Showing posts from July, 2009

The Rosebuds at the Jackpot - 7/20/2009

The Rosebuds
The Jackpot

I'm not sure this was even a show, more of a gathering, but I decided to write it up anyways. As part of the festivities for Merge Fest XX, The Rosebuds sent out a text saying they would be at the Jackpot in a few hours playing some songs and filming it to be used later in a possible DVD commemorating the anniversary. So there was a small gathering of fans at the bar, waiting on the band, many wondering where the hell they were actually going to perform in the place. And then after a bit of standing around, here comes the acoustic two-piece version of the Rosebuds through the front door, already playing a song, with a camera crew tagging along behind them. Ivan & Kelly played a few songs there in the middle of the bar, the crowd gathered around and singing along at all the right parts - it felt like a campfire sing-a-long...minus the camp, and the fire, and the bears trying to get into your food. I know they played "Nice Fox" and…

Blag'ard / Mount Vicious at DIVEbar - 7/12/2009

with Mount Vicious

My friend Conan used to have a band in Oakland called Replicator. I saw them many, many times over my eight years in the Bay Area, and they always brought (a) the rock and (b) the fun. Like most bands, eventually Replicator broke up, but Mount Vicious soon rose from the ashes.

Soon thereafter Mount Vicious went on a tour across the country, and this tour included a stop at the DIVEbar in Raleigh. Since no one knows them out here, it was a Sunday night, and to be perfectly honest I had no idea there were even shows at this venue, expectations were low across the board.

But low expectations and even lower turnout didn't diminish the rock that Mount Vicious brought this evening. Where Replicator were almost as much about restraint as anything else, the Mounting ones were all about balls-to-the-wall seventies-style rock...loud, anthemic, the sort of songs you want to pump your fist in the air to. And to go with their originals, they inc…

Lonnie Walker / Hammer No More The Fingers at Tir Na Nog - 7/17/2009

Lonnie Walker
with Hammer No More The Fingers
Tir Na Nog

Sometimes you just want to get out of the house. My man Ivan told me about a benefit show at Tir Na Nog - it was only five bucks, I was sitting around the house bored out of my mind, so why not see some local bands? Of course, I got a quick reminder on why it is better to keep your ass at home when I got caught in a speed trap and received my first ticket in over a decade. So my five dollar night out turned into a hundred seventy-five dollar night out. This is obviously more dollars than one should spend on a night out of local music, but what was done was done and might as well have a fun night out, moping don't make a ticket go away.

I think there might have been 463 bands playing that night, but I didn't really start paying attention until Hammer No More The Fingers took the stage. When I look at the music listings it seems like this band plays out eight nights a week, but somehow I'd never seen them be…

T-Model Ford / Shake It Like A Caveman at The Grey Eagle - 7/3/09

T-Model Ford
with Shake It Like A Caveman
The Grey Eagle

I was making a fourth of July holiday weekend visit home, and decided to round up my good man Nate for a last minute show in Asheville. Blues legend T-Model Ford was playing, and how many times do you get a chance to see a true legend?

There was only one opener - a one man band going by the name of Shake It Like A Caveman. Despite that unfortunate choice in name, the guy played some pretty interesting music - he had a simple drum kit he played with his feet while he wailed on his guitar and sang. It had a Jon Spencer Blues Explosion feel to it - sloppy, bluesy, distorted vocals, good time party music what for booty shaking and such. Very enjoyable, all told, and a nice set-up for what was to follow.

T-Model Ford - the man is a national treasure, and that is putting it lightly. 89 years old, and the cat rocks harder than most folks a quarter of his age. This is raw, dirty, pull-no-punches juke-joint delta blues, played by …

Merge Fest XX: Spoon / Pipe / Polvo / Lambchop at the Cat's Cradle - 7/24/2009

Merge Fest XX:
Spoon,Pipe, Polvo and Lambchop
The Cat's Cradle

With the rumor mill swirling previous to this show, I knew this was a ticket I needed to get. Luckily my friend Ivan had an extra band pass he could let me borrow, so by the skin of my teeth I yet again manage to make it into another Merge Fest night.

I missed the first couple of bands, but this was somewhat intentional - I knew the rest of the night was one banger after another, and I wouldn't want to miss a single minute of any one of their sets.

I finally waddled in the club, full of taco truck burrito for the second night in a row, just moments before Lambchopwas about to begin performing. This is a band I've loved since my freshmen year in college (1994, it hurts a little to think about how long ago that was) when I bought their record at Poindexter's in Wilmington just because it was on Merge. I've seen the band perform live a couple of times, with no two shows alike.

And none of …

Merge Fest XX: Superchunk / Versus / Richard Buckner at the Cat's Cradle - 7/23/2009

Merge Fest XX:
Superchunk,Versus & Richard Buckner
The Cat's Cradle

Going into the week of Merge Fest, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make it to any of the shows. I was too broke for one of the five day passes, and the single day tickets sold out so fast that my slow ass didn't manage to score even one. But as I was hanging out at the Jackpot during the Rosebuds impromptu acoustic performance, the chance arose to purchase a ticket to the second night's festivities at the Cradle. Let's hear it for getting lucky!

One of the more frustrating/entertaining functions of Merge Fest this time around was the label's decision not to release the line-ups for any given night. This could be a problem when you're eager to see a specific band, but luckily for me I like most of their artists so I knew I was guaranteed a good show. And not to tell tales outside of school, but since I know a couple of folks in bands on the label, they gave me the ins…