Posts Tagged ‘North Carolina’

The Nude Party are a six-piece from North Carolina . The fine folks at New West Records will be releasing their debut LP on June 8th. While you wait, check out how they came up with such a unique moniker.

The members of The Nude Party first came together in the freshman dormitories of Boone, North Carolina’s Appalachian State University in 2012. Patton Magee, and later Austin Brose, linked up with childhood friends Connor Mikita & Alec Castillo and stepbrothers Shaun Couture & Don Merrill. The following summer, the young men moved into a lake house outside of town to begin learning their respective instruments and jamming on rudimentary riffs. Friends came by the lake house to swim and party and soon there developed a group obsession with performing in the nude.

They quickly gained a following as the house band at a notorious Boone party palace referred to as the 505 House, and the bare honesty of their performances was so contagious that their audience also started partying au naturel. While these traditions may appear risqué to the casual observer, the band explains, “These weren’t orgies, they weren’t sexual even. It was just kind of a wild exhibitionism that we felt gave us freedom.” Best known around campus as “the naked party band,” this informal aggregation of musicians became a defined unit and chose to call their group simply “The Nude Party.”

THE NUDE PARTY: 
Patton Magee – Guitar, Vocals
Shaun Couture – Guitar, Vocals
Alec Castillo – Bass Guitar, Vocals
Don Merrill – Organ, Piano, Vocals
Austin Brose – Percussion, Vocals
Connor Mikita – Drums, Cowbell

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Alone on the road for nearly two months, B.J Barham pieced together a different lineup, steadily accumulating ideas for new songs at the same time.

“I don’t have a side trade,” he says from his home in North Carolina, where he’s taking a rare break from the road in anticipation of his baby daughter’s birth. “I write songs, I travel around, and I play them for people. Those are the only things I’m good at. When you have a mass exodus, like five of your best friends leaving the band at the same time, you don’t have time to throw yourself a pity party. My wife didn’t let me do that, at least. She gave me a couple days of thinking, ‘Woe is me,’ and then I was back at the grind, figuring out how to put another band together. I found a group of guys who were inspired to be on the road, and that inspired me as a songwriter.”

When Barham wrapped up his solo tour and returned to North Carolina on the Fourth of July, a new lineup awaited him, along with a new muse. Things Change, his first record featuring the revised American Aquarium arrives June 1st and dives into the political rift that’s split the country into warring factions – particularly in the American South, where B.J Barham has lived his entire life.

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On the record’s kickoff single, “Tough Folks,” he traces his family’s history through years of tobacco farming, economic depression, perseverance and rebirth. Along the way, he tackles President Trump’s election, neither condemning nor condoning the people — including the 2,362,631 North Carolinians who helped vote him into office — whose views differ from his own. Like the rest of Things Change, “Tough Folks” offers hope and positivity, positioning both as antidotes for the modern-day blues.

“The whole purpose of that song is perseverance,” he explains. “Growing up, most of my town was based on agriculture. When agriculture was taken away, some people bitched about it, but some people found alternate ways of making a living and feeding their family. You’ve gotta find a way to get through it. The line I’m particularly proud of is, ‘Last November, I saw first-hand what desperation makes good people do.’ Don’t get me wrong – there are some pieces of shit that voted for [Trump] – but there’s a lot of good, working people that voted for him.

American Aquarium is
BJ Barham – Vocals, Guitar
Shane Boeker – Lead Guitar
Joey Bybee – Drums
Ben Hussey – Bass
Adam Kurtz – Pedal Steel Guitar, Electric Guitar

With special guests
Byron Berline – Fiddle
John Fullbright – Piano, Clavinet, Mellotron, Guitar, Vocals
John Moreland – Vocals
Wes Sharon – Percussion
Dan Walker – Organ, Accordion
Jamie Lin Wilson – Vocals

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“Standing in the Doorway” was written and recorded during the making of Heart Like a Levee. I think I was trying to understand if and whether luck was related to my life at the time. I always liked this tune, but it didn’t seem to fit the emotional arc of that album for some reason. It also seemed like it could survive on its own, away from other songs that might give it context. Since Heart Like a Levee came out, a lot has changed in the world, of course. I’m currently writing this from the studio where we’re working on our next record and trying to live in this world with some kind of light.  —M.C. Taylor

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This song was recorded with the Spacebomb family—a collection of musicians with deep kinship and connection to Hiss Golden Messenger—in Richmond, Virginia, on February 7th, 2018. They love their families and friends in the same ways that I do mine. I was proud and honored to work with them on this song.

All proceeds from “Passing Clouds” and “Passing Clouds Dub” will benefit Everytown, a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. I urge you to perform your own small actions of peace whenever and wherever you can. We can make the world we want to live in. 

