by DCRC Senior Youth Correspondent, Andrew
Saturday, May 30, 2009
by DCRC Senior Youth Correspondent, Andrew
Friday, May 29, 2009
Cymbals Eat Guitars w/Sinta @ The Black Cat Backstage - Thursday, May 28 - $10
The 28th of May is my mom's birthday, which has nothing to do with the show that I saw last night, but I think it's worth mentioning. Also worth mentioning is my approach to DCRC. Rock Club, at its core, is about seeing live music. So the performance is really what I focus on. This is important as I consider last night's show put on by Cymbals Eat Guitars (CEG, henceforth).
I credit my acquaintance with CEG to WOXY, as they tend to play tracks like Cold Spring, from time to time. So I was happy for the chance to check CEG out in person at my neighborhood bar. Now this is where my Rock Club criteria comes in. I don't have any CEG tracks on my iPod, so I'm just a casual listener. But I was disappointed by their show at the Black Cat for the following reasons:
- clumsy and sloppy - this works for a number of bands (many of whom I enjoyed in the 90s), but it didn't work for CEG last night. To me, they just sounded amateurish - like they needed a lot more time at band practice.
- bad banter - people are paying for the privilege to listen to you play your music. Be somewhat professional and don't try to sell them something additional before you've proved yourself. One of the first things out of CEG's mouth (other than lyrics) was a plug for their merchandise. A little presumptuous if you ask me. Although maybe it was a veiled hint that their songs are worth listening to on record (but not live). I'd buy that.
- winter hat - I stepped out of the show to take a call from Emma Peel and when I returned, lead singer Joseph Ferocious had donned a hat. The kind you wear when it's cold (it wasn't cold). Maybe he thinks he performs better while wearing a hat? I was hoping that, anyway.
- joseph ferocious - ? Okay this has nothing to do with their performance. And I guess everyone's allowed to brand him or herself however they like. But while Joseph D'Agostino brought a lot of energy to his vocals, Ferocious is setting the bar kinda high.
- Sinta - this was the opening act at the Black Cat Backstage Thursday night. And I thought they were twice as nice as CEG. They were a bit loose in places, too, but they made it work for me.
Sinta at Black Cat Backstage. This band doing a lot of things right.from txt
"Last Song"...poppy and good.from txt
I'd put Sinta up against a number of headliners we've seen.from txt
Cute chick singer. Rocking vocals.from txt
Next time these high schoolers play your favorite club, check them out. They were impressive. I'll admit that I had an American Beauty moment while watching them perform.
Senior Youth Correspondent Andrew will cover the headliner of the night, Title Tracks, in a forthcoming post...
What's the rock equivalent of the rapper's "Well, my name is [INSERT NAME HERE], and I'm here to say..."? It's the self-namecheck song, where you mention your own band in the song. Below are a list of the most well-known (to me) self-namechecks. As you'll soon see, you shouldn't write this kind of song unless you know what you're doing.
From best to worst:
- "Bad Company," Bad Company. This one is probably Bad Company's best song and explains the whole raison d'etre of the band. If you're Paul Rodgers and someone asks you what it's like to live the rock and roll lifestyle, you get a faraway look in your eyes and say, it's not for everyone.
- "Jocko Homo," Devo. .0003458 points out of first place. Are we not men? We are Devo.
- "Rock and Roll Band," Boston. Okay, technically not a self-namecheck since they never really say their name in the song, but really, what part of "We were just another band out of Boston" do you not understand? This one had everyone dancing in the streets of Hyannis, including that one mongoloid Kennedy kid who killed that girl with the 5-iron. That's how powerful this song is. The Steely Dan version would go like this: "We were just another band that formed in a northeastern private college/we read Vonnegut and wear turtlenecks"..../break for four minute gay jazz sax solo/..."big black cow etc etc."
- "(Theme From) The Monkees," The Monkees. Same concept as "Bad Company" but totally different vibe. When you ask Mickey Dolenz what it's like to live the rock and roll lifestyle, he'll give you a hug and then ask for a cracker.
- "Private Eyes," Hall and Oates. Another one that's not a self-namecheck song, but hey you know what's fun? Every time Hall sings "private eyes, they're watching you," replace with "Hall and Oates, we're watching you." It makes for a much more interesting song. You know what else is amusing? Every time a song has the word "you" in it, replace with "Jew." That's good for a few laughs.
- "Black Sabbath," Black Sabbath. This song only mentions the band name in the song title, but not in the song itself. Here's what the song says: big black shape with eyes of fire/telling people their desire/Satan's sitting there, he's smiling/watches those flames get higher and higher/oh no no, please God help me! Also, this song begins with the sound of fat sizzling.
- "Who Are You?" The Who. Word has it that Pete Townshend wrote this song recounting a night when he met the Sex Pistols and got piss drunk because he felt washed up. Passed out in a Soho doorway and you know the rest. I was amazed when I realized this song contained the word "fuck" clear as day and yet was still played on the radio.
