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                                   questions/comments/concerns - email thomas.magnum at

                                                              all contents copyright Jake Thomas

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   (updated 4/30
/2017)                                   Photo Journal   (updated 4/30/2016)       
                Music Reviews   (updated 4/28/2017)                       Live Show Review Archives

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Photo Archive:       
 +++People+++         +++Places+++         +++Bands+++        
+++Mouse!+++         +++Burt!+++
Pointless Nonsense Archive:         +++Movie Reviews+++         +++Links+++
                                                                (None of these have been updated in ages)                                          
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***April Thirtieth Two Thousand and Seventeen***


Pug life.  


Grams -

Mercury Cougar.  Raleigh, NC.  

J. Mascis' amps.  Carrboro, NC.

Living mannequin.  Durham, NC.  

Yates Mill.  Raleigh, NC.


Other pics -

Going through some old photos - scans of a few snaps from our cross-country drive in 2008.  I'd love to take that trip
again and double the amount of time spent on it.  

Capital Reef National Park, Utah.

Capital Reef National Park, Utah.

Hwy 95 between Hanksville and Natural Bridges National Monument, Utah

Hwy 24 near Capital Reef National Park, Utah


Links -

Only one skate video this month, and it's a few months old - the short from Element, Zygote.   Though truthfully it's not
really a team video so much as an Evan Smith part with a few guest tricks from the rest of the team.  I'm not com-
plaining though, because that Evan Smith part is one of the best things I've seen in the last year.  No idea why I slept
so long on watching this.  

This month I got around to editting the snaps from the scant few shows I've attended recently for the photo journal,
which isn't much.  Things may be picking up though, assuming I can motivate myself to leave the house.  

I've actually done a few music reviews, and some are even of new music!


Dinosaur Jr
Cats Cradle

Dinosaur Jr has been doing their thing for over thirty years now, and even doing that thing with the original line-up for
the past ten years, so there's not really a lot to report here that hasn't been said so many times before by people much
more skilled in the art of word manipulation and adequate grammar.  The guys might be older, but the music is as
vibrant to me as ever.  It's interesting to think that this band's most popular records are older than the music I consid-
ered "oldies" when I was a kid - despite that, there was definitely a ton of young people in the crowd, which mostly
made my heart happy, and also slightly annoyed me because they had the gall to get to the Cradle way before me
and then stand in front of me like a bunch of responsible attendees.

I suppose the big difference for me is that unlike the last time I saw Dinosaur Jr, they didn't play "Bug" in it's entirety. 
Instead, it was a number of songs from their most recent release "Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not" mixed with clas-
sics like "Freak Scene," "Thumb," "Start Choppin," "Feel the Pain," and my person favorite on the night "The Wagon." 
It sounded great, especially after I moved back near the soundboard when I finished taking photos.  If you've seen the
band before, you can picture in your head what the stage looked like - J Mascis standing nearly still the whole time in
front of a wall of Marshall amps, rarely talking, and shredding his guitars; Murph playing the drums like someone took
the spirit of Animal from the Muppets and put it into the body of an accountant; and I'm not sure I saw Lou Barlow's
face the entire time, just a frenzied nest of hair while he lurched back and forth on his bass. 

It might have all been predictable, this band that has been around so long, doing things I've seen them do a number of
times before, but it was still plenty fun and I'll gladly do it again if and when Dinosaur Jr come back to town. 


Nick, I've tried everything: the embassy, the German government, the consulate. I even talked to the U.N. ambassador.
It's no use, I just can't bring my wife to orgasm."

