It’s been three months since my last house show, so last night I was privileged to head over to Subterranean A in NW Washington to check out some rising talents in the Mid-Atlantic scene in HUME, Dustin Wong and Andrew Cedermark.
Cedermark led off in the upscale split-level basement space with cuts of his awesome Moon Deluxe. Prior to this, he and his band played a three song set at WMUC in College Park, so it was awesome to hear him twice. As a member of the current generation on New Jersey musicians, it’s easy to see similarities to bands like Real Estate, but at the same time, the former Titus Andronicus member channels much of that energy as well. Essentially Real Estate-like riffs with aggressive Stickles-esque vocals.
I’ve listened to Moon Deluxe a couple of times since its release, but I couldn’t place the majority of the songs Cedermark played. However, the bass lines popped so much better live and added another dimension underneath the guitar and the vocals. “Hard Livin’,” which could easily be Moon Deluxe‘s best track was so tight, with awesome energy, and the album’s title track was so good as well. The energy was so raw, and the basement environment helped so much as well. The drums were so strong and popped so well in the space. I’m definitely going to be listening to Moon Deluxe a lot more as time goes on, and to top it off, Cedermark and his band were absolutely great guys.
Dustin Wong, formerly of Baltimore’s Ponytail, was up next and put on a clinic, looping layers and layers of guitar lines, creating soaring soundscapes that were just awesome. The technical precision of Wong’s playing continued throughout his set, which was punctuated by his only vocals of the night, yelling and screaming over his final track.
I saw Ponytail at Whartscape 2008 and knew that Wong was extremely musical in listening to some of the solo stuff he had out, but seeing him live absolutely blew me away. Just the amount of skill and how everything fit together so seamlessly was awesome. It was disappointing to hear his set end, as I feel like he could have played all night.
HUME finished off the night, and it was my second time seeing them this year after the Comet Ping Pong show in September. It was a solid set that reminded me of that September show, with a few changeups, like having two drummers, which added to the intensity of the music. The songs were still extended Minus The Bear-like jams with vocals that I couldn’t quite place and still working on placing.
Subterranean A was one of the coolest DIY venues I’ve ever seen and am definitely looking forward to seeing another show there. If the guys running it keep bringing in good talent like last night and August’s Andrew Cedermark/Family Portrat/Tennis lineup, this could become one of the hottest places in DC to see a show.