Long live rock, I need it every night

Saturday, April 21, 2007

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.

1 comment:

Jumbo Slice said...

I forgot to mention that we experience a Rock Club first: Potey walked out on the Richard Swift set. He couldn't take it any longer. That speaks volumes.