Thursday, June 19, 2008

These United States, the M’s, Centro-Matic (06.18.08)

the Band: These United States, the M's, Centro-Matic
the Date: Wed June 18, 2008
the Venue: Rock and Roll Hotel (DC)

(Photo credit to Jeremy Johnson and his Flickr page:

There were two opening bands, These United States and the M's. We totally missed These United States, but caught the last half of the M's set. They were pretty darn good. I think they're from Chicago. There were a lot of fans there just to see the M's I think, cuz the crowd thinned a bit after they finished … what fools they were!

Centro-Matic came on stage around ten-ish and simply rocked the socks off of everyone there. The band is from Denton, Texas and consists of Will Johnson (lead vocals, guitar), Matt Pence (drums), Mark Hedman (guitar), and Scott Danbom (synthesizer, bass guitar). Just so you know, these guys have another band called South San Gabriel made up of the same foursome but adding a few additional friends to the mix. Will Johnson has also put out some solo work and in 2006 toured around with the indie rock "supergroup" known as The Undertow Orchestra, which included members David Bazan (of Pedro the Lion), Mark Eitzel (of American Music Club) and Vic Chestnutt.

I've been a big fan of Centro-Matic for some time now … ever since I saw them open for My Morning Jacket in a little club in Houston called the Engine Room back in 2004. They have been around for something like twelve years and just released their 8th album Dual Hawks (a split/double album with their alter-ego South San Gabriel), that's aside from the 4 Centro-Matic EPs, the 3 South San Gabriel albums, and the 2 Will Johnson solo albums. These Texans have put out a whole heck of a lot of music!

(Photo credit to Bill Ellison and his Flickr page:

The show was nothing but entertaining. There were sweet serenades and kick-you-in-the-crotch rock and roll tunes. No matter what, Will's raspy singing and signature kicks carried us through the nearly two hour set. The setlist itself was a perfect blend of the new and old tunes. My favorites were To Unleash the Horses Now, Flashes and Cables (simply AMAZING), Rat Patrol and DJs (nice tune), Supercar (absolutely must be heard live), The Blisters May Come (they completely rocked the crap out of this song), and of course All the Lighting Rods (which Will sang solo with an acoustic guitar). What a show! Please, Will, bring your trucker cap full of rock and roll back to DC … we'll keep the porch light on for you.

Full setlist: Post-It Notes from the State Hospital / Fountains of Fire / To Unleash the Horses Now / Flashes and Cables / The Mighty Midshipman / Rat Patrol and DJs / I, The Kite / Argonne Limit Co. / All Your Farewells / Calling Thermatico / Strychnine, Breathless Ways / Guillotines Hung Together / Supercar / Huge in Every City / Strahan Has Corralled the Freaks / The Blisters May Come / ENCORE / All the Lightning Rods

if we found the time
if we found the merriment
if we found the words
we'd scratch them in new cement ...

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