Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween Playlist 2013

It's my favorite holiday again. Time to get my Joey Ramone and Frankenstein ready for trick or treating. But before I go I thought I'd post another Halloween playlist. Last year's list was fairly easy. But having used those usual suspects the Misfits, Siouxsie's "Halloween," Rob Zombie, and Wednesday 13, I had to dig a little deeper this year. Some of these are truly creepy (our own Andy the Doorbum's "The Sisters," Siouxsie's "Obsession," and Boss Hog's "Texas" are simply ominous). Others are pure fun ("Pet Sematary," "Werewolf Women," and "Lake Pontchartrain"). Others just carry on scary Halloween themes - ghosts, zombies, and the like.

I've included the video for "Pet Sematary" because my son is Joey Ramone for Halloween and because it's one of my very favorite Ramones' songs. Happy Halloween gentle readers.

“Halloweenhead” - Ryan Adams
“Candy Song” - Tuscadero
“Sadie” - Alkaline Trio
“The Sisters” - Andy the Doorbum
“Is There a Ghost” - Band of Horses
“Living Dying Living/In a Zombie World” - The Accused
“The Killing Type” - Amanda Palmer
“Texas” - Boss Hog
“Pet Sematary” - Ramones
“Obsession” - Siouxsie & the Banshees
“Bring Me Your Daughter…To the Slaughter” - Iron Maiden
“Your Ghost” - Kristin Hersh
“Monster” - L7
“Lake Pontchartrain” - Ludo
“The Angels and the Darlas” - Say Hi To Your Mom
“Werewolf Women of the SS” - Rob Zombie
“The Undertaker”  - Southern Culture on the Skids

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

CLT composer tells cinematic stories without words

Charlotte composer, The Man from RavCon, knows how to tell a story with nary a word. He recently released the album, “Skyscraper,” which takes its listener on a retro adventure in their mind. What’s interesting is he’s not necessarily dictating where that adventure takes place. Sure there are cues like Ennio Morricone spaghetti-western style pieces and a Pink Floydian-like guided tour of space and time on “The Fugitive” (his wife comes up with the titles - a note, which as the wife of an instrumental musician, I adore). But other than the titles, instrumentation, and arrangements there’s no words giving you directions on what to think.

For me “Cloud Teaser” with its swishes phasing in and out in the background sounds like a sci-fi superhero theme from the `70s (it could be my “Flash Gordon” love kicking in). When I hear opening track “The Balloon” I'm following a cartoon character (say, a duck) through some simple tasks like going to the airport and getting on a plane, buying milk at the grocery store. It's childlike and playful. Maybe it's just my visual mind, but I enjoy that sort of escape.

Instrumental music is an interesting animal. There are some highly successful acts now like Explosions in the Sky, but that success is still the exception to the rule. My husband’s family often asks him why his band has no vocals. I think there are people out there that don’t see the point without vocals, but living with an instrumental musician I’ve grown to appreciate the space instrumental music creates and the imagination it fosters. You can listen and paint your own picture, build your own storyline in your mind. The Man From RavCon fills some of those colors in for us without cluttering the page. On a side note the Tyler Strouth's cover art reminds me of "Metropolis," which may help nudge along that sci-fi aspect in my mind when I'm listening to the record.

There’s certainly mystery in The Man From RavCon’s compositions. The Man himself is actually Charlotte native Mike Brown, who played in a band called the Ravelers until 2004. Brown assumed the identity of The Man From RavCon in 2010 and began releasing records. “Skyscraper” is his sixth. He doesn’t perform it live, instead focusing on recording soundtrack-ready music that often draws on vintage cinema and cinematic-sounding bands like the Moody Blues and Pink Floyd.

“I don't usually have images when I compose the songs, though I usually come up with the initial ideas while sitting on the couch with a guitar and watching old cult films with the sound turned down,” explains Brown, who, along with his wife Peggy, pairs some of his music with old movie footage, like the “Trip To the Morgue” above. The song appears as a bonus track on the CD version of “Skyscraper.” It’s also pretty appropriate for Halloween week. 

“The videos are really determined by the feel I get from the tune after it's completed, and also depend on what Public Domain footage I can find to match with that mood,” Brown says. Another clip for “The Fugitive” is online as well here.

Brown adds: “I've always enjoyed instrumental music and cult films. I get a lot of enjoyment out of creating moods and images without lyrics. I feel sometimes that lyrics are just an afterthought thrown onto a good tune just because people expect to hear someone telling them what to think.”

As for not playing them live he says: “I enjoy recording more than I ever enjoyed live performances. I can continuously create new music without having to rehearse it over and over again just to play it over and over again live. With modern technology, I really have no need for a band, and I find I can get things done a lot easier this way. Besides, as I've grown older, my tolerance for hanging out in bars has thinned considerably.”

Check out more on The Man from RavCon here

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Beach Fossils' tour brings CLT native back Monday

When Dustin Payseur started coming into my record store when he was 11-years-old I would’ve never predicted that his album would someday make my top albums of the year. I can pretty much guarantee 2013’s “Clash the Truth” will. His band Beach Fossils plays Chop Shop Monday with Kurt Vile.

In February 1997 the Cotswold Record Exchange relocated to East Blvd. We left behind a few young regular customers in the Cotswold neighborhood (namely a girl named Paige), but we gained a few others in Dilworth. Dustin and his friend Taylor (who Payseur says is now a fitness instructor) were frequent customers. They’d come in together or with Payseur’s older sister.  They’d peruse the used section and occasionally try to talk us out of free promo cds. My co-worker told me she got them to clean the bathroom in exchange for promos. I don't know if that's true, but I like that story. 

Those two kids introduced us to Insane Clown Posse - way before it was a craze. I think we might’ve introduced them to the Suicide Machines. We played the Detroit punk band's second album constantly. I remember a bit of pride washed over me when one of them bought a copy. Although they might've sold it back to us used a couple weeks later - they did that too. 

I always had a soft spot for our regular customers. When I left the store for good two years later, I left a note taped to the register telling all the ones I could remember goodbye. For some reason I never forgot Dustin and Taylor. Now I know why.

