= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
                                   questions/comments/concerns - email thomas.magnum at

                                                              all contents copyright Jake Thomas

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =       

   (updated 2/28
/2017)                                   Photo Journal   (updated 2/28/2016)       
                Music Reviews   (updated 2/3/2017)                         Live Show Review Archives

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Photo Archive:       
 +++People+++         +++Places+++         +++Bands+++        
+++Mouse!+++         +++Burt!+++
Pointless Nonsense Archive:         +++Movie Reviews+++         +++Links+++
                                                                (None of these have been updated in ages)                                          
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

***February Twenty Eighth Two Thousand and Seventeen***

I guess Trump is still president.  Here you see him greeting his public.  



Daycare decor.  Marion, NC.  

Sleepy dog.  Cary, NC.

February sunset.  Cary, NC.  

Time capsule.  Marion, NC.  



Antihero had the good goddamn sense to collect a bunch of Frank Gerwer footage from the last few years and re-
lease it under the title "Straight to Floppy Disc".  Frank is everything that is fun and awesome about skateboarding.  

Normally a part that is almost entirely handrails would bore the everloving shit out of me, but not when you skate them
the way Cole Wilson does.  His part from the new Foundation video "Oddity" is completely mindblowing...that he
grinds UP a double kinked rail is only the tip of the iceberg.  

Because I'm a grumpy old man there aren't a ton of the new "cool kids" that I'm into - Sage Elsesser is legit though.  
He somehow appears laid back but has a ton of power at the same time...75% of this part for Converse is probably
just ollies, and that's totally cool with me.  

Some kind internet soul took it upon themselves to make a compilation of all the random Kenny Anderson appear-
ances over the past couple of years, and the world wins.  Second best style of all time after Ray Barbee?  Yes.  Yes.  

This month we have a couple of collections of band photos and snaps from the State Fair that I forgot to post months
ago, which also contains band photos.  All that an nothing more in the 
photo journal!

Still didn't go to any shows.  Insert photo of nursing home here.  


“When April was born I was already in third grade, which means if we were friends back then I would have been hang-
ing out with a baby. I don’t know anything about infant care. Oh my god I could have killed her.”

Big Boi - CPU (feat. Phantogram).  I love Big Boi.  Big Boi loves guests on his songs.  Everyone wins.  
In The A (feat, T.I. & Ludacris)
She Hates Me (Kid Cudi)

Descendents - Clean Sheets.  "Liveage" was a tape I played constantly in my car in high school, but until I came
across it again recently it had probably been two decades since I had last listened.  It doesn't all hold up, but there's
enough good there to be glad to listen again.  
Silly Girl

Low -  Into You.  Low put out "Ones and Sixes" in 2015 and it's very Low-y (therefore good) and it's possible I already
posted some tracks from it during my best of 2015 list but you can't listen to Low too often.  
No Comprende

Terry Malts - They're Feeding.  I loved their most recent record; here are some tracks from their sophomore effort
that isn't quite as good as the new one, but still had some gems.  
Two Faces

Look, a whole shitload of Tyvek songs!  One of Detroit's finest.  
City of a Dream
Needles Drop
Wayne County Roads

***January Thirty First Two
Thousand and Seventeen***

Well, we're fucked.  Good luck everybody, let's hope we don't all die in a nuclear holocaust in the next couple of years.  


Burt vs. sunbeam.  Cary, NC.  

Lulu in front of the fire.  Marion, NC.

Lola's first snow day.  Cary, NC.  

Vids and such...

There ar a shitload of good skate videos floating around out there right now...

Some kindly soul took it upon themselves to go through all the various clips of Rick McCrank skating in 2016, be it
in skate videos or on his TV show (he had a really great show called Abandoned on Vice that I highly recommend even
if you don't skate), and cobbled them together all in one spot.  I'm never not stoked for McCrank footage.  

Speaking of cobbled together videos, the GX1000 people made a nine minute long compilation of Jake Johnson
clips called "Thanks Jake".  This isn't just from 2016 as he's riding Alien Workshop boards in parts of it, but that
doesn't make it any less awesome.  

