Saturday, February 17, 2007

Mr. Sebastian and The Negro Magician

Just finished reading an early copy of the Daniel Wallace book called "Mr. Sebastian and The Negro Magician." Fans of "Big Fish" will appreciate its return to magical realism. I did not intend to finish the whole thing in a day and a half but I could not put it down. I found the story itself to be the star and myself really wanting to see what happens next. It will make a great summer read when it comes out in July! Not revealing any particular details but suffice it to say any book that has magic, the devil, a dash of bone-crushing American history, and a bit of true love is worth our time.

Monday, February 5, 2007

dB's at the Cats Cradle

Yes it sounds like a headline you would have read in the Spectator 3 times a year in 1982, but its 2007, and yeah it's been that long since they played here. The recently reformed dB's put on a show of wide ranging material in front of a packed house saturday in Carrboro. The audience and the event itself came very close to outshining the actual show. Folks like Robert Kirkland, Mike Connell, Terry McInturff, Mitch Easter, Kitty Moses and many many others turned up. So many in fact, you could not turn around without seeing someone who had some context for the NC music scene. There were people at the show who had not been in North Carolina in a decade who had come home to see the godfathers of NC pop one more time. All these familiar faces in the same old places turned back the clocks for one night.

On to the bands! The Mayflies USA opened up the show with their one-night-only reformed status. They clearly had to knock some rust off but got it going in time to have their single "Walking in a Straight Line" sound great. As for the dB's they came on around 10:45 and cranked it up with the opening guitar salvo from "Black and White." Suffering from a poor house mix it took about 4 songs for the band to sound like they were clicking at all. Particularly great songs that night included: "Molly Says", "Living a Lie", "Lonely is as Lonely Does", "Ask for Jill", and of course "Amplifier." By the time of the encores the band really was sounding great and like they could have played another hour and we all wish they had. Now for the mitigating factors... The house mix was never really satisfying or very clear. Solos never turned up etc.. The other issue was tempo which at times was way under where it felt like it should have been. In spite of all that it was still a "had to be there" NC rock history moment.