Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Music Freak's Guide to NYE

Just like all big decisions in life, choosing where to ring in 2016 should be based on music.  Raleigh has plenty to offer this New Year's Eve, the tough part will be deciding which acts to see.  Check out our top picks for the most amazing start to 2016.

The Ritz

Thankfully, The Ritz and Live Nation have finally brought EDM to the Triangle.  Disco Donnie presents Brillz to ring in 2016.  We had the great fortune of catching Brillz in Charlotte last month and the show is nothing short of spectacular.  If you're looking for a hype night with electrifying beats, the place to be is The Ritz.  Brillz brings an energy to his performance that will undoubtedly surge through the crowd and will welcome 2016 in an unforgettable way.  The party starts at 8 at the very affordable cost of $20.

The Pour House

The Pour House has done an amazing job of creating a lineup to please all lovers of live music.  With The Love Language, Zack Mexico, Faults, and DJ Clickdat, it's pretty near impossible to not have a memorable night filled with singing, dancing, and great company.  This mixture of unique artists offers an evening of indie rock hits and psych pop beats.  Of course, it wouldn't be a New Year's Eve party without a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.  The music begins at 9, doors at 8.


Kings always knows how to throw together a fun lineup and New Year's Eve is no exception.  The highly creative and energetic TOW3RS will be joined by garage psych band WOOL and Heads on Sticks, creating the perfect recipe for shoulder-poppin' dance moves.  $12 at the door will also get you a champagne toast at midnight.  Doors open at 9 with music starting at 9:30.


Lincoln Theatre

Bring in 2016 with a great fusion of funk, rock, and pop with Big Something and Groove Fetish.  Named Best Rising Artist of 2014 by Live Music Daily, Big Something meshes guitar riffs, synths, and horns to provide a party with every song played.  Tickets are $25 and the fun begings at 9.

First Night Raleigh 2016

Artsplosure has assembled a great mixture of activities and music for people of all ages for this year's First Night.  The music acts include Johnny Folsom 4, Jonathan Byrd and Sea Gulls.  TOW3RS will also make an appearance at the Vintage Church at 9:30.  Bluegrass punksters Scythian will play both the early countdown from 6-7 and the classic acorn drop at midnight.  There's a lot happening at this event, so be sure to check out the complete schedule at the First Night website

Now all you need to worry about is who to kiss at midnight...choose wisely.  Happy start to 2016, folks!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Moogfest Initial Lineup Announced

Moogfest – the synthesis of music, art, and technology – today announced their tenth, and most experiential, lineup yet. Headlining performances include Gary Numan playing a three night residency of his trailblazing early albums, a two-night residency by GZA, ODESZA, Laurie Anderson, Oneohtrix Point Never, Suzanne Ciani, Blood Orange, and Sun Ra Arkestra; with keynote presentations by transhumanist activist and pharma tycoon Dr. Martine Rothblatt, and computer scientist Jaron Lanier, a pioneer in the field of virtual reality. More than one hundred other acts are already confirmed to perform, while the conference program continues to develop in partnership with a range of esteemed universities, innovative businesses, and art/technology organizations. Program partners include MIT Media Lab, Google, Duke University, Georgia Institute of Technology, The New Museum’s New Inc., IDEO, Gray Area, and the EyeO Festival.

During the day, Moogfest explores the future of technology and creativity with a mind-expanding conference featuring panels, workshops and installations. At night, Moogfest celebrates the future of sound with performances by early pioneers in electronic music, alongside pop and avant garde experimentalists. Notably, this announcement features many creative thinkers--like polymath artist Laurie Anderson, and GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan--who will participate in multiple parts of the diverse program.

 For the first time ever, Moogfest will take place in Durham, NC. Moogfest activates seventeen venues, throughout the walkable downtown core, from intimate galleries to grand theatres, including a free outdoor stage with participatory, all-ages programming. Durham promises to be an ideal setting for Moogfest: a city uniquely blending diversity, authenticity, world class innovation, and culture, with a long history of great music. 

