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/2018)                                     Photo Journal   (updated 5/31/2018)       
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Photo Archive:       
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***May Thirty First Two Thousand and Eighteen***   

Tiny woman or giant meatball?  YOU DECIDE.


Instagram -

A brief break in the rain.  Lake James, NC.  

It's called fashion.  Lake James, NC.  

Foggy entrance.  Pittsboro, NC.


Links -

Yaje Popson is out with a new part for Alien Workshop.  Always liked this dude but getting serious Matt Reason
vibes with the Philly footage.  

Sure, this Wes Kremer part for Transworld is from 2011, but the footage is timeless and you can never watch too
much Wes.  

It's just not fucking fair that Austyn Gillette gets to be this good on a skateboard and also this goddamn good looking.  
This one has heavy rewatch value for sure.  

Music reviews are still flowing...tough pick between the Sea & Cake and Courtney Barnett for best record of the
month, with a nod to Nocturnal Projections complete recordings compilation.  

Also made one photo journal entry, a collection of random shit from a few months back that didn't warrant their own

Also, a metric assload of live reviews below.  


Movies -

Hit the exact monthly number for once!  31 out of 31 in May, and I’m +6 on the year after 151 days.  Yeah yeah yeah,
there is a lot of stand-up this month, who cares so what.  It was honestly the best part of what I watched this month…
I need to get to the theater.

Best of the month: Cop Land (1997) (I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this)
Best stand-up of the month:
John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous At Radio City (2018) (very narrowly beating Ali Wong:
Hard Knock Wife (2018))

Worst of the month: Body Rock (1984)
I’m not crying, you’re crying: Toy Story 3 (2010)
Jethro Tull are so fuckin’ weird: The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus (1996)
Best soundtrack of the month: I, Tonya (2017) (winner by a large margin)
Well…at least it looked cool: Ghost In The Shell (2017)
You try hating Ryan Reynolds, because I can’t: The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017)
Everything else: 
Winter Passing (2006), True Conviction (2017), When God Sleeps (2017), Stolen (2010), Honky Tonk Heaven (2016),
Tig Notaro: Happy To Be Here (2018), What Lies Upstream (2017), Before I Fall (2017), Hari Kondabolu: Warn Your
Relatives (2018), Kevin Smith: Silent But Deadly (2018), A Dangerous Son (2018), The Honeymoon Standup Special
(2018), What Haunts Us (2018), See The Keepers (2018), Wolves At The Door (2017), Lego Ninjago Movie (2017),
Reality Bites (1994), City Limits (1984), Fahrenheit 451 (2018), Leviathan (1989), Out Of Thin Air (2017), Paterno


Moogfest (Day 2)
Downtown Durham

I wasn’t all that enthused with this year’s Moogfest line-up when it was released, but I was given the opportunity to take
photos for the festival, so I was going to be there regardless.  The flip side of not having a ton of shows you feel like
you have to see -it leads to a lot more exploration and investigation of the acts you don’t know, instead of just seeing
performers that you already know you like.

Case in point – my favorite artist this Friday night was Annie Hart at the First Presbyterian Church.  Her name didn’t
mean anything to me at first, but after a little digging I discovered she was one-third of Au Revoir Simone.  Spacy
electro pop in a dark church?  I’m there.  I’m not sure when they started using this venue, but it was my first time seeing
anyone perform here – it’s a great spot.  I’m always game for a church performance though – the setting lends itself to
a quiet, respectful crowd; though the flipside is you feel very self-conscious while taking photos because many times it
was so quiet you could hear the camera shutter over the music.  It was definitely a great setting for Annie, adding to
the atmospheric vibe of her whole endeavor.  Roughly half of the set was just her, and for the rest she had one and/or
two other women adding backing vocals, bass, and just a smattering of drums (or rather drum, since there was only
one).  Sound wise, other than a couple of more upbeat songs, I’m not sure it was really all that different from an Au
Revoir Simone performance (outside of the band members involved obviously), or at least I’m not smart enough to
spot the differences.  It was great regardless, and now I really need to hear that record she released last year called
“Impossible Accomplice” (note: apparently it was only released on cassette and since I don’t have a cassette player
anymore I’ll need the digital files instead, but the point stands).

I’d planned to do a bit of bouncing around to different venues, as one does at these festivals, but the weather had
different ideas.  Intermittent downpours meant I waited until the rain was at least somewhat manageable, and then
hot stepped it to the Armory to spend the rest of my night.  I was planning on only catching a few minutes of Yves
Tumor, but I ended up with a full set out of a necessity to keep dry.  Yves is just one person for the record – a dude
who was dressed like an extra from Blade Runner in futuristic clothes, a white cowboy hat, and what looked like a
surgical mask?  I’m not sure I have the slightest idea on what was happening on the stage – heavy, industrial noise
with a tinge of techno and vocals so distorted I’m not sure he was even trying to form words – and if he was, you’d
never know what they were.  The only lighting was erratic strobes scattered around the venue (until Yves told them to
kill the strobes, and then it was dark as shit).  The whole affair was disorienting, ominous, maybe a little creepy…I’m
not sure I would call it enjoyable though.  My snarky side would say it wasn’t even music, but eye of the beholder and
all that, who am I to decide what is music?  It just wasn’t for me.

After all of that, whatever that was and whatever you decide to call it, Shabazz Palaces closed down this night at the
Armory.  The duo was positioned behind a bank of electronics and a wide assortment of percussion for pretty much
the entire show, but it still felt like a pretty dynamic performance.  The music may be quite different, but it’s hard not to
hear Digable Planets whenever Palaceer Lazaro (nee Butterfly) raps, his voice is so distinctive – plus I listened to the
fuck out of those two albums Digable Planets released in the mid-nineties.  The tweaked out, electrified & fried per-
cussion laid down by Baba Maraire was just as excellent as you would expect from a dude who grew up under an
African music master, Dumisani Maraire.  The entire time the backdrop was filled with projections that ran the spec-
trum of anime to clips from the movie “Malcolm X,” which added to the trippy vibe of the performance.  It definitely
inspired me to spend some more time with some of the Shabazz Palaces recorded output, weird ass space alien
lyrics be damned.  If Wayne Coyne and the Flaming Lips can make a career of writing songs about this nonsense,
there’s no reason we can’t have a hip hop version of roughly the same content. 


