Long live rock, I need it every night

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Jumbo Slice of Shame

As Sacklunch mentioned in his underappreciated review of the DAM! Fest, I bought a hot pick t-shirt while at the Dan Deacon/Girl Talk show. Exhibit A:

This brings up the obvious question: WHY? I'm still trying to sort it out. After seeing them play at the Pitchfork Festival I was a little too excited for the show. While we were Potsy's before prior to the concert I mentioned my intent to buy a t-shirt. It'd had been a while and I figure they'd have some cool options. Uh, not so much.

At first glance it looked red b/c the club was so dark. However, when Dan Deacon handed it to me I saw it was pink and I still bought it. I guess I didn't want to be a dick and give it back: "Sorry Mr. Deacon, but I'm not a doosh so I can't buy this shirt". Plus, I figured if anyone in Rock Club could get away wearing a pink shirt, it was me. Wrong again. None of us should wear hot pink shirts.

My wife once described my fashion sense as "big kid chic". That was her kind way of saying I don't wear age appropriate clothing. It was this realization that caused me to stop buying indie rock t-shirts in the first place. I backtracked and now I'm stuck with a shirt I'll probably never wear. I'm only keeping the shirt in case we have another stupid argument and we need an appropriate punishment for the loser. Having to wear my Dan Deacon shirt to a Rock Club event would be a proper penance for the loser. Pair it with a fanny pack and you'll be quite the little hipster.

Lovin' Spoonful

Spoon Oct. 23 2007 9:30 Club

No, not that Lovin' Spoonful. I'm talking about Spoon the band, not the band of hippies.

Just getting to this show was a big issue. First we bought tickets, then we were informed that the show was canceled, then it was back on, but you needed a degree in advanced mathematics to figure out how to redeem your tickets, and then that changed, and Sacklunch e-mailed the 9:30 Club and was all like, motherfucker what the fuck? and then on the day of the show we just showed up and handed the dudes our original tickets and walked in, easy peasey. All's well that ends well, right?

Still, the whole experience left us with penis-shaped welts on our faces.

A couple of good things about the whole snafu, aside from the show itself, were that attendance was not what it would have been had said snafu not occurred, and also that the show kicked off early--8:00 pm. So we were able to waltz right in, go up to our favorite spot, and get home to kiss wife and baby by 11:00 pm. Or kiss pre-op trannie and Brian Peppers, in Jumbo Slice's case.

Gratuitous Brian Peppers Photo

The Ponys opened. We have now seen them three times and they've sucked each time. Please, no more. My message to lead singer Jered Gummere is this: either you're using a leave-in conditioner, or you really need to wash your hair. There was a funny moment during the Spoon set when Britt Daniel did the standard "let's hear it for the [insert opening band here], weren't they great?" Potsy by that time had made his way downstairs and was right at the front row, next to the stage. If you know Potsy then you know he's tall, so from the balcony we were treated to the sight of him giving the two thumbs down to The Ponys, about ten feet away from Daniel. It was like the house lights were on him, or something--like Spinal Tap, when they play the state fair and that redneck is in the front row giving them the finger.

The Spoons are my favorite contemporary band and I think they're making the best music around these days. Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, in my opinion, is a step down from the their previous stuff but it's still easily one of the best albums of 2007. I dug the show immensely, although I think I liked their April Sonar show a bit more, if only because it was the first time I saw them. The band played songs off of all of their albums, and I got the sense early that they were trying to play a special show for us to make up for the aforementioned snafu.

It wasn't all sunshine and lollipops, however. I thought their brassed-up version of "Stay Don't Go" was a little weak. I think they were backstage with the horn guys and thought, why are we fucking paying you just to play on "The Underdog"--get your asses in there and help out with "Stay Don't Go." Plus they played "The Ghost Of You Lingers", which is filler and should be relegated to the dustbin.

