The Walkmen

Hamilton Leithauser @ U Street Music Hall - 1/23/15

Hamilton Leithauser @ U Street Music Hall - 1/23/15

Hamilton Leithauser returned to Washington, DC on Friday night for an intimate hometown show at U Street Music Hall. With The Walkmen, his band of over a decade, on indefinite hiatus, Leithauser has stepped forward to prove himself more than capable as a solo artist. These skills were fully on display in an energetic set performed to a roomful of fans who braved the threat of bad weather to see him.

Leithauser’s sound as a solo artist is an anachronism – the energy and urgency of The Walkmen is still there, but along with it he has cultivated the laid-back image of the crooners of old. The songs are modern, but it’s not hard to imagine him singing the same songs a smoky jazz lounge, microphone in one hand and cocktail in the other (a look which he even adopted during an encore cover of Tom Paxton’s “Annie’s Going To Sing Her Song”). 


Pine Barons - Since I've Been Away

Pine Barons - Since I've Been Away

Sounds Like:
A little Moondoggies, a little Hundred Visions, a touch of Walkmen and a whole lot of beer soaked youth.


Why You Should Care:
More often than not the best rock and roll is ragged and raw, and pine barons rough edges hint that true greatness may be just around the corner


LIVE: The Walkmen w/The War On Drugs @ The 9:30 Club - 10/4/12

The Walkmen have always been a band of sharp contrasts, and while on paper their pairing with Philadelphia psych-rockers The War On Drugs for a two night stand at The 9:30 Club might not have made all of the sense, in the end their tight, minimalist rock served as an appropriately raw yin to the Drugs more cosmically expansive yang.

Taking advantage of an already practically full house, The War On Drugs blasted through songs off of their most recent work, 2011’s Slave Ambient,  employing as many guitars as they could, as loudly as possible. Wrangling layer after layer after LAYER of sound into what ends up  a one man army of guitars, Granduciel’s insightful, Springsteen-esque lyrics were delivered bathed in an ocean of twin phasered sound, and what fascinates on record, squarely blows one away when taken in at the foot of the stage. Through songs like “Baby Missles,” “Your Love Is Calling My Name” and “Brothers,” the Drugs shredded not only ears, but the expectations of many in the crowd.