Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
There are a bunch of very, very good shows going on this weekend in Austin. Let's work backwards, shall we? Sunday night Art Brut comes to town. Tomorrow night Dinosaur Jr., Built To Spill, White Denim, Brazos, and Future of the Left are all playing within 3 blocks of each other. I'm planning to catch both Future of the Left and White Denim. I've been a huge Dinosaur Jr. fan for many years and have yet to see them live, but they drew the proverbial short straw. Better luck next time Mr. Mascis.
I kick off the weekend tonight at Emo's. There are a plethora of bands on the bill. The inside stage features The Subjects, Bad Veins, and MoTel Aviv while the outside stage has The Bravery, Crash Kings, and DC's own The Dustys. Seeing The Dustys and Bad Veins are my priority. After that we'll see what happens. I'm interested in The Subjects but I can't say I have much desire to see The Bravery.
In case you aren't aware of Bad Veins, they're a duo from Cincinnati that are known for their "irresistible hooks, propulsive beats and inventive use of vintage electronics, such as megaphones, telephones and a reel-to-reel tape machine." Benjamin Davis and Sebastien Schultz are also known for their dynamic live shows which have garnered praise up and down the east coast. For those in DC, you can check them out on Wednesday night:
Bad Veins and The Subjects
Wednesday, Oct. 28th
Here's Bad Veins ode to the golden shower, "Gold and Warm". It gives you a sense of their fuzzed out anthemic indie rock and their sexual perversions:
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Ume (pronounced ooo-may), one of my favorite discoveries since moving to Austin, is coming to DC. They've played the District before but not in some time. I strongly recommend you check this band out:
w/ The Fervor and The Bronze Chorus
The Red and The Black
Tuesday, Oct. 20th
The power trio band is led by the fetching Lauren Larson and her heavy, thunderous guitar. She commands the sonic assualt but the band isn't all wrecking ball riffs and cool-chick vocals. They can also churn out pop hooks and catchy melodies. The reaction to their excellent Sunflower EP has overwhelmingly positive and helped land them spots on tour with bands such as The Meat Puppets and Dead Confederate. As they head to NYC for CMJ, it'll only be a matter of time before they're playing bigger and bigger venues. This is your "I saw them when..." moment. Don't miss it.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Lucero - 9:30 Club - Thursday, October 15, 2009 $15
Any time I see a band with their name displayed behind them, I start to worry. This is exactly what dbag Scott Stapp does when he's on stage. Look here, you can make out the 12 foot tall letters of his name in the back. A word, if I may. Don't be like Scott Stapp. It was fine when Elvis did it in 1968. But that was 40 years ago, and he was The King. You can see where I'm going with this. Quite literally. There's a picture...
Lucero was a band I had read about as participants in one of the many musical festivals that operate in our great nation. And when I say read about them, I mean that I read their name on a list. I didn't do any research on this show in advance, though Jumbo Slice did give me a head's up: "a little too Southern Rock for me. They’re not bad, it’s just not my thing." On this, we agree.
The 930 was 5/8 full for this Thursday night show. Lots of white dudes in attendance, myself included. I know there's a good number of single women in DC who are looking to get themselves a man, if they aren't too picky, perhaps a show like Lucero's would serve them well. Lucero hails from the wide state of Tennessee and has the twang to prove it. I think I counted 6 band members on stage, not including the 3 horn players. At $15 a ticket, that's a lot of folks to split the money with.
I think the horn players were perhaps the best thing about this show. They balanced out the otherwise overwhelmingly strong southern stylings into a fuller, richer sound that grabbed my attention. But that was as exciting as the band got. I'm not much for the vocals offered by Ben Nichols. Too raspy, though maybe the throat spray he used was indication of a weakened voice box. It was a little too close to a redneck version of Everclear, though I like the Everclear hits, I must admit.
*"What are you willing to lose?" is track 2 on Lucero's 2009 release, 1372 Overton Park.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
There is a growing catalog of local (DC) TV ads that are poorly produced, but have a certain musical quality that grabs you by the love handles and just won't let go.
So far, the notables include:
and the most recent addition comes to us from the world of HVAC....
John C. Flood (the original)
Thursday, October 08, 2009
The Gossip @ The 930 Club Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - $21
I first heard of The Gossip via KEXP's Live performance on 2/22/2006. I was underwhelmed by the interview with Beth Ditto and the rest of The Gossip, as they seemed a bit dim. But Ditto's vocals (even with a cold) were hard to ignore as was the guitar rock they pushed out. So I was psyched at the chance to see them at the Black Cat later that year promoting Standing in the Way of Control. But that wasn't meant to be (for me, any way). Then came word that they would return to the Black Cat November 14, 2007 with Long Blondes. Sweet. What? What's that you say...? Cancelled?
