Ozzfest T-Shirt Roundup
My neighbor rang me up Saturday night with something so surprising I didn't even know I wanted it to happen: He scored two backstage passes to Ozzfest for the grand price of free dollars and free cents. No matter how rotten some stuff goes, having good friends that can bless you with a free, front-row experience seeing the Haunted, Iron Maiden, Rob Zombie, Mastodon and Black Sabbath is a blessing indeed.
I'll put together a more cogent description of the experience in a moment, but for right now, enjoy this photographic roundup that only skims the surface of the sublime wit and insight available in t-shirt form at the show...I have pixilated out some of the words in an attempt to be more family-friendly. If you can't figure out what they actually say, consult Webster's, or ask your Dad.
These guys advertise t-shirts as well...no particular shirt, just the use of t-shirts in general:
This guy needed a really, really long t-shirt. Or a belt:
Sweethearts Of The District
A breathless blogger or lazy reviewer will no doubt mix his cliches for a Nethers review, writing that they have "emerged from the Carlsonics' ashes" with "sleepy, swirling guitars," and "a country folk-rock" sound. In hindsight, the Nethers are just that- four-fifths of the Carlsonics eschewing the beer-spitting loud rock for a new sound that mixes country, bluegrass, folk and psychedelic rock. But onstage, they make it look like no big deal at all.
Nikki West sings every song now, a steady stream of honey-drenched birds flying straight out of her mouth each time her teeth shine in the club lights. The formerly truculent Aaron Carlson switches between acoustic and electric guitar, and a new guy on keyboards replaces the Carlsonics' guitarist Ed Donohue. It's gonna be tough for him, being know as that new guy-- but he helps shape the new sound so much that we'll get his name straight soon enough. The band as a whole plays so drastically differently that a blind man would confuse the old lineup for a whole different band.
Nethers call themselves just that, a plural noun with no article in the front in what must be a grammatic nod to their former incarnations' onstage assholery. It's irritating as hell to say and even tougher for any writer to write, but the quality of their sound far eclipses the presumptuous article-free name.
(The) Nethers' Hung Herself In A Birdcage
sums up a large part of their new style fairly well; sleepy and mellow now, sweet but tinged with dark urgency. "O the Deed"
is a catchy, shambling bluegrassy pop stomp that's guaranteed to rattle around in the skull for days, one of the rare songs that's welcome to reside on the brain's endless tape loop for weeks. Just when I thought (the) Nethers had completely chucked their rock-out sensibilities, they cracked out a new psych-freakout called "Helping Our Friends Escape the Underwater City,"
, evoking Saturday morning action cartoons and Barret-era Pink Floyd in its frantic pounding under controlled, knob-twisting guitar.
Four months ago, the Carlsonics were spitting beer on each other and playing Stooges-infused garage rock. They haven't risen from their own ashes or jumped up out of a chrysalis or any other tired metaphor. The Nethers are more like a musical nudist banana, the sweet essence of country, pop, and rock stepping naked and bold out of an thick old skin. I spoke with one of the guitarists right after the show and he said, "Man, this was our first show in DC and we were all so nervous tonight..."
They didn't need to be.
Unofficial Fireworks Mayhem
Welcome, DCist readers!
Every July 4th, DC sports one of the finest fireworks displays in the United States. Contrary to popular belief, that display is NOT visible from the mall and set to the 1812 overture--that show is not too shabby, though.
The REAL show is set to Ludacris, the Game, and any number of other urban favorites blasting out of assorted car stereos throughout Columbia Heights and the remainder of Northwest DC. From where my party stood last night, all we had to do was a quick 180 to see a chaotic and unparalleled inner-city fireworks extravaganza.
Fountains and rockets illuminated the alleys and buildings around us, going off WAY too close to windows and the ground. We could see fiery explosions all over the distant horizon as well--it looked like the end of a movie where a ragtag band of humans finally throws off alien oppression and celebrates wildly in the streets.
Here's some photos:
Don't Eat the Electric Fence
I feel for this poor guy. He's just had the snake equivalent of six Thanksgivings, and he's crawling home to sleep it off. He can't see well enough to see the electric fence, and certainly doesn't have the brainpower to comprehend what it might do to him. All he knows is this serious sting is giving him a headache and harshing on his super-mellow food-coma. So he turns around to attack the source of the sting, and gets STUCK on the electric fence. Another old-fashioned Aussie "good on ya, mate," to Jamie, source of all my snake photos.