Long live rock, I need it every night

Thursday, February 24, 2011

DC Does TX!

Oh, hello. Yes, we've been gone a while but we're back with exciting news: we're helping put on the DC Does TX party during this year's SXSW Festival! Here are the main details:

Wednesday, March 16th, 2001
Lovejoy’s, 604 Neches St., Austin TX

There will be seven great bands plus FREE Dogfish Head Beer!

Last year’s event was one of my highlights from SXSW 2010 and it wasn’t just because of the free booze (although that helped). I'll probably come back and mention the other bands on the bill before SXSW, but for now let’s take a quick look at who I'm most excited to see.

Carol Bui - Geisha Means Open Minded: Already with two critically acclaimed albums, Bui will releases her third full length Red Ship on March 8th. If you like the honesty and intensity of PJ Harvey and early Liz Phair then you’ll likely be a fan of Carol Bui as well. This fiery track has an amazing mix of percussions and a nice Middle Eastern influence to go with its provocative lyrics.

True Womanhood - Minajah: When you think of DC music you often think of hardcore and punk bands like Minor Threat, Fugazi, and other bands on the Dischord label. True Womanhood is not one of those bands. As much as I revere Dischord, I love when groups go against the grain and carve out their own niche and their own sound. This act veers more towards experimental music, but they have enough melodies to retain pop appeal. Minajah is a good example of how they strike that balance.

The Caribbean - Mr Let's Find Out: The Caribbean are the vets on the DC Does TX bill. They’ve been producing their brand of off-kilter art-pop for quite a while, and they’re only getting better with time. They just released their fifth full length, Discontinued Perfume, and the reviews have been very effusive. I can’t get enough of their smart but subtle approach to stuff.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

After yesterday

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti @ The RnRH 7/28/10 - $14

Honorary RC member, Tedwin, was all about seeing
Ariel Marcus Rosenberg perform his odd brand of indie rock, and organized our outing last night.

Just as insightful as a full review, here's the back and forth between sacklunch and Tedwin sent around this morning via email:

Well...that show actually exceeded my low expectations. I thought the band was pretty tight and some of the songs kind of catchy. I left after the 1st song of the encore, so I don't know if things rapidly deteriorated afterwards. For some reason Ariel Pink reminded me of [Tedwin] (had he gone down the wrong path). Once again the H St. crowd was fairly douchey and I felt like an old sack.

I dug the show too -- and why wouldn't I? It was practically like looking into a mirror, as [sacklunch] noted. It was like the nearly full gamut of 60s/70s AM radio (Boz Scaggs, War, the Strawberry Alarm Clock) filtered through an '80s-vintage hipster's dreams. It made me feel like I was somewhere else. Someplace with a disgusting bathroom, Graffiti, sweat-melted mascara, big hollow cars with bench seats, sunshine, and The Rockford Files. I'm still a little drunk, so excuse the poetry.

Methinks Mr. Pink's read the reviews and has decided to tighten it up, to good effect. Now if we could just see that in a decent club.

I think Tedwin was hoping to see the video that opened the Toronto show (alas there is no room for a video screen at the RnRH).

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

sacklunch found alive and...well

Wondering what happened to DCRC's sacklunch? I found him...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dispute settled, David Lynch still weird

As I filled my shopping buggy at the Harris Teeter tonight, I listened to NPR's First Listen of Dark Night of the Soul (the Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse, David Lynch collaboration). I recommend you check it out too, dear reader, regardless of what you're doing while you listen. It's future uncertain due to wranglings between Danger Mouse and EMI records, the album will finally be released on July 13th.

It features a variety of other artists (including James Mercer, Frank Black, Suzanne Vega, Iggy Pop) making the album play a bit like a soundtrack. No official videos have been produced, but this one features "Little Girl," with help from The Strokes' Julian Casablancas. Not really a video, but it includes lyrics, which is nice.

Monday, June 28, 2010

America Hearts Fort Reno

That's right DC, it's Fort Reno time again. You lucky bastards. Tonight's show features America Hearts and Tiny Bombs. The Public Good was supposed to perform but had to bow out at the last minute. Who will be the special surprise act to take their place? Let the Fugazi rumors begin!

