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Yesterday I took off from work early to go to Raleigh, NC to see my brother before his surgery today, and to see a show featuring Pedro the Lion, Ben Kweller, and Death Cab for Cutie. Jay and Taylor accompanied me on this trip so that was nice. I love to drive but it is also always nice to have good company along. We made it to my brother’s in time to see a little bit of some silly movie and to chat a bit. Then we headed to Chapel Hill for the show. We got there just in time to see Pedro the Lion start and for us to get good spots. I had heard some Pedro recordings a few years ago but didn’t care much for it. Either I had different taste at the time or I just heard a song that didn’t strike me as good. Either way, it doesn’t really matter because last night I found them very good, though lacking in stage presence. Up next was Ben Kweller. I have wanted to see this guy since I first heard the SHA SHA CD. He came out and started with a cover of Ice Ice Baby unaccompanied. After playing a few songs solo, I was wondering what the deal was as far as why there was no accompaniment. Turns out that his accompaniment tripped while playing wiffle ball and broke his arm, rendering him unable to play. So instead of canceling he just did his thing solo. That was nice of him, and it was still very good without the assistance. Next up was Death Cab for Cutie. They played all but two from their latest album, and a bunch from previous albums including Photobooth. They were very together even with all of the effects and electronic stuff they were keeping busy with. I found their showmanship surprisingly good. Sometimes there music doesn’t seem very susceptible to animated performance, but they did a nice job without exuding too much rock-star untouchability. Overall it was one of the best shows I have ever been to, but I guess I could probably say that about most. We got back in the van and headed back to Columbia. It was a peaceful drive home. My passengers slept most of the way back with a couple of wake-ups to chat. We did have to weave some debris on the road around Charlotte and hit something large but I managed to avoid having to hit it with my heavily worn tires. That’s good, because after being hit in the parking lot earlier this week, I don’t think my van needs anymore trauma.

Well, I am off to run a few errands and to see if I need to go back to Raleigh to help my brother out with anything. He had back surgery this morning that may leave him unable to walk for quite some time. I think he will recover just fine, but if you are a praying person, please pray for him to recover completely. If you don’t pray then at least send him some good thoughts. His name is James Graff. I’ll be back later…well at the rate I am going these days with everything else going on, I will probably be back in a week.