Fluxblog has been doing these multi-disc yearly surveys every month that are a great reminder on a few great top 40
pop songs from the past that you forgot about, and even more you wish you could forget.  Here are a few select treats
from the 1982 collection...
Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force - Planet Rock
Fleetwood Mac - Hold Me
INXS - Don't Change
Jackson Browne - Somebody's Baby
Sister Nancy - Bam Bam
The Go Go's - Vacation

Bare Wires - Dirt Beach.  The singer dude from Warm Soda was first the singer dude for Bare Wires, or vice versa
if you prefer to think of it that way.  Both bands sound pretty close to the same for my money, maybe Warm Soda is a
little glammier.
Make Her Mine

Best Coast - Fine Without You.  Is it still cool to like Best Coast?  I feel like it was cool, and then for some reason
stopped being cool, and I was never sure why.  Maybe the kids just don't like good pop songs, because Best Coast is
really good at pop songs.  
In My Eyes

Raekwon - Knuckleheadz (feat. Ghostface & U-God).  A couple of gems from the classic "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx."  
Which is fourth best Wu-Tang related album of all time, for those keeping score at home.  
Spot Rusherz

The Shivvers - No Substitute.  I'm sure I've probably posted "Teenline" a bunch of times before, as it's one of the top
three best power pop songs of all time, but these other two may be new.  Or not.  Who cares.  
Please Stand By

***March Thirty First Two Thousand and Seventeen***

I hope everyone is already working on the beach bods with global warming summer will be here before you know it!


Grams -

Rescued house wren.  Cary, NC.  

Tight crew.  Cary, NC.  

Blueberry face.  Cary, NC.


Vids -

Nike put out an all tranny part called Loud Pack featuring Grant Taylor, Ishod Wair, and Cory Kennedy - no one is
shocked that Grant absolutely destroys everything in sight, but the progress Ishod and CK1 have made killing parks
is quite impressive.  They may not be on Grant's level, but they can more than hold their own.  

To no one's surprise, Shane O'Neill went to Australia and in nine days filmed a new part full of tricks that very few
skateboarders in the world could do if given years to film.  People joke that he's a robot, but I'm not sure even a robot
could be programmed to skate as well as Shane does.  

You know a dude is good when a video for a wheel company is this fantastic, cause Spitfire isn't getting anywhere
close to the best material, that gets saved for the board and shoe companies.  Louie Lopez has always been amaz-
ing, but now that he's found his adult style he's become a real favorite of mine.  

No photo journal updates this month.  Been too busy not doing anything.  


With Dude York
The Pinhook

I knew absolutely nothing about opener Dude York before they took the stage.  First impression: trio, bass playing
gal who sings, guitar playing dude who also sings and was wearing a half shirt, and a young looking drummer who
added a little bit of backing vocals.  They said they were from Seattle and were quite gregarious, lots of chatting
among themselves and with the crowd - this band was very comfortable on stage, like a group of theater majors who
decided to play music instead.  They talked at one point about what is punk and whether or not they are a punk band,
and how that definition is so nebulous - which is certainly true.  For my money this is a pop band with a little bit of punk
scruffiness, but not truly punk...but honestly, that might describe a ton of the "best" punk bands over the years like the
Ramones or the Buzzcocks or a ton of others.  I wasn't totally blown away by Dude York, but they were entertaining
enough live and I wouldn't mind hearing their record(s) and see if that increases my interest.  Perhaps noteworthy is
that the dude singer winked at me while I was taking photos, marking the first time I've ever been winked at by a man
in a half shirt...or a full shirt for that matter.  Now that I think about it, no one ever winks at me regardless of sex or
shirtedness!  Speaking of firsts, on their last song the band took selfies as they were finishing their set, which I've
never seen before.  Kids these days, yaknowwhatI'msayin'? 

Paws was the reason I actually left the house, and I'm glad to report it was well worth the effort.  This trio from Glasgow,
Scotland do the whole melodic, buzzsaw punk thing as well as anybody...sort of like a British version of Terry Malts, if
I'm being honest (and I super duper love Terry Malts so that's meant as a compliment).  They put out a fantastic record
in 2014 called "Youth Culture Forever" that was one of my favorites of the year - they played a few songs off of that one
on this night, but I think most of their set focused on their new album "No Grace" which I don't know nearly as well (but I
loved what I heard).  There was a little bit of banter from the band while tuning, but mostly they just burned through their
songs one after another in a very aggressive, immediate way that befits their sound.  They finished their set with the
rhythm section playing in the crowd, though in a just world there would have been so many fans in the crowd that this
would not have been physically possible.  Hopefully the light attendance doesn't prevent Paws from returning to our
area, because I very much would love to see them again.

