Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lights That Flash in the Evening: Hole @ 930 Club, Washington, DC (6-26-2010)

By now, I'm sure you've heard, or read, or thought, "Oh no he didn't," then giggled over the honesty about the cuckoo bananas explosion that was the Hole show here at the 930 Club on Sunday. David Malitz for the Washington Post hit all the bases of crazy that were run that night; it was a rather spectacular meltdown. Hitting the stage almost a full hour past the scheduled start time, something that rarely happens at the 930, Love apologized to the crowd saying, "Sorry, I was hanging with a friend who is a senator and he can't be photographed with me in public..." Then she said something about how if folks were hoping for her Boston set list, they would be disappointed; "You're getting the Bruce Springsteen set, sorry."

Now, Springsteen does rehearsal shows that folks pay a lot to see, and they're fun and different. Springsteen does marathon shows that run 3-hours. In Europe recently, a Hole "Springsteen set" occurred and was a solid and amazing show according to a friend who attended; but Sunday, "Springsteen set" meant "a 3-hour slow-motion rehearsal show for a car crash."

There are various guesses flying around as to why Love was acting so out of it: drink, drugs, brain damage, insanity... And I've also heard a ton of people saying, "Well, how could you go expecting to see anything else, it's Courtney Love." And they might be right. Love is like a walking Murphy's Law in her personal life it seems, a continual reporting of "Hello deep end my old friend."

I initially thought my take on this show would be along the same lines of the many other negative reviews, given the number of times the phrase "train wreck" showed up in my notes. And then I got thinking about what I saw during Hole's set at the SXSW Spin Day Party set this year. At that show, Love was solid. Funny. "There" if you will, mentally. You could see the potential in terms of her band, which is pretty amazing by the way, and between her with her band, because they played so well together; it wasn't them acting as just her backup band, as it seemed on Sunday. She didn't have to have her handler come onstage in Austin to turn up her guitar knobs because she didn't seem capable, nor did her guitar hang as decoration around her neck while her keyboardist tore up the rhythm-guitar parts that I'm pretty sure she was supposed to be playing. When comparing the Austin show to the DC one, the difference was night and day. "Tonight is just...weird," someone with the band told me before I left on Sunday, "They've been really solid up to now, but tonight...I'm not sure what's going on." Had I not seen the set in Austin with my own eyes, I'd probably be questioning his definition of the word "solid" and writing a much harsher review now.

But who knows what Sunday was all about. Say what you will, but the new record, Nobody's Daughter is a good record, and Live Through This is truly a kick ass record. And maybe she didn't write the songs necessarily for LTT, as some proclaim, but words of a song are just words until someone sings them and makes them come alive.

"Violet" is one rage-fueled effing song that wouldn't blow the doors off if it were in the hands of someone else (though this was not so much the case Sunday night as the crowd sang most of the song. By the way, a fun fact she told us about that song: "I was in Chicago; Billy Pumpkin gave me a Vicodin, and I wrote this song." Maybe that explains the sky being made of amethyst?). Love still has a great raspy rock yell that can still make your nervous system go bonkers.

Love's got something that people gravitate towards though...how else could she pull off some of the stuff she's done over the past bunch of years? Sure she's scrappy, but you can't get by on that all of your career necessarily. Nobody's Daughter is the first Hole record in 12 years-for as many times as she turned the mic around for the crowd to sing because she didn't know lyrics (or whatever) Sunday night, there were just as many shouts of "Courtney, I love you!" from the crowd. And just as many people are defending her in the comments of the negative reviews of the show.

Would I want to be friends with her? Hell no (she kinda scares me to be honest). Would I want her as my neighbor? No, nor would I want her to ever sit for my dog, let alone my kids. Was it obnoxious that she put some woman "filming" her with an iPhone onstage-not a proper camcorder or anything but an effing iPhone- which she played to instead of her fans, not to mention making the woman block the view of said fans who paid $45 a ticket? Hell yeah it was...

