Long live rock, I need it every night

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Toe Jam (sans Earl)

surprise. woo. It's Tuesday. What's that you say? Didn't anything happen since last Tuesday?

How 'bout this comment that was recently left on this week's youtubesday clip (if Jimbromski isn't going to rail against someone/thing, I'll outsource this bitch):

bonessack (1 week ago)
Devymetal you are a fucking imbicile!!!! let me guess, your one of those disgruntled paled face losers who wears eye shadow and only leaves the basement once a month to purchase the newest version of "guitar poser". Dizzy Rasacal f'n kills this track, and if you had any knowledge of grime/UK rap or any other genre besides whiney bithc "my life is hard meh!!!" pussy metal, you would recognize talent. Respect the true MC Dizzy Rascal for killin dis track....boh boh boh mutha fucka

The above is from The BPA (The Brighton Port Authority) and if the above track featuring David Byrne and Dizzee Rascal with all its near-nudity isn't enough, you can check out the Dig My "Toe Jam" Video Contest that the BPA is running. Here's a submission:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Super Tuesday

So I ventured down to the National Mall Sunday for the Inaugural "We Are One" concert.

It was cold. I saw a guy fall out of a tree. There were a couple of dudes from "The Wire" nearby, and U2, Bruce Springsteen, and others performed in front of 400k people. Most of the Youtube videos from the day have been taken down thanks to HBO. But here's one that's still up.

Shakira knows how to dress, no matter the weather.

If you can stomach it, here's another clip of Garth Brooks' performance (which had the greatest response from the crowd, quite honestly).

Congrats, Obama. Now get to work.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Do you really want to hurt him?

Dallasvoice.com's Instant Tea is posting on the sentencing of Boy George for handcuffing a male escort to a wall and beating him with a metal chain. He got 15 months in prison. The post also includes a 2004 interview with Mr. George where he calls Chelsea Clinton a "bitch." Linked from Instant Tea is a full account of the whole messy episode. Oh Boy.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Just stop with the Pavement reunion rumors already. The latest has them playing ATP in NY this year. Mark my words: it ain't gonna happen. Okay, it'll eventually happen but not this year. And when they do reunite it should be done in conjunction with a Sleater-Kinney reunion. Then the two bands could do a Monsters Of Indie Rock tour, making all the dorks (like me) so happy that they pee-pee in their pants.

Get in there, mix it up, get out, and move on.

The BreakUps w/ Thee Lexington Arrows @ The Black Cat - Backstage 1/12/09 - $8

Since DCRC has been exceptionally lazy as of late, opting for NFL playoffs over live music and showing up so late at venues that we miss the bands, I took a walk down to the Black Cat on Monday night to remind myself what live music felt like.

Opening band, Thee Lexington Arrows, played for a smattering of weekday warriors and was loud enough for me to easily hear them in Food for Thought at the front of the club. I asked for a doggy bag for the extra sound that I wasn't able to choke down. Female fronted Bawl'more band. Loud. Rowdy. Self described "surf rock"....which didn't come to mind immediately, but yeah, okay.

I have rather unsophisticated tastes, so I tend to measure new bands I see/hear on one of two scales. Scale one: bluntly put, will the band in question promote/support fornication after or while listening. Scale two: would I want said band to play at a fictitious party that I am throwing for all of my fantastically hip fictitious friends. For both TLA and the BreakUps, we will use scale number two. Using scale one isn't all that appropriate and would likely involve the police or a trip to the emergency room were things to go in that direction.

So would I, Potsy, want Thee Lexington Arrows to play at a party I was throwing? You bet. I mean, I didn't say I would pay them, but they'd make for a good time.

