CMJ Music Marathon 2008 Day 2: The Dexter Romweber Duo

Words by Vijith Assar

Romweber's approximately rockabilly set alternated through solo drunken-songwriter segments -- nonchalantly strummed on a retro black guitar, quite possibly modeled after one of Dali's melting clocks -- and duo performances with a drummer. Unaccompanied, he had a vaguely Elvisian swagger which was tolerable, if a little long winded -- and in any case, that's arguably a necessary evil; how else does one learn how to write good roots-rock tunes? This may seem unlikely being that he's the titular figurehead, but things only took off once his slight elder sister Sara took to the skins. Romweber likes real distortion, the kind that comes from a complaining amp instead of a piddling little orange pedal, but even that can be trumped by the chaotic glitter of manic cymbals reflecting every which way. It's like Meg White syndrome, but more competent. Is that an oxymoron?

Sense and Sensibility at the World Cup

I've sworn, after learning about the latest kleptocrat billionaire to buy a club, or scrambling from the clash between hooligans and riot police, or hearing a homophobic chant rise up from the stands, I would give up on the game. Anyone with sense would.

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