I guess it's just the month of compilations - end of the year and all that - here's nine minutes of Daan Van Der Lind
absolutely destroying everything in his path to one of the songs from the sound track of Disney's Robin Hood...they just
keep repeating the same song over and over.  It would be annoying if it wasn't so hilarious.  Also, Robin Hood is the
best Disney movie of all time for those keeping score at home.  Sword in the Stone is a close second.  

The Adidas team skating NYC in a vid called Broadway Bullet.  Goddamn that team is stacked...Gonz sighting!

Luan Oliveira
put out yet another part where he goes super fast, pops a mile high, and lands everything perfectly.  I'm
beginning to think he might actually be a cyborg.  

Photos from Florida (where we spent Christmas this year) and some other random garbage in the photo journal.

Someday I'll go to some more shows and write poorly about them.  Dinosaur Jr and Lambchop next month at a


"Two brothers... One speaks no English, the other learned English from watching "The Wide World of Sports." So you
tell me... Which is better, speaking no English at all, or speaking Howard Cosell?"

Bandway - Glossy Magazine.  It's entirely possible I've already posted songs from Bandway's 2015 masterpiece
"Buddies," but I'm not going to bother to double check because you can't post Bandway too often.  
White Nipples

Best Coast - This Lonely Morning.  It might be overproduced and a little cheesy, but Best Coast can write some
good damn pop songs.  
Who Have I Become

Mark Kozelek & Desertshore - Mariette.  Mark Kozalek is a dickhead (witnessed first hand plus countless stories
from trusted friends & acquaintances), but occasioanlly he puts out a record so good that I'll still listen to him.  Short of
a Red House Painters reunion, I can't imagine ever seeing him live again though.  
Tavoris Cloud

Mean Jeans - Cool 2 Drive.  Even if they are just ripping off the Ramones mostly, they do it in a really enjoyable way
and catchy songs are catchy songs.  
I Miss Outerspace
Total Creep

Warm Soda - Save This Dance for Me.  Warm Soda rose from the ashes of Bare Wires, and to my untrained ears
both acts sound kinda the same - glammy power pop that will worm it's way into your head for days.
Young Reckless Hearts

Three tracks a Stax reords comp I picked up at a thrift store a few months's almost like that label had a bunch
of really talented musicians on it.  
Isaac Hayes - Walk On By
Mel & Tim - Starting All Over Again
Otis Redding - I've Been Loving You Too Long

***January Tenth Two
Thousand and Seventeen***

Hey, everyone loves lists and I love making them!  Here are the rest of my favorite things from 2016.

Top Live Shows of 2016!

I went to WAY less shows this past year than I usually do.  Maybe I'm getting old (definitely true), maybe my interest
level in new music is waning (probably true), or maybe it's the being a new dad thing (probably not true, I still stay up
late every night)...mostly it's probably laziness.  I'll try to do better in 2017.  

Eric Bachmann at Hopscotch Music Festival
Best I've seen him in years and years.  Perfect venue for his sparse arrangements.  Backup singers were fire.  

Low at the Cat's Cradle
If I see Low in a particular year, Low is one of the best shows of that year.  It's not even possible for this not to be true.  

Weather Warlock featuring D-Town Brass at Moogfest
First time I've ever gotten up before sunrise to see a band play.  Totally worth it.  

Television at Hopscotch Music Festival
A lot of people found this performance boring - I was mesmerized.

Nada Surf at the Cats Cradle

Not enough people recognize the pop genius of this band.  

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):

Baroness at Hopscotch Music Festival
Guided By Voices at the Cats Cradle
Gary Numan (night 2) at Moogfest
Protomartyr / Spray Paint / Bodykit at Cat's Cradle Back Room
Silver Apples at Moogfest
Superchunk at the NC State Fair
Wye Oak at Hopscotch Music Festival
Yo La Tengo at the Orange Peel


Top Movies of 2016(ish)!
I took a slightly different approach with my movie list - thing is, I watch a ton of movies but rarely go to the theater.  And
as a general rule the bulk of the best films of the year all come out at the very end of the year, so I rarely see most of
them.  So this is two lists - my favorites of what I saw that actually came out in 2016, and my favorites that I saw in 2016
that came out other years.  

