Category Archives: the moaners

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

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Year End Concert Stats

As I start my year end wrap up posts, today some stats to keep it in perspective. This was an amazing year in live music in Durham and in Raleigh and in Chapel Hill. I didn’t even see most of it (though I came closest in Durham) but, bow howdy, I saw a lot of it.

[All stats include shows I know I’ll see and shoot before the year is over. Stats do not include shows I went to without my camera (it happens)]

I saw and shot 209 shows at 33 venues in 2011 (this counts each day of a festival as a single show): 150 shows in Durham, 23 in Chapel Hill, 22 in Raleigh, 13 in Carrboro, 1 in Winston-Salem.

Counting each set by band I saw and shot 565 sets in 2011: 381 bands in Durham, 85 bands in Raleigh, 66 bands in Chapel Hill, 31 bands in Carrboro, 2 bands in Winston.

Looking at the venues I shot the most out of the 33 total venues: I shot 58 shows at Motorco, 47 shows at Pinhook, 13 shows at Casbah, 13 shows at Local 506, 11 shows at Motorco Garage, 10 shows at Cat’s Cradle.

Going by number of band sets, not shows: I shot 155 bands at Motorco, 108 bands at Pinhook, 38 bands at Casbah, 37 bands at Local 506, 34 bands at Motorco Garage, 23 bands at Cat’s Cradle, 21 bands at Kings, and 20 at Nightlight.

All together I saw and shot 358 bands this year, almost a band for each day of the year. 276 of those bands I saw only once. 65 of the bands I saw between 2 and 4 times. And 17 of the bands I saw 5 or more times:
Band – # of shows
JKutchma (w/ the 5/5 or solo) – 19
Midtown Dickens- 10
Almost People – 10
Phil Cook & His Feat – 8
Magnolia Collective – 7
Pink Flag – 7
Onward, Soldiers – 6
Mount Moriah – 6
Free Electric State – 6
Gray Young – 6
Hammer No More The Fingers – 6
Birds & Arrows – 6
American Aquarium – 5
Effingham – 5
Humble Tripe – 5
Red Collar – 5
The Moaners – 5

A special nod to JKutchma, Midtown Dickens, Phil Cook & His Feat, Gray Young, Mount Moriah, Birds & Arrows, and The Moaners, all of whom I saw play in at least 5 different venues.

And, yes, if anyone is curious, I’m happy to share the excel spreadsheet where I store all this info if you are curious about the nitty gritty details or want to look at lots of pivot tables.

In summary, I saw and shot a ton of shows and bands. I shot in venues all around the area and also really focused on shooting in Durham. I got to see many of my favorite bands play a bunch, some of my favorite bands not nearly enough, and just about everything in between. I found new music, new friends, new angles, new light, and so much more at shows

And between now and the end of the year, I have posts coming to try and pull from that magnitude of music: my favorite shows, my favorite concert moments, my favorite photos, my favorite albums.

Links to all year end coverage:
Top Ten Albums of 2011
Twenty Favorite Photos of 2011
Ten Favorite Shows of 2011
Great Moments of 2011

The Moaners, Cave

Great set by The Moaners at the Cave on Friday night. Their brand of rock and roll just makes me smile and calms me down. A+

The Moaners, Cave, Chapel Hill NC, 07/29/11

Opening for them was The All Girls Boy Choir, who also play a swampy, pleasing brand of rock & roll.

The All Girl Boys Choir, Cave, Chapel Hill NC, 07/29/11

Great night at the Cave all around, and it reminded me that I should go to the Cave more often – the light in that tiny space is lovely.

Full set here

The Moaners

Great, great sets by Lovers & The Moaners at The Pinhook last night.

I find The Moaners particular brand of southern gothic, bluesy, garage rock completely calming. Their guitar & drums rock & voices just have a way that settles my head and is beautiful. I know it isn’t music most folks think of as calming but it is universally excellent, and calms me, at least.

Lovers were also great and provided an excellent counterpoint to The Moaners.

Brilliant night.

Full photo set here

Come on put on your party dress

And if love is hopeless hopeless at best
Come on put on your party dress it’s ours tonight
And we’re goin’ with the tumblin’ dice

Ain’t no church bells ringing
Ain’t no flags unfurled
Oh, just me, you and the hope we’re bringing
Into the real world

-Bruce Springsteen, “Real World”

(My sister is getting married this weekend; I’m super thrilled for her. So you’ll have to excuse the joyous sappiness of this blog for the rest of the week. Pictures of smiling, happy people paired with quotes about marriage. It’ll be back to normal here next week.)