Sunday, August 13, 2017

David Feherty Photos, Charlotte, NC, August 12, 2017

David Feherty
Knight Theater
Charlotte, NC
August 12, 2017
All photos copyright 2017 Daniel Coston


-Daniel
August 13, 2017

Wall Outside Of Knight Theater, Charlotte, NC, August 12, 2017

Always cool to discover these things......

Wall Outside Of Knight Theater
Charlotte, NC
August 12, 2017
Photo copyright 2017 Daniel Coston

-Daniel
August 13, 2017

Barn Near Hillsville, VA

Barn Near Hillsville, VA
August 6, 2017
Photo copyright D2017 Daniel Coston

-Daniel
August 13, 2017

Wyclef Jean Photos, Charlotte, NC, August 10, 2017

Wyclef Jean
Neighborhood Theatre
Charlotte, NC
August 10, 2017
All photos copyright 2017 Daniel Coston




-Daniel
August 13, 2017

The Past Week

Last week, visited Jan Crane Barley and Morris Barley in Ohio, then came back to photograph three events, promo photo shoot with Sweet Potato Pie, Open Mic Celebration at McGlohon Theater, Wyclef Jean at Neighborhood Theatre, Ronstadt Brothers at the Evening Muse, David Feherty at the Knight Theater, and Coconut Grove at Beantown. Tonight, The Neverending Tour will stop by Common Chord Concerts. Stay safe out there, let better days begin with you, and see you on the road.
-Daniel
August 13, 2017

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Dusk and Full Moon In Ohio, August 8, 2017

-Daniel
August 12, 2017
Photos copyright 2017 Daniel Coston






RIP Glen Campbell

And the Wichita Lineman Is Still On The Line....
-Daniel
August 12, 2017
Photo copyright 2006 Daniel Coston


Reevestock Photos, Elkin, NC, August 5, 2017

Reevestock
Elkin, NC
August 5, 2017
Marcus King Band
Time Sawyer
David Childers
Town Mountain
All photos copyright 2017 Daniel Coston







-Daniel
August 12, 2017

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I Love This Freaking Band: Sloan

Sloan

(Note: This article will occasionally be interrupted by a large group of people standing behind the writer, and sometimes the reader, chanting Sloan. Pronounced SLOW-NNN. They sing the chant like football fans, but are dressed in much cooler clothes.)

Much like life, music is a voyage. If you’re lucky, you discover something you love, and carry it with you forever. You’re even luckier when you discover something you love, forget the discovery, and it takes years to remember what you had already already discovered. And you find yourself even more in love with what you discover, because your perspective have been changed by the journey. Such is the story of myself and the Canadian rock band Sloan. 

Sloan formed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1991. Within a year, the band had signed to Geffen Records, and released their debut album, Smeared. Their song “Underwhlemed”, which played within the borders of the grunge/alternative rock sounds in vogue during that time, became a huge hit in Canada and North America. But by the time that their second album, Twice Removed, appeared in 1994, the band had realized that they had no need for alterna-rock trappings. Geffen was not prepared for an album that embraced the Beatles and Small Faces in equal doses. Geffen dropped the band, but the album has since something of a modern-day Pet Sounds in Canada. In two different polls, Twice Removed has been voted the best album to come from a Canadian artist, ahead of lionized albums by Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. And it is that Canadian fanbase that is still with them today. 

(Sloan chorus: SLOW-NNN!! SLOW-NNN!!!)

Canada is a quirky, crazy place. They still pledge allegiance to the Queen Of England, yet they are independent of the Olde Country. Half of the country speaks English, the other half speaks French. It’s big, and sometimes cold. But they love their music. Last year, I happened to be close enough to the Canadian border to pick up CBC television. Right there at noon, airing after the Queen’s Christmas message, was a Wainwright Family holiday special. Yes, the whole Wainwright famdamnily celebrated in a holiday special. Hosted by Rufus and Martha Wainwright. They even came onstage to perform the Roches’ Long Island (pronounced Lawn Guyland) version of “Walking In A Winter Wonderland”. Andy Williams, my ass, this was a whole lot more fun than the holiday special I sat through in the Colonies. 

