Wounded Messenger’s Top 12 Albums and Concerts of 2012

If I replace a top “ten” albums or concerts of the year list with a number corresponding to the year, by 2030 I won’t even have to decide anymore.

It’s dangerous and a bit cheesy, just like most popular music. But I will give in to the urge to not have to chop two more albums off this list and roll with my top 12 albums of 2012, in alphabetical order.

Ben Folds FiveThe Sound of the Life of the Mind
Choir of Young BelieversRhine Gold
DiivOshin
Father John MistyFear Fun
Hiss Golden MessengerPoor Moon
Maps and AtlasesBeware and Be Grateful
Matthew E. WhiteBig Inner
The Mountain GoatsTranscendental Youth
Patterson HoodHeat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance
Punch BrothersWho’s Feeling Young Now?
Sharon Van EttenTramp
Tame ImpalaLonerism

What’s that you say? Serve myself? OK, here are 5 honorable mentions, AKA albums 13 through 17….

First Aid KitThe Lion’s Roar
Jason LytleDept. of Dissappearance
Jimmy Herring BandSubject to Change Without Notice
Titus AndronicusLocal Business
WoodsBend Beyond

If you follow the Twitter, you know I saw a ton of shows in 2012. Here are my 12 favorites, in alphabetical order.

The Grandmothers of Invention – Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC
The Hold Steady – Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC
Journey/Pat Benetar/Loverboy – Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC
Matthew E. White – Fletcher Opera Theater, Raleigh, NC
Puscifer – Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN
Roger Waters – PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC
Rodrigo y Gabriela – Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN
Superjam – Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN
Toon & The Real Laww – Pour House Music Hall, Raleigh, NC
Warren Haynes Presents The Christmas Jam – Asheville, NC
White Denim/Maps and Atlases/Tiny Victories – The Lincoln Theater, Raleigh, NC
Victor Wooten Band/Jimmy Herring Band – Carolina Theater, Durham, NC

Look for live tweets from the 24th Warren Haynes Christmas Jam this weekend, and a review too. Happy Holidays!

Update: New Album Review and Two New Concert Reviews, Plus Photos

I’ve been stupid busy lately with shows. Thankfully I have a couple of weeks off until more great music rolls our way.

Here’s what I’ve been up to over the last few weeks:

Concert Review – White Denim, Maps and Atlases, Tiny Victories at Lincoln Theater, Raleigh, NC

Album Review – The Infamous Stringdusters, Silver Sky

Concert Review – Jimmy Herring Band & Victor Wooten Band, Carolina Theater, Durham, NC

Enjoy these shots from the shows!

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Jimmy Herring Album Review, Perpetual Groove Show Review, and Hopscotch

If you’ve been following the Twitter feed you know that I’m currently embroiled in the Hopscotch Music Festival. Look for a review and lots of photos in a few days.

In the meantime, I wanted to post a couple of my things that went up at Glide Magazine recently: a review of Jimmy Herring’s insanely awesome new album Subject To Change Without Notice, and a review of Perpetual Groove’s August 16, 2012 show at The Lincoln Theater. See below for a few photos from that show!

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Photos: The Oatmeal Conspiracy, Raleigh,NC, August 20, 2011

The Oatmeal Conspiracy continues to evolve and improve, and their set at Raleigh, NC’s Pour House Music Hall served as a showcase for their expanding catalog.  As one of the most talented local bands on the circuit, the quartet’s unique instrumentation and boundless energy make them a joy to watch and hear.

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The Oatmeal Conspiracy is Brett Connor (drums), Chad Johnson (keys/guitar/vocals), Matt Levine (bass/vocals), and Mitch Morton (saxes/guitar/vocals)

Photos: Triple Wide, Raleigh, NC, August 5, 2011

The always fun Triple Wide put on a free show for First Friday at Raleigh’s downtown City Market and drew a large, diverse crowd.  Cranking out compelling originals and people-pleasing covers from the likes of Warren Zevon, The Staples Singers, and Jimi Hendrix, the quartet proved to be the perfect complement to a steamy Friday evening.  Mitch Morton of The Oatmeal Conspiracy also provided special sax accompaniment.

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Triple Wide is: Dale Bryce (bass), David Daniels(drums/vocals), Whitney Pearsall (vocals), and Steven Stewart (guitar/vocals)

Music Flows on St. Patricks Day at Raleigh’s Pour House Music Hall

At The Pour House Music Hall in Raleigh, Steve Mang embodies the phrase “he’s a regular”. The guy is second only to the employees when it comes to attendance, and he’s seen a ludicrous amount of music at the venue, so you know he won’t steer you wrong when vouching for music. “The Oatmeal Conspiracy is always good,” he said, heading into the venue for a St. Patrick’s Day triple-bill that featured them along with two more bands, Triple Wide and Waylandsphere.

Pearsall, Bryce, and Morton

Anyone that frequents the bar knows that those three names on a poster means one thing – a night of non-stop collaboration where three bands take on a group mindset. The difference on this night, though, was the deep, rich sound of two relatively new local bands turning the corner and heading toward bigger and better things. The Triple Wide foursome is coming up on two years together, and there’s been a pronounced increase in familiarity amongst the band since their inception. Their newfound confidence and tightness has greatly benefited every aspect of their music. The Oatmeal Conspiracy has been together for much longer, but recently unearthed an entirely new sound thanks to the addition of a full-time bassist. The two bands are playing better than they ever have right now, and the combination of the two groups on this holiday night only amplified that fact. Continue reading

Festival Update: High Sierra, Smilefest, and More

Now that things have cooled off from the intense, day-long Bonnaroo lineup announcement, let’s see how the rest of the fest world is doing, shall we?

Quincy, California’s High Sierra Music Festival has announced their lineup, and they’re keeping things relatively low-key this year, playing to their built in audience with acts like The Avett Brothers, Ozomatli, Femi Kuti and Positive Force, Railroad Earth, Bela Fleck with Edgar Meyer and Zakir Hussain, Dr. Dog, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Cornmeal, Blitzen Trapper, the New Mastersounds, The Slip, The Infamous Stringdusters, Telepath, Zach Deputy, and more. It’s a modest but high-quality lineup befitting the event’s history.

The rejuvenated Smilefest has a slightly improved lineup, as Michael Franti and Spearhead, Jeff Coffin Mu’tet, Josh Phillips Folk Festival and Barefoot Manner (acoustic) have joined Acoustic Syndicate, Keller Williams, and a number of local artists. 1990’s-era jamband Quiver will also perform a reunion show at the event.

The Joshua Tree Music Festival keeps quietly adding new acts, such as New Orleans brass stunners Bonerama and mor eCalifornia talent such as The Heavy Guilt and Evaros.

February 19th will bring more news from the Nateva Festival, and March should be full of announcements from Mile High, Lollapalooza, All Good, Pitchfork, and maybe even some early leaks from Austin City Limits, along with “round 2” of Bonnaroo.