Long live rock, I need it every night

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

You're entering a world of pain

Lebowski Fest with Black Diamond Heavies @ The 9:30 Club, September 28, 2009 - $20

So last night the very sweet Emma Peel took me to see one of the finer films of our time, The Big Lebowski, at the 9:30 Club. It was my birthday, and this was near the top of my list of things I wanted to do last evening, so like The Dude, she obliged.

Dubbed, "Lebowski Fest," organizers collected $20 per person for a movie that was new to the theaters over 10 years ago (ticket price was probably $7 at the time), and for a movie that you can buy for ~ $15 on DVD. Still, the atmosphere was what you were paying for (along with White Russians), and it was pretty fun to see guys in bathrobes, bearded dudes in sweaters, and women dressed up like valkyries. But if you have any friends who also like this movie as much as you do, just rent it yourself and put your $20 toward buying supplies of vodka, KahlĂșa, and cream.

Here's one of my favorite musical moments from the film (I forget how cool Kenny Rogers once was):

Oh, and Black Diamond Heavies were the opening act. They were deafening, and grated on every nerve ending in my ears. If you like that sort of thing, check them out.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Favorite Band (This Week): Langhorne Slim

I'm heading to Florida tomorrow for a little get away (it's tiring not having a job) but I'm already regretting my poor timing. I'm leaving Austin just as a slew of excellent bands roll into town. Here's a sampling of the bands I'll be missing as I lounge away in what has to be our most fucked up state: The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Cymbols Eat Guitars, Monotonix, Asobi Seksu, Experimental Dental School (check them out if you like bands like Deerhoof and White Denim), Cave Singers, Lightning Dust, DataRock, and The Horrors just to name a few. David Byrne is even in town to talk about his new book.

While I'm bummed to be missing the aforementioned bands, I was really looking forward to seeing Langhorne Slim at Waterloo Records on Friday afternoon. Readers of this blog know I love a good in-store performance (and not just b/c of the free beer). In-stores tend to be laid back and intimate which will suit Slim just fine.

Langhorne has a new album coming out on Tuesday, Sept. 29th called Be Set Free. Here's the first single off the album, "I Love You But Goodbye":

Nice tune, huh? For those in the DC area, you can see Langhorne at Record and Tape Traders in Towson, MD on October 1st or at the Rock & Roll Hotel on November 17th. He'll also be back in Austin on November 11th at the Mohawk. I already have it marked on my calendar so I don't plan anymore ill-timed trips.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

You & me & Hamilton Leithauser makes three

The Walkmen @ 9:30 Club - September 22, 2009 - $15

Hamilton Leithauser and I are pretty tight. See? Here we are hanging out after last night's show. Don't pay any attention to that sneer he's throwing my way while I'm not looking. That's just good ol' Ham. What kind of a name is Hamilton Leithauser, anyway? Sounds like a power tool company, or a place you'd go to buy a massive tractor or specialty aircraft.

Either way, this guy who used to cruise the hallways of DC's St. Alban's prep school, has graduated to front the NYC/Philly rock fivesome, The Walkmen. During the set I actually thought to myself that he appeared kinda tall. It's always hard to tell though. Everyone looks taller when they're on a stage, on TV, or when standing next to sacklunch. But now I know he's kinda tall, since I'm kinda tall, and here we are looking to be about the same height. This is fascinating stuff, huh?

Since we got to the venue a bit on the tardy-side, we missed any good banter that may have been offered at the outset. Stuff like, "It's great to be back in DC where I have $250 of unpaid parking tickets." You know, something only a former resident could say. Actually, there was a bit of banter I remember hearing toward the end of the show. Something about Mr. Leithauser losing the keys to their car. This was probably why he was still standing outside as Jimbromski and I left the club. Maybe we should have offered him a ride.

Mr. & Mrs. sacklunch had stopped by the rock clubhouse after Mrs. sacklunch's birthday dinner earlier in the evening. Lots of talk about the Lake Braddock High School reunion ensued, and before I knew it, Jimbromski and I were late to the show. I think we caught 4 songs before The Walkmen departed the stage for their pre-encore piss break. There was a nice crowd at the 9:30 club for a Wednesday, probably the perfect number of people. Crowded enough to show some love, but just enough space for easy access to the upstairs bar with room for a view down to the stage.

