Brittany Jean - After a week off, it is high time to head back to the clubs, and the best way to get back into the scene is to start at a show with a lot of familiar faces. First up is one of my favorites, Brittany Jean, who this time is Brittany Jean the solo artist, not Brittany Jean the band. It is just one voice and one resonator guitar. Oh, but there is a kick drum used on a few songs for as she explained, some songs just had to have a beat going. Her guitar work has enough quality and her voice is strong, that she should worry not about the lack of a support group on stage with her (as fun and comforting as that no doubt is). The songs still come through loud and clear or deep and thoughtful depending on the mood. The room was filling up with 25-30 people and it did have a little too much noise, as usual, for an acoustic act, yet Brittany Jean has enough power in her presentation to cut nicely over the top of it all. This was a crisp 32 minutes and proved that she works just fine as a solo act. And with a drummer in Germany for an extended period, that may be how it is for a while.
The OK Corral - This indie trio starts off with rather typical indie rock. There is no nonsense as they jump on stage, plug in and play. Their music is also assertive and together as they have a good command of their sound. The lead vocals and occasional harmonies stand out a bit from what slips into comfortable musical territory. Although by the time the 37 minute set is over, I did hear a couple songs that leapt from the pack and showed a few versatile moves that gave a creative flair to their comfortable sounds. And if they continue to write songs like the brand new number that they closed with, things could be very bright indeed. They offered a solid reminder that you should stay with a band as long as you can and try to give them a few chances on different nights as well. I will certainly be back to see what they continue to come up with.
Oh so Peligroso - I have seen this area band a few times and have always left with a good feeling after their set. They feature guitar, keys, a rhythm section, and a lead vocalist who combine to give a sort of rock history lesson of the DC scene. You can start with the Slickee Boys with their brand of punk garage and move through just about every era of harDCore and indie music here in DC and find elements of it all alive and well in Oh so Peligroso. Call this modern garage, if you will. It is fast, fun, with plenty of catchy vocal lines, guitar moves, organ fills, all with a pummeling rhythm section that keeps it comfortable for anyone who ever liked punk rock. They even had me enjoying "Rebel Yell" far more than I would have if Billy Idol had showed up to play it. They clearly had fun on stage and had the large crowd rocking and involved all set long. This capped off an excellent evening of diverse music that was quickly and professionally delivered at the Velvet Lounge, on a busy Saturday no less. It is good to be back in the clubs.
Quote of the Night: I realize that improvisational commentary is difficult which is why we can all too easily pick on politicians' gaffes, media errors, and those horrors from the less than professional speakers with microphones stuck in front of them. But you really have to call some of these people to task even in the innocuous area of sports commentary. Take this from motormouth Joe Theismann, commenting at Washington's preseason football game on a catch by Santa Moss...
"Ever since Santana Moss came to Washington, I have felt that he had the best hands of any receiver under 6'5", who plays like he's 6'5"."