Monday, September 17, 2012

Music Mondays With Shlara

Last week, I saw two bands on back-to-back nights in wildly different venues. Both presented a HUGE ensemble and featured many truly talented musicians. Equally enjoyable experiences for different reasons.

Thursday was Devotchka at 6th & I Street Synagogue. Friday was Bruce & The E Street Band at Nationals Park.

Devotchka (means “girl” in Russian)—they are from Colorado and started as a house band for burlesque shows. (The last time they were in DC, they played 9:30 Club and had these women dancing/twirling from these ribbons of silk fabric hanging from the rafters—very Cirque de Soliel). You may know them from the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack. The band is four people: Nick is the lead singer, guitar player and keeper of the Devotchka sound, Tom is a classically trained violinist and also plays the accordion on some songs, Jeanie (the chick) plays the upright bass and the Sousaphone (and my friend Bill tells me she was in a Civil War reenactment band before Devotchka), and my favorite—Shawn—the drummer, percussionist, trumpet player and keyboard player. They dress formally and are usually color-coordinated.


Last week’s show was in the sanctuary of the historical synagogue in Chinatown—which also doubles as a concert venue. The band performs on what I would call the “altar” (as a Catholic) and the concert-goers sit in the pews. There’s no standing in the aisles—that big 9:30 Club bouncer is there to ensure everyone follows the rules. 6th & I sells soda, water and beer that they put in these branded tumblers with a lid—like a travel coffee mug. You can bring the beer to your pew.

Devothchka’s sound is unique—a little polka, a little mariachi, a little angsty Smiths—some people call it “gypsy punk.” And because of the special venue, they brought in some additional musicians—two more violins and a cello, another trumpet player, another percussionist, a clarinet player and an oboist. The additional musicians added depth to the sound, and with the dimly lit sanctuary, the crowd of obedient hipsters sitting quietly in the pews, you could really lose yourself in the music. Their sound is upbeat and engaging and haunting and oftentimes seems more European than American. And they are SO GOOD live—it was a treat to see them in such an intimate setting.


How It Ends:

We’re Leaving:


The next night, I went to see Bruuuuuce at the biggest venue in DC. I’m pretty sure everyone on this blog has seen the E Street Band, so I’ll just share a few observations:

  • There were lots of old people attending the show who don’t get out much and are not familiar with the protocol on the Metro. I was actually scared that I was going to get trampled at some point.
  • The people with seats on the field had a grove of port-a-potties at their disposal. They were set up in the Nats bullpen. Gross. And I hope it doesn’t impact Clippard for the next home stand, we need him on his game.
  • Bruce looks incredible for 62—especially when you put him next to most of the Boomers sitting in the stands—its impressive.
  • Someone in the crowd handed Bruce a slice of pizza at one point, and he took a bite…that was kind of gross too.

  • Someone else had their 4-year-old son on the field (They did give him those HUGE headphones, to help protect his ears.) And the parents handed him over to Bruce during “Waiting on a Sunny Day” because the kid knew the words. Of course, as soon as Bruce put a mic in the boy’s face, he stopped singing. It was really cute.
  • There must be like 25 people in the band at this point—I couldn’t see the entire stage from my seats, so it could be a bit smaller, but there are at least 20 people.
  • The crowd could not get enough of Clarence Clemons’ son filling in on sax. Early on (I think it was during Hungry Heart), Bruce looked at Clemons junior and said, “You weren’t alive when this song came out” And there’s this really nice silent video tribute to Clarence during Tenth Avenue Freeze Out.
  • He added “Viagra-taking” to the list of adjectives when telling the crowd they’ve just seen The E Street Band. Funny.
  • They did a few classics in a reggae-ish style and some in a more blue-grassy style. I liked the interpretations.
  • I was kind-of expecting them to play “Glory Days”—I mean, we’re sitting in a baseball stadium. Sadly, they didn’t—the only disappointment of the show.
  • The E Street band has SO MUCH FUN doing these shows—it amazes me that they still perform like it’s their first tour. If you can’t have a good time with the E Street Band, you need meds.
  • I saw them for the first time in 1985 (Born in the USA) at RFK stadium, with my mom. (I still have that concert t-shirt!) We sat next to a reporter from Rolling Stone and I remember him saying to me “You haven’t seen them before? You’re going to love this—they pour their hearts out for the fans.” He’s right and it was worth the $100 to sit in the upper deck on Friday.

