Kurt Vile and The Violators rock a sold-out Ottobar on July 23, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)
There’s something about Kurt Vile that’s hard to pin down, but maybe that’s the point. Listen to any of his solo work that’s been released over the past 10 years and you might see what I mean. Although he has put out several albums over the past decade under both his own name and with various other artists, including Courtney Barnett, Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis — and he is a frequent collaborator with the band The War on Drugs — Kurt creates the kind of rambling but layered music that’s hard to pull yourself away from (if you ever wanted to in the first place).
Sebadoh plays a sold-out Metro Gallery on June 19, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)
Back when I was in college, a friend and I drove down to the beach (about a three or four hour drive) at night straight to the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland; found a good spot; and proceeded to play (among other things) a stirring rendition of Sebadoh’s “Punch in the Nose” complete with clarinet solo and out of tune acoustic guitar. It was fun, sloppy, and exciting — much like the music that Sebadoh has been creating — off and on– for the last 30 years.
The Lemonheads rock out at the 9:30 Club on June 13, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)
Evan Dando, the creative force and songwriter behind The Lemonheads, has written some brilliant songs. In fact, they are some of the most hook-laden creations ever put to vinyl from the late ’80’s to mid-90’s. And in 2003 his solo album, Baby I’m Bored, has one of my favorite songs, “Hard Drive,” that’s even more moving when you see him perform the song alone with only a guitar being the only accompaniment. He would do exactly that at a recent show at 9:30 Club.
Glen Hansard performs at the Lincoln Theatre on June 3, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)
When I listen to Glen Hansard’s music — especially songs from the new album, This Wild Willing — I can picture a man who has two feet planted firmly in the past but is stretching out across this temporal divide to grasp the future. His music often straddles the line separating old folk tradition and modern tones and feeling.
Kevin Morby rocks the 9:30 Club on June 1, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)
Over the past few years Kevin Morby has grown exponentially both as a performer and as a songwriter. From his time in the Babies and Woods to his critically acclaimed solo records, Kevin creates music that is at once familiar and at the same time new. He continued to do so at the 9:30 Club recently.
Okay, so I’m figuring most people reading this know about L7, the Los Angeles-based band that started back in 1985 fusing hard rocking riffs and growling vocals. But juuuust in case, let me fill you in a bit following their awesome show at The Fillmore Silver Spring recently.