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***January Fifth Two Thousand and Fifteen***

The new year is upon us!  Time for resolutions - first up, have the entire family wear more cat tights.



Fresh snow.  Beech Mountain, NC.  

One watches me, the other watches her.  Cary, NC.

Burt impersonates the Beatles.  Cary, NC.  

Chicken party.  Wilmington, NC.  

Foggy Highway 54.  Near Siler City, NC.  


Best Shows of 2014!
It was a good year.  Lots of festivals.  I spent a ton of money on live music.  It was worth it.  

Kraftwerk at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium - 4/25/2014
My favorite show by a landslide.  I've seldom been so delighted in all my life.

Belle & Sebastian at the Fillmore Miami Beach - 9/28/2014
We flew to Miami for this show.  It was totally worth it.  Closest we've ever been to the band.  

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers at PNC Arena - 9/18/2014
I don't go to a lot of "arena rock" shows, but this one was completely worth it.  

Protomartyr / Whatever Brains / Spray Paint at Slims - 4/17/2014
My favorite punk show of the year, even if none of these bands are really punk.  
Bonus points for every other Whatever Brains show I saw this year, there were plenty, and all were great.  

Spider Bags at the Pinhook - 8/8/2014
The release party for their great new album - two sets, both terrific.
Hopscotch 2014
Highlights included: The War on Drugs, The White Octave, St. Vincent

Merge 25
Highlights included: Teenage Fanclub, Destroyer, Wye Oak, Lambchop, Superchunk


Thee Oh Sees

I've never been a super fan of Thee Oh Sees, and haven't even seen them live since I lived in the Bay Area from
where the band once hailed, but for some reason I got all excited for this show.  Sometimes you just need a little rau-
cous garage punk in your life, ya know?  I got to Kings just as Thee Oh Sees were setting up, creating these matching
towers of amps combined with PA speakers and pedals and god knows what else - they were at least eight feet tall
and looked super sketchy.  Dwyer was apparently touring with an all new band, though I couldn't tell you why - I know
he somewhat recently moved to LA, so maybe these were just a couple of local SoCal dudes who learned a few of
the band's songs and were game to drive around the country.  They certainly performed at an adequate enough level
for my tastes, though I did hear a couple of people commenting on how the group was "different," with no indication if
that was a good or bad thing and what exactly the differences were.  Certainly the pack of kids moshing and sloshing
beer all around me didn't seem to mind who was on stage with Dwyer, so why should I? 


Cat's Cradle Back Room

The last time I saw Sloan was probably in the neighborhood of 1997 - I took a girl I had a crush on to see Superdrag
in Winston-Salem, and Sloan was the opener.  I never got anywhere with the girl, but the show was rad and I still think
of it often.  I'm not sure why it took so long to make it to another Sloan show again, god knows I've listened to plenty of
their recordings in that span of time - but the nice intimate setting of the Cat's Cradle Back Room seemed like a gig
not to pass up.  Of course this was also helped by Guided by Voices cancelling their show that was scheduled this
same night in the main room of the Cradle - I already had a ticket to that, but this made for a pretty great back-up plan. 

There was no opener and Sloan played two sets.  In the first, they mimicked their most recent album "Commonwealth"
and each of the four main band members (there was an extra fifth member for the live show playing keys and adding
backing vocals, and fuck him cause he don't get his own set of songs goddammit) performed a mini-set of three or
four songs where each was the front man.  Yes, there was instrument swapping involved, but don't hold that against
them.  The songs in this set were largely from that new record, though not exclusively.  What followed was a fifteen or
twenty minute intermission aka "scheduled time to look at your phone," and then there was a second longer set where
the band played whatever the hell they wanted to in whatever order they wanted to.  I knew some of the songs, didn't
know others, but it was always fun regardless.  I would put the average age of the crowd at somewhere around 37 -
lots of babysitters were getting paid tonight - and I wasn't alone in enjoying some quality Canadian pop music this
Saturday night.  Probably a little too much overly earnest singing along and at least one girl acting out the lyrics with
her hands, but the night was clearly a success regardless. 


Ex Hex
with Speedy Ortiz
The Pinhook

This was the sixth anniversary party for the Pinhook, and the room was packed.  I got in the door just before Speedy
Ortiz started their set, and weaseled my way to the front as I usually do.  The first time I saw these guys and gal was at
this same venue, it was a damn enjoyable show and this time was no different.  Singer Sadie Dupuis wasn't just killing
it on guitar this time, she was wearing this crazy brightly-colored dress with a dog print all over it that had me mesmer-
ized for the entire set.  That combined with the new guitarist's epic afro made the group visually interesting even if you
didn't like their music.  Luckily, their off-kilter indie pop that is clearly inspired by classic icons like Polvo and Sonic
Youth sounds good to these ears, so sign me up for the total package - they're a keeper. 

