Kurt Vile played a sold-out show at the 9:30 Club last Friday, the first of two nights at the club as part of the first leg of his US tour supporting his latest album, Bottle It In.
Gruff Rhys has been providing listeners with a steady stream of clever and catchy songs since the mid-’90s, first as leader of the Super Furry Animals and later as a collaborator with people like Boom Bip, Damon Albarn, Mogwai, Danger Mouse, and Simian Mobile Disco. Oh yeah, he’s also released five pretty amazing solo albums as well. Gruff brought that significant catalog to DC9 recently.
Swedish chanteuse Lykke Li released her excellent album, So Sad So Sexy, in June and after a summer of performing at festivals all over Europe, began her US tour Friday night at the Lincoln Theater. The show understandably focused on her most recent work, with nine of the album’s 10 songs performed over the evening.
It’s easy to look at the numbers and surmise that Supergrass peaked with their debut album, I Should Coco, in 1995 — and afterward began a slow but steady slide down the charts, but that wouldn’t do justice to the band’s subsequent albums, all excellent in their on way.
Their sophomore album, In It for the Money, is probably my favorite, but it’s 2005’s more diverse Road to Rouen that I listen to most frequently. The more mature, acoustic-leaning songwriting eventually paved the way for lead singer’s Gaz Coombes three solo albums. The latest, World’s Strongest Man, brought him to DC’s City Winery last Thursday.
The National stopped at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Friday in their first area appearance since playing The Anthem at the end of 2017, finishing up a string of dates leading up to their own There’s No Leaving New York festival in Queens.
Don’t look now, but Miguel had himself a hell of a summer. Primetime slots on a number of festivals this summer — D.C.’s own Broccoli Fest, Coachella, Made in America, Afropunk, and this coming weekend’s Hopscotch Fest in Raleigh, North Carolina. In between all of that he made a stop at The Anthem earlier this week, bringing his electric live show to a rapt audience that crossed all osrts of gender and cultural boundaries.
Songs about heartbreak are usually pretty straightforward. Boy meets girl, girl dumps boy, boy sulks. But “True Faith” by New Order fiercely subverts that paradigm. “A sudden sense of liberty,” unbidden, provides sweet perspective.