Long live rock, I need it every night

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Dismemberment Plan, Part The First

Dismemberment Plan
Black Cat, April 27 2007

I say, Part The First, because I know other Rock Club members will be weighing in on this show. The Dismemberment Plan show at Black Cat last night was not an official Rock Club show as our bylaws specify, one show per week, and we already saw Spoon last Saturday. So this show will get a Roger Maris-style asterisk in the archives.

It is Saturday morning and as I sit here, waiting for the NFL Draft to begin, and waiting for my favorite team, the Oakland Raiders, to once again ruin some poor young man's life, I wanted to jot down a few observations, or "musings", from last night:

1) More Celebrity Lookalikes: this one's a mash-up. Let me grab The Transmogrifier and see what it spits out:

(1) Take four ml of Morrissey (use an eyedropper),

(2) Add six gallons of Chandler Bing,

(3) Bake in Transmogrifier for eight hrs at 350 degrees

(4) Season well before consuming

2) Inside Baseball, part 1: the Dismemberment Plan is pretty much the only band that Rock Club members know personally, due to us and them being local suburbanites. It is to our advantage for them to become bigger than Jesus so that in 30 years we can say something along the lines of, "What, John Lennon? I used to beat that little shit up in PE Class!" It's nice to bask in reflected glory as it requires no effort from us. Anyway, Eric Axelson came by and said hello to us while we were out front smoking a cigarette. Nothing extraordinary there except he used the word "merch" for "merchandise", and I wanted to accuse him of going all Hollywood. We can't make the charge, however, because it was for charity and he was trying to move product to benefit little Callum Roberts.

3) Inside Baseball, part 2: again, not to be a cheesedick here, but in the same conversation, Eric was talking about the second show on Saturday night and asked us if we would come early to watch the DC United game beforehand. We Rock Clubbers were talking about this later and someone said that they thought he was joking, and I said no, dude loves DC United, and I brought up this anecdote. I was living in New York going to graduate school and, being a DC United fan myself (see Mexican Footballers--Threat, or Menace?) I would watch them on MSG whenever they played the Metrostars. Anyway, long story short, I was watching the game, and they did a crowd shot of the traveling DC fans, and whoa, there's the suspended Christian Gomez, in with the fans, banging a drum. And wait, there's Axelson, next to him, banging the drum. With his shirt off, no less. It kind of blew my mind.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


The members of RC (+1) set out for Charm City for the Spoon show last Saturday. I have to say it was nice to get out of DC for a show, even though I elected myself to drive. We arrived at SONAR just in time to catch the 2nd half of opening act Oranges Band. I will admit, Potsy and I only stayed for a song or two and went to explore the "lounge" room of Sonar. This was a nice space that was conducive to intellectual conversation and beer drinking. After hearing Jimbromski's shining endorsement of The Oranges Band I wished I had stuck around for their set. However, I knew I would be seeing them open for the Dismemberment Plan this weekend so there was no great loss.
Having never been to SONAR before, I had a bit of a hard time getting a good position for the Spoon set. I ended up sort of in the middle and had to crane my neck to see. I was also stuck next to these 2 guys, who were very enthusiastic about every song the band played. As soon as each tune would begin, the one dude would proclaim "DUDE, this song is fucking awesome". This happened like 10 times. Also, about halfway during the set, the guy standing next to me farted. It was not heard, but an odor definitely lingered and was noticed by the couple in front of me., but I digress.

I will wholly admit that I am not a huge Spoon fan. I think they have some good, catchy songs and play very good indie pop. I like most of the songs from Gimme Fiction, and have listened to the other albums a few times. I thought they played and inspired show and the crowd was definitely into it. Everything sounded good, and I really have no complaints about their showmanship. Potsy mentioned he thought they goofed up a couple of times, but nothing too noticeable. I did recognize most of the songs, and it seemed like they played a few songs from their yet to be released LP "Ga-Ga-Ga" . I dont know what to add, it was a very good show, yet I wasnt blown away. Maybe it is the type of music they play, which is just upbeat enough to get you to tap your feet or bob your head, but nothing more, nothing less. I am sure if Jimbromski wrote this review, his opinion would be entirely different. I enjoyed myself for the most part, as did the capacity crowd. A very good night out. RC Rating 7.2.

Btw, I am curious as to why this show wasnt in DC. It seems as though they could have sold out the 930 club. I did like the blue collar nature of the Baltimore crowd. ah, Baltimore, its a hell of a town.....

