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                                                              all contents copyright Jake Thomas

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***October Thirty First Two Thousand and Eighteen***   

I always figured a chihuahua to be more of a Cool Ranch Doritos type of dog.  


Instagram -

Buick Centurion.  Cary, NC.

Show bird.  Raleigh, NC.  

Next-level side eye.  Youngsville, NC.

Streamliner.  Spencer, NC.  


Links -

A short doc on the most interesting man to ever step foot on a skateboard, Gou Miyagi.  In the event you aren't famil-
iar with the man's work, start here.  Or just type his name into youtube and watch everything he's ever filmed.  

Grant Taylor got a new shoe or a colorway or custom laces or something from Nike, I honestly don't give a shit but
the point is it resulted in a new part from him, and true to form it is fuckin' bonkers.  

Only a couple of music reviews this month - that Idles record is so damn good.        

A couple of photo journal entries, band photos and family shit.  That kinda sums up my whole life.  


Movies -

I missed the monthly goal again!  That buffer is coming in very handy.  29 of 31 for October, 311 on the year (plus 7). 

Best of the month: The Foreigner (2017)
Worst of the month: Croc (2007)
Worst tough guy accent: Richard Gere in Bloodbrothers (1978)
Way less boring than expected: Darkest Hour (2017)
Best cast in a good movie: Game Night (2018)
Best cast in a terrible movie: Bite The Bullet (1975)
Holy shit this is dark: God Knows Where I Am (2016)
STOP FUCKING SINGING: The Greatest Showman (2017)

Everything else:
Dean (2016), Jane Fonda In Five Acts (2018), Cradle Of Champions (2018), Kubo And The Two Strings (2016),
Student Bodies (1981), Silent Night Deadly Night 4: Initiation (1990), A Night In Heaven (1983), A Brief History Of
Time (1991), Phantom Thread (2017), Missing Mom (2016), Flight Of The Conchords: Live In London (2018), Quincy
(2018), Voices Of The Sea (2018), Growing Up Smith (2017), The Mountain Between Us (2017), Fists Of Fury (1971),
Prince Of Darkness (1987), The New Kids (1985), 93Queen (2018), Lone Wolf McQuade (1983), Dark Money (2018)


Don’t Be Mean To People – Day 2
Ponysaurus Brewing

Mini rock festival!  This is the third year they’ve done this sort of all-day rock thing at Ponysaurus involving local bands
both big and small, and at least the second year where they used the event to raise money for the ACLU (the first year
was the 11th anniversary celebration for Bull City Records, but I’m not entirely sure what the fiscal motivations were
one way or another).  This year was actually a two day event, but I only caught the back half of Saturday - and it was a
COOKER.  Best of all, they had two stages set up, so as soon as one act finished the next would be starting within just
a few minutes.  There was a healthy crowd but it never felt crowded, the weather was pristine, and tons of food
trucks – it’s damn near a perfect event.   

I caught the last couple of songs from Tooth, a local metal act that has been around for what seems like forever but
who play only rarely.  Or maybe they’ve been broken up for ages and this was a reunion? I dunno, but either way I wish
I’d gotten there to see more of it – I dig the type of metal they’re serving up, heavy and aggressive and a little stoner-
ish…to make the laziest comparison possible, since both are North Carolina products, if you like Weedeater you’d
probably like Tooth.  I’m really shit at describing metal bands – what I do know is I’m picky with the bands I actually like
in this genre, but these guys definitely pass the test.  As required by law, all five members of the band had beards; no
facial hair citations were issued.

I always ask myself “do I need to take more photos of Spider Bags?”, and then I usually proceed to take more photos
of Spider Bags.  In this case, this was my first time taking outdoor photos of the band during the golden hour, which
gave some decent results.  Something I’ve never asked myself is “do I need to see Spider Bags play again?”, be-
cause the only possible answer to that question is yes.  Scratch that: FUCK YES.  The band is still a three piece like
the last time I saw them - no idea where the other guitarist went.  I wouldn’t say he’s necessary to enjoy the music of
Spider Bags, but I did enjoy that extra layer of guitar at their live shows.   It was otherwise a typical, great performance
by them, with the added bonus of revealing their definitely completely original Halloween song called “Have Love,
Jack-O-Lantern” that was in no way a slightly modified cover of “Have Love, Will Travel,” made famous by the Sonics. 

Work Clothes were up next – I guess they were a thing a decade or so ago, which totally escaped me at the time,
and this was a rare reunion.  The group is a duo, guy and gal, who are seemingly a couple of some sort (there was
some talk of kids and babysitters).  Both played guitar and sang, it was very low key and ethereal.  There were a
couple of moments that reminded me a bit of Low, and a couple of others that made me think of Julee Cruse/Twin
Peaks.  It was fine but after a couple of songs I used the rest of their set as a chance to rest at one of the many out-
door picnic tables at Ponysaurus.

The entire band dressed completely in white, Skylar Gudasz was up next with her goddamn golden voice that is so
melodious and heavenly it almost makes me angry.  I’ve been stuck trying to think of what to write about her, and get-
ting nowhere – much like watching Skylar live, your mind goes blank while she performs her hypnotic Carpenters-
esque soft pop.  It’s all held together by her incredible, professional-grade backing band that included Casey Toll and
Joe Westerlund.  Her album “Oleander” from 2016 is a good listen, but live she achieves another level – any chance
you get to see her perform make every effort to do it.   

