Showing posts from November, 2016

Bull City 11th Anniversary Party at Ponysaurus Brewing - 8/6/2016

Bull City 11th Anniversary Partywith Superchunk, Pipe, Last Year's Men, and Daniel Bachman
Ponysaurus Brewing

Ponysaurus is located just a few blocks from the more "newly developed" parts of downtown Durham, but it's like a different world - boarded up buildings, blight, and the typical trappings of inner city poverty abound.  You can see the changes creeping that way though, that new money slowly overtaking block by block in the same fashion kudzu covers everything it encounters.  I suppose Ponysaurus itse;f would be one of those agents of change themselves.  I'll leave it up to the reader to decide if this a good or bad thing (or as is almost always the case in these situations, both), I'm just painting the scene...

I got there and Daniel Bachman was already well into his set.  Just him and his guitar performing really pretty, intricate instrumental music.  He also played this weirdly shaped lap guitar that I'm going to assume was a do…

Superchunk / Skylar Gudasz at Dorton Arena - 10/19/2016

With Skylar Gudasz
Dorton Arena
The folks that used to handle the music booking for the North Carolina State Fair made a great decision last year - instead of throwing a lot of money at washed-up and never-has-been rockers, country crooners, and family friendly fare, give a little money to a local agency who can book local musicians and actually support local North Carolinians, one of the main reasons to even have a state fair.  The hard work of local scribe Grayson Haver Currin probably helped them make this decision to change by digging up just how much money the Fair folks were losing on the crappy, mostly unwanted acts they used to book - it was going so wrong, why not try something else?  Long story short, a bunch of shit changed behind the scenes at the State Fair and now I get to see Superchunk in Dorton Arena for free after walking around eating junk food all day. 

First though was Skylar Gudasz, their opener for the night.  I got to the venue i…

Nada Surf / Amber Arcades at the Cat's Cradle - 10/3/2016

Nada Surf
with Amber Arcades
Cat's Cradle
The last time I saw Nada Surf live was back in my SF days (aka pre-2008) - much to my dismay, the band doesn't seem to have much love for shows in North Carolina.  This is especially surprising since Matthew Caws has family in the state, and some were even at this show, at least according to his stage banter.  Perhaps their reticence to play is the crowd, or lack thereof.  My (often poor) estimate is there were probably a couple hundred people there, but I was truly shocked that the place wasn't full, or close to it - sure it was a much more comfortable environment, but Nada Surf deserve better.  They're probably second best pure pop band working after Teenage Fanclub. 

They're a pro outfit - every song sounds impeccable, they had their own fancy light rig synced up to the music, and you can tell by the way they interact with the crowd that they're very comfortable on stage.  To my surprise Doug Gilla…

Built to Spill / Hop Along at the Cat's Cradle - 9/22/2016

Built to Spill
with Hop Along
Cat's Cradle
It's a pretty simple - if Built to Spill comes to town, I go.  It doesn't even require any thought, the ticket just gets bought the second I see them available for sale.  God knows how many times I've seen them at this point, but I never leave one of their gigs disappointed.  I'm not sure if it's the first time I've seen the band as a trio, but it's definitely been a long time - since the early days when Scott Plouf and Brett Nelson first started playing with Doug Martsch, back when his plan was to have a different rhythm section every record (this didn't last long).  These days it's the pair of young dudes that have been touring with him the last few times Built to Spill came to town, and they do a fine job.  I did miss (occasional touring guitarist/Caustic Resin founder/all around rad dude) Brett Netson's added guitar playing though - luckily, if anyone can hold down all of the …