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                                   questions/comments/concerns - email thomas.magnum at

                                                              all contents copyright Jake Thomas

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   (updated 2/28
/2019)                                      Photo Journal   (updated 11/30/2018)       
                Music Reviews   (updated 2/22/2019)                          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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***February Seventeenth Two Thousand and Nineteen***   

I feel like maybe this guy should learn to be a little more careful with his sword.  


Instagram -

The kid and the dog.  Cary, NC.  

Neighbor cat being neighborly.  Cary, NC.  

New Hope Valley Railway.  New Hope, NC.    

Emerald tree boa.  Raleigh, NC.  

Western lowland gorilla.  Asheboro, NC.  


Best Shows of 2018!
I forgot to make this list earlier in the year.  Whatever.  In alphabetical order, though Baroness was also my favorite.
Jenny Lewis was probably number two.  After that, the order would probably depend on my mood.

Baroness (Carolina Rebellion), Charlotte Motor Speedway, 5/6/2018
(Photo from an older show, I didn't have my camera at this festival.)

Bat Fangs & Pipe, Cat’s Cradle Back Room, 2/3/2018

Built To Spill & The Afghan Whigs, Cat’s Cradle, 4/28/2018
from an older show, I didn't have my camera at this gig.)

Yonatan Gat, Hopscotch Music Festival (Day Three), 9/6/2018

Jenny Lewis, North Carolina Museum of Art, 8/1/2018
(I've never taken a photo of her and that is a goddamn travesty.)

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Cat’s Cradle, 6/19/2018

Psychic TV, Moogfest (Day 3), 5/19/2018

The Sea And Cake, The Pinhook, 5/20/2018

Tracyanne & Danny, Motorco, 6/15/2018

Wye Oak, Ponysaurus Brewing, 10/20/2018


Links -

If given magical powers I've said for a long time that Brandon Westgate is who I would wish I could skate like, and
nothing about this new NB Numeric part would make me change my mind.  Much clean, so pop.  

A combo part from Transworld featuring Zack Wallin & Vincent Alvarez - Zack is incredibly good, but the story for
me is always going to be Vincent, who has one of the top 5 best styles in skateboarding.  

This Evan Smith part for Element from their War an Peace series just has to be seen to be believed.  Dude
does tricks I literally didn't think was possible.  No matter how good he is I continue to find his hair distracting though.  

Chris Haslam is still fuckin' killing it.  No sponsors?  Who cares, put out a banger anyways.  

Matt Tomasello  = Tim and Eric (skateboarding, not Adult Swim) + Gou Miyagi + old school Welcome.  Lest that
description scares you off, he fucking rips and here is the proof from Fancy Lad.  

I posted a few new music reviews since the last time I posted there were new music reviews.        

No photo journal updates and I have a fuckload of photos I need to edit.


Movies -

Even though I'm technically not trying to watch at least one movie per day in 2019, I liked keeping track of what I
watched anyways so I'm going to keep up with that.  And I still managed to see 28 in January anyways...

Best of the month (new): Sicario: Day Of The Soldado (2018)
Best of the month (previously seen): Godfather (1972)
Worst of the month: Cellular (2004)
Best stand-up of the month: Ron Funches: Giggle Fit (2019)
I'm not crying, you're crying: Survivors (2018)
Inspector Gadget award: Shamus (1973) (tie: bed/pool table combo & phone in a basket you lower from the ceiling)
Best performance from a Real Housewife: Kim Richards in Tuff Turf (1985)
Best ensemble cast in a stupid movie: Tag (2018)
It all started with bootleg DVD players: Fast And The Furious (2001)

The rest:
Mission: Impossible II (2000), Anthropoid (2016), American Dream/American Knightmare (2015), Love Gilda (2018),
Trevor Noah: Son Of Patricia (2018), Life Of The Party (2018), My Country No More (2018), James Davis: Live From
The Town (2019), Clerks (1994), Ocean’s 8 (2018), Rodents Of Unusual Size (2017), Chris Destefano: Size 38 Waist
(2019), Buffalo Bill And The Indians, Or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson (1976), Roy Wood Jr: No One Loves You (2019),
Slow West (2015), Porndemic (2016), Allman Brothers Band: After The Crash (2016), Jeff Beck: Still On The Run
(2018), Struggle: The Life And Lost Art Of Szukalski (2018)


