Live Review: Hammered Hulls @ Black Cat — 12/19/18

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Alec MacKaye fronts Hammered Hulls at Black Cat on Dec. 19, 2018. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Post-punk supergroup Hammered Hulls made its debut performance at the Black Cat’s 25th anniversary concert showcase in September. The quartet returned to Black Cat recently for a mesmerizing sold-out show at the club’s backstage, and we took some pix!

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Music Park: Ex Hex @ Black Cat — 12/30/17

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Ex Hex performs at Black Cat on Dec. 30, 2017.

For the past year, I personally wondered if Ex Hex, one of the strongest bands to emerge from DC in quite some time, were going to be a one-album project. After all, their debut album Rips dropped in 2014, and the last 12 months were relatively quiet for the female power pop trio.

Ex Hex crushed my fears in a sold-out show at Black Cat on Saturday, remarkable not only for the wall-to-wall crowd but also the wall-to-wall sound in an upbeat performance that included several new songs! Every show I’ve caught by the band has been good, but this was simply the best.

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Don’t Miss: Ex Hex @ Black Cat, 12/30/17

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Ex Hex (Photo courtesy Merge Records)

Several years ago, Ex Hex, one of the best bands to come out of DC in quite some time, dropped Rips, their debut album, and then toured a lot. The all-female power pop trio have been relatively quiet in 2017, but they will end the year with a big show at Black Cat on Saturday, Dec. 30.

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Snapshots: Noveller @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 6/6/17

Noveller 10 Sarah Lipstate, aka Noveller, performs at Rock and Roll Hotel on June 6, 2017.

Los Angeles guitarist Sarah Lipstate, better known as Noveller, visited DC’s Rock and Roll Hotel to open for Mary Timony touring the songs of her former band Helium on June 6. (Read our Parklife DC review of Mary Timony!) During the sold-out show, Noveller deftly looped guitar loops through an impressive array of pedals, producing a languid noise rock that proved a great counterpart to Helium’s music.

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Music Park: Mary Timony (Plays Helium) @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 6/6/17

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Mary Timony plays the songs of Helium at Rock and Roll Hotel on June 6, 2017.

In the loose and grungy ’90s, pockets of great music bubbled up, and few places were as cool as Boston, where noise pop quartet Helium formed.

Former Helium frontwoman Mary Timony, who had relocated from DC to Boston at the time, recently championed the remaster of the band’s only two albums, along with another album of rarities, and made an effort to get the band back together for a brief tour. Although that reunion did not occur, Mary took the show on the road herself, playing an opening date to a sold-out room at Rock and Roll Hotel on Tuesday, June 6, to the delight of a much enthralled audience.

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Don’t Miss: Mary Timony Plays Helium @ Rock and Roll Hotel, 6/6/17

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Helium (Photo by James Smolka)

Mary Timony, DC’s top guitar ace, first became an indie rock darling in the ‘90s with her Boston-based band Helium, which dabbled in well-written noise pop. Twenty years after the band’s second and last album, Matador Records last month reissued Helium’s records and a new compilation — Ends with And, a collection of singles and other tracks.

To mark the occasion, Mary herself is hitting the road to celebrate the music of Helium in a short tour beginning with a date at the Rock and Roll Hotel on Tuesday, June 6. You still have a chance to buy tickets!

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Tonight! Ex Hex @ 9:30 Club – Go!

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Laura Harris, Betsy Wright, and Mary Timony of Ex Hex. (Photo courtesy Merge Records)

Somehow in mid-’90s, friends of mine were clued into some good female-fronted indie rock bands — quite a few of them from Boston (including the likes of the Blake Babies and Belly).

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