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***October Second Two Thousand and Sixteen***

Is what Trump meant by "Make America Great Again" was they were bringing ALF back on the air...I'm not saying I
would vote for him, but I'd at least pause and think about it.  


Butterfly on a buttertfly bush.  Marion, NC.  

Hard at work on her water table.  Cary, NC.  

End of 2016 beach season.  Wrightsville Beach, NC.  



Jarne Verbruggen - Never Skatebored
.  Jesus, not only is this kid amazing, but his trick selection and imagination
might be better than anyone else going right now.  This whole thing floored me and left me with a giant grin at the
same time.  

Girl/Chocolate - Yeah Right! Log Tape.  Raw footage from the beginning of their filming for Yeah Right.  I could
watch this for hours, I hope they release more of these.  

All of the photos to accompany the Hopscotch reviews below are in the photo journal. Also, baby photos, if you're in-
to that sort of thing (aka grandmas).  


Hopscotch Music Festival, Day One
Downtown Raleigh

It's that time of the year again, time to stand around in the heat and watch bands and wish this festival was later in the
year when it wasn't so damned hot!  I've taken photos at every festival, but this year I would officially be taking photos
for the festival.  Basically, the only real difference is I can now get into the photo pit at the big gigs...well, that and a free
pass that works like a VIP pass.     

Is it a good thing or a bad thing that my favorite band of the entire event, Wye Oak, was the very first performance I
saw?  I'll be optimistic and say it's awesome that a group I enjoy so much would be my welcome to the next three days
of musical decadence.  It was great to see them on the big stage of City Plaza, hopefully winning over new fans that
had never heard their eighties new wave-inspired indie pop before.  They definitely won me over again, but that out-
come was never in question.  If Jenn Wasner was a religion I would be a strict adherent, because she is infallible. 
There were lots of songs from "Shriek," a few new ones, and then they ended their far-too-short set with their greatest
track, "Holy Holy."  I had hoped with Jenn moving to North Carolina we would get more frequent Wye Oak shows - this
has sadly not occurred, so every time I get a chance to see them play is a real treat.   

The big City Plaza headliner this first night was Wolf Parade.  Somehow I never saw them live before their hiatus in
2010, but I get to make up for that now.  I have seen a number of their side projects though, and to be quite honest I
might prefer those solo efforts over the whole of Wolf Parade, and I mean that as no slight to Wolf Parade (I really
REALLY like Spencer Krug's Moonface, in particular).  I forgot to take notes on their set list, but I specifically recall
them playing my favorite song "Dear Sons And Daughters Of Hungry Ghosts," plenty of other classics, and at least a
couple off of their latest EP, the imaginatively titled "EP 4."  Just like on the recordings their songs live have a driving,
manic energy to them - if it was fun to see on the giant outdoor stage, I can't imagine how enjoyable it would be in a
small, indoor club.  A couple of other super important notes from this performance: Dan Boeckner not only physically
looks like the Clash's Mick Jones, he looks like he's actually doing an impression of him;
and Spencer Krug plays the
keys with one hand raised in the air as if he is constantly competing in a bull riding contest. 

The "big" part of the night over, it was time to hit some clubs.  I got to the Pour House in time to see Most of Wing Dam,
a band I seem to see/think about a lot at Hopscotch as they play often, and not much otherwise.  It doesn't really make
any sense because they are a lot of fun live and should be interesting year round, but brains work in mysterious ways. 
The club was packed with a crazy line outside, luckily this is where the photo pass helps a ton...sorry everyone I
skipped in front of.  Once inside, I saw Sam from Future Islands and it occurred to me the Snails were closing out the
night at this venue...this crowd was just trying to get themselves Future Islands-adjacent.  Or maybe they're just really
into bands that perform in snail costumes.  Wing Dam are a little bit slacker pop, a little bit jangle, a little bit garage
rock, a little bit a lot of things actually - I've probably said it before but they remind me a lot of the mid-nineties Teenbeat
era, Versus and Unrest and Eggs and all that.  Possibly the most noteworthy moment was when Sara Autrey's boobs
popped out of her low cut top in the middle of their set; instead of freaking out or being embarrassed, she instead
asked for solidarity from the rest of the band and the dudes took their shirts off.  She then left them popped out, and
offered to "high five nipples" with anyone back at the merch table after the set was over (I have no verification if this
actually happened).  A damn fun band, I look forward to their set next year at Hopscotch. 

I decided to stay put at the Pour House to see some of Sneaks.  I didn't know a single thing about them other than
they recently signed to Merge, and I like the bulk of the Merge catalog so it was worth a shot.  The band is a duo of
young folks, a dude making beats on a computer and a dudette who rapped/sang/mumbled, occasionally played bass,
and was also wearing plastic pants that made me hot just looking at them.  It was...not for me, to put it kindly.  The
crowd seemed into it but I was totally confused.  All of the songs were really short, the instrumentation very sparse,
and the vocals were way too low in the mix - hell, they played two or three songs before I realized they weren't just dick-
ing around doing sound check.  I moved on after a handful of songs, but since each song was about a minute long a
handful didn't take long.

I smartly chose to stop off at the Lincoln to see some of Mutoid Man.  I knew they played metal, had some connection
to Converge, and that was about it.  I would best describe them as classic eighties-style thrash metal, but somehow
lighthearted and fun.  And I don't mean lighthearted in regard to the lyrics, cause I don't have a clue what the hell they
were singing about - more so in the actions of the group, as they were clearly having fun.  Smiling even!  A metal band
smiling on stage, while simultaneously headbanging, fucking with each other, and more general antics!  Unprec-
edented, I say - metal is usually such serious business.  Oh, and they started their set by playing the last half of "Purple
Rain" (song, not album) - I can't think of a better, more fitting intro to this trio.  My only regret is I didn't get to see more
of them, as I needed to get to Television...if it had been nearly any other band in the entire festival that I was off to see
next, I would have probably skipped it to see more of Mutoid Man. 

Finally, Television.  This was my most anticipated show of the whole festival, a classic band I've loved for ages but
had never seen live.  Yeah, Richard Lloyd wasn't there so it wasn't the true classic line-up...but, and I say this with all
respect to Mr. Lloyd, I was there for Tom Verlaine first and foremost.  Memorial Auditorium wasn't packed but there
was a healthy crowd there, a mix of old fans (like myself) and young kids there to probably see what all the fuss is
about with these "olds" on stage.  After Tom requested the venue turn the lights nearly off (not ideal for taking photos,
obviously), the band launched into an hour-and-a-half set, playing nearly all of their classic "Marquee Moon" and plenty
more.  After the show I heard some complaints that the band was boring and not very engaging or interesting, but that
was not true for me at all - it probably helped that I was front and center in front of Tom Verlaine the entire time, com-
pletely mesmerized by his effortless guitar acrobatics.  I've probably seen guitarists that were better technically, but
I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone as effortlessly perfect.  To no surprise they ended the set with an epic version of
"Marquee Moon," and as happy as I was to hear the likes of "Prove It" and "Elevation," finally getting to hear the title
track of their seminal album live was a legit bucket list item for me, and one I was very happy to finally fulfill. 

