Friday, February 15, 2013

I Need You Around - The Smoking Popes at Red Palace

So, here is a show that I forgot to add. Totally forgot I had it until I was watching the "Smoking Popes Live at The Metro" DVD the other night. Shooting bands is a passion of mine - but such a side gig for me that sometimes these things fall through the cracks. And why sometimes it takes me weeks between posts. Sorry about that.
Anyway, this was from October of 2012 when the Popes were out on tour to support the reissue of their seminal album "Born to Quit" on Side One Dummy Records, which they played in its entirety. If you don't have this album, or the aforementioned "Live at the Metro," I would highly recommend them.
The Smoking Popes have been a favorite of mine ever since I picked up a copy of "Born to Quit" back in college. I once had them described to me as "The Ramones with Morrissey on vocals."-. I have found that to be pretty spot on. They take a punk rock sound - and add the crooner voice of Josh Caterer, and it works in a wonderful way.
Oddly enough, Josh Caterer has a side project band called Duvall. I had the chance to talk with him for a few minutes after the show, and I asked him where he got the name. He told me from the actor Robert Duvall. I told him that I was curious as it also happened to be my last name - and that Robert was a (VERY) distant cousin. This led to the odd circumstance where someone wants to take their picture with ME. He said "as long as it was ok with me"- to which I told him that "I just spent the last hour photographing the band. So yeah, I think that's fair." It was odd though, as no one ever wants to take my picture.

I guess that'll be my 15 minutes of fame. Who knows.

Here are my pics from the show.

Anyway, till next time. See you in the pit.


ps - I actually got a video of "Pretty Pathetic.". Not the best quality (hey, I'm not a videographer) - but it turned out pretty well.

The List......

Friday, February 8, 2013

Red Dress Red Nails - forgetters at DC9

So, the forgetters, for those who do not know, is the latest project from Blake Schwarzenbach, who is most known for his work in the bands Jawbreaker, and Jets to Brazil. To me, they sound a bit more of a return to the more punk sounding Jawbreaker days. Which is not a bad thing. 
I have been a fan of of Blake's songwriting for years, and have always found his lyrics to be some of the most well thought out, and articulate out there. Well, as I understand it, he does have degrees in English literature and creative writing, so that helps.
Jawbreaker has often been cited as a major influence on a lot of people. The combination of power punk music with really well developed lyrics, often baring one's soul or insecurities to the audience was very contagious. But if I am being honest, while I really liked Jawbreaker, Jets to Brazil was my favorite of Blake's bands. Orange Rhyming Dictionary, and Perfecting Loneliness are brilliant records. The forgetters full length "Too Small to Fail", available at Midheaven Records, brought Blake back together with old friend, and indie super producer J Robbins. Recorded at J's Magpie Cage Studio in Baltimore (J also recorded/produced all the JTB records). In fact, forgetters was in the midst of a line up change, and in need of a bass player. So, J filled those shoes for the record.
I picked up the 7" they released earlier, and enjoyed that. I got the full length at the show, and have been listening to it a bit. I haven't found it to be the instant grabber that some of his previous work has been, but more of a "grower". The more I listen, the more I like it. Sort of absorbing it, and letting it bounce around a bit. 
The show itself? Right. That's what I usually talk about. It was very good. Good performance by the forgetters and the opening acts. One thing that was impressive to me, was the crowd that they pulled for it being January 2nd. That's a tough date. Day after new years, dead of winter, typically fickle DC crowd. But it was a pretty full house, and they were appreciative of the show.

Till next time, see you in the pit.

The List......