Showing posts from May, 2011

Lovers at The Pinhook - 5/26/2011

The Pinhook

I was so excited for this show that I planned my vacation around it...I can't say I would do that for very many bands. But Portland's Lovers released my favorite album of last year (or at least top three) called "Dark Light", and I was eager to see how it would come across live. The answer: fuckin' brilliant. The songs sounded SO good being performed right in front of me that it took all my power and strength not to sing along loudly like I do in the car. The Hook had a nice healthy crowd for this show, which I was glad to see since every person I've ever mentioned them to stared at me like I was speaking in tongues. They played nearly all of "Dark Light" over the course of the night, with maybe one or two other tracks that were either new or from their older releases I'm not super familiar with yet. For the life of me I don't get why this band isn't more popular, but I suppose the end result of that is I …

Archers of Loaf at The Grey Eagle - 5/21/2011

Archers of Loaf
The Grey Eagle

So that "secret" Archers of Loaf show earlier in the year has turned into a full blown reunion, as Merge is re-releasing remastered versions of their records with bonus tracks and all that jazz. And in support of these releases, they're playing shows again, non-secret shows. Announced shows that are selling out and full of aggro drunk thirty-something white males who spill their beer everywhere and stomp on my feet and sing along a little too exuberantly and...fuck it, who cares, the Archers are playing, all this other shit doesn't matter.

Unlike the first reunion show, they expanded their set list past their first two record and the "Greatest of All Time" EP, but still obviously managed to hit pretty heavily on those albums too. Along with all the songs you'd expect to hear - "Wrong", "Harnessed in Slums", "Web in Front", the entire EP (aka the hits) - they also pulled out "Dead…

Cola Freaks / Fossils / Double Negative at Tir Na Nog - 5/19/2011

Cola Freaks
with Fossils and Double Negative
Tir Na Nog

I was really surprised to see that this particular rendition of "Local Bands, Local Beers" was only a little local and not at all like the typical indie rock of these affairs. To go with the erstwhile Double Negative were a couple of touring Danish bands, Fossils and Cola Freaks. But then again, Denmark is kinda local, I've eaten many a cheese danish in these parts.

Double Negative opened the show to a sparse crowd, but given the line-up that wasn't all that surprising. This area ain't exactly known for it's predilection towards punk music. But fuck it, crowd or no crowd they put on a great show anyways. Is it wrong that they remind me of Rollins-era Black Flag? I know some might take that as an insult, as they might consider the Rollins years a travesty, but damn it I like most of that music, and Hank brought a ton of energy and charisma to the performance...not unlike the singer of Double Ne…

Love Language / Whatever Brains at Slims - 5/4/2011

Love Language
with Whatever Brains

The Love Language decided that instead of playing one big show at the Cradle or somewhere similar, why not play four small shows at the tiny Slims? Certainly I prefer it, as I'm guessing most fans do (not that I don't love the Cradle). Then again, it's easy to say that when you get to Slims early enough to get a great spot, as I did for this show. It's not really like me to get to a gig early, but for this show Whatever Brains were opening and those guys get a rousing "fuck yes". I give up on trying to describe this band - art-party-post-punk that gives a hearty "fuck you" to any possible comparisons you could ever try and come up with. Their music is more attitude than sound, best summed up by one of their song intros that night - "This song is about people who read books...fuck'em."

The Love Language were spending each of their four nights playing different material - on this second e…

U.S. Christmas / Black Skies / Royal Thunder at Kings - 5/27/2011

U.S. Christmas
with Black Skies and Royal Thunder

To paraphrase Dante from “Clerks”, I wasn't even supposed to be here! By the time U.S. Christmas (or USX as the kids call them) took the stage to open the night, I should have been getting ready to arrive in San Juan, Puerto Rico. But thanks to a freak thunderstorm that nearly washed Chapel Hill away, my flights got screwed up and the trip got pushed to the next day. The downside was my (already short) vacation was now less a day but I still had to pay for a hotel room I'd booked. The upside...well, at least there's rock.

The live version of USX has been in a state of flux lately – you never know how many or what members you're going to get from show to show. Justin playing some very subdued drums. It was a very mellow show by their standards, with the violin playing a large role in their sound and Nate even playing acoustic guitar on a couple of songs. This wasn't “MTV Unplugged” metal, but then again…

Mount Moriah / Organos at Kings - 5/14/2011

Mount Moriah
with Organos

Mount Moriah released their debut full-length album a few weeks ago, and I've been jonesin' to pick it up. I was going to go to Schoolkids and grab it on a few different occasions, but then this show got announced and I decided to wait and hand the money straight the band itself.

But first, a quick mention of openers Organos, an eclectic six piece pop band featuring Reid from Schooner and someone who recently became a dentist. I have no knowledge of the other bands and/or medical degrees that the other band members might have been involved with. They had enough toy and gimmick instruments on stage to arm two or three elementary school music classes. They sounded like a mix of Elephant 6 eclecticism, almost the entire mid-nineties Teenbeat roster, and the lead singer's voice had an uncanny resemblance to Kim Deal. I would not have been surprised to see these guys open for Unrest at the Cradle in 1993. I would have liked them then, …