Dante Ferrando drums in The Owners at Comet Ping Pong on Dec. 9, 2021. (Photos by Ben Eisendrath)
Longtime fans of DC nightclub Black Cat — and good indie music in general — were greeted by a surprise when we emerged from pandemic lockdowns a few months ago. The Cat’s founders, Dante Ferrando and Catherine Ferrando, and longtime bartenders, Al Budd and Laura Harris, had formed a quartet.
They called themselves The Owners and sharpened their songs in the Black Cat itself as a ready rehearsal space while it was closed to the public. The results are pretty damn catchy, as evidenced in their most recent performance in a sold-out show with Bad Moves at Comet Ping Pong.
Surfer Blood performs at DC9 on Nov. 13, 2021. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath; Words adapted from press materials.)
Over a year ago, Surfer Blood released Carefree Theatre, their fifth studio album, and returned to their first label, Kanine Records. Surfer Blood finally toured behind the record and also returned to DC in a sold-out show at DC9 on Saturday. Ben Eisendrath was there to shoot the show.
The Lincoln Theatre stands in silence in this stark photo by Ben Eisendrath. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath/ Instagram+Twitter: Insomnigraphic/ GrillworksBen)
Ben Eisendrath has one of the greatest assets of a photographer: a persistent curiosity.
When Ben carries a lens, he is intently searching for something to capture. You can see it in his eyes: What’s that guy’s story? What’s happening here? Or in this case, what’s behind those closed doors?
Songbyrd Music House (Photo by Ben Eisendrath/ Instagram+Twitter: Insomnigraphic/ GrillworksBen)
For music lovers, Songbyrd Music House feeds the body, mind, and soul.
The versatile music venue is divided into three distinct parts — a restaurant, a cafe, and a theatre. In any one of these spaces, you can find music to comfort your ears as well as food and drink to slake your appetite.
Fitz and The Tantrums perform at The Anthem on Feb. 14, 2020. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath/ Instagram+Twitter: Insomnigraphic/GrillworksBen)
Fitz and The Tantrums performed at The Anthem recently in support of All the Feels, the band’s fourth studio album, and our friend Ben Eisendrath was there to shoot the show!
YACHT performs at Songbyrd Music House on Jan. 15, 2020. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Editor: We have updated this post with more photos of YACHT performing at Rough Trade NYC on Jan. 18, 2020!
Inspired in part by an application called the Verbasizer offered by David Bowie in the ’90s, synthpop trio YACHT wrote an album in collaboration with an AI program last year.
YACHT performed the appealing results in its entirety at Songbyrd Music House recently, offering the 10 new wave tracks of Chain Tripping live in reverse order of the record. And interestingly, the songs sounded like something that could have sprung directly from a Bowie collaboration with Brian Eno in the ’70s.
Black Mountain performs at Black Cat on Nov. 13, 2019. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath/ Instagram+Twitter: Insomnigraphic/GrillworksBen)
Canadian psych-rockers Black Mountain performed at Black Cat recently during the band’s Horns Arising Tour to present new songs from Destroyer, the band’s fifth studio album. Ben Eisendrath went along to capture them in action.
Robert Cray performs at The Birchmere on Sept. 26, 2019. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath)
Blues guitarist Robert Cray dropped by The Birchmere recently for an engrossing show, and Ben Eisendrath got some photos.
Suzi Wu performs at DC9 on May 29, 2019. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath/ Instagram+Twitter: Insomnigraphic/GrillworksBen)
There’s something very reassuring about Suzi Wu, the rising UK grime artist who is currently touring through the United States for the first time. She wore an easy confidence, and although she is really quite young, she seemed really very certain of herself in an entertaining show at DC9 recently.
Willie Nile performs at The Hamilton Live on April 20, 2019. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath/Instagram+Twitter: Insomnigraphic/GrillworksBen)
Willie Nile bridges the chasm that lies between Bob Dylan and The Clash. He ties intelligent, literate lyrics to frenetic melodies and crashing rhythms. Talk to Willie, and the F-bomb may pop out of his craggy face. Willie turns 71 in June, and he’s still active and creative — maybe more than ever. His creativity was on display at The Hamilton Live recently.