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***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

1.   Belle and Sebastian - Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance (Matador)
Their first new record in a few years.  They've still got it.  
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.  
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.  



Rock hound.  Marion, NC.

Grandma's relics.  Marion, NC.  

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

Old house.  Whitakers, NC.  



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.  


Birds of Avalon
with Mac McCaughan

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. 


with Pipe
Cat's Cradle

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
"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. 

***November Thirtieth Two Thousand and Fifteen***

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving, stuffing themselves on the traditional fare of hotdogs, lazer eyes, and tears.  
It's the American way.  


Instant grams

BFFs.  Cary, NC.

Derp.  Cary, NC.  

Chevrolet Impala.  Marion, NC.  

Dusk.  Cary, NC.  


Additional pics
These are all from my medium format Fujifilm GF670.

Ben & Brian.  Carolina Beach, NC.  

Shorebreak.  Carolina Beach, NC.  

Spider Bags.  Raleigh, NC.  



Lots of great skate videos this month...
Youness Amrani for sml. Wheels.  It's pretty mind-boggling that this is probably all throwaway footage.  
Donovan Piscopo for Nike.  This too is alternate angles and unused footage from his Nike part.  Kids are too good.  
Lee Yankou for Heroin Skateboards.  He's been one of my favorties for years, and this new part is perfect.  
And last but not least, the new Fourstar tour video Obtuse Moments.  It's my favorite video in ages...probably since the
last Crail camp tour video.  

Only one photo journal entry, some pictures of Lola aka a photo journal entry that is only interesting to my family.  


with Amanda X

The last time Protomartyr played at Slims was one of the best shows in recent years - not only did they kill it, but
Whatever Brains and Spray Paint were also on that bill.  I really, really miss Whatever Brains.  Anyways, this time
through town they stepped up to a larger club and made Kings their home, a smart choice given how packed Slims
was last time around.  As this was a tour for their newest record "The Agent Intellect," there were lots of songs off of
that excellent album, an album that will definitely be one of my top three favorites of the year.  Plenty of older songs too,
including the amazing "Scum, Rise!" - as long as I get to hear that track, everything else is gravy.  As per usual, singer
Joe Casey stalked around the stage like a drunk professor, usually with a beer in his hand.  If this band played live
once a month I would go every time, happily. 

The opening band was a trio of females from Philadelphia called Amanda X that I knew nothing about, but I'm pretty
sure none of them are named Amanda.  You very rarely meet anyone named Amanda anymore ya know?  My very first
thought when I see a band made up of three ladies is Ex Hex, who I've been obsessed with for the last couple of years. 
Amanda X sound nothing like Ex Hex unfortunately, but you could definitely draw some comparisons to Mary Timony's
old band Helium - heavy nineties indie-pop vibes with some Sonic Youth-style guitars going on.  It was a pretty enjoy-
able set, but short - I'll hold off on final judgement until I hear some recordings by them.  I'm definitely intrigued though. 


Cat's Cradle

You never know exactly what you're going to get at a Destroyer show.  Well, you know some of what you will get - you'll
get a large, professional band, and Dan Bejar will barely move while he performs, other than stooping to attend to his
selection of alcoholic beverages on the stage.  The biggest question mark is that the set-list can vary greatly - despite
the new record, Bejar & company decided to widely sample the entire Destroyer catalog.  I mention this because on
their tour a few years back for "Kaputt," they pretty much only played that record.  Not that they avoided the excellent
new album "Poison Season" - I believe they actually kicked off the set with the Al Stewart-gone-disco jam "Forces
from Above," and also played "Dream Lover" along with a few other new tracks.  Other highlights included "Savage
Night at the Opera," "Chinatown," "Rubies," "It's Gonna Take an Airplane," and "European Oils."  Bejar still continues
to ignore his best record "Streethawk: A Seduction" as well as my mental pleas for them to play "Notorious Lightning,"
but overall I have no complaints.  Possibly the most entertaining part of the whole night was the girl standing next to me,
who was having her own personal Beatlemania moment for the duration of the show - complete with high pitched
squeals, lots of tightly clenched hands waving in front of her face, and erratic jumping up and down.  She was acting so
wacky that even the band took note of her a couple of times.  I hope to someday get that excited about...well, anything. 
Maybe if Destroyer ever plays "Notorious Lightning" I'll have the same reaction. 


"Are you guys like boyfriend-girlfriend? Steady dates? Lovers? Come on, sporto, level with me. Do you slip her the hot
beef injection?"

Black Flag - Nervous Breakdown.  A couple from the Nervouse Breakdown seven inch, which is completely perfect
from start to finish.  
Bonus: Wasted

Dow Jones & the Industrials - Can't Stand the Midwest.  I've probably posted this a bunch of times because it's
one of the top 5 punk rock songs of all time.  Don't care.  

Grandaddy - Aisle Seat 37-D.  Some Grandaddy b-sides.  Jason Lytle really knows how to write a synthy pop song.  
Bonus: Fishing Boat Song
Bonus: Wonder Why in LA

Jane's Addiction - Three Days.  Been on a Janes kick recently.  This is and always will be their best song ever.  

Neil Halstead - Digging Shelters.  Halstead is pretty much Mojave 3, so I'm not sure why he needs to release records
under his own name.  I'm not complaining though.  
Bonus: Wittgenstein's Arm

Outer Spaces - Rust.  One of my favorite out of the blue finds - played a gig with Lace Curtains and despite planning
on going home before they played, I caught their sey - fantastic stuff.  Indie pop with a slight twang, gorgeous vocals.  
Bonus: You Left the Party

Shock - This Generation's On Vacation.  Some really catchy KBD-style punk.  

Spiritualized - Shine A Light.  How many friggin' bands have written a song called "Shine a Light"?  All of them
might be the answer.  Whatever, Spiritualized rule as always.  
Bonus: You Know It's True

The Neon Boys - Love Comes In Spurts.  Pre-Television that sounds like the New York Dolls.  

***October Thirty First
Two Thousand and Fifteen***


My Halloween costume this year.  Yes, that's me.  I promise.  I never left bed.


I'gram pics

Family walk at Hemlock Bluffs.  Cary, NC.  

Ford Fairlane.  Asheboro, NC.  

Wife vs. frozen banana.  Raleigh, NC.  

Yellow baby.  Cary, NC.  

NC State Fair.  Raleigh, NC.  


Additional pics
These are all from my medium format Fujifilm GF670.

Magen's Bay, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.

Central Range, Saint Kitts.

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, CA.  



I think I forgot to save many links this time'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.  

Two photo 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.


with Circle Takes the Square

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 time!

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 companion. 


Archers of Loaf
with Flesh Wounds 
Cats Cradle

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.


Jeff the Brotherhood
The Odditorium

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 lovely.

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. 


"Small men drown in my shit."

Belle & Sebastian - Allie.  "Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance" is probably my record of the year - and this is my fav-
orite song on it.  The other song is top notch too.  
Bonus: Nobody's Empire

Ex Hex - Don't Wanna Lose.  "Rips" is a nearly perfect power pop record.  Even narrowing it down to my favorite
four tracks was nearly impossible.  
Bonus: Everywhere
Bonus: New Kid
Bonus: You Fell Apart

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

The Hold Steady - Banging Camp.  After not listening to them in ages, I let a Hold Steady CD run a few times in a
row in the car - still a damn good rock band.  
Bonus: Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night


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