Ambient quartet Cigarettes After Sex recently performed at 9:30 Club on the very day the band released Cry, their second studio album. Paivi Salonen was there to take photos of all of the slow jams.
Luna have been making great music for nearly 30 years, but for some reason even after being on major labels, having had songs featured on major movie soundtracks, and the critical praise of not only their peers but of big name music publications (Rolling Stone famously named them “the best band you’ve never heard”), Luna isn’t a household name, though it should be!
In fact, one of their best albums, Penthouse, which celebrates its 25th anniversary next year, was named one of the best 100 albums of the 1990s by Rolling Stone recently. And it’s that same album that was performed in full (plus some, but I’ll get into that in a moment) at the 9:30 Club recently.
Here’s how I like to imagine it happened: Teenaged David Schelzel stood on an overlook above Hershey Park in Pennsylvania and pondered the decade that was coming to a close. “I’m going to take the very best of the ’80s and synthesize it into one band,” he said, reaching deep into England, where the very best new wave and psychedelia had emerged, and scooping all of those sounds into one impossibly sweet band.
And so was born The Ocean Blue, which published its first self-titled album in 1989, and captured the zeitgeist of cool alternative music in one quartet (or so we say!). Quite active in recent years, The Ocean Blue again reminded us just how cool they are in a sold-out show at Union Stage last week.
In 1995, indie rockers Luna released Penthouse, the band’s third studio album, and immediately upended the soundtrack to the ’90s. To celebrate the seminal album, Luna is playing it in its entirety on tour, including a show at 9:30 Club on Saturday, Oct. 5.
Effervescent Lizzy Plapinger, better known as LPX, danced and beamed her way through an invigorating opening act recently to warm up The Anthem for her pal Marina, and she thoroughly wowed the gathering crowd.
English shoegazers Ride released This Is Not a Safe Place, the band’s sixth studio album, in August via Wichita Recordings and Play It Again Sam. The quartet return to 9:30 Club for a show on Sunday, Sept. 22.
It may seem strange talking about a band that hails from Duluth, Minnesota, but there’s a feeling I get when I see them perform that makes it feel like they’re from here — Baltimore, that is. Possibly the first time I saw them was right across the street from the Metro Gallery, where they performed to a sold-out crowd Wednesday night.