I first heard Sloan in 1996, when my friend Shawn Lynch introduced me to their then-new album, One Chord To Another. If Twice Removed is the band’s Rubber Soul, One Chord To Another is Sloan’s Revolver. All of the 1960s-influenced pop and rock somgwriting craft merged with a compelling wash of diverse instrumentation of youthful spirit. In Canada, the record yielded three top 40 hits. In America, they are another band trying to gain attention amongst the messy and wildly inconsistent scene that the independent music scene was during the late 1990s. I first saw Sloan in Charlotte, NC in 1998, playing an afternoon set at a street festival. The stage they were on wasn’t even a stage, but really a six-inch high milk crate that somebody placed in the middle of the street. Even in that setting, the band rocked, and I took some really good photos that day. 

I continued to follow the band over the next few years. Through more albums, and even better live shows. Sadly, like many of my age, I was led astray be the ever-present indie rock ideals, and their desperate need to believe the current wave was somehow better than the bands that had come before them. Nevermind that Velvet Underground boxset, here’s the new Pavement album. And I wanted to believe that indie rock could still save us all, and that 1992 was already a million miles from reality, even in 1996. 

For years, I followed these bands. Drove too many miles to see them play, and even worked with a number of them as a still photographer. What seemed like a breath of fresh air, after the years of hair metal and synthsized pop of the 1980s, but now seems as contrived as the poodle poppers and Metal mall rats that preceeded them. Like many things, indie rock seemed a like idea at first, but then everyone got bored. And lost in drama that had everything to do with selling themselves, and nothing to do with the music. Oh look! The singer is wearing a leather jacket, and drunk off his butt again. That band is so cool, they don’t care about their audience, or tuning their instruments. Tonight’s should be fun! The singer is depressed again about his most recent break-up. And which break-up is this? There’s been so many, I’ve lost count.  

In time, I realized the error of my ways, and left the wannabe music of my generation behind. I don’t want a self-help program, I want to have fun. I wanted to enjoy music again, and walk away from the mopey aural wreckage of my wandering years. I want to live again, Clarence, I want live again. (Author shouts to the heavens in his best Charlie Brown voice.) "Isn’t there a band out there that doesn’t get lost in the meshuggah of indie rock? That just lets loose, has fun, and just rocks?"

(Sloan chorus: SLOW-NNN!! SLOW-NNN!!!)

In 2007, I wandered into a bar in Austin, Texas to see Sloan play at the South By Southwest Festival. The festival is itself much like indie rock, a great idea before too many people jumped on the bandwagon, sending it careening off the scenester cliff. During the show, drummer Andrew Scott came out front to play a few of his songs on his guitar. Suddnely, Andrew got distracted, and accidnetally cut his right hand wide open on the guitar’s whammy bar. I’ve seen bands end sold-out shows due to one of the bandmembers accidentally spilling a Diet Coke on their laptop, much less the bloodletting that transpired that might. Nonetheless, Andrew bandaged his hand up, figured out how to play drums with his injured hand, and Sloan still did one of the best sets I saw at the festival that year. Looking back, this should have been my moment of clarity, but a few more years would have to await.

After my first sight of them, Sloan stayed on the ABC (Anywhere But Charlotte) tour for 18 years. When they finally played Charlotte again in November of 2016, they were celebrating the 20th annversary of One Chord To Another by playing it in its entirety. This time, I was ready. After a month and a year of mind-numbing losses and jumblefudges, the show was a catharis in sound, and the long-awaited reason to throw all of my cares in the air, and wave them like I just didn’t care. The band just plain rocked. Song after song, album after album. Holy Crap. I had a freaking blast that night, and the night sent me screaming to my record collection for their albums. To Youtube searches for all of their videos that portrayed the band as the Rock God Messiahs that they are. Forget the evening news! I have seen the future. And the past, and the present, and it is Sloan!

