Wednesday, June 24, 2009


June Stuff

First and foremost - Everyone should go see Pansy Division at The Velvet Lounge tomorrow night (6/25). They were onstage singing about banging other guys when you were still hiding in your closet. Get out there and show 'em some love. They've earned it. Troll Tax is opening. I've never heard them, but they included members of Partyline and Mess Up The Mess, so you know it's gonna be a big ol' party.

A few quickies from June:

6/5/09 - A Place To Bury Strangers/Caverns @ The Rock and Roll Hotel - Washington, DC

Caverns is a hard rocking, instrumental DC band. I've only seen them twice, but they've really come through both times. It was a video-release party for them. They showed the video after their impressive set, but they were a bit slow getting it going. By the time it was working, most people were outside smoking or at the bar upstairs. Oh well. They're playing Fort Reno this summer. Check 'em out.

A Place To Bury Strangers is one of my current favorites. LOUD shoegazey stuff. They play in complete darkness - the only light coming from films or other images projected directly into the band. It creates this slightly disorienting effect that totally adds to the experience of listening to them. It's hard to describe, really. Thanks to the merch dude who gave me a discount on the 7" box set. Great band. Dumbek says "two thumbs up!" (Did I mention how loud they were?)

6/9/09 - Beastie Boys/Biz Markie - Rams Head Live - Baltimore, MD

I hated this show. I had a decent spot just to the left of the main floor area. I could see and hear just fine. Unfortunatley, Biz Markie was an absolute disaster. I want those 25 minutes back, please. After about 10 minutes I couldn't take it anymore and went to get a drink and wander around. I came back before the Beasties came on and was about 5 feet behind my previous spot - just a little further out into the other bar area. The Beasties came out and I couldn't hear a thing. They didn't have the speakers on in the bar room and the sound from the main area wasn't travelling under the balcony at all. It was like trying to listen with your head wrapped in a pillow. Like your next-door neighbors are having a party and you can hear the music through the wall. Completely muffled and blurred. I went to the back bar with straight view of the stage. Same problem. Same on the right side, too. These spots sounded great for X and The B-52's. Miserable for the Beasties. I finally went upstairs and the sound was crystal clear. Unfortunately, unless you're right on the rail, you can't see ANYTHING from the balcony. Nothing. And considering the rail was 5 people-deep, there was no chance of seeing. So I hung upstairs - listening and dancing a little, but seeing nothing. Back downstairs - same thing. Decent view, but the sound seemed even worse to me now - knowing how good it sounded upstairs. I ran up and downstairs a few times - alternating sight for sound - but that got old after a while. After realizing they were halfway through "Check It Out" before I could even recognize it - and seeing that MCA looked bored as hell - like he'd rather be home watching TV or something - I decided to bail. I was having a crappy time, losing sleep on a worknight and had a 30-40 minute drive ahead of me. buh-bye.

6/29/09 - Frodus @ The Black Cat - Washington, DC

I was only vaguely familiar with Frodus, but I knew they had an amazing reputation as a live band and this would probably be my only shot to see them. They did not disappoint. Not exactly my kind of music - a little too screamo for me - but there's no denying the power this band brings. Wow. I'll look into their records a little more now, but I have to believe they'll be disappointing compared to their show. Good old hard-rocking DC post-punk. Excellent.

6/21/09 - Phoenix @ Rock And Roll Hotel - Washington, DC

Yeah - I bailed on this one. I ended up up spending the day with my folks (it was Father's Day, after all) and there was just no way I was going to be able to get there at a reasonable time. I knew parking would suck and it would be horrendously crowded. I didn't want to go and have a bad time (a la The Beastie Boys) so I just went home. All accounts say the show was just over-the-top fantastic. They could have easily played a venue 3-4 times this size. Oh well. My loss. Getting old sucks sometimes.

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