With Enemy Waves

I can blame it on the winter or maybe even my rapidly advancing age, but the end result is I’ve barely gone to any
shows these past few months.  One thing I never, ever miss though – Bandway.  They’ve only played 3-4 times over
the past decade, what with the duo busy being psychiatrists and cabinet makers and such, so it’s always a goddamn
joyous occasion when they take the stage for a night of sing-alongs and drunken revelry.  Anyone showing up to a
Bandway show in 2019 is almost always already as big a fan as I am, and likely just as old - I’m sure a number of
babysitters got paid this evening.  Their set sampled their entire career, but possibly the most noteworthy item is they
actually had a new song called “Sprinkles” that included lines such as “I love my pussy with wrinkles” and “my hang
down has the drippies.”  Brooks commented after that they actually have a new record coming out…as soon as they
write the rest of the songs for the album.  The sing-along highlights of the night were two obvious ones – “King Kong”
and “Four Day Weekend” – wherein the crowd was possibly even louder than the band.  Shockingly not included was
“Balls Out,” a minor grievance on an otherwise stellar night.  I’m super excited to see them again in two or three more
years, and to hear that new album in 2030.

Finding an opener for Bandway is no easy task – few can measure up to their particular brand of nonsense.  Given
that, Kings honcho Paul Siler just threw himself on the bill with one of his bands Enemy Waves, because why not.  I
hadn’t seen them in a while, but I really liked the direction of their new tunes – particularly the last one of the first part of
their set, which had this strong Mdou Moctar/Tuareg-style guitar line all the way through it that had me mesmerized. 
After that, just for shits and giggles apparently, the entire band put on fake beards and then proceeded to play three
ZZ Top songs – including the two chart toppers “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Gimme All Your Lovin’.”  Something you
rarely see addressed with your more prominent ZZ Top cover bands: how do you play guitar solos when your fake
beard is draped all over the neck and strings?  It’s a real conundrum in this day and age, one hopefully the nation’s
leading scientists can tackle in the coming decades.

It should also be noted, for reasons unclear to everyone (including the people involved): between the two bands local
man-about-town Trent Bowles took the stage, dressed in a Super Dave-type outfit, and proceeded to ride an electric
scooter (stolen off the street) off of a terrible make-shift ramp directly into the far wall.  The result was as expected –
he collapsed into the ground, cursed a lot, and then freaked out and start throwing things all over the stage (the ramp
went through the drywall more than once).  Like most pranks of this ilk it was 2/3rds funny and 1/3rd went on for too


"Cunnilingus and psychiatry brought us to this."

6 String Drag - Every Time She Walks On By.  The name might sound alt-country and the band might even look alt-
country, but the music is pure early Elvis Costello-esque pop.  A favorite from 2018.  
Let's Fool Around Til The End Of The World
Small Town Punks

Courtney Barnett - Charity.  Everyone knows Courtney at this point.  No words needed.  One of the few modern
artists that are really popular that I actually like.  
Need A Little Time

Here's a bunch of power pop perfection from the Incredible Kidda Band, the best band way too few people have
ever heard of.  
Can I Take The Car Tonight
Fighting My Way Back
Got To Keep The Noise Turned Down
I Want You
I'm Gonna Join The Army
Saturday Night Fever

Public Image Ltd - Brave New World.  I've been listening to PIL off and on for three decades now and I'm still not
sure if I like them...but I keep going back and trying, so that says something I guess.  

The La's - There She Goes.  One of the greatest pop songs of all time.  Top 10 probably.  
Timeless Melody

The Love Language - Lalita.  The first Love Language record is still the gold standard for the band.  