74 comments:

T.J. said...

Whoops - Geoff just posted the Roy Hibbert story as this post went up. Here is Geoff's recap:

I was at the Greenbrier for the National Republican Senatorial Committee retreat. Roy was not. He was there for some Georgetown alums brouhaha. It was the rare instance where Saxby Chambliss was playing blackjack one table over from Roy Hibbert. Roy and I cashed out our chips at the same time, and were waiting in line at the cashier. Said "hey, nice to meet you"...and then awkwardly stumbled into "So, I lost a bet because of you." He seemed less than interested. Tried to explain the ridiculous prank bet...did a poor job. He said "Have a nice night and went on his way." I may have been intoxicated.

Danimal said...

smooooth.

Shlara said...

I need to get a new iphone--the 3G takes crappy photos. Or maybe its just my crappy photography skills

rob said...

no comment. *cough*kevindurant*cough*

T.J. said...

:(

Danimal said...

just saw the Golden Taint, I mean Tate, block. nicely done...that was clean wasn't it?

T.J. said...

there were so many illegal hits and so much chippyness in the games yesterday, all unpenalized, that i have forgotten what is actually a flag anymore

these refs are fucking atrocious. there were almost five full-blown fights in that ravens/eagles game

and the skins/rams game had extracurricular activites after every play. every. damn. play.

zman said...

They are what we thought they were!

mayhugh said...

Some people have questioned the utility of Double Unsportsmanlike Conduct Penalties, but they were sorely needed yesterday. The Skins and Rams players kept ratcheting up antics without fear of consequences. I don't think any of them got the impression after the first five minutes that the refs were in control.

mayhugh said...

Also, there is just too much consulting amongst these refs. Major networks do not need another reason to take even more commercials. Each game felt like it 2as 5 hours long yesterday.

Geoff said...

I agree that the replacement refs are a mess and the Redskins game was the prime example of how things may end up getting wildly out of hand. Furthermore, if I were a player or a coach, I would start to contemplate safety issues and what the players could do to force resolution here.

That said, if you are Goodell and feel strongly here that the refs demands are unreasonable, what the hell do you do? Its not impacting ratings, but may be impacting player safety and product integrity.

rob said...

lane kiffin threw matt barkley under the bus today. what a dick.

mayhugh said...

And I'm still crushing on RGIII. He made 3 runs and a couple reads/throws yesterday that I have never seen a Redskins QB make before. Rob, you could be enjoying this, too, had you not gotten emotional over the [possibly temporary] departure of an aging TE.

zman said...

Aging is just how rob likes his tight ends these days.

zman said...

Speaking of rob, did you start RG3PO or Vick? I think 3PO scored more fantasy points.

rob said...

i don't have either one of those guys.

and mayhugh, the aging tight end was but the final straw. it's the far too young dickface owner that's the root cause. but i wish you skins fans happiness.

rob said...

just got retweeted by kent bazemore. feeling pretty sporty.

Danimal said...

teejus...nd moves up to #11 in the polls, which is a wee bit aggressive. this will without question result with them getting their asses kicked this wkd at home against michigan.

Geoff said...

I started Vick over RG3 in one league and Brees over him in another. He outscored both of them. #neveragain

rob said...

because i know you guys care, i lead fogtb buck marston by 9.4 fantasy points headed into tonight's action. i have tony gonzalez (because i've always loved aging tight ends), while he has julio jones, history's greatest badass. i'm not feeling too safe on that lead.

rob said...

orakpo done for the season, as is carriker. sorry, dudes.

mayhugh said...

If I get 40.2 points from kicker Matt Bryant tonight, fantasy life is sweeeet.

Boo for Carriker. Smaller boo for Orakpo.

T.J. said...

Wow, Skins just got the defensive fuck stick. No Carriker. No Orakpo.

Yikes.

T.J. said...

DAMMIT MAYHUGH

rob said...

not cool, teejay, you dick

Mark said...

What did Kiffin say about Barkley?

T.J. said...

I assume rob is selectively choosing this Kiffin quote from the entire presser:

"Probably two of his worst decisions in our three years together," Kiffin said, adding, "Really poor decisions by him. Ones he'd like to have back. Ones he usually doesn't make, and I think that he won't make those in the future."

zman said...

