Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Tokyo Police Club @ Black Cat–5/13/14

Tokyo Police Club (Photo courtesy Sacks & Co.)

Tokyo Police Club (Photo courtesy Sacks & Co.)

I’ve been somewhat remiss in singing the praises of Tokyo Police Club.

The Ontario-based post-punk quartet played a show at the Black Cat on Tuesday, May 13, and an overly aggressive schedule on my part has thwarted my attempts to say a good word about a good show!

Well, allow me to correct that now. Although as the sold-out crowd at the Black Cat well knows, Tokyo Police Club do well enough without my praise. In March, the band released its fourth full-length album, Forcefield, and stopped in DC to promote it a month along in a tour that seems scheduled to go on for at least a few more weeks.

Forcefield demonstrates Tokyo Police Club’s terrific consistency, and a renewed focus on good dance numbers. The one exception to this might be the somewhat more methodical “Argentina, Pts. I, II, III,” a remembrance of lost love that sounds sunny and nostalgic but longer and more drawn out than other songs on the new album. By contrast, “Tunnel Vision,” a much more typical and danceable new song on the album, demonstrates the group’s emphasis on dance tunes with catchy hooks and memorable phrases–like the refrain, “I just want to make it through one more night.” It’s a perfect glam-pop moment that captures a 24-hour cycle in a 3-minute declaration of intent to keep on partying.

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We Love Music: Blouse and Dum Dum Girls @ Black Cat — 3/22/14

Dee Dee Penny of the Dum Dum Girls (Courtesy of Sub Pop Records)

Dee Dee Penny of the Dum Dum Girls (Courtesy of Sub Pop Records)

The Black Cat hosted two female-fronted bands well worth an evening of listening on a sold-out Saturday night.

Blouse, a synthpop trio from Portland, Ore., recently traded their keyboards for guitars on their second album, Imperium. They opened for the Dum Dum Girls, the increasingly popular quartet from Los Angeles celebrating a third full-length release with Too True. This music reporter was pretty happy with both bands overall thanks to the shades of 80s post-punk that shown through in the music of their two sets.

Given my predilections, you’ll have to excuse me — when I first heard Blouse, I absolutely was hooked by their first album, and it’s been difficult for me to fairly judge their second by the standard that it set. I took notes during the show only to find myself scribbling praise for the songs from the band’s first self-titled album from 2011.

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We Love Music: White Lies w/ Frankie Rose @ 9:30 Club — 2/22/14

whiteliesShortly after the halfway point in their show at the 9:30 Club on Saturday, White Lies played “Unfinished Business,” their very first single, which was released nearly five years ago now.

The very full club listened respectively and bobbed along in place to the catchy melodies of the song as lead singer Harry McVeigh sang plaintively to the crowd. “You’ve got blood on your hands/And I now it’s mine/I just need more time/So get off your low/let’s dance like we used to.”

That first song serves as a blueprint for the post-punk trio, who perform as a quintet. In a very real way, by sticking to their formula of uplifting melodies but darkly reflective lyrics, White Lies have grown their name recognition and their audiences in the United States tremendously on their latest tour, heralding last year’s album Big TV.

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We Love Music: Hugh Cornwell @ Black Cat –12/5/13

As some active music icons age, they often move away from the musical styles and lyrical causes that propelled them to public consciousness. They expand to new sounds or find new grounds, and they may bear little resemblance to their old selves.

While such an evolution may be understandable, it’s sometimes disappointing. While not everyone has to be Billy Bragg to maintain some degree of consistency in musical philosophy, it’s nice to see a sensible evolution in a musical career — rather than, say, searching for something new at age 50 to new discernible musical benefit.

Enter Hugh Cornwell, a punk icon who remains completely recognizable because he seems largely to be the same man he was at the beginning of his career but perhaps more mellow. He may be a case of a young punk rocker with a satiric bite but often soft sentimentalities, who becomes an older punk rocker with a no less satiric bite and more pronounced sentimentalities. In an appearance backstage at the Black Cat last Thursday, Dec. 5, Cornwell played a solid set drawn from this new album, Totem & Taboo, as well as a number of selections from his old band The Stranglers.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Hugh Cornwell @ Black Cat, 12/5/13

Hugh Cornwell (Photo by Kevin Nixon)

Hugh Cornwell (Photo by Kevin Nixon)

I’ve just listened to Hugh Cornwell’s new album, Totem & Taboo, released back in January, and it’s quite good! The former frontman of The Stranglers still has a good, strong voice that sounds like smooth leather, capable of both challenging with a bit of satire or soothing with a pleasing thought.

