concerts: slingshot cash @ the speakeasy

concerts: slingshot cash @ the speakeasy

concerts: slingshot cash @ the speakeasy

concerts: slingshot cash @ the speakeasy

concerts: slingshot cash @ the speakeasy

Slingshot Cash, latest lineup, played their first show at the Speakeasy in Carrboro last Thursday. They’re sounding damn good these days, and it was a pleasure to hear the way old songs get made new with new contributors, and all the new stuff, as well. You should go see them.

Full set here.

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concerts: pokey lafarge, escondido, and ellis dyson & the shambles

concerts: pokey lafarge @ the cradleconcerts: escondido @ cat's cradle

Pokey and Escondido photos — both great sets — up on Speakers.

concerts: ellis dyson & the shamblesconcerts: ellis dyson & the shambles

concerts: ellis dyson & the shamblesconcerts: ellis dyson & the shambles

Ellis Dyson and the Shambles are a local band, with the kind of sharp songwriting and energy and stage makeup who really, really remind me of Holy Ghost Tent Revival about five years ago. I’m very much into them, and they might very well be my newest favorite local band. Check ’em out.

concerts: cursive, beach slang, megafauna @ cat’s cradle

cursive @ cat's cradle

Trav is already shaking my life up, in that, on Thursday night at the Cradle, I didn’t just think, This is boring and I hate it of Cursive’s set. I paused, and I listened, and I identified what they were doing with the guitars, and then I thought, this is not boring but it is also definitely not my thing. We think about music the same way a lot of the time, but he also knows way more about the technicalities and theory of it, so he’s been asking me lately to define what I call “pointless guitar wanking”. What Cursive does is not “pointless guitar wanking”; I could feel the point of it, the resonance of the dissonant sounds together, all the way through. But this live set just reinforced something I’ve known for a while: Cursive are very talented, they are great at what they do, and it is not at all music I will seek out.

beach slang @ cat's cradle

So it’s lucky that I was at the Cradle to see the second open, Philadelphia’s punk-y Beach Slang, primarily. A funky four piece who would have fit perfectly on a mainstage at the heyday of Warped (and I mean that in a good way; there’s a tiny bit of Blink-182 vocals in their sound that made me deeply nostalgic and deeply happy), they were an absolute powerhouse of energy, sharp songwriting, and excellent chemistry amongst the band. They barrelled through a 40 minute set like a charming trainwreck, nailing a cover of the ‘Mats’ “Can’t Hardly Wait” and making me feel really, really good about the first full length release they’re going to put out. (Right now they’ve got two excellent 7″ records to their name.) It’s punk rock made by people who really, really love pop music — lead singer James Snyder was hanging out by the merch table after their set wearing a Big Star sweatshirt and you can hear that influence in their songwriting — and I’m really, really smitten.

megafauna @ cat's cradle

Almost-hardcore-kind-of-metal Austin trio Megafauna was the first open, and I dug the hell out of their energy and the way the guitar and bass play against each other in just about every song. I’m still trying to figure out if I enjoyed their music, but I definitely enjoyed the shit out of watching and photographing them.

Full set here.

lydia loveless @ motorco music hall

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Lydia Loveless lead off her raucous almost two hour set on Tuesday night with “Head” from this year’s spectacular Somewhere Else, and honestly, it takes a certain kind of fabulously awesome person to open a weekday show with a smaller crowd with a raunchy but somehow sweet song about, well. Oral sex. It’s one of my favorites on the record, though, and I was glad to hear Lydia and her frighteningly talented band play heavily from this year’s release and last year’s Boy Crazy EP (“All I Know” might be my favorite song she’s written, and the set closer “Boy Crazy” was a deliciously devolution into madness), though it does make me sad that I didn’t see her as often as I could have when she was touring for Indestructible Machine, as well, because I love those songs, too. The band played a fire-up hour-long main set, including a gorgeous version of the stop-and-start quiet-and-loud “Verlaine Shot Rimbaud” (which is my favorite song on the record) and excellent set-closer “Mile High”. Lydia did a couple songs solo acoustic, and then brought the band back for a few more — aforementioned “Boy Crazy”, and of course “Steve Earle”, which Lydia must be tired of by now but which will always still make me giggle like a lunatic.

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Lydia’s awful talented and she’s never had less than a fabulous level of charm and sass on stage, whenever I’ve seen her; I got to go to this show last minute, and despite the fact that I was running on three hours sleep Wednesday morning, it was well fucking worth it.

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I’ve seen Caleb Caudle play three shows in three weeks now, so look: if you trust my music recommendations, just go get Paint Another Layer On My Heart right now and save yourself from missing out further. This show was a much better mix, sonically, which really let you hear the great dobro player he’s been bringing along lately, and “Tuscaloosa”, a new and as yet unreleased song, is one I might actually love more than anything on the new album, and I love the new album an awful lot, if you couldn’t tell. Caleb is awesome, and you need to know it.