Miles Kurosky @ DC9
March 24, 2010
“The thing about Beulah fans is, they can be a little psychotic,” quipped Miles Kurosky to an intimate but enthusiastic crowd on Wednesday night. His remark--which was received, appropriately, with unbridled cheers--has more than a little bit of truth to it. Although the band boasted the tiniest of fan bases--which included myself-- during its run from 1996 to 2004, its popularity and influence has steadily grown in the intervening years. Its cult status never transferred to the mainstream, but when news broke that its frontman, Kurosky, would be touring with a new album, more than a few devotees fell out of their chairs in joy.
As Wednesday night’s concert at DC9 proves, the artist’s return was well worth the wait. Kurosky’s new album, packed with shifty, catchy compositions and cynical yet brutally honest lyrics, is an easy crowd-pleaser; as soon as he started off his set with album (and career) highlight “I Can’t Swim,” it was clear that everyone in the room was thrilled to be there. “You guys are awesome, much better than Philadelphia,” he admitted a few songs later, before launching into a string of anecdotes involving a parking lot attendant, his mother, and Conan O’Brien. Clearly an interesting and intelligent person, Kurosky consistently transcended standard stage patter to give the audience the best possible time-- “I’m just your dancing monkey,” he laughed, but his appreciation for the goodwill and fervor of the audience was obvious. Toward the end of the night, Kurosky addressed the elephant in the room and took requests for Beulah songs, attempting nearly all of them even if he forgot the chords or lyrics halfway through. During one such number (which was successfully completed), “Landslide Baby,” the audience became so passionately involved that they continued singing after the song had finished. “It’s like we’re in a religious revivalist tent,” he said, but it was clear that everyone there was happy to have Kurosky as their preacher.
-- Mark Stern
Host, "Don't You Wish We Were NPR," Mondays 8-10 AM on WGTB