Wednesday, December 8, 2004

the Bennies, the Datsuns, Pixies (12.07.04)

the Band: the Bennies, the Datsuns, Pixies
the Date: Tuesday December 7, 2004
the Venue: DAR Constitution Hall (DC)

(Photo credit to Cliff and his Flickr page:

This night, I went to heaven … and met the Pixies. The band consists of Frank Black (a.k.a. Black Francis, a.k.a. Charles Thompson; vocals/guitar), Kim Deal (a.k.a. Mrs. John Murphy; vocals/bass), Joey Santiago (guitar), and David Lovering (drums). They were fantastic!

The Pixies are my absolute, all-time favorite band … EVER! When I was in high school and college, these guys were hitting their prime. Though I never got the chance to see them perform, the Pixies defined my taste in music. I was a HUGE fan. Then in early 1993, the band abruptly broke up (I’ll skip the part about Kim and Charles not getting along and the infamous fax heard round the indie world). I was crushed, but my love for the Pixies remained true. As they say, “It is better to have loved and lost, than to have never heard the Pixies at all”

(Photo credit to Cliff and his Flickr page:

Anyways, fast forward nearly twelve years and I find myself seeing the Pixies in concert! This was the first of a two-night stint in DC’s DAR Constitution Hall. I was only able to score tickets to one of the two nights, but that’s okay because it was still a dream come true. The Bennies opened and they were followed by the Datsuns. They were both great, but I was really distracted anticipating the Pixies. Finally, they came on stage and the crowd went nutz! They started with a slowed down version of In Heaven, which was magical, and then proceeded to give the sellout crowd what they came to hear. The set was chock full of note perfect versions of all of my favorites including, Wave of Mutilation, Nimrod’s Son, Here Comes Your Man, Debaser, Caribou, Vamos, Gigantic, and my all-time favorite song, Where Is My Mind? (with which they closed the evening). It was simply amazing.

Even considering their long hiatus, the Pixies did not disappoint. Frank had definitely retained his ability to seamlessly turn from a sweet melody to an all out, guttural scream. Kim played the bass flawlessly with her sweet backing vocals occasionally popping in. Joey and Dave were absolutely on fire. There was one moment, during Vamos, when Dave tossed Joey a drumstick which then Joey incorporated into an incredible guitar solo. Wow!

I left the night knowing that I had just seen the greatest band of all time. I cannot wait until their next show.

(Photo credit to Cliff and his Flickr page:

Full setlist: In Heaven (Lady in the Radiator Song) / Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf) / Winterlong (Neil Young cover) / Nimrod’s Son / The Holiday Song / Here Comes Your Man / Broken Face / Subbacultcha / Cactus / No. 13 Baby / Monkey Gone to Heaven / Velouria / Is She Weird / Debaser / U-Mass / Gouge Away / Crackity Jones / Something Against You / Isla De Encanta / Hey / Caribou / Broken Face / Head On (Jesus and Mary Chain cover) / Tame / Vamos / Gigantic / Where Is My Mind?

In Heaven, everything is fine …

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

On!Air!Library!, Secret Machines, Interpol (11.09.04)

the Band: On!Air!Library!, Secret Machines, Interpol
the Date: Tuesday November 9, 2004
the Venue: 9:30 Club (DC)

(Photo credit to the On!Air!Library! website)

A trio of NYC bands rocked the 9:30 club. For a few short hours, I knew what it was like to be a real New Yorker … okay, not really, but I did witness some of the best new music coming out of the Big Apple. It was awesome!

On!Air!Library! was the first band to play. This NYC band consists of twin sisters, Claudia and Alley Deheza, and Phillip Wann. They put out some hazy, hallucinating, and haunting tunes anchored only by the edgy harmonies from the Deheza sisters. It was shoegazing at its finest. I really liked them and picked up their self-titled album at the merch table. It was a great start to the night.

(Photo credit to Aaron Smith and his Flickr page:

Secret Machines were next. This NYC band (actually, I think they’re from Texas, but broke out in NYC), made up of brothers, Ben (guitar) and Brandon Curtis (vocals/bass/keyboard), and Josh Garza (drums), played a fantastic live set. Josh absolutely obliterated his drum kit with his Slash-like hair bobbing away and Brandon passionately handled keyboard and vocal duties. But, it was Ben who was really on fire this night -- he just tore it up.

The Secret Machines didn’t feel at all like an opening act for Interpol. They seemed more like contemporaries who happened to play on the same night .. in the same club (they even had near identical set lengths!). My favorites of the night were, First Wave Intact (awesome tune to start their set!), Sad and Lonely, It’s a Bad Wind that Don’t Blow Somebody Some Good (from their September 000 EP), Still See You, The Road Leads Where It’s Lead, and Now Here Is Nowhere.

