Friday, June 27, 2014

Antiseen forging ahead with new guitarist

Charlotte punk veteran Antiseen announced earlier this week that it would soldier on after losing founding guitarist Joe Young to a heart attack in May. Longtime fan and friend Russ Ward, who has toured with the band as a crew member, will assume the role of guitarist. Ward (pictured on left) previously fronted his own bands as Mad Brother Ward, but has been away from the stage for quite a while.

Ward will make his Antiseen debut at the Muddy Roots Festival in Cookeville, Tenn. Labor Day weekend. 

When singer Jeff Clayton told me Joe voiced his wish for Antiseen to continue on if anything ever happened to him, Ward was the only person I could imagine taking over on guitar. Last fall when I did a week long 30th Antiversary run of blogs talking to some of their fans, friends and people who experienced the history of Antiseen, I ended it with a piece from Ward. He's written liner notes, toured with the band, and sold their t-shirts at the merch booth. I don't think that I've ever seen him happier than helping out backstage at the 25th anniversary show at Tremont. He pretty much says that seeing Antiseen at 17 changed his life. But in recent years he stepped away from his own bands, which he addressed in the last few lines of our conversation back in September.

"I always saw myself helping Antiseen more so than doing my own thing. They were my band. I always loved what they do. I think what they do is important," he said. 

Ward posted on Facebook that it is his intention to honor Joe's memory and I have no doubt he will. You can read his post hereI've also seen him play until he bleeds, so he'll fit right in.

And while we're on the subject, can we get a Joe Young throbblehead from Aggronautix and make it a pair? 

This week's hot concerts

David & Valerie Mayfield
Friday  9 p.m., Double Door, 1218 Charlottetown Ave., $5,  
Before Jessica Lea and David Mayfield were stunning roots and indie audiences the siblings cut their musical teeth touring festivals with their parents’ bluegrass band. Their dad David, Sr. lost his job in November and, encouraged by fans and their kids, he and his wife decided to hit the road harmonizing as a duet as they first did years ago.

Hip Abduction
Friday  10 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $6-$8,
The St. Petersburg, Florida sextet grew out of a trio of surfers jamming on African instruments. Today the full group mines traditional reggae, laid back dub, and Afro-beat with an arsenal of horns and synthesizers which has helped its self-titled debut peaked on Billboard’s reggae charts at No. 5.

Saturday  10 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St., $10, 
Snug Harbor’s Knocturnal hip-hop series is on a role with D.C. renaissance rapper, Oddisee. His credits list work with the Roots, DJ Jazzy Jeff, De La Soul, and Little Brother. He released his own debut of poetic rhymes over subdued, jazz-flecked tracks in 2012 followed by an equally spatial instrumental album in 2013 (from which the above track comes).

Average White Band
Sunday  7 p.m., Knight Theater, 420 S. Tryon St., $34.50-$64.50,  
The frequently sampled Scottish funk powerhouse responsible for `70s disco crossovers like “Pick Up the Pieces,” “Soul Searching” and “Work to Do” as well as a slew of `80s R&B and dance singles remains anchored by original members Alan Gorrie and Onnie McIntyre 42 years into its career.

Jefferson Starship
Sunday  7 p.m., Amos’, 1423 S. Tryon St., $23-$28,  
The classic rock band’s nomenclature can lead to confusion, but this second incarnation was responsible for high-on-harmonies `70s hits like “Miracles” and “Jane.” Founder Paul Kantner still heads it up with Cathy Richardson - who has played Janis Joplin Off Broadway and sings with Big Brother & the Holding Co. - assuming Grace Slick’s role.

Swans/Xiu Xiu
Tuesday  8 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., $25-$30,
After reactivating the beloved, yet challenging, no wave band four years ago after a 13 year hiatus, Michael Gira (now 60) is making some of the most provocative, critically acclaimed and commercially successful music of his career - most recently with the 2-hour double album “To Be Kind.”

