Live Review / Photos: Imperial China, Title Tracks, Edie Sedgwick @ the Black Cat (2009.01.07)

IMG_1810Photo credit: Greg Szeto

DC’s Edie Sedgwick is a unique performer that you might say bears little in common with his namesake.  The original Sedgwick was a socialite actress most recognized for starring in Andy Warhol films.  

The Sedgwick in question (pictured right) purports to be the original’s transgendered reincarnation and is signed, interestingly enough, to legendary Dischord Records.  Odd until you realize that Sedgwick is a brazen and adventurous pop culture parody act.  

With track titles culled from celebrities and cinema, Sedgwick’s songs are lined with funky, post-punk dance-beats, an undeniable hip-hop swagger and a personality born for performance that ultimately carries the show when the music gets too repetitive.

For a new project, Title Tracks are remarkably tight live.  But I suppose I should expect no less from John Davis (ex drummer of post-punk legends Q and Not U and guitarist/vocalist of Georgie James); he has gathered a cast of musical vets including Merideth Munoz (Pash), Michael Cotterman (Kid Dynamite) and Andrew Black (The Explosion) to continue maturing and refining his musical vision.  

Often a stark contrast to Q and Not U (except maybe some kinship to the sounds on Power), Title Tracks more openly bears influence from pop and soul; but with closer inspection there are some rough-hewn edges.  Sharp guitar lines that can flex beyond pop power chords.  Nimble bass and drum work that can toss songs into tempos and times more turbulent than your standard 4/4 are complemented by rousing choruses, all these bearing the signatures of punkier days.  Title Tracks finds Davis becomomg an even more confident songwriter and forging a distinct voice that explores all he wants to in pop, at times verging on being Beatles-esque, without forsaking his history.

And really, I can’t say more about Imperial China without betraying some major bias.  ”Mortal Wombat” is quickly becoming one of my favorite songs to see live, and Patrick needs to stop busting his kick-drum.  At least Ernie is safe this time.


Edie Sedgwick



Title Tracks


Imperial China


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3 Responses to “Live Review / Photos: Imperial China, Title Tracks, Edie Sedgwick @ the Black Cat (2009.01.07)”

  1. brian says:

    thanks greg! awesome pictures!

  2. matt says:

    Edie is so good live. “letter to crowd in re guy in front dancing alone with two shirts, one tied over the other…”

    Patrick’s got some sweet drummer faces going.

  3. Daily Breather says:

    Man! How did you get these pics of Imperial China to make them look so subdued?

    Have not seen or heard them before but saw these cats out at the Aural States Fest tonight(It’s OK, you can say “oral” states). Right on! I grew up far away and the only sounds coming out of DC at the time was Fugazi. Who else had the punk and experimental sound? When I heard these guys I could instantly see and hear a 2nd, 3rd, maybe even 4th generation of this sound a spirit. Not a later generation that rehashes nostalgia but one who carries the flag into the next wave. Thank you.

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