Don’t Miss: DC Music Rocks Festival @ 9:30 Club, 9/2/17

HayleyFahey Hayley Fahey (Photo courtesy Ticketfly)

Singer-songwriter Hayley Fahey and her sweet and soulful voice will play the DC Music Rocks Festival at 9:30 Club on Saturday, Sept. 2, alongside other local acts including Throwing Plates, The Split Seconds, Stone Driver, and Thaylobleu. The evening festival is an unparalleled opportunity to catch a lot of local music in one spot at the city’s top club during a long holiday weekend.

Continue Reading

Snapshots: Barb Wire Dolls @ Vans Warped Tour (Merriweather Post Pavilion) — 7/16/17

Barb Wire Dolls @ Vans Warped Tour, Columbia, MD 07/16/2017 Barb Wire Dolls perform during VANS Warped Tour at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland on July 16, 2017. (Photo by Paivi)

Greek quintet Barb Wire Dolls from their native Greece to Los Angeles several years ago. There, Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead caught the band at Whisky A Go-Go in 2015 and offered them a record deal with Motörhead Music, where they have released their last two album.

Barb Wire Dolls published their latest Rub My Mind this year via Motörhead Music and hit the road with VANS Warped Tour, where Paivi caught them at Merriweather Post Pavilion on July 17.

Continue Reading

Don’t Miss: Foo Fighters @ The Anthem, 10/12/17

Dave Grohl and Seth Hurwitz Touring The Anthem 1
Dave Grohl and Seth Hurwitz tour the construction site for The Anthem in DC. (Photo courtesy IMP)

The Foo Fighters will headline opening night at The Anthem, the upcoming sister concert venue to 9:30 Club, announced IMP, the independent promotions company that owns both, on Monday.

Tickets go on sale Friday, June 16, at 10am ET for the show on Thursday, Oct. 12 via Ticketfly.com. Tickets also are available at the box offices of 9:30 Club, Merriweather Post Pavilion, and Lincoln Theatre during normal business hours.

Continue Reading

Don’t Miss: Speedy Ortiz @ Snallygaster, 9/17/16

Speedy_Bob Gruen
Speedy Ortiz (Photo by Bob Gruen)

Well, as it is DC’s top beer festival, Snallygaster gets a lot of attention annually for the diverse beer selection it collects from across the country.

Set for Saturday, Sept. 17 this year, Snallygaster also boasts a mini-music festival within its gates. And this year, the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, the organizers of Snallygaster, have announced the music program headliner as Speedy Ortiz, the popular Massachusetts noise pop quartet.

Speedy Ortiz have three full-length albums under their belt, including last year’s Foil Deer. In June, they released an EP, Foiled Again, a four-track record that includes two outtakes from Foil Deer — “Death Note,” which was unleashed via Sirius XMU, and “Emma O,” which debuted with Zane Lowe’s World First. It also includes two remixes of Foil Deer’s “Puffer.”

Listen to “Death Note” from Speedy Ortiz, released on June 3, via Soundcloud:

Adding to the headliner so far is the ever-popular Spirit Animal, a Brooklyn rock quartet that features DC’s own Steve Cooper on vocals.

Listen to Spirit Animal’s raucous World War IV EP, published earlier this year (I’ll always swear these guys have a great vibe similar to the Red Hot Chili Peppers):

Snallygaster 2016 returns to The Yards in SE DC at Lot H/I, located on 1st St. SE and N St. SE, the same location as last year.

Tickets are available online.

Snallygaster 2016
The Yards
Saturday, Sept. 17
1-6pm
$35-60
21+

Don’t Miss: Chris Cornell @ Hippodrome Theatre (Baltimore), 6/23/16

Chris CornellChris Cornell

After experiencing Soundgarden in Seattle in December 1996, and subsequently learning that would be the last time they would tour (they officially disbanded in April 1997), my thought was, “Oh no, this is terrible.” An end of an era, an end to a truly great band.

