Long live rock, I need it every night

Thursday, May 31, 2007

King of the Jungle, My Ass

This vid is long (8:23) but worth it. It involves the following:

1--Dumb-assed group of Cape Buffalo stumbling onto some lions at a watering hole
2--Lion attack
3--A crocodile gets involved


4--Buffalo counterattack


Who's Coming?

Special Who's Coming post this time. I have divided this post into three parts, with the party of the first part representing shows in our regular venues, part two representing the Fort Reno shows, and part the third detailing the lineup at the Pitchfork Festival in Chicago, at which all four members of Rock Club will be attending.

Okay, Part I. Not too much to shout about here. We'll be attending Black Rebel Motorcycle Club this Saturday. I listened to the new album a few times on my way back and forth to the beach over Memorial Day and I think it's just average, but I've seen them twice and they're good live. The Long Blondes on June 7 may be interesting. Also of note are The Veils at DC9 on June 11, this seems to be a case of an overly-big band in a too-small venue. If you enjoy the sound of many retarded children singing in unison, the Polyphonic Spree will be at the 9:30 on June 30. Miserable Morrissey on July 2 at Wolf Trap, I'm bringing my pregnant-assed wife and packing a picnic for that one. Also, I have been roundly denounced as a big fag for liking the Fiery Furnaces, but I still think they're good, and I want to go see them at the Black Cat on July 5.

Also, whichever dirty, greedy hippy is booking shows for the Birchmere and the State should be strapped between two diesel trucks by Rutger Hauer, like he did to that broad in The Hitcher. Never have I seen a more consistent lineup of crap adult contemporary bands, at such inflated prices. Consistently, month in, month out.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Long Blondes
The Horrors
The Veils
Heartless Bastards w/Earl Greyhound
Feist w/Grizzly Bear
Polyphonic Spree
Wolf Trap
Black Cat
Fiery Furnaces
Galaxy Hut
Fake Accents
Mooney Suzuki
Merr. Post
Decembrists w/Balt Symphony Orch
Black Cat
Wolf Parade

Okay, Part II, Fort Reno. I recognize like, one band in this whole list.

Ft. Reno
Mass Movement of the Moth, Deleted Scenes, Boom Orangutans
Ft. Reno
Hard Tomorrows, Let's French, Mirror Script
Ft. Reno
LeJeune, Pup Tent, Engine Room
Ft. Reno
Mess Up The Mess, The Sentiment, Julie Ocean
Ft. Reno
The Evens, Joe Lally
Ft. Reno
Max Levine Ensemble, Five Four, Sonic Survivor
Ft. Reno
Greenland, Statehood, Kitty Hawk
Ft. Reno
Mary Timony, Medications, Charm Offensive
Ft. Reno
The Caribbean, Len Bias, The Ardennes
Ft. Reno
Beauty Pill, Carol Bui, The Alphabetical Order
Ft. Reno
Meredith Bragg, The Andalusians
Ft. Reno
Antelope, The Omega Band, Scanner Freaks
Ft. Reno
Lady In The Radiator
Ft. Reno
The Aquarium, Benjy Ferree, Yell County
Ft. Reno
Shapes Not Sounds, Problems
Ft. Reno
Brandon Butler, Baby Killer Estelle
Ft. Reno
Perfect Souvenir
Ft. Reno
Edie Sedgewick, Hentai

And Part III, Pitchfork. Should be pretty boss.

Sonic Youth
Yoko Ono
Cat Power
Iron and Wine
Grizzly Bear
Twilight Sad
Girl Talk
Dan Deacon
Oxford Collapse
Professor Murder
Fujiya & Miyagi
Beach House
William Parker Quartet
De La Soul
New Pornographers
Of Montreal
Stephen Malkmus
Jamie Lidell
The Sea and Cake
Junior Boys
The Ponys
The Field
Cadence Weapon
The Cool Kids
Brightblack Morning Light

Friday, May 25, 2007

FLOWER POWER- The Rosebuds-RNR Hotel-5/22/07

After many hours of debating on which show to attend for my week of RC, we all decided to head out to the RNR Hotel for The Rosebuds. I thought this would be a much better choice than the alternative at the Black Cat backstage (see preview by Jumboslice) , and I am pretty sure we made the right choice (sorry, Jet Age).

