Day Party Crawl
Titus Andronicus/Drive-By TruckersWaterloo Records, Thursday, March 18
Here's a theory: Any band worth listening to is either a disciple of the Replacements or the Velvet Underground. Support for it often presents itself in unlikely places. To wit: even Patty Griffin has covered the 'Mats' "Alex Chilton" live (and not to get sidetracked, but R.I.P.). So maybe it shouldn't have been too surprising when, halfway into its set, Titus Andronicus frontman Patrick Stickles called out to a guy in the assembling crowd of the Waterloo Records parking lot to praise him for his shirt – a faded Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash T-shirt. Figures. The Jersey outfit has the same streak of youth-charged anger, even if they channel it in different ways, as they do on new sophomore XL Records LP The Monitor, which is maybe the best Civil War-themed indie rock album ever made. Even divorced from album context, the material translates perfectly live as the same energy infects every note, every lyric, every everything. On their heels, the Drive-By Truckers didn't really do anything in explicit support for the theory (although we're just going to suspect it holds) but featured material from latest The Big To-Do, the Georgians giving ample example for the youngsters of how to mature with dignity and still tear the guts out of three guitars. Being loud, drunk, and sloppy is OK for a while, but just being tight is what can make any band worth a shit a big star.