Category Archives: North Carolina Music

Incoming: Jon Stickley Trio’s 3rd Full-Length

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Jamming North Carolina outfit explores the outer limits.

BY BLURT STAFF

Asheville’s Jon Stickley Trio – guitarist Stickley, violinist Lyndsay Pruett, and Patrick Armitage on drums – dropped a surprise EP, Triangular, back in December, a stopgap followup to 2015’s outstanding Lost at Last. Now they’re prepping a new full-length for a May 12 release. Titled Maybe Believe, it was cut at Echo Mountain Studios with producer Dave King of the Bad Plus, who enthuses, “The latest record from the Jon Stickley Trio flexes new and strong muscles, utilizing more progressive structures and deeper pockets than ever before. All the while, the group retains its place as a modern-thinking acoustic ensemble with one foot in tradition and the other in a bluegrass honored future that allows for the avant garde, punk, and be bop to mix in freely and tastefully.”

It’s the second time to the well with the Trio and King, and it marks yet another phase in the group’s evolution – anyone who’s ever seen them play knows that “bluegrass” barely describes the sound, which to BLURT’s ears is akin to a fusion outfit covering Sonic Youth, if Sonic Youth were a bluegrass band. Maybe David Grisman guest-starring as well. It’s that unclassifiable, pure high energy and sonically challenging, yet deeply melodic and with irresistible rhythms.

Stickley says, “We had just gotten to know Dave last time and had such a good time. Bringing him in again takes the whole thing up a notch. It was a completely different experience, after traveling all over the place touring [in 2016 the Trio drove over 50,000 miles], over time we’ve developed a cohesion as a band where we intimately know each other and can feel where each other is wanting to go and respond. It’s developed into a tight musical relationship.”

Below, check out a video of the band during recording sessions, along with upcoming tour dates and album tracklisting – of the latter, can we assert that it’s unlikely you’ll ever come across an album with songcredits for both Bill Monroe and Aphex Twin?

Track Listing:

1. Jewels 2:03
2. Playpeople 4:36
3. Almost With You 3:39
4. Slow Burn 4:47
5. Jerusalem Ridge (Bill Monroe) 5:36
6. Avril 14th (Richard James a.k.a. Aphex Twin) 1:59
7. Cecil 4:36
8. Microbruise 3:19
9. The Price of Being Nice (Lyndsay Pruett) 3:39
10. Mt. Sandia Swing 4:23
11. Birdland Breakdown (John Reischman) 3:54
12. Lady Time (Lyndsay Pruett) 3:44

Tour Dates:
3/15 Wed – The Station Inn – Nashville, TN *w/ The Dustbowl Revival
3/16 Thu – The Earl – Atlanta, GA w/ The Dustbowl Revival
3/17-18 Fri-Sat – Anastasia Music Festival @ St. Augustine Amphitheater – St. Augustine, FL
3/21 Tue – Taos Mesa Brewing – El Prado, NM
3/22 Wed – House Concert – Albuquerque, NM
3/23 Thu – Last Exit Live – Phoenix, AZ
3/24 Fri – Coconino Center For The Arts – Flagstaff, AZ
3/25 Sat – Seven Grand – San Diego, CA
3/29 Wed – Throckmorton Theatre – Mill Valley, CA
3/30 Thu – Neck of the Woods – San Francisco, CA
3/31-4/1 Fri-Sat – WinterWonderGrass – North Lake Tahoe, CA
4/6 Thu – The Stage at KDHX – St. Louis, MO
4/7 Fri – Rhythm and Blooms Festival – Knoxville, TN
4/8 Sat – Albino Skunk Festival – Greer, SC
4/12 Wed – Willie’s Locally Known – Lexington, KY
4/13 Thu – The Fire Pit’s Side Bar – Milwaukee, WI
4/14 Fri – Mid West Music Festival – LaCrosse, WI
4/15 Sat – Two Brothers Roundhouse – Aurora, IL
4/29 Sat – WV Craft Brew Fest – Lewisburg, WV
5/12-13 – Fri-Sat – LEAF – Black Mountain, NC
5/19 Fri – Lower Town Arts & Music Festival – Paducah, KY
5/20 Sat – Moonshiner’s Ball – Berea, KY
5/26 Fri – Rooster Walk – Martinsville, VA
6/8 Thu – Founders Brewing – Grand Rapids, MI
6/9 Fri – Parliament Room at Otus Supply – Ferndale, MI
6/10-11 Sat-Sun – NorEastr Festival @ County Fairgrounds – Mio, MI
7/15 Sat – Red Wing Roots Music Festival – Mount Solon, VA
7/29-30 Sat-Sun – FloydFest – Floyd, VA

