Organizers are touting it as a gathering of “bold, mind-bending and manic” music for three “unhinged, unforgettable nights”: Raleigh, NC, Thursday, June 7 at Kings, Friday, June 8 at the Wicked Witch and Saturday, June 9 at the Pour House. That would be the Triangle Psych Fest, and it’s shaping up to be one of the most eclectic music fests all year.
As co-organized by Daniel Chavis, of Carolina psych/shoegaze legends The Veldt, the event will feature his band, the Floating Children, Dead Leaf Echo, Timothy Eerie, Giant Red Panda, Heaven, Dex Romweber and plenty more. Both veterans and newcomers will be showcased over the course of the three days. (Full schedule below.) Chavis, commenting on the music scene, noted, “For a long time there’s been a steady stream of left field pop and rock pioneers in North Carolina who haven’t been recognized and celebrated as a closely knit community and a vital part of our state’s musical legacy. People easily associate Athens with ‘jangle pop’ or Germany with ‘krautrock’ or San Francisco with ‘Summer of Love rock.’ We’re shining a long overdue spotlight on North Carolina’s ‘psych rock’ scene.”
Explained co-organizer Mike Allen, the event aims to “build cross-generational collaborations and reinforce the comradery between purveyors and fans of experimentation and discovery.” And fellow co-organizer Pierce Clawson added, succinctly, “We’re the festival that’ll free, blow and expand your mind — and do it year after year.”
And the BLURT brigade was in the house: Forty indie, rap, punk, classical, country, dance and pop acts, complete with robots, puppets and wrestlers, that you definitely needed to see. Raise your hand if you did… Check out some exclusive videos below. (Pictured above: Los Chinchillos Del Caribe)
BY JASON GROSS
After about 20 years of going to this Texas fest, you may know your way around Austin but there’s always the ever-present temptation to pig out on not just BBQ but also pig out on music and wear yourself out, which I always do. While recuperation time is in order, if you keep a good written/photo diary, you can at least remember, “Oh yeah, that was a good time!” This year, I clocked in about 70 acts, 40 miles of walking around, and enough cooked meats to clog up my arteries for years.
Sad to say, years after getting over the 2014 car chase that killed four people, Austin and SXSW were rocked by a bomber who thankfully came to justice not long after the fest, but not before another bomb threat stopped the Roots’ traditional closing night party. Good thing that, along with Austin keeping Weird, it’s also resilient.
Otherwise, along with some steady indie band stand-bys, I also found plenty of good newer acts that are worth supporting, either by going to their shows or buying their music or getting their merch (that’s a non-subtle hint, mind you). Hopefully, in this mix of forty indie, rap, punk, classical, country, dance and pop acts, complete with robots, puppets and wrestlers, you’ll discover SOMETHING that you like.
You’ll also see SX interviews coming from Robin Cook of some of the artists below soon here- Anna Burch, Fragile Rock and more.
A Place To Bury Strangers at Cheer Up Charlie’s (3/17/2018): One part My Bloody Valentine (screeching noise over sweet melodies), one part Butthole Surfers (smashed their instruments after the first song), one part Lightning Bolt (played part of the set in the middle of the crowd). Secret weapon: power drummer Lia Simone Braswell.
Abhi the Nomad at Tap Room (3/16/2018): You might not know this Indian rapper who was West Coast (and sounds it) and now an Austinite but you should- he put out one of the catchiest albums of ‘18 and tours with a good drummer and singer.
Andrew W.K. at Hotel Vegas Patio (3/14/2018): Don’t you feel a little better just knowing he’s still out there partying? Sure, there’s plenty of drunk kids ready to mosh with him but still…
Lee Bains III + The Glory Fires at Sidewinder Outside (3/13/2018): A garage version of Springsteen from Alabama, complete with progressive politics and a wild guitarist = a sweaty stage show.
Anna Burch at Valhalla (3/13/2018): Sweet voiced indie-folkie who deserves your attention. Indelible tunes and great teeth to boot (admittedly jealous).
Cadence Weapon at Swan Dive Patio (3/14/2018): Not chart competition for Drake but this impressive Canadian rapper still has a great jam in the form of “My Crew (Woo).”
