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.
Angie McMahon (Photo by Paige Clark)
Australian songwriter Angie McMahon released Salt, her riff-heavy and anthemic debut album, over the summer on Dualtone Records. She’s on tour to open for Hozier at The Anthem on Monday, Nov. 18, and we recommend that you show up early to catch her show!
Sleater-Kinney performs at The Anthem on Oct. 25, 2019. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)
Sleater-Kinney — now the duo of Corin Tucker (vocals and guitar) and Carrie Brownstein (guitar and vocals) — dove right into business in a big show at The Anthem recently, rocking through 11 tracks of the new album, The Center Won’t Hold, and more, beginning with the latest title track. Jason Nicholson was there to document the evening in photos.
Wilco rock a sold-out show at The Anthem on Oct. 15, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)
Wilco is one of those bands that continue to grow and evolve — which is part of why they continue to be an inspiration to other musicians and more importantly their fans. Although each album stands alone as a document of that particular point in time — they aren’t trying to redo what’s already been done — the great thing about watching a Wilco show is that you have that chance to hear some of those older songs alongside newer ones.
And even then things are never the same, as the performance like the band can evolve, too. I remember the first time I saw Wilco. It was back in 1997 or 1998 at a wedding hall, and each time since then it’s been different but each has been an amazing performance.