A ‘LOCAL’UNS PREVUE’ by al Riggs
Hopscotch Season is here once more and along with tons of bigger, touring acts (Solange, Run The Jewels, Future Islands, etc.) there are a slew of other small/mid/big-size acts that grew up in NC either right down the street or right up the road.
Ah, but where to go, whom to choose? Fear not, for here is a list of local recommendations to peruse as you work on your scheduling like your life depended on it.
Skylar Gudasz at City Plaza, 5:50
Skylar is a singer songwriter out of Durham and she has already proven herself to be a master at both singing and songwriting. Her previous album, Oleander, swirls around between slow burning tone poems and classical pop. After playing along with an all-star lineup on Thank You: Big Star’s Third Live she is returning to home turf with Big Thief and Margo Price at City Plaza.
Happy Abandon at Pour House, 8:30
Just back from a UK tour, Happy Abandon will play multiple day parties and an official Hopscotch set celebrating the release of their debut LP, Facepaint. The album captures the live sound of huge choruses and folk flourishes that have made Happy Abandon a triangle mainstay. RIYL The National But With Some Coffee In Their System For Once.
Birds of Avalon at City Plaza, 5:50
The Wikipedia page for Birds of Avalon has the sentence describing them as “a band’s band with one of the best live rock shows going”. Whether or not this is an edit to the page by the band themselves or by a huge fan it should be taken as a fact nonetheless. Ten years since their first album, BoA is still a tremendous force of nature to behold live or on record, and now they have come back to us when we need huge psych-prog-krautrock bands most. I think. Following BoA at City Plaza are both The Make-Up and the Baltimore-by-way-of-Raleigh techno supremes Future Islands.
Museum Mouth at Lincoln Theatre, 10:30
Direct from Wilmington comes Museum Mouth, a queer power-punk quartet signed to Sam Bemis’ (Say Anything) label Equal Vision. If you grew up with the Emo Greats Of Yesteryear or not you will find plenty to root for in the confrontational and confessional lyrics of drummer/singer Karl Kuehn and the inescapable riffs that the band belts out like a train engine held together by pink bubblegum and 311 stickers. Museum Mouth will be opening for the always great and recently reunited Afghan Whigs at Lincoln Theatre.
The Veldt at Deep South, 12:30
If you hang around Raleigh long enough you will hear enough stories about the Veldt to fill a book and a half. The local shoegaze legends have been going strong for years and years and yet it only seems like now that they have Finally Gotten The Respect They So Rightfully Deserve. The ignorant call them a niche act but the enlightened are drawn to their winning combination of blissful noise and sonorous vocalizing. Open your dang mind, people.
Body Games at City Plaza, 5:20
Opening up the Bandcamp page for Carrborro natives Body Games, you are greeted with two initial choices; a cover of Somewhere In My Memory (the theme from Home Alone) and BG’s debut album Damager. Both go hand in hand for the same level of warped nostalgia each release oozes. The usual setup of a Body Games live set involves members Dax Beaton, Adam Graetz, and Kate Thompson in a semi circle, with themselves and their keyboards and synths facing each other. Club bangers for the quietly extroverted.
Naked Naps and Loamlands at Lincoln Theatre, 8:30 and 11:30, respectively
The Hurray For The Riff Raff-headlining set at the Lincoln Theatre on Saturday is already perfectly stacked with winners. But bookending the sad songs and waltzes of Advance Base and the mountaintop-bedroom folk of Dear Nora are two of the Triangles’ great acts, Naked Naps and Loamlands.
Naked Naps is a mathy punk duo led by Catie Yerkes that secretly wants to make you dance along with your usual moshing and fist pumping. And Loamlands, led by Kym Register, is a queer roots-rock group mixing fierce socio-political lyrics with gentle-yet-raging attacks at the gentrification of small town Southern cities. Do not miss any of this.
al Riggs is a musician from Durham, NC. His interests are huge dogs and shirts from Target that fit well. You can find his music by shouting into a manhole and waiting for the Bandcamp link to show up in your mind.