Category Archives: bombadil

Favorite Shows of 2012

Following up on yesterday’s post. My 10 favorite shows of the year.

Red Collar, Local 506, Chapel Hill NC, 1/14/12
1. 1/14/12 – Red Collar w/ Spider Bags & Rat Jackson – Local 506
I love when a show early in the year sets the bar high. And all year long no single show topped this one. Just a fantastic kick start to the year. From Rat Jackson covering Alan Jackson to Reese McHenry joining Spider Bags on stage to the energy and passion Red Collar poured into every moment – this show was packed full of memorable moments. photo set

John Darnielle, Mac McCaughan, & Greg Cartwright, Protect All NC Families Benefit, Motorco, Durham NC, 04/19/12
2. 4/19/12 – John Darnielle, Mac McCaughan & Greg Cartwright – Motorco
Amazing night for a great cause. A completely unique chance to see these three songwriters trade songs and play off each other. photo set

Des Ark, Local Beer Local Band, Tir Na Nog, Raleigh NC, 05/10/12
3. 5/10/12 – Des Ark w/Midtown Dickens – Tir Na Nog
The best show Local Beer Local Band show I saw all year. But what really makes this night stand so high on my list is that it was exactly the show I needed at that moment. photo set

Lucero, Orange Peel, Asheville NC, 04/27/12
4. 4/27/12 – Lucero w/J Roddy Walston & The Business – Orange Peel
This show was nearly a shoe in, after all we decided to drive to Asheville to see the combo of Lucero w/ J Roddy opening. At the same time it was a show I had mighty high expectations for. They were more than met. photo set

Bombadil, The Farm, Hillsborough NC, 06/09/12
5. 6/9/12 – Bombadil w/ JKutchma & the 5/5ths- The Farm
I really hope there are more shows at The Farm next year. Absolutely a stunning place to see a show. The scenrey adds to the music; the chance sit in a chair on the grass listening to great local music chorus with the sounds of night setting in on a summer night. photo set

Reigning Sound, Nightlight, Chapel Hill NC, 08/24/12
6. 8/24/12 – Reigning Sound w/Last Year’s Men – Nightlight
Reigning Sound at Nightlight? Yes, please. photo set

Team Dresch, Pinhook, Durham NC, 09/29/12
7. 9/29/12 – Team Dresch w/ The Butchies & The Tomboys – Pinhook outdoor stage
Another year, another amazing Pinhook concert for Pride. This year, finally, the chance to see Team Dresch. photo set

Ted Leo, Duke Coffeehouse, Durham NC, 02/18/12
8. 2/18/12 -Ted Leo w/ Mac McCaughan – Coffeehouse
Great night. Never had the chance to see Ted Leo play before this, but the highlight of the night may just have been McCaughan talking about the first show he saw at the Coffeehouse. photo set

Vandaveer, Local 506, Chapel Hill NC, 05/11/12
9. 5/11/12 – Vandaveer – Local 506
I love to see full shows, and am saddened when a band doesn’t draw as well as I hoped. And man, y’all all missed this one. It meant we got to sit on the riser at 506 and enjoy an amazing and intimate Vandaveer show. Lovely. photo set

Crooked Fingers, Kings, Raleigh NC, 01/06/12
10. 1/6/12 – Crooked Fingers w/ Mount Moriah – Kings
What a great way to kick off the year. A packed Kings, great sets by both bands.

Up next in the year count down: favorite videos & favorite photos.

Bombadil, Duke Gardens

Delightful show last night at Duke Gardens as part of Duke Performances’ Music at the Gardens series.

Bombadil, Duke Gardens, Durham NC, 06/27/12

The guys played a good mix of songs from all albums. (“Jellybean Wine” was the oldest played. “Daniel’s Country Song” the newest.) Great to hear the bother older songs updated w/ more depth, and the new tracks.

Bombadil, Duke Gardens, Durham NC, 06/27/12

The band has now released their last full-length album All The Rain Promises on vinyl. And the Gardens show marked the release of the brand new 7-in album. The later is a limited show only release and well worth picking up. The former you can and should buy either at a show, on their website, or your fav record store.

Bombadil, Duke Gardens, Durham NC, 06/27/12
After a few tour dates next week, the band is getting to work on a new album, and they hope to have it for sale by their upcoming show at the Cradle on 9/1.

a few more shots:
Bombadil, Duke Gardens, Durham NC, 06/27/12

Bombadil, Duke Gardens, Durham NC, 06/27/12

Bombadil, Duke Gardens, Durham NC, 06/27/12

Full photo set here

The Farm, Hillsborough NC, 06/09/12

One of the best parts about living here in the summer is just being outside, enjoying the beautiful beautiful weather.

