Category Archives: langhorne slim

Favorite Shows of 2012: Special Event Edition

It is hard for me to narrow down my favorite shows of the year, mainly because I go to so many, but also because it is hard to put individual shows up against say, The Avett Brothers at Kings or any of the other extraordinary special nights (festivals or otherwise) this year. So, first, my top 5 favorite special event shows of the year.

So first my favorite of those standout nights:
The Avett Brothers, Racing the Cure, Kings, Raleigh NC, 03/23/12
1. 3/23/12 – The Avett Brothers/Old Ceremony/Filthybird/Schooner/Jack the Radio – Kings
There were two other venues participating in this one day Racing The Cure event. I’m sure those other venues were great that night too, but I was determined to get into Kings and see the Avett Brothers play a club show again. This was the only show all year where we actually sat outside the venue in queue starting at around 5 PM to get in. And the wait paid off . All the bands did a fine job leading up to the headliner. And then just a few rows from the front, it was magical to see the Avett’s like this again. photo set

Whatever Brains, Slim's, Hopscotch, Raleigh NC, 09/08/12
2. 9/6/12-9/9/12 – Hopscotch Music Festival – mostly at Slim’s to be honest
At Hopscotch this year 80% of the bands I saw this year were either locals or playing at Slim’s or both. This means I had pretty much the best Hopscotch I could imagine. I was primarily at Hopscotch to shoot video for the Indy/Hopscotch video team and the coordinator for that, the alwayS outstanding Dan Schram, gave me a schedule that played right to the things I love. It made for a wonderful bar full of great friends, great music, and alot of time standing on the stairs at Slim’s leaning out over the crowd with my camera. All Hopscotch photos here and highlights here.

Langhorne Slim, Casbah, Durham NC, 06/12/12
3. 6/12/12 – This day: Wood Ear – Bull City Records, Hiss Golden Messenger/Michael Chapman – Pinhook, Langhorne Slim/Ha Ha Tonka – Casbah
I’m a huge fan of earlier shows and this was just one of those days where everything lined up perfectly: Wood Ear’s in-store for their CD release, followed by Michael Chapman then Hiss Golden Messenger at Pinhook, and for a night cap the amazing Ha Ha Tonka opening for the wonderful Langhorne Slim. 5 stellar bands, otherwise ordinary night in Durham where all the concert stars aligned to remind me of how lucky I am to live in such a great part of the country for live music. Wood Ear pics here, Michael Chapman/Hiss Golden Messenger pics here, Langhorne Slim/Ha Ha Tonka pics here.

Janelle Monae, Obama For America Rally, ArtsCenter, Carrboro NC, 08/04/12
4. 8/4/12 – Janelle Monae – ArtsCenter, Pipe/Flesh Wounds – Pinhook
By my count there were 5 people, myself included, who went from the amazingness of seeing Janelle Monae in the tiny ArtsCenter to Pinhook to see Flesh Wounds & Pipe. And by my estimation we five were the luckiest people in the Triangle that day. Janelle Monae photos here & Pipe & Flesh Wounds photos here

Arliss Nancy, Death to False Hope Fest, Motorco Garage, Durham NC, 06/30/12
5. 6/29/12 & 6/30/12 – Death To False Hope Fest – Motorco
I love you guys. I already said everything I need to say about this weekend earlier in the week. Don’t imagine I could say it better.


Running out of ways to say amazing

Durham, what a stunning evening & night last night was.

After a day of clouds and rain, the sun came out just in time for Woodear’s CD release in-store at Bull City Records.

Michael Chapman, Pinhook, Durham NC, 06/12/12

Then almost everyone at Chaz’s went to Pinhook for the first in what I hope is a great series of Old People Shows starting at 7. Michael Chapman’s set was up first and sounded great.

Hiss Golden Messenger, Pinhook, Durham NC, 06/12/12

Hiss Golden Messenger finished up the show at Pinhook with a truly gorgeous 5-piece band. The show was so beautiful, so packed, that it was almost odd to walk out onto Main and relize it was just dusk.

Ha Ha Tonka, Casbah, Durham NC, 06/12/12

Then it was on to Casbah, for Ha Ha Tonka’s set. I don’t have words for how much I love this band. I have gone to shows just to see their opening set, so to see them here as the penultimate band on this night was just amazing.

Langhorne Slim, Casbah, Durham NC, 06/12/12

And Langhorne Slim closed out the night, wonderfully.

I made my way out of the bar as the encore rang out, just at midnight, into the humid but perfect Durham night.

Durham, I’m running out of ways to say amazing, beautiful, perfect.

Photo sets from Woodear @ BCR, Hiss Golden Messenger & Michael Chapman @ Pinhook, Langhorne Slim & Ha Ha Tonka @ Casbah.

