Monday, April 06, 2009

There have been so many songs written in Mount Pleasant basements, banged out in basement practice spaces and documented in home recording studios; equipment unloaded into group houses after playing a show on 14th street, in Baltimore or New York City; Band members coming home to some house on Irving Street, or Kenyon or 19th bleary eyed and jet lagged from a European tour.

And there have been so many musicans from around the world who've stayed with their friends in Mount Pleasant after their DC gigs because the neighborhood has long been part of a worldwide network of independent musicians - some of whom literally changed the face of pop music as well as how we receive it. Its always been so ironic that at the same time Mount Pleasant was part of this burgeoning hotbed of musical innovation, a group of residents banned live music from all of the neighborhoods bars and restaurants.

Justin Moyer a DC stalwart (and mount pleasanter) from great bands like El Guapo, Antelope and Edie Sedgewick is one of those people committed not only to creating great music but in creating the spaces to perform it. He's also traveled the world playing indie spaces - squats, hole in the wall bars, group house basements, church halls. When his friend Tizio Sgarbi, from the rural Italian countryside wrote to say he was touring to the states and stopping in DC, Justin wanted to make sure he'd have a great show - a "non club show". Tizio had set up so many shows in Italy for Justin's various projects so he wanted to return the favor. And for the first time in ten years, Justin could set up a show in a restaurant in his own neighborhood.

Bob Corn (Tizio's songwriting vehicle) plays mesmerizing, sparse and gorgeous songs - the kind of songs that make you think of lying in the grass or staring at a river. Francesca from Comaneci will also perform beautiful acoustic music that's folk music with an edge. Traces of Bonfire Madigan, a little Cat Power a little Blonde Redhead. And for a change of pace - Gestures - some of whose members live in Mount Pleasant will play their brand of horn based noise punk.

They play at Haydees - ground zero of the ten year ban on music in restaurants in Mount Pleasant. Finally liberated after a grueling years long battle - Haydees can finally host local musicians and their friends from around the world. This show is another example of why its important and worth it to fight for our cultural spaces and for a neighborhoods where artists and musicians are respected and valued.

For a sample of their music check out comaneci and here's Bob Corn and Gestures...

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