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***March Thirty First Two Thousand and Twelve***

  

We've got some birds, House Wrens to get all ornithological about it, making a nest in our cactus hanging on the back
porch.  It's a lot like this photo, but less turtle-y.


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The instagr.am photos of the month...


Burt, being weird.  Cary, NC.


Spring clouds. 
Cary, NC.


Clover. 
Cary, NC.


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Hot lynx:

I finally got around to watching the mind bending film "Deadfall"...there are so SO many things you could talk about in
regards to this pile, but Nicolas Cage is by far the highlight.  Here is a collection of his ten best moments from the film. 
I can't possibly like this enough. 

Since the world needs more cat photos, here are some snaps of a jumping kitten.  Beyond cute. 

I feel like Kenny Reed and his friends have made a dozen films about skating in foreign lands that don't usually get
skated in, but that doesn't make it any less interesting.  In this one,
"Holy Cow",  the locations are Sri Lanka, India
and Bangladesh.

The only new photos on the photo journal page are some more band photos from various shows, as that seems to be
all I take photos of lately. 

Music reviews over on the other site - Terry Malts, Hunx, Daycreeper, Lambchop, Nada Surf, Brett Netson, and a few
others.  Been kinda lazy on that front this month. 


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Race for the Cure Benefit
with Whatever Brains, Birds of Avalon, Love Language, and Dana Buoy
Tir Na Nog & The Pour House
3/23/2012

It's nights like these that really make you grateful for the fantastic local scene we have around here.  Local bands of
varying levels of popularity gathered together at four different Raleigh venues to raise money for the care and treatment
of a little boy with cancer.  The whole shebang sold out easily, and they managed to raise over 45K for the kid, which is
just fantastic.  As an added bonus, much awesome music was seen and heard. 

I got a late start on the night after getting sucked into watching basketball at home, but I finally left my couch and started
the evening with Whatever Brains at Tir Na Nog.  I feel like I've probably seen them play at least once a month for the
last six months, maybe ten times in the last year, and I love them more and more with each viewing.  They've become
my own personal house band for the talk show in my mind (which coincidentally will be jut like a stage version of "Fish-
ing With John" for the record).  I'm as excited for their new album as I am for anything being released this year.  As
always, I deem this band unreviewable, but highly recommended if you like both rock music and good times. 

After the Brains I wandered next door to the Pour House to see Birds of Avalon.  Unlike the Brains it had been quite
a while since I'd seen them play, so it was good to get a refresher on the best psyche rock band operating in the area. 
Their newish four-piece version of the band (yeah, it's probably been a couple of years since they became a four piece,
get off my case) sounds a lot more dialed in to me - less vocals, more instrumental, heavy krautrock vibe...they don't
sound just like Wooden Shjips, but they sound like they might visit the same barber.  As an added bonus, the bassist
was sporting a really bad ass pair of white Filas that would have fit right in on a metal band in 1985.  So jealous, but I
doubt I'm man enough to pull them off.  They played a lot of new tracks, and it really got me amped for a new album,
whenever that might come. 

I stayed put at the front of the crowd at the Pour House for the next band scheduled to play there - the Love Language
It's interesting to think of how indifferent I started with this band, and then their songs wormed their way into my head to
where now I think they're one of the best pop bands in the country.  Stu and his cohorts really have a way with hooks. 
And as much as it drives me crazy that the crowd is singing along and making it hard to hear the band from time to
time, it says a lot to the power their music has pver their fans.  So much power, in fact, that there was a couple stand-
ing next to me basically dry humping.  It was giving me flashbacks to high school.  The band played plenty of tracks
from their two records, as well as a few great new songs from an album they are currently working on.    To quote
Abraham Lincoln, "Good times were had by all."

I closed out the evening back at Tir Na Nog.  I got there right at the end of Annuals, and they were playing the theme
song to "Trailer Park Boys".  Glorious I tell you, just glorious.  But I was specifically over there to see Dana Buoy play,
who was added to the end of the bill at last minute.  By the time the Annuals broke down and Dana got set up, there
was only about twenty minutes left until closing...but it was a damned enjoyable twenty minutes.  For the record, Dana's
main gig is in the band Akron/Family and this is apparently his first solo outing.  It was only a handful of songs but I was
very impressed - imagine Akron/Family if they became an electro-pop duo, and you'd be in the ballpark.  Dana played
guitar while tweaking a ton of keyboards and pedals and whatnot, and his bandmate was basically doing the same,
only he had a bass instead of a guitar.  I'm really looking forward to this album when it comes out...a great ending to a
terrific night.


