Posts Tagged ‘Black Cat


On Tour Bookings, Pt. II: Iron & Wine, Beirut, James Blake

Last month I sounded off on my distaste for Fleet Foxes’ choice in booking DC’s 3,700-seat DAR Constitution Hall instead of the more acoustically-friendly, third-of-the-size 9:30 Club. I also praised indie legends Low for resisting the temptations of the large venue in favor of the cozy Black Cat Mainstage (capacity 700).

There’s another side to this discussion, of course — when popular artists choose venues too small to accommodate their rabid audience — which DC is currently experiencing with at least three upcoming tours.

Iron & Wine, Beirut, and James Blake all recently announced DC dates for spring/summer that sold out nearly instantaneously. I&W booked the 9:30 Club where they could have probably filled DAR. (That one sold out in less than five minutes, trust me!) Beirut, a band with no new album and only a small handful of U.S. dates announced, quickly sold out a Black Cat show that should be held at the 9:30 club. (A Tuesday nighter three months from now, no less.) And dubstep wunderkind James Blake — recipient of a whopping 9.0 on Pitchfork for this self-titled debut — chose the ridiculously undersized Rock and Roll hotel (capacity 400) for his first U.S. tour.

Continue reading ‘On Tour Bookings, Pt. II: Iron & Wine, Beirut, James Blake’


2010 Favorites (2 of 2): Shows

Janelle Monáe (Photo came from here)

10 Favorite Shows of 2010

As with my list from last year (and unlike my recent favorite albums + songs post), presented below is a ranked Top 10 of concerts I saw in the past year. Choices are subjective insofar as they are one man’s opinion, however the man in question is one who listens to a shit-ton of music and goes to every show he possibly can. That said, certain mitigating factors (money) precluded me from going to every last show I wanted to see in 2010 (Gorrilaz, Jonsi, The Walkmen, Black Mountain). All were in the D.C. area this time, spread across six different venues. Enjoy!

10. K’Naan / 9:30 Club / Oct 10

Fresh from a tremendously fortuitous star turn at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa (his “Waving Flag” was featured in numerous promos), it was fun to see a slightly higher profile K’Naan last fall. Something tells me success will never truly ruin this guy: The larger the room, the more his message resonates. The singalong on “Waving Flag” at the 9:30 club was one for all time.

9. Sharon Van Etten & Marissa Nadler / DC9 / Sept 8

I went on a lark after watching a promising clip of Van Etten from backstage at the Pitchfork festival. Very warm room that night with not too many people. Marissa Nadler got things off to a good start with a spookily gorgeous solo set. Sharon was next, and though her band came off a bit too Brooklyn-y, the crowd were treated to a nice preview of the singer-songwriter’s newest songs, most memorably the lilting harmonium ballad “Love More“.

Continue reading ‘2010 Favorites (2 of 2): Shows’



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