The Charlatans (Photo courtesy Motormouth Media)
We tend to think of the Britpop era of the ’90s as largely defined by bands that made big tunes, got big heads and then imploded.
But a lot of talented folks continued right on working, even if we in the United States weren’t paying particularly close attention at the time. Enter The Charlatans, the talented quartet led by Englishman Tim Burgess, which continued to release new albums every several years since 1990 — taking their biggest break only recently.
After five years, The Charaltans returned with new album Modern Nature, released in January via BMG, and they began a US tour in support of the album last Saturday with an appearance at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, Texas. And they bring their tour to DC this Thursday to perform at the Howard Theatre!
New songs like “Let the Good Times Be Never Ending” have a psychedelic vibe and make for a soothing, pleasing listening experience.
Watch The Charlatans perform “Let the Good Times Be Never Ending” live on the Late Late Show with James Corden on Nov. 6, 2015:
Hailing from Portland, Ore., indie rock quintet Eyelids open for The Charlatans. Tickets are available online.
The Howard Theatre
Thursday, Nov. 12
Mike Kerr of Royal Blood at the 9:30 Club on June 10 (Photo by Katerine Gaines/AmbientEye Photography)
Royal Blood are loud. Improbably so, considering it consists of only two members — bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher.
Mike’s vocals recall the spirit of 70s hard rock bands that inspired them, most notably Led Zeppelin, and Mike and Ben’s powerful instruments echo sounds from 90s grunge bands, notably Nirvana.
I realize that I’m repeating things that Jimmy Page and Dave Grohl themselves have said here, but the duo’s top song “Out of the Black” speaks its own case in volumes. At a sold-out show at the 9:30 Club on Wednesday, June 10, Royal Blood closed an all too brief 11-song set with the number, thundering their way into the hearts of the excited crowd.
People came to rock out, and Royal Blood gave them that opportunity. “Out of the Black” deals lyrically with a classic theme of the surprise of being rejected by a lover and as a result, “It broke your skin and shook through/Every part of me, every part of you.” In that way, Royal Blood follow in the footsteps of grunge bands who were always eager to sing about the negative emotions in their lives.
But Royal Blood aren’t here to wind down their statements into an empty cacophony of strings and drums. Rather, they are here to rock.
In 2014, dance duo Basement Jaxx appeared at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, performing live in the United States for the first time since 2006.
This summer, they are about to truly break that streak by headlining their first U.S. concerts in nearly 10 years, and they only have three live appearances scheduled. One of those is at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday, June 30.
Basement Jaxx returned to the national spotlight in the United States last year when their song “Never Say Never,” which came along with a clever video featuring the manufacture of a TWERKbot (or rather “TW3RK-BOT 1.0”), hit #1 on Billboard’s U.S. Hot Dance Club Chart. (Basement Jaxx were also nominated for a Grammy thanks to the song!)
Here’s that video:
The live show consists of Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe, aka “The Jaxx,” and perhaps another 10 performers in a dynamic performance. The show supports the release of their seventh studio album Junto, which was released in August 2014 and includes “Never Say Never.”
The Los Angles Times praised the latest album upon its release, saying, “Thirteen songs that strive for peaks as high as a flooded dance-floor rocking ‘Where’s Your Head At’ at full volume, Junto hits with heated bangers while also stepping away from the steam to cool off.”
Watch “Where’s Your Head At” live At Kendall Calling 2013 in the United Kingdom:
Tickets are available online and at the 9:30 Club box office.
Tuesday, June 30