Friday's Grand Duchy show at Detroit Bar was a real treat. For some reason, I kind of forgot that the show was that day, and hadn't made the proper arrangements to attend, and was essentially turned away at the door when I got there. That was a bummer, for sure. I was able to check out Venus Infers across the street at eVocal, though, so that was a nice consolation prize. (They sounded really good, per usual, though the attendance was poor--perhaps because so many people were at Detroit).
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I finally was able to get in, though (phew!), right before Grand Duchy started. I'm a huge Pixies fan--I literally grew up with them, as my older siblings introduced me to their music (via osmosis, at least. No one really sat me down and played Doolittle for me, sadly). Yet other than Teenager of the Year and a couple others, I've never really been too into much of Frank Black's post-Pixies work. Despite getting the opportunity plenty of times (he still tours a bunch!), the only time I've ever seen him perform was during the 2004 Pixies reunion tour (that was great).
So it makes some sense that I was drawn to Grand Duchy, his current project with his wife, Violet Clark. It's pretty Pixies-ish, along with heavy inspiration from '80s synthpop (they covered "A Strange Day" by the Cure). It was a nifty 45-minute or so set that made clear that it's primarly Clark's project, with Black taking a backseat for many of the songs. But she's pretty entertaining in her own right, so there's no concern that it's just some cutesy husband-and-wife vanity project. The venue was packed, but I was able to get pretty close to the stage, as that picture I took attests--no zoom on the iPhone, folks. (Andrew Youssef has some more details--I don't really know the name of most of their songs.)
I went to Denim Blue Vintage Victim in Huntington Beach on Saturday for my first time; they were having an event with free drinks (waters and sodas), pizza and music from Rail Road to Alaska and Two Guns. A very positive vibe through the whole event, and I got to look through the owner's vinyl collection (copy of the Queen is Dead on vinyl = jealous). They're doing another such event in June (date still being determined) with Yellow Red Sparks and Parade of Lights.
After that I hustled up to the Prospector in Long Beach with every intention of seeing Death Hymn Number 9--they dress up as zombies during shows, how fun is that?--but just missed them. I did get to see the Commotions, though. Next time, DHN9. Next time.