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***March Thirty First Two Thousand and Fourteen***

 

Spring is finally here!  Time to let the girls out, ladies!


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Instagrammery:

Burt and his sunbeam.  Cary, NC.


Surly Mouse.  Cary, NC.    


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The last of my medium format Mexico photos that I was posting for a while and then got sidetracked with some other
stupid shit but now I'm back to posting them and writing run on sentences.  


View from the top of Ek Balam.  


Templo del Norte, Chichen Itza.  


Chichen Itza.


Chichen Itza.


Tulum.


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Links:


In my attempt to post articles about pool for two straight months, here is a classic piece from 1961 about the real
Minnesota Fats,hustling, and the nature of pool tournaments.  I find these articles endlessly fascinating.  

The New York Times did one of their 36 hours travel articles on our fair town of Raleigh.  Like always I would have
likely mentioned a lot of other shit, but not bad.  

My dude John sent me this interesting article about a record store in New York City, the strange denizens that fre-
quented the place, and how that led to pre-war blues holding the popularity that it does these days.  

A long & well-written article that basically says what anyone with common sense knows - let your kids play.  

Two great skate vids this month:
 - Jason Park - Hawaiian dude with a nuts bag of tricks...part Daewon, part Richie Jackson, part old school freestyler.
 - Adidas Skate Copa - It's got both the Gonz and Lucas Puid in it, so it's automatically awesome.  Plus, like all Adidas
   vids, very well filmed and put together.  

Four new photo journal entries this month - band photos, documentation of a rare snowfall, and two (of four total) parts
from the cruise we took earlier this month.  

In the Music reviews, still going through my old seven inches and posting poorly written reviews (I've made it to the
second box!).  Some of the new reviews include the first two Merge subscription seven inches, Mandolin Orange,
Lovers, Future Islands, Fuzz, and more.    



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Eugene Mirman
with Derrick Brown
Cat's Cradle
2/5/2014

I nearly always go to rock shows alone, but for some reason it seems weird going to a comedy show solo.  I guess
laughter is com
munal or some such shit, but it's not like I was going to be the only person in the room.  The wife got
called out of town for work, so
I unloaded my extra ticket out front  - quite easily to be honest, as the show ended up
being sold out - and found a seat what to make
with the laughing and all that. 

Derrick Brown, a poet from Texas, opened the gig.  I guess he's won awards or something for his words, and it wasn't
as weird an opener as you would think.  His poems were short and funny and due to him having spent time in Fayette-
ville in the army, they had local flavor - in particular there was one about cruising in Benson, and another about party-
ing with the trash in Myrtle Beach.  He only spoke for 15 or 20 minutes, probably just the right amount for a poet per-
forming before a comedian.  His book (or books?) would likely be worth checking out if they are anything like what he
read this evening. 

I had never seen Eugene Mirman in person before, but between watching various stand-up specials and listening to
his albums I
knew exactly what to expect - and all those expectations were met.  He mixed straight-forward stand-up,
props and pictures, and
even multimedia into a great hour (or so) of laughs.  He showed off a series of comical por-
traits he was trying to get shown in a
Brooklyn Whole Foods; talked about taking out an ad in a brochure somewhere
in Vermont(?) to protest a parking ticket he got
there; aired an elaborate series of previews of fake shows for the
made up TV network he wants to create (it reminded me a lot of
Weird Al's "UHF")...oh, and he married a couple of
people on-stage.  It was a full and entertaining night, Eugene really knows how
to put on a show. 

(Photo not mine; also, not a photo.)


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Perfect Pussy
with Whatever Brains
Kings
1/9/2014

In retrospect this would turn out to be the last time I would see Whatever Brains in this particular configuration, as the
bassist would leave the band shortly thereafter.  I'm not the gossipy type so I have no idea what the details are, I just
know he wasn't with them at a later show and then there was a Facebook post about a new bassist.  None of that
really matters though, because they were just as weird and awesome as always regardless of band dynamics.  They
had Kings turn out nearly all of the lights making photography difficult, not that it didn't stop me from trying.  It was ex-
actly what you expect out of them - a little punk, a little art rock, a little attitude, and a shitload of keyboards.  As always,
much fun was had. 

