Long live rock, I need it every night

Monday, October 30, 2006

Duck and Cover

Cold War Kids, Oct 26 2006

Last week saw Rock Club reduced to Jumbo Slice and I. Potsy was (and still is) away for work, and Sacklunch was in France living la vie en rose. So that left just the two of us, the sole survivors--I was Charlton Heston in The Omega Man, and Jumbo Slice was a plague-resistant albino. And off to DC9 we went.

This week's show was originally to be The Futureheads at the 9:30, with Cold War Kids opening. I know not what happened to the Futureheads, but they wimped the fuck out and left us all in the lurch. And as I mentioned in a previous post, I don't do research, I just make shit up to fill in any blanks in my knowledge. And thus I can say with authority that the Futureheads canceled their 9:30 show due to stomach pains and diarrhea caused by the consumption of genetically-modified paprika-flavored Pringles. Go ahead, look it up.

Things got lamer at DC9 as Jumbo Slice announced that he would not be staying late due to his participation in the upcoming Marine Corps Marathon. Two points here: (1) He made the announcement in an overly-loud voice, so that everyone would look at him and go, wow, wish I had the motivation and heart to run a marathon, and (2) This was Thursday, and the marathon was on Sunday. You do the math. Don't feel like it? Okay, I'll do it for you:
(3x + 5y)*π = Jumbo Slice's a wuss

There, I've proven mathematically what until now we've only known subjectively. I am a multi-faceted genius.

So here's the Cold War Kids review: I have no idea what this band sounds like live, or even what they look like, because we stayed downstairs drinking beer and smoking cigarettes, instead of actually going to the show. I was able to get a nice buzz on and get home by midnight, whereupon my wife complained that I smelled bad. Also, Jumbo Slice considered but rejected the notion of purchasing a jumbo slice. Hmm, what else...we saw a big rat outside. Oh wait, we also saw a young Pakistani guy in a warm-up suit (similar to what old people wear when they're doing laps around the mall) panhandling. Bizarre.

Anyway, that was Cold War Kids. I'll be pretty cheesed off if these guys become the next Beatles, seeing as how we played hooky instead of seeing their show.

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.....

Friday, October 27, 2006

10 Great Albums Released This Year, Part II

Blue Collar by Rhymefest - To me, rap is like art; I'm no expert, but I know what I like. It's not the rap about "bitches and ho's and guns and money". I like thought provoking, original, edgy, yet humorous artists. Rhymefest is all of these things. I'm not into rappers who talk about how gangsta they are or how they're the greatest rapper of all-time. We settled that debate years ago (Biggie, right? No?) Rhymefest likes to portray himself as the working-class rapper. He's not a bling man. I can respect that. Plus, his music is slammin'.*

*I tried to think of description where I wouldn't sound like the whitest man on Earth. Clearly, I failed.

Rather Ripped by Sonic Youth - With Ripped, Sonic Youth reminds people that it can still kick ass. Their new tour even includes pyrotechnics and Steve Shelley performing a drum solo while spinning in a cage above the stage. Suck on that, Motley Crue!

Okay, so maybe they aren't quite Motley Crue (thank god), but they do crank on this album. I love the guitar work, the straight forward rock, and the strong vocals from both Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore. Sonic Youth has always been a favorite of mine. I rank this album right up there with Murray Street, Dirty, and Goo (but maybe not Daydream Nation). Summary: Jason will enjoy this, James will not.

We, The Vehicles by Maritime - Infectious pop goodness with lots of big hooks. I may do a full review on this later so I'll keep this brief. It's bouncy, fun, and tight. Just like that hot girl you hoped to hook up with in college (didn't happen, did it?). Well, maybe this record will help you forget you got no action at school. Hey, not everyone can be a love machine like Erin. Oh, wait. Never mind.

News and Tributes by The Futureheads - As good as their latest album? Maybe not, but still better than the vast majority of records put out in 2006. The Futureheads deserve admiration for the way they approach music. They have the same post-punk inspirations as hundreds of other bands but they have a creativity all their own. All four members take turn on the vocals and the interplay of singers, along with their explosive sound, makes for a great listen. "Yes/No" and "Skip To The End" are great tracks and measure up against anything from their first album.

We're Already There by Mazarin - "Northeast Winter" is one of my absolute favorite tracks of the year. However, I'm an album guy and not suckered in by one good song. An album needs to deliver the goods from start to finish. Mazarin does this with a collection of indie pop, instrumentals, experimentation, clever lyrics, and the best melodies I've heard this year. This is a band I'll insist we go to see next time they're in town.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Who Is Rock Club?

