I think I forgot to save many links this time around...here's an awesome Gilbert Crockett skate part, dude is too good. Apparently all the hot talk after this came out is the size of his pants...skaters get worked up over the dumbest shit.
journal entries, the biggie is all the photos from this past Hopscotch Music Festival, and the other is some snaps of baby Lola. I guess that is a biggie too, just in a different way.
I actually wrote some music reviews this past month...the new Protomartyr kills.
Decided on a whim to go get my post-rock on with Caspian.
I hadn't paid much attention to them since their first re- cord "The Four
Trees," but I was pretty sure they would deliver live. I might have
even seen them in concert once back in my SF days, but it's been so many
bands over so many years, shit is starting to get fuzzy. They're on
the the heavier side of the post-rock spectrum but not quite metal, and
despite vocals on a couple of songs they very much feel like an
instrumental band who just happens to forget to accidentally not sing
every once in a while. They showed up at Kings like a pro outfit with a
full light show including glowing matching boxes(?) on top of each of
their amps and lots of strobe. More importantly they sounded amazing -
even though I barely know their material, they held my attention
throughout. Yeah, they do that same quiet-loud-quiet thing that all
these bands do, but they did it at about the highest level possible.
I'd gladly go see them again, and I bet I even remember this show this
Technically the opener was Circle Takes the Square,
but the gig was advertised as a co-headlining tour...maybe they take
turns each night headlining or something, I'm both too lazy to figure it
out and don't really care. They were what I guess you'd call prog
metal...not my bag. It can be fun to watch prog bands play because you
never know what kind of crazy direction it is going to go, but that got
old pretty quick. Even worse, as near as I could tell none of the songs
were about the game show Hollywood Squares...I wanted songs about Jim J
Bullock and Shadoe Stevens goddammit!!! For the record, all of my
Hollywood Squares humor fell on deaf ears with my British show
How many times have I even seen Archers of Loaf
at this point? I think this is the fourth time since the "reunion,"
and who knows how often during their initial run. What I do know for
sure is they instantly make me feel like I'm a kid again - no different
than that first time I saw them in high school, senior year I think,
just after "Icky Mettle" came out. No diff- erent mentally at least - my
back, legs and feet might argue differently.
What can I
say about a show that I've seen so many times before though? It was
highly entertaining, but that's no sur- prise. Matt Gentling has let his
hair grow out, which adds an extra layer of movement to the lurching he
already does while playing bass. Eric Johnson was wearing a bad ass
Pipe shirt and I would gladly stab a drifter in the buttocks to get one
exactly like it that fit me. They played all of the "Vs. the Greatest
of All Time" EP, though not in order. They were playing a lot of "deep
cuts" according to Eric Bachmann, and after a false start on "South
Carolina" Eric com- mented "...deep cuts so deep I can't remember how to
play them." There was a ton of tracks off of "Icky Mettle," 3/4ths of
the album maybe. Other highlights included "Fabricoh," "Harnessed in
Slums," "Dead Red Eyes," "Nostalgia," "Form and File"...fuck it, every
song was a highlight. The encore was the biggies - "Wrong," "Web in
Front," and finally "White Trash Heroes," with everyone (plus an extra
dude) playing guitar except for Gentling. The crowd was singing along
so loudly to some of the songs it sounded like an adult version of Kidz
Bop was being held ; in the Cradle. It was a great night.
Local punk rock killers Flesh Wounds
opened the show and burned through fifteen or twenty songs in barely
over thirty minutes (probably the longest set I've ever seen by them).
The constant touring as both this band and as Mac McCaughan's backing
band the Non-Believers has made them incredibly tight. Guitarist and
lead singer Montgomery Morris seems angrier with each passing show -
it's like he's trying to dominate the music more than actually just play
it. Considering how many punk bands these days seem like lovable good
guys on stage, it's kinda nice to have a little snarling attitude come
at you. Also, he spits a lot. Speaking of Pipe, they ended their set
with a cover of the local legends, and Flesh Wounds did a great job of
owning it like they wrote it.
It's been so long since Jeff the Brotherhood
came to the Triangle to play, I had to go to Asheville to see them.
Ok, technically I was already up there showing the new baby off to the
family, but when I saw they were playing I extended my stay through
Sunday night so I wouldn't miss them since they never make it any
further into the state these days.
