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***April Thirtieth Two Thousand and Sixteen***



Politics, am I right?


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Instagrams:


Burt showing off his paws.  Cary, NC.  


Cardinal eggs.  Cary, NC.


Lola vs. calzone.  Morrisville, NC.  


Old store.  Marion, NC.  


Old homestead.  Mocksville, NC.  


Lola and Uncle Skyler.  Outer Banks, NC.  


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Links:

Bronze
(or Bronze56k, or whatever the fuck they want to be called) released a short vid called Plug  - amazing skating,
highly questionable fashion.  Overalls, really?

If you ever need to feel confused about the state of skateboarding these days, Chris Cope just released this part
featuring so many insane tricks it's hard to quantify...the last two in particular don't make any goddamn sense.  And the
dude isn't even properly sponsored!

Three photo journal entries...lots of baby photos.  You've been warned.   


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Yo La Tengo
The Orange Peel
4/2/2015

There was nearly a fight at a Yo La Tengo show.  It never would have come to blows, but there was definitely some
chest puffing and angry jostling for a particular piece of real estate not far from the stage.  Fittingly, one of the guys
was a middle-aged, overweight, bearded man who likely is a brewmaster at one of Asheville's 45,772 breweries, and
the other was wearing a scarf and surely worked as a barista.  I wonder if anyone wearing a scarf has ever actually got
into a fight?  Seems like you would be giving your opponent a pretty good weapon to use against you and choke you
out.  Anyways...


I was up in the mountains to see the family anyways, so it was fortuitous that I actually looked at the calendar and saw
Yo La Tengo would be appearing at the Orange Peel after performing at the Big Ears festival in Knoxville the night
before.  I had never been to the Orange Peel before (a couple of Morrissey cancellations were my only other attempts) -
nice venue, good sound...like a wider and shallower Cats' Cradle maybe.  It was just them, no openers, and they played
one acoustic set, took a break, and then played an electric set.  The acoustic set was made up mostly of songs from
their most recent record "Stuff Like That There," and I was glad to finally see some of that material live; when they
passed through the Triangle last Fall after that record came out, I had a newborn baby and couldn't make it.  For the
electric portion of the evening, they included three of my favorite songs: "Tom Courtenay," "Sugarcube," and "Ohm,"
as well as an encore of Half Japanese's "No More Beatlemania" and some sort of double drum funk cover that in-
volved the word motherfucker being used repetitively. 

I know it's the old person in me, but I'd love it if more bands took this route of playing shows by themselves sans
opening acts.  In the case of Yo La Tengo (or Low earlier in the year who had the same approach), getting to see
more of the headliner you actually want to see is always a better option.  Hell, even if the band didn't want to play
longer and only played their normal set, that still seems better than slogging through most openers.  Okay, I'm going
to return to yelling at clouds and telling stories about wearing an onion on my belt now, at least until Yo La Tengo
comes back through town.



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“I’m not running a charity here, except the one where I donate my old towels to poor people with the same
initials as me.”


Gross Ghost - Architect.  I thought Gross Ghost were destinied to get big, at least locally, but for reasons unclear to
me they sorta disappeared.  
Devious

Lower Dens - Suckers Shangri-La.  One of my favorite records of last year, which I probably mentioned a few
months ago.
To Die In L.A.

Run The Jewels - Bust No Moves (feat. Cuz).  A couple of tracks from the "Bust No Moves" EP...this group shits
out gold songs like that proverbial goose.  
Pew Pew Pew (feat. DJ QBert)

Silkworm - And Then... (Pavement cover).  A couple of terriffic covers...I never listened to much Silkworm in their
heyday, but I always liked them any time I would come across them.  
Let's Kill Saturday Night (Robbie Fulks cover)

Tom Petty - I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better.  I'm pretty sure I don't need to write anything about Tom Petty.  
Runnin Down A Dream
Yer So Bad

Tweedy - Low Key.  I went in apprehensive, but Jeff Tweedy's "solo" record comes closer to the vibe of earlier Wilco
much more than the full band releases.  
Nobody Dies Anymore
Please Don't Let Me Be So Understood

White Octave - Animal Chin.  Still hoping for more reunion shows, the one at Hopscotch in 2014 was the tits.  Definitely
made me feel young again...kinda.
Weight





***March Thirty First Two
Thousand and Sixteen***

 

Baseball season aka hot dog season approaches!  Everyone ready your colons appropriately!