Fast forward to 2009 and The Gossip have returned to the States after concluding a European tour (read: vacation) and are now promoting their 4th LP, Music for Men.
I got tickets again, and despite the fact that this was a late show at the 930 Club (The Gossip didn't come on until 12:30am), I stayed awake long enough to finally see the hefty Beth Ditto and company strut their stuff.
I'm sure that for the superfans of The Gossip, it was an awesome show. I'm sure those folks stayed to the end, heard all of the hits, and took Beth out to Denny's for a grandslam breakfast when it was all over. As for DCRC, we didn't make it that far. First, anything that wasn't on Standing in the Way of Control was foreign to me, and I'll lump all of those tracks into the "new stuff" category that is always disappointing for concert goers (like me) who want to hear the familiar. With the exception of 2 songs, this "new stuff" sounded way too much like Madonna circa 1985, fuzzy pop synthesizers instead of crashing guitars. I'm making the thumbs down motion with my left hand as i type with my right.
One of the "hits" we did hear before we left was "Keeping you Alive." That's a good one. But then it was back to mediocre tracks that made me think this was their sophomore album, and not the 4th record in their catalog.
Other comments I'd make:
Beth Ditto doesn't hold much back (except what her spanks and industrial strength bra can manage). She has a great voice, which should be used for singing and not for banter with the crowd (weak). She also managed to perform exceptionally well after leaving the stage for the floor of the 930 Club. Not easy, I don't imagine, to sing while being engulfed by an enthusiastic crowd. Not easy to push her back on stage either.
I did feel a bit out of my element for the 930 Club. Not a crime, but there was quite a lot of gay talk coming from the stage. Seemed like I was at Tracks. "How do I know you're gay?" sacklunch texted me while at the show. "You're at a Gossip concert," he answered while standing next to me. So it seemed. You've got the mic, so you can do what you want. But all I am saying is that it took away from the show a bit.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Last month I ran the VA Beach Rock and Roll Half-marathon, and one of the bands that performed somewhere around mile 10 played "Whipping Post" as I approached. Seemed appropriate, now that I think of it. The band, btw, was made up of 4 or 5 boys not one of them over the age of 15. They were like Silverchair, but poor.
Monday, October 05, 2009
Disappointed you didn't win our White Lies contest? Well, don't be. When our contest winner, Jennifer Leduc, went to Will Call there were no tickets for her. I was extremely pissed off as I spent hours figuring out what went wrong. I never did get a straight answer. In the end there were no tickets and we were shit out of luck. Thankfully, some random stranger gave Jennifer and her friend passes so at least she was able to enjoy the festival - no thanks to White Lies and their people.
Despite the positive outcome I'm still annoyed Jennifer spent hours sitting outside the box office for no good reason. I did get a "Sorry! There was break down in communication..." message which is another way of saying "these things happen and no one is about to take responsibility".
We're fortunate bands and publicists add us to guest lists, etc. I'm not complaining about that. But when I'm offered four free tickets (I never asked for them) and then those tickets never materialize, well you can bet I'm going to be fucking mad.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
That's right, we're giving away two Sunday General Admin tickets compliments of our friends, White Lies. Before we discuss how you can win, let's talk about White Lies.
The band hails from London, England and plays synth-infused post-punk indie rock that has drawn comparisons to Interpol, Franz Ferdinand, and Joy Division. While the Joy Division comparisons have merit, the music is not dour, dark, or depressing. In fact, despite melancholy lyrics (I mean, their first single is called "Death" off the To Lose My Life album) the music is somehow uplifting and even danceable. There's also a grandeur to the music that indicates the band is better suited for large festivals or venues than small clubs. The "bigness" of their sound helped them land the opening slot on the upcoming Kings of Leon tour.
So, do you want a chance to see White Lies on Sunday from 3:00-4:00 at the XBox360 stage? After White Lies plays you can stick around and see other bands such as Pearl Jam, The Dead Weather, Arctic Monkeys, Passion Pit, Girl Talk, and Dirty Projectors. Email us DCRockClub@gmail.com with the subject line "White Lies Contest". We're tempted to make you fess up to the worst white lie you've ever told, but we know you'd just be lying to us anyway. We'll leave it up to the Random.org gods to pick the winner. You have until Friday at 5PM EST to enter the contest so send in that email now!
"Death" by White Lies