Go Cozy - This local five piece has a highly interesting take on dream pop music. Each song had its own character while retaining a core sound. The core is a soft pop vocal style that carries the song forward. Underneath they vary from the brilliant krautrock jam opener to a soft funkier cut coming later. The key was in the bass lines which went from flowing to choppy (while in rhythm) along with a powerful drummer working a very small kit. The keyboards filled and allowed the guitarists to cut and slash, go with the flow or create surprising volume bursts. Very nicely done over a 39 minute set that breezed by.
Other Factors - I was thrilled to hear from this Brooklyn trio who were formerly known as Mercies, when they operated out of DC in the previous few years. They were finishing a 25-day tour through the midwest, south and east tonight before heading back to their 'new' hometown. I always thought they were a solid band and through the maturity of time and the tests of the road, they came back to DC better than ever. I sensed even more creativity in the vocal work with two lead vocalists working well together on harmonies, but cutting in and out of the song for solo moments as well. The vocal patterns were almost as varied as was in their music where they combine post punk fury with intricate pop moves at various paces and volumes. This is all heady music, but you feel it deeply as well. Imagine if Mission of Burma were covering King Crimson with even fancier vocal arrangements, with all the quality of those players.. I hope they have continued success as they have that right combination of skill, creativity, and energy to continue making great music that most indie audiences would eat up greedily.
Teen Mom - I have been long overdue in catching this intriguing local pop rock band, so I was looking forward to tonight's set. They have the two guitar rock band format with one guy handling the lead vocals. There are some of the warmer pop hooks you will ever hear that work over a rumble of sound, deep and dark, underneath it all creating a disturbing effect of the kind that is actually exhilarating. This absolutely is the kind of contrast that works in that sweet/sour manner and although the song quality varied, along with their style shifts, they really created some great alchemical magic tonight. They debuted a new song called "Waltz" which I was happy to hear was written in 3/4 time, appropriately enough. And their 39 minute set was filled with some fascinating songs that even went into odd Neil Young jams to Meat Puppets moments, but kept a strong personal power-pop style at its heart. I guess, they do power pop where there is room to breathe, which is not often done. So it is a 'three for three' nights with three quality bands that sound like they belong on the same bill, but bring their unique vision to the night.
And thanks to my buddy Davis for giving me a lift home, where the combination of late hours here and early hours for Metro would have me missing at least one full set. Thankfully at least 2/3 of the 30-40 people here had cars and could stay out late to catch everything.
Quote of the Night: From author George Packer, reading from The Unwinding at Politics & Prose in response to the first 'question' in Q+A.... "You haven't left me much room to add thoughts." (trust me, you'll be happy I did not transcribe the question)