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***May Thirty First Two Thousand and Nineteen***   

If you can conjure up a better time than this, I'd like to goddamn see it.  


Instagrams -

This is normal.  Cary, NC.  

Lulu vs. the sun.  Marion, NC.  

Sexyhorseposes dot org.  Blowing Rock, NC.  

Despite some harsh scores from the Russian judge, a gold medal.  Cary, NC.  


Movies -

For April I actually started clawing back towards the possibility of watching 365 movies on the year, a goal that I stated
isn't really a goal except if I'm keeping count it's obviously at least a little bit of a goal.  Or maybe I'm only counting this
month because I know I'm +3 this time instead of being behind.  

Best of the month (new): Den Of Thieves (2018)
Best of the month (already seen): Big Lebowski (1998)
Greatest unintentional comedy I've seen in five years: Lady Street Fighter (1981)
Worst of the month: My Friend Dahmer (2017) (how the hell do you make a movie about Dahmer so boring?)
Like, boom, for real: Basquiat (1996)
Didn't have to fast-forward through as many "new" songs as I thought I might: Metallica: Francais Pour Une
Nuit (2009)
Still the best one: Fast Five (2011)
Italian boobs!: Torso (1973)
I wish this movie was as good as the lead's hair: Superfly (2018)
Peak Treat: Deep Rising (1998)

The rest:
Final Exam (1981), Amy Schumer: Growing (2019), Night School (1981), Van Helsing (2004), South Park: Bigger,
Longer, And Uncut (1999), Tre Maison Dasan (2018), Gimme Danger (2016), Island Claws (1980), Central Park Five
(2012), Tully (2018), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018), I Am Richard Pryor (2019), The Nun (2018), Seau (2019),
24 Hour War (2016), Eyes Of A Stranger (1981), OG (2018), Honest Man: The Life Of R. Budd Dwyer (2010), Proof
Of Life (2000), Charm City (2018), Prom Night 2: Hello Mary Lou (1987), Cinderella (1950), Mean Girls (2004)


Links -

If Max Geronzi can skate like this on one of these old ass boards (or at least old ass shapes), imagine what he can
do on a more modern set-up?  Or don't, and just enjoy a man able to do nollie 360 flips on a deck with no nose at all.  

I'm not sure if I loved this part from Nick Matthews called "Pavement" because the dude is good or because he
skated to Pavement's "Loretta's Scars" or...well, it's probably both.  Either way, I'm real into it.  

In non-skate video news, Night of the Juggler, the 1980 James Brolin schlock classic is available for the low
cost of nothing on youtube.  I'm a sucker for any movies set in NYC during this era with the gangs and the decay and
the shitty cops and general filth.  Plus the gal who plays Maria is real hot.  

A few music reviews this time...the Fontaines DC is top tits, see more about them in the live review below.             

Only one photo journal entry, the most popular "band photos" collection.


Pedro The Lion
With John Vanderslice
Cats Cradle Back Room

Back in my Bay Area days (which feels like yesterday but was actually 11 years ago, and that is DEPRESSING), you
couldn’t throw a cat at a small or mid-size indie rock show for which John Vanderslice wasn’t an opener.  It had been
a long time, but seeing him on stage was a real flashback to days gone by.  For me, Vanderslice was always one of
those performers who was just…fine, you know?  I didn’t dislike him or his music, but I was also never excited to hear
him.  This many years later, I suppose I enjoyed him a little more than I did in the past, though I still wouldn’t have been
angry if he wasn’t on the bill.  One big difference is instead of a full band, at this gig he just had his guitar, a Roland
drum machine of some sort (my favorite part of his set), and a jar of questions that he would periodically answer.  In
fact he might have talked as much as he played – this might be why it felt like he played for too long.  He seemed to
have a lot of fans in the audience though, so I might be in the minority with my middling feelings on a John Vanderslice

