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***April Thirtieth Two Thousand and Nineteen***   

Rare unseen footage from early rough draft of the film "Alien."


Instagrams -

A rare outside nap for the delicate dandy.  Cary, NC.  

Galaxie 500.  Charleston, SC.  

Elton Lo.  Nags Head, NC.  

There are no words for this place.  South of the Border, SC.  


Movies -

29 movies in March - I almost got there!  I can't recommend the Nate Bargatze special enough - I laughed so much.  

Best of the month (new): High Flying Bird (2019)
Best of the month (already seen): Se7en (1995)
Best of the month (stand-up): Nate Bargatze: The Tennessee Kid (2019)
Worst of the month: Another Son Of Sam (1977)
I don't think that's a real dragon: Q (1982)
Why yes, I do have a little girl so this is playing all the time in my house: Frozen (2013)
Black boobs, white boobs: Black Mama, White Mama (1972)
Well, now we know what the song P.Y.T. was about: Leaving Neverland (2019)
This month in happy crying: Mister Rogers: It’s You I Like (2018)
That final climbing seen though: Free Solo (2018)

The rest:
It’s A Hard Truth, Ain’t It (2018), I Feel Pretty (2018), Love, Simon (2018), Piranha (1978), Maze Runner: The Death
Cure (2018), Moonshine County Express (1977), Casino (1995), Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), Super Troopers 2
(2018), Agnostic Front: The Godfathers Of Hardcore (2017), Entebbe (2018), The First Purge (2018), The Inventor:
Out For Blood In Silicon Valley (2019), Friday (1995), Broadcast News (1987), Nightmare Honeymoon (1973),
Wildling (2018), 306 Hollywood (2018), Pretty Woman (1990)


Links -

Only one skate vid this month - Shawn Hale had a part in the Birdhouse team offering "Beautiful Mutants" that was
just goddamn delightful - a perfect mix of weird and fun and gnar, one of the rare parts I've watched multiple times.  

A couple of music reviews this month - the new Ex-Hex records slays, to the surprise of no one.            

I finally editted all the snaps from our trip to SF and stuck them in the photo journal , as one does.  


Spiral Stairs
With Spider Bags
Cat’s Cradle Back Room

I was supposed to be seeing Hamish Kilgour (of the Clean) in the opening slot of this Spiral Stairs gig, but at some
point between when I bought the ticket and show time he had been swapped out with Spider Bags for reasons that
would never be given (though the obvious culprit is likely travel from New Zealand).  I’ve seen Spider Bags a shit ton
lately, but they’re still a damn fine back-up plan that I’ll never complain about.  This isn’t the first time I’ve said this, but
their sets seem to be getting shorter by number of songs, but the songs are getting longer and jammier in that great
seventies butt-rock way.  I keep waiting for a James Gang or Joe Walsh cover to make their way into the set list.  They
played pretty much everything I wanted to hear except for “Keys To The City,” so stop not playing that please, Mr.

This Spiral Stairs outing was very similar to the last time I saw him – new record to promote, guest appearance from
Pavement drummer Steve West (who lives somewhere in Virginia), a little sloppy, but for sure a lot of fun.  They kicked
things off with the opening track “Hyp-No-Tized” from the new album “We Wanna Be Hyp-No-Tized,” and Scott
Kannberg spent the entire time roaming the stage and adjusting the volume of the entire band’s amps like that mad
man Mark E. Smith (RIP).  I finally figured out where at least a couple of his backing band members come from: the
Posies and Snowglobe; maybe by the next time they come around I will have figured out the entire band.  The set was
mostly from the two most recent records, plus a Preston School Of Industry track and a Nick Lowe cover (“Truth Drug”
maybe?).  And, of course, we can’t forget the Pavement portion of the evening with West on drums: they played an
all-time favorite “Kennel District,” plus “Date With Ikea,” “Passat Dream,” and “Painted Soldiers.”  I really, truly do like
the Spiral Stairs records, I think Scott’s recent production is just as good as that of his former counterpart Stephen
Malkmus…but hearing Scott & Steve play Pavement songs is never not going to be the highlight of the evening. 


Teenage Fanclub
With Eric Bachmann & The Love Language
Haw River Ballroom

There is no tool to accurately measure just how excited I was to see Teenage Fanclub again.  Last time was five
years ago at Merge25, in the middle of the day in the blisteringly hot parking lot of the Cradle, and despite all that it
was still a blast.  This time around, with a better venue, a reasonable temperature, and me planted right at the front
trying to get a good picture or two?  It quite literally doesn’t get any better than that.  One major bummer is founding
member Gerard Love is no longer with the band – his harmonies were definitely missed.  That said, I doubt it’s tough
for a band of this stature to find adequate fill-ins for their touring ensemble – in this case, bassist Dave McGowan
(Belle & Sebastian) and Euros Childs (Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci) signed on to join Norman Blake, Raymond McGinley,
and long-time drummer Francis Macdonald in a fantastic performance of tracks from across the band’s entire 30
year catalog.  They played one or two songs from all nine of their full-length releases; the exception was my favorite
Fanlub record, “Songs From Northern Britain,” which got four(!!!) selections.  Highlights included “The Cabbage,”
“I Don’t Want Control Of You,” “The Concept,” “Alcoholiday,” “Baby Lee,” ...and also every other song they played, to
be completely honest.  The harmonies between Blake & McGinley were still spot on after all these years – it’s abso-
lutely impossible not to sing along when Teenage Fanclub is playing, people standing around me be damned.

