Got two pieces of great news today!
But you won't find out until Friday at the earliest.
Maybe tomorrow.
It'll be worth the wait.
Promise.

Some MP3's that found their way to my inbox:

[MP3] White Rabbits | The Plot
The White Rabbits are touring with The Cribs and they will be hitting the Black Cat on August 11th.

[MP3] Blitzen Trapper | Sci-Fi Kid (Principal Participant 'Kingswood' Remix)
Blitzen Trapper is at the Rock n Roll Hotel with David Vandervelde on Sunday, July 22nd.

Also, absolutely loving the Dappled Cities remix over at The Tripwire. Go get that shit and put it on repeat.


Wow.

Yesterday I told Ms. Smith that I was "stupidly excited" about going to see Travis last night, but at the same time I was worried that I was setting my expectations too high. I shouldn't have. They put on one of the best shows I have ever seen that the 9:30 Club. I had trouble sleeping last night because I was so energized by the show. I'm still pumped now as I write this.

Normally I absolutely abhor it when bands play "greatest hits" sets. But when it's been seven years since you've seen a band, those type of sets aren't exactly a bad thing. In fact, last night the set was perfect.
Because they played "Back In Black."
On a whim.
As the last song of the night.
It was INCREDIBLE.
Someone in the crowd shouted it out as a request just before they played "Why Does It Always Rain On Me" as what was supposed to be the last song of the night. So when they were done with that song, Andy started doing the AC/DC riff. The crowd was unsure if this was for real or not, and then Fran started doing his best Brian Johnson impression and it was on from there. I'm not sure they played it as well as AC/DC could, but they definitely had more fun doing it. We got the full rockstar poses and everything. It was awesome.

Other highlights from the show:
- The band entered from the back of the venue and wandered their way through the crowd wearing silk boxing robes while the "Theme To Rocky" played over the PA. Once they hit the stage, they were soundtracked by James Brown's "Living In America." Best.
- They played "Pipe Dreams," my favorite Travis song other than "Writing To Reach You."
- Fran asking the crowd to chant the touring keyboardist's name, Claes, while he was playing the piano solo in "Good Feeling."
- While instructing the audience to do so, telling everyone that Claes was Swedish and Swedish people are anal. But not in the porn way. But wait, yes. Maybe in the porn way too. Although Fran couldn't speak for Claes in this particular matter.
- Fran played "20" solo on the acoustic. It's been years since I've heard this song. It's a b-side from the "All I Want To Do Is Rock" single and I had totally forgotten about the song until he played it.
- Speaking of "All I Want To Do Is Rock," when it was time for his "big solo" Andy climbed the PA stack trying to get to the dressing room balcony above. He almost didn't make it. He pulled himself up from the PA onto the balcony just using his arms while his guitar was slung over his back. No mean feet. Also, when he finally got up there, he flopped over the railing like Nick Frost "leaps" over fences in Hot Fuzz. Hi-lar-ious.
- The new songs from The Boy With No Name all sounded great, especially "My Eyes" and "Eyes Wide Open."
- Playing "Flowers In The Window" like a barbershop quintet. Only with a guitar. Fran was wearing it, but Andy hit the notes on the frets and Dougie did the strumming. It was like a great, big Travis reach around! "This is so close to something else," Fran laughingly said during the song. Indeed.
- Fran instructing the crowd that he wanted each and every person the venue to pogo during the last chorus to "Why Does It Always Rain On Me." And you know what? We all did. Everyone. It was brilliant. I've never seen a D.C. crowd do anything close to that before. This was a show where you left your pretensions at the door and just had fun. More concerts need to be like this.
- Nigel Godrich was in attendance!
- Back In mother-effing Black!

Plain and simple, that was one of the best shows I have ever seen in D.C. Maybe in the Top-10 Best Concerts Ever list. My mind grapes were thoroughly and completely squeezed last night.

But wait! Here's the best part. NPR webcast the show last night so you can enjoy all of this for your very own. Go here to check it out. You can also see Joel's photos from last night, which unlike my own, are actually in focus.

So then, my weekend in a nutshell:

Friday

Friday night Ms. Smith and I ventured to the Black Cat to see The Vita Ruins. They were giving away free copies of their E.P., Thanks For Your Concern (But We're OK), so I grabbed a few for you readers (more on that in a sec). The band sound not unlike Black Rebel Motorcycle Club -- swirling, feedback-drenched guitars, sinister vocals and a driving back beat. They're obviously big shoegazer fans, which is always a good thing in my book. They drew a decent amount of people to the show, many of which were photographers, causing one person to remark "I've never seen so many photographers for a band I've never heard of." I'll be sending the copies of the E.P. I snagged as a consolation prize to those that didn't win those Editors CD's. So keep an eye on your inbox if you entered.

Saturday

Saturday I ran errands during the day (I need a new camera bag) and tried to stay out of the heat. Later that night I took in the D.C. United v. FC Dallas match at RFK. Expect a short recap on DCist later today.

Sunday

Can you name a better way to spend Sunday than drinking beer, eating BBQ and watching football? I think not. My only complaint was that the Brazil v. Argentina match was such a snoozer. Oh well. I spent the rest of the night editing photos. Exciting, no?

Before we recap our weekend, let us first look forward to tonight.

Allow me to geek out for a moment. I heart Travis. Much more than any music snob should in fact. I can't really explain it. If I had to try, I'd chalk it up to a bunch of good memories that their music brings on. I worked on their first record when I was an intern at Epic Records, The Man Who reminds me of living in Queens right when I moved to NYC, hearing everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) singing along to "Why Does It Always Rain On Me" in between bands at the 2000 Reading Festival... the list goes on. I even like the much maligned 12 Memories.

Funny thing is, best I can recall, I haven't seen them since they opened for Oasis at Radio City Music Hall on the Standing On Shoulder of Giants tour. That was ages ago. So obviously, I'm stoked for tonight. And assuming my photo pass is there when I get to will call, I'll have some visual evidence for you all tomorrow.

That's the band performing "Selfish Jean" on Jools Holland above. Check out The Hype Machine for tunes from their latest disc, The Boy With No Name. Instrumental Analysis also has some MP3's for your listening pleasure.

* completely untrue

The Kings of Leon have just announced a US tour with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. I have yet to see either band, so color me excited. Above is KOL performing "Fans," my favorite track off of their latest record.

Here are the dates:

Minneapolis, MN First Avenue (August 2, 3)
Chicago, IL Grant Park Lollapalooza (5)
Seattle, WA Bumbershoot Festival 2007 (September 2)
San Francisco, CA Warfield Theatre (4)
Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre (7)
San Diego, CA SDSU Open Air Theatre (8)
Tempe, AZ Marquee Theatre (10)
Las Vegas, NV The Joint- Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (11)
Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre (14)
Council Bluffs, IA Stir Cove at Harrah's Casino (15)
New York, NY Radio City Music Hall (19)
Upper Darby, PA Tower Theatre (21)
Washington DC 930 Club (23)
Boston, MA Orpheum Theatre (28)
Providence, RI Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel (29)
Detroit, MI The Filmore (October 4)
Atlanta, GA Fox Theatre (9)
Birmingham, AL Alabama Theatre (10)
Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium (18)
New Orleans, LA Voodoo Island City Park (28)

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