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Instagramery:



Paycheck leeches.  Cary, NC.  


Hemlock Bluffs.  Cary, NC.  


Model training.  Garden City, SC.  


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Linkery:

Raw footage of Cory Kennedy destryong everything.  If I could skate like anyone he might be my number one pick.  

Fernando Bramsmark aka Darkness for Skate Mental - shreds everything and seems like a fun dude to boot.  

A couple of photo journal entries from some work trips to Miami.  It was way less exciting than it sounds.  Unless it
doesn't sound exciting at all, in which case it was exactly as exciting as it sounds.   The Everglades were great though.  



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I haven't gone to see anyone live all month, which is a rarity.  But I did forget to post this earlier in the year, so...

Top Nine Favorite Shows of 2015!
Unordered, mostly out of laziness.  

Belle & Sebastian at Echostage - 6/11/2015
I said unordered but this is probably number one - drove to DC for the gig, totally worth it.  

Morrissey at Carolina Theatre - 6/15/2015
Not the best I've ever seen him, but still great.  

The Rolling Stones at Carter Finley Stadium - 7/1/2015
I'm not sure it was worth the price of admission, but they were damn good.  

Destroyer at the Cat's Cradle - 10/8/2015
Possibly the best I've ever seen them.

Bandway / Pipe at the Cat's Cradle - 10/24/2015
Two great local tastes that taste great together.  

Archers of Loaf at the Cats Cradle - 10/17/2015
If the Archers played, the Archers make the list.  It's science.  

Sylvan Esso / Flock of Dimes / Ivan Howard at Carrboro Commons - 4/3/2015
Got free tickets to this on a whim, ended up having a damn good time.  

Ex Hex / Birds of Avalon at Kings - 1/3/2015
Ex Hex are pop perfection both recorded and live.  

Hopscotch Music Festival in downtown Raleigh - 9/10/2015, 9/11/2015 & 9/12/2015 (Day and Night)
It's a festival so I saw a shitload of bands...highlights included Mac McCaughan, Lydia Loveless, Roky Erickson,
Flock of Dimes, Pipe, and Birds of Avalon.


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"Any fool who would paint his truck like this would show up at a minister's funeral dressed in feathers."

All-Time Quarterback - Why I Cry (Magnetic Fields cover).  Otherwise known as Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for
Cutie solo.  

Dungen - Panda.  Fellas, I can't understand a goddamn thing you're saying.  
Ta Det Lungt

Fujiya & Miyagi - Artificial Sweeteners.  It's totally shocking this is on local label Yep Roc.  Kraftwerk meets pop.  
Rayleigh Scattering

Pernice Brothers - One Foot In The Grave.  I've probably posted this before...all the Pernice records and songs
kinda sound the same, but it's an awesome kinda same.  
The Weakest Shade of Blue

The Fucking Champs - Dale Bozzio.  There was a time in the mid-to-late nineties when these guys and Trans Am
seemingly played here in the Triangle once a month.  I wasn't mad about it.
Heart to Heart

Total Control - Bloody Glass.  If I could go back and revise my "best of 2014" list, "Typical System" would definitely
make the top five.  Such a great year.  
Flesh War
Safety Net

Yo La Tengo - All Your Secrets.  Some of these are covers, all are great.  From thir most recent outing "Stuff Like
That There."
Butchie's Tune
Somebody's In Love





***February Twenty Ninth
Two Thousand and Sixteen***



I am so excited for daylight savings and having light after work I can almost taste it.  


