Tag Archives: Rock n Roll Hotel

Galaxy Hut Sucks (at Informing People)

Galaxy Hut has been unable to properly market itself for a long time. The biggest annoyance, though, is that you can’t see the music venue’s calendar unless you are a fan (or whatever they are calling it these days) on Facebook. Sure, this is easy/lazy for the booker, but it screws people looking to quickly check or for people who don’t participate in Facebook (dudes, the ‘net is about being open, not about giving away your private data).

Galaxy Hut isn’t the only music venue with silly calendar practices. For example, Rock ‘n’ Roll‘s calendar page used to note that its calendar is not a reliable source of upcoming shows.

And the problems don’t stop there. Other music venues fail basic spelling tests (Red and Black) or mobile technology (HR57), just to name a few current quibbles. None of these issues are much of a problem given the “quality” bands/groups these venues book, with the exception of HR57 (although it does feature a rather stale rotation). Plus, the vast majority of sites use a splash screen for some reason.

Just to prove I’m not a total hater, Black Cat is always a reliable and informative site, as is Velvet Lounge, which I consider to be the best basic DC-area music-venue site.

And to demonstrate I can criticize the things I still–because I’ve moved on from these scenes–I consider the Kennedy Center‘s page to be nearly unusable.

Rock Has No Soul, But Does It Have Flow?

Thanks to an incredibly generous HD, I was able to see Vampire Weekend when they played Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel in early February. Given all the hype, I expected them to both bore and hurt, but I was surprised (yeah, yeah, the album is on my To Listen list).

I thoroughly enjoyed the show, but quickly noticed two aspects of the band. First, they are clearly young. Their sound is bare and minimalist (but not in the good German way), needing to expand, be filled in, and evolve past the rather simple structure of each of their songs. That part’s doable and standard.

The other issue, though, is that the lead singer (Ezra Koenig) has no flow. All of their songs are delivered in the same monotone post-Brit pop way. While the nasality of it all is loved by the birds and very trendy, the lack of tempo, note, and style changes–in other words, flow–is not. Even in the whitest of white genres, indie rock, (good) bands usually have lead singers with a bit of flow. And those outstanding bands have lead singers with amazing flow. In this latter case, the best example I can think of is Karen O, who uses incredible significant and nuanced vocal/flow changes within a song, between songs, and across albums (Admission: I listen to the entire YYYs discography once every 36 hours, on average).

It would be difficult to argue that flow does not matter to all music with vocals, but we rarely think, hear, read, or write about its importance outside of hip hop. At best, there is mention of the singer’s voice, but that usually has to do with energy, clarity, and pitch, not the more general but also more specific notion of flow. So here’s my purely rhetorical question: Why?

Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel’s Bar Is Done

I’m tired of the crowd and nonsense self-hype of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel’s bar. How did it attract the need-to-be-seen-and-stupid crowd so fast? It’s now added to my for-suckas-only list. Want some photo-tastic proof? Go here (beer bongs?).

Don’t get me wrong, the bands they get are still great, and I’ll still end up there once a week or so.