We arrived in time to catch some of the opening act Le Loup, yet we all quickly scurried upstairs to the lounge and have a beer. There was a pretty decent crowd for Le Loup and they seem to be "on the radar" in regards to up and coming local bands, I couldnt tell you what they sound like because we heard like 1/2 a song. (sorry, Le Loup). We also skipped the 2nd band on the bill as we were extremely busy playing Sopranos pinball. Finally, we descended downstairs when The Rosebuds came on.

I wasnt really sure what to expect from this band having only really heard one track, "Get Up, Get Out" which gets heavy rotation on Sirius radio. I will admit that I didnt really enjoy the first few songs they played. There seemed to be some technical difficulties and I couldnt really hear the Debbie Harry look-a-like singing. The show seemed to pick up pace in the middle and it ended extremely well. I enjoyed the fact that all the tunes didnt sound the same and moved from 80's synth-pop to garagey rock. I thought they were at their best with that garage rock sound, as I am not a huge fan of the synth. If they only had a keytar. There was one point, I think it was the 2nd to last song (before the encore, which was very good) that sounded a lot like early U2 (Boy/War era). Jumboslice thought they had a bit of The Killers in them which I guess relates back to that 80's revival thing. In any case, I enjoyed the show more towards the end and it was a nice change of pace from the stereotypical indie rock formula (sorry again, Jet Age).

I will also add that I have become quite enamored with the RNR Hotel, and it is quickly becoming my favorite place to see a show. The sound is always pretty good and it has a certain intimacy that isnt found at the Black Cat or 930 club. They are booking more and more decent bands, thus giving the Black Cat a run for my RC $$$$. The upstairs lounge area is very inviting and never too crowded, and they have Sopranos pinball (note, bring more quarters next time) and some sort of shooting/hunting video game that I am going to try out next time.

All in all, a very enjoyable Tuesday night and a better show than I expected. RC Rating 7.0

Fort Reno 2007

Mr. Malitz at the Washington Post has a partial list of the Fort Reno schedule. The Rock Club house band, Statehood, plays on July 9th with Greenland (I've never heard of them). If you were hoping for a Fugazi reunion or another show by The Dismemberment Plan, you're out of luck (thus far). According to the Fort Reno site, the full the schedule will be "coming soon".

June 18 -- Deleted Scenes
June 21 -- Let's French
June 25 -- The Engine Room
June 28 -- Julie Ocean
July 9 -- Statehood, Greenland
July 16 -- Beauty Pill, Len Bias
July 19 -- Carol Bui
July 26 -- Antelope
Aug. 2 -- Yell County

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Revenge Is Best Served With Black Beans, Salsa, and a Dollop of Sour Cream

Jesus, again with the Chivas?

I hope the weather will be better this time around.

A Change Of Pace...

Since we're probably in for a night of formulaic indie-rock, I'm posting this for Jimbromski. It's a new 12-minute song from LCD Soundsystem. Lots of different musical styles represented here, none of them can be traced back to Dinosaur, Jr. or Superchunk.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Concert Preview: The Jet Age

The Jet Age is led by singer/guitarist Eric Tischler. You may know him from The Hurricane Lamps, the DC-based band that released not two, but five albums between 1999 and 2004. Although, it's much more likely that you don't know him at all. The other two band members are even less well known than Mr. Tischler. You need only know this: they both participated in Hands Across America.

Potsy & family at Hands Across America

Last year the band released "Breathless", which to me is a really crappy name. It seems more suited to a Bette Midler album. So, I did a little research and sure enough, Kenny G's 1993 album was "Breathless". Also, Madonna had an album called "I'm Breathless". Two strikes against The Jet Age. Fortunately, the music is much better than the title. Here's how "Breathless" is described in the Washington Post:

"The songs are ragged without being sloppy and bring to mind some of the best in the indie rock pantheon, whether it be Dinosaur Jr., with the distorted solos or Superchunk with Tischler's high pitched, enthusiastic vocals."

They also received praise from many online music sites, including Pitchfork which gave their album quite a nice review. Give them a listen at their mySpace page.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Rock Club Cinema -- Must Miss

I don't like to link to Pitchfork, not because I have anything against them, but just because most people probably read that site anyway, so my linking to them doesn't really add anything to anybody's lives.

