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                                   questions/comments/concerns - email thomas.magnum at gmail.com

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              Calendar
   (updated 8/31
/2018)                                     Photo Journal   (updated 8/31/2018)       
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Photo Archive:       
 +++People+++         +++Places+++         +++Bands+++        
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Pointless Nonsense Archive:         +++Movie Reviews+++         +++Links+++
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***August Thirty First Two Thousand and Eighteen***   



It's football season, which means one thing - tailgating!  ALWAYS BE PREPARED.  


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Instagram -


Pullen Park duck gang.  Raleigh, NC.  


Dog and dog uncle, reunited.  Cary, NC.  


Somebody had a birthday, age to be determined.  Cary, NC.  


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Links -

Thrasher posted a compilation video on the life of Phil Shao, who has been gone for 20 years now (it seems imposs-
ible that it's been that long).  He was one of the best ever, and this is a good reminder.  Most of this footage could
come out today and it would be celebrated.  

Portland Public Skating is a video of skating...in Portland.  LOTS of Burnside.  Plenty of good skating, but the reason
this is noteworthy is a full part of Brent Atchley, one of the greatest styles to ever ride a board.  

Finally a new chunk of band photos in the photo journal this month, if that's your bag.  


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Movies -

Keeping pace... +1 on the month at 32, +10 on the year at 253.  

Best of the month (that I've likely already seen a ton of times): Road House (1989)
Best of the month (that was actually new to me): Lynyrd Skynyrd: If I Leave Here Tomorrow (2018)
Worst of the month: Yes Giorgio (1982) (Even worse than Blues Brothers 2000, if that's possible)
STILL too old for this shit:
Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
Alexandra Daddario in a bathing suit alert:
Baywatch (2017)
So beautiful, yet so boring:
Queen Of The Desert (2016)
Casting snafu of the month: Sam Waterston as a Native American in Rancho Deluxe (1975)
Probably still the best song written for a film ever:
title track, That Thing You Do (1996)
John-ette Wick:
Proud Mary (2017)

Everything else:

Mission: Impossible (1996), The Hallow (2015), Girl In Gold Boots (1968), Love Means Zero (2017), Sasheer Zamata:
Pizza Mind (2017), God Told Me To (1976), Manos: The Hands Of Fate (1966), Punching Henry (2017); Humanoids
From The Deep (1980), Maudie (2017), Predator (1987), My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997), Sherlock Holmes And
The Secret Weapon (1943), Battle Of The Sexes (2017), Demitri Martin: The Overthinker (2018), The US Generation:
The 1982 Us Festival (2017), Murder By Numbers (2002), Father Figures (2017), Space Mutiny (1988), Good Ol’
Freda (2013), Life Stinks (1991), Henry Rollins: Keep Talking, Pal (2018)


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Oneida
With Nest Egg and Demon Eye
Kings
8/3/2018

Despite a general aversion to three bands in one night these days, I made a point to get to Kings in time to catch some
of Demon Eye.  I’m at a total loss as to why they were on a bill with a couple of kraut-esque indie bands, but if bookers
want to start throwing metal and indie rock together in one show that’s fine by me.  Demon Eye are particularly special
in my book, because almost no one is playing this type of metal anymore – the early eighties/New Wave of British
Heavy Metal kind.  Heavy but not sludgy or stony or speedy, plenty of flair and shredding but not so much it distracts,
and most importantly (to me), no Cookie Monster vocals - think Iron Maiden, Accept, early Wasp, etc.  You could pro-
bably throw an AC/DC comparison in there too.  Also, they seem like they’re having a damn good time – metal is way
too serious, and these guys seem to know it.

Nest Egg might be pseudo-local (in this case, Asheville), but this was my first time actually seeing them live.  They
play down here a few times a year, and folks I trust raved about them after the last Hopscotch, but it took my listening
to their most recent record “Nothingness Is Not A Curse” to finally get motivated enough to see them live.  Well, that
and getting paired with Oneida, who I almost never miss – but I was genuinely looking forward to Nest Egg.  They do
the whole krautrock-psyche-repetitive thing, and even if they weren’t playing with Oneida I might compare the two of
them…Moon Duo/Wooden Shjips fans would also probably dig what they’re laying down.  Live, there was an extra
layer of something there you don’t hear on the album…darkness, menacing, I dunno.  I’m sure them turning out the
lights and running their own strobes helped that vibe.  For some reason I couldn’t stop thinking about Suicide (the
band, not the action), and I suppose that might be a reasonable act to throw into the comparison blender.  Worth
noting: they’re only a four-piece, but they have two drummers!  I’ve seen two drummers a fair number of times, but the
bands are always larger.  And the guitarist plays a tiny 12-string guitar the entire time, which might have be even
stranger!  These facts are neither here nor there, I just found them odd/interesting.  Much like Nest Egg themselves.   