As expected, it was a
weird and mostly young crowd - kids with crazy tattoos and piercings
talking about train hopping, rowdy crowd surfers, someone hanging from
the rafters (the ceiling is really low in this club), and at one point a
girl was on stage next to the band doing difficult yoga poses, which
even seemed to amuse the band. One guy in the front ex- tended his hand
out and held it in a thumbs up for a large chunk of the show. Also, it
was hot as goddamn balls in there, and packed, so the smell was just
Despite all of that, I had a damn good time, mostly
because JtB were killing it. It had been a little while since I had
seen them last, and their set-up had changed a little - Jake is now
playing a full six-string guitar instead of only three strings like he
had every other time I've seen them. He killed it on his clear acrylic
guitar regardless, and probably would have done so even on one string.
Jamin no longer was running their own personal light show via some foot
switches and cheap mechanic lights, which I always enjoyed for the
record, but I guess it's a little less shit to set up at every show for
them. The set was a good cross section across their whole catalog,
including a couple of covers - Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" and Teenage
Fanclub's "Mad Dog 20/20" (this cover also available on their EP "Dig
the Classics"). They had a giant set list on the ground, but it seemed
to be used more as a suggestion than a bible as they seemed to kinda
play whatever they felt like.
It was a damn good time,
smelly street rat kids and all. I was so sweaty when I left that I put
on an unwashed thrift store t-shirt I had in my car just to get dry.
You can't catch herpes from a t-shirt can you? Eh, it's too late now.
Holopaw - Academy. Hadn't thought about these guys since the days of Ugle Cassanova. Still sounds the same, not that that is a bad thing.
King Khan & the Shrines - Luckiest Man. "Idle No More" came out over two years ago and I just finally got around to spending a lot of time with it...good record, not as good as the previous release "What Is?!". Bonus: Pray for Lil Bonus: Thorn in Her Pride
Love As Laughter - Dirty Lives. For some reason I've bought this record twice (these particular tracks being from "Laughter's Fifth"), and I'm not even mad because I'm such a fan. Criminally underrated act. Bonus: In Amber Bonus: Survivors
It's been a great last few months for Anti Hero Skateboards, multiple tour videos packed with so much amazing ripping. It helps having Grant Taylor around, who seems to produce roughly have the footage for all of these clips. 1. Anti Hero Israel tour
disrespect to the always awesome Spider Bags, but the impetus for my
driving out to Chapel Hill on this Thursday night was to see Australia's
And to also eat at Carrburritos obviously, but that part is a given for
any trip to Chapel Hill. I'm not sure what is in the water down under,
but it seems like nearly every Aussie band I have lent my ears to
lately I come away loving, and that was definitely true with this four
piece from Melbourne. On record they sound a lot like kids who grew up
on the New Zealand sound of the Clean and the Bats and the 3ds and that
crowd - that may or may not true, and it seems entirely possible that
Australians would never admit to being influenced by New Zealanders (I'm
possibly creating a rift between the two countries completely out of
thin air mind you), but pretty much everyone seems to hear the same
thing as me. Live you get that vibe as well, but there is something
else there, some- thing almost Stone Roses-ish...Stone Roses with amazing
harmonies. They were quite endearing and funny between songs as well,
seemingly fascinated with American truck stops and weird flip flops (or
as they called, them, thongs) and talked of going to F. Scott
Fitzgerald's grave and farting. It was everything I could ever want out
of the live show of a new favorite band. The Aussies don't often make
it past the west coast, but I hope they travel back over here to the
east again and often.
I was feeling kinda beat but if Spider Bags
are playing it's not like you can't watch at least a couple of
songs...and once you've taken in a couple of songs, you might as well
see a few more, until you get sucked into nearly the whole damn set.
There was a guy posted up front and center who clapped along vigorously
throughout the whole song for most of their set, a level of enthusiasm
that was impressive at first and quickly escalated to fucking annoying.
The band didn't give a shit though, powering through jam after jam and
making me happy by performing "Que Viva Rock n' Roll" and "Keys to the
City" back-to-back. As with every other time I've seen them, they're
still the best live act in the area - here's to seeing them at least a
few more times before the end of 2015, as one should.
not often I go to giant, expensive stadium shows where you can enjoy a
corndog or nachos (or both) with your rock-n-roll, but how many more
chances is there going to be to see the Rolling Stones?