Head over to the Moogfest website for ticket information.  Stay tuned for updates and additions to the lineup.  

Monday, December 7, 2015

2015 Favorites - Big Wild

It's that time of year again; that time where we take a look back on the year that is close to ending and reflect on the highlights.  2015 has been a memorable year musically and several moments stand out in my mind.  One of those moments is the GRiZ show at Lincoln Theatre in October.  The night headlined GRiZ, who we already know is amazing.  If you need further proof, check out our show preview and our coverage of the Imagine Festival.  Traveling with the great and powerful GRiZ were two lesser-known, but equally impressive acts, Muzzy Bearr and Big Wild.

Big Wild is an L.A.-based producer who has had the great fortune of touring with not only GRiZ this year, but with ODESZA as well.  I didn't know what to expect from Big Wild as it's hard to find detailed information about him in the cyber world.  His performance made me remember the joy of discovering something unexpected and brand new.

Big Wild includes live drumming and the keyboards mixed with booming beats.  The live instrumentation allows for an intoxicating sound that soars the listener to the top of a musical roller coaster and drops back down for a climactic thrill.  Big Wild mixes familiar classics such as OutKast's "Rosa Parks" and Sylvan Esso's "Hey Mami." He also shares his own single, "Aftergold," which takes the listener on a whole new journey with its sweet tinkling of the chimes, subtle hand claps, and the intense drop of the bass. The audience reacts in favor of every mix that Big Wild spins, whether original or familiar, he is clearly a crowd favorite. 

The night in general can best be described as a true party.  GRiZ, Muzzy Bearr, and Big Wild each share their individual talents one-by-one, but by the end, they are a combined powerhouse meshing hip hop, jam bands, booming beats, funk and an endless supply of energy.  This was certainly one of my favorite shows of 2015, with Big Wild being the most pleasant surprise.  He will most definitely be taking over the festival circuit in 2016; unless you have a strong aversion to fun, check out his website to stay connected. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Surfer Blood Play Kings On Saturday

Surfer Blood will bring their indie rock beachy vibes to Kings this Saturday, November 28.  The West Palm Beach band are on tour in support of their third studio album, 1000 Palms on Joyful Noise Records.  Surfer Blood promises a relaxed and catchy sound with smooth harmonies backed by intricate percussion and fluid guitar riffs.  They have shared their talents by performing with the likes of The Pixies, on the Jimmy Fallon Show, at Coachella and several other major festivals.  Lucky for us, they're right here in our backyard at Kings.  To sweeten the pot, Cleveland's own The Lighthouse and the Whaler and local indie dream pop band, WOOL are getting the night started. 

Get out of the house and shake off the trauma from too much holiday family time.  The show starts at 9 and tix are $12 at the door.  In the meantime, take a look at Surfer Blood's latest video for "Grand Inquisitor."

In addition, be sure to check out Surfer Blood's website for information about donating to Thomas Fekete's fundraiser.  Fekete has been the guitarist for the band for 6 years, but due to battling a rare and aggressive form of cancer (a sarcoma), he's unable to tour and make money for this treatments.  All donations are greatly appreciated by Fekete and the band, so head on over to the website and learn more about donating. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Catch Air Traffic Controller at Cat's Cradle Back Room

Boston-based band Air Traffic Controller will take on the Cat's Cradle Back Room stage on Monday, November 23.  This indie rock group gained their name from front man, David Munro, who served as a real-life air traffic controller for the US Navy.  He started developing his music while working this gig and discovered he had gained some faithful music fans upon his return to Boston.  Fast forward to 2009 and the band released their debut album, The One.  This release gained them attention by MTV, being nominated for "Best Break-Out Artist" and winning "Best Indie Rock Act" at the 2010 Boston Music Conference.