- "We Are The Clash"/"This Is Radio Clash"/"Clash City Rockers," The Clash. Having watched The Future Is Unwritten (click here for Sacklunch's exhaustive review), my main takeaway was that Joe Strummer was kind of a prick. After firing Mick Jones, he cobbled together some be-mohawked strangers and released Cut The Crap, which is a world-famous misnomer if there ever was one. Really, "We Are The Clash" is a terrible song. "Clash City Rockers," however, is pretty cool. The best of the bunch, in my opinion, is "This Is Radio Clash." As always I am the contrarian and prefer Mick Jones to Joe Strummer.
- "They Might Be Giants," They Might Be Giants. Let me quote Homer Simpson here: "Marge, try to understand. There are two types of college students--jocks and nerds. As a jock, it is my duty to give nerds a hard time." Here's what I propose we do with John Flensburger, or whatever his fucking name is, and the other one, the guy that looks like Jamie Lee Curtis--find an escalator in the Port Authority, make them each kneel in front of a handrail, make them stick their tongues out, and lick the entire length of the escalator handrails. The whole thing. We could put a piece of duct tape on the rail to make sure we know when it's gone around one revolution.
- "On With The Body Count," Body Count. Lord, why doth hast thou punished me by making me live through the 90s? Ice-T sucked bad, whether he was rapping, or barfing out this rock/rap abortion that was Body Count. Didn't he grow up in the suburbs? Something about him seems fraudulent.
I'm on a bit of an Australian kick. I've been listening to An Horse a lot but for months I've been loving "Primary Colours" by Eddy Current Suppression Ring. I first learned of this band from PostRock and it sent me off to learn more about Australian and New Zealand bands.
Readers paying close attention may ask, "Aren't you just stealing all your ideas from Malitz over at PostRock? You learned about the Eddy Current Suppression Ring from him and he even titled his article 'New Favorite Thing'! Have you no shame?" To those people I simply say Shut Up. Shut...the fuck....up.
Okay, back to my post. Australia is known more for it's crocodile hunters and boxing kangaroos than its music. However, it has produced great bands, AC/DC being the most popular example. Others include:
INXS - What? I grew up on Sabooh Soobah, Listen Like Thieves, and Kick.
The Saints - "I'm Stranded" is the tits.
Midnight Oil - I still go back and listen to Diesel and Dust.
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - I finally came around on these guys after listening to Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!.
The Church - just released their 23rd album!
Men At Work - If you don't like "Down Under", "Who Can It Be Now?", and "Be Good Johnny" there's something wrong with you.
On the down side, they did give us The Vines, Jet, and of course, The Bee Gees.
Enjoy the Eddy Current Suppression Ring's concise post-punk, talk-singing, and catchy riffs:
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Potsy's going to the sold out Grizzly Bear and Here We Go Magic show on Monday. While I'm a fan of Here We Go Magic (check out their Daytrotter session), I don't have a strong opinion on Grizzly Bear. "Knife" on Yellow House is a great song but I really never got into them. Their new album, Veckatimest, was released this week and everyone has opinion. Some love it, some hate it. I haven't listened from start to finish so I'll reserve judgement for the time being. However, based on what I've heard on their MySpace page, I don't see what the fuss is about. Hopefully, seeing them in Austin on June 16th will help me decide which camp I should pitch my tent.
Are you undecided as well? Here's something to help you out - the video for "Two Weeks". I find the song a little boring but the video is too fucking creepy not to love.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Getting tickets to Austin City Limits, the PBS show not the festival, is tough. Fortunately, the local PBS station that hosts the series, KLRU, has started a new Web-only music series called ACL Stage Left. They feature local artists and provide "a space where the very best, most unique, passionate music artists can capture great moments and tell their tales, turning their listeners and our viewers into life-long fans." I can support that.
A few weeks ago a friend and I went to see Brazos on ACL Stage Left. It's in the same studio as Austin City Limits, just with different staging. In typical Austin style there was plenty of free beer, which was nice. Two days prior to the taping I saw Brazos open for Wye Oak. I love me some Wye Oak but Brazos was the band that impressed me most that night. They have a unique style that combines folk, rock, and jazz. It's often quiet and melodic, moody but reaffirming. The music is strong but the lyrics are equally compelling. It's rare for a band strike that balance. Perhaps their greatest asset is Martin Crane's effortless vocals. Here he is performing the first song he ever wrote, "Mary Jo":
Not bad, huh? The vocals on that one remind me of Band of Horses. I look forward to seeing the entire performance when it's posted online. In the meantime, here's another great video from ACL Stage Left. It's Leatherbag (who looks and sounds like a combo of Buddy Holly, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan) performing "On Down The Line":
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Potsy is our go to guy for covering The National but he was busy celebrating Memorial Day and eating clam chowder in New England. Fortunately, Andrew, our Senior Youth Correspondent, was at the 9:30 Club on Sunday to review the show.
w/ Colin Stetson
May 24, 2009
ClevelandCincinnati indie rockers The National visited DC for three shows this Memorial Day weekend-two on Sunday night and then one on Monday night. I caught the earlier of the two Sunday night shows thanks to a friend who had the foresight to bag two tickets since all three ended up selling out.
