Sunday, August 15, 2004

AC Newman

Well here we go, my first ever music-related post. So last night, I headed down to the always awesome Black Cat down in DC (if you've never been there, I highly recommend it) to see AC Newman and opening acts Rogue Wave and The Neins. For those who don't know, AC Newman is the latest project from Carl Newman, a former member of the Canadian band Zumpano, and present member of the Canadian supergroup the New Pornographers (other members include indie legends Dan Bejar and Neko Case). Though I'm not a huge fan of Case's solo work, and Bejar's is quite tough to find, Newman's solo work sounds quite similar to the New Pornographers' sound I love so much. His debut The Slow Wonder is a wonderful mix of indie-pop anthems and introspective, acoustic goodness, and is one of the best albums I've heard this year.
Now, with all that out of the way, I was sluggish in getting down to the club, and I had expected that a 10PM arrival would have caused me to miss the first band, The Neins. When we arrived the stage was full of roadies and band members alike getting everything ready to go. A few minutes later, a band I thought to be Rogue Wave, took the stage and blew me away with catchy hooks and hilarious lyrics. They had the small crowd dancing during the songs and cheering wildly in between, and at the very end of the set, the bassist thanked everyone and introduced the band as the Neins. I was shocked, but a rush of happiness ran over me as I now knew that there was a lot more music to follow than I expected.
After a very brief stage setup, Rogue Wave emerged as the crowd began to fill the club. Many of the show-goers were quite familiar with their music (I was not one of them), and I noticed people all around me singing along to every song. After only a few songs, I understood the fans' dedication. Singer-guitarist Zach Rogue blew threw 11 or 12 songs in about 45 minutes, each one better than the last, and by the time it was over, I hadn't nearly got enough, so I rushed to the merch table to buy their debut CD Out of the Shadow.
By the time I returned, AC Newman was almost ready to go, and Carl Newman, along with members of the Neins and others, kicked it off with my two favorite songs on the album "On the Table" and "Secretarial". He played his entire album (I think) with the utmost precision, and even included a cover by a band I've never heard of, Outrageous Cherry. During the encore, the guitarist from Rogue Wave came running on stage wearing only a pair of tighty-whiteys, grabbed a tambourine, and jumped around for the entire last song. But even with that image forever etched into my brain, I left the club with a big smile on my face. Three hours of some of the catchiest music out there right now will do that to you.

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