Courtney Taylor-Taylor performs at the 9:30 Club on April 17, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
“Music says it better than words,” said Courtney Taylor-Taylor on Sunday night by way of an explanation as to why he wasn’t feeling very chatty during his band’s show at the 9:30 Club.
The very full club yelped in agreement, and Courtney returned to vocal duties for The Dandy Warhols, who were touring on the strength of a ninth studio album, Distortland, released April 8 via Dine Alone Records. After some slight experimentation in their last album, This Machine, The Dandys return to form on the new record, which suited them and the audience just fine. The Dandy Warhols occupy a very unique space as a psychedelic band wrapped in a grunge aesthetic. Make no mistake, however: They are a great live band and their laidback guitar jams are a highlight of the show.
Rhiannon ‘Ritzy’ Bryan of The Joy Formidable (Photo Credit: Paul Hudson)
This Wednesday, April 13, The Joy Formidable take over the 9:30 Club for a night of rock.
Their new and third full-length album, Hitch, released in March.
The single “The Last Thing On My Mind”, a catchy, thumping song that wants to last forever. In fact, many of the songs from Hitch are quite long.
The Joy Formidable are a Welsh alternative rock band that first formed in 2007. The band is Rhiannon Bryan (lead singer, guitars), Matthew James Thomas (drums) and Rhydian Dafydd (bass).
Their second album, Wolf’s Law, was a bigger and more rock anthemesque than previous efforts, and I quite liked it when it first came out. Maybe a little Muse creeping in. Yet their first album, A Big Roar, and the original EP, are a closer match to the sound of the songs in Hitch. “The Greater Light Is the Greatest Shade” and ‘Whirring” are what originally captured my attention and led me to get each album. I’ve yet to fully listen to Hitch, but will get on that right away.
Don’t give The Joy Formidable the silent treatment, buy your tickets here.
The Joy Formidable
w/ Everything Everything
Wednesday April 13
Doors @ 7:00pm
The Dandy Warhols (Photo courtesy Dine Alone Records)
The Dandy Warhols have returned with their ninth studio album, released only last week, and they hit the 9:30 Club to promote it on Sunday, April 17.
With Distortland, published April 8 via Dine Alone Records, The Dandys continue their penchant for an outsider perspective set to groovy psychedelic jams. The well-regarded Portland-based quartet received generally favorable reviews with the new 10-track album, according to Metacritic.
Watch the recently released official music video for “You Are Killing Me” by The Dandy Warhols, which features cult actor Joe Dallesandro as a writer that undergoes a bad psychedelic trip:
And of course, as consummate performers, The Dandys themselves are always ready to put on a show with vocalist and guitarist Courtney Taylor, keyboardist Zia McCabe, guitarist Peter Holmström, and drummer Brent DeBoer. The band initially recorded Distortland in Courtney’s basement on and old-school cassette recorder before enlisting Jim Lowe, who’s worked with Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, to mix it. It should be fascinating to see these new songs live!
When I last saw The Dandys at the 9:30 Club in 2012, I observed: “Although the band worked together remarkably well as a band, Courtney Taylor carried the show with a jovial swagger. At times, he would evoke the grunge scene that he quickly grew beyond and mumble through some muddled lyrics and at others he would belt out his words clearly like he was channeling Iggy Pop.”
Louisiana garage gospel quartet Seratones open for The Dandy Warhols. Tickets are available online! You also can purchase a VIP Nation upgrade, Dandys Hang Out Experience Upgrade (for $75), which requires that you already have a regular ticket but which allows you to hang out with the band.
The Dandy Warhols
Sunday, April 17
Jehnny Beth and Ayse Hassan blow the lid off the 9:30 Club on Sunday, March 27, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
During the high point of a concert full of high points, Jehnny Beth rose up on the hands and shoulders of the audience at the 9:30 Club after walking out onto the crowd to belt out “Hit Me” from the Savages’ debut album, Silence Yourself.
After having kicked off her famously high heeled shoes, the lead singer of the post-punk quartet was born aloft by dozens of sturdy hands by admirers who readily followed her direction. Taking the opportunity to turn a combative track on its head, Jehnny asks the audience if they will catch her if she falls. The answer from the nearly sold-out house on Sunday night was an overwhelming “yes!” When she is done singing her verse, Jehnny crowd surfs back to the front of the club to return to the stage.
Angus Tarnawsky performs at the 9:30 Club on Sunday, March 27, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Angus Tarnawsky is a drummer, but in performance he’s not a traditional percussionist.
The Australian-born New Yorker takes to the stage with an electronic dashboard, bursting with knobs and wires, as well as a deconstructed drum set — cymbals to his left and a drumhead to his right. As he moves his way from song to song, Angus creates deliberate, focused sound on his drum set, samples it, and then loops it into an electronic selection that can dissolve into ambience or hopscotch into tribal rhythms.
Performing as the opener for UK quartet Savages at the 9:30 Club on Sunday night, Angus held the attention of a very full room. The gathering crowd waited politely when the lights dimmed to signal the beginning of his set, not fully knowing what to expect. But soon, concert-goers were pleased to travel along Angus’ experimental sonic landscapes. Angus was a perfect opener for Savages, who handpicked him as the first act for the first three weeks of their US tour, which began Sunday night. (He’ll jump off the bill during the time the band perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in mid-April.)
Angus Tarnawsky (Photo by Gina Garcia)
Tasmanian musician Angus Tarnawsky is a jack of all trades. Dividing his time between Vancouver and Brooklyn, the electronic artist and drummer runs a record label, In Context Music, which explores the intersection of electronic and acoustic music. And he released his first solo EP Pitched via Inner Surface Music in 2014.
Angus is coming to DC to perform some of his music as the opener for Savages at the 9:30 Club on Sunday, March 27. Resident Advisor said of Pitched, “Throughout, Tarnawsky deploys the kind of sound palette you might associate with Raster-Noton—bursts of sculpted static, clear synthetic tones, bass that sounds like amplified ground hum.”
Listen to “Expand Contract” by Angus while watching some hypnotic visuals for the techno track on YouTube:
Angus enjoys improvising, employing heavy bass as well as crystalline ambience, to create a unique performance. He’s sure to deliver an absorbing performance when he’s in town.
Tickets are available online.
Opening for Savages
Sunday, March 27
A crowd watching a show at the 9:30 Club! (Photo courtesy 9:30 Club)
The 9:30 Club is launching its own television show on public television in April. The music variety show will be called “Live At 9:30,” and it will air nationwide, owners of the club said yesterday.
Situated now in the booming real estate subdivision known as “North End Shaw,” the 9:30 Club has won quite a few prominent accolades as the best concert venue in the United States. With the television show, everyone will be able to see exactly why that is so, and not just those of us who live, work, or travel to DC.