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all words: Katie Glanz
all photos: Jordan Edwards

Who’s into incomprehensible experimental indie-rock? NOT this girl! Sorry, Thom Yorke doesn’t turn me on and I think Pitchfork is pretentious. Maybe that’s why I left The No Age/Holy Fuck show feeling a little underwhelmed.

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Don’t get me wrong, I love some Holy Fuck. My SOP this past summer involved way too much lying in the sun, while blocking out the world-headphones in-listening to Latin (Holy Fuck’s most recent album). Plus, any band that can produce electronic jams like “Lovely Allen” and “1MD” without the use of programmed tracks or a laptop deserves serious praise.

Holy Fuck’s sound is utterly unique; their raw electronic/synth music is a rarity in the dance music scene, which is populated by forgettable indie-pop acts.

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I had very high expectations for Friday’s show, and while I wasn’t completely disappointed, at the end of their set, I just wasn’t left with the urge to gleefully exclaim “HOLY FUCK!” And, in a way, isn’t this what I was promised?

Friday night, Holy Fuck’s instrumental back-to-the roots electro sounds rang out over a steady hypnotic backbeat in a way that did stir wonder in the crowd, and quite possibly the incredible urge to smoke a bowl, or five.  It was very cool to watch those guys slink around on stage amid flashing blue lights, manipulating random noise generators, key boards, and other strange musical contraptions.

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Their performance of the impressive “Lovely Allen” was a crowd favorite, and some of the more obscure songs like “Casio Bossa Nova” bordered on mesmerizing.  There was a moment when I was…a little bored; I mean I had heard so much about the awesomeness of Holy Fuck live, but I just didn’t find their performance to be as breathtaking as I had hoped. I still really enjoy this band, and what they do to inspire a crowd. We all wanted to dance, but were compelled just to move.

If you haven’t heard it yet, well then, you should listen to “1MD” (Preferably while lying naked on beach.)

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If No Age brought out what was left of the remains of the DC punk scene, then I am afraid…It’s a good thing this apparently wasn’t the case. As soon as I had uttered something to the effect of “Yeah, it’s a punk band from California,” to a friend of mine from LA at Friday’s show, I was pretty much schooled in the dangers of whipping out the “P” word in DC. My friend informed me that No Age wasn’t as much a punk band as a no-wave or thrash/post-punk band. OOOH, OK.

After a few songs from No Age, I understood what she was saying.  While tunes like “My Life’s Alright Without You,” were definitely “punk-ish” and had the crowd moshing (a little tamely maybe), it’s clear that No Age’s hazy surf-rock sound draws from an array of musical influences. “Every Artist needs a Tragedy” made me smile. Think of peaceful ocean sounds followed by distorted thrashy/punk madness, yeah, pretty incomprehensible and totally interesting.

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I wish I had the patience/(edginess?) to have gotten more into No Age’s set.  The moshers and those versed in noise/punk rock probably did.  Unfortunately, on a mellow Friday night, I don’t want to work for my musical enjoyment. On that particular night, I wanted songs, hooks, and just a little less thrash/distortion. Wrong place, wrong time. No fault of No Age; they put on a sweet show for their fans who obviously enjoyed their perplexing (maybe overrated?) tunes.

Check out the single “Glitter” from their soon-to-be-released album Everything in Between.

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