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.