Like an amoeba, Oneida seems to take a different shape every time I see them.  Tonight they were a four piece, with
drums, guitar, and a double dose of synths/keys.  Well, if we’re being honest a quadruple dose since both dudes were
playing two key-based instruments each, plus scads of other electronics.  They took the stage, made some jokes, and
then launched into a brain-burning “Sheets Of Easter” that went on for damn near 20 minutes.  It was pummeling, mes-
merizing, and glorious.  That was definitely the highlight, but the set continued in the same fashion – jokes then rock
until they closed out their night with a cover of the Flipper song “Way Of The World.”  As always they combined the
repetitive/hypnotic vibe of krautrock with heavy psyche and noise rock – it was, as always, completely engrossing. 
I’m already excited for the next time they come back to town. 


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Spider Bags
With Drag Sounds
Cat’s Cradle Back Room
8/2/2018

It’s only been four years since the last Spider Bags record “Frozen Letter,” but it feels like an eternity.  That has been
coupled with them also not been playing live as often the past couple of years, which certainly amplified my feelings of
abandonment – there for a while it felt like I saw them at least once every month or two…a good problem to have! 
Thankfully, they’ve birthed into the world a great new album called “Someday Everything Will Be Fine,” and this even-
ing was the release party to celebrate it’s existence.  For most bands that would mean focusing their set heavily on
the new release, but Spider Bags have never been one for convention and instead made the bulk of their set old
material with a few new ones sprinkled in – and I don’t mean old as in the last record, I’m talking very early material,
some of which they hadn’t played live in ages or never at all.  They played for nearly an hour and a half, and the crowd
was rambunctious the entire time (rambunctious these days means three or four people were dancing instead of the
typical none).  They are easily one of my favorite local bands to see live, so a long set was a-ok in my book.  I also
picked up the new album before leaving – it probably goes without saying that it’s great.

Drag Sounds opened the show, a local band that is the runaway leader in the category of “number of times I meant
to see them live” versus “number of times I actually went to see them live.”  They’re damn good, they play a lot, and I’ve
caught them a couple of times, but not nearly as often as I’ve planned to if I wasn’t a massive lazyass.  At some point
they lost their bass player, and subsequently I had a tough time not thinking of Spray Paint...Drag Sounds are a little
less sardonic than those weirdo Texas punks, but certainly in the same general ballpark musically.  Also: the short-
haired guitarist/singer looks like he could be the son of Eric Clapton – once I saw it I couldn’t stop thinking about it. 
I’ve probably even said this before in other reviews, but it really is uncanny.


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Father John Misty
With Jenny Lewis
North Carolina Museum of Art
8/1/2018
 
For the second month in a row, I got free tickets to a show I was interested in but for which I was never going to actually
shell out the money.  Let’s hear it for freeloading!

Not one to pass up freebies, my man Brian drove up from Wilmington to join me in the festivities.  We were both on the
same page – opener Jenny Lewis was what really mattered here.  After rushing through dinner we got to the museum
just as she started her set, crisis averted.  It had been ages since I last saw her perform, but I was certain it would be a
great show.  Even with these fairly high expectations, she far surpassed them – that was easily one of the best per-
formances I’ve seen this year (if not longer).  Every song she played felt like a hit…if the year was 1981 and country-
tinged soft rock was still dominating the airwaves.  Lewis is basically a modern version of Linda Ronstadt and Juice
Newton, and if you think that is anything but a compliment you need to reexamine your life choices.  Additionally: her
band was “holy shit” good, especially the lead guitarist that was a Jonah Hill doppelganger (skinny version) – who
went full Prince guitar solo at the end of their set.  Hopefully she’s been in the studio, because it’s been four years
since “The Voyager” and this shit ass world needs new Jenny Lewis songs now more than ever.