I know it's a well worn trope, but any or all of the band could keel
over from old age any minute now. The family felt the same as I did,
and made the trip down from the hills to join Chelsea and I for this
gigantic concert extravaganza.
I've been to a number of
NC State football games at Carter Finley, but for some reason the crush
of fans looking for parking and walking to the venue seemed ten times
greater. My best guess is that at football games tons of people get
there hours early and trickle in slowly through the day, whereas this
concert was mid-week after work so everyone was coming at the same
time. Due to my mom's anal retentiveness, we got there plenty early and
sat around the parking lot for a while, enjoying refreshments and
watching all forms of humanity stream by. A truck parked a couple over
from us was breaking the cardinal rule of playing a band the day you are
going to see them, but other than that it was mostly just a bunch of
almost-drunk, middle-aged (and much older) white people ready to have a
The Avett Brothers opened. We saw a couple
of songs. I question that they are all brothers. I think at one point I
commented that it was music for people who wear large neck amulets.
That's all I really have to say on that.
As for the real
show - our seats were pretty much dead center, which turned out to be a
pretty good spot. All of the floor seats were crazy expensive (as
opposed to the regular expensive where we sat), and unless you were in
the very front I'm not sure it was worth it. They had a penis-like
extension that reached out pretty far into the crowd, which Mick and
Keith did a fair amount of strutting up and down. It actually sounded
pretty decent where we were sitting, or at least as decent as you might
expect from an outdoor stadium show. The set list was as expected -
lots of their most popular songs like "Jumpin' Jack Flash,"
"Satisfaction," and "It's Only rock-n-Roll" that I honestly never need
to hear again. But they also played a bunch of their other hits that
never get old such as "Honky Tonk Women," "Miss You" (that disco bass
line will always rule), "Sympathy for the Devil," and "Gimme Shelter."
waited way, way, WAY too long to write this review, so it will be a
very abridged version because I can barely remem- ber shit. Long story
short, they held a two day mini-festival of (mostly) local punk and
garage bands in the sweatbox known as Slims. I didn't see all of the
bands because I am ultimately a very lazy person, but this is who I did
- three piece who played a soulful, bluesy version of garage rock.
Singer had a nice set of pipes - a couple of their songs reminded me a
little of early Bob Seger. The band was a little sloppy, but still fun
- they used to be from Greensboro but now live in Baltimore - damn that
city for constantly stealing our best. They were one of my highlights
from last year's Hopscotch, and probably the best thing at this Fest.
Really should have seen them more when they were still local. Top notch
garage psych, with the occasional foray into AC/DC style riffage.
- You can't have a fest like this and not include Charlotte's finest. I
don't think I had seen them since before the singer's injury, but they
were just as great as ever. The band now features members of (now
defunct? Still not clear.) Last Year's Men as the rhythm section. They
performed a great cover of the Stooge's "1970."
- newish local four piece that really impressed me - instrumental
stoner surf punk, if there is even such a genre. Reminded me of a
heavier Family Dollar Pharoahs, a great local band that broke up
possibly before most of the band was even born.
- the new hot shit in the local punk scene, it's most of the kids from
Last Year's Men, and as men- tioned above I have no idea the status of
that band that I loved so much. I assume they're either broken up or on
hiatus, and if that's the case Natural Causes are a pretty great
consolation prize. This group is a little less Reigning Sound-ish
soulful garage, and more in the vein of spazzy synth punk ala Lost
Sounds. They also would occasionally get a little snotty and aggressive
in a Circle Jerks kind of way. These kids are playing constantly so
I'm sure I'll see them a lot more.
- The whole band was wearing matching shirts that read "Black Zin Gang"
and they said it was their first show in a year. I've always been
impressed by them - they're not really punk or metal or any one genre in
particular, just heavy in the best sort of way. I'd really like one of
It was a fun time, outside of all the sweating I did. Hopefully they do it again next year.
