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***November Thirtieth Two Thousand and Thirteen***



It's the holiday season.  Prepare your bungholes.  


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Instagrams...


Burt in fall leaves.  Cary, NC


Fall leaves (minus Burt).  Cary, NC


Mouse sunning herself.  Cary, NC.  


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Classic Albums: Lou Reed - Transformer
- In honor of his passing, here is a very interesting doc on the making of
his album Transformer.  Very interesting to the music nerd in me.  

Element Europe "Hold It Down" - Great video of the Element Euro riders; of particular note are Nassim Guammaz
and Ross McGouran, both of whom absolutely destroy.  Guammaz should be pro for the main team.  

Malls Across America - photos of malls in the eighties by Michael Galinsky.  I'm not sure that the photos are that great,
but they are greatly interesting and a reminder of the real eighties rather than the sterilized version that gets rehashed
these days.  

Abandoned farm houses of western Europe - the photographer went a little overboard with the processing, but
this is still a rad collection of urban decay.  Why is this shit so fascinating to me?  

Now We Are Five - David Sedaris recently had a sister die and wrote this great story about his family in remem-
berence.  It's not maudlin at all, and like many of his stories about his family, both touching and funny.  

No new Photo journal entries this time, I'm really getting behind on my band photo editing.  .

The Music reviews have really seen a big jump in numbers, due mostly to my reviewing old seven inches as I go
through organizing & culling my collection.  Of the new stuff I listened to, check out The Kingsbury Manx and the new
Oblivians records especially.


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Fuzz
with CCR Headcleaner
Kings
10/10/2013

Ty Segall, not content with just releasing new records under his own name multiple times a year, also needed a heavier
outlet where he could play drums - and Fuzz was born.  He formed the band with Charlie Mootheart, added another of
Mootheart's bandmates on bass, and luckily for us (or more importantly, me) hit the road.  The buzz on Fuzz was very
high as evidenced by the number of young scenesters at the show.  Lots of interesting outfits (both good and bad) and
no shortage of "cooler than you" vibes all around, but kids are gonna be kids.  I magically made my way to the very front
of the stage to take some snaps, which may not have been the best idea...there was a little bit of moshing, but the big-
ger problem is this same little prick kept stage diving over and over and over.  I'd guess he jumped into the crowd
twenty times, and there was pretty much no one else doing it.  More problematic was his "jump" was severely lacking
in athletic ability and every time he entered the crowd near me I'd get a good kick from his flailing legs.  It was incredibly
annoying and I was worried about him kicking my camera, but as I felt like an interloper in this cool kid world I just
sucked it up and covered up he came ambling into me.  Oh yeah, and the band - they sounded great.  That's no sur-
prise because everything Segall does turns out fantastic, especially live.  Heavy and groovy at the same time - let's just
call them a stoner rock version of the James Gang and leave it at that.  The whole band was very talented, Segall is a
plus drummer and Mootheart laid down plenty of "hott lixx."  Their self-titled record is one of my favorites on the year,
and this show definitely lived up to the recordings.

They had another Bay Area band called CCR Headcleaner open for them.  I'm honestly not sure if they were good or
bad, but they were somewhat interesting.  Most of their music was just lots of noise that would occasionally turn into
songs, but not always.  You couldn't really hear the vocals, but I'm not sure it mattered.  They seemed to hit their stride
at the end of their set - which from me means that is when their noisy songs started sounding the most like actual
songs.  I've got no idea who to really compare them to - Pop 1280 maybe, but not as dark and industrial?  Occasionally 
"Bleach" era Nirvana just a wee little bit?  I need to listen to their record, I'd be curious what kind of jams they are laying
down in a studio. 



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Chuck Johnson
with Libraness and Heather McEntire
The Pinhook
9/29/2013

It can be tough to motivate and get out of the house for a rock show on a Sunday night, but when that show involves
Libraness all of the sudden I get a burst of energy and a fire under my ass. 


First though was Heather McEntire, best known as the front woman of awesome local band Mount Moriah.  It was
just Heather, her guitar and her amazing voice, performing a small set of songs she said she wrote in the week before
the show while holed up sick at home.  The fact that she can knock out a grip of quality tracks while hopped up on cold
crunchers is equal parts impressive and jealousy-inducing.  Hopefully some of these tunes make their way to future
recordings because I liked them a lot.  Maybe Heather needs to get sick more often.  l


What made Ash Bowie (best known as one the guitarists and vocalists of Polvo) decide to bring back his side-project
solo moniker Libraness escapes me, but I'm damn glad he decided to do it.  First time, back around 2000, it was just
a release of a record that felt mostly like a clearinghouse of unused Polvo ideas. But this rebirth involves a full band
and new songs - in fact, I don't think they played anything from the record.  Given Ash's signature voice and guitar style,
it would be impossible to not draw comparisons to Polvo.  Surprisingly though there were also some poppier numbers,
almost in a jangle pop Byrds-meets-Big Star vein - I wasn't expecting that sort of sound, but it worked.  They closed
their set with an epic jam that sounded like Polvo covering a Television song...I would punch my mama in the mouth to
get a clean, studio version of that track, it was pure gold. 


