Category Archives: Shows

Remain in Light

Talking Heads' Jerry Harrison, and the guest guitarist on that album, Adrian Belew, are on the road with a tour highlighting the Heads' awesome 1980 album, Remain In Light. It's an eleven member band, seven of whom are themselves the band Cool, Cool, Cool. The others are Harrison, Belew, longtime Belew collaborationist bassist Julie Slick, and percussionist Yahuba Garcia-Torres.

I wasn't sure what to expect - were they going to just walk out and play the whole album? Would they throw some other stuff in? What about the fact that the last three of the eight songs are very slow, atmospheric things (co-producer Brian Eno's influence is strong), and one of them is about a middle eastern terrorist blowing up westerners with his homemade bombs ? [1980 was a different time]

They solved that problem by playing only the first five songs from Remain In Light, with a bunch of Talking Heads' classics (Psycho Killer, Slippery People, Take Me To The River, etc), a Jerry Harrison solo tune (Rev It Up), and Thela Hun Ginjeet from Belew-era King Crimson, mixed-in. On the Heads' songs, Belew, Harrison, the baritone saxophone player, and the two female singers all took turns doing lead vocals.

It was nice to see Jerry Harrison. Probably the only time I'll see a Head. And the rest of the band was sizzling. But honestly, the two women singers kinda stole the show. They were so good, and those Heads songs have such great backing/counterpoint parts. If you've ever seen the Stop Making Sense movie, you probably noticed how important the two female singers are.

Good show. Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade was the headliner that night, but we weren't up for it.

They're playing in Asheville tonight, and I was tempted to drive out there to catch it, but the show is sold out. Oh well.

Sunny Day Real Estate

At the Orange Peel in Asheville NC.

A show I never thought would happen. Not only did they postpone it after the singer's voice went out, two weeks ago, they have pretty much been on hiatus for the last dozen years or so. I've heard interviews where members loathed other members. Two of the original members went on to play with the Foo Fighters for a while. there were solo records. Seemed like SDRE was done.

But, things came together and three of the original four members, with two new members, went on tour.

SDRE's first album takes me right back to a very specific place and time. When I hear it I almost feel like they only existed in the mid 90s, in my green Hynudai Excel, sitting in Mt Hope cemetery, on Sunday afternoons, Rochester NY. Being 24. The other albums are all very good. But that first album ... it's golden.

Show was originally scheduled for two weeks ago, so Mrs and I planned a whole vacation around it. Asheville is a fun town and friends of ours own a BnB there. So, we did it up right. And the day of the show, last day of our trip, we got an email that the singer had lost his voice so they had to reschedule.

Two weeks later, another road trip and another night at the BnB, it all worked out. Mrs skipped. Like most people, she'd never heard of them and wasn't up for the four hour drive then standing for four hours in one spot, in a loud crowded club, listening to music she didn't know.

They've only put out one new song in the last 14 years, so everything they played was a classic. Loud as hell. Tight. And they seemed very appreciative of the fact that so many people came out to see them. Which was nice.

The Appleseed Cast opened. I'd never heard them and happily, they were amazing- noisy in a great way.

Cathedral Bells opened for them. They were fun.

So, all in all it was worth the 500 miles.


Our first show since the Before Time was Spoon, at a nifty little 1,200 seat outdoor amphitheater in Wilmington NC.

They were pretty great, much more interesting than the last time I saw them. Being right up front instead of all the way in the back probably helped. But they seemed more into it, too.

They have ten albums out now, so I wasn't expecting many songs from their older records. But, as with the 2008 show, I was a bit bummed that they played nothing from Girls Can Tell (their third) - or from anything before it. And only two from Kill The Moonlight (their fourth). Oh well. What they picked from the other six albums was all good, though.

Great band. Great show. Hope I don't get COVID.

I didn't take this video, but I'm in it.

Sad Sad Sad

RIP Charlie Watts.

Here are the Stones in late September 1989, Syracuse NY. A bunch of us from my dorm floor made the trip from Rochester to Syracuse to see this. We were as far away from that stage as the arena would allow.

There's an album called Steel Wheels Live, recorded a few weeks later on this tour, that is really great (hat-tip M-Lo).

Robyn Hitchcock

... at the Carrboro Arts Center.

Another solo acoustic show. As always, he played Glass Hotel, Queen Elvis and One Long Pair Of Eyes. He also played some stuff I'd never heard him play before: Wax Doll, Flesh Cartoons, Dylan's She Belongs To Me and a set of songs on piano which included Flavour Of Night and The Man Who Invented Himself. So, success.

It was, I think, the eleventh time I've seen him. And he still sounds great.

Local singer Django Haskins opened. He was very good.