Wednesday  9 p.m., Double Door, 1218 Charlottetown Ave., $7,  
This transcontinental trio of guitarist Theophilus Akai (originally from Ghana), vocalist Cynthia Murray, and percussionist Dene Stephens beautifully blend soul, acoustic rock, pop, and roots music. The results can veer from Duhks-like country soul to what it might sound like if Katy Perry and Dave Matthews collaborated.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

NASCAR HOF premiers Rockin' & Racin' exhibit Tuesday

While NASCAR and music have been linked over the years, the two industries have become cozy bedfellows over the last decade with drivers appearing in music videos, artists sponsoring cars, and of course the pre-race live performances. Many drivers are music fans and many musicians are race fans. Charlotte-based drivers like Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Jimmie Johnson show up at clubs on occasion for concerts. Heck there's even a sub-genre I refer to as NASCAR rock. The NASCAR Hall of Fame plays on that connection with the Rockin' & Racin' Exhibit, which it unveils to the public Tuesday.

Curated with the assistance of music execs Mike Curb (Curb Records) and Scott Borchetta (Big Machine Records) and 3 Doors Down's Brad Arnold, the collection boasts cars, uniforms, helmets, guitars, and other items that illustrate the connection between racing and music.

The cars, of course, are the biggest draw. Those include the 1964 Late Model Plymouth race car driven by Marty Robbins, the 1959 Corvette from Brad Paisley's "Old Alabama" video, the 2011 Camaro from Rascal Flatts' "Red Camaro" video, the 1936 moonshine hauling Ford Sedan from Brantley Gilbert's "Bottom's Up" video, Dale Earnhardt's 1980 No. 2 Chevrolet sponsored by Mike Curb, the 2005 NASCAR Weekly super truck driven by Scott Borchetta, and Juan Pablo Montoya's 2012 No. 42 Chevy sponsored by Taylor Swift.

Other notable items include Ron Hornaday Jr.'s Kiss-themed uniform and Rusty Wallace's Goo Goo Dolls helmet. There's also a digital jukebox with NASCAR-themed music (now there's an iTunes playlist idea for you).

The exhibit will run through 2014 in the Great Hall. Tickets run from $12.95 for children age 5 to 12 to $19.95 for adults. Seniors and military personnel receive a $2 discount. For more information about the rock and racing exhibit check out

Monday, June 23, 2014

Taking Back Sunday's new album is the soundtrack to transition

There are particular albums that represent certain eras, relationships, and milestones. You hear a song and things that happened decades before come flooding back. Driving to Queens University for my first day as a graduate student three weeks ago I popped Taking Back Sunday’s new album "Happiness Is" into my cd player. Winding my way through the back roads of Myers Park that week, I fell in love with the album. By the third morning I was singing along with "Flicker Flicker Fade" and "Better Homes and Gardens" with no desire to listen to anything else that week.

Coincidentally Taking Back Sunday (which includes Charlotte transplants Adam Lazzara and John Nolan) just announced its return to the Fillmore October 8. Tickets went on sale Friday. I hope they play a lot of this album. 

I knew mid-week that "Happiness Is" would forever be tied to the experience of going back to school; stepping on campus after 16 years away from Queens, and diving headlong into an intense MFA creative writing program that I’d waffled about even applying to for years and was sort of floored that I actually got into (my acceptance came within days of mailing my application package, which added to the shock). 

But “Happiness Is” is about transitions, maturity, looking back and moving on. On "Flicker Flicker Fade" Lazzara sings "Destroy what you create," which could be an unintentional description of a creative writing workshop where your peers and professors talk about your work for what seems like forever. It's exhausting. It's the process of tearing down and rebuilding for the better. I hear some of those same themes on this record. 

I don't know exactly what TBS is writing about, but I get a sense from interviewing Nolan and Lazzara that we're in similar places in our lives. They're a few years younger, but they're both parents of young children negotiating married life and work (which isn't your typical nine to five lifestyle) in their thirties. Maybe that's why this album resonates with me. 

"Happiness Is" and Damon Albarn's "Everyday Robots" are my summer albums. That realization made me think about other albums that I associate with transitional points in life. Hoyt Axton, Ricky Skaggs' early solo albums, and Hank Williams, Jr. remind me of the summer my father lost his job. We cruised through the mountains of WV with the windows down, hiked through state parks with our dogs and swam in the Greenbrier River. 

For decades Metallica was unfortunately attached to my first boyfriend (I could hardly listen to them), while I remember other bands (the Accused, Gwar, Biohazard) more fondly because they're associated with better boyfriends. 

