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Standout Track: “Garafalo,” a tune about the alterna-it-girl of yesteryear that also recalls the alternarock of yesteryear. A stuttery guitar intro gives way to easygoing jangly twee-pop, complete with chorus pedal and barely comprehensible moaning. “Don’t tell the child she’s only half alive/Turn her on her side and drink Champagne tonight/Hot diggity damn,” sings guitarist Amos Tevelow. Many will hear echoes of the Police in the song’s twisty structure, but others may want to dig deeper, all the way to the bottom of Ned’s Atomic Dustbin.
Musical Motivation: Many questions have been asked about the war in Iraq, but on “Garafalo” Petworth offer a query that the media has shied away from thus far. “We have a song about Janeane Garafalo going to Iraq on a USO tour,” says Tevelow, 38, an employee of the nonprofit Media Matters, which sniffs out conservative media bias. “What would happen if she went and an Iraqi and an American soldier just fell in love with her?”
What’s the Matter With Kansas Ave? Petworth, the band, doesn’t have much to do with Petworth, the neighborhood. Of the group’s three members, only drummer Shane Carwile actually resides there—Tevelow lives in Mt. Pleasant and bassist Frank “Pitt Stains” Gomez lives in Columbia Heights. Moreover, the band practices in Wheaton. “Petworth is a fine neighborhood, but there’s not too much going on around it,” says Carwile. “You gotta go up to Columbia Heights where the new everything is at,” So why name your band after it? “Mt Pleasant doesn’t sound very rock, nor does Columbia Heights,” says Tevelow.
Petworth plays Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Rock & Roll Hotel.