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***April Thirtieth Two Thousand and Fourteen***

 

To dream the impossible dream...

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Burt in a sunbeam.  Cary, NC.  


Ford Model A.  
Cary, NC.
;

Gordon, the patron saint of our basketball court.  Raleigh, NC.  


Annual "azaleas of my house" photo.  
Cary, NC.


Junkyard.  Near Asheboro, NC.  


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LINKS -

The B-Side / extended cut of Colin Provost from Emerica's "Made" video.  Dude is a serious beast.

Another Visualtraveling vid, this one called "The Persian Version" where they actually manage to get into and skate
Iran!  I love these videos, they combine my two favorite things: skateboarding and travel.  

Not a lot of links this month.

Two new photo journal entries this month - the other two (of four total) parts from the cruise we took last month.  

In the Music reviews, still going through my old seven inches and adding new ones via a recent estate sale.  New
this time are reviews of The Clientele, Mark Kozalek, Pagans RSD release, even more Fuzz, and more.  



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Moogfest
with Kraftwerk, Egyptian Lover, Giorgio Moroder, Clark and Moderat
Downtown Asheville
4/25/2014

After hearing from so many friends on the west coast and in the northeast go on about how good Kraftwerk has been
on their current tour, I called up my friend Brian and decided it was time for a road trip to Asheville - Asheville had
Moogfest, and Moogfest had Kraftwerk. 

After a leisurely drive up we hit the streets of Asheville about 5 in the afternoon.  They had the street in front of the
Moog factory blocked off and in place of traffic was vendors and food trucks and a big ass stage.  Performing on that
stage was a guy named Egyptian Lover.  Initially I thought he was just a guy paying homage to the early days of rap,
but it turns out he was an actual part of those early days!  His music was highly influenced by Afrika Bambaataa's
"Planet Rock" - very VERY heavy 808 beats paired with a futuristic/robotic sound.  The lover sorta sing/raps his lyrics
and had a hype man there to help plus a dude playing keyboards on a couple of tracks.  In a word, it was fantastic. 

Our next destination was up the hill to Thomas Wolfe, where we would see the early show by Kraftwerk (they had
already played once the night before and had another scheduled for later this night).  Honestly I don't think there is any
possible way to put into words the joy I felt from this performance.  Yeah, it's four old German dudes in matching outfits
playing electro krautrock in front of 3D graphics, but it was oh so much more than that.  They played for two hours
spanning their entire catalog, but of course I was most excited for the older material - I've still got a smile plastered on
my face from hearing "The Robots" and "Numbers" live.  Truly the only even slightly negative thing I could say is I wish
they had played "Pocket Calculator," but given how happy I was walking out of that auditorium, I won't be losing any
sleep over it.  I might have balked a little bit when I dropped over a hundred bucks for this single day of Moogfest, but
this performance was worth every cent if not more.  You can peep the entire set list here, if you're so inclined.

Our minds blown, we left Thomas Wolfe and walked down the hill to the Broadway Outdoor stage to see what exactly
the
Giorgio Moroder performance was all about.  Of course I was hoping it was a band performing his scores live,
not that I actually expected that to be the case; instead, it was just him on stage DJing disco music.  There was a large
crowd and they were eating it up, but I just don't need to hear any more Donna Summer ever again.  We rocked some
grub from the food trucks, listened to the party music in the background, and then before we even had to decide
whether or not to stick around, his DJ set ended and the outdoor stage shut down for the night and we made our way
elsewhere.  In lieu of all that, let's listen to the amazing song he wrote for "Midnight Express," "
The Chase."

We walked a few blocks up the hill to the Diana Wortham theater and the Warp Records showcase happening there. 
There was a DJ/musician/performer named Clark doing his thing.  The sort of instrumental noisy-electronic-techno
that he was playing is so foreign to my usual listening habits I don't even know where to start in describing his set. 
Honestly, my best feel for this is it sounds and feels exactly like the sort of music I, as a non-raver, would expect to
hear at a rave - loud, repetitive, beat-driven music with a little glitchy IDM (id that still a thing?) thrown in.  It was pretty
interesting for about twenty minutes, but an hour of it was a bit much for me...I was definitely checking my phone for the
time at the end. 

The final band for us on the night was Moderat, a German trio made up of two other known acts Modeselektor and
Apparat.  I had watched a couple of youtube clips of the group performing live and they seemed interesting enough to
check out.   If nothing else, they stood apart from most of the other options in that they weren't just one person with a
laptop, but rather Moderat performed like a more traditional band, something that is important to an old fogey like me. 
Hell, they even played a guitar on one of their songs!  This would also notably be the only stringed instrument we had
and would see all night, for those keeping count.  Not really knowing much at all about these guys, I quite enjoyed their
music - I'm not sure what artists I would compare them to of the electronic ilk, but to my untrained ears they sounded a
lot like Radiohead's more recent electronic fare, minus Thom Yorke's vocals of course.  There were some vocals
though, although they were pretty few and far between.  We watched at least half of their set before heading out,
greeted by a giant line of folks waiting to get in the packed theater.  That was a wrap on Moogfest.