Rainer Maria’s "Look Now Look Again" reminds me of working at the East Blvd. Record Exchange right after college. Jack Off Jill’s "Clear Hearts Grey Flowers," and the Donnas' "Turn 21" remind me of the six months I spent in Phoenix. I remember painting my house to The National's "Alligator" and Nelly Furtado's "Loose" the first year I was married. 

Going back to Queens is like coming full circle though. As I was smiling for my new student ID I recalled my first - long fake fire engine red hair, parted down the middle and a Breeders t-shirt I got at Lollapalooza in Pittsburgh. That shirt is long gone, but the girl who tied so much weight to the music she surrounded herself with is obviously still here.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Few tickets left for Andy the Doorbum's LP performance Friday

It's not often you buy a ticket to a show not knowing what to expect, but Charlotte musician, visual and performance artist Andy the Doorbum asks fans and friends to trust his artistry Friday when he celebrates the release of his new album "The Fool" with a show that strikes me as pretty special. All I know from his text, Instagram post, and Tumblr is that it's an hour long performance at a warehouse behind Charles Holloman Productions in Southend.

I know only 100 tickets were available and about 80 of those are already spoken for. Tickets, which include a vinyl copy of "The Fool" with digital download, are $20 for standard 180 gram black vinyl and $25 for limited edition marbled vinyl. I opted for the latter, which is limited to 100.

I don't know what to expect from the show, but doors open at 7 p.m. and no one will be allowed inside after the show starts at 8 p.m. (hmmm...I hope there's no audience participation).

I do know that while Charlotte is known for NASCAR, banking, and sports, it's home to one of the most unique musicians and performance artists in the Southeast in Andy Fenstermaker, who got his stage name working the door at the Milestone Club almost a decade ago (wow, time flies).

In the last few years he's committed himself fully to artistic pursuits I can't always explain outside of music and visual art, but he's a passionate and inspiring person. His song "The Sisters" is the title to a chapter in a book I'm working on. I can listen to that song and I'm completely transported into this world that I created and that Andy's song helps me get back to.

It's not just his art that's inspiring. It's him. About eight months ago my husband came home from Snug Harbor. He said he'd talked to Andy and had decided to go back to school. Less than a month later he was enrolled at UNCC studying geology and environmental science. I don't know what Andy said, but it must've been something.

So I trust whatever Andy the Doorbum has in store for his audience. We see entertainment and how it's aggressively marketed on a daily basis. I suspect there will be more to this than that.

If you're curious, hop on those tickets. They'll be gone soon. Follow this link and click on the picture. Tickets are only available through pre-sale and won't be for sale at the door.

(Photo by Sarah Sitkin)

Friday, June 20, 2014

This week's hot concerts

Bakalao Stars
Friday  10 p.m., Chop Shop, 399 E. 35th St., $10,
Nearly a decade ago this Charlotte upstart was the new kid on the block in NC’s percolating Latin rock scene. Today they’re the last band standing from those days, still churning out vibrant, Spanish-tinged, tropical rock, ska, and reggae with plenty of party-sparking joy on their third album, "Afro-Dijiak." They celebrate the release Friday.

Say Anything/Front Bottoms
Saturday  7:30 p.m., Amos’, 1423 S. Tryon St., $17-$21,
Max Bemis tapped 16 guest vocalist for “Hebrews” - his just-released ruminations on cultural and religious identity. His live band includes musicians from Taking Back Sunday, Moving Mountains, Terrible Things, Moneen, and Eisley. Front Bottoms write snappy rock like a new Violent Femmes and pays tribute to Grandma on its new “Rose” EP.

Golden Era of Hip-Hop
Saturday  8 p.m., Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $60.50-$99,  
Thrice reunited `80s/`90s hip-hop duo EPMD joins influential emcee Rakim, Naughty By Nature’s Treach, enduring duo Das EFX, and `80s hit maker Rob Base (who lost his wife in October and old partner DJ EZ Rock in late April) for an old school hip-hop revival.

1960’s Rock & Roll Reunion
Saturday  8 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., $15,
For the second year 1960s era Charlotte rock n’ rollers regroup to launch (a new edition of) the book by musician Jacob Berger and photographer/writer Daniel Coston chronicling that era. The Mannish Boys, the Good, Bad & the Ugly, Young Ages, and thee Dirty Beats perform.

