Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Last night I went to see the Constantines, except I wasn't really going to see the Constantines. I was going to see the Ram's Head Live!, a giant new club in downtown Baltimore. Most of the shows are like Joe Cocker or Keller Williams or whatever, and most of them cost like 40 bucks. This was an eight-dollar indie-rock show with a band I liked, so I had to see it. I was not disappointed. That place is ridonkulous. Speakers in the bathroom that play whatever's going on onstage, flat-screen TVs showing the stage everywhere, three different food spots, a giant balcony, murals of silhouettes with guitars and saxophones all over the walls, door guys who don't know who the bands are, great sound, overblown lights, 1400 capacity. Total cleanliness. Ridiculously expensive beer. Pictures of a man and a women dancing on the men and women's room doors. It's like what would happen if you asked a 12-year-old to design a rock club. There were maybe 100 people there, so a lot of it was roped off, but I still got an eyeful. I give that place a year, tops.

The Constantines were good, even in this setting. They sound just like Fugazi on record, but my friend Van was right when he pointed out that they sound like the Who live. They rock a giant empty club like it was a giant full club. I wish them well.

Oh, and Oakley Hall is the closest I've ever heard alt-country come to actual Nashville country. Pretty good!