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.
Nobunny at Baby's All Right
I have been a little bit disappointed with some of Nobunny's more recent albums, but damn is he ever a great live performer. So many of the songs which seem a little too mellow on record take on new life when he's belting them out in person. Unless you're deathly afraid of dirty kleenex you should go see him live. Soooo much fun!
Big Ups at Baby's All Right
Big Ups have a quiet-loud style which you don't hear too often in punk circles. The nice thing about that is that the "quiet" part is that you can actually understand what they're saying. Or maybe more to the point, the band has to write lyrics which mean something because if they don't the audience will figure out how silly they are. Big Ups are definitely not silly. They sing about life and death, about modern-day information overload, and generally serious stuff. Then they get to the loud part, singer Joe Galarraga starts doing yoga and punk rock at the same time, and the crowd shifts into raw survival mode.
Someone shot a video of this show and I'm in it! Sorry about getting in the way of the camera at 1:58 there. Anyway, if you want to check out Big Ups live without being bruised and beaten then either stand near the back of the room or watch that video (or this one).