Dive Recommends for June 25 by uncdiversions
June 25, 2009, 12:07 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sorry for the inconvenience, but there wasn’t any room to run the regular Dive Recommends in the paper this week. If this happens again, it will be posted to the blog just like this week’s.

Album from the Vaults:

John Lennon, Plastic Ono Band: Though he was transformed into martyr and myth by the combined power of “Imagine” and his murder, John Lennon’s truly best solo record was the debut that ignored all of that hopeful mumbo jumbo. From the misanthropic mock anthem of “Working Class Hero” to the tearing anguish of “Mother,” this 1970 classic is a gripping, viscerally emotional pop album. It’s also the only record that really got to the core of who Lennon was: a sarcastic, politically conscious jerk with a broken heart and an incredible gift for song.

Movie from the Vaults:

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory“: This 1971 film might just be the best commercial of all time. Teaming with Warner Bros. in the start-up of their Roald-Dahl-based candy line, Beaker Confections licensed this family film. What could have been a contrived disaster is saved by one of the best performances of Gene Wilder. Dropping the penchant for controversial comedy which was his trademark, Wilder played Willy Wonka with an easy air of imaginative possibility and just the right hint of mischief. If you never believed in the power of imagination before, you would after watching this performance. So, commercial it was, and a successful one at that, but that doesn’t keep it from being entertaining. Also a box of nerds might be great while watching it. Those things are pretty great.



Violet Vector and the Lovely Lovelies

It’s been a little while since Chapel Hill’s foremost purveyors of sugar-coated, technicolor acid pop graced us with a gig, but tonight they play again. Riding the spunky fury of singer Amanda Brooks, Violet Vector pumps you with enough sugar to rot a tooth out and then rips it right out with punk rock rage. They and Chapel-Hill-student band the Huguenots, whose retro rock has become one of the most refined live attacks in town, will open for New Jersey psychedelic pop act the Black Hollies. 9 p.m., $6

Joe Romeo and the Orange County Volunteers

The Pinhook, Durham | The year isn’t 1967, but don’t tell that to Joe Romeo. Along with his band of local music veterans, Chapel Hill’s Romeo waltzes confidently down the boozy road of country and blues that artists such as Bob Dylan and the Band did back then. It suits him well, and he’s a heck of a songwriter to boot. If you miss him this time, he’s also playing two sets Friday at the Cave. But tonight he plays with the Tomahawks, a new-ish Chapel Hill group featuring Jeff Crawford and Nick Jaeger from Max Indian. The lo-fi pop-rock they make is much like the other group’s, marching along on irresistibly throwback melodies and earnest songwriting. 10 p.m.


Sunfold and Hammer No More The Fingers

Local 506 | Sunfold is the slightly more guitar-rock-inflected side project of most of the members of Raleigh’s annuals. With big slices of guitar slashing through and the piercing voice of Kenny Florence, it’s a pretty good package in its own right. If you read this blog at all, you already know how great Durham trio Hammer No More The Fingers is. Wielding a sound far bigger than a three-piece should achieve, the group rides bouncing-ball bass lines and rocketing guitar atmospherics to spectacular effect. Raleigh’s On Photon and Thoughtspeak also play. 9 p.m., $8

Click below for recommended shows for the rest of the week.


American Aquarium

Cat’s Cradle | What would happen if Wilco had a taste for Springsteenian bombast? American Aquarium comes close to the answer. Tying Jeff-Weedy-inspired nerdy cowboy complaints to straight-ahead anthemics, the Raleigh outfit is like a thinking man’s hootenanny. Saturday they’ll open for Holsapple and Stamey, the re-united core of the famous db’s who recently released a new record. The two were great in a trio with Jeff Crawford a couple weeks ago at Open Eye Cafe, and they should be even better with their full band. Durham’s solidly Southern Luego also plays. 8 p.m., $12


Embarrassing Fruits

The Cave | Starting out as three guys who just stood around and played good old ’90s-era indie rock, Chapel Hill’s Embarrassing Fruits have turned into an expressive live act. As Joe Norkus uses his deadpan delivery to explore his neurotic tendencies, the band uses propulsive riffs and a solid backbone rhythm section to keep it all grounded. Tuesday they’ll play with solid Washington/Austin power pop group Wild Fictions. 10 p.m., $5


Dexter Romweber Duo

Duke Gardens | Throwbacks as literal as this don’t usually work. But Dexter Romweber is better than your average rock ‘n’ roller. Eviscerating the classic sounds of the ’50s with roaring guitar lines, Romweber makes classic slapback realavent and every toe of his audience tap. Wednesday the duo will play Duke’s excelent summer series in the garden. It’s a great setting to sit back and hear some great rock. 7 p.m., $10

– By Diversions Editor Jordan Lawrence


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