Canshaker Pi at Waller Ballroom (3/14/2018): The Dutch invasion? The catchy, raw indie rockers might led the way for it.
CGBG’s Panel (3/16/2018): Featuring Tina ‘n’ Chris (Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club) and Richard Lloyd (Television) reminiscing about the golden age of punk, plus giving props to Terry Ork who (despite Hilly’s rep) was the real hero/booker of the club.
Cut Chemist at Palm Door on Sabine (3/14/2018): Well-named classic turntablist did his thing with the help of cartoon, old-school graphics screening behind him
Lucy Dacus at Scoot Inn (3/13/2018): One of the most talked about acts at SX, this sad (but not miserable) indie girl’s best song is “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore,” which should tell you something about her. And in case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced “DAY-kus.”
Davie at St. David’s Sanctuary (3/15/2018): Very appropriate that this R&B singer bared his soul in a church setting.
Jesse Dayton at Hotel San Jose (3/14/2018): A former X member and Waylon band member who kicks up some rockabilly dust is someone you’d wanna follow.
DMC at Clive Bar (3/16/2018): Still the King of Rock and bearing a Motorhead T-shirt, he trotted out the old school classics and right wondered why if no one asks Springsteen when he’s gonna retire, why should they ask him?
Doctor Octagon at Cedar Street Courtyard (3/14/2018): A real treat, not only to have the bizarre hip hop Dr. on call again but to have him perform alongside Dan the Automator and QBert.
Dual Core at Karma Lounge (3/17/2018): Nerdcore (the funny, indie backpack set) was represented well by this Austinite. Didn’t hurt that he bought shots for the whole crowd, which probably helped us with the singalongs.
Eureka California at Beerland (3/16/2018): Actually hailing from Athens, GA, this boy/girl garage duo has a better drummer than Meg White and comes on more fiercely and with less roots than Jack White, which hopefully means that they won’t get a drunk frat-boy crowd like JW.
Jad Fair at Hotel Vegas (3/13/2018): Brandishing a flexible neck guitar that led him to do some wonderfully bizarre wailing, this indie legend romped through a set of classic Half Japanese songs.
Ezra Furman at Parish (3/17/2018): This mewling wear-it-on-your-sleeve indie guy in dresses still has Jonathan Richman’s irascible side to him but with much more urgency than JoJo.
FAVX at BD Riley’s (3/15/2018): A Spanish garage rock trio with an arty, post-punk tinge to ‘em, they might offend purists but they also put out one of the best records of ‘18.
Francine Thirteen at the Hideout (3/17/2018): Technically from Dallas but definitely on another planet vibe, this chanteuse/shaman performed a ritual-laden performance with help from her sister on harp. Her motto is “Magic of sacred virgins & holy whores” and she makes you believe it.
Fragile Rock at Maggie Mae’s (3/14/2018): Calling them the best puppet emo band ever might sound great until you can’t think of other puppet emo bands but these guys & gals are a hoot- think the Muppet’s Dr. Teeth meet Spinal Tap.
Gold Casio at Friends (3/17/2018): I feel bad for anyone who doesn’t have a soft-spot for a glammed-out dance pop band with good tunes and that’s what this Portland quartet serves up.
Great Good Fine OK at Sidewinder Outside (3/14/2018): With such a casual name, you’d think that they’re blasé but this rainbow-clad dance act had strong enough tunes to have the crowd sing along so they’re doing something right.
Steve Hauschildt at Central Presbyterian Church (3/17/2018): Ambient night in a religious setting is worth attending but most of the bill was kind of snoozy except for this dynamic composer who’s not afraid of beats or melodies.
Idles at Latitude 30 (3/14/2018): They’re jokers for sure but also deadly serious and rabid punks, just this side short of hardcore but barely less intense, with one of 2017’s finest platters too.
Durand Jones at Scoot Inn (3/13/2018): Ran across him while waiting for another act but it was some good serendipity there as he’s a soul man who deserves the press/credit that fellow SX act Lee Fields gets, not to mention Nathaniel Rateliff (also at SX).