Pedro The Lion had a light show set up on the stage that, while not overpowering, looked goddamn ridiculous for a
stage the size of the Cat’s Cradle Back Room.  But other than shining directly in my eyes and burning out my retinas a
few times, it was more a humorous footnote than anything else, a rare sign of excess from a surprising source.  I saw
the first version of Pedro in the late nineties at the old Go! Studios, which just happens to be the club the Back Room
most often gets compared to by old people like myself, so it sorta feels like the band has come full circle.  Or maybe I
have?  Or both?  Or maybe the clubs in Carrboro are just really enamored with this small, two-story style of venue. 
Additionally worth noting: well over half of the crowd looked exactly like frontman (and let’s be honest, he IS Pedro The
Lion) David Bazan – a little overweight, bearded, middle-aged, and bald or on their way there (I’m 4-for-4 on each of
those traits).  It makes you wonder: does the crowd pick the band, or does the band pick the crowd due to some cos-
mic alignment from the god or gods or absence of god floating in the ether?  Speaking of god: to no one’s surprise,
there were a couple of “hip” pastors standing behind me talking shop about congregations or steeples or whatever
it is preachers do to fill their days.  That whole thing is very weird to me, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Hey, how about I stop talking about this useless nonsense and actually mention the performance?  If you’ve ever seen
Pedro (or any Bazan outing), you know you’re not getting a dynamic stage show…however you will get great songs
and some deadpan banter that is always much funnier than it has any right to be.  They played a lot of tracks from their
most recent record “Phoenix,” a terrific return to form after a 15 year hiatus (even if, let’s be honest, Bazan didn’t really
stop between those years and instead released solo records that more or less sound exactly like Pedro because it’s
all the same thing no matter what name he wants to put on the spine of the release).  Of course I would have loved
more older songs, but we did at least get “Penetration” and “Big Trucks,” two of his all-time best.  I would sacrifice a
small child to get an entire performance of the album “It’s Hard To Find A Friend,” for the record.  Still, it a was a good
time – I’m sure all the middle-aged shlubs in attendance would agree. 


With Fontaines D.C.

When this show was announced I was on a cruise in the Caribbean, but I was so excited that I bought their expensive
(and slow) internet just to make sure I could get a ticket, thinking it would sell out before I got back on land.  It ended
up not selling out until a few weeks later, but Idles sells out 3000 seat venues multiple nights in a row in the UK, and
I wasn’t going to tempt fate with a venue the size of Kings.

First though: Fontaines D.C. from Dublin, Ireland.  Kings doesn’t typically start their shows right on time but tonight
they did – and with the line to get into the club out the front door downstairs, I could only listen to muffled versions of
their first couple of songs.  Their set was only  eight songs total, but what they lack in longevity they make up for in in-
tensity.  They reminded me of a more punk, more modern version of the Fall, and I was way into it.  From a (somewhat)
local perspective, if you dig Patois Counselors you’ll probably be into these kids.  It was due to this performance that
I went back and listened to their debut album “Dogrel” again – seeing them live was the key to unlocking what is surely
one of my favorite records of the first half of the year, after somewhat ignoring the album on my first listen a few weeks
before this gig.

After nearly ten years of seeing shows there, Idles managed to produce the most animated crowd I’ve ever seen at
Kings – fist pumping, moshing, crowd surfing, and LOTS of singing along (I’m guilty of that last one myself).  It might
actually be the most active I’ve seen any crowd, regardless of venue, since some of those Archers of Loaf and/or
Superchunk performances at the Cradle in the nineties…back when youth was on the side of both myself and those
bands.  I had seen live footage of Idles online so I knew more or less what to expect from one of their performances,
but it still managed to blow my expectations out of the water.  The guitarist closest to me was stripped down to his un-
derwear before the first note was struck, and it felt like he spent as much of his time in the crowd (or standing on the
bar in the back of the room) as on the stage.  The other guitarist was frequently playing on his back on the ground, like
someone trying to perfect their impression of Marty McFly when he was pretending to be Chuck Berry.  All the while
singer Joe Talbot presides over the mayhem like a circus ringleader, a knowing grin on his face as he barks to the
crowd about class struggle and loving your fellow man.  I can say unequivocally his between song banter was the
most enlightened/”woke” I’ve ever heard, which isn’t surprising given the content of their songs from their two full
lengths, “Brutalism” and “Joy As An Act Of Resistance.”  Their set was mostly from these two records, leaning more
heavily on the latter – sing-alongs to fan favorites like “I’m Scum” and “Danny Nedelko” were worth the price of admis-
sion alone.  In Fugazi-like fashion (surely a HUGE influence on these guys), there would be no encore, as the band
would give it their all during regulation and without the need for overtime.   


Hot Snakes
With Mannequin Pussy

It’s pretty exciting to have the opportunity to see Hot Snakes live again, this time without the cross-country flight, but
rather a 20 minute drive.  This gig was originally scheduled last fall but got cancelled, and honestly I wasn’t holding
out much hope that it would be rescheduled – Durham is a long damn way from San Diego, after all – but sometimes
good things happen.  Gar Wood couldn’t make this show (and I assume the whole tour?), so instead Hot Snakes had
Night Marcher’s Tommy Kitsos fill in.  This would have been an ideal time to have a Night Marchers reunion, since the
Hot Snakes’ John Reis and Jason Kourkounis are also in that band, but we’d still be short one member…and that one
member would be the missing Gar Wood.  I guess at that point you’d have to get Hot Snakes’ front man Rick Froberg
to fill in for Gar, but then you’re just back to where you started – three-quarters of two original bands, or one Franken-
stein act.  Fuck it, we got half of Drive Like Jehu and Pitchfork on the stage too, how about all of them play and we
sort out the details later?  Where am I going with any of this hoopleheadedness?  Damned if I know.