Here's a couple of clips from the show from our upstairs perch:

Jimbromski loves himself some Rat. Not to be confused with RATT (I don't know how he feels about them). But when it came around to the lyrics,
"When I used to go out I'd know everyone I saw
Now I go out alone if I go out at all,"
I thought I saw a tear in his eye. He's such a softy. Anyhow, The Walkmen put on a solid show (at least the 40 mins that we saw). The guy playing the triangle was especially good. Never seen it played with as much enthusiasm as that dude did. I don't know what you were doing last night, but if you were at the Nationals game instead of being at the 9:30 club, I think you suck.

Show Preview: Division Day at The Mohawk

To paraphrase the old saying, don't judge an album by its cover (unless of course you're John Foster). When a promo for the new Division Day album arrived in our (rarely monitored) email box, I took one look at the cover and figured it was some bullshit group trying to be the next Evanescence. And yet...I gave them a shot and instantly realized my mistake. I expected some goth crap but they actually play what I'd call "dark indie". They sing songs about death and the Devil (hail Satan) while mixing scuzzy guitars with a bit of electronica. If you like shoegazer and intelligent industrial rock, this album is for you.

Division Day played Washington last week and we failed to alert our DC readers. Can't let the same thing happen to our Austin friends. The band plays Thursday night at the Mohawk. They're headlining the inside stage after Frightened Rabbit performs outside. The Mohawk is sure to be packed for what's probably the best line-up of bands they've had since SXSW.

Check out Division Day's video for "Surrender" off of Visitation:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Little hand says it's time to rock and roll.

In Memoriam

I dig how this intro has nothing but a mysterious audio track - no speaking - just an ax grinding away while we learn who each of these rocker/dancer/gang banger/hairdressers (?) are. Bandit. Gaucho. Tracy as Tracy.

Obviously Dirty Dancing was Swayze's best work. But I'll forever celebrate his work in Red Dawn, the Blue & Gray North & South miniseries, Road House, and Ghost (though Whoppi Goldberg carried that film). I know, I know, Point Break. Gotta mention Point Break.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A date with Kate

Pure Prairie League @ "The Kate," Old Saybrook, CT - Friday, Sept. 11, 2009

I accidentally lured my mom onto Facebook recently. Facebook said I could send pics to people not on Facebook (my mom), and so I did, but this seemed to have been a trick. The next thing I knew, my mom was posting on my wall. This late adaptation got me thinking that as DCRockClub.com struggles to fight the summer lazys, we should reach out to a new demographic. All the nostalgia rock has been a cash cow for our senior rockers struggling to pay for their prescription drugs, so why not provide their concert goers with a heads up now and again?

Back home, they've recently turned the old town hall-turned-movie theater into the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, aka, The Kate. In case you didn't know - and why would you? - Katharine Hepburn was one of the few "local" celebrities for those of us growing up in the Connecticut River Valley. Her house was nearby a golf course that I played a couple of times. I never hit her house with a golf ball, but others tried.

So the first show at The Kate was scheduled for this past Friday night, and my dear mother plunked down her social security money to see 1970s country-rockers, Pure Prairie League. The rest of what you read is based on reports from my mom (our new senior seniors correspondent) and her scribe/husband. Pure Prairie League are on their 40th Anniversary tour, and fought off the hard rains en route to make it to Old Saybrook from Portland, Maine.

"They were great! The music was really good. Donnie Clark is a fantastic guitar picker." The show started "late" at about 8:15pm and ended sometime around 10:30. A long set if you ask me. Good thing The Kate is a seated theater with "very comfortable chairs with cushioned seats." There are only 250 of them in The Kate, and it so happened that my mom's was next to that of the chair of building committee (one of the main dudes that got this place up and running). Given the inaugural nature of the show, there were lots of folks in attendance who had spent years working to make the center possible. This fellow was nice enough to fetch my mom the set list after the show. Here it is:

Cost of Doing Business
Kansas City Southern
If You Could Say What I’m Thinkin
Getting Over You
Love U Tonight
Don’t go Confessin Your Love
Call Me/Tell Me
I’ll Fix Your Flat tire Merle
2 Lane Hiway
I Sure Do Miss You Now ( a 9/11 dedication)
Kentucky Moonshine
Early Morning Riser
6’ O’Snow
Harmony Song

My mom said she recognized 2 of the songs, and I'm guessing "I’ll Fix Your Flat tire Merle" wasn't one of them.

