My GPS led me to the gates of American University but I had to use the big map sign to try to track down the actual Kay Spiritual Life Center. Whatever in God’s name that was. It was about 7pm, raining, we’re tromping through the mud cause some construction work has blocked off the sidewalk, we find the building, head downstairs. It’s small, muggy, and the smell of patchouli is overwhelming. But the lineup is exciting, the venue is different, and I feel like I’m in college again (minus the bad parts).
Local band Mittenfields take the stage, er, carpet. Lot’s of singers, lots of guitars, lots of pedals, a big wall of sound. In a previous BYT review Patrick described them as “Radiohead (circa the Bends) meets Sebadoh meets the lighter side of Mogwai”. Pretty much, yeah. We even got a Radiohead cover. Take note local bands of the world – always, I repeat, always – do at least one cover in your set.
Anyway, it was nothing groundbreaking, but quite enjoyable. My only criticism was that neither primary singer seemed quite confident enough in their vocal abilities. At times their timing was a bit off or they shied away from the mic. Regardless, there is some real potential here and I’m looking forward to more from them.
Next up was Screaming Females. My expectations were pretty high as I had been hyping them up all month. And they delivered so hard my ass bled twice. The hobbit-sized front woman Marissa Paternoster spewed forth monster riffs as the crowd, mostly there to see Ponytail, collectively dropped their jaws.
The rhythm section kept it teenage pussy tight behind her as she wailed on the mic. The hippie stench was blasted out of the room. Her voice is powerful, and the songs are ridiculously catchy. I don’t think there was a bum note or missed fret during the entire performance. Satan took over the spiritual life center. All was right in the world.
Screaming Females are a little bit of a one trick pony, but when the trick is this good, keep doing it. These guys need to be indie superstars like right now.
At that point I made like a college student and snuck out to the parking lot to down a Yngling. Came back in and Ponytail was raging into their set. I listened to a few songs, loved it, but then decided I had put off dinner too long (headed to Z Burger, 50 different milkshakes!) so I asked Noam from True Womanhood to send me some words:
i decided to write my in depth analysis of the show in the form of an ancient japanese poem.
but not a haiku, that shit is played out. it’s tanka, which according to wikipedia, totally own haikus.
ROTOTOM MAYHEM BUT STILL
NO DANCING BECAUSE
NOT EVEN PONYTAIL CAN
UNINHIBIT DC CROWDS
Epic win for all.
All photos: Mike Danko
Not sure who is the Screaming Female here.