Saturday, May 31, 2014


There is something wonderfully old fashioned about this music, even as it bounces around between different styles. There is a latino crooning vibe in some songs, worldly folk in others, and some up tempo songs that either sound like the seventies or modern with a a slight nod to the past. Overall, the vocals stay steady and take control of the pace, while the band creates a dreamy atmosphere that is inviting and leaves me with a relaxed, settled feeling, leaning just enough on the edge of my seat in anticipation of the next musical move. Rodrigo Amarante has done well here, creating an album that leaves a physical impression with the listener while letting mental imagery move about on a comfortable journey. Each song has character and stands alone, but the latter half of the album does build into a strong emotional conclusion with "Tardei". Give this album a full listen.

Songs to try first:

Nad Em Vao - Dreamy atmospheric crooning that sounds like Sinatra or Brel cloned for the modern world.

Irene - Delicate folk song with nuanced vocal work.

I'm Ready - This is my soundtrack for a pleasant stroll through an Italian village.

We certainly can't accuse this band of creating an obtuse album title. And with a title this broad, it allows plenty or room for exploration. This spacey, delicate overall sound does invite a certain wide geographic swath of landscape imagery. This is a 'band' project of sorts from Damon McMahon, a New Yorker who moved to China and back, so the wide and varied geography certainly has contextual basis here. The overall sound is laid back droning light rock with psyche folk flavoring that is a bit on the modern side, but there are also traces of Pearls Before Swine. There's even some lo-fi heavy garage rock in "I Can't Dig It", so he will keep you guessing. But most of the time it is trance inducing treks across desert landscapes. It does not always work for me, but there is great vision and moments of great success. Truly, an album to explore and decide for yourself, this.

Songs to try first:

Lonely Richard - Droning guitar, but with a light touch creating an intriguing atmosphere.

Rocket Flare - The guitar jangle is nice, vocals good, and overall a solid arrangement.

Everybody is Crazy - It's true, they are… and this lives up to the album title.

Green Eyes - The laid back vocals are even more dreary and evocative here atop a droning piano pattern.

This is a split LP, the first of five from Belgian record label, Hypertension Records. I know this is going to be great for me because not only have I enjoyed the many Begian releases I have reviewed in years past, but this series is going to include one of my Denver, Colorado favorites, Munly J. Munly, on one of the five planned releases. So let's dive right in with record number one:

Amenra - This Belgian band plays a profoundly mannered dreamy psychedelic rock with a touch that as great as their sound. They keep their pace down and manage to control the drama of their musical passages far better than most. This never gets dull and the careful vocal work is a big part of that as well. What a lovely brand of psychedelia this is. I want to hear much more.

VVovnds - Wounds, indeed. These songs may make you bleed from any open wounds you point toward the speakers. This is manic hardcore with an extra level of noisy guitar in the midst. It's like Iceage covering Discharge or the Varukers. Actually it is way crazier than that, but I'm not up on my hardcore acts anymore. Suffice it to say, this is completely another side of the coin when you flip this record, portending that this series will be diverse and quite exciting.

It has been a pleasure reviewing Brittany Jean music for a few years now for a couple of reasons. FIrst, I can continually count on music that will connect easily, while managing to combine a comfortable sound with plenty of heart and fire within. But its the second reason that is exciting as like many great musicians, Brittany Jean sounds a little bit more advanced and varied as she moves forward with her songwriting and recording. There are fresh variations and arrangements here, yet the core sound is as welcome and familiar as what I heard in her first release. Most of the songs here have that folk, folk rock style that focus on her fine voice and thoughtful hooks comfortably brought out in balanced arrangements. However, a song like "Aberdeen" jumps out with its sad accordion drone working up a unique atmosphere unlike the other four songs here, yet clearly part of the same spirit. Brittany Jean is one of the best area singer songwriter/musicians that you can count on for interesting records and fine live performances. If you have not experienced her music by now, it's not too late to start.

It is good to see Jeremy Joseph still making music even after he left the area to pursue further education in South Carolina. Not only is he still writing songs, he has also assembled a new Daddy Lion band to bring some life to them. The band has fine touch and the songs have some fine edgy guitar to complement the flowing melodies that remind me a bit of the songs of Grant Hart through way of Sebadoh. In other words, fine indie rock with classic pop melodies. There are only three songs here, so I hope there is more parts to this calendar. Whether you remember the DC shows from years back or not, I recommend you give Daddy Lion a few moments of your listening time.

San Diego's The Donkeys ride more than one wave on this album, but their journey is a steady popsike climb to heights worthy of the trek. Their best skill is the way they combine genres and diverse sounds into intriguing packages all while slowly and smoothly moving along their musical trail. The vocals always keep their dreamy identity intact as the instruments dance about or lock in depending on their mood. Each of these songs commanded my attention in a way that surprised me as they are smooth and some could even work as background music. Somehow the Donkeys work up an intensity through their subtlety, not an easy task. So credit to them for making warm and familiar sounds work together in unique ways.

Songs to try first:

The Manx - A lovely posike instrumental with a riff reminding me of the Frantics.

Ride the Black Wave - Dreamy sounds, crazed synthesizer, sharp drum bursts, and smooth vocals make for a rare and winning combination here.

Shines - Almost a tiki bar guitar worked into a quirky pop song, less dreamy here, but no less interesting.


More quality modern day punk rock with a post rock edge on display with the latest album by this Memphis band. They combine a classic revved up English or LA punk with some post punk sounds deep within, darkening the proceedings significantly. They are reminiscent of Iceage in that regard, in fact, I wonder if a subgenre isn't being created here. This has significant post-punk, psychedelic, krautrock styled sounds deeply within driving songs. The faster songs work better here and this is a pleasurable album for aging punk rockers as well as youthful energetic creative types.

Songs to try first:

Shattered Circle - The opener is the most straight ahead punk rocker with a speedy, but tougher Eddie and the Hot Rods feel.

Flickering Eyes - Rolling drums and guitars that pull back into intense rhythm with spacey breaks.

Sid Visions - Great title starts off psyche droning, but rolls out a fine punk rhythm as it fully forms.