Side note number 1: This was my first time eating at the (somewhat) newly opened Pie Pushers just above the
Pinhook.  Just as tasty as the truck, and an awesome option to eat when going to a show.  Now if they could only get
Parlour to open a little scoop shop annex in there as well, I'd never have to leave that building. 

Side note number 2: They played Squeeze between the bands,  I always forget how good Squeeze was, criminally
underrated.  Now "Goodbye Girl" is going to be stuck in my head forever.


Natural Causes
With Bodykit and Patois Counselors
Local 506

This was a rare three band bill where not only did I see all three bands, I did so intentionally - not just because I was in
town in time to eat at Carrburritos.  

The only act of the three I hadn't seen before were openers Patois Counselors.  Part of me hopes they originally
wanted to call themselves Patio Counselors, but after finding there was a local landscaping company by that same
name they went with something slightly different.  A six piece from Charlotte with the rarely seen lead singer, they had
a nineties art punk vibe to them ala the Van Pelt or a number of other bands that put out records on Gern Blandsten
back then (speaking of which, if someone would go ahead and do a repress of the Van Pelt's "Sultans Of Sentiment"
that would be awesome).  I'm not sure what else to say about them, but I quite liked Patois Counselors and was men-
tally kicking myself for taking so long to finally see them.  Also, the bassist looked exactly like a young Joe Lally from
Fugazi, even down to how he played the bass.  Why I fixated on this and couldn't stop thinking about it, I have no idea. 

I was quite happy that the middle band is our very own local version of Meat Beat Manifesto, Bodykit.  Actually, they
don't sound that much alike, I just like any chance to say the name Meat Beat Manifesto.  The duo of Rich and Josh,
formerly of Whatever Brains, is much noiser, a punk version of electronic music or something to that effect.  I don't
know enough about this genre to have many comparisons, but they do occasionally remind me of Liars.  Like the last
couple of times I saw them, they played on the floor with no lights, which means I got no photos that were worth a shit. 
In my notes I wrote "Rich one shoe" and don't remember why, so let's just assume that Rich performed the whole set
with a show balanced on his head. 

The reason this bill existed was to celebrate the release of the second record by Natural Causes.  Like their first one,
it appears to be self-titled - that surely won't be confusing at all.  Apparently there was some delay in getting the
sleeves for their new albums before the gig, so either the band or their label Sorry State (or both) silk screened a
handful of "limited edition" covers so there would be copies available this night.  Extra bonus cool souvenirs for dumb
nerds like me!  In case you aren't familiar, Natural Causes are three-quarters of the great Last Year's Men, with a
couple of the guys playing different instruments and the results more in a synth punk direction, ala Jay Reatard's Lost
Sounds or maybe Magazine on occasion.  There's no bass, but the synths / keyboards more than fill in that low end. 
The set was short and to the point, just like most of their songs.  Local sax man about town Crowmeat Bob (of Enemy
Waves and many other things) joined them on their last song to close out the night's proceedings.  I'm not against more
horns in rock bands, if it's good enough for Huey Lewis it's good enough for me! 


"O-kay, who'd like a banger in the mouth?  Right, I forgot, here in the States, you call it a *sausage* in the mouth."

Mandolin Orange - Hey Stranger.  See, you know the mandolin is featured prominently in their music because they
put it right there in their title.  Then again, I'm not sure any of their songs are about oranges, so...
Take This Heart of Gold

Mike Krol - Neighborhood Watch.  Krol is like a pop punk Robert Pollard - if the song is longer than two minutes you
might need to trim some fat.  
This Is the News

Neil Young - See The Sky About To Rain.  a couple of tracks from his (probably) best album "On The Beach."  
Walk On

Oblivians - Clones.  I know it's probably illegal in certain circles to admit this, but I prefer the Reigning Sound to the
Oblivians.  Don't tell anyone.  