Saturday  7:30 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., $30-$40,
The soft-spoken Detroit soul singer and go-to guest vocalist returns with South African R&B singer Lira in tow. Already a household name overseas, the platinum selling vocalist makes her US debut with “Rise Again,” a collection of R&B, jazz, and reggae touched by her African roots.

Counting Crows/Toad the Wet Sprocket
Tuesday  7 p.m., Uptown Amphitheatre, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $38-$80.50,
The `90s nostalgia tours of the last few years may be passing over Charlotte this summer, but these two `90s pop-rock animals won’t disappoint with pockets full of hits as well as new material that like “New Constellation” - Toad’s first new album in over a decade - holds up to the old.

Wednesday  8 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $30,
The New York duo makes heartfelt, emotive electronic music that has more in common with the ethereal whirl of Cocteau Twins and funky R&B than cold, futuristic synthesizers. The band is enjoying a jump with its new album, “Voices,” selling out NY’s 4,000 capacity Terminal 5 in advance of this week’s show there.

Alejandro Escovedo
Thursday  8 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $17-$20,
Now in his sixties the literary Texas songwriter, who No Depression magazine crowned “artist of the decade” in the `90s, combines his punk roots, country twang, and rock n’ roll swagger for an album that sounds like it was made by someone half his age - 2012’s “Big Station.” With Austin’s BettySoo.

Monday, June 16, 2014

NC's rock n' roll origins revisited in concert and book Saturday

A revamped second edition printing of "There Was a Time: Rock & Roll in the 1960s Charlotte, and North Carolina" - a book chronicling the region's early rock n' roll years by Charlotte musician Jacob Berger and photographer/journalist Daniel Coston - was published earlier this week.

Saturday at Neighborhood Theatre the writers will celebrate the era with some of the musicians that fill the book's pages. The Mannish Boys, Thee Dirty Beats, the Good, Bad & the Ugly, and the Young Ages at the 2nd Annual Charlotte `60s Rock n' Roll Reunion.

In addition to its new design the updated version of the book includes new interviews and newly found photos and a discography, index, and more complete story of the era. Tickets for Saturday's concert are $15. Show starts at 8 p.m.

Coston discussed the book last week at the Charlotte Museum of History and will emcee Saturday's show.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Review: Damon Albarn stops in Raleigh on way to 'Roo

Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz stopped at Raleigh's Lincoln Theatre Thursday on his way to perform at Bonnaroo Saturday for a beautiful, fun show.

I expected a fairly chill, down tempo set considering the quiet, slower material on Albarn's new solo album "Everyday Robots," but while the set had those quiet moments it also contained real rockers and, as anyone familiar with Albarn's diverse work would expect, segues into reggae, dub, gospel, and hip-hop.

The show began with "Lonely Press Play" and the title track to the new album - both standouts. "We are everyday robots on our phones" Albarn sang to a room full of people with devices in hand snapping photos of him, recording video, or, in my case, taking notes. It was ironic, but expected. I put my phone in my pocket.

The concert was originally slated for a larger seated theater, but the club turned out to be an appropriate setting for a show that shifted between stark intimacy and more upbeat material. His voice sounded lovely. The band was a crack pool of musicians with lively chemistry and a crisp, live energy. The bassist/guitarist/ukulele player, who was dressed like Cab Calloway, had charisma to spare.

The crowd whooped as the group lit into Gorillaz' "Tomorrow Comes Today," but those more familiar moments were kept to a minimum. He did a handful of tracks from his other projects the Good, the Bad, & the Queen and the little known Rocket Juice & the Moon, as well as a number of Gorillaz songs. He premiered "Broken" with the Austin Choir Band and Heavy Seas. However big hits "Clint Eastwood" and "Feel Good Inc." were saved for Bonnaroo where the original collaborators Del the Funky Homosapien and De La Soul could join him. Blur's "Song 2," which he played in Boston earlier this week, did not make the cut either.

But you couldn't fault him for focusing on beautiful autobiographical gems like "Hollow Ponds" and "You and Me" (two of my favorites from the new album, which may be one of the best records of 2014). When a famous frontman releases a solo album, I think there's this idea that it'll just be for hardcore fans and it won't hold up to the rest of their catalog. Albarn's "Everybody Robots," while much more intimate and quiet than any of his previous projects, is downright astounding in its beauty and poetry. "Hollow Ponds" is incredibly autobiographical right down to locations and dates. The crowd roared when he referenced Blur's 1993 album "Modern Life is Rubbish" in the lyrics, but those same words - like many on the album - paint a picture of the songwriter's early life.