Here's hoping that Potsy and Jimbromski make the show and file another video review. The site could use more "gratuitous underage cleavage shots" and rants advocating the "fascist-style culling of the youth of America".

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Canada, you are forgiven

The New Pornographers with The Dodos, and The Dutchess & the Duke - June 23 - 930 club - $37

Senior Youth Correspondent, Andrew, fills us in on night number 2 from this week's back to back New Pornographers shows at the 930 club.

Quite unlike the esteemed Potsy, I enjoyed The Dodos quite a bit. I had heard much banter about them recently but had yet to check the tunes. I enjoy their name especially and went into Wednesday’s set looking out for themes of extinction—the fate that their plump, shrewd namesakes were doomed to eons ago.

The Dodos brought together everything that is great about today’s punk-tinged indie acts like Wavves and Japandroids—driving rhythms, melodic hooks, interesting sonic textures—without replicating the annoying aspects of those bands—inability to handle their drugs, endless droning feeback, repetitive or whiny lyrics. Whereas those two bands are drenched in distortion, The Dodos were more light in their approach, substituting glistening acoustic tones for the punishing overdriven sound of Wavves and Japandroids.

About halfway through their set, the band played two new songs that were both top notch. Drums reminiscent of Animal Collective were paired with country-infused strumming and a bowed vibraphone. I thought singer Meric Long did a good job leading his outfit and only sometimes were there hints that the band lacked self confidence. I would definitely listen to The Dodos in my free time, and would likely attend one of their concerts in the future. Solid Opener.

Never miss seeing the New Pornographers, period. Especially when all nine of them show up. NP gigs featuring both Neko Case and Dan Bejar present the listener with a veritable shmorgishborg of musical expertise and pop genius. Case and Bejar are solo artists who approach NP’s level of recognition in their own right, and when you combine their powers with A.C. Newman (who will never, ever be out catchy-ed), just watch out. Potsy was correct indeed—Bejar is a game changer. I love the fact that nothing about him has changed since I saw him with NP in 07: skulking on and off the stage, slinging a bottle of Stella, and looking like he hates the band’s guts. What a dude.

A big fear with a band that is beloved by so many (both nights sold out. I scalped for $38 day of) is that the set list will feature new stuff at the expense of what everyone wants to hear, the oldies. I like the new tunes a lot, they are great, but I love older NP stuff. Thankfully, it seemed that the band had received and decided to play a set list from a savvy fan, one Amad. Dude knew his business, and NP played a slew of classics, some of which hadn’t been played for years according to Newman. These included The End of Medicine, To Wild Homes, Mass Romantic, and The Electric Version, songs that I hadn’t heard since 2006-ish but that instantly brought back a flood of memories (memories of wishing I was as cool as the dudes and girls in the band).

They are impeccable in the live setting. I simply cannot overstate this. If you didn’t enjoy their set, I’d talk to the doctor about it today. I would say they were so good last night that I release all feelings of hatred toward their native country for what happened during the Winter Olympic hockey final. That’s real big.

In addition to their indie-pop dominance, the band’s banter was genuinely hilarious. One ongoing joke on Wednesday about Pitchfork involved Case telling the crowd that their first interviewer from the then unknown website (hard to believe right) was so young that she had to breast feed him. According to her bandmates, this caused the nubile taste-maker/faker to grow a few inches. “My milk is powerful shit,” replied the beautiful chanteuse nonchalantly.

Listen to the Wednesday show online via NPR's All Songs Considered.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Come Together

The New Pornographers with The Dodos, and The Dutchess & the Duke - June 22 - 930 club - $37

This week, we reunite with Senior Youth Correspondent, Andrew, for a look at the back to back New Pornographers shows at the 930 club.

Granted, the New Pornographers don't need any more coverage on this world wide web, and Weds night show was broadcast on NPR for all to enjoy, but we like to read ourselves write. So let's consider Tuesday night's show first.

I only caught the last song from three-piece the Dutchess & the Duke, which was too bad, because there are definitely worth your time. Apparently, my time is more valuable than yours, or I would have gotten to the show on time. Little did I know the 930 would be so punctual. The website said 8pm start for the D&TD and they meant it. Sorry D&TD, your last tune was great.