From past experience, I assumed the acoustic version of Superchunk would be Mac and Jim and a pair of acoustic
guitars, and I was correct.  I saw this same configuration ten years ago in the middle of the day at some sort of election
rally at UNC (also featuring Billy Bragg, Bowerbirds, and others); it’s only fitting we’re seeing this version of the band in
another important election year, and no one talked more about the importance of voting this night more than Mac. 
Other than the voting angle, it was a pretty typical set – some new songs from their most recent record “What A Time
To Be Alive,” coupled with plenty of their classics like “Detroit Has a Skyline” and “Learned To Surf” and “Water
Wings” and…you get the point.  They actually didn’t play end-of-set staple “Slack Motherfucker,” which I suspect was
because there were a number of kids running around the grounds and Mac, being a parent himself, decided to keep
things PG.

The big finale of the night was Wye Oak, fresh off a long tour and as tight as an overinflated balloon.  They were sur-
prisingly performing as a three piece, with local musician Will Hackney (Loamlands, Midtown Dickens, Mount Moriah,
probably every other band from Durham) helping on bass.  I have no idea as to the temporary or permanent nature of
this particular line-up, but it worked well and anything that keeps Jenn Wasner on guitar as much as possible is a
keeper (not that she isn’t also an amazing bassist…hell, she’s amazing at everything).  It appears the trade where we
sent Future Islands to Baltimore a few years ago was finally completed, as drummer Andy Stack has now also moved
to the Triangle, following Jenn who made her way down here a few years ago.  Will this result in more frequent local
Wye Oak shows?  Jenn living here hasn’t resulted in an increase in the Flock of Dimes performance I had hoped for,
so I’m not holding my breath…but at least we can call them “ours” now.  I’ve seen Wye Oak live a number of times and
it’s always fantastic, but this might have been the best I’ve ever seen them – and I say that even though they didn’t play
my favorite song, “Holy Holy.”  There were lots of tracks from “The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs,” a smattering of
classics, and one of the best Kate Bush covers (“Deeper Understanding”) this side of Maxwell.  This band is flawless
and at the height of their powers, and I’m already excited about the next time I get to see them, whenever that might be. 


The Rock*A*Teens
With Spider Bags

I was truly shocked at the low turnout at this show…Hopscotch hangover maybe?  Both bands just released excellent
new albums on local label Merge, and based on the many times I’ve seen each in the past, both are well liked.  Hell,
I’ve seen both of these acts so many times (particularly Spider Bags) that I didn’t even bother to bring my camera, I’ve
already got so many photos of each.

Spider Bags were performing as a three piece without that extra guitarist who doesn’t appear to really be in the band
but plays with them sometimes.  They knocked out all of their hits – “Keys To The City,” “Que Viva Elrocanrol,” etc. –
plus a ton of tracks from their latest “Someday Everything Will Be Fine.”  Most notably, “Oxcart Blues” from the new
one is now a part of their “hits” in my book, moving forward, as decreed by me.  That track burns.

The Rock*A*Teens followed more or less the same formula as Spider Bags – plenty (if not nearly all) of their latest
album “Sixth House,” plus a smattering of older songs from before their most recent reunion.  Say what you will about
old bands reforming as a nostalgic cash grab, but this most recent work by Chris Lopez & company might be my fav-
orite music they’ve ever recorded - and it translates nicely to the stage.  Speaking of tracks that burn – “Go Tell Every-
body” is one of the best songs of the year, and was definitely my highlight of their set.  Just the mention of that song
gets it stuck in my head for days.  Not a bad problem to have…


"Well, the traffic was murder, you know. One of those manure spreaders jackknifed on the Santa Ana. Godawful mess.
You should see my shoes."

Bat Fangs - Boy of Summer.  One of the best records of the year...It's nice to hear and see a band who is truly having
fun out there.  Rock music doesn't have to be serious business.  

Turn It Up

Jawbox - Mirrorful.  I legitimately didn't even know their 1996 self-titled record existed until I found the CD of it in a
bargain bin.  It's ok, kinda disjointed and all over the place stylistically, but still a few good songs.  "Grippe" is still their
gold standard.  

Oasis - Cast No Shadow.  20+ years later, I finally own a copy of "(What's The Story) Morning Glory."  To be fair,
these songs were so widespread and ubiquitous for so long that no one actually needed to own a copy of the record.  
Champagne Supernova
Don't Look Back In Anger

Salad Boys - Choking Sick.  I'm not the only one who assumed these guys were a hardcore band based on their
name right?  Spoiler alert:  they're not a hardcore band.  
Psych Slasher

Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks - Kite.  The newest Malkmus record is extremely Malkmus-y, to no one's surprise.  
Solid Silk

Superchunk - Bad Choices.  The most recent Superchunk record is the best thing they've released since "Here's
Where The Strings Come In," which is no small praise from me.  
What A Time To Be Alive

The Cure - A Forest.  The best Cure song of all time, and I'll not hear your arguments to the contrary.  
Play For Today

Picking only four songs off of "Something Else By The Kinks" is a damn near impossible task...but here are four

Death Of A Clown
Love Me 'Til The Sun Shines
Tin Soldier Man
Waterloo Sunset



Archive -
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