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Instagrams -


Sunbeam addict.  Cary, NC.  


Date night.  Cary, NC.  


This was good Mexican food.  Florida City, FL.


Late christmas present.  Cary, NC.  


Six months!  Cary, NC.  


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Links -
Got a whole shitload of skate videos worth watching...

Anonymous Zone - I wouldn't normally pay attention to a video from Monster and I'd never heard of What Youth before
this, but you give me a video that has skating from Ishod, Raven, Ramondetta and Kevin Terpening, and I don't give a
shit who makes it.  

5BNY - To be perfectly honest I usually forget all about 5Boro, but like everyone else these days the whole team rips.  
Everyone is great but I especially liked the parts by Tookmanian & Trahan.

Dylan Witkin - A Concrete Forest - It's entirely possible that the main reason I love this part is the Cure song, but the
dude shreds too.  

Brent Atchley - Portland Public Skating - Still one of the greatest styles ever, still shredding.  

Rajput Ride - Another travel skate documentary from Michael Mackrodt & company, this one filmed in India.  I could
watch these videos all day, they combine my two favorite things in the world.  

Kevin Bradley - Nike SB Chronicles, Vol 3 - One of the young kids who makes me not worry about the future of
skateboarding.  Great style.  Not a huge Alabama Shakes fan but the song really works here.  

Wieger Van Wageningen - Wieger - Wieger locks into ledge tricks for so long it makes me question the laws of
gravity and friction.  

I've actually written a few 
Music Reviews this past month.  Dan Sartain is the leader in the clubhouse for this year...
so far.  

One photo journal entry of the kid that I doubt anyone other than our families would give a shit about, but there it is
just in case.  



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Protomartyr
with Spray Paint and Bodykit
Cat's Cradle Back Room
2/16/2016

I've been so goddamn lazy about going out to shows lately.  Yeah, I could blame it a little bit on having a new baby,
and I'm certainly a little more tired than in the past, but let's be honest the wife does way more work than I do.  The
main culprit is just pure laziness.  In fact, I skipped seeing Bodykit a couple of days before this performance because
I knew I would be seeing them on this night. 

Anyways, Bodykit - if you don't know the name, just know it's the new band featuring Rich and Josh from the amazing
Whatever Brains (R.I.P.).  Rich traded in his guitar for a bunch of knob-twiddling electronic gear, while Josh traded in
his knob-twiddling electronic gear for...actually, he's still doing the same thing, minus the keyboards.  Rich still sings, if
you can call his brand of shouting and growling singing.  Given the make-up of the band I expected it to be a lot more
noisy and dissonant, but these were more or less pop songs draped in velvet curtains of noise and beats.  I'm not
saying they sound like Liars, but they at least sound like they might shop at the same store or go to the same barber. 
Also, I know so little about this particular of genre of music I have no idea who else to compare them with.  Regardless
of compartmentalization, I will happily see them again.  

Spray Paint, a three piece from Austin, had the middle slot of the night.  After a quick soundcheck they lurched right
into their set with little fanfare or small talk. I've seen them one other time  - with almost this same exact line-up, except
it was Whatever Brains instead of Bodykit - and they were just as enjoyable live this time around.  They're just two
guitars and drums, and musically I guess you'd say they're doing sort of a caveman protopunk thing, or whatever you
want to call it.  A lot of the time (or at least at the best times) their sound makes me think of the Cramps covering Devo,
or maybe Devo covering the Cramps...but with different vocals.  All three dudes sing, sometimes all at the same time,
and they all roughly have the same monotone sound...I'm not sure it sounds good on paper but it works on stage.  

