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***June Thirtieth Two Thousand and Eighteen***   

Hope everyone else is pumped up for the fourth like we are here.  Dress for success!


Instagram -

Dead bug.  Cary, NC.  

Studebaker Flight Hawk.  Durham, NC.  

Dusk in the bull.  Durham, NC.  

Malfunctioning bucket.  Cary, NC.  


Links -

Many of the parts in the new Converse video are obviously terrific, but to no surprise Louie Lopez sticks out the
most.  Well, techncally Kenny Anderson is always and forever tops what with having the best style ever and being such
a handsome bastard, but given his part was shared Louie gets the slight nod based on amount of content.  

Zion Wright released a new web part for Real Skateboards imaginatively called Real that's just hammer after
hammer after hammer.  My brain legitimately can't even comprehend how it's possible to skate like this.  

Work was busy and the 
music reviews suffered for it.  Still, both the Stephen Malkmus and Tracyanne & Danny
records are worth your time.  Also saw both live this month, and likely say the same damn thing in the reviews below.    

One photo journal entry this month - all my Moogfest photos in one spot for ease of viewing and/or ignoring.    


Movies -

It didn't feel like it at the time, but I surpassed the monthly goal - 32 out of 30 for June, which results in 189 in 181 days
at the halfway point of the year.  I didn't realize I had watched so many westerns this past month...

Best of the month (that I've likely already seen 50 times): Dazed And Confused (1993)
Best of the month (that was actually new to me): American Made (2017)
Best stand-up of the month: Julian McCullough: Maybe I’m a Man (2018)
Worst of the month: Racket Girls (1951) (even MST3K barely made this one palatable)
I’m not crying, you’re crying: It Will Be Chaos (2018)
Best bear ass: The Great Outdoors (1988)
Almost none of this took place in Manhattan and I'd like a refund: Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes
Manhattan (1989)

Well that was all kinds of disturbing: The Harvest (2015)
That was way too much Imagine Dragons: Believer (2018)

Everything else:
God Forgives I Don’t (1967), Wakefield (2016), Draw! (1984), The Last Days Of Michael Jackson (2018), Patriots
Day (2017), Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow (2004), 100 Rifles (1968), The Force (2017), The Comedian
(2017), Training Day (2001), Bound By Flesh (2012), The Hurricane Heist (2018), Flatliners (2017), Sklar Brothers:
Hipster Ghosts (2018), Les Paul: Chasing Sound (2007), A Monster Calls (2017), Hustle (1975), Pretty In Pink (1986),
Hannah Gadsby: Nanette (2018), Oceans Eleven (2001), Wasted! The Story Of Food Waste (2017), Unlocked (2017),
Erik Griffin: AmERIKan Warrior (2018)


Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
With Lithics
Cat’s Cradle

After more than 20 years of going to shows, it’s rare that I’m late.  Hey, It’s not my fault Carrburritos was that crowded! 
But it might have been my fault I left the house much later than I should have.  Anyways, despite knowing that I would
like Lithics after listening to their latest “Mating Surfaces” leading up to this gig, I sadly only got there in time for a
song and a half from them.  It was exactly what I was hoping for – a female-fronted, slightly more subdued version of
Ex-Models.  If that doesn’t mean anything to you (it should, Ex-Models were fantastic), think a modern, punkier Devo. 
They seem young, so hopefully that means they tour a lot and I can manage to show up on time should they appear
here again.

It had been quite a while since I had seen Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks live (or any Malkmus configuration, for that
matter), but I have been enjoying their latest record “Sparkle Hard,” so it seemed worth the effort.  Pavement were
always notoriously hit or miss live - I think my personal tally was two good shows and one that was thoroughly lifeless
& mediocre – but other than possibly being drunk, Malkmus delivered this evening.  He was very talkative and funny
between nearly every song – amongst all the rambling there were multiple mentions of Skunk Baxter (specifically the
amount of drugs in his mustache), and at one point after someone yelled out “Charlottesville” he responded “Thomas
Jefferson…he’s in the musical ‘Hamilton,’ so he’s legit.”  Stephen also doesn’t look like he’s aged in 20 years, which
is particularly infuriating to this fat and bald slob.  You can also forget what a good guitarist he is until you see him play
live – none of the music Malkmus has recorded over the years really stands out for its technical wizardry when you listen
to it, but there is often a lot high-level guitar playing going on in those songs.  As for the actual set of music performed
on this night, it was a lot of the new record plus a few older jams like “Jenny And The Ess-Dog” scattered throughout –
looking at set lists from rest of the tour, this appears to be fairly typical.  The real highlight was the encore – just like
when Spiral Stairs played last year, Pavement drummer Steve West made his way down from Virginia and joined
Malkmus for a pseudo-Pavement reunion.  They played two songs, “Shady Lane” and “In The Mouth A Desert”…the
crowd was obviously way into it.  If I could make one suggestion to other bands out there – include a near reunion of
Pavement as part of your encore, it goes over like gangbusters. 