DC's The BreakUps topped the two-band bill and maintained the smattering of folks at the Backstage, including some young lady celebrating her birthday (and her mom). The BreakUps work a throw-back nostalgia rock sound that includes a warm, comfy, organ. Okay, that last part reads a little ghey, but get over it. The organ is a key ingredient to this rock stew. The BreakUps do the low-fi thing but aren't sloppy about it. I wouldn't say that they are the most imaginative act I've seen lately, but would I want them to play at a party? Sure. It's been said before, but there are essentially a garage band. I especially liked the fact that their songs average around 2 minutes each. Get in there, mix it up, get out, and move on.

I was a bit distracted by the look of one of the front men. It took a while but I decided he most looked like a cross between Eric Stolz (Pulp Fiction Stolz - not Mask Stolz) and either a bespectacled Bruce McCulloch (Kids in the Hall) or a bespectacled Peter Scolari (Bosom Buddies). Anyhow, I should mention that I was joined by Tedwin for the latter half of the BreakUps. Good to see him out and about. And good to be out for a show.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Pet Peeve...

Can someone please explain to me (PostRock shout out) why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is inducting rap, country, and jazz musicians? It's horseshit. Why do Run DMC (who I love) and Miles Davis (not so much) deserve to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Frankly, I'd put Billy Squier in before them. Have the voters not seen the "Rock Me Tonite" video?

It's also pretty funny that they're inducting Metallica at the height of their low (to quote Potsy). In my opinion Metallica forfeited their chance at the Hall once they released Some Kind of Monster.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tapped Out

Brother, can you spare another $350 billion?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Free Week

There's a tradition in Austin that DC clubs would be wise to copy: Free Week. It was started at Emo's and this year a number of other venues picked up on the idea. Now there are dozens and dozens of bands playing free shows over a nine day span (1/2 - 1/10).

The idea make a lot of sense. January is a slow time of year for music venues. So why not start the new year off right with a bunch of free shows? The bands don't get paid, but in return, they play to huge audiences and if they're good they'll gain new fans. The venue has to cover club costs, staff fees, etc. but they make up for it at the bar. Simple concept and from what I saw on Saturday at Emo's, it's a huge success. The place was mobbed. I've never seen it so packed. They even ran out of Lone Star beer towards the end of the night (which should be against the law in my opinion).

With so many bands playing free shows, it's tough to decide where to go. I decided to see What Made Milwaukee Famous, since they were the biggest name playing and I'd yet to see them perform. Emo's has both an indoor and an outdoor stage so they were able to pack nine bands (!!!) onto the bill. I bounced between stages and saw 5 of the bands (in order): Dans La Lune, Amplified Heat, The Pons, Oh No! Oh My!, and What Made Milwaukee Famous.

I began the evening at the inside stage where I grabbed a seat and a Lone Star. Dans La Lune was first up. They displayed a raucous, good time attitude as they kick started the night. Amplified Heat was on next and kept the crowd pumped. They turn it up to 11 with their Texas flavored, 60's inspired, psychedelic blues-rock.

The Pons look down on you

After Amplified Heat's set I headed outdoors meet my friend Callie and to see The Pons (formally Lalaland). They're led by Tommy Mazzi and are known for their stick-in-your-brain melodies and big hooks. Mazzi's songs reminded me of alt-rockers from the late 80's and early 90's, like Paul Westerberg, Matthew Sweet, and Soul Asylum, but better. The lyrics are slightly dark but have a sense of redemption. The set included some noisy forays with Mazzi adopting a gunslinger mentality with his ax. Before I knew it they were announcing their last song. I was disappointed they didn't play longer since they were the best act of the night.

Oh No! Oh My! were up next and were the only disappointments of the evening. I didn't care for their poppy, dance songs. I was clearly in the minority though. They had the crowd was waving their hands, singing, and clapping along. People were having fun while their were onstage but the music did nothing for me.

What Made Milwaukee Famous out for a jog

What Made Milwaukee Famous, an Austin band signed to Barsuk Records, closed out the evening. We talked about seeing them at Austin City Limits but never did. I wasn't familiar with their songs but they give an excellent first impression. The best part of the set were their cover songs. First, they played "Trashcan" by Delta Spirit and then, with the help of a female guest vocalist, "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" by Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks.

