10 shows in 30 days in 500 words
In contrast to my last column, here’s a quick and dirty overview of all the live music I saw in March.
Mar. 2: “Cabinet of Curiosities” at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW) was a sit-down affair featuring: Drake Hardin’s lively composition with Henry Hutchinson on drum-triggered samples, visiting artist Carmina Escobar’s collaboration with the Demarco sisters on some intense vocal work and Martian Funk’s amorphous sound stew throughout.
Mar. 6: Synchro Studio (512-B Yale SE) hosted garage and roots rock from all over: Ghost to Falco (Portland, Ore.), thematically-correct Ghost Foot (Shreveport, La.) and tag-along band Pilots (Dayton, Ohio) joined local songster AJ Woods, who called to mind Townes Van Zandt sans the self-destruction. I was also stoked to reconnect with GtoF bassist Justin, of the Oms-b microlabel, who’s come through town many times.
Mar. 9: Dialogue (1501 First Street NW) is a cool Warehouse District gallery where Terri Schiavo Dance Party and Black Maria were serving up sloppy, sodden fun, having been at it since the afternoon. New vocalist Roman Barham is a solid addition to Black Maria, and I enjoyed catching up with Gordy around the backyard fire pit.
Mar. 10: Despite my reservations, local jammers YOU rocked The Plant (1407 Fourth Street SW) instead of merely providing dance party wallpaper. I can’t say the same for tag-along touring band Teenage Sweater, who bought time for the delayed Religious Girls. I wanted to see fellow travelers MTNS and Laughters, but I had to leave early.
Mar. 12: At a rare P&J (202 Harvard SE) show, Gusher members groused afterward about a sloppy set, but sheer volume forgives many sins. As I expected, Portland’s Gaytheist totally killed it, and new instrumental trio [H]Ω refine their power-math equations with each show.
Mar. 13: I got to Synchro Studio in time for Roñoso’s finale, with drummer Mike Tooley fighting a knee injury from the previous night. Fort Hobo then destroyed the crowd and themselves with aggressive silliness. I enjoyed the skilled grindcore of Seattle’s Iron Lung comfortably, from outside. Free rock and roll cupcakes were dispensed.
Mar. 22: I spun vinyl at the grand opening of The Tannex (1417 Fourth Street SW) between acts from Maine. Unfortunately, Janane Tripp couldn’t muster the aggro needed to force her pretty, effects-washed songs onto an inattentive crowd. Planets Around the Sun’s gentle, propulsive guitar psych could benefit from volume, but it was sublime nonetheless.
Mar. 30: I rolled up to an all-locals show at the girl-powered Cunt Castle just as Hanta were finishing. The singer from Monster Magnet was there. I started talking with him about sci-fi novels, but I got distracted handing out flyers. Young co-ed combo Incest mixed death and black metal styles well, and brought some diversity to the crowd. Dark heavy screamers Pepper Griswald closed out the show, becoming one of my favorite new locals.
Apr. 1: Synchro, my favorite neighborhood venue, hosted local oddball electronics with Sonicaust’s miniKORG “horror synth” wave fields, Alan George Ledergerber’s Minimoog and accessories evoking a creepy Raymond Scott, Alchemical Burn’s analog power electronics testing boundaries and noisy industrial duo Uranium Worker rocking like old Ministry at times. The touring band had vehicular issues and couldn’t make it.
This completes my report. In one month, there’s more incredible live music in this town than you might ever guess, and much of it happens at nontraditional venues. We’ve got a great scene.