My only real regret on the first night of Hopscotch is that Lambchop were playing at the same time as Television, for-
cing me to miss a local appearance by them for the first time in ages.  Word is they were great, to no one's surprise. 
Lambchop will be back though, most likely sooner rather than later.  Television may never grace these parts again,
but here's to hoping.


Hopscotch Music Festival, Day Two
Downtown Raleigh

The second night of Hopscotch was a big night in the history of the event - not only was it the first time ever they would
be including Red Hat Amphitheater as a venue, they would be holding "big" shows both at both Red Hat and City Plaza
concurrently.  It was an ambitious move, and might have worked out great...if the shows had started on time. 

Gary Clark Jr was my first act of the night, at Red Hat.  He was opening for Erykah Badu, but she was having flight
problems and was going to be late, and had her start time pushed back.  Because of this, they had Gary start 15-20
minutes later than he was originally scheduled...fortunately, I was still able to see enough of his set to get a few photos;
unfortunately, I only got to see three or so songs before I had to leave for the next venue.  That was a shame, because
his modern blues were sounding damn good to me at the time, and it's always a pleasure to watch Mr. Clark mangle
a guitar.  I would have gladly stayed for a lot more of his set had it been possible.  Plus, from a photographical per-
spective, he makes great faces while he plays.  Yes, photographical is a real word, I looked it up.  The internet never

Unfortunately I had to buzz it up the hill to City Plaza to see Anderson Paak, who seemed to be getting the most buzz
heading into this year's festival.  In an ideal world Paak and Clark would have been paired together and I could have
seen both of their sets in full, but dammit no one asked me.  In simplistic terms you would lump Paak into the genre of
hip hop, but he is so much more than that...most importantly, he plays with a full band, even throwing down on drums
himself on a few songs.  Nearly every time I've truly loved live hip hop, it's been when there was a full band...that's pro-
bably the middle aged white guy in me talking, but the feelings still stand.  Despite being from LA he gave off a nine-
ties East Coast/DJ Premier-esque jazz sample vibe to his sound, aka my favorite era in rap by a large margin. 
There were many times where Paak & his band's sound was more funk and soul than hip least one song
sounded exactly like Curtis Mayfield, and a number of tracks reminded me a ton of the Brand New Heavies.  I barely
knew a thing about Anderson Paak before this performance, but by the end I definitely left a fan.

After Paak I waited around for Beach House, who for unexplained reasons were also running late.  Tired of waiting
and not really being a huge Beach House fan to start with, I decided to walk back down to Red Hat to catch the start
of Erykah Badu, as her amended start time was fast approaching.  Of course, that was delayed even further and I
ended up waiting there for a while, only to hear through the grapevine that her plane had just landed, meaning it was
still going to be a while before she appeared on stage.  So I went back up to City Plaza to actually catch some of
Beach House, who were finally playing.  As I suspected, after a couple of songs I had had my fill - the music is mostly
fine (if a little boring), sort of a modern take on the Cocteau Twins, but they're not much for watching.  They have as
much fog on stage as Sunn O))), only when you do get glimpses of the band it's not a bunch of metal dudes in crazy
monk outfits, instead run-of-the-mill indie rockers standing as still as possible.  Between Badu and Beach House this
portion of the night was kind of a bust, but since I wasn't overly excited about seeing either band only my time was
really wasted. 

I popped into Fletcher Opera Theater to see what was going on with Kid Millions & Jim Sauter Duo.  Sparse crowd,
but given all the schedule fuck-ups with the "big" shows and the fact that both were still going on that wasn't particularly
surprising - I'm guessing the scene was somewhat similar in the other small clubs across town.  The gig was pretty
much what I expected it to be - Millions pretty much just playing a long drum solo while Jim Sauter played some
skronky atonal saxophone over him.  It's the exact sort of thing I find interesting for about fifteen minutes, and that's
about it.  I may not always love everything Kid Millions does, but he's such an amazing drummer it's always worth
checking out any project he's involved in, I'll like way more than I won't. 

Boulevards were playing next door at Memorial Auditorium, so off I went to see local lad(s) done well.  I'm still not
entirely sure about who to call what here - Boulevards is the band name, but the band is technically only one person -
Jamil Rashad.  So is he Boulevards, and do I refer to him as such, or do I refer to him as Jamil, member of Boulevards? 
Regardless, he had two cats playing with him at this live show, one on drums and the other handling the rest of the
music on a computer, so for the purposes of this gig I will refer to Boulevards as the band.  I'd be lying if I said I've lis-
tened to their record "Groove!" all that much, but you would be damn hard pressed to find a more engaging and ex-
citing live show, and you don't need to know the songs to enjoy it.  Jamil owns the stage, prowling the entirety of the
giant Memorial stage like a caged Tiger, climbing on speakers, jumping into and out of the crowd multiple times - he
was definitely having fun, and so was the audience.  I bet the dude burns 2000 calories over the duration of a show...
hell, I think I lost some weight just watching him move around so much.  Musically it felt like being at a mid-eighties
New Jack Swing/Bobby Brown-esque gig - it doesn't hurt that Jamil looks like he stepped right out of a 1987 time
capsule.  If Boulevards is playing in your town, don't miss it..unless you hate fun, then you should definitely miss it. 

I decided to stay put at Memorial to see what all the Young Thug fuss was about, and also because I'm lazy.  Not my
best decision, as it turns out.  After being 45 minutes late, Young Thug's DJ finally came out and then proceeded to try
hyping up the crowd by playing snippets of the same songs Thug would be performing only a few minutes later.  To be
fair the tactic worked, despite my bewilderment.  Another 15 minutes later Young Thug himself finally came out, along
with one hype man and at least a dozen people who did nothing but mill around on the stage.  One guy spent the entire
time checking his phone; another filmed the entire show on the biggest iPad I've ever seen, it was the size of a damn
cookie sheet; a number of others just smoked and drank (probably lean, or at least they wanted to appear that way)
out of Styrofoam cups.  I'm not even sure what to say about the music...dude half-slurs a ton of his lyrics on record,
they're even less intelligible live.  His music is generally interesting, but there was way way WAY too much
be fair that could be on the venue as much as it's on Young Thug, although both Big Boi and Killer Mike sounded
great here a few years back, so probably not.  Long story short, it just wasn't for me.  The very young crowd was loving
it though, so despite my sour reception it seems like a smart booking choice. 

