Spoonboy, Jen Hauser, Busman’s Holiday

Spoonboy’s internet invitation to this gig:
Wednesday March 3rd
$3-6
SPOONBOY (acoustic shit from dc)
BUSMAN’S HOLIDAY (vaudevillian charmers from bloomington, in)
SOMETHING PRESCRIBED (formerly known as Jen Hauser)
8pm @ the Dollhouse
1429 Madison St. NW DC

Spoonboy is also known as David “Spoonboy” Combs, the singer and guitarist of D.C.’s anarcho-pop heroes, the Max Levine Ensemble. TMLE is a decade-old band that formed when its members were still in high school. They’ve accomplished a lot since, going on many tours, gigging consistently around D.C. at an array of venues for consistently enthusiastic audiences, putting out a bunch of records and selling a great deal of good songs for a fair market price, being panned by Spin magazine and being praised by the Washington Post, the Onion and various other media outlets which have employed the greatest writers of our era, et cetera.
I liked the TMLE songs that ol’ Spooners “Max” McCombs played, but was unmoved by his solo material. Lyrically it was far too direct for me, talking about his amorphous high school booty romps or whatever and complaining about his old man, and musically it didn’t offer nearly enough hooks to appeal to this particular Billy Bragg fan.
Not only were Spoonboy’s lyrics unvarnished by clever literary devices, witty wordplay, vague references to scripture and deep allusions to the history of American folk art, but I also couldn’t relate to them; nor would I care to.
Spoons sang that he’s glad his old man wasn’t around to take him camping and teach him to how to use his body as a weapon: I was struck by the fact that I feel the opposite.
My body is a hand grenade, and while my father taught me the hook-shot, I often wish he’d taught me more choke moves, pressure points and the like.
Spoons did give me a hug when I got to the show, which I sincerely appreciated; no good deed goes unpunished: C.
Jen Hauser is a young woman who lived in D.C. for awhile and captured the hearts of a generation. I’ve met her once or twice, can’t say I know her. After conquering D.C. and consequently leaving town, she returned for this gig as a solo act named “Something Prescribed.”
When she lived in town, Jen looked punk as heroin: mutilated, funny haircut. Now she has a very nice haircut and wore a stylish leather jacket.
Ultimately, I loved Jen’s vocals. She has a good range and went from sounding like Courtney Love to sounding like a real singer to sounding like a petulant child to sounding like an emotionally dead girl. I was blown away, brains splattered against the wall Kurt Cobain style.
Jen’s acoustic guitar-playing was dirt-poor, but her riffs were sugary enough. The quality of her lyrics varied widely. At its best, this sounds like “Live through This” demos, but think about this: This may be an artist influenced by Turboslut. A.

Batting cleanup was Busman’s Holiday a quartet (or whatever) that used unusual instrumentation, had an OK, but goofy stage presence/shtick, and wrote reasonably catchy tunes. However, I wasn’t “feeling it. They played after a hard act to follow.
This show was pleasant and relaxed. There were a few dozen people there, and the musicians played in the living room of a nice home just off of 16th Street in a placid section of Washington, D.C. that stretches out to the Maryland suburbs.
Most people sat during the music. There were not a lot of celebrities there, but think about this: Maybe I’ve been gone for so long that now there are new celebs who I don’t even know about yet. B-.

 

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