Favorite movie of the year:

Midnight Special (2016)  - I found this film totally mesmerizing.  Incredibly acted across the board, even down to the
                                                kid (Alton, played by Jaeden Lieberher).  Director Jeff Nichols has now made three out-
                                                standing films (see also Mud and Take Shelter), and has earned my total fandom.  

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):

Deadpool (2016)
Everybody Wants Some (2016)
 - A perfect spiritual sequel to Dazed & Confused.
Hush (2016)

The Nice Guys (2016)
 - Strong Big Lebowski vibes in this one. 
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

Favorites from other years that I saw in 2016:
The Baby (1973)
 - One of the most ridiculous movies I've ever seen.
The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young (2014)
The Green Room (2015)
It Follows (2014)
 - Favorite horror movie of the last decade probably. 
Kingdom Of Shadows (2015)
Mavis (2015)
Northern Soul (2014)
The Rover (2014)
 - Reminded me a lot of the original Mad Max. 
The Salt Of The Earth (2014)
Sicario (2015)
 - I'd have to go back and review, but possibly my favorite movie from 2015.
Thank You For Playing (2015)
 - One of the saddest documentaries/movies/anything I've ever seen. 
What We Do In The Shadows (2014)


Top Television Shows of 2016!

Favorite new shows...

Gomorrah  - this came out in 2014 in Italy, but was released this year on Sudance here in the US so it counts on a
                       technicality.  Brutal and unforgiving, a mobster epic set in Naples (Napoli) that follows the ups and downs
                       of the Savastano clan.  Unlike the Sopranos, you never feel sorry for any of these people, other than their
                       victims.  My favorite show all year.  

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):
The Grand Tour (We can pretend this is a new show and not an exact replica of Top Gear)
Luke Cage
One Mississippi
Stranger Things


Favorite returning shows...

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - the funniest show on TV (or rather streaming) by a large margin.  It should probably
                                                          be mentioned here that I am a Tina Fey superfan who has watched 30 Rock from
                                                          start to finish at least four or five times, and every joke she writes feels like it is cus-
                                                          tom designed just for me.  

Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):
The Americans
Black Mirror
Halt and Catch Fire
You're the Worst

Favorite single season shows / mini-series...
The Night Manager
The Night Of
OJ: Made in America

Favorite show I thought came out this year but apparently I'm wrong but I'm including it anyways...

Deutschland 83 - this would be my second favorite show of 2016 if it had come out this year, but it's still my second
                                 favorite show I watched this year.  I've always been fascinated by East Germany and the eighties
                                 soundtrack here is perfect - it's impossible not to like this.  

***December Fifteenth Two
Thousand and Sixteen***

Since it's December I'm required by law to list my...
Top Records of 2016!!!
Very little of what I picked match any of the other lists around the internet.  Either I'm out of touch, have terrible taste in
music, or both.  Probably both.  

Eric Bachmann - Eric Bachmann (Merge)
His best work since the first Crooked Fingers record.  The doo-wop backing vocals were both unexpected and a fan-
tastic addition to his sound!
Belong To You
Modern Drugs

Flock of Dimes - If You See Me, Say Yes (Partisan)
Jenn Wasner's solo project, a slightly dancier/poppier version of the pop songs she writes for Wye Oak.  Impossible
not to like.  
Everything Is Happening Today

Fruit Bats - Absolute Loser (Easy Sound Recording)
At their worst Eric Johnson/Fruit Bats is dependable folk pop; at their best, you get gems like the opening track on this
album "From a Soon To Be Ghost Town."
From a Soon-to-Be Ghost Town
None of Us

Konvoi - Konvoi (Snot)
Local(ish) lads done well - the best Fall-like post-punk record to come out this year was surprisingly from a group of
young dudes from the mountains of North Carolina.  

