the dbs Archive

The dB’s in Black and White (Part Four)

Continued from Part Three… The other three dB’s are even more direct on the matter. “I hate power pop,” says Gene Holder. “The dB’s were more experimental [than that]. Chris’s songs, especially, were always pretty odd, which was really cool.” Will Rigby agrees, noting that in his estimation, The dB’s had “a little more intellectual

The dB’s in Black and White (Part Three)

Continued from Part Two… By the time the quartet’s first single, “Black and White” b/w “Soul Kiss” was released in 1980, Rigby says that Stamey and Holsapple (who had moved to second guitar) “were on an equal basis in the band.” Gene Holder agrees, noting that there was never anything like a power struggle in

The dB’s in Black and White (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… A single credited to Chris Stamey and The dB’s featured an a-side (“(I Thought) You Wanted to Know”) played by Stamey with Television’s’ Richard Lloyd, who wrote the tune. “Chris wanted to have a band to promote that,” recalls Holder. Individually, he and Rigby had both recently moved from North Carolina

The dB’s in Black and White (Part One)

Four musicians from North Carolina came together in the 1970s as The dB’s. Perennial critics’ darlings, the group never hit the big time on the level of their friends, kindred spirits and fellow southerners R.E.M. But The dB’s influenced a generation of indie rockers who would follow in their wake, and they left behind an

Album Review: Various Artists – Yesterday’s Tomorrow

If you’re at all familiar with the alternate and/or college rock scenes of the 1970s and ‘80s, you’ll know the names Mitch Easter (Let’s Active, producer of R.E.M.), Peter Holsapple (The dB’s, Continental Drifters), Chirs Stamey (The dB’s, work with Alex Chilton) and Don Dixon. This busman’s holiday of a sort is a document of

Album Review: Holsapple & Stamey — Our Back Pages

As wonderful as the dBs were during their original run (featuring Peter Holsapple with and then without Chris Stamey), the more acoustic-flavored efforts by Holsapple and Stamey – 1991’s Mavericks and 2009’s hERE aND nOW – were truly special as well. Decidedly different in tone and energy, but simply superb they were, even for a

BONUS: Two Single Reviews

Every so often, I get a single in for review. Two recent releases are of particular note and merit. So that justifies a rare Saturday post from me. No fooling. The Embrooks – “Nightmare” b/w “Helen” (State Records) Anytime a publicist uses the word “freakbeat” when describing music sent for possible review, my curiosity is

Sneakers: A Walk Through Powerpop History, Part 2

Continued from Part One … Speaking of wanting (or not wanting) to know, around the time that the original Sneakers EP was released, the band couldn’t get many gigs. In fact, according to Unofficial Sneakers Historian and bassist Robert Keely, Sneakers’ 2016 reunion performance at the Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh was exactly the band’s ninth

Sneakers: A Walk Through Powerpop History, Part 1

In the histories of power pop, indie rock and college rock (and whatever you want to call the musical scene that bubbled under in North Carolina several decades back), there’s one band that elicits approving nods whenever it’s mentioned. Sneakers never released a full album and played only a tiny handful of live shows, but

Holiday Music Roundup 2015

Imagene Peise — Atlas Eets Christmas Let’s get a few things out of the way right up front about this holiday-themed release. First there is no Imagene Peise; despite a convoluted backstory, “she” is really The Flaming Lips. But no, that’s not quite accurate, either: This album – a reissue of a 2007 limited edition