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***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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