This is an Arkansas band that has been around a little over a year. They take the expected pop punk roads that we have all traveled, yet present a few surprises. The first is a death metal backing vocal that sounds wildly out of place next to the nice clean lead vocals, but is actually rather fun. It was so harsh and unexpected, I had to look around that I did not have another audio running in another window. I trusted myself not, so I had to play these again and heard the vocals just as I hear first hear them in the first two songs of this four-song EP. Overall, the music is fine if not a bit too predictable, but the guitars roar along nicely with just enough intricacy to make it a pleasant listen. They would likely be worth a look if they come to a town near you.

Here is a DC area singer songwriter that i have not heard up until now--it still happens a lot, as there is so much going on in this area. Dan Fisk has released seven songs here with a classic style that encompasses folk moves in a comfortable full band rock setting. There is some heartland Americana in the mix as well, which is not too surprising these days. I thought it was a bit too straight and narrow early on, although the brass moves were nice. Thankfully, he has a few gems here such as the folkier 'Disappear' which I will be playing a few more times this week. 'Talk to Me' also had nice contrasting acoustic and electric guitar parts with brass accompaniment as well. At the end of the day, this is a nice set of songs that offer up some classic rock moves that still work today.

And you can see Dan Fisk at his record release show this Thursday, June 5th at the Jammin Java.

This album screams Americana with each of these twelve songs. Well not exactly screams, as Ian Foster has great touch when pulling back to a quiet folk number or forging ahead with a full band rocker. Ian Foster is from St. Johns in Newfoundland and there is a great folk scene in that part of Canada, with roots that go back to England and Scotland and other parts of Europe. Yet, like Iain Matthews, he understands the roots in North American music and weaves that heritage into his songs quite seamlessly, if not even using that as the heart of the song. His voice is excellent and the arrangements are varied and smart throughout this album. I think even lesser folk fans would find plenty to enjoy here. I did, but but this does speak in a language I am quite familiar with.

Songs to try first:

How the Weather Rolls In - This song has a rolling quality to it that makes for a strong connection.

Japanese Tea Shop - Fine straight-up folk song with voice and acoustic guitar.

Good Good Heart - Another lighter folk arrangement to start, but it builds into a well arranged cut that would have been made for radio, if radio mattered.

More high energy punk power pop in the Buzzcocks meets 999 realm. The songwriting does not seem quite up to those standards, high as they are, but there are moments of great pleasure here. When they don't go too long into their songs, their melodies are sharp, the playing is crisp and the vocals stay bright and strong. If you like the style, you will enjoy enough of this record. They would certainly put on a fun live show.

Songs to try first:

Yeah, Tonight - Great power pop rocker with dual lead vocal duels.

From Tallahassee to Gainesville - Slower ringing guitars carry this longer song to fruition.

For Her - Catchy melody and some roaring guitar battles.

Former DCer and current Bostonian Patrick Mulroy is back with four new songs under his moniker of Grain Thief. His sound is Americana folk rock with plenty of roots present but not overly dominating. He has that knack for folk story telling and he and his band mates cook up a smooth backing that has plenty of bite in guitar when desired. He has three fine originals, each with distinct character to them, and then finishes with a rousing version of "John the Revelator". This is a crowded field, but there is just enough here to stand out on record, as well as on stage. It is always a pleasure to stay connected with the music of Grain Thief.

It is hard for me to objectively analyze Guided by Voices as we are both from the Dayton, Ohio scene and both worked hard to put it on the map (or rather just create something fun for for us to do in town). I actually worked with the slightly less famous bands that these guys were seeing while they were forming their band. I knew of them, but didn't really hear them before moving on to Columbus, Chicago, DC, and Denver. But the Dayton scene was important and it was great to see these guys take off and run with it to become a major band, world-wide. It has been quite a ride with two full versions of this band, with the original version now working again in recent years. While I miss Doug Gillard from the second version of GBV, it is just as well as it allows him to pursue a great solo career. So the Dayton band is back and still grinding out these quick bursts of rock inspiration. It still works, although it falls into the classic trap where the band records everything that Pollard dreams up, and too often the good ideas warrant expansion, honing, and combining into more coherent songs. But they are still fun and this was a more thought through record than the recent Pollard solo effort, so I recommend it to the fans as well as anyone else who likes straight ahead, fun rock music with intelligent twists and turns from a veteran band that is still has plenty to offer.

Songs to try first:

Fast Crawl - A dark mysterious cut that works slightly different turf than what I expected.

All American Boy - GBV's version of a prog epic as it clocks in at 3:45!

Ticket to Hide - Heck, they are all catchy, but this one even a bit more so, with some acoustic guitars prior to the rock.

There is a lot to live up to in the title of this album, and although this may not dislodge the classics of this genre off of the shelf, it could well share some of that shelf space. It is a pleasure to listen to this thoughtful music where there are great soulful vocals atop crisp drumming and sharp instrumental prowess on bass, guitar, keys, etc. There are changes of pace and nice rock moves throughout and all of it goes down warm and smooth, yet with heart. This is no throwback album as there are subtle electronica moves working with synthesizer runs and modern rhythms. Yet a few of these songs fit in with a 1972 playlist as that would include plenty of Isaac Hayes guitar off of sharp brass blasts. I did not expect to enjoy this as much as I did. Curtis Harding is someone I would like to see live.

…and right on cue, Curtis Harding is in town at the DC9 on Thursday, June 12th.

Songs to try first:

Next Time - This song goes down as smooth as an ice cold Diet Coke (ok, the metaphors of the sober are not terribly vivid)

Cruel World - The closing cut has a beat like 'Blank Generation' but more relaxed yet still twisted guitars and cool vocal styling.

Surf - Good rock tones here, a bit of a nod to surf music, although a lot less tremolo.


Whether it is a thick powerful death metal mid-tempo dirge, or a snappy hardcore-metal crossover such as in the title cut, you can be assured that this Dutch band will deliver an intense wall of sound. I particularly am impressed with the way they work in some interesting elements such as the near Gregorian Chants in 'Asylums of the Forgotten', and still keep a steady connection between the songs. There are even some Swans-like percussion sounds deep in the mix. Overall, this is a strong album for the metal fan and also the more heavy experimental music fan. Not many may be harder than herder as they say, but few can match them with such interesting sonics as they roar away in the red zone.