In 2011, their sophomore album, Nordo, was released.  Sticking with aircraft terms, Nordo refers to an aircraft that has radio failure while flying.  Analyze that for a minute and it's plain to see that the main focus of the album is relationships and all of the difficulties that accompany them.  Nordo contains all too relatable lyrics wrapped in catchy melodies and intricate harmonies. 

ATC is featured on Funny Or Die and is being played on a regular rotation at MTVU.  Get your week started right with Air Traffic Controller and Jared & The Mill at Cat's Cradle Back Room.  The show starts at 8 and is $17 at the door.  Check out the video for one of ATC's more recent singles, "The House."

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats Sell-Out Cat's Cradle

Cat's Cradle was packed with a sold-out show on Tuesday, November 10, to hear the bearded master of soul, Nathaniel Rateliff.  The rootsy crooner, along with his impressive six-piece band, The Night Sweats, lured a broad-spectrum of fans to the venue.  All ages were represented at this show, ranging from middle school to retirement, Nathaniel Rateliff obviously appeals to more than just one crowd.  This explains why his shows are selling out everywhere in a matter of days.

The band takes over the stage, strumming to the beat of "I Need Never Get Old."  Soon after, Rateliff appears donning his signature hat and wearing head-to-toe black, like all bad-ass rockers do.  The foot-stompin' begins like a wave, from the stage through the entire sold-out crowd. 

The band makes their way through other notable songs like, "Look It Here" and "Howling at Nothing" as fans sing along with every note of each bluesy tune.  Spiraling basslines, the hum of the organ, and thumping beats keep the crowd moving with the rhythm.  Listening to Rateliff, it's understandable why his sound is continuously compared to Otis Redding's deep soulful blues.  It's more complex to picture him as an alt-folk soloist as he was for so many years.  This current sound seems to emerge from his inner being with lyrics that express where he's been and where he plans to go. 

The show continues with other favorites from the latest self-titled album, like "Shake" and "Thank
You."  "Trying So Hard Not To Know" leads into Rateliff's smash hit, "S.O.B."  The crowd cheers to hear this familiar tune and everyone collectively yells, "son of a bitch" with enthusiasm and trepidation.  Hand-claps and foot-stomps naturally ensue, followed by the chanting of passionate woah-woah-woahs.  The music dies down and begins to fade before the crowd-favorite is complete.  The band says their goodbyes and coyly escapes backstage, but we all know the party is far from over.

With a few short moments, the seven-piece returns to command the stage fading back into the rhythm of "S.O.B."  Everyone joins together in song once more, creating a scene reminiscent of a Sunday morning church gathering.  "S.O.B" meshes in and out of a cover of The Band's, "The Shape I'm In," giving the show a concluding feeling resulting in audience satisfaction. 

2015 has been an unforgettable year for Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. Between touring with sold-out shows and appearing on The Tonight Show, the band has more than proven their musical talents and audience appeal.  Keep your eye out for more appearances; they've already been added to Firefly Music Festival's lineup and will certainly be a popular addition to other festival's bills. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Artist Spotlight: Promised Land Sound

After spending time on the road with Alabama Shakes and Angel Olsen, the Promised Land Sound makes a stop in the Triangle this Thursday night to play The Cave in Chapel Hill.  Presented by Durham's Pinhook, Promised Land Sound is currently celebrating the release of their second full length album, For Use and Delight, and receiving lots of praise along the way.  Hailed as "Nashville's garage-psych heroes," by Rolling Stones Magazine, the band has demonstrated a knack for emotional songwriting and producing an evolving sound from their first album.  More recently, the band caught the attention of none other than Ryan Adams and as indicated in his Instagram post:

Promised Land Sound is onto something great that you don't want to miss.  Thursday night's show is scheduled to start at 8pm and tickets are just 10$.  Promised Land Sound will be joined by Jake Xerxes Fussel.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats Play Cat's Cradle

Shake off the rainy-day blues with Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats at Cat's Cradle tonight.  The band has been touring around the States, made a few stops to chat with the likes of Conan and Jimmy Fallon, and will soon be traveling overseas.  With their Colorado roots and bluesy rock sound, the group has been the pleasant surprise of the year.