(Sloan chorus: SLOW-NNN!! SLOW-NNN!!!)

Okay, they were never as big in America as they should have been. Substance doesn’t always win, in America. But for the last 25 years, Sloan has rocked out over consistent great 13 albums, and played consistently great shows, whether you noticed, or not. A double album, a la Kiss’ solo albums, with each bandmember getting an album side? They did that! And it rocked! And they did it all with the same four guys in the band. No lineup changes. No reunion albums. No reunion tours, followed by acrimonious solo tours that were even worse than the reunion tour. Just fun Rock & Roll, and great songs. And if that ain’t what indie rock thought it wanted to be, I don’t know what else is. 

I don’t know when I’ll be close to Canada again, but when I do, I look forward to the Queen’s Christmas message, followed by a Sloan holiday spectactular. Featuring multiple costume changes, numerous references to 1960s art house movies, and the Queen herself, dancing with Rufus Wainwright to “Money City Maniacs”.  And in the middle of it all, four guys that reminded me how much fun music can still be, and how much there still is left to discover. Even when I thought that the journey had passed me by. 

Here’s to life. Here’s to discovery. Here’s to Sloan.

Sing it, kids. 

(Sloan chorus: SLOW-NNN!! SLOW-NNN!!! SLOW-NNN!!)
-Daniel Coston
Winter 2017

Next Library Talk Has A New Date, Time And Location

Hello-

My next library talk, From The 60s To Now, has been moved to the Sugarcreek Library, and will now be held on September 16th at 1pm. I hope to see you there.
-Daniel
August 3, 2017


Peter Gray Interview

Peter Gray: The Darkness Between Us
by Daniel Coston

Pete Gray has made an album that he doesn’t intend to play live. And he’s okay with that. The Charlotte-based musician spent three years on The Darkness Closes In, with no intention of taking its thickly layered rhythms and stylistic whiplashes on the road. For Gray, the album was a chance to throw his ideas onto a larger canvas of sound, and the record say what he wished to be said. After years of playing with Benji Hughes and many others, The Darkness Closes In signals that Gray can step out on his own, and has no fear in doing so.

Gray checked in via email, and discussed the new album, and what comes next. 


Tangents Magazine: When did this album come together?

Peter Gray: I guess it came together as I was making it. I wasn’t making an album when I started (sometime in 2013. I’m terrible with timelines.) I was just trying to learn the software and get some music recorded. Once I started getting the hang of it, the idea to go ahead and make a record happened pretty quickly. It’s expensive to make a record and I decided I wanted to just do something different. I had a lot of music that I wanted to record and this was a way to do it. Once I really got started, the record came together kind of naturally. I know the music is varied, but to me it really fits together as an album. I’ll admit I have less perspective on that than most.

Tangents: Were you aware that it would be difficult to perform live?

Gray: Yes! But I decided I wanted to make it anyway. I’d love to have a 20 piece band to record and perform with, but that’s just not happening right now. I wanted to make that particular record, and yes, it is a bitch to promote it.

Tangents: What were your influences on this record?

Gray: Some of them are really obvious. Zappa is a big influence for me. I’m not saying I’m in the same universe, but I’m partial to the lydian mode and odd time signatures and polyrhythms. Mr. Bungle was a big deal to me, as well as John Zorn and that’s definitely there in places. There is a Beach Boys vibe on songs like “Wrong” and I can here it in “Big Dumb God” and even “Never Gonna Fall In Love.” My family and my friends were also a big influence on this record, as well as world events, popular culture. And Kurt Vonnegut. 

Tangents: What came first, the songs or the concept?

Gray: A lot of the songs were at least mostly written before I started recording, but they were all songs with similar or complimentary subject matter. They just seemed like a bunch of songs that belonged together. That made it easier to write the rest of the music for the record. Filling in the gaps and making a sort of chronology.

Tangents: How much of your life and the world at large influenced this record?