I'm hoping to make it out a few more nights of free week. Tomorrow night Peel and Loxsly play and on Saturday Wine and Revolution play. I'd at least like to see all those bands.

So, do you think Free Week would work in DC? Are there enough local bands big enough to get people out to the clubs? Or are people only really interested in touring bands?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Joe Strummer Movie Review by Sacklunch

Good flick.

There is no other day

Welcome to 2009, Tuesday. We've got 52 of you, give or take.

Today in Rock History, Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett was born (1946). In his honor, we bring you today's clip from YouTube, "See Emily Play."

Who doesn't love a little B&W?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Whisky- a- Gogol

Gogol Bordello - Saturday, January 3rd, 2009 - 9:30 Club, $36

NYC's Gogol Bordello played two shows at the 9:30 Club this past weekend (in case you've been out of town). I made it to night #2.

Three things about seeing this band:
1. I am late to this party, having only heard of GB this summer whilst at ACL. Sorry BYT, I missed your interview from 2007.
2. They sold out two consecutive nights during a sleepy post-holiday, pre-inauguration time in DC.
3. When I think of Eastern Europe, I think of palm readers and vampires. After seeing this show, when I think of Eastern Europe, I think of mustachioed palm readers and mustachioed vampires.

Gogol Bordello played the AT&T stage on day one of Austin City Limits (2008), at the same time we were checking out the Delta Spirit. I think it was also about the time we headed for a dip in Barton Springs; but GB were hard to miss on the jumbo tron - and tough to ignore given the size of the crowd they attracted.

It's hard to remember now exactly what I thought of them back then, especially since Emma Peel has rightly pointed out that they share some basic similarities to Monotonix. Hairy, foreign-ish, unpredictable. When I try to compare them to anything, Monotonix is the first thing I reach for - a second pick would be to compare GB's lead singer, Eugene Hütz, with a 30-something Frank Zappa.



On Friday night, DCRC failed to make it out to see Greenland at the Red & the Black, and instead opted to finally watch the Joe Strummer documentary (The Future is Unwritten), which I've had from Netflix since August. Sacklunch is slated to tell you more about that...

So when Saturday night rolled around, it seemed like a good idea to see what all the Gogol commotion was about. Accompanied by the honorable (and aforementioned) Emma Peel, I stood out front of the 9:30 club looking for a pair of tix to GB's second show, where we witnessed the arrival of Mr. Hütz by taxi, pulling up along side of us with a saucy lil lady. It seemed a bit odd that he entered through the front doors of the club after climbing out of a cab, but at least we were certain we hadn't missed anything on stage.

We procured a couple of tickets and made our way up to where RC normally stands, only to find that our favorite spot had been converted to a VIP, roped-off, area. VIP, indeed. Had Jumbo Slice been in attendance, he would have schmoozed his way in. Instead, we found a perch by the bar up top.

Uh huh. Fascinating. Is this going anywhere?
Right. Sorry. I've rarely seen a crowd so enthusiastic in DC as I did Saturday night. The club was packed, and Gogol Bordello brought out the accordion-infused gypsy-rock to the delight of the sea of Ukrainiaphiles gathered below. GB are performers, circus folk maybe. I'm not sure. Not being familiar with their catalog, I was nonetheless highly entertained by their showmanships. Yes, there were more than one of them.

A couple of songs in, two tall, healthy, young lasses wearing some sort of mask/hat with feathers joined onstage and played the wash boards. These nice young gals added another spectacle to behold, and raised the question: why aren't there cheerleaders for every occasion? I move that we add them to just about every event that is scheduled. Funerals might be a bit tough. But maybe not, tearleaders perhaps? But I think we can agree that men and women alike can appreciate pretty ladies getting their groove on.