I was pleasantly surprised by opener Colin Stetson. I checked him out the day before and from what his myspace had to show, he was an experimental saxophone player who was on tour supporting a new record of original tunes for solo saxophone. I wasn't too excited for him because the songs on the myspace sounded like typical "I dare you to say this isn't music" experimental fare. I had completely misjudged Stetson--his performance gets an A for three reasons.
1) He played a short (20 minute) five song set. This was genius because even the most pedestrian of music listeners will give experimental mumbo jumbo like Colin's a short listen before they get bored or, more than often than not, angry.
2) Colin Stetson played the largest saxophone I have ever seen. Someone screamed out "What are you playing?" Answer: Bass Saxophone. It was huge. His large instrument added a "spectacle" element that helped the crowd stay interested.
3) He worked great with the crowd. The crowd was very responsive. The music was definitely interesting to listen to, and his lip smacking technique to add a drum sound was very impressive. The crowd cheered louder after every number, and Colin seemed simultaneously perplexed and overjoyed to get such a good reaction from the crowd. That's DC for you Colin. We shall never dance, but if you play crazy saxophone ditties, we will applaud as if you were a Pavement reunion.
Having only seen The National once before at Merriweather opening for REM, catching them in a club was, as expected, a whole different experience. I was pretty close since the lady I came with is kinda short, and this was most definitely a plus. The National opened with a new song called "The Runaway", a slow and introspective tune that found the band in their more orchestral mode rather than straight up rock mode.
It's hard to pick out highlights of their 90 minute set because each song was played with more tightness and intensity than the last. Although people were shouting requests all night to no avail (Annoying right?), some requests that were played when the band wanted to play them included "Start A War", "Apartment Story", and "Slow Show." The National relied almost exclusively on Boxer, their latest record, and Alligator, their second most recent LP. Singer Matt Berninger really threw himself into the performance, screaming many choruses with Morrissey-esque defiance.
"Mr. November" was in its proper place--the encore--during which Berninger doused himself in a conveniently located bottle of white wine and proceeded to chuck ice cubes and flowers into the crowd. The professionalism and talent of the band was more than evident in The National's stunning set Sunday night. The performance as well as the three sold out shows go to show why The National are one of the best indie bands around. Also, as if anyone cares, this show is now tied with the free Spoon show at GW for best of the year, in the Senior Youth Correspondent category of course.
Friday, May 22, 2009
I was always a fan of McLusky (who isn't?) but I didn't jump on the Future of the Left (henceforth FOTL) bandwagon right away. That all changed when I saw the power trio perform at SXSW. They were the best band I saw all week. And I saw A LOT of bands. A shitload even. Dozens. You get the point.
Cardiff’s finest release their new full-length, Travels with Myself and Another, June 23 on 4AD. I snagged an early copy and it's every bit as scrappy, humorous, and funky as anything McLusky released. My personal favorites are "Arming Eritrea", "Stand By / Your Manatee", and "Lapsed Catholics".
Here's the video for "The Hope That House Built", the first single off their new album. Ever wondered what it'd look like if Ewan McGregor was Wolverine instead of Hugh Jackman? Well, here's your answer:
Consider yourself warned: FOTL plays DC9 on July 19th. Do NOT miss this show. Tickets are on sale now. What are you waiting for? Seriously, go buy yours right now you slacker.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
4 band bill @ DC9
sacklunch and I had a nice visit to DC9 on Tuesday. We met Steve from Babystew.com and he turned out to be a good dude with lots of brains about the muzic. He curated the night's show which ambitiously brought out 4 bands to DC9 - starting with Motel Motel, whom we nearly missed completely. We caught their last song, and it sounded...unobjectionable (the sample size was too small to really have an opinion).
Next up was Roman Candle, which I thought sounded a little bit like the Rolling Stones covering Wilco tunes. I think they'd do particularly well in gooey middle America. Also, the lead singer looked a lot like Rick Schroeder. sacklunch thought he looked like Chip Chanko. Same thing.
But the highlight of the night (no offense to head liners Tereu Tereu) were The Deep Vibration. Rock. Solid. A little bit 70s, lots of stage presence. Nothing necessarily new, I tended to like the more blues influenced tunes, but a good performance. See below:
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
One of Austin's finest bands, Loxsly, is heading to DC for not one but TWO shows:
Saturday, May 23rd at DC9 (opening for Ra Ra Rasputin and The Spiritual Machine)
Monday, May 25th at Galaxy Hut (with Finer Designer)
I received an early copy of their new album, Tomorrow's Fossils, and it's every bit as good as their Flashlights EP released last year. I've already endorsed this band a number of times. But don't take my word for it. Here's what some others have to say about Loxsly:
"Instead of relying on a couple of offbeat songs to demonstrate a more experimental bent, Loxsly often blends familiarity and new ground within the same song, making for a more intriguing concept."
Said the Gramaphone
"A continuous loop. Though something is different every time."
"a tiny bit dark, a huge bit emotional, and thoroughly enjoyable."