Having already gotten my money's worth, why not stick around and see what all the fuss is about with Perfect Pussy
And I didn't even have to stick around very long, a their set was fifteen minutes long at the most.  They're pretty much a
straight-forward hardcore band with a female singer and a little keyboard noise mixed in.  You could barely hear the
vocals (they appeared to be coming from a small amp on the stage), but the band was plenty fun to watch - singer
Meredith Graves paced the stage like a panther and was very photogenic doing it.  I'm not entirely sure why the likes
of Rolling Stone and other major publications have glommed on to this band versus other hardcore bands, but I'd
rather Perfect Pussy be getting press than some other shit act. 



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"These boys grow up staring at the rear ends of cows and pigs, it's only natural that a real woman will get them chafing
their pants."


Bleached - Think of You.  Even if they never write another song close to as good as this one, it's still better than most
musicians can claim.  

Obits - Shift Operator.  Just now getting around to the Obits record from 2011; hopefully I can tackle last year's release
by 2020.  Good thing their shit is timeless.  
Bonus: You Gotta Lose.

Radiohead - Cuttooth.  Both tracks here are outtakes from "Amnesiac."  Still really love that album, haven't listened
to their work nearly as much as I listened to that one and "Kid A."
Bonus: Fog.    

The Mutants - So American.  Words can't describe the ridiculousness of this song.  The lyrics are perfect.  

The Sea and Cake - Covers.  Like Obits above, this band is timeless in my book.  
Bonus: On and On.  
Bonus: Skyscraper.

A wad of classic power pop.  The Pointed Sticks songs are particularly good.  
Paragraf Pop - Med Dig
Pointed Sticks - I'm Numb
Pointed Sticks - Lies!
Princes of Peace - X-Ray Proved
Terminal Spectators - Another Day
The Jags - Back of My Hand





***February Twenty Eighth
Two Thousand and Fourteen***

 

This picture says it all - fuck this winter.  Bring on the spring!  Bring on longer days where you can actually do shit out-
side after work!  Bring on the pizza!  Actually, that last one is not season specific.  


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Burt romping in the snow.  Cary, NC.  


Rescue kittens.  Raleigh, NC.  


Old house.  Near Biscoe, NC.  


Mouse's close-up.  Cary, NC.  


Old truck, old roof.  Troy, NC.  


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Links:

A couple of good (somewhat long) reads:  
1.  The Last Days of Ty Cobb.  The article, written in 1961, is exactly as the title suggests.  Apparently it's considered
one of the all-time sports pieces.  I wouldn't argue with that assertion.  
2.  Can't Knock the Hustle.  This title is a little less self-explanatory - it's about pool, from multiple POVs - the pro-
fessionals, the hustlers, the gamblers, etc.  Very enjoyable read.  

After years of meaning to do it and months of actually working on it, here is a mix of all my favorite songs by the band
Low.  This band may not be for everyone, but they're one of my all-time favorites.    

Very fun BBC doc on The Fall and especially it's eccentric leader Mark E. Smith.  A joy to watch and listen to, but I'd
hate to have to spend any time with the loon.

Three new photo journal entries - band photos again (this time Built to Spill, Fuzz, Lovers, and more), and two parts
from the trip to California over Christmas, including a big hunk of photos of Joshua Tree National Park.  

In the Music reviews, still going through my old seven inches and posting poorly written reviews.  Apparently I only
got around to two new reviews (Best Coast and a Ska compilation), but I liked both.  I did manage to talk about mid-
eighties singles from both Musical Youth and Eddie Murphy though, so I'm pretty much delivering exactly what the
people want.  


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Kumail Nanjiani
with Jerrod Carmichael
Local 506
12/23/2013

This was more or less a repeat of the show these guys put on a couple of years back, and I'm very thankful for it. 
Kumail Nanjiani is married to a local gal and they were in town for the Christmas break; ditto for Jerrod Carmichael,
a North Carolina dude trying to make it in the LA comedy world but back in town for the holidays. 

I'm not sure if Jerrod was just flying by the seat of his pants or if he had a well designed set to feel that way, but either
way it felt like he was just telling jokes off the top of his head and shooting the shit with the crowd.  His parents were
there, standing right next to me actually, and played into his material fairly often.  The man has really honed his craft in
my opinion - two years ago I thought he was fairly funny, but I laughed tons more this time out. 