TIFT MERRITT – Stitch of the World

Album: Stitch of the World

Artist: Tift Merritt

Label: Yep Roc

Release Date: January 27, 2017

www.yeproc.com

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BY LEE ZIMMERMAN

It’s taken a relatively short time for Tift Merritt to work her way up the rankings of today’s more sensitive, soul-baring brigade, a distinction that’s put her name on the lips of all those prone to point out those deserving of being the ones to watch. That’s unlikely to cause any argument from her faithful followers, who have already anointed her as a balladeer worthy of all the ballyhoo she’s been accorded, with every new album meriting the increased anticipation that’s clearly her due.

Stitch of the World is no exception, and while the majority of the songs are of the exceedingly mellow variety, it offers further proof of the fact that Merritt has now emerged as one of Americana’s most distinctive songwriters. While opening track “Dusty Old Man” conveys more than a hint of driving defiance, and “Proclamation Bones” offers up some sizzling slide guitar, the remainder of the tracks find her in reflective mode, all cozy sentiments instilled with sublime reflection. In fact, the sweet sentiments contained in songs such as “Heartache Is An Uphill Climb,” the shimmering and subdued “Icarus” and the gentle and reflective “Something Came Over Me” find her gliding easily across this tranquil terrain, adding to the engaging and accessible lure of the album overall. While some might complain that the tone is a bit too uniform throughout, the overall impression is one of sweet serenity, adding up to an entirely engaging effort that makes this a supreme standout by any measure.

What a lovely World view indeed.

DOWNLOAD: “Heartache Is An Uphill Climb,”“Icarus,” “Something Came Over Me”

To Be Heard Booking Launch Party March 17-18 in N.C.

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Celebrating the unveiling of an impressive 18-band roster of Tarheel bands.

By Blurt Staff

Recently a new independent booking outlet, To Be Heard Booking, launched in the North Carolina Triangle area (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) to help N.C. bands hit the road. They’ve already amassed an impressive, diverse, 18-band roster—viewable here—that includes The Veldt and Happy Abandon, the first two artists to sign with our sister business, the Schoolkids Records label (formerly Second Motion). (Below is Happy Abandon.)

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To celebrate, To Be Heard is hosting a big launch party this coming weekend featuring 10 of those 18 groups—two parties, in fact. Friday night will be a The Cave in Chapel Hill, then the following evening the bash will be at Raleigh venue Slims. Both shows start at 8:30 and are $5. Details are below, and you can also get the low-down here at the booking agency’s website.

Friday March 17th – Chapel Hill, NC – The Cave

Body Games, Davidians, Al Riggs + The Big Sad, Majestic Vistas, and Ravary

Saturday March 18th – Raleigh, NC – Slims

Naked Gods, WIld Fur, SE Ward, Peter Vance of Happy Abandon (solo), Fluorescence

 

 

New Track Alert: NC’s Temperance League “All There Is”

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Tarheel rockers prep fifth longplayer for 2017 release.

By Blurt Staff

Hoist a pint and down a shot in honor of Charlotte, NC, combo the Temperance League, who you might remember from our previous coverage—such as last year’s Day of the Dove album, of which we noted thusly:

 “[The band’s dedication to] rock ‘n’ roll, whatever the long acclaim odds, and whatever the shrinking rewards, says as much about the art form’s pull as it does its Quixotic practitioners. With producer Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Pavement) overseeing recording at his Fidelitorium studio, Temperance League has slightly reframed its earlier references—which have ranged from working class Springsteen anthems and rebellious Heartbreakers’ singalongs to Ramones fuzz and the Byrds’ jangle—into a work whose sonic depth matches that of its lyrics.”

So frontman Bruce Hazel now lets us know that the group’s fifth platter—presumably destined to be on vinyl, and colored wax at that, if past efforts are any gauge—is in the pipeline, called Space Aquarium, and they are chuffed to give everyone an early taste. Check out first single “All There Is”:

Hazel, commenting on the track, tells us, “I think ‘All There Is’ was the first song I wrote for this project. It’s a perfect first sample of Space Aquarium. The lyric and sound of this track epitomize the meaning and feeling of this album. Once again we worked with Mitch Easter at his Fidelitorium.

“Each time we work there I feel we have evolved. This record has a different tone than any of our previous releases. We reached for something and I think we achieved our goal. The vocals are warmer and more honest. This is a big step for us. I’m proud of this work.”