The Daily Texan
"Loxsly appl(ies) a dark, underwater sonic treatment that isn’t flashy or in your face, but draws the listener into a carefully constructed world filled with thick, buoyant bass lines, swirling organs, and shimmering piano runs."
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Inspired by Potsy's un-Rock Club like consistency with YouTubesDay, I've decided to start my own weekly feature: My Favorite Band (this week). Once a week, from now until eternity, I'll post the one band I'm currently infatuated with. I tend to listen to entire albums rather than playlists or the radio. Don't expect any one hit wonders to be featured. You have to release an album that tingles my balls to get the honor of My Favorite Band (this week). So who is our first lucky band? Let me introduce you to An Horse.
This grammatically challenged duo hails from the land of Crocodile Dundee and Yahoo Serious: Australia. The band consists of Kate Cooper (guitar) and Damon Cox (drums). Their debut album, Rearrange Beds, is out now. Take a listen:
If you like what you hear, you can catch An Horse with Telekinesis at the Black Cat Backstage on June 17th.
So, how did they get that name? As the story goes, "A friend once gave Kate a sweater with An Horse written on it because he thought it was grammatically correct. It wasn’t and that was quite a long time ago but Kate still wears the sweater. She hasn’t grown in years."
Ed. Note: After I posted this An Horse released the video for their first single, "Camp Out". Potsy thinks Kate looks like Ellen DeGeneres but in this video she looks like Britt Daniel's little sister to me. Judge for yourself:
Thursday, May 14, 2009
The Thermals - May 13, 2009 @ The Black Cat $13
Always good to see an enthusiastic crowd for a DC show. It doesn't happen with any regularity, but every once in a while, DC eats itself a bran muffin and lets loose. The folks who gathered together on Wednesday night made a decent show an enjoyable show for me. And while The Thermals delivered a solid performance, in their past two shows they have failed to conjure the same sense of shock and awe as they did in March of 2007.
Last night's show suffered from a soggy middle where the songs (newer ones I suspect) seemed less earnest and lacking the passion that I remember their earlier performances. Still, the crowd stuck with them faithfully, and the pogo-stick of a young lady in front of me proved that The Thermals still stoke the fire in the bellies of today's youth. Though she may have been on pills.
I haven't really listened close to Now We Can See, so that biases me against the unfamiliar, but like Andy Rooney, I like the ol' stuff better.
Jumbo Slice isn't the only DCRC twit. Here's what I thought was interesting in less than 140 characters:
The Thermals at the Black Cat. Good crowd.10:57 PM May 13th from txt
The Thermals at the Black Cat. Girl jumps on stage. Girl gets thrown out.11:04 PM May 13th from txt
The Thermals at the Black Cat. Yet there is a Charles Manson figure in the back...11:06 PM May 13th from txt [He was "security." Although, I didn't feel safer with him there.]
I love how the drummer eggs on the audience.11:20 PM May 13th from txt
Nirvana cover.11:24 PM May 13th from txt [Sappy - didn't delight as much as one might have expected]
Breeders cover.11:36 PM May 13th from txt [Saints - hard to hit the high notes - but this worked better]
Over.11:43 PM May 13th from txt
Kudos to Steve at BabyStew.com for helping organize an excellent lineup at DC9 on Tuesday, May 19th: Tereu Tereu with The Deep Vibration, Roman Candle AND Motel Motel. It's not often you get to see four terrific bands for 8 dollars. There's really no excuse for missing this show. And be sure to get there early for Motel Motel. I can't get enough of their Old York EP, especially "Coffee".
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Summer is almost here and bands are hitting the road. We have a full slate of shows over the next month (look at the Upcoming Shows section!). One band we'll be seeing (twice in fact) is White Rabbits. After touring with Spoon, White Rabbits asked Britt Daniel to produce their sophomore album, It's Frightening. It's not officially released until next week but you can listen to it on their MySpace page or download it from iTunes for a paltry $6.99.
The first single off of It's Frightening is "Percussion Gun". For some reason, it kind of reminds me of The Delta Spirit (which is a good thing).
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Okay, so the song itself isn't about graduation, but be glad I didn't post Third Eye Blind.
Monday, May 11, 2009
These United States w/ The Spinto Band & Greenland 5/8/09 @ the Black Cat - $12
What do folks think of The Roots being the house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon? Steady work...not a tough gig. Sounds like a nice pretirement set up. But doesn't it preclude them from having any real future as a touring band?
If DCRC could swing a house band, I'd like to think that we'd change it up every season or two, just to keep things fresh. Statehood would've been the DCRC band in 2006/7, as we seemed to see them every other week. In 2008, we went in a new direction and These United States (TUS) emerged as the band de l'année. Deleted Scenes looks to be the front runner for DCRC house band of 2009 (that's probably bad news for them, sorry).
Since we've seen and reviewed TUS a number of times already, we decided to reach into the emailbox for one of dozens of shovel-ready reviews submitted by our faithful readership. I will serve as editor in thief and try to move us along [in].