"Do you have a plunger here, while I'm thinking of these things, uh, for
the morning, you know, my plumbing is just so bad. Well, of course yours
is good plumbing here, right? Yeah, I would imagine, yesh, don't worry
about it, you know, everything will be fine. I've just been bound up
lately. It's, it's been driving me crazy. I've been eating a lot of
cheese for some reason. I don't know what it is, I've got a craving for
the stuff. Think maybe that's an allergy or something...I don't know, I
can't get enough cheese. I feel like a big mouse." Grandaddy - Beautiful Ground. Some B-sides and alternate takes from their second album "The Sophtware Slump," which is one of the best albums of the past two decades for those keeping count at home. Bonus: Hewlett's Daughter Bonus: Our Dying Brains Bonus: Wives of Farmers
Sharon Van Etten - Every Time the Sun Comes Up. Every record she puts out has two or three perfect songs. These are those two from 2014's "Are We There." Bonus: Tarifa
Thousand and Fifteen***
Sooooo...things just changed pretty drastically around here. Lola came a little under three weeks early, and shit is a little
haywire. And very cute. Consider this a very brief monthly
update, with a better one to come later hopefully.
I did get a chance to put up a couple of photo
journal entries that I completed before shit got wild, one from our trip to the beach where I mostly forgot to take photos of the beach, and another for my trip to the Bay area to hang with Todd and Drew for a dude's weekend.
And only one song this time, but it's the most fitting one... The Kinks - Lola
Thousand and Fifteen***
After the passing of Mouse I needed a little break. But now, I only have one question...
The dude's name is Sky Siljeg, he skates for LibTech Skateboards, and he rips. I'd never heard of him, The last time I thought of LibTech making skateboards was the late nineties, and none of that matters after you watch this video.
Michael Mackrodt and company are back with another skate travelogue video called Buddha Hide Out. This one heavily features Cambodia, and really made me want to go back there.
Nick Boserio is so goddamn good and fun to watch it almost makes me mad, but then I realize that's stupid and just enjoy everything he does. Here's his newish part. And this is an even newer and short part from last week.
In non-skate news, David Sedarisreading a new story. I love all things Sedaris, and this one is just as delightful as the rest of his material. Tons of photo
journal entries, from a trip to the Smokies to a trip to DC to band photos and then some other randoms. . <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Carrboro Commons 7/26/2015
Sorta-local rock stars Future Islands
were playing their 1000th show, and decided to do it via an all-day
part in Carrboro. Between the pregnant wife and general laziness we
only arrived in time for the headliner, but the line-up for the whole
day was pretty great - Lonnie Walker, Valient Thorr, Ed Schrader's Music
Beat, Dan Deacon and Danny Brown - the crowd definitely got their
money's worth. A crowd that, by and large - at least where I was
standing - was awful. I'm stoked for Future Islands that they are as
big as they are, they certainly deserve it, but this level of popularity
really has a way of stirring up the dregs of society. I mean, yeah, I
bitch about how awful the crowds are all the time, because I generally
hate everyone - but this was probably a new level...we're talking water
park level patrons.
Anyways, back to the actual
performance - the band sounded great and played a nice cross-section of
their music, including a few rare early tracks. Lead singer Sam Herring
was a little more subdued than usual, possibly because the of the
outside heat, or maybe the whole gravity of it being their 1000th show
was weighing on him. He also talked a ton between songs, lots of
reminiscing about the band's early days which led to the wife stating
"too much yapping"... she's not known for her patience. I think it was
expected though, and the crowd didn't seem to care - after a day of
music and heat and sweating and drinking, they were all lubed up pretty
well and not feeling any pain.
Not the ideal scenario, but it
was still fun...and maybe we can take the kid to their 2000th show, this
time outside of the womb.
