2009: The Year in Local Music News (Jan-May)

December, 15, 2009, by Jedidiah

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Local music made a big thrust forward in 2009. A lot of freshman bands made a big presence on the local scene while a few sophomore ones made their name in the national press. Below is a summary of some of the local musical events that occurred in 2009, month by month. The first installment covers January - May with June - December coming soon.


More Local Music Presence on the Interwebs

2009 started off with a quick local push when WKNC Launched their Music Blog around the turn of the year. Along with them and a few other blogs in town (including Indy’s Scan, MannsWorld, Triangle Music and MyNC), finally local music was getting the coverage it deserved. These blogs have helped to build the buzz around local bands and events throughout the past year.

Schoolkids Records Downsizes

Early January was when Schoolkids Music on Hillsborough downsized and moved up the street, signifying the last attempt of the local record store to stay in business. Luckily, they are still open and continue to host in-store performances almost one year later.

The Love Language Blow Up

January also saw the beginning of the Love Language hype. Stu McLamb released and sold the lo-fi recording via mail (announced on a myspace message) and by the end of the year, they were one of the most nationally buzzed bands from the area. Pitchfork went gaga and they released multiple videos and in-studio sessions for various radio stations around the country. The were eventually picked up by Merge and 2k10 should be a big year for the band.


The first month of the year also saw the “return” of Raleigh Undercover (formerly, kinda, The Great Cover-up) and van sessions by The Rosebuds and Bowerbirds.


Raleigh Goes Indie Again and Again

In the second month of the year, the Raleigh area decided to catch onto the indie train of the ‘00s and book lots of bands that have made their name in that category. From The Decemberists, to Coldplay, to Kings of Leon, and The National, everywhere you looked, an indie band was on the bill.


After the rush of indie bands to the head, the rest of the month saw DJ Stevo retiring at WKNC, Whatever Brains tapping a deal with Matador for their fabulous 7” and the 6th Edition of the Great 8 from the News and Observer, tapping the best of local bands, right here, right now.


The Flood of 2009 Festivals and Sophomore Albums Begin

2009 was filled with local music festivals and sophomore albums. The first of both of those happened in March, with The Bain Project Music Fest making use of an unused space in downtown Raleigh to benefit an unused water plant in South Raleigh and The Loners released their rocking second album, Revolution.

Raleigh Wins U2 Concert Battle

Meanwhile, the battle of whether U2 was going to play Durham or Raleigh started. Raleigh won and the concert was packed with pixels and people. Durham got Morrissey instead.


The local Sunday night groove session, Neu Romance, celebrated its 6th anniversary, surviving the ashes of Kings, while Marsh Woodwinds emerged as the new hip place to see live bands in the downtown area with The Rosebuds and crew rockin’ an acoustic set at the upstairs lounge.

Oh yeah, and The Rosebuds were unexpectedly featured on the hit television show Heroes.


‘Toons and Tunes

Local music and comics came together once again in April with Brian Walsby releasing his 4th Manchild graphic novel with a huge release party at Tir Na Nog.

Neko Confess Brings the Flood

Neko Case blazed through a gorgeous set at Meymandi (one of my favorite live shows of the year…coming soon) and the Rosebuds had a bouncy sing-a-long at SXSW. The ‘buds were only one of a handful of local bands that were invited to this year’s fest in Austin, Texas.


Schoolkids Records Goes Online

As the year started with Schoolkids moving down Hillsborough Street, the middle of the year saw the local record shop jumping into the online music store business. Their new Online Music Shop is available through Think Indie.


Despite the fact that Capital City Grocery moved out and the space is still empty, the rest the Seaboard retail stores have their act together and revived the Friday Night Music Series which continued throughout the summer and looks to be back again in 2k10.

Stay tuned for June - December soon….


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