Category Archives: casbah

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.

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Cory Branan, Casbah

Beautiful to come home form the beach in time for this show.

Cory Branan, Casbah, Durham NC, 06/17/12

Cory’s new album Mutt is out on Bloodshot, it has been a long time coming, and if you’ve been going to Cory’s shows the last few years you already know quite a few of them. But while listening to it on the way home yesterday, I was delighted by how well it worked as an album. Go pick it up if you haven’t already.

Audra Mae, Casbah, Durham NC, 06/17/12

Audra Mae was one of the two openers, and goodness, she has a great voice.

Full photo set here

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.

Bull City Metal Fest, 02/04/12

The second day of Bull City Metal Fest really stretched the bounds of metal to the point where even I, as someone unversed in the distinctions between the types of metal, could see the diversity in the genre. The Saturday shows also contained the best set I’ve seen so far this year. I love watching things come together so it was simply stunning to watch a set by Braveyoung followed by a set by The Body followed by a set of the two bands together. The collaboration would have been amazing alone, but when informed by their solo sets it resonated with the music each band brings to the table. Really excellent stuff.

Photo highlights from day 2:

Grohg, Bull City Metal Fest Day 2, Casbah, Durham NC, 02/04/12
Grohg

Gross Reality, Bull City Metal Fest Day 2, Casbah, Durham NC, 02/04/12
Gross Reality

Widow, Bull City Metal Fest Day 2, Casbah, Durham NC, 02/04/12
Widow

Shadow of the Destroyer, Bull City Metal Fest Day 2, Casbah, Durham NC, 02/04/12
Shadow of the Destoyer

Braveyoung, Bull City Metal Fest Day 2, Casbah, Durham NC, 02/04/12
Braveyoung

The Body, Bull City Metal Fest Day 2, Casbah, Durham NC, 02/04/12
The Body

The Body/Braveyoung, Bull City Metal Fest Day 2, Casbah, Durham NC, 02/04/12
The Body/Braveyoung

Black Tusk, Bull City Metal Fest Day 2, Casbah, Durham NC, 02/04/12
Black Tusk

full photo set from day 2

Bull City Metal Fest, 02/03/12

For the second year the Casbah hosted a diverse Bull City Metal Fest. Metal as a genre is pretty far out of my wheelhouse so I’ll save the review covering the genres and intricacies of the music to someone else. What I’ll say is this: it was a heck of good time.

Some photo highlights:
Knives, Bull City Metal Fest Day 1, Casbah, Durham NC, 02/03/12
Knives

Church of Wolves, Bull City Metal Fest Day 1, Casbah, Durham NC, 02/03/12
Church of Wolves

Bitter Resolve, Bull City Metal Fest Day 1, Casbah, Durham NC, 02/03/12
Bitter Resolve

Hog, Bull City Metal Fest Day 1, Casbah, Durham NC, 02/03/12
Hog

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

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