The title track of the album is a jaunty tune that explores differences in attitudes that two people can have about the same thing. “God Is a Woman,” as Cornwell said in interviews, is a song inspired by the fact that ancient religions worshipped a female goddess and extrapolates that concept into admiration of women all around. “Love Me Slender” is a fun bunch of rhymes with a wry nod to the Elvis Presley song, and “Gods Guns and Gays” celebrates freedom of speech.

Cornwell comes to the backstage of the Black Cat on Thursday with the promise to play lots of his solo material with the addition of a couple of songs from his days in The Stranglers. A check of recent set lists shows he favors the new album, of course, but also plays some classics like “No More Heroes,” “Golden Brown” and “Nice ‘N Sleazy.”

DC post-punkers Dot Dash open for Cornwell.

Hugh Cornwell
w/ Dot Dash
Black Cat
Thursday, Dec. 5
Doors @8pm
$15
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Holograms @ DC9, 12/4/13

Holograms (Photo courtesy Captured Tracks)

Holograms (Photo courtesy Captured Tracks)

Holograms, a post-punk quartet from Sweden, kick off a three-week tour of the United States starting in DC tomorrow at DC9. Yesterday, they unveiled a video for their energetic single “Luminous” from their second album, Forever, released a few short months ago.

As you can hear from the song, Holograms are a bit of a cousin to Sweden’s Iceage. They share a similar appreciation for hardcore punk without completely giving themselves over to it. The young twenty-something band members — Andreas Lagerström (vocals/bass), Anton Strandberg (drums), Anton Spetze (vocals/guitar) and Filip Spetze (synths) — bring a strong synth presence to the songs, however, giving them a more melodic post-punk edge — albeit one with a lot of frenetic shouting. It’s dystopian rock with a beat, and you can dance to it.

TV Ghost, hailing from Indiana, open, promising some gothy sounds by way of The Cure.

Holograms
w/ TV Ghost
DC9
Wednesday, Dec. 4
Doors @8pm
$10 advance/$12 door
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds @ DAR Constitution Hall, 7/23/14

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (Photo by Cat Stevens)

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (Photo by Cat Stevens)

As a way to say thanks to our loyal readers, We Love DC will be giving away a pair of tickets to a 9:30 Club concert to one lucky reader periodically. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to find out what tickets we’re giving away, and leave a comment for your chance to be the lucky winner!

Today, the 9:30 Club has announced that it is presenting Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at DAR Constitution Hall on Wednesday, July 23, 2014–and we are giving away a pair of tickets before you can buy them!

Wow! Lots of my friends sure adore Nick Cave and his often bluesy take on Americana-flavored post-punk. He’s certainly blazed his own trail throughout his career, beginning in the 70s with The Birthday Party and for much longer with the Bad Seeds. For many, his iconoclastic, bad boy image is part of his appeal, but the man and the band certainly are prolific so there is no shortage of music to explore.

The latest album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Push the Sky Away, is a mostly compact race through nine songs dealing with seemingly unconnected sources of inspiration that Cave and his writing partner Warren Ellis picked up through some spare reading. On the whole, it may be a good jumping on point for those new to the works of Nick Cave, as it’s not terribly fussy or complicated outside some ornate arrangements.

For your chance to win these tickets, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address between 10am and 5pm today. Feel free to leave any comment, but perhaps share your favorite song by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds! (Grinderman doesn’t count…. although I’ll tally your entry either way.) One entry per email address, please. Tickets for this show are available to the public through Ticketmaster beginning Friday, Nov. 22, at 10am.

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 5pm and a winner will be randomly selected. The winner will be notified by email. The winner must respond to our email within 24 hours or they will forfeit their tickets and we will pick another winner.