I did see this, however--Elijah Wood will portray Iggy Pop in The Passenger, a movie about the early years of Iggy and The Stooges.

I know I'm in the minority here but I thought Lord of The Rings Parts 1 Through 483 was gay as shit and if any of you D&D freaks want to fight me for that, bring it on, but let me warn you that your spells and 23-sided dies won't stand a chance against my savage sack punches.

I nearly rented Green Street Hooligans just to see Elijah Wood's character get a kicking from some Milwall fans. Then I thought better of it.

A better choice for the role of Iggy Pop would have been Anthony Kiedis. Not only does he resemble Iggy Pop, but he also won an Oscar for his unforgettable role as "Friend of Warchild" in the seminal 1991 film Point Break.

That Would Be A Waste of Time, Elijah

Or better yet, just skip The Passenger altogether, and rent Passenger 57, with Wesley Snipes.

DC Rock Club: Always Betting on Black

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Rock Club Cinema -- Watch This Space

There's a new movie debuting at the Cannes Film Festival about Joy Division. All the actors are unknowns--the Ian Curtis character was working in a laundry before he caught the break. New Order gave it the thumbs up:

Last night, amid rumours and counter-rumours that they had split, the three remaining members of New Order, to which Joy Division changed its name after Curtis's death, flew in to support the film. According to Corbijn, "New Order hardly agree on anything, but all agree that they love the film."
I hope this will be shown in a theater somewhere in DC--maybe the E St joint? If not, we'll catch it on DVD. Remember, in addition to being legendary post-punk pioneers, Joy Division are also 2006 Thorkelson Award winners.

UPDATE: I am a twat. The name of the movie is, fittingly enough, Control. Also, I could have sworn I included a link to the original article. Anyway, it's now linked (above) and if you missed it, here it is again: link.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Review as Haiku

To 9:30 Club
For LCD Soundsystem
Expectations high

Potsy's flight delayed
Yet another great show missed
Our cursed Rock Club guy

You need more cowbell?
LCD has lots for you
Three drummers kick ass

He's fat and funky
Hero to husky white kids
He makes people dance

Killer backing band
Freaks and Geeks guy on the drums
Saucy guitarist

"Daft Punk" right away
Then "North American Scum"
Played the hits too soon?

"Yeah" whips up the crowd
They are incredible live
Wow, that was unreal

A one song encore
Song too slow, bad way to end
Damn his failing voice

Jimbromski was right
That show was not to be missed
Rating: 8.6

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Guitars and the Guitarists Who Love Them

It's time for a list-style post. Lists are what drive society these days. Everybody loves lists. If Hitler had just renamed World War II as "The Top 6 Million People I'd Like To Kill," and televised it on VH1, history would have turned out differently. So here's a list of different types of guitars that rock people can sport, and what their choices say about them.

1) Flying V

The Flying V is a wise choice. You see a guy with a Flying V, and you know you're in for some epic solos. Guys who play the Flying V tend to jog around the stage, which is also cool, but works better with a big stage. Here is uber-rocker Michael Schenker with a Flying V. Das ist gut!

Flying V uber alles

A close cousin of the Flying V is something I call the modified parallelogram. This is a somewhat safer choice for beginners who cannot rock hard enough to pull off the Flying V. Also suitable for rhythm guitarists.

2) Retro

Usually a Rickenbacker, or some rockabilly-type thing. Fashionable, but beware: I have seen bands with retro guitars, perfect mod-style clothes, and great haircuts, who fucking sucked bad. Image is not everything, despite what Iranian-American/Brooke Shields Divorcer/Tennis Superstar Andre Agassi might have told you. Here's the Godfather himself with one:

3) Double Neck

Aww yeah. Double Necks are for virtuosos only, man. No amateurs need apply. If you're Jimmy Page, you use a violin bow for your solos:

Too Much Rock For Just One Neck

4) Triple/Quadruple/Quintuple/n-tuple Necks

See, now you're just gilding the lily. Two necks weren't enough for you? Here's Chris Squire from Yes, with a triple neck. Compare to Page. This is why Led Zeppelin are Norsemen heavy metal raiders who rape and pillage, and Yes are, well, Yes:

