Long live rock, I need it every night

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Age Dive

We got news this week that senior citizen Iggy Pop's lust for life has meant his retirement from stage diving. Probably a good idea since most people old enough to remember stage diving are in worse shape than he is these days, and would drop him 9 times out of 10 anyway.

With that in mind, we go back to the 1990s when stage diving was annoying music fans all over the world on a regular basis.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Making up for lost time

Believe it or not, Rock Club made it out to a show this weekend. It was the third show of four this week, and it ended a long cold drought.

Last Tuesday was the first of the four nights and the second night of Spoon being in town. They put on a great show at the 930, as usual, with two short encores, great lighting, and a nice mix of tunes from their expanding catalog. I'm always curious about multiple night sets, wondering which night is the better bet. My money was on the second, hoping it worked like the Price is Right's Showcase Showdown. Thanks to our friends at the WaPo's Click Track, the breakdown of the two shows is there to compare.

Friday night was spent at the RnRH to see Baltimore's Wye Oak and headliner Shearwater. Wye Oak rocked it. That two-piece maximizes its profits. Compare that to Shearwater's weighty overhead and off-putting vocals, Wye Oak was the band to see Friday night.

Saturday night, DC's RC membership converged on the Black Cat and began the night with San Diego's Beaters. Metal with a splash of synthesizer. Aggressive and interesting for a song or two, but harsh enough to send us downstairs for a drink.

Next up, we caught a few tracks from ill-named NODZZZ (also from CA). These dork rockers had a Black Lips vibe to them without the full frontal nudity and excessive on-stage spitting. Instead, they had dude with Buddy Holly glasses and a Mr. Spock haircut. They were selling their new 7". I don't have a record player.

Headliners, The Soft Pack, the band whose name is still hanging on the playlist for the comatose WOXY.com, were the final California band of the evening, and showcased a bit of a surfer rock sound. They were excellent from start to finish, great showmanship, excellent vocals, a tight 4some. DCRC was unanimous in its praise for The Soft Pack. I'll be downloading soon.

Here's a clip:

And while we're at it, Monday night brought Vancouver's Japandroids to the RnRH and DCRC out for another show. This was a sacklunch pick, endorsed by Jumboslice, despite Senior Youth Correspondent Andrew's early skepticism about this two piece. Jimbromski and I hung back to catch this act from afar while sacklunch mixed it up closer to the stage with the dozens of young'uns tattooed with big Xs sharpied on their hands. Japandroids were enthusiastic, but we were less so. Jimbromski made the point that they seem to have hatched out of the 1990s, a sloppy loud sound lacking melody. I'm not sure what all the buzz is about.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I'm Gonna Die Before I See My Time

WOXY (1983-?)

Choose what to believe
And you don't take it from anyone else

But I think I'm gonna die
Before I see my time
But I think I'm gonna die
Try it anyway

The lyrics above are from "Answer To Yourself" by The Soft Pack. It was the final song played on WOXY before it went silent yesterday morning. According to Mike Taylor, WOXY Program Director, the song was just a random pick but it seems fitting. You can certainly read a lot into those lyrics.

By now the shock has worn off and the reality that WOXY is no longer on the air has really set in. There are four of us in DC Rock Club and we all have different musical tastes (mine is the best). However, the one thing we had in common was we all listened to WOXY each weekday. At about 10 AM this morning the "What's the fuck are we supposed to listen to" and "Jesus, KEXP really sucks" emails started to fly around. There are many other options for online music but they all pale in comparison to WOXY. For every good song automated radio sites play, you have to sit through a dozen shitty ones. WOXY sifted through all the crap out there and championed the bands that truly deserved attention. While I didn't like every song they played, WOXY had a vastly higher success rate than any station I ever listened to. The WOXY DJs - Mike, Shiv, Joe, and Paige - know their music and it was nice to have people you trusted creating your workday soundtrack.

When it was announced last year that WOXY was moving from Cincinnati to Austin, I couldn't have been more thrilled. I gloated to our friend Steve at BabyStew.com since he's the biggest WOXY fanatic you can imagine. I attended their first big party at the Scoot Inn and spent a lot of time talking with Shiv (Music Director) and Paige (Director of Marketing & Development). The WOXY crew wasted no time making their mark on the weirdest little city in Texas. They sponsored incredible shows, had tons of great bands in studio, and were always out around town (Shiv is a god damn SUPERSTAR here). Basically, they're the nicest, smartest, coolest folks you'd ever want to meet.

