Thursday, May 28, 2009
Late May Stuff
5/18/09 - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band @ The Verizon Center - Washington, DC
It seems I'm the only person in the MD/DC/VA area that had no problem at all getting Springsteen tickets. It quite literally sold-out in a matter of seconds. Even people that bought scalped tickets via TicketsNow were turned away. sheesh.
But our good luck didn't end there. Like last year - there was a lottery for the pit - an area at the very front of the floor that's restricted to 400 people. We managed to get lucky again and were among the first 150 or so people in the building. We spent the evening about 10 feet from the stage. Sweeeet.
The show was excellent - as expected. I liked last year's setlist a little better, but it didn't really matter. Bruce turns everything into a party and this show was no exception. Right off the bat we got "Badlands". Unexpected highlights included "Johnny 99" and "The Ghost of Tom Joad" - two quiet acoustic numbers that were transformed into rockin' rave-ups. We got a rare "Blinded By The Light", "Kitty's Back", "Rosalita" and, of course, "Born To Run." "BTR" is one of those moments everyone should experience at least once. Killer show from Bruce - as always.
Setlist - stolen from Backstreets:
She's the One
Working on a Dream
The Ghost of Tom Joad
Raise Your Hand
Out in the Street
Little Latin Lupe Lu
Hava Nagila/Blinded By the Light
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
The Promised Land
Kingdom of Days
Born to Run
* * *
Land of Hope and Dreams
Yes - He played a bit of "Hava Nagila".
5/19/09 Edie Sedgwick/Olivia and the Mates @ The Black Cat Backstage - Washington, DC
Yeah - ummm...note that the ticket isn't ripped. I bailed on this one. This would have been something like my 7th show in 10 days. I'm too old for that. I ate the ticket, stayed home and slept. Feel free to mock.
5/27/09 - Holy Fuck/Crocodiles @ The Rock And Roll Hotel - Washington, DC
I really hate the Rock and Roll Hotel sometimes. Just once I'd like them to start a show at the time they advertise on their website. What's the point of putting up showtimes if they're never correct? Doors at 8. Showtime: 8:30. You'd think that by 9:20 the first band would have at least started - but no.
Anyway - that was a mixed blessing, because I really like the new Crocodiles record. I managed to catch their entire set after all. I didn't realize it was just 2 guys - a singer who looks exactly like Bob Dylan circa 1966 and a guitar player who looks just like Tim Butler from The Psychedelic Furs circa 1981. They turned out a brief, but very powerful set. I highly recommend their new record. Their influences are all over the place, but the do them all justice. My only complaint was that they were insanely loud at times. You're not My Bloody Valentine - tone it down a bit. When people are leaving the room with their fingers in their ears - you're too loud.
Holy Fuck didn't disappoint. On paper, they're a band I should hate. Lots of electro-wizardry, knob twiddling, just short of laptop-stuff that I usually can't stand. But they have a real live rhythm section that keeps things going and use lots of wacky things to make noise. It gives them this great, funky vibe that ties the rest together in a completely different way. I totally dig their sound. They should be much bigger than they are. If there's any justice, they'll break through soon - although their name is going to eventually cause problems for them. If you ever see them, I suggest getting up close so you can watch everything they're doing. It's actually pretty fascinating to watch. Highly recommended.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
5/11/09 - Leonard Cohen @ Merriweather Post Pavilion - Columbia, MD
I'll admit that I had heard more about Leonard Cohen than I had actually heard his music. But everyone was peeing themselves over this tour, so I figured I'd check it out. Ummm...yeah. Wow. Is it too early to declare this "Show of the Year"? He just has this amazing presence that's just mesmerizing. That voice - so low and commanding of your attention. Lyrics that are poetic, charming, funny and powerful. He's one of those people that now I'm familiar with his music, I hear his influence everywhere. Simply a fantastic show. Run, don't walk to this one - if it's not too late.
My only complaint was that it was a tiny bit too long. The time just flew by and it was all wonderful, but he played like 7 encore songs - including skipping off the stage at least 3 times and each song being followed by a lengthy standing ovation. It's 50 degrees, pouring down rain and you've been playing for nearly 3 hours. Nobody really wants to hear anything with a bass solo and there's no need to introduce every member of the band for a second time. But, really, the show was fantastic. Believe the hype.
5/12/09 - The Damned/The Bellrays @ The Black Cat - Washington, DC
The Bellrays should be the biggest plan on the planet. It's like if Tina Turner was fronting the MC5. They never disappoint. Check this out.