Moonface/Siinai - My Best Human Face (Jagjaguwar)
This Spencer Krug side project is sounding more and more like Wolf Parade with each passing release, not that I'm
Prairie Boy
Risto's Riff

Nada Surf - You Know Who You Are (Barsuk)
Pop perfection as always from these one-hit wonders.  The couple of tracks posted here are probably my two favorite
songs by them since "The Weight Is A Gift."
Friend Hospital

Teenage Fanclub - Here (Merge)
Speaking of pop perfection, I would have bet every cent to my name this would make my top records list before I ever
heard a single note.  I have complete faith in these Scots to always produce quality tunes.  
I'm In Love
The First Sight

Wye Oak - Tween (Merge)
Probably more of a compilation than a proper album, but that didn't stop me from listening and enjoying it like a regular
Better (For Esther)
If You Should See


Honorable Mention!
You know, stuff I really dug but not as much as the stuff I really really dug.  Sample songs provided if I had them easily
available aka on my computer and in the correct location so I didn't have to dig around forever looking for them.  Listed
in alphabetical order.  

Dinosaur Jr. - Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not (Jagjaguwar)
 - Goin Down

Skylar Gudasz - Oleander (Daniel 13)

Konono No. 1 - Konono No. 1 Meets Batida (Crammed Discs)

Lambchop - FLOTUS (Merge)

Mandolin Orange - Blindfaller (Yep Roc)

 - Hey Stranger

Mind Spiders - Prosthesis (Dirtnap)

 - Cold
 - No Filter

Mount Moriah - How To Dance (Merge)

Outer Spaces - A Shedding Snake (Don Giovanni)

 - Mint on the Sill
 - Words

Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool (XL)

 - Burn The Witch
 - Decks Dark

Dan Sartain - Century Plaza (One Little Indian)

Do You Hear My Voice  
 - Walk Among the Cobras

Terry Malts - Lost At The Party (Slumberland)
 - Seen Everything
 - Used to Be

Wilco - Schmilco (dBpm)


Best Singles/EPs!
ISS is the biggest winner in this category, for those keeping score at home.  

The Gotobeds - New Dress (Debutante) 7'' (Chunklet/Third Uncle)
ISS - Studs (Self-Released)
Spray Paint - Bogans and Hoons EP (Goner)
Wolf Parade - EP4 (Self-Released)


Great records from previous years!
To be fair I barely thought about this section.  Every year I plan on noting albums I'm just now feeling despite being re-
leased in other years, and every year I mostly forget to do it.    

Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit (Mom + Pop) (2015)
 - See, I don't always hate the shit that's popular with the kids.  It just takes me a while to give it a chance.  
The Egyptian Lover - 1983-1988 (Stones Throw) (2016)
 - Technically the release is from this year but it's a compilation of all of his songs from the years 83 to 88 (duh).  So
   I'm sticking it here instead of with the other 2016 releases.  
Total Control - Typical System (Iron Lung) (2014)
 - This was actually one of my honorable mentions in 2014, but I listened to it a ton the first half of this year and felt it
   deserved to be mentioned again.  If I redid my "best of" for 2014 it would definitely be near the top.  2014 was pro-
   bably the best year for new music in ages. 

***November Thirtieth Two
Thousand and Sixteen***

There's only one thing on my Christmas list this year.  I'll give you one guess what it is.  



Crowder Park.  Apex, NC.  

Shadow master.  Cary, NC.  

All season locust.  Marion, NC.  



This video has been out for a couple of months, but I continue to back Hockey, or at least most of the team.  Tons of
Andrew Allen footage here.  Not enough John Fitzgerald.  Still not sold on Ben Kadow.  He's definitely good at falling.
I know it's not supposed to matter, but his ridiculous high pants make it really hard to watch his footage.  

