A few things learned from the search terms sending folks to this site -
"wife getting dressed", "horse in a sweater",
"Jiffy sweater", and "in.dog.ass" will send you
here. I don't really want to know the why or the how of that last
Also learned that apparently ask.com still exists? Who
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.
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.
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
violin playing a large role in their sound and Nate even playing
acoustic guitar on a couple of songs. This wasn't “MTV
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
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
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
this vacation back on track. Nate from USX had played me a
few songs of theirs just the weekend before (I actually
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
Slick flavor to them. Couple great music with them having
their own light show and a giant gong, and I'm pretty sure
a winner with this one. Hopefully they come back through in the near
future when I can take in their whole set.
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
Mount Moriah for any reason, stop being an idiot. Go to their
shows. Buy the record. Make your life better.
Destroyer 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
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.
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
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.
Ramones - Oh
Oh I Love Her So. Those Ramones, I don't mean to speak
out of turn, but they had some catchy songs.
Richmond Fontaine - Northline.
A great song from their otherwise middling album "Winnemuca". The
more exciting than the town though.
Syd Barrett - Effervescing
Elephant (Peel Session). This Peel session was a
random find in the LA bargain bin.
Aunt (Peel Session).
The Felice Brothers - Trouble
Been Hard. As far as the new wave of throwback hippy
rock goes, these guys are
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.