Yes...I am a douche

5) Small, Square Guitars

It was hard as shit to find a picture of this style but I'm sure everyone knows what I'm talking about here. It's a regular-sized guitar, only the area where the pickups are is really small. It looks super-gay. Here are some people who would play one of these: Clarence Clemons, the bass player for Dan Fogelberg's back-up band, the guitarist for Arsenio Hall's house band. As it is, I could only find a picture of Neil Schon--you may remember him from the supergroup HSAS, which stood for Hagar-Schon-Aaronson-Shrieve. To the best of my memory that was the only band he was in, and they broke up because he insisted on playing the small guitar:

Neil, Go Your Separate Ways From the Small, Square Guitar

6) Keytar

I can go either way on the keytar. Actually, no, I'm pretty consistent on this one--if you're not Devo, avoid the keytar. Even Jimi Hendrix used the keytar. He died shortly after this picture was taken. The medical examiner said that he choked on his keytar in the bathtub:

Are You Experienced (With the Keytar)?

Dude, go easy, my health insurance doesn't cover melting face!

Note that pigmentally-challenged 1970s superstar Edgar Winter does not technically play a keytar. It's just a synth with a strap, worn around his neck. Dumb fucking albino, I'm gonna lock you in a tanning bed until you promise not to play this anymore:

And there you have it. Did I miss anything? Perhaps we should cover other instruments, and thus create more lists, because LISTS ARE IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO READ.


Is imitation the highest form of flattery? Or is it just stealing?

Very often when listening to a song you hear something familiar flashing by. Having never played a musical instrument, I lack the vocabulary to describe what I'm hearing (is it a lick, a chord sequence, an arpeggio, a bridge? I dunno). But like the Supreme Court and obscenity, I know it when I hear it. And believe me, I am skilled in spotting obscenity. Sometimes I go out of my way to find it.

But I digress. My point is, I may not know how to express it, but I've listened to a lot of music and I think I'm pretty good at recognizing portions of songs that are "borrowed." I can see how some people can get bent out of shape about it, but music is inherently collaborative and everybody borrows from everyone else.

One interesting point raised by this whole issue is, to what degree should songs borrow from one another? If it's just a little bit, there's really no point to it. I read somewhere that one problem with Rush is, they're all such great musicians that they were too proud to borrow from their influences (Led Zeppelin, ELP, King Crimson, etc) and as such were always fated to be, at their best, just above average. Whereas, someone like Oasis steals from the Beatles, Paul Weller and the Kinks, and makes no bones about it, and it sounds great.

Plus also, Rush is Canadian, so a certain level of mediocrity is in their DNA, and they'll never get past that.

Anyway, I bring it up because at the LCD Soundsystem show on Sunday night the live version of "All My Friends" fucking killed. As I was freaking out and gyrating my nether regions to the beat, I thought I caught a little bit of "Run" by New Order. It's not so obvious but I can hear it a little bit, and I think a band like LCD Soundsystem probably listened to a lot of New Order back in the day. Anyway, you be the judge, here's both for your listening/viewing pleasure:

New Order, Run:

LCD Soundsystem, All My Friends:

Monday, May 14, 2007

Albums Recommedations

I've had the new Wilco album on heavy rotation the last week. I've really like their last two albums. The record doesn't grab you like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, it's still pretty good. While I'm disappointed they reverted back to Americana rock on many tracks, the album gets a weirder as it goes on. That's the Wilco I like best. Overall, it's good but not great.

This is not a new album. It has been out since January but I didn't pay much attention until Sacklunch said it was worth a listen. It's very funky and odd. It's great to listen to while working. When I saw Of Montreal at Common Grounds in Arlington (now Murky Coffee), I liked their show, but wasn't a fan of the music. Now that I've found an album I really like, I'm anxious to see them in concert again. BTW, Sacklunch has the best taste in music of all the Rock Club members. His recommendations are always solid. Then again he does listen to Man Man...

And this is the best of the bunch. It's a posthumous record, but it's not a "let's cash in on his death" album (see: Shakur, Tupac). If you're an Elliott Smith fan, you really need to get this album. It's B-sides, rarities, and alternate tracks from 1994-1997. All but 3 of the 24 tracks were previously unreleased. The album is a powerful collection of sad and beautiful songs that could only come from Elliott Smith.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Old School Tie

Two members of Rock Club are alumni of the College of William and Mary, so this news item is appropo:

A Virginia cafe owner has received death threats after rock bands My Chemical Romance and Muse got salmonella food poisoning at his restaurant. Welcome to the brown parade!