Father John Misty was totally and completely…fine.  A milquetoast descriptor, sure, but that’s basically how I’ve
always felt about him outside of a couple of songs.  I was expecting his performance to be a letdown after Jenny
Lewis, but I wasn’t prepared for how much I would really struggled to keep my attention on the stage.  Jenny would
blow most artists off the stage so it’s not entirely his fault, but a downer nonetheless.  He started his set with “Nancy
From Now On,” aka his best song by a wide margin, aka the only song of his I can name without looking it up.  I was
definitely stoked that he played it - but it also meant I didn’t have a ton to look forward to for the rest of his perform-
ance.  Misty & band also played “Mr. Tillman” from his most recent album “God’s Favorite Customer,” another strong
track I quite enjoy, but the rest of it was just totally and completely…fine.  I will note the rest of the crowd seemed to
really be enjoying themselves, and I’m guessing they would rate this performance much higher than my middle-of-the-
road take. 


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"Take this quarter, go downtown, and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face! Good day to you, madam."

Baroness - A Horse Called Golgotha.  As far as working metal bands go, it's Baroness in the top spot with a huge
lead over everyone else.  
The Gnashing

A selection of Gram Parsons songs from the one disc of the Gram Parsons Anthology I found at a thrift store some
time back.  
Gram Parsons - She
Gram Parsons & The Fallen Angels - Love Hurts
The Flying Burrito Brothers - To Love Somebody

Lou Reed - I Can't Stand It.  Be warned, a lot of Reed's music sounds like it's ripping off Velvet Underground.
Perfect Day

Mazzy Star - Fade Into You.  Occasionally it really is the best song on the album that becomes the most popular.  

The Black Crowes - Remedy.  I love the second Black Crowes record so so much and I don't care who knows it.  
Sometimes Salvation


The Cure - All Cats Are Grey.  I had barely listened to most of the albums between "Boys Don't Cry" and "The Head
On The Door" outside of the hits on the compilations, and it's been fun to go back and dive into those.  Turns out they're
pretty much all really damn great!
Primary

Tracyanne & Danny - Alabama.  I'm not too manly to admit that "Alabama," the song that Traceyanne wrote about
her Camera Obscura bandmate Carey Lander who passed away from cancer a few years ago, has made me tear up
a few times.  Strong men also cry...Strong men also cry.
It Can’t Be Love Unless It Hurts
Jacqueline

Wire - I Am The Fly.  If you don't already know this song, prepare for it to get burned into your brain real fast.  
Outdoor Miner





***July Thirty First Two Thousand and Eighteen***   



Courtesy of Brian W.  I have no words.  Other than horny.  


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Instagram -


The many faces of insanity.  Cary, NC.  


Angry skies.  Wrightsville Beach, NC.  


Inland empire.  Wrightsville Beach, NC.  


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Links -

A new Gilbert Crockett part is music to my ears.  This is from the Quasi video "Mother."  He seems to be trying to
keep giant pant cuffs in style all by himself, and he's so damn good he might actually pull it off.     

Girl Skateboards but out a new tour(ish) video called "Out For A Rip," which seems to mostly take place in Canada
(hence the name).  Notably, a ton of Rick McCrank footage...I love Rick McCrank footage.

Just a few 
music reviews this month...not really been inspired by enough new music to bother writing about it.  Quite
liking that Rolling Blackouts though.  

I've got a metric shit-ton of band photos to edit...nothing in the photo journal this month, but plenty next month
hopefully.    



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Movies -

We’re truckin’ along nicely - 32 out of 31 for July, which equals 221 in 212 after seven months.  I really loaded up on
re-watching “classics” this go around, especially the last week or so.  Guess I’ve been feeling nostalgic.

Best of the month (that I've likely already seen a ton of times): Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Best of the month (that was actually new to me): Pork Pie (2017)
Best stand-up of the month: Jim Jefferies: This Is Me Now (2018)
Worst of the month: Blues Brothers 2000 (1998) (front runner for worst of the year)
Weirdest Mr. Show reunion ever: The Post (2017)
Ike Barinholtz is a national treasure: Blockers (2018)
When Aquaman is the most interesting character, you’re fucked: Justice League (2017)
Do you have to use so many cuss words?: Midnight Run (1988)
Definitely too old for this shit now: Lethal Weapon (1987)

