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***December Thirty First Two Thousand and Twelve***

It's that time of year - ugly Christmas sweater time!  Here is a picture of me in my best seasonal finery.  Remember,
you can't spell Christmas without Christ.   But you can spell boner without it. 

Instance Grams photos.

Chelsea and the fancy hat.  Cary, NC. 

Foggy Christmas morning.  Marion, NC. 

Ford vs. Chevy.  Raleigh, NC. 

Man's best friend, man's best truck.  Cary, NC. 


A couple of interesting documentaries -

 - Crack House USA - Somewhat of a straight-forward look at cops vs. drug dealers in the greater Chicago area, but it
still mananges to be damn fascinating.  Of note is the surveillance of the dealers, as the cops actually had cameras in-
side of the house.  Also the interviews with the families of the convicted dealers are insightful. 

 - The Mexican Mormon War - A Vice doc, they visit an enclave of polygamist Mormons who moved to Mexico to keep
from being persecuted in the US and are now at war with the local drug cartels.  Possibly of note is some of these Mor-
mons are relatives of Mitt Romney. 

Skate video of the month: Enjoi's Tweak the Beef.  The whole thing is terriffic but Ben Raemers and Louie Barletta
really deliver. 

Check the Photo journal for some snaps from our trip to the mountains where we acted like tourists and stared at
colored leaves, plus...wait for it...BAND PHOTOS!!!!!

Music reviews this month - Lightships, Jason Lytle, Mono, Boomgates, The Sea and Cake,
and more. 

Tune in next week or the one after for my exhaustive collection of pointless lists.  Everyone loves lists!


Dead Tongues
Tir Na Nog

It feels like it's been forever since I had last seen Ryan Gustafson play live, and according to this review forever means
more than two years.  And I don't mean that he's been playing shows and I've avoided him all that time, I just don't think
he has been performing much these last couple of years.  But now he's back, and performing under the moniker Dead
Tongues.  The name change doesn't seem to have had any effect on Gustafson's sound though, as he's still doing the
country rock thing ala the Byrds and singing with that same ear-pleasing voice.  Lots of young girls piled up in front of
the stage, alternating between watching the music and "whooping" for 30 seconds, and then talking to their friends and
texting for five minutes.  This went on the entire show, like clockwork.  It would have been more irritating if it wasn't so

The good news is there apparently is an album in the works with this new band, and if a lot of the songs they played live
in this night make the cut it should be well worth seeking out.  That should also mean more live shows from Gustafson
and company, a good thing to be sure. 


Future Islands
Lincoln Theatre

It feels like only yesterday I was seeing Future Islands in a half-full Berkeley Cafe, and now they are selling out the
Lincoln Theatre.  OK, maybe it was closer to two years ago, but that is still some impressive growth in a fanbase.  Of
course that sort of growth also means the asshole factor goes way up; that plus this evening's gig happening on a First
Friday, and I'd guess no more than a few dozen people at this show WERE NOT douchebags. 

My fandom of Future Islands transcends even the worst of crowds, though I could only tolerate being at the front of the
stage for a handful of songs (and only stayed there that long to take a few photos).  But Future Islands don't care, they
just keep on being awesome on stage no matter how many frat boys are populating the audience.  It felt like they played
pretty much every song from their last two records "In Evening Air" and "On the Water," including all the highlights that
people get worked up over like "Tin Man" and "Vireo's Eye" and "Before the Bridge" and hell they even played "Little
Dreamer" during the encore. 

I really miss the frequent small shows, the intimate viewings of Future Islands we used to get so often here in the Tri-
angle.  But I'm happy the band is doing so well, shitty crowd be damned. 


King Tuff
with The Intelligence & Whatever Brains
Duke Coffeehouse

For some reason I have the hardest time getting myself to Duke Coffeehouse shows, most likely because if I don't buy
advance tickets it can be real hard to motivate me off the couch, and as near as I can tell they never do advance tickets. 
Even when I know a show won't sell out, it can be tough to convince my paranoid self that I'll get in for sure.  And nothing
worse than driving to Durham or Chapel Hill and then getting turned around.

Luckily, this did not happen this evening.  I did get there a little late though, and only caught the last couple of songs by
Whatever Brains.  Still, it fulfilled my requirement of seeing them at least once monthly.  They appear to be playing with
two keyboard players now - the young dude is now back in the band (I think he left town for school or something?), and
the older dude continues to be in the group, so now it's like a synth band covering Whatever Brains.  Or Whatever
Brains creating new Emerson, Lake and Palmer tracks.  Not that I'm complaining, because like everything they do it's
the greatest thing ever.  Whatever Brains 4 eva.

I'm not sure if A-Frames are just one of the greatest punk bands of all time, or one of the greatest any-genre bands of
all time, but Lars Finberg of A-Frames is the driving force behind The Intelligence and that was all the reason I need-
ed to make sure I saw all of their set.  I can't say I feel as strongly about them as I do the A-Frames, but they're still a
damn fine band and with Lars in front the comparisons are obvious.  They also have a pretty strong garage-surf vibe,
and that coupled with the gal laying heavy on the keys could dredge up a Quintron comparison as well.  After seeing
Intelligence live I'm definitely inspired to dive into their records a little more.  And as an additional piece of information
for the trivia minded, instead of keyboard stands the band used a couple of foldable walkers to hold up their gear...
pretty damn smart actually, and much much cheaper. 

The closer was one of the new hot shit bands of the garage punk world, King Tuff.  The main dude behind the band,
Kyle Thomas, gets around -  he plays in a number of bands but most famously Witch with J Mascis.  King Tuff is his
high water mark in my opinion, and this was particularity highlighted with this year's self-titled record on Sub Pop - one
of my favorite releases of 2012.  They fittingly get lumped in with the other garage-pop bands on the scene, but live
I really saw a side of them accented that doesn't stand out as strongly on their records - the serious glam streak run-
ning through their jams.  Lots of "hot lixx" on the guitar from Thomas, and obvious influences from Slade, Mott the
Hoople and even Kiss that really popped on this night.  As catchy as I find their most recent record, live somehow those
same songs work even better.  Here's to the Tuffs making a return trip to our area very soon, cause I need more of this. 


"Two rules, man: Stay away from my fuckin' percocets and do you have any fucking percocets, man?"

13 & God - Armored Scarves.  Notwist + Ourselves = musical amazingness.
Bonus: Old Age

Chromatics - Running from the Sun.  The American M83 if they were always writing music for soundtracks. 
Bonus: These Streets Will Never Look the Same

Damien Jurado - Gillian Was a Horse.  This track is one of Jurado's best in many years...bonus track ain't bad either. 
Bonus: Last Rights

Deerhoof - Holy Night Fever.  I rarely remember to listen to Deerhoof, and then when I do put them on I wonder why
I don't listen to them more often.  And then I forget to listen again. 
Bonus: Milking
Bonus: Milkman

El-P - Oh Hail No.  From "Cancer4Cure," the best hiphop record of the year.  Lists to come soon.
Bonus: Tougher Colder

Joy Division - She's Lost Control.  Of course everyone has these songs memorized, but these are from some Peel
Sessions so they're different...kinda.
Bonus: Transmission

Los Vigilantes - La Falada.  Catchy garage punk from Puerto Rico.  Who cares if you don't know what the fuck they
are saying.  Unless you speak Spanish obviously. 
Bonus: Pégame


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