But that aside, I know what I saw in Austin, which wasn't what I saw on Sunday at the 930. There was one song that that band did, start to finish, on Sunday called "Letter to God" off the new record that was really beautiful. One of the lines goes, "I lie awake conducting this symphony/That You have gifted to me but I can't ever sleep/Don't be mad but I get weak inside/And I start to fall apart 'cause I feel nothing." What was displayed Sunday on the 930's stage was many things, one of which may just have been a very public view into the demons with which Love still struggles. But she's still swinging, she's still trying...Maybe the way she goes about it sometimes isn't the greatest, but I, for one, have to give her props for that.

(See the rest of the photos here)

Friday, June 25, 2010

OK Go Drummer Dan Konopka Leaving to Spend Year as a Roadie

Dan Konopka, drummer of OK Go, announced recently that he was leaving the band for the next year. Effective immediately, Konopka will provide roadie services for the crazy drummer Animal of Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem,who are about to start their world tour. The press release on the job change said that Konopka "was just itching to try something new for awhile," but recent video footage that came out shows that the reason was actually due to an issue with gambling. As you can see in the video, lead singer Damian Kulash echoed what he said the rest of the band was feeling: "This is really weird."

Ok Go has not announced who will be taking over drumming duties for the next year, but, as they're currently on tour, that they will have guest drummers sit in the interim until one can be secured.

The Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem World Tour starts next week in Cobleskill, NY at the Cobleskill County Fairgrounds.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Henry Clay People Release Video for "Your Famous Friends," Open for SSPUs at DAR Tonight

The Henry Clay People are opening tonight for Against Me and Silversun Pickups at DAR (tickets still available here). Their down-to-earth anthemic rock and roll is always crazy amounts of fun to see live. (They go on at 7:30 tonight so get there early.)

Their new record, Somewhere On the Golden Coast came out last week and it doesn't disappoint. It's music great for driving real fast to, for dancing in your living room with friends to, for anytime you want to witness merriment come alive in you or your friends.

The band released the first video today from Golden Coast for the song "Your Famous Friends." The video mixes their tongue-in-cheek humor (the HCP have long dressed up like Ronald Reagan and played shows) with their not-so-famous friends. "It was shot by Ben Hoste out in front of our old rehearsal space in downtown Los Angeles," says singer/guitarist Joey Siara. "We got some of our buddies to put on some presidential masks and goof around on a hot spring Saturday. The real star of the video is our pal Fieron Santos who endured water balloons aimed at his crotch, hair caked thick with wet flour and a flying attack from Saddam [Hussein]. If making videos were always this fun then we would have a lot more."

Give a Listen:: Your Famous Friends-The Henry Clay People/ Buy Somewhere On the Golden Coast

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tommy Keene to Release Retrospective CD, Announces September Shows

Power pop, when done wrong, can leave a sacchrine taste in one's mouth. But power pop when done right is a massive thing of beauty. Tommy Keene is one who does power pop oh-so-wonderfully-right, and has for many years now. If you're looking for hooks, Keene's music provides them by the armful.

A big ol' collection of Keen's songs is coming out on 6/13 titled Tommy Keene You Hear Me: A Retrospective 1983-2009 (Second Motion Records). The 2-disc set includes 41 previously-released tracks chosen from his first release, Strange Alliance, up to and including to his most recent, 2009's In the Late Bright. If you aren't super familiar with Keene's work, this would be a great place to start.

Give a Listen:
-Places That are Gone-Tommy Keene/ Buy Songs From the Film
-Save This Harmony-Tommy Keene/ Buy In the Late Bright

Keene is also doing a few dates in September, both headlining and as an opening act, including opening for Superchunk's show here in DC (!!!!).

Tommy Keene September 2010 Tour Dates
9/8: Shank Hall, Milwaukee, WI
9/9: Schubas, Chicago, IL
9/16: Club Cafe, Pittsburgh, PA (*** Early Show/Doors at 6:00pm *** )
9/17: 9:30 Club, Washington, DC 9 (opening for Superchunk)
9/18: The Record Collector, Bordentown, NJ
9/22: Spaceland, Los Angeles, CA
9/24: Hemlock Tavern, San Francisco, CA

Monday, June 21, 2010

For Father's Day: Julian Dorio of The Whigs Talks About His Father's Influence for Him Becoming a Musician

by Julian Dorio

My dad is definitely the reason I am a drummer today. It was almost like he planned it, whether he knows it or not.

