John McCauley and I were both born on Flag Day, the less celebrated patriotic day of the summer and the title of the Deer Tick frontman’s second album. Born on Flag Day (2009) is the Deer Tick I know and love. The last few albums have been hugely successful for the band and were fine – loaded with McCauley’s heart-on-the-sleeve writing, but as the Consequence of Sound notes, represent a different Deer Tick…one that was a little noisy for the gcb. But last week, the tide turned with the release of Negativity (Amazon MP3 & Spotify) – an album with the same fine writing, but with stripped down tunes. The album is appropriately named with songs like “The Dream’s In The Ditch” and a whole host of other tracks that seem to be inspired by McCauley’s recent breakup and family hardship. Last week, WNRN in Charlottesville released this solo version of “Just Friends” with McCauley on piano. This is my new favorite song (MNFS).