Washed Out, Small Black, Pictureplane at Tea Bazaar; Corsair at Random Row

March 12th, 2010 · 27 Comments · By

I’m way late getting this up and also under the gun with setting up for the show and other work-related things, so I’ll keep this super brief.

Great great lineup at the Tea Bazaar tonight: Washed OutSmall Black, and Pictureplane. It’s a little hard not to have noticed all three of these acts lately, as they’ve been written and raved about on pretty much every possible source on the internet. That said, I’ll leave it to those copious media sources to give you the full story on these bands. It’ll do far more justice than I can in this abbreviated stint. For good measure, I’ll point you here for some good stuff on Washed Out, here for some mixed media from Small Black, and here for a nice profile/interview of Pictureplane. 8:30PM, $7

Washed Out – Belong – mp3

Meanwhile, the always epic Corsair will rock Random Row with a couple of bands from Harrisonburg (Malatese), and North Carolina (Pinche Gringo). Once again, in the interest of getting this out on the nets as soon as possible, I’ll let the links do the talking. 9PM, Free

OT: Thanks to everybody who came out to Random Row last night! What a great show that was! Lots of good vibes.

Tags: preview

27 responses so far ↓

  • 1 victoria // Mar 12, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    a few hundred people came out to my building in bmore to see that same washed out/small black/pictureplane line up last night. i actually left early to go to another show across town, but i recommend checking out this show if you can.

  • 2 Zak // Mar 13, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Washed out and Small Black just threw down the gauntlet. I’ve never seen a show that great at the Tea Bazaar. Incredible.

  • 3 Erik // Mar 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    all these bands make me go zzzzzzzzzzzz chillwave sux

  • 4 Jacob // Mar 13, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Awesome show.

    Really want to know who peed in the potted plant at the Tea House last night, though.

  • 5 John // Mar 13, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Haters gonna hate.

  • 6 James // Mar 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    unfortunately i’m gonna have to add myself to the list of… well, not “haters” but perhaps “disregarders”

    as a person who actually does listen to a fair amount of electronic music, I found last night’s show to be a pretty unmemorable and poor example of that genre. I’m not sure if the appeal is just that young indie-rock fans are hungry for stuff that’s coming from that angle, but color me unimpressed… in my view, they were pleasant and professional, but wholly failed to make the leap from “indie rock act” to “interesting music that I might actually want to listen or dance to” … close enough to many things I like, but it ended up like one of those Venn diagrams with an empty white spot in the middle.

    additionally, the number of highly-touted acts recently whose audiences have devolved into a mass of sweaty shirtless kids clapping along and hippie-dancing in place makes me feel old & grumpy. it’s like a rave from 1997 where everyone’s on downers instead. what gives? the show WAS packed with enthusiastic kids having a good time, so I’m not gonna knock it too hard. just not really smelling what all the fuss is about, here. makes me wanna bust out my old IDM / breakcore 12″s and have a house party or something, it’s been a while since I’ve heard electronic music done RIGHT.

  • 7 John // Mar 13, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    I hear you, James.

    I was just throwing out that phrase for fun. I actually saw Washed Out’s very first show, and it was pretty awkward and boring. I imagine he’s gotten a little better since then, but I wouldn’t want to go see him again. Haven’t listened that extensively to Small Black or Pictureplane, so can’t really touch on that much.

  • 8 James // Mar 13, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    to be fair, I came late (from work) and so I only saw Washed Out and the WO / Small Black team-up part of the set… might have had a different view if I’d been up front all night, chugging saké & pissing in potted plants.

  • 9 Jacob // Mar 13, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Really? I’m surprised. I have to say that I hadn’t really heard Washed Out very extensively before last night and I found his set pretty ridiculously catchy and energetic and fun, especially the part with Small Black. And certainly not zzzzz inspiring, Erik! All three acts were solid through and through. There may be a certain amount of hype backlash going on here — because the hype surrounding these bands is definitely outsized right now — but putting that aside, I think they make some pretty objectively rad songs.