Growing up in my house seemed just like anyone else's childhood whose family owned a restaurant. Days after school were spent doing homework at the restaurant my family owned in Atlanta, GA until we were old enough to start busing tables, washing dishes, cooking, and, eventually, bartending. It’s amazing how the lessons I learned being part of a small business like a restaurant were applicable when running the business side of a small band.

My dad made baseball and music a big part of growing up. My father loves music but if there is one thing my father loves, as much as, if not more than music, it is baseball. Left handed, crafty pitching was very popular in the late 80's/early 90's on the Atlanta Braves team, my dad's favorite, so the moment I showed any promise on the baseball field my father was convinced it was a matter of time before the Major Leagues would come knocking. And though I did pitch left-handed like Tom Glavine and Steve Avery and could mow down a few batters, baseball didn't continue for me after high school. Perhaps if my fastball was 5 MPH faster, this missive would be about rotator cuffs, "circle" change ups, and the green grass of Fulton County Stadium, than record collections and drum sticks, so maybe we got ahead of ourselves on that one...

A love of music did remain though. A trained pianist since childhood, my father always made music a part of our household. He also had an impressive vinyl collection from the 50's, 60's, and 70's, which helped my older brother Michael and I develop an interest in rock n' roll early on. (Well, initially, I just wanted to do whatever Michael was doing, and if that meant listening to Sticky Fingers again, then I wasn't gonna miss it.) The Christmas when Michael was 10 and I was 6, my father told us that he no longer wanted to spend money on toys that my brother and I would inevitably throw to the side after a month or two, so we should think accordingly. My brother asked for a guitar, and I, not wanting to be left out, chose drums (with a little input from my dad…I mean, I was 6). Now, my father loves Christmas almost as much as Santa himself. In his opinion, there is no holiday that even compares, and this new idea made him even more excited. So sure enough, on Christmas morning that year, my brother and I couldn't believe our eyes! I got a no-name MX30 drum set that probably cost around $100. The equipment was inexpensive, but my dad promised that if we practiced, it would be replaced with professional gear the following Christmas. Lessons began, practice was daily, and even my father taught himself to play bass in order for us to form a family band, The Flying Dorio Brothers (my brother's play on the Flying Burrito Brothers, obviously). As silly as it sounds, my father was trying to stress the importance of the band dynamic and, of course, songwriting. Our father would pick out classic rock songs for us to learn, and if it was too difficult, then we could have our respective music teachers show us how to play them. The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, T. Rex, Jimi Hendrix, The Kinks, and many more were done a huge injustice with our attempts at covering their timeless hits. But we came close, and more importantly, Dad was instilling in us what made a great song.

Sure enough, the following Christmas, Dad sold our introductory drums and guitar and bought us real equipment. Actually, Michael still has the Gibson Les Paul he received. This became the tradition for years to come: If we proved ourselves to him, he would buy us whatever we needed to keep honing our craft. At the time, I didn't fully understand what he was doing. It was fun, and we loved playing together, but our dad was investing so much time and money in breeding us to be what most parents would avoid - rock n' rollers.

The Flying Dorio Brothers continued to learn songs together and even play for family friends. As you might guess, my father was very proud to have us perform "Misty Mountain Hop" for dinner guests (my mom, maybe not as much), and we loved doing it. So the ball was rolling, I couldn't stop playing. My brother and I practiced a lot, and as we got older, began playing with friends. The support was endless from our parents, but how my parents tolerated all the noise we made, I will never understand. I was never in a band per se-I played with friends for fun, but mostly I spent my time practicing, and trying to learn and understand why the great drummers (i.e., Keith Moon, John Bonham, Ringo Star, Mitch Mitchell, etc.) were truly great. Once I moved to Athens, GA to attend University of Georgia, I finally felt ready start a band.

This is when The Whigs started. Months were spent writing and practicing before booking any shows. Of course, I kept my father updated as things progressed, but he hadn't heard us yet. Once we started playing some shows and Dad got a chance to see us play (which is probably the only time I have been truly nervous in all my life), he once again offered all the support and advice in the world. Every time he saw us play, he would write a formal letter and send it in the mail, critiquing the show, offering tips, likes, dislikes, and specific ways to improve. My bandmates couldn't believe it, but they were probably most surprised by how knowledgeable his advice was. As a musician since he was young, my father understood the intricacies of music and how to express it.

