Two Cow Garage draws terribly in the Triangle, and that makes me absolutely batty with frustration. I mean, I guess I get it: yesterday was a Sunday, it was a late-ish billed start that became an even later actual start, there’s always plenty of other shows to hit any given night in Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh, people had to go see Vampire Weekend, whatever. (Ash and Bekah and Jordan came over to the show after Vampire Weekend, jerky hipsters. You could have, too.) At least there were more people in Raleigh than there apparently were in Jacksonville, Alabama, the night before, which is kind of a step up, but get on this, Triangle: Two Cow are flat-out one of the best rock and roll bands working today, and I have seen some of the bands you’ll turn out for, so I don’t know why you guys won’t turn out for a great band.
It turned out alright, though; I was thrilled enough by the set for, like, at least 22 people. That’s the one nice thing about a small crowd — you can stand up front, and a good band with a wonderful back catalog in addition to a stellar new album will talk to you, dig out some deeper cuts, play the requests that the crowd gives them. (Except for “Alphabet City”, always asked for, never played: Magic Mike: “Do you know that one?” Shane: “I heard it once.”)
Two Cow burned through a bunch of the new tracks — there is nothing like being the only person in the room singing along to new songs to make you feel like perhaps you have listened to that advance maybe like 37 times too many — which, as Virgil promised me, sound even more fierce and filled with hooks live. “My Great Gatsby”, in particular, which Micah played for me towards the end of the set, is even more huge and anthemic live, and, God, should be played to a packed room full of people all shouting the chrous back at the band. The swing of Lydia’s killer opening lines — I want to be in love like an old soul song is on the front of one of their new t-shirts, and I covet it, but I had drunk all but my album-buying money in beer already — and the wall of sound that’s “Sally I’ve Been Shot”; it’s just an album meant to be heard live, just like all of Two Cow’s albums are.
Dave Hause, who’s hauling around with Two Cow in their van, was absolutely wonderful, as always. He’s such a clever songwriter — “C’mon Kid” just about breaks my heart — and he has that talent for writing songs for his raucous, clamoring punk band that work just as well stripped down with an acoustic guitar and an audience of 12 people. He is also a super excellent human being who I’ve roped into a secret project, and whose reaction to hearing about it was to start naming other names that I should also rope in. Several of those names made my lizard brain gibber happily inside my skull at volumes only dogs can hear, so I am even more pro-Dave Hause than I usually am (usually: a lot) today.
I am obviously approaching totally incoherent at a rapid rate and should probably stop typing now.
Raleigh’s the T’s opened, and I’m sure they’re fine for someone but they’re not my speed. I like my music loud but I don’t always like it quite that noisy.
You know you want to look at tour dates, too. Do it. Do it!
Setlist: Sally I’ve Been Shot/Lucy & The Butcher Knife/Humble Narrator/Glass City/135/Lydia/No Shame/Folksinger’s Heart/Should’ve California/What Dying Is For/Mediocre/Come Back To Shelby/My Great Gatsby/Bastards & Bridesmaids/Can’t Hardly Wait (w/ Dave Hause)