Category Archives: midtown dickens

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.

Favorite Albums of 2012: Locals Edition

I tried to cut my list of favorite local releases down to the best of the best and ended up with 6 records. So that’d what I have here. I’m incredibly lucky to live in an area with so much great music and so many opportunities to see them live. All told I’ve seen these bands 41 times this year. Pretty awesome.

JKutchma & The 5/5ths, Pinhook, Durham NC, 07/06/12
1. JKutchma – Pastorals
Band I saw the most this year; favorite album of the year. The title track “Pastorals” was the song I didn’t know I needed this year. “And no I’m not proud of all that I did, In search for destination now I’m back where I begin. All my transgression oh how I remember each. But if I lived again without them, would I have found this peace? I’ve been wrong more than I’ve been right. My fault, I won’t deny. I hope at heaven’s gate, they make saints. Cause I tried, I tried, I tried. I been so wrong. But I tried.”

Spider Bags, Local 506, Chapel Hill NC, 1/14/12
2. Spider Bags – Shake Your Head
I dare you to listen to the opening tracks “Keys to the City” & “Simona La Ramona” and try not to dance, laugh, remember why you love music, sing along. I’m pretty sure it is impossible.

Midtown Dickens, Brickside Festival, Jameson Gallery, Durham NC, 03/24/12
3. Midtown Dickens – Home
This album sounds like Durham to me. And I mean that in all the best ways.

Gross Ghost, Pinhook, Durham NC, 06/02/12
4. Gross Ghost – Brer Rabbit

American Aquarium, Local 506, Chapel Hill NC, 11/29/12
5. American Aquarium – Burn.Flicker.Die
I’m so incredibly proud of these guys for all the hard work they’ve put in to their success, for the touring and the growth, and the fact that this album is just darn, darn fine. Some of these songs have been kicking around live for years and it shows in the delivery. Both a familiar step for the band and a big leap forward. All of that notwithstanding, this album might just belong on this list for the Backsliders cover alone.

Red Collar, Motorco, Durham NC, 05/19/12
6. Red Collar – Welcome Home
I love this band, full stop.

10 favorite non-local releases tomorrow.

Midtown Dickens, Duke Gardens

Midtown Dickens, Duke Gardens, Durham NC, 07/18/12

Midtown Dickens, Duke Gardens, Durham NC, 07/18/12

The Duke Gardens series this year has been absolutely stellar. Midtown Dickens last week, and tonight the series comes to a close with Megafaun.

Midtown Dickens, Duke Gardens, Durham NC, 07/18/12

Full photo set is here

See you tonight at the Megafaun show.

TRKfest, 07/21/12

Rainy weather forced a move of TRKfest from the Piedmont Biofuels farm to the Trotter Building in Durham. Happily, that put it a couple minutes from my house, and everything ran very smoothly.

After the lovely set by Megafaun & Midtown Dickens playing that was a mix of covers and songs by one of the bands, the stage cleared the tone shifted to, well, this:

Lost Skulls, TRKfest, Trotter Building, Durham NC, 07/21/12

At times it was a little surreal to watch the one-off Misfits cover band shift the festival to a rock show to end the night. Below a few photos from earlier in the day, followed by more Lost Skulls.

Des Ark, TRKfest, Trotter Building, Durham NC, 07/21/12

Hammer No More The Fingers, TRKfest, Trotter Building, Durham NC, 07/21/12

Lost Skulls, TRKfest, Trotter Building, Durham NC, 07/21/12

Lost Skulls, TRKfest, Trotter Building, Durham NC, 07/21/12

Lost Skulls, TRKfest, Trotter Building, Durham NC, 07/21/12

Lost Skulls, TRKfest, Trotter Building, Durham NC, 07/21/12

Full photo set here

High Contrast

Des Ark & Midtown Dickens, Local Beer Local Band

Midtown Dickens, Local Beer Local Band, Tir Na Nog, Raleigh NC, 05/10/12

This show was exactly what I needed last night. Perfectly so.

full photo set here

Midtown Dickens, Cat’s Cradle

Beautiful night at the Cradle on Saturday night. Midtown Dickens’ new CD is excellent, one of my favorite of the year, and it was brilliant to see the album performed in its entirety at the CD release.

Midtown Dickens, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC, 04/07/12

Midtown Dickens, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC, 04/07/12

Midtown Dickens, Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC, 04/07/12

full photo set, including photos of Kariba’s first set of the night, here