Archive for Red Palace

Woods Levitates The Roof Off Of DC’s Red Palace

Posted in Music with tags , , , on November 3, 2012 by johnbuckley100

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That Ghostbusters charge of lightning surrounding the Nation’s Capitol last night had nothing to do with the election four days away; it was Woods, who came to the Red Palace on D.C.’s H Street Corridor and levitated the roof off the building.  Sure, they started with their sunshine jangling and fermented ’60s pop, but by the time they left the wind was howling in a psychedelic squall.  But as usual, we get ahead of ourselves.

Let’s start where you must when writing about Brooklyn’s finest, Jeremy Earl’s voice.  On Woods’ records, even the amazing Bend Beyond, which the entire gang at Tulip Frenzy World HQ went kinda nutso over a few weeks back, you keep waiting for Earl to play it straight, to make the transition Dean Wareham made between Galaxie 500 and Luna, when he dropped the falsetto and began singing in something closer to his own real warble.  But when you see Woods live, you realize that Jeremy Earl’s high-pitched voice is a Robert Plant-like freak of nature, an instrument so pure that were he to begin hog calling in Illinois, the Mighty Mississippi would become a solid porcine wave, as every last critter in Iowa harkened eastward.  Some singers need digital help to reach such pitch perfection, but Early barely needs a microphone to lead his kickass colleagues through their animalistic evocation of Byrds and Crazy Horses.

We were blessed with much, if not all, of Bend Beyond, and yep, it’s true that the title track live is like some exhortation.  The transformation of the band, from beginning to end, through its many linked personalities, was like listening to a playlist that begins with Neil Young’s Harvest and ends with Pink Floyd’s “Astronomy Domine.”  Happy we were to stand near the stage as they got to At Echo Lake’s “Blood Dries Darker,” which made us think of Camper Van Beethoven — the only other band we know that can stretch from folk rock to literally playing “Astronomy Domine.”  And from there they went into a song whose name we don’t know, though we will dedicate our life’s remaining days to finding it out, because it stretched for 12, no 15, no 20 minutes of jam-band bliss, until finally things reached such a crescendo that the aforementioned roof did lift off into the night, and the lightning bolts flew, and hovering above all was the answer to the question of whether there is a God, and yes, there is, and He bears a stunning resemblance to Sun Ra in his full glittering robes, his Arkestra surrounding him as squawking angels.  And by that time we were stumbling out into the street, and our grin, the grin on our face, it was wider than the Mississippi.

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