Topaz Jones at 800 Congress (3/15/2018): A NJ native who was pleasantly surprised to find many Jersey peeps at the show. Disappointing not to hear this R&B/rap act’s wonderful “Toothache” single but he was plenty of other sensuous grooves to spare (plus a cool Miles T-shirt).
Khalid at Trinity Warehouse (3/15/2018): Wasn’t totally sold on his R&B star but this packed-house show proved that he not only had the songs but also the stage presence (love that pink suit) to pull it off.
Kino Kimino at Sidewinder Outside (3/16/2018): Kim Talon is a musical threat for sure- not just film making but also Sonic Youth connections and a lively stage presence.
Life at Latitude 30 (3/15/2018): Like Oasis, they’re led by a pair of bro’s but they’re much more bloke-ish than big-headed jerks, which is how you’d want a UK punk combo to be. Singer Mex is a hoot with weird stage moves, including bar walks and speaker crawls.
Living Museum at Waller Ballroom (3/13/2018): Think of it more as a strange NC-17 performance art series than a music act per se. Let’s just say that these Dutch artists weren’t afraid to bare it all in action painting, tech-controlled music, laser light performing and some completely hairless writhing woman lying on a bar.
Los Chinchillos Del Caribe at the Speakeasy (3/16/2018): They call themselves a Cumbia (Spanish dance) act but it’s more spot on to say that they’re a Puerto Rican luchador (wrestling mask) rap act that’s as fun as a ring match.
Lung at Swan Dive (3/17/2018): A power duo of a cellist and drummer mixes prog rock, metal and classical the way that King Crimson did in the good ol’ days, even without Uncle Bobby’s guitar.
Tunde Olaniran at Side Bar (3/14/2018): The pride of Flint Michigan (which he reminds us is still under a govt-induced health threat), this Afro-Futurist is always a snappy dresser and has a dancer duo that are his version of the SW1’s.
Ponytrap at the Hideout (3/16/2018): A string duo with a trio of giant robot drummers sounds like a novelty but they pull it off well enough that they should earn a spot on a Bang on a Can marathon (hint, hint).
Pussy Riot at the Main (3/13/2018): I preferred the stirring theatre piece that they did at SX last year but to see this harassed Russian punk-dance group persist was inspirational enough.
Shame at Barracuda (3/15/2018): In the new Punk-Brit sweepstakes, they also have a stand-out, acrobatic frontman like the others but are much more active on stage than their most trad-Brit-pop album would make you think.
Shamir at Sidewinder Outside (3/13/2018): First R&B, now kind of rock, he proved his credentials with his own guitar/bass/drums trio and a homemade Velvet Underground jacket to boot.
Shopping at Volcom (3/15/2018): For my money, the best post-punk revival group around now, especially with Rachel Aggs’ dance moves and the way that they trade off shouted vocals that boosts all their songs.
Superchunk at the Main (3/13/2018): The ol’ indie rock standby happened to be put out not just their best album of their career but one of the best of ‘18 and celebrated with a blazing show, featuring Sabrina Ellis (Sweet Spirit/A Giant Dog) who is headed for stardom herself.
Superorganism at Stubb’s (3/14/2018): One of the fest’s buzz bands for sure, this weird little UK dance-pop troupe provided some danceable fun.
Thick at Side Bar (3/16/2018): Brooklyn punk grrls make good noise.
Trail of Dead at Swan Dive Patio (3/14/2018): Now a quartet but with extra members in tow to bring them up to a sextet, they did a set of songs they only performed once before. You’d never know it- it sounded like well-thrashed out material they harnessed over years.
Touts at Latitude 30 (3/13/2018): Irish punk lads (and Clash/Jam fans) who sound it, especially when they address the crowd in a thick brogue and feature a song like “Bombscare.” Nice mod haircuts too.
Waco Brothers at Shangri-La (3/15/2018): It just wouldn’t be SXSW without these alt-country cut-ups, who provided bits of Hawkwind and George Michael covers along with a full version of the Small Faces’ “All or Nothing” in tribute to raconteur and Austin homie Ian McLagan. (Ed. note: As Jon Langford is essentially the Patron Saint of Blurt SXSW Past, having designed posters and curated an annual day party during SXSW for us for a number of years, we would like to take this space to extend a hearty “two pints up!” in Jonboy’s direction.)