Everything else:
Singing With Angry Bird (2016), The Zen Diaries Of Garry Shandling (2018), American Jail (2018), Disney’s Robin
Hood (1973), School Of Rock (2003), The Big Chill (1983), The Social Network (2010), Brimstone & Glory (2017),
Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things (1972), The Touch Of Satan (1971), Bill Maher: Live From Oklahoma
(2018), The Devil Wears Prada (2006), A Man Escaped (1956), Karl Meltzer: Made To Be Broken (2017), Joe Dirt
(2001), Keep Watching (2017), W. Kamau Bell: Private School Negro (2018), The Rape Of Recy Taylor (2018), Be-
ginning Of The End (1957), The Snowman (2017), The Workers Cup (2017), , Office Space (1999), Eliza Shlesinger:
Elder Millennial (2018)


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Feather
Tiki Bar
7/15/2018

Due to some bad weather and good fortune, I managed to catch the band Feather while vacationing on the North
Carolina coast.  It was quite possibly the most perfect setting for seeing a group like this - at the end of a pier, about
an hour before sunset, the weather was great, and there were leathery beach people as far as the eye could see (and
let it be known that Carolina Beach probably has the best collection of “human handbags” in the state).  The only place
better would be inside of Leland Sklar’s cocaine-drenched mustache, but that’s less an actual location and more a
state of mind.  One might ask: why is this prestigious, award-winning website writing up a cover band?  I suppose the
biggest reason is one of my best friends (Brian Weeks of Summer Set, De La Noche, and touring guitarist for the
Rosebuds and Howard Ivans) is the lead guitarist.  Another would be because I love soft rock, and these guys are a
damn good time with a nice set list of classic jams (I could personally use less America, but I’m probably in the minority
on that one).  It was also my almost three-year-old daughter’s first show ever, and she was mesmerized…and likely
confused on what the hell “Uncle Brian” was doing.  Finally, it’s not every day you get to hear Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker
Street” while seagulls squawk incessantly along with the guest saxophonist.  It was damn near a perfect night. 


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Arcade Fire
With Hamilton Leithauser
Red Hat Amphitheater
7/12/2018

It’s honestly been a long time since I paid much attention to Arcade Fire, and hadn’t even considered going to this
show until a free ticket fell in my lap.  The tickets came via the age-old scenario we’ve all been through multiple times –
the lead singer of a popular band, through a never-ending list of intermediaries, contacts your basketball group and
wants to play pick-up.  Afterward, he gives the group a bunch of tickets to their show the next day.  You then attend the
show with a bunch of those basketball friends, and some of them get drunk off of expensive beers.  Pretty boiler plate
stuff.

On its own, I was on the fence at even attending the gig until I saw Hamilton Leithauser was opening – that immed-
iately put me fully in.  You may or may not know Hamilton was the singer of the Walkmen, who were goddamn great
and everyone should listen to their album “Bows + Arrows” if it’s not already a part of your regular music rotation. 
Despite my love of his previous band I had been totally unaware of Hamilton’s solo career, but I wasn’t particularly
worried about how I might feel about it – no matter the music, as long as his voice is front and center, it’s going to be
no worse than pretty good.  And that is precisely what was witnessed – the guitars weren’t as driving as the Walkmen,
the songs a little more subdued…but basically it felt like I was hearing Walkmen songs I’d never heard before.  It was
mostly acoustic and a little (intentionally) ramshackle, and might have been a small step back from the Walkmen, but
this material certainly was worth a listen and had me wanting to hear more of it.  I immediately went home and set to
downloading this solo material, because even Walkmen-lite is worth a listening.

I saw Arcade Fire in the relatively small Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco back in 2004 just after “Funeral” came
out – things have certainly changed since then.  I was surprised when I saw two giant HD video screens above the
stage, wondering when Red Hat installed them - until it dawned on me the band was actually travelling with them!  If
you need a tractor trailer to haul all of your stage props to each performance, you’re on the next level from the sort of
shit I typically enjoy.  Then again, when the live performance is also a huge spectacle, it can be pretty entertaining
even if you’re indifferent to many of the songs they’re actually playing.  They actually did a good job with their set list –
not leaning too heavily on their most recent album “Everything Now,” playing songs from across their entire career.  I
was pleased to get to hear material from their first couple of records, since I’ve actually listened to “Funeral” and
“Neon Bible” a fair amount.  As for newer tracks, they’ve apparently leaned heavily into dance pop/disco lately – not
really my bag, but I guess the rest of the crowd was feeling it.  They closed out the affair with a huge crowd sing-a-long
version of “Wake Up” – that might be as much crowd participation as I’ve ever seen and/or heard.  It was quite im-
pressive actually.


