Pilot Cloud - This Philadelphia duo offers live drums and guitar with some computer generated sounds and recordings. As is often the case from this set-up, the sound is a nice swirling shoegaze with psyche elements. The guitarist does sing a lot and actual songs do emerge from the sound which scores points for me. Two of the last three songs were quite excellent showing me that this duo, who clearly can play, have enough song writing chops to do well. Nice set.
Thought and Memory - I don't think of seen such an array of sizable amps and equipment at the Velvet Lounge and I have seen Ghost here. Two guitars, a bassist, a drummer and no vocals for this NYC outfit. I am hearing Mogwai in their sound big time. Good atmospherics and power. I like the bass lines particularly but it is all good. They don't do the subtle building of say, Mono, but they cover the gamut with more abrupt moves. Good sounds. Oh, and I liked the drummer's Social Distortion shirt featuring their first 12" ep whose songs grace my Ipod (where I only put the best). Of course, I highly doubt he was born when this was released.
Caverns - I have not seen this trio in some time which had me missing them more. They did more older material as opposed to the songs on the new ep, but it still sounded great. They still possess the magical skill of mixing a skilled pianist with a shredding guitarist and powerhouse drummer like no others. Maybe someone out there comes close to this sound, but no one does it quite this way. They play off each other well and I hope their full US tour coming soon exposes them to a lot of people that will agree with me. This band is an absolute must, at least to test drive if you are not willing to dive in and enjoy.
The Escape Artist - A second local band for us tonight. Two guitars, bass, drums and vocals primarily by one guitarist but with lots of backup vocals in the mix. I was first thinking indie rock, but it was much too heavy for even that broad label. I eventually sensed more of the mid-80's DC post-hardcore scene that after a time culminated in Fugazi. I heard more Gray Matter stylings in this band with plenty of shifting sounds and modern touches as well. A very nice set by a band that should be a mainstay in the DC Scene.
Quote of the Night: from some bar conversation... "I'm poorer than you... more poor... I'm more poorer than you!"