Album Review: Long Live The King by The Decemberists

A few days age the Decemberists  closed out the year with their EP Long Live the King, in many ways a counterpart to their release from the beginning of the year’s The King Is Dead. Stylistically the release is in line with the last album’s return to lead singer Colin Meloy’s folksy roots in Montana (where he hails from), which is quite a departure from the bands earlier medley of sea shanties, moanings of chimbly sweeps, paeans to the soldering life which culminated in the prog-rock epic concept album The Hazards of Love. Make no mistake though, Meloy’s literary songwriting style is still in full swing and he still plays the role of the bard- just a slightly different kind of bard (maybe one whose swapped his tweed jacket for a corduroy one). Like the last release the theme of mass catastrophe and disaster is still strong, but this time more from the perspective of the rebuilding after the fall. The Grateful Dead cover of Row Jimmy is surprising faithful to the style of the original, with the same loose groove and amelioration of pain. The amorous romp of I 4 U & U 4 Me is surprisingly lighthearted for a Decemberists’ love song. But its not all an after the storm rejoicing- E. Watson with its fever civil-war pitch dream clasping sounds akin to R.E.M.’s Swan Swan H.  Buryin Davey is downright spooky as well, like stumbling across some wild-west funeral, or perhaps something out of the Southern Gothic tradition. But perhaps the greatest display of Colin’s love for the literary in in the song Sonnet is an actual sonnet from Dante Alighieri (Medieval Italian author of The Divine Comedy) to his dear friend Guido Cavalcanti. This EP certainly has an albums worth of feeling, but with The Decemberists, whether their singing about Elizabethan sailors or life in the deep south, this is to be expected. Now that Colin has a son and is working on children’s books with wife, as well as most of the other band members being involved in other projects, we may see less frequent releases from The Decemberists, so treasures like this are fine indeed.
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Concert Review: The New Pornographers @ UNC

Seeing a band you love in a less than ideal setting can often ruin the entire concert experience. Fortunately The New Pornographers were able to escape this trap while playing UNC’s Carmichael Auditorium last saturday night. Even though the stage was set up towards the middle of the tiny arena while the audience was sequestered to the seats roughly 20 feet away, the band was able to connect to the crowd throughout their set. The six-piece band played a fantastic set consisting of songs from all of their albums. Highlights included All The Old Showstoppers, Sing Me Spanish Techno and crowd favorite The Bleeding Heart Show.

Local favorites The Love Language opened the show with a rousing set that included new songs as well as songs from the bands first two albums. However, the highlight of the set was an energy filled cover of My World Is Empty by Diana Ross and The Supremes.

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Concert Review: Wild Flag At Cat’s Cradle

On the evening of October 21st the indie “super-group” Wild Flag took to the stage at Carrboro’s Cats Cradle. The all female quartet ripped through an hour-long set that drew heavily from their self-titled debut album. While all members played with a tremendous amount of intensity and energy, former Sleater-Kinney front woman Carrie Brownstein stole the show with her high kicks and windmill guitar playing. With their fantastic musicianship and showmanship, Wild Flag proved that they are more than just a side project for some of indie rock’s most notable women.

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October Gen Staff Meeting

A big thank you to everyone for coming to our second general staff meeting of the semester!

Incase you missed it, we gave away three t-shirts, two gift cards, and a pair of tix to 311! And don’t worry, we have four more pairs that will be distributed throughout the week. Tune in and mention the give-away on our Facebook for a change to win!

In other news, congrats to Emily Drago and Emilia Azar for winning Rookie Cookie and Stax on Deck for wining DJ of the month! Both shows received $10 iTunes gift cards.

Stay classy and keep your radio tuned in!

WSOE exec staff

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311 Ticket Giveaway!

311 is coming to Greensboro Coliseum Special Event Center on November 29th and WSOE is giving away tickets! To enter go to the WSOE facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/wsoe893fm) and write on our wall that you would like to enter the 311 ticket giveaway. Winners will be contacted after the drawing occurs at the end of the week.