Will Shlara's music Monday guesties be a recurring post?

Shlara said...

I can write another one next week--concerts on the schedule: Glen Hansard at the 9:30 Club Wed and Dirks Bentley post-game at Nats Satdium on Sat.

Will probably have to fabircate the Dirks Bentlet review b/c I doubt I'll stick around for it.

rob said...

most of our posts are fabricated

Mr. Truck said...

we are awaiting your comment on sentence of dave, marls.

Dave said...

shlara, great point by point of the bruce show-- there was an excellent article about him and the band in the new yorker a couple of months ago-- they rehearse that fun!

zman said...

Who dressed Ditka? It looks like he's wearing a Citroen logo on his left breast.

rob said...

this vilma thing is some bulllllllshit

TR said...

Are you referring to Gregggggggggg Williams' signed affidavit that Vilma participated in a bounty system?

TR said...

At Jerry Remy's Seaport bar. 75% of TVs on the MNF game, and no reaction from recent Boston HR. Pleasantly surprising.

zman said...

Pink hats.

TR said...

LOVING Peyton's mistakes. Would be fun in a train wreck sorta way to watch the media stumble over themselves explaining an awful year.

TR said...

Remy's apparently hires sluts of all sizes to be waitresses. I just saw a girl who looks like Meatloaf from Fight Club.

His name was...whatever.

zman said...

The bills fan in that superstition ad makes me laugh -- what superstitions have ever panned out for buffalo?

zman said...

Wtf are you doing at rem dog's? You know better.

TR said...

If tou're over 30 and still want to wear your cap backwards in a bar, Boston's your kind of town.

zman said...

ESPN should hold a contest where the winner and his buddies get to officiate a MNF game.

zman said...

You're at the wrong bar. Go to the lower depths. Or bukowski's. Or the pour house if you want an std.

TR said...

It's 2 blocks from my hotel and I'm meeting coworkers. Allegedly. For now, I'm just drunk and alone.

zman said...

Tuuurrible. Motivate the crew into a cab.

zman said...

Peyton circa 2012 = Vinny circa 1988

TR said...

Manning is Cutler.

zman said...

"Boy he has a lot of stuff that I like" says Gruden. Then awkward silence.

zman said...

Jack Del Rio. Still chopping wood.

Danimal said...

Having the atl defense would probably be a pretty good thing.

mayhugh said...

Please keep commenting on the football game. We have one tv and The Voice is on - do the math.

Danimal said...

Mayhugh, you should do some math and add a tv.

Danimal said...

Rob must be happy about that play and jones' digital clock hands.

Danimal said...

This game is going to end half past never.

Does John Fox have a lipper in?

Danimal said...

I think the state farm commercial is pretty funny. But I'm sticking with Progressive. So who's the winner?

Danimal said...

I took Denver tonight and I gotta tell ya, I am not regretting it quite yet.

Danimal said...

One more INT and and we still won't see my boy Brady Quinn.

zman said...

We have to temper what happened in the Steeler game!! Get it? Temper! Steel! Ha!

zman said...

Just flipped to the voice. Weird bird on cee lo. Weird hammers on xtina.

zman said...

Peyton manning looks like he has cornrows.

Shlara said...

The NFL has to end this ref labor situation tomorrow, right?

zman said...

I hope so. So many flags.

zman said...

Giant scary beetle in zfamily room. Lots of crying and shrieking. Zwoman upset too. Neither zcat did anything to help. Killed bug with alumni mag, mag stained zwall. Eff alumni magazine people and their cheap ink.

zman said...

I will buy whatever she's selling.

zman said...

After all that adjusting peyton comes up with that shitty play?

Mark said...

I enjoy the NFL refs. You never know what's gonna be called or not. Lots of jawing and macho bullshit between the players after nearly every play. It's absolute chaos.

rob said...

just got done playing soccer for the first time in 10+ years. still really fun. and i still have a paper mâché groin. cue ted danson.

looks like my aging tight end is performing nicely.

Danimal said...

Good day 69.

TR said...

Fuck you, plantar fasciitis, and your limp-inducing effects.

rob said...

yeah, that shit is no walk in the park

Marls said...

Are you sure it is not pig and scotch induced gout?

Marls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clarence said...

Shlara- Marls and I are going to see Bruce at the Meadowlands on Friday night. First time I am seeing them without the Big Man, but your review has me fired up.