Last winter Sirius/XMU put tracks from the upcoming Beach Fossils’ record in regular rotation. I’d heard of the band, but didn’t know much about them amid the Beach Houses and Best Coasts. When our babysitter mentioned one day that her friend’s brother was in Beach Fossils. We put two and two together and figured out it was Payseur. I guffawed in disbelief. I could not believe the same kid was leading this indie rock buzz band out of Brooklyn.

Then I got the record. The opening guitar and bass part of the title song “Clash the Truth” stopped me in my tracks. It has the sad, longing, dark romanticism of the best songs off a John Hughes’ soundtrack mixed with a deep, direct sort of spooky Jesus and Mary Chain vocal without the fuzz. You can hear that same sort of thing on “Generational Synthetic,” for which the group released a new video this week that you can watch above.

I didn’t really know Payseur at all, but listening to how far he’s come makes me proud of that kid. A lot must've happened between ICP and his band's sophomore album, both musically and personally (his lyrics are insightful and smart as well). I wrote a story about him last Spring when “Clash the Truth” came out. You can read it here. Payseur spoke of those years between frequenting the Record Exchange and struggling to get through school and out of Charlotte. I’m telling this story again from a more personal perspective because I’m just that tickled that his record is that good.

It just shows you can’t predict what a person will become at age 12 or 13. I hope I remember that when my boys are older. Adolescence is messy. It’s painful. And it’s often a time to delve into bad music that your parents hate before coming out on the other side of that fog with a better understanding of what’s good (for me it was hair metal). Payseur said after ICP he discovered `80s punk, Bob Dylan, psychedelic music, and bands like Television and the Velvet Underground. That’s all evident in the swirl that is Beach Fossils. But don’t just listen to me. Go to Chop Shop Monday (really, what else is going on Monday?) and welcome Payseur back to his hometown. The show with Kurt Vile & the Violators, Beach Fossils, Bo White y su Orquesta and VBA begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. Go to for tickets and more information.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

This week's hot concerts

Gary Hoey
Saturday  8 p.m., Tremont, 400 W. Tremont Ave., $17-$20.
Whether tackling squealing solos, metal licks, rippling surf, meaty Southern rock, or (as of late) electric blues or interpreting others’ works as instrumentals, the renowned musician picks a mean, gnarly guitar. He hits Charlotte before rocking NASCAR fans Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.

Michael Buble
Saturday  8 p.m., Time Warner Cable Arena, 333 E. Trade St., $68.60-$118.15.
The not quite new millennium’s answer to Sinatra may sound like a romantic, easy-going crooner, but he’s also a charismatic entertainer who puts on a memorable concert fit to win over jaded rock fans as well as charm mom and pop.

Annual Halloween Fiasco!
Saturday  8 p.m., The Milestone, 3400 Tuckaseegee Rd., $10.
Local bands like Serfs, Bo White, Secret Hospital, and Hectorina “dress up” for Halloween as classic acts covering the Bee Gees, Billy Idol, the Descendents, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Interpol, Violent Femmes, and Bikini Kill for the Milestone's annual Halloween party.

Band of Heathens/Greg Humphreys
Saturday  8:45 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $12-$15. 
With one foot firmly rooted in Asheville now (co-founder Ed Jurdi resides there now), the Austin Southern roots rock band is re-energized with a new lineup on its latest album, "Sunday Morning Record." Carolinian Humphreys' new solo album is more in line with that folky Americana sound, but the former Dillon Fence frontman hasn't lost the soul he mined in his other band Hobex. 

Selena Gomez
Sunday  7:30 p.m., Time Warner Cable Arena, 333 E. Trade St., $40.25-$78.60. 
This year’s headlines focused on the Disney pop star’s relationship with Bieber and role in the controversial “Spring Breakers,” but more importantly the actress (who’s picking interesting projects) still knows her way around an irresistible dance-pop song and remains more wholesome than Miley.

Beach Fossils/Kurt Vile
Monday  8 p.m., Chop Shop, 399 E. 35th St., $15.
Beach Fossils’ Dustin Payseur finally returns to his hometown with his Brooklyn-based indie band whose lo-fi album “Clash The Truth” is one of the best records of 2013. Prolific headliner and Sirius/XMU favorite Kurt Vile is an equally buzzed about songwriter who makes dreamy, odd, listenable indie-rock somewhere between Ben Kweller and Beck.

Pearl Jam
Wednesday  7:30 p.m., Time Warner Cable Arena, 333 E. Trade St., $81.90.
The `90s rock giant with the least drama continues to prove its 1994’s Most Likely to Succeed title was well deserved, having eclipsed most of its peers in longevity and consistency with legendary old-fashioned rock  n’ roll live shows that haven’t let up - they played 3 and 1/2 hours in NYC recently.

Thursday  7:30 p.m., Tremont, 400 W. Tremont Ave., $22-$25.
Who better to celebrate Halloween with than these metal monsters from outer space? Get ready to get messy and bloody in the slave pit as these veteran theatrical rockers deliver sci-fi horror madness on stage. With White Chapel, Iron Reagan, and Band Of Orcs.

Thursday  7:30 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $18.  
The indie duo behind the inescapable “Go Outside” (currently in a Nokia Lumina commercial) proves success wasn’t a fluke with its sophomore album, “Static,” further pushing the fantasy of `60s girl group singer waking up in NYC circa 2010 to make deliciously sweet, modern alt-pop. The band has some special Halloween treats in store for fans - so come costumed if you can. 

St. Paul and the Broken Bones
Thursday  9 p.m., Chop Shop, 399 E. 35th St., $10-$12.
The retro soul revival is alive and well in Alabama thanks to cats like this intense band leader with a big voice and stage persona. He’s surrounded by a crop of A-list horn players and beat keepers that help create a big classic soul sound.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Locals, buzz bands play free bday bash Friday

It's been a big year for rock band Junior Astronomers with its first national label release, "Dead Nostalgia" and national tours with the Weeks and fellow Charlotteans HRVRD. One of the group's most successful local events has long been Terrence and Philip's birthday show. Friday marks the fifth annual birthday concert at Tremont Music Hall. If those names sound familiar guitarist Philip Wheeler and singer Terrence Richard, who turn 26 and 27 respectively this week,  just so happen to share the names of those two Canadian "South Park" characters (although this year's flyer plays off another animated duo).

