Monday, May 30, 2005
It was a bit weird going into the club during daytime hours. Going from the bright sunshine into the dark club was a bit unnerving. I literally couldn't see more than 2 feet in front of me for about 5 minutes. Sorry if I bumped into anyone. Apparently, it wasn't just me, based on the number of people that bumped into me over the next half-hour or so.
The movie started shortly after 7:00. 930 F Street is your basic documentary, featuring the history of the club's old location. Lots of interviews with band members, Seth and Dodi, people that worked at the club, etc. Some great old footage of a few bands (Embrace, Rites of Spring, Scream and a few others). Just enough footage to make you drool over what someone must have in a vault somewhere. I'd love to see more of that footage get released. The Devo footage was amazing.
But the movie isn't about the bands. It's not a running list of all the cool bands that have played there. It's about the club. The physical space. The stage, the rats, the smell, the hallway, the phone booth, the porn shops around the corner and the overall vibe of the place. That's great for those of us that were there, but I imagine it won't be as interesting for anyone who never went to the old space. Nice film though. Brought back a ton of old memories. It was great seeing that hallway again. And those damn poles - lol.
Keep an eye on their website. One of the film makers said they may start selling DVDs sometime soon.
Then we have The Slickee Boys. Once dubbed "The Band That Refused To Die", the Boys rocked the club hard. To be honest, I thought they were a bit shaky at first. The first 3 or 4 songs seemed a little ragged. But things came together with "Gotta Tell Me Why" in a big way. After that the Boys were on fire. The Slickee Boys are one big giant rock and roll party. You gotta love a guy who wears a fez and drinks from a bottle of Jim Beam all night.
It was your standard Slickee Boys set: "Going All The Way", "Invisible People", "Jailbait Janet", "When I Go To The Beach", "Pictures Of Matchstick Men", "This Party Sucks", "(Are You Gonna Be There At The) Love-In", "Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked-In", etc. One definite highlight was "Glendora", which featured none other than 9:30 Club owner Seth Hurwitz on drums.
And, of course, "The Brain That Refused To Die".
All-in-all Tons-O-Fun. I drank way too much, danced way too much and ate way too much at Annie's before heading home. I'm a little groggy today, but I can't stop smiling. God Bless The Slickee Boys.
And a very happy 25th anniversary to the 9:30 Club. It's hard to believe I've been going there for over 20 years. Thanks for everything.
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Put A Bullet Through The Jukebox
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Not Just Another Pretty Face
This evening I came across an old mix tape I made back in college. I think this was one of my last college mix tapes, so that would place this sometime during my senior year 1986-1987. hmm...I know all of these songs came from vinyl though, and I definitely had a CD player by 1986. Maybe it's from early '86? Anyway...The inside of the J-Card indicates that the initial title for the tape was Music For Poseurs, a reference to the long-lost new wave club in Georgetown.
Cruisers Creek - The Fall
Disorder - Joy Division
Spooky Room - 9353
Final Solution - Peter Murphy
Face Up - New Order
Peter Gun - The Art Of Noise
King Of Rock - Run DMC
I'm A Believer - The Monkees
Never Understand - Jesus And Mary Chain
She Sells Sanctuary - The Cult
Primary - The Cure
Spellbound - Siouxsie and the Banshees
Can Your Pussy Do The Dog? - The Cramps
Respect - Aretha Franklin
Prove My Love - Violent Femmes
She's On It - Beastie Boys
Master and Servant - Depeche Mode
Rattlesnakes - Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
What Difference Does It Make? - The Smiths
Happy Together - The Jam
Baggy Trousers - Madness
Red Red Wine - UB40
Ain't Too Proud To Beg - The Temptations
Rock and Roll Suicide - David Bowie
"Disorder" is listed on the tape as "2.1". Those wacky Joy Division folks didn't want to fill the liner notes or labels with silly things like song titles, so I had no idea what to call it. I chose "2.1" as a way of saying "Side 2 Track 1" of Unknown Pleasures. Of course the CD eventually came out and it included the titles. At that time I also discovered I had been playing side 2 first for about 10 years. Subtract 5 hipster points.
