Saturday, April 3, 2010

I Went to Six Concerts and All I Got Were These 7"s*

Last week I went to six concerts in seven days, and still have my hearing.

Shearwater/Wye Oak @ Rock and Roll Hotel
I have been meaning to see Wye Oak for ages and the didn't disappoint. Just a duo, the drummer Andy plays keyboards with one hand and guitarist/singer Jenn Wasser makes a fantastic racket. Shearwater, which was ostensibly the quieter side project of Okkervil River is now a rather massive (in sound and ambitious) act themselves. Each of their albums gets more epic, and they now have enough material to play masterful sets. They've gone from a band I like to a band I don't want to miss live.

Surf City/Real Estate @ Rock and Roll Hotel
Surf City are a low-key low-fi New Zealand indie rock band, but seeing as how the old guard of bands have faded away, they are a much needed commodity. They're a fine mix of a catchy and fuzzy. After them were Real Estate who are tough not to like. They were friendly and they played lovely little songs. Not the kind of band I see filling Constitution Hall in five years or anything, but they seem deserving of their acclaim. I left before headliner Woods, as their recorded work is just awful, and yet bafflingly critically acclaimed.

A Sunny Day in Glasgow @ DC9
The opener before these guys were just absolutely terrible. I don't know their name, I don't want to know their name, they just sucked. But Sunny Day (who are actually from Philly, the land of sunshine) were quite good, and although they had a cleaner sound then their shoegazy records, the songs held up well. Plus in two days I saw Sunny Day In Glasgow and Real Estate which is kind of like seeing Sunny Day Real Estate.

Japandroids/Love is All/Tennis Systems @ Rock and Roll Hotel
Japandroids are about as loud as two human beings playing instruments can be (Lightning Bolt are probably louder), and their songs are huge. Go see them before they fill arenas. Love is All are quirky post-punk and were great. And Tennis System(s?) are an excellent DC band who have impressed me on both occasions I've seen them.

Matthew Good Band @ Iota
I attended this at the invitation of Jason and I'm glad I did. You can't beat good between song banter and Good is a master of it. Perhaps a future on the Henry Rollins speaking circuit beckons. But there were many songs too, whose names I don't know but that Jason does. Minus points though for the opener, whose lead singer looked like Ke$ha and sounded like death.

A Place to Bury Strangers/The Big Pink @ Rams Head Live
I've already spoken of the general awesomeness of A Place to Bury Strangers. I'm not sure why they were the opener, but whenever and wherever they play they are a force to be reckoned with. Anyone coming just to see The Big Pink would have been duly impressed. And the headliners themselves came with attitude to spare, and in the case of the drummer a lack of over-garments. Right now they have one album and about five huge concert-worthy anthems. Which was fine given that I paid mainly to see APTBS, but I think by album three (assuming the music industry lasts that long) The Big Pink will be a monster band who can fill the whole Rams Head, nut just the lower floor.

* The two 7"s were by A Place to Bury Strangers

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