Friday, December 13, 2013

Heavy Breathing - The Jet Age - Tereu Tereu -- Tropicalia - Dec 12 2013

Tereu Tereu - I am not sure what I remember more from the last time I saw this band, the quality music they made or the sardonic patter. They take the two-man band approach with guitar drums along with vocals from the guitarist. This is always a challenge but they are good players and good songwriters, so although I would not mind another instrument or two, they are quite successful at pulling you into their songs. I hope that guy who looks like Larry 'Bud' Melman that did a walk-on on the stage is the owner or manager here. Weird. The band keeps the pace going and is not afraid to extend a jam or two as they set the controls for the spleen of the post modern universe. That guy is back and it is an owner/manager as he's signalling lighting cues back to the booth. You know, we can see the band, all is fine, do this later, ok? Fortunately, the band keeps the mood under control and finishes off a fine set with their more rocking Sebadoh-like songs. They are well worth a look on any bill.

The Jet Age - What? No Wedding Present set to follow? Yes, these three young veterans do play other shows and it is our gain tonight. They began with a light pop ditty before roaring into more explosive power pop material. They keep the variety of pace and volume changing throughout the set, which is all the better for creating a great environment to hear their fine songs. They are still one of the best power pop rockers for bands to look up to around here. They know all the tricks and make it all seem effortless until you pay attention to how skilled their execution is. There is not much more to say, they are good, so listen.
Heavy Breathing - It took quite some time (a bit much for me) before the final local band hit tonight's stage, but the sizable crowd tonight was still raring to go for more quality music. This trio (who previously worked as 'the Apes') delivered intriguing songs that were some sort of dance-rock hybrid. At least they played songs after a five-minute monologue that actually wasn't the worst thing I've heard and a snafu between the first and second songs. Things went smoothly enough thereafter (although I missed the final bit of the set) and the crowd was still rocking. Although dance music does not excite me that much, there was plenty of muscular guitar and strong drumming while the keyboards and electronics moves were throbbing and melodic in a more interesting way than many other things I've heard. Some songs worked more than others, but this is an interesting vision that this band has at their center. I like them and I am guessing that a whole lot more people will love them. And they had lasers as you can see.

And I want to add that this was  show sponsored by two fine area blogs run by some dedicated and intelligent music lovers, ShowlistDC and Hometown Sounds. Check them both out and don't be shy about heading out to the Tropicalia. It is an below street U Street venue that is a similar size to the U Street Music Hall, but it has a mix of slick and rough within and is much more of a relaxing place with seating and plenty of space in the back.

Quote of the Night... from the Jet Age, if not me... "Ah, I'm soooo old."


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kind words, Davd! (Not least of all "young.")-Eric, TJA

David Hintz said...

Yes, Eric, that was an in-joke (so 'in' that only I would get it) as I referred to you guys as a young band in one of my first posts on this blog and you corrected me then. Well we are five years older and our bodies feel every bit of that I'm sure. I know mine does. Rock on!

Chris O. said...

The space is pretty nice, but the organization needs some work. I called to see what time the music started and was told 9:00. I missed most of Tereu Tereu's set, as they were apparently told that the music starts at 8:30. The 45-minute break between Jet Age and Heavy Breathing was pretty annoying as well.

I've seen Jet Age several times, and I like their sound, but the singer sounds as if he is straining on the high notes. I suspect if he sang 1/2 octave or so, maybe an octave lower, it would improve the sound. Since the band seems to read this blog, I hope this is viewed as a constructive suggestion, which is my intent.

Heavy Breathing certainly gets points for being a high-energy band, especially the drummer, but dance-pop is not really my style, as I dance like a statue. They were a fun band to see once, though.

David Hintz said...

Agreed, Chris (especially on the delays which sap energy). And I just want to add that Tereu Tereu is headlining the Black Cat's mainstage on Friday, January 17th. Start times are more predictable at the Black Cat, but as they are not announced on-line, you have to be careful there some nights.

Anonymous said...

Don't know what prompted me to check back, but I'm glad I did. Thanks for the comments, Chris. Way back when, I tried singing some songs an octave lower and it just sapped the songs of vitality. I like to think that most nights the tension inherent in me hitting some of those nights adds to the drama of the song, but I also recognize that on some nights (such as the show in question) other conditions (in this case, slight dehydration in the first third of the set) make this approach even more less than ideal. :P I keep on tryin' ... -E