Moogfest (Day 3)
Downtown Durham

My second day of Moogfest (the actual third day of the festival) included more artists and much less rain, just how I
like it.  Also, I ate a giant burrito from a taco truck so it was a damn good day.

After I picked up my daily press passes at the American Tobacco Campus, I had enough time to pop into “The Cage”
(aka the covered, outdoor basketball court) to catch some of the DJ action happening there.  And I stopped for good
reason – the legendary Pete Rock was spinning classic nineties jams.  Did CL Smooth show up and they performed
the all-time great “Mecca And The Soul Brother” album in its entirety, and everyone collectively lost their shit?  No, it
was just a DJ set, but it was still pretty cool and obviously he was playing nothing but that good good that was a huge
part of my formative years.  There were lots of folks there, from little kids to those even older than me, all having them-
selves a good time.  The best part were the little kids in the back of The Cage dancing, not a care in the world.  Also,
can we talk about how Pete Rock is nearly 50 but looks 20 years younger?  Dude must sleep in a hyperbaric chamber,
making me feel all bad and gross about myself – it’s equal parts impressive and anger-inducing.

The first act I was scheduled to shoot this night was Psychic TV at the Carolina Theatre.  I honestly knew more about
the band historically and conceptually (godfathers of the industrial genre, early pioneers in the techno world, and of
course the identity politics) than I actually knew their music, but given their “legend” status it would have been stupid to
miss them.  I have no idea about the membership of the group outside of Genesis P-Orridge, but on this night they
were a five piece in matching white denim, and trippy, super-colorful collage backdrop visuals that were such a big
part of the performance it was like a sixth band member.  Perhaps my biggest shock of the entire festival was what
I heard during their set – fairly straight-forward heavy rock music.  I was expecting shit to be super weird!  Instead, they
kicked things off with a cover of Harry Nilsson’s “Jump Into The Fire,” and from there it was a series of noisy, dark
dirges not that different from the Birthday Party or someone of that ilk.  They really seem to enjoy stretching their songs
out and letting them breathe in a krautrock-like fashion.  I was honestly way into it – after taking photos up front for the
first few songs, I went to the back of the theatre, sat down, and let the sounds wash over me.  It might have been my
favorite moment of this entire Moogfest.

Next up on my dance card was the highly-regarded Norwegian artist Jenny Hval, just across the street at the Armory. 
At this point I can’t claim a lot of new firsts when seeing live music, but this was definitely the first time I’ve ever seen a
pregnant woman eat a banana in an inflatable clam as a part of a musical performance (this is obviously a very com-
mon sight in a non-musical setting).  The pregnant woman was one of band members, and I’m honestly not sure if it
was intended to be part of the performance, or she was just tired and hungry.  Later on Hval would sing a song after
sticking a half-inflated ball down her shirt and then performing (half-assed) synchronized stretching with the pregnant
woman (this was post-banana, obviously).  Basically, I didn’t understand a single goddamn thing that was happening
onstage other than the music – and the music was pretty decent.  It landed somewhere on the spectrum between
ambient, atmospheric electronic music and straight-forward electro-pop.  I’m not entirely sure I’d go our of my way to
see it all again, but I was glad to experience it at least once.

Back across the road again at the Carolina Theatre (if you haven’t guessed, I spent all night just going back and forth
between here and the Armory), I caught the last few minutes of J Rocc, best known for his work with the legendary
turntable crew the Beat Junkies.  If you’ve ever seen those YouTube videos of a one or a few dudes on multiple record
players cutting, chopping and scratching their way through a shitload of records and in the process creating new
music – well, this guy is one of the OGs of that sort of thing.  As far as DJs go you’re not going to get much more enter-
taining than J Rocc, though as I’ve noted on past occasions when it comes to watching DJs perform live, there should
be an overhead camera so you can really see what is going on.   

Instead of ending his set, J Rocc just handed over the equipment to the DJ for KRS-One, and the party kept flowing. 
KRS-One was a large part of Boogie Down Productions, the group responsible for one of the top five greatest hip
hop albums of all time, “Criminal Minded.”  Getting to hear “South Bronx” and “The Bridge Is Over” live after three
decades of listening to those songs was serious bucket list material.  I would have preferred more songs and less
freestyle from the man, but at this point I guess he has earned the right to do whatever the fuck he wants when on the
mic.  This show was  real who's who:  the legendary Freddy Fox was with him, Pete Rock was hanging out on the side
stage, and even Michael Stipe was there (you might remember KRS-One appeared on the REM track “Radio Song”
that got a little bit of airplay back in the day).  He seemed super concerned with “real hip hop,” though I’m not sure
anyone has ever settled on a real definition of what exactly that is.  On the downside – so much feedback coming from
the monitors; a distracting, annoying amount…but as bad as it was, it was the only technical issue I experience all
weekend which feels like a small miracle given how many electronics have been involved with all of these acts.

My final show of Moogfest would be  Mouse On Mars back at the Armory, performing with Spank Rock (the rapper)
and Sonic Robots (robotically automated percussion that was scattered around the stage).  Also, they did all of this in
near darkness, with only a small amount of backlighting and some computer screens to guide the way.  Photograph-
ically, it was a pretty frustrating note to go out on – I had my speed cranked up to 6400 and my aperture all the way to
1.4, and I still only got a handful of non-blurry, sorta lit photos out of about 100.  Given the billing more Spank Rock
would have been nice, as he was my main motivation for being there; he came out and rapped with his back to the
crowd for one song, and did a little more work sitting in the back, but that was about it for the 45 or so minutes I was
there.  Despite all of that, it was still a decent showing – the live version of their music was much more dynamic and
organic than I would have imagined, with real drums and guitar getting incorporated into the expected electronic sound. 
They’re not someone whose recorded output I’ve paid a ton of attention to, but this set piqued my interest in what their
latest album for Thrill Jockey has to offer.  Will have to put that one on the “to do” list…

For a festival that I had minimal interest in before it kicked off, I ended up having a damn good time for the bulk of it. 
It’s a reminder to myself to sample the unknown fare more often at these type of events - who knows what unknown or
overlooked band might become a future favorite.  


