethought have obviously been put into the duo's live performance.  The songs from their latest album, Voices, have been reworked to translate more effectively in the live setting; tempos have been changed, songs restructured, and Barthel intensifies her strong voice to sync cohesively with the synth-pop rhythms.

Aside from entrancing vocals, the band doesn't take the term "performance" lightly.  They increase the impact of their danceable beats with multi-colored lights and flashing strobes.  At one point, Barthel dons a sequined robe that reflects the light, transforming her into a human disco ball.

This type of music genre brought a different vibe to the scenic Haw River Ballroom, but it seemed to be well-received with a high-energy crowd and sold-out show.  Phantogram knows how to perform and please their audience with audio and visual surprises.  Seeing them live transforms their already energetic music, turning audience members into long-term fans. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Future Islands with Strings and Brass - 4AD Session

The endlessly impressive Future Islands released their five-track 4AD Session today.  Under the direction of Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, the session was filmed in London with the addition of a string quartet and brass section.  The masterpiece features five songs from their latest album, Singles, including "Sun in the Morning", "Doves", "Seasons", "Lighthouse", and "A Song For Our Grandfathers".  Enjoy the full session via the band's YouTube channel:

Local Band Local Beer with Nuclear Honey

WKNC 88.1's Local Band Local Beer series continues this week at Tir Na Nog Irish Pub.  Join the celebration of local talent this Thursday at 9:30 with one of our favorites, Nuclear Honey.   To learn more about the band, take a look at our previously posted spotlight.  

Every child dreams of making bank by selling sugary lemonade in their front yard.  Some entice customers with freshly squeezed lemons, others with extra sugar; but for Gray Henderson, he lured in customers with the rhythmic beat of drums.

Fast forward to the present and Henderson has exchanged his drums for a guitar and the lemonade stand for one of the many music venues around the Triangle.  Henderson, along with Reaves Greer, and  Kenan Jernigan, have joined forces to make the southern rock and roots band, Nuclear Honey.

Prior to forming Nuclear Honey in 2011, Greer and Henderson played in two other local bands, Ascella Vega and Sign of the Rhino.  These collaborations started in high school and have all been a part of   their musical journey, leading them to their current sound.

Henderson and Greer released Tombstone Sessions as their acoustic debut EP.  The recording was done with Dave Bartholomew in the office of his family's tombstone engraving business, hence the title. They later decided to expand their sound and get plugged in, adding three new band members. With the help of the fundraiser, they recorded Nobody Panic, a 7-track album that was released in the summer of 2013.  The album provides the classic sounds of pure rock-n-roll with folk roots.

Album Cover Art:  Patrick Shanahan

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wide Open Bluegrass Recap

In case you missed out on all the action, The Triangle Beat was on hand for the 2014 Wide Open Bluegrass Festival held in Raleigh.  For an entire week Raleigh was taken over by the sound of banjos and perfect harmonies created by the 50+ bands that performed throughout the city.  While previously held in Lexington, Kentucky and Nashville, Tennessee, it became more and more evident just why the IMBA has chosen Raleigh, NC as it's home through 2018.

There was non-stop bluegrass action that included bluegrass rambles during the week, the 2014 IMBA Awards Show, and lastly two jam packed days of music on the streets of downtown Raleigh.  It was an honor to be able to capture some of the best moments of this year's festival, so as you patiently wait for the return of more banjo, enjoy some of our shots of this year's events.  Be sure to check out the Wide Open Bluegrass website for updates on next year's festival.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Brother, My Sister Returns to Play Deep South

Deep South the Bar is known for bringing in great local acts on any given night and this Thursday night promises to uphold that reputation.  Most recently you might have caught My Brother, My Sister opening for Matrimony at Lincoln Theatre, but this time around the Raleigh based folk-punk rock group is joining two other NC based bands for a special night of music.  As indicated in the title, the brother sister combo of John and Anne Tomasevich create a delightful sound with the assistance of Jon Sebastian on the drums and Jason Rehm on the bass.  Check out My Brother, My Sister's self titled album by visiting their website prior to Thursday's show.

