Death Franz for Cribs at D.A.R.

Death Cab for CutieDeath Cab for Cutie

One really can’t lose with a bill such as the one which D.A.R. boasted on Tuesday night. –Death Cab for Cutie, Franz Ferdinand, and The Cribs– since the odds are strong that the majority of the crowd will leave with, at best, a new favorite band and, at worst, newfound respect for a known quantity. Continue reading →

SXSW 06: “Thank You for the Days”

The Cribs
The Cribs

First, an introduction, and a confession: “Hi, I’m John, and I’m a Southby-aholic.”

This year marked my eighth consecutive pilgrimage to Austin, TX, for the annual South by Southwest music festival (as above, referred to by frequent attendees as Southby). Known, variously, among friends and musicians, as “Rock ‘n’ Roll Spring Break,” “Indie-Rock Mardi Gras,” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Olympics,” I think I may prefer the sobriquet that occurred to me this year mid-fest: Rock ‘n’ Roll Christmas. Continue reading →

New London Fire at the Velvet Lounge

New London Fire

Live Review: New London Fire at the Velvet Lounge, 3/9/06 >>

The Velvet Lounge, contrary to puzzling misconceptions, isn’t merely a great little U Street bar in which to meet for a drink prior to catching a show around the corner at the 9:30 Club. At the top of their narrow staircase, the second level of the club boasts an equally great little room to catch a live show. On Thursday night, New London Fire, from Union City, NJ, opened the first night of their first-ever tour here and, based on the strength of their set, they may just find themselves around the corner at the 9:30’s more storied stage before too much longer.

Shortly after midnight, the band opened their set by launching into their signature number, the epic pop confection (and number one smash in a just world), “Different,” and if you were fortunate enough to be among the small crowd at the Velvet on Thursday night, you may well have found yourself stunned to be hearing such an arena-ready crowd pleaser performed by an unknown band. As their forty-minute set went on to prove, with lush, swirling synth notes, crisply chiming guitar, and the assured confidence of frontman, David Debiak (formerly of Sleep Station, along with his brother and keyboard player, Jason), The Killers had better be looking over their shoulders.

As New London Fire continues on their tour, making their way to a coveted slot on the opening night of Austin’s South by Southwest Music conference this Wednesday, no doubt their set will be honed to a diamond sharp edge … and if all goes well in Austin, where buzz is born every year, it’s unlikely you’ll be seeing them in a room as small as the Velvet Lounge on their next trip to D.C. but, no matter the size of the room, you would do well to be a part of the crowd filling it upon their return.

Surprise Prince Show at Nation!

Just announced via his fan club, Prince will be appearing with his latest protege, Tamar, this Sunday and Monday, March 12 & 13 at Nation. If you caught their SNL performance together last month, you’ll know you won’t want to miss this.

If you’re a member of the fan club, the presale is going on NOW (it began at 10 a.m. this morning). If you’re not a member of the fan club, and think you might ever want to see Prince, you should become a member, as it only costs $25 to be a member for life, and membership gets you into presales where you can buy a pair of tickets to any show (usually within 10 rows of the stage for an arena show), and pay NO service charge.

You can join the fan club (and then buy Nation tix) at www.npgmc.com. Looks like member tix are still available for both nights. Presumably, the general onsale will be Saturday, but that’s just a guess.

Tickets for the Nation shows are $31.21. Yes, you read that correctly. Just over thirty bucks to see Prince play a club.

A friend saw the show in Philly a week or two ago and said it was completely sick.

Given that the world’s greatest live band, Marah, are playing at Iota Sunday night, those of you who know me can probably guess which night I’ll be seeing the Purple One.

Note: Doors for these shows are at 10 p.m., and the show starts at midnight.

– John Anderson
(“That shit was the MAD notes!”)