Not to sound like a Doubting Thomas, but as recently just a few months ago, I don’t think I would have believed it. But Wednesday night, I found myself walking into the Ottobar for the first indoor club show I’ve experienced in nearly a year and a half. Definitely the longest time I’ve gone without stepping foot in the my home away from home in probably 20 years. But if there was a show that bring us all back home it was seeing Mac McCaughan and Jim Wilbur of Superchunk on that raised stage, playing to a rapt, and vaccinated, audience that night.
Cat Janice performs at Jammin’ Java on Sept. 18, 2020. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
Cat Janice’s simultaneously powerful and subtle voice took center stage at Jammin’ Java on a recent crisp fall day and it figuratively blew the roof off the place. In a single word, it was indeed “fierce!”
Cat won the 2019 and 2020 Washington Area Music Award (Wammie) for Best Rock Artist/Group. Clearly, audiences are taking note of her songwriting, performing, and vocal talents.
KT Tunstall was asked to provide her soundtrack from her friend Zoe Bell the legendary Hollywood stunt professional who organized an all-female Hollywood quarantine Fight Club — #BossBitchFightChallenge.
Guided by Voices performs at Black Cat on Dec. 7, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)
There are things that are on almost everyone’s bucket list, but I submit here that among all the mountain sunrises, skinny dipping, and roller coaster rides there must be a space near the top for experiencing a Guided by Voices show. There’s nothing like it.
Guided by Voices (Photo courtesy Tell All Your Friends PR)
About a month ago, Guided by Voices released Sweating the Plague, the band’s third (!) new album this year. To say that frontman Robert Pollard and company are on a roll is an understatement, so catch the new stuff live and see for yourself when Guided By Voices play the Black Cat on Saturday, Dec. 7.
Angie McMahon performs at The Anthem on Nov. 18, 2019. (Photo by Matt Ruppert)
Something strange happens when traveling new paths, when getting a little lost. There is a fervor, a little fear, and plenty of excitement. This sensation, this blush of discovery, so often pervades the experience of new music.
And so it was for me with Angie McMahon’s music. I remember the first time I played Salt, well-past the sun’s setting but not yet in the black of night, her dusky powerhouse voice soaring out my car’s windows. I felt a little something break inside.
Big Thief performs at the 9:30 Club on Nov. 10, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)
Big Thief is one of those bands that is as true to the idea of a band as can be. Each time I’ve seen them, I come away with the feeling that each piece of the whole works so well together. And that cohesion over each record seems to get tighter and seem like second nature. Even when, as she did Sunday night to a sold out audience at the 9:30 Club, singer/guitarist Adrianne Lenker started the evening solo for a newish song “Zombie” (which has been in rotation for their live shows for the last year or so). The rest of the band focused their attention as if performing along through some telepathy.