Just because Darkest Hour didn’t play a big, local CD release show doesn’t mean that the Dark ones aren’t still proud residents of the District. (I wrote about the band’s new album, Deliver Us, in the latest issue of City Paper.) There is an entertaining article by CP contributor Nick Green in the most recent issue of Decibel, wherein vocalist John Henry and guitarist Mike Schleibaum proudly extol D.C.’s virtues. There’s a mention of Tai Shan, the baby panda, but, with the references to the piles of trash in Rock Creek Park and the filthy bathrooms at the Black Cat, it won’t be mistaken for a Chamber of Commerce press release. The most informative part is when Schleibaum breaks down the politics of tipping at Ben’s Chili Bowl.
“Here’s how it really works at Ben’s: all these people behind the counter work for less than minimum wage,” explains Schleibaum. “There’s no line system, so the idea behind tipping is that when it’s really packed, they kinda know who you are and you get a little more attention.” Perhaps that’s why the Darkest Hour dudes each pass a small handful of bills to the staff as they’re placing their orders. “You tip bartenders a buck for a drink and they do way less to earn your money than these people sweating over a grill. It’s an unspoken rule of eating at Ben’s. But don’t worry: you can always hit these guys on the way out.”
Keeping true to form in the manner of all D.C. residents, Henry muses on the “evils of gentrification” and Schleibaum boasts/bitches about the area’s homicidal drivers.
It’s not a release party, but Darkest Hour plays the 9:30 Club on Sunday, August 12, with Job for A Cowboy, Damnation A.D., A Life Once Lost, and Despised Icon. Tickets are $15.