Take a listen to their foot-stompin' hit, S.O.B.  They'll be playing a sold-out show tonight at Cat's Cradle with support from singer-songwriter Caroline Rose.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Turnpike Troubadours and The Black Lillies Take On Lincoln Theatre

Turnpike Troubadours will perform with special guest The Black Lillies at Lincoln Theatre on October 29 in support of the September 18 release of their third album, The Turnpike Troubadours (Bossier City Records/Thirty Tigers). Hear the exclusive premiere of the album's lead track, "Down Here" via Rolling Stone Country .

The self-titled album contains 12 songs featuring the quintet’s signature blend of roots rock, folk and raw country played with grit, passion and conviction. Word of their fiery live performances has spread throughout the U.S. making them a “must-see” act. However, the true strength at the core of Turnpike Troubadours has always been their songwriting. The new album is yet another testament to that point. Songs such as “The Mercury” and “Bossier City” showcase the bands raucous energy and proficiency as musicians, while their more poignant and melodic side shines on “How Do You Fall Out Of Love” and “A Little Song.”

Turnpike Troubadours epitomize terms such as “DIY”, “blue collar” and “indie”. Formed in 2007, the group has built a rabid and loyal fanbase that is ever expanding. This is evident, as the band has gone on to sell over 200,000 records. Turnpike Troubadours went from playing small bars to headlining venues of 10,000+. On any given night, they will pack venues of 1000 – 4000 from Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado to Chicago, St Louis and Washington, DC.  They have sold out The Troubadour in Los Angeles and venues in New York City. Turnpike Troubadours have become somewhat of a phenomenon for those in the know. 

The Turnpike Troubadours is the follow up to the band’s breakthrough 2012 sophomore release Goodbye Normal Street, which debuted at #57 on the Billboard Top 200 and #14 on the Billboard Country Chart. The album received major coverage ranging from The Wall Street Journal  to a 3-song acoustic performance on CMT's Concrete Country to The Washington Post, who called it “The most unjustly overlooked Americana album of 2012...” Based on what this little band from the Sooner State has built since then, with honest songwriting, great live performances and hard work, The Turnpike Troubadours are not likely to be overlooked in 2015.
Join us tonight for a spectacular lineup with the Black Lillies and The Turnpike Troubadours.  The doors open at 7, show starts at 8.  

*Information courtesy of All Eyes Media

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

MUTEMATH Announce Vitals Tour 2016

Great news, MUTEMATH will be making a stop at Cat's Cradle in FebruaryGRAMMY-nominated, alternative rock band MUTEMATH is excited to announce The VITALS Spring 2016 Tour! The run kicks off February 11th in Charlotte, NC and will make its way across the country until early April. VIP presale packages (which guarantee first entry into the venue each night, a commemorative ticket stub, a limited edition 2016 tour pin, and a digital copy of Vitals) available NOW on MUTEMATH.COM and general on sale begins Friday, October 30th. Full tour routing and more details can be found below!

In other exciting tour news - the band is asking their fans to get involved by creating their dream setlist for the spring tour by clicking HERE and adding their favorite MUTEMATH tracks to this collaborative Spotify playlist. The guys plan to build their setlist every night based on fan suggestions and will update "Last Night's Setlist" [] after every show so listeners can see what songs were chosen!