Tickets will be available to the winner at the box office of DAR Constitution Hall one hour before doors open on the night of the concert. The tickets must be claimed with a valid ID. The winner must be old enough to attend the specific concert or must have a parent’s permission to enter if he/she is under 18 years old.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
DAR Constitution Hall
Wednesday, July 23
show @8pm
$41.25-$70.35
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Franz Ferdinand @ Strathmore Music Center — 10/17/13

Franz Ferdinand (Photo by Andy Knowles)

Franz Ferdinand (Photo by Andy Knowles)

We expect a lot from certain bands these days. Sometimes it’s not enough to play good music—the musicians must have style, personality and wit.

We therefore appreciate standard-bearers like Franz Ferdinand, who craft their upbeat post-punk songs with clever lyrics and catchy riffs. When you’re four men singing “music for girls,” as they famously say, it’s important to follow through with a certain amount of panache and sophistication.

And thankfully, Franz Ferdinand still maintains a great deal of this fire. Their lyrics are as wry and witty as ever and their energy is high. The dapper gents from Scotland have a new album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, which they toured through the Strathmore Music Center last Thursday, Oct. 17. There seems to be a consensus that the band’s last album, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, wasn’t everything that it could be… and frontman Alex Kapranos has said the band was not spending a lot of time together and collaborated a lot over distances instead of working in the same room when making that album.

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Hot Ticket: The Dismemberment Plan w/Paint Branch @ 9:30 Club, 10/20/13

The Dismemberment Plan (Photo courtesy the band)

The Dismemberment Plan (Photo courtesy the band)

How excited is DC about the honest-to-gosh return of The Dismemberment Plan, who dropped their first new album in 10 years this past week?

The new album Uncanney Valley recaptures the classic wit and fun of The Dismemberment Plan, according to critics. Friday, they perform in New York City and then hit the 9:30 Club for two shows in a row on Saturday, Oct. 19, and Sunday, Oct. 20.

The shows are generating a lot of buzz around town. (Take a look at a personal D-Plan playlist from bar critic Fritz Hahn of The Washington Post posted today!) And it seems only appropriate that The Dismemberment Plan have recruited two rising local bands to open up for them this weekend.

On Saturday, Deleted Scenes open and on Sunday, Paint Branch take the reins.

Paint Branch presents a particularly intriguing opportunity to catch some veterans of the DC music scene as John Davis and Chris Richards of Q and Not U reunite to try something different. Richards, a music critic at The Washington Post, muses, “Maybe we could sound like CSNY or Harry Nilsson or other bands John had gotten me into. There could be guitar solos and vocal harmonies and lyrics about personal bummers – common things that felt too common for our old band, or maybe just too self-indulgent. (Funny how common things could feel thrilling now.)”

Sunday then may present a rare opportunity to check out something new and interesting from two sets of musicians who have made our city home.

The Dismemberment Plan
w/ Paint Branch
9:30 Club
Sunday, Oct. 20
doors @7pm
$25
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: The Dismemberment Plan, 10/20/13

DismembermentFAs a way to say thanks to our loyal readers, We Love DC will be giving away a pair of tickets to a 9:30 Club concert to one lucky reader periodically. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to find out what tickets we’re giving away, and leave a comment for your chance to be the lucky winner!

Today, we are giving away a pair of tickets to see The Dismemberment Plan at the 9:30 Club on Sunday, Oct. 20. The D-Plan actually are playing two shows in a row at the 9:30 Club–Saturday, Oct. 19, and Sunday, Oct. 20–but our giveaway is specifically for the Sunday show.

The Dismemberment Plan have officially reunited to the delight of their many fans, and the band has its first new album, Uncanney Valley, in 10 years coming out tomorrow, Oct. 15. The new album, which I have not yet heard, is said to sound a lot like The Dismemberment Plan we know and love, but perhaps a little older and a little wiser. The Plan’s well-received shows over the past few years already demonstrate the emo rockers still sound great, so you know you’re in for a good time.

For your chance to win these tickets, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address between 10am and 4pm today. Feel free to leave any comment, but perhaps share your favorite song by The Dismemberment Plan! One entry per email address, please. Tickets for this show are also available through Ticketfly.

