Long live rock, I need it every night

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Concert Preview: The Winter Sounds

Normally we preview shows happening in DC but I want to highlight what's going on in Fredericksburg, just a short drive down Rt. 95. For the past two years Fredericksburg All Ages (FAA) has been putting on live shows for a town desperate for good music. I went to college there and if you wanted to see a good show you had to drive to DC, Richmond, or even Newport News.* Well, some people got together and put an end to that nonsense.

Through the help of volunteers, FAA has been putting on stellar all ages shows. Check out some of the indie bands that they've hosted: Le Loup, Evangelicals, Georgie James, Headlights, Ra Ra Riot, Jukebox The Ghost, Travis Morrison, Imperial China (one of my favorite bands), Statehood, and These United States. I know you only scanned that list. Read it again. Okay. Not too shabby, huh?

FAA is about to add another excellent band to that list: The Winter Sounds. I caught these guys (and gal) in Austin while they were in town recording their new album. I was lukewarm on the band after listening to their debut album, Porcelain Empire. There's plenty to like on the album but it was missing a certain edge. I figured the live show would be similar. Wrong. Dead ... Fucking ... Wrong. It was a loud, clattering, noisy good time. The bassist and lead singer, Patrick Keenan, sings with urgency and earnestness. Oh, and the guy has some serious pipes. He adds a certain "Fuck yeah!" intensity to the show. You can sense the tension and emotions he's trying to convene in each song.

At the Austin show The Winter Sounds played a lot of new songs. My clear favorite was "Trophy Wives". It reminded me of Frightened Rabbit but without the Scottish accent. Take a listen:

The band is located in Athens, GA but thankfully they're not trudging out the same old "Athens sound" (I wonder if people in other cities say that about DC bands). That's a good thing. They put on a great show and I have no doubt they'll blow away the crowd tonight in Fredericksburg.

* the one exception to the drought of good bands was The Dismemberment Plan who had two members in school with us at the time. They would play house parties and I have to admit, it was pretty fucking incredible.

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