While this gig was a few months earlier than the proper Merge30 festival in July, it was still considered part of the 30th
anniversary festivities - and consequently the label filled both opener slots with fellow Merge artists.  The Love
Language started the night, a group I hadn’t seen in ages though I’m not entirely sure why.  Outside of front man Stu
McLamb, I’m pretty sure the membership of this band is different every time I see them – this version was a five piece,
for those keeping track at home.  Eddie from Fin Fang Foom/Solar Halos was playing bass, which was a bit of a sur-
prise because I don’t think of him as a pop guy, but of course he did a fine job.  I must confess I only really know Love
Language's first two records, but I know them quite well – and luckily they threw in just enough of those older tracks to
hold my attention, including two all-time favorites “Providence” and “Lalita.”  The middle-aged guy standing near me
might have been more into this performance than any person I’ve ever seen at any show ever.  I wish I knew that level
of joy in my life.

The middle act was Eric Bachmann…hey, I’ve seen this guy before!  His band was the same three dudes he had
with him at the Merge Hopscotch day party last year, and they played many of the same songs (though the set was
slightly longer).  There was a smattering of old Crooked Fingers material (“Crowned In Chrome,” etc) but it was mostly
tracks from his last two solo records – “Murmuration” and “Dreaming” standing out as highlights.  Much like last time,
I was hoping Skylar Gudasz would show up to add backing vocals, but it wasn’t to be.  One of these days I’ll hopefully
get a repeat of that Hopscotch performance from a couple of years ago, but until then I’ll still enjoy basically any show
I can get out of the man, no matter the format, line-up, or songs played.   


The Cowboys
with Personality Cult
The Nightlight

I’ve been trying to see Personality Cult for ages now, and by “trying” I mean not leaving the house but silently cursing
myself for being suck a lazy pile of shit.  This bill was strong enough to motivate me though – that and the fact I hadn’t
seen live music in nearly two months.  The band is fronted by Ben Carr, who you may also know from Last Year’s Men
and Natural Causes and probably a bunch of other things (I feel like maybe I saw him in Paint Fumes at one point
too?), plus a couple of other dudes I didn’t know who may or may not have been twins.  What’s great about Carr is all
of his bands go in a different direction – Last Year’s Men did a twangy garage thing ala the Reigning Sound, Natural
Causes went down an angry Gary Numan synth punk path, and this latest act is just straight-up first gen catchy-as-
fuck punk ala the Buzzcocks.  They bashed out pretty much their entire self-titled record from last year in around 20
minutes – outside of having to borrow a guitar from the Cowboys after breaking two strings on the very first song, the
band was no muss, no frills, no banter, just rock.  I’m good with that.  More acts would be smart to follow that same

The Cowboys are a quirky power pop four-piece out of Bloomington, Indiana that single-handedly defy the stereotype
that nothing good ever came out of that state other than “Hoosiers.”  The band has a lead singer!  For some reason
that will never not be odd to me at any music venue outside of a large amphitheater or arena.  I always wonder – are
they still required to help carry gear in and out of the club?  I hope they at least help the drummer out, he’s got so much
damn shit to haul.  I’m not even sure where to begin with the bassist – it was like a spaghetti western extra collided with
a Madchester-era raver, but goddamn he did a fine job on those four strings.  The guitarist saw how high Ian Williams
plays his instrument with Don Caballero/Battles, and decided to literally take it up a notch (he was also super talented,
for the record).  Drummers are always weird so need to dwell there.    Their songs are catchy and enjoyable as they
are, but given the genre the hooks could use just a touch of work – maybe Robert Pollard needs to offer weekend
workshops to up-and-coming bands to help write a chorus that turns into an ear worm.  They were still a damn fine
group though, and I would definitely see them again – and not just because I would want to see what the bassist was


"I can say I definitely didn't do it because I know what I did or didn't do. But I cannot definitely say that about anybody
else, 'cause I don't definitely know."

As I am occasionally want to do, I made myself a mix of classic punk singles.  And as typically happens, at some point
later I post a subset of those punk singles here.  
Menace - Electrocutioner
Sham 69 - Borstal Breakout
The Art Attacks - I Am a Dalek
The Cigarettes - They're Back Again, Here They Come
The Misfits - Attitude
The Saints - This Perfect Day
The Scabs - Amory Building
Xpress - Stop, Start (And Go Back Again)

Aimee Mann - Going Through The Motions.  For years the only Aimee Mann I knew was the "Magnolia" soundtrack
(though I know it very, very well), but of course pretty much everything she has recorded is great and I'm stupid for tak-
ing so long to dig into her catalog.  
King Of The Jailhouse
That's How I Knew This Story Would Break My Heart

Ramones - I Just Want To Have Something To Do.  Hey, more classic punk!  I hear these guys are going to do
great things.  
I Wanna Be Sedated
She's The One

The Mary Onettes - Love's Taking Strange Ways.  Fuck your Abba, this is the greatest band Sweden has ever
Silence Is A Gun
Your Place

TV On The Radio - Tonight.  TVotR were always better live than recorded, but that's not to say the recordings don't
have their charms.  
Wolf Like Me

Whatever Brains - Conficker.  The demise of WB is still the greatest cultural loss of the Triangle of the last decade.  


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