Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Burn To Shine DVD
Monday, November 29, 2004
Friday at the Cat
Friday night took me to the Black Cat to catch Travis Morrison/Beauty Pill/Medications.
Medications was absolutely fan-fucking-tastic. A ridiculously good power-trio. That's not terribly surprising, considering they're 2/3 of Faraquet - one of my favorite latter-day Dischord bands. These guys are the latest to be added to my must-see-every-time list.
Beauty Pill. I love love love Beauty Pill. They did not disappoint. It was my first time catching their new singer Jean Cook. It was a little odd at first, but she more than holds her own with the band. Anyone who can get on stage rock-out on a frying pan is ok by me. They played most of the Cigarette Girl... EP, a couple from the new disc and a smattering of other things, including a brief cover of Blondie's Dreaming. Chad was quite talkative. He pointed out that he was in a band with the guitarist/singer from Medications (Devin Ocampo). Devin was actually the drummer in Smart Went Crazy. Dischord is quite the incestuous label. Great show as always. Wish they could have played longer. Looking forward to another headlining gig.
Travis. First of all, I'm pretty sure Travis was sitting at the merch table during the Medications set. Having no idea what Travis looks like, I think I unwittingly walked right up to him and asked him to sell me a Medications EP. He looked at me a little funny, got me the CD and suggested to the other person at the table that they switch seats (which would actually situate him behind his own stuff). oops. I felt slightly bad when I saw him get on stage. Oh well.
I loved The Dismemberment Plan, but I've heard nothing but horrible things about Travistan. Pitchfork actually gave it a 0.0. Ouch. I figured there's no way it could possibly be that bad. Well...it wasn't that bad, but the music I heard at the show wasn't that great either. 2 keyboards a drummer and a percussionist. Mostly quirky, but extremely danceable songs. Travis looked like he was having a blast. The crowd right up front was digging it, but it was seriously thinning out in the back. By the time he was done you could just walk up and be maybe 5 feet from the stage. Ouch.
Humorous portions of the show:
1) When the main keyboard player's (Kate Pierson's twin) keyboard collapsed onto the floor with a loud crash. To her credit, she never stopped playing. Travis even mangled the mic stand fast enough so she could sing her verse of the song while sitting on the floor playing the keys. Kudos to her.
2) Travis is looking for suggestions for a band name, so he doesn't have to call them The Travis Morrison Band. Audience suggestions included:
Travis Morrison and the Pharmacists
He seemed to like the sound of Travis Morrison and the Planeteers.
All in all - a great night of local music. The only problem was that the bands played in the wrong order. Medications was easily the best band of the night.
I tried taking a few pics with the camera on my new phone. Waste of time. I won't be trying that again, unless I actually end up on the stage for some reason. I need to start taking my real camera to shows.
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Tonight: The Donnas/Von Bondies @ 9:30
Thanksgiving: (see above). If we get home early enough, I may try to convince the BF to go to Blowoff at 9:30. I'm curious what Bob and Morel have planned for the live show. That'll depend on the effects of the tryptophan vs. how badly we need a drink after spending the day with our families.
Friday: Travis Morrison/Beauty Pill/Medications @ The Black Cat. Got my ticket today for this one. What a great bill. Only $8. You have no excuse for missing it.
Sat/Sun: TBD. Next week is going to be pretty busy. We may just lay low for a bit.
Next week: 12/1 - Ted Leo/Washington Social Club @ The Black Cat. Buy your tickets now before it sells out.
Rolling Stone 500
The 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time
It's really not a bad list. considering the source. Without even looking at it, you know it's going to be mostly classic rock 'n' roll...some R&B and blues thrown in...a fair bit of pop...a few nods to country and punk...maybe a few old standards thrown in. But we all know the coming from Rolling Stone - it's gonna be primarily a rock 'n' roll list.
Surprises? More 50's music than I expected. God Bless Little Richard. Elvis gets his due, which is nice, because he's usually mostly ignored in these things. More 80s/new wave stuff than I expected. Some deserved. Some not. Punk was decently represented by The Clash, The Ramones, The New York Dolls and The Sex Pistols (among a few others).
I haven't really studied the list, but a few random thoughts:
You can argue all day over which Beatles/Stones/Dylan/Bowie/Zeppelin songs should be there. I'm not gonna go there. However, The Beatles' With A Little Help From My Friends does not belong on this list.
The Kinks - All Day and All of the Night.
Nothing at all from The Grateful Dead, Talking Heads or KISS?
Joni Mitchell - Big Yellow Taxi.
Neil Young - The Needle And The Damage Done/After The Gold Rush.
Parliament - Tear The Roof Off The Sucker.
The Supremes - Stop In The Name Of Love.
