100 Shows of 2010 - #74: Hammer No More The Fingers/Birds of Avalon @ Motorco, 10/9/10

I would hope my fellow DC kids would agree on this statement, that we’ve got a pretty daggum decent little stable of venues at which to take in some rock and some roll. On any given night of any given week, we can venture forth and see a good show at one of any number of places. And that’s a damn fine feeling. However, for those of us with the travel itch, it’s nice to hit the road every now and again and see what’s goin’ on in other parts of this fine world. Especially when a brand spanking new venue is involved. Enter Motorco: newest venue in the fabulous (and fabulously talent-rich) Research Triangle (Durham, to be precise). So new the paint had barely dried, but still a terribly good spot for a terribly good show. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly how it went down.

MINI RECAP: Birds of Avalon = Blazingly Amazing! Hammer No More The Fingers = Handsomely Noisy! Motorco = Motorific! Overall Score: B+++

I loved everything about Motorco immediately (well, save for the parking situation). It reminded me a whole lot of my first Richmond apartment, the loftiness of it and the exposed ductwork and the dark, friendly confines (yes, lofts can be dark and friendly. Trust.). However, my place had neither that fabulous wall of windows nor the great stage and sound. The place was packed with shiny, happy North Carolinians, reveling in this super new space, not to mention the cheap beer. But that wasn’t all, oh no. There were some pretty fine bands, too, to help ring in the official grand opening soiree for this here venue.

Birds of Avalon was the first musical treat I had the pleasure of sampling. I’d wanted to see them for a little while now, so I was way excited they were on the bill for the Motorco party. They immediately tested the sound barriers of the new club, spewing out pulsating wave of noise after pulsating wave of noise in an unflinching, unapologetic set. I’m not sure, but I might have left my body there for a little while during this set, so good was this band. The sound was a mess of things, swirls of shoegaze, the crunch of straight up bastard rock, and definitely delicious dashes of psych rock. This is a band that turns what could have been a disparate jumble of noise into a cohesive, unified wall of beauty. I could hardly believe it when they set down their instruments and left the stage. It was the biggest bummer of the night bar none.

But then, my spirits were lifted, because soon taking up where Birds of Avalon had left off were local heroes (and LET faves) Hammer No More The Fingers. Somehow this was my third Hammer show in as many cities this year. I was totally mystified by Duncan’s sartorial choice (a boiler suit), but less confounding was the band’s totally rad rock and roll. Feeding off the partisanship of the crowd, the trio (and friend on keys) stormed through a triumphant little set full of that ridiculously catchy 90s college radio rock they’re becoming known for. Between riffs there were much banter, and the tossing of many glow-in-the-dark bracelets into the happily inebriated masses. On their home turf, the band was that much louder, that much cheekier, and that much more into it. And friends, that’s a wonderful thing.

When you get right to it, my friends, I wanted to uproot Motorco and move it up north about 4 hours to this neck of the woods. Despite our venues here, I am insanely jealous about this space, and I might just have to make an effort to hit more shows down there in the near future. Especially if they keep up that whole Beatlestones dancenight thingie. Yours truly might be unable to resist that kind of tractor beam. But kudos to all involved with Motorco, and may it have many good years ahead of it.

mp3: Your Down Time Is Up (Birds of Avalon from Uncanny Valley)

mp3: Nobody Knows (Hammer No More The Fingers from Looking For Bruce)


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