The Farm, Hillsborough NC, 06/09/12

I’m not speaking for anyone else, but sometimes I can get too caught up in my day-to-day to stop and enjoy. This night was a reminder of the beauty of being outside on a perfect night – enjoying the weather and friends.

JKutchma & the 5/5ths, The Farm, Hillsborough NC, 06/09/12

And in this case there was also great music.

JKutchma & the 5/5ths, The Farm, Hillsborough NC, 06/09/12

Provided by JKutchma and the 5/5ths.

Bombadil, The Farm, Hillsborough NC, 06/09/12

And as the sun fell and set, Bombadil.

Bombadil, The Farm, Hillsborough NC, 06/09/12

This was the first show in this gorgeous space (only a short 30 minutes from Durham, 15 from Chapel Hill). The next show will be in early September. I’m hard pressed to imagine a more perfect way to spend a night.

After show bonfire, The Farm, Hillsborough NC, 06/09/12

Good friends, beautiful surroundings, stunning sunset, gorgeous music, and a crackling bonfire after the show.

The full photo set is here – I’m planning on keeping that tab open in my browser so I can come back to the wonder of this night again and again.

Big thanks to everyone who put this event on, played, laughed, etc. It was exactly what I needed.

10 Favorite Shows of 2011

If you know me or just see me at shows, you know I’m frequently wandering around, running between two shows, etc. I see alot of shows and the more shows I go to the harder it is for a full show bill to hold me from the first band to the last. These are the ones where I stood up front or was otherwise transfixed by the whole show. My 10 favorite shows of the year.

Joe Pug, Local 506, Chapel Hill NC, 04/11/11
1. Joe Pug w/ Strand of Oaks, Local 506, 4/11 – It’s a very lucky thing that my favorite show of the year (and many others on this list) was also attended by the best taper in the area (Dan Schram) so I have this show on mp3 and can go back and listen again and again. Just a stunningly excellent show. So many of the shows on this list are special shows: album releases, first shows back, etc. The excellence of this show is even more amazing because it wasn’t a “special” show. It was another night on a long tour (for both bands). It’s the kind of show that makes me want to pack a bag and follow a tour around so I can see it every night. Photos here

Des Ark, Nightlight, Chapel Hill NC, 03/10/11
2. Des Ark w/ Pygmy Lush, Bellafea, Nightlight, 3/10 – Des Ark’s CD is on my favorite albums of the year list so it is no surprise to see the local album release show here. Just a show with Des Ark full band likely would have put it on the list, but this was far more. The crowd was wonderful, Pygmy Lush’s set was great, and Bellafea was so fantastic to hear again. I love Mount Moriah, obviously (favorite album of the year, a Mount Moriah show is coming up on this list), but sometimes a Bellafea show is exactly what I need. It was the perfect kickstart to the night. Photos here

The Butchies, Pinhook Outdoor Stage, Durham NC, 09/24/11
3. The Butchies w/ Pink Flag, Pinhook, 9/24 – Everything about this show. The weather was perfect for a huge celebratory show in the parking lot behind Pinhook, and that is exactly what this was. Both bands played fantastic sets to a great hometown crowd. Photos here

Mount Moriah, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC, 04/15/11
4.Mount Moriah w/ The Moaners & Filthybird, Cat’s Cradle, 4/15 – I feel like I’ve already said enough about how great Mount Moriah’s album is. The CD release show started with the three videos that are included with the album and ended with an all hands on-stage sing along of “Lament.” Start to finish, just a great night. Photos here

Bombadil, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC, 11/12/11
5. Bombadil w/ The Future Kings of Nowhere, JKutchma and the 5/5ths, Cat’s Cradle, 11/12 – Three bands I love on the same bill, a CD release show for Bombadil. Before even going to this show, I knew it’d end up on this list. So, for me, it had alot to live up to. And it more than did so. Photos here

Future Kings of Nowhere, Motorco, Durham NC, 05/07/11
6. Future Kings of Nowhere w/ Hammer No More the Fingers & The Wigg Report, Motorco, 5/7 – Photos here

Red Collar, Casbah, Durham NC, 05/28/11
7. Red Collar w/ American Aquarium, Casbah, 5/28 – Photos here

The Moaners, Cave, Chapel Hill NC, 07/29/11
8. The Moaners w/ All Girl Boys Choir, Cave, 7/29 – Photos here

Free Electric State, Pinhook, Durham NC, 11/4/11
9. Pinhook’s 3-year anniversary 3-night concert (Men w/ Tayisha Busey, Crystal Antlers w/ Old Bricks, Free Electric State, Javelin w/ Organos), 11/3-11/5 – Photos here

Shirlette & The Dynamite Brothers, Duke Gardens, Durham NC, 06/29/11
10. Shirlette and the Dynamite Brothers, Duke Gardens, 6/29 – Photos here

Links to all year end coverage:
Year End Concert Stats
Top Ten Albums of 2011
Twenty Favorite Photos of 2011
Great Moments of 2011

20 Favorite Photos of 2011

This isn’t about my most techically perfect photos, or the most sale-able, or the most viewed. Those lists would all look very different. These are my favorite concert photos I took this year. It’s an interesting question for me because I shot more this year for other people or with the intent to cover a show in a more traditional press photo sense. But those photos aren’t here.
If I had to pick 20 photos to remember my year in concerts by, it would be these 20.

