interview: brian roberts of ha ha tonka

Tomorrow Ha Ha Tonka drops Lessons, their spectacular 4th LP follow-up to three previous spectacular LPs (there’ll be a review tomorrow morning!), and I’ve got some answers from Brian Roberts, guitarist and lead singer, on a variety of subjects — Maurice Sendak, making art, Brett’s mandolin, and the Pirates’ resurgence. Read more below, and thanks…

two sentence reviews of reasonably new albums i listened to in august

Dash Hammerstein — Bito Cabrito: sort of slinky ’50s garage pop, lots of keyboards and drawling vocals and weird orchestration. Charming as hell. Great songwriting, loads of earworms, A+ recommendation from Fuel/Friends. Have Gun, Will Travel — Fiction, Fact, or Folktale?: this is the fourth LP from Florida’s Have Gun Will Travel, and it’s just…

that little girl, so hot she’s scalding

Don’t worry, I’m just having my semi-regular Ha Ha Tonka related head injury. This time prompted by their upcoming new record, which is still two months away from being in my hands, a fact that is currently driving me up a wall. The version of ’12-Inch 3 Speed Oscillating Fan’ from last year at Bristol….

the gaslight anthem @ the lincoln theatre, raleigh

I wrote about last night’s Gaslight show for Speakers In Code. Brian Fallon is still my favorite forever and ever amen. Charlotte’s Matrimony and Bloodshot Records’ Cory Branan opened; Matrimony was really enjoyable, but a little less electric guitar-y than I expected from a Gaslight opener. Cory was genius as always, and closed with “Girl…

album review: roger knox – stranger in my land

Roger Knox & the Pine Valley Cosmonauts – Stranger In My Land. Out 2/12, Bloodshot Records. One of the reasons I love Bloodshot Records — besides the fact that they release consistently great records, and also that they love me back, which is all I ask for from a record label — is that they are…

scott h. biram @ local 506

I’m slowly working my way through Scott H. Biram’s back catalog; slowly enough that I don’t know the titles to most of the songs that he plays, but fast enough that I love the hell out of everything he does. A “one dirty old man band”, Scott is a great songwriter, and what he does…

the jon spencer blues explosion @ cat’s cradle

Matt wrote about last night’s show, and interviewed Jon Spencer, over at Speakers in Code. I was deeply smitten with the opening set from Pittsburgh’s Shockwave Riderz, Dex and Sara Romweber are always joys to watch (wouldn’t it be nice if you could, in your 40s, decide that what you wanted to do with your…

best of: top 25 albums of 2012

I hate making these lists. Everything was good! If it was bad, I didn’t keep it, thus, all the albums in my iTunes from 2012 are excellent! Agggh. But anyway: I contributed to the Speakers In Code list, of course, but this one is mine and ended up getting a hefty end-of-the-list tweak from my SiC list….

tift & jte @ cat’s cradle

A co-headline show, and it was magical. Tift plays so well at home, and JTE is such a gift, such a great songwriter and performer. It was a warm and fantastic night. Full set here.

This is my favorite photo that I’ve taken of Justin Townes Earle; I can’t believe it’s been almost two years since I saw him last. He’s at the Cradle tonight with Tift Merritt, her third stop in Carrboro this fall. You should come.