For it's fifth year T&P pull out all the stops by inviting unfortunately named, over-the-top punky Nashville buzz outfit Diarrhea Planet, whose wild and ridiculous live shows have quickly become legendary in indie circles, to share the bill. Charlotte's Little Bull Lee and Old Soles round out the bill.

The annual birthday gig started at the Milestone and moved to Tremont's Casbah for its second year. It has since taken place in Tremont's big room where around 550 fans gathered last year to bounce and sing along with Junior Astronomers. Over 500 people is a pretty impressive feat for a local act. There's something special about witnessing that many people supporting local music. It's something I might've seen in the mid `90s, but it doesn't happen that often now unless said band is generating Avetts/Matrimony-sized national buzz.

Admission is free for those 21 and over and $5 for those under 21. The show starts at 9 p.m. For more info click here.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

NIN, Bassnectar at mountain festival this weekend

Nine Inch Nails, Bassnectar, the Orb, and Pretty Lights are among the headliners at the inaugural Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit in Asheville this weekend. The three-day festival, which picks up where Moogfest began, begins Friday with Purity Ring, Deltron 3030, Daniel Johnston, Half Japanese, Silver Apples, Neutral Milk Hotel, XXYYXX, Baths, Claude Vonstroke, Laurel Halo, Jherek Bischoff, Rustie, Sparks, and Amerigo Gazaway. Those acts, along with Bassnectar, play across five venues - the Arena, Orange Peel, Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, Diana Wortham Auditorium, and Asheville Music Hall.

Saturday's lineup includes NIN, Animal Collective, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Gary Numan (pictured, top), Chromatics, Actress, Big Black Delta, the Bug, Robert Delong, Ital (Live), Raime, Cashmere Cat, Sorne, I Speak Machine (Tara Busch), Zola Jesus and JG Thirlwell, and Bosnian Rainbows. Saturday also marks the US premier of King Britt's FHLoston Paradigm featuring Pia Ercole - a new-meets-old electronic music experiment of sorts.

Pretty Lights, Cut Copy, and the Orb close out the festival Sunday along with Pantyraid, Schlomo, Disclosure, Jessie Ware (pictured above, bottom), Tourist, Adventure Club, Alan Howarth, Mount Kimbie, William Basinski, How to Dress Well, T. Williams, Ulrich Schnauss, Autre Ne Veut, and Darkside.

There's also much more than music going on, especially for electronic musicians and those into home recording. Panels include an inventors roundtable discussion and an artist spotlight with veteran electronic musician Gary Numan (best known in the mainstream for his `80s hits "Cars"). There's also demonstrations with the guys behind Waves Audio and Trash_Audio, a craft beer sampling, and a number of DJs and regional acts performing at other venues throughout town.

Electronic music and the mountain mecca of Asheville may seem mutually exclusive - us city folk usually think of banjos and drum circles when we think of the mountains - but our Northwestern neighbor was home to Moog synthesizer inventor Bob Moog and began hosting Moogfest in his honor in 2010. Moogfest split with the organizers of what's now Mountain Oasis earlier this year giving Asheville two electronic music festivals - the annual Halloween weekend festival now known as Mountain Oasis and Moogfest, which retained the name. Moogfest will take place in the Spring.

Mountain Oasis still pays tribute to Moog though with Dr. Bob's Interactive Sonic Experience, which lets patrons of all ages get their hands on theremins, synthesizers, oscilloscopes, and other Moog creations.

Weekend passes are $199.50 here. Single day tickets are $74.50 (Sunday) to $84.50 (Friday and Saturday). For more information go to

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Review: Temperance League celebrates LP Friday

Charlotte rock sextet Temperance League introduces its second full-length "Rock and Roll Dreams" with stripped down piano and the lines "Don't wanna hang up my rock and roll dreams" before a big ballad about aging in the indie music business kicks in. It ends three minutes later with the refrain "Don't wanna hang up my rock and roll dreams/As foolish as it seems..." That sums up Temperance League. Band members like frontman Bruce Hazel, guitarist Shawn Lynch, and newest member Jay Garrigan have been chasing those dreams for decades. It’s not that what they did separately wasn’t good, but with drummer David Kim (another busy local music veteran), guitarist Chad Wilson, and bassist Eric Scott, they've found that something extra. Call it chemistry, camaraderie, whatever. Temperance League seems to share a common goal whether it’s in classic songwriting and arranging or its willingness to play live often and the simple joy that oozes from the band when it’s doing so.  

But just when I think I’ve got Temperance League figured out, they throw out something different without ever losing focus of who the band. Every time they change it up a bit, I lament quietly how much I liked what came before. But then the new stuff grows on me. On its first few seven inch singles it was a political and punky garage rock outfit spewing lyrics about job loss, the poor economy, and working class hope. On 2012’s self-titled full-length its love of vintage pop and `60s rock took center stage. The tempos were a little slower. The lyrics were more relationship-oriented. You could imagine a `60s girl group covering “I Don’t Wanna,” for instance. While its psychedelic pop companion piece “But I Have Have To” was fit to score a party scene from “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.”  

“Rock and Roll Dreams” is a suitable follow-up to “Temperance League,” but it’s also the next step in the band’s evolution. If the first full-length was its `60s throwback, “Rock and Roll Dreams” is its `70s follow-up that finds the band self-examining its motives for keeping on. Honestly whenever I turn on Little Steven's Underground Garage and hear great new groups like the Bayonets, I wonder why the heck Temperance League isn't in regular rotation (they have received some play in the past). I'd put up most any of the songs on this new album against what I hear on Sirius/XM. 

It’s hard to pick favorites. “Are You Ready?” finds Hazel possessed by a rock n’ roll preacher over stomping garage blues. It’s an about face from the title track with similar lyrical intentions - to rock. I tend to favor the heavier ones, but the catchy melodies and choruses of “Too Much Time,” “The Hunger,” “Are You Still With Me?,” and “Don’t Say Goodbye” are almost immediately memorable. The closer “Everybody Dreams” (wrapping up that whole theme) finds Hazel in full crooner mode while the band sounds like it would be just as at home backing up the Ronettes (you know, the Ramones sounded like that sometimes too).  