While I had actually only heard a song or two by Ex Hex, I had absolutely no doubt coming into this show that I would
love it.  The legendary Mary Timony and friends playing punky power pop - what's not to like?  What I didn't know was
how fun they would be to watch live - for a band with only one record under their belt ("Rips," released this year on
Merge), they seem incredibly comfortable together on stage.  The entire band is all smiles and rock poses and I just
can't imagine anyone seeing Ex Hex perform and not being totally delighted.  They powered through probably every
song they had over the span of 45 minutes max, and then closed out their night with an encore of the Real Kids song
"All Kindsa Girls."  They recently released a recording of this cover as part of Merge's subscription seven inch series,
dig it up if you can - a nice take on a perfect song.  It was a grand ending to a quality night of tunes. 


The Clean
with Boogarins
Cat's Cradle Back Room

I really should have written this before my phone died (or rather, went for a swim) and I lost all my notes.  Yes, even for
these half-assed reviews I write, I take notes.  My memory is shit. 

Opener Boogarins are a band from Brazil according to the internets, but I didn't verify that directly with the band, and
they spoke English to the crowd.  To quote myself from the photo I posted on Instagram: "Very impressive.  Swirly
guitar pop crossed with heavy jams, like if Ty Segall joined the Cocteau Twins."  Can't really argue with my astute
assessment since I'm the one that made it.  I really need to listen to their record though, because I did quite enjoy
their live performance. 

I've seen the Clean a few times and David Kilgour solo a few more times on top of that (including just this past July
at Merge 25), so I can't really say there was anything new or exciting about this performance by the band.  It was still
really, really, really damn enjoyable though, as their gigs always are.  You know what I never get tired of?  Hearing
"Tally Ho" live.  No offense to the rest of their songs, which are quite good, but their live set could just be them playing
"Tally Ho" ten times in a row and I would be a happy man.  Anyways, they were awesome as usual, and the crowd full
of old people (that I felt right at home in) seemed to enjoy themselves. 


One time I accidentally drank an entire bottle of vinegar. I thought it was terrible wine. Once I went out with a guy who
wore 3-D glasses the entire evening. Oh, one time I rode in a sidecar on a guy's motorcycle, and the sidecar detached
and went down a flight of stairs. Another time I went to a really boring movie with a guy and while I was asleep he tried
to pull out one of my teeth. I literally woke up with his hand in my mouth. We went out a couple times after that but then
he got weird."

The entire Morrissey "Boxers" single, because why not.  
01 Boxers
02 Have-A-Go Merchant
03 Whatever Happens, I Love You

Broadcast - Pendulum.  I never listened to these cats much - they're pretty much Stereolab lite - but I dig this song.  

Liars - Mess On a Mission.  From their album "Mess" that came out last year.  I sorta spaced on them for a few years
but I liked this release.  
Bonus: Vox Tuned D.E.D.

Marmoset - Empty Room.  Quirky indie pop.  I own a bunch of their albums and don't really have more to say than
that unfortunately.  

R.E.M. - (Don't Go Back To) Rockville.  More classic REM, I've really been digging these cats again lately after
probably not listening to them since high school.
Bonus: Harborcoat

The Bob Seger System - 2 + 2 = ?.  Classic Seger.  Perfect rock-n-roll.  
Bonus: Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

The Jim Yoshii Pile-Up - Double Negative.  Reminds me so much of my years in San Francisco when I saw JYPU
a number of times.  This album "Homemade Drugs" was one of the first I had on an MP3 player, and it got listened to
a ton.  
Bonus: Middle Harbor Road

The Starlight Mints - Brass Digger.  Catchy-as-hell band from Oklahoma City...their first record "The Dream That
Stuff Was Made Of" was nearly a perfect pop album.  
Bonus: Pages

Sixteenth Two Thousand and Fourteen***


It's time for the doginasweater best records of 2014 list!!!!!!!!!

The Seven Best Records of 2014!
I've put these in order, but honestly outside of the first one I could easily be swayed to move them around.  