Kumail also felt pretty loose - last time it seemed like he was performing a pretty well rehearsed act, whereas this time
he mixed what was clearly his standard material with a lot of ad libs and crowd work.  He also had a lengthy inter-
rogation of a Pakistani gal who was at the gig, basically reminiscing about his childhood with her.  At the end, in con-
junction with his wife, there was a lengthy Q&A session.  I actually asked a question, surprising even myself, wondering
if he had made up with Marc Maron - to which he responded "next question" and his wife explained she was good
friends with Maron and that drives Kumail crazy. 


It was a fun evening, and hopefully Kumail continues this trend of playing a show every other year at christmas.  A
great tradition started. 



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Whatever Brains
with Goner
Legends
12/6/2013

There's a new First Friday show happening here in town called "Let Feedback Ring," booked by one of the local punk
label dudes (I think).  First Friday, for the record, is an art/music/random douchebag gathering that happens every first
Friday on the month in downtown Raleigh.  A lot of places do something similar, sometimes on Thursday (as was the
case when I lived in Oakland) or Saturday or whatever.  Hey, any excuse to get people downtown spending money with
local business is a good idea. 

The gig was held at Legends.  I once went to Legends for my 21st birthday back when I was a dumb college kid in the
nineties and the idea of going to a gay club was funny for some reason.  I had no idea how big this place was though -
there an entire theater area in the back with a stage that is great for live shows.  I got there in time to catch most of the
set from Goner.  It feels like these guys have been around forever, even as far back (I think) as my first stint in the
Triangle until I left in 2000.    I've never followed them closely but they are a quality pop band, and I was glad to finally
check them out.  They used the gig to play their newest record "Faking the Wisdom" from start to finish.  Musically it
would be hard not to compare their piano-driven rock to Ben Folds, though I'd rather listen to Goner myself.  Goner
also has a smidge of prog rock running through them, and had more than a couple of moments that reminded me of
Dismemberment Plan (particularly the vocals).  The healthy crowd seemed to enjoy it, as did I. 

Whatever Brains happened, as they do.  This time it was in companion with a crazy light show being projected on
them, which was different and made for a few cool photos.  You just have to snap wildly in those occasions because
the light on the band is changing so rapidly.  You get a lot of junk and a few gems, which is no different than any photo-
graphy really, but it's much more dramatic with a light show.  I still say the band is slowly turning into a hybrid of the Fall
and Liars, which is totally awesome in my book, but my friends disagree.  They played one of their long, epic, heavily
keyboard-driven songs as have populated their set lists lately.  I'm into it. 



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Pontiak
with Guardian Alien
Kings
12/3/2013

This was my third time seeing Pontiak this year.  To be more specific, it was my third time seeing them since early
September.  All three sets have been pretty similar, and at the same time all three sets have been stellar.  When it's
this good, I'll gladly listen and watch them play the same set three more times...hell, thirty more times.  You can look at
my older ramblings here and here if you want more dumb words on the subject, just know that this band is basically
perfection live when it comes to this brand of southern gothic heavy rock music. 

The opener was Guardian Alien.  I think they played at the last Hopscotch or maybe the one before that...shit, all I re-
member was people were talking about them.  And they were probably talking because of drummer Greg Fox, known
for his work in Liturgy or maybe because he's an amazing badass behind the kit.  The music was a combination of
Tune-Yards art-pop weirdness and the heavy quirky vibes of Don Caballero.  In fact, Fox's drumming style reminds me
quite a bit of Damon Che of Don Cab, though thankfully Fox has the good manners to keep his clothes on while he
performs.  I wasn't 100% in love with all of their music, but watching him drum honestly made it not really matter. 



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"
Everything you touch turns to shit, you're like king Midas's idiot brother."

Belle And Sebastian - Meat And Potatoes.
 One of the best songs B&S has recorded in a long damn time; from
their singles comp that came out late last year.  
Bonus: I Didn't See It Coming (Richard X remix).  
Bonus: Suicide Girl.  

How about a pile of (mostly) hits from Dinosaur Jr.?  Because why the hell not.  
Crumble
Feel the Pain
Freak Scene
Start Choppin'
They Always Come

Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Precious Rose.  A few songs from the b-sides comp by Australia's greatest
creation.  Yes, even better than the kangaroo.  And the platypus.  
Bonus: Wet Cement.  
Bonus: You Let Me Be Honest With You.  