More info about The Kate that our AARP readership might like to know:
"Acoustics were very good, not ear shattering. Ample parking, behind the theater for handicapped with easy access to the building. Ample parking on the street and surrounding parking lots. The side entrance at ground level also leads to a large foyer where the bar is located. Drinks were reasonably priced at $5.00 for beer and wine, large selection of beers and red and white wines, also champagne ($ ?).There is an elevator from this level to the concert hall. The restrooms are located on the lower level."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Favorite Band (this week) - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Andrew, our Senior Youth Correspondent, is off crushing ass at UVA but still sends in periodic reports just to make Sacklunch look lazy. He takes the reins of "My Favorite Band (this week)" with this submission:

Got a tip on this band from Charlottesville's WTJU 91.9, a remarkably good commercial free modern rock station. They are an L.A. folk rock band. The track is "40 Day Dream" and it instantly shook me from my daily college student morning activities (dicking around mainly). I checked the band's Myspace and found a live video for the track. This piece of cinema is certainly worth peeping not only for the spectacle element of a bunch of Gypsy ass folks cavorting around like a more southern version Gogol Bordello, but also for the great tune and the way the singer incorporates lines like "Somebody better pinch me, bitch I swear I'll go crazy" with a frenzy. The music reminisces a little of the freakier Tom Waits material and even a little Brandon Flowers (of Killers). Check out the vid and even the produced version of the song (myspace), which is a little more sonically full. You gotta love the gospel feel and vocal intensity on this one.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Fun Fun Fun Fest Schedule Released

The schedule is now online! Considering the staggering number of good bands they've booked, there are bound to be conflicts on your "Must See" list. Should I see Danzig or Of Montreal? The Jesus Lizard or Destroyer or Ratatat? Fucked Up or Death? The options go on and on. Sure, it sucks we can't see every great band but it's not exactly a bad problem to have.

Austin Round Up

Despite my lack of posts I've been keeping busy here in Austin. Here's a quick round up of shows I've been to this month.

Members of The Sword simultaneously combust in what's being called the greatest encore ever. May they rest in peace.
The Sword is an Austin band that's huge in the metal scene (so I'm told). I caught the second night of their two sold out shows at The Mohawk. I've never been to a legit metal show. My expectations were based purely on scenes from Spinal Tap. Fortunately, there weren't any midgets dancing around a little Stonehenge. However, it was loud, rocking, with a killer light show. All the ingredients for a good metal show, right? Most impressive thing about the show? It wasn't a total sausagefest. There a good number of ladies rocking out to The Sword. Who knew?

Jumbo Slice forces a cheesy smile.
Next up was a taping of Elvis Costello at Austin City Limits. I've said it before and I'll say it agin: Nothing beats a taping of Austin City Limits. Sure, Elvis was playing bluegrass instead of punk rock and new wave but it was still fantastic. He has such great stage presence I'd watch him read the phonebook. Or play smooth jazz. Okay, maybe not but you get the point. Elvis is a legend.

Through the years Costello has dabbled in a variety of musical genres and he's quite at home playing bluegrass. Of course it helps when your backing band consists of world-class bluegrass musicians. These guys have more skills than your disc golf game (that's right, I'm talking to you hippie). For old times sake here's Elvis' infamous performance of "Radio, Radio" on Saturday Night Live:

For those unaware of the back story, Elvis was instructed by Columbia Records to play "Less Than Zero". Instead he played "Radio, Radio" which protests against the corporate interests of music studios and radio companies. You know, the whole stick it to "The Man" thing. By switching things up he pissed off the music executives and NBC. For years afterward he was unable to get on American TV.

Fruits Bats prove they aren't as lame as their name suggests.
The Fruit Bats, lead by Eric D. Johnson, played at Waterloo Records on Thursday afternoon. They ditched the stage and played busker-style on the floor. The stripped down performance had me very impressed. I had chalked The Fruit Bats up as a middle of the road soft-rock band (i.e. boring) but I was wrong. The songs were catchy, fun, and every bit as good as Johnson's other band, The Shins. I'm officially now a Fruit Bats fan.

