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***May Thirty First Two Thousand and Eleven***


It's prom time, and I've just started making my suit.  Maybe a hotdog cumberbund to pair with the vest?


The photos of the month...

Dot's Dario in Marion, NC - the second best ramshackle building to buy tasty ice cream in
the town. 

Old bottles at the flea market in Marion, NC. 

Old International Harvester tractor that looks like a robot face. 

Chelsea got her photo taken with the new Asheville Tourists' mascot Mr. Moon.


A few quick links:

Really funny website detailing folks taking The Onion serious on's Literally Unbelievable how dumb
people are.

The video for the Mount Moriah song "Lament" is almost as great as the song.  And the song is perfect.

Another good video - The Vice Guide to Liberia.  Seriously, I'm not sure a country can be more fucked up.

A few things learned from the search terms sending folks to this site - "wife getting dressed", "horse in a sweater",
"Jiffy sweater", and "" will send you here.  I don't really want to know the why or the how of that last one. 
Also learned that apparently still exists?  Who knew!

I wrote a bunch of CD reviews, mostly new stuff, over on the review site - noteworthy entries on U.S. Christmas (easily
one of the best records of the year), DJ Shadow, Telekinesis, Obits, Jeff the Brotherhood, High Tension Wires, and
Explosions in the Sky. 


U.S. Christmas
with Black Skies and Royal Thunder

To paraphrase Dante from “Clerks”, I wasn't even supposed to be here! By the time U.S. Christmas (or USX as the
kids call them) took the stage to open the night, I should have been getting ready to arrive in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
But thanks to a freak thunderstorm that nearly washed Chapel Hill away, my flights got screwed up and the trip got
pushed to the next day. The downside was my (already short) vacation was now less a day but I still had to pay for a
hotel room I'd booked. The upside...well, at least there's rock.

The live version of USX has been in a state of flux lately – you never know how many or what members you're going to
get from show to show. Justin playing some very subdued drums. It was a very mellow show by their standards, with the
violin playing a large role in their sound and Nate even playing acoustic guitar on a couple of songs. This wasn't “MTV
Unplugged” metal, but then again USX ain't a typical metal band. Their songs actually lend rather well to the hushed
treatment, coming off like hushed mountain ballads performed by Neil Young collaborating with Dirty Three. The crowd
seemed to really dig it, and a decent size crowd it was considering they started their set before it was even 10 PM on
a Friday night.

The second band was Black Skies, a local three-piece outfit featuring “that dude that works at the Cat's Cradle” on
guitar and vox. They had a real heavy, straight-forward metal sound – chugga-chugga metal heavy, but not cheesy at
all. The Cradle guy and the gal bassist both sang, but it didn't matter because you could barely hear them. And I usually
don't like the vocals in metal anyways so...I ain't heartbroken. But the music sounds good...real heavy, loud and brutal.

I stuck around for a few songs of Royal Thunder before heading home – had to catch a somewhat early flight to get
this vacation back on track. Nate from USX had played me a few songs of theirs just the weekend before (I actually
talked him into going to the Archers of Loaf show with me, probably his first non-metal show in...forever), and I liked
what I heard. The live show matched my first impression from hearing them previously – the sort of music you'd get if
early Jefferson Airplane went metal. The music was heavy but not fast, and the singer's vocals had a bluesy Grace
Slick flavor to them. Couple great music with them having their own light show and a giant gong, and I'm pretty sure
you've got a winner with this one. Hopefully they come back through in the near future when I can take in their whole set.


Mount Moriah
with Organos

Mount Moriah released their debut full-length album a few weeks ago, and I've been jonesin' to pick it up.  I was going to
go to Schoolkids and grab it on a few different occasions, but then this show got announced and I decided to wait and
hand the money straight the band itself. 

But first, a quick mention of openers Organos, an eclectic six piece pop band featuring Reid from Schooner and some-
one who recently became a dentist.  I have no knowledge of the other bands and/or medical degrees that the other band
members might have been involved with.  They had enough toy and gimmick instruments on stage to arm two or three
elementary school music classes.  They sounded like a mix of Elephant 6 eclecticism, almost the entire mid-nineties
Teenbeat roster, and the lead singer's voice had an uncanny resemblance to Kim Deal.  I would not have been sur-
prised to see these guys open for Unrest at the Cradle in 1993.  I would have liked them then, and I liked them now. 