Albarn and his band elevated the material with the sense of joy, which they repeated at Bonnaroo. Raleigh's concert also debuted the Austin Choir Band - a gospel vocal group who accompanied Albarn on a handful of songs. Their presence added another layer and sense of joy and spontaneity to the show. He said they'd only rehearsed at sound check earlier that day.

Ending the set with two Blur songs ("Out of Time" and the rocking "All Your Life"), he and the band returned for another Gorillaz song - "Last Living Souls" as well as two more new standouts "Mr. Tembo" - a gospel, world music sing-along - and the church-worthy anthem "Heavy Seas of Love."

At one point as my husband held our five-year-old at the edge of the crowd on the floor, a man on Albarn's crew came up to me and said in a thick English accent, "Let me get a set list for your baby!" As a parent the fastest way to a mother's heart is through her child and the staff at Lincoln Theatre and Albarn's crew were incredibly kind to us. I almost decided not to go when they moved the venue to a general admission club, but I'm so glad we made the trip. I would have regretted not going after watching his show at Bonnaroo online.

Albarn was considered a celebrity in the `90s and I was a Brit-pop nut, but at the show he seemed very normal, dressed in jeans, the same blue shirt he wore at Bonnaroo and a different blue jacket with a hint of stubble. He was gracious, funny, and even a little self-deprecating about his guitar skills.

This was my five-year-old's fourth show in little over a month, but this one was extremely special. He loves music, but Blur was his first experience with having a favorite band. Blur's 2013 reunion was reserved for massive global festivals (the closest was Coachella which I woke him up at 1 a.m. to watch streaming live online). Albarn's Raleigh show was his chance to see his hero in person, in a much smaller setting than he'd ever see Blur. Sure he would've loved to have heard Blur's big singles or "Clint Eastwood," but he was still satisfied with "Everyday Robots" and "Mr. Tembo" and now he's diving into Gorillaz catalog.

Attaching so much meaning to the show may certainly color my review, but Albarn's music - like the Ramones - has also taken on new meaning in my life because of my son's love of it. I was fan enough to have albums by both, but I've learned much more about those two bands and their catalogs in the last year than I ever did as a casual fan. And "Everyday Robots" has given me a new appreciation for Albarn as a songwriter and as a down to earth, everyday person. This documentary, which I wrote about on the blog a couple months back, really illustrates that. I highly recommend it if you are a fan of any of his work (or even if you're just curious). You can watch it here.

Friday, June 13, 2014

This week's hot concerts

Gareth Asher
Friday  8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $10-$12,
The Georgia folk-rock singer-songwriter has a soulful, yet plainspoken delivery reminiscent of James Taylor, Van Morrison, and Amos Lee. He’s paired with fellow Atlanta musician Besides Daniel.

Deniro Farrar
Friday  8 p.m., Tremont, 400 W. Tremont Ave., Free to the first 200 concertgoers, then price TBA.
The Charlotte rapper dubbed “the leader of cult rap” celebrates the recent release of his Vice Records debut, “The Rebirth EP.” He’s already generated buzz via XXL magazine, Spin, and Pitchfork, who praised his self-released 2013 “The Patriarch” comparing him to Young Buck, Freddie Gibbs, and Bun B.

Junior Astronomers
Friday  9 p.m., The Milestone, 3400 Tuckaseegee Rd., $7,
Through diligent touring, an increasingly memorable catalog, and an organic approach that doesn’t place technique or delivery over pure, unfiltered emotion, this long running indie rock outfit has become one of Charlotte’s best national hopefuls. With One Another, Muscle and Bone, Pullman Strike, Means Well, Black Market, and Alright.

Rock the Park
Saturday  4 p.m., Carowinds Palladium, 14523 Carowinds Blvd., $54.19-$70.09,
The annual Christian music festival returns with veteran `90s rock band Third Day, Grammy winning rapper Lecrae, and fellow Atlanta singer/rapper Jamie Grace filling out an eclectic bill heavy on Georgia-based artists.

