concerts: magnolia collective, jphono1, mark holland

magnolia collective @ cat's cradle

A farewell show of sorts for MagCo, long among my local favorites, as drummer Jon Truesdale and his wife Jo are moving out of the country — a wonderful live goodbye to this lineup of a band that started as a fun covers side project and has produced some of my favorite music in the local scene in the last few years. Happy to pick up their latest full length on vinyl Friday night, and say goodbye to Jon, and catch up with some friends I hadn’t seen in far too long.

jphono1 @ cat's cradle

mark holland @ cat's cradle

Opened with a solo set from Mark Holland (of the Holland Brothers) and a full band set from JPhono1, both excellent.

Check out the full set here.

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concerts: joanna gruesome @ cat’s cradle backroom

concerts: joanna gruesome @ cat's cradle

concerts: aye nako @ cat's cradle

concerts: king of cats @ cat's cradle

concerts: museum mouth @ cat's cradle

Joanna Gruesome photos are up at Speakers. You can check out the rest, from openers Aye Nako, Kings of Cats, and Museum Mouth, on Flickr.

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.

dawes + shovels & rope @ cat’s cradle

dawes @ cat's cradle

dawes @ cat's cradle

Dawes is one of those bands where I have tried for years to grasp the deep, fierce love with which fans of the band approach Taylor Goldsmith’s music, and after three or four shows, I remain perplexed. I enjoy Dawes, but there’s nothing in their songs that snags my heart and flips it over. What does flip my heart over, though, is that fierce love that Dawes fans have for the band — as Bob Boilen noted during the 9:30 Club Fall Out Boy show, it is sometimes more fun to watch a crowd love a band you don’t love than try to love that band. (This makes it sounds like I don’t enjoy Dawes, which I do; I just enjoy them in a vague, cheerful sort of way, and not one of passion and lust.) Last night’s show at the Cradle was hot and it fogged up my lens and the people surrounding me had poor concert etiquette, but by God, they love Taylor Goldsmith, and I love taking photos of Taylor Goldsmith’s mobile face and lovely hands and phenomenal charisma, so I enjoyed the hell out of my evening, too.

shovels & rope at cat's cradle

shovels & rope at cat's cradle

shovels & rope at cat's cradle

Shovels & Rope, on the other hand, are a band I adore without regard, and they were phenomenal last night — a good portion of the audience was as there to see them as they were to see Dawes, and an amped-up crowd for an opener never fails to improve a set. I also just adore the way that Cary Ann and Michael work together; their relationship inspires me to want, to find, a partner like that for myself. They grinned at their avid audience, sure, but they also grinned more at each other, with clear affection and adoration, and that makes their music better. Swapping between guitar and drums — with Michael occasionally playing the guitar and drums at the same time — they tore through a 45 minute, 10 song set, that I just wished was longer. It is so rare to see such grace and talent all on one stage, and such noise and beauty made by two people. I love love love them.

Full set here.

hollis brown @ local 506

hollis brown @ local 506

hollis brown @ local 506

Hollis Brown, you guys.

Look. Y’all know that I basically don’t like to leave the house because I’m lazy and misanthropic and also because I’m old and I like to fall asleep in front of NBA games at 8:45 on weeknights. But I go out, for bands I really love, and I am generally rewarded.

Last night I went out to see Hollis Brown, and it was like I was being showered in kittens and diamonds and rainbows, it was that good. Their debut record, Ride On The Train, blew me away earlier this week, and it turns out that they’re even better live. Their rhythm section is fiercely tight, and it plays out into the guitars, as well — I told Mike Graves, their drummer, that he and Dillon DeVito, the bassist, were nearly metronomic in how tight they were, and that I meant it as a compliment, thoroughly. They keep lead singer Mike Montali and guitarist Jon Bonilla on track, and as the heart of the band, it allows the lyrics and the harmonies and, yes, Jon, the guitar solos to shine through. The drive of the rhythm section propels the songs at a pace that, last night, made a 45 minute set seem like 10 minutes, and leaves you wanting more.

They were really pretty incredible last night. Y’all need to get on this right away.

Full set from the night is here.

drive-by truckers @ haw river ballroom

drive-by truckers @ haw river ballroom

drive-by truckers @ haw river ballroom

drive-by truckers @ haw river ballroom

I hadn’t seen the Truckers in almost 18 months — Hopscotch 2011 — and when Patterson launched into “The Living Bubba” last night, even as I was deeply exhausted and irritated at the crowd, it felt like a physical relief to see the band. They have meant so much to me for many years, and while it was strange to not see Shonna up there, I think they’re sounding the best they ever have. Patterson and Cooley are such a well-oiled machine, Jay Gonzalez is too talented at everything, EZB is a machine, and the new little bassist from the Dexateens is having the time of his life playing with them. Everyone on stage looked happy and relaxed, and it shone through in their playing.  Mike Cooley is still desperately sexy. It felt familiar, and it made me happy.

I had a few bad interactions in the crowd, and, just, you know: you are not entitled to anything just because you think you love a band the best. There’s no way to measure that. And shoving people out of the way makes you a bad person.

Regardless: last night, I really loved the Truckers, and that makes me happy today.

the whigs @ haw river ballroom

I really loved the Whigs’ last record, and I enjoyed large chunks of their opening set. There was some rambly guitar wanking in the middle of their set that I found deeply irritating, because my feelings about jam bands are well-documented, but it didn’t turn me off, just bored me a bit. The rest of their set was great.

Full photo set is here.