From the desk of our newest Youth Correspondent, Andrew:
I found about this show on Thursday and decided to check it out because two solid local acts were on the bill, Greenland and These US. I went into this with fairly high expectations. Greenland has been a personal favorite since I first saw them at Ft. Reno in '06, These US always put on a great performance, and an impressive cursory listen to the Spinto Band seemed to indicate that I might not have to head outside of the club for a breather as I usually do with local shows. Although I was in a grouchy mood because the girl I was bringing to this thing [Andrew tells us a superfluous anecdote about being stood up Friday night - no doubt trying to win sympathies from our female readers] ...I entered the Cat feeling pumped for some solid rock.Not bad, Andrew. A few points off for referring to TUS as "These US;" for not mentioning TUS drummer Robby Cosenza (I didn't recognize him at first, either - he's got a 9 to 5 haircut now) and sometimes-TUS-member Mark Charles (aka Vandaveer), and his last second appearance on stage (and birthday?); for mentioning the Berries and Creme ad (I'm not a fan); and finally for all the typos I had to fix. Extra points for going solo to the show, your analysis of the bands and for your making it through your senior prom (let's hope you didn't get stood up for that one).
I got there a little bit after Greenland started their set, thanks to the parking spot I found which was about equidistant from my house to the club. I missed "Black Lightning", their opener which is not on the record and thus a rare treat. What I did hear was a mix of new and old tunes. A highlight from the new is definitely "Coffee", a forward moving, bass driven number that features the chorus lyric "It's getting serious, It's getting serious, It's getting serious, I guess I'll drink some coffee." This is great stuff which I think represents most D.C. 9-5ers jobs pretty accurately. That said, I don't know anything about "9-5." Old tunes that landed well with the crowd were "We Are Clipper Ships" and "Tiger Rug" off of the debut album Call Message. Although not too many people were there for Greenland, those that were seemed to be digging the reverb soaked guitars and stream of consciousness lyrics. Myself included.
[Andrew tells us of his jock sniffing banter with Greenland band members after their set] Not wanting to overstay any hypothetical welcome I had with the Greenlanders, I headed up to the stage to check out Spinto Band, who is from Delawhere? If you are reading this review, a pre-lecture question you might have had is "What was the Spinto Band like?" In a word, Hobbits. [Ironically, Andrew goes to great length to describe this band as being short.]
Anyways, the Spinto Band played quasi danceable pop music in the vein of OK Go or Shout Out Louds. More people were in the club now and the crowd was notably closer to the stage than during Greenland's set. They were a tight band and had a decent amount of stage presence, but I couldn't get over the Hobbit thing. Not to harp on appearances, but the lead singer who was not particularly Hobbit like (hence he is the front man) did remind me of that berry's and creme ad [shameless]. He had a very similar mannerism and repeatedly referred to the stage as "the bandstand." Weird I know. There music was original and seemed to appeal to the people dancing, but I couldn't help feeling I had heard it/read about it a year or two ago from some similar but better band.
Ok so they finished up and got off the bandstand. As I was staking out a primo spot for the headliner's set, I saw this woman staring at me. [In this part, Andrew gets hit on by a "strange example of a female" only to have her freak out by his juvenescence.] I finally escaped from this philistine by retreating to the back lounge area until These US started.
First thing I noticed was that the band had gone through some heavy changes since the last time I had seen them (last summer, Ft Reno). I was aware of their new Kentucky connection--the normally rotating cast of characters had been replaced by two new permanent members, a guitarist and drummer from Lexington, KY, and the band had recorded a record there recently. But of the five people playing in the band, only two (Jesse and JT Hnatow) were original members. The new (newer than KY guy) looked downright scary and had a haircut that was waaay two young for him. Highlights from the set included "First Sight", the closest this and comes to indie rock and a nice break from the usual array of southern fried rock the band specialized in. Southern fried rock highlights included "Honor Amongst Thieves" and "We Go Down to That Corner." The stuff sounded good in a slower Neil Young sort of way, but I missed the vitality and one two punch delivery of the band's set last summer. I was getting pretty tired as it was pushing midnight and I wasn't looking for another run in with that crazy chick so I headed home.
Greenland was awesome. They really did it for me. The Hobbits were trying too hard to be pop sensations. Yes, some hipster looking tweens were dancing, but if you actually watch the movies about the ring, the way to destroy the ring is by helping Frodo, carrying his stuff, and not trying to frame Golum. There is nothing about starting some twee Voxtrot wannabe band. Come on now, grow up! These US seemed tired. It's hard for an older DC band that has toured the hell out of the country (and Europe for that matter) and achieved only relative merit for it to stay strong. I also think the line up change hurt more than it helped. I saw a few people from the scene, most notably Randy from the now defunct but then awesome DC band Let's French as well as a guy from Bellman Barker.
Quick preface to my review: Wye Oak and Pomegranates play the Black Cat backstage this evening. Yeah, I know, it's Monday. You're tired from the weekend, yada, yada. Take my advice: get off your ass, get out the door, and go see these bands. How good were they? Put it this way: I skipped a viewing of The Room at the Alamo Drafthouse to attend the show. Go see Wye Oak tonight. You can thank me later.