After a gig at the nearby College of William and Mary on April 28, the bands stopped for a bite at Glenn Gormley's Green Leafe Cafe. Shortly afterwards, the musicians (and other patrons) got sick, which forced MCR and Muse to cancel several dates on their tour. Since then, Gormley says angry My Chemical Romance fans have been leaving him death threats. Holy crap! While the Health Department is investigating the situation, Gormley won't go into details of the threats.

According to the CDC, most persons infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The good news is that the illness usually lasts only 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment.

Ah, the Green Leafe, with the superfluous "e" at the end, all colonial olde-style. Sacklunch and I spent many a romantic evening there. I have read that Thorkelson-award winners Muse are heavy into the whole "9-11 Was An Inside Job" thing, so the question must be raised here, as to why didn't 4000 Jews show up for dinner at the Green Leafe that night? Huh? Huh? And don't get me started on the Masons, either.

Big In Japan

As we bide our time until the LCD Soundsystem show on Sunday, I thought I'd post some filler, something to entertain our vast audience.

As many of you know, I've long been fascinated with the possibility of creating a chimp/human hybrid, a "humanzee", if you will. The day is fast approaching where science can make this happen. In the year 2020, all children will have a humanzee companion, who will fend off sexual predators, and drive them (the children, not the pedophiles) to soccer practice.

Anyway, here's the story of Oliver, considered the world's first humanzee. Also, dig this, from Wikipedia:

One [humanzee] claim was that a common chimpanzee was impregnated by human sperm in a laboratory in China, but was killed by a mob before giving birth during the Chinese Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. A similar story, reported by University at Albany psychologist Gordon Gallup, alleged that a human-chimp hybrid was successfully engendered and born at the old Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Orange Park, Florida in the 1920s, but was destroyed by the scientists soon after.

Leave it to the Chinese Communists to spoil a good thing. Here is some Oliver footage:

Okay, how is this rock-related, you ask? Answer: (1) Oliver was/is "Big In Japan" and sources say he inspired the Alphaville song of the same title, and (2) "Humanzee" would be an excellent name for a rock group, or maybe just an album.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

They Tried To Make Me Go To The Dentist, I Said No, No, No

Amy Winehouse, from The Big Book of British Smiles:

Upon further review...

That was not us in the picture on Pitchfork. Jim, my intrepid neighbor, sent me this picture which clearly shows the photo was taken during the Saturday show. How can we be sure? Well, in between Mike and Patrick's ear is the unmistakable melon of Matt LeMay, a.k.a. the lead singer of Get Him Eat Him:

Speaking of Get Him Eat Him, they're coming to the Rock & Roll Hotel on Thursday, July 26th. They have a new album coming out on June 5th called "Arms Down". It was produced by Jason Caddell of the Dismemberment Plan. I wasn't a huge fan of their last album, but it was nice enough. I'm curious to hear what the new album is like.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Dismemberment Plan Reunion Show - Saturday, April 28th at the Black Cat

STEREOGUM: How'd the reunion feel?

Travis Morrison: Great. Turns out we wrote some really great songs, and none of us stopped playing music, so we sounded better. Especially the second night of our shows, I was just feeling it like I never have.

I view band reunions the same way I view "Supergroups". You hope for them to be great but usually they're quite bad. Examples: The Stooges 2007 reunion. The reviews have been brutal. Then there was Zwan, perhaps the worst supergroup of all-time. They made the Damn Yankees look like the fucking Beatles. This is why I'm so pleased at what the Dismemberment Plan accomplished last weekend. The had the perfect reunion. Two nights, at their home club, in front of the biggest fans, all for a great cause.

Friday's show was great, but Saturday's was legendary. We jump up and down, sang each song, and danced the entire time. They played two encores, only stopping when they had ran out of songs to play. After the show we hung out front talking with a ton of different people. Everyone was blown away.

Going to the show w/ an old college roommate and talking with Eric before the show brought back a lot of memories. The whole night felt like an "event", a once in a decade type show.