After a lot of Hip Hop and R&B for most of the night, there was only one sensible way to end things - metal.  I had
hoped to see some or all of Cobalt, but due to Young Thug being so (unnecessarily) late, I saw an entire two minutes
of their very last song.  That happens at Hopscotch sometimes, life goes on.  Luckily I was able to get there in time to
see Yob, my main reason for walking to the Pour House anyways.  I've seen them a couple of times, as well as lead
man Mike Scheidt solo, so I knew exactly what to expect - really heavy stoner metal bordering on doom, minus the
Cookie Monster vocals that turn me off from so many metal bands.  This was probably the best I've ever seen them,
the band was tight and Mike was destroying his crazy looking custom Monson guitar.  It wasn't butts to nuts in there,
but the crowd was healthy - I guess I wasn't only one who thought ending the night with some riffy metal was a great
way to finish off the second day of Hopscotch. 


Hopscotch Music Festival, Day Three
Downtown Raleigh

The third day of Hopscotch is always the toughest to motivate for, at least for this middle-aged, out-of-shape, lazy bas-
tard.  The first day runs on excitement; the second day runs on adrenaline; and the third day runs on...determination.  It
didn't help that of the three days this one had the line-up of bands for which I was least excited, but there were still
some gems in there. 

I'm not going to lie, I really only showed up early enough for Vince Staples at City Plaza because I thought I might get
some interesting photos, what with my pass-assisted access to the photo pit in City Plaza.  Without that, I probably
would have shown up just early enough to catch a couple of songs at the end of his set.  I did get a couple of decent
snaps so I guess it was worth it, but I can't say Vince's music ever won me over.  Just not my kind of hip hop, and I
don't think I could even tell you why - neither his rapping style or his music really engaged me.  Also, the audio quality
seemed all over the place - one track would be normal and clear, and the next would have so much distorted bass I
had a flashback to high school when all the rednecks (as well as one of my good friends) had those huge speakers in
the trunk of their cars.  I once bribed my friend with a t-shirt he wanted to get him to turn his speakers down, it was so
loud I thought it was making my heart beat improperly.  Anyways, I did eat a tasty chicken and cheese pita during his
set, so that was cool. 

It's pretty impressive that the biggest turnout and most rambunctuous crowd I've seen in the seven years of Hopscotch
was for local favorites Sylvan Esso.  It feels like it was only a couple of years ago they were opening for the Rosebuds
at Memorial, and now they're drawing thousands of people as a festival headliner...wait, it was just a couple of years
ago.  I've seen them a few times since that Memorial outing, but this was the first gig I've seen where they actually
played new songs, songs not on their self-titled debut.  They still played most of the songs from that record too, and of
course the crowd went nuts for each one of them, including me when they played their best song "Hey Mami" at the
end of the set.  Who would have guessed that if you write super catchy pop songs and set them to an electronic beat
it would be so popular?

From electronic pop to mellow folk, I made my way to Fletcher Opera Theater to catch a little bit of Maiden Radio.  I'd
never heard a single note by them, but read that Joan Shelley was in the group and she has a magnifficent voice so it
was definitely worth a shot.  The band was a trio of females playing banjo, guitar and fiddle (in various combinations)
and singing solo or together (in various combinations).  I only caught about half of their set, but it seemed like it was
mostly covers of old mountain folk songs - how much these songs resembled the originals or were complete reimagin-
ings, I have no idea.  As to what Maiden Radio sounded like, think about all the Gillian Welch/Emmylou Harris/Alison
Krauss tracks from the "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" soundtrack and you're on the right path.  It sounded great, two
thumbs up from this dude.   

I would have gladly stayed for the entire Maiden Radio set if I didn't need to get next door to Memorial Auditorium to
see Eric Bachmann.  It was just him and two backup singers, local phenom Skylar Gudasz and another gal named
Avery, but I didn't catch her full name.  Bachmann was in a snazzy suit, the ladies were in matching sparkly dresses,
and the crowd was seated and impeccably silent...of the dozens of times I've seen Bachmann play either solo or with
a band, I've never seen him quite like this.  I took some snaps for a couple of songs, and then just sat down and lis-
tened intently for the rest of the set.  He played most of his new self-titled record, which makes sense as so many of
those songs feature backing vocals, and these two ladies weren't on stage just to show off their sparkly outfits.  Of the
couple of older songs he trotted out, I remember "Bad Blood" was one of them, a classic to be sure.  I'm not sure if the
rest of the crowd was totally engrossed (like me), asleep, or just staring at their phones, but I was impressed with how
quiet and attentive everyone was.  Easily one of the shows of the festival for me, but like the Wye Oak performance on
the first night, I knew this would be the case before he even played the first note. 

Even though I had sorta just seen her with Maiden Radio, I popped back in next door at Fletcher to see Joan Shelley
play solo.  Well, sorta solo, as she had a dude supplying guitar accompaniment the whole time, plus the other two gals
in Maiden Radio came on stage occasionally to add some additional instrumentation or vocals.  I suppose the the big
difference between the two sets was during this gig Joan was playing her own songs instead of covers of old mountain
folk ditties.  I don't really know any of her music well, I just know her voice - but it was real damn pretty and I stuck it out
for a few songs before I got itching to move on.  Nothing against Joan, but I was needing something a little more rock-
ing than the delicate folk I've seen over the last three acts. 

Walking down the street, I met a few friends that talked me into going to see Soldiers of Fortune at the Lincoln
Theatre because Cheetie Kumar from Birds of Avalon would be sitting in with them.  I didn't know a single thing about
the band (noticing a theme with my lack of preparation this year?) but if Cheetie was participating it would be worth
checking out.  Turns out they're some NYC supergroup featuring Kid Millions and others from Oneida, a dude from
Endless Boogie, another dude that plays with Interpol apparently, and plenty more vets (some that were here, some
that were not).  Their set was just one long song, seemingly improvised or at least mostly so, which is not shocking
because of the level of talent present on stage.  Kid Millions was handling the vocals from the drum kit, but I have no
idea what he was saying and I'm not sure it mattered.  I'm not even sure how to really describe the sound - sort of a
repetitive kraut rock vibe, fairly heavy but never venturing into metal territory, and a shitload of guitar shreddery, espec-
ially from the guest star Cheetie.  I probably could have just said it sounds like a crazier/bigger version of Oneida.  For
something I randomly decided to go to, this was a nice find, and further proves the old adage "always trust the Birds
of Avalon."  At least I'm pretty sure that is an adage people say. 