Surprisingly, there's no R.E.M. on it. It's hard to remember a time in college when I went 90 minutes without putting on some R.E.M.
I'm sure I have more of these in a box somewhere. I should try to dig those up.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
930 F St.
"Sounds interesting, but it's on Father's Day - I can't make it."
Fear not. As part of their 25th anniversary celebration, there's going to be a showing of the movie at the club this Sunday (5/29) at 7pm.
"hmmm...I don't know...Movies are too expensive these days."
But this Sunday's showing is FREE!
"I don't like going out on Sundays."
It's a holiday weekend. You have Monday off anyway. Plus, you can go to Taint afterwards.
"I'd rather go see a band."
Lucky for you, DC's legendary Slickee Boys will also be playing for free at the club on Sunday.
"Holy Crap! I am so there!"
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
One sentence reviews
Cartel was great, as expected.
Snowden's singer is a hottie.
Bluestate kept me out way too late on a school night.
Friday, May 20, 2005
Gang of Four tonight! I can't believe it's not sold-out. What's wrong with you people?
Going to a wedding of a co-worker tomorrow. Should be interesting. I rarely socialize with people from work. It may be a shock to a few of them when they discover my date is a man. haha. That'll be half the fun. I think pretty much everyone knows about me though. I don't really care. If nothing else, the wedding gets me out of participating on our neighborhood yard sale. Ugh.
Listening to the new reissue of The Cure's Pornography as I type. It's amazing. I never bothered to replace my vinyl copy with a CD, so I haven't heard this in years. I was hesitant of dropping $20+ on it (it's a 2-disc reissue), but it's money very well spent. The live tracks are terrific and the studio demos are vastly different that what ended up on the album. I may have to pull out my ...Happily Ever After vinyl and decide if I need to pick up the Faith and Seventeen Seconds reissues too. As much as I love The Cure's poppier stuff, this early, darker stuff is just amazing. This is how they sounded when I discovered them. It takes me WAY back.
Fluxblog put up a track from Bob Mould's upcoming disc. It's called (Shine Your) Light Love Hope. Check it out here. Speaking of Bob, Out Magazine's Hot Issue lists Bob as the "Hottest Returning Gay Rock Icon". You go, Bob!
May go visit the folks on Sunday. I'm not really up for it, but we're pretty booked the next few weeks. It's now or several months from now.
I think I'm going to pick up a ticket to see Sloan sometime this week. They come highly recommended and The Capitol Years are opening. The CY's are lots o' fun. That's on the night of the Capital Pride festival though. That could be trouble. If you go to the Capital Pride link, I highly suggest you turn off the sound. Can't we do anything without crappy dance music playing in the background? Even our websites think they're at a circuit party.
I'm definitely picking up my Ted Leo ticket tonight.
When does the Fort Reno schedule come out?
For the BF and I she wants to send us on a vacation. She called me the other day and said she was all ready to set us up for a week in Ft. Lauderdale. She read somewhere that that was a gay "hot spot", so she looked into it and decided that's where she wanted to send us. Her plan is to set us up at The Grand Resort and Spa for a week. Looks pretty sweet to me. An "all-male" spa - a gym, massages, hot tub, pool, scrubs, facials, etc. I haven't had a real vacation in almost a year. I'm definitely ready for something like that.
But I think we're going to say "Thanks, but we can't." My sister didn't come into THAT much money, and she really needs it. She needs to take care of herself and her family first. It's very nice of her to take care of our parents. My folks supported her for quite a few years when things weren't going so well for her. Quite frankly, she really should pay them back for some of that. My parents aren't exactly loaded. My niece and her husband just had a daughter a couple years ago, and things are tight for them too. They could really use the help.
But the BF and I don't really need the money. We're both doing well and can afford to pay for everything we need. It's an incredibly nice offer, but I'd feel bad taking the money from my sister, when I know she's really going to need it down the line. Maybe a few years from now (when I'm convinced she's going to invest it properly and it's not going to run out), I'll take her up on her offer. But for now I think I really need to say "no."
