Bob Pollard at this point could rest soundly on his impressive laurels — 25 Guided by Voices albums as of this writing, spanning nearly 35 years and 100 albums in total for Pollard himself. But as Bob pointed out very clearly at the Ottobar in Baltimore Thursday night, he’s not about to just play the hits! Teamed with Kevin March (drums), Bobby Bare, Jr. (guitar), Mark Shue (bass), and Doug Gillard (guitar), and a sizable cooler filled with Miller Light and tequila, the band played a sweaty and fun set to this sold-out crowd.
Jangle poppers Sister Hazel made the leap to country with their ninth studio album, Lighter in the Dark, which was released in 2016 via Croakin’ Poets/Rock Ridge. Sister Hazel are on tour, and they perform at 9:30 Club on Friday, July 21. You can win tickets to go with Parklife DC.
Mac DeMarco is beloved by many, many young fans. I learned this firsthand last week when Mac dropped by DC for two sold-out nights at 9:30 Club — where screaming admirers couldn’t get enough of his cheerful everyman composure and laidback songs.
Here at Parklife DC, we are big admirers of Montreal post-punk quartet Ought, who visited the Black Cat recently in support of their new album, Sun Coming Down, and its mesmerizing lead single “Beautiful Blue Sky.”
So complete seems Ought’s nervy rock music that it comes as something of a surprise to hear that lead singer Tim Darcy, an American originally hailing from Arizona, has launched a solo career. His debut album, Saturday Night, is due Feb. 17 via Jagjaguwar.
Judging from the lead single “Tall Glass of Water,” Tim is going for more straightforward jangle pop than the arty post-punk of Ought. Still, the fast-talking “tall glass of water” himself seems to have plenty of social commentary to pack into his songs! He will tour his solo album backstage at the Black Cat on Wednesday, March 8.
Watch the official music video for “Tall Glass of Water” by Tim Darcy on YouTube:
I’ve been among those to draw a line between Tim and David Byrne with his music in Ought, as the innovative sometimes disjoined melodies of the two bands seem similar. Tim undoubtedly will continue to put some distance between such comparisons, as flattering as they are meant to be, with his solo material.
When I saw Ought at the Black Cat last on May 10, I observed, “With his tall, lanky frame, vocalist and guitarist Tim strikes the figure of a melancholy academic on stage, looming large over the proceedings in a manner metaphorically similar to the way his words hang over our heads.”
All in all, Tim is a brilliant musician, and his solo effort is surely worth checking out!
Wednesday, March 8
The Big Moon may have been the opener at DC9 last Friday, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell that by the crowd they drew! DC9 got full quickly and early for the four ladies from London, who shined brightly with guitar jams that crashed and ebbed as furiously as the tides.
London quartet The Big Moon have been playing a raucous cover version of Madonna’s “Beautiful Stranger” in their live shows, which really showcases their style: Big loud guitars paired buzzing around the airy voice of vocalist Juliette Jackson.
It sounds like this:
The Big Moon is made up of four women who were inspired by bands like the Palma Violets to stand up and start making music. They performed once in the United States at CMJ 2015 after getting started, but now they are coming back for a tour of their own to open for The Japanese House. The tour lands locally at DC9 on Friday, Nov. 25.
The band appear as Barbie dolls in the NSFW video for their latest single “Silent Movie Susie,” which also showcases the band’s sense of humor.
Watch the official music video for “Silent Movie Susie” by The Big Moon on YouTube:
The Big Moon have been tearing up stages with their energetic live show. The band has not yet released a full-length album, although they’ve been dropping singles, including most recently “Silent Movie Susie” and “Cupid” via Fiction Records. So this is a fantastic opportunity to see what the buzz is all about.
If you have tickets for the DC9 show, get there early to see The Big Moon! If you don’t have tickets, alas, the show is sold out.
The Big Moon
Opening for The Japanese House
Friday, Nov. 25
Greta Morgan released her second album as Springtime Carnivore on Friday, Oct. 7 – and that same day she set upon a US tour with La Sera, hitting more than 20 cities.
The material for the new album, Midnight Room, sprang from a break-up but the songs didn’t take the shape of melancholy heartbreak. Instead, songs like “Face in the Moon” are full of jaunty reflections and wry observations on life and love that feel far more empowering than depressing.
Watch the official music video for “Face in the Moon” by Springtime Carnivore on YouTube:
Springtime Carnivore performs in DC at Songbyrd Music House on Thursday, Oct. 20. Parklife DC caught up with Greta to discuss her songwriting process, distilling a song to its essence, and her long history as a performer (at the tender age of 28, she already has more than 11 years of touring under her belt!).