Baroness was playing next at the Lincoln and since that who I was planning on seeing anyways, it made for a short
commute.  Not only did I not have to exert myself and walk to another venue, but I was in a great spot to get photos of
the final act of Hopscotch.  I saw Baroness play a number of years ago, but honestly don't remember a ton about it -
I certainly don't remember them being as polished as they were on this night.  They were heavier and gruffer before -
now, I'd almost call them pop metal.  That sounds like an insult and I don't mean it that way, but their songs have hooks
and harmonies that you usually don't get in a typical stoner metal setting.  Also, how did I miss the news that Sebastian
Thomson from Trans Am is now their drummer?  I knew their old drummer quit the band after their horrific bus crash a
few years back (they were actually supposed to play Hopscotch right after that crash, but that appearance was ob-
viously cancelled since almost the entire band nearly died), but I had no idea Sebastian was now their stickman. 
Anyways, yadda yadda yadda, they put on an amazing show, it was basically an entirely different band than I saw so
many years ago, and I enjoyed it immensely - I was planning on only staying for a couple of songs but ended up
watching most of the show.  I like this version of Baroness a lot more, for the record - what can I say, I'm a pop fan at
heart - make the metal songs catchy and all of the sudden I'm feelin' it. 

I went home satisfied (and extremely tired) after my three day experience at Hopscotch 2016.  Probably my favorite
festival since 2013 or so.  I'm already excited for next year.


Cat in the wall, eh? Okay, now you're talkin' my language! I know that game."

As a slight break with the usual, one full album and one full single in addition to the normal random tracks.  

Mercury Birds - Saxitar Cosmosis.  Kids these days don't know!  Highly underrated classic band from Greensboro
in the late nineties.  Hell, they were stupid underrated when they were actually around.  Some of the dudes ended up
moving to Portland and joined a bunch of other bands over the years, one of which was the now-popular Red Fang.  

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Gold Lion (single)
.  I don't have any good reason for including this entire single, other than I was
listening to it the other day.  "Modern Romance" is still a great song, and TV on the Radio's cover of "Modern Ro-
mance" is even greater.  

Clinic - Bubblegum.  I'll forget to listen to Clinic for a long time, and then be all like "Clinic is awesome" for a couple
of weeks, and then forget to listen to them again.  

David Bazan - Eating Paper.  What I said about Clinic more or less applies to David Bazan/Pedro the Lion too.  
Wolves at the Door

Nada Surf - Friend Hospital.  The new Nada Surf album is awesome, to no one's surprise.  I haven't gotten to see
them live in ages though, but that will all be changing...tomorrow.  Photos in future updates.  

The Kingsbury Manx - Future Hunter.  Their first record is still their best, but they've never released a dud.  These
tracks are from 2013's "Bronze Age."
Weird Beard & Black Wolf

***August Thirty First Two
Thousand and Sixteen***

Way too soon for the Christmas decorations kid.  It's never too soon for Richard Simmons though.  


Instagram -

Stressed out hound.  Cary, NC.  

A nice day.  Lake Jordan, NC.  

One year old.  Cary, NC.  


Links -

Hey, look at me, I'm famous!  Or, not really.  A magazine called The Local Palate used a photo I took of Cheetie from
Birds of Avalon in an article about her restaurant Garland.  

If Antihero puts out a new video, it gets posted here - that's just good science.  This one is called "Chesnut Hill."  Dann
Van Der Linden is the most exciting new kid to come on the scene in years.  

And yet another Antihero video, this one called "The Vickie Report."  I'm not sure what's gotten into these guys and
why they're so productive lately, but I couldn't be any happier about it.  

I'm not entirely sure what Dime is - are they just a clothing company or something more? - but whatever is going on,
they put on the best contests skateboarding has ever known.  I think the speed challenge is my favorite part, since they
have to wear wraparound sunglasses while skating.  Brilliant.  

We spent a good chunk of the middle of the month on a vacation out west; subsequently, that resulted in five
photo journal entries documenting the trip.  It was a good time.  Vacations are awesome, right?  


Bull City 11th Anniversary Party
with Superchunk, Pipe, Last Year's Men, and Daniel Bachman
Ponysaurus Brewing

Ponysaurus is located just a few blocks from the more "newly developed" parts of downtown Durham, but it's like a
different world - boarded up buildings, blight, and the typical trappings of inner city poverty abound.  You can see the
changes creeping that way though, that new money slowly overtaking block by block in the same fashion kudzu covers
everything it encounters.  I suppose Ponysaurus itse;f would be one of those agents of change themselves.  I'll leave it
up to the reader to decide if this a good or bad thing (or as is almost always the case in these situations, both), I'm just
painting the scene...

I got there and Daniel Bachman was already well into his set.  Just him and his guitar performing really pretty, intricate
instrumental music.  He also played this weirdly shaped lap guitar that I'm going to assume was a dobro until I'm told
different.  He's really damn young!  Way younger than you'd probably expect given his talent level...his recordings make
you would assume he's a much older cat, or at least that applied to me.  Maybe he just has an old soul, whatever that
means.  These instrumental guitar dudes are really hot right now, right?  It feels like there are a lot of them.  Daniel is
as good as any of them if not better. 

I was pretty excited Last Year's Men were playing this party, because I was pretty sure they had broken up.  Maybe
it was just a "hiatus," but either way they sorta fizzled out and I believe it had been quite a while since they last per-
formed live.  Does this gig signal that the band is back for real or was this just a one off, a favor for Bull City Records? 
I guess time will tell.  They were as good as ever, playing a number of tracks from their great album "Sunny Down
Snuff" as well as that second record they released only as MP3s that I must confess I haven't really heard.  I was into
the jams anyways though.  One noteworthy change was Montgomery was back in band - before their previous hiatus
(or whatever it was) he was no longer with the group, instead focusing all his attention on Flesh Wounds.  It was nice
to see him back in the fold.  I hope I get to see them again, and soon, because they're one of my favorite local acts. 

Pipe!  PIPE PIPE PIPE PIPE PIPE.  That's really all the review of this band should be.  I've seen them dozens upon
dozens of times and it's always the same...the band rocks out to pretty much the same songs they always play, holding
shit down in a straight-forward but necessary fashion; singer Ron Liberti, Robert Pollard's long lost twin, puts on a per-
formance that is somewhere between pantomime, modern dance and your favorite drunk uncle; the crowd throws
beer cans at the band; I smile and laugh the entire time.  They played a lot of great hits, including two of their best
"Biscuits" and "Yr Soaking in It" and a cover of Joe Jackson's "One More Time." At one point Ron caught one of the
beers thrown at him, took a drink from it, and then threw it back at the crowd as if the whole thing was choreographed. 
He also sang at least one song standing under a giant plastic tarp like he was wearing the world's most suffocating
ghost costume.  Pipe is everything rock bands should aspire to be. 