1. The War On Drugs - Lost In The Dream (Secretly Canadian)
This was the runaway winner and it's not even close.   I listened to this record so much it's entirely possible I heard it
more by itself than every other album that came out this year combined.  
Eyes To the Wind

2. Run The Jewels - RTJ2 (Mass Appeal)
At this point anything Killer Mike even breathes on is going to the top of any list.  The first side of this one is basically
Blockbuster Night Part 1
Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)
Oh My Darling Don't Cry

3. Pontiak - Innocence (Thrill Jockey)
I've listened to Pontiak for years but it wasn't until I saw them live multiple times in 2013 that I became a super fan.  I
never got to see them live this past year (it seemed like they were on tour in Europe for almost all of 2014), but they
at least gave us this great record.  Nobody blends multiple genres (from stoner metal to space rock to folk to every-
thing else) like these Virginia brothers.  
Noble Heads

4. Future Islands - Singles (4AD)
Things really took off this year for these local lads (who now live in Baltimore) didn't they?  Dance like a madman on
Letterman and the whole world takes notice!
A Song For Our Grandfathers
Seasons (Waiting On You)

5. Spider Bags - Frozen Letter (Merge)
The Bags made it to the big time this year and put a record out on Merge, and it's their best one yet.  These lads are
aging like one of those fancy cheeses.  
Back with You Again in the World
Summer of '79

6. Whatever Brains - SSR-63/SSR-64 (Sorry State)
Ok, technically this is two EPs, but they released each EP on one side of a twelve inch record so it's pretty easy to
pretend it's just a full length album.  Also, they used a photo of mine for the cover of one of the EPs which will probably
go down as the proudest moment ever in life.  Also also, the music slays.

7. Wye Oak - Shriek (Merge)
What do you do if you're an indie rock duo with a shit-hot guitarist?  Put out a pop record almost completely devoid of
guitar, of course.  And somehow it still works.  
Sick Talk
The Tower

The Fourteen Honorable Mention Records of 2014!
I ordered these alphabetically, which I cannot be swayed on.  

Ex Hex - Rips (Merge)
Fujiya & Miyagi - Artificial Sweeteners (Yep Roc)
David Kilgour And The Heavy Eights - End Times Undone (Merge)
Liars - Mess (Mute)
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Wig Out at Jagbags (Matador)
The Men - Tomorrow's Hits (Sacred Bones)
Paws - Youth Culture Forever (Fat Cat)
Perfume Genius - Too Bright (Turnstile)
Protomartyr - Under Color of Official Right (Hardly Art)
Reigning Sound - Shattered (Merge)
The Rosebuds - Sand + Silence (Western Vinyl)
Sturgill Simpson - Metamodern Sounds In Country Music (High Top Mountain)
Solids - Blame Confusion (Dine Alone)
Total Control - Typical System (Iron Lung)

The Four Other Records Worth Mentioning of 2014!
With those reasons listed below each one.  

The Mary Onettes - Hit the Waves (Labrador)
This would easily be my second fvorite record of 2014 had it not come out last year.  Gorgeous pop songs
that feel like a late Fall day at the shore.  I have songs for this one readily available because I just posted them
a couple of weeks ago.  
Don't Forget (to Forget about Me)
Evil Coast
Hit the Waves

Ernie Graham - Ernie Graham (4 Men with Beards)
My favorite reissue of the year.  A hard drinking pub rocker from across the ocean recruits the band Brinsley Schwarz
to back him up, and he creates what sounds like a lost record from The Band.  

The Shivvers - The Shivvers (Sing Sing)
Not sure how to classify this one - it's not a reissue because the album never existed before, but all of the songs were
recorded between 1979 and 1981.  It is claimed by the label this would have been their debut LP.  Semantics aside,
it's a fantastic collection of vintage Midwestern power pop.  

Fugazi - First Demo (Dischord)
This one sorta falls into the same black hole as the Shivvers' record for many of the same reasons.  But it's Fugazi
and everything they have ever touched is gold in my book.  Hearing these alternate versions of well-known songs is
a must for any big fan of the band.  

Thirtieth Two Thousand and Fourteen***

Winter is coming.  Don't forget to dress warmly.  

Instagram pics:

Fred's General Mercantile.  Beech Mountain, NC.  

Bed hog.  Marion, NC.  

Vintage Mustangs getting towed.  Cary, NC.  

Chelsea punches a cow.  North Cove, NC.  

Queen of the castle.  Cary, NC.  

Other pics:
The rest of the medium format photos from last summer's trip to Quebec; these are all from
Parc National du Saguenay.  



Multiple skate links - people are releasing amazing videos left and right these days.
1.  Easily the most important would be the release of the latest full-length from Anti Hero, Destination Unknown.  It is
     maddeningly amazing - the Frank Gerwer / Peter Hewitt split part might be the best thing of the year.  And Chris
     Pfanner's footage...oh man.
2.  Somewhat related to that - Anti Hero team member Grant Taylor also had another video for the release of his
     new shoe on Nike...he's been goddamn killing it all year.  
3.  Pontus Alv made another video for Cons where he and a crew run the streets and get great footage.  

Only one non-skate link this time - a collection of Depression-era North Carolina photos here.  Click on the link on
the website to get to a lot more pics.  

Two small sets in the photo journal this month, both focused on mediocre fall leaf snaps - one from the Eno River
State Park, and the other from Marion.  