This is a debut four song 7" record with four bonus cuts available on a download card. The Mauls do to rock music just what their name implies, but not overly so. This is tough punk rock music that has a bit of the early style along with a touch of hardcore. They keep the intensity up through every song and offer a few extras in a couple of songs, whether it is ringing guitars or the snappy rhythms and cool song structure in 'Small' (my favorite). Clearly, they have a good handle on the genre and just enough creativity to add to their skill and enthusiasm. I still enjoy this music when bands move enough beyond cliches and bring out something worth listening to more than once. I hope to catch the Mauls in a club some time this year. But for now, I'll listen to this record again, while you seek it out (hint a real famous DC label makes it easy to find if you don't want to use my link to the Mauls website).

For those that want to lose themselves in the smooth land of dream rock, you may want to cuddle up to the Shadow of Heaven. It is more rock than pop, but of the smoothest possible variety, with damper pedaled piano and other echoey guitars and electronic sounds providing the backdrop for airy delicate vocals. I am not going to delineate between songs as all ten songs work together for a steady theme, although there are some subtle differences. The seven minute, heavily pained "Goodnight London" is quite good. It does work better on the whole as opposed to just sampling a song or two, but may not have quite the edge that some people may look for, although "Cold Water" has moments.

These guys manage to take garage punk attitude and deliver it with fun hooks and an energy and rock style that pulls from all great eras of scary teenage adrenaline. At their best they have an unholy alliance of the Saints and Radio Birdman type of sound. With the former's lyrical sneer and the latter's crazed guitar solos, they hit on something that is pretty exciting. Other times, they sink back into lesser cuts, aside from a few longer interesting experiments. They sound like they would be a real kick in the pants live and are a fun listen if you like today's punk.

Songs to try first:

No Time for the Blues - Rousing opener is a punk filled power pop blast that brings in sixties garage, too.

Queen Glom - An 8-minute catchy garage rocker? Proof it can be done.

Brother - Slower psyche rock jam thang that shows even another subtle shift.

It is great when power pop bands sound more like POWER pop bands. This band keeps cranking it out, whether they add punk moves or crunching classic rock guitar chords underneath the frothy, yet still tough melody lines sung with great style by ex-Vivian Girl, Katy Goodman. These ten songs all hit their mark, with style, confidence, and enthusiasm. This can easily work in the mainstream, but more selective snobbish fans would not likely give up on them even if this band was a major success. That is a tightrope that has gotten more manageable thanks to REM, Nirvana, and others. I am not sure La Sera is quite in that league, but music this catchy should keep them playing well attended shows. This is their third album since the first one in 2011, so they are staying quite busy, much to our benefit.

Songs to try first:

Losing to the Dark - Wham! An in your face power pop punk slammer hitting you square in the mouth and it tastes good.

Fall in Place - Catchy song with mysterious psyche post punk sounds running around like a sine wave, surrounding the melody.

All My Love is for You - Bouncy little song, severely toughened up with the guitars.

SPOONBOY (+ Colour Me Wednesday) 'SPLIT LP'
By Kyle Schmitt
DC-based singer/songwriter Spoonboy is completing a busy week with the digital release of three split records. His split LP with the West London-based Colour Me Wednesday features pleasant pop-rock and a well-honed lyrical delivery. The record's highlight is "The Dispossessed", in which Spoonboy sings, "I used to think that one day, I'd settle into some place / I used to think I'd find the will to be content," a sobering thought for many young adults who expected to be comfortable with their home, life, and job by this point in life. Also impressive is "Two Dollar Stereo", which kicks off like the Only Ones, and reveals a songwriter who lives for the catharsis provided by each chorus.

Check out Spoonboy's record release show at the DC9 on Friday, June 6th. It's an early show with opening acts starting at 6:30, so don't be late.

The Trews have a classic rock sound. It works best when there are either some snappy roots underneath or when they integrate some post punk moves into the mix. This does not happen quite enough to my liking, but for someone looking for that seventies FM sound, the Trews offer up some moves that don't exist much outside of classic rock radio. This does has a certain charm at times, and these guys are quite skillful with their music. There are plenty of indie bands that will not sound this authentic, no matter how hard they try.

My guess is this works quite well live and you can find out at the DC9, on Sunday, June 15th.

Songs to try first:

Rise in the Wake - The opener is classic rock with just enough garage cool to make it interesting.

What's Fair is Fair - This one has classic moves with 80s sensibility and sound and it works well today.

New King - Short boogie rock, which you don't hear in this form much anymore.

There are lot of Radiohead influenced bands out there, and sometimes they are even good enough to sound like Radiohead. This Australian debut has lovely vocal work and melodies that take me back to some of the earlier Thom Yorke efforts. The band has a similar smart pop rock style where dreamy hooks work comfortably with sharp little guitar runs and percussive bursts. There is a bit of variety to keep things fresh on this 12-song album. And each song sounds pretty good as a stand alone, but contributes to the full strength of the album as a whole. These guys are relatively speaking rookies, but they are off to a good start and may want to travel the oceans and dish out some of their fine music to the many continents of the world.

Songs to try first:

Whimpering Child - If you like 'OK Computer' and who didn't?….

Heavy Lifting - More lilting than lifting, this fun little melody.

Six Months in a Cast - A lot more pleasant than six months in a cast (unless it is on Broadway).

This is a record to spend some time with. What starts out as fairly straight British styled pop rock slowly goes more experimental song by song before sliding back into perkier pop tunes, all of which results in one strangely fascinating album. I was thinking I was not liking this, until I realized I was smiling at the audacious moves and found that there is some method to their madness, which has resulted in a fun little head scratcher. 

Songs to try first:

Dusty Came Up for Air - 'He falls among the relics in his sleep' is nice imagery amidst the catchy rock hooks.

Jump Punks - If you could sit on an urban porch with a fiddle and guitar played through effect boxes, it may have this sort of down home sound.

Winter Boys Cutting the Rug - Dreamy David Lynch meets Scott Walker-esque odd pop.

I have enjoyed this band's brand of psychedelic folk in the past and am pleased to see they are pushing genre boundaries even further on this ten-song album. They still have that core feeling of mystery and exploration, but mix light touches with heavier moments and intricate patterns of song writing and arranging. So if you like bands like Spirogyra, Fresh Maggots, and Spriguns, you should be listening to this. The quivering lead vocals are reminiscent of those of Fuchsia, who were also a great light progressive band. This band has the creativity, individualistic, genre bending spark that makes them a must-hear in this decade. They are definitely one of my favorites and I hope many more add them to their list as well.

Songs to try first:

Nativity - The psyche folk is element is there at the core, but the progressive rock moves push the opening cut in fascinating new directions.