The Thrills - Big Sur.  This one got a LOT of play in the early oughts, but it had been a while.  A recent re-visit re-
minded me that (a) it's still really damn good and (b) they were really obsessed with California.  
One Horse Town

***January Seventeenth Two Thousand and Nineteen***   

Best Movies of 2018!
Obviously, I'm not a movie reviewer, and I also rarely go to the theater, so I missed a ton of the hot-shit award worthy
flicks that usually make these lists.  Still, I watched a shit ton of movies, and these were my favorites from this year.

1.   Roma
2.   Won’t You Be My Neighbor
3.   Widows
4.   Ballad Of Buster Scruggs
5.   Black Panther
6.   Avengers: Infinity War
7.   Isle Of Dogs
8.   Death Of Stalin
9.   Mandy
10. Annihilation

Best Movies of 2017! (...that I didn't see until 2018.)
Like I said above, a lot of movies don't get seen in a timely fashion.  The first two here would for sure have made my
top ten last year had I seen them in time.

1.   Deadpool 2
2.   Blade Runner 2049
3.   Logan Lucky
4.   War for the Planet of the Apes
5.   Wind River
6.   Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
7.   It
8.   The Post
9.   The Foreigner
10. Pork Pie

Best Movies...of All the Other Years!
 (...that I also didn't see until 2018.)
Holy shit balls, Threads seriously fucked me up.  That movie is INTENSE.

1. Threads (1984)
2. God Knows Where I Am (2016)
3. A Man Escaped (1956)
4. Eye In The Sky (2016)
5. Never Too Young To Die (1986)

Best Stand-Up of 2018!
Got to see Mulaney perform pretty much his entire special live right before it came out, and it might be the funniest
stand-up I've ever seen.  

1. John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous At Radio City
2. Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife
3. Demitri Martin: The Overthinker
4. Sam Morril: Positive Influence
5. Flight Of The Conchords: Live In London

Best Documentaries of 2018!
I don't feel like this needs an explanation.  Everyone should definitely see "This Is Congo" though.  

1. This Is Congo
2. Zen Diaries Of Garry Shandling
3. It Will Be Chaos
4. Jane Fonda In Five Acts 
5. Quincy

Worst Movies I Unfortunately Watched in 2018!
I avoided MST3K films for the most part, but Ator was so bad I couldn't let it slide.  

1. Atlantic Rim (2013)
2. Ator The Fighting Eagle (1982)
3. Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)
4. Croc (2007)
5. Lady Psycho Killer (2015)


In my effort to watch 365 movies in 365 days, my final tally was 381.  Suck it, active social life!  I thought it might be
difficult, but I greatly underestimated how many movies I watch as a natural course of life.  There were only a few times
when I thought about needing to wath something towards this goal.  A few stats, just for shits and giggles.  

Count by year:
2018:  96
2017:  102
2010-2016:  51
2000-2009:  22
1990-1999:  30
1980-1989:  47
1970-1979:  20
1960-1969:  7
1950-1959:  3
1940-1949:  3

Count by genre:
Drama:  84
Doc:  80
Action:  42
Horror:  36
Comedy:  31
Stand-Up:  27
SciFi:  22
Music Doc:  16
Biopic:  15
Mystery:  12
Kids:  9
Superhero:  7

***December Twenty Fourth Two Thousand and Eighteen***   

Top 15 Records of 2018!!!

I don't think this needs any explanation.  Enjoy the free musics.  

Idles - Joy As An Act Of Resistance (Partisan)
The musical comps for Idles are surprisingly easy – bits of Les Savy Fav, Protomartyr, Fucked Up, and Birthday Party
are all easy touchstones here.  What takes this up a notch is it’s energy and positive earnestness – “fuck the fascists”
and “love everybody” are the universal themes, themes that seem especially important these days.
Danny Nedelko
I'm Scum

Superchunk - What A Time To Be Alive (Merge)
You'll never believe it, but it is my opinion that this record rules.  RULES!!!  The crib notes are: everything is fucked, it's
time to burn the motherfucker down and let a better class of people (aka not old rich white people) try again. 
Bad Choices
What A Time To Be Alive