A few music reviews by way of Fugazi, Reigning Sound, a power pop comp, and the two Merge subscription seven


This Will Destroy You
with Future Death
Cat's Cradle Back Room

A cold Monday night seems like a great time to enjoy a little post-rock.  I've only ever heard a few songs from
This Will Destroy You, but a friend had a couple of guest list spots so why the hell not see some live music?  A
four piece from Texas, it would be pretty easy to confuse them with Explosions in the Sky as they sound more or less
exactly the same, at least to these untrained ears.  Not that I mind - good music is good music, and it's not like I'm
ever going to get to see Explosions in a club the size of the Cat's Cradle Back Room ever again.  They were great
live in the sense that the sound was incredible, but their "performance" wasn't anything to write home about.  I'd love
to see one of these bands in a seated venue and paired with some sort of elaborate light show or visual display -
I think it would go over like a honey pot on a bear's head. 

The band that opened for This Will Destroy You was called Future Death, also from Texas.  They were really two
bands musically-speaking - some songs were noisy hardcore, others really off-kilter art pop.  Since the extent of my
hardcore knowledge is Minor Threat and Circle Jerks I'm not sure what I would compare that version of the band to,
but I'm guessing if you like the female-fronted heavy sounds of Perfect Pussy you'd probably dig it.  As for their other
jams, it falls somewhere on the spectrum between Deerhoof and Guardian Alien; let it be said I'm not being racist with
the Deerhoof comparison just because both bands have Asian women fronting them, some of Future Death's songs
genuinely reminded me of them.  Please file all grievances with management. 


Whatever Brains
with T0W3RS
Nice Price Books and Records

It had been a dog's year since I last saw T0W3RS - they were a full band at that time, playing very enjoyable, catchy
indie pop.  These days all that remains from that iteration are the name and frontman Derek Torres.  Now T0W3RS
is just a one-man band, with Derek singing (and sometimes playing guitar) along with recordings in a very theatrical
fashion as if he was performing a one-man play.  The music has also taken a shift to something between Bowie-
esque glam and modern electro-pop, but the tracks are just as catchy as ever - Torres has a real way with hooks. 
The packed house seemed way into it, especially this weird hippy guy standing next to me who was possibly putting
on an even bigger show than Derek. 

The reason for the season tonight was the release party for the new double EP by Whatever Brains.  Since each EP
is one side of a regular 12" record I'm not sure why it isn't just considered a regular LP record, but the Brains have
always done their own thing.  In keeping with tradition, each EP is named "Whatever Brains," so this now means they
have five albums all named the same thing.  I should also say that they used a photo of mine for the cover of one of the
EPs, which makes me happier than about anything that has ever happened in my life.  It's as if seeing this band dozens
and dozens of times has finally paid off!  As for the show itself, they played most of their two new EPs, including the
epic twenty plus minute long track "///////" which is based on a true story of hermit family living in the middle of nowhere
in Siberia.  It was a super awesome fun time as per usual.  I think I'll even go see them play again in the future! 


"Y'all bow your damn heads! We thank you, Lord, for mans like myself, males of the masculine variety, winners all of
us. And we thank you for the womerns too, and how you made them out of a part of a man that he don't never need nor
want, to live by our rules and our pleasures. "

A random smattering of classic punk selections from one of the collections of seven inches I made for myself.  
Blitz - Someone's Gonna Die Tonight
Circle Jerks - Nervous Breakdown
Pop Rivets - When I Came Back
The Infections - Girls In Magazines
The Saints - River Deep, Mountain High
The Undead - When The Evening Comes
The Victims - Television Addict

French Kicks - Crying Just For Show.  Their best song off of their best record "One Time Bells."

Moonface - I'm Not The Phoenix Yet.  These tracks are from Moonface's album wherein he hitched his wagon to
someone or something called Siinai.  I'm not sure what that did as they just sound like awesome Moonface songs.  
Bonus: Lay Your Cheek On Down
Bonus: Shitty City

The Mary Onettes - Don't Forget (to Forget about Me).  This would be near the top of my list for best albums of
2014 except it came out in 2013.  I might include it in my list anyways because, you know, fuck it.  
Bonus: Evil Coast
Bonus: Hit the Waves

Scharpling & Wurster - Hippy Johnny.  One of the best "Best Show" skits.  Seemed like a nice (long) ender
for the month.  

***October Thirty First
Two Thousand and Fourteen***

I, for one, look forward to the day that the Japanese are our overlords.  I want their tv shows.

Instagram pics:

Wife and dog.  Lake James, NC.  

Fall colors.  Marion, NC.  

State fair.  Raleigh, NC.  

Other pics:
A few medium format photos from last summer's trip to Quebec that I finally got around to editing.  