Fergus & Geronimo - Powerful Lovin'.  This band vacillates between awesome and annoying like a goddamn
metronome.  

Paul Westerberg - Dyslexic Heart.  I promise it wasn't even planned but these are a few outtake tracks by Paul
Westerberg.  Guess I was just listening to a lot of rarity collections lately.  You'll probably know two of these songs from
the "Singles" soundtrack.
Bonus: Stain Yer Blood.  
Bonus: Waiting for Somebody.  





***January Thirty First
Two Thousand and Fourteen***

 

It's been cold as shit so far this winter.  It's family-friendly, bucolic scenes like this one that really help me through these
trying times.  


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I-grams:


Burt, snow, wonky ear.  Cary, NC.  


Mouse on the bed.  Cary, NC.  


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Best films of 2013!
I'm never going to get around to seeing everything I want or need to see that came out last year, so this is what I've got
for now.  

My top 5 of the year (in order):
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Way Way Back
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me
Pacific Rim
Mud

Also damn good for various reasons (in alphabetical order):

Elysium
Killer Joe
The Kings of Summer
Miss You Can Do It
Twenty Feet from Stardom
The Wolf of Wall Street
World War Z
The World's End

Damn enjoyable movies from other years I saw this year for the first time (in alphabetical order):
The Bad Seed (1956)
Bullhead (2011)
Dear Zachary (2008)
Dredd (2012)
The House I Live In (2012)
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)
Miami Connection (1987)
Room 237 (2012)
Sinister (2012)


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Only one link this time around...

The Indy, our local weekly paper used one of my photos for their review of the Perfect Pussy show.  My review will be
next month hopefully, or just read the one in the link for less rambling, more coherent wordsmithery.

Two new photo journal entries - band photos (Pontiak, Schooner, Libraness, Heather from Mount Moriah, and more)
and just a chunk of miscellaneous snaps from the last few months.  

In the Music reviews, still going through my old seven inches and posting poorly written reviews.  New music reviews
of note include Fuzz (which I thought I already had written about), Bad Sports, Belle & Sebastian, Cheap Time, and
more.  Counting both old and new reviews, I've posted about 53 different releases this month!  That's a lot of bullshitting.



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Midlake
Local 506
11/11/2013

I've been a huge fan of Midlake for years and seen them live a number of times - their 2006 album "The Trials of Van
Occupanther" would easily make my top ten records of the last decade.  But then their singer Tim Smith left before
they finished their most recent record "Antiphon," and honestly I didn't know how the hell their live show would turn out. 
You can lose a drummer or a guitarist and generally replace them fairly seamlessly, but losing the voice of the band is
another thing entirely.  Short of holding an international search for a new singer and finding a diminutive sound-alike
from the Philippines, they did the next best thing and just had guitarist Eric Pulido take over on the mic. 

Last time the band was in town they played at the Cradle - it wasn't full, but there was a healthy crowd there.  This time,
they're playing to a half-full Local 506.  Probably not a good sign, but I hope that doesn't serve as a deterrent for them
as a band or from returning to our area.  Even with the singer change, it still worked - they are still a fantastic group
both recorded and live.  The new lead vocals aren't spot on, but they're close enough.  they showed up with their own
pro lighting gear and a personal sound man, which is a funny sight for such a small club.  IT was such a tech set-up
they didn't have monitors but rather ear pieces, arena rock style.  The band did a good job mixing their new songs
with older tracks from "Van Occupanther" and "The Courage of Others," as it should be.  I really enjoyed myself tonight,
and I'm glad they are able to continue even with the change in frontman. 



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Pelican
with Coliseum
Local 506
11/4/2013

According to the band this was the first time Coliseum had ever played in the the Triangle in their ten years of exis-
tence.  A band bypassing our area for a long period of time isn't that strange, but given these guys are only from
Louisville it does seem odd they never would have toured here.  But hey, they're here now and that's what counts. 
I have heard from multiple friends that they put on a top-notch live show, and those reports turned out to be 100% true. 
Their records are enjoyable but they just can't measure up to the power and ferocity of the band on stage.  I'm not
sure if it's just me or a truism for the genre, but I find this often to be the case with heavy and/or metal bands.  These
cats are more than just metal though, I hear a distinct tinge of punk throughout most of their music - specifically, Black
Flag.  And then there wee a couple of other times when they approached a Queens of the Stone Age radio-friendly
hard rock vibe.  Regardless of sound, it was all great, and hopefully it's not ten more years before they come back. 