The guys just wrapped their sold out fall tour this past weekend and will head back to Europe for the first time in 9 years, this January. The band's highly anticipated fourth studio album VITALS is out on November 13th and is being self-released under their own label, Wojtek Records in partnership with Caroline Distribution. Fans can pre-order the album NOW via iTunes, Amazon and the MUTEMATH store.
Stream the new single "Monument" here:   
Stay tuned for more exciting announcements in the coming weeks and check out MUTEMATH's performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! HERE and
February 11 - Amos Southend- Charlotte, NC
February 12 - Cat's Cradle - Carrboro, NC
February 13 - Track 29 - Chattanooga, TN
February 14 - Iron City - Birmingham, AL
February 16 - 40 Watt Club - Athens, GA
February 18 - Revolution Live - Ft. Lauderdale
February 19 - House of Blues - Lake Buena Vista, FL
February 20 - State Theatre - St. Petersburg, FL
February 22 - The Varsity Theatre - Baton Rouge, AL
February 23 - House of Blues - Houston, TX
February 25 - Emo's Austin - Austin, TX
February 26 - Common Grounds - Waco, TX
February 27 - Cain's Ballroom - Tulsa, OK
February 29 - El Rey Theatre - Albuquerque , NM
March 1 - Crescent Ballroom - Phoenix, AZ
March 4 - The Wiltern - Los Angeles, CA
March 5 - Ace of Spades - Sacramento, CA
March 7 - Roseland Theatre - Portland, OR
March 8 - The Showbox - Seattle, WA
March 21 - The National - Richmond, VA
March 23 - Terminal 5 - New York, NY
March 25 - Union Transfer - Philadelphia, PA
March 26 - Rams Head Live - Baltimore, MD
March 29 - House of Blues - Cleveland, OH
March 30 - Newport Music Hall - Columbus, OH
April 1 - Deluxe At Old National Centre - Indianapolis, IN
April 2 - Majestic Theatre - Madison, WI
April 3 - First Avenue - Minneapolis, MN
April 5 - The Ready Room - St. Louis, MO
April 6 - Bottleneck - Lawrence, KS
April 8 - Gothic Theatre - Englewood, CO

Local Spotlight: Animalweapon

Now that we've almost survived all of the fun that October has to offer (Bluegrass Fest, anyone?), it's time to start making the music schedule for November.  Mark your calendar for November 7 for Animalweapon's EP Release Show with Youma and Frank Kastle Bin Savage. The party's going down at Kings starting at 9.

Patrick Cortes is Animalweapon, an electronic artist who's preparing to release his new EP, Flares and Signal Fires.  The EP contains five original tracks complete with wistful lyrics. Cortes stated that he doesn't always have a direct muse when creating his music, but some tough times in recent months have unintentionally inspired much of this EP, "It wound up being a much more personal record than anything else I've done until now."

In addition to life being a strong influence, Cortes is also inspired by a large array of musicians.  Top on his list are Trent Reznor and Radiohead, but he tends to collect bits and pieces from all types of artists and a variety of genres, "I feel like I wear my influences on my sleeve and I'm kind of alright with that."

Cortes sees this EP release as only the beginning as he looks brightly into the future. He's interested in branching out and not only staying in one musical world, "I'm also playing around with some of my rapper and producer friends for a hip hop project, which I anticipate will be the most fun I'll ever have making music." Cortes is planning several regional shows as well as a tour next year, which he finds both terrifying and exciting, understandably.

Take a listen to "Turn the Lights Down" and see it live at Kings on November 7.  The always entertaining Youma and Frank Kastle Bin Savage will be supporting the show, making it one memorable Saturday night.

*cover art and photography credit:  Kristen Abigail and Blake T. Brady 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

GRiZ Brings the Funk to Lincoln Theatre

The Lincoln Theatre will be bouncing tonight with vibrant lights and rhythmic beats.  GRiZ has recently launched his Super Shagadelic Tour  and Raleigh is fortunate enough to be one of his stops.  GRiZ is promoting his fourth studio album, Say It Loud, released on his own record label, All Good Records. 

GRiZ is known for infusing high-energy rhythm with soulful melodies and of course, the sweet sound of the saxophone.  It's obvious that GRiZ has been influenced by several genres of music, including hip-hop, soul, and blues.  He takes it one step further by layering these rhythms with dubstep, creating his own fresh flavor of funk.  The Triangle Beat had the pleasure of experiencing two GRiZ sets at Atlanta's Imagine Festival and that only makes us more excited to see what else he has to offer. 