It's rare these days I suffer through two opening sets, but Protomartyr are totally worth it.  It also helps that the openers
were great, and neither played for very long.  I'm not sure what I could say about this outing that would set it apart from
the other times I've written about the band - they are wholly dependable in every sense of the word, from the set list to
the outstanding musicianship to the slightly rowdy crowd (Rich from Bodykit is always in the middle of the rowdyness,
and quite possibly the instigator).  As always, you can't take your eyes off of frontman Joe Casey, though I'd have an
extremely hard time explaining why.  He looks like a recently fired private school teacher busted for drinking on the job,
and sings like the love child of Mark E. Smith and a depressed bassett hound.  I'll be goddamned if they're not one of
my very favorite live bands of the last half-decade.  I simultaneously have no idea how to sell anyone else on this band,
or how anyone manages to get by without Protomartyr in their life.  


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Low
The Cat's Cradle
2/3/2015

I had been sick for a damn week, already missing Eric Bachmann at the Pinhook even though I already had a ticket -
I wasn't doing that again, health be damned...this Low ticket was getting cashed in.  On top of that, outside of their
appearance at Hopscotch in 2013, they haven't played in the Triangle since I moved back in 2008 - even more of a
reason to make sure I was there.  That Hopscotch gig was a seated show in the sonically perfect Flether Opera Theater
and will likely never be topped, but I knew I'd get a good show at the Cradle as well, because the Cradle never dis-
appoints (even though the crowd often does).  

The band had no opener, instead opting to play two sets.  Apparently it was also being webcast live, though I question
the quality of this webcast based on how crappy the camera was that the cameraman near me was using.  I would
describe the club as "comfortably full," as there were a fair amount of fans but everyone had plenty of personal space. 
The band sounded absolutely terrific  - Alan was wrecking shit on his guitar, Mimi's voice was perfection, and the
young bass/keyboard dude who isn't Zak Sally held the whole thing together.  The set was a mix of old classics like
"Monkey," "Murderer," "Especially Me," and "Pissing," and a lot of tracks from their newest record "Ones and Sixes."  
I was so zoned out and happy most of the show I forgot about how shitty I felt, though about halfway through the second
set I started feeling it again for sure.  

Side note: if you hate getting sick, let me suggest that you not have a newborn baby in daycare and also fly about ten
times in the span of a month and a half during the Winter.  I've had more colds in the last two months than I usually have
over a span of years.  


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"You know, they say when you talk to God it's prayer, but when God talks to you, it's schizophrenia."

Dinosaur Jr - Unplugged - Lydverket (3-28-2007).  Description says it all - this a zipped file of an unplugged set
by J Mascis and company.  

Grateful Dead - Box Of Rain.  Hippies unite!  "American Beauty" is a damn near perfect country rock record.
Bonus: Friend of the Devil
Bonus: Ripple

Mandolin Orange - Little Worlds.  While they seem to be very popular in some circles, I'm always surprised that
this duo doesn't get more love from people I know.  They write great songs.  
Bonus: Old Ties and Companions

Sloan - I Am The Cancer.  Every Sloan record has at least a couple of songs that are pop perfection.  
Bonus: Lemonzinger

Spider Bags - Dog in the Snow.  From their singles collection.  All of their songs should be singles.  
Bonus: Teenage Eyes

The Scientists - Bet Ya Lyin'.  A whole shitload from Australia's greatest band, the Scientists.  "Last Night" in par-
ticular is one of my favorite songs of all time.  
Bonus: Larry
Bonus: Last Night
Bonus: Walk The Plank

The Thought Criminals - More Suicides, Please.  I have nothing of note to say about this other than it's great.  
Which is kinda the whole point of posting it here.  





***January Thirty First
Two Thousand and Sixteen***

I spent most of the month in Miami for work.  
I've been sick four times (including currently).
You know, there's a baby in the house now.  
What I'm saying is...I didn't get around to the whole website update thing.  
I did update the calendar though, as much for my use as anyone else.  
Also, here are some pictures that I didn't take.  















***December Thirty First
Two Thousand and Fifteen***

It's that time of year again...
Top Best Wonderful Records of 2015!!!
If I wrote a shitty review, I linked it in the album name.  I have no idea if anyone reads music reviews anymore...I certainly
don't.  

