Snapshots: PINS @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 4/12/16

Faith Vern performs at the Rock and Roll Hotel on Tuesday, April 12. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

PINS, an all-female quintet from Manchester, England, visited the Rock and Roll Hotel on Tuesday night as openers for The Subways, and both bands took the stage by storm.

In 2015, PINS released a sophomore album, Wild Nights, via Bella Union as a follow-up to their 2013 debut, Girls Like Us. PINS are an exciting band, and they sound great. They have a fabulous noise-pop sensibility, sparkling guitars and bass that smack of their inspirations in The Jesus and Mary Chain. And they also have a great post-punk attitude with their succinct songs and alt-girl stylings.

Parklife DC doesn’t have a full review of PINS, but in this new featurette Snapshots, I wanted to share some pix of the ladies, except their excellent drummer, who was difficult to photograph from my limited position!

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Music Park: Savages @ 9:30 Club – 3/27/16

Savages @ 930 Club 36
Jehnny Beth and Ayse Hassan blow the lid off the 9:30 Club on Sunday, March 27, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

During the high point of a concert full of high points, Jehnny Beth rose up on the hands and shoulders of the audience at the 9:30 Club after walking out onto the crowd to belt out “Hit Me” from the Savages’ debut album, Silence Yourself.

After having kicked off her famously high heeled shoes, the lead singer of the post-punk quartet was born aloft by dozens of sturdy hands by admirers who readily followed her direction. Taking the opportunity to turn a combative track on its head, Jehnny asks the audience if they will catch her if she falls. The answer from the nearly sold-out house on Sunday night was an overwhelming “yes!” When she is done singing her verse, Jehnny crowd surfs back to the front of the club to return to the stage.

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Music Park: Potty Mouth @ DC9 — 2/26/16

Touring guitarist, bassist Ally Einbinder, and vocalist/guitarist Abby Weems (with a peek of drummer Victoria Mandanas) of Potty Mouth perform at DC9 on Feb. 26, 2016. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath /Instagram+Twitter: GrillworksBen)

Girl band trio Potty Mouth have become more focused and crisp, and their music and performance have benefitted, as evidenced by a very full show at DC9 on Friday.

The Massachusetts-based band released a self-titled EP in August, and the ladies are on tour in support of it. In the two years since I saw them last, they lost a permanent member when they decided to focus on the work of their band and keep it growing despite finishing up at their women’s-only college. Vocalist/guitarist Abby Weems, bassist Ally Einbinder, and drummer Victoria Mandanas now tour with a rotating fourth member, and their continued dedication to their craft has born some fruit as the new songs are among their best live.

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Music Park: VIDEO @ DC9 — 2/17/16

TV’s Daniel of VIDEO (Photo by Jon Chamberlain)

“You don’t deserve VIDEO,” spits frontman Daniel Fried as he gazes out over the audience. “We’re too good for you. But we’re going to do you a solid and give you the best damn show of your life.”

Daniel’s band VIDEO threw down some amazingly raucous garage punk rock at DC9 on Wednesday night as part of a traveling showcase from Third Man Records. Detroit rock-n-rollers Timmy’s Organism were the headliners of the Audio Social Dissent Tour but VIDEO, zipping into the middle set of three bands, certainly captured the room to my ears.

The frontman (who goes by “TV’s Daniel” in the band) began the show with his back turned to the audience as he knelt before the drums. His bandmates — Payton Green, Harpal Assi, and Gregory Rutherford — played a pleasing post-punk instrumental while Daniel meditated, perhaps gathering his strength. Then he stands to sing a smoky punk tune, “I Will Wait.”

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Don’t Miss: Potty Mouth @ DC9, 2/26/16

Potty Mouth Press Photo 2 - Jesse Riggins
Potty Mouth (Photo by Jesse Riggins)

Massachusetts post-punk trio Potty Mouth have released a self-titled EP, and the ladies are hitting DC9 on Friday, Feb. 26 as part of their tour to support it.

