BY SYDNEY SPENCER// Since the debut of their first album, Passover, in 2006, The Black Angels have been revitalizing the psychedelic rock genre. The New York Times described the group as, “playing psychedelic rock as if the 1960s never ended, and they are an absolute master of it.” With colorful influences from Led Zeppelin and The Velvet Underground, The Black Angels dirty guitar riffs and entrancing bass solos bring a unique old-school creativity to the modern rock world.
Establishing their roots in Austin, Texas, The Black Angels gained popularity through their MySpace music page and a psychedelic collaboration album released by Northern Star Records. Their first album, Passover, features their top hit song, Young Men Dead. Similar to the psych-rock movement of the 1960s, many of The Black Angel’s songs contain bold themes questioning government and armed-conflict. The group continues delivering these powerful messages in their newest album, Death Song, their first full-length album in four years. The album is unique and progressive in that it was written and recorded during the 2016 election – as expected, it has a strong emphasis on a political climate dominated by division, anxiety, and unease. Regarding sound, the 11-track collection offers a sharply honed elaboration on their signature sound – menacing fuzz guitar and cutting wordplay, steeped in a murky hallucinatory dream.
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BY SAHRA MAXWELL// Cigarettes After Sex is coming to the 9:30 club April 2nd! The group was started in 2008 by Greg Gonzalez. The New York Based group consists of keyboardist Phillip Tubbs, bassist Randy Miller, and drummer Jacob Tomsky. While studying at the University of Texas, he recorded songs in a stairwell. He worked on creating music that replicated a dream and released his first EP, I., in 2012 featuring the two hit songs, “Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You” and “Dreaming of You”.
After releasing their EP, the group decided to move to New York to pursue their music career. During the beginning of their career, they mostly released singles and EPs and gained popularity through Youtube clips. They released the song “Affection” in 2015 and “K” in 2016. The band released their first album titled Cigarettes After Sex in 2017.
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BY SARAH SOPHER // This weekend I returned to one of my favorite DC venues to see BlackGummy. The Mau5trap artist was in town to showcase his first national headlining tour, the Mesophase Tour. Bringing out fans from the vast DMV area, BlackGummy knew how to raise the crowd’s energy and get us on our toes.
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BY ANNA LAROCCO MASI// Iconic indie band Yo La Tengo is heading to the 9:30 Club next Wednesday, April 4. The band is originally from Hoboken, New Jersey, which is claimed to be the birthplace of baseball. Their name, which translates to “I have it” in Spanish, was a phrase used in baseball games in the 60s.
Yo La Tengo is known for their soft and upbeat indie-rock sound, as well as covers of favorites such as Cat Stevens. The group has produced 15 albums, the most recent of which, “There’s a Riot Going On,” was released just last week and has already made the Billboard Top 200. This LP features softer sounds and more lo-fi influences than Yo La Tengo’s traditional fare.
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BY SARAH SOPHER // Lights was peaking at her latest 930 club performance. On top of the world after publishing her multi-platform project, Skin & Earth, Lights showed DC her strong passion for the story she wrote. Skin & Earth is a comic series that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, and an album with songs from the perspective of the comic’s main character, Enaia. It has only been a few months since the release of Skin & Earth, and it was fascinating to hear the 930 Club audience being able to sing along to many of her latest songs. Lights shared with us that, to her, S&E is about confronting your inner demon and allowing your challenges to make you stronger.
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