The evening's closer was Chuck Johnson.  I saw Chuck a few times back in the nineties with his band Spatula - they
seemed to be a band's band, their shows would be full of local musicians but not a lot of us regular untalented folk. 
Chuck has been recording solo guitar records for a while now, but to be completely honest I've not paid a ton of
attention.  It's high quality work, but just never found it's way to my personal playlist.  He kicked his set off with an
Elizabeth Cotten cover (she had just had a plaque dedicated to her in Carrboro where she was born and raised),
and rolled through a number of tracks on both his regular guitar and twelve string.  His finger picking skill is excep-
tional; and while I may not burn to throw his records on at home, it's quite a treat live. 



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Schooner
with D-Town Brass and See Gulls
The Pinhook
9/24/2013

This was the record release party for Schooner's new record "Neighborhood Veins."  A record that has been in the
works for so long there have been multiple "Chinese Democracy" jokes made to the band by me - my latest favorite
is to refer to the new album as "Durhamese Schoonocracy."  And that, folks, is why I'm yet to be hired as a comedy
writer.

The first band of the night was See Gulls, who I knew nothing about.  They were a four piece of local ladies that includ-
ed Maria Albani on drums (she can also be found in Organos, helping out with Schooner, and probably a dozen other
projects).  If what they said on stage is to be believed, this was their first show.  Good or bad, there is something
exciting about seeing a band's first show - luckily this was one of the good ones.  They showed lots of promise of good
things to come.  My best description of their music would be jangly indie pop, very reminiscent of some of the Teen
Beat bands of the mid-to-late nineties.  The guitarist was pretty talented and I dug the singer's voice, they were
pleasant to look at and they had their shit together pretty well, especially if it really was their first show.  I'll definitely
see them again.

The middle slot was held by D-Town Brass, a band I've heard about and been told I had to see for years, so it was
nice to finally make this happen.  The band is so damn big they didn't even fit on the stage - I counted fifteen members
total, with an entire horn section set up on the floor in front of the stage.  The organist was so far on the edge of the
stage he actually fell backwards off of it half way through their set (he wasn't hurt).  I think I was expecting more of a
funk sound for some reason, but the band played the sort of space age jazz that was popular in the nineties -
Cocktails, Combustible Edison, and a few other acts (likely signed to Thrill Jockey and/or from Chicago) would be the
closest touchstones for my limited knowledge of this genre.  They were crazy talented and sounded excellent - a group
of this ability should be filling concert halls, so it was nice to see them in such an intimate setting.

As mentioned before, the main draw tonight was Schooner and their release of the long-awaited "Neighborhood
Veins."  They played the whole set with the already-mentioned Maria Albani helping with backing vocals and a wee bit
of percussion whatnot and noise-making doohickeys.  Obviously, they were going to play a lot of songs from that
record and I hadn't heard the record yet, but this first listen was very satisfying.  Schooner has always had a soulful
take on the indie pop sound, and these new jams definitely fit their mold.  Apparently D-Town Brass recorded on a
number of the songs on the new record, so with them on the bill tonight a number of their horn players took the stage
for the last third of the show and really gave the proceedings some extra oomph.  At the end of the evening I bought a
fancy clear blue copy of the new record, and look forward to hearing this long overdue collection of jams.


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"Anyway, children, as I was saying, the Hare Krishna's are totally gay."

Fruit Bats - My Unusual Friend.  I was bummed when it was announced the Fruit Bats were calling it quits, with
almost no fanfare they released some of the best pop music of the past decade.  I'm sure Eric Johnson will continue
putting out high quality music though.  
Bonus: Singing Joy To The World.  
Bonus: The Ruminant Band.  

Pontiak - Left With Lights.  Not sure why it took me so long, but I finally saw these guys live.  Which made me want to
listen to their records even more.  
Bonus: The Expanding Sky.  

Rob Crow - Scalped.  Rob is in so many bands he accidentally released some songs under his own name.  They
sound pretty much exactly what you expect his songs to sound like.  
Bonus: Sophistructure.  

Warm Soda - Someone For You.  Warm Soda rose from the ashes of Bare Wires and made one of my very favorite
record of the year.  Fuzzy glam power pop glory.  
Bonus: Strange As It Seems.  
Bonus: Waiting For Your Call.  

Whatever Brains - Cousteau on a Crutch.  Along with Spider Bags, the best the Triangle has to offer.  And as much
as I love their recordings, live is where they really butter my bread.  
Bonus: Gross Urge.  
Bonus: Mt. Whatever.  
Bonus: Soft Dick City.  
Bonus: Whatever Helps You Sleep Pts 1 & 2.  





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