Once again I'm pressed for time so I'm basing this review on my Twitter comments. Lazy? Yes, but what else would you expect from us?
10:11 PM - at @mohawkaustin for Wye Oak. Salesman playing now. I dig them playing on floor w/ the crowd.
10:17 PM - Salesman are a drummer-guitar duo that doesn't play garagey blues rock. More spacey-psychedelia w/ rock jams.
I didn't stay for much of their set but I liked what I saw. They set up their gear in the middle of the room and just started jamming away. Looking at them I expected a White Stripes sound but they went in a totally different direction. The songs were moody and wandering. Good stuff all around.
10:54 PM - Pomegranates onstage. Thought they had a girl singer. Nope. Just a high pitched dude.
11:00 PM - Pomegranates - Bloggy eunuch rock. Sounds bad but it's actually quite good.
I seriously thought they had a female singer. His singing reminded me of Dirty On Purpose, which gives me an excuse to post this picture of Sacklunch and Potsy's doppelgangers:
11:14 PM Pomegranates drummer very animated. It's hysterical. Like fast paced miming without the face paint or being French.
11:15 PM - Oh and he has a budding mullet as well. Hockey haircut WIN.
The drummer was by far the most amusing but the whole band put on quite a show. Each song was catchy, perfect pop music fun. I made a lot of dooshy Twitter comments (I dislike the terms "Tweets") about these guys but they were great. Seriously. I defy you to see them live and not like them. I've been listening to their albums almost nonstop since the show.
11:48 PM - Brazos takes stage. I'm seeing these guys on Friday as well. They're doing a taping of Austin City Limits.
Brazos played the Austin City Limits Stage Left program at our local PBS station on Friday (review later in the week). I didn't even realize they were also playing with Wye Oak until the day of the show. The only other time I'd seen them was at a "secret" show in the middle of some woods. I was given sketchy directions - drive to a remote park, follow train tracks for quarter of a mile, listen for the music. I eventually found a huge group of people drinking beer, smoking dope, and listening to music. Unfortunately, after two songs by Brazos it started to downpour and we all scattered for our cars. End of secret outdoor party.
11:59 PM - Brazos - effortless and beautiful voice. I want to say something snarky but just can't. It's great stuff.
12:04 AM - Just one snarky comment. Drummer looks like Sulu from Star Trek. OK I'm done.
12:11 AM - Singer has played whole set w/ his fly down.
12:17 AM - Brazos closes w/ a rocking tune called Interlocking. Great set. Looking forward to the ACL taping.
I'll have more to say on Brazos when I review their Stage Left performance but must add they were terrific on this night. They instantly became one of my favorite Austin bands.
12:48 AM - Super excited for the new tunes from Wye Oak. Here's one now!
Take It In - Wye Oak
"Take It In" is the first single off their forthcoming album The Knot (out on Merge Records July 21st). I could not be more excited for this release. I'll be at Waterloo Records on the 21st to pick up my copy. "Take It In" sounded great live as did all the other new tunes.
1:08 AM - Wye Oak plays an amazing cover of Neil Young. Of course anything Jen sings sounds incredible.
They covered "Pocahontas" by Neil Young & Crazy Horse off their Rust Never Sleeps album (the one with "Hey Hey My My"). I love when a band includes a interesting cover song to their live show. Excellent choice by Wye Oak.
James Lipton on Inside the Actor's Studio often (always? not sure since I really don't watch) asks his guests, "What's your favorite sound?" The people usually respond with something lame like "a child's laughter". If asked I'd answer, "Jenn Wasner's voice as it trails off, just before the drums crash in and guitar feedback begins." I love the contrast of her soulful voice and the band's loud, layered dissonance. It often sounds as if there are 5 or 6 people playing instead of just two. Speaking of which...
1:22 AM - Andy playing three instruments at once. He's like a one man band...who happens to be in a band.
Andy Stack is one talented dude. He carries the rhythm section all by himself and does it well. It was cool to see people stare in disbelief as he played drums, keyboard, and blew into some horn-thingee all at once. My only disappointment was the band did not play longer. Hopefully, they'll tour again over the summer and make their way back to Austin.
Final note, the band was selling posters made especially for the show (see image above). I snagged one to put in my daughters room. Sacklunch decorated his kids rooms with a bunch of very cool indie rock posters and I'm stealing his idea.
Friday, May 08, 2009
Show preview--Potsy's going to the These United States, Greenland, and the Spinto Band show tonight, unless he watches golf or something.
I got a quick separated-at-birth thing for you:
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
King Khan and the Shrines w/ Mark Sultan
Once again Sacklunch writes a very belated review of a show, what a surprise...