On the other hand, everything else sounded great, and what didn't sound great--"The Delicate Place", "Jonathan Fisk", and the closing "My Mathematical Mind"--sounded phenomenal. When Spoon are at the top of their game there's not another band in the US (or Europe, or anywhere else, for that matter) that can touch them. While as I said I liked this show a little less than the Baltimore show from last year, it heartened me to see that Potsy and Sacklunch were both pretty enthused about the band, whereas before it seemed to me that they were all like, yeah, they're okay, but have you heard this other band? blah blah fucking blah. When it comes to Spoon I'm like one of those born agains, I can't accept that people don't like them as much as I do.

All in all, an excellent night out, listening to an excellent band. Spoon gets a 7.9 on the Rockometer. Got a beef with the rating? Blame Sacklunch, he rated the Sonar show a 7.2 so I can't go much higher than that. I liked it but it wasn't as good as LCD Soundsystem (8.6) and Sleater-Kinney (8.1). I for one am proud of this blog's stance against grade inflation.

Still got a beef? As posted earlier by Jumbo Slice, NPR has the show on their website here, so judge for yourself. And here's a photo Potsy took of the set list--I told he was close to the stage, didn't I?

Finally, some original RC Content, rather than regurgitated crap from other websites and our stupid opinions

Rockin the Big Screen

I think we should see this...

One Week Only!
Starts Friday, November 9 at the E Street Cinema

As the front man of The Clash from 1977 onwards, Joe Strummer changed people's lives forever. Four years after his death, his influence continues to reach out around the world. In director Julien Temple's new documentary, Strummer is revealed not just as a legend or a musician, but as a true communicator of our times. Drawing on both a shared punk history and their close personal friendship, Temple's film is a celebration of Strummer before, during and after The Clash. Includes appearances by Bono, Terry Chimes, John Cusack, Johnny Depp, Matt Dillon, Topper Headon, Jim Jarmusch, Mick Jones and more. From the director of The Filth and the Fury and The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle. Official Web Site

More Halloween

We have been listening to WOXY all day at work. They have been playing Halloween themed tunes all day. One of the songs they played was "Pet Semetary" by The Ramones (which is a pretty bad song, IMHO). It got us talking about the movie Pet Semetary from the Stephen King book. Do you remember the character "Zelda", who I belive had some sort of muscular/spinal disorder and was locked up in the attic (or basement). She was scary. Maybe this image will jog your memory and haunt your soul forever.....

Happy Rock Club Halloween

Anyone who's seen Exorcist III knows that it gets short shrift in the pantheon of horror films. This is because the movie followed the superterrific The Exorcist, and the completely awful Exorcist II. It's a case of the dizzying highs/devastating lows--there's no room left for the "pretty good middles".

Here's the scariest clip from the movie:

And still more Van Halen

The big day approaches. Enjoy this clip of Eddie Van Halen doing freeform jazz riffs. There is a bald man on the keytar.

New Music Showcase pt II

Last night Sacklunch called me and asked how to embed hyperlinks in his blog posts. His ineptitude with this sort of thing is well-known. He still hasn't mastered the Reply-All function and we RC members still occasionally receive e-mails meant for the group that were sent only to us individually.

I walked him through the process of how to put a link in a post, and then today I look and he has two new posts on the blog (here and here -- Sack, note the ease with which I use links). Neither of these posts have links in them. My guess is that it was all too much for him. And God forbid he include a video or audio clip, his cerebellum would explode, leaving a gray gooey mess all over his laptop.

Sacklunch Official Rock Club Portrait

And now I continue the taunting of Sacklunch by posting an audio clip of Yeasayer's "2080", which is what he should have done in his post.

It's funny that he brought up that song because I had posted a couple of Alan Parsons songs earlier here and remarked that we could change the name of the band and tell Jumbo Slice that these 1970s softrock opuses were in fact the latest thing out of hipster HQ in Williamsburg/Ft Greene and he'd be none the wiser.

Then I was listening to the radio and heard "2080" and made a note to myself to post it because that was exactly the type of song I was thinking of--soft rock redux. This one could definitely be an Alan Parsons release from 1977. Anyway, judge for yourself (and Sacklunch, for reference, I posted here on how to post an audio clip to the blog).