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Bat Fangs
Kings
6/29/2018

At this point all Bat Fangs shows are sorta the same – they play pretty much all of their excellent self-titled record,
maybe a new song or two they’re trying to work out, and close with the glam pop masterpiece that is Poison’s “Talk
Dirty To Me.”  Despite this, I make every attempt to see them anytime they come through town, because good power
pop (or at least occasional power pop) is in short supplies these days, and these gals are goddamn excellent at it. 
Betsy was killing it as always in a carnival-style airbrushed Bat Fangs shirt that I wish I had a replica of in my size.  It
might be worth the price of admission alone just stare at her gleaming white Gibson SG, never mind how well she
shreds it - goddamn that’s a good looking guitar, and I’m not someone that usually even cares about such nonsense. 
Laura was a monster behind the kit as always.  If you ever hear one of those misogynistic jack legs talking about girls
being subpar drummers, first tell them to go fuck themselves, and then point them to literally anything Laura has ever
drummed on…and then maybe tell them to go fuck themselves one more time just in case the original message .

Hopefully Bat Fangs come back again soon.  Even if it’s the exact same performance yet again, I’ll still buy a ticket
and be there, front and center.  Never look a gift horse in the mouth, especially if that horse writes super catchy songs.


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"
Stop eating people's old french fries, pigeon! Have some self respect! Don't you know you can fly?"

Hot Snakes - Death Camp Fantasy.  The new Hot Snakes record is the perfect amount of Hot Snakiness, and easily
one of my favorite albums of the year.  
Six Wave Hold-Down

J Mascis - Get Me.  I recently re-discovered the greatness of "Martin And Me" after maybe not listening to it much at
all since college.  Back then I listened to the absolute shit out of it.  
Not You Again

Lambchop - Flick.  I'm never sure what genre Lambchop fits in...it's possible they're their very own unique genre, be-
cause there definitely ain't another soul out there that sounds like them.  
The New Cobweb Summer

Lucero - Bikeriders.  Speaking of bands I haven't listened to in years...
California

Moon Duo - Goners.  The finest purveyors in modern krautrock.  
Mazes

Neil Young - See The Sky About To Rain.  I think this Neil Young kid has a bright future.  
Walk On

Sufjan Stevens - John Wayne Gacy, Jr.  Sufjan just never quite managed to record another song as remarkable as
this one.  It's truly a remarkable piece of storytelling.  
The Man Of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts
The Tallest Man, The Broadest Shoulders

The Cure - Numb.  Despite a long love of the Cure, I had never actually listened to their album "Wild Mood Swings"
untl I snagged it a thrift store a few months ago.  Not as good as their earlier work obviously, but there are some
good tracks.  
Want





***June Thirtieth Two Thousand and Eighteen***   



Hope everyone else is pumped up for the fourth like we are here.  Dress for success!


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Instagram -


Dead bug.  Cary, NC.  


Studebaker Flight Hawk.  Durham, NC.  


Dusk in the bull.  Durham, NC.  


Malfunctioning bucket.  Cary, NC.  


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Links -

Many of the parts in the new Converse video are obviously terrific, but to no surprise Louie Lopez sticks out the
most.  Well, techncally Kenny Anderson is always and forever tops what with having the best style ever and being such
a handsome bastard, but given his part was shared Louie gets the slight nod based on amount of content.  

Zion Wright released a new web part for Real Skateboards imaginatively called Real that's just hammer after
hammer after hammer.  My brain legitimately can't even comprehend how it's possible to skate like this.  

Work was busy and the 
music reviews suffered for it.  Still, both the Stephen Malkmus and Tracyanne & Danny
records are worth your time.  Also saw both live this month, and likely say the same damn thing in the reviews below.    

One photo journal entry this month - all my Moogfest photos in one spot for ease of viewing and/or ignoring.    



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Movies -

It didn't feel like it at the time, but I surpassed the monthly goal - 32 out of 30 for June, which results in 189 in 181 days
at the halfway point of the year.  I didn't realize I had watched so many westerns this past month...


