Posted by Clare in Clare, live music, new releases, objectivity is overrated.
Tonight Tuesday Night: Hail Social, World Café, March 20, 2007 Friday, March 23, 2007
I know I should talk about the bands that came on before Hail Social, but…did The Swimmers‘ self-financed and -produced sophomore album come out the same day? Did I make Amos Lee laugh by calling his set “dinner theatre”? No, and no.
Blurry photos and a total lack of objectivity after the jump.
Hail Social is not generally a chatty band onstage, but on Tuesday they were cheerful and effusive, and rightly so, since their second album came out that day. The show at the World Café was special for a couple of reasons: Hail Social’s followup to their 2005 self-titled debut came out that day and the show was being recorded for WXPN’s Philly Local series, to be broadcast in April.
Much of Judy’s and my friendship is built on embarrassing ourselves at Hail Social shows. We can’t help it: Hail Social’s sound is dark and angular, with heavy, thumpy bass and metronome-precise drums. If it doesn’t make you want to dance, though, you must be lacking ears. We’ve lost count of how many times we’ve been to see them. We’ve not lost count of how many times we’ve chatted with the band after the show and they’re like, “Hey, you two again.” (WE JUST WANT TO BE FRIENDS WITH YOU, HAIL SOCIAL. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?)
If Hail Social was a perfect record to have on while getting ready to go out on Saturday night, Modern Love & Death is the record to play once you get to the party/club/roller rink. It builds on the claim they made about their first record, that it was “’80s roller-skating music played by a metal band.” Singer Dayve Hawk handles the bulk of the songwriting duties.
With a few exceptions, Modern Love & Death has a more airy sound than Hail Social does. Songs like “Heaven” and “Anna Belle” achieve a floaty, almost bliss-pop sound.
A terrible, terrible photograph of the band. Not only can you barely see them, but you can’t see the rows of Las Vegas showroom-style tables filled with NPR listeners eating dinner. The show was free if you registered for NPR’s email list.
After a two-song set by WXPN favorite Amos Lee, Hail Social took the stage for a set of all-new material. Between songs, Hawk joked that he’d “never played with so many people sitting at tables.” During “Footsteps,” an eerie, Duran Duran-by-way-of-Stax Records meditation on paranoia, a fedora-clad fellow next to me (who I later learned was opener Scot Sax–oops again!) said of drummer Matt Maraldo to no one in particular, “That fuckin’ drummer, man, that fuckin’ drummer!”
Judy and I made our way to the lobby after Hail Social’s set to get the new album congratulate them on their successful new venture: dinner theatre.