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Cheap Time
with Last Year's Men and Black Zinfandel
The Pinhook
2/27/2014

Somehow I'd never seen Black Zinfandel, despite their being on bills of shows I've attended (lazy late arrival on my
part to blame) and by all accounts playing the sort of music that would be right up my alley - that being something in
the neighborhood of what the kids call "art punk," though I'm struggling to come up with any particular comparisons. 
I managed to catch their last three or so songs, and I was really into it.  Other people have referred to them as garage
rock but I didn't get that vibe honestly.  this may be due to sharing the drummer of Whatever Brains, and I just can't
imagine that guy playing garage rock.  Also, the singer/guitarist has a bitching white man afro, which makes my stupid
bald head sad and jealous at the same time.  I need another viewing to really pin down what they sound like to me, and
I'll definitely be making a point of seeing them again, and soon if possible. 

Last Year's Men had the middle slot, and as is always the case I was almost as excited to see them as anyone they
are opening for.   The first thing I noticed was the line-up change - there was a new bassist.  Their old bassist was at
the show so I'm assuming it wasn't an acrimonious split, plus his other band Flesh Wounds just got signed to Merge
so I'm sure he's keeping himself plenty busy.  The second thing I noticed were all the new songs they played, and they
were pretty much universally awesome.  I've never been more convinced they are the perfect blend of Gentleman Jesse
and the Replacements than I was after these new tracks.  I really really really need a new record from them, and pronto. 


The headliner tonight was Cheap Time on tour from Nashville.  I don't understand how or why a state like Tennessee
produces so many great garage rock bands, but I hope it keeps happening.  After being mostly indifferent to this band
for a few years, I've gotten way into their most recent release "Exit Smiles," about as perfect a blend of punk, garage
and glam as you're going to get.  I'd seen front man and guitarist Jeffrey Novak a few years back in the Rat Traps, a
fun show but man has he upped his guitar playing skills - dude shreds.  The band just powered through a bunch of their
songs - no downtime, no banter, just forty-five minutes or so of blistering rock music as god intended it to be played. 
Amen.  



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Whatever Brains
with Motor Skills and Enemy Waves
Slims
2/7/2014

I've seen a lot of Whatever Brains shows, and I mean A LOT, but this one definitely goes down as the strangest. 
They've been adding more and more keyboards to the stage when they perform over the last year or two, but on this
night that's all there was.  No drums, no guitar, barely any vocals even...just keyboards, synths, and other electronic
noise makers...oh and a tin whistle, cause you gotta have something analog going on.  There were no songs, or at
least no known songs, just a long form electronic skronky freak-out...it was sorta Throbbing Gristle-ish.  Oh, and let's
not forget the shitload of smoke they had spewing from their smoke machine, they play that damn thing like it's another
instrument.  It was a fun, interesting performance, but to be perfectly honest I'd rather see their regular show.  Not that
something like this isn't a fun diversion every once in a while. 

Motor Skills had the middle slot.  Or rather, a band called Motor Skills that barely resembled what I was expecting to
see had the middle slot.  I guess, I've seen a few different iterations of the group, but the lack of Mike Dillon is a huge
change since he was the voice of the band.  In his place was a young girl, but take my designation of "young" with a
grain of salt because I'm the worst person with ages ever.  In fact the entire band was different outside of the dude
who plays the keyboards whose name I don't know but who has been in the band from the start.  It all sounded differ-
ent but still ok, not nearly as electronic/dancey and a little more straight-forward indie pop, but I was so thrown off by
it basically being a different band I'll need to see them again to get a better feel for Motor Skills 2.0 or 3.0 or what-
ever.0 version of the band this is. 

The night's opener was a new band called Enemy Waves.  It was either their first show or close to it, but these were
no rookies - two dudes from Birds of Avalon and Crowmeat Bob were among the members.  They just played two or
three long songs, all instrumental, with the occasional sax added in (think more noise sax than sexy sax).  There was
a definitely late-nineties Thrill Jockey vibe going on, maybe a psyche rock version of Trans Am at their most organic. 
More viewings will hone this useless comparison, but make no mistake I definitely want to see them again.  A strong
first effort. 



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"
Eight hundred leaf-tables and no chairs? You can't sell leaf-tables and no chairs. Chairs, you got a dinette set. No
chairs, you got dick! "


Here's the entire Grandaddy "Now It's On" single, because why not.  All the songs are awesome.  
Now It's On
Trouble With A Capital T
Hey Cowboy, The Phone's For You

Boyd Rivers - Get Away Jordan.  A reverend bluesman from the deep south who finally had his only album released
thirty years after recording it.  And it's fantastic.  
Bonus: When the World Seems Cold.  

Great Lake Swimmers - There Is A Light.  I have nothing of note to say about this band, otherthan they make pretty
music.  
Bonus: Your Rocky Spine.  

Metallica - Creeping Death.  MY car was in the shop and for my rental I got a Dodge Charger; fittingly, I listened to
Metallica's "Ride the Lightning" over and over in it for over a week.
Bonus: Fight Fire with Fire.  
Bonus: For Whom the Bell Tolls.  

Red House Painters - Have You Forgotten.  Been on a real kick of all things Mark Kozalek lately.  One of my
favorite songs.  
Bonus: Silly Love Songs (Wings cover).  

The Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love.  Classics of this caliber and pedigree need no explanation.
Bonus: Late for the Train.  
Bonus: Operators Manual.  





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