Night Kitchen - Back to the Pinch, which is showing some staying power as a DC club that will cater to metal, punk, and local showcases that not all of the other clubs are willing to touch. Tonight it is three area bands, the first of which is a guitar/drums duo with vocals. They start with a song that is reminding me of Roky Erickson and the Aliens... and that is because it is a cover song of Roky's. OK, these two know their music. Interestingly enough, they go into an instrumental post punk cut after that before heading back to interesting pop-rock. The club's band provided PA is at its usual low level (at least every time I am here), muffling the vocal work (true all night, but I've heard worse), so it is hard to judge the full intended effect of the music. I also hope Night Kitchen fills out their band as their music would sound better with one or two more members. The core material is quite good to work with and I hope to see them again next year.
Brothers Kardell - Another duo, this time on keyboards and guitar with both players on vocals as well. Uh-oh, I hear the dreaded drum machine and 80s synth sounds, but no, there is some great jagged post punk guitar so the first cut goes well. But then, uh-oh, they both take microphones and rap in front of a backing track. Yet through humor, clever lyrics, and energy they have me smiling and won me over by song's end. Then it is back to their instruments for a fun and highly energized set. I really enjoy when a band beats back my cynicism into submission and these guys piledrove it deep underground. They are like a crazy Adam & the Ants and remind me quite a bit of Sparks, which you don't see too often. They also can really play and keep your full attention as easily as anyone around here does. I am not sure what billings are capable of fitting in a band like this, but if people have any daring or courage, they will get these guys on their bill.
New Canada - This trio has been around a bit, under other names, but is staking out some new and interesting ground merging their older brand of outsider folk-rock with some searing psyche rock moves. It is all welcome to these ears as they began with a jam that reminded me of Swedish psyche masters, Spacious Mind. Then they wove in various heavy and lighter textures throughout their engaging set reminding me of Doll By Doll and even some twisted psyche-punk sort of songs. They had one more extreme freak-out before leaving us with a folkier rock song reminding me of the outsider folk material guitarist/vocalist Justyn has recorded in the past. Another fine night provided by this steadily growing band that is well worth a listen by people who want good music one step away from the mainstream.
Quote of the Night: From the Brothers Kardell... "I know we're doing a show, but I'd rather be watching a movie."