We receive thousands of emails a week (and by "thousands" I mean zero) asking us "Who is Rock Club"? Here's a closer look at the four founding members of rock club.

Strengths: prognostications, the power to move you (applies only to the ladies)
Weaknesses: Sleeplessness, Letting Go
Favorite Band: Bang Bang Bang
Greatest Shame: Still asks for a Pony each Christmas
Person He Would Most Like to Meet: His father
Summary: The only unmarried member of Rock Club. Fails to acquaint himself with the local au pair community. This disappoints the rest of Rock Club tremendously.

Jumbo Slice
Strengths: Athletic Quickness, Useless indie rock trivia
Weaknesses: Mental Quickness, telling the truth
Favorite Band: French Toast
Greatest Shame: Wife notices his disturbing amount of "man crushes"
Person He Would Most Like to Meet: Says it's the Dalai Lama, but really it's anyone willling to listen to him rattle off obscure indie rock nonsense.
Summary: His Rock Club membership is tentative at best. Brings very little to the table. If we were the Beatles, he'd be Ringo.

Strengths: can make things magically delicious, spewing invective
Weaknesses: Spelling & Grammar, "Reply To All" button
Favorite Band: Jackson Browne
Greatest Shame: Let's just say there was an accident at his bris.
Person He would Most Like to Meet: The Rabbi from his bris
Summary: The founder and unofficial President of Rock Club. Voted "Most Likely to Tell Someone To Fuck Off".

Strengths: Spotting "That Guy", searching the interweb
Weaknesses: his ankles, scoring weed
Favorite Band: Skin Tight Band
Greatest Shame: An unabashed lover of British wuss rock. He also loves soccer, fish & chips, and the Queen. Yet he still claims to be an American.
Person He would Most Like to Meet: George Costanza
Summary: Rock Club's voice of reason. Responsible for our best ideas: Rock Club t-shirts, the clubhouse, and expelling Sacklunch. He doles out wisdom via Seinfeld quotes like a monk quoting Confucius.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Album Review: The Walkmen

I'm not a fan of The Walkmen. Yes, they have some good songs, especially "The Rat" and "Little House of Savages". However, I judge bands on the quality of their albums. After all, even bands like Blind Melon and Golden Earring were able to make a few decent songs. It's tough to listen to an album by The Walkmen from beginning to end. There's a great disparity in song quality. I'm also not a fan because I saw them earlier this year at the 9:30 Club. The show was pretty crappy. The lead singer struck me as a frat guy. Very annoying. I figured I was done with these guys. Not so fast, my friend! (Get it? Lee Corso? College Game Day? Anyone? No? Fuck you guys) I just listened to "Pussy Cats" starring The Walkmen, a song-for-song recreation of Harry Nilsson's 1974 album Pussy Cats. Since this album isn't officially being released until October 24th, I wanted to chime in before Pitchfork either deems it genuis or "shit sandwich".

First, background on Harry and his album, compliments of Wikipedia and the magic of Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V:

"1974 found Nilsson back in California, and when John Lennon moved there during his separation from Yoko Ono, the two musicians rekindled their earlier friendship. Lennon was intent upon producing Nilsson's next album, much to Nilsson's delight. However, their time together in California became known much more for heavy drinking and drug use than it did for musical collaboration. In a widely publicized incident, they were ejected from the Troubadour nightclub in West Hollywood for drunken heckling of the Smothers Brothers. Both also caused property damage during binges, with Lennon trashing a bedroom in Lou Adler's house, and Nilsson throwing a bottle through a thirty-foot hotel window.

To make matters worse, Nilsson ruptured a vocal cord during the sessions for this album, but he hid the injury due to fear that Lennon would call a halt to the production. The resulting album, Pussy Cats, which may charitably be described as "uneven", was a shock for listeners who knew Nilsson as one of the best singers of his generation. In an effort to clean up, Lennon, Nilsson and Ringo Starr first rented a house together, then Lennon and Nilsson left for New York."

Okay, back to my review. The opener "Many Rivers to Cross" features The Walkmen's lead singer at his best. Bluesy, sometimes snarling, he delivers a nice rendition of this Jimmy Cliff song. Following this is a great version of Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues". [Warning: Gratuitous indie rock references coming up. James, you may want to skip to the next paragraph.] Ian Svenonius is a guest vocalist on this track and the duel vocals add to the chaotic quality to the cover. Ian was in Nation of Ulysses and The Make-Up (both referenced by Art Brut during their Top of Pops list the other night). He's currently in Weird War, a local band featured in the Burn to Shine DVD, which Jason just let me borrow.

