Sunday, March 23, 2014

Certain Kinds of Trash - Chain and the Gang, Puff Pieces and Nic Fits at DC9

Pretend like I posted this a month and a half ago… DC9’s 10th anniversary celebration continued with Nics Fits, Puff Pieces, and Chain and the Gang. 

Nic Fits had some trouble getting the night started due to amp issues, but upon borrowing the headliner’s setup started an excited, half-dozen song set. Nic Fits truly seem to have a great time while playing, and it is infectious. Fun to witness, it was (why am I talking like Yoda?). See the pics here.

Puff Pieces were next up, and after seeing them at Comet just a few weeks ago, I was very excited to see them again. They did not disappoint. Over the years, I have lamented the short lifespan of Antelope (Mike's and Justin’s old band), and Puff Pieces are cut from a similar cloth. Lovitt Records will be releasing a four-song single from these folks, so look out for it.  Puff Pieces pics here.

Chain and the Gang headlined the night, and as expected, they put on a great show. I have missed Chain and the Gang at least a half-dozen times, so it was good to finally catch them live, and I was not disappointed. Ian Svenonius always brings his own special flair to anything he's involved in, and he lived up to it this night.  Chain and the Gang and the pics here.

till next time, see you in the pit,


The List......

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Reanimus Concert - Alarms & Controls and Soccer Team at the Black Cat

Yet another "catch up" posting. I should probably just stop calling them that and come to terms with the fact that my life, as it is, doesn't allow me to be timely with my posts. Ok? Sounds good. Consider it done.
Moving on.

This was a show back in December that served as a record release party for Alarms and Controls' new record "Clovis Points," which is now available on vinyl and CD over at Dischord. I highly recommend picking it up along with their debut 7" on Mud Memory Records. Seeing them in person is something to see as well. They have a level of precision that few bands can match. Arthur Noll recently replaced Michael Honch on bass, and this was the first time I got to see him. He honestly held his own, which is no small feat. You can't fake your way through a set with this band. You can see there pics here.

Opening for them was none other than Soccer Team. I have known about them for a long time, but this was (sadly) the first time I'd seen them perform. They are really fun. They have two records available - one on Dischord and one on Lovitt. Go get 'em. See the pics here.

Ok, quick hit this time.

till next time - see you in the pit.


The List......

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bring the Heavy - Black Clouds

Hey All-

Another one from the "I still have a lot to catch up on"file. I'll be posting these up as I finish them.

This one is actually a combination of two shows from Black Clouds. The first was from their show at the 9:30 club, and the second was from when they played the Fillmore a little while back. While I had free reign to shoot at the 9:30 show, I was on a severe restriction at the Fillmore (S.O.P. there I'm afraid). So, I just threw them both together.
Anyway, Black Clouds has been really good every time I have seen them. I am not usually into instrumental bands, but they have proven to be one of two current instrumental bands that I really dig. For those of you wondering what the other band is, it's BELLS≥. Anyway, Black Clouds is super heavy - and brings it all to your eardrums with an understated ferocity. You think it's kinda mellow and then you find you've had your chest punched in from the wall of sound. Drummer Jimmy Rhodes hits his kit like he's an enforcer coming to collect on a mob debt. At the same time Bassist Ross Hurt coaxes more sounds out of his bass than I knew were possible, and Guitarist/keyboardist Justin Hornstein juggles a ton of gear and effects seamlessly. Especially impressive given that they are a 3 piece. They are also good showmen - providing their own light show that is synchronized with their songs. Not. Too. Shabby.
I would highly recommend that you pick up their full length LP "Everything is Not Going to Be OK" available directly from the band via their Bandcamp site . They still have a few copies of vinyl if you are a record head like me.

You can see my pics here.

Till next time - see you in the pit.


The List......

Monday, February 17, 2014

It's our 101st posting - and it's going to be a BIG one

Hey all-

Well, I mentioned in the last post how Chris and I ended up at several shows together last week - this is the second of those shows.

