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***March Thirty First Two Thousand and Eleven***


Some recent search terms that sent people to my amazingly spectacular website:
"images of people on meth"
"batman sweaters"
I wish I had a Batman sweater.  Let's make it happen.

Speaking of making things happen, I found the below image randomly online.  It needs to be made into a poster, and how.

My new thing is I've started writing some shitty record reviews again.  I'm putting all of the reviews in their own blogspot
blog for easy searchability, find it in this here group of hyperlinked words.  There are reviews for newish releases by
Best Coast, Jeff the Brotherhood, Lovers, Iceage, Robert Pollard, Kurt Vile, Cloud Nothings, and Monotonix.

I'm also slowly working on moving my old reviews over there as well, but christ I've written a lot of reviews over the years. 
So far I've gotten all the older reviews through the letter "C" to the new site. 


I've got three favorite photos this month.  My goal of having one favorite each month appears to be going
out the window.

Dorton Arena - State Fairgrounds, Raleigh.

Water tower - West Raleigh.

Burt sunning himself - my backyard, Cary.


Interesting links, or at least interesting to me:

I'm a sucker for the Vice magazine docs on, but the one I just watched on heroin addicts in the Welsh town of
Swansea was riveting.  It's about an hour long and can be watched here

Another great video worth watching on youtube: "The Undertones Story with John Peel".  It's in multiple parts, seven
oe eight of them, so just follow the links to watch the whole thing. 

The label Family Vineyard recently reissued the Dow Jones & the Industrials seven inch featuring my favorite punk
rock song of all time, "Can't Stand the Midwest".  I already got mine in the mail and it came with a button.  So stoked
to own this I took a photo of it with my phone.


Future Islands

with Ed Schrader's Music Beat

Around here, a Future Island's show is like a community college class - you get a new one every three months.  And
praise be to <insert your deity of choice here> that we are so lucky.  I was so excited for this show that I bought myself
a ticket a month before the show, completely forgot about it, and then bought myself another ticket about a week before. 
But the gig was totally worth the price of two tickets. 

Let us first address the openers Ed Schrader's Music Beat - before I had even rounded the corner, I heard someone
say "Do you see what is happening on stage?".  Obviously, this statement could be interpreted as a good or bad thing,
but I'm here to report everything I saw was great, a real out-of-nowhere treat.  It was just two fellas, one of them pre-
sumably named Ed Schrader; one played bass and the other sang while playing a single lonely floor tom with a light
shining up from it.  It had a real vintage no wave sound to it, not exactly sounding like Lizzie Mercier Descloux and
Liquid Liquid, but would fit nicely between the two on a mix.  As you might imagine, with such limited instrumentation
the songs would have a sameness to them, but it was an enjoyable, exciting sameness.  They had two speeds - a slow,
baroque almost pop sound, and upbeat industrial-punk numbers that had the crowd dancing a little bit, I suppose to get
their joints warmed up for Future Islands.  Hopefully their warm response will send them back down here soon, because
I want more. 

So it was a Future Islands show without glowsticks, a first for me.  Maybe they were being saved for their next show
(this was the first night of a two night stand at Kings).  It didn't really matter or anything, as the band still absolutely killed
as always, but not having to keep from catching a tube of neon chemicals in the eye made things, well, a touch less lively. 
They tried out a lot of new songs, and they were all great...hopefully a new album is not too far out?  Though who knows
when they'd have time to record it, as they seem to tour non-stop.  Other than that, it was hit after hit after hit from their
last couple records, a sweaty tangle of kids dancing in front of them, and smiles all the way to the back windows of
Kings.  This band has reached sing-a-long status here locally, where many of their songs, like "Tin Man", get a ton of
crowd participation.  I certainly joined in, cause god knows I love a good group sing at a rock show. 

As long as Future Islands keep coming back and playing their second home here in the Triangle, I'll keep going.  It's a
nice, symbiotic relationship, one I don't intend to fuck up. 



with Pujol and Federation X

Monotonix, while obviously not from around here, are somewhat local legends it seems.  They seem to play here on
every tour and always get a huge turnout, yet I had managed to never see them.  When I found out they were going to
call it quits after this tour, I figured it was time to get off the pot and to one of their shows. 

But first, Federation X.  Honestly, I was at the show for them as much if not more than Monotonix.  I'd had friends rave
about them for years, picked up their 2005 release "Rally Day", and then became best friends with it.  They're a tough
band to describe, assuming you wanted to expand past "awesome".  They're not an instrumental band, but the non-
vocal portions of their songs are way longer than the vocal portions.  They're fairly heavy but they're not metal, and they
like the occasional unique time signature but it's not prog or math rock.  Probably the best comparison would be to
fellow Washingtonians Karp, though a little less abrasive.  Anyways, this was my first time seeing them live and they
did not disappoint.  They played a number of "Rally X" songs and I was happy about that.  The show was sold out and
the club was filling up as they played, and while there were definitely a handful of Federation X fans clearly there early
to see them, most of the crowd appeared to be new to their sound.  And I'm pretty sure they were really diggin' it.  It
was good to finally see them, especially given they barely play out anymore. 

