Sunday, September 7, 2008

Golem, the Walkmen (09.06.08)

the Band: Golem, the Walkmen
the Date: Sat September 6, 2008
the Venue: 9:30 Club (DC)

(Photo credit to someone on the internet)

We completely missed Golem. Sorry guys. Unfortunate because we heard they were a band inspired by Eastern European and Jewish klezmer folk music.

We were there for the Walkmen. The Walkmen was formed back in 2000 by three members from Jonathan Fire Eater (Walter Martin (vocals, organ, bass), Paul Maroon (guitar), and Matt Barrick (drums)) and two from the Recoys (Hamilton Leithauser (vocals, guitar) and Peter Bauer (organ, bass)). All of the members grew up together in the Washington, D.C. area and have played in the same bands since the fifth grade! Walter and Hamilton are cousins too.

Anyways, Hamilton and the boys played a great show to this large, hometown crowd. It was a solid collection of songs that mixed classics with some of the newer tunes off of their recent release, You & Me. My favorites of the evening included What’s in It for Me?, Wake Up, Louisiana, The Rat, Little House of Savages, Long Time Ahead of Us, and In the New Year (where Hamilton's voice crescendoed into a scream in the chorus). It was just an amazing performance from a band that I love. We even had a surprise guest appearance from Peter’s little boy. Awwwww.

Full setlist: New Country / On the Water / In the New Year / Canadian Girls / Thinking of a Dream I Had / Wake Up / Long Time Ahead of Us / Donde Esta la Playa / All Hands and the Cook / Red Moon / The Rat / What’s in It for Me? / I Lost You / Louisiana / ENCORE / Four Provinces / Little House of Savages

If you don’t like it, Won’t you tell me? ...

Friday, September 5, 2008

My Morning Jacket (09.03.08)

the Band: My Morning Jacket
the Date: Wed September 3, 2008
the Venue: DAR Constitution Hall (DC)

(Photo credit to Shantel Mitchell and her Flickr page:

The show marketed as “An Evening with My Morning Jacket” was just that, an entire evening with the main attraction. That was a nice change from the traditional show. I knew that I could concentrate solely on Jim James and the boys from start to finish. I would not have to watch an opener (that I’d probably never heard of) and then wait about twenty minutes while they switch out the instruments. Now I don’t have anything against sitting through the traditional opening act. In fact, I find myself discovering new music through watching the opening bands. That’s exactly how I found out about Centro-Matic … they opened for My Morning Jacket a few years back. Now, I’m a big Centro-Matic fan.

The band hails from Louisville, Kentucky and comprises Jim James (vocals, guitar), Tom “Two-Tone Tommy” Blankenship (bass), Patrick Hallahan (drums), Carl Broemel (guitar, vocals), and Bo Koster (keyboard, vocals). My Morning Jacket, or MMJ for those of us who celebrate the brevity of the blog, has a unique sound that ranges from their alt-country rock roots, full of guitar with heavy reverb (think Neil Young) to more experimental rock full of keyboards (think Prince). They are an amazing band to see live in an open air setting, like Bonnaroo or Lollapalooza.

Anyways, the Evening with My Morning Jacket was good … not great. The show was over 2.5 hours! So they deserve my praise for that alone, but to be honest, this wasn’t my favorite MMJ show of all time. Though I really like these guys, I’m just not a huge fan of their latest release Evil Urges. Many of the night’s tunes came from that album. I mean, they played nearly that entire album. Thankfully, they played tons of other songs too including some of my favorites, Off the Record, Anytime, Golden, Gideon, Lay Low and, of course, One Big Holiday. It’s also worth noting that they played Cobra, a rare tune off of the band’s Chocolate & Ice EP … that’s like a 20 minute song!

(Photo credit to Shantel Mitchell and her Flickr page:

Full setlist: Evil Urges / Anytime / Off the Record / Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Part 1 / Two Halves / Golden / Thank You Too! / I'm Amazed / The Way That He Sings / Sec Walkin / War Begun / Phone Went West / Cobra / Librarian / Dondante / Gideon / Lay Low / Steam Engine // Wordless Chorus / Highly Suspicious / Smokin from Shootin / Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Part 2 / Run Thru / One Big Holiday

if we holler loud and make our way
we’d all live one big holiday ...