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***December Fifteenth Two Thousand and Nine***


Quick update.  Photo journal updates and some show reviews. 
Getting ready to leave for Costa Rica.  Hope to see a
sloth.  And not get sunburned.  Don't steal fish from bears. 


Lonnie Walker
with Schooner & Veelee (Troika Festival)
Duke Coffee House

My second night of Troika festivities, and this time with a compatriot.  My homeslice from Wilmington was in town for
the UNC-Duke football game (he's a Duke fan, but otherwise a good guy), and we decided to meet up for some
dinner and a little rockin' out. 

After a stopover at the Green Room pool hall where I handed him his ass, we trucked over to the Duke Coffee House
to see a band called Veelee on the stage.  I had no idea who this band was, but the really wowed me in the couple of
songs I saw them play.  One track had a Stereolab vibe and the other was shades of Sonic idea if this is
indicative of their entire catalog, but I sure hope so.  They also reminded me of Bay Area power duo Moggs - most
likely because Veelee is also a cute boy/girl duo who like to rock out.  They are definitely on my radar now and
hopefully I'll see them again very soon.  (Side note: download their free three song EP at the above link, it's well worth
a listen.)

I've know Reid, the front man for Schooner for quite a while; I've seen him play with the Rosebuds and other bands, I've
even seen him solo; but up until now, I'd never seen him perform with his proper band.  I'd listened to their recordings
and knew the songs were great, but it was good to hear them played live and verify what I already knew.  Outside of the
keyboard not being loud enough in the mix, the band put on a fantastic display of clean pop songs in the vein of Versus,
Starflyer 59, and even local favorites The Rosebuds.  Schooner doesn't seem to play out all that often, but they are well
worth checking out on those odd occasions they actually take the stage. 

Lonnie Walker were the headliners...I've reviewed them a couple of times at this point and I'm running out of things to
say.  They have easily crept into my "top 5 favorite local bands" list that I'm continually revising in my head, and they still
sound like the Talking Heads crossed with the Band (with occasional Pavement overtones).  It struck me while they
were performing what it is that sets them apart from most local acts - too often bands come up with a sound, and then
all of their songs sound pretty much exactly the same, with various changes in tempo and key.  But Lonnie Walker man-
age to have a big, diverse sound full of very different songs that remain tied together by the spastic guitar work and
unique vocals of frontman Brian Corum.  It's this fact that sets them apart and may take them to another level of fame. 
They certainly deserve it. 


Gentleman Jesse & His Men
with Dex Romweber Duo (Troika Festival)
Trotter Building

I was excited about the number of good shows being offered at this year's Troika Festival, but the down side of so many
high quality entertainment options is you have to miss something.  I had completely different plans scheduled this evening -
Pipe at the Broad Street Cafe - until I noticed a late addition to the schedule, Atlanta's Gentleman Jesse & His Men
This band of pop savants recorded my favorite record of 2008; this combined with first-hand knowledge that they put on
a fantastic performance and there was no way I was going to miss this gig. 

Hammer No More the Fingers were finishing their set when I walked in - it was the typical scene for them, the room
brimming with a bunch of kids going nuts over every note the band makes.  They sound better every time I see them, but
I'm not quite at that level of fanaticism.  And no sooner than when Hammer finished their set, the entire place emptied
outside of a couple dozen stragglers and two or three die-hard Gentleman Jesse fans (I'm including myself in these
numbers).  But they rocked it out regardless, not letting the lackluster attendance dampen their ability to deliver some of
the catchiest pop music of the last few years.  They performed the bulk of their Self-Titled album as well as a handful of
new songs that I eagerly await being released in the (hopefully) near future.  Be there five or five hundred fans, I'm always
going to be front and center for a Gentleman Jesse show, and all those folks who left early really did themselves,
especially their ears, a disservice.

Despite my drooping eyelids, I made myself stick around for part of the Dex Romweber Duo set.  Of course I've
known the man's work with Flat Duo Jets for about half of my life, though I never managed to see them live.  Simple put,
the man is a virtuoso, a real pleasure to watch perform.  He has a strong voice and his sister does a fine job on the
drums, but if you're like me you spend the entire time watching his hands move across that guitar.  He was playing an
old beat up Silvertone, making it sing like a bird; I point out the make of the guitar because I actually own a Silvertone
and that thing goes out of tune if you just think about playing it.  I'm not sure how or what he did to the thing, but Dex
made the guitar sound like the finest instrument known to man in his hands.  He's the kind of musician that even if
you're not crazy about the way his songs sound, you'd still enjoy his live performance. 


The King Khan & BBQ Show
Local 506

I've seen a lot of King Khan & BBQ Show performances over the years, and if you throw in their solo outings it
probably doubles the number.  They've never failed to entertain me, and this gig was no exception...only in a slightly
different way than normal.  Most of the times I've seen them, the music has been good but it has always taken a back-
seat to King Khan and his antics, be it as pedestrian as stripping naked on stage to dress like a woman, to more
advanced topics like teabagging unsuspecting audience members.  But tonight, they were all business.  Sure, they
still had on some relatively silly outfits - Khan in a fringy dress, BBQ in his trademark turban - but it was clear the
music was taking center stage this goofing off, just song after song of catchy goodness.   

As always, the doo wop-inspired songs like "Waddlin' Around" are my favorite songs by the band, and this show had
plenty of them.  BBQ's voice shined like a star this evening really belting out these tunes to a rapt audience.  These
songs were interspersed amongst the more upbeat garage tracks that general dominate their set lists, ass shaking
music for the non-dancing set.  It's probably indicative of my more recent listening tastes, but it had never occurred
to me how much this band reminds me of Hasil Adkins.  If only there had been a cover of "No More Hot Dogs", that
would have really put things over the top.  What they did play a cover of was the New York Doll's "You Can't Put Your
Arms Around A Memory", a cover that King Khan played last time I saw them as a between song lark, but was a tad
more fleshed out this go around. 

In an unprecedented move (at least at the shows I've been to), the band added a third member for their last couple of
songs, a fella named Chip who played the organ while wearing a tuxedo and top hat.  It added a little extra dimension
to their songs, really rounded out the sound.  What wasn't unprecedented was that like most King Khan & BBQ shows,
there were some assholes in the crowd.  In this case, it was some jack off standing at the front of the stage who de-
cided it would be a good idea to throw a beer bottle over his head and into the folks behind him, hitting someone and
setting off a scuffle that had the cops show up to sort shit out.    It's just not a good night out if your entertaining rock
show doesn't end with sirens. 


I just want to understand this, sir. Every time a rug is micturated upon in this fair city, I have to compensate the owner?

Gotta catch a plane, no time for jibber-jabber about the songs...

A Tribe Called Quest - Oh My God (Remix)
Bonus: One Two Shit (feat. Busta Rhymes)

Animal Collective - My Girls.
Bonus: Summertime Clothes.

Death Cab For Cutie - You Can Do Better Than Me.

The Reigning Sound - Broken Things.
Bonus: Call Me.
Bonus: Is It True?

The Dodos - Fables
Bonus: Small Deaths

The Gutter Twins - Front Street

Wilco - I'll Fight
Bonus: One Wing

Wire - Single KO
Bonus: The 15th


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