Monday, March 26, 2007

Drag The River 3/25/07 @ Rock & Roll Hotel, DC

This is the first show I've gone to since I saw MOTO back in IL last December.
It was a hUGE* disappointment.

Jon Snodgrass quit Drag the River yesterday (Saturday night/Sunday morning).

Tonight DtR was a 3-piece, and they sucked it hard. I had a chance to speak to all of the band members afterwards and the general consensus was that Jon got into a big blowout with Dave (the drummer), quit the band, and headed back to Colorado.

Hopefully this means that there'll be a new Armchair Martin album in the pipe sometime soon.

I'm biased. I've always been faithful to Jon - I've known him since the 7DA days, when Armchair Martian played there several times. He's the reason that I've always championed Drag the River, and I can't imagine (or condone) the band without him.

Drag the River (sans Jon) opened, and played an abbreviated set - Mostly Chad DtR songs with a few covers thrown in for filler. I couldn't get into it, nor could the band (by the sound of it).

Fuck it. The band (excepting Dave) seemed more broken up about it than I ever could be - I hope they can work it out, but it doesn't sound likely.

The second "band" was Owen. It was one guy with an acoustic guitar and an iPod.
I so fucking envied that guy. I remembered back to my LD50 days, when I spent a fortune on a Korg 01FD keyboard, a Roland HR8 drum machine, and an ADAT sampler to get half as much as this guy gets with an off-the-rack PC and an over-the-counter MP3 player... And I had to bring in a second member (thanx Nate) just to push all of the fucking buttons for me whenever I performed live.
He sounded a hell of a lot like the singer of the Weakerthans (could be, for all I know), and was surprisingly compelling for being just one guy on stage.

The final act was Rocky Votolato. That's a guy, not a band (no Jethro Tull, Lynard Skynard tomfoolery there). He was backed up by all of the remaining members of Drag the River. The songs kinda remind me of early Bob Dylan (pre-electric) and early Bruce Springsteen (pre-MTV). Good stuff** - I'm glad I stuck around.

I'm glad that I went to the show (even though if I had known about Jon I would have definitely stayed home and caught the finale of Rome). It was a good time, and I got all of this fire & brimstone music news firsthand.

*Meathead should get that joke

** Just listened to one of his CDs that I picked up at the show last night. His voice sounds totally different than he did live. I remember him saying something on stage about his voice being shot, I liked the "shot" voice better.

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