A Concert Review: The Blank Tapes at U St. Music Hall 4/19

Three things I took away from The Blank Tapes’ performance at U Street Music Hall last Friday:
  1. I am almost convinced that beards have magical music powers.
  2. Every band gains 10 cool points for having a chick drummer.
  3. All I want is to be barbequing poolside on a hot summer day.

Matt Adams, lead singer for the Blank Tapes, surely discovered the secret ability of a beard to enhance all the best aspects of his warm voice and mellow sound. The clothes and equally messy hairstyles of his two band mates, Pearl Charles and a nameless base player, were also salutes to this 1970’s-day-at-the-beach-esque vibe.  To say I felt immediately transported into another time would be an exaggeration, but once The Blank Tapes began their set, it was more than easy to imagine myself and everyone else in the venue wearing flared jeans and (another item) on a beach in southern California.

After a modest, “Hi. We’re The Blank Tapes, and we’re from Los Angeles,” Adams and crew opened with “On A Friday Afternoon,” (I’m still trying to decide if that was meant to be ironic or not) and followed with a litany of equally chill tunes that did not fail to disappoint. Perhaps more impressive was Adams’s finesse with the guitar, a finesse that is only realized from a live performance. There was a point during the show where I had to ask myself how it was physically possible for Adams to play so many chords, so fast, while still making it seem effortless and casual.  In other words, I was pretty impressed. And as I mentioned before, having a girl drummer in an otherwise male band, is the key ingredient to coolness. At least, I think it’s cool—but maybe that’s just because I’ve secretly always wanted to be a drummer. Also Adams’s girlfriend, the band’s female drummer, Pearl Charles, definitely added to the band’s overall vibe: not only did she hold her own with the other talented musicians, but she also seemed to be the band member enjoying the show the most–smiling, dancing, and basically skipping in one particularly happy song. Needless to say, Charles confirmed my theory that a girl drummer always adds 10 cool points to any band, and kept my dream of being a drummer alive, despite my complete lack of experience with any sort of percussion instruments.

After having experienced The Blank Tapes live, I can definitely say that they are a band to watch. With summer break a mere two weeks away, The Blank Tapes are sure to make their way on to more than a few summer play lists. I, for one, will shamelessly count down the hours until I can lay poolside at a Memorial Day barbeque with The Blank Tapes’ album playing in the background. Not to mention, make sure to pick up their upcoming album, Vacation, on May 14th!

Until then, happy listening!

The Blank Tapes, “Coast to Coast:”

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