After being postponed last week due to a non-existent hurricane, the Salad Days DVD release party went off without a hitch at Comet Ping Pong Friday night. Despite a bit of rain earlier in the evening, fans and friends of the bands and film-makers showed up to celebrate the arrival of such a fine, fine documentary on DVD.
First up, following some opening remarks from Salad Days (2014) director Scott Crawford and producer Jim Saah, was Nox who played the songs from the band's Mary Timony-produced EP (recently reviewed by me here). The three-piece blended some expert indie hooks with some fierce punk riffs to produce the sort of music I'm anxious to hear more of. Hopefully they'll record more stuff in the near future.
Then Dot Dash took the stage for a all-too-short set of tunes new and old. Opening with a roaring version of "The Color and the Sound" from Spark>Flame>Ember>Ash, the lads tore through a bunch of cuts that showed the band to be in superb form. A new song was trotted out -- didn't catch the name despite having the set-list -- and it sounded like The Jam circa "Running on the Spot" a bit, and then there was the loose and effortless indie-pop of "Hands of Time" which sounds more and more like one of those cuts that continues to sound better the more you hear it. It's got the ring of familiarity about it, like an old alt-rock standard, you know? New number "Woke Up Saturday Night" was there too and then it was time for a special guest.
The legendary Peter Cortner of Dag Nasty next hopped up on stage. The vocalist on the classic Wig Out at Denko's (1987) album was there supposedly to honor the D.C. hardcore legacy but what followed was pure pop magic.
Introducing their first song as a Void cover, I grabbed the phone. Saying they were going to do it as a waltz, the band surprised the crowd with a cover of the old Kirsty MacColl number "They Don't Know" (which I knew first as a Tracey Ullman hit in 1983 or so). They followed up this one with an epic run-down of "Smash It Up" by The Damned with Cortner sounding on fire.
A superb end to a splendid evening of music. Congratulations to Scott Crawford and Jim Saah for making such a great film about such a vital time in D.C. music history.
More details about Dot Dash via the band's official Facebook page.