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 4pm and a winner will be randomly selected. The winner will be notified by email. The winner must respond to our email within 24 hours or they will forfeit their tickets and we will pick another winner.

Tickets will be available to the winner at the 9:30 Club Guest List window one hour before doors open on the night of the concert. The tickets must be claimed with a valid ID. The winner must be old enough to attend the specific concert or must have a parent’s permission to enter if he/she is under 18 years old.

The Dismemberment Plan
w/ Paint Branch
9:30 Club
Sunday, Oct. 20
doors @7pm
$25
All ages

 

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: The Naked and the Famous @ 9:30 Club — 10/7/13

When I first heard “Punching in a Dream” by The Naked and the Famous, I thought, “Well, what a catchy dreampop song!” The ethereal voice of Alisa Xayalith over the layered electronics struck me as a sonically aggressive take on the genre but I was comfortable with that categorization nonetheless.

Coming to know the band quite a bit better recently, I’ve come to appreciate the bite in their music that lends their sound to the more rock-and-roll bent of post-punk. Yet I’m not entirely comfortable fully placing them there myself—and this is what makes the band an exciting listen. The Naked and the Famous are different. They play outside of boundaries, and they are surprisingly versatile while doing so. This was evident in two sold out shows at the 9:30 Club this past Sunday and Monday, where the crowd fully embraced the duality of the band, dancing and singing along with great enthusiasm.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: The Virgins (Opening for The Killers) @ Merriweather Post Pavilion, 8/10/13

The Virgins (Photo courtesy Sacks & Co.)

The Virgins (Photo courtesy Sacks & Co.)

The Killers are playing at Merriweather Post Pavilion tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 10. But they are bringing with them an interesting band from New York City, The Virgins. The Virgins’ frontman Donald Cumming started up the band and put out an album in 2008. Five years later, Cumming returned with a new lineup and released a second album, Strike Gently, in March.

Critics have heralded the return of The Virgins as a kind of post-punk Dire Straits. To me, they sound quite a bit like The Cars! After embarking on the tour with The Killers, We Love DC caught up with Cumming to ask about touring, playing guitar and putting out records — three things The Virgins plan to do a lot of in the near future!

Mickey: How has been being on the road, particularly opening for The Killers?

Donald Cumming: It’s a lot of fun. We are really enjoying it. It’s been cool. We played some club shows on our own, and now we are on The Killers’ tour, which is a very different experience. But they are both very fun. It’s great to play for lots of different people.

MM: How did that come about? Did The Killers contact you? How did you connect?

DC: I got an email out of the blue from somebody connected to them, asking if we were available for the dates. It all came together very quickly. Our new record [Strike Gently] has just come out. It was something we were really excited to do. When I heard it was possible, I said, we would love to do that.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Totally 80s Summer Tour @ Tally Ho Theatre, Leesburg, Va — 6/29/13

Chloe Demetria and Leigh Gorman of Bow Wow Wow (photo courtesy the band)

Chloe Demetria and Leigh Gorman of Bow Wow Wow (photo courtesy the band)

I have a storage unit outside of Baltimore where I store some stuff at a much more affordable rate than I could in DC metro. I drove out there Sunday night, and to my surprise, I saw a roadside dive advertising the 80s band Bow Wow Wow.

I had seen them the night before at the Tally Ho Theatre in Leesburg, Va., billed as part of the Totally 80s Summer Tour, where they joined Gene Loves Jezebel and The Motels as a package of 80s bands. In the case of all three bands, each has a lone original band member who has chosen to carry on the legacy of the band and perform on tour — and each were pretty entertaining. I reflected on this when I caught Bow Wow Wow a second time at that bar, the House of Rock in White Marsh, Md., so I’m going to start with them.

Bassist Leigh Gorman has carried on the band without Annabella Lwin, who decided not to carry on with it. Gorman is a classic act, who deserves consideration for his talent among peers like Boz Boorer, John Lydon and Adam Ant. (Gorman was indeed one of the original Ants.) The man sounds great on bass as he revisits all of the catchy Bow Wow Wow classics like “I Want Candy,” “C30-C60-C90 Go” and “Do You Wanna Hold Me?”

