Let it be known that I am not advocating for some kind of coup, staged under cloak of night, to the end of changing the legal status of the District of Columbia. That would be crazy.
This will be the third or fourth time I have seen the band, which formed in 2006 and has been playing shows in the area fairly regularly. Each time, they have acted exactly like you want your new favorite local band to: enthusiastic and intense, but also modest and friendly at the same time. Bassist Eric Axelson, in particular, always seems so charming when he talks to the audience – presumably a blend of his years of rock-star on-stage nights* and a day job teaching children in a DC public school.
For those who have not yet had the pleasure of seeing them live or hearing the record, the sound is sort of angular and dance-punky, in a way that seems to show the maturity of the musicians behind it. Do you like bands such as Mission of Burma? Appreciate the inevitable (and fair) Dismemberment Plan comparisons? Ok, you will like Statehood. A lot.
What else were you going to do? Hang out with your family at home?**
*Eric Axelson and drummer Joe Easley were famously members of perhaps my all-time favorite band, The Dismemberment Plan. That fact, and the inevitable comparisons has perhaps gotten more ink than Statehood’s own work, so I will leave that to others to discuss at length. Suffice it to say, yes, there are similarities, but they work for the band, and never come off as samey.
**Possible answers to this question: Let us say for a moment your tastes run more to the dance side than dance-punk. If so, you might want to check out Pho Real 2007 at FIVE. DJ Eleven will be there (among quite a slate of DJs), and is, for some reason, the only one of the three members of The Rub I have never seen live. If you go, let me know how that was.
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs