with Lonnie Walker, Lower Dens and
I couldn't tell you the last time I lasted through a four band
night...probably Mergefest. And like those nights, you with-
stood the discomfort of being fat, old and uncomfortable because the
bands were so goddamn awesome.
Right when I walked in Whatever Brains started
playing. I wasn't sure if they were going to be there, as they
listed on the bill, and then they were removed, but luckily that
information was incorrect. As I've stated before, they
remind me a lot of the Fall, if the Fall had a fairly normal singer and
not crazy-ass Mark E. Smith. I was watching them
with my man Ivan and he seems to think they have a Gang Green thing
going on, but I don't really see it. But he's
actually a musician so maybe you should take his word for it over
mine. It was a short set, but good. They manage to
sound tight and unhinged at the same time, a great trait in a
I was kinda freaked out the entire time Baltimore's Lower Dens played - the singer
was the spitting image of the cute
nerdy girl from "Real Genius" and I couldn't concentrate on the music
as much as I should have. Val Kilmer was no-
where to be seen though, so at least we had that going for us. My
best approximation of their sound is "what if Siouxsie
& the Banshees became a krautrock band?" And then there was
that one song that sounded exactly like Love &
Rockets. They were definitely one of those bands that I was
really neither here nor there about for the first few songs,
but they really grew on me and I was loving it by the end of their
The non-organ version of Lonnie Walker was next on the
slate. It was great as always, but I'm really missing how that
organ softened out their sound in all the right places. The set
was very Lonnie Walker-y, catchy and excitable and the
crowd ate it up. I see them so often it would be really easy to
take them for granted, but they are still one of the best
bands going in the Triangle.
Finally, the headliners Future Islands came on.
Have I mentioned that their newest record "In Evening Air" is easily
the best record of 2010? Well, it is, and I love it so much I
don't see that changing before the end of the year. It is
brilliant from start to finish, and my only gripe is the run time is
way too short. then again, you always want to leave
them wanting more I guess.
Despite the fact that Future Islands play here all the time, I'd
somehow never managed to see them perform...as great
as their record is the live show is even better. Shut off the
house lights, place a few spots on the ground shining up at
the band, and let the party commence. It was easily the most
dancing I've ever seen at a show, and the best time I've
had the Berkeley Cafe since watching SCW wrestling there in the
mid-nineties. People were throwing glow sticks all
around the crowd, the band released some balloons, and it turned into a
rave for the indie rock set. If Joy Division were
reincarnated as a dance band, this would be it, only they sound like
they got Al Johnson from U.S. Maple to do the
singing and maybe have some inclinations to sound like Erasure from
time to time. In other words, completely awe-
some through and through.
I left covered in sweat from dancing too much, ears ringing from a lack
of earplugs, and a huge smile on my face that
didn't leave for days. Upon exit saw a dude sprawled out on the
sidewalk - not sure if he was attacked by another per-
son or a gravity/booze combo. I'm going to pretend he was floored
by the amazing show that just happened to his face,
and his legs couldn't take any more.
(photo ganked online from somewhere other than my camera)
It was a bit of a last minute show at Tir Na Nog as the local leaders
of sing-a-long pop, The Rosebuds, decided to play
a free gig. I suppose it was to serve as a warm-up for their
impending appearance at the Beaufort Music Festival
(which I attended, for the record...and I know you're keeping detailed
notes so I want your record to be as accurate as
But first: Schooner! Otherwise known
as the opening band. They were their typical catchy and enjoyable
belting out their pleasant blend of timeless pop crossed with
shoegaze. They have a new EP out on Cytunes, and a
number of the songs they played this night was from that release.
OK, I'm kinda making an assumption there cause I
didn't recognize the new songs, and I haven't heard the new EP, so I
put two and two together cause I got them kind of
top notch deductive skills. I would imagine the bulk of local
Rosebuds fans (most of the crowd) already are familiar
with the song stylings of Schooner, but hopefully they won over some
new fans cause they surely deserve to be more
Rosebuds had been meaning to play one of these free local
showcases for a while, and on this pleasant spring
evening it finally went down. The band has an ever-changing
line-up, but this was one that I've seen a number of times
these last few years - Brad from Megafaun on bass, and Rob Lackey on
drums. I love it when they have a bassist with
the band, maybe it's because I (crappily) play bass myself, but music
just doesn't sound complete without the low end...
as I've always said, you might never notice the bassist is there, but
you'll definitely notice when he isn't. I've said a lot of
really stupid things about music too, so let's call it a wash.