Best of the month (that I've likely already seen 50 times): Dazed And Confused (1993)
Best of the month (that was actually new to me): American Made (2017)
Best stand-up of the month: Julian McCullough: Maybe I’m a Man (2018)
Worst of the month: Racket Girls (1951) (even MST3K barely made this one palatable)
I’m not crying, you’re crying: It Will Be Chaos (2018)
Best bear ass: The Great Outdoors (1988)
Almost none of this took place in Manhattan and I'd like a refund: Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes
Manhattan (1989)

Well that was all kinds of disturbing: The Harvest (2015)
That was way too much Imagine Dragons: Believer (2018)

Everything else:
God Forgives I Don’t (1967), Wakefield (2016), Draw! (1984), The Last Days Of Michael Jackson (2018), Patriots
Day (2017), Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow (2004), 100 Rifles (1968), The Force (2017), The Comedian
(2017), Training Day (2001), Bound By Flesh (2012), The Hurricane Heist (2018), Flatliners (2017), Sklar Brothers:
Hipster Ghosts (2018), Les Paul: Chasing Sound (2007), A Monster Calls (2017), Hustle (1975), Pretty In Pink (1986),
Hannah Gadsby: Nanette (2018), Oceans Eleven (2001), Wasted! The Story Of Food Waste (2017), Unlocked (2017),
Erik Griffin: AmERIKan Warrior (2018)



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

After more than 20 years of going to shows, it’s rare that I’m late.  Hey, It’s not my fault Carrburritos was that crowded! 
But it might have been my fault I left the house much later than I should have.  Anyways, despite knowing that I would
like Lithics after listening to their latest “Mating Surfaces” leading up to this gig, I sadly only got there in time for a
song and a half from them.  It was exactly what I was hoping for – a female-fronted, slightly more subdued version of
Ex-Models.  If that doesn’t mean anything to you (it should, Ex-Models were fantastic), think a modern, punkier Devo. 
They seem young, so hopefully that means they tour a lot and I can manage to show up on time should they appear
here again.

It had been quite a while since I had seen Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks live (or any Malkmus configuration, for that
matter), but I have been enjoying their latest record “Sparkle Hard,” so it seemed worth the effort.  Pavement were
always notoriously hit or miss live - I think my personal tally was two good shows and one that was thoroughly lifeless
& mediocre – but other than possibly being drunk, Malkmus delivered this evening.  He was very talkative and funny
between nearly every song – amongst all the rambling there were multiple mentions of Skunk Baxter (specifically the
amount of drugs in his mustache), and at one point after someone yelled out “Charlottesville” he responded “Thomas
Jefferson…he’s in the musical ‘Hamilton,’ so he’s legit.”  Stephen also doesn’t look like he’s aged in 20 years, which
is particularly infuriating to this fat and bald slob.  You can also forget what a good guitarist he is until you see him play
live – none of the music Malkmus has recorded over the years really stands out for its technical wizardry when you listen
to it, but there is often a lot high-level guitar playing going on in those songs.  As for the actual set of music performed
on this night, it was a lot of the new record plus a few older jams like “Jenny And The Ess-Dog” scattered throughout –
looking at set lists from rest of the tour, this appears to be fairly typical.  The real highlight was the encore – just like
when Spiral Stairs played last year, Pavement drummer Steve West made his way down from Virginia and joined
Malkmus for a pseudo-Pavement reunion.  They played two songs, “Shady Lane” and “In The Mouth A Desert”…the
crowd was obviously way into it.  If I could make one suggestion to other bands out there – include a near reunion of
Pavement as part of your encore, it goes over like gangbusters. 


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Tracyanne & Danny
Motorco
6/15/2018

Apparently every club in Durham and Chapel Hill have been reading my mind, because this Tracyanne & Danny
show was yet another in recent months that had me arriving at the club before it was even dark outside, and back
home before the late news.  Feel free to jump on this bandwagon as well, Raleigh music venues.  It had been a long
time since I last saw Camera Obscura (apparently 2010, which is even longer than I would have guessed), but based
on their popularity then I was a little surprised at the low turnout for what was clearly the best weapon of that band –
namely, Tracyanne Campbell and her mellifluous voice.  Regardless of attendance, they put on a lovely performance –
in addition to Tracyanne and Danny Coughlan, there was also a bassist, drummer, and most notably a keyboardist
who also played saxophone.  It honestly hadn’t dawned on me how sax is in the songs of their self-titled record until
this night.  Predictably, the set was the entirety of their only record, plus a cover of Daniel Johnston’s “True Love Will
Find You In The End” – twee pop is a terrific medium for this classic song.  There was also plenty of banter and stories
throughout the gig - as Danny noted, “If we didn’t tell stories we’d be out of here in a half hour.”  As has happened
every time I’ve seen her perform, I was totally in love with Tracyanne by the end of the night, and I’m quite certain I
wasn’t alone.  I’m pretty sure the woman could start a cult if she so desired, assuming anyone would ever actually want
an army of middle-aged dorky dudes as their congregation.