But before I get to that, I stopped off on my way to that show, and caught War On Women playing at the Fillmore. If you have not seen War On Women, you are missing out. This was the first time, after several failed attempts in the past, I'd seen them - and they were great. It's always tough being the opening act, especially at a venue the size of the Fillmore, but I watched them take the stage and manage to turn more than a few heads. I suspect they gained a few more fans that night. They are a great combination of tight music coupled with a dynamic front person in Shawna Potter. Brooks, Nancy, Evan & Sue lay down a really solid punk foundation as Shawna plants a vocal boot in your ass. I highly recommend picking up their (very good) 10" record "Improvised Weapons", available from Exotic Fever Records. Rumor has it there is a new record in the works as well. My pics are here.

From there, I grabbed Brooks (from War On Women), and we drove down to DC9 where he was performing with J Robbins as part of the first night of DC9's 10th anniversary party. This was one fantastic line-up, featuring Title Tracks, Des Ark, J Robbins, & Regents.

Chris was already there, and I managed to get there in time to catch Title Tracks, who I've seen a bunch of times, and I will continue to see as often as  possible as they are great and they never disappoint. You can find both of their LPs at Ernest Jennings Records, and their debut 7" at Dischord. They're also playing a show at the Black Cat in March 17th, and I highly recommend you go see them. Chris's pics

Pete's pics

Next up was Des Ark. This is one of those bands (well, it's Aimee Argote, in this case accompanied by Taylor Holenbeck) that I had heard a lot about - but had never seen. She/they were fantastic. Really great moody songs with great atmospheric guitar playing and effects. I never heard a Rickenbacker sound like that, and I really enjoyed it. I picked up her record "WXDU V.3" and have enjoyed that as well. You can find that over at Lovitt Records.
Chris's pics - Pete's pics

After that was the mighty J Robbins who was accompanied by the aforementioned Brooks Harlan. J is known for his work in Jawbox, Burning Airlines, Channels, and most recently Office of Future Plans. This time was one of those occasions where he plays an acoustic set in which he draws from his impressive catalog. Brooks played keys and baritone guitar while singing backing vocals for J, which provided the wonderful layering that J is known for. This was the first time Chris had seen this arrangement, but the second for me. Despite what J will say about himself, he is a top-notch performer, and he proved it again on this night.
Chris's pics  - Pete's pics

Last up for the evening was Regents, which provided a hard left turn from the fairly mellow sets provided by Des Ark and J. Regents is a high energy, full on assault of the aural senses. Plus, I am convinced that anytime you put Jason Hamacher behind the drum kit, you're gonna have a good time. This was the first DC show for Regents in over a year, and it seemed they wanted to make up for it as they wasted no time attacking their instruments and working up a sweat. Drew Ringo wowed the crowd with both his biting vocals and stellar calf muscles. Eric Jernigan and Dave NeSmith (despite battling a cold) both left it on the stage, while Hamacher attacked his drums like they had just punched his mom. So, yeah, they were good. You can pick up their record "Antietam After Party" over at Lovitt Records as well.
Chris's pics  - Pete's pics

Till next time - see you in the pit.

Pete & Chris The List......

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wetting our Pants - Pissed Jeans, Purling Hiss & Priests at the Black Cat

So this show ended up being a tag team effort for Chris and me. We were both at this show at the Black Cat (not the last show we both caught last weekend), so there are a bunch of images to look at.
First up was Priests. They're a DC-based quartet that typically lays waste to the stage, and this night was no exception. They had a tremendous set, and caught the attention of many folks who had come just to see Pissed Jeans, which was not surprising as they are hard to ignore once they start blazing through their set. This was my second time seeing them and it was just as enjoyable, if less unexpected, than the first time at Fort Reno this past summer. My only gripe is their insistence on tape only releases. I know this is the hip thing to do, and it is totally their prerogative to do so, but to me tapes went away for a reason. I love their stuff - and would love a vinyl copy or at least a download. At the moment it's tape or streaming only (click on their name above to link to the streaming player). A boy can dream. You can find the photos here:
Pete's pics
Chris's pics