In a lot of ways what I said about Pipe also holds for Superchunk, minus the difference in antics of the respective
singers - about the most you get from Mac is a jump off of the drum riser and/or some windmill guitar work.  Like
Pipe, I've seen Superchunk dozens upon dozens of times, they play a ton of songs I've seen them play a more times
than I can count, and they're incredibly dependable.  Unlike Pipe, they've actually continued to write songs and release
albums since the nineties, and their material is a lot more fun to sing along to (sorry Pipe, I still love you).  In the run-up
to this show the band mentioned that this is the first time they've played locally since Merge 25 in the summer of 2014,
which makes sense because I've been grousing about not getting to see them for a good two years.  There's not a
whole lot I can say about these guys at this point, just know that other than Laura no longer playing with them live,
they've not lost a step. 


RIP Gene Wilder, an all-time favorite.
You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the
  new West. You know...morons."
Nation of Ulysses - The Lost Primal Scream Memphis Demos EP.  All these songs on this EP can be found on
their full-length albums, but there is no such thing as too much of the Nation.  
01 N-Sub Ulysses
02 50,000 Watts
03 Mockingbird, Yeah
04 Shakedown

Dan Sartain - Do You Hear My Voice.  This cat used to just be a garage rocker, but electro dark garage
rocker I guess?  Whatever you call it, I like the new direction.  
Walk Among the Cobras

Lydia Loveless - Can't Change Me.  I'm working backwards with Lydia's catalog - here are a couple of great tracks
from her bluegrass-inflected first record.  
More Like Them

The Mountain Goats - Choked Out.  It took me a while to get around to the most recent Goats' record that is all
about wrestling...despite the silly concept it's as good as most anything else John Darnielle has made.  

Polvo - Bridesmaid Blues.  In celebration of me finally getting their album "Exploded Drawing" on vinyl, here's a
shitload of songs from that record just because.  
Fast Canoe
Feather of Forgiveness
High-Wire Moves
In This Life

***July Thirty First Two
Thousand and Sixteen***

I turned 40 this month.  Decided to get a new car.  I think I made a wise choice.  



Tight crew.  Cary, NC.  

1968(ish) Chevrolet Impala.  Cary, NC.  

Admiral Fatlegs.  Cary, NC.  

Crazy clouds.  Marion, NC.  



Stevie Perez got a new pro shoe on Lakai, and put out a promo vid to promote/celebrate the event.  I was kinda in-
different to this guy when he first came on the scene, but the last year or so everything he has released has been gold.  

Sam Chao released a new short video of SF ripping called All Damn Day.  I have no idea who he is, but he has a
bunch of Crailtap dudes in there ripping so you go Sam.  Stick around to the very end to actually see the extremely
rare sight of Rick Howard skating!

Peter Hewitt released a new part for Spitfire.  Excellent tranny skating from start to finish, but my god that last trick...
an alley oop eggplant over a channel?  It's hard to fuckin' comprehend.  

One photo journal entry again, this from our recent yearly trip to Topsail Beach to hang with the family.    


Jenny Besetzt
with No One Mind, Enemy Waves, and Konvoi
The Pinhook

It had been forever since I'd been to a show...two months maybe?  Probably Moogfest was my last outing...apparently
I only go to shows in Durham now.  And what better way to throw yourself back in to the scene than to attend a four band
show, and be there from the very start?  Actually, there are a lot of better ways, but that's what I did. 

The reason for getting there so early?  Konvoi, an actual good band from Boone.  The idea of there being a group
from Boone that I would ever give a shit about was a foreign concept growing up just down the road from that hippie
haven, where most of the live entertainment involved groups with names like Mushroom Gravy Funk Concern, Quilted
Pants Family Band, and Patchouli Joe & the Broken Volkswagen Transmissions.  Instead, you get a four piece of
young dudes who are more (early) Whatever Brains than Widespread Panic.  They had a dark vibe to them as well,
reminiscent of Ex-Cult or Pop. 1280...lots of distorted vocals and minor chords.  Some call it art punk I guess.  They've
only released a cassette so far, and I no longer own a cassette player since selling my old Subaru, but you can listen
online if you're so inclined...and I'll definitely be seeing them again. 

Enemy Waves would probably count as the main reason I left the house tonight.  For whatever reason, every time
they play it's opposite other plans I have or I'm out of town or some such shit - luckily tonight worked out in my favor. 
Three-fourths of Enemy Waves might be made up of Birds of Avalon members, but you would never confuse the two
groups from their sound - this outfit is instrumental and pretty goddamn jazzy.  Jazzy in that mid-90s Thrill Jockey sort
of way mind you, not classic hard bop or anything.  Their sets used to feel a lot more freeform, but it had been a while
since the last time I saw them live and now the performance is much more structured.  They started and ended their
night with more traditional "rock" jams (with a bit of a kraut backbone), but in the middle they had both saxophones
out, squawking a very fanciful fashion...sounded great.  Those dudes really know how to blow a horn.  I'm really stoked
it finally worked out that I got to see them again. 

I didn't know anything about No One Mind, the third band of the night.  My friend Paul said "It's the Toddlers, basically,"
but I'm not sure if that was a reference to their sound, the band members, or maybe both.  To be honest I don't really
remember the Toddlers but I'm pretty sure I saw them live a time or two, they played a ton a few years back.  Once
they took the stage I did notice Missy from Love Language and Birds of Avalon (and god knows how many other
bands) in the group, but that was the limit to my knowledge.  The band turned down the lights, manned their own per-
sonal light show set up at their feet, and then proceeded to play what I would most generically describe as dark indie
pop.  Not that the band was generic, just my effort of describing them.  My first reaction was it reminded me of Arcade
Fire, and I know to a lot of people that might sound like an insult but fuck it, that first Arcade Fire record was damn
good.  No One Mind seems like an act to keep an eye on, wouldn't be at all surprised if they got a little buzz behind

At this point, it was time for the last act Jenny Besetzt, and goddamn was I tired.  They were there to celebrate the
release of their new full-length "Tender Madness," and I loved everything I heard but after a few songs my ass had to
bow out before I collapsed from lazinessitis and old leg syndrome.  They're a good pairing with No One Mind, both are
in the general frame of dark indie pop, with keyboards playing a large role in each band.  One of the most noticeable/
interesting aspect of Jenny Besetzt are the deep, almost Ian Curtis-like vocals; they kinda have a classic Echo & the
Bunnymen/Psychedelic Furs vibe.  What's not to like about that?  Next time I see them hopefully they won't be the fourth
group of the night. 


"Pain or damage don't end the world. Or despair or fucking beatings. The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you
got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man... and give some back."

