Long live rock, I need it every night

Friday, April 06, 2007

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."

1 comment:

Jumbo Slice said...

The Vietnam encore was horrible. Totally uncalled for. Although, I was surprised a large number people of left after their set. If you go to show to see an opening band, wouldn't you stick around to see the headlines? After all, the best band traditionally plays LAST. If the bands play different styles of music, I could see it, but the Black Angels also play Vietnam-era rock.