Music Park: Alvvays @ Rock & Roll Hotel — 10/7/17

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Alvvays plays blissed out pop at the Rock & Roll Hotel on Oct. 7, 2017. (Photo by David LaMason)

Saturday night found Alvvays playing the first night of two sold-out shows at Rock & Roll Hotel. Even an hour before the doors opened, the line to the venue stretched down H Street NE, a testament to the band’s growing fanbase. And it’s certainly not hard to see why.

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Music Park: Torres @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 9/29/17

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Torres brings power and truth to the Rock and Roll Hotel on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. (Photo by David LaMason)

Mackenzie Scott is a powerful force. Her confessional lyrics seem magnified by the force of each performance, and on Friday night at the Rock and Roll Hotel it was no different –just as mesmerizing and just as strong as ever.

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Music Park: Rainer Maria @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 9/28/17

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Rainer Maria brings magic to the Rock & Roll Hotel on Sept. 28, 2017. (Photo by David LaMason)

Some shows are good, some shows are great, and some have the power to simply lift spirits. Rainer Maria brought what can only be described as a feeling of homecoming on Thursday at the Rock & Roll Hotel (even though the band originally formed in Madison, Wisconsin, and reformed together in New York after years of living in various corners of the globe).

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Music Park: Jay Som @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 9/23/17

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Melina Duterte mesmerizes as the force behind Jay Som at the Rock & Roll Hotel on Sept. 23, 2017. (Photo by David LaMason)

Some bands simply exude fun and bring with them a visceral cool that infects those in the audience, and on this late-summer (it was still a balmy 90 degrees outside) Saturday night, Jay Som brought with them a much needed chill.

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Snapshots: Big Thief @ Black Cat — 9/9/17

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Adrienne Lenker of Big Thief pulls all the heartstrings at the Black Cat on Sept. 9, 2017. (Photo by David LaMason)

Big Thief have recently released Capacity, their second full-length LP, on Saddle Creek, but the songs on the album belie a maturity and songcraft light years into the future. On Saturday, Big Thief played many of these new tunes to a sold-out crowd at the Black Cat.

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Snapshots: A Giant Dog @ DC9 — 9/3/17

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Sabrina Ellis fronts A Giant Dog at DC9 on Sept. 3, 2017. (Photo by David LaMason)

“I believe in girls who believe in rock and roll.” So opens “& Rock & Roll” from the Austin, Texas band A Giant Dog from their third album Pile. Seeing the band take the stage at a packed DC9 Sunday night, it’s clear that they not only believe in rock and roll but embody it!

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Snapshots: Guided by Voices @ Ottobar – 8/31/17

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Guided by Voices play to a sold-out Ottobar on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. (Photo by David LaMason)

Bob Pollard at this point could rest soundly on his impressive laurels — 25 Guided by Voices albums as of this writing, spanning nearly 35 years and 100 albums in total for Pollard himself. But as Bob pointed out very clearly at the Ottobar in Baltimore Thursday night, he’s not about to just play the hits! Teamed with Kevin March (drums), Bobby Bare, Jr. (guitar), Mark Shue (bass), and Doug Gillard (guitar), and a sizable cooler filled with Miller Light and tequila, the band played a sweaty and fun set to this sold-out crowd.

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