Betsy Wright fronts Bat Fangs at Rock and Roll Hotel on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. (Photo by Paivi)
The dynamic Betsy Wright, bassist for Ex Hex, launched another band last year, forming Bat Fangs with drummer Laura King. The band performed as a trio opening for War on Women at Rock and Roll Hotel on Saturday, Aug. 26, and Paivi got some pix. (Check out her pix of War on Women also.)
Britt Daniel fronts Spoon at Merriweather Post Pavilion on July 30, 2017. (Photo by Theresa C. Sanchez)
Neil Young was right. “Rock and roll will never die.” And no, that’s not an allusion to the seemingly myriad musical festivals or anniversary tours featuring reunited elders of sound like 2016’s Desert Trip — affectionately dubbed “Oldchella” — or most recently, the bicoastal weekend-long fêtes Classic East and Classic West last month. “Rock and roll is here to stay,” thanks to bands like Spoon (whose title is not a reference to the culinary utensil, but an homage to the 1970s German avant-garde collective called Can #themoreyouknow). These indie musicians heralding from the capital of the Lone Star State embody the notion that evolution is a form of revolution.
With the March 2017 release of their ninth studio album, Hot Thoughts, a promotional tour was sure to follow and it did. Their July 30 appearance at the newly renovated Merriweather Post Pavilion was not a solo headlining gig, but they most certainly performed like it was.
Mary Timony plays the songs of Helium at Rock and Roll Hotel on June 6, 2017.
In the loose and grungy ’90s, pockets of great music bubbled up, and few places were as cool as Boston, where noise pop quartet Helium formed.
Former Helium frontwoman Mary Timony, who had relocated from DC to Boston at the time, recently championed the remaster of the band’s only two albums, along with another album of rarities, and made an effort to get the band back together for a brief tour. Although that reunion did not occur, Mary took the show on the road herself, playing an opening date to a sold-out room at Rock and Roll Hotel on Tuesday, June 6, to the delight of a much enthralled audience.
Helium (Photo by James Smolka)
Mary Timony, DC’s top guitar ace, first became an indie rock darling in the ‘90s with her Boston-based band Helium, which dabbled in well-written noise pop. Twenty years after the band’s second and last album, Matador Records last month reissued Helium’s records and a new compilation — Ends with And, a collection of singles and other tracks.
To mark the occasion, Mary herself is hitting the road to celebrate the music of Helium in a short tour beginning with a date at the Rock and Roll Hotel on Tuesday, June 6. You still have a chance to buy tickets!
Spoon (Photo by Zackery Michael)
In a few short weeks, Spoon will find themselves in a three-night residency at SXSW, and then the very next day they will release their new album Hot Thoughts on Matador Records. Spoon will then continue a tour that will eventually land them at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, on Sunday, July 30.
Ed Schrader and Devlin Rice of Ed Schrader’s Music Beat (Photo courtesy Infinity Cat Recordings)
Ed Schrader was switched on.
“I wanna give it up for Stoli,” he proclaimed at the 9:30 Club Thursday night, raising his glass. He pauses for a beat. “Oh, I mean Crystal Geyser.”
As he continued to have fun with things he’s “not supposed to do,” he flipped off his shirt, noting he was stopped from doing so in Texas, and introduced “a song about joining the military.”
Ed Schrader and his partner in crime Devlin Rice form Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, and the band were in DC to open for hometown heroes Ex Hex. With the lively pace of a human metronome, Ed dove into his songs with gusto, playing 90 second bursts of punk songs that were distinguished by their surprisingly engaging rhythms.
Laura Harris, Betsy Wright, and Mary Timony of Ex Hex. (Photo courtesy Merge Records)
Somehow in mid-’90s, friends of mine were clued into some good female-fronted indie rock bands — quite a few of them from Boston (including the likes of the Blake Babies and Belly).