Deerhoof Coming to Town
with a Few Friends

Deerhoof. Photo by Dan Jarvis

Indie music’s greatest purveyors of pop turned on its head, Deerhoof, will hit the stage at Black Cat Saturday, Jan. 28. And while the San Francisco foursome and their eclectic slate of tour mates are the definition of unpredictable performers, one thing is for certain: this is a show not to be missed.

Deerhoof is coming off their most critically acclaimed (and publicly accessible) release, The Runners Four. Over the course of their lauded six-album career, the band has stumped music critics who’ve all fallen short of labeling their sound, calling Deerhoof everything from “post punk” to “art punk” to “no wave.” This latest album continues the band’s dedication to eschewing categorization, their bombastic songs constantly changing tempo and instrumentation without warning. The album, like previous releases Apple O’ and Milk Man, is consistently reinventing itself and shifting focus. Each song stands on its own making an individual statement about what pop music can be, which promises for a highly-charged stage show of wide scope.

Deerhoof is famous for taking their music to new heights of energy when playing for a live audience; thrashing about the stage and pushing their sound louder and stranger. Their repertoire has always been about startling dichotomies: lead singer Satomi Matsuzaki’s delicate and childlike voice over powerful walls of sound; a pulsing rhythm section and forceful punch of guitars simultaneously thrashing and tiptoeing upon a carefully composed melodic line. Plus, drummer Greg Saunier is one of the most talented beat keepers performing music live today.

Starter Set
Starter Set DVD Cover

Luckily for you, the $10 ticket price includes not only a Deerhoof performance, but an entire night of multimedia experiences. Director and animator Martha Colburn will be on hand to screen some of her recent works, including her music video for Deerhoof’s “Wrong Time Capsule.” Also performing is Starter Set, a sampling of ‚Äúnew dance and music created for the camera‚Äù by a collective of New York and L.A. dance groups including the Leg and Pants Dans Theeatre, Hysterica Dance Co., and 4 Hard Gulps Theater Company. The dancers have recently been getting attention for their modern dance sets staged to punk and indie rock music. Starter Set, a collection of visual and musical performances was recently released on DVD by Deerhoof‚Äôs record label, Kill Rock Stars.

Two relatively unknown musicians out of Bordeaux, France will provide some opening music for the headliners. L’ocelle Mare is a solo guitarist drawing from both classical and experimental influences. He explores many aspects of his chosen instrument, some songs are very percussive while others have a harp like quality to them. On the other hand, fellow Frenchman Le Ton Mite is a fierce noise machine, creating cacophonous compositions that sound almost like exercises in very, very experimental free jazz. For a preview of the insanity, visit

The show, on Black Cat’s mainstage Saturday, Jan. 28, kicks off at 9:30 p.m.

The New World — Movie Review

The New World photophoto courtesy New Line Cinema

Terrence Malick and I have history. As a teenage film buff, I was excited when Malick, director of the classic spree killer flick Badlands, came out from whatever rock he was hiding under to direct The Thin Red Line, which promised to be an art house war movie. Snobby and violent, could you go wrong?

The New World poster

The New World
(New Line Cinema)
Rated: PG-13
starstarstarstar (out of 4)
Official Site

Yes: three hours of impressive Australian scenery and poetic voiceovers, but not much else. Narrative was thrown right out the window as one scene haphazardly ran into the next. Even though the voiceovers clued me in on their internal monologues, the characters themselves were sparsely drawn, sometimes one dimensional. There were powerful scenes, but on the whole the movie fell flat. Malick���s lost it after 20 years without making a film, I thought.

So I was wary when I heard the buzz surrounding The New World, Malick���s take on the founding of Jamestown and the legend of Pocahontas and John Smith. But my fears of a Thin Red repeat are completely off-mark, as here Malick weaves a tapestry thick with depth and symbolism around a strong narrative and characters that jump off the screen, with the help of a fantastic young talent as Pocahontas. The New World is about discovery, internal and external, and easily one of the best films of 2005.

As we learned in American history class, shortly after the founding of Jamestown, Captain John Smith (Colin Farrell) is sent to see the native’s big chief to talk about trading and, in a thrilling sequence, is saved from execution by Pocahontas (Q’Orianka Kilcher). Thus starts their courtship, as Smith teaches Pocahontas English and English ways while idealizing the communal and simple living of ���the naturals.��� He seeks redemption, a new self in this new world, through his love of Pocahontas, full of life and spirit, and she falls for the mysterious yet passionate foreigner as well. Continue reading →

The Speaks plus JunkFood w/ guest Soul Lipat at The State Theatre

The Speaks
plus JunkFood

Genre: Indie Rock

‚ÄúIn the age of shoe gazers and too-cool-for-the-room alternative bands, it‚Äôs refreshing to see a band that brings the songs you hear recorded to a higher level in performance. T he Speaks are the true sense of what a band is supposed to be….different characters all assembled by a common music thread and that thread has one hell of a groove. DC 101 loves thespeaks Last Band Standing Winners 2004‚Äù
– Joe Bevilacqua/Program Director DC101

‚ÄúThe Speaks give us commanding rock with a grunge edge. ‚ÄòSolitary‚Äô has all the power of Pearl Jam, but without the whining… multiple explosions of sound and raspy vocals are a winning combination. You’ll be hitting replay on this one”
– The Washington Post

“I really am impressed by JunkFood’s professionalism and fire for marketing and promotion. There’s a million bands out there and in ’05 its not just the music that will speak for itself…JunkFood has a great following, plus they’re a great band and have a great live set…” – Joe Bevilacqua, Program Director, DC101-FM, Washington, DC

Saturday January 21
Doors: 7 PM
Showtime 9 PM
Tickets: $10 advance / $12 day of show