Recommendations from 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011
Recommended: Archive: 2014
Here's the archive of our recommended shows. For current recommendations, click here.
Saturday, 1 February 2014: Black Clouds, Tone, and Highway Cross - Black Cat (Mainstage)
Sometimes, you just want to listen to instrumental music, and this show features two local instrumental greats. The headliner is Black Clouds, a trio whose debut album Everything Is Not Going To Be OK came out in 2012, is working on recording new material, so expect them to play some of that at this show. Also playing is Tone, a guitar army that has been around for over two decades-- and who just made available a new song called "Incoming", for FREE! You can't beat that, so you might as well download it from their bandcamp page here. And if you're wary of too much music without vocals, then check out opener Highway Cross, an Arlington punk band with a release on Dischord. Tickets are available on ticketfly.com for $12 plus a $3 fee for a total of $15. Tickets can be also be bought at the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight), or on the night of the show, for $12 in cash. More information via the Black Cat's site or the Facebook event page.
Monday, 16 June 2014: Ásgeir and Connor Youngblood - Black Cat (Backstage)
Ásgeir's debut album In the Silence has been on heavy rotation in my ears this year, which is unusual for me: I don't usually go this nuts for a singer-songwriter. I think the difference here is lyrics: most singer-songwriters are beloved because of how they string words together. With Ásgeir, I'm not listening to his words; his music is about his guitar tone, his melodies, and how he puts songs together, more than the words themselves. This album was originally released in Icelandic (under the name Ásgeir Trausti), and I think I love that version even more, so track it down if you can (some of the Icelandic versions have made it to YouTube, like this one, which starts out as soothing as a delicate lullaby but grows to a stunning lushness around the 2-minute mark). This is his first time performing in DC. Tickets are available via ticketfly for $12 plus a $3 fee for a total of $15. Tickets can be also be bought at the Black Cat any night the club is open (8PM - midnight) for $12 in cash.
Tuesday, 8 July 2014: Marissa Nadler and Janel & Anthony - Rock & Roll Hotel
Dream-folk singer/songwriter Marissa Nadler just keeps putting out solid albums. Her latest, July is fantastic and adds several guest musicians, most notably Eyvind Kang on strings (I have yet to hear his work on an album I don't like, so seeing his name alongside an artist like Nadler is a real treat). If you like that, check out some of her older albums, such as 2009's Little Hells and 2007's Songs III: Bird on the Water. As an added bonus, the opening act is local duo Janel & Anthony who are working on a new album to follow up their terrific 2012 release Where Is Home. Tickets are available via ticketfly for $12 plus $4.48 fees for a total of $16.48, or $12 at the door on the day of the show.