Beatles Tribute Night
Saturday  7:30 p.m., Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St., $19.80-$30,
In its 11th year John Tosco’s all-star, variety show-style tribute remains a local favorite. This year’s lineup includes the Loudermilks, Reeve Coobs, gogo Pilot, Love Canon, Los Trabucos, Muriel Anderson, Vicki Genfan, of course, the Spongetones and others.

Andy Irvine
Saturday  8 p.m., Jim Rivers Fellowship Hall, Wedgewood Church, 4800 Wedgewood Dr., $20,
The veteran Irish singer, who mined tradition ballads and pub tunes with Sweeney’s Men in the `60s, exported Irish traditions globally in the `70s and `80s with Planxty, and later with all-star groups Patrick Street and Mozaik, performs a rare intimate set of classic Irish music.

John Butler Trio
Sunday  8 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $33,
The Western Australian trio wins raves for its live shows thanks to Butler’s soulful, goose-bump raising delivery, bluesy guitar chops, and seamless marriage of rock n’ roll and world music, which is displayed on 2014’s “Flesh and Blood.”

Homeboy Sandman
Monday  10 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St., $10,
The outspoken Brooklyn rapper who left law school to pursue a music career and has grabbed headlines, not only for his nimble, literate, and socially conscious rhymes, but for equally thought provoking blogging, revisits Snug’s weekly Knocturnal series.

Jarekus Singleton
Thursday  8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $8-$10,
The 29-year-old Mississippi electric blues singer/guitarist plants one foot firmly in tradition while infusing his version of spitfire blues with bits of R&B, rock n’ roll, funk, and classic soul and leaves traces of hip-hop in his direct delivery and phrasing.

Cage the Elephant
Thursday  8 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $33,  
After nearly stealing the show from Muse (an extremely tall order) as an opening act in September and releasing its third album “Melaphobia” last fall (led by the earworm single “Come a Little Closer”), the Bowling Green-born rock band brings its intense live show to The Fillmore.

Daryl Hance
Thursday  9 p.m., Double Door, 1218 Charlottetown Ave., $8,
Mofro co-founder and psychedelic bluesman Hance left the band after four albums and embarked on a solo career in 2010. His second solo effort “Land of Trembling Earth” is out in July and while still steeped in funk and blues there’s a garage rock thread that fans of the Black Keys and Jack White will dig.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Drake, Lil Wayne announce Charlotte date

Grammy award winning rappers Drake and Lil Wayne will co-headline PNC Music Pavilion (formerly Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre) August 30. The Drake vs. Lil Wayne Tour will stop in 31 cities beginning August 8 in Darien Center, NY.

Tickets go on sale June 20 at 10 a.m. via Livenation and Ticketmaster outlets, and at the Belk Box Office at PNC Music Pavilion or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Presale tickets will be available to Citi card pass members beginning June 17. For more information check out,, and

Weezer, others added to final Weenie Roast lineup

Weezer, Foster the People, the Pretty Reckless (featuring actress Taylor Momsen), Iamdynamite, Bear Hands, and Big Data and DJ Skratch n' Sniff fill out the 2014 WEND End of Summer Weenie Roast lineup. The radio station previously announced Fitz and the Tantrums, Foxy Shazam, J. Roddy Walston & the Business, Fuel, Wild Cub, Sir Sly, and locals Flagship. Aside from the addition of alt-rock legends Weezer and `90s rock hold out Fuel, the lineup is stacked with current hit makers like Foster and Fitz and hot up-and-comers.

Weenie Roast '14 takes place Saturday, September 6 at PNC Music Pavilion.

Weezer and Foster the People recently played sold out shows at The Fillmore. Fitz sold out Amos' in November. While those may be the big draws, I suggest getting there early. Bands like Iamdynamite, Foxy Shazam, and J. Roddy Walston are live powerhouses who deserve larger crowds and many of the others are creating big buzz.

Presale tickets are currently available via Lawn seats are $10.65 during presale.

Thursday's Die Antwoord show cancelled

South African rap duo Die Antwoord had to cancel a handful of shows leading up to its appearance at Bonnaroo Friday, including Thursday's concert at Amos' Southend. The group cancelled Tuesday's show at New York's Irving Plaza and Wednesday's concert at D.C.'s 9:30 Club as well as Thursday's show due to illness.

