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***June Thirtieth Two Thousand and Eleven***


My dog and I are more than ready for the upcoming fourth of July three-day weekend.  We've been working ourselves
into a coma lately. 


The photos of the month...

Lake Tahoma. McDowell County, NC.

Lake James. McDowell County, NC.

Amusement Park.  Carolina Beach, NC. 

The greatest graffiti of all time.  Raleigh, NC. 


A few quick, link:

I love this video of synchronized Japanese skating.  LOVE IT.  I have no idea why the Japanese are so awesomely
weird, but the world is a better place for it.

A couple of recent search terms:
"pictures of old international tractors"...I did in fact post a picture of an old International tractor, so I guess searching the
internets works!
"one sweater in a snake"...why would a sweater be inside a snake?  And why would you need to search for it?
"zebra chicken"...I posted a photo of a zebra chicken years ago that gets linked to all the time, but this was the first
time I'd seen the words themselves linked to the site. 

Plenty of crappy CD reviews up...well, plenty might be a little strong.  I was kinda lazy this month.  Anyways, brief
musings on new releases by Bon Iver, The Flaming Lips, Handsome Furs, The Fresh & Onlys, The Dodos, the shitty
new My Morning Jacket record, and other stuff. 


The Rosebuds
Brooklyn Arts Center & Kings
6/10/2011 & 6/11/2011

This weekend's pair of Rosebuds shows made me think of the crude adage "some women are for one night stands,
and some women are for wifing up".  Only in this case, I'm talking about music venues, not the ladies.  For the first gig
I drove down to Wilmington to see some friends and watch the band perform in the "new" venue the Brooklyn Arts
Center.  I put new in quotation marks, because while having bands play here might be a recent concept, the building
itself is a church over a century old.  It sat in a state of disrepair for decades, only to have a group renovate it and start
booking shows there.  And as you might imagine with a renovated old church, it looks great both inside and out, but
that's kinda where the "great" stops.  It was probably a combination of the cavernous ceilings and a sound man not up
to snuff, but for the duration of the Rosebuds show the sound just wasn't great.  All highs and lows, and muddy through-
out.  The band powered through and the crowd seemed to enjoy themselves anyways, but I've definitely heard them
sound better.   Since the Brooklyn Arts Center is new to this game, hopefully they sort everything eyes damn
sure liked looking and being in the place, but my ears didn't feel as strongly about it. 

And then there was the following night, at Kings in Raleigh.  If someone could marry a club, I'd marry Kings.  Hell, I've
spent so much time there, in some states it might actually qualify as common-law marriage.  Seeing the Rosebuds in
this venue, with a crowd probably 70% their friends...well there was just no way it wasn't going to be a great time. 
Where they had a pretty business-like approach in Wilmington, here it was a very casual affair, with stories and ded-
ications between every song they played.  And perhaps it was this casual setting that led to it also being a show full
of chatty goofs, sometimes to the detriment of the band.  But the band powered through, the crowd had fun, and the
sound was much, much better than the previous night. 

A brief note on the set lists for the two nights...they played mostly the same songs at both shows, and of that group of
songs at least three-quarters were from their newest album "Loud Planes Fly Low".  I was thinking that the set list
probably had a hand itself in the chatty/restless crowds, in that it focused so much on new material.  This isn't really
anyones fault - the band wants to play their new songs that they are proud of, but the crowd doesn't really know them
yet.  And they're hoping to hear whatever their favorite song is off of the group's first four records.  This isn't an unusual
stand-off between bands and their audience, but given the new Rosebud's record was just released the Tuesday be-
fore these shows, it seemed to be amplified.  Still, the new record and the songs therein are great, and six months
from now those will be the songs the crowd is eager to hear. 


Handsome Furs

I love the Handsome Furs, and I'm not just saying that because one half of the band. Alexei Perry, is one of the sexiest
women alive.  Heck, even the other half of the group, Dan Boeckner (best known as the singer of Wolf Parade) ain't bad
looking for a dude, in a Mick Jones of the Clash sort of way.  And Mick Jones is fitting to bring up, as this band reminds
me a bit of Big Audio Dynamite - not for any particular reason, they don't sound like B.A.D., but something about the
vibe has me stuck on that comparison.  They actually sound like Bruce Springsteen gone catchy-as-hell electro-pop
aka a dancy, more straight-forward version of Wolf Parade. 