WKND made a promo vid of their entire team called "Who's To Say"  - I may not love everyone they sponsor, but there
is plenty of good here to recommend a watch.  If you want to cut to the top highlight, Austyn Gillette has a nice section
that starts just after the eight minute mark.  Goddamn that boy is as good on his skateboard as he is stylish and

Vans dropped a surprise video "No Other Way" and it's one of the best things I've seen all year.  Elijah Berle kicks
things off with one of my favorite parts in some time, there's a short montage of other riders, and then Kyle Walker
closes with one of the heaviest sections ever created.  Seriously, this kid does shit I would have told you is impossible
if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, and it looks so easy to him.  

In non-skateboarding video news, the greatest living documentarian Errol Morris made a great short film for the New
York Times that I'm finally getting around to posting.  It's called "Demon in the Freezer" about smallpox, and further
proof that the man can make literally any topic interesting.  

More band photos again this month, and another set of, well, nonsense this time around in the photo journal


Guided By Voices
Cats Cradle

It was nearly twenty years ago that I saw Guided By Voices for the first time in this same club, standing only a couple
of feet to the left from where I stood on this night.  "Under the Bushes, Under the Stars" tour if I'm not mistaken - June
of 44 opened.  It was a damn good time.  These days, Robert Pollard might do a few less high kicks and drink a few
less beers during the performance, but not much else has changed.  The band has nearly always rotated members,
and of course this time was no different  - frequent collaborator Doug Gillard made up one-half of the guitar corp, and
the other half was a real treat - Bobby Bare Jr, an alt-country star with a long solo career who I guess decided it might
be fun to learn 50 or 60 short pop songs.  GBV didn't play any of his songs or anything, but he was still a nice addition
to the performance. 

The band had the set down to a science - play a couple of new songs, then a classic song, a couple more new ones,
back to a classic or two, etc.  In this case "classic" means songs from what most people consider their golden era -
tracks like "Motor Away," "Game of Pricks," "Teenage FBI," "Tractor Rape Chain," etc; and "new" songs are not only
tracks from the more recent GBV releases from the last half-decade, but they also mixed in plenty from Pollard's var-
ious other bands - Boston Spaceships, ESP Ohio, Circus Devils, Ricked Wicky, etc.  I'm of course only speaking for
myself here about new or classic - the more knowledgeable fans all around me seemed to know every track regard-
less of era or band.  Of particular note was the annoying middle aged man next to me, who spent the entire perform-
ance not only singing along to every song, but pointing at Robert Pollard aggressively from start to finish.  I was also
entertained when he decided to put earplugs in around an hour and a half into the set.  I'm sure that will make every-
thing better, fella.  Anyways, they played at least two hours with three encores; it's impossible to leave a Guided By
Voices show and not feel you got your money's worth.


Ted Leo
With Outer Spaces
The Pinhook

Until I saw the listing in the Pinhook calendar, I hadn't thought of Ted Leo in ages.  I knew he had a band with Aimee
Mann that played occasionally, but otherwise he had sort of disappeared, at least from my radar.  I decided why not
go see him perform and find out what the hell he's up to these days?  It was a solo gig, no Pharmacists in sight - just
him, his electric guitar, and a super fancy microphone running through a very elaborate amp set-up.  I'm assuming the
mic was fancy based on how good his vocals sounded - that is, exactly like the record.  If the songs weren't slightly
different, you'd almost think he was lip-syncing they sounded so much like the records.  He would talk to the crowd a
bit, play a classic song or two, talk to the crowd some more, play a new (or newish) song or two, more get
the idea.  Any time he played one of those classic songs the crowd treated it like a singalong, and even though that
often annoys me I might have been guilty of it myself in this case.  What can I say, the dude has written a lot of damn
catchy songs!  He even played a Chisel song that someone in the crowd "requested" aka yelled out ("The Town
Crusher" if I remember correctly)  - if it had been a while since I had thought about Ted's solo work, I really REALLY
hadn't though about Chisel in a long time.  Probably the funniest moment of the evening is when a clearly over-eager
fan standing right in front of the stage yelled out what gauge strings he was using - this both confused and amused
Leo, who after answering the question went own to plead for a sponsorship from D'Addario, because he's tired of
buying his own strings after all the years.  Whether I knew the songs or not, the man is a very engaging & capable