Another stand out track is "Save the Last Dance". It's a beautiful and heartfelt song. "Loop De Loop" is a raucous live track with great horns, maracas, and kazoos. It's also more evidence The Walkmen are slowly becoming a Mariachi party band. At least, I hope they are. The album ends with a truly great cover of everyone's favorite rock oldie, "Rock Around The Clock". Bill Haley would be proud. The only real clunker on the album is "Black Sails".

Damn, I really need to be more concise with these stupid reviews. Let's cut to the chase, shall we? Rock Club Album Rating: 7.3.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Rock Club - Top of the Pops

Art Brut - $13 @ The Black Cat 10/17/06

Are you ready Rock Club?
Form a band. This is what Art Brut wants you to accomplish with your life. It seems like good advice until you realize that the members of Bang Bang Bang took it to heart. This show basically calls us back to the origins of Rock Club. Not only did it fulfill our latent desire to be thoroughly rocked, but Art Brut itself avoids the pretension of the big-egoed "artists" and reminds us of why we like to rock. Rock, if nothing else, is supposed to be fun. And not whimsically fun like watching a pinwheel spin, but the kind of fun you have when you strap a video camera to a monkey and send him on a roller coaster - intense fun with a degree of ludicrousness (yes, it's a word, look it up). Well maybe that's not the best analogy, but this act does everything you'd want them to. Let's start with their membership and their look. First the drummer (Mikey B) stands upright throughout the show. No sitting down on the job here. The bass player is a chic. She has purple hair, stands off to the side and goes by the name Freddy Feedback. Nuff said. The lead guitarist (Ian) has a Nikki Sixx hair-do and can "jam." Lead singer, Eddie Argos, is British. I'm pretty sure the rest of the band is too, but I haven't heard them talk, so I can't be certain. And Mr. Argos likes to sing without wearing his shoes. He used to have a mustache and I've seen him dressed sorta paramilitary-like. His hair flopped in a certain way reminiscent of a young frustrated Austrian, but that was a loooong time ago. That's an older photo of Eddie on the right. He likes to drink. I know this because he told me so. And this photo proves it. But unlike when I saw him in April, Eddie is now unmustachioed and is getting a bit bloated. But it doesn't keep him from being fucking cool! Just look at him with the C. Lee look-a-like. He's a riot. Lastly, Jasper Future, who kinda looks like the annoying blonde guy from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (I know you know who I'm talking about, don't play dumb) plays guitar for Art Brut. He wears a kerchief, and is straight-up 1982. He'll even throw a windmill from time to time. He has the kind of energy that only comes from being under 30 and from an overdose of rock. All this adds up to one simple truth (or elaborate lie), these guys have fun rockin' out. And that's the kind of thing that inspires Rock Club.

Now, I must admit that this October show was very similar to the Art Brut we saw in April. The set was pretty much the same with a few different tunes, but what can you expect after only 6 months and a rather limited catalog? But the strength of this act is more than just the musical performance, it is the theatrics as well. And for me, this is an essential part of a good live show, otherwise, why bother leaving the comforts of your surround-sound living room? Built to Spill should take note (and TJ should write his review so you know what I'm talking about). One of the highlights for me was watching Eddie Argos use the microphone cord to jump rope. Jump rope! Let's see Lukass Rossi try that, mo' fo.' Argos also made his way on to the floor during one song and into the crowd for several minutes before returning to the stage. He actually walked right passed me. I was going to buy him a drink, but he walked by too quickly. But that's how this band keeps it real. I also liked the point in one song toward the end of the show (no, I don't remember the name of the song, sue me), where the band paused for a beat, and faked out the crowd. They all laughed at our expense, but it wasn't malicious. It was good old fashioned tomfoolery wrapped up in a lovely bouquet of punk rock.

This was a great Rock Club show. Perhaps the best that I've attended to date. I would have spent $15 on that show, easily. My only hope for Art Brut is that they disband before they become a parody of themselves.

The Hold Steady are Unamerican, and Must Be Destroyed

I heartily dislike the Hold Steady. Right from the first moment I heard them. I’ve decided to post the reasons why I don’t like them. And if you like them, we’ll agree to disagree. This is America, everybody doesn’t have to like the same things.


Jimbromski’s Reasons to Dislike the Hold Steady

1) Gritty “Heartland” Style Lyrics: I once read a parody of a Bruce Springsteen song. I can’t remember exactly how it went, but it was something like this:

Well I lost my job at the refinery, Mister

And Janie was pregnant and on disability

The government check was all we had

I gunned my ’69 Pontiac

Down the double yellow line blacktop...

And so on and so forth. I like the Boss but hearing for the umpteenth time that the factory closed (the type of factory changes with each song—steel, auto, chemical, semiconductor, widget, etc.) and of the great feeling you get feeling the wind in your hair Mister from driving your motorcycle down State Route 19 with Janie and her hands around your waist Mister...

Whew. I got possessed by the Boss there.

As I was saying, I like the Boss. I also can roll with some John Cougar at times. Tom Petty as well. But when you listen to guys like this, you can’t help feeling that you’re listening to a Chevy trucks commercial, or a Miller Lite ad, or a Dockers campaign, if Dockers broke out and got all edgy on us. This is American masculinity at its most mundane.

2) This is not how I remember my youth: One of the reasons I don’t like the Hold Steady is that their cultural memory doesn’t match up with mine, except in a bad way. To quote the great man, it says nothing to me about my life. Ordinarily, this isn't a big problem. You don't have to be a lonely vicar watching the youth of your English town move away to Australia in order to like the Kinks. I'm not some fag leatherboy, but I like Judas Priest. It's called empathy, and I got it, jack. But still, the Hold Steady really get on my tits.

Listening to the Hold Steady doesn’t remind me of high school. It doesn’t remind me of my 20s, when I was trying to find myself and mature. It doesn’t remind of growing up in my depressed Rust Belt town, surrounded by alcoholic Irish friends and relatives.

Listening to the Hold Steady does, however, remind me of, let’s say, Baltimore, which is full of broke-assed, no-account white people. Listening to the Hold Steady does remind me of dorks with soul patches, stupid porkpie hats, and slight weight problems. Remember when you were young, and you’d go over to the dude’s house that you didn’t know very well, and the place smelled like a combination of dog piss, cabbage, cigarettes and body odor? They’re a band full of guys like that. Here's some potential Hold Steady fans:

Speaking of porkpie hats and soul patches, are the Hold Steady just the Mighty Mighty Bosstones in disguise?

3) Craig Finn’s voice: A corollary to (1) is that, when your lyrics are so soulful, so meaningful, so...real, man...you have to sing in this raspy growl. This singing voice signifies that you are “singing from the heart.” The gravel voice affectation is again common to heartland/Rust Belt types. Paul Westerberg, Springsteen (again), Mellencamp (again), Bob Seger, Bob Mould, Dave Pirner and countless others do this. All these bands hail from parts of the country that peaked in say, 1952, and have steadily turned into deserted shitholes ever since. Hence, they attempt to sound like the grandfathers, who all died of lung cancer. Imagine Vince Lombardi singing in a band—this is how he would sound.

4) Endorsed by NPR: Let’s play a game. You name a band, and I’ll tell you if NPR would like them or not. Go ahead, it’s fun. Black Sabbath? No. Arrested Development? Yep—“This hip hop band is subverting the macho image of rap, with their latest single, ‘Mr. Wendell’...” NWA? Nope. Tracy Chapman? “It wasn’t easy being a black lesbian trying to get ahead in the male-dominated world of...” Art Brut? Please. The Hold Steady? Absolutely—“with his heartfelt lyrics describing a string of failed relationships, boozy nights with old friends, and a love of rock and roll...” The shit writes itself. Add to that, the soft voice of some wuss eco-friendly NPR journalist doing the story, and you’ve got A BAND THAT USUALLY BLOWS. Time magazine is also good for this—if your band is profiled in Time as “a band that’s capturing the hearts of disaffected twentysomethings everywhere,” then you should immediately break up and find a job in accounting, because more likely than not your songs will end up being played in Pottery Barn while 30something dweebs like my wife and I shop for a new ottoman. Not cool. And please bear in mind that I have no idea whether the Hold Steady have been profiled on NPR, or in Time. That would involve research, which is a drag. But really, if it hasn’t happened yet, it will.


