Long live rock, I need it every night

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Timing is everything if you've got nothing but time

If Rock Club wasn't already on the hook for The Besnard Lakes this Thursday night, I'd be at DC9 for another look at Tim Fite. I like what he does.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Formed (another) band

Everybody was in the French Resistance...Now! May 15, 2010 @ DC9

Eddie Argos - of Art Brut fame - has teamed up with the very appealing Dyan Valdes (of the Blood Arm) for the exasperatingly named EWITFR...N! After watching the impotent DC United lose to the mediocre Colorado Rapids Saturday night, Rock Club and 38 others had a look at Eddie and Dyan perform tracks off their concept album "Fixin' the Charts, Volume One."

The album is made up of "songs" inspired by a number of other (actual) songs.

Here's the list:
Creeque Allies - Response to “Creeque Alley” by the Mamas and the Papas
G.I.R.L.F.R.E.N (You Know I've Got A) - Response to “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne
(I'm So) Waldo P. Emerson Jones - Response to “Waldo P. Emerson Jones” by the Archies
The Scarborough Affaire - Response to “Scarborough Fair,” traditional/Simon & Garfunkel
Billy's Genes - If you can't figure this one out, eat a dick.
Think Twice (It's Not Alright) - Response to “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” by Bob Dylan
Hey! It's Jimmy Mack - Just read the info here
He's a "Rebel"
Coal Digger - Kayne...
My Way (Is Not Always the Best Way) - Old Blue Eyes
Walk Alone

DCRC club has seen Art Brut a few times, and I think it's safe to say, once is all you really need. Entertaining? absolutely. But once you know how The Usual Suspects unfolds, there's no reason to see it again. Such is the fate of Eddie Argos. It's the same ol' thing. He talks. People play music behind him (in this case it's half pre-recorded). He wears a hat. He takes off the hat. He's talks to the crowd. People generously laugh at whatever he says, almost uncomfortably. I think he'll make a great game show host some day.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Are you ready for some futbol?

Paul Hewson, aka Bono, turned 50 years old yesterday. If you ever have the privilege of playing golf with sacklunch, you might see the best Bono impression of all time. sacklunch only knows one joke (the one about your mother), and once he discovers a bit that works, he performs encores - unsolicited.

So imagine you're on the 4th hole staring down a 6 foot putt, you read the green, take a deep breath, and draw back the club. Now imagine a stocky bearded fellow off in the periphery, he's got the flag stick in his hands, starts singing "Sunday Bloody Sunday," and waves the flag as he runs around you. That's sacklunch.

If you've been watching ESPN at all this last week+, you might think that the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa is possible because U2 stopped apartheid and elected Nelson Mandela. In the time that it has taken me to write the above, ESPN has shown two of their U2 themed adverts. Now, I grew up mad about U2. I like hearing "Out of Control" as the narrator reminds us that the soccer player wearing number 10 is like today's basketball player wearing 23. So I'm not complaining. Just sharing. Speaking of narrator, here's sir Bono.

Oh, make it three FIFA ads now.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Local de Mayo

Local Natives @ RnRH - May 5, 2010 - $10

I found a nice surprise from Facebook on Wednesday. Instead of the normal PR notice from the Rock and Roll Hotel via their fan page, I received something worthy of a fan page. No, it wasn't a notice about the next Drunken Jenga night or Gugurachi (or whatever it is that they do upstairs on slow nights). This time I received a message inviting me to purchase a ticket to the sold out Local Natives show. Which I did. There were 5 tickets available, and I got one.

Emma Peel is a fan of Local Natives. She talked them up quite a bit, and that was enough for me to pay attention. It was too bad I couldn't get two tix. This show was originally scheduled for DC9 and moved to the RnRH, so I can't be too greedy.

I did make a mistake in my pre-concert planning. I decided to go for a run before making my way to H Street. I got cleaned up and everything, don't worry. But sometimes the RnRH can resemble a well attended fraternity party. Too many dudes in close quarters with not enough ventilation. I should have stopped in the local Giant before I got there and stood in the frozen food section for 20 minutes. Instead I arrived with an elevated core temp and it only got hotter.

I like shows at the RnRH. It's just big enough, and H street is what 14th street used to feel like, slightly sketchy and under populated. One thing I don't like about the RnRH is the stage lighting. It's really poor, and with such low ceilings, it's difficult to see the band at times. This was true on Wednesday night.