In addition to My Brother, My Sister, Aim North, also out of Raleigh, will be featured at Deep South.  Aim North may look very similar to another local band, Jack the Radio, as band members Chris Sayles, George Hage, and Danny Johnson have joined together with Chris' younger brother Jamison to create a unique Americana band that is quickly catching the attention of local music fans throughout the triangle.  In less than a year, Aim North has already released an EP titled, Chasing Birds, and featured in a video spotlight by the popular local Raleigh news source, Indyweek.  

Rounding out the lineup, Roseland from Greensboro, NC is also an Americana band that has been heavily influenced by classic rock and country music artists of recent years.  Roseland released their own self-titled album in September of 2013 and have been featured at several major venues throughout North Carolina over the past year.  Be sure to make it over to Deep South the Bar this Thursday to catch some of North Carolina's best musicians at work! Doors open at 7pm with the show slated for 9pm.  Tickets are still available and the cost of admission is $7.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

New Goods - Phox: Slow Motion (Sylvan Esso Remix)

Phox has been a band on the rise thanks in large part to the success of their hit single, "Slow Motion."  More recently this track has been released with an upbeat twist thanks to the electronic infused remix by Sylvan Esso.  The Durham based duo of Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn have collaborated to provide their own unique version of "Slow Motion" and will be making their way to the Haw River Ballroom for back to back shows on Thursday, October 30 and Friday, October 31.  Take a listen to their version of Phox's original as you prepare for two nights of greatness in Saxapahaw.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

CCL's Official Video for "Living in Raleigh Now"

Chatham County Line rocked the IBMA Bluegrass Festival and we are already having withdrawals.  We'll share more coverage of the festival in coming days.  Until then, here's a reminder of why Raleigh is the best place to live:  Chatham County Line's, "Living in Raleigh Now"

Friday, October 3, 2014

NC's Balsam Range Named Entertainer of the Year at IBMA Awards

RALEIGH, NC (October 2, 2014) – North Carolina’s own Balsam Range took home the Entertainer of the Year award at the 25th annual International Bluegrass Music Awards Thursday night, October 2nd, at Raleigh, North Carolina’s Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

It was an exciting night for the band, who also received awards for Vocal Group of the Year, and Male Vocalist (Buddy Melton).

Banjo player Noam Pikelny had a breakout night, winning Banjo Player of the Year and Album of the Year for Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe. At an earlier awards ceremony, Hall of Fame inductee Neil Rosenberg won Best Liner Notes for the same album.

Flatt Lonesome was named Emerging Artist of the Year, and in its 39th year as a band, Special Consensus took both Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year and Recorded Event of the Year, winning IBMA awards for the first time.

Amanda Smith took home the award for Female Vocalist of the Year; both Smith and Melton were first-time winners in these categories.

Bluegrass Hall of Fame inductees, the original Seldom Scene and Dr. Neil Rosenberg, of Canada, were honored in special presentations. Rosenberg’s induction was celebrated with a performance from fellow Canadians The Spinney Brothers, joined by fiddle players Michael Cleveland, Stuart Duncan, and Jason Carter. Original members of the Seldom Scene – Ben Eldridge, John Starling and Tom Gray – accepted their award to a standing ovation, noting the late John Duffey and Mike Auldridge in their acceptance speech. The band – both original members and the current band – then performed their signature hit “Wait A Minute.”

Hosted by Lee Ann Womack and Jerry Douglas, the 2014 IBMA Awards Show featured a number of virtuoso-level, high-energy live performances from The Boxcars, Claire Lynch, Gibson Brothers, Della Mae, Blue Highway, Noam Pikelny, Del McCoury Band, Balsam Range, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen and individual performances from each host, Lee Ann Womack and Jerry Douglas.