Feckless Fancy - Aside from the great title, I enjoy the tough rock push in a song that still retains its sensitivity.

Life is New Again - Delicate folk with acoustic guitar, light glockenspiel, and lovely vocal harmonies. Ahhhhhh....

This six-song EP starts off simply enough as a familiar brand of pop punk music which plenty of bands tried back in the day and many still do well enough with today. After a couple of songs they hit their stride as the music has enough of that buzz saw pop style that worked for the Ramones, Dickies, and Misfits. The vocals are smoother in a Nerves sort of way and the keyboards in "Half Bad" will send you into orbit. But if you like it a little heavier, "Conspirator" has a roaring guitar sound equal to a hardcore band--at least those that still want you to hear vocal melodies.


I suppose you could play this record comfortably between your singer songwriter LPs and your more modern indie pop rock records. He starts this album a bit slowly, but ultimately the quality song writing comes through. And there is a nice little pop style with touches of psyche and comfortable rock moves to bring it all together. This takes its time sinking in, but there are rewards to be had in this Slumberland release.

Songs to try first:

Pendulum - An easy going cut reminiscent of the post punk UK psyche style.

Around in a Maze - Lovely pop song with just enough of a psyche vibe to pull me in further

Puzzle - Add a few dashes of power pop to the formula and you come up with this nice little rocker.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


One of my favorite festivals of the year is the Washington Jewish Festival, now in its 15th year. It is not a marathon of bands and stages working through a mass of people and weather situations, but more a carefully curated series of concerts that run the gamut from rock to folk to jazz, all with Jewish roots from many corners of the world. The festival runs from June 1st to the 15th and here are just a few videos to give you a taste of what is in store.

Clap your hands for Clap Your Hands, Say Yeah who play with Stagnant Pools this Monday, June 2nd at the U Street Music Hall.

Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray swing back to DC at the Black Cat on Wednesday, June 4th, with the wonderful Luray also on the bill.

Everymen will fill out the Velvet Lounge on Friday, June 6th.

Kishi Bashi throws a bash at the 9:30 Club on Sunday, June 8th.

Sean Kuti should make for an excellent evening at the Howard Theatre on Wednesday, June 11th.

Curtis Harding brings a classy style to the DC9 on Thursday, June 12th.

Simone Felice revisits the Hamilton on Friday, June 13th (and it will be a much bigger crowd this time, guaranteed).

But if you treasure your Tiny Victories, see them at the Rock'n'Roll Hotel on the lucky Friday the 13th.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Manchester Orchestra - Balance and Composure - Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band -- Fillmore - May 27 2014

Kevin Devine & the Goddamn Band - KD is on vocals and guitar and his goddamn band has drums, lead guitar, and the bassist from the headlining band doing double duty tonight. They create likable enough music, sort of a poppier Green Day. They had a couple of songs that roared more strongly with some wild guitar breaks. I would hope they go further along those lines in future as that seemed to wake up what turned about to be a rather sleepy crowd (until the headliners' set). Devine had an odd moment where he talked about his past mistakes and was just reunited with his biological son who was going to guest on drums. Did he say mistake like here's the little mistake right now? I will assume his mistake was abandonment or being unready at that age for parenting (since the young lad looked like his younger brother). But what was a bit weird is that he drummed on a kit facing the other drummer and was doing well, but was whisked off quickly as the band went into another song with no proper send-off. Even the day after, all I can think about were much better ways of handling this. But the 30-35 minute set did have enough highlights to make for a good warm-up.

Balance and Composure - There are three guitars in this alt indie band from Doylestown, PA. That always creates a challenge for me to spend time quickly focusing on each guitarist as they play to see if they are moving around the fretboard in different patterns or staying too locked in together. Unfortunately, it was more of the latter here, although there were exceptions thankfully. Still they could have brought more to the arrangements of these decent but not terribly memorable songs. I wish they would take the psychedelic inspiration from the oil/water/glycerine light show they used (reminiscent of the Jefferson Airplane and many more). Maybe this band is too balanced and composed? There is something here for someone, but aside from a really cool slower psyche number they did, it just did not connect well enough tonight.
Manchester Orchestra - It did not take more than a few notes to hear that this was a significant step up in quality tonight. This band rocks hard and connected with steady and earnest hooks to the large crowd assembled tonight. They play in a post Nirvana/Smashing Pumpkins world that makes me wonder if these bands were forming today, would I have supported them as much as I did then? Probably not, but the much younger crowd here is connected well with this band and that bond helped make a strong set tonight. I have to say that the smell of corporate sponsorship in the air made for a less pleasant experience (or lack of smell as this corporation would aver). I am not against all sponsorship, but this one was a negative distraction for me. But Manchester Orchestra did succeed in rocking the house down, so kudos to them.

Quote of the Night - Number 29 from the Harshest Musician on Musician Insults in History by Tom Hawking...

29. Christina Aguilera on Lady Gaga
“I’m not quite sure who this person is, to be honest. I don’t know if it is a man or a woman.”

Monday, May 26, 2014

Club Scout - Fall Seattle - The Control -- Rock'n'Roll Hotel - May 25 2014

The Control - All four guys in this twin-guitar rock quartet have microphones, although the guitarist takes the lead slot singing along with some tough rock'n'roll, Detroit style. Perhaps it is more Annapolis style, but I detect the heavy classic Detroit rock sounds where it's just a bit loose while retaining strength at the core (although a bit more like the Up rather than the MC5). The skills are there more than the songs, although a couple of them really took off, particularly the closer (even if the ending was a bit too Spinal Tap). Both guitarists worked well with different lead styles which makes for engaged listening and a lot of potential. It may not all be there yet (tighten those endings, lads), but there is plenty to enjoy right now and it appeared the smallish holiday weekend crowd did just that. I did.