Carolina Rebellion (Day 3)
Charlotte Motor Speedway

There’s typically never enough happening at Carolina Rebellion to garner more than a passing glance from me –
usually no more than two or three bands in any given year that I would actually get excited to see.  But for some rea-
son this not only where there quite a few more groups I liked in the mix this year, but all the ones I wanted to see had
been scheduled for the same day!  A festival of this nature would require more than my typical solo attendance, so a
couple of longtime friends from Wilmington and Asheville were called into action for a day of rock, rednecks, over-
priced concessions, sunburn, inhaling at least a pound of dust, and a shitload of fun.

I hadn’t initially planned on starting my music festival day as early as we did, but one of my dudes insisted on seeing
Quicksand – and why the hell not, the tickets were paid for, might as well get our money’s worth!  I had not thought
about these guys since the mid-nineties, which is understandable since they hadn’t released any records since 1995
up until last year.  One friend insisted we saw them in Wilmington at the Mad Monk back in 1994 or 1995 with
Sensefield…this seems entirely plausible, but all I remember from that night was Sensefield and our friend that was
punch-dancing in the middle of a non-existent pit.  Anyways, Quicksand were definitely worth getting there early for –
played a few of their older songs that I was surprised to remember, and the new songs were decent – melodic hard-
rock/punk, not that different from the old shit really, at least live.  It was a good enough set that it made me want to
check out their most recent album “Interiors.”  It’s still weird to me that the singer, Walter Schreifels, is the same
dude from Gorilla Biscuits.

Next up was one of the bands I was most excited about – Mutoid Man.  I saw them randomly on a whim at Hopscotch
in 2016 and was blown away.  The three-piece came on stage this day wearing matching sleeveless tuxedo t-shirts,
so it was scientifically impossible this wasn’t going to be a fun gig.  My best description of Mutoid Man is they’re a
modern take on old-school eighties speed/power metal, somehow in on the joke but completely sincere at the same
time.  Singer Steve Brodsky might be the happiest metal musician on the planet – he never stops smiling.  Yeah, their
banter and song intros are a little canned and predictable, but they’re so damn good at what they do who the fuck
cares.  Around the middle of their set they threw some shade at fellow festival band Great Van Fleet, dedicating their
performance of part of Led Zeppelin’s “Communication Breakdown” to them.  I’m sure it wasn’t a coincidence they
played a song called “Bridgeburner” soon thereafter – this band doesn’t seem to give a shit about hurt feelings.  They
ended their set with a bang, maybe the single best thing I saw all day – a cover of Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher,” with
new Baroness guitarist Gina Gleason taking on the Eddie Van Halen solos.  They even included all the mid-song ban-
ter, with some slight modifications.  If you like heavy music and don’t feel the need to take all this shit so seriously,
never miss Mutoid Man if they’re ever playing near you.

So, speaking of Greta Van Fleet…most of the time I’m a “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at
all” person, but I can’t help myself here.  They were playing one of the two big stages, and a shitload of people there to
see what might be the biggest buzz band at the whole festival.  I had heard they sounded like Led Zeppelin, but had
never actually heard them – I love Robert Plant & co as much as the next guy raised on seventies classic rock, so that’s
gotta be a good thing right?  Holy shit, they were DREADFUL.  Well, comically dreadful, as we had a good laugh for
as long as we could stand it.  It felt like seeing a really terrible Led Zeppelin cover band that never got around to play-
ing any actual Led Zeppelin songs – instead, we got nothing but shitty, mid-tempo originals that sounded like Zep
minus the hooks and the talent.  They were even dressed like seventies rock rejects for fuck’s sake.  To be fair: the
tiny singer could actually hit all those Robert Plant notes, which was probably the only impressive thing about them…
even if he was mostly just saying “mama” over and over and over.  Unfortunately, the rest of the band couldn’t come
within a 1000 yards of Page, Jones, and Bonham.  My friends and I most of the time looking at each other with “can
you believe this shit?” eyes while laughing our ass off.  Somehow though we were in the minority as the crowd was,
much to our amazement, really into it.  These people are going to be blown away if they ever get a chance to hear a
copy of “Led Zeppelin II” or “Houses Of The Holy” at some point in their lives.   

GVF were the first in a long line of mid-day bands I had little interest in, but I knew that was going to be the case going
in and just rolled with it.  We watched a few songs from Code Orange, a band I’d never heard of that did that really
screamy, aggro energy drink metal that I associate with shirtless bros and Juggalo types.  This performance had the
first really serious pit I saw all day.  They had the rare combination of a drummer that was also the lead singer, but
unfortunately they didn’t sound at all like the Romantics.  There was a lot of lurching from multiple band members
everywhere on the stage, which was quite disorienting…and that’s gotta be hell on the back.  After that we watched
a good amount of Clutch on one of the big stages.  They’re one of those bands that have been around forever and
I have no particular opinion about them…just straight-forward heavy rock from some no-frills middle-aged dudes who
have been doing this forever.  It was better than a lot we saw in the middle of the day, but not good enough to actually
get excited about.  We then walked all the way back over to the other big stage to see some of the Struts, who I
referred to as a modern day version of the London Quireboys, a comparison no one else seemed to get.  They did
that typical bluesy/glam hard rock thing, with a singer that was basically a Mick Jagger impersonator - definitely not
my bag but I’ve heard worse.   They would have probably been huge if this was 1986.

