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Kumail Nanjiani / Jerrod Carmichael at the Local 506 - 12/23/2013

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Kumail Nanjiani with Jerrod Carmichael Local 506
12/23/2013
This was more or less a repeat of the show these guys put on a couple of years back, and I'm very thankful for it.  Kumail Nanjiani is married to a local gal and they were in town for the Christmas break; ditto for Jerrod Carmichael, a North Carolina dude trying to make it in the LA comedy world but back in town for the holidays. 

I'm not sure if Jerrod was just flying by the seat of his pants or if he had a well designed set to feel that way, but either way it felt like he was just telling jokes off the top of his head and shooting the shit with the crowd.  His parents were there, standing right next to me actually, and played into his material fairly often.  The man has really honed his craft in my opinion - two years ago I thought he was fairly funny, but I laughed tons more this time out. 

Kumail also felt pretty loose - last time it seemed like he was performing a pretty well rehearsed act, whereas this t…

PHOTOS: Whatever Brains / Goner at Legends - 12/6/2013

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Whatever Brains





Goner


Whatever Brains / Goner at Legends - 12/6/2013

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Whatever Brains with Goner Legends
12/6/2013
There's a new First Friday show happening here in town called "Let Feedback Ring," booked by one of the local punk label dudes (I think).  First Friday, for the record, is an art/music/random douchebag gathering that happens every first Friday on the month in downtown Raleigh.  A lot of places do something similar, sometimes on Thursday (as was the case when I lived in Oakland) or Saturday or whatever.  Hey, any excuse to get people downtown spending money with local business is a good idea. 

The gig was held at Legends.  I once went to Legends for my 21st birthday back when I was a dumb college kid in the nineties and the idea of going to a gay club was funny for some reason.  I had no idea how big this place was though - there an entire theater area in the back with a stage that is great for live shows.  I got there in time to catch most of the set from Goner.  It feels like these guys have been around forever,…

PHOTOS: Pontiak / Guardian Alien at Kings - 12/3/2013

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Pontiak






Guardian Alien




Pontiak / Guardian Alien at Kings - 12/3/2013

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Pontiak with Guardian Alien Kings
12/3/2013
This was my third time seeing Pontiak this year.  To be more specific, it was my third time seeing them since early September.  All three sets have been pretty similar, and at the same time all three sets have been stellar.  When it's this good, I'll gladly listen and watch them play the same set three more times...hell, thirty more times.  You can look at my older ramblings here and here if you want more dumb words on the subject, just know that this band is basically perfection live when it comes to this brand of southern gothic heavy rock music. 
The opener was Guardian Alien.  I think they played at the last Hopscotch or maybe the one before that...shit, all I remember was people were talking about them.  And they were probably talking because of drummer Greg Fox, known for his work in Liturgy or maybe because he's an amazing badass behind the kit.  The music was a combination of Tune-Yards art-pop weirdness and t…

PHOTOS: Midlake at the Local 506 - 11/11/2013

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Midlake at the Local 506 - 11/11/2013

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Midlake Local 506
11/11/2013
I've been a huge fan of Midlake for years and seen them live a number of times - their 2006 album "The Trials of Van Occupanther" would easily make my top ten records of the last decade.  But then their singer Tim Smith left before they finished their most recent record "Antiphon," and honestly I didn't know how the hell their live show would turn out.  You can lose a drummer or a guitarist and generally replace them fairly seamlessly, but losing the voice of the band is another thing entirely.  Short of holding an international search for a new singer and finding a diminutive sound-alike from the Philippines, they did the next best thing and just had guitarist Eric Pulido take over on the mic. 

Last time the band was in town they played at the Cradle - it wasn't full, but there was a healthy crowd there.  This time, they're playing to a half-full Local 506.  Probably not a good sign, but I hope that doesn&#…

PHOTOS: Pelican / Coliseum at the Local 506 - 11/4/2013

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Pelican





Coliseum






Pelican / Coliseum at the Local 506 - 11/4/2013

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Pelican with Coliseum Local 506
11/4/2013
According to the band this was the first time Coliseum had ever played in the the Triangle in their ten years of existence.  A band bypassing our area for a long period of time isn't that strange, but given these guys are only from Louisville it does seem odd they never would have toured here.  But hey, they're here now and that's what counts.  I have heard from multiple friends that they put on a top-notch live show, and those reports turned out to be 100% true.  Their records are enjoyable but they just can't measure up to the power and ferocity of the band on stage.  I'm not sure if it's just me or a truism for the genre, but I find this often to be the case with heavy and/or metal bands.  These cats are more than just metal though, I hear a distinct tinge of punk throughout most of their music - specifically, Black Flag.  And then there wee a couple of other times when they approached a Queens of the St…

PHOTOS: Built to Spill / Slam Dunk at the Cat's Cradle - 10/30/2013

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Built To Spill






Slam Dunk