I might have been at the show slightly more for Coliseum, but I've been a fan of headliners Pelican for years, having
even seen them a good decade ago when I lived in San Francisco.  I don't remember much from that show other than
being there (at Bottom of the Hill I believe), so it was nice to get a refresher from this instrumental metal act.  I'm not
sure what to really say about them though - they sounded great, the songs rocked.  I've listened to their records but
couldn't tell you the name of any of their songs, which obviously isn't helped when the songs have no words.  If it was
me I would have flipped the order of the bands because Coliseum seemed a more fitting closer, but two good bands
is two good bands regardless of when you see them on a bill. 



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Built to Spill
with Slam Dunk
The Cat's Cradle
10/30/2013

I never tire of seeing Built to Spill live.  I've seen them dozens of times and like a fine wine they get better with age. 
At least this is what I'm told, I ain't one of them fancy yuppies what partakes in spoilt grape drink.  Brett Netson and the
other bald guitarist who isn't Doug Martsch were still with the band, but they had a new rhythm section.  Other than that
it was business as usual with a BtS live event - great songs. hot solos, and the always awful crowd they seem to attract. 
I guess that also says something about me but I'm old now and who gives a shit really.  This outing they played a lot
more older songs than usual, especially from "There's Nothing Wrong with Love" - "In the Morning," "Car," and "Big
Dipper" off the top of my head.  Other highlights included "Kicked It in the Sun," "Joyride," "Carry the Zero," plus a
couple of covers: Blue Oyster Cult's "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" and the Smiths' "How Soon Is Now?".  On the cover
songs in particular Doug and Brett really got to play up their guitar god status, they nailed all the riffs and solos per-
fectly.  I eagerly look forward to their return again next year.     

They had an interesting opener called Slam Dunk, and as is typical for Built to Spill they appeared to be friends of
theirs from the Pacific Northwest.  I guess they had sort of a "cow punk garage pop" thing going...imagine the Meat
Puppets crossed with the Craps crossed with some indie pop like Modest Mouse.  I seem to recall there being a lot
of shouting on stage.  As you might imagine with a combination of sounds like I heard, some songs were interesting
and enjoyable, and others were a bit of a mess.  I liked them more than I didn't though, and I'd check out their record
if I came across it. 



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"
No thank you, Delmar. One third of a gopher would only arouse my appetite without bedding it down. "

Pretty much the whole Michigan Nuggets comp is fantastic, these tracks are the best of the best in my eyes.  
Bob Seger - Heavy Music, Part 2
MC5 - I Can Only Give You Everything
? & the Mysterians - Can't Get Enough of You Baby
The Rationals - Leavin' Here
Tim Tam & the Turn-Ons - Wait a Minute
Unrelated Segments - Where You Gonna Go 

Lee Hazlewood - Hey Cowboy.  It's entirely possible I've posted both of these tracks before.  So be it.  
Bonus: No Train to Stockholm.  

My favorite tracks from the third disc of the Roy Orbison box set I bought a while back.
Breakin' Up Is Breakin' My Heart
Communication Breakdown
Goodnight
Unchained Melody
What'd I Say

The Mae Shi - Boys in the Attic.  The recordings of these guys never came close to their live show.  

The Secret Machines - Alone, Jealous and Stoned.  In the world of over blown major label indie rock, this group
was still pretty damn good.  Honestly if they would have been British I think they would have been huge.  





***January Second
Two Thousand and Fourteen***

   

As a christmas present to ourselves the wife and I decided to have a portrait made.  Dig that hip goat man!

Kind of a light update, what with the mid-month "best of" post in December, taking a trip to LA (photos next time), and,
of course, a large helping of laziness.


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Instagrams...


Burt sleeping on his face.  Cary, NC.


Local pond.  Cary, NC.


Mouse exploring outside.  Cary, NC.


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Jon Rafman - finding art through google street view.  It doesn't sound nearly as interesting as it actually is.  

Grant Taylor
officially made the move to Antihero, and even though the welcome video is likely just throwaway foot-
age filmed in the last couple of months, it's still nuts.  

