Lest the year turn entirely into banjo-filled wonderment that seems to reflect an America turning inward towards a comforting past image (the genre known as alt.country does feel like it carries strains of populism, doesn’t it?), I managed to make it down to DC9 to catch Pomegranates.  It was a short set, lasting no more than 30 minutes, but a refreshing reminder of what I enjoy about small venues and small bands.  They sounded better live than on mp3 — and at the risk of dating myself reminded me at moments of the Kitchens of Distinction — but what was truly pleasurable was being able to sip a beer or two, listen closely, jostle with nobody, and buy a record (yes, a record) at the end of the show.  Red vinyl, or as they might say, pomegranate vinyl.


My Hanging Surrender…It Must Be Claimed

It’s spring here in Freedomlandia and for now, people aren’t complaining about the heat which has dropped upon us. My body is sticking to the car seat, the air conditioner is breaking down with superb untimeliness, and my left arm is simply happy to hang lazily out the window. Songs of spring usually sound sprightly, so it’s unusual that My Hanging Surrender by The Wheel is what I’ve been listening to non-stop. Its fairly straightforward acoustic guitar line and melancholy strings are enough to do me in from second one, but the vocal melody and shifts get me all choked up one minute and calmed the next. Don’t worry about which indie film it soundtracks or the coming of winter, just sense words like glory, redemption, and despair, during a long, night-time drive with the windows down.