On Aug. 3, Cake released “Sinking Ship,” the lead single from their upcoming seventh studio studio album, and the band is now on tour. Vocalist John McCrea and his bandmates headline Merriweather Post Pavilion in a show with Ben Folds on Saturday, Aug. 18.
The Social Animals, a rock quartet hailing from Duluth, Minnesota, played at DC9 on July 17, and our friend Ben Eisendrath got some cool shots of the band in action.
Father John Misty by now needs little introduction. After four critically acclaimed albums in just under six years, Josh Tillman, whose stage moniker is known just as much for his off-stage words as his sarcastic and often self-deprecating lyrics, has made a name for himself. But with his latest album, God’s Favorite Customer, he focused on more personal matters. Delivered in that great Harry Nilsson meets Randy Newman style, the bite was still there, but it was more focused at The Anthem on Thursday.
Courtney Barnett is no slouch. First there’s the fact that over the past couple of years she has toured constantly not only with her own band of Bones Sloane (bass), Dave Mudie (drums), and (more recently on this current tour) Katie Harkin (keyboards/guitar) but with Kurt Vile and most recently in Jen Cloher’s band.
Beach Slang — the loud, driving, heart-on-your sleeve band led by James Alex — has been making their brand of Replacements-tinged powerpunk for a few years now. Beyond the rough and noisy exterior, Beach Slang songs are about connecting with the feeling of being different or an outsider or being yourself despite what others think.
But there’s a soft center to that hard exterior. So when James Alex announced the new quiet focus on Beach Slang songs with a project called Quiet Slang, it seemed like a natural extension. The resulting album, Everything Matters But No One Is Listening, is a beautiful retelling that sounds natural instead of forced, particularly when presented at Rock and Roll Hotel on Thursday.
There’s something to be said for artistry within art. Art is an act of creation, but the process of creating art can itself be something to behold and appreciate. On Historian, the second full-length LP from Richmond-based musician Lucy Dacus, you can almost see the interconnecting layers being pieced together to create these stories. And you could certainly hear them live at Ottobar on Wednesday.