One new Photo journal entry - band photos including Superchunk, Parting Gifts,  Birds of Avalon, Speedy Ortiz and a
few others.  

In the Music reviews I continue working through my old seven inches as I organize my collection.  New music reviews
of note include Polvo, ASG, and a couple of other things I wasn't overly excited about.



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Lovers
The Pinhook
10/25/2013

This is the second time I've gone to see Lovers at the Pinhook, and it's the second time I've rearranged my schedule
to do so.  The first time, I didn't exactly postpone my vacation so I wouldn't miss their show, but I definitely made the
vacation plans a day late because of it.  This time around I already had a ticket to the first night of Mountain Oasis for
the purpose of seeing Neutral Milk Hotel, and as soon as I saw Lovers were playing that same night I sold the shit out
of that ticket a soon as I could.  It was worth it. 

It is hard to say if the crowd was better this time around than a couple of years ago, but what we lacked in numbers we
made up for in enthusiasm.  Despite my constant prattling on about this band and trying to get my friends to give them
a chance, no one listens.  Never mind that I rarely listen when people suggest bands to me, that's not the point here! 
I did bring the wife with me just in an effort to make sure as many people were at the show as possible.  Their set list
was mostly songs from their last two records, the perfect "Dark Light" released in 2010 and their most recent release,
"A Friend in the World," which will definitely be found on my "best of" list at the end of the year.  They sounded fantastic,
especially the vocals, which drive their music.  I rarely talk to bands after the show but for the second time I kinda com-
pletely fanned out on them, lauding them with so much praise they probably thought I was screwing with them, but I
stand by everything I've ever said by them.  Brilliant, brilliant electro pop music that should be light years more popular,
but I'm partly glad I still have them to myself. 



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"Just answer me one question: Is Michael Cera's butthole as adorable as I pictured? "

Gentleman Jesse - Going Outta My Mind.  Some b-sides from one of the greatest pop song writers working today.
Bonus: I Don't Wanna Know (Where You Been Tonight).  
Bonus: Romford Girls (Riff Raff cover).  

Pernice Brothers - PCH One.  Joe Pernice kinda keeps writing the same song, but it works.  
Bonus: Somerville.

Porter Wagoner - A Satisfied Mind.  I don't really need to say anything about this guy right?!?
Bonus: Company's Comin'.
Bonus: I Can't Live With You (I Can't Live Without You).  
Bonus: Settin The Woods On Fire.  

The Coctails - China Song.  I listened to the shit out of these guys in college.  Since then, not so much.

The Extra Glenns - All Rooms Cable A/C Free Coffee.  Basically the Mountain Goats under a different name.  
Bonus: Going to Marrakesh.  

The Mountain Goats - No Children.  Definitely the Mountain Goats not under a different name.

The Parting Gifts - (Walking Through The) Sleepy City.  Reigning Sound + The Ettes = pretty awesome.  
Bonus: Keep Walking.  





***December Twenty Third
Two Thousand and Thirteen***



Top 20 records of 2013!!!
(The top 10 are ranked; the next 10 are listed alphabetically.)


1.   Superchunk - I Hate Music (Merge)
Any time they put out a new record, there is always a very strong possibility it will be my favorite record of the year.  
Breaking Down
FOH
Low F


2.   Lovers - A Friend in the World (Badman)
Their last record "Dark Light" was perfection.  This one isn't too far behind.
Girl in the Grass
Oh Yeah


3.   Grape Street - A Date with You (Austin Town Hall)
Just really simple, catchy songs, sloppy power pop maybe.  Featuring former members of the great Harlem.  
A Date With You
Kawnee  
Threw It All Away


4.   Warm Soda - Someone for You (Castle Face)
Bare Wires breaks up and the singer starts a new band that's even Bare Wires-ier.  The best pure pop record to
come out this year.  
Someone For You
Strange As It Seems 
Waiting For Your Call


5.   Smith Westerns - Soft Will (Mom & Pop)
Somewhere along the line these guys transformed from a garage pop act to creating this record that you'd think
George Harrison had a hand in writing.  
Fool Proof
White Oath


6.   Big Boi - Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors (Def Jam)
Similar to what I said about Superchunk, if Big Boi releases a record it's going to make my "best of" list.  The dude just
keeps getting better with age.  
Apple of My Eye
In the A