The day finally got interesting again with the Sword…it’s not often you get to combine metal with Moog synths and a
blonde guitarist wearing a Guayabera shirt that looks like he’d make more sense in a Beach Boys cover band.  I never
know what to call the music they make – surf stoner metal maybe?  It’s pretty similar to whatever the hell it is that Fu
Manchu also does.  They sound like a band that could have been playing in the background when Spicoli falls out of
that VW van in a cloud of pot smoke in “Fast Times At Ridgemont High.”  We only caught a few songs, but they were
a good few songs.  Probably a band better viewed in a small, dingy rock club though, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Before this festival, I don’t think I’d ever given much thought to seeing Billy Idol live - but now that I’ve seen him, I’m
damn glad I did.  His voice might not be what it once was, but the energy and performance from both him and the
band (especially guitar god Steve Stevens, who is still a wizard) more than made up for it.  There’s always some
worry in seeing a classic artist, worry that the set list will have too much “new” material that no one gives a shit about,
and not enough of the classics.  When you’re talking about a 45 minute long festival window though, Idol smartly just
went with what the people wanted - hit after hit after hit…and he has a lot of hits.  Sometimes you might forget what a
great song “Dancing With Myself” is, and this was a terrific reminder.  The acoustic-to-electric version of “White
Wedding” as the encore was terrific, as was Stevens busting out his iconic Top Gun theme in the middle of one of
Idol’s tracks.  We also saw a girl trying to crowd surf, only to beef it straight to her face and have to be helped out. 
Knock it off with the stupid crowd surfing, people – it’s one inconsiderate person denying a ton of people the oppor-
tunity to watch the show they paid a lot of money to see for fear of being kicked in the head.

After waiting for Incubus to finish their caterwauling, my most anticipated act of the whole day was upon us – Baroness
Despite my high expectations, they still managed to surpass them.  Like Mutoid Man I also saw them randomly at
Hopscotch a couple of years back, was completely blown away, and have since listened to their 2015 album “Purple”
obsessively.  Luckily, they played A LOT of that record, and from the crowd reaction I’m not the only one who has been
feasting on that release.  I mentioned her appearance during Mutoid Man, but holy shit it needs to be mentioned how
hard Gina fucking shreds the guitar – any Neanderthals out there still harboring the idea that women can’t play guitar
as well as a man needs to witness this woman and then punch yourself in the face for being so stupid.  All of the har-
monized solos between her and singer John Baizley were perfection - you’d think she has been with the band forever,
not just a few months.  This is also where I mention what a goddamn trip it is that their drummer, Sebastian Thomson,
is also in the synth band Trans Am.  The pairing shouldn’t make any sense on paper, but he definitely makes it work –
it helps that he is a machine behind the kit.  The forty minutes or so that Baroness played breezed by, I would have
happily taken twice that.  Let’s hope the new record isn’t too far off, and in support of that a tour date somewhere in
the Triangle.  Though I’ll gladly travel much farther to see them again.

We had one last act to see this night, Queens Of The Stone Age, but whether it was tired legs or brains melted from
the glory of Baroness, it sorta felt like a chore.  Also, we were 132 miles from the stage (approximately).  Don’t get me
wrong, they sounded great, and were playing a lot of older songs from their seminal album “Songs For The Deaf”
which is really all I wanted to hear, but the heart wants what it wants, and mine wanted to leave this dust pit for more
comfortable environs.  After about a half-dozen songs, it was time to make the mile walk back to the parking lot…I’ve
never been happier to sit in a car in my entire life.  All in all, a day well spent – the music was good more often than
not, the weather wasn’t too bad, there were a lot of ridiculous people to look at, and most importantly I got to spend
some quality time with a couple of good friends, something that doesn’t happen nearly often enough in adulthood. 


Built To Spill
With The Afghan Whigs
Cat’s Cradle

Built To Spill are easily one of my all-time favorites…there’s no more than a couple of bands that I’ve seen live more
than them (thanks in part to frequent four-night stints at Slims and/or Great American Music Hall in my former home of
San Francisco, where I went to multiple performances most times).  I’m there every time they come through town, and
gladly.  With all that said, there is no way in hell they should have been headlining over Afghan Whigs.  You get no frills
with BTS – tonight it was just Doug Martsch, his guitar, a shitload of pedals and electronics, and those same two
young dudes that have been working as his rhythm section for the last few tours.  There’s no fancy backdrops, no
elaborate lighting, almost no banter with the crowd – just the man, the songs, and a lot of guitar solos.  What the band
lacks in personality, they more than make up with it via a particular strong setlist this evening – since there was no new
album to promote, they decided to focus heavily on their first few records - particularly from their two best, “Perfect
From Now On” and “Keep It Like A Secret.”  They also included a cover of the Pretender’s “Back On The Chain
Gang,” which Doug more than made his own.  I’d love for them to put out  an entire record of covers, every tour there
are at least one or two great ones in the set.  For a big fan like me, Built To Spill undoubtedly put on a damn fine show,
but I’m not sure it won any of the fans of Afghan Whigs over.  To be fair, given that nearly all of them left right after the
Whigs finished, it would have been an especially difficult task. 

As you’re already aware, the Afghan Whigs opened.  It was mostly the same as when I saw them at Hopscotch last
year – matching amps, drums, and backdrop all covered with the graphics from their most recent release “In Spades,”
and a set made mostly of songs from their two post-reunion albums.  The thing with the Whigs is that if you’re like me
and don’t really know most of the new songs that well, they’re still damn fun to watch (and it will definitely make you
want to give those most recent records a second listen).  Greg Dulli and company aren’t just musicians, they’re per-
formers – the sound is big and professional and animated and really fills the room.  They didn’t play only new mater-
ial – “What Jail Is Like,” Somethin’ Hot,” and “John The Baptist” were a few classic highlights, along with a couple
Twilight Singers tracks and a brief foray into Don Henley’s “Boys Of Summer” during their final song (a favorite tactic
of Dulli: instead of doing a full cover, he’ll do part of one of middle of a Whig’s songs…and it always works, no matter
how different the two tracks are).  As always it was a masterful performance from the band, one deserving of the final
slot no matter how big of a Built To Spill one might be. 