I went upstairs right as the Plan was about to start. I found my friends in it the exact same spot I stood the previous night. As soon as The Plan launched into "Do The Standing Still", the dance party was on. I'd bet they chose that song to motivate people to do some serious rump shaking. If so, it worked. The whole night was one big Kool & The Gang song. The band was perfectly in synch with the crowd and the love for the Plan was obvious. The crowd sang each song. It whispered the chorus to "Time Bomb", yelled in unison during "What Do You Want Me To Say?", and absolutely exploded at the end of "You Are Invited". The sing-along peaked when the room erupted for the "How's Washington?!" line from "The Ice of Boston".

A few other highlights from the Saturday show:

- "Back and Forth" - Wow, this rocked. Everyone sang the chorus and waved their hands in the hands in air (like they just didn't care). I've seen them play this song many times, but Saturday's version was the best. I wish they had played it on Friday too.

- "Pay for the Piano" - In an interview with Stereogum Travis said some songs sounded even better after four years of not playing them. This is the perfect example. A real standout.

- "The City" - a fan favorite. Sometimes Travis' voice got lost because the crowd was singing so loud. That's saying something considering the sound system at the Black Cat.

- "Girl O'Clock" - some of their equipment was broken during the previous night's performance of “The Ice Of Boston”. This meant they couldn’t play two keyboards at the same time. No worries. Travis just plopped down on Eric's lap and they performed the song Santa-style.

- "Ice of Boston" - As soon as Travis started strumming the distinctive beginning of the song, the stage was flooded with eager dancers. As more and more people jumped onstage, one by one the guys didn't have room to play their instruments. First it was Travis, then Eric gave up, followed by Jason. That just left Joe (w/ help from Ben Gibbard) playing drums behind a mass of fans. It didn't matter as Travis and the crowd sang the rest of song together.

Why was the Saturday show so much better than the Friday show, which was an amazing show in itself? I'll give you seven reasons:

1. It seems the band needed Friday to really hit their stride on Saturday. Friday primed the pump.

2. There were more old-school, hardcore fans at the Saturday show. They knew every word to every song, especially the older stuff off of “The Dismemberment Plan is Terrified” and “!”.

3. Unlike Friday, there were no technical difficulties, which kept the whole night flowing (less banter to kill time while they fixed equipment).

4. I wasn't driving and I took full advantage of it. Mmmm, Bass beer is delicious. Fueled by said delicious beer, I busted out dance moves thought to have been retired years ago. At least, my wife had hoped they'd never to be seen again.

5. The night had a greater sense of urgency. People knew they may never have a another chance to see the Plan, so there was no holding back.

6. Watching my neighbor Jim get down was worth the price of admission. He was cracking me up all night long. He's also a wealth of Dismemberment Plan knowledge. Did you know that the song "Ellen and Ben" is actually about the secret love affair between Ellen DeGeneres and Ben Affleck? It's true.

7. Finally, The night was packed with nostalgia. I was hanging with a buddy who lived with me when the Dismemberment Plan played some of their first shows in our basement. It was fun to talk about the glory days (as The Boss would say).

This was the "perfect storm" concert for me. There were so many factor which would be impossible to recreate. That's why it's my favorite show of all time. It's not even close. Part of me hopes the Plan doesn't play anymore reunion shows. It really can't get any better than this (for me at least).

So, what have we learned. Band reunions are dicey affairs. Calls to "get the band back together!" are usually a bad, bad idea (I'm looking at you, Sting). The Plan knew when to call it quits and when to regroup. If only more groups followed their example.

Set List For Saturday Show:
Do The Standin’ Still
What Do You Want Me To Say?
Following Through
Face Of The Earth
The Dismemberment Plan Gets Rich
Spider In The Snow
Time Bomb
The City
A Life Of Possibilities
Pay For The Piano
Girl O’Clock
You Are Invited
I Love A Magician
Back And Forth
Onward Fat Girl

The Ice Of Boston
Ellen And Ben
Ok Joke’s Over

The Other Side

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Like an onion: the more layers you peel, the more it stinks.

The Onion Kick Off - featuring Georgie James and Neil Hamburger @ the Black Cat 5/3/07 Main Stage - $6

Actually this show wasn't all stink. But Jimbromski planted this seed in my head during the show and it has blocked any creative thoughts from replacing it with something better. "This Onion makes you cry..." was the best I could muster. You win Jim.