The duo spent the entire set playing their new record, and didn't even hit any older songs until the short encore (where
they of course played their "hit" "Radio Kalinngrad").  Now this would normally drive me crazy, but their new record
"Sound Kapital" is so fuckin' good that I didn't mind even for one second.  I hadn't even listened to the record yet, but
the songs are so immediately catchy that they sucked you in instantly.  Kings was only about half full but the folks who
were there were really into the show from start to finish, such that the Furs seemed genuinely surprised by the support
and commented on it frequently.  Of course no one was into the show as much as the creepy guy who was standing
dead center who kept taking photos of Alexei's bare feet.  I have a feeling he might have enjoyed this show again and
again back in his bedroom.


J Mascis
with Kurt Vile & the Violators
Cat's Cradle

I've been to a lot of shows, and I've seen a lot of drummers, but this was the first time I'd ever seen a drummer play a
drum kit with his hand.  Add to that one of the guitarists playing his guitar like a bass, and Kurt Vile & the Violators
had a whole lot of strange going on.  Not in the music though, that wasn't strange at all...just good.  I saw him a year or
two back and the set was a pretty straight-forward set of folk rock, sometimes acoustic and sometimes amplified.  It
felt sorta like Kurt Vile was a solo musician and just had a couple of guys playing with him to fill out the stage.  But this
time, they sounds like a real, full band.  It was still his own skewed brand of electrified folk, only fuller, richer than that
last show.  Between Kurt Vile and The War on Drugs, the music scene looks might bright in Philadelphia. 

I've seen J Mascis solo a couple of times, but it's been a few years, back in my San Francisco days.  Those shows
would be packed to the gills, but on this Sunday night the Cradle was only a little over half full by the time he took the
stage.  A shame really, because be it with Dinosaur Jr or by himself, Mascis always destroys live.  One thing I noticed
while he was setting up is that instead of using the house monitors, he set up an amp in front of him to use for a monitor. 
I'm not sure this piece of information is all that useful or intriguing, but I'd never seen that before. 

It kinda goes without saying that he was fantastic right?  J Mascis is about as dependable as the tides or my dog trying
to steal my dinner every night.  Goddamn bratty dog.  His set list consisted of most of his new completely awesome
solo record "Several Shades of Why" paired with some Dinosaur Jr classics - off the top of my head I can remember
him playing (and me singing along to ) "Repulsion", "Thumb", "Get Me", and "Not You Again", my all-time favorite song
by the man in any form.  He also surprisingly played an Edie Brickell cover, a song called "Circle of Friends" that sound-
ed like it could have been straight from his back catalog.  Mascis even had Kurt Vile join him as an additional guitar
and back-up vocals on a couple of his new songs, and while it wasn't a particularly necessary addition to the songs it
must have been a real treat to Vile and who could begrudge him that.  All in all, a fantastic outing, not that that was in
any way surprising.


"When I was young I did all kinds of crazy shit and I turned out wicked. That's because my dad was fuckin' cool, he let
me do shit. I was allowed to drive his car around the park, basically took my dirt bike to school, let me grow dope in his
shed in grade 7. You know, that's what good parenting is all about. You gotta let them have a bit of freedom."

Best Coast - Crazy for You.  These are my favorite songs from the Best Coast full length and a bunch of their seven
inches that I had compiled all onto one disc.  You know, in case you're keeping score at home. 
Bonus: Far Away
Bonus: Something in the Way
Bonus: This Is Real
Bonus: When I'm With You

Dead Moon - Dead Moon Night.  I pretty much keep this song stuck in my head all day, every day.  And I'm OK with
that.  The second song is plenty rad too.
Bonus: 54/40 or Fight

The Byrds - Tulsa County.  Sometimes covers are just better than the originals.  And I'm not even sure I've heard
the original. 

The Clientele - Rain.  This is one of my favorite pop songs of the last decade.  Other track ain't bad either. 
Bonus: Reflections After Jane

The War on Drugs - Arms Like Shoulders.  The first two songs are the best songs from their debut album "Wagon-
wheel Blues", but they're also on "Barrel of Batteries" EP along with the last song.  So what I'm saying here is buy the EP.
Bonus: Buenos Aires Beach
Bonus: Pushing Corn

Trans Am - Conspiracy Of The Gods.  I've sorta been out of touch with Trans Am these last few years, which should
be obvious since I'm just now getting around to listening to their 2007 release "Sex Change". 
Bonus: Tesco V. Sainsbury's


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