Hot Snakes - Jericho Sirens (Sub Pop)
This entire new album sounds so much like their first three releases that if you didn’t know better, you could easily
assume it was just something they had in the can from years ago that they just got around to releasing now. That's a
good thing, for the record.  
Death Camp Fantasy
Six Wave Hold-Down

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Hope Downs (Sub Pop)
The name is so ridiculous I almost didn't give them a chance, which would have been a shame - there might not be a
better band performing right now that sounds this breezy and effortless and most importanly, real damn catchy.  
Talking Straight
The Hammer

Bat Fangs - Bat Fangs (Don Giovanni)
Guitar heavy in that glam metal way (without all the pomp and cheesiness), combined with the late seventies power
pop of Cheap Trick or 20/20 or Shivvers.  It’s a combination that’s worked for decades, and Bat Fangs are doing it
as well as anyone right out of the gate.   
Boy of Summer
Turn It Up

Spiritualized - And Nothing Hurt (Fat Possum)
It’s right there in the bible, clear as day – “and on the seventh day, god told Jason Pierce to stop dicking around and
release a new friggin' Spiritualized record already, because he needed some new jams what with all the laying
around on clouds he had planned.”
A Perfect Miracle
I'm Your Man

Wye Oak - The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs (Merge)
It sounds pretty much just like the last couple of Wye Oak records, and that's fine. This band has a sound and they’re
sticking with it, and that is a-ok with me.  
It Was Not Natural
Say Hello

Eric Bachmann - No Recover (Merge)
Bachmann’s output is stripped down and simple without being simplistic, catchy without being cloying.  Sure, I’m
coming at this as a fanboy who loves every goddamn thing this man touches, but even within that framework I’m telling
you this is an exceptional collection of Bachmann’s work.
Murmuration Song

Spider Bags - Someday Everything Will Be Fine (Merge)
There’s not really anyone else around here doing exactly what they do, a hybrid of punk and garage and country that
over the years, at their best, is a blend of the Replacements, Meat Puppets and James Gang.
Oxcart Blues

Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks - Sparkle Hard (Matador)
While still operating in the well-established pocket Malkmus has created for himself these past few decades, “Sparkle
Hard” feels…mellower, more mature even?  In this case ”mature” really just means there are some strings and not as
many guitar solos and one song sounds a little country.
Solid Silk

Tommy And The Commies - Here Come… (Slovenly)
Sounds pretty much just like the Buzzcocks.  Sometimes a slightly mod Buzzcocks, but still the comparison holds.  And
that’s fine, because I love the Buzzcocks, and not enough bands do the catchy, upbeat buzzsaw punk thing for my liking.
Permanent Fixture

The Sea And Cake - Any Day (Thrill Jockey)
The long break between albums might have reset the group back to their early years stylistically – the electronic/synth
elements that had been infiltrating their songs over the past 10-15 years is almost totally gone, giving us an album that
sounds like it could be the companion of 1995’s “The Biz.”
Cover the Mountain
I Should Care

Cold Cream - Cold Cream (Self-Released)
It’s impossible to ignore the Flesh Wounds comparisons, as both bands definitely have a somewhat similar sound, but
this feels…more fun than Flesh Wounds maybe?  Looser, more adventurous, crazier lyrics – Flesh Wounds always felt
so angry and serious...
Eichmann In Jeruselum
See You On The Somme

The Rock*A*Teens - Sixth House (Merge)
Two decades later, after a lengthy hiatus, have the Rock*A*Teens changed?  Honestly, not really – a little more mature
I guess, and a little less noisy, but they’re still doing the same southern, jangly indie pop that’s the musical equivalent
to a humid southern night. 
Closest to Heaven
Go Tell Everybody

Tracyanne & Danny - Tracyanne & Danny (Merge)
The musical equivalent of purring cat in your lap on a cozy Sunday afternoon. It isn’t terribly different from the sixties
twee vibes of Camera Obscura in their later years…just with more male vocals really. I would probably buy a record
of Tracyanne singing CSPAN transcripts.
It Can't Be Love Unless It Hurts

Honorable Mentions (In alphabetical order, with a few MP3s that I had readily available)