Courtney Barnett - Depreston.  Hey, an actual popular artist that plays on SNL and is known by (at least some of)
the masses that I actually really like!
Elevator Operator
Pedestrian At Best

Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks - Houston Hades.  Pavement is an all-time favorite but I don't listen to Malkmus'
solo work as often as I should, considering it sounds just like Pavement with a tad more guitar histrionics.  

Sturgill Simpson - The Promise.  There's a reason Sturgill has been getting so much hype the last couple of years...
it's well deserved.  Dude is on another plane.
Turtles All the Way Down

Swearin' - Dust In The Gold Sack.  I'm not sure if Swearin' is a still a thing or not, now that singer Allison Crutchfield
is signed as  solo artist with Merge, but I expect good things from her in the future regardless.  Swearin' was great live.  
Here to Hear
Unwanted Place

Teenage Fanclub - Catholic Education 2.  Fanclub's first record gets lost in the shuffle sometimes, it's a little more
shoegaze slacker rock than the perfect pop band they would become...but I still love it.  Just not as much.  
Everything Flows

Them - Don't Look Back.  Hot take of the day: Van Morrison was much better with Them than he ever was solo.  

***June Thirtieth Two
Thousand and Sixteen***

America: love it, leave it, or get weird with it.



Important reading.  Cary, NC.  

Freeway life.  Near Morganton, NC.  

Happy sausage.  Cary, NC.  

Making hay.  Marion, NC.  

Kudzu godzilla.  Marion, NC.  

Phallic skyline.  Raleigh, NC.  



I have no idea who Eniz Fazliov is, but this part from the "Where We Come From" video is pure gold.  Dude goes
fast, big, and has great trick and spot selection.  The song as great as well.  Just skip the first two minutes unless you
like footage of pointless partying.  

Almost as good as new part from Grant Taylor is a ten minute compilation of some of his best footage over the years,
courtesy of Thrasher Magazine.  

Michael Mackrodt is back with yet another of his skating/tourism videos, this one called "Fishing Lines Tunisia."  
This one is a little heavier on the skating than the tourism, but still great.  Dude has some crazy quick feet.  

One large photo journal entry from our April trip to the Outer Banks.  Do with that what you will.  

Here are my show reviews: I didn't go to any damn shows last month.  Lazy, old, all of the above.  


"My lord! You're a tripod. What you been feeding that thing, eh? It looks like a baby's arm holding an apple. Good thing
is, if you ever get tired, you can use it as a kickstand!"

Allo Darlin' - History Lessons.  As always, this band is chock full of twee pop wonderfulness.  
We Come from the Same Place

American Aquarium - Man I'm Supposed To Be.  Local lads done's not often I think a band gets better as
they age, I almost always prefer the early work...but their latest record is the best of the bunch.
Southern Sadness

Billy Bragg And Wilco - Chain of Broken Hearts.  As you can see, I had a bit of difficulty narrowing down a couple
of favorites from the third volume of Woody Guthrie tunes that these two acts have recorded together.  
Give Me a Nail
Listening to the Wind That Blows
My Thirty Thousand
When the Roses Bloom Again

J Mascis - Every Morning.  New(ish) J Mascis sounds like older J Mascis sounds like what J Mascis should always
sound like.  

The Records - Hearts in Her Eyes.  I've long maintained that "Rumor Sets the Woods Alight" is one of the top five
power pop songs of all time, but the whole damn album it comes from, "Crashes," is damn near perfect.  
Man with a Girl Proof Heart
Rumor Sets the Woods Alight
Same Mistakes

***June Second Two
Thousand and Sixteen***


I didn't quite get this update done in time for the end of May.  It's not like I had a holiday weekend to work on it or some
such shit.  Please enjoy this delectable seafood platter as an apology.  


Instant Grams:

Wound up dog, curious baby.  Cary, NC.  

Plymouth Belvedere.  Raleigh, NC.  

Willie Nelson tour buses, Koka Booth.  Cary, NC.  



Despite their love of subpar filming equipment and cheeseball synth pop, Pyramid Country continue to kill it with
every video they release - their latest offering Distant Mind Terrain is no different.  

Boulevard Skateboards, on top of the world right now, released a new video called Quinto full of mostly Brazilians
and a few stragglers from other countries just killing every spot they happen upon.  Carlos Iqui had the best (and last)
part, unsurprisingly, but the real treat was Danny Cerezini, who I've never really cared about, having probably the sec-
ond best.  

Dos photo journal entries - one is the total set of Moogfest photos (see reviews below); the other is some snaps of
old houses and old friends seen on a weekend trip to South Carolina.   


Moogfest - Day 1
Featuring Gary Numan, Zombi, and Silver Apples

The first day of the first Durham edition of Moogfest...this is a way easier commute than the Asheville edition!  Despite
it being the type of festival where you bounce around from venue to venue, tonight was going to be very easy for me -
I was starting at Motorco and not leaving until it was time to walk to the car.  Not only that, this was my most anticipated
line-up of the whole event. 

First up for me was Silver Apples, aka Simeon.  When a band is just one man do you refer to it as a he or a they? 
Regardless, I saw him nearly twenty years ago (with a drummer that time) opening for Polvo at the Cat's Cradle, and
he was already an old dude then...I mention this not to mock him, but purely out of adoration.  The man turns 78 this
year and is just as lively, vibrant, and impressive as anyone else at Moogfest, of any age.  This man is nearly as old
as my grandma, and here he is on stage tweaking the shit out of his homemade synth (called the Simeon, for the
record), making music that formed the backbone of what krautrock and electronic music would come to be.  In my
opinion, there aren't many artists as important as Silver Apples in this realm - this band should be the Wikipedia entry
when you look up the phrase "ahead of their time."  Oh, did I mention his performance was un-fucking-believably
good?  The kind of good where it might end up being my favorite show of the entire year, or at a minimum top three. 
He played songs across his entire catalog as well as a few new ones, ending with an epic version of his classic
"Oscillations."  As much gushing as I have done here, it still doesn't encapsulate how happy this show made me. 

Often, my excitement for bands that follow an epic performance are unfairly lowered, like a come down after some
particularly potent drugs or a damn good milkshake.  It's not the band's fault, just human nature...or at least my personal
human nature.  Coming into the festival, Zombi was probably the group I was most excited about - and the thing is,
they were totally rad.  A duo from Pittsburgh, their recordings might have you believe they're just a laptop performance
(a pretty common sight at Moogfest) - but it was a real, live band up on that stage.  One cat played bass and had a
whole shitload of synths, sometimes played separately and occasionally at the same time; the other dude handled the
drums, and also seemed to have some sort of synth action, electronic drums, and/or triggers he was working with. 
They sounded good, and I enjoyed myself, but I'm pretty sure I would have liked it a lot more if it hadn't immediately
followed something so mind-blowing.  I'd be stoked to go see Zombi again though. 

