Chamber poppers Destroyer released ken, their 12th studio album, in October via Merge Records. Destroyer launched a North American tour last night in Portland, Oregon, and the band will visit DC to perform at Black Cat on Sunday, Jan. 28.
For the past year, I personally wondered if Ex Hex, one of the strongest bands to emerge from DC in quite some time, were going to be a one-album project. After all, their debut album Rips dropped in 2014, and the last 12 months were relatively quiet for the female power pop trio.
Ex Hex crushed my fears in a sold-out show at Black Cat on Saturday, remarkable not only for the wall-to-wall crowd but also the wall-to-wall sound in an upbeat performance that included several new songs! Every show I’ve caught by the band has been good, but this was simply the best.
After its New Year’s Eve party on Dec. 31, Black Cat, one of DC’s top indie rock clubs, closed its doors for roughly four weeks for repairs. The Back Cat intends to reopen on Sunday, Jan. 28, for a concert headlined by Destroyer, which features Dan Bejar of The New Pornographers.
I can safely say that all the concerts I attended in 2017 exceeded my expectations, but of course I say that about all live music. I was fortunate to photograph over 80 shows in 2017, from artists both well known to those just starting out. I’m truly inspired watching these talented musicians and their courage in getting up on a stage to lay their souls bare. Or as the L.A. Times’ David Ackert so eloquently put it, “…musicians and singers are willing to give their entire lives to a moment — to that melody, that lyric, that chord, or that interpretation that will stir the audience’s soul.” Continue reading
The year 2017 has been full of contradictions. For many, myself included, it was a year filled with uncertainty and frustration, but to a certain degree it also woke people up. And the music that was created was some of the best in years.
The year 2017 was a good year for revisiting old friends as they returned to remind us that they truly still “got it.” In the past year, Parklife DC reviewed a great deal of musicians and bands, and the performances that really distinguished themselves often came as something of a pleasant surprise.
It goes without saying that Beach Slang have been having a difficult year. There was the well-publicized changes in band members in 2016, immediately followed by the first of two thefts where all of their gear was stolen. The second coming this past month in Seattle where their tour van was stolen. But it’s a testament to the spirit of Beach Slang that they not merely continue on or go through the motions, but they consistently play some of the best heart-on-your-sleeve-seat-of-your-pants rock ‘n’ roll every night. And at Black Cat, James Alex and Company poured out those hearts on Tuesday.