(Photo credit to David Chou and his Flickr page:

This was my first time seeing Interpol and I was pretty amped up. Interpol was phenomenal! This NYC band, consisting of Paul Banks (vocals/guitar), Daniel Kessler (guitar/vocals), Carlos Dengler (bass/keyboards), and Sam Fogarino (drums), put on a fantastic show … in uber-fashionable Italian suits too! The renditions of each song was perfect -- taut rhythms and an intense performance. I mean, these guys sound just as perfect live as they do on their studio-produced albums.

On a side note, Daniel Kessler spent some time growing up in the DC are and graduated from Bethesda Chevy Chase High School. Cool!

Their set was a great mix of tunes from their original album, Turn on the Bright Lights, and their recent release, Antics. My favorites included Hands Away, Evil, and Not Even Jail. But the highlight of the concert, however, was PDA, which the band executed with seemingly effortless gusto.  It was just an amazing night of tunes from the city that never sleeps ... Hey, New York, thanks for the little tast of insomnia!

Full setlist: Next Exit / Evil / Say Hello to the Angels / Public Pervert / Length of Love / Not Even Jail / Hands Away / NYC / Slow Hands / Narc / PDA / ENCORE / Leif Erikson / Obstacle 1

Rosemary, Heaven restores you in life …

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Colin Steel, Metric, the Walkmen (09.23.04)

the Band: Colin Steel, Metric, the Walkmen
the Date: Thursday September 23, 2004
the Venue: 9:30 Club (DC)

(Photo credit to Paul Frederiksen and his Flickr page:

Totally missed Colin Steel. Oops.

Metric was next. They were great. Metric consists of Emily Haines (vocals), James Shaw (guitar), Josh Winstead (bass), and Joules Scott-Key (drums). Emily also sings in the band Broken Social Scene. I like them too. I totally developed a crush on Emily Haines!

The Walkmen were the headliners. The band, made up of Hamilton Leithauser (vocals/guitar),Walter Martin (organ/bass), Paul Maroon (guitar), Matt Barrick (drums), and Peter Bauer (orga/ bass), are DC boys who’ve been making music together since childhood.

(Photo credit to Paul Frederiksen and his Flickr page:

Even though I just saw them last August and then again this past February, I was really looking forward to seeing these guys and this show did not disappoint. They played some tunes from their first album including Blizzard of ‘96, Wake Up, and We’ve Been Had (from the Saturn commercial - still love the song though) and they played songs from the new album too like What’s In It for Me?, The Rat, and Thinking of a Dream I Had which pulsated throughout the venue and vibrated through the hearts of everyone within earshot of the band. Hamilton and the boys slowed things down a bit with Hang on Siobhan before ending the night with the amazing Little House of Savages, once again causing extreme sonic absorption. It was an amazing, amazing show!

(Photo credit to Paul Frederiksen and his Flickr page:

Cause you can run and have your fun
But don’t come around when she get’s home …

Friday, September 17, 2004

Willy Mason, Centro-Matic, My Morning Jacket (09.16.04)

the Band: Willy Mason, Centro-Matic, My Morning Jacket
the Date: Thursday September16, 2004
the Venue: Engine Room (Houston)

(Photo credit to Clifford Layne and his Flickr page:

It was just before the weekend of the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Luck for us, a few of the bands playing ACL came down to Houston for a quick show.

Willy Mason opened. He was chill.

Centro-Matic was next. I had never heard of this band before, but once they started playing, I became an instant fan. Centro-Matic is out of Denton, Texas and consists of Will Johnson (vocals/guitar), Matt Pence (drums), Scott Danborn (piano/violin), and Mark Hedman (bass). They put on an awesome show. Will Johnson had this rich, smoky toned voice that was just amazing. This was alt-country at its finest. My favorite tune of theirs was Love You Just the Same.  I picked up a short stack of their CDs at the merch table.

(Photo credit to Susan Malmrose and her Flickr page:

My Morning Jacket was the headliner. The band, made up of Jim James (vocals/guitar), Tom Blankenship (bass), Patrick Hallahan (drums), Carl Broemel (guitar), and Bo Koster (keyboard), is out of Louisville, Kentucky. I had heard of My Morning Jacket and even had one of their CDs, Acoustic Citsuoca. Even then, I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to experience. I was absolutely blown away. I really enjoyed seeing hairball, Jim James, wearing a blazer (a.k.a. his morning jacket) and just rocking the hell out of the Engine Room.

