Vast Robot Armies album cover for Paper Crown Parade (Artwork by Victor Malang)
Vast Robot Armies describe themselves as “three cities, two countries, one band.” John Agee (guitar, bass, and vocals) and Joe Wells (guitar, bass, synth, and backing vocals) hail from Kansas City, Missouri. Jason Thomson (guitars, piano, synths, and vocals) lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The band recently released a new full-length album titled Paper Crown Parade. I caught up with Jason to ask him about standout song “Little Detroit.”
Destroyer performs at Black Cat on March 9, 2020. (Photo by Casey Vock.)
Strange times are best scored with a bizarre and darkly complex soundtrack. We are clearly in such times, and thanks to the Black Cat’s eclectic schedule, including the occasional Canadian band, DC area fans were recently given a healthy dose of avant-garde rock, only a couple days before local venues started canceling shows.
Nap Eyes performs at Black Cat on March 9, 2020. (Photo by Casey Vock)
When Canadian bands make their way into the United States, they oftentimes tour with a posse of fellow Canucks. Such was the case recently at the Black Cat, where Nap Eyes performed as the opening act for a much-anticipated Destroyer show.
Destroyer (Photo by Ted Bois)
In support of the band’s new album, Have We Met, Destroyer plays Black Cat on Monday, March 9.
Sarah Harmer (Photo by Vanessa Heins)
Sarah Harmer thanked The Birchmere “for having faith after 10 years that I can still sing.” The critically acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter recently released her first album in as long, Are You Gone. Over the last decade, she stepped away from music and was engaged in environmental activism. In 2005, Sarah found PERL, Protecting Escarpment Rural Land, to campaign to protect the Niagara Escarpment against a gravel development.
Dan Boeckner sings in the dark at 9:30 Club on Feb. 22, 2020. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Canadian power poppers Wolf Parade recently brought a collaborative and innovative spirit to wondrously fresh music in an early show at 9:30 Club.
While new songs from Thin Mind, the band’s fifth studio album (released last month), were well received, the audience reserved its warmest reaction for a few selections from second studio record At Mount Zoomer.
Sloan rocks the Union Stage on Feb. 22, 2020. (Photo by David LaMason)
Okay. So, I admit that I’m a fan, so saying that Sloan is one of the best bands around and that next to the term “power pop” in any reputable encyclopedia are the names Chris Murphy, Patrick Pentland, Jay Ferguson, and Andrew Scott is a little biased on my part. Four songwriters and musicians who have been writing and performing for nearly 30 years and right on the heals of releasing their twelfth LP, aptly titled 12, the band is in the midst of celebrating the 20th anniversary of their fourth record, “Navy Blues,” with an extensive tour.
And Saturday night at the Union Stage the quartet rocked the roof off to an awestruck audience.
Sloan (Photo by Corbin Smith)
Late last year, Sloan released a deluxe edition of Navy Blues, their seminal 1998 album, and they are now on a tour to play the album in full. Sloan sails the tour to Union Stage on Saturday, Feb. 22.
Wolf Parade (Photo by Astrid Lyre)
Canadian post-punks Wolf Parade dropped Thin Mind, a highly anticipated fifth album, via Sub Pop last month. Frontman Dan Boeckner and the gents are on tour, and they perform at 9:30 Club on Saturday, Feb. 22.
Cowboy Junkies (Photo by Heather Pollock)
Following their game plan from their previous visit to The Birchmere in July 2018, the Cowboy Junkies went with a proven format for their recent show there. They’d play two sets. The first, slightly shorter set, would mostly consist of songs from their latest album, All That Reckoning, while the second set would comb their extensive catalog from more than 30 years together.