I'm incredibly touched though. The fact that she thought enough to specifically research a popular "gay" location to the point that she's found a nice spa for us was a big surprise to me. It's not like they have lots of gay-knowledgeable friends to ask their opinions. She definitely had to go out of her way to find this place. And it's always nice when my family makes it a point to include my BF and our relationship into consideration.
It would have been very easy for my sister to find a typical resort anywhere in the country. It would have been just as nice a gesture. But the fact that she specifically sought out a gay resort means a lot to me. I have no doubt my family loves the BF, but I'm also aware that they're still not 100% comfortable with the whole gay thing. Then again, maybe this shows they're more comfortable with it than I thought.
Still, as much as I'd like to accept it, I can't. She needs to hang on to her money. I'd feel like I was taking advantage of her, and I don't want to do that. The BF agrees. Besides - I'd feel extra guilty having my sister paying for our debauchery when we're on vacation. hehe.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
The BF was hanging out around the corner at The Eagle while I was at the show, so I ran back there to hang with him between bands. That was kinda fun.
To my surprise The Cassettes were up next. They were listed as the headliner, but I guess someone decided differently. I'm glad I headed back when I did. Well....sort of. They definitely weren't what I expected. I've got their debut on Lovitt, which contains some really good, basic, indie-rock stuff. But they sound nothing like that any more. The lineup consists of drums, guitar, Moog and theramin, with the occasional tablas and mouth harp thrown-in. Not your standard indie-rock lineup. Before the show was over, there was a whole bottle of wine spilled on the floor, party favors (streamers, horns and flutes) and the singer was running through the crowd singing "Romania! Romania!" It was just a bit bizarre. Entertaining, but not necessarily in a musical sense. They mentioned this was going to be one of their final shows and we were all lucky to witness it. hmm...OK. I highly recommend their debut CD. It's got some great songs. Just don't expect them to sound anything like that these days.
Back to the Eagle to hang with the BF. I debated skipping Two If By Sea. I had mainly gone to see The Cassettes and I wasn't familiar with Two If By Sea. But I figured it was just around the corner. If they sucked, I could just leave. So back I went.
They were already playing when I returned and they were totally rocking out. They were fantastic. I don't want to lump them in with the current wave of post-punk-dance stuff, but I really don't know how else to describe it. Dance music with a rockin' edge to it. I understand now why The Cassettes went on early. They couldn't hold a candle to these guys. They had every ass in the place dancing away. Unfortunately, there were probably only 20 of us at that point. But everyone there seemed to be having a great time. I sure did.
I debated going to Baltimore on Monday to see them (again with Bang! Bang!), but 3 nights of shows in a row is enough. They'll be back. And I'll definitely be there.
Nats game tomorrow. Box seats. Sweet. Gang of Four on Friday. Now THAT is gonna be a hot show.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
A very pleasant drive up to Philly on Friday. We met up with our friend, B-, just after 5:00. Happy hour at Woody's (think JRs), followed by another quick beer at some other bar/restaurant down the street. mmmm.....Flying Fish... Decided to have dinner in Chinatown, since that's where the Troc is. We stopped by to pick up my will-call ticket before dinner and I asked what time the show was. I assumed it would be about 10:00 at the earliest, being a Friday night. Nope. "The Dolls come on at 9:15." Crap. It's already after 8:30. We went to a restaurant down the street, but by 9:10 I still didn't have my food yet. I had to bail. I walked onto the Troc at exactly 9:15. Sure enough, I was there about 30 seconds before the lights went out. Whew. That was close.
Of course, The Dolls were terrific. The opening 1-2 punch of "Looking For A Kiss" and "Puss 'n' Boots" had the place jumping. They played everything you'd expect (with the exception of "Babylon", which I thought was an odd omission.) They even did "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory", dedicated to Johnny. It was a great show. I can only imagine what they were like back in the day. I'll take what I got though. The did not disappoint.
The Troc was a cool place. It's an old vaudeville theater, so the open floor is slightly sloped, giving better sightlines from the back. No drinking downstairs though, which was a bit odd. Normal for Philly, from what I'm told.