Anyhow, as do most bands I hear for the first/second time, the GB sound began to repeat itself in my mind (and ear). Lots of up tempo danceable eastern-European sounding tracks (Bar Mitzvah-ready rock, as Emma Peel remarked). And then, I had a Dave Mathews Band flashback, as the eclectic nature of the instruments took hold of me and things seemed a bit too gleeful.

After a few more songs, the two young gals returned adorned with roller-derby appropriate shorts and tight tops, one of them carrying a marching-band bass drum. They were effective in erasing the DMB image from my mind, and Gogol Bordello continued to inspire the throngs to dance/jump/nod repeatedly in rhythm. I was rather impressed by this, as more often than not, there's lots of shoe gazing at the shows we see.

Still, this was a band that I only need to see once. Much like my reaction to Monotonix and Pleaseeasaur (although I ended up seeing him twice), the spectacle of the performance is the big pay-off. I don't need to give Gogol Bordello's CDs too many spins, I don't think. But their live show was worth waiting outside in the cold for 20 minutes asking around for tickets.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Best of 2008: Jumbo Slice Edition - Continued

White Denim

My Top 10 Shows of 2008:

1. White Denim (Mohawk - outdoor) - I've never been so caught off guard by a band. This show totally blew me away.

2. Thao and the Get Down Stay Down (Mohawk - outdoor) - Our first show in Austin and one of the best nights I've had out in years. The music was great, the venue was unlike anything in DC, and the people were very welcoming. It was also the night I discovered Lone Star Beer.

3. White Denim (Mohawk - indoor) - Another killer show. Might be the last chance I get to see them play such small quarters.

4. Frightened Rabbit (Mohawk - outdoor) - It's no wonder these guys started their tour with Oxford Collapse as openers but finished as the headliners. They play with a fierce intensity each night.

5. Dead Milkmen (Fun Fun Fun Fest) - I hope this wasn't a one time reunion. They should really do a big tour. It's time.

6. Holy Fuck (Rock & Roll Hotel) - Their last album was made for sports highlights. It's the new Jock Jams. Jock Jams will be relegated to introductions at New York weddings (cough, cough, Jimbromski's wedding, cough).

7. Vampire Weekend (Rock & Roll Hotel) - Say what you will but I still like their album. I hate World Music but somehow they include aspects of it in their songs and it works.

8. Thao and the Get Down Stay Down (Emo's - indoor) - This was on their first headlining tour and judging from the reaction of the crowd, it won't be their last. I expect they'll be playing bigger and bigger venues in the years to come.

9. Fleet Foxes (Black Cat Backstage) - I wanted to hate these guys but just couldn't. Not all hippies are bad.

10. Danielson (Mohawk - outdoor) - Weird Christian rock. What's not to like? Oh, right. Well, somehow they pull it off.

Honorable Mentions:

Rosewood Thieves (Mohawk - indoor)
Fleet Foxes (Mohawk - outdoors)

Shows I Regret Skipping:

Radiohead- considering my first born child was due at any moment, it wasn't really feasible for me to make their show in Houston. I'll be there the next time they play in Texas.

Parts and Labor - they played the first day at the Fun Fun Fun Fest and I arrived too late. Receivers is a great album. No doubt it would've made my Top 10 (had I seen them in concert, the only list prerequisite).

Monotonix - Fortunately, they're coming back to Austin. They seem to tour non-stop.

Throw Me The Statue - Thanks to Side One Track One for letting me know about this band (well, it's actually just one dude).

Jason Anderson - a singer/songwriter from New Hampshire.

Worst Show of 2008:

Telograph! Ah, how soon we forgot. We saw them on January 4th, 2008. Thankfully, they did not set the tone for the rest of the year.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Best of 2008: Jumbo Slice Edition

Jimbromski already posted his top picks for 2008 so I figured I'd better post mine while Baby New Year is still in diapers.

Before you start bitching about my picks, note this is not my list for the best albums and EPs of 2008. It's my Top Albums and EPs of 2008 of bands I saw in concert. We primarily review shows so I'm sticking with the theme. The rankings are based partially on what I thought of their live performances but mostly I how much I listened to each record.

