Thick at Knockdown Center
Somehow Thick manage to sound jangly and crusty at the same time. That shouldn't really work and certainly shouldn't work this well. As best I can tell the trick is to keep the tempo up and the guitar solos peppy while singing about being bored, having no money, being kicked out of the house and similarly depressing subject matter.
That and delivering the downers with enough of a smirk that you know it's all fun and games even when they're being painfully honest. Consider the song "Herpes Microphone". As best I can tell it is a song about catching herpes from a dirty microphone. Clearly these three have played some classy venues. Anyway, it's hilarious. In a more serious vein the song "Anymore" is a list of eveything that sucks about becoming an adult but it sure is fun to hear them sing about it. "Wasting My Time" is a mid-tempo song about a relationship which isn't quite going right. It has an explosive ending, perhaps just like the relationship which inspired the song? I do like it when a band manages to be fun while still keepin' it real (except for herpes bit).
This show was part of the Nasty Women Exhibition at the Knockdown Center. No complaints about the choice of bands, that's for sure. The rock-n-roll was in the bar in back rather than one of the stages. No, this was not the same room where Parquet Courts played to a thousand people at Christmas. That would be awkward and we would run out of oxygen. Actually it kind of looked like a house show at grandma's house, all antique chairs and fake plants. In some ways Knockdown is a really weird place.
Canker Blossom at DC9
Who doesn't enjoy an old-fashioned snotty Punk band? Yeah okay, probably lots of people but they don't go to shows anywhere smaller than the 9:30 Club. Canker Blossom are a Baltimore punk trio (sometimes duo) whose songs are mosly under two minutes long and have titles like:
- Go Fuck Yourself
- I Hate Everyone
- Not Your Friend
- Quarantined Puppies (this can't possibly be good)
...though they also do a poppy cover of the Ska classic "A Message to You, Rudy". It clocks in at 1:44.
Although they sound like snot-punk to me Canker Blossom prefer the term "pop-punk", possibly because they actually know how to play their instruments and sound good and so on. Perhaps we can compromise on "snot-pop"? Sounds sick. I hate when I'm that sick.
This is what a real Punk Band is supposed to be. No glamour, just rock and attitude. Also a really cool logo. They even sell their albums DIY style: free but please donate. So fuck yeah, they're awesome, go see them.
Shirt/Pants at DC9
Shirt/Pants may be better known as "That's really their name?" Yes that is really their name, no you don't pronounce the slash, and yes it is an awfully memorable name. "Shirt/Pants" is the nosegay of rock-n-roll, a name which burrows into your memory and never leaves.
Musically Shirt/Pants is hard to pin down. A lot of their best stuff, songs like "Knockoff" and "Nadsat", are straightforward pop-punk. So four college kids made pop-punk band, nothing new there, right? But then "What Would You Rather" and to a lesser degree "Haze & Ginger" have a noir flavor of all things. Ttheir first single was two moody songs with almost no lyrics. Safe to say that they've changed their style a wee bit in the past couple of years. So if you're reading this in 2022 and they are now a world-renowned theremin quartet that is not my problem. Back in 2016 they were a fun garage/pop/punk/something band with catchy songs which had guitars and drums and so on in them.
The Mummies at Music Hall of Williamsburg
Back in 2009, a few months before I started this website, I caught The Mummies at Maxwell's in Hoboken, New Jersey. It was their first show in more than twenty years and was a huge deal in the garage rock community. Honestly this meant a lot more to other people than it did to me. Personally I just liked their music. However I had also started bringing my camera (a little point-and-shoot) to shows so I braved the mosh pit and took some photos.
That may have been the exact show which convinced me to get a DSLR. I wanted to be able to record this special once-in-a-lifetime event that was never going to happen again (heh) but just didn't have the ability. That is to say I lacked talent, but better gear helps too. It makes it easier to practice and thereby develop talent. Also, seriously, for concert photography you need as good camera. Maybe not top of the line but a good one. I bought a cheap DSLR and traded up twice within the next year.
So anyway, The Mummies continue to be goofy bastards who play very catchy, very rough rock-n-roll. And it turns out they can be photographed in color (who knew?) I had a blast once again just like I did last time, and the time before that, and the next time.