concerts: julien baker w/ gracie and rachel @ cat’s cradle

julien baker @ cat's cradle

Julien Baker was stellar at the Cradle last week; photos are up on Speakers.

gracie & rachel @ cat's cradle

gracie & rachel @ cat's cradle

Openers Gracie & Rachel were a little Tori Amos, a little Vienna Teng, a lot themselves, and a whole lot of spectacular harmonies. The keyboard / violin combo is fantastic, the music is reserved without being shy or retiring, and their voices together just stunned me. More photos of the duo are on Flickr.

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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.

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.

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: frank turner @ greene street club

frank turner @ greene street club

If you’ve followed me even a little on social media at any point over the last, oh, say, five years, you know that I’ve been waiting to see Frank Turner for, oh, say, the last five years. In 2009, I discovered Frank’s music and, since then, repeatedly, his music has been a balm and a saviour and exactly what I needed over and over and over again. The first three tracks on Love Ire & Song (I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous, Reasons Not To Be An Idiot, Photosynthesis) have quite literally saved my life multiple times. But Frank, God love him, hadn’t before yesterday played anywhere close enough to me to make it feasible to go.

frank turner @ greene street club

So when I saw that Frank, who’s sold out Wembley, was playing a show at Greene Street in Greensboro, a venue with a capacity of about 500, the week before my birthday — well, when Trav said, what do you want for your birthday, I said, I want to see Frank at Greene Street, and he made it happen. (I also said, Music from Big Pink on vinyl, please.)

This show wasn’t even sold out, you guys. I’ve watched the footage of Frank and the Sleeping Souls at Wembley dozens of times, and last night, I saw them play to an amped up room of North Carolinians and there probably weren’t more than 200 people there. It was an amazing birthday present — both from Trav, whose patience with my enthusiasm (and with the fact that me and my sinus infection conked out in the car on the way home) knows no bounds, and from Frank and the band, who went hard for two hours and gave me more than I’d ever let myself hope for in one of his shows. Like the 97s set at Marfa last fall, I don’t know — I’m kind of ruined for all other Frank Turner sets now.

frank turner @ greene street club

During Billy the Kid’s lovely opening set — I’m deeply enamoured with her music right now — I felt somebody get all up in my personal space behind me, and I turned around to snap at whoever it was, except that it was Frank. So instead, I took a deep breath, told him that I was there as a birthday gift, and asked if he’d play “Tattoos” for me — we’d be sure to get the same tattoos. He said he’d see what he could do — and as you can see from the setlist below, he swapped out “The Real Damage” and played it for me. I have some shaky video of it, but I haven’t figured out how to get it off my phone yet, because I am an idiot.

Birthday: made. Frank Turner: awesome. Trav, who made it happen for me: even more awesome. Tarrant Anderson: still my favorite bassist in the world.

frank turner @ greene street club

Setlist: Four Simple Words / The Road / Glory Hallelujah / Reasons Not To Be An Idiot / Get Better / If Ever I Stray / Out of Breath / The Way I Tend To Be / Tattoos / Balthazar / Wessex Boy / Photosynthesis / Silent Key / Plain Sailing Weather / Peggy Sang The Blues / Try This At Home / The Next Storm / Recovery / Long Live The Queen // Encore: Ballad Of Me And My Friends / I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous / I Still Believe