Live DC: Pissed Jeans, Purling Hiss, Priests @ Black Cat
BYT Staff | Feb 10, 2014 | 11:30AM |

Words By Jeb Gavin, Photos From Other Shows

YELLING SEEMS APPROPRIATE FOR THIS SORT OF THING. I MEAN, SHOUTING IS THE NATURAL VOLUME AND INTENSITY OF PUNK, ISN’T IT? OR is it a matter of subverting expectations? AT what POINT is THE message OBFUSCATED by the medium, rthar than the medium being the message? Hell, if I DNOT SPEL THINGS RIGHT BUT YOU STILL KNO what I’m SAYING, IS THAT PUNK? Is punk even cool at this point? Is it cool to stand at a bar next to Dave Grohl and not acknowledge it if everybody’s doing it?


I went to the Black Cat on Friday night to see Pissed Jeans do something crazy and awesome, because they play good music and I like good music. But I couldn’t tell you if it was a good show. We’ve collectively gone over the horizon so many times now on the subject of coolness and whether or not punk music factors in, I can’t tell you. Priests were good, but I’m not sure if they were there because they’re a local band and Pissed Jeans and Purling Hiss needed an opener, or if it was a weak excuse for Matt Korvette to make shitty jokes about them not playing a hit song about sacraments.


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Carlos Mencia from Mind of Mencia @ Arlington Cinema N Drafthouse
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Carlos Mencia is undoubtedly one of today’s most popular entertainers and comics. Whether it is man-on-the-street interviews, studio comedy, commercial parodies, nationwide sold-out tours, or films, Mencia demonstrates an extraordinary ability to connect with a wide and diverse audience. Mencia comes from a humble background, born in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, the 17th of 18 children. His parents sent him to the United States when he was about three months old, where he was raised in Maravilla Projects in Los Angeles, California by his aunt and uncle. In his early teens, Mencia moved back to Honduras because his family wanted him to avoid the destructive gang culture of East Los Angeles. When Mencia later returned to Los Angeles, he showed such educational prowess that he was immediately promoted to the tenth grade. Soon after, he successfully graduated from Garfield High School. Mencia began his career doing stand-up on amateur night. After he found success on the L.A comedy circuit, Mencia was named “International Comedy Grand Champion” from Buscando Estrellas (the Latino version of Star Search). This led to appearances on “In Living Color,” “The Arsenio Hall Show,” “Moesha” and “An Evening at the Improv.” In 1994, he hosted the HBO comedy series “Loco Slam” and in 1998 he hosted “Funny is Funny!” on Galavision. Mencia released a comedy album in 2000 called “Take a Joke, America” that showcased his brand of humor. Mencia continued his journey up the comedy ladder by headlining “The Three Amigos” tour with Freddy Soto and Pablo Francisco in 2002, which sold out in record time around the United States. He was also featured in the independent films, “Outta Time” and “29 Palms” and starred in guest spots on “The Shield” and “The Bernie Mac Show,” among others. In 2002, he received a CableACE Award nomination for Best Stand-Up Comedy Special for his HBO special. That same year, Mencia was featured on “Comedy Central Presents.” Mencia remained busy and after the success of his solo dvd, “Carlos Mencia: Not For The Easily Offended,” “Mind of Mencia” went into development. The show was an instant hit and after the first season, Comedy Central signed Mencia back for his own original stand-up special, “Carlos Mencia: No Strings Attached.” The special was the first Comedy Central Stand-up Special DVD to achieve Platinum sales status. “Mind of Mencia” debuted on Comedy Central in early 2005. It became one of the strongest shows in the network’s history, averaging about 1.5 million total viewers. “Mind of Mencia” was executive produced by Carlos Mencia and Robert Morton (“Late Night with David Letterman”). In the summer of 2007, Mencia starred opposite Ben Stiller and Michelle Monaghan in the Farrelly Brothers’ hit feature film, THE HEARTBREAK KID (DreamWorks). In the fall of that year Mencia headlined a nationwide comedy tour titled “Carlos Mencia Live Presented by Bud Light.” The highly anticipated tour brought Mencia face-to-face with his fans from September 2007 through December 2007. Shortly thereafter, Mencia taped a new comedy special for Comedy Central, “Carlos Mencia: Performance Enhanced,” that aired in May 2008. Since 2007, every holiday season Mencia has embarked on a USO Tour to the Persian Gulf to entertain the troops serving overseas. For his 2008 trip, Mencia visited Kuwait to host “Operation MySpace,” an exclusive concert for American Troops in the Middle East alongside Jessica Simpson and The Pussycat Dolls. The special aired on FX in April 2008. Mencia’s 2009 USO tour had stops in Turkey, Kirkuk, Baghdad, Qatar, Afghanistan, and many other countries. In July 2008, Mencia began his tour, “At Close Range” at Red Rock Amphitheatre in Colorado. The tour was sponsored by Bud Light and co-promoted by Icon Entertainment and Live Nation. Larger than all of his previous tours, Mencia performed in 80 cities across the country. In the summer of 2009, he kicked off a nationwide comedy tour entitled “The Administration of Laughter” which brought him to excited audiences all around the country. In March 2010, Mencia starred in the family comedy OUR FAMILY WEDDING (FOX Searchlight) alongside America Ferrara and Forrest Whitaker. In the last couple years, Mencia chose to go back to his comedic roots, performing at a number of comedy stores throughout the country – allowing him to share his newest material with smaller and more intimate audiences.
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Speaking directly to Purling Hiss, I need more of them. I need to see them more, and not just playing live. If those guys want to hang out in my back yard heckling squirrels, I’d be game for it. They sound almost like early Dinosaur Jr. It’s all driving rhythm a droning punk, this scuzzy reggae groove overlaid with a twice overdriven guitar solo running the length of the song. Their live show is no frills, all about the music, and I’ll squirrel heckle anyone who says otherwise.


