Worth getting up for in January: Girl in a Coma, Red Collar, Spider Bags, Rat Jackson, Kathleen Edwards, Matt Pryor live; tribute shows; frozen samosas from Trader Joe’s; red patterened drop-waisted dresses; new pants; Bones coming back on TV; Justified; Onward, Soldiers’ new album; the Extra Hot Great mini-episode of names that Benedict Cumberbatch does not answer to (MINIGARDEN CUCUMBERPATCH); new episodes of Sherlock; Andrew Scott, in general; hanging out in the studio with Effingham and Magnolia Collective; trading photos for Bulls’ jerseys; doing photoshoots in record stores; flannel sheets; naps. Always naps.
What do you do when you see the same band, every month, at the same venue? And they’re a band you love, but there’s only so many photos of Mimi’s fantastic shoes that you can take? A dedication to local music pushes me as a photographer; I have to find a way to get new shots of the same bands over and over again. So last night I switched to black and white, stopped my shutter way down, and let myself look for the light and the motion. I think it worked, didn’t you?
MagCo is getting ready to release their first EP in the fall; they’ve gone from side project cover band of a bunch of talented people with a semi-rotating cast to a tight five piece who’re playing as many originals as they are covers these days, and they’re good originals, too. Of course they are — Daniel Snyder is a fantastic songwriter, and Rich McLaughlin is one of the best guitarists in the Triangle. Bet your ass the EP’s going to be great.
LUD opened, and the only reason I had never seen them before is because I was deeply, deeply convinced they were a metal band. They were not. They can play the shit out of their guitars, though.
I am holding good to my goal to see more new-to-me local bands this year, and I love it when I can do that in my own backyard; Skylar Gydasz and the Ugly Girls (who are all, in fact, adorable dudes) threw a kickass CD release party at the 506 last Friday, and I hung and took photos and was amazed by her voice and her harmonizing with William Taylor, and I drank a few beers, and I watched part of the Mavs/Lakers game with Alex Wilkins and a nice Mavs fan named Levi, and then Skylar covered Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel No. 2” in her startling bird-flight voice for the encore and I cried, because apparently what I’m doing lately is crying when locals cover Leonard Cohen.
It was, again, one of those warm, lovely evenings where I knew half the people in the 506, and I felt at home and delighted with the magical things this town keeps giving me. And? Skylar’s album, Two-Headed Monster, is really fucking kickass. Look for a review next week.
Full photo set is here.
Wilmington’s Onward, Soldiers are spending a lot of time up in the Triangle these days, and I, for one, couldn’t be happier — the Open Eye is not an ideal performance space, weirdly shaped and full of graduate students with laptops who don’t understand why there is a rockin’ band playing and also made of concrete, but they were great there last night, sharp and funny and they actually sounded fantastic despite the less than ideal conditions. They played a mix of stuff from their first LP, Ghosts In This Town, and new stuff that intended for their forthcoming sophomore album, theoretically dropping in May.
They’re just all such good musicians, which is what I always think of when I see them live or listen to the album — they switch instruments effortlessly, they harmonize and move perfectly from sound to sound; country and rock and roll and in between. Hit their Facebook page to hear some tracks and hear how well they do just about everything; they’re fun, they’re talented, and, in a great sign for a band, I don’t think I will ever get tired of shooting them.
A few more shots behind the jump, and a full photo set here.
The Moondoggies surprised the hell out of me last night: I assumed that they made their huge tidal-wave sound with two or three guitar players in addition to their keyboard player, but they don’t; it’s just four of them, wringing sweeping sounds out of guitar and bass and keyboards and drums, and it’s as slow-burn, big-finish compelling live as it is on Tidelands, which was one of my top 25 albums of last year. (If you haven’t picked it up yet, do it. They sound like Band of Horses, except filtered through the Northwest instead of the South.)
The Moondoggies, at least last night, augment with banjo and lap steel, players borrowed from openers Quiet Life (who, from what I heard from outside the 506 and the bar, were anything but quiet, and who sounded fantastic; wish I’d caught more of their set), and it deepens their already lovely sound into something even more complex — as a four piece, they are a great rock band with roots tendencies, but as a six piece, they were a great roots band that rocked hard. They’ve got hooks in both music and lyrics (the shattering chorus of “Lead Me On” is still rattling around in my head), frontman Kevin Murphy is awkwardly charismatic, and that’s all I want — can you rock? Can you break my heart?
They did a little of both at the 506; Tidelands is a huge and hopeful and heartbreaking album, and, like Ha Ha Tonka’s Novel Sounds of the Nouveau South, somehow manages to work in pieces live as well as it does as a whole recorded. They played some new stuff, as well, and if whatever they release next is as good as what I heard yesterday, their next album is going to be something to be reckoned with. I don’t know if they’re recording now, or planning to, but they are on tour currently, and you’ll regret it if you miss them.
Full photo set here.