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We Love Music: Metric @ Ram’s Head Live, Baltimore, Md. — 6/7/13

I am now going to unabashedly gush about Metric, who played a sold-out show at Ram’s Head Live in Baltimore Friday night.

The combination of the sweet, breathy vocals of Emily Haines along with the rock guitar of James Shaw and the dependable rhythm section of bassist Joshua Winstead and drummer Joules Scott-Key make for an irresistible concert performance. The band always has been a favorite of mine since I first heard the single “Combat Baby,” and their first album, “Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?” In that song and many others on their first few albums, the band relied on catchy melodies and wordplay to create fun, thoughtful songs.

But in their last two albums, Metric have stepped it up a quite a bit. The fourth album, Fantasies, and the fifth, Synthetica, which came out about a year ago, marked a quantum leap in exhibiting their capabilities in songwriting and crafting infectious dance music. The strengths of the band members and the power of the Synthetica album were on full display Friday as they opened with “Artificial Nocturne,” which starts out in a sweet and fragile vocal and sparse instrumentation before blowing up into a full-blown disco thumper — a favorite Metric tactic. It’s an entrancing, intoxicating song that is readymade to be a concert opener, luring you in and then opening you up to more intricate sounds as the song moves along.

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We Love Music: Paul Banks @ The Howard Theatre — 11/9/12

Today, Paul Banks is simply Paul Banks. Yesterday, he was Julian Plenti.

It’s understandable if it sounds a bit confusing. Banks put out a first solo album under the pseudonym Julian Plenti while Interpol was on hiatus in 2009. Last month, he released a second solo album under his own name, embracing strategically and musically a new motto — simplify.

And simplification is the major difference between Paul Banks the solo act and his band Interpol. Banks solo enjoys more of the quiet moments, strumming to a more peaceful brand of post-punk than the more aggressive music found in Interpol’s albums. Sonically speaking, if Interpol wants to rush into awkward sex on the first date and harbor recriminations about it, Banks solo wants to romance and take it slow. And still maybe have some recriminations about what happens later.

The crowd of roughly 200 or so people at The Howard Theatre were there Friday night to listen respectfully to what Banks had to say as a solo artist. An early shout-out for “Interpol!” was shouted down by several others from across the room, “Paul Banks!” Banks offered up 15 songs from his two solo albums, the new ones from the latest album, Banks, sounding as sweet and melancholy as the songs from Julian Plenti Is Skyscraper. Opening with Julian Plenti’s “Fly As You Might” and “Skyscraper,” Banks and his three-piece backing band then seamlessly moved into material from the self-titled Banks.

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We Love Music: Psychedelic Furs w/ Lemonheads and The Chevin @ The Howard Theatre — 10/22/12

Brothers Richard and Tim Butler have such a strong love of performance that it’s not hard to see why they keep touring the Psychedelic Furs despite the band’s last album dropping in 1991.

To be fair, the Psychedelic Furs went through an intensively creative period in the first half of the ’80s, putting out timeless post-punk gems like “Love My Way,” “Heaven” and of course “Pretty in Pink.” When the Furs tour, they hit those highlights as well as “Heartbreak Beat” and “Highwire Days” naturally. Richard Butler, theatric and emotive, sings with his whole body, literally walking the audience through the songs on occasion. Bass player Tim Butler, silent in shades, stands behind his famously emotive brother, looking like the muscle in the room suggesting, “Yeah, you better listen to what he said.”

And what Richard says, or sings rather, is a well-loved catalog of songs about heartache and cynicism all delivered softly, lyrically and passionately. The Furs have a new song, “Little Miss World,” which fits in smartly with their better-known older songs. My personal favorite “All of This and Nothing” gave us a sharp saxophone solo from Mars Williams, who brilliantly solves the challenge of being in a six member group by taking a break from the stage when he’s not needed there. But the band and singer come together very well and Butler’s message to an ex-lover, “you didn’t leave me anything that I can understand,” always hits me in the gut. The Furs still sound great live and they perform well, easily justifying their longevity.

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Hot Ticket: Psychedelic Furs @ The Howard Theatre, 10/22/12

Photo courtesy of Man Alive!
Psychedelic Furs
courtesy of Man Alive!

The Psychedelic Furs have not put out a new album since 1991′s World Outside.