With The Rock*A*Teens
Cat’s Cradle

I was in line to enter the Cat’s Cradle at 9:05, and I could hear the Rock*A*Teens already playing.  Really loving that
this club is starting shit right on time, but I guess I’ve got to do a better job at showing up on time.  I last saw them four
years ago at Merge 25, and while I never considered myself a big fan I enjoyed that gig.  I felt the same way on this
night; I don’t think this is because the band has changed that much, but rather my tastes have slightly shifted.  I guess
I do listen to a lot more jangle pop these days, and the Rock*A*Teens are kind of a slightly garage rock-ish version of
that pop sound that Athens has been doing so well for four decades now (this is where I point out this band is from
Atlanta, right next to Athens, for those unaware).  Surprisingly, the band actually has their first new record in almost
two decades, “Sixth House,” coming out in a couple of months, and the new songs they played from this really worked
for me.  Also, they’re a five piece now…or were they always a five piece and my brain isn’t functioning probably? 
Either is equally possible.

It’s always pretty full at the Cradle for Superchunk shows, but it feels like it’s been a while since they actually sold the
place out, especially way in advance.  I’m sure it has everything to do with all of the positive press they’ve gotten on
their excellent new record “What A Time To Be Alive,” reminding many older fans who haven’t gone out and seen
them in a while that it might be time to see Superchunk live again.  The new record is easily their most upbeat/angry/
aggro since their first few offerings in the early nineties, and these new songs lend themselves greatly to a fantastic
live experience.  One huge difference from the early nineties though – no matter how fast the songs are, this collection
of (mostly) bald, slightly overweight dudes in their late thirties to late forties ain’t moshing no more.   The crowd was
way into it, lots of singing along to the hits like always, just with way less aggression.  The last thing the world needs
is another long-winded, fawning review of a Superchunk show from the likes of me, but trust me when I say this was
one of their best performances in quite a few years.  Also, they played “On The Mouth,” their best b-side of all time,
and any time they play that song it’s a good gig.

Two noteworthy moments during their performance:
1.  Jim Wilbur, while Mac was tuning: “If you’re tuning, I’m talking – the people want content!”
2.  During the final encore song “Fishing,” Mac replaced drummer Jon Wurster mid-song and Jon took over as front-
     man.  He then proceeded to sing a medley of songs, including some Connells and Black Flag’s “My War”; he then
     somehow lost the mic, and, naturally, finished the song by singing unsuccessfully into the mic cord.  The man is a
     goddamn treasure. 


I've already written too much about music, so for the MP3s I'm just gonna leave them as-is.  Grab'em if you want'em.  

Al Stewart
On The Border  
One Stage Before
Year Of The Cat
Born Disco Died Heavy Metal
Summer Fun In A Beat Up Datsun

Death Cab For Cutie
Bend To Squares  
Pictures In An Exhibition
The Face That Launched 1000 Shits
Your Bruise

No Grace

The Sugarcubes

The Wedding Present
Box Elder (Pavement cover)
Take Me!


***April Thirtieth Two Thousand and Eighteen***   

It's prom with the one what brung ya.


Instagram -

Toddler vs. giant Costco pizza.  Apex, NC.

Auction Thursday.  Marion, NC.  

Country store.  (Outside) Mocksville, NC.  

Sale on red paint.  Raleigh, NC.  


Links -

Quartersnacks put together a Bobby Worrest remix video...why?  No idea, but I'm always happy to watch Bobby.

Girl tour videos are always a ton of fun, and this one is no exception.  As always, never enough Rick Howard or Mike
Carroll, but thankfully plenty of Vincent Alvarez.  

Good reason to watch this Mark Frolich part?  He's damn talented.  
Better reason?  Not one but two Roky Erickson songs.  
Best reason?  That mustache.  

Not quite as many new I've now been working from an office for two months, my backlog of music I hadn't
listened to yet has diminished.  I've still put a few things up
here though.  Records of the month are the new ones from
Hot Snakes and Superchunk, and both will likely be fighting out to be my favorite of the year.      


Movies -

I missed my monthly quota by one!  That padding from January through March is starting to pay off.  29 out of 30 for
April, and 126 out of 120 for the first third of the year.  

Best of the month: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Worst of the month: Lady Psycho Killer (2015)
Well, that was fucking depressing: I Am Evidence (2018)
Four hours of Elvis is probably too much Elvis: Elvis Presley: The Searcher (2018)
Hey, I get this joke!: Steve McQueen being a terrible driver in The Hunter (1980)
Even though it's a joke movie I legit love this song: "Beautiful Ride" from Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)
Unsure if I can still have a crush on her in this role at this point in my life: Cherry Valence in The Outsiders (1983)
If he knocked up his mom could he have become his own father?: Back To The Future (1985)

Everything else: 
New Wave: Dare To Be Different (2018), Jasper Redd: Jazz Talk (2014), Sherlock Holmes And The Secret Weapon
(1943), Gip (2016), The Secret Life Of Pets (2016), Murder On The Orient Express (2017), Pink Floyd: The Story Of
Wish You Were Here (2012), Time After Time (1979), Loving (2016), Fugitive Alien (1987), Andre The Giant (2018),
Girls Trip (2017), The Art Of The Shine (2018),  First Lady Of The Revolution (2016), Adore (2013), Okja (2017),
Geostorm (2017), GI Jews: Jewish Americans In WWII (2017),Operation Odessa (2018), Look & See: Wendell
Berry’s Kentucky (2016), King In The Wilderness (2018)


PRF South (Day Two)
With Wailin’ Storms, Spider Bags, and Maple Stave
The Pinhook

I’m still not entirely sure what PRF is (some sort of music forum I think?), but they put on a whole weekend of shows in
Durham under the name PRF South.  It had been a while since my lazy ass had left the house for some rock music,
and this seemed as good a time as any. 

There were bands scheduled all day at the Pinhook, but I'm rarely an “all day” sort of person, and instead got there in
the early evening to take in just a few sets.  First was Wailin’ Storms, a local group I’m always seeing listed on bills,
but I've never actually witnessed in person.  They’re a four piece of mostly tall dudes, which I only note because so
many musicians are short.  I don’t know why that is, but it felt noteworthy.  They had a smoke machine, and they had it
working overtime…not great for photos, but who doesn’t enjoying feeling like they’re watching a band inside of a bub-
bling cauldron?  They were pretty damn heavy, yet not what I consider metal – my first instinct was the punk of Drive
Like Jehu crossed with the sludge of Tar, maybe throw in some Unsane…I really need to update my references past
the early nineties probably.  I dug it for the most part, and since their set was only thirty minutes they never overstayed
their welcome.  Let me go on record that with only a few exceptions, I’m totally fine with thirty minute sets being the
norm for every band.

