August 26, 2007

Styx/Foreigner/Def Leppard, Nissan Pavillion

"Styx sounds just like their record," said the man sitting next to me on the curb, sipping from his $10 beer.  "I don't know how old you are," he continued, gesticulating my way with his cigarette, "but in the late 80s/early 90s, Def Leppard sounded just like their record too.  Foreigner though. Foreigner KICKED ASS." After seeing these three bands play, I would have to agree with this man's statement.  I asked him and his group of "rock: it keeps me young" 50 somethings a few more questions about three of the most influential rock bands of all time.  The man's wife, a cute blonde from somewhere in England stumbled towards me and exclaimed "Oh, Def Leppard!  I'm only seeing them 'cos I'm British!"  We then had an interesting conversation about Journey (#3 on my list of Top 20 Favorite Bands) and their apparent difficulty to hold onto a lead singer.  "We saw them open for Def Leppard on their last tour and quite frankly, it felt like karaoke!  They had a subt for a subt for a sub for Joe Perry!"  It was at this point I realized I should probably leave them to their beer, seeing as how she mistakenly tagged Aerosmith's lead guitarist for Steve Perry, the man who IS Journey.  But I digress. 

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August 10, 2007

Muse @ Patriot Center 8/9 (aka the Night of Face-Melting Awesomeness)

What's better than one free ticket to see one of the best bands ever created?  That's right, TWO free tickets!  I was pleasantly surprised yesterday after getting home from a rough day at work, to see that I was wonderfully hooked up by Billboard and WMG with two seats right next to the stage!  I made some quick phone calls and selected my boo Ben to come with me.  He had only heard Muse from the mix cds we listen to in my car, so I was excited to show him the real thing.

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July 24, 2007

The Drugstore Cowboys @ Jammin Java 7/23/07

I don't mean to harp on you guys, but seriously, go to some local shows at small venues.  It's an order!  No matter where I go, I always seem to find a diamond in the rough. 
The untrodden territory I happened upon Monday night was at Jammin Java in Vienna, Virginia.    As I sat there with my beer, watching the little scenesters gyrate to the opening bands, I began to feel as though my friend Ben and I were the oldest people there... until we saw the anxious parents waiting on the sidelines for their sons to start wailing away on their practice guitars.  The first few bands were okay, but needed practice.  This place was good for them because it was intimate enough to make them feel comfortable, but large enough to give them an idea of what it was like to play a "real" venue.  I sat through "Like A Movie" and "The Distance."  The former went through guitars like I go through text messages and the latter just kept telling us how tired they were, blaming that for their set being lackluster, which it was not. 

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July 09, 2007

7.7: Nunchucks, Let's French, Payola Reserve @ Iota (DC)

This was my first time at Iota Club and Cafe and I soon started kicking myself for never going there before.  This venue, while smaller than a breadbox, contained some of the best live music I had heard in a long time.  I have to be honest with you, I went to this show solely because I liked the names of the bands: The Nunchucks, Payola Reserve, and Let's French.  I'm a sucker for good marketing, what can I say?

Robots, zombies and ninjas oh my! The Nunchucks covered all of the basics.

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July 06, 2007

Orphan/Dios/Fiery Furnaces. Black Cat, Washington DC 7/5

I walked into the checkerboard-covered floor of the Mainstage at the Black Cat and immediately felt at home.  There was Yuengling, prime front row standing space, and plenty of music to critique. 


Fiery Furnaces' lead singer takes a break from talking about steam trains and doughnuts to let the dual drummers hammer out carribean led beats and doubly heartwrenching cymbal crashes.

After a brief sound check, Orphan snuck on stage.  Before we knew it, our ears were treated to an ode of heavy metal instrumental jamming that came from just a guitar and a set of drums.   It felt like we were in their garage, sneakily listening to the roundabout choruses and tweeling guitar solos of this guy and girl waling away on their respective instruments.  This battle of squeal versus percussion was intermitted with a few spastic yells by the guitarist, Soren Roth, who chose to spend the entire set with his back to the audience. Speck Brown in turn rattled off measure upon measure of frantic beats, not once breaking the gaze between her and her band mate.  This intimacy made their songs intertwine with the slowly growing audience and soon everyone in the venue made their way closer, just to get a taste of the feeling these two were creating through sound.

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July 03, 2007

By the power of Greyskull!

Hello everyone,
It took me a week to figure out what I was going to write for this contest.  I had my best friend Serena read over my essay.  My 100 words that I thought best described me and my passion for everything musical.  I was fairly proud with what I wrote, yet 10 seconds after I hit send, I got a message back that said "Meh. it's good, but you could do better." Crestfallen, I sat and stared at the screen.  Who knew 100 little words could be so difficult to formulate?    I read it over again and realized she was right.  I quickly started over and as I tipity-typed (little) sentence after (short) sentence; I just had a feeling.  I sent her back the finished version and I could imagine her smiling.  "I like that better.  It has more zazazoo."

And so it came to pass that I, like Dave, am now patiently waiting for my first assignment to come sweeping through my inbox.  In the meantime, I've been dinking around with my super cool new LG phone and formulating words in my head that I will hopefully use for any and all of my future music reviews.  I hope to show you my version of the District and all of the quirky little shows the nation's capital has to offer, as well as the big show-stoppers that make its 3+ arenas so well known. 

I am really looking forward to being a part of your kick-ass summer concert experience.

<3, Allie

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