Tracyanne & Danny

Apparently every club in Durham and Chapel Hill have been reading my mind, because this Tracyanne & Danny
show was yet another in recent months that had me arriving at the club before it was even dark outside, and back
home before the late news.  Feel free to jump on this bandwagon as well, Raleigh music venues.  It had been a long
time since I last saw Camera Obscura (apparently 2010, which is even longer than I would have guessed), but based
on their popularity then I was a little surprised at the low turnout for what was clearly the best weapon of that band –
namely, Tracyanne Campbell and her mellifluous voice.  Regardless of attendance, they put on a lovely performance –
in addition to Tracyanne and Danny Coughlan, there was also a bassist, drummer, and most notably a keyboardist
who also played saxophone.  It honestly hadn’t dawned on me how sax is in the songs of their self-titled record until
this night.  Predictably, the set was the entirety of their only record, plus a cover of Daniel Johnston’s “True Love Will
Find You In The End” – twee pop is a terrific medium for this classic song.  There was also plenty of banter and stories
throughout the gig - as Danny noted, “If we didn’t tell stories we’d be out of here in a half hour.”  As has happened
every time I’ve seen her perform, I was totally in love with Tracyanne by the end of the night, and I’m quite certain I
wasn’t alone.  I’m pretty sure the woman could start a cult if she so desired, assuming anyone would ever actually want
an army of middle-aged dorky dudes as their congregation.


The Sea And Cake
With James Elkington
The Pinhook

Between the way the Cat’s Cradle has been running their performances and the schedule-based festivals I've attend-
ed lately, I’ve gotten used to everything starting on time…which makes it extra excruciating that this show started a full
hour late. Apparently this was the result of miscommunication rather than intentional fuckery, but that didn’t make that
hour of standing around any more palatable. Plus I was tired as shit from a long weekend of Moogfest. Complaining
complainer complains!

Eventually James Elkington took the stage – he’s been in a bunch of bands (most notably Brokeback with Doug
McCombs, who was playing bass with the Sea And Cake on this tour), but this was just the man and his acoustic
guitar. He was a very personable fella with quality banter…clearly a man very comfortable on stage. His music was in
the same vein as Nick Drake (but not on par obviously), wispy and delicate on top of some excellent finger-picked
guitar work. Given that description, I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn that the crowd was way too loud and almost
completely overpowered him, even at the very front of the stage. It wasn’t the most exciting performance I’ve ever seen,
but the music was nice and it was pretty mesmerizing watching James play guitar.

Holy shit it was hot in the Pinhook by the time the Sea and Cake took the stage. Not just from the body heat of the
crowd, which had grown much larger and more tightly packed, but the stage lights were absolutely cranked. This was
great for photos – I’ve never had it so easy at this club in my life – but terrible for not being drenched in sweat. I was
apparently so sweaty that even from the stage, Sam Prekop pointed at me and said “this guy is definitely hot” – and
I think we all know he wasn’t referring to my physical attractiveness. Despite that, 3/4ths of the band was dressed in
Canadian tuxedos...their balls must have been boiling. Doug McCombs and his giant David Letterman beard was the
only person not towing the fashion line. Despite the heat, they sounded fantastic, almost as if they're a collection of
highly respected musicians that have been a band for a quarter of a century. I love their new record “Any Day,” and to
no surprise that album make up the bulk of the set. Of course I would have loved more classics, but they perform so
rarely you take whatever you can get. They did finally hit on a couple of their early jams during the encore with “the
Argument” and “Parasol”...honestly, getting to see “Parasol” performed live was worth the price of admission alone.

When it was all over, I couldn't walk fast enough to my car and crank up the AC. Thank god for modern conveniences.


"We don't have none of this stuff in the boy's room! Wait a minute! We don't got none of this...we don't got doors on the
stalls in the boy's room, we don't have, what is this? What's this? We don't have a candy machine in the boy's room!"

Helms Alee - A Weirding Away.  Part one of metal I've really been digging lately.  Of course this is from their 2008
record "Night Terror," so maybe I need to listen to something from this decade.  
Big Spider

Jeff Tweedy - I'm Always in Love.  Jeff released a solo acoustic record full of songs from all of his various projects
over the years (though primarily Wilco).  It sounds exactly like you would expect.  
Laminated Cat

Jeremy Enigk - Sacred Fire.  I'm still annoyed I didn't get to see Enigk live this month because he was playing at the
same time as Stephen Malkmus, for which I already had a ticket.  Not that Malkmus wasn't awesome obviously...
The Long Wait Is Over

Pallbearer - Dancing In Madness.  Part two of metal I've really been digging lately.  I already had this listed as one
of my favorite records of last year, but I've listened to it even more this year. 
Lie Of Survival

Ramones - Judy Is A Punk.  Something tells me these kids are going to make something of themselves.  
Listen To My Heart

Siouxsie & The Banshees - Cry.  I didn't think I'd ever listened to much Siouxsie until I picked up one of her CDs
out of the bargain bin, and ended up knowing a bunch of the songs.  How though?
Kiss Them For Me

The Psychedelic Furs - Imitation Of Christ.  I've known the big hits forevre, but I've really been enjoying digging in
to the Furs deeper jams.  A truly great band.  
Love My Way
Pretty In Pink
The Ghost In You

The Sundays - Hideous Towns.  Man, the Sundays got a shit ton of airplay off their first record "Reading, Writing
And Arithmetic."
Skin & Bones
You're Not The Only One I Know


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