Rock for Roe: 42nd Anniversary Celebration benefitting NARAL Pro-Choice NC

Rock for Roe: 42nd Anniversary Celebration benefitting NARAL Pro-Choice NC

MC Taylor and Friends, Loamlands

Sun, January 18, 2015

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Pinhook

Durham, NC


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Rock for Roe: 42nd Anniversary Celebration benefitting NARAL Pro-Choice NC
Rock for Roe: 42nd Anniversary Celebration benefitting NARAL Pro-Choice NC featuring M.C. Taylor & Friends

NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina (“NARAL NC”) is proud to announce that on Sunday, January 18, Durham’s the Pinhook will host M.C. Taylor (of Hiss Golden Messenger) & Friends and Loamlands for a benefit concert celebrating the 42nd anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court Roe v. Wade titled “Rock for Roe.” NARAL NC hopes that the event will serve as an opportunity for folks to enjoy a fine night of live music while rallying together with their neighbors to be vocal in efforts to protect choice in North Carolina.

All of the evening’s performers are strong believers in a woman’s right to make informed reproductive choices. Headlining the evening will be M.C. Taylor & Friends. Hiss Golden Messenger’s principal songwriter, Durham-based M.C. Taylor, is a strong believer in and advocate for women’s reproductive rights (including appearing alongside members of Mount Moriah at the 2013 incarnation of this event). His most recent album as Hiss Golden Messenger, Lateness of Dancers for Durham’s Merge Records, has consistently appeared near the top of numerous publications’ 2014 “best of” lists and led to an October 2014 appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman”. Taylor will be assembling a special set for this performance.

Tickets cost $15 and may be purchased in advance from the Pinhook’s website ( Doors open at 7pm and music starts at 8pm.

NARAL NC is the political arm of the pro-choice movement in North Carolina. NARAL NC works to protect access to the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing safe, legal and accessible abortion. It serves as an advocate and voice for pro-choice citizens in North Carolina. NARAL NC mobilizes and trains thousands of activists across North Carolina to get involved in the political process— from lobbying their legislators to working to elect pro-choice candidates. Through education, lobbying, electoral work, and grassroots organizing, NARAL NC saves women’s lives.

Rock for Roe: 42nd Anniversary Celebration benefitting NARAL Pro-Choice NC
Sunday January 18 at The Pinhook, Durham NC. 7pm doors, 8pm show.
M.C. Taylor & Friends
MC Taylor and Friends
MC Taylor and Friends
I first met M.C. Taylor—the craggy-voiced patriarch behind Hiss Golden Messenger, the country-rock ensemble he leads out of Durham, North Carolina—in the winter of 2012. There were things I thought I knew about him, narratives I’d brazenly culled from the HGM discography, then four records deep: here was a guy, I figured, who understood something about devastation, redemption. He was dressed in black jeans, a plaid shirt, black boots, and a worn denim jacket, and he spent a good part of that dinner yanking off his baseball cap, pressing his short blonde hair back and to the side, and then hooking the hat back on, tugging the brim lower, obscuring his blue eyes. Taylor can be a welcoming presence, generous and funny and deeply humane, but he is also a person who appreciates and requires certain solitudes. There was something about the way Taylor, a Californian, moved, how he leaned into a wall or exited a room with his shoulders bending slightly forward—not hunched, but reaching—that suggested to me an unknowable inner life, as if he were following a beacon others weren’t privy to. He would later describe his vibe as “a little bit standoffish” (and he was being self-effacing), but I immediately got the sense he didn’t abide much bullshit.

Back then I didn’t know what it was about Taylor’s music that made me feel so much less alone, why it proffered all that solace, why it felt like the perfect articulation of some deep, grown-up restlessness. I still don’t know what it is—not really. But the fact of it remains: he is, to my ears, one of the best songwriters working right now, significant even among the handful who know how to sing about life in a way that feels true to its tumult.

—Amanda Petrusich, 2014
Most of the important dates I can recall are moments of drastic change - because they’re painful. These are moments of personal growth that wedge themselves into our memories. These are the anniversaries, the birthdays, the points on a timeline. Moments that we remember clearly because they are recorded meticulously in lyrics, photo albums, and journals. Listening to recordings of my first band brings me back to parking garages with "good acoustics", playing music with my best friend, and the excavation of bodily trauma while locking in harmony with her. Those were songs written purely for ourselves that somehow made their way to DIY venues and houses across the country. The experience was formative, and then it imploded - leaving me to reexamine my relationship to music and performance. Thus was born Loamlands, a musical endeavor aimed at telling stories of being from the South through present day queer caucasian eyes.

When Loamlands began, I wanted to break out of the folk-punk cocoon that I had spun around myself for eight years. The only thing I was sure of was that I wanted to write thoughtfully. I was on the cusp of something new, but I wasn’t quite there yet. I rarely plugged in. I was terrified by the idea of writing a song that revolved around something other than a feeling. I had internal guilt around loving the major label classic rock and country music my parents listened to. I never imagined wanting to croon like Loretta Lynn or play the perfect guitar lead — because "punk", because "fringe", because "queer". I slowly started to accept my own influences. I fell in love again with Stevie Nicks and Bonnie Raitt and Kim Deal. And then I got them all tattooed on my arm, never to forget the powerhouses that I grew up on, that saved my life.

Sweet High Rise chronicles this journey of reaching outside of my self. When I learned - at a free school - that NC pride was born out of the protest and riots following the murder of two gay men on their way to a swimming hole in Durham I wrote Little River. Seeing the constant barrage of police, borne out of the institution of slavery, killing people of color, queer folk, and countless marginalized communities and getting away with it, I wrote "Get Ready". How can any thoughtful human not be angry at the current state of our world? Those people know that they will stay in poverty under the current system while the word “progress” is used as a pat on the back for liberal policy makers and developers. The same story is repeated under a different guise; slavery still exists — it’s just more covert. Prisons still cage folks and make them invisible to any passersby attending expensive reproductions of The Lion King or whatever at the multi-million dollar theater across the street.

I’ve been in the South, and in Durham in particular, most of my life. I see the same things happening to my small town that I’ve read about for years in history books. Speedy gentrification is raising property taxes and kicking poorer folks further towards the outskirts of town. We know this. On this record, I’m telling stories. Stories about love, about abuse, about Durham’s brutal history with LGBTQ and police violence. I’m telling stories of my own, stories that I’ve encountered, stories that enrage me and that maybe not everyone knows. These are reflections of a queer dirtbag in love, of owning the desire to kill all abusers, of small town break ups, of the pent up anxiety that comes being on the cusp of identifying as angry and of standing strongly as genderqueer when I am misidentified as "she" or "he." This record is a release.

I'm honored to have been able to place these ideas in the hands of musicians and pals like Will Hackney, Phil and Brad Cook, Matt McCaughan, Jon Ashley and Collier Reeves. I’m glad to be here and going further with friends. Thank you for helping me along the way.

- Kym Register, 2016
Venue Information:
The Pinhook
117 W. Main St.
Durham, NC, 27701