There was a lot of stuff going on last Friday, an odd All-Hallow’s-Eve-Eve where some people were celebrating Halloween and some were not. But I wanted to check out Office of Future Plans, the newest project of J. Robbins, playing with Darren Zentek and a couple other guys.
This makes, let’s see, the fourth Robbins band I’ve seen play live, having seen Jawbox, Burning Airlines, and Channels once apiece. So now I’m wishing I’d been a little more sober, since based on the precedents, I’ll likely never see the Office of Future Plans again. Possibly I will never even be able to remember their unwieldy name in the future. Curse those Schlitz-and-shot combos at the Red Derby!
Anyway there was a solid DC line-up in this Buddyhead-affiliated show, but I was too busy to catch it all. I wouldn’t have minded seeing Imperial China again since I liked them the last time.
The band sounded good and Robbins’ singing was likable as ever. The sound was dense compared to Channels or Burning Airlines,
with two guitars , but overall it was also pretty pop-sounding. A friend that I dragged along compared them to Guided by Voices and once he mentioned it, I couldn’t help noticing the similarity. In ’90s terms, it was a little more “indie rock” and a little less “post-hardcore” than Robbins’ work in the past, though I guess those categorizations were pretty meaningless even 15 years ago.
I liked it, the bands were wearing goofy costumes, and I was pretty satisfied. Then at the end they startled me by breaking into Jawbox’s “Savory”! Unexpected! Maybe this was to make up for the Jawbox–Jimmy Fallon performance that isn’t gonna happen. It was pretty great and I was singing along, reliving hazy 120 Minutes memories.
I wanted to snap some pictures but my stupid phone has some annoying problem where I can’t clear the memory so I couldn’t do it. Searching the web I can’t find pictures or video (and it wasn’t too crowded of a show) but here is another quick review. I’ll keep my eyes open for more stuff from OoFP, awkward band name and all.
Stuck around briefly for Caverns — I’ve seen them before too and like them alright, though they were heavier than I remembered. But had places to go, things to see, drinks to consume. Wish there’d been a bigger crowd for a pretty great local line-up… I tried…
PS check out this excellent interview with J. Robbins at buddyhead.
Thanks to Gordon from the band, and to Alexis, for commenting below. I was embarrassed to reply to them because my own stupid drunk memories of the show totally skipped over the fact that there was cello (corrected above). You can see it pretty obviously in this video, in which you can also see me bopping my big head right in front of the camera. Of course when I saw the video, I was like “oh yeah! I remember the cello!” but feel totally dumb to have forgotten. But did they change their instruments at some point? I could have sworn there were parts with two guitars…
Anyway check out this excellent video: