N.C. Symphony releases a record; Menconi on the downtown amphitheater; Odessa and Hot Releases; Manchild 4

The N.C. Symphony recently released its first-ever commercial album, American Spectrum. Spectrum is the first of two albums the Symphony will release through Swedish label BIS Records, and three of the disc’s four piecesMichael Daugherty’s Sunset Strip, John Williams’ Escapades and Christopher Rouse’s Friandisesenjoy their world-premiere recordings here. The fourth piece, Ned Rorem’s Lions, features the Branford Marsalis Quartet. Marsalis, a member of the Symphony’s Board of Trustees, also plays saxophone on the Williams piece. The second disc in the new Symphony series will feature piano concertos from Russian composers Sergei Rachmaninoff and Nikolai Medtner, as interpreted by the Symphony and pianist Yevgeny Sudbin. It will be released in 2010.

David Menconi has an informative update on his On the Beat blog regarding the proposed amphitheater in downtown Raleigh that’s to be adjacent to the Raleigh Convention Center. City officials have long suggested the venue would open this summer, but Menconi reports that, though the city’s negotiations with concert promoter Live Nation are still moving, they’re likely not fast enough to mean we’ll be we writing about shows there this year. “At this point, it would take a minor miracle to have a facility up and running anytime this calendar year,” Menconi writes. “So maybe 2010.”

In our hands: Freshly pressed music from two new local labels. Odessa Records will release The Kingsbury Manx’s exquisite and sort-of-perfect fifth album Ascenseur Ouvert! on April 21.

We managed to get a finished copy last week, anddressed in all whiteit looks as pretty as it sounds.Hot Releases, the joint operation from local noiseniks Ryan Martin and Jeff Rehnlund, is also moving forward: LPs from Gangnam Basement and American Band are in hand and looking perfect, homemade Xeroxes and spray paint splattered across the back.

Jedidiah Gant has a great sneak peak at Brian Walsby’s new book, Manchild 4: Riding Them Coat Tails, at New Raleigh. The book will once again include a disc of Melvins material, and only 3,000 copies will be manufactured. And, if you love Double Negative, you probably know where to be tomorrow night.