Following up on yesterday’s post. My 10 favorite shows of the year.
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
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
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
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
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
6. 8/24/12 – Reigning Sound w/Last Year’s Men – Nightlight
Reigning Sound at Nightlight? Yes, please. photo set
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
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
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
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.
Posted in best of lists, bombadil, chapel hill/carrboro, des ark, duke coffeehouse, durham, jkutchma, kings, last year's men, local 506, mac mccaughan, midtown dickens, motorco, mount moriah, nightlight, orange peel, pinhook, raleigh, rat jackson, red collar, spider bags, the butchies, the farm, tir na nog, travels/wanderlust
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:
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Posted in avett brothers, best of lists, bull city records, casbah, dtfh fest, durham, filthybird, flesh wounds, ha ha tonka, hiss golden messenger, hopscotch, janelle monae, kings, langhorne slim, motorco, motorco garage, old ceremony, pinhook, pipe, raleigh, schooner, slim's, woodear
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.
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.”
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.
3. Midtown Dickens – Home
This album sounds like Durham to me. And I mean that in all the best ways.
4. Gross Ghost – Brer Rabbit
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.
6. Red Collar – Welcome Home
I love this band, full stop.
10 favorite non-local releases tomorrow.
I am 110% in favor of more early shows in Raleigh.
And 110% in favor of shows at Neptune’s.
full photo set here
Great night at Kings on Saturday
full photo set here
So great to see the guys from The Demon Beat again.
The new songs sounded great live.
The new album is out now (self-released) catch them at an upcoming show and pick a copy up.
The Mercators opened with a completely new lineup (other than lead singer Todd Warner). They’ll be playing again next Tuesday at Pinhook opening for Red Collar.
Joe Hall started the night off.
Full photo set here
Slim’s on a Tuesday:
Full photo set including photos of Almost People here