 
1.   Belle and Sebastian - Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance (Matador)
Their first new record in a few years.  They've still got it.  
Allie
Nobody's Empire



2.   Destroyer - Poison Season (Merge)
Every time Destroyer releases a new record it contains a strong contender for
song of the year.  This year it is "Dream Lover."  
Dream Lover
Times Square

3.   Dick Diver - Melbourne, Florida (Trouble in Mind)
My favorite newcomers of the year, out of Australia.  That country is burning hot
musically these days.  
Percentage Points
Tearing the Posters Down
Waste the Alphabet


4.   Protomartyr - The Agent Intellect (Hardly Art)
They might destroy live even more than they do on record.  
Dope Cloud
The Devil in His Youth


5.   Mac McCaughan - Non-Believers (Merge)
I'm not entirely sure how this is different from a Portastatic record, but it's still
good.  Not as upbeat/aggro as Superchunk, but damn catchy.    
Box Batteries
Your Hologram

 
6.   Low - Ones and Sixes (Sub Pop)
By law anytime Low releases a new reord, it must go on the list.  
No Comprende
What Part of Me


7.   Wilco - Star Wars (dBpm)
And it was with this record that I finally accepted Wilco for who they are now, and
stopped being mad that they are no longer the Jay Bennett-era band I fell in love
with.  It only took me fifteen-ish years.    
Pickled Ginger
Random Name Generator


8.   Yo La Tengo - Stuff Like That There (Matador)
What I said about Low also applies here.  
Deeper Into Movies (remake of track from I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One)
Friday I'm in Love (The Cure cover)


9.   Bandway - Buddies ( The Man Who Drives the Van)
Holy shit Bandway released a new record!!!  It's never really about the recorded
material with them, but rather the rare live shows.  
Sustainable
White Nipples

10. Jeff the Brotherhood - Wasted on the Dream (Infinity Cat)
JtB are way better at being Weezer these days than Weezer have been for nearly
two decades.  
Black Cherry Pie
Prarie Song
Voyage Into Dreams


Honorable Mention!

American Aquarium - Wolves (Self-Released)
Best Coast - California Nights (Harvest / Virgin)
Birds of Avalon - Disappearance (Third Uncle)
Built To Spill - Tethered Moon (Warner Bros)
Mikal Cronin - MCIII (Merge)
Lower Dens - Escape From Evil (Ribbon)
Mandolin Orange - Such Jubilee (Yep Roc)
Spray Paint - Punter on a Barge (Homeless)
Kurt Vile - B'lieve I'm Goin Down... (Matador)
Whatever Brains - Whatever Brains (Sorry State)


Best Singles/EPs!

Flesh Wounds - In the Mouth EP (Snot)
Future Islands - The Chase 7'' (4AD)
Mount Moriah - Calvander 7'' (Merge)
Pampers - Right Tonight 7'' (In the Red)
 - I've seen this one listed as both 2014 and 2015, and since I bought it this year, I'm just going to go with 2015 and not
   wind up down a rabbit hole while researching the release date and probably ending up on the Wiki page for Idi Amin.  
Run the Jewels - Bust No Moves EP (Mass Appeal)


Great records from previous years!
Or rather, last year as is the case this time around.  

Ex Hex - Rips (2014)
 - This actually made my honorable mention list last year, but if I were to re-rank today it would be number two easily.  
   Had it come out this year it would hve probably topped the charts.  
Allo Darlin' - We Come from the Same Place (Slumberland, 2014)
The Lees of Memory - Sisyphus Says (SideOneDummy, 2014)
Outer Spaces - Garbage Beach EP (Salinas, 2014)

...Haven't even started thinking about my favorite shows or movies yet.  In a later post probably.  


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Instagrams:


Rock hound.  Marion, NC.


Grandma's relics.  Marion, NC.  


The family at Tom's Creek Falls.  Marion, NC.  


Old house.  Whitakers, NC.  


