Cinema Hearts at DC9
DC doesn't really have much of a garage rock scene. While there have been attempts to get something going (I recall a "garage showcase" show at Green Island about a year back) there isn't really a community of fans of old-school rock, soul, proto-punk, etc. Too bad, because there are garage bands and some of them, like Cinema Hearts, are really good.
Like many bands these days Cinema Hearts started out as a bedroom recording. So yeah, there's a GarageBand scene in DC but no garage scene. On the plus side at least the bedroom music scene has some diversity, from classic singer-songwriter pop to goth-flavored dance music. Cinema Hearts add a lot to that list: 50's doo-wop on songs like "That Boy" and "Don't You Tell Me". Soulful rock-n-roll edging into Dum Dum Girls territory on "If You Go" and "Our Constellation". Even a WWII-era jazz ballad or two. "I'll Always Be Around" would make a lonely Joe cry, I betcha.
Moon Duo at Baby's All Right
I do not recall ever buying three albums by a (current) band before catching them live at least once until Moon Duo. I have KEXP to that for that. Unfortunately they don't play DC very often. So while I did have to travel all the way to NYC to see them play a 1:30am show I finally got to see the two of them perf... wait, Moon Duo is a trio now? Ah yes, one of the many reasons why naming bands is hard. But I guess that sort of thing happens. Did you know that the Beach "Boys" are all grandparents or dead at this point? True fact!
Maybe they should tour with Gang of Four so it balances out?
Anyway, Moon Duo sounded great. I'm not sure that it is a compliment to say that they sound just like their albums but, well, if that is what they were going for then they succeeded. I'm glad they didn't speed up their songs live like a lot of rock bands do. Their music may have the repetitiveness and soaring guitar solos of psych-rock but it's also anxious music, especially songs like this one. The looping keyboard rhythms give it a quality like EDM, if you can imagine EDM being translated back to normal rock instruments. And yes, there were some people dancing to it at the show. Definitely not stoner rock unless the stones in question happen to be crack.
Moon Duo brought their own projections which sure made taking pictures a lot easier. I was wondering if any of it would look familiar but nope, I don't think so.
Dope Body at Floristree
Supposedly this was Dope Body's last show ever (with a minor private-event asterisk) so it deserves some comment, and the comment it deserves is "Dammit!" I like lots of bands but only so many of them can get my 40-something butt in the pit anymore. As the photos prove, Dope Body was (dammit!) one of them.
I'm sure that there will be some sort of documentary video of the band. I know they have video because one of the video guys was in the pit with me and his eye was bleeding (though fortunately the cut was above his eyebrow). What I really hope is that they do an investigative documentary about why this band never got more popular. Awesome songs and well-reviewed albums, a frontman who has tons of energy on stage, wild shows (at least in Baltimore) and they even had support from at least one media outlet (Impose). They should have been an underground band which blew up a la the Black Lips or Metz... but apparently they just never caught on outside of Baltimore. Dammit.