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Showing posts from April, 2014

Moogfest in Downtown Asheville - 4/25/2014

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Moogfest with Kraftwerk, Egyptian Lover, Giorgio Moroder, Clark and Moderat Downtown Asheville
4/25/2014
After hearing from so many friends on the west coast and in the northeast go on about how good Kraftwerk has been on their current tour, I called up my friend Brian and decided it was time for a road trip to Asheville - Asheville had Moogfest, and Moogfest had Kraftwerk. 
After a leisurely drive up we hit the streets of Asheville about 5 in the afternoon.  They had the street in front of the Moog factory blocked off and in place of traffic was vendors and food trucks and a big ass stage.  Performing on that stage was a guy named Egyptian Lover.  Initially I thought he was just a guy paying homage to the early days of rap, but it turns out he was an actual part of those early days!  His music was highly influenced by Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock" - very VERY heavy 808 beats paired with a futuristic/robotic sound.  The lover sorta sing/raps his lyrics an…

Marc Maron / Ryan Singer at Goodnights - 4/19/2014

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Marc Maron with Ryan Singer Goodnights
4/19/2014
I know Marc Maron is performing bits when he is onstage, he's been doing this comedy thing for a few decades now after all.  But he's just so damn comfortable up there that it feels more like a conversation (and sometimes a rant) than it feels like a comic performing a routine.  There were a few noteworthy bits about driving a car in LA turning into a "hate pod" and how farting never stops being funny, but the best parts were his ruminating on Jesus / religion / Good Friday (it was particularly topical given the date of the show) and taking questions from the audience.  One audience member asked him about crossfit which set him off on a particularly funny rant if I remember correctly.  The man is easily one of the best working comedians out there today, and I'll never not ever not miss him tell the jokes and the whatnot. 

His opener, Ryan Singer, was the exact opposite - his act was so perfect and wel…

PHOTOS: Protomartyr / Whatever Brains / Spray Paint at Slims - 4/17/2014

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Protomartyr






Whatever Brains






Spray Paint


Protomartyr / Whatever Brains / Spray Paint at Slims - 4/17/2014

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Protomartyr with Whatever Brains and Spray Paint Slims
4/17/2014
I missed Protomartyr at Hopscotch last year or the year before or whenever it was, but I remember people that I trust giving them a big thumbs up and that was enough to get me out of the house and into Slims.  The place was packed, probably sold out but I didn't poll the doorman or anything.  As I hadn't even listened to more than a song or two of their music, I was forming most of my opinion on the band from this show.  You would definitely never know what you were getting into from just looking at this pack from Detroit - singer Joe Casey looked like the doppelganger for Craig Finn of the Hold Steady, the guitarist looked like a refugee from a frat jam band, and i don't recall the bassist or drummer (insert rhythm section jokes here), but everyone looked like they were coming from something different.  More importantly though, the music - rad.  Super rad.  The overwhelming vibe was a protopunk/p…

Doug Benson / Graham Elwood at the Comedy Zone - 4/12/2014

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Doug Benson with Graham Elwood The Comedy Zone
4/12/2014

You know you love a comedian when you're willing to drive all the way to Charlotte to see them.  I actually had a chance to see Doug Benson a couple of days earlier in Raleigh, but Superchunk was playing the same night and I miss Superchunk for no one.  He was performing at his favorite time, 4:20 in the afternoon, not only because he is a stoner but mainly because having a comedy show in the afternoon usually insures the crowd is definitely there to see you, and not just some drunk oafs who decide it might be fun to go to the comedy club at night and be annoying loud assholes.

First though - Graham Elwood opened the show, as he seems to often do with Doug on the road.  He is the Washington Generals to Doug's Harlem Globetrotters, only in this case I'm betting both are terrible at basketball.  He is good at comedy though - not as good as Doug, but I enjoyed his short set.  Outside of some comical karate ta…

PHOTOS: Superchunk / Loamlands at Haw River Ballroom - 4/10/2014

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Superchunk






Loamlands





Superchunk / Loamlands at Haw River Ballroom - 4/10/2014

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Superchunk with Loamlands Haw River Ballroom
4/10/2014
It's a bit of a drive to the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw, certainly more so than most other venues.  But it's a pleasant drive, and with my friend the Cook-Out tray there to accompany me, we made the trip in no time and got there in time to see the last half of Loamlands set.  They're almost a local all-star band, mainly consisting of a couple of former Midtown Dickens members but from show to show includes any number of other recognizable musicians - tonight in particular Matt from Portastatic and Bon Iver was handling the drums.  Despite the pedigree I'd not listened to or seen the band before - turns out they play very pleasant folk pop with a slight country tinge.  Singer Kym Register has a fantastic voice, one that could easily hold my attention all by itself, but the songs and musicianship seemed to be top notch across the board.  It looks like they're finally releasing some recorded musi…