Kelly Willis at Hotel San Jose (3/14/2018): Now finishing the 3rd decade of her career, this new traditionalist (think George Strait, not Devo) still has that great, booming voice that makes her a country legend.
Jack White, The National, and THE DISTILLERS, oh my!
By Jeff Clegg
Also, in case you missed it, Atlanta’s sixth annual Shaky Knees Music Festival takes place May 4-6 with headliners Jack White, Queens of the Stone Age, and The National. Other notable acts of this year’s lineup include David Byrne of the Talking Heads, Courtney Barnett, Cake, The War on Drugs, Manchester Orchestra, and the first The Distillers performance in 12 years, among many others. Due to Atlanta’s plan to renovate and expand Centennial Olympic Park, this year’s festival will move back to Atlanta’s Central Park, where Shaky Knees called home in 2015. Information on hotels close to the event can be found on the Shaky Knees website.
Check out the full 2018 lineup below and be sure to grab your tickets! And the late-night shows for Shaky Knees 2018 have just been announced as well, which notably includes sets by artists not on the main festival bill such as The Whigs and The Melvins, as well as additional sets by The War on Drugs, Circa Survive, The Distillers, Fleet Foxes, and Japandroids. Tickets for the festival can be purchased here and tickets for the late-night shows can be purchased here.
Bonnaroo 2018 lineup has been released and guess who’s back, back again! Above: some satisfied 2017 customers…
BY MARK JACKSON
Eminem is set to play several festivals and will be the Headliner act for Bonnaroo this year. Eminem last played Bonnaroo back in 2011. Other headliners for 2018 also include The Killers, and Muse.
This year’s lineup is once again a great mix that promises to have something for everyone. With acts such as Future, T-Pain, Brock Hampton, Khalid, and Playboi Carti and of course Eminem, the rap fan should be more than happy.
Last year was the first for the Full sized Other Stage which was turned into the Techno/House stage that rivaled the main stage in size and a much better light show. This year The Other Stage will have Bassnectar, Virtual Self, and Kaskade among many others.
The Lineup does not include Ed Helms and his Bluegrass Situation as in years past but it does show an entry simply put Grand Ole Opry. Maybe this will be an all-star and legend country program or stage. The coming weeks will tell, but no matter what it turns out to be, with a name like Grand Ole Opry it will be great for the country fans. Confirmed country artist on the lineup are Brothers Osborne, Sturgill Simpson, and Old Crow Medicine Show.
The Pop/Rock lineup will include Sheryl Crow, The Killers, Dua Lipa, Paramore, The Revivalists, and many more.
The 2018 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival will be held June 7-10, 2018 in Manchester, Tenn. 4-day general admission tickets are $299.50 (plus fees) and go on sale at 10 a.m. CST Friday, January 12 at www.bonnaroo.com
Mark Jackson (@markjacksonphotography1) has covered Bonnaroo for BLURT in the past – go HERE to view his 2017 photo gallery.
What would YOU say to a bill that included, among many bands, Of Montreal, Pylon Reenactment Society (recently reviewed at BLURT) , Wild Child, Larkin Poe, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers, David Barbe & Inward Dream Ebb, Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics, and—just to single out a band that hails from the BLURT editorial penthouse’s back yard of Asheville, NC—the Jon Stickley Trio?
Assuming you, like us, would say, “Huzzah!” then this post’s for you. The Savanna Stopover music festival takes place March 8-10 in Savannah (duh!), Georgia, and they’ve announced all the above artists and plenty more — with additional acts to be announced as well. Among those rumored to be in the mix: Kemba, Nikki Lane, Yonatan Gat, Lilly Hiatt, Vita and the Woolf, Grace Joyner, and Caroline Rose.
Stay tuned on January 18 for the full announcement, and here are the links you need to keep bookmarked:
The 2nd annual Bourbon & Beyond is set for Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23, 2018. The 5th annual Louder Than Life will be held the following weekend on Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30, 2018.