The final act I would see this evening was Gary Numan.  He was holding a three day residency, performing a diff-
erent album each night  - tonight it was his solo debut, "Replicas."  Much to my dismay none of the nights were focus-
ing on the Tubeway Army record...not that I thought they would, but a man has to have dreams.    I had already been
standing in the same spot for three hours, sweaty and uncomfortable, and Numan had the temerity to take the stage
at least forty minutes late.  When he did finally show up, at least he and the rest of the band sounded great.  I probably
don't need to tell you anything about the set list - feel free to look up the track listing to "Replicas" if you're curious.  A
long delay like this one would have been much easier to accept if it happened at one of his next two shows, which
are at the seated venue Carolina Theater.  Good god, I'm getting old.  I only made it through about two-thirds of his
set before my legs finally waved the white flag, and it was time to go.  Luckily, there would be more opportunities to
see Numan the next two days...


Moogfest - Day 2
Featuring Grimes, Denzel Curry, and Gary Numan
Downtown Durham

My good man Brian came in from Wilmington for the next two nights of Moogfest.  I typically go to shows solo, so it
was a nice change of pace to have one of my best friends there for the old man version of rocking and/or rolling. 

We decided to start our night with Grimes.  To be honest, neither one of us knew a thing about her (I actually wasn't
even sure if it was a her or a them going into the show), and I mostly went in with an open mind...a mind that closed
fairly fast, to be honest.  We lasted two songs, but I was over it halfway through the first.  All of the music appeared to
be pre-recorded, and when I say all of the music I'm even including the vocals.  She might have sang along during parts
of the song, but there were multiple times (just in the brief time we were there) that the mic was a good two feet from
her face but the vocals were still perfect.  It was basically a dance & lip sync performance, which I suppose I might
have come around to accepting if I actually liked how it sounded.  I was certainly in the minority in this opinion though -
the place was packed and the crowd was eating it up.  I guess I can't always be hip to what the kids like...

We walked next door to Motorco to see what was happening there - I knew it would be hip hop, but I didn't know any-
thing about the artist performing - Denzel Curry.  Turns out it was a young dude out of Miami with great dreads who
bounced around the stage like he was on a cocktail of Red Bull and cocaine.  I've never been that great at describing
rappers, but the dude had an aggressive, fast style - a style I greatly prefer compared to the stoned mushmouths that
seem to get so much of the shine these days.  The music was often some sort of swirly, spacey electropop backed by
heavy beats...that's probably a terrible description, but it's what my dumb brain heard.  We took in about a half-dozen
tracks before moving on, he gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from me. 

We headed to the Carolina Theatre from there for Gary Numan, but got there early enough to see some of the "band"
before him, Grouper.  And by "band" I mean a woman sitting on the stage, surrounded by electronics, playing music
that sounded exactly like one of those CDs of rain forest noises some folks use to go to sleep.  It was, well...there it
was. It was a thing.  I was mostly confused, and sleepy.

Finally though, Gary Numan. I liked being up front at Motorco the night before, but I think this theatre was a better
setting for him. It certainly was more conducive to his crazy light show; it also didn't hurt he spent the night playing his
classic album "The Pleasure Principle" in full. We were in the middle of the second deck, and the sound was much
better than the night before, which is probably to be expected given both the better acoustics and a better location in
the venue.  Let it also be stated that no matter how many times you've heard "Cars," seeing it performed live is one of
life's great treats.  The night might have started off comically bad, but this more than made up for it.


Moogfest - Day 3
Featuring Mac McCaughan, The Body, Quintron and Miss Pussycat, and Sunn O))
Downtown Durham

On the plus side, today's shows started early; the negative is there was no way in hell we were lasting until the end of
the night.  We made our way to a small spot right next to the Carolina Theatre called the Durham Arts Council PSI
Theatre just before 4 PM to see Mac McCaughan.  I've seen him somewhere in the range of five million times be-
tween all of his projects (Superchunk, Portastatic, solo, etc), but this was the first time I would witness a performance
of this fashion - Mac tweaking a bank of synths and keyboards, a dude with a clipboard standing behind him in a
judgemental manner, and some modern dancers doing their modern dance thing.  The music was all instrumental and
started a little slow, but I was feeling it for the bulk of the set.  Like any other time I've ever seen anything of this nature,
I didn't have a goddamn clue what was going on, but I suppose it was interesting enough to watch for a little while.  I'm
still unclear if the clipboard guy was a part of the performance, or actually doing something. 

We walked over to the Pinhook from there, the first time the festival had led me to my favorite Durham venue.  Metal
duo the Body were next up, a band I have wanted to see live for a little while but, you know, laziness.  I'd be lying if I
said I was super familiar with their work, but I'd only heard good things about them from my "metal friends."  A quick
scan of the crowd confirmed they were definitely the act to see this weekend if you had a neck tattoo - my bare throat
firmly placed me in the minority, or so it felt.  It wasn't the most dynamic live performance I've seen, and I couldn't much
tell one song from the next, but I still liked it.  I was expecting a more metal sound, but they were more sludgy and heavy,
not that unlike Big Business to be honest.  They actually use guitar versus Jared's bass in Big Business, but it was an
extremely low tuned guitar, perhaps even baritone.  I also found it interesting that the drummer didn't use a real bass
drum, but rather a pedal that seemed to trigger a distorted, electronic bass drum; which seemed to have some com-
plications, and might have led to them playing such a short set (probably in the range of 20 minutes).      

Next up at the Pinhook was Quintron and Miss Pussycat, yet another band I've meant to see forever but have
always put off...I was really able to knock some things off my "to do list" this night!  There was a pack of really annoy-
ing Quintron superfans surrounding me, but after seeing the duo's performance it was easy to see how someone
could end up like that - they were goddamn amazing, easily one of my favorite performances of the fest.  The show
started with a ten minute puppet show, and really well done one at that - I'm no puppet aficionado and/or expert, but
the puppets seemed be very well made and the short skit was quite entertaining.  After that was the music - I'm not
sure a genre exists in which one could properly file I'm giving them their own genre called "swamp
boogie."  Lots of organ and synths, a smattering of drums and cymbals, and a slide guitar, all of which Quintron plays
at the same time like a demented one man band.  Some of the music was pre-recorded, but he was definitely doing
the bulk of the work.  Miss Pussycat offered some flavor in the form of vocals and percussion (aka them gourd-like
shaker things that probably have an actual name that I don't know), but Quintron is mostly running the show.  Although
I didn't really know any of the songs, I was way into it from start to finish, and you can be sure I'll be purchasing some
of his recordings in the very near future. 