Many of the songs on “Rock and Roll Dreams” should be familiar to Temperance League’s audience, which includes the pretty massive one it played for opening for Bob Seger at Time Warner Cable Arena in April. Temperance League is a live band. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t make good records though. For “Rock and Roll Dreams” the group again ventured to Mitch Easter’s Fidelitorium Recordings in Kernersville. Easter's band Let's Active was a big part of the jangle pop sound of the `80s (as were some of the groups he produced). That guitar sound and oohs and ahhs is part of the Temperance League sound along with Hazel revealing more of that gravely-voiced inner Springsteen, Lynch’s British invasion guitar licks, and references to the aforementioned classic pop and rock of the `50s, `60s, and `70s. That's what Temperance League does - makes something classic with what's driving them written heart-on-sleeve within the lines of its songs. Maybe that's why it works - because those legendary artists that TL is following were making music for much the same reasons. That's why many of them - like Temperance League - are still chasing those rock and roll dreams. 

Temperance League celebrates the release of its new album “Rock n’ Roll Dreams” Friday at Snug Harbor with the Sammies and Pullman Strike. Admission is free. The record is available on vinyl and via digital download here

This week's hot concerts

Vanessa Carlton
Friday  8:30 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $25-$30.
Fans anxiously awaiting the Grammy nominated adult-pop star’s follow-up to 2011’s “Rabbits on the Run” - which showed the “A Thousand Miles” singer maturing in voice with simpler arrangements - can debate whether they’ll get that new album before the birth of Carlton’s first child. She revealed she’s pregnant at a concert last week.

Flux Pavilion
Friday  9 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $32.
As a forward thinker in a forward-thinking field, the UK DJ and producer expands on dubstep’s distorted wall of sound with textured dynamics (the track “The Scientist”) and musical shout-outs to vintage 8-bit, rave, and hip-hop. He’s collaborated with Childish Gambino and Major Lazer and Jay-Z and Kanye sampled his work on “Watch the Throne.”  

Temperance League
Friday  10 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St., Free.
The prolific Charlotte outfit consisting of local rock vets celebrates the release of its second full-length, “Rock N’ Roll Dreams,” with help from Pullman Strike and the Sammies. The album finds the group, who opened for Bob Seger at the arena in April, continuing to evolve its classic sound.

Blues Brews & BBQ
Friday and Saturday.  7:30 p.m., Tryon St. between Trade and Stonewall, Free.
Besides booze and `cue, the 11th BB&B features live blues on two stages. Charlotte Blues Society presents regional favorites like Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues, while Tinsley Ellis, the Soul Rebels, Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights and Vintage Trouble headline the Budweiser Stage.

White Violet
Saturday  8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $6-$8.
Although its set seemed cut short the Athens’ indie-rock quartet was a stand-out among stand-outs at the God Save the Queen City Fest in September with its hypnotic mix of dreamy shoegazer and delicate psychedelics layered atop a folk-anchored songwriting base.

Pete Rock & CL Smooth
Saturday  9 p.m., Chop Shop, 399 E. 35th St., $20-$35.
The jazzy NY hip-hop duo split in 1995 after the follow-up to 1992’s hit “Mecca and The Soul Brother” failed to repeat the success of its now classic predecessor (Rock went on to produce folks like Kanye West). The two regrouped in 2010 and now celebrate the 20th anniversary the seminal, influential hit album.

Sean Watkins/Tom Brosseau
Tuesday  10 p.m., Snug Harbor, 1228 Gordon St., $5.
The Nickel Creek guitarist/vocalist and songwriter joins acclaimed, literary Midwestern folk songwriter Brosseau whose new album Watkins produced. They bring a hint of the musical camaraderie found at L.A.’s songwriting hub Club Largo to Country Tuesday.

Rickie Lee Jones
Thursday  7:30 p.m., McGlohon Theater, 345 N. College St., $35-$42.50.
When it comes to following her muse, the eclectic duchess of Coolsville (to borrow from the title of her 2005 anthology) has spent a 35-year career exploring jazz, pop, blues, rock, gospel, folk, and electronic music. Her latest Ben Harper-produced album, “The Devil You Know” examines rock n’ roll through her unique filter.

Sarah Blacker
Thursday  8 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St., $8-$10. 
If the label “sundress rock” garners a smile or piques your curiosity, then step into the colorful musical world of this playful folk-rock singer-songwriter. Named “Female Performer of the Year” in her native New England, the youthful 30-year-old sings like a sassier Sarah Barreilles crossed with an A-list country belter.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

This week's hot concerts

Si Kahn and the Looping Brothers
Friday  7 p.m., Great Aunt Stella Center, 926 Elizabeth Ave. Free (Donations accepted)  
The Charlotte based folk musician, activist and community organizer released two albums this year - a collection of songs intended to raise awareness of Alaska’s environmentally-threatened “Bristol Bay” and a collaboration with German bluegrass band the Looping Brothers, who join him tonight after a tour of the Southeast.

Zac Brown Band
Friday, 7 p.m.,  Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 707 Pavilion Blvd., $42-$83.
The Georgia chef-turned-country star once again proves he’s not your average mainstream country act. He taps left-of-Nashville acts the Wood Brothers (with Oliver Wood from Medeski, Martin &…) and blues-rock roots outfit Dugas to open the show and peppers the setlist with un-country covers like “Enter Sandman” and “Kashmir” while overseeing his Southern-themed food stand at Verizon.

J.J. Grey & Mofro
Friday  8 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St., $22-$25.
The Florida-bluesman that started his career making dirty, swampy blues continues to turn up the funk, classic vintage soul, and R&B while infusing that base with rock n’ roll energy akin to Rolling Stones, Black Crowes and Prince on the new album, “The River.”

Menomena/Helio Sequence
Friday  8 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $15.
Far from a mother’s day card, the Portland indie-rock duo’s heady, yet catchy album “Moms” explores the way family dynamics and mothers shape us and our relationships as adults. Fellow Oregonian duo, Helio Sequence, joins its friends on the road for the first time and plays its first CLT show in over four years.