The opener tonight was Baltimore's Outer Spaces, a trio that I was nearly as excited for as the headliner Ted Leo. 
Their full-length debut "A Shedding Snake" is excellent (as is the EP the preceded it), and they were great the last
time I saw them a year or two ago at Nice Price Books in Raleigh.  I struggle to find a comparison for this band - it's
mid-tempo pop with a nineties tinge, a lot of piano (which takes the typical spot of the bass in this trio), and fantastic
vocals by bandleader Cara Beth Satalino.  They played a number of tracks from that record as well as a couple of new
ones - it was a fairly subdued performance and reception, as I'm not sure this crowd of mostly Ted Leo superfans really
knew anything about them prior to this gig.  Hopefully they won over some new fans though, as more people should
treat themselves to this great, underrated act. 


"You know, they say when you talk to God it's prayer, but when God talks to you, it's schizophrenia."

Limes - Handsom.  Memphis garage rock that mellows out more often than it gets aggro.  You can definite hear a lot
of influence from these guys in local lads Spider Bags...speaking of which, where the hell have those guys been?
Into a Tree

The Men - Another Night.  Somehow this band went from a post-hardcore sort of act to one knocking on the door of
alt-country / Springsteenery in the matter of two records.  
Different Days

Radiohead - Burn The Witch.  Radiohead put out a new album.  It's very Radiohead.  I'm cool with it.  
Decks Dark

Reigning Sound - Falling Rain.  Reigning Sound put out a new album too...a couple of years ago.  It's totally possible
(or rather probable) I've already posted some tracks from "Shattered".
My My
Never Coming Home

Wye Oak - Better (For Esther).  Jenn Wasner is my everything.  
If You Should See

A few select tracks from one of the 1,439 first wave ska compilations I have.  

Jackie Mittoo - El Bang Bang
The Ethiopians - I'm Gonna Take Over Now
The Skatalites - Beardsman Ska
The Wailers - I'm Gonna Put It On


Archive -
December 2016        November 2016        October 2016        September 2016        August 2016        July 2016
June 2016             May 2016             April 2016             March 2016             February 2016             January 2016

December 2015        November 2015        October 2015        September 2015        August 2015        July 2015
June 2015             May 2015             April 2015             March 2015             February 2015             January 2015

December 2014        November 2014        October 2014        September 2014        August 2014        July 2014
June 2014             May 2014             April 2014             March 2014             February 2014             January 2014

December 2013        November 2013        October 2013        September 2013        August 2013        July 2013               
June 2013             May 2013
            April 2013             March 2013             February 2013             January 2013

December 2012        November 2012        October 2012        September 2012        August 2012        July 2012                
June 2012             May 2012
           April 2012              March 2012            February 2012              January 2012

December 2011        November 2011        October 2011       September 2011         August 2011        July 2011                 
June 2011             May 2011
           April 2011              March 2011            February 2011              January 2011

December 2010        November 2010        October 2010       September 2010         August 2010        July 2010                  
June 2010             May 2010
           April 2010              March 2010            February 2010              January 2010

December 2009        November 2009        October 2009       September 2009         August 2009        July 2009                   
June 2009    
         May 2009            April 2009              March 2009            February 2009              January 2009

December 2008        November 2008        October 2008       September 2008         August 2008        July 2008                   
June 2008  
           May 2008            April 2008              March 2008            February 2008              January 2008

December 2007        November 2007        October 2007       September 2007         August 2007        July 2007                    
June 2007    
         May 2007            April 2007              March 2007            February 2007              January 2007
December 2006  
      November 2006        October 2006       September 2006         August 2006        July 2006                    
June 2006  
          May 2006            April 2006              March 2006            February 2006              January 2006
December 2005  
      November 2005        October 2005       September 2005         August 2005        July 2005                    
June 2005  
          May 2005            April 2005              March 2005            February 2005              January 2005         
December 2004 
       November 2004       October 2004        September 2004