Long live rock, I need it every night

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Built To Spill/Camper Van Beethoven Review

First and foremost, I must apologize for the tardiness of the review. Much like the many term papers in college that waited until the last minute, such is the same with my RC reviews. Anyway, I will try and remember the evening as best I can and put together an insightful review.
We arrived during the middle of the Camper Van Beethoven set and I promptly made my way to "the spot" at the 930 club. I must say that besides my bed (with my lovely wife at my side...), or perhaps eating a large bowl of Pho at Pho 75, leaning up against that rail at the 930 is possibly my favorite place to be in all of DC. There is something very comforting about leaning out over the masses like some sort of King of Rock. And with no one to hassle be about blocking their view because they got there first, yadda, yadda.....Anyway, I remember seeing CVB back at the old 930 and recall them being fresh and exciting, and new wave of alternative group that seemed to be a bit different from the rest. The yeven had a dude that played the fucking fiddle, how indie is that. Well, seeing them some 15 years later they seemed a bit dated. I dont think the fact that David Lowery had to don Homer Simpson style reading specs in between each song helped out too much. There want too much interaction with the crowd and they just seemed a bit flat. They also had 2 Apple laptops on the stage which added to the "un-rockness" of the set. They also spent too much time withthe whole DVD player bullshit, just play some music and get on with it. I now must pause my review and refresh my cocktail. I just purchased this top shelf gin and made an extremely tasty G and T with it. I shall return later.(to quote the legendary Snoopy Dog Dog, "Tanqueray and tonic, yeah I'm fucked up now...")
I have returned, albeit the next morning. After the cocktail I settled into to some episodes of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" on the DVR, funny shit that Larry David. Although I did find the CVB set qa bit lacking, I did enjoy the extended 20 minute jam which they played as their last tune. It was helped along by the video that Jumboslice posted earlier in the blog, it was a good fusion of audio and video. RC rating 5.6
As we were waiting for BTS to come on, I noticed lead singer Doug Martsch onstage setting up his own equipment. At first, I thought, "I like this do-it-yourself attitude, who needs roadies anyway". However, this turned out to be a major downfall of the show. They finally set-up and played a few songs and it sounded tight and I thought the show had real potential at that point. However, this was not the case as there wasnt much interaction with the crowd, just a feeble "thanks" after each tune. There were also large gaps between the songs at which they proceeded to tune their instruments while the crowd chattered and waited. I am not saying that every band has to be like Art Brut and be thoroughly entertaining for the entire set, but a liitle reaction from the band is always nice. Maybe a "thanks for being here..", or a "Hello Washington DC, are you ready to rock..." would be nice. The whole show just seemed a bit flacid and I generally like their music. There was also a great deal of time spent noodling with the DVD player that projected videos on the screen behind them. Some of the songs were good, and the Built to Spillers definitely have talent. I just wish they had come a bit more prepared to play and had left the DVD player in the car. RC rating 6.2
On a side note, Potsy and I left a bit early and stopped in Ben's for a large plate of chili-cheese fries. This was the perfect antidote for the sour taste left in my mouth after the show. Also, I might add that Potsy sometimes has a habit of being a bit to energetic when something pisses him off. Case in point, as we left the 930 we were walking across 9th St on our way to Bens. A large SUV turned the corner and did not yield to the pedsetrians (us) and we had to stop and yield to the oncoming SUV. OF course, in true Potsy fashion, he yells something about obeying traffic rules to the drivers of the SUV. Now I am all for standing up for your rights as a pedestrian, but yelling to a car, on U St., late at night, may not be the best move. Just brush it off and move on. What do you gain by yelling at the drivers of the car. So now, the rest of the walk down U St. is tainted by the fact that I have to keep looking over my shoulder in case the SUV comes speeding back down the block and we promptly become a statistic in the ever increasing crime of DC. Or at the least, wait until I am not around to comment, I have a wife and kid for Christs sake.....


Jumbo Slice said...

Welcome back Sacklunch. I think your review was a good recap. A couple comments. First, is jam rock making a comeback or is it just the shows we've seen? Arboretum, CVB, Built to Spill, and Sleater-Kinney all had the extended rock jams. even Band of Horses ventured in the area. I don't know how I feel about this. I'm not a huge fan of the jam band.

[Sidenote - Whomp There It Is just came up on my iPod shuffle. How the fuck did that get on my iPod. I think Jenny is messing with my head. Wait, that sounds dirty.]

Second, where did the bands go that had great interaction with the crowd. Half the bands now barely say a word. I miss band like the D-Plan and Ted Leo would would be amusing in between songs and throughout the entire show. Thank god for Art Brut.

Potsy said...

Thanks for the review, TJ (and what's with the fancy G & T, are you messing with us?). I agree that I should never have to see a headlining act fumble with the Samsung DVD remote as he tries to play his instrument. That's crap.

I think the interaction of the band with the crowd (or lack thereof) is in direct proportion to the amount of enthusiasm that crowds show the band. What happened to people dancing and shouting the words along with the singer? Even though a part of me is glad this doesn't occur, another part of me longs to see/experience the communal exuberance.

Now what's this about the SUV? If anything, I think you've let GWBush get the best of you, TJ. All afraid and shit. You seem to have gotten soft living in the kingdom of Suburbia. Stop being such a pussy; it's U Street. It's not Compton.

Jumbo Slice said...

Potsy, you make a good point about the band/crowd interaction. DC crowds are loathe to move at all. You get the occassional head bob, but that's it. I don't miss the days when each show had a miosh pit, but I do wish the people weren't so stoic.