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Links:

Movements No0001  
Cons video featuring Aaron Herrington and Tom Remillard.  They both fuckin' destroy everything.  

AMFD  Brandon Biebel put together a part from all of his web clips from his skatepark - it's better than a lot of people's
street parts.  

This Time  
A feature on Max Schaaf, including a shitload of the most watchable vert skating I've seen in a while.  Max
will always have the best very style of all time, no one else comes close.  

Nike SB Chronicles: Cory Kennedy  Nike released CK1's part, and it's just as enjoyable as expected.  Backside
nose blunt with a fingerflip out!

Two photo journal entries, both band photos because I thought for sure I had posted the older one months ago.  


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Birds of Avalon
with Mac McCaughan
Motorco
12/4/2015

Thanks to ReverbNation throwing their holiday party at Motorco and making it open to the public, I got to see a show
for free that I would have gladly paid real American dollars to witness.  Add to that stuffing my face with Pie Pushers
before the show, and it was a good night.  As a side note, there was a BBQ food truck set up in front of the Pit, a BBQ
restaurant that is right across the street from Motorco.  This both confused and delighted me. 

I've seen Mac McCaughan play four or five times this year, and none of those times was with his main band Super-
chunk.  A few of the occasions were with local punks Flesh Wounds acting as his backing band, but this performance
was just Mac solo, with only his electric guitar to help him out.  The set had selections from every facet of his career -
solo songs, Portastatic songs, and of course Superchunk songs.  He played a number of my favorites including
"Detroit Has a Skyline," "Driveway to Driveway," and "Skip Steps 1 & 3," plus the excellent "Breaking Down" from
Superchunk's latest record that I'm not sure I've ever heard them play live, or at least I can't remember it.  He put on a
great performance, just like he did the other dozens of times I've seen him.  I keep coming back to his performances
for a reason ya know!

It's possible I've seen Birds of Avalon just as many times this year as I've seen Mac.  It's been mentioned before but
the new six-piece/two-drummer version of the band raised them into an entirely new stratosphere of awesomeness,
and that very much continues to be true.  I've given up trying to compare them to anyone in particular, just think heavy
kraut pop with tons of harmonized vocals (with as many as four people singing) and the occasional proggy moment. 
The double drums, often performed in unison, power the whole affair - words can't express how important this addition
has been to the band.  Actually, words probably can express it, I'm just too stupid/lazy to make it happen. 



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Bandway
with Pipe
Cat's Cradle
10/24/2015

It had been a little over four years since I last saw Bandway, at 2011's Hopscotch Music Festival, which was the last
time they performed live as far as I know.  That seems to be pretty much the norm for them, get together every few
years to rock the balls off the select few people with the goddamn good sense to show up.  There were probably a
couple hundred of these smart people on this night, and I recognized a ton of them - I would bet 90% of the crowd was
probably at any Bandway show I attended nearly twenty years ago.  We were all older and some of us fatter, but our
love of a good time has never diminished. 

The big difference between this gig and the couple of others they've played over the last, well, decade, is they actually
recently released a new album, "Buddies," their first since 2002's "Night Rock."  They were playing new songs!  Awe-
some new songs that is, to go along with classics like "King Kong" and "Balls Out" and "Champagne" and all those
other gems that gets the crowd singing along vigorously.  It was, in a word, glorious. 

I think you can sum up the awesomeness that is this band with the following quote from Brooks Carter, frontman of the
gods:
"This song is about love...the purest love of all...the song is called 'White Nipples.'"

Pipe opened the show.  To paraphrase Wooderson from "Dazed and Confused" - "That's what I love about Pipe,
man. I get older, they stay the same band."  They started with "Gutterball," ended with "Ashtray," and there was plenty
of high-quality, high-kick filled punk rock in between.  It's always sort of the same thing with them, but it's a same thing
I'm always happy to see.  Singer Ron Liberti was full of antics as usual, laying down flat on the stage while still singing
at one point.  It was a quality night of rock all around, one that doesn't happen nearly often enough. 






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