LiveDC: Women / DD.MM.YYYY / Black Telephone @ DC9
Philip Runco | Oct 14, 2010 | 4:20PM |

all words: Phil Runco
all photos: Julian Vu

“We’re called Women. We’re going to play songs now.”

It was an appropriately unassuming start to Women’s Monday night set at DC9.  For a band making some of the most compellingly progressive indie-rock (or “post-indie rock indie rock,” if you will) of the past few years, Women don’t have much of a chip on their shoulders.  By all accounts – self-deprecating stage banter, an entertaining BYT listening party, keeping company with Chad VanGaalen – the Alberta, Canada foursome appear to be just a genial bunch of guys.


Women’s music reveals their ambitions though.  The band channels influences that spread across the past five decades of popular and underground music:  The Zombies’ psych pop, Nuggets’ garage rock, Wire’s post-punk, krautrock, Sonic Youth’s no wave, Phil Elvrum’s eerie soundscapes.  More impressive than the range itself, Women – much like The Walkmen or Deerhunter –synthesizes the vast swath of influences into a sound that’s unmistakably its own.

>>>>>>>>>>>> Here is a Featured Event >>>>>>>>>>>>
Saturday 10/29
The Bentzen Ball Presents: Jon Dore @ Drafthouse Comedy
$25.00 / $25.00
The BYT Bentzen Ball Presents: Jon Dore! at Drafthouse Comedy ~~MULTIPLE SHOWS~~ Thursday, Oct 27th, 2016 6:15pm doors / 7:00pm Show Friday, Oct 28th, 2016 7:15pm doors / 8:00pm Show Friday, Oct 28th, 2016 9:40pm doors / 10:00pm Show Saturday, Oct 29th, 2016 6:15pm doors / 7:00pm Show Saturday, Oct 29th, 2016 8:15pm doors / 9:00pm Show @ Drafthouse Comedy 1100 13th St NW, Washington, DC 20005 $25.00 tickets on sale now! This is an 18+ event. ~~~~ About Jon Dore: Named one of “10 comics to watch” by Variety, Ottawa-born comedian, host and actor Jon Dore is renowned for his offbeat humour and unique bait-and-switch style. Dore is a favourite on the comedy club and festival circuit in Canada and the United States. He has hosted the Just for Laughs Festival Homegrown Comedy Competition on a number of occasions and has enjoyed sold-out runs at the Festival’s Montreal and Toronto locations, at comedy festivals in Halifax, Vancouver, Portland and Washington, DC, and at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. From his humble beginnings as the co-host of the cable talk show Daytime Ottawa (Rogers Television) and the irreverent roving reporter on Canadian Idol (CTV), Dore recently starred in the critically acclaimed ABC-TV series How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life) opposite Sarah Chalke, Elizabeth Perkins and Brad Garrett. Dore is the host of HBO Canada’s Funny as Hell, a series showcasing bold and uncensored comedy from the fastest rising comedians at the Just For Laughs Festival, currently shooting its fourth season. He is the star of his own award-winning ‘mockumentary’ series, The Jon Dore Television Show, documenting his hilarious and outrageous debates on life’s challenges and changes, from weight loss to gender. He also served as co-creator, co-producer and writer on the series, proving he is just as comfortable behind the camera. The series ran for a successful two seasons on IFC and The Comedy Network. Dore starred in the stand-up specials Comedy Central Presents...Jon Dore and Comedy Now! (CTV/The Comedy Network); appeared on a number Comedy Central’s specials including Live At Gotham, CC: Stand-Up: The Bonnaroo Experience and Mash Up; made guest-starring turns on How I Met Your Mother (CBS) and Scare Tactics (Syfy); and was the lead in the CBS pilot My Life As An Experiment. A regular on late night talk shows, Dore has the honor of being the first stand-up to appear on Conan (TBS). Dore's feature film credits include the indie drama Gus opposite Michelle Monaghan (Mission: Impossible III) and the comedy Stag, with Donald Faison (Scrubs) and Eva Amurri (Californication), which picked up two awards - Best Ensemble and Excellence in Filmmaking - at the LA Comedy Film Festival. TV Guide Canada called Dore one of the “rising stars of the future” and Toronto weekly NOW Magazine named him Best Male Stand-up. He is the recipient of four Canadian Comedy Awards including: Best Taped Live Performance (2010) for Just for Laughs; Best Performance by a Male in a Television Show (2009) for The Jon Dore Television Show; Best Writing on a Series (2008) for The Jon Dore Television Show; and Best Stand-up Newcomer (2006). He is also a two-time Gemini nominee (2008 & 2009) for Best Individual Performance in a Comedy Program or Series for The Jon Dore Television Show. ~~~ Thanks to our sponsor: More Bentzen Ball shows available at: Stay informed:
>>>>>>>>>>>> Ok, back to the article! >>>>>>>>>>>>