Bauhaus / 2


Saw half of Bauhaus at the Cat's Cradle last night. Billed as Peter Murphy celebrating 40 years of Bauhaus, it was Peter and bassist David J with two (very capable) guys handling drums and guitar. While I would have loved to see the brilliant original Bauhaus guitarist Daniel Ash, I'll take what I can get.


First half of the set was the entire first album - Double Dare, Stigmata, St Vitus, Flat Field, etc.. Second half was everything else: Bela, Ziggy, Telegram Sam, etc. - everything I could hope for.


Peter Murphy has a cold and was a little raspy, but he is still utterly charismatic. No longer young enough to writhe around shirtless, he loomed and lorded over the stage. And David J held a stoic expression the whole time, while totally kicking ass with his fuzzed and furious fretless bass. As sometimes happens, it was one of those shows where seeing those songs played live showed just how much is going on in those songs, and how unique and inventive those guys were to come up with it in the first place. An amazing band, even with two subs (who I think were from Peter Murphy's band) filling in.


Weirdest part, though, was watching very cool Peter Murphy play the very uncool melodica for three songs.

First opening band was Desert Mountain Tribe, who did a kind of motoric trancey three piece thing that felt like the next iteration of The Doors / Stooges / Cult. Good sound, we'll done.


Second opener was Vinsantos, a drag queen, who did a cabaret style set of witty and melancholy tunes - just her and her piano. Really fun.

Four hours is a long time to stand in one spot.

Parquet Courts

Last summer, while he was down in NC for a visit, I played some Parquet Courts for my dad, and he was immediately hooked. So, when they announced a December show in NYC, he floated the idea that he, my brother and I should all go to see them. So, that's what we all did.

My brother already lives there, and he generously put us up, and put up with us drunken tourists, for two nights. Dad lives upstate and drove down to meet us.

We missed the opening band - Sun Ra Archestra - since we didn't think an NYC show would actually start at 8. But it did. We go to see them walk off, though.

PQ were exactly what I was hoping for. They were energetic and tight when they needed to be, but perfectly sloppy otherwise. Set list was great, if short: lots of stuff from their fantastic new album, and good stuff from the others. No "Stoned And Starving", however.

Mrs and I were mightily impressed by the bass player. I rarely listen to bass players on records (mostly because my ear buds do a crappy job with bass frequencies). But live, his contributions stood out. And I began to suspect that he might be the key to their sound.

I also had had too many vodka-tonics.

Psychedelic Furs

We saw the Psychedelic Furs in Carrboro, last night. And they were great!

Mrs was a fan in high school, while I only knew them from their hits - five songs, I counted them off before the show started: Pretty In Pink, Love My Way, etc.. And of course they played all of those. The surprise was the other dozen songs in their set, which ranged from melodic goth in the Siouxsie/Cure vein, to Bauhaus-y drone stuff, to angry rocking things that one could mistake for PiL - though Richard Butler's rough baritone (which still sounds great) could never be confused with Johnny Lydon's bratty sneer. But, they were uniformly good. Good enough that I just might have to go buy an album or two.

I had seen them before, back in 89, at the RIT hockey rink. I remember liking them then, too. But that's all I remember. It was college, I was probably drunk.

Liz Brasher opened. She, and her band, did a fine set of fine bluesy tunes. If you like Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, etc., they're right up your alley.

Toad The Wet Sprocket

Saw Toad The Wet Sprocket last night, in Durham. Mrs. C is the Toad fan in our house, but I still somehow knew probably 2/3 of the songs they played. They were laid-back and unassuming on stage, as you would expect if you're familiar with their music. And for some reason, they were about 4x too loud for a band that uses nicely-crafted vocal harmonies in all their songs. What I could make out, through the pummeling, crushing roar of the PA sounded good. So, that was a good time.

We'd never heard of the opening act so we lingered at dinner before the show. And we got there in time to hear their last two and a half songs. There was a woman singing and her husband on acoustic guitar, doing some pleasant folky stuff. The final song, introduced as a "new" song was Sixpence None The Richer's "Kiss Me". The crowd was excited when she started singing it. And, as the song went on, I started thinking "Odd choice for a cover. But she's doing a really good job of this." When she was done, I pulled out my phone and looked it up and, yes, the woman was Leigh Nash, the singer for Sixpence None The Richer.

So, a very 90s evening.

Sea And Cake

Sea and Cake played a club in Durham, last night. And I was there!

I realized, while waiting for them to take a break from playing new songs and get to my favorites, that I consider 'new' S&C songs to be any songs released in the last 15 years.

I'm old.

They were good, though. Even those 'new' songs are fun, live. The old songs (I think there were three) were great.

The opener, James Elkington, was amazing. He's an brilliant old-style English folk guitar player. The kind of player that makes me hate that I even own guitars.

James Elkington - "Make It Up" (Official Video)

I bought his CD.