Aretha - You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman.
Marvin Gaye - Inner City Blues.
I was even surprised there weren't more Carpenters songs. (Stop laughing.) Where's Close To You?
I was positive Frank's New York, New York would be there. Nope.
Good songs, but they don't deserve to be on this list:
Beasties - Sabotage
Bee Gees - How Deep Is Your Love
Blondie - Call Me
Jackson Browne - Running On Empty
The Cure - Just Like Heaven/Pictures Of You
Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams
Foreigner - I Want To Know What Love Is
Don Henley - The Boys of Summer
New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle
Rod Stewart - Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?
Whoever selected I Want To Know What Love Is and Do Ya Think I'm Sexy? should never be allowed to listed to music again. The others are decent songs, but certainly not one of the best of all time. Not even the best by those artists. I mean - come on - Do you really think Do Ya Think I'm Sexy? is better than everything The Talking Heads ever wrote?
Yeah, I know. These lists suck. But I love them. They make me think about records I haven't listened to in years. I tend to get stuck in an indie-rut every now and then and just forget about 80% of my CD/LP collection.
I think maybe it's time to put away that TV On The Radio EP and put on some Marvin Gaye.
Friday, November 19, 2004
Carlsonics at Art-O-Matic last night. The venue is in the gym/activity room at an old school near Union Station. The stage is actually set into the wall, so the front of the stage is pretty much even with the wall. I felt like I was watching a live version of one of those old shoebox dioramas we used to make in elementary school. Quite appropriate, given the venue. I've seen the Carlsonics a few times now and decided that there seem to be two versions of the band. The rockin'-Carlsonics and the psychedelic-Carlsonics. We definitely got the psychedelic version last night. Lots of new stuff. Some of it quite trippy. I definitely had visions of The Velvet Underground during their final song. They also got a new smoke machine. Rock on.
Yesterday, I saw a license plate the said "A-HA FAN". And I thought my bf and I were the only people with more than one A-ha cd.
Instead of eating lunch yesterday I headed over to the CD Cellar in Falls Church. Didn't have much time to browse, but came home with these:
Five Eight - Five Eight: Nice band out of Athens, GA.
Pansy Division - Absurd Pop Song Romance: More serious than my only other PD CD (Undressed). Very catchy pop, with a little bit of punk and gay-themed lyrics, but they're far less overtly sexual than on Undressed. They come off as less of a novelty act here, which is a good thing. Produced by Steve Albini.
Bluetip - Hot - Fast + Union - Slowdime/Dischord band. Good, rockin' stuff. The disc itself is interesting to look at. The actual data part is the size of a 3" cd-single, but the outside ring is clear plastic, bringing it to the standard 5". My car player won't accept it. hrmph. They do a nice cover of The Damned's "Anti-Pope".
Phaser - Sway: Don't know anything about them, except they're local. Haven't listened to it yet.
(Don't tell my bf. I'm not supposed to buy any more CDs until after Xmas. shhhh.)
I was in a Linux class all week. Just when I think I'm starting to geek-out, I find people that are far geekier than me. Folks talking about installing Linux on their Xbox...downloading Halo 2 a week before the on-sale date from some warez site in France, then hacking the Xbox to make it work...and (I swear I'm not making this up) discussions about their vast collections of Star Trek memorabilia.
I guess I shouldn't talk though. Being a music geek is probably as ridiculous to them as collecting Star Trek memorabilia is to me. Everyone needs to be passionate about something.
I just wish they weren't so loud when I was trying to concentrate on truly important things...Like Information Leafblower's list of the Top 40 Bands In America - 2004 Edition. :-)
Oh yeah - How could I forget? I finally brokedown and got a cell-phone last weekend. My first one. Welcome to the 90's.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Too Many Shows
11/18 - The Carlsonics @ Art-O-Matic's Union Station Stage
11/18 - Elefant @ Black Cat
11/19 - Dogs Die In Hot Cars @ 9:30
11/20 - Army Of Me/The High Strung @ Black Cat
11/20 - Two If By Sea @ DC9
11/21 - The Aquarium @ Black Cat Backstage
The Carlsonics and DDIHC shows are free. Always a plus. DDIHC is an HFS show though. Ugh. I love The Carlsonics, but I missed Elefant the last couple of times. The Aquarium is (are?) always interesting. I kind of doubt I'll make that one though. I'm taking my parents out for their anniversary that day. Then again, there's a good chance I'm going to need a drink after that. Maybe I'll make it after all.
Maybe I'll just skip all of them and be satisfied with The Donnas/Von Bondies and Travis Morrison/Beauty Pill shows next week. I should be saving my money for Xmas anyway.
