Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Native Noise: Buildings- and CD giveaway!


Accessibility: 8
Originality: 9
Musical Prowess: 9
Recommended Listening: 8
Crush Factor: 9
Artistic Experience*: 10
Overall: 9.2+

*This new rating category was necessary. Throughout the Buildings show, a video of various scenes was playing on a screen in the background, and though I can’t really describe how perfect it was, it gets 10 extra points for how fascinated I was––not only was their music perfectly exhilarating and stimulating, they threw in some synesthesia.
I begin by issuing a formal apology for gate-crashing to all the 23-26 year old superhipsters that were present at Big Bear Café on Friday night to see local DC band Buildings––but hiding the fact that I am an incorrigibly fresh-faced 19-year-old who was in the Shaw neighborhood for the first time ever was next to impossible. And, the way things look, you all will probably have to start sharing Buildings with more than just one little college girl lurking in the corner of a coffee shop soon in any case.

“How did the blessed miracle of Buildings come to be?” I asked the band after sitting down with band members Collin Crowe, Nick Stern, and David Rich, only a few minutes after they had blown the windows out of the little café with a solid set.  “Me and Collin met through destiny,” said Rich bluntly. No, destiny is not a girl, like I initially thought, destiny is a random act of fate––I like those. After playing around with the lineup for a bit, they settled on two guitars (Crowe and a new addition I didn’t get a chance to speak with), bass (Stern), and drums (Rich)––but no vocals. Stern explained: “our music stems from the fact that we all see the songs completely differently, and if we added vocals, it would kind of ruin it, because we’d all be anchored to the same thing.” The result is essentially fresh and exhilarating lo-fi SOUND that is hard to put a label on (even their record label Sockets, in their blurb describing the new EP, says that Buildings are not just some “typical post-whatever clone lamery,” well, thank god.)
 The band only had good things to say of their label, Sockets, currently undertaking the grand project of “getting new stuff together out of the ashes of the DC music scene.” Really, the scene is in ashes? This was the firmest answer I’d ever gotten in my quest for a reading on the state of DC’s music “scene,” but from what I’d heard before, it made sense.  Crowe went on: “DC’s been tame, but I’m so invested in it, I can’t leave, I dealt with years when the only bands were fucking noise bands and they weren’t that great. But now I’m invested in it, I’m in a band with guys I like, it’s getting better.” Rich continued in a similar vein: “there’s a lot of new good bands, there’s more places to play.” So stick around, WGTB listeners, it looks like there is indeed a future for DC music.
Like other DC bands I’ve talked to previously, Buildings has a couple quick weekend tours in mind for summer 2010, maybe a week-long tour at most––it’s hard to sync schedules when band members have full-time jobs.  They’ll however be playing several shows in the area, for those of you who will (like myself) be in the District of Fun for the summer. As for the near future, the band will be at the Hexagon in Baltimore this Friday the 23rd, and will be at the Rock and Roll Hotel with Imperial China on May 7th.

When I asked Buildings for words of advice to any aspiring musicians at Georgetown, they had a variety of responses I hope at least someone, somewhere takes to heart: “Try harder to be yourself. If you’re playing music, don’t be afraid to call yourself a band, and don’t be afraid to play a show.” (Stern), “Just have fun. Live fast, die young,” (Rich), “But try hard, set the bar, change music. Take it seriously. Have a good time. Don’t be afraid to ask questions” (Crowe). Are you motivated yet?
As far as their own self-perception, Buildings seems to have a fairly accurate idea of who they are and where they stand, an attribute I can only take as admirable. Crowe was succinct in his assessment: “Buildings is just three guys in a room being who they are.” But it works. They need nothing more, take my word for it.

“I was born to rock.”
––Collin Crowe, April 2010


Guess what? After reading all that, you now have a chance to win a copy of Building’s sold out debut EP Endless (off DC record label Sockets). They were kind enough to give me 2, one that I’ll be selfishly withholding, and one that a lucky WGTB reader will be playing soon. How to win? Send me something a suggestion for a local band I’ve yet to cover ( There have only been four thus far, so this will be easy. READY, GO.

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