Old barn between La Baie and Saguenay.  

Farmland between La Baie and Saguenay.  

Parc National du Saguenay.

Unknown lake on drive from Quebec City to La Baie.  


Here's a Talking Heads concert film / documentary / video art that was floating around youtube called "Talking Heads
vs. Television.
"  Definitely worth a watch.  

Toto's "Africa" and Nicky Minaj's butt make for great bedfellows, as seen here.  

Really depressing short doc
on the drought in California's Central Valley, but one of the most beautifully shot films I've
ever seen.  

Skate videos!
1.  Wes Kremer's "Crusty By Nature" part will probably be the best thing to come out this year...
2.  ...but the extended cut might be even better.  
3.  Finally, this section by Flo Mirtain might be the most stylish.  Those French dudes sure know how to look good on
     a board.  

Posted some band photos in the photo journal this month, as well as a mixed bag of pics from a weekend trip to
Miami Beach.  

A few music reviews: Spoon, David Bazan, Rosebuds, and Braid.  The best thing I heard was the new Run the Jewels
though, just haven't done one of my shitty write-ups yet.    


The War on Drugs
with Peter Matthew Bauer
Haw River Ballroom

I've got to be pretty motivated to drive out to Saxapahaw to see a show, but considering that before this gig was
announced I was planning on going to Asheville to see War on Drugs play, this one was an easy decision.  I'm not
sure if it's the Haw River Ballroom or the crowd these guys draw, but there were signs everywhere that stated "abso-
lutely no chairs allowed" which was cracking me up.  It was the last night of their massive tour that started at some
point before the Hopscotch appearance in early September, and I'm sure everyone was counting down the minutes
until they could get home and sleep in their own beds.  But before that, they put on a hell of a performance.  It was
similar to the Hopscotch outing, but...looser maybe?  Which would make sense given how many times they've played
these songs in the last couple of months.  There was one addition to their set list, a cover of Bob Dylan's "Tangled Up
in Blue," done on the obvious WoD fashion.  And top it all off, like all Haw shows, it ended at a reasonable middle-
aged hour. 

The opener was Peter Matthew Bauer, best known as the frontman of the Walkmen.  Unfortunately he didn't play any
of those songs, but his solo songs were still pretty damn rad.  With his very unique voice, everything sorta sounded like
Walkmen songs I'd never heard before anyways.  There was a little Replacements and Springsteen vibe in there too,
but that probably could have also been said about the Walkmen.  Anyways, I need to buy his solo record.  Maybe if I
write it down it will remind me. 


"Okay, I know you're all sober now, and I can totally respect that, so I'm going to resist the urge to do drugs and drink
around you. I will still do them, but I will excuse myself and go to a different room."

Divine Fits - Baby Get Worse.  I love Britt and Spoon but the Dan Boeckner tracks are the best Divine Fit's songs.  
Bonus: The Salton Sea

Drive Like Jehu - Caress.  Godfathers of San Diego noise rock.  Wish I could have been there for the reunion show
last month.  
Bonus: Step On Chameleon

Future Islands - A Song For Our Grandfathers.  From one of the best records of the year, "Singles."  
Bonus: Seasons (Waiting On You)

Mean Jeans - Come Toobin'.  Since the Ramones are all gone, Mean Jeans might as well sound exactly like them.
Bonus: Life on Mars

Mogwai - Honey (Spacemen 3 cover).  Some bonus songs from the "Young Team" reissue that came out a little
while back.  Wish I'd grabbed this on vinyl, it's stupid expensive now.  
Bonus: Mogwai Fear Satan (Live)

Mount Moriah - Bright Light.  Why did it take me so damn long to spend quality time with their second record
"Miracle Temple"?  The first self-titled one is a favorite of the last decade...sometimes my actions make no sense.    
Bonus: I Built a Town
Bonus: Telling the Hour

The Stone Roses - Mersey Paradise.  Like Mogwai above, a couple of b-sides from around the time of their com-
pletely perfect first record.  
Bonus: The Hardest Thing in the World

***September Thirtieth
Two Thousand and Fourteen***

Football season is upon us!  May the gods shine brightly on your fairytale football team, I hope you win the
longsnapper category every week!


Burt and his grandma.  Cary, NC.  

Rambo.  Lake James, NC.  

Blue-tailed skink.  Cary, NC.

Heavy Rescue.  Marion, NC.  


This is rad: Steven Soderbergh performed an experiment on "Raiders of the Lost Ark" - removed the sound, removed
the color, and added the score from "The Social Network," and created essentially a black-and-white silent film that is
a work of art.  It's trippy and amazing at the same time.  Watch it here.   