Pulp -
This Is Hardcore.  Their second best song after the classic "Common People."  Love the epic way it ends.
Help The Aged

Skylar Gudasz - I'll Be Your Man.  She's like a rad, modern version of Karen Carpenter.  I just wish she played more
shows locally since she lives here.  

Sylvan Esso - Coffee.  Speaking of locals, these are our biggest stars.  On paper I wouldn't expect this group to
appeal to me, but the songs are just so goddamn catchy you can't resist them.  
Hey Mami
Play It Right

Wilco - Cry All Day.  Wilco put out a new record.  It's fine.  As I said to someone recently, I like the current version of
Wilco, but I LOVED the Jay Bennett-era version of Wilco.  
Someone to Lose

***February Twenty Eighth Two
Thousand and Seventeen***

I guess Trump is still president.  Here you see him greeting his public.  



Daycare decor.  Marion, NC.  

Sleepy dog.  Cary, NC.

February sunset.  Cary, NC.  

Time capsule.  Marion, NC.  



Antihero had the good goddamn sense to collect a bunch of Frank Gerwer footage from the last few years and re-
lease it under the title "Straight to Floppy Disc".  Frank is everything that is fun and awesome about skateboarding.  

Normally a part that is almost entirely handrails would bore the everloving shit out of me, but not when you skate them
the way Cole Wilson does.  His part from the new Foundation video "Oddity" is completely mindblowing...that he
grinds UP a double kinked rail is only the tip of the iceberg.  

Because I'm a grumpy old man there aren't a ton of the new "cool kids" that I'm into - Sage Elsesser is legit though.  
He somehow appears laid back but has a ton of power at the same time...75% of this part for Converse is probably
just ollies, and that's totally cool with me.  

Some kind internet soul took it upon themselves to make a compilation of all the random Kenny Anderson appear-
ances over the past couple of years, and the world wins.  Second best style of all time after Ray Barbee?  Yes.  Yes.  

This month we have a couple of collections of band photos and snaps from the State Fair that I forgot to post months
ago, which also contains band photos.  All that an nothing more in the 
photo journal!

Still didn't go to any shows.  Insert photo of nursing home here.  


“When April was born I was already in third grade, which means if we were friends back then I would have been hang-
ing out with a baby. I don’t know anything about infant care. Oh my god I could have killed her.”

Big Boi - CPU (feat. Phantogram).  I love Big Boi.  Big Boi loves guests on his songs.  Everyone wins.  
In The A (feat, T.I. & Ludacris)
She Hates Me (Kid Cudi)

Descendents - Clean Sheets.  "Liveage" was a tape I played constantly in my car in high school, but until I came
across it again recently it had probably been two decades since I had last listened.  It doesn't all hold up, but there's
enough good there to be glad to listen again.  
Silly Girl

Low -  Into You.  Low put out "Ones and Sixes" in 2015 and it's very Low-y (therefore good) and it's possible I already
posted some tracks from it during my best of 2015 list but you can't listen to Low too often.  
No Comprende

Terry Malts - They're Feeding.  I loved their most recent record; here are some tracks from their sophomore effort
that isn't quite as good as the new one, but still had some gems.  
Two Faces

Look, a whole shitload of Tyvek songs!  One of Detroit's finest.  
City of a Dream
Needles Drop
Wayne County Roads

***January Thirty First Two
Thousand and Seventeen***

Well, we're fucked.  Good luck everybody, let's hope we don't all die in a nuclear holocaust in the next couple of years.  


Burt vs. sunbeam.  Cary, NC.  

Lulu in front of the fire.  Marion, NC.

Lola's first snow day.  Cary, NC.  

Vids and such...

There ar a shitload of good skate videos floating around out there right now...

