• Review: Eels concert at 9:30 Club, 6/11/2006

    12 juin 2006, 19h42m

    My wife and I went to see the Eels last night at the 9:30 club in DC; it was a first for us for both the venue and the band. The opening band was two girls from a band called "Smoosh". They were twelve and fourteen, which definitely threw me for a loop, but after reading up on them today online, it turns out they're a big indie-rock thing. Anyway, if I thought they were hilariously adorable at first, the drumming of the younger of the two soon mesmorized me for the remainder of the set. The older girl's PJ Harvey-esque keyboards certainly filled the space, but her words were almost completely lost to me. Instead, I watched the crazy-ass drummer, who went ape on her drum set like there was no tomorrow. With dense, multi-tiered, carefully crafted, and constantly changing beats, the drumming alone made the set. Kudos, kid. Definitely the best female drummer I've ever seen.

    The Eels themselves were... interesting. They've got a very theatric set going on, with post-modern theater elements sprinkled throughout the set. E himself is dressed in flight gear and goggles, keeping himself safe from ever making eye contact with the audience. He wore a flight cap and stood above a fan blowing upwards, delivering his whole performance, as it were, from an open cockpit. The show focused on heavy rock performances of a good selection of his hits, but the whole thing was so wilfully distancing that it was hard to sit back and enjoy. I had sort of a wry grin most of the time, which was about the only possible reaction one could have to that kind of deliberate nonsense. The songs themselves were often genuinely moving, but E's careful posturing made it difficult to make that emotional connection--one had too much fear of that kind of emotional bridging being ridiculed by the next theatrical piece, or cold look from E himself. The Chuck, E's second guitarist, was the best part of the evening, performing blistering, interesting solo work and having the good grace to smile just a little bit beneath his beard.

    Oh, and--the lights will go up after the encore, for those of you yet to see the tour. But stick around long enough, after most people have dispersed, and you'll get a secret encore.
  • Songs I Wake Up Hearing

    1 mai 2006, 17h54m

    I don't think I've had a song pervade the level of thought beneath the conscious so thoroughly since Bullet With Butterfly Wings. After I'd heard it the first time, I couldn't get Billy's opening "The world is a vampire..." out of my head. I woke up hearing it, I fell to sleep hearing it. For almost three years, it was a strange itch--an aspect of myself that I could only sum up in the song itself.

    Soul Meets Body's becoming like that. Its lyrics aren't nearly so evocative, but they're not bad, either... DCFC's doing something I haven't felt in a while.