Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Throw Me the Statue and The Broken West @ RnR

Two full weeks since we've posted. We're sorry. It's been pretty busy, we're happy to say, and the past week has been chock full of Rockism for me personally. Rob and I ventured to RnR Hotel last Wednesday to see Rob's cause celebre The Broken West play with Seattle up-and-comers Throw Me The Statue, who for some reason I wanted to associate with Matt Pond PA despite never having heard a single song of the latter's. I reported on the evening here, but some other details to share:

- The Broken West again closed the show with "Brass Ring". As I said, Rob is a huge fan of this band, but there is one song he will not abide and it is "Brass Ring." I kinda like it, but the lyrics are a page out of "Power Pop Basics For Foreigners": "Do you want to talk to me?/ Because I want to talk to you". I think we may have reported on this before.
- Rob was so disheartened by this that he immediately (immediately) sought out the band and asked them why they closed, yet again, with "Brass Ring" (he's now seen them four times, while I've seen them just three). Now he couched it with typical Rockist diplomacy, but I think the point was made.
- The bassist from TBW stole at least two or three licks from Summerteeth, YHF-era Wilco.
- "Down in the Valley" is still the best song they've ever done, though I liked a couple of the new ones, including "Auctioneer".
- Throw Me The Statue weren't too bad. They were certainly better than what I imagine Matt Pond PA to be like. When the lead singer took up a floor tom and a snare center stage, I told Rob that this was not a good sign. It reeked of gimmick, but the cynicism died off when they started to play. It was actually quite cool, and I felt bad for having said anything in the first place.
- None of their songs besides "Lolita" and "Yucatan Gold" really stuck with me, but all were quite pleasant. Did anyone else hear a little bit of The National in these guys?
- A long time ago, while at the 9:30 Club, TRS fan Allison identified a very good song playing between sets as a Throw Me the Statue tune. I don't think she was right about this, but she's a big fan, so who knows. She sought out the band afterwards and they were all real nice guys...
- ...with excellent credibility. Founder/lead singer Scott Reitherman and I had a nice little talk about the ins-and-outs of Paul Westerberg and his solo career. I hold to the belief that Stereo/Mono is one of rock's all time greatest comeback albums, and Mono might very well make my all time Desert Island Disc list (*for the uninitiated, please follow that Mono link and notice that you can pick it up used for just $0.65 right now).
- Finally, TMTS covered the Huey Lewis tune "If This Is It", which I found to be almost entirely unrecognizable, but still enjoyed quite a lot even after Rob told me what was going on.

Throw Me The Statue - "Lolita"
Throw Me The Statue - "About to Walk"
The Broken West - "Auctioneer"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Floyd Keyboardist Rick Wright 1943-2008

Sad news Rockists. Richard ("Rick") Wright, founding member of Pink Floyd, passed away today. He had been fighting cancer for some time, and finally succumbed at the age of 65.

It's sad, but we here at TRS prefer to remember the rich musical legacy he leaves behind. Forgetting some late period grievances -- not knocking all of The Wall, but he technically left the group around the time that pompous load of self-indulgence was being recorded -- Floyd's keyboards were always one of their strong suits. Think back on those plinking noises that usher in "Echoes" or, one of my favorites, "Us and Them".

We're always sad to see a great Rockist go on to his great gig in the sky (a song Wright actually wrote), today we remember Richard William Wright and we fondly remember a very specific scene: age 14, dark room, lava lamp, beat-up futon, Dark Side of the Moon blaring on the boombox speakers. Godspeed.

Friday, September 12, 2008

To all of our readers in NYC

If you have no plans tonight, or even if you do, go see our friends King Charles, the greatest Chuck Berry tribute band, at Freddy's Backroom.  They go on at 10.  This is going to be their last show for a while due to Tim's overseas quest.

If you aren't convinced, this video of Scott may just do the trick.

Oh, and wear your sweats.  There's dancing.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Morning Jacket @ DAR

Loyal DCist reader Will managed to score a spare ticket for My Morning Jacket's show at DAR last week.  And by ticket, I mean ten rows back in the middle.  To repay his generosity, I ignored his requests to a) provide a setlist and b) write anything about the show.  

No more.  G.H. is a Rockist of his word.  

The show was good.  It was close to great.  DC Rock Club have recently been vocal in not really understanding what these guys are all about, not really getting the hype (though they weighed in after this one).  I'd argue that if you've given their albums a good shot (starting at the beginning with The Tennessee Fire, or at least At Dawn, still my favorite release of theirs and working up at least through Z) and you still don't like it, then the live show's probably not your thing either.  But if their fuzzy Allmanisms at least pique your interest, then, really, get to a show.  

This is a band that has grown into the arena-sized clothes (or capes?) that they've been threatening to don since "Magheeta" (which they didn't play) opened up the sprawling It Still Moves.  Like many, I didn't love their latest, Evil Urges, though it had its moments.  But a few songs -- like "I'm Amazed" and "Two Halves" -- were a little livelier, umm, live, where the focus wasn't so much on the sheen and vocal treatment you get on record.  They did some weird stuff too, including a nearly 20-minute version of "Cobra" (a rare cut off the Chocolate & Ice EP) that might not win over the DCRC but was a welcome diversion.  MMJ may have gained a lot of followers from jam-band crossovers, though they don't really jam in the sense that say, Phish or the Cornpone Pudding Project do.  But, in my humble Rockist opinion, they're best when they sprawl.  "Dondante", Z's closer, took a while to get going, but the late arriving chiming solo was gorgeous and gradually turned into a pretty damn awesome guitar freakout.

I should say a quick word about "Run Thru" too, which combines Jim James' penchant for a stupid as hell lyric ("Oh shit! Run! Oh shit! Run! / "Oh shit, run through the the ghetto!") with a guitar assault about as heavy as they come.  It's half old-fashioned southern rock, half metal riffage, half light show.  Yeah, light show.  They actually didn't do a whole lot with the lights the rest of the set, but when they swirled and came up on the drummer during the breakdown, it was your quintessential arena rock moment, but with MMJ you sense that they think it's sort of awesome and sort of funny.  Which is just enough irony for this Rockist.

Evil Urges / Anytime / Off the Record / Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Part 1 / Two Halves / Golden / Thank You Too! / I'm Amazed / The Way That He Sings / Sec Walkin / War Begun / Phone Went West (crap, meant to mention this...one of my all time favorites) / Cobra / Librarian / Dondante / Gideon / Lay Low / Steam Engine // Wordless Chorus / Highly Suspicious / Smokin from Shootin / Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Part 2 / Run Thru / One Big Holiday

$100 to see the Fleet Foxes


Yeah, they're pretty good. Nice album. Put on a good show when I caught them at the BC Backstage last spring.

But in the day and age of 45 minute headlining sets, how much would you pay for a band with one LP under their belts?

Better yet, not to be too terribly cynical, but will we still be talking about these guys in two years? I hope so, as I do like them quite a bit, but the odds say probably not.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Definitely Noel Gets Decked, Maybe Seriously Hurt

Those of you who scroll the blogs all day for good info know all about what happened in Toronto the other night. Oasis' lead guitarist and Man City fan Noel Gallagher got laid out by a fan while on stage. The band amazingly took a short break and kept the show going, but it looks like Noel might have a cracked rib and some ligament damage.

My fellow DCister Kyle (aka Information Leafblower) just so happened to be at that very show with a photo pass and got some pretty stellar shots. A couple of them look like they could be the models for a Jacques-Louis David painting or something.

Anyway, check them out here.