Joining GRiZ on tour are two impressive acts that are each quickly gaining attention in the EDM world, Big Wild and Muzzy Bearr.  Big Wild hails from Venice, CA and will be dropping beats with  both GRiZ and ODESZA this fall.  Just like GRiZ sets himself apart with his sax-playing skills, Big Wild lays down keys and drums on stage. The result of colliding these two worlds is a realm of colorful sounds and uptempo rhythms.  Big Wild most recently released"Aftergold" via Foreign Family Collective and has reached over 2.3 million streams on Soundcloud.  Join the masses and see what his music is all about:

Also supporting GRiZ is Muzzy Bearr, who is a part of the All Good Records fam.  This party is definitely more suited for the weekend, but you know what they say about the club on a Tuesday.  Join the fun at Lincoln Theatre on October 20 and call in sick on Wednesday, because this will be an unforgettable start to the week.  This is an 18 and over show with doors opening at 8, music at 9. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Artist Spotlight: The Deslondes

On Thursday night, The Deslondes will be making their way into Carrboro to open for The Devil Makes Three.  The New Oreleans based country-folk band has created quite a buzz with the release of their self-titled debut album under the guidance of Andrija Toxic, who has produced records for the likes of the Alabama Shakes and Hurray for the Riff Raff.  In a preview of the things to come at Cat's Cradle, check out the following video off their debut album, "The Real Deal."

Be sure to check back for coverage from the show and an exclusive interview with members of The Deslondes.  The show is slated to start at 9PM and tickets are available for purchase on the Cat's Cradle website.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bronze Radio Return Premiere New Album

Bronze Radio Return has premiered their anticipated new album Light Me Up via Paste, ahead of its release on October 16th via DigSin. The 10-track LP is the band's best work yet, featuring songs jam-packed with memorable choruses, tender moments, a cinematic soundscape and the band's own undeniable spirit. Lead single and rousing title track "Light Me Up," recently premiered on Be sure to catch the band illuminate the stage on their U.S. headlining tour, which kicks off on October 14th in Pittsburgh, PA, and wraps on December 13th at New York City's Bowery Ballroom

Produced by Chad Copelin [Ben Rector, BRONCHO, Sufjan Stevens] and mixed by F. Reid Shippen (Lady Antebellum, Ingrid Michaelson) and Mark Needham (The Killers, Imagine Dragons), Light Me Up begins a new chapter for the Hartford, CT six-piece. They have already become festival darlings at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Hangout, and Firefly, racked up 29 million Spotify/YouTube streams, sold 100,000 singles and have notched nearly 100 high profile syncs, ranging from the 2014 film St. Vincent to national commercials for the likes of Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Nissan to numerous TV shows.

Light Me Up demands to be listened to at full blast, infusing you with that undeniable urge to sing along. Bronze Radio Return is about to become your new favorite band...that is, if they aren't already.  

Bronze Radio Return Upcoming Tour Dates:
October 14                         Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theater
October 15                         Grand Rapids, MI @ The Stache
October 16                         Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
October 17                         Minneapolis, MN @ Turf Club
October 18                         Madison, WI @ The Frequency
October 21                         Columbus, OH @ Rumba Café
October 22                         Newport, KY @ Southgate House
October 23                         Chattanooga, TN @ Camp House
October 24                         Milledgeville, GA @ Deep Roots Festival
October 27                         Tampa, FL @ Crowbar
October 28                         Orlando, FL @ The Social
October 29                         Atlanta, GA @ Vinyl
October 30                         Charlotte, NC @ Visulite Theatre
November 1                      Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle
November 11                   Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
November 13                   Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
November 14                   Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall
December 9                       Washington, DC @ The Hamilton
December 11                    Philadelphia, PA @ World Café Live
December 12                    Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
December 13                    New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
January 26-31                  The Rock Boat 16 - with Gavin Degraw, Needtobreathe and many more

*Photo Credit: Zackery Michael