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Glasvegas-4679
Last time was the second time I have seen Glasvegas in DC and I have come away with the same feeling both times. I really like the album, but as far as the live show goes, there is just something about it that’s a bit off. The band and their show both seem a bit contrived. I get that they think they are big rock stars and that they play to 3000+ each night in the UK, but if that’s the case, they should totally own a gig at a cozy place like the Black Cat, but they didn’t even come close last night. Thinking you deserve it is one thing, showing you deserve it is another. The band has attitude to spare but the songs (especially the lyrics) just don’t hold up. Opening the set with “Geraldine” was a ballsy move, but it backfired on them because James Allan’s vocals sounded very rough (and that’s me being kind). He ultimately got it together about halfway through the set (“Flowers and Football Tops” sounded much better), but it wasn’t enough to salvage the gig in my mind. I’ve seen plenty of sold out shows at the Black Cat, but this was one of the least exciting. But not as bad as this.
Last night turned out to be a bummer all the way around since Duke crashed and burned against Villanova. I DVR’ed the game and will go back and watch it later (caught most of the second half before they cut away to watch Mizzou shoot free throws) and will offer my thoughts then.
No rest for the weary tonight. Primal Scream at the 9:30 Club! The Scream have long been one of my favorite bands and I am super excited for this show. I fully expect my face to be melted off by “Shoot Speed (Kill Light)” or “Swastika Eyes.” The set from their L.A. gig looks incredible. The club is running a two-for-one special on tickets, so there is no excuse not to come!

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Longwave-3474web
I’ve always been pretty meh about Longwave. All style and no substance. I would constantly hear people talk about how great they were but none of their recorded material did a thing for me. I remember being very excited to hear their 2005 album There’s A Fire because the great and wonderful John Leckie produced it but it didn’t do it for me. They piqued my interest again a few months later when they picked up former Sea Ray (RIP) keyboardist and all-around good guy Jeff Sheinkopf for a while, but he eventually left the band and my interest faded.
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Anyways, I had still never seen them live so I thought I would give them a shot on Sunday at the 9:30 and I am so very glad I did. Not sure what has happened to them in the last few years, but man, they were straight fire. I was gobsmacked! Gone were the breezy pop songs I remembered, in their place was a wall of guitar effects that Ride or Spooky-era Lush would be proud of. And lead singer Steve Schiltz has the pipes to keep up too. They were amazing. Wikipedia says they put out a record at the end of last year. I’m going to have to track that down ASAP.
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Also, the band said they were recording the gig for future use. There were quite a few video cameras set up around the venue. Hopefully they share that with all of us before too long.
[Photo Gallery] Longwave @ 9:30 Club

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BlocParty-3541pk
I wrote up a quickie review on DCist earlier int he week, but here are a few other thoughts on the Bloc Party show from Sunday.

  • It was way sold out. Shoulder to shoulder all the way to the back of the venue.
  • They didn’t play “Waiting for the 7.18” Boo!
  • “Ion Square” was pretty mind-blowing. The slinky keyboards from Gordon provided a nice respite from a very guitar heavy set. Definitely my new fave song.
  • The seamless segue from “Song for Clay (Disappear Here) into “Banquet” was pretty awesome.
  • Best lighting and best sound I’ve experienced from a 9:30 show in a long time.
  • I love it when headliners go on before 9:30. We stayed through the firt encore and still got home a little after 11. Yes, I’m old.

[Photo Gallery] Bloc Pary @ 9:30 Club
Got some killer shots of Longwave. Will post those tomorrow.

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Bloc Party put on a killer show at the 9:30 Club last night. Kele came out onstage wearing a Clinton Portis jersey! Pretty awesome. Head over to DCist for a short review and more photos. I’ll have the full set up in a few days. Loving my new 5D, BTW.
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Pree-3215web
Last Thursday I swore of basketball for the night (I more than made up for it over the weekend) and headed down to the Black Cat to check out Pree and Meredith Bragg. As I’ve mentioned a few times in the last week or so, Pree is the new group formed by May Tabol, formerly of Le Loup. Her new group put on a great gig showcasing her quirky folk-pop. Definitely worth checking out if you are curious about them. I was surprised at how polished they were.
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Local boy and fellow Kora Records artist Meredith Bragg opened the show. Somehow I had never seen him before, despite him gigging locally all the time. The two names thrown around when describing Bragg, Elliott Smith and Ben Gibbard, are right on the money. If intelligent, sparse acoustic folk is your thing, Bragg is your man.
[Photo Gallery]
Pree w/ Meredith Bragg @ Black Cat

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You already heard me blather on and on about how amazing this show was. Now, check out the visual evidence.
[Photo Gallery]
Dead Confederate @ Black Cat

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The other day I was thinking to myself that I might be suffering from seasonal depression. I generally like winter and the cold, but all the gray days were throwing me off a bit. But now I think I was wrong. It had just been too long since I had my face melted off at a big rock show. Well, after seeing Dead Confederate open for The Whigs, I am cured.
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I did not know much about Dead Confederate going in to the show. I gave their MySpace tunes a quick listen before the show and generally liked what I heard. But I was unprepared for the sheer force and heaviness of their live sound. They are this weird sonic mix of Kurt Cobain fronting Mogwai trying to play Primal Scream’s Vanishing Point. It certainly didn’t hurt that I planted myself front row and had the lead singer basically spitting on me for the entire set. It was intensity in ten cities!
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The band wasted little time setting up and plugging in following a decent set by Trances Arc. After a quick soundcheck, we were off. Their drummer was a dynamo, he was hitting the snare and toms so hard he had the drum platform wobbling all over the place. The loud/quiet/loud thing is very overdone these days, but Dead Confederate made it all sound brand new. Seeing them brought back memories of the very first time I saw …Trail of the Dead, at the Knitting Factory in NYC. They were this incredible ball of energy, wound up and ready to let loose, wreaking large scale havoc on a small stage.
Every so often there is an opening band that comes out of nowhere and blows me away, becoming my new favorite band in the process. Welcome to the club Dead Confederate!
If you want to give them a listen, I highly recommend these two songs.
Dead Confederate – The Rat
Dead Confederate – Wrecking Ball
I’ll have the full photo set next week!

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Fujiya&Miyagi-1331web
Last Thursday I headed down to the 9:30 Club for what was just the second show I’ve seen all year (long story). I had heard bits and bobs of Fujiya & Miyagi‘s work here and there and really liked their laid back, dancey vibe, so I thought they would be worth checking out. I was not wrong. Their minimalist dance pop may not necessarily jump out of the speakers at you on CD or MP3, but live, the band has a definite cheerful, festive vibe that carried over to the audience. A small but enthusiastic crowd danced the night away to songs like “Photocopier” and “Ankle Injuries.” The projections behind the stage were pretty awesome as well. All in all, a pretty good show.
[Photo Gallery]
Fujiya & Miyagi @ 9:30 Club

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LongBeach-0404
I’m out on the Left Coast through early next week. There are worse things than 70 degree weather and NBA games at 4 p.m. See you soon!

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