Addendum: I do not have Jumboslices new rating chart at the ready, so I went off the cuff with my rating. Having just gone back and looking at previous scores I realize that 7.2 is probably a bit too low. I raise the rating to a 7.6 for more consistancy. This has nothing to do with Jimbromkis comments, but rather based on further research at 2 AM (see what you have to look forward to Jimbromski, babies are great.....)

What, Berries and Cream Wasn't Good Enough?

Okay, Sacklunch pooh-poohed the berries and cream video. Fine. Fair enough. I may remind him that the only reason I'm posting this shit is to fill space while we wait the interminable wait for him the write and post the Spoon review.

Anyway, here's something I found on the excellent sports blog, Kissing Suzy Kolber, featuring lions versus hyenas.

The lion is called king of the jungle, but it's a little known fact the hyenas can and often do chase away lions from a kill. A group of determined hyenas are worse than a highly-trained, highly-educated group of civil rights lawyers. You think you own shit and run shit, and it turns out you don't. Also, people diss the male lion for being a lazy sack, but as you'll see from this vid, he occasionally rouses himself for the purposes of ass-kicking. Observe:

Berries and Cream

I enjoy this commercial. Truly we live in the golden age of media. First the original:

And then the remix:

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

All Dischord, All The Time

I love it, you guys mock it: Rhapsody. For only $9.95, it's the best money I spend each month. However, there have been a few drawbacks. A couple labels don't allow their library to be played via Rhapsody. The most notable (for me) has been Dischord Records. Well, much to my delight, that has changed. Each day, I peruse the "Just Added" section for indie bands. This morning the listing showed albums by Nation of Ulysses, Minor Threat, Scream, The Evens, Fugazi, Jawbox, Q and Not U, etc. It even has my favorite Dischord band of all-time: French Toast.

So far, I've listened to the albums by Nation of Ulysses, Soccer Team, Medications, the Aquarium, and The Evens. Nation of Ulysses is the clear winner so far, by The Evens aren't far behind. Beauty Pill is up next since they're opening for The Dismemberment Plan on Saturday night.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Anyone Care For A Guatemalan Handshake?

Anyone up for seeing "The Guatemalan Handshake" at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring? It's playing from Friday, April 27 to Wednesday, May 2nd. My neighbors worked on the film and I got to see an early version of the movie (before final editing). It was a little odd, yet very amusing. I think you'll like it too. Will Oldham is one weird dude.

What's the movie about, you ask? Well, here's what AFI has to say:

"Fresh from his jury award at the Torino Film Festival, Silver Spring resident Todd Rohal's debut feature has premiered to rapturous audiences worldwide. Will Oldham is an awkward demolition derby driver who vanishes in the confusion following a massive power outage, setting into motion a series of events affecting his pregnant girlfriend, his car-less father, a pack of wild boy scouts, a roller rink employee, an elderly woman and a ten-year-old girl."

Who's up for the show on Sunday night? Maybe Monday?

BTW, I asked the director about the title of the movie. He wouldn't tell me exactly what a Guatemalan Handshake was, but I believe it's a secret move that involves a short bald man, a knuckle, a swirl, and a pinch.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Who's Coming?

Who's coming, you ask? Rock's coming, spewing its hot, hard-driving spunk all over the waiting face of the Washington DC metropolitan area. Fetch the fluffer--Rock is ready to go again.

Some highlights:

--Kristin Hersh, Iota, April 26: former Throwing Muses singer in a small venue, could be cool.
--Dr Feelgood, Jaxx, April 27: Motley Crue cover band. A good reason to finally visit Jaxx.
--Peter Bjorn and John, 9:30, April 30: more Swedish cultural imperialism.
--Chris Barron, Velvet Lounge, May 11: who, you ask? This guy:

Okay, this is the best pic I could find, so I'll just tell you: it's the goofy looking guy from the Spin Doctors

--Arctic Monkeys w/Be Your Own Pet, 9:30, May 16: I'll go to this one just to throw shit at Be Your Own Pet. I am publicly challenging their Gabe Kaplan bass player to a fight. Fucking pussbag.
--Huey Lewis and the News, Wolf Trap, May 31: Perhaps this man will be in attendance.

Patrick Bateman

--Long Blondes, Rock and Roll Hotel, June 7: I still maintain that this band will be huge, driven by the adoration of the My So-Called Life crowd.
--Asia, Birchmere, June 26: original lineup.
--Morrissey, Wolf Trap, July 2: Miserable Morrissey, as Weasel used to call him. What better way to celebrate the 231st birthday of our optimistic, forward-looking country, than by listening to this mope?