We still receive letters from him to this day. A matter of fact, I recently received his critique of our new album, In The Dark, and thank goodness, he likes it! Nothing is worse than my father being unimpressed. His support is unconditional but he has a keen ear-we can't play him just anything and get a good response. But I enjoy his honesty, as does the rest of the band, and I often think about him and what he would say while we're writing new songs. It drives me towards progress and what he would describe as "greatness". Whether or not that is achieved, I want to thank him for giving me the gift of music. Even to this day, he shares his experiences with my brother and me, and reminds us of the important principles upon which rock n roll is based. For that, we are forever grateful.

Julian Dorio is the hard-hitting drummer of mega-selling rock band, The Whigs. His brother Michael is also a professional guitarist with the band, Trances Arc. Dorio lives in Athens, GA.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Springsteen's London Calling: Live in Hyde Park DVD out Tues

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band headlined the Hard Rock Calling Festival last June in Hyde Park, London, a festival which also included Dave Matthews and Gaslight Anthem. Springsteen's set was recorded and come Tuesday, it comes out on DVD titled London Calling: Live in Hyde Park. Bonus tracks include "The River," from the Glastonbury Festival performance that same year, and "Wrecking Ball," from the last show at Giant's Stadium in October.

A really cool part of the show was when Bruce called fellow New Jerseyite, Brian Fallon, lead singer of Gaslight Anthem, out to sing "No Surrender" with him and the band. The obviously genuine excitement on Fallon's face is goosebump-inducing for sure. Says Fallon about it, "...he [Springsteen] asked me if I wanted to sing with him during their set. I was just like, “Yeah!” We did “No Surrender.” The second day, he came out and did “The ’59 Sound” with us, and I did “No Surrender” again. It was unreal. I was in front of a hundred thousand people. It’s so weird, because you look and you see nothing but dots. I looked around and was like, “I can’t believe this is happening.”

Give a Listen: London Calling-Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band (Hyde Park, 4-28-09)/Buy London Calling-Live in Hyde Park DVD, out 6/21

Voodoo Experience Festival 2010 Lineup Announced

Halloween weekend in New Orleans is one big fine thing. It's a throwdown that's less annoying in terms of sloppy drunk people, but super fun because NOLA does up Halloween in high fashion. For the past 11 years, the Voodoo Experience Fest has been held over Halloween weekend. I got to attend last year for the first time and oh, the wonders I saw. Held on the grounds of the New Orleans Museum of Modern Art, it usually contains great collection of local musicians, as well as bigger name acts.

The initial 2010 lineup was announced yesterday and what a lineup so far....more will be announced shortly.

Muse/Ozzy Osbourne/Weezer/MGMT/Drake/Metric/Hot Chip/Interpol/Paul van Dyk/Deadmau5/Street Sweeper Social Club/Paul Oakenfold/Jakob Dylan and Three Legs/Ferry Corsten/Buckwheat Zydeco/Florence And The Machine/Raphael Saadiq/Eagles of Death Metal/Cage the Elephant/Minus the Bear/Janelle Monae/Eli "Paperboy" Reed/Galactic with Guests/The Airborne Toxic Event/ Jonsi/ Innerpartysystem/ AfrojackDie/Antwoord/Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue/ Rebirth Brass Band/ CrookersPreservation Hall Jazz Band/Boys Noize/Stanton Moore Trio with Anders Osborne and Robert Walter/Voice of the Wetland All Stars/Tab Benoit/Cyril Neville/ Waylon Thibodeaux/Big Chief Bourdeaux/Johnny Vidacovich/Johnny Sansone/Soul Rebels Brass Band/Theresa Andersson/Basin Street Records Revue Kermit Ruffins/Dr. Michael White/Jeremy Davenport/George Porter, Jr. & Runnin' Pardners/Toubab Krewe/Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen/Treme Brass Band with Uncle Lionel Batiste/Cedric Burnside & Lightnin Malcom/Big Sam's Funky Nation/The New Orleans Bingo! Show/The Happy Talk Band/Fleur De Tease Burlesque Revue/Rotary Downs/Paul Sanchez/DJ Soul Sister/Quintron & Miss Pussycat/Honey Island Swamp Band/Gal Holiday/Rosie Ledet/ Fatter Than Albert/Leo Jackson and the Melody Clouds/AM/Fitz & The Tantrums/Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights/Shannon McNally/Creole String Beans/ Feufollet/Alvin Youngblood Hart/Locos Por Juana/Flow Tribe/Consortium of Genius/Luke Winslow-King/ Noisician Coalition/DJ Quickie Mart/The Vettes/ Debauche/ Helen Gillet/The Local Skank/COOTMC/Sweet Tea/Rival Sons/Lost Bayou Ramblers
A three day pass is $150, a VIP package is $500. Tickets are onsale now here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lights That Flash in the Evening: The National @ DAR Constitution Hall, Washington, DC (6-6-2010)

