The Soft White Sixties - The first thing noticeable with this quartet is that they employ a full time vocalist, well he bashes a tambourine some, but it is surprisingly unusual to have a full time singer in the rock world at the indie level (although it will happen again tonight). The second thing I noticed was how good the rhythm section was at allowing so much room for the one guitar to be playful with the vocals carrying the melody. This worked since the bass had a very fat sound and the drumming had measured and controlled strength at the core. The guitarist also spent a lot of time at the keyboards, which added even further dimensions to these songs. He could spend much of his time in one song on fills and runs, the next on power chords, and the following song on guitar alternating with thick keyboards. The singer was strong and pushed everything up a notch as these songs worked a very broad territory. Yes, there's some soulful and psychedelic sixties elements here, but they were ultimately a rather timeless rock band with good variety and solid personality. There was a nod to an old Fleetwood Mac cut, 'Oh Well' in the final boogie jam concoction, which was quite amazing. This was the DC debut for this San Francisco band and they won over some fans and should be back for a return visit I would imagine (and hope for).
Electric Six - This Detroit band have been regular visitors to DC for a long time now and have consistently torn it up on stage acquiring an intense core of fans. So although the big room was about half full on this Tuesday night, the intensity was like a Saturday night up front. And this band deserves a lot of fans as they have a great swagger to their highly energized rock'n'roll. They have a firm NY Dollsian based punk rock approach that is always fun, yet they add a Roxy Music flourish with their personality and synth blasts which elevates them beyond so many other decent bands. The humor was good and the singer worked the crowd nicely in the brief moments between songs. This was a blast, pure and simple, and it has been a lot of fun to see so many bands come through lately that make you feel good that you came out to experience the pleasures of live music. Electric Six is as good as that as anyone.
Quote of the Night... From the E.Six's lead singer (with tongue partially in cheek?)... "It's great being out of the midwest--fucking piece of shit."