Robert Randolph & the Family Band
Saturday  8 p.m., Amos’, 1423 S. Tryon St., $20-$23.
The pedal-steel playing bandleader covers “Love Rollercoaster” on his new album, “Lickety Split.” The energy that such a lively track suggests permeates the reinvigorated spirit of the entire album, which finds Randolph on fire with uptempo numbers that take the listener from a partying Saturday night to a Sunday morning revival.

Unknown Hinson
Saturday  8 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave., $15-$18.
Charlotte’s notorious guitar-slinging, honky-tonk vampire - who has gained national notoriety as the voice of Early Cuyler on “Squidbillies” and as a favorite among celebrity musicians - returns to the stage after mourning his manager-wife who died in February.

Sunday  7 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $37.50.
Glenn Danzig celebrates his band’s 25th anniversary by revisiting not only its quarter century career, but by teaming with former Misfits guitarist Doyle for some of the influential horror-punk outfit’s bloodiest fan favorites.

Lindi Ortega
Tuesday  9 p.m., Double Door, 1218 Charlottetown Ave., $12.
On her polished third album, “Tin Star,” the Canadian-bred, Nashville based alt-country singer-songwriter (who boasts brilliant vibrato) ditches some of the Johnny Cash-like death and sass of her terrific last album to focus on dark, yet different, stories of struggling and passion on the fringes of music city.

Wednesday  8 p.m., Tremont, 400 W. Tremont Ave., $10-$12.
The colorful Japanese/NYC-based synth-punk outfit perform like action figures come to life and dress like Power Rangers while boasting a wild, interactive live show. It’s new album, “Metalander-Z” pays tribute to the height of hair metal with tracks inspired by the hey-day of Van Halen, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Maiden and the Crue.

Atlas Genius
Wednesday 8 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd. $15-$27.
Part of The Fillmore’s Ones to Watch series, the Australian duo (who opened for Wolfgang here last fall) is breaking big stateside with regular rotation on Sirius/XM and a snappy, melodic alt-pop sound reminiscent of Phoenix.

Thursday  9 p.m., Double Door, 1218 Charlottetown Ave., $8.
It’s hard to look away from its strange videos or to turn off the Athens duo’s curiously ethereal songs as the chemistry and mystery created by the direct vocals and dark beauty of Marie Davon (Venice is Sinking) and Andrew Heaton’s (Packway Handle) material raises temperatures.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Julieta Venegas headlines Latin American Festival

The 23rd Annual Latin American Festival takes place Sunday at Symphony Park in South Park. Platinum selling, Grammy winning Mexican pop star Julieta Venegas headlines this year's festival, which as always includes live music, dance, food, arts and crafts.

Other international acts include hot South American rock import Notevagustar, who call Uruguay home, Colombia's Monsieur Perine, who combine son, samba, and tango with gypsy jazz, and Ecuador's Swing Original Monks, who mix Latin and electronic music with a theatrical, costumed live show. The triangle area's Orquesta K'Che represents the region on the Rumba Stage as well. The eleven-piece ensemble's members hail from Venezuela, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the US. Its repertoire includes Latin jazz, cumbia, salsa, merengue, and bolero.

The Carnaval stage features traditional dance and live music from all over Latin America. Latin American artists will be on hand selling paintings, pottery, photography, and other original artwork.

Admission is $5 for adults. Children under 8 get in free. The festival begins at noon Sunday and runs until 8 p.m. at Symphony Park (4400 Sharon Rd.) behind South Park Mall.
Proceeds from the event benefit Latin American Coalition and Latin American Women's Association. For more information click here.

(Photo courtesy of Latin American Coalition)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Jazz series heats up fall with Holiday, Adderley

The Jazz Room Series that launched last Spring at Stage Door Theater begins its second season with a tribute to Billie Holiday October 15. The Jazz Arts Initiative's monthly jazz series pays tribute to an eclectic mix of jazz greats.

The series, which features 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. sets, has been hugely successful with instant sell-outs creating a need for two separate shows. The Jazz Room Series usually takes place on the third Tuesday of each month, although the schedule is shaken up a bit for the holidays.

Charlotte-based jazz vocalist Renee Ebalaroza sings Holiday next Tuesday. Saxophonist Will Campbell and trumpeter Michael Hackett play the music of Cannonball and Nat Adderley November 12. December finds Piano Summit performing a special holiday edition of Vince Guaraldi's work on the 10th.

January the third Tuesday schedule is back on track with Philip Whack playing tunes by John Coltrane January 21; Ashlinn Parker playing the music of Clifford Brown February 18; and Troy Conn delivering Wes Montgomery's compositions March 18.

For more information about the series, click here. Admission is $10.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Last word on 30 years with Antiseen: Russ Ward

If Antiseen had a biographer - besides Jeff Clayton - it might be Russ Ward (pictured with a bloody Jeff Clayton, above). Our fifth and final installment for Antiseen's 30th Antivesary week comes from Ward - a local musician who tours and works with Antiseen behind-the-scenes and has contributed liner notes to their releases. He remembers his first Antiseen concert (September 1, 1989 at The Milestone) and his experience meeting other fans and on the road. 

Antiseen celebrates its 30th Antiversary Friday and Saturday at Tremont. Tickets for tonight's pre-party are $10. Admission for Antiseen's show with the Meatmen and the Hookers Saturday is $15. 

“It’s almost kind of embarrassing because people tend to roll their eyes, but when I saw them the first time I was 17. It was maybe my second punk rock show. The first one impressed me, but Antiseen kind of threw me sideways. As goofy as it sounds, that was the proverbial moment. I wasn’t prepared to see a band that was intimidating or confrontational. What I remember most about it was it was like a cross between being really excited and really scared.

Jeff obviously was younger and his performance was more physical than it is now. He threw himself and it wasn’t like a stage dive. He landed on the floor in this hump at my feet. I remember thinking, ‘Do I help this guy up or will he punch me if I touch him?’

When I saw that (Antiseen) was something that resonated with me in a deep way, I tried to turn my friends on to it and they didn’t get it at all. I remember riding in a car with this guy, he turned around with his face wrinkled up and said ‘Is the guitar supposed to sound like that?’

