When Sarah Fridrich sent new album You Call That Brave my way, she recommended “listening with big speakers.” After a few spins, I’d have to agree: earbuds just don’t do these expansive arrangements justice (do they ever?). This collection of piano pop-rock immediately brings to mind moody chanteuses like Fiona Apple and Amanda Palmer thanks to Fridrich’s expressive voice and insane proficiency on the keys (she’s a trained jazz pianist).
The other half of the duo known as Ms. Fridrich, Dan Marcellus, contributes facebreaking drums; at their best, the two have a sound that fills every corner of the room. There isn’t a bum track out of the ten, but a few especially stand out: “Hearts Intact” is a burst of infectious, Sara Bareilles-ish pop, and album closer “Borrow Love”—which features some guest guitar work from Gary Prince—shows off both Sarah Fridrich’s pipes and jazz background.
You Call That Brave is definitely an enjoyable listen, but you know what’s better than big speakers or hundred dollar headphones? Live music. Get yourself to the Velvet Lounge on Saturday for the album release show and hear these tunes in person.
Top Tracks: “First Engine,” “Borrow Love,” “Hearts Intact”
Listen If You Like: Regina Spektor, Fiona Apple, Amanda Palmer
IOTA is hosting a marathon benefit concert to raise money for the Red Cross to help those affected by the recent tornadoes. The shindig starts at 3pm, and the lineup—which includes Redline Addiction, Margot MacDonald, Taylor Carson, and more—is excellent. $10 suggested donation.
Harper Blynn and Schuyler Fisk (if you don’t know her music, you might know her as Kristy Thomas from The Babysitters’ Club movie. That is, if you were a 10-year old girl or creepy old guy anytime in the last two decades) play IOTA starting at 9:00. $12.
Our pals at Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie are hosting a free two-day music festival with over 100 bands/artists at various U Street Corridor venues. Check out times and lineups here.
Country singer Laura Cantrell, whose WFMU show The Radio Thrift Shop was a must-listen for me in my early 20s, comes to Jammin’ Java tonight at 7:00 ($14). Expect lots of Kitty Wells tunes thanks to her new record Kitty Wells Dresses. The JJ late show (10:00, $10/13) is the polar opposite of the early show: teenage hip-hop artist MC Graves and Nikko.
Local piano pop-rock duo Ms. Fridrich is celebrating the release of new album You Call That Brave tonight at the Velvet Lounge with Derek Evry and Bad.Loud.Trio. The show starts at 8:00 and your $10 admission also gets you a free CD (we’ll have a review up next week).
Wolf Trap is hosting their 22nd Annual Louisiana Swamp Romp. This year the lineup includes Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Sonny Landreth, Geno Delafose & French Rockin’ Boogie, and Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys. 2:00, $25.
Folk-pop-grass outfit The Farewell Drifters will be at IOTA at 8:30 ($12). Check out the video below to hear their sweet new single, which happens to feature The Most Enthusiastic Hand Clapper In All The World, who also happens to be the band’s fiddler.
The Chicano Springsteen, Alejandro Escovedo, comes to the 9:30 Club with his band The Sensitive Boys. He rocked the Birchmere last fall, so expect some serious awesomeness at this show. Doors at 7:00, $20.