Matt Shiv asks, "Who's this jack-sniffer taking my picture?
Finally, the big WOXY-comes-to-Austin Party was this weekend. I spent time boring Matt Shiv, WOXY Music Director, with my favorite things about Austin and my theories about the evils of pants. The party featured free BBQ and excellent music. A nice start for what's sure to be a very successful move for WOXY.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

That's Incredible

During WOXY's Modern Rock 500 last week, Black Flag's T.V. Party track was featured, and I thought a second look was in order. It also coincided with sacklunch's thesis that artists who bulk up tend to be less impressive (at least musically) after they've eaten their spinach than before. One of sacklunch's examples was Henry Rollins (featured below). His other example, Glenn Danzig.

Friday, September 04, 2009

My Favorite Band (this week) - WOXY!

Okay, WOXY isn't a band. It's a radio station and a damn good one at that. My favorite station in fact. When I heard they were moving to Austin I was stoked. They set up shop in South Austin not far from my house. Does that mean I'm going to barge in and demand that Shiv play Fugazi and Dismemberment Plan? Actually, yes, it does. This city is full of indie dooshes like me that'll be all up in their grill. Welcome to Austin suckers.

To celebrate their relocation WOXY is throwing a big Texas BBQ on Sunday at The Scoot Inn. It'll feature Black Before Red, TV Torso, English Teeth and Martin Crane. Hopefully, this is just the first of many WOXY sponsored shows.

In other Jumbo Slice news...despite my lack of posts I've been to quite a few shows recently. I've seen a bluegrass band, a funk-soul band, a metal band, and an indie show (no jazz though). Oh, and some guy called Elvis Costello. I'll post pictures this weekend.

Finally, good luck to Potsy in the Rock & Roll Half-Marathon this weekend! A little advice: load up on Imodium so you don't shit your pants. Trust me.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

What's Yr Take On: Green Day

The Band: Green Day
From: Berkeley, California
Formed/Brokesed Up: 1987--

Sound & Vision: Green Day first crackled through our transistor radios in 1994 with “Longview.” Despite, or perhaps because of its reference to self-abuse (i.e., whackin’ it) and use of the word “fucking” (bleeped, of course), “Longview” got pretty heavy airplay and Jam-lookalikes Green Day were featured in the “Cute Band Alert” feature of the late, much lamented Sassy magazine, an honor previously bestowed on the likes of The Pogues, the Bay City Rollers, and Duran Duran. Within a year you couldn’t fucking self-abuse yourself without hearing a Green Day single as the Bay Area crooners busted out “Welcome to Paradise,” “When I Come Around,” and "Basket Case" in quick succession. So we are here now to decide—Green Day, threat or menace?

PRO: 1993? The sound of a convent of nuns being raped by a hundred morbidly obese New York Jets fans would have been preferable to the grunge being forced down our throats at the time. They were a spiky-haired infusion against a flannel-clad scene that was no longer alternative and had regressed to aping 1970s hard rock. Besides, the songs are definitely keepers. Green Day had alternative cred in a way that Stone Temple Pilots did not.

ANTI: It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right….tonight, on a very special Party of FiveI hope you had the time of your life...Concept albums, concerts at the Patriot Center, endless promos on DC101. If that’s punk then I’m a 25-year-old pool party attending scenester. Green Day also tended to make wacky, plot-heavy videos that put them perilously close to Foo Fighters territory. Did you form a band as a backdoor to becoming the next Jerry Zucker? Spawned a legion of mediocre imitators and one could build a credible war crimes case against “Time of Your Life” for launching emo and allowing Pete Wentz to find gainful employment as an “entertainer.” We must judge the tree by its fruit and personally I find Blink-182 and All Time Low quite mealy and sour.

VERDICT: PRO. If someone had to get massive and play arenas, then it may as well have been Green Day, and not Seven Mary Three. I also think Billy Joe’s dirt-eating at Woodstock was a pretty bad-ass move.

So, do you like the Green Day? Do you not like the Green Day? Do let us know. We treasure your feedback.

Saturday night's alright, alright, alright

I'll be out of town this weekend, on my way to Virginia Beach for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon. I don't know what I was thinking when I said yes to this race. I guess the bands every mile and the reported cheerleaders had something to do it. But while I'm gone, !!! will be playing the Black Cat (Saturday, 9/5).

It's been a while since my first peek at this act, and they've downshifted from playing the 930 club to playing the mainstage on 14th street. But if you have no plans for the end of summer weekend, like to shake your booty on the dance floor, and $18 in your pocket, go and have some fun.