Luckily for Chris Cornell, music was too much a part of who he is, and thus he continued to record, his first solo album, Euphoria Morning, was born in late 1999, just in time to enjoy before the world ended over Y2K.

After three solo albums (plus a live acoustic album) and multiple tours, a fine 6-year, 3-album stint with Audioslave, and a euphoric revival of Soundgarden in 2010 (I went to the 2010 Lollapalooza in Chicago just to see their glorious comeback!), Chris is once again touring solo with a new album, Higher Truth.

Seeking a higher truth in life is never easy, and truth evolves as we grow and learn. Things become more or less important as experience sharpens us or brings us down. Seeking truth in music specifically, is also not easy. It is a reflection of personal taste, experiences, time and place, associations linked to people or events and much more, that shapes what we seek and enjoy. I felt one such ‘musical truth’ the first time I heard Chris Cornell’s voice, on the blood-pounding “Outshined” (on MTV late at night no less) and later as I snatched up Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger and was hooked. I remember sitting in front of the TV screen (no remote), ready to turn the channel if my Mom walked in. At the time, it seemed like something your parents warned you about.

All that to say, I always look forward to seeing Chris Cornell live, in any formation. Unfortunately, I’ve only seen him seven times (five times with Soundgarden, once with Audioslave and once solo).

And now I’m enjoying Higher Truth, especially songs like “Dead Wishes” and “Before We Disappear”. The 15 songs are slower, introspective ballads that just might help one seek their own truth.

Let’s leave you with the video for “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart”, a crazy micro western focusing in on your date with the hangman. But which fate is better?

 

Put Chris Cornell’s June 23rd show on your calendar immediately. Get tickets today!

 

Chris Cornell
w/ Fantastic Negrito
Hippodrome Theatre (Baltimore)
Thursday, June 23
8:00pm
$64.50-$107.00
All ages

Music Park: The Dandy Warhols @ 9:30 Club — 4/17/16

Dandy Warhols 01 Courtney Taylor-Taylor performs at the 9:30 Club on April 17, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

“Music says it better than words,” said Courtney Taylor-Taylor on Sunday night by way of an explanation as to why he wasn’t feeling very chatty during his band’s show at the 9:30 Club.

The very full club yelped in agreement, and Courtney returned to vocal duties for The Dandy Warhols, who were touring on the strength of a ninth studio album, Distortland, released April 8 via Dine Alone Records. After some slight experimentation in their last album, This Machine, The Dandys return to form on the new record, which suited them and the audience just fine. The Dandy Warhols occupy a very unique space as a psychedelic band wrapped in a grunge aesthetic. Make no mistake, however: They are a great live band and their laidback guitar jams are a highlight of the show.

Continue Reading

Don’t Miss: Drenge @ U Street Music Hall, 10/1/15 (Opening for Wolf Alice)

150131-05-078 copy
Drenge (Photo courtesy Press Here)

Grunge and punk have a long, complex relationship, and bands in the United Kingdom like Royal Blood have been adding layers to that relationship in recent years.

Enter the Brothers Eoin and Rory Loveless, who formed a U.K. band called Drenge, an outfit that plays bluesy punk wrapped inside a grunge aesthetic. The simplicity of the formula is appealing, and the brothers manage to sound like a much bigger band. On tour, they actually are a bigger band with the addition of bassist Rob Graham.

They are touring now in support of their second album Undertow, released earlier this year. And they stop in DC to perform at U Street Music Hall tonight, Oct. 1, opening for fellow U.K. band Wolf Alice. Yesterday, they released a new video for their song “The Woods.”

Watch for the video for “The Woods” by Drenge on YouTube:

We were going to recommend that you hit the show, but you can’t buy tickets because the show sold out! We’ll tell you how it was in a few days. Watch this space!

Drenge
Opening for Wolf Alice
Thursday, Oct. 1
Doors @7pm
$20
All ages

Music Park: Mudhoney @ Black Cat — 7/7/15

 “I Like It Small” by Mudhoney

“What have I done?”, the plaintive call from Mark Arm in “Blinding Sun”, was exactly how I felt after getting blasted by Mudhoney at the Black Cat on July 7, 2015.

