Live Review: Hamilton Leithauser and Kevin Morby @ 9:30 Club — 11/23/21

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Hamilton Leithauser, who grew up in DC, performs at 9:30 Club on Nov. 23, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

The pandemic has had a profound impact on the live music industry, unfortunately creating a dearth of opportunities for some artists, but concurrently providing inspiration and much-needed time for others to essentially hit the reset button.

A number of the tours assembled over the last few months, maybe more than usual, have been of the double-bill type, a benefit to cities along the way with venues considered must-stops.

One such an outfit to recently visit the area was the tantalizing duo of DC native Hamilton Leithauser and Kevin Morby — a pair of accomplished musicians who set out in mid-October on what was dubbed the Fall Mixer Tour, a quest through 29 different cities that wrapped up last week at 9:30 Club with an abundant, exhilarating night of entertainment.

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Preview: Hiss Golden Messenger @ 9:30 Club, 12/8/21

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Hiss Golden Messenger (Photo by Chris Frisina)

2021 Grammy nominee Hiss Golden Messenger are having a busy year! In June, the band released Quietly Blowing It via Merge Records, and they announced a tour that brings them to 9:30 Club on Wednesday, Dec. 8.

Then, Hiss Golden Messenger released a Christmas album, titled O Come All Ye Faithful, last month also via Merge.

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Live Review: The Lemonheads @ Baltimore Soundstage — 11/26/21

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The Lemonheads rocked a packed Baltimore Soundstage on Nov. 26, 2021 (Photo by David LaMason)

“You and I travel to the beat of a different drum,” the opening line of the Michael Nesmith-penned “Different Drum” goes. And so can be said for Evan Dando, the creative force behind The Lemonheads. From the punk leanings of The Lemonheads’ Hate Your Friends to the pop masterpieces on It’s a Shame About Ray and Car Button Cloth, Dando’s musical trajectory has never been beholden to anything other than Dando himself.

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Live Review: Yasmin Williams @ Union Stage — 11/22/21

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Yasmin Williams performs at Union Stage in Washington DC on Nov. 22, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

The hero the DMV might need is hanging out just across the Potomac, and she’s got a guitar in her hands.

And at just 25 years old, Yasmin Williams is on a trajectory to capture the attention of listeners far and wide as a multi-dimensional guitarist with an otherworldly skillset far beyond her years.

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Live Review: Tokyo Police Club @ Union Stage — 11/20/21

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A full house greets Tokyo Police Club at Union Stage on Nov. 20, 2021. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Happy and relaxed, vocalist Dave Monks beamed at the capacity audience at Union Stage in DC recently, wrapping a tour that celebrated 10 years of his band Tokyo Police Club’s sophomore album, Champ.

Dave had a lot to be happy about and the jangly, singalong songs of Champ set the perfect mood for celebration on the last night of a North American tour.

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Live Review: Puma Blue @ The Miracle Theater — 11/20/21

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Jacob Allen leads Puma Blue in a performance at the Miracle Theater in DC on Nov. 20, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Musicians have such an arsenal of effective ways to reach potential supporters these days that genres and categorization become afterthoughts. And today’s resources are empowering a tremendous wave of artists who set out with no intention of adhering to any sort of conventions in the pursuit of their own organic sound.

London-bred singer songwriter Jacob Allen found his through making recordings in his bedroom, and he didn’t even need to leave the comfortable space to create a following. Since cutting and sharing a track called “Only Trying 2 Tell U” on SoundCloud back in 2014, he’s been able to steadily build that fanbase via his musical vehicle known as Puma Blue.

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Live Review: Nitzer Ebb w/ Aertex and Stoneburner @ Baltimore Soundstage — 11/20/21

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Bon Harris of Nitzer Ebb performs at Baltimore Soundstage on Nov. 20, 2021. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)

“The tour must go on”…

Nitzer Ebb lead singer and cofounder Doug McCarthy was “being admitted to hospital [the previous night in Florida] and is now stable and undergoing continued treatment and observation suffering from complications from a pre-existing, non-Covid medical condition,” according to a press release.

“Doug expressed his wish that the tour continue with Bon [Harris] stepping in to perform lead vocals,” said the release — and that Bon did! Despite Doug’s absence, Nitzer Ebb amazed at Baltimore Soundstage recently.

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Live Review: Deer Tick and Delta Spirit @ 9:30 Club — 11/19/21

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Deer Tick performs at 9:30 Club on Nov. 19, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

The Friend Ship tour, featuring indie rock bands Deer Tick and Delta Spirit, recently rolled into the 9:30 Club for an early split set. Each band performed an hour-long set before they took the stage together for an encore.

Fronted by John McCauley, Deer Tick hails from Province Rhode Island, and includes guitarist Ian O’Neil and half-brothers Christopher and Dennis Ryan, of neighboring Pawtucket, on drums and bass. The band’s unusual name comes from an experience McCauley, a lifelong outdoorsman, had while hiking in Indiana, when he found one of the titular pests on his scalp.

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Live Review: Los Lobos @ City Winery — 11/18/21

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Los Lobos (Photo by Piero F. Giunti)

One of America’s longest-lived and best rock ‘n’ roll bands, Los Lobos, played the first evening of a two-night stand at City Winery on Thursday. Though they like to humbly refer to themselves as “just another band from East L.A.,” Los Lobos have been hailed by rock critics like Steven Hyden as one of America’s most underappreciated and important bands.

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