Corin Tucker fronts Filthy Friends at U Street Music Hall on May 20, 2019. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
Concerned with climate change, Corin Tucker took to side project Filthy Friends to say things that she couldn’t say in Sleater-Kinney. Playing songs from the resulting album Emerald Valley lately, Corin and REM guitarist Peter Buck drew a sizable crowd of the devout and the curious at U Street Music Hall recently.
Emerald Valley, released on May 3 via Kill Rock Stars, is actually the second album by Filthy Friends, which includes guitarist Kurt Bloch, bassist Scott McCaughey, and drummer Linda Pitmon. The friends were reunited out of Corin’s interest in sharing tales from her view in hometown Eugene, Oregon (aka Emerald Valley), as to how increased wildfires and other effects of climate change were harming our country, Corine explained at U Street on May 20.
And so, Filthy Friends performed all 10 tracks of the new record, opening the show with “November Man,” a song that expresses disappointment in President Donald Trump, to put it mildly. Soon, the band performs “Pipeline,” a protest song against the oil industry and its lack of environmental consideration.
Throughout it all, Corine sang with passion and spoke with conviction. The Filthy Friends show was a legit revival of pop stars carrying the banner of a serious protest message, commercial success be damned.
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During the concert, Filthy Friends also recalled their debut album, Invitation, from which they presented eight songs. The band closed its main set on “Makers,” a considerably lighter song about making music.
Peter Buck, for all of his prolific collaborations of late, seemed super mellow, and one couldn’t help think he might have been more a presence if he was appearing in a project that wasn’t consuming its frontwoman. Still, the band clearly benefited from his songwriting prowess and steady hand on the guitar.
Filthy Friends have wrapped a US tour and now find themselves in Europe, where they will undoubtedly reach receptive ears. Here are some pictures of Filthy Friends performing at U Street Music Hall on May 20, 2019. All photos copyright and courtesy of Chester Simpson.