Saturday, November 13, 2004
Buy This NOW
Crippled Pilgrims - Down Here: Collected Recordings (1983-1985)
One of DC's long-lost, fantastic bands from the early 80's. It looks like it contains their EP, LP and 2 bonus tracks. I never expected this stuff to be released on CD. Go buy it and encourage the label to put out more stuff like this.
Between this and the Teenbeat Anniversary tickets I got yesterday, I'm bouncing off the walls.
Friday, November 12, 2004
TeenBeat 20th Anniversary Celebration:
February 24 and 25, 2005
Black Cat Nightclub,
1811 14th St. NW (between 'S' and 'T' Sts.),
February 24, 2005 (Thursday)
UNREST (reunion performance)
TRUE LOVE ALWAYS
THE FONTAINE TOUPS
February 25, 2005 (Friday)
Tickets on sale today at TicketBastard.
Is it too early to declare this the best show of 2005?
Update: Even Pitchfork is talking about it.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Patti Smith is coming to 9:30 on 12/9. I command everyone to go and worship her.
Interpol @ 9:30
The club was jam-packed. Possibly the most crowded I've ever seen it. I knew something was up when I got there over an hour early and couldn't park anywhere near the club. I walked in just as Secret Machines was starting and the place was already packed to the gills. Ugh. The show was "Presented by WHFS - The True Alternative". Every time I see those f*cking banners I want to throw them on the ground, stomp on them and p*ss all over them. I can't stand HFS. But of course, the crowd was full of HFS-types - very drunk, obnoxious, rude people that have no idea how to behave at shows. There was even a fight. Nice.
Interpol was a mixed bag. They sounded ok, but they weren't terribly engaging. They hit all the right notes and played some good songs, but they didn't do anything to get the crowd even slightly excited. The crowd just stood there while the band played, occasionally nodding their head and politely applauding when the songs finished. Maybe the crowd was lame because the band didn't have any spark. Maybe the band wasn't inspired by the typically stoic DC crowd. I don't know, but it made for a pretty low-key concert experience. The last 5-6 songs kicked-ass though. Starting with "NYC" (I think) through the end of the show they were on fire. I think I even saw a few people dancing. I never got a good look at the singer, due to the lighting and the smoke. His silhouette looked like a cross between Malcolm McDowell and Kid Rock.
The band was actually ok. It was a decent show, worth the price of admission. It just wasn't terribly exciting. It was the exact opposite of the Muse show the night before. Maybe everyone was just spent from that one.
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Muse @ 9:30
But the next song did the same thing. So did the next one. And the one after that. It seemed like almost every song relied on the huge, powerful, LOUD wall of noise with the singer's voice floating on top of it. To be honest, it became a little tough to tell the songs apart after a while. Sure, they dropped a piano solo or a scorching guitar solo in occasionally. But the songs still usually came around to that same really-loud-wall-of-sound-with-the-floating-voice thing again.
Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. You could make the same repetitive argument about the Ramones, who I think were one of the greatest bands of all-time. Muse was really good last night. Far better and more aggressive than Absolution would lead you to believe. Without a doubt, they put on a great show. I just can't decide how much I liked it.
Interpol is tonight. I really want to see both opening bands (On! Air! Library! and Secret Machines), but I know I'm gonna get bored waiting over 2 hours before Interpol comes on. I've heard amazing things about Secret Machines though. Maybe I'll time it so I show up for the last couple OAL! songs.
I guess I'd better get moving.
Monday, November 08, 2004
Back from Pittsburgh
For a change, we couldn't have asked for a better drive to Pittsburgh. The weather was perfect, no traffic and we got there in about 4 hours. Apparently, the Holiday Inn across the bridge released a block of rooms, so we snagged a room less than a mile away at a reasonable price. Sweet.
Did I mention there was a great CD store within walking distance of the hotel? I came out with the new Velvet Revolver, The Delgados' Peloton and the Measles, Mumps, Rubella EP.
The Steelers crushed the Eagles that afternoon, so the town was filled with drunks driving up and down the street screaming at everyone. Good for them, but that got old pretty quick.
The R.E.M. show was at the AJ Palumbo center, which is apparently the gym at Duquesne. Similar to the GW Smith Center, I guess. Probably a little smaller. Maybe 3,000 people. I was surprised that it wasn't sold out. There seemed to be at least 200 seats left, if not more. How can R.E.M. not sellout a 3,000 seat venue in a town with at least 2 colleges within walking distance of the show?
