Rock and Roll Hotel
August 3, 2007
Rejected title for this post: They Made Us Like It. Some titles are too obvious, even for me.
Seeing as how we scored the Pulitzer Prize-winning interview with the band, and cleared them of plagiarizing Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start The Fire," I'll keep this review concise.
1990s played to a semi-full house at Rock and Roll Hotel. For some reason, there were a suspiciously high number of backwards baseball cap-wearing meathead types in the audience. Perhaps 1990s have a good future playing fraternity parties. The meatheads, however, were vastly outnumbered by the hipster doofus contingent, so everything was cool. Plus the meatheads brought their floozy girlfriends:
After an uninspired set by openers Red Romance, 1990s took the stage to a smattering of applause. This was one of those times I felt bad for the band. Here we have a great rock group, with a strong repertoire of pop hits, coming all the way from Scotland to blow up our shit, and we Washingtonians sit there like a bunch of lumps. Not me, of course--I started doing the Lambada (also known as "the forbidden dance") as soon as 1990s came out.
I mulled this over in the days since the show, and I think it's all due to the fact that 1990s's album (Cookies), however strong it may be, had just been released a few days earlier. Add to the fact that, as usual, good songs are nowhere to be found on commercial radio, and no one with a fucking brain watches MTV anymore, and you have to reach the conclusion that 1990s were doing really well to draw as many people as they did. The band is doing four US dates on this tour, so we can only assume they're laying the foundation for a triumphant, multi-city return in about a year. That's how it works in the biz, my friends.
The quality was there. They opened with the rocker "Cult Status", which sounded great. My only objection is the final line of the song: "cult status keeps me fucking your wife." Three things here: (1) Jackie McKeown naked, having the sex...no; (2) why the cursing like that? and (3) if it's true then my wife has a lot of explaining to do when Jimbromski Jr arrives.
1990s continued with pretty much all of Cookies. They certainly have a talent for writing catchy, melodic songs. If this whole Rock Club experiment has taught me one big lesson, it's that most songs I hear go in one ear and out the other--they're instantly forgettable. Cookies has at least five memorable tunes, and they all sounded great live. One surprise to me was how much of the vocal duties were handled by Michael McGaughrin--I thought it was all Jackie McKeown. McGaughrin joins the pantheon of singing drummers, which includes top dudes like Phil Collins and Don Henley. Quick fact--did you know that Karen Carpenter started out as a drummer? It's true, I saw it on The Karen Carpenter Story. She liked hiding behind the drums because she thought she was fat. Then people heard her gorgeous voice, and her brother Richard said, yo, lardass, ditch the skins and take the mic. The rest is history.
Hey, McGaughrin--I didn't want to say it during the interview and embarrass you in front of your mates, but you look like you could lose a few pounds. Just sayin'.
To 1990s, I bestow a Rock Club score of 7.5. Nice work and we hope to see you back soon.