Friday, January 21, 2011

Stripmall Ballads - Petticoat Tearoom - Daddy Lion -- Velvet Lounge - Jan 20 2010

Daddy Lion - It has been a while since I have seen this nice local band, in fact so long that now it is a nice solo act of Jeremy presenting Daddy Lion. Jeremy plays electric guitar and sings a couple of old numbers and a lot of new material tonight. I always think Billy Bragg when I see one guy with an electric guitar banging out more rock than folk, but I heard a more subtle Meic Stevens sort of sound which worked quite well. More songs were good than not and Jeremy has the ability to put together nice sets and records that can do quite well here in DC and beyond. Well worth a sampling whether he has a band behind him or does his gig solo.

Petticoat Tearoom - From Baltimore and thereabouts come this trio playing bass, acoustic guitar and acoustic guitar/mandolin/accordion. All three sing and clearly have worked out careful CSN like harmonies. The sound is sort of a California Americana/folk/rock with a touch of country. The songs were decent enough and although this style is not my favorite, I thought the bass playing helped give things a bit of a push which was nice. They did have some nasty sounding cord problems that slowed the set a bit, but they got through it alright. I was a bit distracted by the multi-insrumentralists haircut as it reminded me of Bob Markley of the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band which is a great band and has a very odd story worth checking out.

Bob Markley

Stripmall Ballads - The trio I have seen recently is present with a fourth person playing harmonica at times. The sound is strong featuring electric guitar this time around with a very swinging rhythm section. The harmonica is a little light, which I actually prefer, because unless the player is one of the best, I often find it too distracting. This gave plenty of room for the usual strong vocals and interesting songs. This band is one of the finest area bands at hitting Americana folk-rock with touches of bluegrass and R&B even. They remind me of one of my old favorites, Cordelia's Dad. They did have a them tonight, calling the show, "The Cupcake Anti-Social". Well into the set, they finally made use of the big batch of cupcakes on the floor in front of where they were playing. Their singer read a poem about his problems with cupcakes (he expressed preferences for twinkies and other stripmall foods by sharing plenty with the audience). He went barefoot and pretty much made waste of the cupcakes. He polled the crowd that was about 2/3 against cupcakes and 1/3 for. I personally like them, but he made key points that I absolutely agree with. The elitist take on cupcakes now with lines around the block to buy them and some Simon Cowell clone on the Food Network critiquing a blood cupcake like it's a Waterhouse painting is rather sickening. But I treat them like statistics, very likable, but misused by too many people. Great show tonight. Catch this band!

Quote of the Night: From Jeremy when someone shouted out a request... "No, I don't want to do that on... Well, how often am I gonna get a request?"

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