I look back at life before that and it seems so monochromatic and sterile and paint by numbers. MTV was at its height. I couldn’t relate to that at all. I didn’t like any of that heavy metal stuff that was coming up. I was a weirdo kid. I didn’t like anything - kind of like I am now. When I saw Antiseen it wasn’t like the other punk rock stuff. These guys didn’t have mohawks and colored hair and spikey leather jackets. These guys looked like truck drivers and warehouse types, which is essentially what they are. They weren’t playing to put on a pose. The way Clayton performs there was a genuine expression and release. They weren’t doing it for money or ego and fame. It was a lot more direct and real.

People tend to focus on the bloodshed. I started traveling with them about 20 years ago. I’ve seen it more than anybody. I don’t pay attention to it so much. Every once in a while he’ll do something and I’ll go, ‘Wow.’ I’ve seen him cut his arms and that always makes me go, ‘hhmmmeewe.’ As a friend I don’t like to see that. I remember more about when I see him police the audience. One show in Myrtle Beach the stage was a six inch riser. This little girl was in her twenties, but she was the size of a 13-year-old. She was dancing by the PA. This 350 pound hubba bubba guy that’s like king of the pit, he tilts up on the stage and plows this girl and Jeff saw it. He went after the guy and clobbered him with a mic stand. That’s the stuff when I go, ‘Ooooh.’ That’s rare. I’ve seen them hit people with guitars. (Bassist) Tom (O’Keefe) hit someone with his guitar and opened him up and the guy came up after the show and said, ‘Oh, man, I love you guys.’

Anywhere they go they’re going to draw people. People in Charlotte tend to not understand this. They get taken for granted as the perennial local band. I go to Fargo, North Dakota with them and see 12 people from Canada. We were in Lansing, Michigan and there were people from some province up in French Canada 10 hours away. We were in Pittsburg once and this guy came down from Toronto. There’s this couple that come over from Germany every Spring and follow them on tour. We were in Oklahoma City this spring and a guy road his motorcycle from somewhere in Kansas. You see that all the time.

To be able to sustain 30 years - it shows integrity that a lot of bands don’t possess. A lot of bands disappear if they don’t have that label support and people blowing up their ego. I don’t see a lot of bands being able to pull this off - all the hard work that goes into it. You travel in a cramped van. You’re sharing a Motel 6. You do that stuff because you love it.

I always saw myself helping Antiseen more so than doing my own thing (Ward played for years as Mad Brother Ward). They were my band. I always loved what they do. I think what they do is important.

(Photos - Ward and Clayton, courtesy of Russ Ward; "Jump," from an earlier show exhibiting Clayton's agility, courtesy of Jeff Clayton). 

This week's hot concerts

Friday  7:30 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. $10-$12.
Another hometown act is on the rise nationally. Former members of Flagship Brigade and Campbell the Band release their self-titled full-length debut as Flagship on Bright Antenna Records (OMD, Middle Class Rut, the Wombats) Tuesday. It’s bursting with dark, expansive, dramatic and delicate guitar rock with nods to moody Brit-pop and U2.

Sons of Bill
Friday  8 p.m., Visulite, 1615 Elizabeth Ave. $12-$14
The Virginia brother-rooted quintet (three out of five members’ dad is a professor of theology and Southern lit, which explains the heady lyrics) combines literary songwriting and country-folk roots with guitar rock spirit much like those rock n’ roll intellectuals in R.E.M.

Nora Jane Struthers and the Party Line
Friday  10 p.m., Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. $12-$14.
The former English teacher crafts beautiful story songs from the female perspective with a progressive bluegrass and forward-thinking folk base on her sophomore album, “Carnival.” If you enjoyed the Dixie Chicks’ rootsy “Home,” think of Struthers as the long-awaited next step.

Kilah Palooza
Saturday  12 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fountain Plaza, NC Music Factory, 900 NC Music Factory Blvd. $.
Lucky Five, Adrian Crutchfield & the Extraordinary Gentlemen, Grownup Avenger Stuff, Colby Dobbs Band, Blu Avenue, and others play this family-friendly all day event, which includes an appearance by Governor McCrory, to honor Kilah Davenport whose life-altering abuse at the hands of her step-father triggered stronger legislation against abusers in NC earlier this year.

Gregory Alan Isakov
Saturday  8 p.m., Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St. $15-$18.
The South African-born, Colorado-based folk noir songwriter treads the same dark skies and stark fields as peers like Iron & Wine and Jessica Lea Mayfield. His latest album, “The Weatherman,” celebrates the magic in simple normalcy, which is fitting given his thoughtful, straight forward folk.

Indigo Girls
Saturday  8 p.m., Belk Theater, 130 N. Tryon St. $54.50-$94.50.
Emily Saliers and Amy Ray join the Charlotte Symphony for full orchestral reworkings of the harmonizing Atlanta songwriting team’s classic folk-pop songs including “Kid Fears,” “Chickenman,” “Power of Two,” “Galileo” and “Closer to Fine.”

Wednesday 13
Sunday  8 p.m., Tremont, 400 W. Tremont Ave. $13-$16.
It’s fitting to end Antiseen’s 30th Antiversary weekend celebration with singer Jeff Clayton’s former babysitter - the goth-punk frontman who went on to similar international notoriety as singer for horror rockers the Murderdolls/solo artist who twists horror-movie cliches into clever, catchy, and sometimes funny punk-metal tunes.

Aimee Mann/Ted Leo
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, McGlohon Theater, 345 N. College St. $24.50-$39.50.
The acclaimed Oscar nominated singer-songwriter behind the “Magnolia” soundtrack, Til Tuesday’s “Voices Carry,” and a catalog of smart albums joins forces with rock band leader and frequent collaborator Leo. Prior to releasing their the Both project in 2014, they play separate sets.

India Arie
Tuesday  8 p.m., The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory Blvd., $37.50.
After a four year hiatus the Grammy winning Atlanta soul singer-songwriter sounds reinvigorated on her urgent, upbeat new album “Songversation.” It finds the ever spiritual singer infusing smart, radio-friendly R&B with jazz, Middle Eastern, reggae, and classical guitar for a cohesive, but eclectic global sound.

Michael McDonald
Wednesday  7:30 p.m., Knight Theater, 430 S. Tryon St., $44.50-$84.50.
The PNC Celebrity Series continues to place A-list vocalists in rather intimate settings with the legendary blue-eyed soul (yes, his are really blue) and rock singer whose bold, distinct voice branded hits for the Doobie Brothers, Christopher Cross and Patti Labelle as well as on his own. Look out for new material, including some with his son, on the web.

