An all local rock bill at DC's Black Cat seemed to bring the entirety of Washington, DC's interwebby commentariat together on a summery Friday night in the Nation's capital. More importantly, the bands attracted scores of actual rock fans whose stable careers and readily available disposable income can be potentially leveraged to foster their musical aspirations. Nevertheless, it would seem that nearly everyone who plies their trade sending HTML into the uncertain transom of the blogosphere found themselves all in the same place, enjoying the music of These United States, Middle Distance Runner, and Georgie James.
On hand, was the dapper and personable Julian Sanchez of Reason, Too Hot For TNR's Spencer Ackerman, Atlantic's Matthew Yglesias--who gave many of us our first close-up look at the new iPhone, for which he's wasted no time offering tips and tricks (does Marty Peretz support his local rock scene, by the way, or does it just not sufficiently support the primacy of the Western Hemisphere enough for his tastes?), freelance art critic Kriston Capps (Washington City Paper, Smithsonian's Eye Level), DCist's EIC Sommer Mathis (who, unlike most of Washington, DC, has no shame in dancing when the spirit moves her) and DCist music mavens Amanda Mattos and Kyle Gustafson. Also: former DCist editors by the metric ton, including Mike Grass (the Zeus to the Pallas Athena that is Washington Post's Read Express), the always rabble-rousing, frequently fired by Mike Grass Robert Goodspeed (The Goodspeed Update, Rethink College Park), and Ryan Avent, who has been contributing some vital think-pieces on local development issues on his The Bellows and DCist weekends (he's someone the future editors of a potential CurbedDC might want to talk to). Plus: many others that will either be aggrieved or relieved that are left out here.
We spent the bulk of the evening in conversation with Grass, because finding him at play, with free time, in just about any setting is something of a novelty. The man is a tireless, content generating machine (we asked him to clarify just how much of ReadExpress he personally writes--which he modestly begged off answering), and when he's not blogging his fingers to the nub, he's adding to his massive brain database about DC and its history. Grass related how he was recently--and incorrectly--accused by a Metro station manager of fare jumping, which is sadly ironic because no one proselytizes on our public transportation system with a greater passion.
Like everyone else in the room, the attendant blogmedia types are, to varying degrees, very bullish on the bands on the bill, and it's to the Black Cat's credit that they continue to promote big local bills on high volume nights. All three are easily endorseable. Georgie James--fronted by former Q And Not U-er John Davis and local musical force of nature Laura Burhenn--have recently signed to Conor Oberst's Saddle Creek Records and will have an album coming out in September. Your listening pleasure of These United States and Middle Distance Runner begins on the interwebs (and personally speaking: once you hear Middle Distance Runner, you are going to bemoan all the hours you lost listening to the Killers).
The unusual intersection of obscure DC media/blog types and obscure DC rock acts will reach its apotheosis this Wednesday, when DCist hosts its sixth Unbuckled concert at DC9, and Thursday, when The Charm Offensive, featuring Congressional Quarterly editor/chivalric Ana Marie Cox spouse Chris Lehman on guitar, comes to DC's beloved Fort Reno in support of indie-rock legend Mary Timony. Eric Alterman is invited to get just as unruly as he likes, but if he brings any glass bottles, he will be asked to leave. Again.
[Photo by Kyle Gustafson]