Boy howdy to that. More details to follow. You can read/hear more about/from Temperance League simply by plugging their name into the little search box at the BLURT homepage. Don’t forget to check out our 2013 interview with Hazel conducted by his fellow Charlottean and longtime supporter John Schacht.

Can’t wait for the full-length, gents.

STRAY OWLS – A Series of Circles

Album: A Series of Circles

Artist: Stray Owls

Label: Potluck Foundation

Release Date: February 17, 2017

http://www.potluckfoundation.com/

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The Upshot: Dandy duo from North Carolina conjures sonic imagery both past and present via an eclectic, melodic, adventurous collection of memorable tunes.

BY FRED MILLS

Though still relatively young as a band, with two EPs released in 2015 and 2016, respectively, Mebane, NC (near Chapel Hill), duo Stray Owls seem old at heart, with an expansive, inclusive sound that dips back years, if not entire eras. That the Chapel Hill/Durham PotLuck Foundation label they are releasing their debut longplayer on bill itself as a label for “music nerds” doesn’t seem entirely coincidental. The fact that A Series of Circles was produced by veteran Tarheel studio maven Jerry Kee (Superchunk, Polvo) doesn’t seem to be random, either.

As the album unfolds, sonic ghosts of everyone from Nick Drake, Syd Barrett, and Elliott Smith seem to hover benevolently in the ether, as layered acoustic guitars and close-mic’d vocals conjure a profound intimacy, one which is also tinged with sufficient amounts of sonic looniness to prevent the listener being lulled into complacency. For example, the sing-songy folk that is “Franklin Borough” bears the tap-tap of a typewriter at one point; “Ok, Ok” incorporates some creamy mellotron lines and a momentary xylophone melody; and “Cut & Paste Time Machine” lives up to its title via a succession of tempo and tonal shifts that include, variously, fuzzed-out guitars, trilling, Andean-style flutes, choirlike harmony vocals, and a synth-strafed sonic collage.

One also imagines that contemporary avatars such as the Flaming Lips and the sheer bloody-mindedness that informs Neil Young have also informed the Stray Owls’ aesthetic. The brilliant, nearly six minutes-long “Ruin is Formal” seems to be a culmination of sorts, at once wispily anthemic yet strummily unhurried, with producer Kee’s drumming providing a jumping off point from which Scott Griffiths and Matt French can aim for the kosmiche horizon. It’s psychedelic as hell, but richly folkish, at once expansive yet ruminative, and followed as it is by the stomping, distorted, whacked-out closing track “Red Flags” (also close to six minutes), you ultimately are not just observers of the pair’s journey, but part of it.

Add to that “old at heart” notation listed above—wise beyond the years. If these owls are strays, you’ll no doubt be eager to take them in and offer shelter and sustenance.

DOWNLOAD: “Ruin Is Formal,” Ok, Ok,” “Red Flags”

Incoming: New EP from The Veldt; Signed to Schoolkids Records

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N.C. outfit also opening for Modern English in April, with more national dates t.b.a. soon. Listen to a key track, below.

By Blurt Staff

A couple of weeks ago we dropped the news that respected indie label Second Motion Records was changing its name to Schoolkids Records, which (not so coincidentally) is also the name of the North Carolina indie record store chain that’s the BLURT magazine sister business. Now comes the official announcement of ‘90s shoegaze legends The Veldt signing with us and prepping a new EP for a June 2 release. Titled The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation, you can check out the track “Sanctified,” below.

The Veldt will open for Modern English at several shows in April; dates below. Meanwhile, here’s what you need to know about the band — and to our friends in The Veldt, welcome to the Schoolkids family. Plenty of good memories from all those shows in the ‘90s, and even some contemporary memories, too.

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The band formed in the late 80’s in Raleigh, North Carolina amongst the royalty of the legendary North Carolina music scene, including bands such as Superchunk, Archers of Loaf, The Connells, Dillon Fence, The dB’s, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Ryan Adams and many more

Initially signed to Capitol Records in 1989 and eventually finding their way to Mercury Records, The Veldt embarked on a musical journey that changed their lives. Soon, they were in the studio with dream-gaze guru Robin Guthrie, playing American concert halls with Cocteau Twins, and opening for The Jesus and Mary Chain in England. They worked with leading producers Lincoln Fong of Moose on their debut album Marigolds and Ray Schulman (Bjork, Sugarcubes, The Sundays) on Afrodisiac.  The Veldt were a sensation from the start as they became a part of a movement of innovators, who came of musical age at a time when rhythmic rebels were reflective, gritty and wild. Their sound inspired future generations of alternative artists, including TV On the Radio.