The Dodos followed, and I was looking forward to this set, having enjoyed a number of tunes off of their Visiter album. But the Dodos are pushing their more recent album, Time to Die, at this point bringing out less familiar tracks to start. I don't know any other way around this, so I'm just gonna tell you like I saw it. The Dodos were disappointing. I don't think their abilities match with their ambitions so much. Not live, anyway.

The Dodos in action - don't let the banner fool you.

They like to do some intricate music making. Lots of finger picking that probably worked out better in the studio than it did on stage Tuesday night. Meric Long struggled to pluck out every note - lagging behind a bit as some songs ran away from him. Keaton Snyder is a recent addition to the band, and he plays the vibraphone and uses a bow. That was kinda cool. Never saw that before, so there's points for that. But there was too much muddling through long songs that never seemed to go anywhere.

By the time headlining The New Pornographers hit the stage, I was starting to question the effort it took to get out to this show. I bought my ticket on my iPhone while driving on the Whitehurst freeway heading back to work from a doctor's appointment months ago. That was actually kinda dangerous. And then there was the bus ride down U Street with the nutty fat lady who wanted to sing gospel music for all us passengers. Not as dangerous, but it looked like it was going to get weirder.

But that all changed once the NP took the stage. Jimbromski and I were relieved to hear hits right off the bat. And not only was Neko Case present for the show, but seemingly-disinterested Dan Bejar is on board for this tour too. I've seen the acoustic Destroyer show before, but hadn't seen the NP with Bejar ever. What a difference that cranky bastard makes.

A.C. Newman made his remark about how he told Pitchfork that DC was his favorite city to play. I know he said it again for the Weds show (cuz I'm listening to it online right now). So that was nice. There's a good bit of banter from the New Pornographers, and Neko Case is always throwing her wit into the mix. I know people are hot for Neko, but that Kathryn Calder is quite fetching, if you don't mind me saying. Oh, and I just learned that A.C. Newman is Kathryn Calder's uncle. That is bizarre to me.

Okay, okay. Survey says, good solid show, the NP. Worth every penny. The New Pornographers have a new album out, Together.

SYC Andrew will fill us in on the Wednesday night show tomorrow. No doubt his account will be more informative than this one.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hooray for Blood

Hooray for Earth & Surfer Blood @ the Black Cat - Weds. June 16th

We caught the last night of Hooray for Earth's tour with Surfer Blood and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart at the Black Cat on Wednesday. It was a sold out show, and the audience gathered early enough to check out opening act, HFE who is supporting their Momo EP album. The Cambridge, MA/NYC 4-piece delivers the 80s synth sound that can get a bit ethereal with echo-y vocals but is brought back to terra firma by the occasional squawking guitar. This is a sound that doesn't hold my attention for too long, especially if I'm unfamiliar with the tracks. I have to say this was the case on Wednesday night. Most songs drifting into the next, until the last song brought out members from the other bands on the bill, making it a bit of a We Are the World moment.

What followed, was more to my interest, as I had heard a number of Surfer Blood tracks, and was curious how they'd perform live.

Never having researched Surfer Blood, I was surprised to see how young there were. I guess I shouldn't have been, but I blame it on the similarity of their sound to bands closer to my age like Weezer, and Pavement. Their track "Harmonix" reminded me of The Arcade Fire's Neighborhood #2, and while they suggested that Entourage was going to use the song, lead singer John Paul Pitts said a number of things that weren't necessarily true during their set. So who knows.

I was relieved to feel less old when Bob Boilen stood next to me at one point. I also walked into a conversation he was having with Malitz outside about Weird Al playing a tiny desk concert at NPR later in the week. I do a great Bob Boilen impression that I wish I could amuse you with right now. I love when he hurries to announce the bands taking the stage when NPR occasionally records shows at the 930 and other DC venues.

Any way, the highlight of the show was Surfer Blood's own "We are the world" moment, when they closed the set with a cover of Weezer's "Undone - The Sweater Song." Not played particularly well, but it's a great song to begin with, and this is a band you'd like to hear play it.

If you'd like to see a poor quality iPhone video from the show, here ya go.