  • 10 Sarah // Mar 13, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    i wanted to go but staying in was way too tempting with all that rain and those bottles of wine at my house

  • 11 Erik // Mar 13, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    A few reason why these bands suck:
    -“Chillwave” is exactly like shoegaze except none of these bands are nowhere as good as My Bloody Valentine.
    -I refuse to think playing song out of a tape player and then recording it is new, exciting or original.
    -The only good Washed Out song is a Sting sample. I’m not saying that sampling and reinterpreting a song isn’t OK, it’s just that the dude’s only good song IS A STING SAMPLE.
    -Neon Indian? Seriously? That band is the new Passion Pit. Watch.
    -I can’t take any genre called “chillwave” seriously.
    -It’s boring as fuck.

  • 12 Andy (Witchmond) // Mar 14, 2010 at 3:47 am

    I know my brother had made a joke about peeing in the plant but wasn’t serious at all about it

    So yeah nobody did I think

    Problem solved

  • 13 Jacob // Mar 14, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Andy: Hope you’re right! One of the dudes from Small Black seemed to think that his jacket, which had been next to the plant, was… um… wet…

  • 14 Wash Doubt // Mar 15, 2010 at 1:30 am

    If you can’t stand the genre, why did you go to the show? and if you didn’t go to the show, why are you writing about it?

  • 15 James // Mar 15, 2010 at 3:34 am

    I went to the show because I had heard good things about those bands and wanted to see what the fuss was about. I had never heard the phrase “chillwave” before last week. I don’t regret attending the show, nor helping to promote it, although I didn’t happen enjoy it very much myself.

    Erik did not go to the show because he lives in New York and writes for our Sister Publication, http://eardrumnyc.com — we value his input nonetheless.

  • 16 victoria // Mar 15, 2010 at 11:58 am

    So, I wasn’t going to comment because I sincerely dislike the negativity in the previous comments, but I think I should because maybe some younger fans are reading these comments and taking it seriously.

    James, you know I have a lot of affection for you as a friend, but I think it can objectively be said that you praise a lot of music that many other people would consider mediocre. That’s fine by me because I think you are open-minded and generous when you blog generally, and those are good traits. This time, however, I was disappointed. I couldn’t help but feel that if Washed Out or Small Black were Charlottesville-based bands, you would have been kinder to them here.

    And Erik, I don’t mean this towards you as a person, but your reasons for not liking these bands seem silly. It’s okay if you don’t like a band, but why bother being so evangelistic about it? And I feel like I should add that I say this as a person who left this same show in Baltimore to go see Sissy Spacek and Gerritt Whitmer/Paul Knowles across town.

    Finally, I like seeing anyone – young or old – hand-clapping and getting sweaty at a DIY show. Hurray!

  • 17 James // Mar 15, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Thanks for the feedback, Vicky.

    I’m not trying to be discouraging, just a dissenter, although I can understand how the dubious / minuscule “authority” granted by being the author of a blog like this might make me sound a lot more like the grumpy grown-up being bossy.

    As I said, for everyone who had a great time at the show, that’s a really cool thing and I certainly don’t intend to invalidate it. But I’m also not going to pretend I personally liked something that I didn’t (and I commented b/c I didn’t want to let my silence suggest that that was the case.)

    It’s true that if those bands were local, obscure, or unsigned bands, I’d probably be a lot more hesitant in my negative comments, especially since I make an effort to keep a lot of the contributions here in a positive vein. But they’re not obscure acts, they’re bands that apparently every other person on the internet is freaking out about right now, and I also believe that when the emperor looks naked from where you’re standing, sometimes you gotta say something. (plus it’s not like one guy in Virginia is hindering their careers, especially when they’re selling out shows left and right.)

    But in the interest of staying positive, I’m gonna bring up some Cville-based electronic(-ish) acts that I think are doing really interesting and cool things right now: Great Dads, Bear War, Rhythm Bandit, Myceum, Doofgoblin, Nectar Bats, Grapefruit Experiment, and Mss. I’d like to warmly and welcomingly encourage any and all folks who were at last Friday’s show to make the effort to check out any of these acts next time they play. I think they’re all really excellent acts, and I think they’re worth some time and attention.