After all that rock and hard work of standing around losing my hearing, I was forced to go upstairs to Pie Pushers and
eat pizza.  That all rock clubs don’t have a pizza parlor directly above them is a goddamn traveshamockery, and it
makes me question their dedication to the craft of making me happy.  

Speaking of my desire for short sets, the next act I saw, Spider Bags – are maybe my favorite local, are definitely one
of the exceptions – they are always welcome to play as long as they want.  I haven’t seen them in what feels like for-
ever (actual elapsed time: a little less than three years) – they used to play constantly, but much to my chagrin they
have slowed way, WAY down.  There were new songs this evening, and a mention of an impending new record, so
hopefully the live appearances will again become more plentiful.  In fact, outside of starting their set with “Que Viva
Rock N’ Roll” and one other older track, they performed nothing but new songs.  And if those new tracks are indicative
of the rest of what is to come, their transformation from garage punk to a modern version of the James Gang is getting
closer and closer to completion.  You know who’s a-ok with that?  This guy right here.

The last band I caught this night was Maple Stave, the closest thing we have in this area to the late-nineties/early-
oughts math rock that used to dominate my listening habits.  I’m not sure if that once dominant style of music has
died out, or I’m just not tuned into the scene anymore, but it feels like you rarely hear math rock anymore.  Or maybe
it was never as popular as I thought it was back then, and it was my own listening habits that skewed my perception? 
Fuck, who knows.  They’re pretty damn good at it though, and even if I don’t listen to this kind of rock all that often now,
if you are in the mood Maple Stave is a pretty good option.  Double baritone guitars but no bass, a drummer that plays
so hard you’re afraid he might have a heart attack at any moment, exceptionally silly song titles…they check all the
boxes, and with aplomb.  Good on them. 


PRF South (Day Three)
With Five Eight, Conan Neutron & The Secret Friends, and 1970s Film Stock
The Pinhook

Like the day before, I headed back over to Durham to catch a few acts from the all day festivities that are PRF South. 
This day featured a special guest: a torrential storm!  I found their music a little redundant, to be honest.

No slight to the other performances this night, but the real excitement for me was Five Eight.  They were one of the first
bands I ever saw live, back in the early nineties as a 10th grader (I think).  The club was called the Squashpile - it was
in a bombed out, super dead part of Asheville that now is the home to breweries and high end lofts for rich people.  It
also doubled as a makeshift skatepark, which was actually the reason I was there, but I dug what Five Eight was offer-
ing and bought whatever cassette they had for sale (which is long since gone, apparently with all the rest of my tapes
that got lost in one of my many moves).  I saw them one other time a couple years later during college, but it had still
been nearly 25 years since this band was last in my life.  They’re a little older and greyer now (who isn’t), but honestly
not a thing had changed…equal parts punk and art rock and that jangle pop sound for which their hometown of Athens
is famous, their songs manage to be both weird and catchy at the same time.  My biggest surprise was learning this
show wasn’t part of a reunion – this band never stopped!  The output has been sporadic, but they’ve seemingly seem-
ingly remained a group throughout, including a new record last year that I need to make a point of hearing.

Next up was Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends, a loose musical collective featuring Conan and whichever of his
musician friends are free to record and/or play gigs with him at any particular time.  Collaborators have included former
and/or current members of Melvins, Big Business, Coliseum, and more; and on this particular evening, they employed
two-thirds of Maple Stave to round out their line-up.  Conan and I go way, WAY back - I met him pretty early on after I
moved to SF, and saw his old band Replicator tons of times.  This is very different – you’re much more likely to get a
Kiss comparison for this act rather than the constant Shellac comparisons Replicator always got.  They're going for a
very big, almost theatrical heavy rock n’ roll sound, and Conan has a stage presence that far outsizes a place with the
capacity of the Pinhook.  They’re definitely fun, and even though I’d never heard it before, their song “Chair Of Antlers”
wormed it’s way right into my head for the next few days.

I stuck around to hear some of 1970s Film Stock, knowing absolutely nothing about the act but having seen the name
on a number of show bills over the last couple of years.  Turns out it’s not a band, but just one dude playing guitar.  It
was mostly instrumental with the occasional sparse vocal, plus a shitload of pedals and samplers and god knows what
else at his disposal.  He did a lot of layering - playing notes/chords, looping the line, then adding a different part on top
of that, etc - it was at times spacy, swirly, psychedelic…insert like-minded adjective here.  It was somewhere loosely in
the realm of Umma Gumma-era Pink Floyd combined with Chuck Johnson in his Spatula days.  These are all things I
like, so I give 1970s Film Stock the proverbial thumbs up. 


“Sometimes when you make an omelet you’ve gotta break a few eggs. What’s the alternative? No omelets at all? Who
wants to live in that kind of world? Maybe birds. Then all their babies would live.”

Jenny Besetzt - Only.  This might be my favorite song of the year so far.  Too bad it's six years old.  
Hours We Could Have Spent Fucking With The TV On

Lee Hazlewood - Forget Marie.  There's like an 80% chance I've posted these Hazlewood songs before.
No Train To Stockholm
The Night Before

Ryan Adams - Love Is Hell.  So adams went from trying to be Uncle Tupelo with Whiskeytown to trying to be Radio-
head with his solo work.  Ok then.  
This House Is Not For Sale

Sturgill Simpson - In Bloom (Nirvana cover).  The only country thing about any Sturgill record are his covers of
non-country songs.  

All Around You
Keep It Between the Lines

Webb Pierce - In the Jailhouse Now.  OG honkeytonk.  Turns out the Soggy Bottom Boys didn't write this one after
There Stands The Glass

Wooden Shjips - Black Smoke Rise.  Tune in, turn it up, zone out.
Lazy Bones

***March Thirty First Two Thousand and Eighteen***   

Hey, does anyone know if Aerosmith has a new album coming out?


