worth getting up for in may

young wild things tour: fall out boy

Worth getting up for in May: UNC baseball winning the ACC tournament; the beauty of the 18 inning game against State in said tournament; #1 national seed in the NCAA tournament; the UNC women’s lacrosse team’s national championship; a day second-camming for Gorman; ice cream sandwiches; The Closer; Fall Out Boy at the 9:30 Club*; Puzzle & Dragons, aka my new favorite dumb phone game; the weekends I never got out of bed; stupid YA novels about mermaids; the Orioles still being over .500; Kevin Gausman’s debut (the event, not the actual game); my new purse from Bagallini; bacon cheeseburgers; fried dumplings from the place across the street; enchiladas from the other place across the street; the colors at the farmer’s market; my iPad; seeing t. for the first time in months; Kat visiting; the new Radiation City record and the debut record from the Front Bottoms; naps.

* Technically this doesn’t happen until tomorrow but basically there’s no way it won’t be worth getting up for.

** This is an old photo. 2007. It’s there to remind me where I’ve been, and where I’m going tonight, which is the photo pit at the 9:30 Club to shoot FOB. 5 years in the making.

rock the cape: southern culture on the skids

holden beach, nc, march 2013

I kind of feel like I’m getting an education in Triangle music history this year; back in the winter, I saw alt country pioneers the Backsliders for the first time, and even though Southern Culture on the Skids have been playing their surfabilly punk since 1983, their latest LP Zombified is the first time I’ve dug into their music. And I’m enjoying it a hell out of a lot, which is why it’s a bummer to me that I can’t be heading out to the Outer Banks for the Dare Arts Council’s Rock The Cape today. (We’re heading to DC to see Fall Out Boy instead. It’s a thing.)

SCOTS, as they’re better known, are headlining the first Rock The Cape, a fundraiser featuring local musicians and artists, to help local musicians and artists. Parts of the proceeds will go to the Community Music School, which provides music lessons to kids who live on the Outer Banks. I can’t think of a better band to play this event, because from the first moment of Zombified, SCOTS made me want to run away to the beach. It’s happy, clever summer music, made for dancing on beaches at sunset and sitting on front porches drinking your cold drink of choice.

Stream the title track below, and take a trip down to the Outer Banks tomorrow, maybe, if you’re looking for somewhere to be other than work. Rock The Cape starts at 2pm, and you’ll be there in plenty of time to hear SCOTS, in fact, rock the cape.

two sentence reviews of albums i listened to in may

hollis brown @ local 506

Basically I listened to the new National record all month, so I’m behind. Again.

Futurebirds — Baba Yaga: more delicious Southern pedal steel flavoured freak out psych-folk from Athens rockers Futurebirds; I occasionally forget how much I enjoy their music, and how soothing and inspiring and visually compelling I find it. Visually compelling seems like a weird thing to say about music, but Futurebirds just always paint me incredibly vivid pictures with their sound. This record also pushes their sound in a few directions they haven’t tried before, including some grungier, twangier, more guitar driven traditional Americana-sounding roots rock. It’s pretty stellar.

The Thermals — Desperate Ground: yes, I will take some more excellent brat pop that sounds like if John Darnielle made garage pop with loads of extra guitars.

The Shouting Matches — Grownass Man: see, the thing is, it’s not that I dislike Bon Iver, or Justin Vernon, or anything; it’s just that his records as Bon Iver have never really done it for me. That’s it, plain and simple: it’s not bad, it just doesn’t push the buttons I want my music to push. So trust it to be the funky, groovetastic Muscle Shoals influenced white soul blues record that he makes with Phil Cook (to be fair, one of my favorite humans and musicians) that I finally love a project from him. Justin Vernon is a genius; Phil Cook is a genius; this is a brilliant record.

Radiation City — Animals In The Median: shuffling, sunny, girl group harmonized indie pop, crashy and full of surf rock guitar lines. It’s got a song about zombies. It sounds kind of like ’50s Buddy Holly pop made under water. It’s full of ear worms and vaguely creepy, delicious love songs. It’s like riding a merry-go-round stoned, but with more synthesizers and off-beat drumming. That’s more than two sentences, but this album deserves all of my weirdest, most descriptive praise.

