The dog days drag on and again, it's a relatively quiet week here in DC. Hell... I'm even taking Monday off. The NVs and Planes make it known that the aforementioned "quiet" refers not to volume, but to the number of people crammed in to relatively large room. And what Jonny Corndwag lacks in decibels, he makes up for in appearance.
The lure of Phish takes me away from the 15th through the 20th. And while I take comfort in knowing that Family of the Year and Charli XCX also await me in San Francisco, I must acknowledge that there will be plenty happening here without me. So even though I won't miss Marina and the Diamonds on Tuesday at the 9:30 Club, I must implore you all to go see Raise up Roof Beams, Chelsea Wolfe, the Dirty Projectors, My Morning Jacket, Screen Vinyl Image, and/or Möbius Strip in my absence.
Tuesday, August 7 -- Jonny Corndawg: Red Palace
Jonny Corndawg is more country than his music. Or maybe it's that the character is more American that the rest of us. He might be poking fun at an entire culture, but before anyone can get offended, Corndawg opens his mouth and proves he does the genre -- and its most venerable fore-bearers -- more justice than the lion's share of his more dignified contemporaries.
Wednesday, August 8 -- The NVs: Black Cat
I made the decision to buy my ticket to see The NVs before I had barely heard a single note. The promise of more music from Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb singer Sal Go was enough to make an $8 gamble. If you aren't a betting man or woman, take a listen, then realize you definitely don't want to miss these accurately self-described "DC Punk Rock Vandals."
Thursday, August 9 -- Young Man: Red Palace
Pop music is not wanting for more songs that sound like the sweet and mournful regret of getting older. Nevertheless, Colin Caulfield pulls it off. He does so not by following a wistful nostalgia roadmap, but by proving he ended up here all on his own.
Not Attending -- Bright Light Social Hour: DC9
I imagine it would be easy to form a band and find an audience in Austin. Bright Light Social Hour doesn't take the easy road, combining the soulful rock sounds of their native city with dance tendencies suitable for any town with people looking to move.
Friday, August, 10 -- Sebadoh: Black Cat
I've never cared to understand the politics of the Dinosaur Jr. fanbase. I think the rules dictate that you must pick either Lou or J. Since you've likely already made up your mind, I'll conclude with the following: If you're a Lou guy or gal, you're in luck, because you get him twice on Friday night. Sentridoh starts the night... Sebadoh ends it.
Not Attending -- The Very Best: Rock and Roll Hotel
Not ironically, The Very Best sounds exactly like what it is -- a duo comprimsed of a London-based electronic DJ and a singer from Malawi. There are many more than enough bands who strive for this sound. What makes the guys the best of the bunch is that there is no pilfering of cultures, just honest collaboration.
Saturday, August 11 -- Planes Mistaken for Stars: Red Palace
We can debate whether a four year hiatus entitles a band to a "reunion tour" another time. For now, we should simply agree that Planes could always deliver on the promise of melodic aggressive music. It might not be "hardcore" per se, but I've promised to leave the petty debate for another time. Why waste time debating your attendance? You might miss another opportunity to see Black Clouds open a show.
Sunday, August 12 -- Real Estate: 9:30 Club
I have made my opinions known in the past, my thoughts remain the same, and yet I keep going back. Real Estate must be doing something right.