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No spiritual surrender. —M.C. Taylor, Durham, NC

Released March 21, 2018

John Darnielle has written almost 600 songs now, and some of them are very sad, dealing with hard drugs and tragic ends,hurting yourself and others, sicknesses of both body and brain, off-brand alcohols. They are told in beautiful, unnerving, specific detail because he is a very good writer, and also some of them are just true stories about his own life.

Last month, my cover of “Riches and Wonders” with Jherek Bischoff was unleashed on the world via the podcast “I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats”. It’s receiving a lot of praise from Mountain Goats fans, which means a lot to me. Jherek and I churned out both the arrangement and recording in only a few days last summer, then recorded the podcast with John Darnielle and Joseph Fink a few days later. It’s been hard to keep the project a secret for all these months! Such a fun gig! And an honor. 

You can listen to the song Here I am going to be extremely “tacky” and suggest that if you like the song enough that you think you’ll listen to it more than once, Please download it – Jherek and I receive a portion of the royalties, and I personally am insanely broke finishing up my epic music video and covers album without the help of a day job . Buying the song also supports the podcast. We are all busting our asses to make things, and I can speak for all of us when I say we appreciate your support.

Meanwhile, my covers album is taking forever , Although it’s Very close to completion – two more songs need a bit more mixing, and one of those songs is giving us a lot of hell, as it’s a pile of just Eliza voices, I’m open to input. I’m all ears – no pun intended). As a result, I’ve decided to release a song or two from the project as singles prior to completion and release of the album as a whole. Because not getting content out into the world regularly is making me feel completely insane. So keep your eyes’ n’ ears peeled for the first single, a cover of Rufus Wainwright’s “The Art Teacher”, another epic collaboration with Jherek Bischoff

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When you listen to Sylvan Esso singer and lyricist Amelia Meath talk about the band’s new album, “What Now”, you quickly learn how profoundly she’s motivated by love. There’s the love of magical sounds and the euphoria she feels when music “lifts you off the earth.” There’s the love for the audience, of connecting with and freeing them through song. And, especially for Meath, there’s the love of dance and of feeling the body (literally) become the music.

The release of What Now, we asked Meath to share some of the stories behind the new songs. She revealed a lot about what went into each track, but also reflected on the kinds of things that can keep her up at night, like whether being in a band matters when there’s more important work to do, how she’s sometimes sad when everything is awesome and how flagrant sexism in the music industry can ruin everything.

“Lyrically, this is mostly me talking to myself. Hilariously enough this song is on the radio now, but at the time I was feeling an immense amount of pressure to write new songs for What Now even though we were still mid-cycle on our first record. Most of the song is spent accusing myself of trying to become a successful musician when there are so many other important things to be doing other than sucking up to the man, trying to get America to think you are cool. Also — getting on mainstream radio is like trying to join a secret society, particularly if you are female. Stations have literally come back to us saying that they already have ‘a female vocal’ in their playlist.

5. Kick Jump Twist

“This is about jumping through hoops trying to get people to love you. Be it practicing your dance moves and sexy face in the mirror, or prepping your audition for RuPaul’s Drag Race. It’s a song about how we perform our lives — and also, about being in a band and touring forever.”

6. Song

“My favorite manifestation of heartache is wanting to be a piece of music. As in, actually being so filled with emotion and energy that you leave your human body and transcend into pure melody. For real. That is what this tune is about, as well as the reality of being in love versus what love songs and rom-coms tell us love is like — how sometimes a song can make you feel more in love than the real thing. Or at least it gives you a moment to completely feel it, without distraction.”

7. Just Dancing

“I wanted to talk about how Tinder has made it possible to only go on first dates forever. How all of the sudden it is completely possible to be in control of how potential romantic partners see you. How if you wanted to, you could be your own most ideal version of yourself. But you would have to keep on changing who you were dating to keep that beginning of a relationship feeling. How you could live in this false image of yourself, reflected through your partners’ eyes, never landing.”

8. Signal

“It’s about life mimicking technology and technology mimicking life. Searching for truth and honesty in a sea of noise. How, despite all the changes to the ways we go about it, we all still want the same thing any human has ever wanted: to be, connect with other humans and feel understood.

9. Slack Jaw

“Everything is awesome — and I am still sad.”

10. Rewind

“This is about me watching scenes from movies over and over again when I was a kid, learning turns of phrases and dance moves, and how to be a person. The chorus is about repeated viewings on VHS — how when you are rewinding something the picture dims and when you press ‘play,’ the room floods with light again. It is about building your personality from media, and then slowly dismantling it to become an honest human and an amalgamation of your influences from family, friends, movies, music and idols.”

NC/DC superghouls Bat Fangs pick up where Roky & the Aliens blasted off– cranking acid-soaked 80s hard rock for the living and the dead. Making heady heavy music for third eyes and stiff upper lips, Betsy Wright (Ex Hex) shreds ‘n’ howls over Laura King’s (Flesh Wounds / Speed Stick) deep-thunder drums. Let the Bat Fangs sink in! 

