The Linda Lindas perform at Black Cat on July 27, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Probably the youngest band ever I’ll see in a commerical concert venue, The Linda Lindas proved they certainly have the chops to rock in their recent appearance at Black Cat in DC.
Sisters Mila de la Garza (drums, age 11) and Lucia de la Garza (guitar, 14), cousin Eloise Wong (bass, 13), and family friend Bela Salazar (guitar, 17) arrived full of fire and punk punch, exhibiting a raw talent and ambition that will serve them well in the decades ahead!
Since their reunion a few years ago, Jawbox has been keeping themselves busy with tours, a change in their line up, and a recent Revisionist History EP of a couple of older tracks (“Grip” and “Consolation Prize”) — along with driving version of Wire’s “Lowdown” — that were redone with new guitarist, Brooks Harlan of the brilliant Baltimore-based band War on Women, giving the tracks a weight and sonic punch that sounds fresh and quickly found them on repeat through my headphones.
Sleaford Mods dance in the dark at Black Cat on May 21, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
When you first ever see Sleaford Mods, you might not know exactly what to make of them. Are they aging hipsters? Roadies who found their way on stage? A few pissed off guys who want to dance?
It turns out that the duo — Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn — are serious artists who make compelling music. They recently filled Black Cat in DC with a lengthy set of about 23 songs, presenting an engrossing act that makes you reconsider what exactly constitutes a concert.
Boy Harsher perform at Black Cat on April 10, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Boy Harsher have begun to break out of a niche and find a wider audience, and this is quite a good thing, as evidenced by the very crowded room in their recent show at Black Cat.
Early in their set, Boy Harsher, a duo of vocalist Jae Matthews and synthesist Gus Muller, presented “Give Me a Reason,” a song from their most recent project, this year’s soundtrack album to their film, The Runner. Left to its own devices, the song sounded 100 percent as if it could have sprung from the chart lists of eastern Europe in the very early ’80s. Jae intoned huskily over a bounding synthline, each allowing the sound plenty of room to breathe and a lot of space to mesmerize the enthralled gathering.
Geordie Greep leads black midi in a performance at Black Cat on April 5, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)
Once in a while, there comes a band with a presentation so volatile, so unruly that it almost becomes an endeavor to be navigated by its members.
Since forming in 2017, the London-based group known as black midi has experienced a gigantic leap in popularity. That popularity resulted in a smashing turnout for their most recent appearance at the Black Cat in DC.
Following a period that included the release of two singles, a residency at Brixton’s popular venue The Windmill, and then a key live (and recorded) performance during the Iceland Airwaves festival, black midi was signed to Rough Trade Records in 2019 leading up to its premiere studio album, Schlagenheim, which went on to earn a nomination for that year’s Mercury Prize.
Andy Shauf leads his band in a performance at Black Cat on March 30, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)
When a musician is so particular enough about their sound as to be exact, it can be heard in their recordings. Translating that approach to a live performance should be appreciated and admired for the impressive feat that is.
After two previous attempts were simply not to be due to the pandemic and travel challenges, Andy Shauf finally returned the nation’s capital to appear at Black Cat recently for a tasteful and rewarding display of the unique and flawless brand of music that has made him a sensational figure out of Western Canada.
Boy Harsher — the duo of Jae Matthews and producer Augustus Muller — recently released the video for “Autonomy,” a standout track from their new album, The Runner (Original Soundtrack), out now via Nude Club/City Slang. The synthpop duo bring their new tunes to a show at Black Cat on Sunday, April 10.
black midi recently released Cavalcovers, an EP featuring covers of Taylor Swift, King Crimson, and Captain Beefheart, via Rough Trade. The band launched a tour this week, and they arrive locally to perform at Black Cat on Tuesday, April 5.