Sunday, March 3rd, 2024 @ 7:00:pm
Woolly Mammoth Theatre
One of the most remarkable aspects of Distant Populations—Quicksand’s first album since 2017’s Interiors—is how timely and prescient the themes running throughout its songs sound at this very moment. Thoughtful, driving, and powerful, like the long-lived band itself, the 11 tracks comprising Distant Populations have an emotional resonance that is only amplified by the events of the past stressed-out, locked-down year.
If there is a recurring theme running throughout the new album, it might be this: “Everyone is on the one hand so connected with each other,” says Schreifels, “and on the other hand is so far apart, and so freaked out about everything.”
That seeming contradiction may lie at the heart of what Distant Populations is all about. The title comes from a lyric from anarcho-crust punk band Nausea’s “Fallout (Of Our Being)” about “destitute populations”; because of the singer’s thick accent, Schreifels misheard it as “distant populations” and instantly connected with that concept. “So we’re checking out each other’s social media and we know what everybody’s doing,” he says, pointing out a sad irony. “But when we’re sitting in the same room together, we’re looking at our phones.”
That peculiar duality—our simultaneous existence in individual relationships and as part of mass society—is examined with power and surprising emotional impact throughout all of the tracks here. Cutting and sharp lyrical passages pop out on tracks such as the throbbing “Colossus”: “A new life/ We’re never meant to feel completed/As long as we’re here/It doesn’t matter what for” And alienation—from whom or what often going unsaid—and loneliness are touched on regularly, whether subtly (“Sometimes it’s better just to keep on traveling” from “Phase 90”) or stated plainly (“Living just around the corner/Share the same existence/Doesn’t make a difference/Deconstructed, isolated” from the closing track “Rodan”). Combine those sentiments with the most sweeping, powerful music the band has ever created, and you’ve got a truly unforgettable, extremely timely listening experience.
Distant Populations, just the fourth full-length album of Quicksand’s career, comes as a comparatively swift follow-up to Interiors–which itself came a full 22 years after its predecessor, 1995’s Manic Compression. Critically lauded and deemed very much worth the wait, Interiors succeeded in reestablishing the band as the powerful and contemporary entity they had always been. “Our only conscious challenge for that period, really,” says bassist Sergio Vega, “was that we felt like we needed to make a record that was worth waiting that long for.” Its success proved that they met that challenge, and, he adds, “galvanized by that, we felt like we know what we are today. We know what fits in our template. And we can build off that and expand on that.”
And expand they did. Distant Populations has a punchier, more up-tempo sound than its predecessor; its 11 songs are concise, carved sonic jewels boasting not a single wasted note; and its raw power, its gripping lyricism, leaps out from the very first listening. It is a striking step up for the band.
“Nobody has riffs anymore,” says founding member/vocalist/guitarist Jacob Duarte when asked about his approach on 12th House Rock, Narrow Head’s highly anticipated LP for Run for Cover due on August 28. “That’s the kind of band we are and to me, that’s just how you write songs. Drums, bass, guitar, vocals. Nothing else. There are no other instruments on the record.”
The Houston-based band’s latest entry is the distillation of the greatest moments in 90’s alternative and hard rock with a fresh set of ears, thirteen tracks of their signature brand of bludgeoning lullabies bursting at the seams with creative ideas, new directions and yes, massive, monolithic riffs. In between the sparkle and smash, open-hearted and emotionally naked songwriting showcases a core piece of the band’s identity– showcasing 12th House Rock as one of the best releases of 2020. “It’s the definitive work of Narrow Head,” proudly explains bassist Ryan Chavez. “Recorded in a studio over a month’s span, the way they used to do it. Not just for the sake of making it that way, but because it was the right way for us.”
BURIAL WAVES formed in 2019, and much like the seminal bands of the Salad Days era, they sprouted from an array of DC/Baltimore area bands, carrying on a balance and blend of heft and heart. They made their live debut with several shows in early 2020 just as the persisting global pandemic took its grip. This obviously halted their live momentum, but gave them the opportunity to fine tune their sound and start recording. With the dissolution of their expansive post-rock outfit Black Clouds, guitarist Ross Hurt and drummer Jimmy Rhodes immediately reached out to their old friend Kyle Durfey of post-hardcore luminaries Pianos Become the Teeth about working on a new project. Hurt’s former bandmate Kevin Hilliard from prog-punk trio Caverns was brought on board to cover bass duties and Matthew Dowling of math rock ensemble The EFFECTS joined in on second guitar. “Everyone seemed to not just be on the same page, but started completing each other’s metaphorical sentences,” Hurt says. “We’ve all been playing together or sharing the stage together for years, so there is a great sense of familiarity with everything we’re doing.”
In order to attend an event at the Black Cat we now require either
proof of a COVID-19 vaccination, or proof of a negative COVID-19 test
taken within the prior 72 hours. Patrons who wish to attend an event
must show either a completed COVID-19 vaccination card or proof of a
negative test taken within 72 hours of the event. As members of the
community it is our responsibility to help minimize the spread and
risk of COVID and to protect the safety of our patrons, our
performers, and our staff.
Accepted forms of proof include
1. A physical vaccination card that matches the patron’s photo ID
2. A photo of a vaccination card that matches the patron’s photo ID,
3. A negative test taken within the prior 72 hours that matches a
patron’s photo ID. The negative test may be digital or printed.
Patrons who do not have proof of vaccination may attend a show if
proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours is presented
at the door.
If you have not been vaccinated, you can find a vaccination site here:
Testing sites can be found here: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/testing
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Due to DC’s current indoor masking mandate, masks are required within
the venue at all times. They may be removed if consuming a beverage.
We do have masks for sale at the front desk.
Ticket refunds for shows may be requested for medical reasons and in
This policy is subject to change without notice.
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