Pujol was supposed to open the show but for whatever reason they were late getting to the club, and only had time to
play a short 15 minute middle set before Monotonix came on.  I had absolutely no idea who they were - turns out they
are a catchy, throwback garage pop band out of Tennessee.  Five young dudes and tons of hooks, I'd guess they
churned out five songs in just a little over ten minutes.  They were a complete surprise to me and I was really impressed
given the short set...or maybe the short set helped, less time to play crappy songs if you have them.  Either way, I'd like
to see more out of them and hopefully they come back to the area.

As I told a friend of mine, you go see Monotonix for the show, not the music.  I am only vaguely familiar with their re-
cordings, but it doesn't really matter because what they play live barely resembles anything they've ever recorded.  they
started the show set up on the ground in front of the stage, but before the show was over they would also perform in the
middle of the crowd, the back of the crowd, on top of the bar, and then they finally played one song at the end on the
actual stage.  The music was very near a sonic disaster, just sort of a roar of drums and guitar and vocals that really
made no sense.  But when you have a singer like Ami Shalev you don't's like feeding a monkey a bag full of
pixie stix and then letting him run loose in a crowd of people.  I could write for a long time all of his antics, but by far the
highlight was when he got inside the garbage can and then the crowd passed him around in the can while he was still
singing.  It was all goddamn ridiculous and hilarious and fascinating, and it's a real loss to the world of live music that
they're not going to tour anymore. 


The Reigning Sound
Local 506

Sort of a last minute show, and I'm so incredibly glad it happened because it had been ages since I last saw the
Reigning Sound.  They were original scheduled to play some outrageously expensive garage rock weekend at the
Pour House in Raleigh, with tickets over a hundred bucks if I remember correctly...and as much as I love Greg
Cartwright and company, fuck that pricey nonsense.  But then those shows fell through (I'm going to guess because of
lack of ticket sales maybe, but I have no idea), and this gig was scheduled for the 506 with a couple of weeks to spare. 
This time, a ticket was purchased at max speed, and I was counting the days. 

This was my first time seeing the band in years - kinda odd I saw them more often when I lived in California than I have
since moving to Greg Cartwright's adopted home state.  They've played up in Asheville a few times, but this might be
the first time they've made their way down to the Triangle since I moved back three years ago.  The crowd was amped
to see them play, a motley collection of mods, garage rockers, rockabilly-looking types, old folks, and regular dudes
like me.  LOTS of dudes. 

The band ripped through a blistering set that covered pretty much all of their records, though my shitty memory keeps me
from remembering most of the titles other than their cover of "Stormy Weather".  In recorded form their music blends
rockabilly/alt-country twang with garage rock sensibilities, but live it comes out as high-quality, straight-forward catchy
rock-n-roll.  The band is completely non nonsense in their delivery - very little banter, just song after song of crowd pleas-
ing audio nuggets.  For a Sunday night on short notice, not only was it a packed house, but a lively one at that.  Please,
PLEASE don't let them wait so long to come back to the Triangle. 

As a side note, I got there too late to really see local upstarts Last Year's Men, catching only their final song.  But I saw
them perform with Gentleman Jesse a few months back and knew how great they were, so I bought their record anyways
because I forgot to do it the last time I saw them, sidetracked with some manner of conversation or god knows what. 
And it's a fantastic record, best local release of the year (so far). 

(Actually took that picture with my phone, so while it might be crappy, it's not that crappy considering the source.)


"So there you are, tubby. Look like a bucket of lard on a bad day. You baby gorilla. Why don't you work in a zoo, and
stop bothering people? Got a call yesterday from Baskin Robbins. They said that they're down to only five flavors.
You're swelling up as I talk to you."

Destroyer - Chinatown.  Hey look actually new music!  The new Destroyer album is the frontrunner for best of the year
right now. 
Bonus: Savage Night At The Opera

Boogie Down Productions - Criminal Minded.  "Crimina Minded" is one of the top 5 greatest hip hop records of all
time according to this dude.
Bonus: The Bridge Is Over

Danielson - Good News For The Pus Pickers.  Some songs from Danielson's greatest hits-ish two disc-er.  I love
Danielson so so so much.
Bonus: Animal In Every Corner
Bonus: Rallying The Dominoes
Bonus: Runnin' To Brother

Holopaw - Black Lacquered Shame.  I kinda forgot about Holopaw until I picked up their more recent record out of
the bargain bin at Amoeba.  Just as good as their first release, which I loved.

Mos Def - Quiet Dog Bite Hard.  Mos Def's most recent record was great...good to see him get back on track after a
couple of duds (and they were possibly intentionally duds, as he apparently had label contractual requirements to fulfill
that he didn't really give a shit about).
Bonus: Wahid

Thomas Function - Day in the Shade.  These songs come from the second Thomas Function record that came out
in 2009, a goddamn awesome record that was even better than their debut.
Bonus: How Does it Feel

Wilco - Magazine Called Sunset (demo).  He, I'm posting more Wilco!!!  Shit christ I listen to this band a lot I guess.
Bonus: War On War (demo)


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