Anyway, we all ventured out to check out King Khan for a late performance at the 930 Club. I had heard from a friend, let's call him Donald Malice, that we should definitely get there early to check out Mark Sultan (aka BBQ), because, well, he is worth checking out. Good call. I think he usually plays by himself, but tonight it was a three-way, but instead of lube and condoms, it was a bassist and an extra guitarist. Mr. BBQ plays pretty stripped down garage/blues/lo-fi rock, or whatever you want to call it. I dug the sound. Some tunes were better than others, and I think he suffered a bit by playing in such a large, fairly empty room. Also, I found the extra guitarist to be somewhat superfluous, though he did shred a fair amount on the closing song. Would love to see this dude again in a smaller, more intimate setting. Perhaps the BC Backstage, DC9, or at that imaginary party where I invite all of the friends that I don't really have...In any case, good opener. I also enjoyed the fact that late shows at the 930 Club tend to be sparsely populated, thus giving me plenty of room to wander about like a drifter (or M. Kapiloff).
King Khan came on around 11:30 PM and by then, the room was respectfully about 1/2 full. I had heard some stories that KK shows tend to get a little crazy, so I was anticipating the worst/best. However, Mr. Khan and his Shrines were very well behaved the entire night and busted out some very good, danceable, foot-tapping, head-bobbing garage soul. Here are my notes from the show:
1. There are like 12 people of stage, all of whom were not necessarily blessed in the looks department. Definitely a qualifier for ugliest band currently touring today. That being said, this could open up an interesting topic. What is the ugliest band (both past and present)? Please leave your comments in the, uh, comments....
2. Potsy and I did a fair amount of texting during the show. I have to say that I have become quite adept at text messaging as a mode of communication. Thank you iPhone. Mostly, the texts had to do with doppelgangers:
Chris Kattan on keyboards
John Norris (MTV news) on guitar
2 homeless guys on percussion
Gabe Kaplan on sax
Hitler sans stache on sax
3. I thought the show was good, but became a little one-note/derivative over time. However, I kept expecting someone to pull a Jame Gumb, so that kept me on my toes.
4. And finally, Ahmed the blind guy was in attendance. Shocking. I seriously think that guy goes more shows than Donald Malice.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Last Saturday night I excelled in my first Corn Hole-ing. Yeah. I thought I stumbled into something I wasn't ready for, but as it turns out (thankfully), this version of corn hole-ing is a bean bag game - in the same vein as horse shoes. I love house parties, and this game was being sponsored by some 20-somethings in Woodley Park hosting a KY Derby party. In my first warm up toss, I holed it (not official corn hole-ing slang, mind you). So I was feeling pretty good about myself. But within 10 minutes of play, my opponent Emma Peel managed to drain it. Again, not official slang, as I mean that she literally drained it by tossing the bean bag down the sewer drain in the back alley where we were playing.
Other highlights from this party included a pinata (no doubt a nod to today's Cinco de Mayo celebrations). Best candy in the world (TakeFive) was featured inside, so I was pleased to see it hit the ground. And finally, while chatting up some of Emma Peels colleagues, I experienced an intense burning sensation. Again, it wasn't that kind of corn hole-ing...and the burning was coming from my front shoulder. And then the back of my shoulder. Turns out, I had a wasp in my shirt, and 5 stings later, I manage to un-shirt myself to free the bee.
And that brings me to today's youtube post. I'm full of wasp poison, and I've had this song stuck in my head since Saturday night.
Are you a fan of heavy metal? DC Rock Club is planning a return trip to Jaxx, and no offense to Kix, but this time we're looking to forgo the Hostess Twinkie bullshit hair metal and see some REAL METAL. Like Black Metal or somesuch.
To these ends we solicited help from our friend Stutts, who knows a guy who knows metal. This friend of Stutts's, who we'll call Tor Eckman, sent us the epic missive posted below. It pretty much gives us everything we want to know but if you, gentle reader, have further recommendations, let's hear them.
Now, from the desk of Tor Eckman:
hey old man's child looking for old grandad are ye? here's what i see that i would go see, or at least wouldn't miss:
well, i'm maybe seeing Kreator May 9th here in st. pete. i've never seen them. they're one of the original German thrash metal bands i heard as a teen barely out of high school. i lost interest and they changed line-ups so who knows if i'll care about anything but their first few albums. Exodus is another band from that generation i've never seen but has the rep and cred for that genre. Belphegor is blackened death metal from Austria--i know, you're tired of all the Austrian metal that you hear on the radio. there's only one other Austrian band i know of, which is not one to miss, Abigor. song titles such as Sexdictator Lucifer and Bondage Goat Zombie should carry you through the door without much trouble. basically anything from Austria, Poland and Czechoslovakia, don't miss.
Dragonforce is a teen metal head favorite. they are, like, the fastest speed metal band in the universe, duh. kind of like prog metal on serious speed. i'm not into that for more than a song or two. but it can be amazing to watch.