 

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releases February 2nd, 2018

ryan adams Top 50 Albums of 2017

Ryan Adams drew from some potentially surprising sources while dreaming up the musical landscape for his next solo LP.  The new record, released in November, has evolved beyond Adams’ initial description of an album inspired by the “sonic geography” of classic releases from Bruce Springsteen and the Smiths. In its place stands a set of songs whose recordings absorbed the strains of different artists on Adams’ iPod playlist.
“When I run, I listen to [an iPod] Nano that I have. I put all the AC/DC records on from back to front, or I’ll listen to the best of stuff from the ’80s: Springsteen, or [Bruce] Hornsby, and I’ll listen to what is going on there. I was listening to AC/DC’s Fly on the Wall,” he recalled, “and that’s when I realized what I had to do for the record.”
But if AC/DC inspired a new direction for the album, fans probably shouldn’t expect to hear that band’s stomping, monolithic crunch. In fact, it sounds like there’s a lot more going on in terms of production — including more intricate guitar arrangements inspired by ELO and Bachman-Turner Overdrive. “I was like, ‘Wow! I understand the multicolored guitar tone moments now. You can layer stuff. I really just learned a lot.””

Fueled by the maddening depression that comes from divorce, Ryan Adams did what he does best: He wrote about it. For 12 tracks, the shaggy singer-songwriter wrestles with his worst demons, reeking of pathos and abandon.

Not since Heartbreaker has Ryan Adams sounded this earnest. Every track beams with the kind of fragility you’d want from a denim lothario like Adams, but instead of wallowing in grief, these songs attempt to resolve it. They do.
To help him achieve all this, Adams turned to Grammy-winning producer Don Was, who he referred to in the interview as “Gandalf” and credited with helping him winnow down the “quite literally 80″ songs he had written for the record. Adams described the end result as an album that asks some “cool, big questions” without getting unwieldy.

“I think the challenge for me — the Everest peak, for me — is to tell this story in 11 songs, to tell this part of my life in 11 songs,” he added. “How do I make a real distinct record where anybody listens to it and says, ‘That’s the truth from beginning to end.’ So it’s like exercise. It sucks in the beginning. But then you get into it.”

Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Essential Tracks: “Doomsday”, “Anything I Say to You”, “To Be Without You”, and “Outbound Train”

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Angel Olsen gave us My Woman, one of last year’s best albums, and she’s also got one of the best live shows going right now. Her voice is monstrous, her songs are amazing, and her visual presentation is absolutely on-point; I love the way all the members of her backing band wear matching suits and bolo ties.

“Special” always felt like a band song to me, something to lose track of ourselves in. It didn’t quite fit the rest of the record and was a major deciding factor on whether or not it would mean a double LP. The record came out and I kept thinking about the song and wanting to play it anyway.

My friend came to visit me for a week and I had all these grand ideas about how to make another video. But it’s been a long year of touring and videos and pressure to keep on being important or interesting.
So I woke up the next day and changed my mind, deciding it would be best to just capture the days we were hanging and to occasionally have the camera up. Those days were some of the hardest and also sweetest of the summer. We spent much of the time talking about the current state of affairs and how everyone has been going through tremendous change and having to make hard choices. Maybe it’s just this year, but it feels that we’re entering a new era, one that requires us to really pay more attention to the world and ourselves in it.
What I realized is that going through a hard time and talking about it with friends makes you feel your friendships and who you are, and sometimes it takes a weird year to recognize what you still have.
Watch the Video Below. 

Phases is a collection of Olsen’s work culled from the past several years, including a number of never-before-released tracks. “Fly On Your Wall,” previously contributed to the Bandcamp-only, anti-Trump fundraiser Our First 100 Days, opens Phases, before seamlessly slipping into “Special,” a brand new song from the “MY WOMAN” recording sessions. Both “How Many Disasters” and “Sans” are first-time listens: home-recorded demos that have never been released, leaning heavily on Olsen’s arresting croon and lonesome guitar.

The b-sides compilation is both a testament to Olsen’s enormous musical range and a tidy compilation of tracks that have previously been elusive in one way or another. Balancing tenacity and tenderness, Phases acts as a deep-dive for longtime fans, as well as a fitting introduction to Olsen’s sprawling sonics for the uninitiated.

Angel Olsen’Special’ from Phases out November 10th, 2017 on Jagjaguwar Records

Flat Duo Jets

Flat Duo Jets – Wild Wild Love [2LP+10”] (first time on vinyl, 12” booklet will contain reprints from tour posters, flyers, concert tickets, live photos, limited to 800, indie-retail exclusive)

Flat Duo Jets was an American psychobilly band from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Athens, Georgia. They were a major influence on several bands of the 1990s and 2000s, including The White Stripes. In interviews, Jack White has often acknowledged Dexter Romweber’s influence.