The Tomahawks, Hungry Heart of Gold, Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC, 1/7/11
1/7, The Tomahawks, Local 506

Maple Stave, Fullsteam, DTFH Fest, Durham NC, 1/21/11
1/21, Maple Stave, DTFH Fest, Fullsteam

Tea & Tempests, Pinhook, Durham NC, 1/27/11
1/27, Tea & Tempests, Pinhook

Hammer No More The Fingers, WKNC Double Barrel Benefit, Kings, Raleigh NC, 02/05/11
2/5, HNMTF, WKNC Double Barrel, Kings

Tips for the Band, Motorco Garage, Durham NC, 03/08/11
3/8, Motorco Garage

X-Ray Eyeballs, Pinhook, Durham NC, 03/09/11
3/9, X-Ray Eyeballs, Pinhook

Pink Flag, Motorco, Durham NC, 04/14/11
4/14, Pink Flag, Motorco

Future Kings of Nowhere, Motorco, Durham NC, 05/02/11
5/2, FKoN, Motorco

Red Collar, Casbah, Durham NC, 05/28/11
5/28, Red Collar, Casbah

Lurch, Save the Scrap Exchange, Casbah, Durham NC, 06/04/11
6/4, Lurch, Save the Scrap Exchange, Casbah

Onward, Soldiers,  Motorco, Durham NC, 06/17/11
6/17, Onward Soldiers, Motorco

Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Motorco, Durham NC, 07/06/11
7/6, HGTR, Motorco

Midtown Dickens, Whistlin' Dixie Premiere, Pinhook, Durham NC, 07/10/11
7/10, Midtown Dickens, Pinhook

Red Collar, Motorco, Durham NC,08/06/11
8/6, Red Collar, Motorco

Last Year's Men, Churchkey/The Layabout Day Party, Slim's, Hopscotch, Raleigh NC, 09/09/11
9/9, Last Years Men, Hopscotch, Slim’s

The Flaming Lips, Raleigh City Plaza, Hopscotch, Raleigh NC, 09/10/11
9/10, Hopscotch, Raleigh City Plaza

Red Collar, Cave, Chapel Hill NC, 10/25/11
10/25, Cave

Tayisha Busay, Pinhook, Durham NC, 11/3/11
11/3, Tayisha Busay, Pinhook

Bombadil, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC, 11/12/11
11/12, Bombadil, Cradle

Beirut, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC, 12/8/11
12/8, Beirut, Cradle

Links to all year end coverage:
Year End Concert Stats
Top Ten Albums of 2011
Ten Favorite Shows of 2011
Great Moments of 2011

Top Ten Albums of 2011

I’m still on holiday, so to test out this list and make sure I’m good with it, I made a playlist of one song from each album and am playing it in my mom’s den with her listening in, offering her opinions, it’s an interesting way to get final feedback on a list.

Looking at the list, the genres represented are interesting, and suprisingly well grouped: 1-2 lyrically and sonicly rich delicate albums, 3-5 punkish albums, 6-8 post rock & other atmospheric albums, 9 country with a punk-ish flare, 10 indie-folk/indie-pop. I saw 8 out of the 10 bands play this year. There is only one I’ve never seen live.

Mount Moriah, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC, 11/12/10

1. Mount Moriah – Mount Moriah – After I bought this album at the CD release, I put it on for the car ride home and listened with the windows down. I arrived at my house on a cool night with owls hooting in the background and listened to the last tracks there in the drive, unable to turn off the car before the album’s end. It was the perfect first listen for the album. And since then it has, easily, been the album that I’ve listened to and loved the most this year. Every time I listen I find a new turn of phrase or string of notes to lose myself in. Just gorgeous. Best local album of the year; my favorite album of the year. Stand out song: Everyone else will say “Lament” or “The Reckoning”, I’ll go with “Plane.”