Kristin Hersh

Black Cat

Dismemberment Plan


Dr. Feelgood

Black Cat

Dismemberment Plan


Peter Bjorn and John

Black Cat

Konono No. 1

Black Cat

The Clientele



Velvet Lounge

Chris Barron

Black Cat



LCD Soundsystem


Arctic Monkeys (w BYOP)

Black Cat

Mando Diao


English Beat

Wolf Trap

Huey Lewis and the News


The Long Blondes


Heartless Bastards



Wolf Trap

Smothers Bros.

Wolf Trap




Just say, "Vandervelde Industries."

Richard Swift/David Vandervelde
April 19, 2007
Black Cat


JIMBROMSKI: With the Black Angels/Vietnam on April 5 and David Vandervelde last night, Rock Club's been on the hippie tip lately. The wavy gravy trifecta is now in play, as long as we catch the Grass Roots/Vanilla Fudge out at Wolf Trap next week. Vandervelde had a cool-sounding, high voice, along the lines of Jeff Buckley/Marc Bolan/Thom Yorke/Tiny Tim. It was a short set with a little too much jamming for my tastes. If I wanted real hippie goodness, I'd catch a Phish show. Get to the point, furballs. Sparse crowd as well--I was reminded of the movie Dig!, where The Brian Jonestown Massacre played the Cleveland Communist Party Headquarters, in front of one highly-committed comrade.

JUMBO SLICE: The Vandervelde set did seem short. Of course, he's only released one album with 8 songs on it, so he lacks the material to play for too long. Maybe that's why they launched into a few Jammy-Jams. Overall, I was pleased with the set. I found his album underwhelming. His music, like a lot of hippie stuff, is better live. I mean, who really buys Phish albums? I also like Vandervelde's singing voice and his banter was pretty funny ("Derek James on lead bongos"). Of course, the real star was the bassist. After the show, I enjoyed your debate w/ Potsy about who the bassist most resembled. Your doppelganger submission of Kevin Dillon in HBO's "Entourage" was the clear winner. You retain your belt as King of Look-Alikes. Congratulations.

Ersatz Drama

The Real Drama

JIMBROMSKI: Jumbo Slice, you ignorant slut. I disagree with two of your points. First, I think this guy sounds better in the studio than he did live. I know I've gone on about this before, but there's something fucked about the acoustics at the Black Cat. Everything--guitars, bass, vocals, percussion--gets washed out and overmodulated. This is a very un-rock thing to say but I think if they just lowered the volume a bit it would help. We don't need The Who/Live at Leeds treatment when there are only 30 people in the audience. Second, banter. I'm against it. A few comments here and there are okay, but after that, I don't want to hear it. Everyone thinks they're witty and insightful. I'm here to tell you, as a student of the human race, that most people are fucking boring and stupid, and rock stars are no exception. If you're going to do it, please give me a mic as well so I can shout amplified insults back at you. Additionally, do you remember the moment where Art Vandelay asked an audience member for a sip of his beer, and then kept the beer? Where I come from, that's an ass-whomping. I would have cracked his flower power skull like a Chicago cop in 1968, believe it.

JUMBO SLICE: While I agree there was no need to set the volume to eleven, I stand by my assessment that Art Vandelay is better live (even w/ the crap sound system). The album, "The Moonstation House Band", is flat. In contrast, Vandervelde, Kevin Dillon, and Zoot from the Muppets bashed out a spirited set, especially considering the piddling attendance. As for concert banter, I like it in moderation. No one wants to hear a political diatribe, but it's good when someone displays a little stage presence, builds a rapport with the audience. When I saw Ryan Adams at the 9:30 he didn't say a word to the audience the entire time. Didn't announce the songs, no hellos, no thank you's, nothing. He just tuned his guitar between each song. It was lame. You would have loved it.
Stillwaters Run Vandervelde

JIMBROMSKI: Okay, Jumbo Slice. In a way, we're both right, but in another, more accurate way, you're 100% wrong. Let's finish with Stillwater-lookalikes Chad Vanderslice, and move on to headliners Richard Swift. Picture yourself in front of a television in 1978, watching Saturday Night Live. The special musical guests come on. Since it's 1978, and you can't really remember things that far back in time, your recollection of the performance is cloudy. All you can remember is, the band looked like some sort of Rickie Lee Jones/Billy Joel/Bachman-Turner Overweight melange, and sang soulful, personal songs of love and loss, that sucked greatly. That's Richard Swift (or "Dick Swift", if you're his pal). Instead of Dick Swift, I would have preferred a spoken word performance from former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle, or ex-San Francisco Giants pitching coach Dick Pole, or maybe retired Congressman Dick Swett, or any other person with a funny name. In conclusion, I give The David Vandervelde Experience a 5.9 rating, and Richard Swift gets a 4.5.

