Category Archives: last year’s men

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.


Reigning Sound, Nightlight

Took a little break from this blog and from shooting shows to focus on some other things. But this past weekend was a lovely, lovely return. Starting with Reigning Sound at Nightlight.

Reigning Sound, Nightlight, Chapel Hill NC, 08/24/12

Great crowd, and amazing to finally get to see Reigning Sound.

Last Year's Men, Nightlight, Chapel Hill NC, 08/24/12

Last Year’s Men opened with a great set.

Last Year's Men, Nightlight, Chapel Hill NC, 08/24/12

Full photo set here


Last night at Pinhook after the Spider Bags show, people crowded around phones and iPads to look at and rave about the Hopscotch 2012 schedule.

So a quick look back to last year.

Full gallery of all my best shots from last year here.

Reminder, I’m in the midst of replacing my camera, if you enjoy the photos now is an excellent time to buy prints. Thanks.

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

A Great Durham Weekend

This weekend in Durham was completely packed full of music. It was the combination of NC Pride, Motorco’s One Year Anniversary, and other great shows. Because of this delightful collision I decided to do a series/feature this weekend, by going to as many shows as possible. So, this is what happens when you try to go to every show in Durham in a beautiful extended weekend; this is what the Durham music scene looks like. (full photo set)

Midtown Dickens, Pinhook, Durham NC, 09/21/11
9/21/11 10:58 PM – Midtown Dickens provide the overture for the weekend with a great set at Pinhook

Birds & Arrows Soundcheck, Casbah, Durham NC, 09/22/11
9/22/11 6:25 PM – Birds and Arrows soundchecking for their Casbah show

Marcus Anderson Trio, Beyu Caffe, Durham NC, 09/22/11
9/22/11 8:10 PM – Marcus Anderson Trio pulls people in to Beyu Caffe

Mosadi Music, Motorco, Durham NC, 09/22/11
9/22/11 8:27 – Mosadi Music playing a community benefit at Motorco

Brian Horton Jazz Trio, Whiskey, Durham NC, 09/22/11
09/23/11 12:00 AM – Brian Horton Jazz Trio provides the nightcap at Whiskey

Humble Tripe, Parker & Otis, Durham NC, 09/23/11
9/23/11 6:42PM – The sun comes out for Humble Tripe at Parker & Otis

Joan Soriano, Motorco, Durham NC, 09/23/11
9/23/11 8:41PM – A packed house at Motorco ready to dance at the Joan Soriano show

Lacy Green, Broad Street Cafe, Durham NC, 09/23/11
9/23/11 9:13PM – Lacy Green plays Broad Street Cafe

Pre-Pride Dance Party, Casbah, Durham NC, 09/23/11
9/23/11 10:14PM – Ready to dance at Casbah’s Pre-Pride Dance Party

Totes Codes Pre-Pride Dance Party, Pinhook, Durham NC, 09/23/11
9/23/11 11:10PM – The Totes Codes Pre-Pride Dance Party at Pinhook

Charlie, Talk of the Town, Durham NC, 09/23/11
9/23/11 11:52PM – Charlie in their first set of the night at the Talk of the Town

MasQueerAde Pre-Pride Dance Party, The Bar, Durham NC, 09/23/11
9/24/11 1:10AM – The DJ keeps the music going until the early hours of the morning at The Bar’s Pre-Pride dance party

NC Pride Parade, Durham NC, 09/24/11
9/24/11 1:11PM – NC Pride’s 2011 Parade starts up the day

Effingham, Motorco Garage, Durham NC, 09/24/11
9/24/11 4:20PM – Effingham kicks off the Motorco One Year Anniversary Party

The Wigg Report, Motorco Garage, Durham NC, 09/24/11
9/24/11 5:12 PM – The Wigg Report continues Motorco’s day

Red Collar Soundcheck, Motorco, Durham NC, 09/24/11
9/24/11 6:41PM – Red Collar’s merch setup

Red Collar Soundcheck, Motorco, Durham NC, 09/24/11
9/24/11 6:50 – The calm before the show at Red Collar’s soundcheck at Motorco

Almost People Soundcheck, Motorco, Durham NC, 09/24/11
9/24/11 7:11PM – Sounds and looks good for Almost People’s soundcheck

Almost People, Motorco, Durham NC, 09/24/11
9/24/11 8:04PM – Almost People begins the night show at Motorco’s Anniversary Party

Pink Flag, Pinhook Outdoor Stage, Durham NC, 09/24/11
9/24/11 8:30PM – Pink Flag at Pinhook’s outdoor stage for the Pride after-party

Red Collar, Motorco, Durham NC, 09/24/11
9/24/11 9:04PM – Red Collar rocks Motorco

The Music Tapes, Casbah, Durham NC, 09/24/11
9/24/11 9:36PM – The Music Tapes capitvate a packed Casbah

Last Year's Men, Duke Coffeehouse, Durham NC, 09/24/11
9/24/11 10:04PM – Last Year’s Men opens up the night at Duke Coffeehouse