    (I’m also really excited about the upcoming Toro Y Moi show at the Jeff in May — opening for Caribou, who I’m excited to finally see! I think that guy (Toro) is coming from the same sort of place as Washed Out / etc, but I’m enjoying his stuff a lot more, personally.)

  • 18 Erik // Mar 15, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Vicky, I wasn’t trying to be evangelistic, and I’m sorry if I came off as such. I’m not trying to tell people what to listen to, it’s just frustrating watching bands like this get so popular when there are so many other bands that could fit into this genre (i.e. White Fence, Dead Mellotron, the Art Museums) stand by the wayside because they lack marketability. I understand my reasons are pretty silly, and they were meant to be, as music journalism is a very silly thing. I’m sorry for being such a hater!

    That being said, everyone go see Box Elders tomorrow night for some real rock and roll!

  • 19 Jacob // Mar 15, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Toro Y Moi played the Tea House last fall and was amazing — and not nearly enough people were there for it. Yet another reason folks should pay attention to the random-ass bands that come through. I promise (though I’m probably preaching to the choir here) that the next Animal Collective or Joanna Newsom or whatever amazing artist is playing at the Tea Bazaar these days. You just never know who it’s gonna be. So show up and check out bands even if you’re not so sure about it — so thanks James for coming and checking this show out, even if you were skeptical or just curious!

    And, by the way, Erik: None of those bands are trying to sound anything like My Bloody Valentine. Really not an apt comparison. And it’s totally not remotely shoegazey — or boring. People don’t jump and clap and dance to boring music. Not really a valid criticism. If you were at the show, you’d agree.

    Also, what does Neon Indian or Passion Pit have to do with anything? Sorry, being a music blogger and indie promoter, I should be a little more tuned in to such bands, but occasionally things do slip past me. Anyway, I don’t get the reference, and they’re totally different bands, so what do they have to do with the present discussion?

    Regarding the use of the word ‘chillwave’ — Those bands were totally cracking jokes about it during their show. They don’t take the label seriously, so I don’t think we should either.

  • 20 Erik // Mar 15, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    The shoegaze comparison was meant in terms of hype and marketing from the press. I’m sorry I didn’t make that clear. These bands sound nothing like My Bloody Valentine.

    The Passion Pit comparison was meant because Neon Indian is in the same place Passion Pit was last year, or MGMT a year before that. Just on the cusp of success, as seen here: http://tiny.cc/iDsrG
    Neon Indian also just signed to Mountain Dew’s record label.

    So again, that’s what seems to be the problem with all these bands, that it has nothing to do with the music. If you’re going to call your band “Washed Out” have all your songs sound “Washed Out” and every single press photo “Washed Out” people are going to forget what your songs sound like. There’s no subtlety. Everything is completely obvious and not a mystery, which is the opposite of the image that these bands are going for.

    And it probably sucks to be in a band that’s labeled “chillwave.” If these bands knew what was good for them, they’d try and distance themselves as far as possible from that term.

    I didn’t mean to hop back on the hate wagon, I just felt it necessary to defend my comments.

  • 21 val // Mar 15, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    erik no one liked your thigh comment

  • 22 Erik // Mar 15, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    val is dating juan from small black. truth.

  • 23 Jacob // Mar 15, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Almost every band has some kind of an overall artistic theme — a presentation that ties together the liner notes, press photos, etc, and hopefully reflects the sound of the music. You wouldn’t tell Pavement to “cut out that Steve Keane shit on your covers cause it looks just as sloppy as your music sounds — way too obvious dudes!” So what makes Washed Out’s thematic design so much more toxic? It’s certainly reflective of the sound. And by the way, the press photo at the very top of this post is not remotely “washed out”.

    Sorry, don’t mean to sound harsh. I like a good debate. See you at Box Elders tomorrow, indeed!

  • 24 Jacob // Mar 15, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Oh, rather, I won’t see you at Box Elders. But thanks for the rec. I hope people do come out!

  • 25 Erik // Mar 15, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I actually will be there cuz I’m on spring break! And good point!

  • 26 DYLAN (WITCHMOND) // Mar 17, 2010 at 1:52 am

    HERE’s My TAKe On THe EVENt THAt Is So UNDEr FIRe…



  • 27 John // Mar 23, 2010 at 11:23 pm