Adam Green & the Dead Trees - I thought this was going to be two different acts and from what I gather, it often is. But tonight, NYC's Adam Green fronted Portland's four-piece, the Dead Trees. The Trees had a garage rock sort of steady sound somewhere between Canned Heat and the Shins. Green had an Ian Curtis delivery that was closer to Warsaw than Joy Division. Green is gabbing semi coherently between songs explaining how loaded he is which explains much. He has energy, but a really bad habit of dropping the mic down on the ground with a loud pop, far too many times for my ears. Some songs are pretty good, the band is solid, but the singer annoyed me way too much. I've seen Guided by Voices already. There was much worse behavior there, but better music. It was not worth the sacrifice this time.
The Cribs - What used to be a three piece pop-punk band (all brothers) from the UK is now a four-piece with ex-Smith, Johnny Marr adding some strong guitar work. This is a far better gig for him than it was with Modest Mouse, in my view. The Cribs have a strong power pop sound born out of punk, perhaps, but sounding of any modern era. They have plenty of harmonies and strong, catchy songs. Sometimes, I felt it was a little too steady and lacked dynamics, but they did some nice twists and turns toward the end of their set to give me my fix of variety. Speaking of Joy Division, they mentioned playing the Black Cat the day Tony Wilson died. So Manchester rules the evening and rules it well. Good set for a good crowd that had a good time. Me too.
Quote of the Night: "Look up at me please" from the ID checker at the front door. Apparently she was trying to detect if a 45 year old man was using the ID of a 50 year old man to sneak in. Fortunately, I resembled my drivers license enough to gain entry. Or perhaps I just look 20 years old when my head is down. Are these people trying out for Airport Security jobs?
Upcoming show: Sockets Records, a local DC label, is celebrating its fifth year in existence--no minor feat these days. They have a show at the Black Cat this Friday night. The music is heavy with electronica and pop, perhaps a bit in the Animal Collective universe. Support local music is still a good motto when in doubt.