And also, I like "2080". Anyone who knows me knows that I use "softrocker" as a compliment rather than an epithet.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

New Music Showcase

YEASAYER- All Hour Cymbals
This album is excellent. It is kind of like a TV On The Radio with harmony and rhythm. The single "2080" is fantastic. The rest of the album is solid. Check it out.

Monday, October 29, 2007

BBQ Gone Bad

Check out this review of the The Points and The King Khan and BBQ Show. Things got a little crazy at the Red & the Black. I wish Rock Club had been there to see it. Potsy could've filmed the mayhem and then fought the lead singer.

Friday, October 26, 2007

New Rock Club For Hire

New Rock Church Of Fire - October 19, 2007 - Velvet Lounge - $8

As usual, most of what I'm going to tell you about will have little to do with the NRCOF's performance at the Velvet Lounge Friday night. But it's not like you were expecting a lot anyway, right? I'll start by saying that once again, convenience played a critical role in deciding RC's show of the week. With Major League Baseball's October Classic looming, certain chocolate making duties on the calendar, breast feedings to monitor, and dog-walking to do, we narrowed the date for RC this past week to Friday the 19th. That left us with a limited schedule, and after Jumboslice's usual meddling, we settled on New Rock Church of Fire at the Velvet Lounge.

Ah, the Velvet Lounge. Home to our third ever Rock Club show (Bang Bang Bang). And so we return more than a year later with more sophisticated tastes. For example, Jumboslice chose to order himself a Corona (with lime) instead of his usual $2 Schlitz. There was a good crowd at the Velvet Lounge and I recall catching half a song of one of the opening bands (but I don't remember what they were called), but then I noticed I was already out of beer. So back downstairs to the bar for more beer for me and the rest of RC. And then this is where I got a little side-tracked. My thoughtfulness for buying a round for the fellas paid off as a couple of young barflies, eying my abundant supply of frothy goodness, asked me to give them some. Yeah. Like my buddy Ralph says, "I still got it." But being the good friend that I am, after a few minutes with the lasses, I returned upstairs with the beers, but no RC members were there. So I went back downstairs and found them outside smoking.

Since I found myself downstairs again, I returned to the bar to finish my conversation with the two young ladies. Did I mention they were sisters? And blondes? Yeah. So you'll pardon me if I don't go on and on about The Red House Church of Rock. They seemed to be a good band from what I saw on their myspace page. I especially liked their Fig Tree song. It has a bit of a Black Lips sound to it. But my conversation with the sisters wasn't without rock. They had both come from the 9:30 Club after seeing the Finnish hard rock band "H.I.M." In fact, they were waiting for one of the roadies to show up, let's call him "Scott." Cuz that's what his name was. He showed up. I met him. Fattish guy with a beard. Seemed nice. So here's a bit of H.I.M.

I recently promised that I would start to judge these RC shows using the only real measure of quality rock that you can count. It's the "can this music get me laid?" test. Despite only seeing 1 of their songs, based on my bar talk, I'd say this band scores high on this simple scale. The only question I have is what happened to the old Rock Church of Fire that resulted in the creation of a new one?

DAM!, I Forgot What Happened (RNR Hotel 10/11)

A few weeks ago, 3/4 of RC attended a show at the Rock and Roll Hotel. Here is what I can recall:

1. This show was part of the DAM Festival, a lackluster indie music showcase for Washington DC. Being supporters of the local scene, we thought we would make an appearance at one of the shows.

2. The 1st band (Via Audio) was playing when we arrived. There were like 12 people watching them play. It was awkward.

3. The 2nd band was Slaraffenland. They are from either Denmark, Sweden, Norway, or Finland. They have a tall and skinny lead singer. They all wore the same shirts. They were okay. There were now like 22 people in the room.

4. Jumboslice likes to hang out by the "merch" and chat up the salespeople. He was so entranced by the Scandanavian music he bought the CD. He made us suffer through it on the ride home. He also bought a pink T-Shirt at the Dan Deacon show, yet he stills clings to his hetrosexuality.