Author & Punisher - Beastland (Relapse)

Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel (Mom + Pop)
Damien Jurado - The Horizon Just Laughed (Secretly Canadian)
H.C. McEntire - Lionheart (Merge)
Honey Bucket - Furniture Days (See My Friends)
J Mascis - Elastic Days (Sub Pop)
The Jayhawks - Back Roads And Abandoned Motels (Legacy)
Jeff Tweedy – Warm (dBpm)
Mind Spiders - Furies (Dirtnap)
No Ground
Nest Egg - Nothingness Is Not A Curse (Fuzz Club)

Denied Doctrine
No Sister - The Second Floor (Self-Released)

You Know The Feeling?
Salad Boys - This Is Glue (Trouble In Mind)

Choking Sick
Psych Slasher 
Shannon Shaw - Shannon In Nashville (Easy Eye Sound / Nonesuch)
6 String Drag - Top Of The World (Schoolkids)
A Storm Of Light – Anthroscene (Translation Loss)

Best Comps/Live Albums/Singles
(In alphabetical order, with a few MP3s that I had readily available)

David Bowie ‎– Welcome To The Blackout (Live London '78) (Parlophone)

Guided By Voices - Ogre’s Trumpet (Guided By Voices)
The Mary Onettes - Cola Falls (Cascine)
 - Cola Falls
The Number Ones - Another Side Of The Number Ones 7’’ (Sorry State)
 - Lie To Me
Nocturnal Projections - Complete Studio Recordings (Dais)
 - In Purgatory
 - Isn't That Strange
The Revelons: '77​-​'82 (Numero Group)
 - 97 Tears
 - Brighter Side

***November Thirtieth Two
Thousand and Eighteen***   

Kid wants a Doc McStuffins vet set for Xmas, but thinking about getting her an upgrade from that...


Instagram -

Had a damn good milkshake here.  Lexington, NC.  

This doctor lacks proper credentials. Rutherfordton, NC.  

It's Christmas sweater season.  Raleigh, NC.  


Links -

Light report this month, I didn't go to any shows and barely wrote any reviews.  I did go on a vacation, there are photos
of that
in the photo journal as per usual.  There is a shitload of music below though!

Only one skate video ruffled my feathers this go around - the new Zion Wright feature called "Jupiter Rising."  It's over
eight minutes long, nearly every trick is ender quality,
and it doesn't make any goddamn sense.  


Movies -

One month to go and we're in damn good shape.  I shockingly went 4 up this month despite being out of town for a
week, for 34 in November and 345 on the year.  20 makes the goal!

Best of the month (new): Tie, Deadpool 2 (2017) & Isle Of Dogs (2018)
Best of the month (classic): Goodfellas (1990)

Worst of the month: Atlantic Rim (2013)
Doc of the month: This Is Congo (2018)
I definitely didn't cry more than a half dozen times: Won’t You Be My Neighbor (2018)
Stand-up of the month: Jim Gaffigan: Noble Ape (2018)
Did you know you can combine a karate and horror movie together? Silent Rage (1982)

I'm not sure the script was even 10 pages long: Only God Forgives (2013)

Everything else:

The Sentence (2018), Wildland (2018), The Face Of Fu Manchu (1965), American Assassin (2017), Action Jackson
(1988), Belfast, Maine (1999), Fortress (1992), Tomorrow (1972), The Shape Of Water (2017), Antman And The
Wasp (2018), Skyscraper (2018), Dawnland (2018), Surrogates (2009), Annabelle: Creation (2017), The Fearless
Vampire Killers (1967), Tangerine (2015), Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018), Overboard (2018), Anchorman (2004), Mac
And Me (1988), Marc Maron: More Later (2015), Annihilation (2018), Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987), Marshall
(2017),The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs (2018)


"When I'm around you, I kind of feel like I'm on drugs. Not that I do drugs. Unless you do drugs, in which case I do them
all the time. All of them."