Seeing The National live was, for me, a little like my experience with seeing Wilco live: something always seemed to come up. I finally caught both bands separately last year, but The National's show, it just wasn't right...a band like The National should not be first experienced as a 5 pm slot at an outdoor festival like Virgin FreeFest. Lead singer Matt Berninger writes lyrics that describe emotional depths that tend to venture into the dark; as such, The National should be experienced inside somewhere, and at night, not in sunlight next to a truck selling funnel cakes.

I'm happy to say I finally got the experience at DAR Constitution Hall recently. It was simply amazing. Goosebump-giving amazing. The show ran close to two hours and at the end, my cheeks hurt from the never-ending grin I wore the whole time.

Their new record, High Violet, took a little while to move into. Lots was happening and I didn't have a lot of extra brain space to focus; it's not a hard record to focus on, but you need to be in the place to allow your mind to do just that. But once I did, boy, did I fall for it hard.

That's why when I saw the previous night's setlist from Boston, I was sorta bummed out, not knowing if this was a band who changed things up or not, because it seemed to lack some of the new tracks I had on repeat ("Lemonworld," "Runaway," "England," "Anyone's Ghost"). But the DAR show, they included all of these and more...it was like they asked me to make the set list of my favorites (includng "Karen," a song they said they rarely play).

There is a wonderful beauty of the almost orchestral arrangements that each of the new songs contain, but this was something that became much more obvious when I saw them live. Guitarist Bryce Dressner has a background in classical guitar and has worked with the likes of Phillip Glass and the Kronos Quartet, so this isn't a huge surprise. What was a surprise was the intensity with which everyone played. Dressner and his brother Bryce would bend themselves over and tear at the guitar strings, almost in frustration that they couldn't go just a little bit faster, or pull just one more note from their instruments. This was particularly evident in "England," when during its swelling center part, everyone on stage proceeded to play like passionate madmen. Berninger used his vocal instrument in much the same way, emoting lyrical banshee screams while pacing the stage, even knocking his mike stand over at one point.

DAR is not the ideal place for a rock show. It has seats. You can't take beers back inside. In DC though, it's the in-between place for bands too big for the 1200-capacity of the 930, yet too small for the Verizon Center, an arena. DAR isn't tiny, but Berninger was determined to make fans feel like it was. During "Abel," Berninger went out onto the floor, walking/singing up the aisles, then walking atop of seat backs, with fans helping him to glide along. This happened again during the encore when they played "Mr. November" (like they'd not play that in DC, c'mon). This time, he took his audience interaction up into the balcony, scaling the entire right side while singing all the while. I wasn't supposed to shoot photos from my seat, but I plead a delightful insanity, right along with the rest of the crowd. And this was before they even got to the end of encore with a mindblowingly stunning version of "About Today!"

(See the rest of the show photos here)

This show absolutely ranks as one of the best shows I've ever seen. That's some serious gushing there, but it's 100% true. There are some I know who find The National bland, overrated, "the same song over and over." I did once too. But the very lovely part of The National is that it not only appeals to the brain with Berninger's lyrics, to the mind with their powerful and incredible hooks and time changes, but also to the heart in a way that can only be achieved when experiencing passionate beauty. "Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent," said Victor Hugo. Here's being incredibly glad that The National are compelled to make noise.

Monday, June 14, 2010

We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Program...

