N.C. State's student-run radio station, WKNC 88.1 FM, announced the lineup for its seventh annual Double Barrel Benefit this morning: The vintage pop of Max Indian will headline the first night of the two-show weekend on Friday, Feb. 5, with The Light Pines, Veelee and Bellafea in the opening slots. Ex-Chapel Hill, current-Nashville album rock enthusiasts Roman Candle headline Saturday, Feb. 6, with The Tender Fruit, Midtown Dickens and Spider Bags opening.
This year's Double Barrel represents a logical and somewhat necessary shift for the station, away from some of the bigger names that have headlined or opened in recent years—Birds of Avalon, Bowerbirds, Polvo, The Old Ceremony, Annuals, The Mountain Goats, Megafaun—and toward the Triangle's rich crop of young but hitherto less nationally prominent acts. After all, Double Barrel has only presented six bands more than once in its seven-year run, so the pool is somewhat constricted.
But, Roman Candle excepted, what this lineup might lack in history it makes up for with plans and promise: Led by the yearning Southern warble of Christy Smith, The Tender Fruit, for instance, is currently cutting an LP with Megafaun's Phil Cook. Veelee's only get one self-released, three-song EP to its name, but the duo's intricate, winding miniatures offer plenty of intrigue, and they're set to record more this year. Same for The Light Pines, the doppelganger of The Love Language: Led by Josh Pope and backed by his fellow Love Language members, The Pines debuted with an ecstatic, engaging show in Portland, Ore., late last year for Musicfest Northwest. This will be their full-on local premiere. And they sometimes share members with Max Indian, who, like The Light Pines, are part of a Chapel Hill band network called Drughorse. And, as I said here, look for big things from that gangly collective in 2010.
So, yeah, no "stars" this year, but plenty of reasons to listen—and for cheap, too: Tickets are $7-$9 for each night, and the music starts at 9 p.m.