I've got a shit load of music this month...
Let's start with a zipped compilation called "Lux and Ivy's Favorites mix".  Dig around on the internet and you can
find all of the volumes of the Lux and Ivy mixes, but this is a single disc compilation of all of my favorite songs from all
of the volumes.  Grab it if you want it.  

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Another Morning Stoner.  Still one of the best live performances I've
ever seen was at Kings (Raleigh) right around when "Madonna" came out - almost no one there but the intensity was
off the charts.  The guitarist was playing on his back on the ground sliding between people's legs for part of the set.  
How Near How Far
It Was There That I Saw You
Relative Ways

Jenny Lewis With The Watson Twins - Big Guns.  Speaking of great shows, run don't walk to see Jenny any time
she's playing live.  I saw her this past summer opening for Father John Misty and she blew him off the stage.  
Born Secular
Melt Your Heart
Rise Up With Fists

Majeure - The Dresden Codex.  Posting one Majeure song is like posting half an album for other bands...

Neil Young - Harvest Moon.  I have strong memories of banging the "Unplugged" cassette in my mid-80s Mazda 323
through high, high school was a wild time.
Unknown Legend

Suicide - Ghost Rider.  When I daydream about writing songs while I'm in the shower, as pretty much everyone does,
I'd be 80% of them sound like Suicide rip-offs.  

The Connells - '74-'75.  My high school self would point and laugh at my current self for listening to some frat rock, but
good pop music is good pop music.  
Carry My Picture

The New Pornographers - Jackie, Dressed In Cobras.  Friggin' Canadians.  
Twin Cinema

The Thermals - I Let It Go.  Everyone else thought they just sounded like punk Mountain Goats, right?
When I Died

***October Thirty First Two Thousand and Eighteen***   

I always figured a chihuahua to be more of a Cool Ranch Doritos type of dog.  


Instagram -

Buick Centurion.  Cary, NC.

Show bird.  Raleigh, NC.  

Next-level side eye.  Youngsville, NC.

Streamliner.  Spencer, NC.  


Links -

A short doc on the most interesting man to ever step foot on a skateboard, Gou Miyagi.  In the event you aren't famil-
iar with the man's work, start here.  Or just type his name into youtube and watch everything he's ever filmed.  

Grant Taylor got a new shoe or a colorway or custom laces or something from Nike, I honestly don't give a shit but
the point is it resulted in a new part from him, and true to form it is fuckin' bonkers.  

Only a couple of music reviews this month - that Idles record is so damn good.        

A couple of photo journal entries, band photos and family shit.  That kinda sums up my whole life.  


Movies -

I missed the monthly goal again!  That buffer is coming in very handy.  29 of 31 for October, 311 on the year (plus 7). 

Best of the month: The Foreigner (2017)
Worst of the month: Croc (2007)
Worst tough guy accent: Richard Gere in Bloodbrothers (1978)
Way less boring than expected: Darkest Hour (2017)
Best cast in a good movie: Game Night (2018)
Best cast in a terrible movie: Bite The Bullet (1975)
Holy shit this is dark: God Knows Where I Am (2016)
STOP FUCKING SINGING: The Greatest Showman (2017)

Everything else:
Dean (2016), Jane Fonda In Five Acts (2018), Cradle Of Champions (2018), Kubo And The Two Strings (2016),
Student Bodies (1981), Silent Night Deadly Night 4: Initiation (1990), A Night In Heaven (1983), A Brief History Of
Time (1991), Phantom Thread (2017), Missing Mom (2016), Flight Of The Conchords: Live In London (2018), Quincy
(2018), Voices Of The Sea (2018), Growing Up Smith (2017), The Mountain Between Us (2017), Fists Of Fury (1971),
Prince Of Darkness (1987), The New Kids (1985), 93Queen (2018), Lone Wolf McQuade (1983), Dark Money (2018)


Don’t Be Mean To People – Day 2
Ponysaurus Brewing

Mini rock festival!  This is the third year they’ve done this sort of all-day rock thing at Ponysaurus involving local bands
both big and small, and at least the second year where they used the event to raise money for the ACLU (the first year
was the 11th anniversary celebration for Bull City Records, but I’m not entirely sure what the fiscal motivations were
one way or another).  This year was actually a two day event, but I only caught the back half of Saturday - and it was a
COOKER.  Best of all, they had two stages set up, so as soon as one act finished the next would be starting within just
a few minutes.  There was a healthy crowd but it never felt crowded, the weather was pristine, and tons of food
trucks – it’s damn near a perfect event.   