Rep. Dick Swett (D-NH), performing w/The Singing Senators

JUMBO SLICE: You are correct: Dick Swift = Shitty 70's love songs. I was patient with young Richard for the first few songs and then I gave up. They sucked. It was hokey 70's lite rock. It was Tony & Dawn, Bread, or America. Is Richard Swift trying to bring back Yacht Rock made famous by Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald? If so, he must be stopped. Gentle drumming, semi-Beatle melodies and heart-tugging, sappy lyrics is not what I signed up for when I joined Rock Club. With this ass clown headlining the night it's easy to see why the crowd was almost non-existent. I'll close by pointing out his head is enormous. It is absolutely gigantic. David Vandervelde and the Moonstation House Band garner a Rock Club Rating of 6.8. Richard Swift sets a new low: 1.6.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Concert Preview

I thought a preview of the next concert might be helpful since there are four bands playing and some of us haven't listened to the bands much (if at all). Here's the lineup for Thursday's show in the order they're playing.

Headlights - Comprised of former members of Maserati and Absinthe Blind, Headlights play blissful and driving guitar pop. Maybe it's because I'm getting into a lot of female fronted bands, but I really like this band. Too bad we won't get there in time to see them play.

Page France - Page France plays what I call indie wuss rock. I happen to like such music, when done right. Their music is hit or miss. I saw them play at Iota a while back. I was into it for the first half of the set. By the end I was ready for a change of pace.

David Vandervelde - This is really the guy we're going to see. He plays 70's inspired rock, a la T. Rex and David Bowie. Right in Jimbromski's wheelhouse. I'm looking forward to seeing him live. I hope he has a cool banner with his name on it. That would rock.

Richard Swift - He may be the headliner but w/ three bands before him, I might not stick around for his whole set. After all, it is a school night. Anyway, I don't know much about this guy. From what I've heard, he plays the type of music you'd find on those mixtapes Potsy makes for his lady friends.

The following show is Spoon (or as I like to call them, Poon). They don't need a preview, but perhaps we can make the preview a regular feature when going to see lower profile bands.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

May I suggest...

I spend all day listening to Rhapsody, an online music service. I'll tune into their Indie radio stations, but for the most part I listen to whole albums. I try to mix it up, listening to 1 or 2 new albums a day. Rhapsody keeps track of my top 10 artists "Based on recent listening activity". Here's my Top 10 the other day:

1. Ted Leo
2. Asobi Seksu
3. Thao Nguyen
4. LCD Soundsystem
5. The Futureheads
6. Peter Bjorn and John
7. Blood On The Wall
8. Fountains of Wayne
9. Kaiser Chiefs
10. Marnie Stern

Based on my "listening activity" it makes recommendations for me. Well, after listening to Rhapsody for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 3 years, they know EXACTLY what I like. They suggested my 3 favorite albums of All-Time:

Friday, April 06, 2007

More Celeb Lookalikes

Alex Maas, lead singer, The Black Angels

Jesco White, the Dancing Outlaw

More Black Angels/Jesco White goodness:

(1) Here's the video for the Black Angels' "First Vietnamese War." I actually confused this song with another one of their songs last night. It's a great song and was the final encore of the evening, which we missed due to Potsy and Jumbo Slice unilaterally making us leave the venue because of the late hour--definitely not one of Rock Club's finer moments. Decide for yourselves if we should have stuck around (3 min 37 sec):

(2) Here's a clip from Jesco's movie, The Dancing Outlaw (2 min 4 sec):

(3) And one more Jesco clip, wherein he discusses how he likes his breakfast eggs cooked, and the consequences of not cooking them to his preferred taste (12 sec):

Happy Passover

The Black Angels - April 5, 2007 @ Rock N Roll Hotel with Vietnam ($12)

It should be noted straight away that Sacklunch was unable to attend this week's show as he and Mrs. Sacklunch were busy bringing into the world the next generation of Rock Club membership. Congratulations to Sacklunch, Mrs. Sacklunch and to baby Sacklunch! As a result, we had a substitute for the show, we'll call him "Stuttson," as in Stuttson's Famous Bar and Grill. Again, good job Sacklunch. We still expect to see you for Rock Club road trip to Bawlmer for the Spoon show.

