Monday, May 5, 2008

Down, Not Out: Orpheus Records Open Through May

Rick Carlisle at Orpheus Records in Clarendon. (Photo by John Mcdonnell)

Direct from the source: "I know, how can you miss us if we won't go away! No we're not following the example of rug merchants everywhere, we're not making it all up, we really did lose our lease. However, the original deal our landlord had with a local bar/restaurant fell through. That means, we get to stay while they continue the search & negotiations with whomever. The good news: we get to continue selling records at tremendous savings to you. The bad news: lots of uncertainty for everyone, a declining customer base as people assume we're closed, or spent all their money or think they purchased everything we had of interest to them. The reality: We are still open for business, we still have a lot of lps, and we are putting out more records as quickly as possible, many for the first time AND we are still ordering and stocking new releases & reissues.. I would like to sincerely thank all of you who have purchased a WHOLE LOT OF VINYL these last 15 weeks. The response has been overwhelming, quite literally. Our daily operating systems were not designed for the volume of business we've experienced recently, nor do we have the staff to keep up efficiently. I appreciate everyone's patience and diligence. Things have settled down and we are doing our best to restock so that we may continue to offer quality lps to you and get them out of here. I hope this clarifies some of the questions in peoples minds, now get down here and buy records.....Please,.... Thank you!!!."

Crowded House, Upbeat and Unpredictable

Crowded House lived up to its name literally on Friday night, as a wall-to-wall throng packed the 9:30 club to see the headlining group. And for good reason. Having reconvened last year after splitting up at the peak of its powers in 1996, it's got everything you could want in a band: an embarrassment of superb material, a charismatic frontman, a set list that's rewritten nightly, a tolerance for -- nay, encouragement of -- spontaneity and, most important, that palpable love of performing that can't be faked.

Led by underrated singer-guitarist Neil Finn -- who's revered as a songwriter of Lennonesque lyrical gifts and McCartneyesque melodic talent -- Crowded House has overcome every obstacle with grace: from the devastating (the 2005 suicide of drummer Paul Hester) to the merely annoying (the impudence of some of their own alleged fans, who welcomed the band to its first D.C. gig in more than a decade by yapping throughout the 130-minute concert). Fortunately, the reverent outnumbered the rude: "You're in very fine voice tonight, Washington," Finn gushed, deputizing 1,200 backup singers to fill out the soaring "World Where You Live." Read the rest here.
(Via The Washington Post. Image courtesy Baby, You Got a Stew Goin'!)

Crowded House set list - 9:30 Club, 5/2/08
Everything is Good For You / World Where You Live / Isolation? (new) / Bangin’ the Dust? (new) / Distant Sun / Whispers & Moans / Cinematic 9? (new) / Either Side of the World (new) / English Trees / Nails in My Feet / Don’t Dream It's Over / Four Seasons In One Day / Twice If You’re Lucky / Weather With You / Encore One / Locked Out / Something So Strong / Private Universe / Encore Two / Into Temptation / Pineapple Head / Improv song w/ crowd / Mansion In The Slums / She Goes On / Better Be Home Soon

TVD's Daily Wax | Better Than Ezra "How Does Your Garden Grow?"

College rock. Just those two words together in a sentence make me want to hurl. REM, Camper Van Beethoven, They Might be Giants, 10,000 Maniacs, Cracker, Blind Melon, Pearl Jam, et al...keep it. Keep all of it.

But how then to justify my BTE love? It's impossible - but there it is. OK, maybe it's not impossible. This could be the best LP of that loathsome era of 90's godawful "alternative" radio...and that's not damning with faint praise.

As I wrote at Fun and Heartbreak and referenced last Friday, I was out of town at the New Orleans Jazz Fest when I got the news that my friend Anne had killed herself. If there's ever a reason to jump on a plane and get home, that was it...but I was convinced to stay in town and that night was persuaded that seeing BTE at Tip's was probably the better idea than just sitting in the hotel room drinking. A lot. So, BTE takes the stage on a sticky, humid New Orleans night and opens with a loopy, slow and mournful "Live Again." And that was sweat streaming down my face just then. Really.

Better Than Ezra - Je Ne M'en Souviens Pas (Mp3)
Better Than Ezra - One More Murder (Mp3)
Better Than Ezra - At The Stars (Mp3)
Better Than Ezra - Live Again (Mp3)
Better Than Ezra - Everything In 2's (Mp3)