They were also incredibly welcoming. I had the pleasure of going to the WOXY studio for numerous Lounge Act recordings. I got to see Royal Bangs, Mission of Burma (one of my all-time favorite bands), Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, and just last week, The Besnard Lakes. Each time I was there the WOXY staff was happy to share their space with fellow music fans. WOXY and Austin seemed like the perfect fit. Which is why the announcement yesterday was such a fucking bummer.

I'm not sure if WOXY will make it back on the air or not. I certainly hope so. I've said it many times and I'll say it again: I'd HAPPILY pay a monthly fee to listen to WOXY. I seriously feel lost with my default music option.

Here's a video I shot last week at WOXY of The Besnard Lakes performing "Albatross". Thanks again to everyone at WOXY for having us in and to Steve for helping set it all up.

The Future of Rock and Roll is dead

This is a very sad day. Normally, I'd be 2 hours into my morning at work, catching up on New Tunes Tuesday, enjoying the best in free internet radio. But unceremoniously, the plug has been pulled on WOXY.com

I often asked, how does this station afford to do what it does (did)? It never asked for donations, and never aired commercials. I found this article back in October to help explain things, but I guess that wasn't enough. Man. This seriously blows. Especially for those folks who just moved out to Austin.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

DC Does TX 2010

Well, it's almost that time again...the most wonderful time of the year: SXSW. There are many things I love about living in Austin but SXSW is at the top of the list. Thousands of bands descend upon the city, play a fuck load of free shows (often w/ free beer), and turn all of Austin in one giant party. God I love it. This year will be extra magical-special because Jimbromski and family are coming down to partake in the activities. It'll be interesting as we balance time with the wives and kids riding the choo-choo train at Barton Springs with time drinking beers at Emo's with BabyStew Steve and Mr. Malitz. Fortunately, we have a lot of experience parenting while hungover.

As you might imagine, Sacklunch (remember him?) and Potsy are insanely jealous they won't be at SXSW. Jimbromski, being the devious and clever man that he is, surreptitiously made his trip plans w/o informing Potsy and Sacklunch, thereby ensuring free room and board at La Casa del Jumbo Slice. Once again proving that in a game of Rock Club Survivor, Jimbromski would win the million dollars.

As I mentioned there are more shows and parties than I can keep track of but one show I'm sure to attend is the DC Does TX party:

I'm especially excited to see Title Tracks for the first time (I missed their Austin show last month) and I always look forward to Deleted Scenes. Of course, it's a solid lineup from top to bottom. And if that's not reason enough to attend, there will be free beer compliments of Doghead Fish Craft Brewery. Here are the set times:

12-12:30 - Vandaveer
12:45-1:15 - Pree
1:30-2:00 - Deleted Scenes
2:15-2:45 - Title Tracks
3:00-3:30 - Le Loup
3:45-4:15 - US Royalty
4:25-4:55 - Middle Distance Runner

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Broken Bells Dropped

Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) and James Mercer's (The Shins) collaboration, Broken Bells, release their self-titled album today. If anybody's interested... They perform at SXSW on the 17th.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

"Hang in there."*

sack lunch (if you even remember who he is) is gearing up for a couple of big hikes. One up Mt. Washington as prep for a bigger go at Mt. Rainier (number 2). So on Saturday night, we ventured out to the E Street Cinema for a flick about climbing and Nazis, a winning combination. At least that was how it was advertised to us. The movie, Nordwand, is a 2008 pic about two dudes in 1936 who try to be the first to make their way up the North Face of the Eiger in Switzerland. While there were some Nazis involved, they were peripheral to the story, and none of them got shot, or anything coming close to getting shot. They got waved at, mostly. Hardly the kind of punishment we are accustomed to seeing inflicted on the Nazis.

Anyway, I figured this flick was meant to inspire sack lunch as he readies himself for cold weather and icy conditions. But having seen this motion picture, there's nothing inspirational about it. It'd be like watching a movie about those Italian families who put on all the firework displays for the major holidays, but in the end, they all burn to death in a horrific and drawn out series of disastrous mishaps. Very uplifting. Good luck, sack lunch. Bring extra long rope. Oh yeah, the movie's in German, too, so bring your reading glasses if you don't speak the Deutsch.

In light of this gloomy movie, let's go back and revisit a more positive rock climbing experience.

* a quote from the movie, believe it or not.