Detroit rapper/producer Black Milk turned up the temperature in northeast DC’s Rock and Roll Hotel last week. The concert was part of the aptly named FEVER tour. DC-based band Nat Turner joined him on stage to add fuel to the flame.
Beach Slang — the loud, driving, heart-on-your sleeve band led by James Alex — has been making their brand of Replacements-tinged powerpunk for a few years now. Beyond the rough and noisy exterior, Beach Slang songs are about connecting with the feeling of being different or an outsider or being yourself despite what others think.
But there’s a soft center to that hard exterior. So when James Alex announced the new quiet focus on Beach Slang songs with a project called Quiet Slang, it seemed like a natural extension. The resulting album, Everything Matters But No One Is Listening, is a beautiful retelling that sounds natural instead of forced, particularly when presented at Rock and Roll Hotel on Thursday.
Singing the title track of debut full-length album Silk, Nenet of Park Snakes strutted about the stage, declaring that she wants everything while seeming terribly indifferent to actually receiving it.
The song immediately cut to the quick of late ‘70s bands with similarly disaffected frontwomen like Debbie Harry, Debora Iyall, and Deborah Evans-Stickland. And so, Park Snakes appealed to an attentive crowd at Rock and Roll Hotel Saturday in a show opening Paperhaus.
DC quartet Bacchae attack a song with conviction. Vocalist Katie McD doesn’t merely sing — she blares like a siren. And the band surely sounded the alarm opening Paperhaus at Rock and Roll Hotel on Saturday.
Hip hop artist Dessa turned up the heat — literally and figuratively -— during a 90-minute set at Rock and Roll Hotel on Sunday.
Margret Wander, better known as Dessa, released Chime, her fourth solo studio album, in February via Doomtree Records (the imprint of her Minneapolis-based hip hop collective of the same name). Dessa performs in support of the album at Rock and Roll Hotel on Sunday, June 24.