It’s a menacing sound.  On Monday, serpentine guitars snaked mischievously through “Heat Distraction,” while Patrick Flegel and his brother Mathew droned on ominously about locking their souls away and… who knows what else.  Women may sing with one to three voices – the Flegel brothers and guitarist Chris Reimer – but it’s hard to decipher more than the occasional turn of phrase.  On record, the indecipherability can be partially attributed to production that buries them low in the mix, sounding as if three rooms away.  Live, the vocals were mixed louder, but such a boost was rendered moot, because everything was mixed blisteringly loud.


It’s a fuzzy sound.  Every guitar line dripped with reverb.  “Drag Valley” barreled out of the gate with an atonal, clanging guitar line before dissolving into sonic abrasion.   Elsewhere, Reimer used what looked like a metallic nail file to tweak a dissonant pitch from his guitar.  The only thing cutting through the fuzz was Mike Wallace’s drumming.   Wallace’s presence was felt viscerally in the mix, every snare hit a wallop, every cymbal crash leaving ears ringing longer into the night.


It’s a melodic sound.  Buried underneath this atmosphere and sonics is a strong pop sensibility.  From the static “Narrow With the Hall” emerged buoyant bass line that wouldn’t feel out of place on a Supremes record.   “Eyesore”, the penultimate song on the night, boasted Women’s strongest vocal performance.  It’s the song where the band allows the influence of British Invasion bands to shine brightest, and when Women gives in completely to its pop sensibility on the song’s back half, it’s among the most ethereal moments of the year.  Often though, Patrick Flegel dials down warmer vocals in favor of a hymnal drone that recalls Bradford Cox.  (Appropriately enough, Cox and the rest of Deerhunter were in attendance on the eve of their performance at the 9:30 Club).

WOMEN + Bradford Cox

Listening to Women live, you come to understand how all of these elements can exist within the same band, and how the band is becoming better at simultaneously indulging tastes for dissonance and melody.  Tellingly, when the band played “Black Rice”, the song from 2008’s Women that garnered Women the most attention it’s received, the band perverted its typically straightforward structure, adding a swelling instrumental midsection and a huge, rattling coda.  It was the sound of a band having it’s cake and eating it too.

Complimenting Women on the Bands That Are Impossible to Google Tour was opener DD/MM/YYYY.  The band sprawled out from around a single light bulb.  The visual simplicity was met with auditory overload.  DD/MM/YYYY has one mode, and it is full-blown post-punk freak-out.  The band shifted time signatures frequently behind tribal drumming from multiple percussionists.  Saxophones and synthy keys joined the party occasionally.  With everything topped off with guttural “vocals,” there was a lot of raw energy to be had.  Over the course an entire set, that can be a little exhausting.  Cool chewed-up cymbal though.



Black Telephone

Black Telephone

Black TelephoneBlack TelephoneBlack Telephone

Black Telephone


Your Email Address Will Not Be Published

Recent Comments:
  • megcasab says:

    this show was amazing!!! Women is the best new band! They sound incredible live and I think they need a DC residency. I would go see them every single night!

    dd/mm/yyyy – so not my thing, but I was totally into them.

    BT – currently, my favorite DC trio! And did you know they all have double Ls in their names? 😉