The group's highly anticipated Charlotte debut sold out a month in advance. Amos' reported Thursday that the shows will be rescheduled, although no date has been announced yet. Tickets for Thursday's show will be valid for the new date, but refunds are also available at point of purchase.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Fitz heads up WEND's 2014 Weenie Roast

WEND 106.5 The End announced the lineup for its END of Summer Weenie Roast, which takes place September 6 at PNC Music Pavilion (formerly Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre). The lineup - which relies heavily on new and up and coming acts - includes Fitz and the Tantrums (pictured), J. Roddy Walston & the Business, Foxy Shazam (who kicked of the 2012 Roast), Sir Sly, Wild Cub, Charlotte's own Flagship, and the only `90s rock hold over on the bill, Fuel.

Weenie Roast '14 is the long running festival's third installment after it returned in 2012 following a seven year absence. Pre-sale begins Thursday, June 12. Lawn passes are available for $10.65 each.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

This week's hot concerts

Lucinda Williams
Friday  8 p.m., McGlohon Theatr 345 N. College St., $29.59-$59.50,
If her winter set lists are any indication the celebrated singer-songwriter delivers a sweet overview of her impressive catalog which includes some of the sultriest, sexiest, and most soulful songs ever sung by a sexagenarian.

Bubonik Funk
Friday  10 p.m., Chop Shop, 399 E. 35th St., $10,
The Charlotte jam-funk combo has tweaked its bluesy mix of Chili Peppers, 311, fusion jazz, and classic rock touring the East Coast and recently performing at Jazz Fest in New Orleans. The band returns home to celebrate the release of its new EP “Oddfish, Volume 1.”

John Mark McMillan/Songs of Water
Saturday  8 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., $15-$18,
The Charlotte-based singer-songwriter’s music has long straddled the line between Christian rock (where he’s embraced on the charts) and secular appeal. For his fittingly titled “Borderland” album he raised nearly $70,000 via crowd funding. He’s paired with similarly-minded orchestral NC folkies Songs of Water.

Foxy Shazam
Saturday  8 p.m., Amos’, 1423 S. Tryon St., $15-$18,
It’s unlikely you’ll find a more energetic, show-stopping act than this Cincinnati rock outfit which consists of six outrageous personalities on stage, though none more over-the-top than singer Eric Sean Nally. After two major label records it self-released the new “Gonzo” album digitally for free and on LP.

Sunday  8 p.m., Belk Theater, 130 N. Tryon St., $39.50-$69.50,
The jazz supergroup of keyboardist Bob James, bassist Nathan East (Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories,” Michael Jackson’s “Bad”), guitarist Chuck Loeb, and drummer Harvey Mason (all established solo musicians) steps into its 23rd year continuing to blur the lines between smooth jazz, pop and R&B.

Twin Forks
Monday  8 p.m., Chop Shop, 399 E. 35th St., $12-$15,
Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba heads up this acoustic roots quintet whose uplifting down home barn-stompers are quite an about face from his angsty emo roots, but he still belts his joy and heartbreak with the same distinct emotional vocals. Now he just does in three part harmony with new addition to the group, the Baron Sisters.

Skinny Lister
Tuesday  8 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $15-$17,
The British sextet turned heads opening large tours for bands like Flogging Molly and (in the UK) Boy George. It laces its folk-base with pastoral touches, pint-raising Celtic muscle, and elements of Irish and English pub rousers and sea shanties.

Tuesday  8 p.m., Amos’, 1423 S. Tryon St., $29.50/$75 VIP,
With fiancĂ© Ciara giving birth to his son in mid-May and the release of his new album “Honest,” the “Tony Montana” rapper and recent BET Award nominee is having a very busy Spring. On the road he cuts down on the futuristic Auto-Tune and delivers a mean, succinct set that plays up strengths that aren’t as notable on record.

The Foreign Exchange
Thursday  8 p.m., Chop Shop, 399 E. 35th St., $20-$25,
It’s been over a decade since Little Brother’s Phonte and Dutch producer Nicolay began trading files online to create an updated take on classic soul and R&B Postal Service-style. The group released its sunny fourth album, “Love in Flying Colors” in 2013. It escapes the throwback tag with striking modern flourishes.