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Corrosion of Conformity
with Torche
Lincoln Theatre
3/3/2012

I almost never go to the Lincoln Theatre (not sure I've been there at any time other than Hopscotch), and I learned a
valuable lesson from this show - they start their shit on time.  Yeah, there was four bands playing, but I didn't actually
expect it to start at 8 or so.  I got there a little after 10 and Torche, the third band, was already playing!  So much for
finally getting to see Valient Thorr

I'm not as well versed in the metal world so my reviews of these bands will be even shittier than usual.  Florida's
Torche
were the main reason I was at the show, no offense to our local gods of rock.  It seem like every time they
play locally I've had some other shit going on or I was out of town.  Now I finally get to see them, and I miss part of their
set cause the Lincoln has to be all timely like they're running a train station.  I was keyed in to the group via their
"Meanderthal" album from 2008, and live they lived up to that masterpiece - a little bit melodic, a little bit mathy/prog,
and a whole lot metal.  I'm guessing unlike myself, the crowd was primarily there for CoC but folks seemed to really be
digging the rock.  I'm really looking forward to seeing Torche again, maybe even their complete set next time. 

It was actually a little bit of a mindfuck that I was seeing Corrosion of Conformity.  Not that I wasn't excited to see
them now, but my 13 year old self would have been really wound up.  I mean, I was excitd when I got to see Damn
Yankees at that age, so this would have melted me from the inside out.  I've never been a super huge fan, but they
were always talked about in such high esteem as the godfathers of North Carolina metal it was great to finally witness
their live show.  Sometimes there are things you want to do and sometimes there are things you feel like you should
do...seeing CoC is both.  I can't even pretend to be an expert on their music, but I am an expert on what my eyes saw -
some old dudes (even older than me!) rockin' the fuck out.  And a singing drummer!  It was just like seeing Genesis
except awesome.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself and now need to make an effort to go back and really explore CoC's
catalog. 


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Lonnie Walker
with Airstrip & The Charming Youngsters
Tir Na Nog
2/17/2012

I had been looking forward to seeing Airstrip for a little while now.  See, there used to be this awesome two-piece
called Veelee, made up of a boy and a girl who were romantically involved.  And then that relationship dissolved, and
along with it the band they had together.  Now this seems awful selfish to me, not to stay together so their awesome
band would stay intact and I could go see them play live, but it is what it is and Veelee is no more.  And now we have
Airstrip via the boy half of of Veelee (and some other folks, one of which I'm pretty sure is in Gross Ghost). 

So how did it sound?  Being a band and all, that's kinda important.  The simple answer: like a rockin' Veelee.  Because
of the vocals and how much I listened to their last (and only) record, it's going to be impossible for me not to think that. 
But there is definitely a harder edge to the sound - I was hearing bits of Polvo, Pixies, and maybe other "P" bands in
their music, though I don't think you'd ever say they actually sound like those groups.  There was also a bit of psyche
rock-style repetitiveness in some of their songs along the lines of Wooden Shjips, which I quite enjoyed.  It was a good
first impression, and the band seems to be playing out a lot lately so I should get a chance to see them again sometime
soon. 

The evening was started by the bi-coastal musicians The Charming Youngsters (assuming you accept there are
coasts in both Raleigh and Greenville).  I've written about them before, quality jangle pop that should by all accounts be
much more popular.  They've been taking a break from playing live to record their new album, and they played some of
these new songs this evening.  Still pop, but the tracks are a little longer, more elaborate - lots of build to them, ebb and
flow, all that.  I like the direction and look forward to finally hearing this new record. 

Lonnie Walker closed the night.  I just checked the review sight and I've written about these kids eight times, and I'd
guess I've seen them nearly that many times when I haven't bothered to write anything.  I'd guess I've easily seen them
more than anyone else since I moved back from California, and there is a reason I keep going to see them...they fuckin'
slay live.  This isn't news to most locals.  If only they could capture even half of that energy on their album they'd strike
gold, but some bands are just made for the live setting. 


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"It's shite being Scottish! We're the lowest of the low. The scum of the fucking Earth! The most wretched, miserable,
servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. Some hate the English. I don't. They're just wankers. We, on
the other hand, are colonized by wankers. Can't even find a decent culture to be colonized BY. We're ruled by effete
assholes."


Chris Mills - Calling All Comrades.  I kinda forgot about Chris Mills for a little while, but he writes a damn fine song.

Bonus:
Untitled No. 1

Crooked Fingers - War Horses.  Another year, another fantastic Crooked Fingers album. 

Bonus:
Went to the City.

Future Islands - Balance.  I think I already posted some songs from the most recent Future Islands record.  Well here
they are again.

Bonus:
Before the Bridge

Gino Washington - Baby Be Mine.  There isn't enough doo-wop soul in my life - Gino seeks to remedy that. 

Bonus:
Out Of This World

Golden Smog - Long Time Ago.  A cover of the Kinks by this super group on the bonus track here. 

Bonus:
Strangers

Old Canes - Little Bird Courage.  Solo work from the appleseed Cast frontman, sort of a folky version of that act.

Patton Oswalt - The Bugged Car.  Best comedy album from last year.  I may have already mentioned this. 

Bonus:
The Ham Incident

Phosphorescent - Los Angeles.  This dude gets a little Grateful Dead-y for my tastes sometimes, but this epic
jam suits me. 

Versus - Atomic Kid.  Listening to this gives me a total mid-nineties college flashback. 





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