Friday, November 21, 2008

South San Gabriel, One (1) Baptist General, Centro-Matic (11.19.08)

the Band: South San Gabriel, One (1) Baptist General, Centro-Matic
the Date: Wed November 19, 2008
the Venue: Rock and Roll Hotel (DC)

(Photo credit to Ash Crowe and his Flickr page:

South San Gabriel opened. Now, that’s a bit misleading because South San Gabriel is actually an offshoot project of the headliner, Centro-Matic. The difference here being they take four core members of Centro-Matic and add a few additional members to go for a more subdued sound. Their set was well played and a great way to start out the night.

The lead singer from the Baptist Generals, a small indie band from Centro-Matic’s hometown of Denton, Tex-ass, played solo acoustic next. Get it? He was just One (1) Baptist General. Ha! Anyways, I don’t know much about the Baptist Generals, but I like what I heard.

(Photo credit to Ash Crowe and his Flickr page:

Centro-Matic took to the stage around 10:30 and played a full hour and a half. The band consists of Will Johnson (lead vocals, guitar), Scott Danbom (vocals, violin, keyboards, bass), Mark Hedman (bass, guitar), and Matt Pence (drums). These guys have been making killer music for some twelve years and they played killer music tonight.

This was probably the best Centro-Matic show I’ve seen. Will and the band were in good spirits and kept referring to their joy over the recent Obama win. Ahhh, another reason I love these guys. I feel like they played just about all of my favorites. They even performed the English Beat’s Save it for Later in their encore that took everyone by surprise and blew most of us away.

Full setlist: Love You Just the Same / Fountains of Fire / Call the Legion in Tonight / Flashes and Cables / Good As Gold / Mighty Midshipmen / The Rat Patrol and DJs / Quality Strange / I, The Kite / Covered Up in Mines / Calling Thermatico / Saving a Free Seat / Supercar / Blisters May Come / Strahan Has Corralled the Freaks /ENCORE / Save It For Later (The English Beat cover) / ?

just a reminder to all of us
that you ain’t the superstar
that we once thought you were ...

Friday, November 14, 2008

the Acorn, Calexico (11.13.08)

the Band: the Acorn, Calexico
the Date: Thu November 13, 2008
the Venue: 9:30 Club (DC)

(Photo credit to Brandon Wu and his Flickr page:

The Acorn opened. We missed them, but heard they put on a great show.

Calexico was the headliner. The 9:30 Club was the perfect setting for the group’s intricate music, which has been described as mariachi-punk, sepia-toned indie-rock, or desert twang. However you describe them, they are nothing short of amazing. The Tuscon-based band consists of Joey Burns (vocals, guitars), John Convertino (drums), Paul Niehaus (steel pedal guitar), Jacob Valenzuela (trumpet), Martin Wenk (trumpet), and Volker Zander (bass).

They concentrated on Carried to Dust, Calexico’s most recent release, but they were sure to play many of the fan favorites. Of all the Calexico shows I’ve seen, this was the best. The rest of the crowd seemed to love the show too. There was plenty of dancing and the gritos were howled … Aaahhhuaaaayiiii! My personal highlights of the evening were Roka, Sunken Waltz, Two Silver Trees, El Gatillo (Trigger Revisited), Alone Again Or, and the final song of the evening, Guero Canelo.

Full setlist: Sanchez / Roka / Bend To The Road / Across The Wire / Jesus and Tequila (Minutemen cover) / Writer’s Minor Holiday / Sunken Waltz / House of Valparaiso / Two Silver Trees / El Gatillo (Trigger Revisited) / Stray / Inspiracion / Cruel / Quattro (World Drifts In) / The News About William / Alone Again Or (Love cover) / Fractured Air / ENCORE / Minas de Cobre (For Better Metal) / Victor Jara’s Hands / Guero Canelo

Tossed a Susan B over my shoulder …

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

the Whigs, We Are Scientists, Kings of Leon (11.10.08)

the Band: the Whigs, We Are Scientists, Kings of Leon
the Date: Mon November 10, 2008
the Venue: DAR Constitution Hall (DC)

(Photo credit to Shantel Mitchell and her Flickr page:

The Whigs were the first band. I totally missed their show. Bummer! I heard they were great.

Second on the bill was We Are Scientists. Despite the ambivalent response from the typical D.C. stay-in-your seat crowd, they put on a great set. I knew I liked them from seeing them a few years ago at the Black Cat. My favorite was Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt … of course.

(Photo credit to Shantel Mitchell and her Flickr page:

Kings of Leon was the main attraction. The band consists of three brothers, Anthony “Caleb” Followill (vocals, guitar), Ivan “Nathan” Followill, and Michael “Jared” Followill (bass), and a cousin, Cameron “Matthew” Followill (guitar). I’ve seen them many times before and they are one of my favorite Rock ‘n Roll bands. They did not disappoint this night, these Tennessee boys were amazing! They were promoting their latest release, Only by the Night, but their set spanned all four of their albums. My favorites of the night were Closer, Taper Jean Girl, Milk, Use Somebody, On Call, Slow Night, So Long, Knocked Up, and Charmer.

Full setlist for Kings of Leon: Closer / Crawl / My Party / Razz / Molly’s Chambers / Taper Jean Girl / King of the Rodeo / Sex On Fire / Fans / Revelry / Milk / Four Kicks / The Bucket / McFearless / Use Somebody / On Call / Cold Desert / Slow Night, So Long / ENCORE / Knocked Up / Manhattan / Charmer / Black Thumbnail

I ain’t too proud to say that’s how I’m made ...