This was the Wake County edition of the the CD release party for Mount Moriah.  I'd been wanting to pick it up since it
was released, but when they announced this show I figured I would just wait and buy it from the band itself, cut out the
middleman.  No vinyl sadly, but at this point I'd take any avenue to get their tunes into my ears. 

It dawned on me that outside of Heather McEntire and Jenks Miller, every time I see this band the rest of the group is
entirely different.  Which makes it all the more impressive that they always sound so tight and together.  They played
the bulk of the new record along with at least one new song, all of which sounded great.  Kings wasn't sold out but there
was a very healthy crowd there, always great to see for the up-and-coming local acts, none more deserving than Mount
Moriah.  McEntire's voice was resplendent as always, and I had a comparison brought up for it that I had never consid-
ered before - Dolly Parton.  McEntire's voice is a little deeper, but you could definitely argue they have a similar delivery
(especially on the album).  Whoever it reminds you of, it's delightful, and I can't get enough of it.  If you've put off seeing
Mount Moriah for any reason, stop being an idiot.  Go to their shows.  Buy the record.  Make your life better. 


with The War on Drugs
Cat's Cradle

The War on Drugs played Hopscotch last year, and despite all my friends being gaga over them, I had somewhere
else to be during their show.  So it was good to finally see what the fuss was about - and the verdict is they are very,
very fussable.  Even though I haven't listened to them very much, their songs were instantly likeable, making you feel as
if you were well versed in their entire catalog.  Not an easy feat to pull off.  I heard a lot of (electrified) Neil Young and
"New Morning" era Bob Dylan in their sound, and my friend Brian was claiming Tom Petty and Dire Straits (though
I think the Dire Straits comparison was just for one particular song).  Either way, they were highly entertaining, had a
"classic rock" sound, and every one of their songs sounded like an old friend from first listen. 

Destroyer completely kicked ass tonight, one of the best shows of the year, and they didn't play a single one of my
favorite songs.  Imagine how I'd feel if they had!  Their set was pretty much the entire new(ish) record "Kaputt", plus a
couple of older songs - I remember a slightly disco-ized version of "It's Gonna Take an Airplane", and I know "Painter
in Your Pocket" got played as well.  It was by far the largest version of Destroyer I'd ever seen, with eight band members
including a couple of horners (I'm pretty sure that is what you call multiple hornists).  It was also my first time seeing the
"troubadour" version of Dan Bejar - no guitar, just the man and his microphone and the occasional tambourine shake. 
He didn't own the stage in a Morrissey-type way, but rather seemed reluctant to be the center of attention.  A number of
times, when the band was in a non-vocal portion of the song, he would stoop down behind the monitors and have a
drink, waiting for his next part of the song.  But Destroyer doesn't need flamboyance does it?  The songs speak for
themselves.  Even with a subdued stage show, hearing the music live is such a grand experience, one I wish happened
more often in my life. 


"I'm going to type every word I know!  Rectangle.  America.  Megaphone.  Monday.  Butthole."

Some North Carolina songs from a local compilation called "Compulation 3" released a couple of years ago that I may
or may not have just now gotten around to listening to.  The first two songs listed here are especially great. 
Americans In France - Nose Job.
Spider Bags - Que Viva El Rocanrol.
Dan Bryk - Hang Around.
Hotel Lights - Swingin' Party (Replacements cover).
The Honored Guests - Talk Talk Talk.

Apex Manor - I Know These Waters Well.  It took the Broken West breaking up for me to get into the songs of Ross
Flournoy.  This Apex Manor record is tits.
Bonus: Southern Decline.

Ramones - Oh Oh I Love Her So.  Those Ramones, I don't mean to speak out of turn, but they had some catchy songs. 
Bonus: Swallow My Pride.

Richmond Fontaine - Northline. A great song from their otherwise middling album "Winnemuca".  The record is
more exciting than the town though. 

Syd Barrett - Effervescing Elephant (Peel Session).  This Peel session was a random find in the LA bargain bin. 
Bonus: Gigolo Aunt (Peel Session).

The Felice Brothers - Trouble Been Hard.  As far as the new wave of throwback hippy rock goes, these guys are
my favorites. 

Yo La Tengo - Some Kinda Fatigue.  "May I Sing with Me" is twenty years old next year, and sounds fresher than
almost everything being made today.  Near perfection really.
Bonus: Upside-Down.


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