But again getting back to the larger question here: what the fuck does any of this have to do with punk rock? Sometimes when I fart my butt sounds like a quiet wookie. It just happened, sitting here, writing this. Doesn’t have the least bit to do with writing, and yet talking between every song, telling crappy jokes has what to do with punk music? Maybe I’m just no longer with it. Probably never was. I’m not a punk. I know it. I like punk music, but punk shows are for punks. When I throw myself around a room, I hurt people, and not in the way anyone would enjoy. I want to be cool and with it, but I was there, listening to Matt joke about the Dave in the house is Dave Matthews. Meanwhile his band is hammering drums, pounding out a bass line that sounds like eyeballing a Rothko painting, and building guitar riffs cribbed from Tom Verlaine with all the jarring angularity of an uneven staircase in the dark. And somehow this performance which I always thought was about sharing and celebrating music is now about watching a skinny guy -who does in fact make good music- squawk and strip off his sweater and try and run up and down the aforementioned uneven stairs.


Fuck it. Maybe it was a good show and I’m a bad writer. Maybe none of this matters because trying to quantify or qualify a punk show is stupid and futile. I wanted to so bad to like seeing Pissed Jeans live, given how much I enjoy their albums. It wasn’t a bad show, but if you’re not a punk, and you’re not cool, AND you don’t laugh at “jokes,” is there reason to believe you could tell a good punk show from a bad one? Ugh.

Recent Comments:
  • Anonymous says:

    Worst review ever. Maybe you should spend a little less time trying to be cool and more time listening to the music. This review makes it abundantly clear that BYT has no editorial staff monitoring the garbage that the site publishes, excuse me, posts.

  • Anonymous says:

    This is the worst live review. I went to that show. It was awesome. Also if you had read the BYT interview with Matt Korvette, you would have seen he’s a fan of Priests and that’s why they played the show, because Pissed Jeans wanted them to. Not just because they are local. I don’t understand why any one from BYT goes to shows anymore, because pretty much every review you guys post acts like it was the most awful shit you’ve ever seen. Also, you write for BYT. I’m don’t care what your opinion is on what is “punk” or not.

  • Anonymous says:

    has anyone ever seen a punk laugh, like has that happened before in the world

  • Anonymous says:

    None of these are pictures from the actual show…..the singer in pissed jeans has bleached hair right now and that photo of katie is from dc9….

  • Anonymous says:

    Keep writing reviews. This poses important questions. Music used to be defined by where it was made and sold. with no barrier to that realm, are there genre’s for music anymore?

  • Anonymous says:

    “Fuck it. Maybe it was a good show and I’m a bad writer.” Yup.

  • Anonymous says:

    What is this? A review or just some shit talk?