Jumbo Slice's Top Ten Albums of 2008

10. Offend Maggie, Deerhoof

This isn't my favorite Deerhoof album and their performance at the Fun Fun Fun Fest wasn't the best I've seen by them, but I can't deny these guys are still one of my favorite bands. Consistently creative, they added humor to their latest record, along with lots of jarring riffs and ramshackle drums. Even after releasing so many records they continue to break new ground and win over new fans.

9. What Did You Do During The War, Daddy? , The Jet Age

After meaning to see The Jet Age in DC I finally got to see them after moving to Austin. Some call this album a rock opera, others say is a concept album. I have no idea if it's one or the other. I just know it's got a lot of muscle and seeing them play it from start to finish was worth the wait.

8. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes

I surprised myself ranking the hippies above Deerhoof and the power of The Jet Age but Fleet Foxes deserve the recognition. When I saw them open for Blitzen Trapper I went in as a skeptic, expecting to hate them. I left impressed and a fan of their soaring vocal harmonies. Their show at the Mohawk was just as good despite the lead singer wearing a wool cap in 90 degree heat. Some things you just come to expect from a dirty hippie.

7. If Children, Wye Oak

I listened to this album over and over. I love Jenn Wasner's voice - especially when she sings quietly moments before the music descends into a mess of smashing cymbals and dissonant guitar. The record touches on a full range of emotions and makes me anxious to hear what's next to come from this Maryland duo.

6. Midnight Boom, The Kills

Okay, technically I didn't actually see this band perform this year. I did however pay for the ticket to their Austin City Limits performance and I love this album so much, I'm including them in my Top 10.

5. Trying Hartz, Danielson

I'm still reeling from their show at Mohawk. There are many critically acclaimed bands I find totally overrated. It's not often I do a complete 180 like I did with Danielson. It took seeing them in concert to finally understand what all the hype was about. They're a bit bizarre yet they make odd, quirky, but most of all, memorable music.

4. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend

From the moment this was released you knew the backlash was coming. A record with that much hype is bound to have haters. I'm not one of them though. It's the catchiest album of the album and having a front row spot to their Rock & Roll Hotel show was one of my highlights of 2008.

3. Exposion, White Denim

I'm ghey for this band.

2. We Brave Bee Stings and All, Thao and The Get Down Stay Down

Far and away, We Brave Bee Stings and All was the album I listened to the most in 2008. It's been cool seeing the stature of this band grow throughout the year. They started 2008 by opening for Xiu Xiu and then toured with Rilo Kiley before embarking on their first headlining tour. Now their ending the year with a spot on a number of top 10 lists (including eMusic and The Washington Post). I saw them perform three times in 2008 and each show was fantastic.

1. Midnight Organ Fight, Frightened Rabbit

No other record in 2008 resonated with me like Midnight Organ Fight. For some, the album lacked the same intensity of their live show but I found it just as riveting with each and every listen. I love the earnest but not sappy (and often quite naughty) lyrics. The funny Scottish accent is also a plus. I had a chance to talk with them after one of their Austin shows and they were as funny and down to earth as any musicians I've met. I have not doubt I'll be listening to this album for years to come.

Jumbo Slice's Top EPs of 2008 - originally I had some of these lumped in with the albums but it was easier to create a second category. Anything to prevent me from making tough choices.

4. Rise & Shine, The Rosewood Thieves
They killed when they played Austin in May. The next show in September wasn't that great but considering they drove 14 hours that day, you have to cut them some slack.

3. Flashlights, Loxsly
Lamprey Eel off this record might be my favorite song of 2008.

2. August Exhaust Pipes, Peel
A great band live and on record.

1. Methods, Imperial China
I saw these guys at the Velvet Lounge when I was in DC the other week. They continue to get better and better. I enjoyed their new songs and I'm hoping they make it down to Austin for SXSW in March.