TVD Recommends: The Caribbean, Talk It, and The Plums at Comet Ping Pong, Friday 2/15


Sasha Lord presides over Connecticut Avenue, NW these days, transforming the popular pizza joint, Comet Ping Pong, into a prized music venue at night. Ping-pong tables disappear and the music gear takes over for an intimate venue setting.

The talent that has come through Comet under Lord’s rule has been impressive, not only booking out-of-state bands before they are widely known, Lord also generously gives the stage to only the best of DC’s local bands and such will be the case Friday night.  Sasha Lord Presents, The Caribbean, Talk It and The Plums—lay claim to your own piece of Caribbean treasure, while enjoying Plums ripe for consumption and Talk It in between your ears at Comet Ping Pong Friday night.

The Caribbean, Michael Kentoff, Matthew Byars, and Dave Jones, formed in 2000, releasing their third full length album in 2011, Discontinued Perfume, to much critical acclaim, yet still remain, I think, a greatly overlooked band.

In a world of sensory overload, it’s nice to find a band who present themselves in a lovely, unassuming manner. Signed to the well-respected Hometapes label, “making official the little things in life that define us,” it is no wonder the two aligned. Hometapes states: “Quite possibly the best demo we will ever receive came in the mail from our nation’s capital, thanks to The Caribbean.”

It’s the surprises swimming in this very deep sea that delight. Their 2005 song, “Plastic Explosives” for example mixes comedic, coming of middle age lyrics on top of a melody quite similar to a Spanish serenade. It’s these unique arrangements The Caribbean splash throughout their records which reveal both their brilliance and charm.

While it may seem The Caribbean creates quiet waves in an underground scene, they have worked with the likes of Scott Solter, who has collaborated with indie superstars, Superchunk, Okkervil River, and The Mountain Goats.

Grab your slice of paradise in the middle of this so-called winter with The Caribbean Friday night.

Teen-Beat Records artist, Talk It, are made up of Emily Rickman (electric piano), John Rickman (drums), and Andrew Beaujon (guitar), the latter two formerly of DC band, Eggs.  “No one in the group has the job of “singer.” The band’s equipment includes a Fender Rhodes Seventy-Three, a five-piece drum set equipped with a cowbell, and a Fender guitar connected to a Music Man amp with only a tuner interrupting the signal path.”

The D.C. trio’s debut album, Cluck Cluck, was released in November of 2012, made up of four primarily instrumental songs.  “Cluck-cluck/turn it up, turn it up/yeah” are the only vocals you’ll hear on the record.  Cluck-cluck it to the Comet to see Talk It Friday night.

The experimental band, Plums, John Howard (drums), Martha Hamilton (guitar), Jeff Barsky (guitar), PJ Brownlee (guitar/electronics), and Marc Masters (bass/keyboards), are true pioneers to making music for the sake of the sound.  They self-released their debut album, The White LP in late 2011, after ten years of playing together.

The White LP is a nine-track album made up of PA tapes, basement jams, and songs spanning a decade and pressed on double-vinyl enclosed with only a plain white sleeve – a nod to their stance that the sound that comes from the spinning circle is all you need and all that matters.

In addition to their 2011 vinyl album, Plums released, Nixon’s Mess, in October of 2012 via Prison Art on cassette tape – a handshake made over Twitter.  Nixon’s Mess is available as a limited edition cassette tape of only 60 available.  It is described as “hefty 32 minute slab of riffs, droned out feedback squalls and loose grooves that proves their criminally under-recognized status.”  You don’t want to miss these sweet Plums, so get there early and enjoy the noise.

Get it right and catch these three DC bands at Comet Ping Pong on Friday night, 2/15. The show starts at 10pm.

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