Fall Seattle - 'Oh no, these guys!' I thought I recognized the band name and as soon as I heard them talking to the soundman as they were setting up, I recognized them as the really nice area band that drove me crazy at the DC9 with their inane banter. Fortunately I braced myself for it and it was not as bad this time, but they really need to tone down the personality and get down to business, because they are a good band. They have a strong shoegaze pop sound where they embrace the thicker dreamy and intense sounds, but have good pop hooks and melodies in rather short snappy songs. All the more reason the goofball attempts at humor or whatever they are trying to do just doesn't fit with the quality of the music. Maybe I'll slip a few bucks to the soundman to turn off the drummer's mic between songs next time. It will be for their own good. Do see this band however, as they have the music and ability to deliver a strong set, which they mostly did tonight.
Club Scout - I was quite sorry to miss this local band's album release show late last year since I really thought their album was one of the better slabs of heavy power pop that I had heard in a while. So I was hopeful that tonight would prove that they can do it on stage as well as on recordings. It took just a few bars into the first song where I was satisfied that this was going to be a fun set. Club Scout's brand of power pop is heavy with creative lead guitar fills and plenty of punk pace and attitude when needed. The drums are extremely powerful and coupled with a tough bass, it is a heavy foundation for the two guitarists to stay with. Thankfully they do with assertive rhythm playing and clever lead work. Somehow the lead vocals stay on top of this intensity and retain enough clarity to not lose the pop hooks. They slow it down a few times, which made for a nice break before launching back into maelstrom with plenty of pace and volume. They lifted the crowd and had four dozen people sounding like twice that. Hope these guys continue to play around here, as they would enliven a lot of evenings.

Quote of the Night: Actually, from a collection of quotes from an article by Tom Hawking, listing the 30 Harshest Musician on Musician Insults....

30. Wayne Coyne on Arcade Fire
“I get really tired of their pompousness [sic]… We’ve played some shows with them and they really treat people like shit. People treat Arcade Fire like they’re the greatest thing ever and they get away with it… They have good tunes, but they’re pricks, so fuck ‘em.” 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Deer Tick - Langhorne Slim - The Districts -- Black Cat - May 21 2014

The Districts - This twin guitar quartet hails from Philadelphia and is the first of three bands that have an Americana indie rock base, but a distinct sound easily separating them from each other. The Districts vary their songs between more heavy rocking songs and slower bluesier workouts. I prefer the faster, thicker sounds they come up with and I sensed the crowd lit up more with those as well. I like variety of styles and appreciate anyone for doing that, but it did not quite connect with me as much as I would of liked. But when they kicked it into high gear and I was grooving to their sounds.

Langhorne Slim & the Law - This is the third or forth time I have seen Mr Slim and the Law. Don't ever forget the Law as the rhythm section and keyboard/banjo player are essential to bringing life to Slim's songs. And he writes great songs, certainly for a rousing live set. The personality and enthusiasm is still shining through tonight and he has plenty of his own fans here in this nearly full room. Call and response worked in one song without prompting and there was plenty of movement in the crowd, especially when the fine keyboardist brought out a banjo. Not only is this a headliner quality act, and has been for a long time, but they played a packed 47 minute set that rocked the house. Always a pleasure.
Deer Tick - A New England friend of mine told me many years ago of a hot songwriter named John McCauley (aka Deer Tick) who played folk shows and had songs that approached Dylan quality. My friend was disappointed when he converted his solo folk style into a fully formed rock band. Well, it worked out ok for Bob Dylan, and it is working extremely well here for the band Deer Tick. This was the second of two Black Cat shows. The first sold out, and this one did not have much room left by the time this quintet hit the stage. There are two guitars that work well together along with the rhythm section and keyboardist who is capable of pulling a saxophone out for some welcome blasts. You can hear quality songwriting here as well as enjoy the arrangements that rock solidly in many different ways. Even the vocals are a little Dylanesque with a warm nasal tone, although they seem to have fun with some of these songs. My favorite was "Shitty Music Festival" whose title kind of says it all. I believe that was McCauley's wife Vanessa Carlton who guested on vocals, which was a nice bonus. This band has a balance of all the things needed for success, starting with great songs. You can't go wrong there and they didn't tonight.

Quote of the Night... Actually this is old and you can file this one with Charles Barkley's saying that he was misquoted in his autobiography...
"The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel," Chris Culliver said in a statement.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Faint - Suuns - Darren Keen -- 9:30 Club - May 20 2014

Darren Keen - While the club is slowly filling up, Darren Keen starts his electronica set with his rig on the floor in front of the stage. He is veiled and bopping around creating the usual assortment of sounds that are up tempo and perfect for dancing. But since this is at the 9:30 Club and not at U Street Music Hall where it would be perfect, it seems a bit out of place. Off comes the shirt and and veil, and surprise, it's Hacksaw Jim Duggan, or not as I was rather far off. There was nothing wrong with this and to his credit and endless enthusiasm for keeping the music revved up, he got a few more people dancing by set's end, even if you could count them on one hand (and maybe an extra thumb). It is DC after all, and it was early.

Suuns - I have been intrigued with the psychedelic sounds of this Montreal band for a while now and am finally happy to catch up with their live set. At the end of it all, I am not sure I am left with more questions than answers, but it was an interesting ride. The songs have a quirky jabbing quality to them, but they often extend into thicker trippy jams where the band locks in with synth/electronics, guitar, bass, and drums. They can soar with the best of them, yet the core songs are slippery and may take more time to grasp than in just one listening session. Full credit goes to any band for taking a highly personal approach to comfortable musical forms, so give this band a try and see what they do for you.
The Faint - I was bemused when a week ago I dug into my pile of CDs to review for Folkworld and found a copy of the Faint's sixth album, "Doom Abuse". Although we have a fairly liberal view of what constitutes 'folk' at the webzine, I was not so sure that the Faint should be there. And after hearing that blast of an album and the material performed here tonight, fear not Faint fans, your Omaha quartet is as heavy as ever. And for those of you new to the band, they are heavy with a rhythm section and keyboards, sans guitars. So you can start with ideas of a Gary Numan, Nine Inch Nails type of sound and the Faint takes it from there, with their own brand of hook laden song writing and vocal work. There is one lead vocalist with all other members joining in which helps carry their voices above the loudest moments. I particularly like how they were able to adjust tempos and stylistic shifts to keep things fresh and not getting too repetitive. They had a lot of fans in the crowd and there was much more of a throbbing dancing movement than you see at many shows. Certainly an attractive light show helped generate some of the excitement. They did struggle to overcome some equipment snafus mostly concerning the drums early in the set, but it they easily recaptured their rhythm soon enough and the rest of the set flowed well. I even enjoyed the newer material more than the old which is a good sign that this band is staying fresh and should continue to succeed at a high level.

Quote of the Night: from Darren Keen... "This one is for all the people who traded all their merchandise for drugs.... It's dedicated to me."