To celebrate the success of Bourbon & Beyond’s inaugural year, Danny Wimmer Presents has announced a special Early Bird ticket sale now underway for Bourbon & Beyond 2018. A limited number of General Admission Weekend passes are available for $119.50 (matching 2017’slowest price). To purchase tickets, visit:https://goo.gl/fg1KoW. Hotel and camping options are also available at www.BourbonAndBeyond.com.
Held on back-to-back weekends, the first-ever Bourbon & Beyond (September 23 & 24) and the fourth annual Louder Than Life (September 30 & October 1) drew a combined 110,000 fans to Champions Park over two consecutive weekends in 2017, with a large percentage of attendees coming from outside of Louisville.
“Danny Wimmer and his team promise big things, and they deliver,” says Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “I was especially impressed by the inaugural Bourbon & Beyond Festival, where they promised great musical acts, great food and, of course great bourbon experiences, and they excelled in every aspect. We look forward to 2018.”
“We look forward to the return of the Bourbon & Beyond festival after a successful inaugural year, as well as the fifth annual Louder Than Life festival. Events like these put Louisville on the national stage and enhance our city’s reputation as being an authentic music festival destination,” says Karen Williams, President & CEO of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Bourbon & Beyond and Louder Than Life both draw a large number of out-of-town visitors to our city to enjoy a weekend of music by top, national performers, and also experience Louisville’s one-of-a-kind attractions and award-winning culinary scene.”
“The inaugural Bourbon & Beyond was a first-of-its-kind festival that gave Kentucky’s world-renowned bourbons equal billing with a roster of legendary musicians,” says Danny Hayes, CEO of Danny Wimmer Presents.
Bourbon & Beyond artists included Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Stevie Nicks, Steve Miller Band, Eddie Vedder, and Buddy Guy, plus Amos Lee, Joe Bonamassa, Gary Clark, Jr., Paul Rodgers, Band Of Horses, and more.
Hayes continues, “Bourbon & Beyond was a showcase for, and celebration of, the craftsmanship, soul and sprit that is unique to Louisville, and featured award winning bourbons, master distillers, chefs, bartenders, and many other artisans.”
Full Bourbon & Beyond details and additional ticket packages will be announced in early 2018.
The fourth annual Louder Than Life marked the festival’s biggest year yet, solidifying its standing as one of America’s premier destination music festivals. Louder Than Life2017 drew 60,000 fans to Champions Park to witness headlining performances from Ozzy Osbourne featuring Zakk Wylde on Saturday and Prophets Of Rage on Sunday, plus Five Finger Death Punch, Incubus – returning to Louisville for the first time in over a decade — Rob Zombie, Stone Sour, Rise Against, and nearly 30 other bands on three stages.
Danny Wimmer Presents is a producer of some of the biggest rock festivals in America, including Rock On The Range, Monster Energy Aftershock, Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville, Monster Energy Fort Rock, Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion, Chicago Open Air, Bourbon & Beyond, Louder Than Life, Monster Energy Rock Allegiance, Northern Invasion and more.
The 2017 event took place September 30-Oct. 1 at Champions Park. Among the performers: Ozzy Osbourne with Zakk Wylde& Prophets Of Rage, plus Five Finger Death Punch, Incubus,Rob Zombie, Stone Sour.
BY MARK JACKSON
This year’s Louder than Life Festival was the biggest one so far in the four years of the event with over sixty thousand people in attendance over the two day event. It’s no wonder that with the perfect weather and a killer line up that the turn out was amazing and had people lining up hours before the gates even opened. It was crazy to see so many people rushing through the gates and running full speed to get their spot front and center to the stages. The line up this year included Sets from Ozzy Osbourne with Zakk Wylde & Prophets Of Rage, plus Five Finger Death Punch, Incubus, Rob Zombie, Stone Sour & more. If the line up wasn’t enough there was also Bourbon World with dozens of different bourbons to choose from and over a dozen of local venders with a Varity of large portions of food choices. This was the third year that Blurt has covered this festival and I must give a huge shout out to the Danny Wimmer Presents staff! This is one of if not smoothest events that I cover. Kristine and her staff is top notch and very helpful to all attending press. I can’t wait to see what all that Louder than Life brings next year! If you want to be a part of next years’ party, you should start planning now and buy your tickets early before they sell out.
