Category Archives: motorco

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.

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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.

I Was Totally Destroying It Soundcheck

I Was Totally Destroying It Soundcheck, Motorco, Durham NC, 08/25/12

I Was Totally Destroying It Soundcheck, Motorco, Durham NC, 08/25/12

I Was Totally Destroying It Soundcheck, Motorco, Durham NC, 08/25/12

I Was Totally Destroying It Soundcheck, Motorco, Durham NC, 08/25/12

A few photos of IWTDI soundchecking for their album release show at Motorco on Saturday.

Full photo set here

Mandolin Orange, Motorco

Last night’s Mandolin Orange show moved from the Gardens to Motorco and almost fit into the venue which was bursting at the seems to accommodate as many folks as possible.

Mandolin Orange, Motorco, Durham NC, 07/11/12

The new songs sounded great. The Townes Van Zandt cover was stunningly good.

Mandolin Orange, Motorco, Durham NC, 07/11/12

I don’t think I’ve every seen a venue so full of so many polite, quiet people.

Mandolin Orange, Motorco, Durham NC, 07/11/12

Like I said, packed.

Fulled photo set here

DTFH Fest Highlights

A quick, illustrated list of the highlights of DTFH fest for me.

Sour Boy, Bitter Girl played really early on Friday, which means alot of people missed them, shame that,

Old Flings, Death to False Hope Fest, Motorco Garage, Durham NC, 06/29/12

Old Flings + blistering garage heat = really great set.

Arliss Nancy, Death to False Hope Fest, Motorco, Durham NC, 06/29/12

Arliss Nancy in the Showroom.

Pink Flag, Death to False Hope Fest, Motorco, Durham NC, 06/29/12

Pink Flag. It’d been a minute since the last time I saw Pink Flag, great to see them again.

The Sky We Scrape, Death to False Hope Fest, Motorco Garage, Durham NC, 06/30/12

The Sky We Scrape early on Saturday.

Fake Boys, Death to False Hope Fest, Motorco, Durham NC, 06/30/12

Fake Boys (not only was the music good, there is something about the light/dark contrasts in this photo that I’m really proud to have captured)

Arliss Nancy, Death to False Hope Fest, Motorco Garage, Durham NC, 06/30/12

Arliss Nancy in the Garage. (Arliss Nancy will always be a highlight for me).

Mixtapes, Death to False Hope Fest, Motorco, Durham NC, 06/30/12

Mixtapes. Last year they played a packed show in the Garage as part of DTFH Fest, great to see them move up to Showroom stage, and totally own it.

Magic Mike, Death to False Hope Fest, Motorco, Durham NC, 06/30/12

Magic Mike, always

Red Collar, Death to False Hope Fest, Motorco, Durham NC, 06/30/12

Red Collar, perfect closer, one of the better sets I’ve seen them play.

See you all next DTFH Fest.

My favorite photos from the weekend here. All photos from DTFH Fest here.

DTFH Fest Reflections

Mixtapes, Death to False Hope Fest, Motorco, Durham NC, 06/30/12

I’m never going to claim to be someone with a grand history of punk rock cred, pretty much my only punk cred is that once upon a time, as a 14 year old (ahhh, summer of 1993), The Queers Love Songs for the Retarded was the soundtrack to very seminal events in my life. (ask me in person, I’ll tell you that whole story.)

Pink Flag, Death to False Hope Fest, Motorco, Durham NC, 06/29/12

But that album really stood in isolation for me, I didn’t go from that to falling head over heels for the genre. I came to punk through the harder edge of alt country.

Almost People, Motorco Garage, Durham NC, 06/28/12

Which is to say that no one is more surprised than me that I’ve found Durham’s punk scene to be one of the most comfortable spaces in town. But I have.

Magic Mike, Death to False Hope Fest, Motorco, Durham NC, 06/29/12

I’ve never been a part of any group that was more simply accepting of what people bring to the table. I love this scene because it isn’t about what is trendy or hip or popular. It is quite simply about music and people who love the heck out of music: making music, enjoying music, singing along, arms flung over shoulders, belting it out.

Before the Show, Death to False Hope Fest, Motorco, Durham NC, 06/30/12

This isn’t Hopscotch or anything like it, it isn’t trying to be. This is a group of friends, celebrating the very fact that we are all here and having a blast.

Before the Show, Death to False Hope Fest, Motorco, Durham NC, 06/29/12

Scotty deserves a world of credit for pulling this one together and for laying the groundwork of music that allowed everyone to have a great time. And on a personal level, I’m extraordinarily grateful to him for helping me find my way into this scene and for him inviting and welcoming me to be there. Outside a Red Collar show 2ish years ago, he pitched one of the upcoming shows he was promoting to me with a pitch that went something like this “I don’t know how many of the bands you’ll like, but everyone playing are good people, it’ll be really fun to shoot, we’ll start on time at 8:30, show will be done at 10, see you there” the pitch worked. I went and found a community that was in fact fun to shoot, where all the shows ran on time, and where I really adore alot of the music. But most importantly, I found a really awesome community of friends. And really that’s what it is all about.

Red Collar, Death to False Hope Fest, Motorco, Durham NC, 06/30/12

DTFH Fest ended with Red Collar acoustic & unplugged on the Motorco Showroom floor, surrounded by the crowd, leading a sing along of “Welcome Home”

How long has it been since I’ve seen that smile and heard you sing?
One year? Two years? Who cares, you’re here now.
It’s like it was just yesterday, tell me how have you been?
My brother, my hero, my shadow, my friend.
Welcome home

Of course that is how it ended, of course.

Red Collar, Death to False Hope Fest, Motorco, Durham NC, 06/30/12

Welcome Home.

My favorite photos from DTFH Fest are here all photos are here. Something that looks more like an actual review tomorrow.

DTFH Fest in Video

For everyone who was out at DTFH Fest this weekend who is heading back to work today (like me) and still feeling a little tired, this is a reminder of why it is worth it. For everyone who wasn’t out this weekend, this is what you missed.


Red Collar – Pilgrim. Simply one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. Hometown, home community, great crowd, amazing band, everything lined up to make this one perfect.


Red Collar – Choices.


Arliss Nancy – Stella Lovely.


Arliss Nancy – Abacus (take 1). From the first night in the Showroom.


Arliss Nancy – Abacus (take 2). From the second night in the Garage. And yes, both are essential viewing, particularly becuase in this one, Cory drops the first verse of Springsteen’s “Racing in the Street” into the song. I try not to sing along or yell while recording, but you can hear my yell of delight as soon as the cover verse kicks in.


Joe McMahon – What Separates Us All. “United we stand, divided we fall” indeed.

I’m still improving on my video skills and getting better at figuring out when to switch from photos to video mode on the camera, but I’m pleased with all of these and know I’m going to watch them all one last time as I get ready to go back to work.

Post with photos from DTFH Fest will follow tomorrow and the next day.