I'm dressed and ready for Halloween, now where's the party?!?
Let's have a moment of silence for me somehow managing to delete my
"photos" folder that I use to put together this
stellar, professional website. Which is why there aren't any
pointess photo journal updates this go around.
But I do have one final cross country medium format photo from Bryce
U.S. Christmas with Black Tusk The Pour House
It was a double trouble kind of night, with the first gig being the
opening acts of the Corrosion of Conformity show at the
Pour House. The first act was my man Nate's group U.S. Christmas, a band I'm in no
way impartial about due to
friendship, and I really don't give a shit. Look, if you like
heavy music that isn't necessarily fast music, if you like bands
the reference Sam Peckinpah films and Cormac McCarthy novels, if you
like the craziest of Neil Young's Crazy Horse
moments and especially his soundtrack to the movie "Dead Man"...well,
this is the band for you. They played a good
set featuring a lot of tracks from their newest album "Run Thick in the
Night", a release that will most likely make my top
ten of 2010. The sound was fantastic, as it usually is at the
Pour House...sadly not enough bands that I want to see take
advantage of that. I think this might have been USX's first gig
in Raleigh, and the folks that were there seemed to quite
enjoy them, as they should.
I needed to hoof it over to Durham, but I had enough to time to stick
around and catch about half of the set by Black
Tusk. I read that they refer to their type of metal as
"swamp metal", which I guess is a fitting moniker for their style of
upbeat southern stoner metal. They're kind of a Georgia version
of North Carolina's Weedeater, only there is no one
in their band as insane as Dixie. It's aggressive, hard pounding,
straight forward metal, like a punch in the face from a
drunk friend. I quite enjoyed what I saw of their set and had
Nate pick up their record "Taste the Sin" for me - a good
record with some great art, definitely worth checking out.
The Mountain Goats with Mount Moriah
So after the metal business I rolled over to the Pinhook in Durham to
see some lighter fare. It was the release party for
Mount Moriah's 12" EP, and they had the good fortune to get local folk
superstar John Darnielle aka The Mountain
Goats to headline the show for them.
But I'm getting ahead of myself, as when I got there Mount Moriah were just taking
the stage. I've made no bones
about my love of this band and especially Heather's voice, and as
always they did not disappoint. And while they seem
to be quite well received everywhere I've seen them in the Triangle,
Durham is very much their home crowd and the
combination of fans and friends were as loud and vigorous as college
lovemaking. And I'm not talking about the sex
where you're having to keep quiet cause your roommate is pretending to
be asleep in the top bunk either. Anyways,
they played pretty much the same songs they always do, songs I've grown
to love from seeing them live a number of
times, but now I finally had something to buy off the band and take
home with me. And obviously, the record is fantastic.
There are two kinds of Mountain Goats shows - the ones
where he has a backing band, and the (superior) ones where
it's just John Darnielle, his guitar, and his witty between song
banter. The latter is what we had this evening, and whoo-
boy was it goddamn awesome. He played almost entirely old songs,
in fact I think the newest track played was probably
"No Children" from "Tallahassee", an obvious crowd favorite...and I was
damn glad he played it, not just for my enjoyment
but also so the annoying girls standing next to me would stop screaming
for it between every song. I've loved the Goats
for years now, but I'm definitely not a super fan...and there were a
bunch of them there. There was one guy in particular
that delighted me to no end, standing front and center, clapping with
the power of ten men right after each song, scream-
ing and arms raised in the air like it was Beatlemania, and then when
he finished he would pull his pocket notebook out
and scribble in it for a few seconds, god knows what he was
writing. As per usual I'm terrible at remembering song titles,
but I know he played my two very favorite songs, the first opening
tracks from the perfect album "All Hail West Texas" -
"The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton" and " The Fall of the Star
High School Running Back". The crowd sang
along vigorously to both titles, myself joining in despite my general
reluctance for such participatory nonsense. It was
a grand show, if only he would play his hometown more often...
This was the beginning of my "relive the nineties" weekend, with this
Pipe gig and then Bandway the following day.
And speaking of Bandway, this was my first time seeing Tonk,
a classic country band featuring Bo Taylor of Bandway
on drums. They played a mix of covers and originals, or maybe
those originals were just obscure covers cause I'm not
a super nerd when it comes to classic country. Of note they
performed "Let the Sad Times Roll On" by Buck,
"Mendocino" by the Sir Douglas Quintet, and the one and only "Satin
Sheets" by Jeanne Pruett. The last song was
particularly noteworthy because the band was cracking up the entire
time they played it while the crowd sang along.
Seeing Tonk play live is like traveling back in time 50 years and
watching the house band from Buck Owen's Crystal
Palace in Bakersfield, California. Of particular note was their
pedal steel player, who was absolutely killing it all night
long. Granted, if you can play that convoluted instrument at all
that counts as "killing it" in my book, but he was doing a
nice job for the whole gig.
