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.
Philip Basnight fronts Broke Royals at Union Stage on Dec. 28, 2017. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Time is very important to Broke Royals, the DC Americana-flavored power pop band founded by Philip Basnight and Colin Cross. Their debut single, released in May 2014, was called “About Time,” an ode of encouragement dedicated to taking time to care for yourself.
White Reaper (Photo by Jesse DeFlorio)
Spoon is set to ring in the new year at 9:30 Club on Dec. 31. In fact, Spoon have sold out two shows for Saturday, Dec. 30, and Sunday, Dec. 31. If you’re going, don’t miss White Reaper, the garage punk band from Louisville, Kentucky, opening both shows!
Broke Royals (Photo by Sound Snap Photography)
DC duo Broke Royals released their self-titled debut album on Nov. 17. The gents will present its songs live in an official album release show at the new Union Stage on Thursday, Dec. 28.
Squeeze performs at 9:30 Club on Nov. 28, 2017. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
“Pulling Mussels (from the Shell)” by Squeeze is a song of sweet nostalgia. It inspires memories of summer vacations and young romance, and it does so in such a brilliant and successful way that the song has become timeless since its debut in 1980.
Squeeze performed the song early in their set for a sold-out crowd at 9:30 Club on Tuesday, and while welcome hits were a key part of the show, Squeeze also made it clear early they are no nostalgia act. The same clever wordsmithing, strong pop moorings, and superb musicianship that generated songs like “Pulling Mussels,” “Black Coffee in Bed,” and “Tempted” was fully on display in songs from a brand new 16th studio album, The Knowledge, in addition to being on full display during the concert.
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.
Dot Dash (Photo courtesy the band)
DC post-punk rockers Dot Dash released their last album, Searchlights, in 2016, and they have been busy with a regular concert schedule in 2017. The band returns to the stage at Black Cat for a show on Wednesday, Nov. 29.