The Low Anthem, Local 506, Chapel Hill NC, 09/18/11

2. The Low Anthem – Smart Flesh – The thing I keep coming back to about this album is how it creates space. You can hear the deep breath at the end of a phrase, the echo of sound. The album cover and posters were beautifully letter pressed and have a beautifully tactile deminisions. Complete fitting for this album where you really feel like you can almost run your hand over the sounds. Just stunning. Stand out track: “Ghost Woman Blues”

Restorations, Cave, Chapel Hill NC, 10/25/11

3. Restorations – Restorations – I haven’t seen this album on many end of year list, mores the pity, because it is freaking stellar. Can You See The Sunset, one of the few blogs to list the album simply said “Resto-fucking-rations! Is it post-hardcore? Is it Americana? Is it indie-pop? Yes.” That’s pretty much it. Punk rock for people who don’t listen to much punk anymore. Literate, smart, driving, wonderful. Stand out track: “When Your Older”

Dave Hause, Local 506, Chapel Hill NC, 09/14/11

4. Dave Hause – Resolutions – Dave Hause’s voice reminds me of all my favorite parts of living in the Mid-Atlantic, not nearly enough to want to move back there, but it’s a good reminder. There are so many punk rock folks making folk-ish americana-ish albums that it seems almost too worn, that you forget the real beauty of the genre. This is an album that will make you remember why it works. Great backing band, beautiful songs, just great. Stand out track: “Time Will Tell” or “C’mon Kid”

Des Ark, Nightlight, Chapel Hill NC, 03/10/11

5. Des Ark – Don’t Rock The Boat, Sink The Fucker – The first time I listened to this album, I couldn’t really hear it as an album, great songs but I couldn’t find the thread. The more I listened, though, the more I fell for the tracking, the way the songs play off each other and play with tempo and dissonance from one song to another and within each song. The whole albums works like a single song, rewarding many listens. Stand out track: “Bonne Chance Asshole”

6. The Besnard Lakes – You Live In The City – It’s only a 4 song EP. And it’s perfect. If you’ve been looking at my favorite albums lists for a while, you know I love this band. Thier album The Besnard Lakes are the Dark Horse was my favorite album of 2007: dark and rich and apocolyptic. In this 2011 album they take a turn for the peaceful. This is the best soundtrack for getting lost in headlights and a cool sky on a narrow road. This is the only album on the list where I’ve never seen the band playlive. I’d drive at least 100 miles todo so, with this EP playing all the way there. Stand out track: “Some Colour in the Sky”

7. Explosions in the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care – The one thing that I still think Exposions in the Sky does better than any other post-rock band is the slow build. There is a moment and a tension in each track of building until that last piece comes in, and every time that last piece slides into place it feels like peace. Always so beautiful. Stand out track: “Be Comfortable, Creature”

All Tiny Creatures, Pour House, Hopscotch, 09/09/10

8. All Tiny Creatures- Harbors – All Tiny Creatures is all my favorite things about post-roock and all my favorite things about indie-pop in one beautiful atmospheric swirl. It’s music I get lost in. What really makes it work for me are the close repetitions, the short loops, that create a drone, a static, almost, in the back of the tracks. Stand out track: “Cargo Maps”

Austin Lucas, Motorco, Durham NC, 08/27/11

9. Austin Lucas – At Home In This World – I don’t understand why Austin Lucas isn’t a multimillionaire, winning armfuls of CMA awards every year, and playing to giant stadiums of country music fans. If country music is going to improve then this is the way to do it. I could play this whole album for my grandfather and it’d slide right into his collection between the Sunday Morning Singing and the banjo based secular country. Stand out track: “Darkness Out Of Me”

Bombadil Soundcheck, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC, 11/12/11

10. Bombadil – All The Rain Promises – Look, I’m 130% biased about this band. I love them. That they managed to make a followup to Tarpits and Canyonlands at all is amazing, that it is delightful and sparse and lovely is an added bonus. Listening to their albums straight through, it is obvious how much they’ve grown as people and as musicians and it is a joy to listen to. Stand out track: “I Will Wait”

Links to all year end coverage:
Year End Concert Stats
Twenty Favorite Photos of 2011
Ten Favorite Shows of 2011
Great Moments of 2011

Bombadil, Cat’s Cradle

At their Hopscotch set this year, Bombadil announced that they were planning a CD release show on 11/12. I immediately knew I’d be there, without a doubt. And as the opening acts were announced, it was even more solid.

Sometimes it really does feel like the universe lines things up perfectly for me.

Bombadil w/ FKoN & JKutchma. Just fantastic.

The Future Kings of Nowhere, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC, 11/12/11

The Future Kings of Nowhere started the night off with a tight 30 minute and sounded really really good.

JKutchma & the 5/5ths, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC, 11/12/11

I’ve been really lucky to get to watch Jay’s solo songs develop into JKutchma & the 5/5ths, and seeing them on stage at the Cradle was really really wonderful.

Bombadil, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC, 11/12/11

And Bombadil, if I tried to explain how beautiful it was to see, it’d be way way too gushy.

Bombadil, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC, 11/12/11

But, to me, the real beauty of the night is that once the music started, all the back stories were almost irrelevant.

Bombadil, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC, 11/12/11

It was, at the core, a beautiful, positive night full of really excellent people making beautiful music in front of a captive and full Cradle.

It was great.

My full photo set is here