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The Sea And Cake
With James Elkington
The Pinhook
5/20/2018

Between the way the Cat’s Cradle has been running their performances and the schedule-based festivals I've attend-
ed lately, I’ve gotten used to everything starting on time…which makes it extra excruciating that this show started a full
hour late. Apparently this was the result of miscommunication rather than intentional fuckery, but that didn’t make that
hour of standing around any more palatable. Plus I was tired as shit from a long weekend of Moogfest. Complaining
complainer complains!


Eventually James Elkington took the stage – he’s been in a bunch of bands (most notably Brokeback with Doug
McCombs, who was playing bass with the Sea And Cake on this tour), but this was just the man and his acoustic
guitar. He was a very personable fella with quality banter…clearly a man very comfortable on stage. His music was in
the same vein as Nick Drake (but not on par obviously), wispy and delicate on top of some excellent finger-picked
guitar work. Given that description, I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn that the crowd was way too loud and almost
completely overpowered him, even at the very front of the stage. It wasn’t the most exciting performance I’ve ever seen,
but the music was nice and it was pretty mesmerizing watching James play guitar.


Holy shit it was hot in the Pinhook by the time the Sea and Cake took the stage. Not just from the body heat of the
crowd, which had grown much larger and more tightly packed, but the stage lights were absolutely cranked. This was
great for photos – I’ve never had it so easy at this club in my life – but terrible for not being drenched in sweat. I was
apparently so sweaty that even from the stage, Sam Prekop pointed at me and said “this guy is definitely hot” – and
I think we all know he wasn’t referring to my physical attractiveness. Despite that, 3/4ths of the band was dressed in
Canadian tuxedos...their balls must have been boiling. Doug McCombs and his giant David Letterman beard was the
only person not towing the fashion line. Despite the heat, they sounded fantastic, almost as if they're a collection of
highly respected musicians that have been a band for a quarter of a century. I love their new record “Any Day,” and to
no surprise that album make up the bulk of the set. Of course I would have loved more classics, but they perform so
rarely you take whatever you can get. They did finally hit on a couple of their early jams during the encore with “the
Argument” and “Parasol”...honestly, getting to see “Parasol” performed live was worth the price of admission alone.


When it was all over, I couldn't walk fast enough to my car and crank up the AC. Thank god for modern conveniences.

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"We don't have none of this stuff in the boy's room! Wait a minute! We don't got none of this...we don't got doors on the
stalls in the boy's room, we don't have, what is this? What's this? We don't have a candy machine in the boy's room!"


Helms Alee - A Weirding Away.  Part one of metal I've really been digging lately.  Of course this is from their 2008
record "Night Terror," so maybe I need to listen to something from this decade.  
Big Spider

Jeff Tweedy - I'm Always in Love.  Jeff released a solo acoustic record full of songs from all of his various projects
over the years (though primarily Wilco).  It sounds exactly like you would expect.  
Laminated Cat

Jeremy Enigk - Sacred Fire.  I'm still annoyed I didn't get to see Enigk live this month because he was playing at the
same time as Stephen Malkmus, for which I already had a ticket.  Not that Malkmus wasn't awesome obviously...
The Long Wait Is Over

Pallbearer - Dancing In Madness.  Part two of metal I've really been digging lately.  I already had this listed as one
of my favorite records of last year, but I've listened to it even more this year. 
Lie Of Survival

Ramones - Judy Is A Punk.  Something tells me these kids are going to make something of themselves.  
Listen To My Heart

Siouxsie & The Banshees - Cry.  I didn't think I'd ever listened to much Siouxsie until I picked up one of her CDs
out of the bargain bin, and ended up knowing a bunch of the songs.  How though?
Kiss Them For Me

The Psychedelic Furs - Imitation Of Christ.  I've known the big hits forevre, but I've really been enjoying digging in
to the Furs deeper jams.  A truly great band.  
Love My Way
Pretty In Pink
The Ghost In You

The Sundays - Hideous Towns.  Man, the Sundays got a shit ton of airplay off their first record "Reading, Writing
And Arithmetic."
Skin & Bones
You're Not The Only One I Know





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