Yonder Mountain String Band
Thursday  7 p.m., Amos’ Southend, 1423 S. Tryon St., $22.50-$25.
Two days after releasing its new “YMSB EP 13” (which features one song by each member) and a week before hosting its annual Harvest Festival in Arkansas, the venerable road dogs return with its genre-melding blend of jam-friendly alterna-grass.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Antiversary Part 4: Buzzov.en remembers Antiseen

Charlotte's Antiseen celebrates its 30th Antiversary Friday and Saturday at Tremont Music Hall. Each day this week I’ve asked someone who has witnessed the controversial Southern punk stalwarts for much  longer and more intimately than I have to share their thoughts, memories, and impressions of the band.

Doors at 8 p.m. both nights. Tickets for Friday's pre-party with Judas Bullethead, Biggy Stardust & His Wretched Hive, and others are $10. Antiseen's show with the Meatmen and the Hookers Saturday is $15. 

Our fourth installment comes from Kirk Fisher (pictured above), founder and linchpin of another notorious NC-based act Buzzov.en (also written as Buzzoven) whose aggressive sludgy metal and wild live shows attracted national attention in the early `90s. The group released material on a number of well-known labels, including Hydra Head, Alternative Tentacles, and Roadrunner Records, and enjoyed a public rivalry with Antiseen.  

“I remember when Buzzov.en was going back through Charlotte for the first time since moving to Richmond. We weren’t playing Charlotte but on our way to start a tour with Neurosis. I believe, we had planned to spend the night back at our old haunt – the 609 Oakland Ave. house with our former roommate, Chris Radok - a well-known local band photographer & dear friend, who’d kept up his residence there since we’d taken off to Richmond.  Since I hadn’t bothered to call Chris before our arrival, I was a little shocked as I came up on the Oakland Ave. house to see GG Allin and the Murder Junkies littering my former front porch as we walked up to what once was our palace of all things destructive.
I shrugged and walked through the front door that was still (not-surprisingly) hanging open since we’d left. I saw (Antiseen’s) Jeff (Clayton) to my left.  As I took a few more steps into the huge living room I said hello to Chris and Dee (Jeff’s wife). I also began to notice how much more of a home it now looked. Pictures and posters of various Buzzov.en events were now replaced with really cool horror movie posters and Antiseen show posters. They had put some couches and a coffee table and Jeff’s most impressive vinyl collection lined the wall floor to ceiling. Seriously, I have never seen a collection of LPs any bigger.

He had just put on a record of what I believed to be something new by Antiseen for one of the Murder Junkies’ ears. As the music started playing the beauty of this moment was watching Kerrie – Jeff’s then infant daughter – race around the huge living room slamming her little body into the couches headfirst. She would proudly say, ‘That’s my Daddy’s band!’ and then get back to her one-little-girl-slam-fest. 

Chris was later doing some promo shots of us while Antiseen was jamming in the back room. Their loud, chainsaw-driving guitar was buzzing and rattling through the house much like when we rehearsed. Life always seemed to go on throughout the house as usual even though the sheer volume and rumble of the band rehearsing somewhere in the house was hard to ignore. We ended up taking some pictures with Antiseen’s stickered up half school bus behind us. One of these shots ended up being used for our main promotional shot for our label at the time. Some fans thought we had snuck up and done this as a prank or maybe even on a dare. To those who don’t know the facts well, they think Antiseen and buzzov.en are far from being friends. We may have even played into these rumors of hate. It still seems some fans think that there is some great known feud between each of the band’s camps.

It was a bittersweet pill to swallow that 609 Oakland was no longer our not-so-humble headquarters. It was now Jeff Clayton and his family’s home and Antiseen’s practice space. It was however a great thing to know Antiseen was the new house band.

Even though Buzzov.en also originated in Charlotte, I have always said that Antiseen owned the town. When we had our now legendary “Grudge Match” show at the Milestone Club, Jeff attacked me during my set and cut my head open – much like a wrestling match.  I reciprocated by rushing the stage as Antiseen played and busted a bar stool over Jeff’s head.   It wasn’t Jeff the crowd wanted to gut like a barnyard hog. I had to hide under Buzzov.en’s bus from angry Antiseen fans thirsty for more of my blood. When they couldn’t find me they slashed our radiator, which we had to repair the next day. 

Over the years – we’ve certainly had our ups and downs. I have taken classes at CPCC with Jeff, worked with his wife Dee at Auto Bell, had the Antiseen Security Squad attempt to pummel me at one of their shows at The Milestone and was most always asked if we knew any of the Antiseen crew when doing various interviews with countless national publications. In fact that was the reason for their Security squad wanting to put the smack down. In one interview I spoke somewhat nonchalantly and just really kind of acted as if I didn’t care that we both were from Charlotte. Looking back I can see I didn’t give respect where respect was most definitely due. I wanted all the notoriety and didn’t like not being the center of attention so I simply acted as if I thought very little of Antiseen and their list of accomplishments besides the fact they were one of the forefathers of southern punk rock. It was actually far from what I really thought and felt about Antiseen and their head bashing and violent sound. I WAS a fan of their music , yet would never admit it back then. After that incident, Jeff and I had a long talk about what they had heard and we reconciled our differences. As time passed we gained what I believe was a mutual respect for each other and each other’s bands. We both knew the hard work and sacrifices it took being in a band and keeping up with the demands of being a national recording act. Jeff would tell me that of all the places they’d gone there would always be at least one person with the same annoying question: “Do ya’all know buzzoven?” We usually experienced much the same.
Both Antiseen and buzzoven broke out of the Charlotte music scene to become nationally-known recording and touring bands, but when it comes to Charlotte, this is Antiseen’s town. You all knew buzzoven were merely passing through.