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Previews of Coming Attractions - Late May 2014

Recommendations, as always will be to the right, but here are some video and audio highlights of some of the shows happening this month. I can't catch them all, as I can't be in two places at once, and even one place at once is becoming increasingly challenging. But I WILL see you at some of these.

Tuesday, May 20th yields a bounty of Maximo Park at the Rock'n'Roll Hotel, The Faint at the 9:30 Club, Ex Cult at the DC9, as well as the first Deer Tick show at the Black Cat (sold out, but tickets still available on the 21st).

And if you are not seeing Deer Tick on the 21st, you may visit the Pains of Being Pure of Heart at the Rock'n'Roll Hotel.

Deleted Scenes celebrates their album with their large hometown fan base this Thursday, May 22nd, at the Rock'n'Roll Hotel.

Oumar Konate visits the Tropicalia on Friday, May 23rd.

Manchester Orchestra fills the Fillmore on Tuesday, May 27th.

Bells> is actually greater than and equal to the task of entertaining a crowd at the Rock'n'Roll Hotel on Friday, May 30th.

"No More Water" by BELLS≥ from LUNARCY PICTURES on Vimeo.

And finally, The Warp the Weft was scheduled at the Tree House Lounge but the show is delayed for now. I'll leave the sample up and keep you posted on when the show will happen.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Panda Bear - Regal Degal - Geologist -- 9:30 Club - May 16 2014

Geologist - This was a DJ set, which did not excite me too much at the outset, but one which I was happy to have spent some time with. Rather than the beat heavy dance music mix, the first of two Animal Collective members here tonight dug deep into his psychedelic record collection and came up with many facets of garage music, space explorers, and Eastern tinged rock. He twisted it around in creative ways, culminating in the Fifty Foot Hose classic, "If Not this Time". That will likely be the first and last time I hear that song through a PA this impressive, so I am happy going into the live music portion of tonight's proceedings.

Regal Degal - Oh I just knew these guys were from LA. I love to go in cold to see band I have not heard of, hear the influences and styles, and then guess correctly as to where they are from. Actually, it is also fun to be wrong and be surprised in life, but not this time. This trio just screams LA post-punk psyche such as the Three O'Clock crossed with some Only Ones power pop. They also have a similar style as the Entrance Band along with the poppiest side of Dead Meadow. The rhythms are more throbbing and steady  with loads of guitar exploration and happy stoner vocals. There are bits of electronics, but it is mostly these three guys nailing some attractive popsike songs one moment, and heading off on trippy jams the next. This was great fun and a nice surprise and it was good to see them get just an hour to showcase their skills in this, their DC debut.
Panda Bear - The second Animal Collective member we hear tonight is the one that has had great critical success on his own and has built up plenty of fans that may have heard of him even before they worked back to Animal Collective. But most of the nearly sold-out crowd know his resume quite well, especially as he is from this region. He certainly has all the pop moves to construct catchy little songs, but also changes style just enough to keep things fresh. He is the guy behind a computer and other electronica, but he does sing live and has interesting projections behind him, so it is a good presentation of his songs. I particularly enjoyed one where he looped his voice and worked in live vocal thrusts that created a wildly percussive, yet smooth delivery that sounded quite original for pop music. The crowd had a nice sway going throughout, so the music was working its magic, making for a fine Friday evening.

Quote of the Night - from Regal Degal... "Let's hear it for live music!" This was a rather rough week for me and likely many in the audience as we all cheered this statement, for as we know, live music can get you over many of the hurdles of life.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Angel Olsen - Promised Land Sound -- Rock'n'Roll Hotel - May 15 2014

Promised Land Sound - What promised to be a high quality bar-band Americana sound, evolved into something far more interesting and powerful as this Nashville band's set went on. Sure the vocals and some of core song structures had that easy going Americana rock style, which is prevalent enough these days, but these arrangements were quite wonderful at times. The lead guitars were cutting all kinds of crazed solos and patterns underneath the melody and taking this into outer space often. It was some sort of odd combination of the Flying Burrito Brothers, Mountain, and Hawkwind. The rhythm section was very Hawkwind at times with its quick flowing power. Clearly these guys have some exciting ideas that they are starting to explore. It is not always there, but it mostly works very well. I guess I could have gotten a clue if I looked at their facebook page and posted an amazing great video of the amazing great Amon Duul II. Not too many Nashville bands are trying to work that sound into their music, but more should try. Stay tuned to this band, they could get really good and they are already well down that road.
Angel Olsen - I was very excited to see Angel Olsen after hearing her mesmerizing new album. She started well tonight, although a bit on the slow side, as she carefully built the drama throughout her set. She was aided by a rhythm section who had a delicate touch and a lead guitarist who worked well with her guitar. Olsen's voice is fantastic as she is able to sound cute, but twist her voice around to pull out a full range of emotions while nimbly moving about the melodic scales. This was a sold-out crowd and they were highly involved with this set, as I rarely see quiet moments in songs work so well as they did here with the usual rock club crowds. That had a lot to do with Angel Olsen's ability to smoothly transition rising and falling tension and a sympathetic band that had the grace and technique to make it all sound so easy. Olsen finished with three songs played and sang solo to show an even softer side of her songs. Next up is Europe, US west coast, more Europe, Green Man Festival... Angel Olsen is grabbing a serious market share of music lovers who want special, creative and powerful music that retains warmth and depth of feeling.

Video of the Night: If you don't feel like looking up this video yourself, here it is...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Swans - Jenny Hval -- Black Cat - May 14 2014