7.   Polvo - Siberia (Merge)
Much of this record sounds as good as their classic work, with the extra added dynamic of keyboards on many songs.  
Light, Raking
Total Immersion


8.  Whatever Brains - Whatever Brains (Sorry State)
Confoundingly awesome and nearly undescribable.  My current working description is The Fall and Liars having sex
in a sack.  So glad I get to see them live all the time.   
Companymen
NPTO


9.   Low - The Invisible Way (Sub Pop)
Great album from start to finish, and they might have written their best song ever with "Holy Ghost."  So haunting.
Holy Ghost
So Blue


10. Jacco Gardner - Cabinet of Curiosities (Trouble in Mind)
Glad someone is trying to bring baroque Zombies-style pop back  Jacco is young but doing veteran work.  
Clear the Air
Help Me Out

The Other 10...
Camera Obscura - Desire Lines (4AD)
Mikal Cronin - MCII (Merge)
Danny Brown - Old (Fool's Gold)
Fuzz - Fuzz (In The Red)
Hayden - Us Alone (Arts & Crafts)
The Kingsbury Manx - Bronze Age (Odessa)
The Men - New Moon (Sacred Bones)
The Night Marchers - Allez Allez (Swami)
Oblivians - Desperation (Merge)
Yo La Tengo - Fade (Matador)

...and there was just an insane number of things I never even got around to.  It happens.  For example...

Records that came out last year that would have likely made my "best of " list only I didn't listen to them
until this year.

Neil Halstead - Palindrome Hunches (Brushfire) 
Lace Curtains - The Garden of Joy and the Well of Loneliness (Female Fantasy) 
Redd Kross - Researching the Blues (Merge)

I didn't bother making a best songs list this time.  I did put all the above songs from the top 10 in a single zip you can
download here, in the event you are too lazy to download them individually.  


Best Shows of 2013!!!


(In alphabetical order)

Belle & Sebastian at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier - 7/5/2013
.  I flew to Montreal to see this band so you better believe it
was one of my favorites of the year.  

Big Boi & Killer Mike at Memorial Auditorium - 9/21/2013.  This was supposed to be part of Hopscotch, but ended
up a couple weeks later because of injuries.  Just like the previous time I saw him, Big Boi was a greatest hits machine.  

Built to Spill at the Cat's Cradle - 10/30/2013
.  If I see them in a given year, they go on the list.  No links because I
haven't finished their review yet.

Hopscotch, 9/5/2013 to 9/7/2013
.  Our local music festival did not disappoint.  Low was not only the highlight of this
but also my favorite show of the year.  Other greats were Spiritualized, Pontiak, Sleep, Swearin, Oblivians, Mikal Cronin,
and the Breeders.  Reviews: Day 1, Day 2 day parties, Day 2, Day 3;  Photos
: Day 1, Day 2 day parties, Day 2, Day 3.

Jacco Gardner at the Pinhook - 3/7/2013.  Young Dutch kid knows pop.  Show was woefully underattended.  Photos

Lovers at the Pinhook - 10/25/2013.  Skipped Neutral Milk Hotel to see them.  It was worth it.  No links because I
haven't finished their review yet.


Metz at Schoolkids Records - 4/20/2013.  An in-store during Record Store Day and it still made the list.  Really
bummed I had plans later this night and didn't get to see the full show, really hope they come back soon.

Pontiak.  Saw them three times this year - in Asheville, at Hopscotch, and recently at Kings.  I've loved their records
for a while, but finally seeing them live was likely my favorite discovery of the year.  
Photos

Jonathan Richman at the Cat's Cradle - 2/16/2013.  Same as with Built to Spill - if I see him in a given year, he
goes on the list.  Photos

Superchunk & Parting Gifts at The Cat's Cradle - 8/24/2013.  The new Chunk record is so good, and those new
songs live is even better, despite the missing Laura Ballance.  As an added bonus, Greg Cartwright as the opener!

Whatever Brains.  I'm not even going to venture a guess as to how many times I saw them this past year, likely in the
half dozen range.  They are a local treasure and I look forward to seeing them every single time.  Photos



I'm saving my top movies list for later - the studios release so many of the best movies of the year in the last couple
of weeks of December I want to give myself a chance to see at least a couple of them.  





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