Don’t Miss: SSHH @ The Roxy Hotel, New York, 10/18/16

SSHH is Sshh Liguz and Zak Starkey. (Photo courtesy Girlie Action Media & Marketing)

Zak Starkey is a busy man. As drummer for The Who (since 1994), he’s been on a long tour with the band to mark its 50th anniversary over the past couple of years. Not one to rest on his laurels, the son of Ringo Starr has a newer group of his own called SSHH, and he will visit New York City with the band on Tuesday, Oct. 18.

SSHH gets its name from Zak’s partner in the group, Australian singer Sshh Liguz. The duo has completed a covers album called Issues, which they are funding via a PledgeMusic campaign. (You can support it online here.)

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Music Park: Garbage @ Lincoln Theatre — 8/3/16

Garbage 18Garbage performs at Lincoln Theatre (Photo by: Mickey McCarter)

Garbage descended on DC for the second time in a year on August 3rd, this time at the seated Lincoln Theatre (although no one actually sat).

For this tour they are promoting their sixth album, Strange Little Birds, released in June. Of the 22 songs they played to the rapt crowd, only four were from the new album. “Even Though Our Love Is Doomed”, which Shirley Manson (lead singer) described as ‘the centerpiece of our new record’, is introspective and moving played live, and focuses more on the vocals.

Other new songs included the hard-charging “Blackout” and later during the encore, “Empty” and the slow, take-it-down-a-notch “Sometimes”.

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Music Park: Kristin Kontrol @ Lincoln Theatre — 8/3/16

Kristin Kontrol 19 Kristin Kontrol performs at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on August 3, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Not long ago, Shirley Manson hailed a cab in New York City. The frontwoman for the band Garbage was preparing to approach the cab when another woman zipped by her and into the car.

Amused, Shirley introduced herself to the cab jumper to realize the woman was Kristin Welchez, formerly of the Dum Dum Girls. The two became fast friends, Shirley explained at the Lincoln Theatre Wednesday night, and Garbage invited Kristin to open for them on their US tour, the first leg of which wrapped up in DC on August 3.

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Don’t Miss: Garbage @ Lincoln Theatre, 8/3/16

GarbageGarbage (Photo Credit: Joseph Cultice)

Garbage returns to DC on Wednesday, August 3rd at the Lincoln Theatre!

Only a short 10 months has passed since they graced the 9:30 Club in October of 2015 with their two-month long, 20 Years Queer Tour (celebrating the release of their debut album). I attended that show, but only wrote a review for the opener, Torres.

I’ll somewhat correct that now, by saying it was a great performance. I was initially intrigued because I had yet to see Garbage play live.

Now Garbage is touring for their latest album, Strange Little Birds, their first since 2012 and second in a decade. Last year’s show started with great anticipation, much like waiting for their new album, when thick, black curtains hung in front of the whole 9:30 Club stage. The music started to slowly build and the minutes passed – something was happening behind the curtains. Finally, just at the perfect moment, the curtains fell dramatically and Shirley Manson and co. exploded into a crushing rendition of “Subhuman”. They went on to play 22 songs, ending with “Why Don’t You Love Me”.

Although I haven’t heard the entire new album, many of the new songs are strong entries to their catalog.

“Even Though Our Love Is Doomed” is a languid, introspective song, with spare instruments, focusing mostly on Shirley’s vocals. It builds slowly at the end, but never really tries for a rock climax.

“Empty” is the opposite. It soars to reach the epic hooks of their best early songs like “Stupid Girl” or “Only Happy When It Rains”. It doesn’t quite get to that level, but it is still a pretty good effort.

I’ll have to pick up Strange Little Birds after I witness Garbage play the new songs live.

Opening is Kristin Kontrol (Kristin Gundred of Dum Dum Girls).

w/ Kristin Kontrol
Lincoln Theatre
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Doors 6:30pm (Show 8:00pm)
All ages

Don’t Miss: Kristin Kontrol @ Lincoln Theatre, 8/3/16

Kristin Kontrol (Photo by Jimmy Fontaine)

Sometimes bands take up bold shifts, trading guitars for synthesizers and producing a different sort of album, and the resulting songs may galvanize fans. If you’re Kristin Gundred, however, you don’t take an old band in a new direction, you simply whip up a new identity.

And so Kristin has at least temporarily shifted her attention from the noisepop quartet Dum Dum Girls, where she was known as Dee Dee, to the shiny new wave project Kristin Kontrol. As Kristin Kontrol, she released a new album, X-Communicate, and hit the road on tour as the opening act for post-grunge rockers Garbage — at the personal invitation of frontwoman Shirley Manson.

Across the album X-Communicate, released earlier this year via Sub Pop, Kristin goes for pulsing synths and lush nostalgia similar to some California new wave bands like Missing Persons, Berlin, or The Motels. “X-Communicate” is a driving dance number while “Show Me” is a sweetly romantic torcher.

Watch Kristin Kontrol perform “Smoke Rings” in an orchestral arrangement for Pitchfork TV on YouTube:

Said Kristin of the song, “It was a last minute addition — the record just didn’t feel done to me. I built off the theme of an old song, seeing the opening line (“I blow smoke rings in my lovers’ eyes — it’s a fancy way for me to say goodbye”) play out cinematically in my head… Real string accompaniment for this live performance video seemed obvious. Having grown up playing in orchestras, hearing my song like this was surreal. I was, no joke, moved to tears.”

Kristin Kontrol’s opening tour for Garbage comes to DC on Wednesday, August 3 at the Lincoln Theatre.

Tickets are available online.

Kristin Kontrol
(Opening for Garbage)
Lincoln Theatre
Wednesday, August 3
Doors @
All ages