Jenny Hval - I have enjoyed this Norwegian singer-songwriter once before and was happy to see her get an opening gig slot on the current Swans tour. She is a good fit, although the sound is more sparse, it connects with its creative style and chilling feel. She has some of the more creative vocal moves which manage to feel poppy, but in an extremely off-kilter way--sort of a pop reinvention. She has a guitar/bassist who either jabs with post punk bursts or lays down a throbbing rhythm depending on his choice of weapon. The percussionist practices more restraint than power and adds some electronics to what Jenny Hval lays down deep in the mix. I do love my Scandinavian music and this worked perfectly for me, and pleased much of the crowd, especially as it set the table with a moody appetizer and did not just blast away at our eardrums. There was plenty of time for that later.
Swans - It has been pretty much a crap week for me, so I can't think of a better way to relieve those feelings by getting lost in 125 minutes of live Swans. Time takes on new meaning as few bands seem to move in Swans-time. Often I will clock watch, thinking someone's set will end soon after 20, 25 minutes (even if they are decent). But with the Swans, whether the song is 10, 20, or 35 minutes, I never get tired of listening and allow myself to be absorbed into their fascinating drones and power. The guitars all have different sounds and work together in clever ways as the bass throbs and the two percussionists move around from various instruments at several different intensity levels. Although low intensity Swans still retains a dark and powerful edge to it, the heavier moments have sounds that seemingly come out of nowhere. This is the third time I have seen them in the last 5-6 years and they fill a need every time, as their music cuts deep into the bone and connects in ways that few bands can manage. They even manage some surprises as they opened with a song that they had never played before. And it took 90 minutes before they played a cut 'resembling' something off of their new album. This was a sold-out crowd here tonight that was fully into the music every bit as much as I was, which furthered the powerful atmosphere that everyone should experience at least once. But just try getting a ticket from the legions of people that experience this every time the Swans come to town.

Quote of the Night: "Upon the gleaming water two swans that swim, And every place shall be my native home." A lyric from the Incredible String Band's 'Maya' which randomly popped up in the 20 minutes I had my IPOD on, while waiting for the Swans' set.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Elbow - John Grant -- 9:30 Club - May 11 2014

John Grant - The last time I saw this unique talent, was when he opened for Midlake. I believe I was in a majority of people there that night who didn't know much about him, but left impressed. Tonight, those who don't know John Grant are still here, but a majority of this sell-out crowd now knows of Grant's extraordinary songs with his twisted and darkly funny bleak outlook on life. He is huge in Europe, and in fact now lives in Iceland, but he's happy to be back in the states on this tour. It takes a rare artist to make these uncomfortable lyrics so warm and pleasurable, although with his voice, people would pay to see him sing the phonebook. But his lyrics are also powerful enough to stand alone on the page. So combining that with his keyboards and guest guitarist makes for a powerful 37 minute set. If you enjoy the Scott Walker-Jacques Brel style or the modern sounds of Nick Cave, Bill Callahan or Will Oldham, you should also be a major John Grant fan. Even these comparisons only point in the general direction, as John Grant is a one of a kind talent who makes a commanding presence in such a quiet way.

Elbow - This long running band from England has a strong fan base with Guy Garvey's vocals being the star of their sound. I was a bit too mentally exhausted to stick around for the full set, but I am sure their fans continued to enjoy it based on the reactions to the handful of early songs I heard. Musically it was a little light and keyboard oriented, but with some instrument switching, the band cooked up some interesting rhythms and had some intriguing blasts of sound surrounding the vocals. Again, not much I can say other than the crowd was so enthusiastic early on, it seems safe to assume they went home happy from both sets of music tonight.

Quote of the night: John Grant... "This song is about the move from Michigan to Colorado and the difficulty of mastering a British accent."

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Colin Blunstone - Edward Rogers -- Parilla Center - May 10 2014

Edward Rogers - Although born in Birmingham (England, not Alabama as this witty and heavily accented Mr. Rogers reminds us), Edward Rogers has lived in New York City for a long time now. He handles the vocals and has recruited two excellent guitarists to join him: James Mastro (former Bongo and who I saw with Ian Hunter) and Don Piper (Syd Straw). These two mix electric and acoustic sounds and create a stronger than expected backdrop for Rogers' interesting pop rock songs. The style reminds me of some sort of combination of Billy Bragg, early Elvis Costello, and Wreckless Eric. His breathy voice is quite expressive in a unique way, although results in much of the feeling I get listening to the three artists I referenced. He clearly has interesting musical taste, as his last solo album, "Kaye" was dedicated to the late Kevin Ayers. I was one of about a dozen people of the few hundred that applauded when asked if we new Kevin Ayers. Rogers' music (like Ayers) sounds good enough the first time, but would likely age well with subsequent listening. Between the quality of his music, quality of guitar playing, and engaging personality, his set went over well with this crowd and was a perfect fit with the music of Colin Blunstone.
photo -Rich Bloom

Colin Blunstone - I have seen Colin several times in recent years with the legendary and still brilliant Zombies as they continue to tour through the states as well as Europe. However, this is the first US tour for the solo Colin Blunstone in 41 years! And even as I had some really excellent shows closer to home tonight, I just had to make the trek to Rockville to see this unique version of one of rock's finest vocalists. He was just here with Rod Argent and the Zombies, playing Psychefest in Austin and a few cities in the south. He kept the Zombies guitarist and drummer, and flew in his keyboardist and bass player that he used on his recent solo album to work up a quick tour right after the Zombies' dates concluded. Even with no rehearsal time, the band was slick, professional, and nailed all the songs from the few Zombies numbers, to the Motown covers (that Colin covered before), to the Alan Parsons Project song, and to the many songs from the new album and older albums of Colin Blunstone. Of course, Colin's voice is the star, and of the older veteran singers he is second only to Leslie West in retaining his vigor and tone of his younger voice. And better still, he has a tremendous range as he exhibited with a strong tonal style shift in Duncan Browne's "Wild Places". He is also a gracious and personable presence as he has always been at every show I have seen. He and Rod Argent always have plenty of interesting stories and I heard some new ones tonight including a hilarious take on how he made no money on hit songs, but was paid a fortune to fly over to NYC to record a jingle... "It's the time of the season for Noxema". They played for over 90 minutes and enthralled the crowd every step of the way. Every time I start thinking I am too old to do what I do, I just take in a show like this and see someone who has been singing professionally over 50 years put that thought to shame. Colin and Rod should be back in the area with the Zombies later this year, and I will almost certainly be there.

Quote of the Night: There were many good long stories, but I'll just list this bit from Edward Rogers introducing a song about Kevin Ayers after a particularly gloomy cut... "I really want you to know I'm a fun guy, not always so down in my songs. Really! So this next song is about someone who died."

Friday, May 9, 2014

Smokey Joe's Cafe -- Arena Stage - May 8 2014 (show runs through June 8th)

Smokey Joe's Cafe - The Songs of Leiber and Stoller -- The Arena Stage brings back Randy Johnson, who successfully directed the hit play 'A Night with Janis Joplin' which was highly successful last season and eventually went to Broadway. This time around he revisits a play that has been around 20 years now. It features the classic rock'n'roll music of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller whose music has pretty much been around as long as rock'n'roll itself. This is yet another of a growing list of successful mergers of rock music and theater and this production gives fresh life to this classic music.