That has not stopped the English post-punk group from touring the United States non-stop since the year 2000. Indeed, they have been through the Washington, DC, metro area several times in the last year or so, playing The State Theater in Falls Church, Va., and the Fillmore in Silver Spring, Md. Now they make their first trip to the newly renovated Howard Theatre tonight, performing perennial favorites such as “Love My Way,” “Pretty in Pink” and “President Gas.”

Opening for the Furs are The Lemonheads, the Boston post-grunge rockers known for goofy drug songs. The pairing of The Lemonheads and the Psychedelic Furs may appear to have little rhyme and reason at first glance, but Lemonheads’ bass player Juliana Hatfield long has been an admirer of new wave-tinged 80s rock groups like the Furs and even sang a duet with lead singer Richard Butler in the past several years — so perhaps the genesis of the pairing occurred with her. Unfortunately, Hatfield dropped out of the tour after initially planning to participate.

Still, the Psychedelic Furs have a well-earned reputation for being one of the most engaging live bands ever to tour, which has helped them sustain the band quite easily in the past decade. Tickets are $30 plus fees. See you there!

Psychedelic Furs w/ The Lemonheads and The Chevin
Tonight! Monday, Oct. 22
doors 6pm; show 8pm
$30
The Howard Theatre
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: The Wombats @ 9:30 Club — 4/23/12

Ever get the feeling that a band has toured too much recently? That they have developed a bit of a tired tour routine that could be freshened up a bit by some time off or some new material?

Unfortunately, such was the case with The Wombats, visiting the 9:30 Club Monday night from Liverpool, UK, promoting material from a pretty good second album, This Modern Glitch. Despite a lot of really clever post-punk songs, The Wombats couldn’t maintain enough momentum to keep the attention of the room, which was not quite 70 percent full, leaving audience members to drift way or to start texting people they would rather be spending their time with. It’s difficult to escape the conclusion that this situation was created at least in part by the fact that The Wombats had stopped in town exactly six months previously.

I consider The Wombats to be a talented trio. I went to their last show and interviewed their drummer beforehand. The Wombats had demonstrated that they are not a flash in the pan, which they easily could have been after the indie success of their breakout single “Let’s Dance to Joy Division.” Instead, they focused on solid song writing and catchy licks to produce a sophomore album that is better than their first, despite the lack of an equally catchy single like the ode to their Manchester post-punk forebears.

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We Love Music: Wire @ Black Cat, 4/7/11

IMG_9707
all photos by author.

Wire played at the Black Cat on Thursday night for an adoring crowd of older fans and hardcore music geeks. They are touring on their excellent new album, “Red Barked Tree”. The new album was featured heavily on Thursday night, but Wire also offered up a sampler of the many phases they have gone through in their 30+ years career. The show was an interesting blend of energy levels and quality as the many sounds of Wire don’t always fit neatly next to one another. This was my first time seeing Wire in concert; while I walked away satisfied by the show, it was not the knock-out performance I was expecting.

If Wire will be remembered for one thing, it will be that they always did things on their own terms. One of the most important bands in the punk to post-punk transition, Wire harnessed the energy of ’77 UK punk to fuel their strange creations. Along with peer-bands like Magazine and Joy Division, they helped herald in a new era of unconventional sounds. Never satisfied being pigeonholed by the critics as “this type of band” or “that type of band”, Wire shifted gears many times over the years. From punk to post-punk to pop to industrial and so on, Wire were and still are always in a state of flux. While this is the thing that makes Wire such a satisfying and exciting band to listen to at home, I’m afraid it held their live show back a little bit on Thursday.

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We Love Music: The Ex @ Black Cat, 3/12/11

IMG_8266
all photos by author.

On Saturday night at the Black Cat, legendary Dutch post-punk group The Ex treated DC fans to an energetic run through of most of the songs off their latest album, “Catch My Shoe”, a Hungarian folk song they used to do with Tom Cora, and a cover of the Konono No.1 song “Huriyet”. The Ex have been a band for over thirty years and while their line-up has changed many times over the years (most recently with a change of lead singers) the band has always maintained core values of improvisation, collaboration, and blistering guitar action. It was this third value that was most prominently on display Saturday night.

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