Dead Meadow - Weds, May 7th, 2008 - with Vampire Hands - 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis - $10
Being away from DC doesn't mean having to skip out on Rock Club. Case in point, Jumboslice. That guy reports from Texas now. He's dedicated. He's also a doosh for moving to TX, but no need belaboring that much belabored point (not in this post anyway).
I traveled to Minneapolis, MN this past week, which meant that I was to miss the scheduled Cave Singers show that sacklunch had selected for the week (at least that was the thinking at the time before he bailed on the Cave Singers show). To compensate for my absence, and since the Twins were not playing any home games during my visit, I decided to seek out a music venue in the Twin Cities to keep up on things. With a little help from my friend Truly, I was able to find the perfect home away from home.
The First Avenue and 7th Street Entry is akin to the Black Cat. The First Avenue is the larger of the two connected venues, and used to be a Greyhound Bus Station back in the day. This place has a fascinating history with links to the heir of the Fingerhut catalog fortune. Check it out here. The 7th Street Entry is the smaller of the two venues, not unlike the Back Stage at the Black Cat, but with more reliable bar service ($2.50 BPR tallboys 'til 11pm).
I chose to check this club out in part because sacklunch and I had recently debated going to see Dead Meadow play here in DC, but didn't make it. Since the research had already been conducted, it was a no brainer.
Minneapolis's own Vampire Hands opened for Dead Meadow. I hated their first song. I was pretty exhausted from a very long day of traveling and meetings, so I was happy to see that the middle of their set was much better. A few points on Vampire Hands.
1. Not a good time to be an indie band with the first name "Vampire." Regardless of when they chose the name, it still seems conveniently close to Vampire Weekend. It would be like having a band called Someone Still Loves You Boris Badenov, right now.
2. The bassist has this Geddy Lee thing working where he is definitely a dude, but he sounds like a chick. This was actually a good thing. He sounded good. I like the female vocalist, and not just the pretty ones apparently, cuz this guy was not pretty.
3. They had dual percussionists. Not exactly dual drummers (sorry Jumboslice), but close. It worked for some songs, but they weren't in sync enough to make it worth it over all. Maybe a bit more practice.
4. Beards. All of them had one. One may have had two for all I know. I couldn't see the drummer very well.
5. They were decent. They mixed it up with an unusual sound and kept my interest.
Meanwhile, Dead Meadow had been promoted by sacklunch as an act that I would like. I gave them a listen online a while back and thought the same. But this is a band that you have to be in the right mood to enjoy. They have a garage band sound in my opinion, and rely on a Cream-inspired jam-heavy performance which would be great if it were 1968, or if I were heavily intoxicated and sitting on my couch staring at a candle. Their performance was solid, and I genuinely enjoyed their music, but it didn't really seem like anything I hadn't heard before. Nor did it really raise my pulse. Yes I was tired from a long day, but falling asleep at a rock concert should be nearly impossible, especially when standing up.
Here's a sample of what I saw