Live Review: Wet Leg @ DC9 — 3/11/22

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Wet Leg performs at DC9 on March 11, 2022. (Photos by David LaMason; Words by Mickey McCarter)

Cheeky British post-punk duo Wet Leg boomed quickly on the strength of their single “Chaise Longue” and its followups. Mind you, Vocalist Rhian Teasdale and guitarist Hester Chambers drop their debut Wet Leg album on April 8 via Domino. And yet Wet Leg already became the buzziest band to play DC city, much less DC9, in a recent tour performance.

Wet Leg arrived at DC9 fresh from New York City, where they sold out the 1,800-capacity Brooklyn Steel, to perform for a totally enthralled capacity crowd of about 150 people. That’s what happens when you blow up while on your previously scheduled debut US tour!

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Live Review: Luna Honey @ DC9 — 2/26/22

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Luna Honey performs at DC9 on Feb. 26, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

(Editor’s Note: It’s been longer than we would like since this show but Luna Honey are a wildly innovative and important DC band, and so we present this belated review of a recent concert.)

Experimental rock trio Luna Honey opened a recent turn at DC9 with a droning, wheezing, foreboding dirge of a song called “The Sky Is Blue” from their most recent album, and immediately enthralled the growing crowd gathering for a night of post-punk bands.

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Live Review: Public Figures @ DC9 — 2/25/22

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Public Figures perform at DC9 on Feb. 25, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Punk duo Public Figures rock out in the very best way, throwing drum and bass into a classic punk rock mix that inspires the audience to dance your way out the door while flipping the bird to the world.

At DC9 recently, Public Figures opened fellow punks Weird Babies, and the world, or at least the personal hubris of those who live in it, was squarely in their sights as they thumped away to the beat of songs from their debut album, Year of the Garada, released last year during the pandemic lockdown.

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Best of the Year: Top 10 Musical Moments of 2021 by David

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Bob Mould’s return to 9:30 Club in September ranked among David LaMason’s Best Shows of 2021. (Photo by David LaMason)

If you would have told me around this time last year that I would have had the opportunity to see concerts again, let alone in indoor venues -– some that I hadn’t stepped foot inside in over a year and half –- I would have thought you were crazy. But not only did I have that opportunity –- in large part to vaccines, mask mandates, and the venues and artists who did everything in their power to make sure it was safe to experience live music again –- but I saw some of the best shows I’ve seen in years!

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Live Review: Dead Horses @ DC9 — 12/11/21

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Sarah Vos leads Dead Horses in a performance at DC9 on Dec. 11, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Dead Horses, an enlightening folk outfit from Milwaukee, is the musical vehicle for guitarist and singer-songwriter Sarah Vos and upright bassist Daniel Wolff. And the duo had seen its popularity rising in recent years, especially just before the pandemic — a few months prior to the shutdown saw Dead Horses making appearances in the Northwest with their friend, the great Charlie Parr, to help promote what was back in 2019 his new self-titled release.

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Live Review: Charlie Parr @ DC9 — 12/11/21

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Charlie Parr performs at DC9 on Dec. 11, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Redefining a career through a nationwide lockdown and its confusing wake hasn’t necessarily been a breeze for most musicians. But if any had experienced what one particular virtuoso guitarist from Minnesota went through in the years leading up to the pandemic, it would have likely given them strength to persevere the tougher-than-usual environs of 2020 and 2021.

An acclaimed Piedmont blues and folk blues master who grew up in a small city called Austin and never moved out of the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Charlie Parr took the stage at DC9 recently as a remarkable story of perseverance and unwavering commitment to one’s craft.

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Snapshots: Surfer Blood @ DC9 — 11/13/21

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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.

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Live Review: Sam Evian @ DC9 — 11/6/21

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Sam Evian performs at DC9 nightclub on Nov. 6, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Imagine the predicament — you’re one of indie rock’s very best voices, but you’re also a uniquely skilled multi-instrumentalist and a rising star of a producer.

What do you do with all of that? Sam Evian finds himself in that rare position as a wildly talented guitarist and saxophonist in his early 30s with one of the most distinguishable, enticing voices to speak up in the past five years. And he’s also helped some of his friends bring important music to the world through his gift engineering sound.

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Live Review: The Felice Brothers w/ Al Olender @ DC9 — 10/14/21

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The Felice Brothers (Photo courtesy Yep Roc Records)

Hailing from upstate New York’s Hudson River Valley, The Felice Brothers began in the mid-2000s as the musical project of brothers Ian, James, and Simone Felice. They began their career as buskers, and have referred to themselves (who knows how jokingly)  as “scumbags.”

Their career got a boost from another area resident, legendary Band drummer and vocalist Levon Helm, who invited them to perform at one of his Midnight Rambles in Woodstock. It’s fitting that the Brothers got a break from him, as their music owes obvious debts to The Band and Bob Dylan, in its mix of humor, surrealistic imagery, and ironic gloss on classic Americana. Their early recordings were rough — one was made in a chicken coop — but have grown more refined over the course of their career. As they toured with acts ranging from Justin Townes Earle to Old Crow Medicine Show to the Dave Matthews Band, the Brothers became more sophisticated artists.

That sophistication was on display in their unique brand of folk country-rock/ Americana in a packed house at DC9 recently.

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