The Damned are down to Captain Sensible and Dave Vanian these says, but they can still bring it. "Anti-Pope" was pretty impressive. Does it really get any better than "Jet Boy, Jet Girl" followed by "Smash It Up?" Awesome. "Alone Again Or" was a great surprise. The band may not be all they used to be, but they still put on a fun show. The double-bill made for a great night out.
5/13/09 - The B-52's @ Rams Head Live - Baltimore, MD
If you don't like the B-52's, you're no fun. Period. Yeah - Their shows never really change much. You always know what you're gonna get. But it's always a blast. Tonight was no exception. We ended up about 8 feet from the left corner of the stage, providing a great view of Cindy. Dinger took a ton of pics. Cindy was acting like quite the vixen - flirting with everyone in her sexy push-up vinyl outfit. Fred was Fred. He forgot the words to "Love Shack" at one point He looked embarrassed as hell. Probably the only time I've ever seen Fred look humbled. The show was a non-stop party - as usual. I never get tired of them. I'll go see them every chance I get. We met up with Bubala and Mumi at the show. They got married this weekend! Congrats guys!
5/14/09 The Shins @ 9:30 Club
The Shins had a few tough shows to follow. To be honest - they didn't hold up. The club was packed and the A/C was off. Hotter than hell. The Shins sounded ok, but they were really nothing special. I wish they had played more from Chutes Too Narrow. They weren't bad by any stretch. They just weren't terribly engaging. Based on the number of people who were chatting their way through the entire show, I'd say they probably agreed. I had similar thoughts when I saw them at The Black Cat a few years back. I think maybe The Shins are just a good band who makes great albums. Their live show just doesn't hold up to those records.
Saturday found us at Blowoff. I think the rain kept all but the faithful away, but it made for fun crowd and a great night. Thanks to Bob, Rich and Nick for another fun time.
Things aren't quite so hectic this week. Springsteen tomorrow and Edie Sedgwick/Olivia and the Mates on Tuesday. I think that's it. Daddy needs some rest.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Friday/Saturday: possibly Sharon Jones
Sunday: possibly Fischerspooner
Monday: Leonard Cohen
Tuesday: The Damned
Wednesday: The B-52s
Thursday: The Shins
So it's been a few months. A quick recap:
Dinger and I stood in the freezing cold for about 9 hours to watch Obama get inaugurated. Worth every frostbitten moment. We were smack in the middle of the crowd, halfway between the Capitol and the Washington Monument. Perfect.
I got a netbook - my first laptop. Increased mobility = more typos.
I'm kinda sorta following American Idol for the first time. I want the cute Hal Sparks lookalike to win, but he won't. I don't like Adam at all. At some point in every song he sounds like someone stepped on a cat. blech.
The big show highlight this so far this year was the R.E.M. tribute at Carnegie Hall. Bob Mould, Patti Smith, Apples In Stereo, The dB's, The Feelies and a slew of others each came out and played an R.E.M. tune. Oh yeah - R.E.M. closed the show with a great version of "E-Bow The Letter" complete with Patti Smith. So awesome.
Beastie Boys/Sheryl Crow (9:30 Club): surprisingly not overcrowded and tons o' fun. The night before the inauguration. Made for a very late night before a very early, cold morning.
I've seen Edie Sedgwick twice already and I'm going again in a couple weeks. My latest obsession. Love him.
Pains of Being Pure At Heart/Deprecation Guild (Black Cat Backstage). Went at the very last minute, having never heard either band. Both were fantastic. PoBPaH are turning up everywhere now, but I think Deprecation Guild may have been a little better.
The Whigs (Black Cat) were slightly disappointing.
Medications are back. I've seen the latest version twice now. I'm just not feeling it any more. They were such a powerful force with their old drummer. Now they're just another good band. I hope they put a record out though. I'm curious what they can do in the studio.
Bob Mould (Birchmere). Bob doesn't disappoint. Mostly an acoustic gig with Jason on bass, but we also got Rich Morel on keys and Amy Domingues on cello. Sweet. Old stuff, new stuff, solo, Sugar and Husker Du stuff. Rocktastic. Go buy his new record.
Death Cab For Cutie. I surprised Dinger with 2nd row seats for this one. Directly in front of Ben. I love these guys. They put on a simple, but very good show.
Plenty more shows coming up this summer. I'll get to those later.
That's about it for now. Too lazy for links. (Gimme a break - I'm just getting back into this.)
Oh yeah - and my washing machine broke today. hrmph.