Local Natives put out a strong debut album (Gorilla Manor) that I am just getting to know. But some of their slower tunes can drag on a bit live. At least that's how it felt Wednesday. There's also a lot of ah ahhhhhhh aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh whoaaaaaaaaaaaa oooooooooo. I'm getting a little bored with this sound coming from a good number of bands today (Fleet Foxes, Frightened Rabbits, Animal Collective...), but Local Natives enticed a sizable crowd into singing along with them throughout the show. Often that's a sign I'm at the wrong show, but in this case, it was good to see and hear. We don't often get a lot of that in DC. Here's a clip from Weds:

The up tempo tunes were great and if the hot chick behind me hadn't eaten a 6 pack of garlic, I might have enjoyed my neighbors more as they crowded in to get involved. I noticed one Asian American (or maybe Asian Canadian) who was running-in-place/dancing to the music. I saw another Asian North American do the same thing at the Phoenix show. Is this a trend?

Bottom line, if Local Natives are playing Constitution Hall in a year and a half, I won't go. The Black Cat seems like a good venue for them next time around. The Black cat has better AC too.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

King James the Lawbringer

Eustace Tilley--eat a dick this long, man

Thank God LCD Soundsystem is back. I'm sick of all these weenie bands and their Hostess Twinkie bullshit, man. There's an article about the band and their new album in this week's New Yorker, a magazine that I read. Did I mention I read the New Yorker? Because I do. Even the terrible "humor" articles, which I read to myself using a nebbish Woody Allen-type inner voice, because I think that somehow that will make the "jokes" funnier.

I also love "Life In These United States" and "Humor in Uniform," as well as "Stars--They're Just Like Us!" Wait, that's Reader's Digest. And Us.

I do want to submit "My wife is a slut" to the Cartoon Caption Contest, however.

Anyway, back on topic--LCD Soundsystem. Here's a quote from the man-genius James Murphy that I think encapsulates everything that's right about his band:

LCD live was set up to be an argument about what's wrong with bands and why bands should be better...I always thought we were so obviously not a great band. I was not a great front man. There's a lot of ramshackle mismatched people, and we didn't dress like each other or particularly well. Our rules help us.
Nobody onstage can hear anything the audience doesn't hear. No click tracks, no guides, nothing can be heard onstage that isn't going to the front of the house. If it's a synthesizer, you have to make that sound happen onstage with a synth. If it's an organic sound, it absolutely cannot be put on a sampler. No 'feeling it.' No sunglasses. No rocking out. No improvising. No noodling. No psyching up the crowd. No pretending you're cool. I understand that if someone's going to make me his idea of cool I can't control that. But no wearing the rock-and-roll hat. Volume. Volume. Volume. Volume onstage. We like it to sound uniform, even, and loud as fuck. I want someone to come out of the audience and onto the stage and hear the same shit.
Article excerpts here.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Self employed cetaceans

Freelance Whales @ 9:30 Club Sunday, May 2, 2010 - $15 -
oh, and Shout Out Louds (headliners)

DCRC went to see the saccharine Freelance Whales at the 930 on Sunday night. This is a band that is easy to listen to, and for me that's good and bad.

Have you ever started a new job to find one eager person who is extra nice to you, willing to give you all the insider info about where to get lunch and to tell you who is a bitch and who has a mild cocaine habit? For me, I like knowing a good place to get lunch so I'm instantly grateful. And that's how Freelance Whales strikes me. They use a banjo on stage - and I love banjos - so immediately we're BFF.

But the more this new workmate talks the less you like what you hear, and pretty soon you realize why s/he was so anxious to befriend you. It's because this person totally sucks and is fond of manipulation. I fear this will be the phenomenon of Freelance Whales.

I've always said that my favorite music is music I don't like at first. Not so in this case, but I'll enjoy them while it lasts. Here's a sample of what they do:

Nice hats.

Meanwhile, the Shout Out Louds reminded me of something I would have heard off the Breakfast Club soundtrack. They were fine, but what's with the intermittent blasts of "smoke" on stage? There is a segment of the musical spectrum where smoke machines are acceptable, and Shout Out Louds fall outside of that spectrum (which they should be happy for).