Some kindly soul took it upon themselves to go through all the various clips of Rick McCrank skating in 2016, be it
in skate videos or on his TV show (he had a really great show called Abandoned on Vice that I highly recommend even
if you don't skate), and cobbled them together all in one spot.  I'm never not stoked for McCrank footage.  

Speaking of cobbled together videos, the GX1000 people made a nine minute long compilation of Jake Johnson
clips called "Thanks Jake".  This isn't just from 2016 as he's riding Alien Workshop boards in parts of it, but that
doesn't make it any less awesome.  

I guess it's just the month of compilations - end of the year and all that - here's nine minutes of Daan Van Der Lind
absolutely destroying everything in his path to one of the songs from the sound track of Disney's Robin Hood...they just
keep repeating the same song over and over.  It would be annoying if it wasn't so hilarious.  Also, Robin Hood is the
best Disney movie of all time for those keeping score at home.  Sword in the Stone is a close second.  

The Adidas team skating NYC in a vid called Broadway Bullet.  Goddamn that team is stacked...Gonz sighting!

Luan Oliveira
put out yet another part where he goes super fast, pops a mile high, and lands everything perfectly.  I'm
beginning to think he might actually be a cyborg.  

Photos from Florida (where we spent Christmas this year) and some other random garbage in the photo journal.

Someday I'll go to some more shows and write poorly about them.  Dinosaur Jr and Lambchop next month at a


"Two brothers... One speaks no English, the other learned English from watching "The Wide World of Sports." So you
tell me... Which is better, speaking no English at all, or speaking Howard Cosell?"

Bandway - Glossy Magazine.  It's entirely possible I've already posted songs from Bandway's 2015 masterpiece
"Buddies," but I'm not going to bother to double check because you can't post Bandway too often.  
White Nipples

Best Coast - This Lonely Morning.  It might be overproduced and a little cheesy, but Best Coast can write some
good damn pop songs.  
Who Have I Become

Mark Kozelek & Desertshore - Mariette.  Mark Kozalek is a dickhead (witnessed first hand plus countless stories
from trusted friends & acquaintances), but occasioanlly he puts out a record so good that I'll still listen to him.  Short of
a Red House Painters reunion, I can't imagine ever seeing him live again though.  
Tavoris Cloud

Mean Jeans - Cool 2 Drive.  Even if they are just ripping off the Ramones mostly, they do it in a really enjoyable way
and catchy songs are catchy songs.  
I Miss Outerspace
Total Creep

Warm Soda - Save This Dance for Me.  Warm Soda rose from the ashes of Bare Wires, and to my untrained ears
both acts sound kinda the same - glammy power pop that will worm it's way into your head for days.
Young Reckless Hearts

Three tracks a Stax reords comp I picked up at a thrift store a few months's almost like that label had a bunch
of really talented musicians on it.  
Isaac Hayes - Walk On By
Mel & Tim - Starting All Over Again
Otis Redding - I've Been Loving You Too Long

***January Tenth Two
Thousand and Seventeen***

Hey, everyone loves lists and I love making them!  Here are the rest of my favorite things from 2016.

Top Live Shows of 2016!

I went to WAY less shows this past year than I usually do.  Maybe I'm getting old (definitely true), maybe my interest
level in new music is waning (probably true), or maybe it's the being a new dad thing (probably not true, I still stay up
late every night)...mostly it's probably laziness.  I'll try to do better in 2017.  

Eric Bachmann at Hopscotch Music Festival
Best I've seen him in years and years.  Perfect venue for his sparse arrangements.  Backup singers were fire.  

Low at the Cat's Cradle
If I see Low in a particular year, Low is one of the best shows of that year.  It's not even possible for this not to be true.  

Weather Warlock featuring D-Town Brass at Moogfest
First time I've ever gotten up before sunrise to see a band play.  Totally worth it.  

Television at Hopscotch Music Festival
A lot of people found this performance boring - I was mesmerized.

Nada Surf at the Cats Cradle

Not enough people recognize the pop genius of this band.  