I caught the last couple of songs from Tooth, a local metal act that has been around for what seems like forever but
who play only rarely.  Or maybe they’ve been broken up for ages and this was a reunion? I dunno, but either way I wish
I’d gotten there to see more of it – I dig the type of metal they’re serving up, heavy and aggressive and a little stoner-
ish…to make the laziest comparison possible, since both are North Carolina products, if you like Weedeater you’d
probably like Tooth.  I’m really shit at describing metal bands – what I do know is I’m picky with the bands I actually like
in this genre, but these guys definitely pass the test.  As required by law, all five members of the band had beards; no
facial hair citations were issued.

I always ask myself “do I need to take more photos of Spider Bags?”, and then I usually proceed to take more photos
of Spider Bags.  In this case, this was my first time taking outdoor photos of the band during the golden hour, which
gave some decent results.  Something I’ve never asked myself is “do I need to see Spider Bags play again?”, be-
cause the only possible answer to that question is yes.  Scratch that: FUCK YES.  The band is still a three piece like
the last time I saw them - no idea where the other guitarist went.  I wouldn’t say he’s necessary to enjoy the music of
Spider Bags, but I did enjoy that extra layer of guitar at their live shows.   It was otherwise a typical, great performance
by them, with the added bonus of revealing their definitely completely original Halloween song called “Have Love,
Jack-O-Lantern” that was in no way a slightly modified cover of “Have Love, Will Travel,” made famous by the Sonics. 

Work Clothes were up next – I guess they were a thing a decade or so ago, which totally escaped me at the time,
and this was a rare reunion.  The group is a duo, guy and gal, who are seemingly a couple of some sort (there was
some talk of kids and babysitters).  Both played guitar and sang, it was very low key and ethereal.  There were a
couple of moments that reminded me a bit of Low, and a couple of others that made me think of Julee Cruse/Twin
Peaks.  It was fine but after a couple of songs I used the rest of their set as a chance to rest at one of the many out-
door picnic tables at Ponysaurus.

The entire band dressed completely in white, Skylar Gudasz was up next with her goddamn golden voice that is so
melodious and heavenly it almost makes me angry.  I’ve been stuck trying to think of what to write about her, and get-
ting nowhere – much like watching Skylar live, your mind goes blank while she performs her hypnotic Carpenters-
esque soft pop.  It’s all held together by her incredible, professional-grade backing band that included Casey Toll and
Joe Westerlund.  Her album “Oleander” from 2016 is a good listen, but live she achieves another level – any chance
you get to see her perform make every effort to do it.   

From past experience, I assumed the acoustic version of Superchunk would be Mac and Jim and a pair of acoustic
guitars, and I was correct.  I saw this same configuration ten years ago in the middle of the day at some sort of election
rally at UNC (also featuring Billy Bragg, Bowerbirds, and others); it’s only fitting we’re seeing this version of the band in
another important election year, and no one talked more about the importance of voting this night more than Mac. 
Other than the voting angle, it was a pretty typical set – some new songs from their most recent record “What A Time
To Be Alive,” coupled with plenty of their classics like “Detroit Has a Skyline” and “Learned To Surf” and “Water
Wings” and…you get the point.  They actually didn’t play end-of-set staple “Slack Motherfucker,” which I suspect was
because there were a number of kids running around the grounds and Mac, being a parent himself, decided to keep
things PG.