The problem, to be precise, involved standing too close to the speakers for an inappropriate amount of time without ear plugs. My ears are still ringing.

Mudhoney gave the expectant crowd (just over half filled) wave after wave of fuzzy and distorted salvos of music, punctuated by lead singer Mark Arm’s howling and often manic vocals. Few heads failed to nod along with the beat.

There is something to be said about heavy music permeating your face and your bones at a live show. This cannot be captured in a recording and it is why grunge is an experience to be had, not merely listened to.

Mudhoney, among the pioneers of the grunge music scene that roared out of Seattle in the early 1990’s, sing angry lyrics. Yet with a wink, like they’re in on the joke. Not really angry, just looking to entertain.

In “1995” they want to know “What are you looking at?”, as if they’re the cool kids and you’re the nerd that accidentally stared a second too long.

In “Touch Me I’m Sick”, their first single in 1988, they embrace the paranoia around living with disease, and dare the woman to go for it anyway. “I Like It Small”, from their latest album Vanishing Point, is an ode to the mantra that bigger isn’t always better in life (and other things).

They introduced the cover of the Angry Samoans’ almost perky break-up song “You Stupid Asshole”, as a “rock ballad for everyone”, but the song still finds a way to acknowledge that they are assholes too.

Continue Reading

Don’t Miss: Mudhoney @ Black Cat, 7/7/15

Mudhoney Mudhoney (Photo courtesy Sub Pop Records)

Mudhoney, one of the early bands in the Seattle grunge scene, is performing tonight at the Black Cat, July 7, 2015.

Formed in 1988, Mudhoney contributed to the movement that became the grunge sound in the early 1990’s.

Mudhoney started their career with the Sub Pop record label, then branched off to a major label for the better part of a decade, before finally returning to Sup Pop in 2000, where they have released their last four albums.

With nine studio albums under their belt, the most recent being the 2013 release, Vanishing Point, they have been actively producing their distinct mix of grunge, punk and blues rock for almost 30 years.

Indeed, Mark Arm, lead singer of Mudhoney, is credited with using the term “grunge” in 1981 as a description of the sound of his first band. It was later used as the moniker of the whole sub genre of alternative music coming out of Seattle.

I grew up near Seattle, and become a huge fan of seminal grunge bands like Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Nirvana. I largely missed out on Mudhoney during the first half of the 1990’s, but have come back to them over the last few years.

Let’s see what I missed.

Kid Congo Powers and Pink Monkey Birds open. Tickets are available online and at the door.

Mudhoney
w/ Kid Congo Powers and Pink Monkey Birds
Black Cat
Tuesday, July 7
Doors @7:30pm
$16
All ages

Music Park: Royal Blood @ 9:30 Club — 6/10/15

royalblood
Mike Kerr of Royal Blood at the 9:30 Club on June 10 (Photo by Katerine Gaines/AmbientEye Photography)

Royal Blood are loud. Improbably so, considering it consists of only two members — bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher.

Mike’s vocals recall the spirit of 70s hard rock bands that inspired them, most notably Led Zeppelin, and Mike and Ben’s powerful instruments echo sounds from 90s grunge bands, notably Nirvana.

I realize that I’m repeating things that Jimmy Page and Dave Grohl themselves have said here, but the duo’s top song “Out of the Black” speaks its own case in volumes. At a sold-out show at the 9:30 Club on Wednesday, June 10, Royal Blood closed an all too brief 11-song set with the number, thundering their way into the hearts of the excited crowd.

People came to rock out, and Royal Blood gave them that opportunity. “Out of the Black” deals lyrically with a classic theme of the surprise of being rejected by a lover and as a result, “It broke your skin and shook through/Every part of me, every part of you.” In that way, Royal Blood follow in the footsteps of grunge bands who were always eager to sing about the negative emotions in their lives.

But Royal Blood aren’t here to wind down their statements into an empty cacophony of strings and drums. Rather, they are here to rock.

Continue Reading