There were a few songs, Golden, Death Is the Easy Way, and Bermuda Highway, where the lead singer from Centro-Matic, Will Johnson (with a can of beer in his hand and a trucker cap on his head), came out to join Jim James. The duo’s fuzzed-out harmonies were truly something to see. This was the perfect combination and my favorite moments of the night. What an incredible night of Southern Rock n’ Roll!

(Photo credit to Susan Malmrose and her Flickr page:

Full setlist (not from this show, but from a show around this time … sorry, best I could do): How Could I Know (Oxen) / Just One Thing / It Beats 4 U / Lowdown / The Way That He Sings / Golden (w/Will Johnson) / Death Is the Easy Way (w/Will Johnson) / Bermuda Highway (w/Will Johnson) / How Do You Know / One Big Holiday / Strangulation / Dancefloors / Mahgeetah / ENCORE / Cobra / Steam Engine / Run Thru

Oh, don’t carve me out, don’t let your silly dreams
Fall in between the crack of the bed and the wall …

Thursday, September 16, 2004

the Futureheads, the Delays, Franz Ferdinand (09.15.04)

the Band: the Futureheads, the Delays, Franz Ferdinand
the Date: Wednesday September 15, 2004
the Venue: Verizon Wireless Theater (Houston)

(Photo credit to Andrew Kendall and his Flickr page:

If it’s not Scottish it’s CRAP!

The Futureheads opened. They’re an English indie-band, consisting of Ross Millard (vocals/guitar), Barry Hyde (vocals/guitar), David Craig (bass), and Dave Hyde (drums). They were great - very tight, fun songs. I really liked their tune Decent Days & Nights.

Then, the Delays played. They’re another English band, consisting of brothers Greg (vocals/ guitar) and Aaron Gilbert (keyboard/vocals), Colin Fox (bass/vocals) and Rowly (drums). Greg’s falsetto vocals, were kind of cool, but unfortunately their show did not have the same energy as the other two bands. Still … I picked up a couple CDs when I grabbed another beer during their set.

Franz Ferdinand was the main attraction. This Scottish band, made up of Alex Kapranos (vocals/guitar), Bob Hardy (bass), Nick McCarthy (guitar/vocals), and Paul Thomson (drums/vocals), put on an amazing show! Franz Ferdinand knew exactly how to wake up the crowd again. Dressed in super-tight shirts and pants, the slender quartet kicked it off with the fiery Cheating On You, which they followed with essentially the entirety of their self-titled album.

(Photo credit to Sarah Roberts and her Flickr page:

Franz Ferdinand were so fantastic live. I danced the entire concert - about an hour. My favorite tunes of the evening were Cheating on You, 40’, Take Me Out, Jacqueline, Come on Home, and This Fire.  All in all, it was a great night of music from across the pond.

Full setlist: Cheating on You / 40’ / Tell Her Tonight / Auf Achse / Take Me Out / Jacqueline / This Boy / Come on Home / Van Tango / The Dark of the MatinĂ©e / Your Diary / Michael / Darts of Pleasure / ENCORE / Shopping for Blood / Love and Destroy / This Fire

So if you’re lonely, you know I’m here waiting for you …

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

the Whips, the Living End, Jet, the Vines (03.15.04)

the Band: the Whips, the Living End, Jet, the Vines
the Date: Monday March 15, 2004
the Venue: 9:30 Club (DC)

(Photo credit to Ziv Kruger and his Flickr page:

It was the Aussie Invasion Tour, a trio of rock bands from the land down under playing the 9:30 Club.

Before we got to the Aussies, first up for a short set was the Whips, a local DC group (and, the only non-Aussie band). They had the tough job of warming up for the imports. Ripping through a quick 40 minute set, these guys did a great job.

Next up was The Living End. I hadn’t heard of them before, but apparently they have a pretty good fan base. It was cool to see a three-piece punk band with an upright bass. These guys rocked out hitting some fan favorites such as Save the Day and From Here on In. A group in the tradition of good ole punk, they were a fitting intro for the other Aussie bands.

Jet was next. Comprised of Cameron Muncey (guitar), Mark Wilson (bass), and brothers Nic (vocals/guitar) and Chris Cester (drums), this band was getting tons and tons of media hype. I mean, the commercial playing their tune, Are You Gonna Be My Girl? almost convinced me to buy an iPod! They completely rocked. Of course, their hits, Are You Gonna Be My Girl? and Cold Hard Bitch had the crowd screaming for more. Their hour-plus set flew by much too quickly. The band seemed genuinely excited to be playing as well and really into the tour as they came out on the balcony to watch both the Living End and the Vines. Nice!