Finally, after more cancellations than the current NBC sitcom schedule, Morrissey
showed up in North Carolina for the first time since 2009. On that
tour I drove to Myrtle Beach and saw one of the oddest shows ever put on
by him, from the setlist to his clearly shredded voice to the insane
crowd. This outing was better than that one to be sure, though much
more subdued, due partially to the theatre being all assigned seats, and
even more because of the set- list that focused so heavily on his new
songs...at this point I've come to expect the second part from
Morrissey, but that doesn't make it any less of a disappointment. The
highlights of the night for me were three-fold: He kicked off the gig
with "The Queen is Dead," and how could you not get excited about that;
"Speedway," a long-time favorite with an added twist when one of the
band members sang the last verse in Spanish; and most importantly, his
voice sound- ed fantastic. Other top tracks included classics
"Suedehead," "Everyday Is Like Sunday," and "Now My Hear Is Full," and
newer hits like "First of the Gang to Die" and "The World Is Full of
Crashing Bores." From my spot in the balcony I couldn't really see the
video board, which ended up being a plus when he aired a graphic animal
abuse video during "Meat Is Murder" - though it was still cool to hear
the song. The only other noteworthy thing that come to mind was the use
of a didgeridoo during "World Peace Is None of Your Business" - it was
nice seeing it used as an actual instru- ment and not just a hippy
accessory. It was an expensive show, and he only played a few songs I
was really excited to hear, but any chance to see Morrissey is one worth
Another year, another trip out of town to see Belle & Sebastian,
since they will never play here in the Triangle appar- ently. At least
this time we didn't have to get on a plane, instead driving up through
the never-ending abyss that is Virginia to our nations capital,
Washington DC. The band was playing in a giant box called Echostage
that usually hosts the drug-addled EDM crowd, and based on the level of
police presence outside no apparently informed them that the twee pop
crowd B&S draws isn't likely to cause the same level of problems.
In fact, as the wife noted, the only work they seemed to perform on the
night was to tell concert-goers that they would have to go to the bottom
of the hill to catch their Uber rides after the show.
setting aside, the band put on a rousing performance - eighteen songs
total including the encore, with many from their new record "Girls in
Peacetime Want to Dance." They did not spare any part of their catalog
though - at least five of the tracks were from early records "Tigermilk"
and "If You're Feeling Sinister," plus some of their early singles like
"Jonathan David" and "I'm Waking Up to Us." Stuart mentioned a few
times had put together a set of animal songs, and he wasn't lying -
included on this night was "Funny Little Frog," "Judy and the Dream of
Horses," "The Fox in the Snow" and "Dog on Wheels," much to my delight.
They had created videos for the backdrop for a couple of the new songs
last time around in Miami, but this time it appeared that more tracks
had video accompani- ment than didn't. The band was running fourteen deep
this time with a local quartet of strings and a trumpet rounding out
their sound, as seems to be the norm. The strings seemed much bolder in
the mix than the last couple of times we've seen them - not sure if
this was a decision of the band or something the club did, but either
way I liked it. The club was hot as balls, and much more crowded than
last time, but in the end it was a glorious good time as always.
We caught most of the set by the opener Alvvays,
and they get a big thumbs up (not something I can often say about
B&S opening acts). I had listened to their self-titled debut a few
months back and thought it was fine but nothing spec- tacular; live,
though, it really worked - retro jangly guitar pop with a little surf
twang. As is my way, I immediately start trying to figure out who they
sound like, and for some reason I kept coming back to Velocity Girl -
not an exact match, but a similar vibe. A couple of the songs had the
pop hooks of a modern pop act like Best Coast, but with a heavy C86
vibe...and if any of the band members of Alvvays were even a thought in
their parents eyes when that original C86 compilation came out, I would
be shocked. I'm now going to revisit that self-titled record of theirs,
because I have a feeling I'll have a much greater appreciation for it
the second time around after experiencing them live.
A free Spider Bags
show at a matinee hour...it's like they read my mind, everything I ever
wanted in a live show. They were playing as part of the Indy Week's
"Best of the Triangle" party, held in the parking lot of Person Street
Bar. For an outside show the sound was pretty damn good, if a bit loud -
then again, I was standing up front taking photos and forgot my
earplugs so it's my own damn fault my ears were ringing for a couple of
days afterward. I suppose it was like any other Bags show, and I've
seen them a lot of times, only this time it was in broad daylight, had
random non- fans, dogs and children wandering around, and people were
feasting on Mexican food from the food truck parked near the stage (for
the record, I support more Mexican food being available at rock
shows...and non-rock shows...well, pretty much all the time,
everywhere). They played all their hits like "Keys to the City" and
"Que Viva Rock n' Roll" and a lot of their most recent record, "Frozen
Letter," plus a couple of new songs, one of which was an epically long,
mostly instrumental kraut/swamp/boogie affair. As with all Spider Bags
shows, I left the affair completely satisfied, already plotting when I'd
next get a chance to see them again.
Wilco - Handshake Drugs. Wasn't a huge fan of "A Ghost Is Born" when it came out, but a recent revisit led me to believe I'd been a little too harsh on the first pass. Bonus: I'm A Wheel Bonus: Theologians