Not much else this month really, spent a ton of time on Hopscotch nonsense.  All of the show reviews are here.  And
there are
five slabs of photos from Hopscotch in the photo journal this month...some good ones, some whatever ones.  
Deal with it.  

See the above excuse for the scant few music reviews this time, but I did get to both of the Merge subscription seven
inches and the very interesting Fujiya & Miyagi record.  


Belle & Sebastian
with Luke Temple
The Fillmore Miami Beach

For the second year in a row we traveled to a foreign country to see our beloved Belle & Sebastian - Montreal last
year, and Miami Beach this year.  Sure, Miami Beach isn't technically a foreign country but it might as well be - there
were certainly more women walking around in thongs than you typically see anywhere else in this country. 

Our tickets were general admission so we got there early and got a good spot up front - I've seen B&S many times
but always from far away; this time, only one row of people separated us from Stuart Murdoch and company.  They
were performing as a thirteen piece with the regulars joined by a quartet of violin mercenaries from New York (as
both the band and the crowd found out when Stuart talked to them during the set).  The band kicked off with the in-
strumental "Judy Is a Dick Slap," complete with Stuart playing a keytar, and it only got more awesome from there. 
Lots of classics throughout the set including "I'm a Cuckoo," "Like Dylan in the Movies," "Dog on Wheels," "The Boy
With the Arab Strap," "Legal Man," "Get Me Away From Here I'm Dying," "Judy & the Dream of Horses," and the
always perfect " "If You're Feeling Sinister."  According to the band this was their first show ever in Florida, something
Stewart joked about on a couple of occasions.  Also, unbeknownst to me and probably a lot of the crowd, he is
married to a gal from Florida, and told a funny story about his first trip to the state on vacation when some people
pulled up next to him on the highway and offered him some Ritz crackers.  It was more or less a perfect show, and
well worth the cost of airfare and hotel and tickets and whatever else we spent.  I mean, the beach was nice too, so
that was also a plus. 

A brief note about opener Luke Temple - I dug it, but not sure much of the crowd did.  He has a really heavy Jonathan
Richman vibe - classical guitar, sparse drummer, hell he was even wearing a very Jonathan Richman-like shirt.  The
vocals sounded more like James Mercer of the Shins though, and the songs had a jazzy-folk-pop thing going on.  the
crowd was very loud during his set, and as his music was pretty quiet it was pretty awful.  He tried saying something
to the crowd a couple of times, which has never, ever worked in the history of live performances, they just get indignant
at being told what to do.  I would check him out again though, hopefully in better environs.    


Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
with Steve Winwood
PNC Arena

I don't often go to large "arena rock" shows - I think the last one I saw actually held in a basketball stadium like this one
was REM (with Lucious Jackson opening!) at the Dean Dome back in 1995 or 1996.  For some reason I felt it incum-
bent to see Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers while it was still possible though, high priced tickets and nosebleed
seats be's not often you get a chance to see someone who has written as many hit songs as he has. 

After paying twenty dollars for parking, more than I almost ever pay to actually see a show, we got inside and found
that our section had been closed off and they upgraded our seats to better ones downstairs - score!  You can more or
less guess the set list, basically a lot of his hits (both from his solo and Heartbreakers records) along a number of with
tracks from his new album "Hypnotic Eye."  The crowd sing-along for "Freefallin'" was pretty impressive, almost as
impressive as the drunken dancing by the fratboys a couple rows in front of us...they were FEELING IT.  I knew it
would be a sound good and be a professional performance, you don't stay on top like Petty has for this long if you're
putting out a sub-par product - but I was impressed with just how good it actually was.  Even from the other end of the
stadium where we were seated, it was engaging and exciting to watch the band perform; I was also surprised at how
funny Petty was, his between song banter was pretty strong.  They played for about two hours, closing with probably
their best song "American Girl."  It was money well spent. 

It's definitely worth mentioning the opener, since it was the rock legend Steve Winwood.  Yeah he played his eighties
hit "Higher Love" and it sounded fine, but the highlight was the retrospective of songs from some of the different groups
he has been a part of over his career  - Blind Faith's "Can't Find My Way Home," an number of Traffic jams, and a
couple of Spencer Davis Group songs including the ender of "Gimme Some Lovin'," one of the best parts of the entire


"Carnies. Circus folk. Nomads, you know. Smell like cabbage. Small hands."