Gray: A lot. All of the thematic material comes from my experience of the world. I don’t always write from such a personal and direct perspective, but I did with these songs. They are not all about me, but they are all basically an explanation of an aspect of the way I see the world. Believe it or not, I’m not morose. But these were not good years for me in a lot of ways and towards the end of the recording of this record, the world definitely seemed to be heading in an ugly direction. I named the record during the campaign but wasn’t set on it. When Trump won, I thought, “Yeah, I’ll keep it.” It’s a silly name for a record, and that’s the only thing that makes it okay for me.

Tangents: How long did it take to record the album?

Gray: It took about three years, but a lot of that was just trying to learn the software. I’ve gotten better at it, but it took me a while to get some of that stuff down.

Tangents: Have you begun working on your next record?

Gray: I did start it, but I took a break to write some music for a band to actually perform. Maybe we’ll record it after we’ve rehearsed and performed it! That would be novel. It’s all instrumental, seven piece band and I’m really excited about getting it together.  I’ll get back to making another record after this project gets going.

Tangents: Who else are you playing with at the moment, and do they have plans for new music?

Gray: I don’t play with any bands right now regularly, but, fortunately, I do get to play with a whole lot of great musicians in Charlotte in different situations and I am definitely hoping to play some original music with all of them at some point or another.

Tangents: How much influence did the musicians that you have played with, or play with currently, have on this record?

Gray: In a general sense, I’d say a lot because we are partially shaped as musicians by the others we play with. I’m a huge fan of both Todd Busch and Benji Hughes. It would not surprise me if Todd had some influence on me since I have been listening to his music since I was maybe 17. I always loved just about anything I ever heard. I’m sure I’m still being influenced by the musicians around me all the time.

Tangents: Is there a sense of joy or relief after completing this record? A mixture?

Gray: I was happy to see that I could let it go and be finished with it. Of course, there are things I’d love to change now, but I’m happy with the record and ready for people to hear it. 

Tangents: Finish this sentence. The Darkness Closes In is……


Gray: The Darkness Closes In is a pretty great f--king record.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

My Next Library Talk In Charlotte, August 14th at 6pm

Hello all-

Just a reminder that I'll be speaking at the Main Library Of Charlotte at 6pm on Monday, August 14th. I hope to see you there,
-Daniel
August 2, 2017

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Blackfoot Gypsies Photo, Charlotte, NC, July 28, 2017

Blackfoot Gypsies
Evening Muse
Charlotte, NC
July 28, 2017
Photo copyright 2017 Daniel Coston

-Daniel
August 2, 2017

Biltmore Estate Photo, July 30, 2017

Biltmore Estate
Asheville, NC
July 30, 2017
Taken with my phone

-Daniel
August 2, 2017

Addy Miller Photo, Asheboro, NC, July 29, 2017

Addy Miller
Somewhere near Asheboro, NC
Michael Strider event
July 29, 2017
Photo copyright 2017 Daniel Coston

-Daniel
August 2, 2017

David Holt/Josh Goforth Photos, Shelby, NC, July 28, 2017

David Holt/Josh Goforth
Earl Scruggs Center
Shelby, NC
July 28, 2017
All photos copyright 2017 Daniel Coston


-Daniel
August 2, 2017

Mickey Gilley Photos, Shelby, NC, July 29, 2017

Mickey Gilley
Don Gibson Theater
Shelby, NC
July 29, 2017
All photos copyright 2017 Daniel Coston




-Daniel
August 2, 2017

Sunset At Biltmore Estate, July 30, 2017

Sunset
Biltmore Estate
Asheville, NC
July 30, 2017
All photos copyright 2017 Daniel Coston


-Daniel
August 2, 2017

Belle & Sebastian/Andrew Bird Photos, Raleigh, NC, July 31, 2017

Belle & Sebastian
Andrew Bird
NC Museum Of Art
Raleigh, NC
July 31, 2017
All photos copyright 2017 Daniel Coston












-Daniel
August 2, 2017