Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
The fact that Juana Molina used to be a television star in Argentina is almost always in the first or second line of any story written about her. Unlike Alanis Morissette and Britney Spears, however, the singer-songwriter starred in her own sketch-comedy show—and gave it up at the height of her fame. “I was totally into it until one day I wasn’t there anymore,” she said in a recent interview. If that’s an indication that she gets easily bored, her musical career suggests otherwise: Despite a seven-year break between her 1996 debut, Rara, and its follow-up, Segundo, Molina has stuck with her decision to try her hand at singing. Over the course of four full-lengths, she’s mastered her own sound: plucky acoustic guitar, coffee-shop beats, and bubbling electronic noises—all delivered with a childlike enthusiasm that makes the music a lot less “adult” than it might initially seem. Of course, the child in question would have to come from a Jonathan Safran Foer novel and have Tom Zé’s music charts committed to memory. Molina’s latest, Son, is full of random bursts of sound drawn mainly from the manipulation of her own voice in her home studio. She says the inspiration for her songs comes from nature—the flight of fireflies, the oddity of bird songs—and that she wants that organicism to come through onstage. “I hope to start that [the audience] don’t have any expectations,” she said. “I won’t play the songs the way they sound on the records because I can’t. I would need a band of 20 people to do that….I am just trying to re-create the record, the spirit of it with different arrangements.” Contemplate the spirit behind Molina’s unique warble when she performs with José González and Psapp at 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 30, at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $15. (202) 667-7960. (Jason Cherkis)