(Photo credit to Joel Levy and his Flickr page:

The Vines closed out the night as the headliners. The band consists of Craig Nicholls (vocals/guitar), Patrick Matthews (bass), Hamish Rosser (drums), and Ryan Griffiths (guitar). I’ve been a fan of this band since the release of their debut album, Highly Evolved. They ripped through an hour plus set list of their tunes. Most of the songs came from their newest album, Winning Days, but they played older tunes too. My favorites included Autumn Shade, Outtathaway!, Mary Jane, Ride, Get Free (of course), and Winning Days.

The winning days are gone because I know just where I’m seeing . . .

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

the Sounds, the Strokes (03.09.04)

the Band: the Sounds, the Strokes
the Date: Tuesday March 9, 2004
the Venue: Nation (DC)

(Photo credit to Rachel Goldstar and her Flickr page:

The Sounds opened. They are a Swedish rock band … kind of reminded me of Blondie. Their front gal, Maja Ivarsson (vocals), is backed by solid band consisting of Felix Rodriguez (guitar), Jesper Anderberg (keyboards), Johan Bengtsson (bass), and Fredrik Nilsson (drums). They were great.

(Photo credit to Alexia and her Flickr page:

The Strokes were kicking off a tour in support of their sophomore album, Room On Fire. Since I first saw these guys back in 2002, I’ve been a big fan and had been looking forward to this show. These New Yorkers, Julian Casablancas (vocals), Albert Hammond, Jr. (guitar), Nick Valensi (guitar), Nikolai Fraiture (bass), and Fabrizio Moretti (drums), put on a great show.

Whether it was the energetic crowd (unusual for DC) or because they were kicking off a new tour, the Strokes were really into the audience and into their music. There was a lot of interaction between front-man, Julian (who’s typically stoic), and the crowd … at one point he was taking requests. Julian even went so far as to leave the stage during The Modern Age, climbing halfway into the crowd directly in front to be greeted by fans eager to touch the singer. By the song’s end, he was fully immersed in the crowd. The Strokes played a long amazing set, introduced several false endings, and did not return for an encore. That’s okay though, cuz we all left completely satisfied. Awesome!

Full setlist (not for this show, but for a show around this time … sorry, best I can do): The End Has No End / Under Control / Automatic Stop / You Talk Way Too Much / Someday / The Way It Is / 12:51 / New York City Cops / Hard To Explain / Trying Your Luck / Soma / The Modern Age / Meet Me In The Bathroom / I Can’t Win / Reptilia / Last Nite / Alone, Together / What Ever Happened? / When It Started / Barely Legal / Is This It? / Take It Or Leave It

I wanna be forgotten
And I don’t wanna be reminded . . .

Friday, February 27, 2004

Weird War, the National, the Walkmen (02.26.04)

the Band: Weird War, the National, the Walkmen
the Date: Thursday February 26, 2004
the Venue: 9:30 Club (DC)

(Photo credit to Joanna and her Flickr page:

Weird War was the opening act. I completely missed their set, but heard great things from the other concert-goers. Dang!

The National was next. They were great. Aside from the lead singer, Matt Berninger, the band is composed of two sets of brothers, Aaron (guitar) and Bryce Dessner (guitar) and Scott (bass), and Bryan Devendorf (drums). I really liked their show and regretted not hitting the merch table to pick up new CDs … I love picking up new CDs!

The Walkmen was the main attraction. New York claims them (they live there after all), but DC is where all five of the Walkmen were raised and first rocked. The band, made up of Hamilton Leithauser (vocals/guitar),Walter Martin (organ/bass), Paul Maroon (guitar), Matt Barrick (drums), and Peter Bauer (orga/ bass), is just fantastic. Hamilton belts out banshee vocals while the band rocks out fractured rhythms. Awesome!

Ever since I caught their show at the Black Cat last August, I’ve been a HUGE fan and I couldn’t wait to see the Walkmen again. I loved both their first album, Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone, and their second released earlier this month, Bows & Arrows. Despite some sound issues (Hamilton’s microphone didn’t work for the first two songs!), this was a great show. My favorite tunes of the evening were Blizzard of ‘96, Wake Up, We’ve Been Had, My Old Man, Thinking of a Dream I Had, and Little House of Savages.

Full setlist (not from this show but from one around this time, sorry this is the best I can do): What's In It For Me / The Rat / Wake Up / Rue The Day / 138th Street / Thinking of a Dream I Had / We've Been Had / New Year's Eve / Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone / Revenge Wears No Wristwatch / Bows and Arrows / Little House Of Savages / My Old Man

I’m waiting on a subway line …