On another deadline for tomorrow kids...back in a flash.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Airborne Toxic Event Contribute New Song for The Neda Project, Proceeds to Benefit Amnesty International

Moved by the tragic story of Neda Agha-Soltan, the young Iranian woman who was murdered by government militia last year on 6/20, while participating in a peaceful protest against the disputed election on 6/12 of Mahoud Ahmadenijad, The Airborne Toxic Event partnered with Amnesty International USA for The Neda Project. The band wrote a brand-new song, entitled "Neda," to commemorate her highly-publicized death. All proceeds from sales of the song, which is available now on iTunes, will go to Amnesty International USA.

Nazanin Boniadi, an actress and spokesperson for Amnesty International USA, said that the organization is "honored to be partnering with The Airborne Toxic Event on The Neda Project... It is our hope that this project, which was spearheaded by Airborne, turns into a global movement of likeminded people standing hand-in-hand against tyranny and injustice with a single goal in mind- freedom." The band said their goal for their continued involvement with The Neda Project was "to make a statement of solidarity with the Iranian people in favor of the human rights that Neda has come to represent, and to remind people across the globe of their power to affect change in this modern, inter-connected world."

Monday, June 7, 2010


In the midst of a massive incredible ginormous work deadline...back by Wed with photos and review of The National show at DAR...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Lights That Flash in the Evening: Fitz & the Tantrums @ Black Cat, Washington, DC (5-29-2010)

It was great to see the turnout for Fitz & the Tantrums last Saturday at the Cat. Memorial Day Weekend can be tough for any band to play in town, but for a band from out-of-town, you never know. So big ups to DC because they welcomed these out-of-towners with a good showing. Music, as well as a live show this good, is something that should not go unrecognized.

(Go here to see the rest of the show photos)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

New Superchunk Record, Majesty Shredding, out 9/14

Ask and you shall receive...we reported a couple weeks back how Superchunk had announced new tour dates for fall and had a new record also set "for fall." Well, cheerful news came out today via a video that the new record, Majesty Shredding, will be out on 9/14...a mere three days from the start of their little fall tour here in DC.

The video plays a tremendous song I heard at SXSW this year called, Everything at Once. They seem to have done a stellar job on the studio version; I'm pretty certain it will be a non-stop play around here for awhile.

Superchunk - Majesty Shredding from Merge Records on Vimeo.

If you're interested, check out the other cool new song they did in Austin called "Digging for Something" here.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lights That Flash in the Evening: 930 Club 30th Anniversary Show, Washington, DC (5-31-2010)

The awesome 930 Club here in DC turned 30 on Monday and to celebrate, it had a big ol' birthday party with a bunch of bands who played for free. It was a great celebration of all of the acts that helped put the 930 on the map as a club, as well as a great peek into the long string of bands that that came out of DC, many of whom owe their start in music because of the 930 Club. This history of the club is a great story and one that the Washington Post did an oral history of awhile back (definitely worth the read).

I had to miss the first couple of acts of the evening, Tiny Desk Units, who was the first band to ever grace the 930 Club stage back when it was on 930 F Street, The Fleshtones, the very first band then-independent promoter/now 930 Club owner Seth Hurwitz booked at the old location, and The Slickee Boys, the "the punk-psychedelic punk rock band may very well hold the all-time record of most times playing the 9:30 Club with 79 appearances." Sets were running about 15 minutes a piece so I did get there in time to catch the last song of Marti Jones & Don Dixon, which D.C.’s late, great alternative station, WHFS, helped break. Hurwitz sat in on drums for both the Jones/Dixon set, as well as The Fleshtones.

We were only allowed to shoot the first song of each set, and though I missed those bands, I'm really glad I got there in time for my first shots of the night to be of the great Tommy Keene.

This was my first time seeing him live and just...wow. Keene's biggest influence is said to be the 60s power pop band, The Raspberries and it shows, his songs are just so wonderfully uber hooky! Keene has worked with the likes of Paul Westerberg, and most recently, Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices. He's been an influence to tons of bands, whether they know it or not. If you haven't listened to his stuff yet, you absolutely should make your next purchase one of his.