The Butchies, Pinhook Outdoor Concerts, Durham NC, 09/24/11
9/24/11 10:17PM – The Butchies at Pinhook’s outdoor stage

The Butchies, Pinhook Outdoor Concerts, Durham NC, 09/24/11
9/24/11 10:21PM – Amazing and thrilled crowd for The Butchies at Pinhook

Cracker, Motorco, Durham NC, 09/24/11
9/24/11 11:18 PM – Cracker closes out Motorco’s night

Magician Michael Casey, Motorco, Durham NC, 09/24/11
9/24/11 11:42PM – After the show, Magician Michael Casey provides a little magic

Ko-Kyu, Motorco, Durham NC, 09/24/11
9/24/11 11:49PM – KoKyu keeps the night going with late night food

Pride After Party, The Bar, Durham NC, 09/24/11
9/24/11 11:56PM – And still there is dancing at The Bar

KoKyu, Motorco Bloody Brunch, Durham NC, 09/25/11
9/25/11 2:35PM – Finishing touches are put on KoKyu’s truck design at Motorco

Fiesta Jazz Orchestra, Broad Street Cafe, Durham NC, 09/25/11
9/25/11 7:56PM – Jazz on Sunday night at Broad Street Cafe

Fullsteam, Durham NC, 09/25/11
9/25/11 8:14PM – Fullsteam at the end of a beautiful weekend

Pokey LaFarge, Motorco, Durham NC, 09/25/11
9/25/11 9:00PM – Pokey LaFarge at Motorco

Reese McHenry & Dan McGee, Casbah, Durham NC, 09/25/11
9/25/11 10:12PM – Reese McHenry and Dan McGee provide my last show of the weekend at Casbah.

What an amazing weekend. A huge and grateful thanks to all the venues, bands, and other awesome folks who were a part of this week.

And, here’s the most important part this was an exceptionally busy weekend, but the great shows don’t stop because the weekend is over. This week in Durham:
Monday – Human Eye/Spider Bags/Whatever Brains @ 9
Wednesday – Durham Street Piano Project kickoff @ 6:30
Saturday – Cantwell Gomez & Jordan/Necronomitron/Lurch @ 10
Monday – The Monti @ 7:30
Tuesday – D-Town Brass @ 9 after the movie
Thursday – Dark Water Rising/Delta Rae @ 9
Friday – Bo-Stevens/Phatlynx/Stag @ 9
Saturday – Dex Romweber & the New Romans/The Back Pockets / I Make the Young @ 9
Sunday – Brunch w/ Blue Tailed Skinks @ 2
Saturday – Hellcat Vixens Burlesque @ 10:30
Sunday – Langhorne Slim & the Law w/ Matrimony @ 9

or if want to you leave Durham, these shows are particularly recommended:
Local 506, Chapel Hill:
Tuesday – F*cked Up/Wavves @ 9:30
Wednesday – Jenny Owen Youngs/Hank & Cupcakes @ 8:30
The Cave, Chapel Hill:
Friday – JKutchma/Marcus Hodges/Todd Warner @ 9
Tir Na Nog, Raleigh:
Tuesday – JKutchma/Phil Venable @ 9:30
Thursday – The Toddlers/Cellar Seas @ 9:30
Kings, Raleigh:
Thursday – Tow3rs/Invisible Hand/Naked Gods @ 10
Slim’s, Raleigh:
Wedneday – Micah Schnabel/Have Gun Will Travel @9

Go out and see shows! And thanks again to everyone for the great weekend.

Hopscotch Reflections

I saw 49 full or partial sets this year at Hopscotch (if you count the drive-by performance by the Helping Hands Marching Band, literally a drive-by, they played in a truck bed driving around town, I caught then outside of Raleigh Times) and only one repeat band (Des Ark once an acoustic and unamplified show at Lump Gallery, once at Kings for a rock show). Half of the bands I saw were locals (25) and almost exactly half of the bands were bands I’d seen before (22). Those two lists don’t overlap as much as you’d think, actually, I saw 9 local bands I’d not seen before.

Some of the most memorable parts of Hopscotch, for me, were parts that happened not separate from but perhaps adjacent to the music. Long conversations with friends, really getting to know some folks I knew only as acquaintances before, running into people at exactly the right time for a hug or a tear or a high five. If you know me, you know I care about the community and the music of the community in almost equal measure. Last year, mostly because I’d just been here 5 months when Hopscotch rolled around, I felt less ownership. This year, though, I’ve got as many non-musical memories of Hopscotch as musical ones, and that is what it is all about for me.

But on to the photography & music. My favorite photos I shot are in this set
Thursday highlights:
Steve Gunn, Fletcher Opera Hall, Hopscotch, Raleigh NC,09/08/11
Steve Gunn was outstanding; I watched his hands intently during his set and I still don’t understand how one guitar makes all that music. The light setup Xray Eyeballs had at Slim’s was the most beautiful light setup I saw all festival (and so simple). Lower Dens really impressed. And JEFF the Brotherhood completely lived up to my high expectations.

