Saturday, February 26, 2005


Teenbeat Anniversary #1

Dumbek loves him some Teenbeat. I love everything about this label. It takes me back to the days of SST, Alternative Tentacles and Dischord. Back when I would buy records without knowing anything about the band, but trusted the labels enough to know that (at a minimum) I'd get something interesting, if not something I absolutely loved. I remember seeing their ads in local fanzines like Truly Needy and WDC Period advertising their cassettes - before they made the big jump to selling vinyl. It's hard to believe that was 20 years ago.

Anyway - there were 2 big shows to celebrate their 20th anniversary this week, right here in their hometown of DC. People came from all over the country for these shows. California, NYC, Ohio...rumor has it someone was flying in from Israel for these gigs. Apparently, I'm not the only one that loves him some Teenbeat.

Teenbeat Anniversary #1 2-24-05

Doors at 8:00. I got there at 8:15. Inside by 8:30. I already missed half of Jonny Cohen's set. Dammit. Jonny was great though. He's definitely an acquired taste, but I like him a lot. He seems very nervous on stage, which just makes him more endearing. The highlight of his set was a tribute to John Saxon, the actor.

I was really looking forward to +/-. I had only heard one song by them prior to this (Summerlong - from the 2003 Teenbeat sampler). Summerlong is quite the electronic, ethereal, airy melodic soundscape. I was quite surprised to find out what a rocking band they are. The exact opposite of Summerlong, but still very, very good. I'm bummed I missed them at Iota last year. I need to pay closer attention to them.

The main reason for me going this night was to see Eggs. I picked up Bruiser a couple years ago on a whim (It's on Teenbeat - It's gotta be pretty good) and I've been hooked ever since. Great disc. Indie rock needs more trombones. I've since picked up everything they've released (that I can find). Eggs did not disappoint. Despite some minor feedback problems, they played a nice long set. I wish they played longer though. The schedule was tight, trying to get all 6 bands in in one night. Always leave 'em wanting more, I guess.

The band everyone was geared-up to see, though, was Unrest. The leader of the band is none other than Mark Robinson - founder of Teenbeat Records. I'll admit, I know them only by reputation. I've never gotten around to buying one of their discs (until tonight). They had the crowd going nuts. Apparently heavy on material from Imperial F.F.R.R. , the crowd ate it up. Being the headliner, they got 50 minutes. They crowd obviously wanted more, but Mark said they ran out of time and had to stop. Oh well. Very impressive, considering they haven't played together in years.

In the back of the room they had what I'll call the "Teenbeat Buffet". Two tables just loaded-up with all kinds of Teenbeat schwag. CDs, LPs, 7"s, t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc. If it wasn't for the crowd, I could've spent an hour or so just going through all of their goods. I walked away with a newly remastered copy of Imperial F.F.R.R., the 20th Anniversary compilation CD and 5 new 7" singles. There were a few more 7"s I wanted, but I wasn't sure if I already had them or not (or if they were already in the mail, on their way to me). A sure sign of a true record geek. I needed to go home and check on that before returning for night #2. Dumbek hearts vinyl.

The night flew by. Had a fantastic time, but I was looking to night #2 even more - featuring my beloved Tuscadero.

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