As a rule, we try to keep our distance from 19-year-olds (damn, those statutory age limits are tricky), but there was one in particular we were always happy to see: Fallout Records. Open to the discriminating punk-as-fuck public since 1984(!), Capitol Hill's Little Record Store That Could is, sadly, saying they just can't anymore, and will bow out with one last in-store performance from Memphis' American Death Ray on Feb. 1 before closing for good around mid-month. The tiny zine-and-record-packed space, which has brought in everyone from Wally Shoup to the White Stripes to perform, says that a bad economy combined with complaints about the in-stores from nearby apartment tenants and "the utter lack of support we've seen (on many levels) from the local police" have all contributed to their impending demise. The staff released a statement saying, in part, "[We] can't express how much we (sob) care about everyone who has given us amazing music, writing, and art and the people who have spent their hard-earned dollars on independently produced products. Hopefully that spirit will live on in some other form." . . . In better news, Rummage continues to outlive the demise of its host, I-Spy, with a second post-closure happening at the Alibi Room on Sunday, Feb. 2 from noon to 4 p.m. This celebration and sale of local artists' and designers' work includes, as per usual, brunch, DJs, prizes, and this time out, a kissing booth. . . . It was a damn good week down at Graceland, between Tuesday's return of Sunny Day Real Estate's Jeremy Enigk and William Goldsmith in their new incarnation, the Fire Theft, and Saturday's Walkmen/ Hot Hot Heat/Hint Hint smackdown. Overwhelmed by a sardine-packed room and emo devotion so thick we feared a blocked windpipe, DOON skipped out on the Fire Theft after several songs, but the far-more-committed-to-the-cause Andrew Bonazelli stayed to report. Says he: "When guitarist Bill Dolan's amp crapped out halfway through 'Uncle Mountain,'
the Fire Theft's first-ever live song at their first-ever live show, the SDRE offshoot collectively shrugged and played the tune again, just so the beyond-sold-out, salivating crowd wouldn't be deprived of his monster solo. Gnarly. Aside from that mishap, TFT's genesis was as tight and white as Molly R's Breakfast Club panties. If you appreciated the hand-clutching-skull theatrics of frontman Enigk's 1996 solo record, you'll swoon for bombastic, Mellotron-driven numbers like 'Hands on You' and 'Houses.'" As for the Walkmen, hot damn. While the Heat put on a typically great show—we can't apologize enough for avoiding them so long, all on the misbegotten advice of a Canadian-hater friend—and Hint Hint rocked much harder and better than any opening band has a right to, it was N.Y.C.'s Walkmen who really, truly made our night. Though we didn't get a taste of The Hit ("We've Been Had," now playing in a Saturn commercial near you), there was plenty enough other good stuff from Everybody Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone and beyond to tide us over, and then some. All we can say is, brave the all-ages crowd and see the bill again when it returns to the VERA Project on Feb. 7 from a run down the West Coast, or be sorry. . . . Speaking of all-ages, though local Loveless-Records-kids-turned Epic-big-timers Vendetta Red don't get a lot of respect from the local music press, their appearance at the Showbox last week with Juliana Theory and Something Corporate (good Christ, that's a terrible name) showed that the kids, at least, are eating it up with a spoon. If the single "Shatterday"—which had the whole crowd singing along like it was "Freebird"—doesn't go huge on modern rock radio, well, slap our ass and call us Shirley, 'cause that shit is catchy. . . . If you've got a computer and an index finger for pushing cursors around, you don't even need a dime to check out a track from Cat Power's upcoming You Are Free. Just go to matadorrecords.com/
cat_power to download the entirety of the surprisingly rocking "He War." . . . Incident No. 467 in which we wish we were a fly on the wall: Justin Timberlake met up with none other than the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne in London last week at a Radio One taping, and the pair got on like gangbusters. According to a Jive Records staffer in the U.K., "Justin is a big fan of theirs," and besides, "he likes to do things people don't expect." Anyway, it all led to Coyne giving Timberlake a copy of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots to study, then tricking him out in a plush dolphin outfit (that's their kinky thing), and giving him a bass guitar to play along onstage during a Top of the Pops taping—the crowd, not surprisingly, went nuts. It's actually not the first time the Lips have passed the plushie. Over the holidays, the band got two members of the Vines to dance onstage in costume at KROQ's Christmas concert in L.A. . . . And finally, if you really want to know where you belong, take this quiz: www.hipsterhandbook.com/ quiz.html. You can't do worse than we did.
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