The play, such as it is, simply presents the songs back-to-back, wall-to-wall (well it's in the round), and non-stop with smooth dove tailing as if it were a series of live music videos. The choreography is the next 'star', nearly as important as the music as the singing cast works all over the theater surrounding the band in the middle of it all, who perform on their rising and sinking platform. The dancing of Ashley Blair Fitzgerald is quite amazing as showcased in "Teach Me How to Shimmy". I saw the choreographer teaching a television reporter how to shimmy earlier in the day. Well that was kindergarten compared to graduate dance school moves tonight. The only negative on the staging were the videos on screens so oddly placed, that I barely noticed they were being used, but they were easy enough to not care about while focusing on the real excitement on stage.

 There was no let-down with the vocal work of the nine singers, even as one microphone cut off late in the show. They were all well cast, with distinct styles and ranges, which certainly was needed with the male singers performing the doo-wop styled songs. Yet even the four female vocalists all had distinct styles allowing unique interpretations of the many songs. Levi Kreis is a Tony award winner who did a magnificent "Jailhouse Rock" including a bit where he jumped on the piano and banged out a run worthy of Jerry Lee Lewis (oh, and now that I read his resume, I am not surprised to learn that he won his Tony for his portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis). Frequent Arena Stage performer E. Faye Butler is a real powerhouse who also knows how to control her range. Everyone interpreted the material in a personal and sensible way and it was all quite fresh and did not sound like a tribute band trying to copy a specific sound. The band was a little more subdued than I would have liked (compared to 'Janis' or 'Hair'), but with vocal performances this good, I can see why the music was mixed as it was.

It is hard not to enjoy this show as it covers classic music we have heard for over half a century and will be heard for centuries beyond. With so many songs, I appreciated the many songs I was not familiar with as it showed the many roots and variants of rock'n'roll music. The crowd was surprisingly revved up and into the performances (as my friend noted), which says a lot about this show's quality as this was a preview performance where I would expect a quieter crowd. I was especially happy to attend this performance as at the conclusion, Director Randy Johnson walked out with Mike Stoller himself who flew in to attend the show. Mr. Stoller is still quite spry and in good shape and it was an honor to have him at the show, addressing the crowd, and enjoying the performance of his legendary music.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wye Oak - Braids -- 9:30 Club - May 6 2014

Braids - I missed this Montreal trio the last time through, so I was happy to catch them opening the show tonight. And by set's end, I was definitely happy as I always enjoy when a band can win me over in a genre I don't always gravitate toward. Of course, the key was that although the music can be placed in an electronica pop category, they have a rock heft and strong vocal presence that transcends the music well beyond the simple basics of any form. A live drummer is the rock portion, while the other two players work keyboards, although one is often using drum sticks to work a percussion pad that produced keyboard sounds. The female vocals were bright and effectively established the mood of the song. I was not alone as the large crowd warmed to this band as the set went on and gave them a strong ovation when they concluded their 37 minute set.
Wye Oak - It only seems like a few months back when I saw this unknown to me Baltimore duo play an opening set at the small stage at the Black Cat. I saw the talent then and expected better things awaited for them, but I am not sure I expected a nearly sold out 9:30 show to be in the cards. Yet listening to their newer material, it makes perfect sense as this band is as good as most successful acts on the indie rock circuit. I was happy that they saw no need to expand their sound to fit a large arena and still have that unique approach where Andy Stack plays one-handed drums while using his left hand on keyboards. You don't notice anything missing there, although there is still space for Jenn Wasner's strong vocals, accompanied with guitar, bass, or additional keyboards. I think this show fully convinced me how good her vocals are as she exudes a Chrissie Hynde style charimsa and has all the richness of that tone and uses it to push or pull back when the drama of the song requires it. The melodies are excellent and this is smart music that retains its warmth. These two figured out a unique approach early on, stuck to it, and are now getting the rewards... or rather, the large crowds that have found this band are getting the real rewards, as tonight's show proved.

Quote of the Night: from Ms. Wasner... "We're from around here and I saw a lot of shows here and it is pretty crazy to be doing what we are doing tonight."

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Matt Pond - The LIghthouse and the Whaler - Dot Dash -- Black Cat - May 3 2014

Dot Dash - Regular readers know I've long been a fan of this local band. It is only logical, as they are all veteran players from the punk rock days and take their sound from some of the stronger British styled power pop punk rock bands of that day and beyond. This is the first show I have seen with new lead guitarist Steve Hansgen (Minor Threat, GI, many more). It is a perfect fit and he gives a muscular heft to the sound with his powerful lead guitar style. The signature songs are all there with the powerful rhythm section and the vocals that still deliver a great melody on top of it all. The lead work brings out even more of a Buzzcocks flavor if I cam micromanage the style detection here. But Dot Dash ultimately sounds like Dot Dash, one of the stronger and more reliable straight ahead rock out DC bands out there.

The Lighthouse and the Whaler - Despite the fact that the normal guitars, bass, and drums also include a violin and a mandolin, I detect little Americana in this band. Instead, this Cleveland outfit has more of a pop rock flavor with folk moves within as well. The 45 minute set has its slow spots for me where they fall into my 'lightly likable' category, a grouping of bands that are perfectly good at what they do, but don't move me into much interest beyond watching their set once. But there are moments where the instrumentation is thick and interesting and they do vary their instruments by adding more keyboards or another guitar, which does freshen the set up nicely. They did succeed with the moderately large audience tonight, so they may be worth investigating further.
Matt Pond PA - Pond and his band are here to play the "Emblems" album on the tenth anniversary of its release. I did not know the material at all, but it clearly is a fine album with warm songs that this band delivers with great feeling. They have a fluid, mobile style, but with enough power to rock these songs out just enough for a Saturday night. Everything continued to flow and this hour long set did not feel long to me at all as it was easy to connect to Matt Pond's imagery in this music. This is also a nice little tour, quite possibly between new albums which seem to come out every 2-3 years for most people these days. But if you like to tour, it's a smart idea to revisit older works, try out different band combinations, and give your fans something unique at the live event. This was well done tonight.

Quote of the Night: Matt Pond while shaking his head 'no' ... "Should we talk about sports?" He then proceeded to mention he was a Mets fan, which I am not sure even plays out as well in New York in recent years, let alone here.