The DC founded, Slumberland Records, celebrated their twenty-year existence with a more than colossal show on Friday at the Black Cat. With a clown car of acts squeezed into the Cat’s normal time slot, fanatics of the label were able cheer wildly along to the likes of Brown Recluse, Pants Yell!, Frankie Rose & The Outs, The Ropers, Nord Express, Lorelei, and of course, the feature of the evening, the one and only pop sensation, Crystal Stilts. I must admit that I spent the majority of the night tethering back and forth between the show, and my favorite dance night at the Black Cat, Kicks. But what I did hear was all manner of dreamy, indie, garagey, shoegaze, psych-flecked, cotton candy goodness.
While the crowd was not nearly the most rambunctious I’ve seen at the Cat, they certainly were devoted, and held down a steady camp as they eagerly awaited act after act, genuinely seeming to appreciate each one for it’s own merits.
In my schizophenic nomadry between the two floors, I had to pick my choice moment to produce the camera, and it should come as no surprise that the hour arrived as Crystal Stilts took the stage. A savvier fan could probably produce names for the tracks I captured, but if the band is to be believed, this is a document of two newer pieces.
From everything I’ve heard and know about that band, this is an even deeper return to the garage spirit that has brought them ever-critical acclaim, most recently from the Night of Light LP. Guitar that slips away like the tide, eddied by a swirl of vocals, with a loose cadre of drums pushing things along, while an echo of keyboard becomes the jelly that somehow holds it all together.
I believe Crystal Stilts themselves would want you to sit back, relax, enjoy the ride, and pay no attention to where you might end up.