Oberhofer | Local 506 on 8 March 2014

One of my random phone pics that turned out a lovely blur

One of my random phone pics that turned out a lovely blur

o0Oo0Oo0000000O goes the tornado Oberhofer. Why tornado? Well, it is the only adjective that can describe Oberhofer’s live performance. Let me paint you a picture.

Drummer and bassist pounds dark clouds into frame. The guitars raise the winds. Xylophone strikes sporadic lighting across the landscape. Brian Oberhofer voices rings all beautifully into a storm. You are just memorized by the peaceful storm. Then, a tornado comes out of nowhere signaled by Brian’s wild spinning. Oberhofer just letting out pure sweet power. As quickly it comes, the tornado ascends into the clouds. Oberhofer goes back to a peaceful storm.

These moments of perfect surprise lined the entire Oberhofer set. During a song, guitar wireless connected Brian walks out the back door. A few seconds pass in which everyone is thinking, is he going to come in from the front door? Suddenly, Brian comes quickly walking into the front strumming his guitar. As cheesy as it sounds, it was quite incredible.

Or during the last song, Brian yells out names of each band member a bids us all a goodnight. A decent crowd barely claps, some shoot one more song, Oberhofer agrees, Brian says “we forgot to play this one”, and proceed to belt out their big hit oOoO. But this time when Brian yells out names, Oberhofer leaves the stage.

For $10 ticket, I would have paid $30. So, I made up the difference by buying a Time Capsules II LP which is fantastic in itself. Now, I can listen to their storm pop whenever my little heart desires. Bravo Oberhofer, I look forward to our next encounter.

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Mutual Benefit | Local 506 on 4 February 2014

Mutual Benefit

Mutual Benefit

On February 4th 2014, I cruised to the great Local 506 in Chapel Hill, NC. Mutual Benefit headlines my first concert of the year. There couldn’t have been a better start to my concert year.

Welcomed by a modest crowd, the small stage was filled by Jordan Lee (singer/guitar/keyboard), his sister Whitney Lee (backup vocals/keyboard), bassist, guitarist, violinist, and percussionist. Each flower petal of sound perfectly fanned out surrounding Jordan’s delicate voice creating a beautiful fantasy pop flower. I found myself being overwhelmed into a closed eyed swaying trance.

If his music wasn’t enough, Jordan’s witty humor was just icing on the cake. Throughout the concert, he would whisper sweet nothings such as “thank you for your enthusiasm.” drawing many sporadic giggles.

Mutual Benefit was like floating down a river on a warm sunny day. Just what I needed after a long day at the office.

I love beautiful art

I want a robot.  -photo courtesy of collider.com

I want a robot. -photo courtesy of collider.com

So, I’m flipping through the Netflix queue and see this movie Robot & Frank. I vaguely remember reading about it in the past. Immediately after reading the summary, I start the movie. I mean what modern geek would not watch a movie about a retired cat-burglar that is forced to have a robot care giver. God damn if this movie isn’t the most heart warming funny AI story.

After end scene fades into credits, I’m a satisfied relaxed from a fantastic story. Then, this sweet music just springs up. The sick beat drops setting the pace to this holy chorus of lasers. I literally got off my couch, held my praise hands in the air, and started to make body waves. Its just an unbelievable track:

I come to find out the song is written and performed by Francis and the Lights. Nope, I got nothing. So, I started researching this group. Their soundcloud page keeps my mind on the path of more discovery. Not just be cause of the infectious tracks (reminds me of Prince and Jamiroquai jammed together), but due to the lack of comments on their tracks from random admirers. Could it be that this is an unknown artist.  I just couldn’t believe that I have never heard of this group that has opened for Drake, played Jimmy Kimmel, etc. Then, I read this one SoundCloud comment:

LewisLace
Beautiful. Saw the concert video and there truely isn’t another group that can match your stage presence.

