I haven’t forgotten this site, just been busy, and my concert-going schedule has slipped a bit lately. But over the next month or two there are a lot of shows that I’m excited about so I have to try to catch back up.
Part of the reason I want to keep a record of the bands I see is that I am getting old and forgetful. Last night I went to Fort Reno to see Mass Movement of the Moth and I couldn’t remember whether or not I had seen them before. Before the show, I didn’t think I had. I thought maybe I had intended to see them but missed them, or something. But I know I have a handful of mp3s that I got off of their website or somewhere so I knew what they sounded like.
But when they finally took the stage last night (following Deleted Scenes who were so-so — similar to a lot of the dancey indie-pop bands in DC these days — I liked a couple of their songs but was indifferent to the rest), I totally recognized MMM. But I don’t have a clue when or whether I saw them before. Perhaps I was a little chemically impaired and saw them open for some other band? I dunno. Anyway I liked them quite a bit, they have the spastic flailing thing down cold. Recommended.
Here’s a MMM video, an older performance (from 2005?) but not bad. Also as I mentioned you can download a few songs from their website.
I think the last show I saw before last night was Andrew Bird at the 930 Club, about a month ago (May 20). I didn’t really know Andrew Bird’s music but a friend who was visiting me was really excited to go see him so I didn’t mind (it was the night of the last Pretty Girls Make Graves show in town, but I didn’t feel much need to see PGMG again, they are good but they are the kind of band I only needed to see once).
Andrew Bird was really good and ridiculously, frighteningly talented. Once in a while the songs got long and I started to drift away, but overall I was totally impressed. The whole concert is available as a download from NPR and there are a whole bunch of sections of it on youtube, like “Scythian Empire”:
and also “Why?”:
One of the coolest things about the Andrew Bird show was that it was a totally sold-out show, but getting tickets was the easiest thing in the world. The morning of the show we put an ad on craigslist asking for tickets and my friend got a response in about half an hour, and somebody even came to my apartment to drop off the tickets that she wanted to unload. It was encouraging because so many shows seem to sell out now and I had never tried to get tickets on craigslist before to sold-out shows. Awesome.
Another sold-out show I went to last month was to see the Arcade Fire at D.A.R. Constitution Hall on May 4th. It was my first time seeing Arcade Fire; I wasn’t really into them until recently — thought they were ok and kind of catchy but also pretentious. I am also kind of sick of the whole trend towards huge bands with orchestration and backup singers and such. I tend to prefer stripped-down rock with a ‘tude. But I like the Fire more and more as time goes by, so I was happy to see them, though I have never had much love for Constitution Hall.
The show was good though, as good as it gets at such a sucky venue. They played the songs they needed to play and the crowd enjoyed it. Me too. It was a relatively short and sweet set and I was satisfied. Missed openers The National because it was an early show and we needed to eat and drink before it started.
Again lots of youtube videos are available, including opener “Black Mirror”:
and their best song, “Rebellion (Lies)” (the sound is bad but you get the idea):
Finally, I vaguely remember going to check out Mono and Grails and World’s End Girlfriend at the Rock and Roll Hotel (May 15). I mainly wanted to see Grails and expected them to be the band in the middle, but I mostly missed them because they were in fact the opener. I’d seen Mono before and liked them, but not so much that I was dying to see them again, so I hung out at the bar with my friend while (we thought) the second band was setting up. I knew nothing about World’s End Girlfriend.
Well while we were drinking we kept looking over to the stage to see if there was a band playing or what, because the music playing in the club was unusual and quite cool. It was crowded so it took us a long time before we managed to figure out that somebody was actually performing up there with synth and guitar and some other stuff (we couldn’t see what he was doing, really). This was World’s End Girlfriend and I found it pretty impressive stuff (though nothing interesting to watch).
I didn’t find any clips from the RnR Hotel but here is one from the Troubadour (Hollywood?):
And one from Seattle:
I downloaded some of his stuff but liked the recordings less than I liked the performance. Anyway it was interesting at least. Mono were a little underwhelming; I liked them better the first time I saw them a year ago.
Anyway that is all the catching up I can think of. More shows coming up soon, especially in July.