Okay, fire away. I know for a fact that Jumbo Slice likes the Hold Steady, but he would, as he’s from Brockport, New York. I’d like to hear from the rest of you on this subject—I fear this band is slowly turning into the American U2 and if we don’t take steps to stop them now, we’ll be seeing these jokers everywhere for the rest of our lives—Super Bowl halftime shows, beer and car commercials, tribute albums, pay-per-view specials, etc. Take a stand now on behalf of your children and grandchildren.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Extra Credit

Since no one is posting any reviews these days, I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents on 1 of the 3 (count 'em, 3) shows I've seen in the last week. One of those shows was a comedy show, so I won't review that one (yet).

Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - 10/15/06 9:30 Club

This Las Vegas native knows how to put on a show. Accompaned by her two tall and sleeky, fair-skinned (twin) back-up singers, Jenny Lewis performed to a soldout audience at the 9:30 Club Sunday evening. After a solid - albeit drug hazed Dylan-esque long haired freaky people - opening act called "Vietnam," Jenny Lewis commanded the stage for 4 songs before exiting for a waredrobe change. Lewis and the Watson twins left the stage in long black sexy cocktail dresses only to return 45 seconds later enveloped in shiny gold speckled dresses that barely covered their assests. This is a good way to keep me interested and entertained. While I'm disgusted by how shallow the music industry has become (would Janis Joplin make it in today's business?), I have to admit it works.

Anyhow, back to the show. While I didn't know this prior to buying my ticket, Lewis isn't new to the scene by any means as she is a major stake holder in Rilo Kiley, and has performed with other notable acts in the indie pop world. No, I'm not going to note them here. You can read about it elsewhere. And since I know Jumbo Slice will throw his Encyclopedic knowledge in here somewhere (although he should be working on his own damn review), I'll stop with the back ground info now. So how was the show? It was just loud enough, and just alt country enough to avoid being overly wuss-inspired. Jenny Lewis has a tremendous voice, and it was on full display Sunday evening. Unlike GLP (that's Grant Lee Phillips people, have you done all the reading?), Lewis's whisper is powerful and resonating. And when she's not knocking you over with her whisper, she slapping you around with her soulful singing. She also manages to play a mean organ (okay, keyboard that sounds like an organ), and handles the acoustic guitar like a real musician, cuz she is one.

This is an act that will satisfy you and your wife/girlfriend/mistress. She rocks out in a way that makes the ladies want to be like her and the guys want to sleep with her (and/or the twins). Want to really know what the show was like? Listen to it here. Her album, Rabbit Fur Coat is pretty good, but I enjoyed the power of her live performance much more. And the twins helped too, did I mention them yet?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Pet Sounds

Having listened to the new album by Be Your Own Pet (henceforth known as BYOP) repeatedly, I anticipated a killer show. Here's a brash young band out of Tennessee that describes their music as "a kick in the ass". That's a good start. After all, Rock Club has a fondness of all things ass. It's a bold way to describe your sound, but listen to their album and it's tough not to agree with the little fuckers. I was ready for BYOP to put the Rock in Rock Club.

Well, as the old sports clique goes, "that's why they play the game". The concert was a disappointment. Before I get to what went wrong, let's point of a few of the positives. I'll now use a little device I like to call a "list":

1 - The lead singer was pretty good looking. I'm not going to lie. I'd bounce that ass. Yeah, I said it. What?
2 - Their insults to the crowd were pretty funny, especially "Suck My Anus!". This along with the various insults from the zitty young bassist were the highlights of the very short set.
3 - The guitarist was very good and the drummer was outstanding. However, they weren't enough to save the show.

I couldn't tell if the band was just having an off night or if they're just a terrible live band. Could be a mix of both. Jemina, the saucy lead singer, seemed like she had the flu. Her performance was lacking and outside of the "Suck my anus!" comment, she had little interaction with the audience (tough to categorize the anus comment as a "rapport"). This brings me to an important point. Many web sites have compared her to Karen O. from the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, and Beth Ditto from The Gossip. Well, Jemina, I've seen Beth Ditto sing. Beth Ditto is a friend of mine (no she's not, but just go with it). You, my friend, are no Beth Ditto!

[side note: the only reason I added the previous paragraph was for Potsy. The kid loves Lloyd Bentsen humor.]

BYOP plowed through the songs with energy but they seemed to be running in place. Each songs sounded the same. Jemina could have been singing the exact same lyrics over and over for all I knew. The band really lost me when the bassist spit on a kid not far from me. Now, I know it's a time honored punk tradition to insult the crowd and even spit on them. However, BYOP is not exactly the Sex Pistols. The move was either a bit contrived or the bassist was just a tool. I'm going with the later. After about 30 minutes the band called it a night and opted not to come back for an encore. It was the right decision.

