Nothing rings in the christmas season like a little Ram Jam. Greatest band
name ever? Probably.
This is part one of the documentary on Flying Nun records - you can
follow the links on the side to watch the whole
thing. I haven't even watched this yet (it's on my to-do list),
but so long as The Clean's "Tally Ho" is featured and dis-
cussed it will be worth a viewing.
As they do every year, Thrasher has been putting up webisodes of their King of the Road contest, which
fun to watch.
At the review site
- The Fall, Mastodon, Crooked Fingers, Future Islands, Bare Wires,
Also a handful of photo journal
entries - some photos of our Thanksgiving trip to DC, and some
tardy snaps from a
I love comedy shows. And even better than comedy shows are comedy
shows in rock clubs. The tickets are usually
much more affordable, no silly drink minimums and a very low-key
atmosphere. As long as the jokes are funny, a faux
brick wall and cocktail waitresses aren't really a necessary part of me
Sadly we don't get many good comedy shows around here, so I was stoked
when I saw Kumail Nanjiani announced
at the Local 506 just before Christmas. I thought it odd that a
Pakistani born, LA based comedian would be performing
in a rock club in a college town over Christmas break just before the
holiday, until he started talking about his wife who
was raised in Winston-Salem. I was a little worried attendance
might be low, with all the kids back home, but the room
was full and happy to be hearing the funny.
I'm not entirely sure how to review a live comedy show, but the end
result was Kumail is funny as shit - we laughed our
asses off. And I knew this going in, having seen him on a couple
of specials (not to mention the terrible-but-awesome
"Franklin & Bash", where he plays a neurotic assistant), but no
matter how much you see of someone on TV, nothing
beats laughing in person. Kumail's comedy is very story/anecdote
based, seemingly taken from his actual life but
probably/certainly embellished for maximum laffs. Hopefully he
makes his way back here again - it would appear that
forced holiday visits to the in-laws pays off for comedy fans in these
It's getting harder and harder to get myself to go to shows in Chapel
Hill...my laziness has grown to epic levels (this
laziness also seemed to rear up right around the same time Kings
re-opened and good shows started happening
again in Raleigh). Unless I've purchased a ticket I just can't
get motivated to drive out there, and there are even times
when that isn't enough. I really REALLY wasn't feeling like
driving out there this evening, but the ticket wasn't cheap
and the newest Beirut album "The Rip Tide" is
one of my very favorite releases of the year. So like Willie
I was on the road again.
The apprehension is always with
the getting up and going, and never with the actually show. The
show was, predict-
ably, fantastic. I saw Beirut once many years ago, early in their
career, and it was fine - but night and day with how pol-
ished they sound now. There were times when the horn section
sounded so good I was transported back to 1975 when
I saw Chicago for the first time. Then I remember I wasn't born
yet in 1975, and this was all some crazy hallucination,
probably stemming from eating that out-of-date ham. And then I
wished I really was watching Chicago, but I wasn't.
Beirut makes a pretty good consolation prize though. The band had
strung up some large red & white carnival lights
all around the stage, giving the club a festive atmosphere, helped by a
pretty active crowd that was maybe only 75%
douchebags. It was a great set, with a number of older songs
interspersed with nearly all of the new record, and it was
clear I wasn't the only one gaga for the latest release. The
highlight was the live rendition of "Santa Fe", probably one
of my top three favorite songs of the year. Bottom line - I'm
really glad I left the house.
Future Islands with Ed Schrader's Music Beat Cat's Cradle
I spent the entire Thanksgiving break in Washington DC looking at
museums and such, so the prospect of driving out
to Carrboro for a show wasn't very appealing...but the ticket was
bought and having seen this line-up a few times now,
I knew it would be a good time, tiredness aside.
I could hear Ed Schrader's Music Beat
hammering out their primitive rock from where I parked behind
one of the benefits of the (usually open) side door at the
Cradle. Luckily I was able to see most of their set, as they are
one of my favorite live bands going these days. I've tried and
failed to describe their music in the past - the best way
I can put it is the songs and sound are simple but not simplistic, if
you catch my drift. Drums, bass and barked vocals,
all done in a very straight-forward manner...the sorts of tracks most
people could probably play, but couldn't ever think
of. It's like the musical equivalent of a lot of modern art or
something...you might think "my kid can paint that", but they
didn't. Give it a shot on your own, I bet it doesn't carry the
power an emotion of Ed Schrader's Music Beat.
I was at the back of the crowd at
the end of the Future Islands set, buying an Ed
Schrader t-shirt when I overheard a
couple of super young sorority-looking girls say "Oh. My. God. I just
danced on stage with my future husband!!!" It's
weird seeing a demographic I would assume otherwise were Justin Bieber
fans wig out over this band. This certainly
wasn't the case when I was their age (or even a year ago at actual
Future Islands shows). Maybe the next generation
isn't doomed after all. Then again, (a different) one of these
young, hot, vapid girls (that all look like they are cloned
from an iPhone commercial) asked me if I was "the band's photographer",
so maybe they aren't doomed, but they
sure seem to be stupid.
All that silliness aside, Future Islands put on a tremendous show, as
per usual. I don't think they know any other way to
be. Their live act is as it always is, regardless of the size of
the stage - Sam paces around like a caged wolverine per-
forming a one man play, and the rest of the band holds down the
backbone in a very stone faced manner. I'm pretty
sure they played all of "In Evening Air", most of the new record "On
The Water", and plenty of old songs to boot. It was
a nice, long gig, the band feeding strongly off of the nearly sold out
crowd at their first headlining Cradle show - not only
were the kids dancing, but they were screaming and yelling like it
was...a Justin Bieber concert. And then there was
that one older woman who kept stroking Sam's leg, which hit firmly in
the category of "creepy but funny". I love weirdos.
And Future Islands. I'm so glad they play here as often as they
happy that Waffle House was okay with me coming here to talk to y'all
about my day-to-day. And, y'all, that's pretty
much, in a shell what it's like to manage a Waffle House. Ma'am, I
don't know what else you want me to say to them.
And I'm also gonna need to know where your commode's at."
M83 - New
Map. I didn't even bother uploading "Midnight City"
cause everyone has that memorized at this point.
Such a great fuckin' record though.
Girls - Honey
Bunny. One of the best songs of the year...the rerst
of the album doesn't quite live up to this track,
but it's good.
Magnolia Electric Co - Northstar
Jason Molina is so criminally underrated it's not even funny.
He's going to
constantly be name-checked as an all-time great songwriter at some
point...hopefully sooner rather than later.
Dark Don't Hide It.
Shuggie Otis - Inspiration
This was a good thrift store find.
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks -
A couple of epic jams from Malkmus. I used to be non-plussed
about his solo work, but I'm feelin' it lately.
The Minus 5 - Cigarettes
Booze. Minus 5 records always sound more like a
mixtape than a cohesive
band. These are the best two tracks from "The Gun Album".
Three Mile Pilot - Planets.
I was so ecstatic that these guys put out a new record last year.
One of my all-time fav-
Blag'ard - Babushka.
Highly underrated local duo, born from the ashes of the great Capsize