Walked down to The Khyber (smack in the middle of str8-land) to meet up with the very inebriated BF and B. Off to The Bike Stop before hitting a much needed late-night breakfast.
There was some sort of Bear event going on this weekend. As we were leaving Woody's earlier, there were literally 25 or so bears coming in. The distinctly non-bear crowd at Woody's were a bit beside themselves. I kid you not - someone yelled "Oh my God - They're coming in!" haha. Get over it Mary. Oddly, there were hardly any bears at The Bike Stop. Go figure.
Saturday, after being served coffee by the quintessential hot South-Philly Italian boy, we were on our way home. A picture-perfect drive. Not a cloud to be seen, sunny and warm, with very little traffic. In fact, the only minor traffic jam the whole way home was at 95/New Hampshire Ave. Welcome home.
A quick dinner and we're off to see Bruuuuuuuuce. Even though this was in a slightly shortened Patriot Center, they tried to make it as much like a theater show as possible. You HAD to be in your seat by showtime, because they were closing the entrances for the first 3 songs. After that, you could only enter the arena between songs. Before a note was even played Bruce, himself, requested that folks turn off their cellphones and not try to sing or clap along. Much to our amazement, this was probably the most respectful crowd I've ever seen. It was eerily quiet for the entire show. You could hear people on the other side of the arena when they coughed.
B- from Philly had told us not to expect anything even close to a hit song to be played. It was (supposedly) 100% new material. That had the BF a little concerned, but it didn't matter in the end. (Nor was B- completely accurate.) The show was simply fantastic. It was very similar to the VH1 Storytellers format, with Bruce introducing most of the songs and talking a bit about them. While Bruce can write rockers with the best of 'em, I never really paid much attention to how powerful some of his songs are. With acoustic guitar and the harmonica around his neck, the Dylan comparisons are too easy, but very deserved. (Quite possibly by design, considering the house music before the set was Dylan.)
I go to a lot of shows. Some suck. Some are really good. But there are a handful of moments you just know you're going to remember forever. Seeing Bruce sitting at a piano by himself singing "The River" is one of those moments. Damn. Absolutely stunning. Yeah, I think he played the entire new record. But there were a few older tracks thrown in as well. "The River", "I'm On Fire" (on banjo), "The Rising", and a fantastic "Promised Land". A good mix of old and new. I didn't hear a single complaint from anybody. The crowd ate it up.
I think he played for about 2:15. It pretty much flew by, except for the fact that we had to sit perfectly still for that time. These old bones need to stretch once in a while :-).
So that's the weekend so far. Today has been highlighted by a wasted trip to the Homo Depot, trying to get some doors we ordered back in December. First they cut them to the wrong size. Now they (supposedly) cut them correctly, but they can't find them. "They're here somewhere. We'll find them and give you a call." Gee thanks.
We're getting ready to head downtown for the night. I'm going to see The Cassettes/Two If By Sea. The BF is going to hang at the Eagle while I'm around the corner at the Warehouse. That's fine by me, as I'm looking forward to having a few hours to myself tonight.
Not a bad weekend at all - and it's not even over yet.
Friday, May 13, 2005
Leaving at noon today so we can head up to Philly. Catching the New York Dolls at The Trocadero tonight. Yeah, I know it's only David Jo and Sylvain, but I never thought I'd get the chance to see anything close to this, so I'm not going to miss it. I can't bring myself to go see them at a stadium tomorrow, so off to Philly we go. I did catch David once, opening for The Who in 1982 (on their first of several "Farewell" tours). I had no idea who he was though. He may have played some Dolls songs, but all I knew at the time was that Animals medley he did that actually got a fair amount of MTV play back then. At least it was pre-Buster Poindexter.
We won't be in Philly too long though. We're coming home early tomorrow, because I managed to score Springsteen tickets yesterday. WOOHOO! I'm usually pretty skillful at getting tickets, but this was a tough one. I tried when they went on sale and as of 10:00:01 every ticket was gone. Sheesh. Luckily, I work in front of a computer all day. Sure enough, they eventually released a handful of tickets (yesterday) and I snagged a pair. Bruce solo acoustic. Nice. Did I mention they were 17th row on the floor? Center? That won't suck. I checked on ebay and a pair of tickets in the row in front of us went for over $600. Yikes. Still, that's cheaper than comparable Stones tickets.