The Front Bottoms — Talon of the Hawk: summery brat pop with a distinctly ’90s alt rock flavor, this record reminds me a whole lot of my beloved Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy by the Refreshments; it’s got a great sense of humor in the songwriting, bouncing guitar lines, and shouted choruses. There’s no song over 4 minutes. It’s pretty much my new favorite summer driving record.

the first album i ever bought: r.e.m.’s green turns 25

carrboro farmer's market

The first album I bought for myself was R.E.M.’s Green. I bought it on cassette tape when I was 8 years old, with birthday money, after my friend Jeremy played “Stand” for me. It’s still one of my favorite records of all time, though I usually default to Automatic as my go-to R.E.M. record. Green is 25, which means I am 33, which also means that my cassette copy of Green — I still own it, though it’s warped beyond playing, and I’ve been through 2 CD copies since — is old enough to rent a car without penalties. It’s still a genius record. It sounds really, really good on the new vinyl release, which Rick the Cute Tattooed Bartender played when I was drinking martinis and eating hummus at the Wine Bar last week before my dinner reservation with Gorman. And, you know, it’s not quite R.E.M. without Bill Berry, but I still haven’t seen them, I still don’t have a time machine to go back and see them — I will have to take what I can get, and what I can get right now is that live disc.

Check out this video of “You Are The Everything” from Tourfilm, a documentary about that tour, below, and someone mail me review tickets and a press pass for R.E.M.’s next closest date to the NC, okay? Okay.

a dog named gucci (and a dog named susie)

film shoot: a dog named gucci

film shoot: a dog named gucci

(This post might feature things that are triggering; there are some photos of the aftereffects of animal abuse.)

Spent yesterday in Greensboro playing second camera for Gorman while he shot interviews for his current doc project, A Dog Named Gucci, a piece about animal cruelty and animal rights laws in the US. We hung out with Donna Lawrence and Susie, who was set on fire at 8 weeks old and left for dead. Donna adopted Susie during her recovery, and they worked to get the laws about sentencing in animal cruelty cases in NC changed. Pretty powerful stuff, and I was honored to hang out with them today.

josh ritter @ cat’s cradle, may 2013

josh ritter & the royal city band @ cat's cradle

josh ritter & the royal city band @ cat's cradle

josh ritter & the royal city band @ cat's cradle

(People searching for the setlist, I hope you come here and find it!)

I am not exactly shy about my feeling regarding Josh Ritter; it is one of my least complicated listener-artist relationships, in that flat out I love his weird ass unconditionally. I believe that rock and roll is a religion, and I believe that you should worship at the feet of Josh Ritter, who brought utter unconditional joy to stage of the Cradle last night, like he has every time I have seen him at the Cradle. It was a deeply melancholy set last night, because the new record of course is about heartbreak, but it was a joyously melancholy one. Josh talked about how his beliefs regarding marriage have changed — there was a comparison to riding a bicycle, which Josh is apparently unable to do, and that he now thinks that marriage is the greatest optimist step that “two mammals” can take — and he went on a long, bizarre, hilarious tirade about Lewis & Clark in the break during “Kathleen”. He alleged that the Cradle was built a thousand years ago. He told us that “Folk Bloodbath” was “a comedy”. He was funny, and happy, and he smiled the whole time, and the crowd loved him and he loved us back. It’s what I always want Josh Ritter shows to be: glorious.

The set feels a little stilted right now, as they try to find the places for the new songs, but the shivering opening of “Idaho” and the odd, lovely placement of “Wings” in Josh’s solo turn were both delightful surprises.

Setlist: Idado / Southern Pacifica / Rumours / Evil Eye / Hopeful / Lillian, Egypt / The Curse / Joy To You Baby / New Lover / Folk Bloodbath / The Temptation Of Adam / Change of Time / Wings / A Certain Light / Rattling Locks / Wolves / Right Moves / Kathleen // Lights / To The Dogs Or Whoever

the felice brothers @ cat's cradle

the felice brothers @ cat's cradle

The Felice Brothers opened, and while the siblings shoot beforehand fell through, they turned out to be the perfect weirdos to open for perfect weirdo Josh Ritter last night. I’ve only seen the Felices twice, both in the fall of 2010, once at Bristol on a huge stage and once at Kings a few weeks after that, and never since the latest record. Ian is such a creepy trainwreck genius, and James is the sexiest accordian player in the world, and Farley is the best thing to ever happen anywhere. They are so much fun to shoot, and such wonderful songwriters, and I need to never forget that.

Full set from last night here.

I feel a little guilty about these shots, because it was apparently a no cameras / credentials only show. Nobody told me not to shoot, though, and I didn’t see it posted anywhere, so I’m really sorry, Josh. I tried to be unobtrusive.