5. A Place to Bury Strangers was the next band. There were no approximately 34 people in the room. They were loud. Jumboslice offered me some earplugs. I declined, saying earplugs are for pussies who buy pink Dan Deacon t-shirts. The band was decent, but I had enough after a few songs and went upstairs to read the paper. I was the only one up there.

6. We left before the Big Sleep (who we had seen already, opening for someone?) and Dirty on Purpose. Once again, I missed seeing my doppleganger. I am sure the venue filled to capacity as soon as we left. The DAM festival needs some work.

7. RC Rating: 5.0

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Ghost of Spoon Lingers

Not surprisingly, last night's Spoon show was great. Even better than the Baltimore show (IMHO). I especially liked that it wasn't that crowded and we were able to get our usual spot w/o a problem. For those of you who want more Spoon, here's a great video for "Don't You Evah". You can also listen to last night's show at NPR. [Jimbromski: they have the set list posted]

Friday, October 19, 2007

Van Halen update

The Onion AV Club, along with Stereogum, have become the go-to sites for Van Halen news. The AV Club posted this vid (below) of Van Halen's encore of "Jump" at their Sept. 29 show in Greensboro NC:

Multiple choice question--this version of "Jump" sounds like:

(A) a 44-cat orgy in the alley behind your apartment
(B) a coercive interrogation technique banned by the Geneva Convention
(C) John Tesh on PCP
(D) all of the above

Here's the explanation from the AV Club:

Van Halen’s long-awaited, much-delayed reunion tour with David Lee Roth is in full swing, but they’re still working out the bugs: At the band’s Greensboro, North Carolina show on September 29, Van Halen played “Jump” as their triumphant encore—only the whole thing crashed and burned (and burned and burned) when some soundguy played the famous synthesized backing track at the wrong pitch. The result? Some of Eddie Van Halen’s most, um, experimental guitar playing ever.
Potsy will be attending the Van Halen DC show at the MCI Center (aka "The Call Center") and will be expected to report back. Maybe he'll score an interview with DLR. Or even WVH*.

*Wolfgang Van Halen

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Be Cool For 20 Hours, and I'll Pay You 20 Grand

Glenn Frey's song "Smuggler's Blues" came up in conversation earlier today and I made a mental note to retrieve the video for the song and post it on here. I remember it being all Miami Vicey.

Well, long story short, Universal Music Group has made the crafty decision to disable embedding on all of Mr. Frey's videos.

No matter--I found an excellent substitute. The guy who posted it said he made the video in high school in 1988 for a class project. Grade? A-.

My favorite scenes are as follows:

1--Undercover cop gets ripped off by the drug dealer, who speeds off in his car. The cop takes 18 seconds to run to his car, put his seat belt on, start the car, and drive off. I'm surprised he didn't check the tire pressure first (1:40 - 1:58).

2--The cop runs to the top of the building where all the shit's going down, and trips (3:43).

3--The old dummy-being-thrown-off-of-the-side-of-a-building trick (4:03).

4--Close up on the corpse. Chilling (4:05).

So go eat a dick, Universal Music Group. We've found a workaround.

PS I left a comment on this guy's YouTube page asking him to come comment on this, I hope he shows up.

Who's Coming

I had a good business idea this weekend that I'd like to share with everyone, before I get into this post. As you may or may not know, my wife gave birth to a baby boy two months ago and since then I've been immersed in yelling/screaming/shit/pee and...glorious, glorious breast milk. Most baby specialists say you should probably breastfeed for about six months, then switch to a mix of bottles and solid foods, such as steak and nachos.

My idea is, start a dairy food line called Nature's Breast. I'll have a barn full of grass-fed hippie women pumping breast milk 24-7. This milk will then be used to make yogurt, butter, cheese, and maybe also ice cream. You give it to your baby to wean him off the nipple, but he's still getting the benefits of the breast milk. I'm looking for venture capital, if you're interested please e-mail me at jimbromski@naturesbreast.com. Thanks.