The band’s new songs are catchy guitar pop that build upon its debut album Hell Bent. With the clever “Cherry Picking,” vocalist Abby Weems sings of reaching for the best of the best while a spoken word refrain gives the track some savoir-faire.

Watch the official music video for “Cherry Picking” by Potty Mouth on YouTube (the empowering video is an answer to the video for “I Want You Around” by The Ramones!):

Critics say Potty Mouth, named after an album by riot grrl band Bratmobile, have added post-grunge bands like Veruca Salt to their influences, and you can hear that loud and clear in the single “Creeper Weed,” a song about accepting yourself, which is accompanied by a video featuring a skateboarding wicked witch.

Watch the official music video for “Creeper Weed” by Potty Mouth on YouTube:

The last time I saw Potty Mouth, also at DC9, they were a quartet! In dropping a member, they seem leaner and sound cleaner.

“On stage, Potty Mouth radiate laidback confidence—they are comfortable performing and they clearly enjoy what they do,” I said of Abby, bassist Ally Einbinder, and drummer Victoria Mandanas while writing of their last visit in January 2014 for We Love DC.

Newtown-Conn.-based rock quartet Stove and DC-area post-punks Bleary Eyed open for Potty Mouth. Tickets are available online.

Potty Mouth
w/ Stove and Bleary Eyed
Friday, Feb. 26
Doors @6:30pm
All ages

Music Park: Protomartyr @ Black Cat — 2/14/16

Protomartyr plays the #tinydesk
Protomartyr perform for NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concert” series on Oct. 19, 2015. (Photo by Alison Hurt)

Joe Casey sings with determination. He grips the microphone and barks and growls in a defiant manner that suggests he’s not backing down.

Fronting the band Protomartyr, Joe is joined by three men who sound as seasoned as he: guitarist Greg Ahee, bassist Scott Davidson, and drummer Alex Leonard. Collectively, they produce guitar-driven music that is occasionally shimmery, occasionally pounding, and always a bit sardonic.

Sounding quite grim compared to some of their fellow post-punk standard-bearers, the prolific quartet from Detroit — three albums in four years! — dropped by the Black Cat on Sunday night to play a very full set dominated by their latest record, The Agent Intellect, released last October via Hardly Art.

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Don’t Miss: jennylee (of Warpaint) @ Black Cat, 2/25/16


Feb. 8 Update: We have been told by Beggars Group that jennylee has canceled her US tour. We hope she reschedules soon, because I am loving this album!

jennylee aka Jenny Lee Lindberg, bassist of dreampop quartet Warpaint, kicked off a solo career last year, dropping her debut album right on! in December via Rough Trade Records.

On the album, the Los Angeles artist demonstrates a lovely, lush voice that pairs well with the agreeably droning ambient pop running through the record’s 10 tracks. Lead singer “Never” is one of the jauntier tracks on the album, smacking of middle period Siouxsie Sioux singing an Echo and the Bunnymen song. Song and video certainly emanate an appealing old school new wave vibe.

Watch the official music video for “Never” on YouTube:

More typical of the album’s tracks is the droning “Boom Boom,” which moves at a slightly slower yet still engaging pace.

Watch jennylee dance with a chap named Micky Adams in the official music video for “Boom Boom” on YouTube:

It appears jennylee’s solo stuff is an excellent complement to the music of Warpaint without being derivative. jennylee takes off in a direction all her own here, and it’s one that should be very satisfying to fans of her band and newcomers to her music.

“It’s a good record for the winter, reflecting long nights, and the search for comfort and safety, the desire to wrap ourselves in layers,” said Pitchfork, which also hailed her voice as “uncluttered and distinct.”

jennylee only first hit the road with her new band in October, and she’s back by a guitarist, bassist and drummer. (Indeed, we are told that Warpaint drummer Stella Mozgawa is along for the ride!) This is a fantastic opportunity to see them in early days.

Denver experimental rock band Facial and DC post-punkers Den-Mate open for jennylee.

Tickets are available online.

w/ Facial and Den-Mate
Black Cat
Thursday, Feb. 25
Doors @7:30pm
All ages