Tickets for the show can be purchased at the Greensboro Coliseum Box Office, online at Ticketmaster.com, select Walmart locations or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. For more information visit http://www.greensborocoliseum.com.

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Review: Hopscotch Music Festival Day 2

Dodos (City Plaza)

The San Francisco based Dodos are best known for their beautiful and catchy indie rock that is usually based around an acoustic guitar. However, at Hopscotch the band put aside their acoustic instrumentation and put on one of the better rock n roll shows I have seen in a while. The songs off of their newest album No Color sounded great on the big speakers in city plaza and new songs found new life with the more “rocking” instrumentation.

Guided By Voices (City Plaza)

Right after Guided By Voices’ headlining set in City Plaza a friend pointed out that the band is pretty much a bar band. While it is easy to see how one could think that, fans of the band realized that they were seeing one of the most prolific songwriters of the 90’s perform his classic songs, possibly for the last time. Whether or not the band’s set ends up being the bands last, it was clear that they were playing like it was. Guided By Voices packed in songs like Gold Star For Robot Boy, Game Of Pricks and many other fan favorites into their all too brief set.

Swans (Fletcher Opera Hall)

It’s hard to hold a large crowd’s attention at a festival when there are ten other bands playing in other venues at the same time. For two hours the legendary genre-expanding band did just that. After opening with a 30-minute version of track No Words/No Thoughts the band filled the Fletcher Opera Hall with their abrasive yet beautiful songs. Continue reading

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Review: Hopscotch Music Festival Day 1

 The Love Language (Lincoln Theater)

The local favorites played a blistering set that consisted of songs off of both of their albums, as well as a few new songs. The band had much of the crowd dancing and singing along for most of the set. Highlights of the set included a horn section joining the band for Wilmont and a fantastic cover of Diana Ross’ My World Is Empty Without You.

 Black Lips (Lincoln Theater)

 Atlanta based garage rockers the Black Lips are known for their rowdy shows and this one was no different. Throughout the set the band fought with security, made out with each other and even played baseball with cans of beer and their guitars. With many bands these kinds of shenanigans would keep the bands from putting on a show that was musically sound. However, The Black Lips were able to act up a bit while still ripping through songs from their newest album Arabia Mountain as well as older fan favorites like Bad Kids and O Katrina.

Check out reviews of Lower Dens, Dinosaur Feathers and Spider Bags after the jump.

Continue reading

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Review: Megafaun @ Cat’s Cradle(9/22)

Just two days after their critically acclaimed new album was released, hometown heroes Megafaun took to the stage at the newly renovated Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro.

After taking the stage, the band quickly launched into the spacious and roaming “Real Slow.” The first thing most longtime fans of the band noticed was the addition of bassist Nick Sanborn. His addition allowed the band to create a larger sound, and allowed the other band members to concentrate more on their vocals and instruments. Next came the frenetic first single off of their new album, “These Words.” Considering this song relies heavily on field recordings, the band did an excellent job recreating it in a live setting.

The rest of the main set pulled heavily from the band’s newest album and last year’s Heretofore EP. Highlights from the set included drummer Joe Westerlund stepping away from the drum kit to play guitar and sing on “Second Friend”, as well as the epic “Get Right.”

Continue reading

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Lost In The Trees, Hammer No More The Fingers and More To Play Duke’s Music In The Garden

Summer is quickly approaching and that means that outdoor concerts are just around the corner. One of the triangle’s best summer music traditions, Duke Perfomance’s Music In The Garden series, has announced the bands that will play the series in 2011.

The summer music series kicks off June 1 with Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys. Other bands that will take the stage at Duke Gardens this summer include Chapel Hill’s Lost In The Trees, Holy Ghost Tent Revival and local rockers Hammer No More The Fingers. Tickets to all shows are ten dollars. You can check out the full schedule below and for more information visit the Duke Performances website.

6/1 Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys

6/8 Fight The Big Bull

6/15 The Parkington Sisters

6/22 Hammer No More The Fingers

6/29 Shirlette & The Dynamite Brothers

7/6 Holy Ghost Tent Revival

7/13 Lost In The Trees

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