Laughing Man - This power trio begins with some edgy angular sounds as I try to place them. Well, first off, since this is a Sockets Records showcase, I think I can use edgy and angular just about every time. Laughing Man goes into a blues rock with psyche vibes type sound sort of like Bevis Frond trying to play like the Groundhogs. Well, maybe that's me trying to be too clever here. More of a giveaway is provided by the band when they cover a TV on the Radio song. That's more the general camp they fit into if you need a quick reference. I almost hear a Cravats like bite to the music, too. The band is solid with a good strength to the playing and the guitarist's vocal work. They have a keyboardist come up a couple of times and a sax guest and finally another ten guest musicians and singers adding violins, flutes, horns and a saw. It looked like Arcade Fire or the Decemberists, but it wasn't quite the payoff after a long delay in getting set up. Still, I agree with what one of the many patrons here to view this set had to offer... "You guys are good!"
Skeleton$ - This 5-piece featuring keyboards and a couple of guitars has a quiet style with plenty of dynamic shifts of volume and style. The voice wavers between a talking singing style with a Peter Gabriel type resonance. I hear an odd stew of jazzy prog moves like a Canterbury band trying to allow some space in the mix. They are also similar to Fuschia at times. Odd and very interesting. The closer did not do much for me, but the rest of the set was fascinating.
Buildings - I have enjoyed this band many times before and tonight was no different. And if there is any criticism, it may be just that. The instrumental trio did their usual energetic songs in front of the projected videos on the dark stage which is pretty much how it is been in the past two years. But if they never do anything different (I am sure they have and they will), this is an excellent band performing engaging music that although a bit different is easy to latch on to. I am always impressed when instrumental bands can capture my attention because it is generally harder for them with the way I engage with music. But these guys succeed every time. The large crowd agreed and they went over very well tonight. Definitely one of DC's better bands.
Hume - Hume lines up with a bass/vocalist, guitarist and a couple of drummers. Obviously percussion is stressed and the duo does lay down a nice set of beats. The axemen play complex progressive moves for the most part although not in the grand storytelling way of the old prog bands, but more in the modern manner of sharp shards of melody and transition. Yes, edgy and angular again and in some ways they have a little bit of each of the three bands tonight. And that is what made tonight such a success. All four bands were easily distinct in their sounds, but were sonically related and well grouped for a great evening of music. Hume was solid and Sockets Records Showcases are must-see events for fans of DC music.
Quote of the Night: From Cheetah Chrome's surprisingly good autobiography where Cheetah while in high school met Iggy in a restroom before a Stooges show... "...I introduced myself and said I was a big fan, and that I'd heard he was looking for some downs. I was actually pretty nervous talking to him.
"Yeeeaaahhhh, maaaannn," he managed. "Whaddya goooootttttt?" Oddly enough, he talked exactly like he sang.
I told him I had Tuinals, but the chloral hydrates were personal stash; I wasn't parting with those.
"Yaaaa gotttt liiikkkee fooouuuurrr? Hoow muuuch dooo yooo waaaant?"
"Sure man, here," I said, opening my little bottle, taking out two 100mg and two 200mg pills and putting them in his hand. "No charge man, just do a great show. I'm really looking forward to it!"
He took the pills and looked at me. "Whaaat kinda druuuug deeeealer aaaare yoooou?"
"I'm not a drug dealer, I'm a Stooges fan! Kick ass tonight!"
At that he smiled, walked over to the sink, put his head back, and took all four pills. Then he ran the water, took a big drink and splashed it all over his face, thanked us again, and walked out.
"God, he must have the tolerance of a moose!" I said to Chuck, admiration in my voice.
No such luck. He apparently had the tolerance of a 5 foot 7 guy who was already fucked up and took enough downers to stop a rhino.