This is the Oneida & Liars split EP "Atheists Reconsider" that was released on the seemingly now-defunct Arena
Rock Recording Co.  The whole thing is rad and definitely worth hearing.    
01 Rose And Licorice
02 Privilege
03 All In All A Careful Party
04 Fantastic Morgue
05 Every Day Is A Child With Teeth
06 Dorothy Taps The Toe Of The Tinman

13th Floor Elevators - It's All Over Now, Baby Blue.  I may have posted these songs before, but it's not like you
can listen to 13th Floor Elevators too much.
Bonus: Slide Machine

Barzin - Pale Blue Eyes.  What I said about the Elevators also applies here.  
Bonus: Past All Concerns

Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Get Up Morning.  I've been loving the boss sounds of Eddy for a while now, but
I only recently got around to spending some time with the self-titled debut album.
Bonus: Precious Rose

Modey Lemon - Dr. Body Snatcher.  I like this band while I'm listening and forget about them pretty much all the
rest of the time.  

Unnatural Helpers - Medication.  Seattle garage rock, pretty straight-forward but decent.  

Whatever Brains - NPTO.  I've easily taken more photos of this band than anyone else, ever.  Their live shows are
manna from god, whatever the hell manna is.  Hopefully it's a good thing otherwise the saying doesn't make any sense.  
Bonus: Yellow Death 2000

***August Thirty First
Two Thousand and Fourteen***

I was going to say these drawers look too big for him, but I guess if you're planning on stuffing them full of doves it might
be the perfect fit.  



Bashful Burt.  Cary, NC.  

Neighbor's Bronco.  Cary, NC.  

Vintage Camaro.  Cary, NC.  

The wife at Person Street Bar.  Raleigh, NC.  

Mouse sleeping hard.  Cary, NC.  


Links and suchery:

The Strange Tale of the North Pond Hermit - pretty great (somewhat long) article about a man living in the woods
of Maine alone for nearly three decades, living off of goods stolen from local camps & homes and not interacting with
a soul the entire time.  

Garth Marenghi's Darkplace - Hilarious, poorly-made fake scifi medical drama featuring the hilarious Richard Ayoade
and Matt Berry (both also from "The IT Crowd").  Words can't do it's greatness justice.  Link here is to the first episode,
but the whole run of six episodes are all on Youtube.  

Very interesting article on the Zamrock band Witch, acquaint yourself if you haven't already.  

Two photo journal entries this round - all of my photos from the Merge 25 shenanigans last month, as well as some
snaps from a trip to the beach.  

Actually wrote a few music reviews this time: Superchunk, Total Control, Spider Bags, Protomartyr, and the fantas-
tic new Pontiak slab.    


Kyle Kinane

We braved monsoon-like rains to get to Kings in in effort to roust up some laughs from Kyle Kinane.  Despite having
wet pants for the entire show, it was a successful endeavor.  He was working out material for a special he would be
recording in Georgia in a few days, so I guess this was a sneak preview and/or we were being used as guinea pigs. 
As an aside, do they actually test anything on guinea pigs?  You'd think how much they get mentioned in regards to
testing that everything runs through them.  Anyways, newsflash: Kyle was friggin' hilarious, and the special is clearly
going to be awesome.  I will be more than happy to rehear all of these same jokes again; especially if he uses his long
story about getting a blowjob from a mentally slow under-aged girl, that shit killed the entire audience. 


Spider Bags
The Pinhook

I'll generally try to make it to any Spider Bags show, but this one was special - a release party for their first record on
Merge, "Frozen Letter."  Flesh Wounds were doing the exact same thing in Chapel Hill on this same night - why the
two bands didn't combine their release shows is beyond me and a bummer, because I would love to have seen both. 
Spider Bags singer Dan McGee made note that the only band they could think of to open this show for them was
Flesh Wounds, and since they were clearly busy, the Bags decided to just play this one by themselves.  Since it was
only them for the entire night, they played two different sets.  The first set was the new record in order and in it's entirety,
and it was great introduction to their new material as I hadn't heard "Frozen Letter" previous to the gig.  There was
then a 15 to 20 minute break where the crowd and the band both refueled their Beer cells, and then the Bags launched
into their "greatest hits" aka every song you would ever want to hear them play from all of their previous recordings. 
Including the break I think they played for two and a half hours, and it was a blistering, raucous, incredibly sweaty
affair...seriously, I think it might have been 95 degrees inside of the Pinhook.  A sweaty t-shirt is a small price to pay
for a show that good though. 


The Rosebuds
Duke Gardens & The Cat's Cradle
6/25/2014 & 8/2/2014

The chances of getting an unbiased review of the Rosebuds has never been very high around here - I've known Ivan
and Kelly for many years.  Now not only have they added two more friends to their touring band, Mark Paulson (also of
the Bowerbirds) on bass and Rob Lackey on Drums, but one of my very best friends for a large portion of my life, Brian
Weeks on guitar.  We go all the way back to Belk Hall on the UNCW campus in 1994, moved to San Francisco to-
gether in 2000, and have been annoying each other regularly for twenty years now. 