Instagram -

Sunbeam'n.  Cary, NC.

Datsun 240z.  Raleigh, NC.

Dorton Arena.  Raleigh, NC.

Easter Bunny.  Cary, NC.  


Links -

Only a couple of videos this go around...

Jb Gillet turns 40 this month.  And he's still producing footage like this for Nike.  I should probably stop complaining
about how bad I am at skateboarding because I'm old now.  

It gets mentioned below, but you can watch the scarily realistic British film Threads here.  If you somehow didn't find
the prospect of nuclear holocaust scary before, this unflinching look on what would really happen in the event of wide-
spread bomb dropping will probably have you shitting your pants.  

My new job has me working in an office every day.  This means I'm listening to shitloads more music.  That has lead
to a renewed attack at my own special brand of shitty music reviews, to be found 
here.  Bat Fangs gets my vote for
record of the month.  It's also a strong contender for record of the year.  


Movies -

It felt like I was behind in my movie count for the entire month, what with working in an office every day and all, but I
somehow managed to just barely go over my monthly quota, 32 in 31 days, and a first quarter total of 97 in 90.

Best of the month: 
Black Panther (2018)
Worst of the month: Bye Bye Man (2017)*
Best Use of Ed Schrader's Music Beat in a Soundtrack:
Rat Film (2017)
Most Depressing British Film (aka the Ken Loach Award): Threads (1984)**
AMC Javelin Appearance-of-the-Month:
Bug (1975)
Kids Film That Was Actually Mostly Enjoyable: Sing (2016)
Most Hilarious Car Explosion in Mid-Air for No Good Reason: Walking Tall (1973)
Least Creepy Film Where an Adult Man Flirts with a Pre-Teen Girl:
Beautiful Girls (1996)
Doofus Dude in Drag Award: Sylvester Stallone in
Nighthawks (1981)
Of Course the Creepy Lady Next Door Is Also a Ping Pong Champion: Ping Pong Summer (2014)
Most Impressive Giant Snake Strap-On Dildo:
Lair Of The White Worm (1988)

*Ignoring the two MST3K films in here(
The Girl in Lovers Lane (1960) & Time of the Apes (1987)), which are tech-
 nically worse but much more entertaining
**Narrowly defeating the actual super-depressing Ken Loach film I watched -
I, Daniel Blake (2016)

Everything else: Word Is Bond (2018), Jonestown: The Women Behind the Massacre (2018), The Zookeepers
Wife (2017), They Came Together (2014), I Am Another You (2017), The Weekend Sailor (2016), The Light Between
Oceans (2016), Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982), The Woman In Green (1945), McLaren (2017), Sebastian Maniscalco:
Why Would You Do That? (2016), Black Christmas (2006), Terror By Night (1946), Jackie (2016), The Bitter Buddha
(2012), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Pecking Order (2017), The Beguiled (2017)


Cat’s Cradle

I almost forgot to write about this Destroyer show, and I likely would have totally forgotten had I not also taken photos
and if those same photos haven’t been staring at me for well over a month begging me to edit them.  There’s a good
reason one might forget about a Destroyer show – they’re all more or less the same.  Well, the songs change, as Dan
Bejar and company tend to mostly just play their newest record (in this particular case, “Ken”) with a couple of recent
classics thrown in, but their subdued performance doesn’t lend itself to strong memories or compelling reasons to
rehash a gig.  Despite that, every time they come through town  I can’t buy my ticket fast enough...I’ve gone through
this cycle a number of times, and at no point has it ever really made sense to me.  I guess there’s that part of your
brain that wants to hear these songs you love live no matter how interesting the journey is…it also doesn’t hurt that
despite barely moving, Bejar is still pretty damn photogenic.  It might be the Kramer hair.  I’m really jealous of that hair. 
Well, I’m really jealous of any hair these days, but his is particularly fantastic.

Anyways, Destroyer played a show.  It was totally fine,  Sounded great.  Not much happened.  I can't wait to see them


"I had sponsors in from all over the coast and I'm hugging, and holding hands, and praying for a good showin'. And
what do we do? We end up looking like a monkey fucking a football out there."

Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys - Blue Moon Of Kentucky.  I should probably branch out and listen to other
bluegrass artists than Bill Monroe, but for some reason this is all I need anytime I've got an itch for banjo.
Roll On Buddy, Roll On
When The Cactus Is In Bloom

Carl Perkins - Caldonia.  The king of rockabilly.  I'm not sure he requires a lot of explanation.  
Pink Pedal Pushers

Sade - By Your Side.  Her best song probably?  Probably.  

Stephen Malkmus - Jenny & The Ess-Dog.  Been on a big Malkmus kick lately, which corresponds nicely with him
going on tour and playing here in June.  

The Flaming Lips - Oczy Mlody.  The Lips really haven't done much for me since Yoshimi, but this most recent record
of theirs was a real return to form, at least for me.  And I'll be goddamned if having Miley Cyrus on one of your songs
doesn't make it better!
One Night While Hunting For Faeries And Witches And Wizards To Kill
The Castle
We A Famly (feat. Miley Cyrus)

The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy!  I still liked Lifter Puller better, which is what I've probably said every time I've ever
posted any songs by the Hold Steady.  
Hot Soft Light

The Radio Dept - This Thing Was Bound to Happen.  Those damn Swedes are so damn good at this sort of
mellow, electronic pop.
We Got Game

***February Twenty Eighth Two Thousand and Eighteen***   

I think we're all ready for spring.  Especially the sex dolls.  God help those poor, bedraggled sex dolls.  


Links -

Slow month for Instagram...everything decent I posted was when we were in Mexico.  See that page, along with two
other pages of photos from that trip on the
photo journal directory.  

A few things worth watching...

With the implosion of Cliche a couple of years ago, it looks like Flo Mirtain finally found a new home at Habitat,
and put out a great welcome part.  Why it took a dude as good as him so long is beyond me, but I'm just happy to see
new footage.  

Hiroki Muraoka put out some damn fine footage for's quite fitting this guy is hooked up by Ricky Oyola.  
I don't know what it is with these quick-footed Japanese dudes, but I can't get enough of it.  