The big finale of the night was Wye Oak, fresh off a long tour and as tight as an overinflated balloon.  They were sur-
prisingly performing as a three piece, with local musician Will Hackney (Loamlands, Midtown Dickens, Mount Moriah,
probably every other band from Durham) helping on bass.  I have no idea as to the temporary or permanent nature of
this particular line-up, but it worked well and anything that keeps Jenn Wasner on guitar as much as possible is a
keeper (not that she isn’t also an amazing bassist…hell, she’s amazing at everything).  It appears the trade where we
sent Future Islands to Baltimore a few years ago was finally completed, as drummer Andy Stack has now also moved
to the Triangle, following Jenn who made her way down here a few years ago.  Will this result in more frequent local
Wye Oak shows?  Jenn living here hasn’t resulted in an increase in the Flock of Dimes performance I had hoped for,
so I’m not holding my breath…but at least we can call them “ours” now.  I’ve seen Wye Oak live a number of times and
it’s always fantastic, but this might have been the best I’ve ever seen them – and I say that even though they didn’t play
my favorite song, “Holy Holy.”  There were lots of tracks from “The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs,” a smattering of
classics, and one of the best Kate Bush covers (“Deeper Understanding”) this side of Maxwell.  This band is flawless
and at the height of their powers, and I’m already excited about the next time I get to see them, whenever that might be. 


The Rock*A*Teens
With Spider Bags

I was truly shocked at the low turnout at this show…Hopscotch hangover maybe?  Both bands just released excellent
new albums on local label Merge, and based on the many times I’ve seen each in the past, both are well liked.  Hell,
I’ve seen both of these acts so many times (particularly Spider Bags) that I didn’t even bother to bring my camera, I’ve
already got so many photos of each.

Spider Bags were performing as a three piece without that extra guitarist who doesn’t appear to really be in the band
but plays with them sometimes.  They knocked out all of their hits – “Keys To The City,” “Que Viva Elrocanrol,” etc. –
plus a ton of tracks from their latest “Someday Everything Will Be Fine.”  Most notably, “Oxcart Blues” from the new
one is now a part of their “hits” in my book, moving forward, as decreed by me.  That track burns.

The Rock*A*Teens followed more or less the same formula as Spider Bags – plenty (if not nearly all) of their latest
album “Sixth House,” plus a smattering of older songs from before their most recent reunion.  Say what you will about
old bands reforming as a nostalgic cash grab, but this most recent work by Chris Lopez & company might be my fav-
orite music they’ve ever recorded - and it translates nicely to the stage.  Speaking of tracks that burn – “Go Tell Every-
body” is one of the best songs of the year, and was definitely my highlight of their set.  Just the mention of that song
gets it stuck in my head for days.  Not a bad problem to have…


"Well, the traffic was murder, you know. One of those manure spreaders jackknifed on the Santa Ana. Godawful mess.
You should see my shoes."

Bat Fangs - Boy of Summer.  One of the best records of the year...It's nice to hear and see a band who is truly having
fun out there.  Rock music doesn't have to be serious business.  

Turn It Up

Jawbox - Mirrorful.  I legitimately didn't even know their 1996 self-titled record existed until I found the CD of it in a
bargain bin.  It's ok, kinda disjointed and all over the place stylistically, but still a few good songs.  "Grippe" is still their
gold standard.  

Oasis - Cast No Shadow.  20+ years later, I finally own a copy of "(What's The Story) Morning Glory."  To be fair,
these songs were so widespread and ubiquitous for so long that no one actually needed to own a copy of the record.  
Champagne Supernova
Don't Look Back In Anger

Salad Boys - Choking Sick.  I'm not the only one who assumed these guys were a hardcore band based on their
name right?  Spoiler alert:  they're not a hardcore band.  
Psych Slasher

Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks - Kite.  The newest Malkmus record is extremely Malkmus-y, to no one's surprise.  
Solid Silk

Superchunk - Bad Choices.  The most recent Superchunk record is the best thing they've released since "Here's
Where The Strings Come In," which is no small praise from me.  
What A Time To Be Alive

The Cure - A Forest.  The best Cure song of all time, and I'll not hear your arguments to the contrary.  
Play For Today

Picking only four songs off of "Something Else By The Kinks" is a damn near impossible task...but here are four

Death Of A Clown
Love Me 'Til The Sun Shines
Tin Soldier Man
Waterloo Sunset



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