[long rant about the Stones' unabashed greed deleted, so I don't look like a hypocrite when I get weak and plunk down too much money to see them later this year]
Sunday, I'm hoping to see The Cassettes at The Warehouse Next Door. I've been waiting a long time for them to play out again. It depends on how tired I am after running around this weekend.
Green Day presale was yesterday. Only crap seats came up, until I came up with a pair of GA tickets in the pit. Talked to the BF about it and we decided we're too old to be down there. We'll just wait and get our cranky-old-man-asses some decent seats later.
According to Dischord, Beauty Pill is going through more personnel changes. "Beauty Pill are reconfiguring once again with the recent departure of Ryan and Basla from the mix." They don't mention this on the Beauty Pill website though. And this info appears to have been removed from Dischord's website. hmmm.... What's up with these folks? I think every single release they've done has contained a different roster. I love their sound. I hope they can reconvene and be as good as in the past.
"Run For Cover" is returning to the Black Cat. I'm so all over that.
F-16's flying over my house can be a bit unnerving.
Blowoff is Saturday. Doubt we'll make it, because of Bruce. I don't think I could handle the dichotomy of the quiet, intimate Bruce show, followed by the big homo mega-dance fest.
Can I leave now?
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Random Early May Stuff
I caught Ratdog last week. Not the greatest show I've seen. Call me crazy, but when I go see Bob Weir, I'd like to see him sing some Bob Weir tunes. He sang a bunch of covers and a bunch of Grateful Dead songs that Jerry used to sing, but it was well into the second set before he sang anything that he actually wrote. Final score: 2 Weir songs 12 non-Weir songs. sheesh. That may be my last Ratdog show. Pics here. (I didn't take them.)
Saturday - Fun at the Eagle. I love when I can put money in the jukebox and my songs come on immediately. From what I recall, I played:
Dead Boys - Sonic Reducer (I was gonna play "Caught With The Meat In Your Mouth", but I figured nobody would get it)
New Order - Temptation
New York Dolls - Personality Crisis
Dead Milkmen - Instant Club Hit (You'll Dance To Anything)
The Pixies - Debaser
Ramones - I Just Wanna Have Something To Do
something by the Foo Fighters
and a couple others.
Good music makes all the difference in the world.
Speaking of which, I went CD shopping both yesterday and today:
Patti Smith - Wave (used)
Original Sinners - s/t (used)
New Order - Waiting For The Sirens' Call
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
2 different R.E.M. "Electron Blue" singles
The Hold Steady - Separation Sunday
Got Dinosaur Jr. tickets through their presale. Bring your earplugs to that one. I saw them once about 20 years ago at the old 9:30 (I don't think they had added "Jr." yet) and it was easily the loudest show I've ever seen in my life. You've been warned.
I'm trying to convince the BF that we need to go to Philly to see the New York Dolls. His best friend is up there, so if he's around, I think it'll be an easy sell. I should probably get a ticket soon though.
There's a picture of me in MW this week.
The Erasure show I was going to has been moved to 6/6.
I'm not-so-patiently waiting to hear if we're getting the home-equity loan required to redo our pool.
I got Pixies tickets. I'm in one of those new "FLR" sections at Merriweather. My seats will either be fantastic, or painfully far off to the side.
I told someone off at work yesterday. I never do that.
Decemberists Friday. I think I got the last ticket before it sold out. The show is being streamed on NPR.
I'm working out regularly again and I'm loving it. It always takes me a while to get back into it, but once I do, I'm pretty dedicated. For now anyway. One good week of shows to throw me off-track and I'm screwed.
Sean pointed out this disturbingly hilarious video. I just don't know what to say about that one. It made my week though. It's hard to stay cranky after watching that.
Monday, May 02, 2005
Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Erasure shows have been postponed. Details on the reschedule dates will be posted as they become available.