We stepped into the light

We stepped into the light
Took pictures of each other
Some were in black & white
The others were in color.

– Langhorne Slim, “Colette”

Get Happy Along The Way

Take some chances, allow yourself to get lost
Your beautiful baby, your the boss
You’ve gotta learn to get happy along the way

There’s no foe to follow
Only stones left unturned
You must play with fire
In order to get burned

Toss your misery out the door
What are you waiting for?

You gotta learn to get a little happy along the way..
Its alright to change your style
Its alright to smile
Its alright to get a little happy along the way.

-Langhorne Slim, “Diamonds & Gold”

My September was phenomenally busy, between Hopscotch, a bunch of good shows, and the Durham Music feature/series I did last weekend, I shot nearly 100 bands in September. Saturday night I went to a show and took a few pictures and in the morning I just wasn’t happy with anything I shot, so I posted nothing.

Yesterday evening I was talking to a friend about fighting back against that burnout. I told her that what usually works for me is a concert that reminds me why I love live music. Where I can sit on the stage or stand in the front row with a blissful smile and sing along to every word. Where I take pictures just to remember the joy of the night.

So, lucky for me that Langhorne Slim played last night in Durham. 100% worth a late Sunday night. Just wonderful.

Langhorne Slim, Casbah, Durham NC, 10/02/11

Langhorne Slim, Casbah, Durham NC, 10/02/11

It was a stellar, two encore, almost two hour show. They played a good number of songs that they are going to record onto an album next month and many old favorites.

Just a delight.

And now I’m really looking forward to shooting another show (tonight most probably) amazing how that works.

Full photo set here

Top Shows of 2010: 7-12

7. J. Roddy Walston & the Business, Slim’s, Raleigh, NC, 07/30/10 – As someone who was used to seeing J. Roddy at the Ottobar in Baltimore, before the set at Slim’s, I kept eyeing the stage speculatively not quite sure the whole band would even fit on Slim’s postage stamp sized stage. It was a tight fit and a packed crowd and a hot night. (Though, honestly there were so many people in Slim’s that it could have been 20 degrees outside and everyone would have gone home sweaty.) And the heat and the proximity just turned the dial on an already amazing band up one notch. photo set

The Casting Out, Devines, Durham, 08/10/10

8. The Casting Out supported by Jason Kutchma, Magician Michael Casey & Last Year’s Men, Devines, Durham, NC, 08/10/10 – I think this show might have been the most fun I’ve had shooting a show all year. There is no stage at Devines, putting the crowd and camera at eye level. Nathan Gray is such a dynamic lead singer. As you can see from the photo on this post at one point my camera was over his head as he laid on the cement and sang his heart out. Magic Mike & Jason Kutchma make any show better, and then after The Casting Out were done, Last Year’s Men set up and blew through a quick set as a night cap. photo set

The Butchies, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC, 07/21/10

9. The Butchies supported by Pink Flag, Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC, 07/21/10 – I really don’t have words for how happy this show made me. I wasn’t expecting a Butchies reunion show and I didn’t think it’d be exactly what I needed to hear. But it happened, and it was right. Just a wonderfully fun night. Everyone in the band and in the crowd had ear to ear grins before the night was over. photo set

Two Cow Garage, Kings, Raleigh, 10/17/10

10. Two Cow Garage supported by Dave Hause, Kings Barcade, Raleigh, NC, 10/17/10 – Two Cow Garage were great. I’d been waiting a long time to see them and they didn’t disappoint. Dave Hause was magnificent. I’d been talking him up to many of the folks there to see Two Cow and he lived up to the bill and brought a little piece of my former mid-Atlantic home with him to Raleigh. photo set

Langhorne Slim, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC, 06/09/10

11. Langhorne Slim, Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC, 06/09/10 – There aren’t many bands that can take their whole band and pull then to the front of the stage, unplugged and hold a full and loud Cradle crowd in the moment they are creating. But Langhorne Slim & his band did it here. (And The National did a similarly amazing thing later in the year in Raleigh as well.) It was a moment so beautiful that I got goose bumps. Just stunning. photo set

Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm, Papa Mojo's, Durham NC, 05/21/10

12. Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm, Papa Mojo’s, Durham, NC, 05/21/10 – Sometimes a show is more than the sum of its parts. This one was exactly the right show at the moment I needed to hear it. Some days the right answer is a great driving blues show with a dance floor. photo set

In Color

We stepped into the light
Took pictures of each other
Some were in black and white
The others were in color

– Langhorne Slim, “Colette”

Say Yes

Darling, nobody plans it this way
We’re floatin’ or fallin’
We’re gonna land either way
Put on your blue lipstick and I’ll put on my Venus boots
And we’re in California
but it might as well be the moon.

-Langhorne Slim, “Say Yes”