Rocket Boat - We begin with a band making its debut! That got me wondering how many debuts I have seen over the years... Toxic Reasons, Sluggo... I can't recall if I was at Fugazi's first or fifth show, but in looking at their rather daunting archive of shows, I believe it was the 5th at DC Space. The Sluggo show was great as they were kids from ages 14 to 17 opening for the mighty Discharge. We laughed before the show how they might blow Discharge off the stage. Amazingly, they did. Anyway, this debut features a singer/guitarist who is grayer than I am, so I expect a more veteran sound. He and his rhythm section along with two more guitarists did deliver a solid half-hour set. They maintained a deliberate pace throughout and the better songs were easy going early-70s styled psychedelic numbers like that of Relatively Clean Rivers, but perhaps a bit more ethereal. They went over nicely and I would be happy to see them again some time.
You're Jovian - My immediate concern is whether I have ever heard of a band name with 'You're' in it. Nothing comes to mind and this trio quickly has me focusing on their music as it is loud and interesting. There are influences here, but it is hard to pin down. I am hearing Mission of Burma or maybe even a touch of Sonic Youth, but that is not quite it. Their Facebook page helps me out as I write this with a nod to the Swirlies! I enjoyed their show and the talk I had with Damon Tutunjian last year and their unique sound does appear to be a big influence here. I also hear some Hush Arbors and Grails and other modern hard, edgy, psyche sort of acts. The vocals are a bit too soft and really get lost in the strong sound--they remind me more of Bruce Dern than anything else. This a tricky little set to get into. I like the sound, but there are some missing elements, something really dynamic to explode into different directions. It's primarily the vocals, but just a little bit more spice could turn something good into something great.
Wild Fruit - I get really frustrated when I have one of those 'Oh yeah, I HAVE seen this band' moments. It is even worse when I am not sure until well into the set. But I indeed have seen and enjoyed this quirky trio's take on modern garage rock. The guitarist/vocalist played bass in Rocket Boat and he did switch to bass for a few numbers here with the guy that looked like Leonard Maltin. There was an interesting shift when the bass player here played a few songs on guitar. The music was a bit livelier with the vocals deeper and darker. It was a nice contrast which you should get from people switching instruments, although it amazes me at the times when it does not matter a bit. There was a bit of a Crazyhorse covering Velvet Underground feeling at times which was a very involving sound. A bit of dirge here, a bit of jangle there. The set grew nicely over the 37 minutes and had me in a good place. Nicely done.
Quote of the Night: Well, it was in Spanish, so I'll just relate the incident. While eating at a good Central American restaurant on 14th street, a moderately loud discussion near-by got out of hand with a woman and man arguing. The two women serve crew kept trying to restrain her as she began to 'swing like a girl' at the guy who was generally staying out of it, but didn't leave, sometimes mouthed off and had a stupid grin on his face too often. This went on and on, back and forth as they pulled her away and she came back. The guys finally came out and got her back in the kitchen before leaving. When she walked by, she was three sheets to the wind. The one thing that interested me about this is event as how infrequently I see it in clubs compared to days of old. Keep up the good work, music fans.