Two very fine days at the American Turners Club, deep in the heart of Kentucky rock territory.
BY TIM HINELY
I’d heard about this champion of the obscure music festival in Louisville, KY for the past few years but hadn’t gotten off my duff to make it there. This year was different as I saw that both The Fall and feedtime were on the bill so I had to make it. I phoned my pal in Lexington, KY and told we that we’re going…oh and that I am staying with him for a few days. He couldn’t refuse.
The American Turners Club is a…well, an interesting place to say the least. It’s an active swim club that closes just after Labor Day but if you saw this place you’d swear it wasn’t active. In fact, you’d think it had been closed years ago. Plenty of green water in the pool and the trough in the men’s bathroom looked liked it hadn’t been flushed in a few decades. Oh and turn around while the the urinal and the showers behind you look like something out of Auschwitz. In other words, a perfect place for a music festival!
It’s right on the banks of the Ohio River and plenty of room for camping (I hate camping though). So yes, freaks of all shapes and sizes made their way to Louisville to witness this historic event.
….only it wasn’t so historic as The Fall cancelled (damn) but they got local yokel Bonnie Prince Billy in his place.
On Friday we arrived about 3 PM. We missed a few openers like Exacta Cube, Heavy Dreams and Bathroom Laws but we did catch the duo Lung. A drummer and a woman who played, I think, an electric cello. An interesting sound and very cool and just afterward both Wombo and Limes got the crowd worked up into a heaving frenzy.
We caught NYC’s 75 Dollar Bill who I’d been wanting to see and they did not disaappoint. This time they were a drummer (Rick Brown from Run On and Fish & Roses) and a guitarist and they eeked out a most beautiful racket. If I’m recalling correctly The Cowboys, who were up next, spanked out some primo punk rock while North Carolina (via the UK) Dan Melchior did a nice set of garage blues. He’s the real deal.
Not sure if we caught Crazy Doberman, but we did catch Columbus, Ohio’s Tommy Jay who with his band in matching outfits, did a nice set of folk pop originals. I need to look for more of his stuff and legendary Louisville bunch Circle X had the crowd rapt with their unique brand of jagged art pop. As much as I wanted to stay for Neil Hamburger and Royal Trux (who I heard weren’t so hot) my pal and I decaded to make the hour trek back to Lexington.
After a hearty breakfast (Waffle House did us right…until it did us wrong…thank god for nearby bathrooms) we headed back to Louisville for more fun and frivolity. We got there just in time to catch Oakland’s Rays. I love their recent debut LP out now on Trouble in Mind but had yet to see ‘em live and they did not disappoint. Gorgeous, melodic fuzz of the highest caliber.
Fried Egg ripped a hole in the wall, musically speaking, while Matt Jencik’s jeans fell down but the crowd was way, way up. Sarah Squirm was an annoying comedian from NYC who was actually kinda funny and I forget what David Nance sounded like. Tara Jane O’Neil had a plethora of famous folks join her on stage (Thalia Zedek, Catherine Irwin, Tim Barnes, etc) and eeked out a gorgeous, folky set. Rapper Sadat X was awful, all flash and no dash and the shirtless, bearded Frank Hurricane was even worse. Please do no invite these two back.
Shit & Shine started out promisingly with some crinkly experimental konk but bored me after about 15 minutes and Peter Brotzmann threw his sax into the Ohio River and dove in after it after finishing his set. Australia’s feedtime, basically who I was most excited to see, did not disappoint and they roared through a 40 or so minute set or grunting, basement scorch (with a borrowed drummer no less…and they weren’t in a basement). Being the old geezers that we are my pal and I left before Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Magik Markers played.
What can I say, Cropped Out was a blast. Good food, nice, short sets and easy-going (zonked out?) people everywhere. Easily the most laid back festival I’ve ever gone to and I’ma make it a point to come back next year come hell or high water.
Blurt Audio Exclusive: Thin White Rope "The Fish Song" (from 2018 remaster of The Ruby Sea