I immediately searched for videos finding this one:

Their performance at The White Room in Troy, NY. Let me tell you, it is one epic show. I’m definitely attending a future concert the next time they are in North Carolina.

This blew the dust off an old thought from a previous movie. I just love moments of hearing pure gold from a movie. Moments where I’m watching a scene, the music queues, and it moves me. Please leave a comment on one of your last experiences such as mine.

A Merry Night of Firsts

Blazing Snow Man!

Blazing Snow Man!

I’m drinking a Jack and coke slowly being taking over by the chill of melting ice.  I sit on my couch watching “American Horror Story” waiting to start the night.  As go time comes closer and closer, we start playing some videos games to clear our heads.  As the clock strikes 7 PM, we make our way toward Durham, NC.

Despite the dreaded toll charges, I decide to take I-540 to Triangle Expressway 147.  Being the only car on the road cutting through the night with my blazing Xenon rays, I realize that this is my first time night driving on this new portion of I-540.  Beauty passing by in their own produced illumination, you are reminded of the man tracking through brilliant flashes of the toll cameras.  This road was designed to be traveled on a nice clear night.

Reaching downtown Durham, I park in very convenient parking deck off North Mangum Street.  A chilly walk down East Main Street, I find myself walking looking around every direction in awe of established statuesque Durham.  I make a quick mental note to include this area more in my future.  Downtown Durham continues to rise to the occasion.

My belly grumbles breaking me away from my deep thought.  We decide to eat at the famous Dame’s Chicken and Waffles.  For anyone that knows me, I have been craving to eat at this establishment for a long time.  Well, here I was walking in with my gut barking in excitement to the charging smells of waffle and fried chicken.  I decide to order the Red Creasted Rose Comb with Mean Greens recommended by the waitress.  What is Red Creasted Rose Comb?

  • Two Fried Chicken Legs
  • A Classic Waffle
  • Candied Pecans
  • Strawberry Shmear  (What the hell is a Shmear? Dame’s states “Shmears” are made of sweet crème butters that have been delicately whipped with the freshest natural ingredients available.  I would say a gift from the gods.)

As the waitress lays down our dishes, I have never seen a more beautiful prepared waffle meal.  This day forth, all waffles should hit the gym to strive to be like Dame’s.  Let me tell ya during the intake, I almost busted a nut several times.  Pardon my vulgarity, but I couldn’t figure out a better way to describe the flavors produced by Dame’s kitchen.  I was taking a bite of each item chewing them into an emulsion of liquid gold washing it down with Chapel Hill’s tasty Copper Line Ale.  Bravo Dame’s bravo.

With yummy in our tummy, we make our way towards our destination The Pinhook to open our hearts to Raleigh’s The Small Ponds opening for Chapel Hill’s Birds and Arrows.  If you enjoy live music and haven’t been to the Pinhook, mark it as a future mission to accomplish.  It is a very quaint place with small stage and a back patio with a tremendous view of DPAC, neon Bull, Lucky Strike chimney and water tower.

Not a complete Scrooge during the holidays, but I bah humbug decorating my house and live covers of holiday songs.  Walking in noticing a lit plastic Santa Clause and a fanged toothed snow man, ugh the first time seeing both bands and it’s a Christmas show.  To my surprise, I’m smiling and swaying to the entire set including a few carols covered.  In particular, The Small Ponds cover of “The Little Drummer Boy” (my favorite Christmas song) and Birds & Arrows cover of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”.  There own unique style was added to each cover, even with occasional mistakes, both bands jolly manner really sent a dose of Merry straight into the veins.  Andrea Connolly’s angelic voice and Josh Starmer’s rich cello (Birds & Arrows) iced the cake with their Ave Maria.  If you’re a fan of folk/country/rock and enjoy a violin (The Small Ponds) and a cello (Birds & Arrows), you must check out these bands.  Thank you The Small Ponds and Birds & Arrows for a Merry ending to our night.

Merry Christmas!