Saturday, November 14, 2009

Oh to feel the gentle slumber

The DC founded, Slumberland Records, celebrated their twenty-year existence with a more than colossal show on Friday at the Black Cat. With a clown car of acts squeezed into the Cat’s normal time slot, fanatics of the label were able cheer wildly along to the likes of Brown Recluse, Pants Yell!, Frankie Rose & The Outs, The Ropers, Nord Express, Lorelei, and of course, the feature of the evening, the one and only pop sensation, Crystal Stilts.

I must admit that I spent the majority of the night tethering back and forth between the show and my favorite dance night at the Black Cat, Kicks. But what I did hear was all manner of dreamy, indie, garagey, shoegaze, psych-flecked, cotton candy goodness.

While the crowd was not nearly the most rambunctious I’ve seen at the Cat, they certainly were devoted, and held down a steady camp as they eagerly awaited act after act, genuinely seeming to appreciate each one for it’s own merits.

In my schizophenic nomadry between the two floors, I had to pick my choice moment to produce the camera, and it should come as no surprise that the hour arrived as Crystal Stilts took the stage. A savvier fan could probably produce names for the tracks I captured, but if the band is to be believed, this is a document of two newer pieces.

From everything I’ve heard and know about that band, this is an even deeper return to the garage spirit that has brought them ever-critical acclaim, most recently from the Night of Light LP. Guitar that slips away like the tide, eddied by a swirl of vocals, with a loose cadre of drums pushing things along, while an echo of keyboard becomes the jelly that somehow holds it all together.

I believe Crystal Stilts themselves would want you to sit back, relax, enjoy the ride, and pay no attention to where you might end up.

Crystal Stilts performing at the Slumber Records 20th anniversary show from Denman C Anderson on Vimeo.

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