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: Protomartyr and Priests @ Black Cat, 2/14/16

Protomartyr-by-Zak-Bratto51
Protomartyr (Photo by Zak Bratto)

There are so, so many ways to say, “I love you,” on Valentine’s Day.” And many of them involve music!

But really, if you want to show your companion that you care, don’t make them listen to terrible music. Rather, take them out to hear some really good music! And I have a suggestion for you, of course.

The very excellent post-punk quartet Protomartyr are on tour to support their third album, and they stop in DC at the Black Cat on Sunday, Feb. 14. The band released The Agent Intellect last October via Hardly Art, and it’s a stunner.

Vocalist Joe Casey manages all of the intellectual growling and disaffected gaze of fellow Detroit native son Iggy Pop and the youthful English icon Ian Curtis. His bandmates — guitarist Greg Ahee, drummer Alex Leonard, and bassist Scott Davidson — might well be mistaken for Wire if you heard them blind!

Now, you might think that lyrics off new lead single “Why Does It Shake?” might not be that romantic: “False happiness is on the rise/See the victims piled high in a room without a roof.” But hey, I said this was *good* music — and you only want the very best for your Valentine, right?

Protomartyr recently visited NPR for a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 4, 2015. Watch them perform “Why Does It Shake?,” “Devil in His Youth,” and “Three Swallows” on YouTube:

But wait there’s more! For our DC show only  For a run of five shows beginning in Cleveland on Feb. 10 and ending in DC, Protomartyr share the stage with our contemporary high citizens of punk rock — Priests! Vocalist Katie Greer, guitarist Gideon Jaguar, bassist Taylor Mulitz, and drummer Danielle Danielle always deliver a pulse-pounding show as they spit on consumerism, bad relationships, and other cultural ills.

Watch Priests perform “Doctor” from their album Bodies and Control and Money and Power live at the Wilderness Bureau for WAMU 88.5’s Bandwidth on May 28, 2014:

If all of that weren’t enough, Protect-U duo Aaron Leitko and Mike Petillo will open the show from behind the decks with their alluring ambient pop. So much good music, guaranteed to be a Valentine’s Day hit.

Tickets are available online.

Protomartyr and Priests
w/ Protect-U
Black Cat
Sunday, Feb. 14
Doors @7:30pm
$15
All ages