After much back and forth over my lack of preparation for selecting a show, attacks on my character, and hours of pouting, RC * 3/4 settled for an uninspired comedic/rock show at the Black Cat sponsored by the Onion. The event was created to publicize the Onion newspaper's arrival to the Nation's Capital and featured two parts local indie bands ((The Sounds of) Kaleidoscope and Georgie James) and two parts stand up comedy (Aziz Ansari and Neil Hamburger). By the way, I am very pleased to see the Onion freely available in a news bin at the end of my block. I didn't realize that they had a local "arts" section to inform us of what was up. The Onion is to the Washington City Paper what the Express Newspaper is to the Washington Post for me. Inferior reporting, but less reading. That's right up my alley. The AV Club is a nice thing indeed.

We began in the Red Room for a few $4 pints of Red Room Ale (which I think is brewed by Old Dominion, like the house beer at Stetson's is) and eventually ventured upstairs to catch the comedy stylings of Mr. Ansari. He was mildly amusing and certainly intoxicated. Good for him, I say. He told a few jokes, but mainly turned it over to the DVD player to show us clips from Human Giant, namely 'Lil 911 which was equally mildly amusing. What really stunk was the sound system. When is the Black Cat going to figure this out? Or is it not their fault? My ears STILL ache from that show, and it wasn't from the music. It was from the ear puncturing sharp blasts of spoken word from the video clips (and from N. Hamburger's throat clearing). Seriously painful. Anyhow, we skipped out on the end of Ansari's bit and enjoyed the fresh air outdoors with the 25 smokers in the smokers corral. I enjoyed watching a drunken fat kid knock down the velvet ropes of the corral in a display of pure unathleticism that would have made Sacklunch look like Barry Sanders by comparison.

After that we returned upstairs to catch Georgie James. This band knows what's up. They have a good sound. But I probably would have glossed over them if not for the fact that they have a hot chicK in the band. Here's a clip of their performance.

The dude singing (John Davis) looks like Philip Seymour Hoffman, no? I also thought the drummer looked like Dan Marino, but I didn't find any support on that one from the other RC members (and when I say members, you know what I mean). Anyhow, I actually liked this band. I'd be interested in seeing them perform again. They had a few tracks with a decent hook and they had a Belle and Sebastian likability to their sound. The last two numbers were their best, but knowing little about them, I don't know what those tracks were called. Lazy blogging, I know. Check out their MySpace page for studio tracks if you like.

As for Neil Hamburger... I've seen this act before somewhere. The unlikeable comedian. What's funny about it? Not much. This guy's shtick is to annoy you until you can barely tolerate him but slip in a few bizarre jokes that help you square the absurdity with the reality that you shelled out $ to stand for this crap. I'm still waiting to know why Robert Redford stuck his dick in Paul Newman's jar of sauce... he never finished that joke.

The funniest bit all night (in my opinion) was the Panda video clip. Check it out:

Panda Demands Abortion

Technology is a Beautiful, Dangerous Thing

So I randomly came across this slide show on YouTube tonight when I searched for "Onion." It is entitled "Maternity Slide Show 3"suggesting that there are parts 1 and 2 to check out. In fact, I did see the first few seconds of MSS1 which began with wedding photos. I can only assume the MSS2 was Paris Hilton-esque video footage of conception. I don't think Kermit would approve of this at all.

Way Back When

In Case You Missed It

Since it wasn't posted on Pitchfork, you probably didn't see it, but here is a picture from Woodstock, 1969. John Sebastian is performing on stage in the foreground, but if you notice in the background, there I am! I've highlighted it in case you couldn't make me out. My hair was much longer back then - but then again, whose wasn't? Ha-ha!... Oh boy. Those were the days.

Friday, May 04, 2007

I'm Glad I Didn't Leave the Onion Thing Any Earlier Than I Did

Not to overshadow Jumbo Slice's excellent Dismemberment Plan review, but I happened upon this scene on my way home last night. Video courtesy of Channel 7. Watch as one local bystander confidently asserts that the driver was going "120 mph". I don't know about that but he must have been cruising because he flipped his damn car upside down and landed in the middle of Grant Circle. Here's a link to video, I can't seem to embed it, but here's a screenshot of the vid:

I got there afterwards, obviously. Glad I missed the actual event.

