When I was an undergrad, “Low” by Cracker was absolutely inescapable on college radio. As a concert newbie, I ended up seeing one of my first shows off-campus during a visit to Salisbury, Md., where some friends and I caught a bill that included Cracker, Gin Blossoms and Spin Doctors (hey, I was young).
But my musical tastes always have run to being a bit more subversive in general. And so I was surprised to learn lately that Cracker’s lead singer founded another, perhaps more subversive, band–Camper Van Beethoven. Vocalist and guitarist David Lowery (who also is a mathematician!) fronts Camper Van Beethoven, as he did before, after and now while also singing in Cracker. And this Saturday at the 9:30 Club, he has the luxury of opening for himself as Camper Van Beethoven takes the stage before Cracker!
In 2013, Camper van Beethoven released a new album, La Costa Perdida, and they are sure to perform new songs like the title track or “Northern California Girls”–an allusion to Cracker’s home as well as the Beach Boys–and some of their classics, like “Take the Skinheads Bowling.” Cracker released their last album, Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey, in 2009, but the band also has been working on new songs. Join me and hear it all in one spot!
w/ Camper Van Beethoven
Saturday, Jan. 11
Wherever you are in the country or the world, if you are having a conversation about Ska music, and Washington DC comes up, it is a sure thing that The Pietasters will be the first band to be mentioned. Cranking out “DC’s finest ska” since the early 1990s, The Pietasters toured hard for years as an opening band for every punk/ska revival act or music legend that would have them (they even backed for James Brown!), all the while perfecting their soulful Ska sound and earning their stripes. These days The Pietasters are one of Ska’s most respected groups and known to the world as the face of DC Ska.
I saw The Pietasters more times than I can count back in the 90’s. I think the last time I saw them was in 2000(?) opening for Joe Strummer in Philadelphia. As always the guys put on a fantastic set of rudie anthems showing the Philly ska/punks how it’s done down in DC. I lost track of The Pietasters after that for several years. So imagine my surprise when the older, wiser, and ruder-than-ever Pietasters showed up at the 9:30 Club 30th Anniversary Concert last year and treated the crowd to a tight-as-hell mini-set! It was great to see the guys again! They worked the room like pros and sounded fantastic! I expect more of the same out of them this Saturday night, when they will be headlining the best reggae/punk/ska party in town!
w/ HR of Bad Brains, Copstabber, and The Shifters
Saturday, Jan. 8
@ 9:30 Club
You can tell a lot about a show by the way people leave after it’s over. The lights come up, the house music kicks in, and people filter through the door, clinging a little bit to the last two hours. Or, in the case of Reel Big Fish at the 9:30 Club on Monday night, they hum along a little to that house music before breaking into a spontaneous group singalong of “Sweet Caroline.”
Which, really, tells you everything you need to know about that show: a little corny, a whole lot catchy, and, deep down, something you probably enjoy despite yourself.
by ‘erin m’
There’s a unique tension that exists between the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and the fans in the crowd: for the guys on stage, a good show requires precision, in dress and musical performance, even movements; a good night for the mass of people rests upon the successful implementation of the exact opposite — moshing into a hot sweaty mess, riding the crowd, letting go of inhibitions and being OK with looking like a fool. The music has to be tight; the fans cannot. By that measure, and a few more, the Bosstones appearance at the 9:30 club on Saturday was a good night.
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The Ska fans here at We Love DC are so stoked about this weekend’s plethora of Ska concert options that we decided one giveaway to celebrate this good-time genre just wasn’t enough! So I got on the horn with my good buddies The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and finagled a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky reader for their concert at the 9:30 Club on Saturday, August 21! (Well, actually I had to trade Dicky my lucky pair of braces for ’em – but the less said about that the better!)
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are without a doubt one of (if not THE) most important American Ska / Ska-Punk bands. Coming out of the Boston hardcore punk scene in the mid-80’s The Bosstones introduced Trad and 2-Tone Ska sensibilities to that harder-edge sound. They slugged away in the trenches for years, gaining respect in both punk and ska circles, until the 90’s when their moment had finally come. Their popularity exploded as the 3rd-Wave Ska revival took hold in the US. A movement of ska and ska-tinged punk bands that the Bosstones were largely responsible for inspiring with all those years of hard touring and legendary concerts. On Saturday night The Mighty Mighty Bosstones make their return to DC and to the 9:30 Club. Between this show and Sunday’s Bad Manners/English Beat double bill this weekend is ska heaven.
Since this is bonus giveaway, let’s make this one a little more interesting.
For your chance to win these tickets leave a comment on this post with the most ridiculous, outrageous Ska performer name or band name you can imagine. Make sure you use a valid email address, so we can find you if you win. This contest will run between Noon and 4pm today; at which time the winner will be selected at random. One entry per email address, please. Tickets for this show are also available through Ticketfly If today doesn’t turn out to be your lucky day, check back here each Wednesday for a chance to win tickets to other great concerts.
For the rules of this giveaway…
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