The band was a little more talkative than at MSG. I guess they're starting to move on from the election results. We were in the 5th row, right smack in front of Peter. I love watching him play guitar. Anyone over 40 that does Pete Townsend kicks while playing the banjo is O.K. by me. It looked like someone really pissed him off during the encore. Peter got the attention of the security guy and pointed him to someone in the crowd. Peter came up to the front-center of the stage and pointed right at the kid (all while continuing to play). The security guy jumped the barrier, grabbed the kid and gave him a rather stern looking talking-to and sat his ass in a chair. Didn't throw him out though. The kid stayed for another song or two, then left. I'm not sure what he did that merited such attention from Peter, but wasn't enough to get him thrown out. The kid looked totally wasted. Probably shoving people around trying to get up front.
We saw a few songs we hadn't seen yet this tour, including "Rockville" (w/ Mills on lead vocals), "Finest Worksong" (the opener) and "I've Been High" (zzzzzzzz). "Rockville" was worth the drive to Pittsburgh by itself. I could hear "Life And How To Live It" every day and not get bored with it.
We drove around after the show looking for a gay bar to hang out in. It was a quick reminder of how spoiled we are here in DC.
Did I mention that we got to watch some Duquesne basketball players working out? That didn't suck.
Off to see Muse at 9:30 tonight. If I didn't already have a ticket, I'd probably bail. It should be a good show though. Don't know anything about The Zutons. The clips on Amazon aren't exactly making me rush to get there early.
Saturday, November 06, 2004
Too many books
Note to self: No more buying books until you've read at least half of the unread ones you already own.
Of course, I'm still free to ask for new ones for my birthday and Xmas. :-)
Our timing was perfect. We settled into our seats (about half-way back on the floor) and the lights were out in less that 5 minutes. Without warning they just jumped right into "It's The End Of The World As We Know It". Sweet. How perfect is that? After they finished the song, Stipe said "Thanks - Goodnight". Kidding, of course.
Incredibly different vibe form the DC show. Stipe didn't have much to say at all. Introducing "Cuyahoga" by announcing that it was "from Ohio" resulted in a large round of booing. Except for the young republicans behind us who were shouting "Get the fuck over it!" and "Suck It!" Nice.
Slightly different set from DC. We got "Welcome To The Occupation", "Get Up", "ITEOTWAWKI", "Sweetness Follows" and one or two others that weren't played in DC. They also dropped "Bad Day" from the set. Steve Wynn sat in at the end. By the end of the night, Stipe had his pants down (don't get too excited, he was wearing boxers). The Ernie puppet guy was there. In fact, the puppet made it to the stage. Stipe picked it up and played with it for a minute before throwing it behind him. I hope the owner gets it back.
The night ended with an unnecessary nightcap at The Peculier Pub and sleeping on the train back to Farmingdale. Spent yesterday morning catching up with our friends. Always a blast seeing them.
Came home yesterday so we could catch WSC at The Black Cat. That didn't happen though. We were beat from the quick trip and too much beer the night before. We're losing our drinking skills - haha.
No plans for tonight. We may just stay in. Tomorrow we're off to Pittsburgh for our last R.E.M. show. Hotels are scarce in downtown Pittsburgh. What's left is very expensive. We can either pay a fortune and stay within walking distance of the show, or stay a few miles out and save about $70. My guess is we'll end up paying too much money to stay downtown. What the hell - we deserve it. :-)
Thursday, November 04, 2004
R.E.M. at D.A.R.
Let's put our heads together and start a new country up
The only vote that matters
Teflon, white-washed presidency
We're sick of being jerked around
and plenty more.
Lots of old songs. Lots (too many?) new ones. You can find the setlist here. Despite my initial hatred of the new disk, the songs come off much better live than on the recorded versions. They're stronger and much more vibrant. They put on a terrific show, as always. We even got an impromptu version of "Born To Run". I had my doubts going in, which I felt silly about after the show. R.E.M. never disappoints me live. They're still one of the best bands out there. Go see them, if you get the chance.
Ran into a handful of friends there. Met a few new people, which is always fun. Very high H(omo)-factor. The guy with the Ernie puppet was there. I must have seen him at at least 10 different R.E.M. shows by now. He's as much of a staple as Peter's dinosaurs these days.
Heading to NYC to see them again tonight. That will be interesting. It will be quite a different vibe from the hopeful, optimistic tone of Monday's show. Maybe they'll be angry and rock-out a little more.
Let's put our heads together
and start a new country up...
- R.E.M. - "Cuyahoga"
I was gonna use that line to begin my review of the R.E.M. show at D.A.R. At that time it was an optimistic, "get out there and vote this jerk out of office so we can start fresh" kind of idea. The quote still applies today, but now it represents my desire to just get the hell out of here and let this place get what it asked for.
I'm gonna skip the political crap. The results suck. We all know they suck. It you didn't vote, you suck. The next 4 years are going to suck.