Unfortunately Hot Snakes doesn’t always bring out the best people to their gigs – in particular there was this one lum-
bering, performative giant who spent the first half of the show draped all over me, no matter how much room I kept
giving him beside me.  He also spent a lot of time half on the stage – I think he was mistakenly under the impression
folks were there to see him and not Hot Snakes.  Another particularly out-of-hand character at one point grabbed me
by the throat in a half-assed attempt at a stage dive, but I still preferred this attempted re-creation of the end of
“Bloodsport” to Paul Bunyan and his constant need to be seen and felt (never mind his arms always in front of my cam-
era as he constantly pointed his finger directly in the face of Reis).  Despite all of this I still enjoyed myself because
goddamn it all, Hot Snakes are so fucking good at doing music, particularly live.  I wasn’t even mad that the vocals
were often way too low (hopefully that was just a front-of-the-stage problem and not true for the whole house) – on hits
like “LAX” and “Automatic Midnight” and “Suicide Invoice,” the crowd was doing plenty enough singing along to help. 
There was of course a lot of tracks from last year’s “Jericho Sirens,” an album that stands just as tall as anything they
recorded during their first pass as a band – “Six Wave Hold-Down” is the stand-out both on that record and live.  It is
here I will also lodge the same complaint I did the last time I saw them – the lack of “Mystery Girl” from their set is a
serious fucking bummer.  It’s their best song, and for some reason they’re allergic to playing it live…maybe Reis is
just over singing lead, but I don’t give a shit who sings it, I just want it sung.

The opening act was Mannequin Pussy, a band of which I had heard, but not sure I’d ever actually “heard.”  It would
be kinda hard to forget that name, after all.  Their music was mostly in the realm of heavy punk with some occasional
almost-hardcore moments, plus a few mainstream nineties-style “alternative rock” songs strewn into the set here and
there.  For these more mainstream tracks, it would be impossible not to compare the band to Hole, as Mannequin
Pussy singer Marisa Dabice seemed to be directly channeling the ghost of Courtney Love during these particular
offerings.  These slower songs were not my favorite part of their set, but then again I was never a Hole fan.  At the
same time, it’s this more “pop” direction that is most likely going to move the band up the ladder of success, if that’s
what they’re interested in.  Speaking of Dabice – she was a born performer.  It’s nearly impossible to take your eyes
off of her for the entire performance, particularly on the few songs when she put the guitar down and went into full “lead
singer” mode.  Also, I’m struggling to figure out how much I can even say about this performance without being an in-
considerate asshole in this day and age – let’s just say it felt quite sexual to me, whether or not that was her intention. 
Subsequently, the way she was moving on stage was very photogenic, but part of me felt wrong for taking photos of it
(obviously, I still did, because my desire for a good shot is greater than my shame).  She was clearly performing in
public for all to see, but still, something about it felt…private.  And I definitely felt like a dirty old man watching & taking
photos of it.  I’m not entirely sure what to think about this band after this show – they have a new record coming out on
Epitaph (who I thought only released mall punk) very soon, and I’ll be very curious to hear what it sounds like. 
Mannequin Pussy are at a minimum intriguing, which is always better than boring right?  And shit, they might even be


"Moral fibre? I invented moral fibre! Pappy O'Daniel was displaying rectitude and high-mindedness when that egg-
head you work for was still messing his drawers!"

Don Caballero - Stupid Puma.  Like all Don Cab, this song sounds sweaty.  

Elf Power - Everlasting Scream.  I've tried with Elf Power for years with little success, but I guess I just had to get in
my early forties and finally it clicked.  
Palace Of The Flames
Things That Should Not Be

A few songs from a couple of different Rilo Kiley albums.   I still prefer Jenny Lewis solo, for the record.  
Does He Love You
Don't Deconstruct
Love & War
Portions For Foxes
Wires & Waves

The Dogs - 79.  The greatest music to ever come out of France.  Don't come at me, Jacques Dutronc fans.  

The Jayhawks - Backwards Women.  Now that Gary Louris lives in North Carolina can I count the Jayhawks as a
local band?
Come Cryin' To Me
Gonna Be A Darkness

I've been on a real Pretenders kick lately - the first record especially is pure fire.  
Back On The Chain Gang
Don't Get Me Wrong
Middle Of The Road
Talk Of The Town


Archive -
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