Anyways, the band played a great set, performing all the crowd
favorites both old and new. The nice thing about a local
crowd is not only do they know all the songs, but they give the group a
lot of love and feedback in the form of dancing,
cheering and for the Rosebuds especially, singing along. I'm
often irritated by crowd sing-a-longs, but it really works for
these guys because they have very specific parts of their songs that
beg for group participation.
A great night out, and here's to hoping I don't have to wait long until
I get to see the Rosebuds perform again...
So yeah, it wasn't long until I got to see The
Rosebuds again...two days in fact. The old lady and I
decided it might be
fun to take a little road trip, see part of the coast we'd never been
to before - Beaufort. I used to live in Wilmington and
I've been to the Outer Banks a couple of times, but this middle portion
of the state's seaside has always escaped me.
We spent some time driving the back roads, hitting the depressing towns
of Goldsboro and Kinston en route and
grabbing lunch in the town known as the birthplace of Pepsi, New
Bern. New Bern was mostly not depressing, for the
We got into Beaufort early and the festival was already going on, some
reggae cover band playing...yup, Bob Marley!
Least they could do is throw some Desmond Dekker or Skatalites in their
mix. We wandered around town looking at
all the old houses, and there are a shit ton of old houses. We're
talking we-weren't-even-a-country-yet old. After a tasty
dinner, we strolled back to the festival site just a few minutes before
the Rosebuds were to take the stage.
Their set list was pretty typical of most of their shows, but the
setting was obviously quite different from any other gig.
Million dollar yachts and smaller sail boats surrounded the outdoor
stage, and wide selection of humanity from small
kids to the elder set, working class stiffs to the idle rich (hence the
million dollar yachts). And let's not leave out the
salty sea men, leathery and wobbly legged, most likely from a
combination of cheap liquor and not being accustom
to dry land.
The band did their best to connect with a crowd mostly not familiar
with their sound, and for the most part they suc-
ceeded. There was a crowd of surly pre-teens standing near us
that started out cracking wise and by the end of the
show they were on stage dancing during "Bow to the Middle" and asking
Kelly Rosebud for her autograph after the
show ended. It was a great night that could only have been better
if the band had dressed in "yacht rock" costumes.
(see more photos of the Rosebuds and this trip to Beaufort up in the
Photo Journal section)
Racism? Dee, that's not for us. You know? Those are the decisions that
are best left to the suits in
Washington. Okay? We're just here to eat some dude."
Future Islands - Tin
Man. Hey, actual new music! Their new album "In
Evening Air" is the best record of the year,
easily. THE VERY BEST. I refuse to believe it will be
Also - A great locally made video of a live performance by the band at
the Night Light. Let's see if I can actually figure
out how to embed a damn video.
13th Floor Elevators - Baby
Blue. You can't have enough Roky. Even Roky
covers of Them and a song (Slip
Inside This House) that I had no idea was a cover when Primal Scream
performed it. I probably should have uploaded
the Primal Scream version, but I forgot.
Inside This House.
Belle & Sebastian - Judy
And The Dream Of Horses. The "BBC Session" version of
some songs you probably
already have memrized, assuming you adore B&S like our household
Dylan In The Movies.
The Clock Around.
Lambchop - Give
It (Once In A Lifetime). A few tracks from their live
performance at last year's Mergefest, which
Merge smartly put up for sale
on their website (no idea if it's available in stores). One
of the greatest live perform-
ances I've EVER seen, and I've seen a lot of goddamned shows.
Will Drive Slowly.
Mogwai - Batcat.
Another year, another Mogwai record. It's easy to sometimes take
great bands for granted.
Sun Smells Too Loud.
Wilco - Sunken
Treasure (Live on KCRW). I think the title of the
songs say it all...live versions of a couple of their
On War (Live on KCRW).
A couple of selections from a random punk comp I was recently listening
to...it was documenting the scene in
Connecticut and Massachusetts in the late seventies and early
eighties. 8th Route Army - Record
Burning Party Tonight. T.V. Neats - Pushing