And Even More LCD Soundsystem

By way of Franz Ferdinand. The Scottish bagpipe specialists covered LCD Soundsystem's "All My Friends." It's on LCD Soundsystem's MySpace page, I can't figure out a way to link to it directly but it's one of the selections under their media player. Like peanut butter and chocolate, or berries and cream, Franz Ferdinand and LCD Soundsystem are two great tastes that go together great.

Dismemberment Plan Reunion Show - Friday, April 27th at the Black Cat

Back in 1993 my housemates and I were planning our next party when we asked our friend's band to play in the basement. They were new and had only played one other show. We didn't mind though. We were just happy to have a little live entertainment (and they'd play for free). Plus, they had a funny name: The Dismemberment Plan. After seeing them kill it in our basement, I was a fan from the get go. Over the years, I've been to many, many of their shows. Needless to say, I was excited when Eric emailed me about their reunion benefit for Callum Robbins. I wasn't surprised they were getting back together for a good cause. The Plan are good people, as my Mom would say. However, I was a little surprised at the overwhelming buzz for their runion shows.

Knowing the hype surrounding the reunion, we figured it be a mob scene at the Black Cat. We got early and were happy to see it wasn't crowded at all. We managed to get some stools and sit by the bar before heading up to see The Oranges Band. They only played for 25 minutes - a criminally short set. However, considering the circumstances, it was understandable. As awesome as they are, people did not come out to see The Oranges Band. The wanted to see The Dismemberment Plan.

Before the Plan took the stage, J. Robbins came out to offer thanks, and to talk about Callum, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and the fight against SMA. It was clearly very difficult for J. to discuss. I can't imagine a greater pain than seeing your child suffer. It was heartbreaking, but inspiring to see him doing everything in his power to help Cal.

After his heartfelt speech, J. introduced the Dismemberment Plan and the club erupted. Travis took the stage and addressed the crowd with his usual opening line, "Hi! We're the Dismemberment Plan from Washington, DC". They opened with Life of Possibilities and the energetic crowd dove right in. Halfway through the song, I noticed all four guys in the band had huge smiles on their faces. That's one of the great things about the band. You know they're having a blast onstage and the crowd feeds off of that.

I wasn't paying too close attention to the set list. I just know they went through all their best songs and played as if they hadn't taken a day off, much less 4 years. Seeing them live again made me realize how much I loved their shows. Few bands create such energy. Each concert seemed like an event where anything could happen. For example: Porn Cake. A fan traded a "adult-themed" cake in exchange for a ticket. They passed the cake throughout the crowd. Hundreds of people dug their hands in for a taste (including Potsy and me). I'm sure that was the most sanitary thing to do, but it made sense at the time.

Okay, since I'm doing a shitty job of describing the music, here's a clip of them playing "Pay For The Piano".

I could go on and on heaping praise (I'll do more of that in my review of Saturday's show), so let me point out a few things that weren't so great. First, Travis seemed determined not to sing any song as it had been recorded. Having been to a number of Plan shows, I knew this wasn't unusual. He was just having fun and going where the song took him. However, it made it difficult for the people to sing along, which people seemed very, very anxious to do. There were some technical difficulties which slowed the show a bit and lead to an excess of onstage banter. "Ok Jokes Over" didn't really bring down the house the way it did in the past. It was always the highlight of their shows (for me). I loved the way they improvised the song for up to 10 or 12 minutes, worked in a eclectic mix of lyrics, all the time building up anticipation for the big finish. For some reason, their version on Friday just lacked that special something. I'm nitpicking here though. I doubt many other people took notice.

Overall, the show lived up to my lofty expectations. Sure, there were a few technical difficulties, but it's rare to go to a show with such force and potency. There was a big buzz leading up to the weekend and everyone had to agree that the Plan delivered. Although when I was walking home, I couldn't help but feel I was in store for an even better show on Saturday night. Thankfully, I was right.

Rock Club on Pitchfork

I'm finally writing my reviews of the two Dismemberment Plan shows. First one will be up by the end of the day. In the meantime, I wanted to post this picture I saw on Pitchfork's review of the Saturday show. They reviewed the Saturday show, but posted pictures from Friday. Go figure. Anyway, I circled myself and Jimbromski, in case you didn't recognize us.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

More LCD Soundsystem

LCD Soundsystem, "All My Friends" video.

This is part of my continuing effort to post shit while you numbnuts sit around doing nothing, adding nothing, writing nothing. That's right--save all your best stuff for e-mails.