Absu (Texas, US) and Glorior Belli (France) i won't miss. basically, don't ever miss anything from France. (Deathspell Omega, Blut Au Nord, Malveillance, S.V.E.S.T., god don't get me started on the French scene.) Absu manages to bridge thrash and black styles effortlessly with their own weird lyrical mythos by the amazing drummer Proscriptor. plus it's an American rarity. Glorior Belli is on Southern Lord if that means anything (and it should). they will resemble the Scandinavian style more than any of the bands mentioned so far. there's an unmistakable buzz present, an almost ambience or drone, with odd chord progression as well as dark melody with all kinds of prog like tempo changes. you can listen to their entire album here:
Atheist, down the road, literally from Sarasota--one of the origins of the so-called Florida Death Metal scene. with Psyopus (super fast grindcore experimental from NY) on the bill. could fix your technical death metal appetite. or make you laugh your ass off. some fanatics like to call this death jazz. my money is on Psyopus. you will scratch your head more than you will scratch your friend's ass.
let me know how things turn out
"grow some heretical hemlock for your representatives. serve it on a
revenue platter. then cut them down." -m'cpei
Friday, May 01, 2009
Ponytail (with Imperial China)
April 23, 2009
I'd heard a lot of bad things about Ponytail, but one thing I hadn't heard was Ponytail themselves until we caught them at DC9 last week. They win the gong for Longest and Most Irritating Soundcheck, for sure. Their lead singer looks like Juliette Lewis from The Other Sister. Her singing is a mix of yelps and whoops with nary a good ole' English word to be found. We have all the components of a terrible show swirling about, a gathering storm of crap, yes?
No, not really. Surprisingly enough, they were pretty good. High energy the entire set, singing about God fucking knows, in some sort of Ewok language, jumping around, and loud. Really, what's not to like here? There are some bands that are so just off-the-wall odd, that you find yourself just enjoying the spectacle, if not the music itself. I couldn't hum a single Ponytail song to you, but people were going nutty. The floor was shaking and there was some crowd-surfing in effect. It was a good time. Much like that time when I appeared in Nursing Home Gangbang IV: Urine-Soaked Grannies, I'm not sure I'd do it again but it was an interesting experience at the time and I'm a better man for having gone through it. In conclusion, I recommend seeing Ponytail if you haven't already seen them. Also, rent a copy of Nursing Home Gangbang IV, it's pretty good and has a surprise M. Night Shamalama-style ending. If you're a completist, you might as well get volumes I -- XXXIII. It's your call, man.
DC's own Imperial China opened up and it looks like they're about ready to bust out of this DC scene of ours. DC9's pretty small so saying "the place was packed" isn't saying much at all, but nevertheless, it was an impressive turnout for an opening band on a Thursday night, which we all know is Must See TV night, when America's Stars Come Out To Shine. Additionally, the crowd booed the sound guy when he refused to let IC play another song. Not too shabby. In my opinion, Imperial China are a good band, but goddammit, they still keep doing those Primus/Tool tempo changes and slap-bass shit, and that just rubs me the wrong way. I do not want to sail the sea of cheese. I do not care if Jerry is a race car driver. Jerry can suck one. It's frustrating because they'll hit a nice groove, almost something druggy and danceable, and I'll be enjoying it, and then BAM, they switch directions. Maybe they need to drop acid before they play and soften up a bit. My main beef with this style of music is that it seems overly masculine and appeals to a certain type of dude--I'm not thinking Limp Bizkit or anything lame like that, moreso the sort of Dischord/straight edge scene that was basically a 98% sausage fest. On the plus side, to me it sounds like they hit those nice Kinski/Chemical Brother-type grooves more often these days, and they sound pretty tight. I'm also liking the increased role of Brian Porter's vocals as well. I will say that they had one song where they hit it just right, called "Go Where Airplanes Go," which according to the band isn't out yet but will be on their upcoming album (to be released late summer/early fall). Of all the local bands we've seen, this is probably the only song I've heard where I was thinking to myself, man, what is this? I must have it. It's basically a very stripped down track, with Porter singing through the first half while playing the keyboard, then some spare percussion coming in on the second half. Top shelf stuff. So unfortunately I have no audio to post, but it did remind me of one of my favorite tracks from the Playing With Fire album by Spacemen 3--"Any Way That You Want Me (demo)", and I can and will post that instead. Enjoy the goodness:
"Any Way That You Want Me (demo)"
Playing With Fire
So basically, what I want to say to Imperial China, is stop sounding like Dischord, which I never really liked anyway (heresy!), and start imitating good bands like Spacemen 3 more often, like you did with "Go Where Airplanes Go." Also note that I am available to assume a Col. Tom Parker-type role as your manager and svengali, should you desire.
PS--Some notes/trivia about "Any Way That You Want Me." First of all, I didn't know it's a cover. It is. The track was originally released by the Troggs in 1966. And apparently Jason Pierce's desire to record the song was the straw that broke Spacemen 3's back (or shot them out of the airlock and asphyxiated them, to use a better space travel-related metaphor), according to Wikipedia--"The final conflict that contributed to the split [of Spacemen 3] was Pierce’s decision to release a cover of the Troggs’ “Any Way That You Want Me” as the first Spiritualized single, which Kember had been wanting to cover for years." I found the Spiritualized version of the song and I don't like it as much as the demo done earlier by Spacemen 3. You be the judge--here's the video from Spiritualized, and also the Troggs version thrown in, for good measure.
"Any Way That You Want Me," Spiritualized
"Any Way That You Want Me," The Troggs (warning--fan-created video)