To paraphrase Silky Johnson, what can I say about Pipethat
hasn't been said before? They are quite simply the great-
est party rock band of my generation. Sure, they're seldom known
outside of the Triangle, but as the kids say: "fuck that
shit". Off and on for the last 15 years they take the stage and
rock the balls off of everyone within earshot...certainly my
balls were no longer attached when they finished their set. I'm
not entirely sure what that means for the two girls stand-
ing front and center going batshit crazy for the entire show, as I'm
pretty sure they don't have balls...but perhaps a similar
ailment hits their ovaries? I'm not scientist, so who
knows. I'm sure some medical professionals can do a study.
anyways, they were awesome like always, with Ron snarling and absorbing
abuse while the rest of the group chugs
through their catalog raucous material.It's likely been more than a
decade since they wrote a new song, but not a single
one of us fans care. I can listen to them play "You're Soaking In
It" a thousand times in a row and never get tired of it.
In fact, I hope they play a show like that at some point...I wouldn't
put it past them.
All hail the return of Kings, the greatest music venue that Raleigh has
ever known! All hail the return of Bandway,
greatest party rock band to exist on this Earth! Obviously it was
no coincidence that both the re-opening of one of the
greatest rock clubs Raleigh has ever known and the return of musical
saviors Bandway would happen at the same time,
as it foretold from the heavens that one cannot happen without the
other. And thus, a miracle was granted to us lowly
I love Bandway so much I've considered getting a tattoo of the band's
logo, only I'm afraid I'm not worthy of such an honor.
Instead, almost every email address I've ever created was an homage to
the band, which is kinda like an internet nerd
tattoo when you think about it...it's always there for everyone to
see. Paul (one of the dude's behind Kings) told me quite
a while back that he was working on having Bandway play their opening
weekend, and I spread the word far and wide to
my old college friends and fellow Bandway aficionados that a new day
was soon upon us. Oh how they talked a big
game about coming to the show from all ends of the state, but of course
when push came to shove the collective lot of
them pussed out. Sure they'll claim to have been sick or had a
sick child at home, but we all know if this was really im-
portant you'd wrap that kid in a nyquil soaked blanket, lock him in his
room, and get your ass to the "rockening".
So it was just the wife and I, she needing to witness the band I'd been
prattling on about for the entire decade she has
known me. Kings was packed, sold out in fact - and the entire
crowd was eating it up. While there were a lot of old folks
there like myself, I was surprised at how many kids were there, kids
who surely weren't going to Bandway shows their
first time around. But whatever, a love of the rock knows no age
limit. I think it had been seven or eight years since they
had last performed, but you'd never know it - they were just as
drunken, sloppy and awesome as ever. They played pretty
much every song you'd want to hear - "Four Day Weekend", "Balls Out",
"Millennium", "King Kong", "I'm a Winner", "Turn
to the Bong"...goddamn, they have a lot of awesome songs. Would
have been nice to hear "Fayettenam/Futuristic
Fuckup" and, well, honestly every single one of their songs, but it was
a nice set. On top of that, they played some new
songs which bodes well for future performances/recordings; I didn't
catch the song names but one was about recycling
and it was fantastic.
I'm going to go ahead and pick this as rock show of the year, because
it's just not fair to any of the other bands to try
and live up to the brilliance of Bandway. Everyone else is trying
for second best.
Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Second
Guessing. Their newer record "Rush to Relax" ain't got
nuthin' on their
previous release "Primary Colours", but it's still pretty damn
Future Islands - Heart
Grows Old. My love of the newest Future Islands record
made me go back and spend some
time with their older
material...amybe not as strong but you can definitely see them pointed
in the right direction.
Bonus: Little Dreamer.
High On Fire - Ghost
Neck. Newest High on Fire record is pretty much like
all the other High on Fire records, but if
it ain't broke...
For The Divine.
Ice Cube - Check
Yo Self (Radio Remix) (feat. Das EFX). I think I've
posted songs from "The Predator" numerous
times, which would make sense because it's one of the greatest hip hop
records of all time.
I Gotta Wet 'Cha.
Othar Turner & The Rising Star
Fife & Drum Band - Shimmy
She Wobble. You probably know this song from the
film "Gangs of New York". You should get to know the whole
Silver Jews - Strange
Victory, Strange Defeat. It took me a long time to get
used to this newest Silver Jews album,
but it won out in the end.
Wilco - I
Am Not Willing (Moby Grape cover). Crooked fingers
just did a cover of this song as well, if I had it together
I probably would have posted that too. I don't think it's that
surprising I didn't manage this, but it'll be up sometime.
Always In Love (Live)(Acoustic).
(Big Star cover).