Apart from Robin Guthrie, they have collaborated with TV On The Radio, Mos Def, The Jesus & Mary Chain and Lady Miss Kier (Deee-Lite), and most recently A.R.Kane. They have shared the stage with The Pixies, Throwing Muses, Echo & The Bunnymen, Cocteau Twins, Manic Street Preachers, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis and Living Colour, among others.

The band reformed in 2016 and immediately received incredible enthusiasm upon their return.  Their new EP started to make the rounds with a vinyl release via Leonard Skully Records last year, resulting in significant press attention, including an outstanding feature in The Guardian (UK), who wrote “the new songs invite paradoxical praise: serenely assaultive and vertiginously soothing.”  The band participated in an East coast mini-tour with The Brian Jonestown Massacre this past spring, embarked on two central Canadian tours, and continued to tour Europe last summer, in addition to playing multiple festivals in Italy, Spain, France, the UK, USA, Sweden and Denmark.

***

THE VELDT supporting MODERN ENGLISH

April 10: Washington DC – Rock & Roll Hotel

April 11: Philadelphia PA – Johnny Brenda’s

April 13: Boston MA – Brighton Music Hall

April 14: Brooklyn NY – Rough Trade

 

PETER HOLSAPPLE – “Don’t Mention the War” 45

Album: “Don’t Mention the War" b/w "Cinderella Style"

Artist: Peter Holsapple

Label: Hawthorne Curve

Release Date: February 03, 2017

http://halfpearblog.blogspot.com/

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The Upshot: Against richly melodic backdrops, the dB’s member offers up character studies of poetic intent. Oh, and by the way: Support the home team, folks.

BY FRED MILLS

Despite being one of North Carolina’s most prolific and respected songwriters, Winston-Salem ex-pat (and current Durham resident) Peter Holsapple actually hasn’t released that much under his own name. There was early 45 “Big Black Truck,” a primal slab of psychobilly punk garage, released in 1978 at the tail end of his stint with the H-Bombs and serving as a segue into his lengthy tenure with the dB’s; a limited edition Australian-only cassette titled Live Melbourne 1989, which documented a solo radio station session; 1997’s gorgeous Out Of My Way CD; and let us not overlook his 1991 collaboration with dB’s songwriting foil, Chris Stamey, nicely titled Angels, and several accompanying Stamey-Holsapple singles.

Longtime Holsapple watchers, of course, know simply to scour record credits if they want to unearth a wealth of Holsapple material, from the dB’s albums and EPs (include, in this tally, the Chris Stamey & Friends Christmas Time album) and his work with the Continental Drifters, to the very early Rittenhouse Square album and the (possibly apocryphal) Great Lost H-Bombs Double EP 10”—not to mention a number of online-only tracks he’s slipped into the digital realm on occasion.

All of which is to say, a new Peter Holsapple record makes for a special event, one which we fans don’t take lightly. The fact that the new item is a mere two-songer potentially allows each track the kind of proper consideration that might’ve been elusive if placed in the context of a full album. The A-side, “Don’t Mention the War,” finds Holsapple joined by Mark Simonson from the Old Ceremony on drums and acoustic guitar and James Wallace (Phil Cook’s band) on piano and drums, plus tuba textures courtesy Mark Daumen. Holsapple handles guitars and organ while spinning a 6 ½ minute tale in which the narrator observes and comments upon a beloved uncle’s return home and subsequent battle with PTSD (“he sweats and he shouts and he turns white as a sheet… he opens his eyes, he’s still seeing the dead… he hasn’t picked up a guitar in nearly three years, I can scarcely recognize the same man”). Midway through the song the drum pattern turns overtly martial, underscoring the implicit tension in what’s otherwise a richly melodic, midtempo slice of pure pop; the tune’s subtly contrasting sonic elements help lend gravitas to the unsettling lyrical character study.

Meanwhile, “Cinderella Style” has a gentle, nocturnal vibe primarily wrought by Holsapple’s acoustic guitar, bass, and organ, with Simonson adding delicate touches of vibraphone and Skylar Gudasz contributing flute flourishes. “Love can mend a dress,” he sings, going on to describe the creation of a physical garment of calico, gabardine, satin, silk, and velveteen while hinting at the metaphorical implications of the act. The tune is relatively brief, deliberately restrained, and perfectly poetic in its imagery.

Holsapple recently told me that he opted for doing a single because he wasn’t quite sure he should thrust a full album’s worth of new material into the market, given music consumers’ relatively short attention spans and tendency to favor tracks over albums nowadays. Fair enough. But the critic – and yeah, the fan – in me think he’s underselling himself. I told him as much, too. All that music mentioned at the top of this review (not to mention his contributions to other artists’ work, such as R.E.M. and Hootie & the Blowfish) comes stamped with the Tarheel TMOQ, so I have no doubt whatsoever that we fellow North Carolinians would be first in line for a Kickstarter-type campaign and any resulting record store product. People vote with their wallets, after all.

And while I’m loathe to invoke any electoral notions considering what we’ve all gone through recently… could I nominate Peter Holsapple for Minister of Music? Poobah of Power Pop? Raconteur of Rock? Hmmm…. why the hell not?

DOWNLOAD: The vinyl 45 comes with a free download code, so your choice is obvious. Incidentally, you can check out the video for the A-side here.

 

 

FAREWELL TO… Game Theory’s Gil Ray

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1956-2017 R.I.P. Ace drummer also manned the kit for the Rain Parade in recent years. Above photo by Robert Toren.

UPDATE 1/29: Gil’s wife Stacey wrote a moving comment on Facebook, noting that she struggled all week to find the right words. Ultimately, she found the perfect words.You can read it HERE.

By Fred Mills

This one, for obvious reasons to anyone who visits the BLURT site on even an irregular basis, hurts more than most. Gil Ray, erstwhile drummer for ‘80s power pop legends Game Theory, passed away on January 24 following a lengthy battle with cancer. He was only 60, and he leaves behind an extended family of fans, friends, and fellow musicians that, even as I write this obituary, is grieving as heavily and publicly as any artists I can think of from the recent past. Just one visit to Gil’s Facebook page will confirm the outpouring of sorrow, accolades, and remembrances. Many have also posted pictures of Gil from over the years, and one friend also posted an image that I’m taking the liberty of reposting here, because I think it sums the man up in ways I could never match:

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I suppose you can peruse his overall bio readily enough at his Wikipedia page, which summarizes his long career, which started in Charlotte, NC, in the late ‘70s, hit an early peak in the mid ‘80s on the West Coast after he joined Scott Miller’s band Game Theory, and after a spell resumed, as drummer for Miller’s subsequent outfit, the Loud Family. He also embarked on several side projects, additionally cutting a wonderful solo album in 2006, I Am Atomic Man!

Then in 2012 he was tapped for kit duties in the Rain Parade, and enjoyed renewed fame alongside his fellow Paisley Underground alumni. BLURT’s own Jud Cost documented a particularly memorable 2013 concert in San Francisco that featured the Rain Parade, Dream Syndicate, the Three O’Clock, and the Bangles.

On a personal level, I feel compelled to add that I’m eternally grateful to have reconnected, if on a long distance level via Facebook, with Gil during the past six months. Whenever I got to see Game Theory back in the day, he and I would chat and catch up on North Carolina goings-on, especially about Charlotte since I was living there at the time. (He was clearly the hometown hero when GT came to Charlotte, with old friends coming up, hugging, asking him what he’d been doing aside from the band, etc.) As it turns out, Gil had seen some of the Game Theory coverage that yours truly and fellow GT fanatic Michael Toland had been diligently publishing here at BLURT. Among those clips:

Dead Center” album review, 2014

Nighttime of The Season” feature, 2015

Lolita Nation” bonus track MP3, 2015

Unreleased Live ’88 track” MP3, 2015

The Big Shot Chronicles” album review, 2016

Then there was a piece written last year by Jason Cohen and featuring exclusive photos by Robert Toren. It concerned the band during its Big Shot Chronicles period, and for some reason I decided to title it “This Band Could Be Your Life”—yes, a nod to the classic Michael Azerrad book about the alt- and college-rock era in the ‘80s—because Game Theory seemed so emblematic of what a lot of us, from fans to writers to musicians, experienced during that time. Below is one of Toren’s photos that he so kindly shared with us.

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Gil seemed particularly surprised and proud that his old band commanded such reverence among both his fans and his peers, and he expressed his appreciation to me for remembering him and his bandmates so fondly.  And after we had reconnected after all these years, he popped in from time to time with an observation, comment, or anecdote regarding something I’d posted at BLURT. A passage from the Cohen piece involving Gil now stands out in my mind, and by way of tribute, I’m going to repost that section here. Meanwhile, to Gil, all I can say is—you are already deeply, permanently missed, and while I know this is a cliché that gets uttered all the time, at least we still have the music and the memories. As I type this, I’ve been spinning GT music for the past hour. I never get tired of it. Please say hello from all of us here to Scott Miller when you run into him…

By Jason Cohen, from “This Band Could Be Your Life” article: In the fall of 2012, The Rain Parade announced that they’d be getting back together to join the Tim Lee 3 at an Atlanta benefit show for Lee’s Windbreakers compadre Bobby Sutliff, who’d been in a bad car accident. The Rain Parade’s Matt Piucci posted on Facebook that they needed a drummer, prompting both Lee and Dan Vallor (the other co-producer of these reissues) to send separate Facebook messages to Ray, who hadn’t played live in 12 years.

He got the gig. “It was one of the best things a 56 year-old guy could have dreamed of,” Ray says. “We were meant for each other. Some of the best shows I have ever been involved with were the Rain Parade shows. The fact that I was a former member of Game Theory made it even more special. Worlds collided in a fabulous way.”

I’d gotten to know Tim and his wife, Susan Bauer Lee, both on the Internet and IRL, when they started playing in the Tim Lee 3 around 2001. When the Sutliff benefit was first announced, I tweeted that I wished the Dream Syndicate and the Rain Parade could follow that up by playing SXSW with the Windbreakers and Game Theory. When the Three O’Clock reunited to play Coachella 2013, I fantasized out loud on Twitter about Game Theory following suit (and more than once). So when the Lees heard from Gil about Scott’s death, Susan knew I’d be almost as heartbroken as she and Tim were, and sent me a Twitter DM.

Losing Scott in the social media era–balancing public virtual grief with private grief–was “one of the most messed up things I’ve had to deal with, ever,” says Ray. “I did not know how to process and handle my loss, his family’s loss, and his closest friends’ loss…on Facebook.” This was especially true in the days before Miller’s death became public knowledge. That ended up happening during the Three O’Clock’s April 17 show at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, between the two Coachella weekends.

“I knew it was going to be a very emotional night,” says Ray. “Before the band went on, Matt showed me his phone. It was now public knowledge. We hugged each other and cried. I looked up and a large part of the audience were staring at their phones. I will never, ever forget that. It was the most emotionally charged moment of my adult life. This was the new world. This was social media. This was fucked up. But I made it through somehow.”

Then the Rain Parade came to Texas to play Austin Psych Fest. It’s a show I wouldn’t have missed in any case, but now it was also something of a wake. It was where I needed to be to feel Scott’s loss, but also to temporarily fill the void. And it was where Ray and his Rain Parade bandmates needed to be to expel their own grief at high volume. A show of strength. An offering to the rock’n’roll gods. One more for St. Michael.

“The audience knew,” Ray says. “They gave me great respect, and we played what Matt called ‘our most punk rock’ set ever. It was healing, for the moment.”

Below: Gil and Suzi Ziegler performing at a 2013 memorial for Scott Miller. Via Wikipedia: By Lwarrenwiki – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34079211

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NC-based Second Motion Label re-launches as Schoolkids Records

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We ain’t just fishin’ around…

By Fred Mills

The rumors were true: Stephen Judge, our esteemed owner and publisher, who also operates indie label Second Motion (Bettie Serveert, Church, Tommy Keene, Swervedriver, etc.) as well as the three-store North Carolina record store chain Schoolkids Records (yes, where yours truly worked from 2012-2015) is relaunching Second Motion under the Schoolkids imprint. The move coincides with Judge additionally opening an office in Dublin, Ireland, where he is currently living.

The newly-christened record label’s first signing is Chapel Hill’s Happy Abandon.

Full details tba – for the time being, you can read the official press release at the Schoolkids website. Gonna be a party, everyone!

Watch New Peter Holsapple Video, Listen to 45

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The “power-pop powerhouse” is interviewed at the Indy Week, too.

By Fred Mills

Not long ago the news arrived that Peter Holsapple from the dB’s (and Stamey/Holsapple, and Continental Drifters, and R.E.M., and Hootie & the Blowfish, and – what the hell – Rittenhouse Square) was dropping a new 45 on Feb. 3.  Don’t Mention the War” b/w “Cinderella Style will arrive on his own Hawthorne Curve Records, and you can previews both tracks at YouTube and SoundCloud, respectively. Check ’em out, below – the A-side in particular is additionally illuminated with this accompanying video.