Friday highlights:
The gorgeous bright noon light streaming into The Hive during Tow3rs set.
Last Year's Men, Churchkey/The Layabout Day Party, Slim's, Hopscotch, Raleigh NC, 09/09/11
Last Year’s Men’s set at Slim’s was the best set I’ve seen them play. The delightful confusion created in my brain by going from the Liturgy show to the Mount Moriah show. Frontier Ruckus covering the first verse of “September Gurls.”

Saturday highlights:
JKutchma debuting his full backing band at his day party show. Both times I got to see Des Ark. Superchunk playing “Driveway to Driveway” followed by “Learned to Surf.” Leaning against the wall at Tir Na Nog and disappearing into the music of All Tiny Creatures. Finally getting to see The Prayers & Tears. Bombadil, everything about seeing Bombadil play a full set again and in such a great space. The rickshaw that appeared as if by magic as I left Flechter for my last venue change of the festival (only rickshaw I took all weekend), that ride through Raleigh in the cool night made the whole thing seem enchanted. Then, closing out my festival with a roar with Titus Andronicus.
Titus Andronicus,Tir Na Nog, Hopscotch, Raleigh NC, 09/10/11

But like I said above, Hopscotch in specific, and this music community in general is more than just the music. This year I thought the quality of music was stellar (and better than last year), and I know I felt more a part of it than last year. My favorite thing is that this whole scene is so accessible and so accepting of what everyone brings to the table. I lived in Baltimore and went to shows there and in DC and attaching into the scene in both places was always very difficult for me because it seemed a event based scene. Here, though, it is a relationship based scene. I knew, no lie, 8 people in the area when I moved down. I’ve been in Durham for a year and a half now and it’s pretty safe to say that I could walk into almost any venue on almost any night and run into someone I know at this point. This scene is so excellent because it really is about communities of people, that great art is the byproduct is just a happy amazement.

One of the things that did bug me during Hopscotch was how many people didn’t look familiar, at all. During his set Jason Kutchma put out a call, a reminder, that great music is happening here all the time, not just during the big festival. That’s what I’d like to be able to convince everyone of. There is great music almost every night. And it is so easy to become a part of it all: go out. Talk to people. Pick a venue where you saw good shows at Hopscotch or a venue in Durham or one in Chapel Hill and just go. Go two nights, maybe three nights in a week .Talk to the door person, the bartender, the other regulars, the bands. At any place in the area, if you did that three nights in a week, you’d be welcomed as a local. I mentioned that this is a relationship based scene. That means it’s easy. You show up, and chat. That’s all. And, hey if you need to know someone at a show, hit up one of the shows I’ve got listed on my calendar and come up and say hi to me. I’ll be the one drinking either Diet Coke or Club Soda, wearing my camera on my wrist instead of around my neck, and taking pictures primarily using the viewscreen instead of the eyepiece. I don’t bite.

There are all kinds of great shows coming up just this month alone. Basically the whole week of 9/18-9/24 will be outstanding. In that week I’ll get to see: The Low Anthem & William Elliott Whitmore at Local 506, Jim Ward at 506, Fleet Foxes & The Walkmen at the Amphitheater, maybe squeeze in the end of Midtown Dickens’ set at Pinhook, Megafaun’s CD release w/ The Prayers and Tears opening at the Cradle, then the 24th will cap it all w/ insanity – Pride, a Duke Football game, Motorco’s birthday show of Cracker, with Red Collar & Almost People opening, and Pinhook for The Butchies w/ Pink Flag opening. That day of the 24th will be, like, everything I love in one packed day. (and then I’m sleeping)

Full list of all the Hopscotch coverage from this blog here

Hopscotch Day 2 Photos

A few photos from Hopscotch Day 2. Full photo set here

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

Helping Hands Marching Band, Hopscotch, Raleigh NC, 09/09/11
Helping Hands Marching Band

The Dodos, City Plaza, Hopscotch, Raleigh NC, 09/09/11
The Dodos

Drive-By Truckers, City Plaza, Hopscotch, Raleigh NC, 09/09/11
Drive-By Truckers

Drive-By Truckers, City Plaza, Hopscotch, Raleigh NC, 09/09/11
Drive-By Truckers

Guided By Voices, City Plaza, Hopscotch, Raleigh NC, 09/09/11
Guided By Voices

Justin Robinson & The Mary Annettes, The Hive, Hopscotch, Raleigh NC, 09/09/11
Justin Robinson & The Mary Annettes

Carlitta Durand, Lincoln, Hopscotch, Raleigh NC, 09/09/11
Carlitta Durand

Mount Moriah, Berkeley, Hopscotch, Raleigh NC, 09/09/11
Mount Moriah

Frontier Ruckus, Deep South, Hopscotch, Raleigh NC, 09/09/11
Frontier Ruckus

Now for Day 3.

Full list of all the Hopscotch coverage from this blog here