Mickey McCarter was *thrilled* to see the classic lineup of Berlin reunite. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)
Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2019 or choose their Top 10 photos of the year. We will run them over the course of mid-December as our Best of the Year posts.
Many of our bloggers work as one-man bands. They travel to a show, shoot it, and write it up. But as Parklife DC editor, I frequently work in collaboration with others. And so I have the opportunity to travel to shows I might otherwise not see in support of bloggers who are there to shoot (usually) or write (occasionally) about the program.
It’s the time of year when the concert schedule slows down, and those yearning for a good show don’t have many, if any, options. If you’re in Baltimore, you won’t have that problem when Ex Hex break it down at Ottobar on Saturday, Dec. 14. Like most bands, Ex Hex wrapped touring earlier this year, but the DC power pop band still have the Ottobar date, rescheduled from a missed show over the summer.
Mary Timony and Betsy Wright trade riffs at 9:30 Club on May 10, 2019. (Photos by Mickey McCarter; Words by Juliet Van Wagenen)
You know you’ve made it when you’ve got your own ice cream. But DC darling garage punk band Ex Hex’s signature ice cream “Another DiMINTsion” (of the mint-chocolate-chip variety, aptly named for their song “Another Dimension” and sampled for journalistic purposes, of course) wasn’t the only thing bringing chill, hometown flavor to the 9:30 Club this Friday.
DC breathed a sigh of relief when Ex Hex — the city’s most interesting and engaging rock trio — finally released a second studio album, It’s Real, via Merge Records in March, five years after the band’s debut album. Now it’s really real as Ex Hex headline 9:30 Club once again on Friday, May 10, in what is sure to be a killer show.
Ex Hex performs at Black Cat on Sept. 15, 2018. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
“If it weren’t for the Black Cat, I wouldn’t be a working musician,” said singer-songwriter Ted Leo at the indie rock club’s 25th anniversary celebrations over the weekend.
Ted’s statement reflected the sentiment of musicians and attendees alike over the two-day 25th anniversary party, which hosted 15 bands and several DJs over Friday and Saturday: Thank you, Black Cat, for being awesome. The mood among concert-goers was particularly festive in recognition that Black Cat likely will be around for a long time still despite its plans to shrink in coming months.
In September 1993, a magical thing happened! Seminal indie rock club Black Cat first opened its doors. The Black Cat will celebrate 25 years of hosting many of the best concerts in DC with two evenings packed full of performances by the likes of Ted Leo, Algiers, Ex Hex, and of course Gray Matter on Friday, Sept. 14, and Saturday, Sept. 15.
Betsy Wright is the bassist for DC power pop trio Ex Hex. Laura King is drummer for North Carolina garage rockers Flesh Wounds. Together, they are also Bat Fangs! The band releases its debut self-titled album on Friday, Feb. 2 via Don Giovanni Records. One week later, Sasha Lord presents Bat Fangs playing that new album at Comet Ping Pong on Friday, Feb. 9!
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.