Music Park: Humble Fire @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 8/11/17

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Nefra Faltas fronts Humble Fire at Rock and Roll Hotel on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

If variety is the spice of life, the Rock and Roll Hotel served up a flavorful mix of D.C. musical dishes this past Friday, Aug. 11.

As the appetizer, Near Northeast opened the evening’s fare with its eclectic mix of Americana-, jazz- and rock-inflected melodies. Frenemies’ complex power pop felt like we were having dessert first. Nuex (pronounced “new”) then took the stage and reset the table with its soulful electronic pop. The main course arrived on stage with Humble Fire, celebrating the release of its newest album, Builder.

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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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Music Park: Priests @ Black Cat — 3/11/17

Priests 11 Katie Alice Greer fronts Priests at Black Cat on Saturday, March 11, 2017.

Hometown heroes Priests wrapped a US tour with a smashing, sold-out show at Black Cat Saturday. Billed a record release party, Priests actually released their full-length debut, Nothing Feels Natural, at the end of January via their own Sister Polygon Records.

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Don’t Miss: Priests @ Black Cat, 3/11/17

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Priests (Photo courtesy Pitch Perfect PR)

DC’s explosive punks Priests are set to release their first full-length album in January — Nothing Feels Natural via their own Sister Polygon Records. The band is launching a US tour to support it, and that tour ends at the Black Cat in a belated record release party on March 11, 2017.

Priests recently released a second video for a track from the album, satirizing greed and consumerism with their song “Pink White House.” The video paints a grim picture of people sometimes literally murdering others for a buck. Even a seamonster gets on the action, mugging a hapless fisherman (portrayed by guitarist Gideon Jaguar).

Watch the official music video for “Pink White House” by Priests on YouTube:

In a press release, singer Katie Alice Greer said this of the song and video: “Lyrically, this is a Priests song I am maybe most proud of to date. I am very inspired by the filmmaker Adam Curtis, the first time I saw ‘It Felt Like A Kiss,’ I thought, man, I want to start a band where I can write lyrics the way this guy makes films, like these politically pointed surreal avant-garde narratives, and then I met Daniele and we started Priests.

“So for me, ‘Pink White House’ is a step towards achieving this style of lyricism. I’m excited about that. Musically we wrote the first half and then were like, ‘where do we go from here?’ We wanted the second half of the song to feel like you’re in a new scene of the story, where ‘come on palm trees’ starts. It was very fun and adventurous for us, writing this way! For the video, I wanted to do something playing on the notion that pop culture repackages your identity and sells it back to you for ‘entertainment.’”

Add to this that Priests are a thrilling live band, and you know you can’t miss this date. (Check out our Parklife DC reviews from Black Cat shows on May 10, 2016, Feb. 14, 2016, and Feb. 7, 2015.) Tickets are available online.

BTW, as we reported previously, Priests have launched an official website, and they also recently appeared on Twitter. Follow them at @PRIESTS_TWEET.

Priests
Black Cat
Saturday, March 11
Doors @8pm
$15
All ages

Music Park: Destroy. Rebuild. by The Jet Age — 8/28/15

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The Jet Age (Photo courtesy Big Hassle)

With today’s focus on happy dance music or sweeping reflective ballads, it’s sometimes hard to find an accessible indie rock band with a wider message.

Enter The Jet Age, flying into your ears with a fleet of guitars built on styles from the ‘90s and ponderous lyrics reacting to the events of today in their sixth LP, Destroy. Rebuild., scheduled for release on August 28 from Sonic Boomerang Records.

In 2014, the death of Eric Garner in custody of the New York Police Department, and his last words “I can’t breathe,” sparked national protests and serve as the inspiration for a song on the album titled after the famous quote. And first single “Don’t Make A Sound” romanticizes the notion that “things can change if we want them to” because “Times like this I think we can do anything.”

Listen to tracks from Destroy. Rebuild. by The Jet Age, and preorder the album on Bandcamp:

Although The Jet Age are a DC trio led by singer-songwriter Eric Tischler, the band will debut the album at a release party on August 29-30 in Brighton, England, as part of the At the Edge of the Sea Festival, hosted by The Wedding Present. It’s rather appropriate that The Jet Age team up with the UK jangle-pop icons, as the two bands have toured extensively together in the past and The Wedding Present often are cited as a major influence on The Jet Age.

Eric and bandmates bassist Greg Bennett and drummer Pete Nuwayser recorded the new album in closed sessions in Eric’s DC home studio, and the album reflects that intimacy.

“We recorded all the basic tracks live in the same room,” Eric said in a press release. “It was awesome, because everyone could maintain eye contact, no one needed headphones and there was just enough bleed to glue it all together.”

Regarding the themes of the album, Eric added, “The flip side of all this depressing crap—including watching some other couples around me go down in flames—is that it’s really renewed my appreciation for the ways in which my wife and kids provide a port in the storm so, yeah, it’s about relationships, it’s about the country, it’s about the band.”

The Jet Age haven’t announced any upcoming local shows yet, but keep your eyes open on their Facebook page.

Meanwhile, give the new album a listen, and see if you too are inspired to Destroy. Rebuild.