Nature's Breast: Because The Little Bastards Deserve It

Okay, here we go:

  • "They broke my sitar": The Warlocks are playing at Rock and Roll Hotel on Nov. 5. They were founded by a former member of the Brian Jonestown Massacre (not Joel) and they kind of have that spacey Velvet Underground-type sound.
  • You are getting very sleepy, due to a combination of hypnosis, plus the roofie I slipped into your cocktail: Comic hypnotist Flip Orley will be in DC for like three weeks, at the Improv, starting on Nov. 6. This could be uber-funny, until Potsy blurts out his repressed memory of the man in the park with the present in his pants.
  • I love the 90s: Three items here. Rock Club interviewees 1990s (the band, not the decade) will return to DC on Nov. 20 with the Hold Steady and Art Brut. 1990s (the decade, not the band) superstars Dinosaur Jr and The Lemonheads will be in town on Nov. 27 and Dec. 19, respectively. What's next, Mr Bungle? Mary's Danish? Another 90s group--Superdrag--will be at the 9:30 on Nov. 8. I only ever heard one song from these guys: "Sucked Out" (1996). It's a great song, good enough to make me want to make the effort to go to this show:
  • Insert Fat Joke Here: The Nov. 14 Gossip show has been postponed.
  • Women's Lib: Why do chicks insist on having outside interests? I don't know either. Let's fucking ask Ani DiFranco (Nov. 16).
  • Pretentious Twat Alert: Local group Le Loup at the Black Cat on Dec. 10. I read a Pitchfork review of their latest--the dude who wrote it basically spent half the review giving himself a handjob because he recognized the work of art referred to by the album title ("The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly"--it's a pretty interesting piece of folk art, a la Watts Towers, put together by a mentally ill DC native, now housed in the Smithsonian). Well done sir, you're very learned.
  • The Most Commercially Successful R&B Group of All-Time: No foolin', I read that on Allmusic. Marvin Gaye? The Temptations? The Commodores? Nope, Boyz II Men. Boys II Men, ABC, BBD...
Middle Distance Runner
Trail of Dead etc etc
Yo La Tengo
Jens Lekman
Broken West
Band of Horses
The Thermals
Black Angels
Rogue Wave
The Warlocks
Flip Orley
Georgie James
Ani DiFranco
Electric Six
Hold Steady w Art Brut/1990s
Dinosaur Jr.
Le Loup
Boyz II Men
The Lemonheads
The Smithereens
Blue Oyster Cult

Monday, October 01, 2007

Monday Sports Extravaganza

Hi. Tonight Rock Club is going to the Black Cat to see Patrick Wolf. Here's a picture of young Patrick:


To counter the inevitable accusations that we're all gay, here is a sports-related post that will butch things up around here.

  • Football: Rock Club is sitting pretty. Jumbo Slice's Buffalo Bills vaulted up to second place in the AFC East by dropping JP Losman for Trent Edwards, the former electrician who's lighting up the NFL. Potsy's universally-despised Pats are 4-0 and have solidified a data-sharing agreement with the NSA which will guarantee them a 16-0 season. And me? The Raiders are in sole possession of first place in the AFC West, along with two other teams. Before my son was born I bought him a Raiders onesie. The sizing was for 3-6 month olds but the little biscuit has been growing so fast I put it on him last week. The result? The Raiders are 2-0 when he wears the onesie. And guess what else? The onesie should still fit him on Feb. 8, 2008.

  • Football (the other one): Clint Dempsey broke John Terry's cheekbone on Saturday. Well done, Deuce.
  • Baseball: the Mets collapsed. Amusing. There are two other notoriously choke-lovin' teams in the playoffs--the Cubs and the Phillies. I expect to see some good weeping fan television shots.
One more thing about the Bills--here's a very, very, very funny video about Kevin Everett. If you recall, Everett's a tight end for the Bills who broke his neck and was partially paralyzed during the Bills' first game of the season a few weeks ago. Apparently he's improving.

Seriously, watch it. I laughed heartily and out loud for at least 20 seconds: