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Charles Frank

Tyler The Mediocre

It had all the makings of an epic night. The Cat’s Cradle had been sold out for weeks, and Tyler the Creator’s new studio album was set to release on April 2nd. I knew I could be in for something special. What I discovered however was a different kind of ‘epic’ than I was expecting. Let me begin by saying that I almost feel bad proceeding with this review in this manner, because it makes me feel like an old timer complaining about today’s youth and their crazy antics with my old timer buddies while sipping a saucer of...

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Cat's Cradle: Lotus

  Let me start out by saying that at times I have been somewhat resistant to the tidal wave of electronica and the newfangled dub-step craze that fascinates the youth. However, I am never one to discount true talent and musicianship, and thus my opinions and preferences on what some have dubbed “Jamtronica” have changed through the years, and continue to shift as the musical landscape evolves. Lotus is a prime example of this transition, bridging areas of instrumental musical expertise and digital innovation to create a truly unique sound. Lotus, formed in 1999 at Goshen College in Indiana...

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Bonnaroo Rundown

  As the winter chills begin to draw to a close and the spring air starts to seep in, excitement and cheer seem to be contagious.  People are out and about, flowers begin to bloom, and for college students everywhere, the semester’s end is in sight.  As summer’s vacation plans are commencing with formulation, many young adults waited in eager anticipation of last week’s artist lineup announcement for the Bonnaroo music and arts festival, held annually in Manchester, Tennessee.  The event held June 13-16, draws crowds from all across the country, including a good representation of patrons from North...

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A Night at Carolina Brewery

As my comrade (and Chapelboro editor) Jordan Rogers and I stepped into Carolina Brewery on Wednesday evening it occurred to us that although we wanted a column out of the experience, we had no idea or intentions as to what form it would take. I am not a beer connoisseur by any means (though I do enjoy drinking them), even if many of my close friends are, and thusly I am kind of a novice appreciator of good brewing, if nothing else by association only. While we did intend to sample several of Carolina Brewery’s finest, this presented a...

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Five Local Shows To Catch In February

Although the temperatures outside remain low, the local music circuit presented by the Cat’s Cradle and the Local 506 are sufficient enough to heat up the chilly Chapel Hill evenings. The diversity of performers this month ranges from electronic jam fusion all the way to new age Americana, and there are items in the calendar that should satisfy wide range of ears. Below are a few predicted heavy hitters (based of course on my own experience) that will take the stage in the upcoming weeks.   February 8th- Kooley High at the Local 506 Kooley High brings their soulful hip hop sound straight out of Durham as they prepare for their upcoming album release. Their upcoming record is executively produced by nationally renowned producer 9th Wonder, also a North Carolina native. This show will find the group fresh off of the heels of an appearance in Brooklyn, NY, and is sure to have local hip hop heads bouncing.   February 12th- Patterson Hood at the Cat’s Cradle Patterson Hood is most known for his role as a founding member of The Drive-By Truckers, a group he formed with his roommate in Athens, Georgia in 1996. Hood plays a sweet southern rock infused Americana sound, and it is down-right soul soothing. Accompanying Hood at the Cat’s Cradle will be Drive-By Trucker band-mates Jay Gonzalez and Brad Morgan, and this show...

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Enter The Brand New Life

Last Tuesday, The Brand New Life trundled their operation down I-40 to heat up the Carrboro eve at The Cat’s Cradle. The band incorporates elements of different types of music into what materializes as a kind of fusion jazz/rock/world beat amalgamation which is a tremendously refreshing sound to the music lover’s ear. Reminiscent of some sort of gourmet quiche that hit’s several buds on one’s taste palate, The Brand New Life’s sound is hard to put your finger on, although it is easy to dance and let the sweet sounds of their horns move your body. The band draws on influences from Fela and Sean Kuti, and boasts a diverse array of musicians in order to create a unique sound. On this evening, bassist Seth Barden was really capturing the energy of the moderately crowded Tuesday night dance floor, shaking his long hair to and fro as he switched between stand-up and electric bass on several numbers. I have had the pleasure of not only observing The Brand New Life’s growth as a group over the past four years, but also of knowing them personally. I have been watching some members of this band perform their craft since high school, in venues like the musty Grimsley High School auditorium, the Greensboro school from which several current and previous members of the group graduated. One of the defining aspects that...

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Let's Get Cosmic

On March 25, 1993, the Grateful Dead played in what is Mecca for most North Carolina sports fans, the Dean E. Smith Center. The venue was free to host the event as the Heels were on their way to a 1993 National Championship in New Orleans. Just over two years later, Jerry Garcia, the heralded front man for the Dead, would die of a heart attack, a result of a hard-fought battle with drugs and obesity. The death left a wake of “Dead Heads” wondering what would become of their band, their gatherings, and their community as a whole....

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Ralph Stanley Keeps On Strummin'

Although the wind ripped and the temperature was deterring, the warm glows of smiles and camaraderie lit up Carrboro’s The ArtsCenter on Friday night as Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys prepared to take the stage. Stanley, now 85 years of age has been a pioneer in bluegrass music since the mid 1940’s, and while his age was certainly evident on Friday, it was simply magical to witness a man who has seen and done so much for his genre deliver a performance in such an intimate venue. I am a huge bluegrass fan. However like most of...

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