To the man I now hold a huge amount of respect for, Mr.Jeff Clayton; to Joe Young - one of the best damn chainsaw guitar players this side of the Mason-Dixon line; both Phil Keller and Jon Bowman,, who have kept the rhythm going while all hell came crashing down; and finally Mr. Barry Hannibal, the man who has pulled two jobs in Antiseen - my sincere gratitude for paving the path for bands like buzzoven and for being one of few bands that intimidate and leave a permanent mark on yer head - literally. For bringing 30 years of Destructo Rock…give em hell on Saturday night!!"                                                                               

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Antiseen's Antiversary week Part 3: Rep vs. reality

This weekend Charlotte’s Antiseen - internationally known originators of “Destructo Rock” - celebrates its 30th anniversary. Each day this week I’ve asked someone who has witnessed the controversial Southern punk stalwarts for much  longer and more intimately than I have to share their thoughts, memories, and impressions of the band.

Antiseen’s Antiversary show returns to Tremont Music Hall Friday and Saturday. Judas Bullethead, Biggy Stardust and His Wretched Hive, the Chalkies, Lucifer Jones, and Powerball warm up fans flying in from as far as New Zealand Friday. Antiseen headlines Saturday with fellow veterans the Meatmen and Kentucky’s the Hookers. Doors at 8 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $10 Friday and $15 Saturday.

For our third installment of Antiseen nostalgia, Penny Craver - the former owner of Tremont Music Hall, who managed the Milestone Club and played in the band the Blind Dates - dispels the myth that just because singer Jeff Clayton cuts himself and bleeds during shows and has been known to spring from the stage to defend a lady's honor, Antiseen are really scary dudes (although that is fire on stage in the above photo).

“They’d been around for a long while and I’d never seen them. We knew we were getting the Milestone, so I said let me see what I’ve gotten myself into with this Antiseen band. I went out to see them while Tony still owned the club. I was like ok, I can deal with this. It’s not nearly as bad as I thought. You heard such awful things. Then I started working at Repo Records (with Antiseen frontman Jeff Clayton - bloody, above) probably in 1993/1994 and we started talking. We had a lot in common. I do remember one time somebody was messing with Dee, his wife, and he left the stage and went out after them. Of course they stopped playing and that guy left pretty soon after. It didn’t scare me too badly. Then I got to know him and his bark is so much worse than his bite. He really he loves his kids and he’s a great dad. He’s like a PTA dad type person. He asked me if I wanted to write anything when he did his book (on the history of Antiseen). I told him the only thing I have to say about him is what a nice guy he is. I thought it would blow his image. That wasn’t the image he was trying to portray in the Destructo years.

I traveled with them (as a sound engineer) a couple times and mixed them. I got the vocals up and you could actually hear it and Jeff can actually sing and you could hear his lyrics. When you see some of his song titles you think 'Oh, my gosh.' Then you listen to the lyrics. For forever you couldn’t hear the lyrics. You just saw him up there screaming and cutting his forehead. They’re very clever. You hear ‘Animals, Eat ‘Em’ and think, ‘What the hell?’ ‘Then you don’t have to feed ‘em’ - that’s an extension of Jeff’s sense of humor. Some people take them seriously, but I don’t. They’re all great guys. Once you realize Jeff loves to pick on people and has a great sense of humor. His reputation precedes him and you don’t realize he’s just saying that to get a rise. 

My last night at Tremont I really wanted Antiseen to be there because I think a whole lot of them and they meant a lot to a lot of people growing up, particularly for the males. Joe (Young) is the sweetest guy. Barry (Hannbal), I’ve never heard raise his voice. Quite frankly that’s usually the way it is when they get up and their music is aggressive and then they get off stage and say: 'May I have a water please?' Once we got to know them, geez, they’re all just as sweet as they can be and have this alter-ego for the stage.”

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Remembering Antiseen's first show 30 years ago

This weekend Charlotte’s Antiseen - internationally known originators of “Destructo Rock” - celebrates its 30th anniversary. Each day this week I’ve asked someone who has witnessed the controversial Southern punk stalwarts for much  longer and more intimately than I have to share their thoughts, memories, and impressions of the band.

Antiseen’s Antiversary show returns to Tremont Music Hall Friday and Saturday. The group headlines Saturday with fellow veterans the Meatmen and Kentucky’s the Hookers. Doors at 8 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $10 Friday and $15 Saturday.

Photographer Marty Thomas talks about what it was like seeing the band’s very first show on Oct. 1, 1983 and how the group evolved over the years. She'll be there Saturday with her camera. 

“It was at a place called The Barn in Boone. It was a whole bunch of bands that everybody knew. I think Fetchin Bones (also from Charlotte) played at The Barn that night. And NRG. Antiseen came on and I had no idea there was any kind of band like that in North Carolina. When they were getting ready to play, I spoke to Joe and I didn’t know he was in the band. He said, “Have you ever seen thsese guys?’
I said, ‘No.’  He said, ‘Then you better hide.’

They tore it up. We were all standing there with our mouths open. They were so good, but they were a lot different than they are now. They do a lot more stage show now than they did back then. Then it was just cut and dry. They didn’t have all the theatric they have now, which is pretty fun actually. I became friends with them very shortly after that because I knew some of their friends. I was going to Montreat-Anderson College in the mountains at the time and lived in Hickory. We used to drive from Montreat to Charlotte almost every weekend to see them.

(The first time singer Jeff Clayton cut himself on stage) it really, really shocked me. I didn’t know what to do or what to think. I don’t know if he meant to do it the first time. I remember saying, ‘What are you doing. You’re crazy. Don’t do that anymore.’

From what I remember - and I can’t remember it real well - he used to take the microphone and he would bang the microphone into his head. It left the little hash marks on his forehead. If I’m not mistaken it was a glass bottle that he cut his head open with. Everybody just thought they were the greatest thing since the Ramones.

We’d never seen anything like that in North Carolina. You had to go to Los Angeles and New York. A lot of us were in shock - ‘Oh My God, they’re from Charlotte. How’s that?’ We were in shock over it.
Their music is not stuck in any time period. It’s not completely `80s music. It’s as good now as it was in the `80s. They toured so much that they’ve got fans all over the place so whenever they play it’s like a big party. They’re a fun show and the crowd they bring out is very very interesting.

When Jeff took up playing the washboard, I was kind of like, ‘What?’ I think of him standing there bleeding profusely with a washboard set on fire. It is pretty out there. It’s them though. It’s a great show.” 

(Photo from The Barn courtesy of Jeff Clayton)