There wasn't really a formal schedule of acts anywhere, but folks in the know around me were saying I should get upstairs in the balcony because the next act, The Evens, was going to play there. The balcony, really?? Kind of hard to imagine this setup upon first knowledge, but then Evens guitarist/singer Ian MacKaye has always been one to think outside the lines.

That's right, it was that Ian MacKaye, of Fugazi and Minor Threat, the rough and tumble hardcore punk bands, and his wife, drummer Amy Farina. Playing lovely harmonic songs that have simple but bursting melodies and hooks. Not at all what I expected, but I loved it. It's not aurally thrashing like "Waiting Room," and no, you can't slam dance to it. But it is still punk rock: utterly minimal and lovely yet still stripped down and strong.

And they played their set in the damn balcony like it was their living room! If that ain't punk rock, I dunno what is.

Henry Rollins was supposed to be the evening's MC but his plane had been delayed. So Hurwitz and Josh Burdette, the iconic 930-night manager (below), stepped up in the interim to introduce the next act.

Of all the acts of the evening, probably the youngest was Justin Jones. Jones' musicial style is in an alt-country vein with a side of Springsteen. He and his band, The Driving Rain, are mainstays in local DC-area clubs.

Around this time, I happened to glance over the backstage area and lo and behold...Rollins in the house!

(My very poor attempt at capturing MacKaye and Rollins together)

Rollins, MacKaye, and Bob Mould stood in the sidestage area for a bit and it was an almost-comical contest amongst the photographers as to who could catch the best shot of all of them together (tough, as a ton of folks were milling about).

Rollins came onstage to a loud wave of shouts and cheers. He first apologized for his delay (flight issues), then went on to introduce Mould. Rollins spoke of Mould's history and amazing chameleon musical changes from punk (Husker Du), to pop (Sugar), to pro-wrestling scriptwriter, to dance music (Mould's Blowoff DJ nights have been a 930-club staple for years now). Rollins also said that Mould has an auto-biography coming out next spring!!

Mould's long been a huge favorite of mine so his set was one I was most looking forward to (favorite living-in-DC story: I ran into Mould once at the meat counter of the local Whole Foods- yes, I totally dorked out, and yes, he was totally nice).

The man still rips up an electric guitar like no one else, tearing up tracks like "See a Little Light" and "Hoover Dam." His acoustic tour back in the early 90s was the first show I saw as an undergrad, and I obtained a whole new appreciation for his songs. To this day, I'm still trying to find an acoustic version of "Hardly Getting Over It."

Following Mould is hard if you're anyone, but Ted Leo gave it a hell of a try.

His set was interesting, and he pulled out a song that he wrote "back when I lived up in Mount Pleasant," a DC-neighborhood, "and haven't played it in as many years." His voice let out towards the end of it but he soldiered on. He twittered throughout the night about the show, and about his set, he said "Hey - thank you for your kind tweets about my set - sorry my voice crapped out - fatigue, et al. 'Twas fun though, & I'm honored to be here."

Rumors abounded since the show's announcement last week as to whether DC-native/club owner/VA property owner Dave Grohl would be appearing. And, as Rollins' said in his intro, "Well sports fans I have an answer for you, and that answer is yes, yes, yes." As you can imagine, the place went nuts.

Grohl went into a solo version of "Everlong," which was nice. However, the reunion with his first band Scream for the rest of the set is what blew the house down, because a) it was Scream, and b) they were doing covers of fellow DC-band The Bad Brains. Thank God for earplugs because the 930 crowd went ballistic.

The last band I stayed for was The Pietasters. Ska was a big part of DC music back in the day, so having the 'Tasters play was an obvious choice. Perfect music for a summer night.

See additional photos from all sets here

I couldn't stick around for the final bands, Clutch and Trouble Funk, but all accounts said they were just as great. Chris Richards from the Washington Post, did a great write up on the show with details that you should read (he even namechecked yours truly!!!)

All in all, it was a thrilling night to capture. The 930 Club is a super special place to a lot of people for a lot of reasons, and consistently remains the best place anywhere to see a show. If you ever get to DC, do not miss an opportunity to visit. It may not be made of marble and packed with tourists, but make no mistake, the 930 Club is just as much of a DC-monument as anything along the National Mall. Happy 30th 930 Club, and here's to many more!