Next up was Philly's Purling Hiss . I am not sure what I think about this band. They were good, but I think they were just not my taste. Or maybe it was tough to follow Priests, while people were waiting for Pissed Jeans. That said, you can't deny their commitment and energy in the show. They laid it out - and were quite the wall of sound for a 3-piece band. You can find the photos here:
Pete's pics
Chris's pics

Now, Pissed Jeans...what to say? Jesuschristonacrutch comes to mind. I must admit that while I'd heard a lot about them, I had never seen them live, so I didn't know what to expect.  Chris had seen them, I knew they were high energy, but I'm not sure it helped with the onslaught. Two other things probably helped boost their energy - they were taking video of the set, and Dave Grohl was at the club. Knowing you're being recorded, and that Grohl was there would certainly get my energy level up. But that is pure conjecture, as I have no reference point on them to draw from. From the get go, they let it fly, and the crowd responded. After about two-thirds of their set, and after being crushed into the stage too many times to count, I bailed from the front and enjoyed the rest of the show from a less violent perspective. Chris was braver than I, and stuck it out through the whole set, but did complain about being sore the next day. In any case, they were great and left me no doubt as to why I had heard so much about them. You can find those photos here:
Pete's pics
Chris's pics

Ok, we are hoping to have the second show up shortly. The snow may help make that happen sooner rather than later.

Till next time - see you in the pit.

pete & chris

The List......

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Chris's First Post! - Hospitality & Soccer Team at the Rock and Roll Hotel

Three band bill at the Rock & Roll Hotel last Saturday night.  Sneaking out of kid bedtime duties and leaving a full 20 minutes earlier than I thought I needed was not enough to catch the opener, Golden Looks. For this I blame parking…and possibly a wrong turn or two.  
Thankfully, the lateness did not extend into Soccer Team’s set. You are doing yourself a disservice if you don't see them live.   This can all be rectified by checking them out March 13 at The Black Cat. Always a fun show, always some interesting facts from Ryan Nelson. Also, I would be remiss to not put in a word or two about Ryan’s Kalamazoo, MI based project, Minutes, which has just released its excellent second LP “Roland”. Word is Dischord has some copies. Order it. 
Anyway, Merge Records’ Hospitality headed up the outing, and outside of thinking that their new LP has some great cover art, this was my first exposure to them, and I enjoyed it.  They played a solid set to a receptive crowd. Not much more to say than that.   My pictures of the show can be found here:

Till next time,
The List......

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Shooting the moon - Mona at the Black Cat

SO, I am playing a bit of catch up here. I have a bunch of shows that have languished as my life has kept me wrapped up. This one is from November. There will be more late ones.
My friend Tracy tipped me off to this band Mona, which I admitted I had never heard of (hey - I can't keep track of all the bands). As a result, I had no idea what to expect - no "they sound like" or "they remind me" references to work from. I found out at the show that they are from Ohio and Kentucky, originally, but now call Nashville home.
So, what did they sound like? Well, in a word - rock. They were a fun rock band with fun songs and great stage presence.  Frontman, Nick Brown, is clearly comfortable in front of a crowd, and enjoys the attention that he commands on stage. To be clear, that is not a knock on Nick - most performers enjoy the attention they just deal with it differently. I, for one, appreciate someone who is clearly enjoying themselves on stage. Mopey stage guy gets old to me.
I picked up both their albums ("Mona" and 2013's "Torches & Pitchforks") at the show, and I have enjoyed both of them quite a bit (though the lack of a download code with the "Torches" record was a little annoying - amazing how quickly us vinyl heads get spoiled).
So if you want to see a fun show, go see Mona. Thanks again to Tracy for tipping me off and even giving me a ticket. Tracy's rad.

you can check out my pics here .

Till next time - see you in the pit.


The List......