Not a skate part per se, but this mini-doc on Nora Vasconcellos by Adidas is enjoyable.  Not only is she great on a
skateboard, but she seems like a pretty damn interesting person off of it.  


Movies -

At the first of the year I decided I was going to try and average watching a movie a day for all of 2018.  So far so good,
but I'm about to start a new job where I'm rarely going to get to work from home so it's gonna get a lot tougher...anyways,
here is my report for the month of February...32 movies in 28 days, for a total of 65 in 59 days.    

Best of the month:
Wind River (2017)
Worst of the month:
Raw Meat (aka Death Line) (1972)
Most ridiculous CGI: when the creatures in Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1996) stack on top of each other
Least intelligible dialogue in an otherwise decent movie:
Miami Vice (2006)
Best Chevy Chase impression: Joel McHale in
A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018)
Movie that could have been cut in half and it still would have been too long: Knightriders (1981)
Film most likely to get the song "Strange Brew" stuck in your head for a week:
Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars
Biggest biscuit:
CB4 (1993)
Least believable wigwork: Marky Mark in
Rock Star (2001)
Everything else: Swingers (1996), David Bowie: The Last Five Years (2017), Rough Night (2017), American Heart
(1992), Eden Lake (2008), Freejack (1992), The Family (2016), It (2017), Mindhorn (2016), Sample This (2012),
Chris Rock - Tamborine (2018), Strong Island (2017), Heroin(e) (2017), The Car (1977), Do Not Resist (2017), Todd
Glass - Act Happy (2018), Atomic Homefront (2018), Winnie (2018), UHF (1989), Warren Jeffs: Prophet of Evil
(2018), Fred Armisen: Standup for Drummers (2018), Atomic Blonde (2017), A United Kingdom (2016)

Since I forgot to post it last month, here are the results for January - I managed 33 over 31 days.

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond (2017), Superman IV (1987), Belko Experiment (2017), Motherland (2017), The
Crazies (1973), Sully (2016), Dunkirk (2017), The Untold Stories of Armistead Maupin (2017), A Cure for Wellness
(2017), The B-Side (2016), The Meyerowitz Stories (2017), Second Sight (1989), Cameraperson (2016), The Polka
King (2018), Truth and Lies: Waco (2018), Totem (2017), Good Time (2017), Unrest (2017), Chasing Train (2017),
XTC: This Is Pop (2017), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (2017), Baltimore Rising (2017), WALL-E (2008), Tideland
(2005), Goon: Last of the Enforcers (2017), War Machine (2017), Chuck (2017), Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017),
Snatched (2017), War for the Planet of the Apes (2017), All Eyez On Me (2017), Logan Lucky (2017), The Girl on the
Train (2017)


Bat Fangs
With Pipe & Solar Halos
Cat’s Cradle Back Room

Bat Fangs were one of my favorite new acts from Hopscotch 2017, and when the pseudo-local duo (drummer Laura
King is from Chapel Hill, best known for her work with Flesh Wounds, while guitarist Betsy Wright, also of Ex Hex, is
from the DC area) announced this record release show I bought a ticket right away.  And a good thing too, because
the damn thing ended up selling out!

I got there in time to see the last couple of songs from Solar Halos, one of those local groups I've been meaning to
check out for ages but, you know, laziness or something prevented me.  I liked what I saw - the three piece was doing
sort of a space metal thing (is that a thing?), and I recognized one of the members as being from Fin Fang Foom. 
Minimal (and non-Cookie Monster) vocals, good guitar work, heavy but not overbearing.  I'll have to make more of an
effort to catch them again, or at least not drag in late if they're opening a bill I'm already planning on attending. 

Much to my great delight, I got to see Pipe again.  Much to my even greater delight, they're still the same band playing
the same songs I've loved for the last 20+ years.  They really don't need a review at this point - the gist as always is
catchy, sloppy punk with a charismatic singer (Ron Liberti) who is damn funny.  As always, Ron is very quotable - he
kicked off with "We’ve got 12 [songs] tonight - pace yourselves accordingly!"; at some point he commented out of the
blue "I heard Buddy Holly died last night"; and then for reasons that likely only make sense in his brain, he let everyone
know "If you don’t love the moon, get the fuck out."  I need to remember to write down his nonsense every time I see
these guys. This was just the tip of the iceberg. 

If Bat Fangs aren't already sponsored by Adidas, they should be - between the matching shoes and their love of the
brand's signature track suits, you couldn't ask for better advertisement.  Given this was the release of their debut
album, you can probably guess that most of their set was them playing their new self-titled record.  Betsy Wright is a
natural as a front woman - tons of stage presence, a boatload of charisma, and, as always, bonus points for looking
like OG Pat Benatar.  At some point a shitload of balloons got released into the crowd, so it felt like we were cele-
brating catchy-ass songs and a winning election at the same time.  They closed the evening in grand fashion - a cover
of Poison's "Talk Dirty To Me."  You might think that an odd choice, but go back and give that song another listen -
hairspray and ridiculous spandex outfits aside, that's a fuckin' gem of a pop song. 


I make it a rule never to get involved with possessed people."

Built Like Alaska - Burnin' Mine.  This band is a true Central Valley (California) lost gem.  From my favorite record
of theirs "Hopalong."  They fittingly opened for Grandaddy all the time, but had a heavy...I dunno, Sparklehorse edge to
them from time to time.  
Graft Vs. Host
Meat On Your Bones
Mistake #2

Elliott Smith - A Fond Farewell.  I still think all the time about seeing Smith at the Great American Music Hall in SF a
couple of months before he was a mess, he couldn't remember the words.  Some of the crowd was angry
and booing, but I think most just felt sad...I know I did.  
A Passing Feeling
King's Crossing
Pretty (Ugly Before)

Matthew Sweet - Everything Changes.  After years of not listening to him, I've been heavy back into Matthew Sweet
the past few months.  Goddamn he could write some pop songs.  
Sick Of Myself
We're The Same

Scud Mountain Boys - Holy Ghost.  I never liked Scud as much as the Pernice material, but it's still worth a listen.  
Penthouse In The Woods


Archive -
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