REASONS TO COME EARLY: Misterwives

I feel that when a band’s interests on Facebook include zombies, dinosaurs, and polar bears, it’s a good sign that its music is going to be crazy fun. And luckily that is the case for New York group, Misterwives. Formed in 2012, the five-piece creates quirky pop tunes with a soulful edge provided by the trumpet and accordion of band member Dr. Blum. Lead singer Mandy Lee gives sassy attitude to upbeat songs like “Vagabond,” and lilting emotion to mellow tunes like “Coffins.” Misterwives’ debut EP, Reflections, came out this year and is such a great mix of dance-y pop and soulful funk. 

-Janice Freeman

Misterwives will open for Bleachers at 9:30 Club on September 3.

WE LOVE OUR PARTNERS: Balance Gym
Over here at 9:30 Club, we love getting fit almost as much as we love music. Those two things go hand-in-hand, after all, don’t they? What would your morning run be without a steady dose of Queen B? For that reason, we are joining Balance Gym in their effort to quash a proposed 5.75% sales tax on yoga classes, spin classes, and health club memberships, among other things. We think that people should be encouraged to pursue a healthier lifestyle, rather than penalized for it. Like we said, music and fitness go hand in hand. You’re going to want to whip yourself into shape to dominate the dance floor, and all that money you’re NOT spending on the DC Fitness Tax can go towards tickets to more of your favorite 9:30 shows. To join us and Balance Gym in our fight to make fitness accessible for all, click here to sign the petition! 
-Mandy Brownholtz

WE LOVE OUR PARTNERS: Balance Gym

Over here at 9:30 Club, we love getting fit almost as much as we love music. Those two things go hand-in-hand, after all, don’t they? What would your morning run be without a steady dose of Queen B? For that reason, we are joining Balance Gym in their effort to quash a proposed 5.75% sales tax on yoga classes, spin classes, and health club memberships, among other things. We think that people should be encouraged to pursue a healthier lifestyle, rather than penalized for it. Like we said, music and fitness go hand in hand. You’re going to want to whip yourself into shape to dominate the dance floor, and all that money you’re NOT spending on the DC Fitness Tax can go towards tickets to more of your favorite 9:30 shows. To join us and Balance Gym in our fight to make fitness accessible for all, click here to sign the petition! 

-Mandy Brownholtz

SHOW REVIEW: Sharon Van Etten, June 17

It was full of anguish, but the kind that hooks you in rather than repels you. Sharon Van Etten’s Tuesday night set at the 9:30 Club reached peak after emotional peak, with enough nuance to maintain a sense of forward motion. The singer’s brooding, generally down-tempo tunes carried waves of texture, giving equal weight to each sound produced onstage.

Opener Jana Hunter engaged the crowd early, creating a moody atmosphere that would make David Lynch smile. Her setup was minimalist—limited to voice, guitar, and laptop—but her sound was big. The full range of frequencies was covered, with electronics providing the bass, guitar in the middle, and Hunter’s voice soaring above.

Van Etten took over just after 9 PM with “Afraid of Nothing,” the first track from her new album Are We There.  A repeated guitar figure blended with earnest piano chords before a gentle vocal line eased in. The volume picked up with recent single “Taking Chances” and its stabbing distorted guitar.

A different side of Van Etten’s personality came through between songs, where she was charming and playful. She showed a willingness to banter with the crowd, laughing off the shouted declarations of love and asking what material to play at future concerts. At one point, she even had a (delicious) 9:30 cupcake delivered to a member of the audience.

The rest of her band was equally winning, particularly backup singer/keyboardist Heather Broderick. Van Etten made a point of thanking Broderick, dedicating an excellent “Give Out” to her.

The encore had a subtle but effective presentation, with Van Etten coming out for a solo “I Know”. More band members joined with each song, culminating in a rousing “Every Time the Sun Comes Up.”

-Joe Ciccarello