After stuffing ourselves with amazing pizza from Pompieri and a little record shopping at Carolina Soul, we ended our
night at the large stage next to Motorco.  Turns out they were holding a smoke machine demonstration...also, I think
Sunn O))) was performing somewhere behind all that smoke and you could even occasionally see them.  On the one
hand, I sorta get the concept of enjoying the music and not worrying about actually watching the band...on the other
hand, if watching them wasn't important why are they all dressed in their fancy demonic monk robes?  Much like when
I saw them at Hopscotch a couple of years ago, I'm not entirely sure what to say about the live Sunn O))) experience. 
They weren't as loud as last time, I'm guessing largely due to being outdoors.  It was just as smoky as last time, but
the machines had to work extra hard - there were probably three on each side of the stage, plus some blowing be-
hind the band.  The audience was about half-ecstatic and half-bewildered at what they were seeing, which I suspect
is the norm for their performances (at least at festivals where you get a lot randoms just there to see what the fuss is
about).  I still don't understand what they are doing or why they are doing it, but I like it nonetheless...which further
confuses me because I'm not even sure why I like it.  Even with earplugs and even with it outdoors, it was still god-
damn loud - the vibrations are what you feel the most.  That was as good a note to end Moogfest on as any...not
sure Sunn O))) is really followable, whether you liked them or not.


Moogfest - Day 4
Featuring Weather Warlock and D-Town Brass
Geer Street Garden

But wait, there's more!  Moogfest was supposed to be over, but we got word that there would be a sunrise show
featuring Weather Warlock and D-Town Brass.  Who is Weather Warlock?  It's Quintron of Quintron and Miss
Pussycat playing his homemade synthesizer that changes it's sound based on the weather...sun versus overcast,
rain versus shine, windy versus still...they all result in different sounds apparently due to the synth being wired to what
is basically a weather station.  We got up at five in the morning and drove back over to Durham, because why the hell
not?  How often do you get to see a musical performance at sunrise?  You can always take a nap later.  We got there
right as the show started, Quintron and his crazy contraption on one side of the patio at Geer Street Garden, all of
D-Town Brass on the other side, and a handful of bleary-eyed observers scattered around, coffee in hand.  To be per-
fectly honest I was prepared for a skronky free-form mess, but this shit was well organized - clearly some plans had
been made beforehand.  It started out intentionally a little lol6ose, and then about a third of the way into the thirty minute
set/single song, the drums kicked in and it turned into this unbelievably great blend of jazz and krautrock like I've never
heard before.  I was mesmerized the entire time, and I really hope someone got a good audio recording and it sees
the light of day in the near future.  I don't think it would be a stretch to say this was my second favorite performance of
the whole event, and what a note to end on. 


Record Store Day 2016
with Eric Bachmann, Skylar Gudasz, and the Charming Youngsters
Schoolkids Durham & Bull City Records

There wasn't a single record on the list of exclusive "Record Store Day" releases that I really gave a shit about...It's
highly likely the day has jumped the proverbial shark.  I mean, I still went out to a few stores and bought some records,
but nothing "special" to this day.  Despite a lack of interest in the physical component behind the "holiday," I was totally
down for the parties that the various record stores were having to celebrate all of their extra sales. 

I started off at Schoolkids in Durham.  I hadn't been to the store since it became Schoolkids - it's a nice spot even if
their used selection is a bit lacking.  I was primarily there to see Eric Bachmann, especially since I missed him the
last time he was in town this past winter...having a new kid leads to a lot of sickness, which then leads to missed per-
formances.  He was set up outside the store in the open patio area, a perfect setting on such a gorgeous day.  As you
might expect for a gig happening in the middle of the day in a place as busy as Brightleaf Square, lots of randoms and
families and random families wandering around, which always leads to kids standing directly in front of the band totally
mesmerized.  Basically, a short version of me I guess.  Eric performed with two other musicians plus two female back-
up singers, one of which was local Skylar Gudasz, who would be performing after him.  Outside of a couple of tracks it
was all songs from his latest self-titled solo record, not the first under his own name but the the first since he officially
retired the Crooked Fingers moniker.  It was great from start to finish, and the back-up singers really adding a great
extra dimension you usually don't get with Bachmann's songs (the very same sentiment is true of that new self-titled

After Bachmann, Skylar Gudasz performed a few songs from her excellent new record "Oleander." My friend Yan,
who has played with everyone from the Rosebuds to Mount Moriah to Bowerbirds to probably every other band in the
Triangle, was performing with her and it was great to catch up with him.  I love her songs but the real draw is her voice -
to say it is heavenly is an understatement.  She reminds me a lot of Karen Carpenter, and I mean that in the best way
possible.  I only had time for a few tracks, but I left certain I would be seeing her perform again in the near future. 

I cruised across town to Bull City Records to briefly partake in their Record Store Day festivities as well.  Aside from
buying more records, as one does, I was there to see a little bit from
the Charming Youngsters - or rather, half of
the Charming Youngsters, thy rhythm section were clearly otherwise engaged.  It had been a little bit since the last
time I saw them play, but their ramshackle pop songs sounded as good as ever.  Unlike at Schoolkids, they were play-
ing in the store, and it made for nice accompaniment while I dug around in the vinyl, or at least the vinyl I could get to as
there were quite a few people piled into the tiny store.  It was a day well spent, and money well spent too.


"I needed to think about last night. So I galloped into a wooded glen, and after punch-dancing out my rage and suffering
an extremely long and very painful fall, I realized what has to be done."

Airstrip - Magician's Assistant.  Another local band that showed a ton of promise and then disappeared as fast as
they first appeared.  That seems to happen a lot around here.  
Pleasure Center

Alvvays - Atop A Cake.  I never paid much attention to these kids until I saw them open for Belle & Sebastian - turns
out they are a damn good pop band.  
Next of Kin
Party Police

David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights - A Break In The Weather.  Anything related to the Clean is a-ok with me.  
Diamond Mine

Kurt Vile - Pretty Pimpin.  Probably Vile's best song.  Actually, definitely Vile's best song.    
Life Like This

Lydia Loveless - Head.  Saw her at Hopscotch last year and was impressed, which led to getting her record "Some-
where Else" - possibly my favorite record of the first half of the year, and I don't even care if it's a couple of years old.  
Really Wanna See You Again
Wine Lips

Ron Funches - Black Tuba Players.  Not music!  Ron Funches is one of the best comedians working right now.  
Ignorant Rap Music

The Rosebuds - In My Teeth.  My good man Brian laid the Fleetwood Mac-esque solo down on this track, oh man
it rules so goddamn hard.  
Sand + Silence


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