Anyway, Rock Club returned to the venerable RNR Hotel for another dose of rock. This trip quickly followed an extra-credit excursion to the RNR where 3/4 X RC had enjoyed Menomena just a few days earlier (see post by Jumbo Slice). For our return, we went upstairs to have a few drinks, easily finding ourselves on the couches of one of the parlor type rooms. If it weren't for the massive wave of bass penetrating the floorboards from below, it would have felt like we had never left my apartment. The bass was being produced by hippie throwback rockers, Vietnam. See artist's rendering to the right. That about sums up their look. They look as though they haven't bathed since the Vietnam war, and remind you of the guys you see sleeping in the doorways of DC office buildings on the weekends. I saw this band open for Jenny Lewis at the 9:30 Club. I'm not sure if it is a comment on the rise of the RNR in getting bigger bands, or the fall of Vietnam's status as they find themselves opening for another band, but at the RNR. Hmmm. Anyhow, we came down for the last song of their set, and to be honest it was pretty good. I thought they were decent at the 9:30 Club, and they seemed to be drawing a noticeable crowd as an opening act to the Black Angels. But it was getting late, and while there was a decent crowd gathered, the crowd wasn't really begging for more. So Vietnam did what any band hoping to build a reputation as a pain in the ass would do. They left the stage for about 25 seconds, just long enough for the 9 people who were clapping to get some rest. Then the band came back, and decided a slow Allman-Brother-type encore was in order. Again, in my opinion, it sounded pretty good at first, but like a faltering airplane, the sound quickly lost altitude and the band's unwarranted return to the stage ended with the wheels completely falling off this last tune. So instead of being satisfied with the 9 applauders, Vietnam left the stage with 3 people clapping. Here is photo of the band leaving after the show.

On to the Black Angels. Coincidentally, we were able to catch the Black Angels promoting their new album "Passover," in the middle of the actual Passover holiday. Neat, eh? So here is a clip from the show, it began with "Bloodhounds on My Trail"...
I must admit that the first tune reminded me a whole lot of "Hippie Hippie Shake" as performed by the Georgia Satellites. Just listen to the back beat. Now, that is as critical as I'm going to be. I think these guys rock. I also think that the vocal effects that the group employs is reminiscent of Gomez, whom I also like (in moderation). The Black Angels seem to feel compelled to remind us that people are at war and shooting at each other somewhere in the world, probably US. At least that's the vibe I got. Disagree? Here is the track list from "Passover:"
1) Young Men Dead
2) The First Vietnamese War
3) Sniper at the Gates of Heaven
4) Prodigal Sun
5) Black Grease
6) Manipulation
7) Empire
8) Better Off Alone
9) Bloodhounds on My Trail
10) Call to Arms
I believe the titles alone support my claim.

So the show was excellent. The venue was perfect for it, and we were able to sneak up to the front right side for good views and plenty of hearing damage. Alas, it was a Thursday night, and at 1:30am, it was time to hit the road. Mr. "I-work-from-home" cried foul as we left, while the rest of us who have to get up to earn an honest living (Stuttson excluded) were content with what we saw and heard. Just like the war, Vietnam went on too long, and we can blame them for having to walk out on the Black Angels early. Damn that Charlie.

Lastly, here is a photo that jimbromski set up. It was taken across the street from the RNR. I believe this will be the cover for jimbromski's upcoming album, "Risk it for a Biscuit."

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Menomena (as in phenomena)

If the only thing I took from the show was the proper way to pronounce Menomena, I'd have been happy. I struggle with these things (well, a lot of things). It took me over a year to figure out to say Sufjan. I still don't know to pronounce MacKaye (Mc-KAY? Mac-EYE? Evil-EYE?). Screw it.

It was good we got there early since the show was sold out. Sacklunch and I witnessed a lot of disappointed hipsters who were turned away. (Sidebar to the kids: if you showed some hustle putting on your hoodies and skinny jeans these things wouldn't happen. Puctuality is virtue, bitches.) One thing I like about the R&R Hotel is that even when it's sold out, it's not crazy crowded. We were able to scoot up front for a good view of the stage. Everyone in our group seemed to like the opening band, Land of Talk (yet another band from Montreal). I would have liked to have seen Field of Music, but they weren't terrbily missed. L.O.T. were steller openers.

Menomena go their own way and I really respect that. Few indie bands have songs that consist entirely of drums, bass, and a xylophone. Or drums, sax, and keyboards. Their song structures are unconventional yet have an odd appeal. It's not unlike Deerhoof, except you understand the lyrics. I wish I had paid more attention to their new album "Friend and Foe" before Saturday. I loved the live songs off of "I Am The Fun Blame Monster". These guys are the oppposite of Be Your Own Pet. They're great musicians who elevate their songs when played live.

Sacklunch said the more he thought back on he show, the more and more he liked it. I have to agree. I have their new album, "Friend and Foe", on high rotation. The next time Menomena comes to town, I'll be ready.