Since I'm too lazy to write two reviews I'm lumping both of their shows these past couple of months together.  The first
was at the Duke Gardens, and sorta seemed to coincide with the Merge 25 festivities even if the band isn't on the
label anymore (I still saw Merge head honcho Mac at the show, so things must still be copacetic between the Rosebuds
and their former label).  It's always a little weird seeing a band in the daylight, much less in front of bunch of middle aged
(or older) folks spread out on a lawn in camping chairs and sitting on blankets with picnic spreads of food.  The band
had a new record coming out in August called "Sand + Silence," and probably half of the set was dedicated to premier-
ing these new songs to their "hometown" crowd (neither Ivan or Kelly are actually locals anymore).  The rest of the set
was dedicated to highlights from their long career, from "Back to Boston" to "Woods" to crowd sing-a-long favorite
"Nice Fox."  There was also a fun performance of "Get Up Get Out" where Kelly gave shakers and tambourines and
such to a group of little kids dancing in front of the stage, and they seemed to have a blast.  Of course the downside is
the band still had a few more songs to play and the kids never gave the noise makers back, so the remainder of the
set was accompanied by a lot of arrhythmic percussion coming from the crowd.   Maybe best to save the participation
songs for the end...

The Duke Gardens show was a one off, but a little over a month later they returned to the Triangle as part of their short
East Coast tour, landing at the Cat's Cradle.  It was the same group of musicians and a mostly similar set list, though
this gig did focus a little more heavily on the new record.  Also, no children with percussion instruments playing them
haphazardly.  The sound was better at this gig, but that is more of a function of it being inside the Cradle rather than
outside amongst flowers.  Most importantly, it was a good time like Rosebuds shows always are. 


with Potty Mouth
The Pinhook

Swearin' was one of the best surprises of last year's Hopscotch - I saw them randomly at a day party at Slims and
was blown away.  I think they rolled back through town another time and I wasn't able to go, so it was nice to finally
catch them again and confirm that my first impression was not a fluke.  The verdict?  It was not.  The band was ex-
tremely catchy just like last time, comprised of a formula roughly one-third pop, one-third punk, and the final third nine-
ties indie fuzz rock.  In band terms, imagine some sort of combination of Superchunk, the Thermals, and the Breeders
(the Breeders comparison brought to me by my friend Brian, something I had never thought of but that made perfect
sense as soon as he said it).  It was all quite lovely and enjoyable and I promptly bought both of their records, some-
thing I wanted to do at Hopscotch but passed on because I didn't want to carry the records around with me the rest of
that day. 

The opening act was an all-female group of of Massachusetts called Potty Mouth.  They too had a nineties vibe, as
so many bands today do - in their case, more of a Velocity Girl meets Dinosaur Jr thing.  People seemingly have for-
gotten all about Velocity Girl, but their first two records "Copacetic" and "Simpatico" are still great even if the produc-
tion on them is kinda muddy and shitty.  Would love to see those two get remastered and reissued.  Anyways, at one
point this hot mess of a drunk girl in the crowd started yelling at the band about how young they were, which led the
bassist to go on a bit of a rant about ageism combined with sexism in music; and yeah, they looked really young but
why bring it up?  What do you stand to gain?  Just enjoy the music and maybe get less drunk next time, hot mess. 
Pretty much every band seems young to me these days, and so long as they are enjoyable I could give a shit. 


"Six people left in the world and one of them is Bill fucking Murray. I know that's not your middle name. I've been watch-
ing you since I was like... Since I could masturbate. I mean, not that they're connected."

Say what you will about the cheesiness of Death Cab for Cutie, but they've written some damn catchy songs.  
Bend To Squares (Studio X Session)
The New Year (Studio X Session)
We Laugh Indoors (New Mix)

Karp - Connect 5.  If you haven't seen the Karp documentary yet, make it happen.  So ruling.  
Bonus: Get No Toys (When You Pay the Money)

Pontiak - AASSTTEERR.  I just haven't been able to get enough of Pontiak for nearly two years now.  Such a rad and
dynamic band.  
Bonus: Wild Knife Night Fight

Redd Kross - One Of The Good Ones.  I'm not saying their record from last year is the best, but there were a lot of
damn hooks on it.  
Bonus: Stay Away From Downtown

The Concretes - You Can't Hurry Love.  I probably posted this before but it's no less enjoyable now.  I just wish I
liked their other material even half as much as this song.  

The Midwest Beat - Firefly.  Some jangly pop kids who are actually from the Midwest and, like so many other bands
listed this time, write catchy damn songs.  What can I say, I love some pop music.  
Bonus: Sister Mary Katherine

The Mountain Goats - Cry for Judas.  So these songs are from their 2012 album but I just got around to listening
to it...hey, it happens.
Bonus: Lakeside View Apartments Suite


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