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):

Baroness at Hopscotch Music Festival
Guided By Voices at the Cats Cradle
Gary Numan (night 2) at Moogfest
Protomartyr / Spray Paint / Bodykit at Cat's Cradle Back Room
Silver Apples at Moogfest
Superchunk at the NC State Fair
Wye Oak at Hopscotch Music Festival
Yo La Tengo at the Orange Peel


Top Movies of 2016(ish)!
I took a slightly different approach with my movie list - thing is, I watch a ton of movies but rarely go to the theater.  And
as a general rule the bulk of the best films of the year all come out at the very end of the year, so I rarely see most of
them.  So this is two lists - my favorites of what I saw that actually came out in 2016, and my favorites that I saw in 2016
that came out other years.  

Favorite movie of the year:

Midnight Special (2016)  - I found this film totally mesmerizing.  Incredibly acted across the board, even down to the
                                                kid (Alton, played by Jaeden Lieberher).  Director Jeff Nichols has now made three out-
                                                standing films (see also Mud and Take Shelter), and has earned my total fandom.  

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):

Deadpool (2016)
Everybody Wants Some (2016)
 - A perfect spiritual sequel to Dazed & Confused.
Hush (2016)

The Nice Guys (2016)
 - Strong Big Lebowski vibes in this one. 
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

Favorites from other years that I saw in 2016:
The Baby (1973)
 - One of the most ridiculous movies I've ever seen.
The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young (2014)
The Green Room (2015)
It Follows (2014)
 - Favorite horror movie of the last decade probably. 
Kingdom Of Shadows (2015)
Mavis (2015)
Northern Soul (2014)
The Rover (2014)
 - Reminded me a lot of the original Mad Max. 
The Salt Of The Earth (2014)
Sicario (2015)
 - I'd have to go back and review, but possibly my favorite movie from 2015.
Thank You For Playing (2015)
 - One of the saddest documentaries/movies/anything I've ever seen. 
What We Do In The Shadows (2014)


Top Television Shows of 2016!

Favorite new shows...

Gomorrah  - this came out in 2014 in Italy, but was released this year on Sudance here in the US so it counts on a
                       technicality.  Brutal and unforgiving, a mobster epic set in Naples (Napoli) that follows the ups and downs
                       of the Savastano clan.  Unlike the Sopranos, you never feel sorry for any of these people, other than their
                       victims.  My favorite show all year.  

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):
The Grand Tour (We can pretend this is a new show and not an exact replica of Top Gear)
Luke Cage
One Mississippi
Stranger Things


Favorite returning shows...

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - the funniest show on TV (or rather streaming) by a large margin.  It should probably
                                                          be mentioned here that I am a Tina Fey superfan who has watched 30 Rock from
                                                          start to finish at least four or five times, and every joke she writes feels like it is cus-
                                                          tom designed just for me.  

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):
The Americans
Black Mirror
Halt and Catch Fire
You're the Worst

Favorite single season shows / mini-series...
The Night Manager
The Night Of
OJ: Made in America

Favorite show I thought came out this year but apparently I'm wrong but I'm including it anyways...

Deutschland 83 - this would be my second favorite show of 2016 if it had come out this year, but it's still my second
                                 favorite show I watched this year.  I've always been fascinated by East Germany and the eighties
                                 soundtrack here is perfect - it's impossible not to like this.  


Archive -
December 2016        November 2016        October 2016        September 2016        August 2016        July 2016
June 2016             May 2016             April 2016             March 2016             February 2016             January 2016

December 2015        November 2015        October 2015        September 2015        August 2015        July 2015
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June 2010             May 2010
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December 2009        November 2009        October 2009       September 2009         August 2009        July 2009                   
June 2009    
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December 2008        November 2008        October 2008       September 2008         August 2008        July 2008                   
June 2008  
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December 2007        November 2007        October 2007       September 2007         August 2007        July 2007                    
June 2007    
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December 2006  
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June 2006  
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December 2005  
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June 2005  
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December 2004 
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