BYOP's sound is ideal for a great live show, but they just can't deliver. I'll continue to listen to their stuff, but you won't catch me at another one of their shows. Suck your anus? No, young lady, you suck mine.

Rock Club rating: 3.1

The night wasn't a total loss because I did get to see four songs by the opening band, Black Lips. The day of the show I checked out their first album and I wasn't too impressed. It fact, it kind of sucked. I guess their other albums are better. Having already written too much and seeing as this review is horribly overdue, I'm again going to use a "list" to summarize the Black Lips performance:

1 - The lead singer had a glorious mustache (picture pending)
2 - Their sound has been described as southern-fried garage punk
3 - With three singers, they had a bit of a Futureheads thing going on
4 - Despite the garage/punk flair, a couple songs had a strange Beatles and Beach Boys sound. I think it's called "melody".
5 - Three guitarists, no bass. They bring the straight forward rock.
6 - Finished the set with a series of exaggerated bows to a cheering crowd who had not idea they were about to be let down by BYOP.

Rock Club rating: 6.2

Another RC Investigation

The Rock Club Special Prosecutor has been very busy lately, investigating all sorts of malfeasance and shit.

Dan was spotted at the Be Your Own Pet show on October 5, looking like cub reporter Jimmy Olson, with his notepad and camera.

Given that the show was only 20 minutes long, and sucked bad, and also given that Dan was spotted "researching" his review, we can only conclude, based on the lack of a review to date, that Dan has been murdered. And probably sodomized before his death.

I'll be needing DNA samples from the rest of you. You can e-mail them to me, just make sure I get them soon.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Built to Beethoven, Camper Van Spill, Built to Camp, whatever

Jimbromski - if you're wondering what you missed at last night's show, here's a summary:

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Murder He Wrote

I've seen all the comments about a missing review for the Gossip (September 16th at the Black Cat). However, I don't see what all the fuss is about, since Jumbo Slice already posted a review of the show. Isn't that just like Jumbo Slice? Always sticking his opinion in where it don't belong. I had worked out a method for tending to this review, but it didn't seem as pressing once I saw the pic of the juicy Ms. Ditto on the blog. But I'll get into that later. What I imagine my fellow clubmates are really looking for is for me to chronicle how a simple night out on the town to see a fat chick from Arkansas (via Olympia, WA via Portland, OR) rock-out was derailed by tragic events in the Green Mountain State. Or, how I ditched my Rock Club responsibilities because the news travels slow from Vermont to DC for some reason, as if by pony express.

Here's all I'm going to say about it. The events as they unfolded on the 16th of September were more appropriate for a club that is used to seeing Country & Western acts (Country Club?), with all the sad mishaps that life in the Red States can breed, than for one that goes out to Rock. Had we been listening to more country music perhaps I would have known how to handle things better, but alas, we've seen Bang Bang Bang (not a western band, despite the name), The Evangelicals (not a Christian band, despite the name), and a Band Of Horses (you'd think maybe a cowboy hat for this one, but no.), so I was left to my own wuss-rock inspired devices. So I bailed on the Gossip, my pick for RC, after news from Vermont of the brutal slaying of a young mother of 1 by her abusive husband finally reached DC.

I did hire a substitute for the show. "Duh-cut," stepped in and took my ticket, and Rock Club moved on. As they say, the show must go on and not be stopped due to horrific murder-suicides. I think that saying has been shortened in recent years though.

So here is the review, courtesy of M. Cutler:
Forgive me for the thoughts of Lita Ford in my head when being coaxed to go to see The Gossip at the Black Cat Saturday night by the two separate descriptions: (1) Black Sabbath and (2) Heart. Luckily, when Beth Ditto walked out on the stage, she immediately erased that image. Then she started to sing, Brace Paine started to play those distorted, bluesy guitar riffs, and as I looked around the club I thought, "This is a 'lesbian band'? I guess Led Zeppelin must have had some lesbian fans, too." O.K., that's the extent of the indie rock-college radio geek review. I didn't know any of their songs and still don't. I really didn't know what to expect at all. However, they rocked. The crowd really dug it. I dug it. It was reminiscent of the early Stones at their rockin, bluesy best, some of the more rockin' Derek and the Dominos tunes and probably something the Black Keys want to sound like. I'd see them again, maybe even buy a cd rather than illegally download it.

Well done Mr. Cutler. I couldn't have said it better myself (especially since I didn't get to see the show). Isn't Lita Ford hot?