We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
It’s hard to write about albums I’ve loved for months, such as Manitoba’s Up in Flames. So much of the record is wrapped up in experience. There was the annoying experience: In the Corolla, my lady and her mother couldn’t handle it. “What is this?” my lady asked. She meant the horns that buzzed in your ear like mosquitoes and then went away, the Fisher-Price toys that pinged and drums that ponged. “Change it.” There was the pastoral experience: Up in Flames’ time-lapsed bursts and snaky hooks bring me back to passing out in the front yard of my old house. Me, my brother, two friendsone on the sidewalk, three in the ivy. That mixture of stale beer, cigarette fingers for pillows, spongy green bedding, and Manitoba spinning from the porch at 2:30 a.m. Critics have tagged Manitoba’s new album as psychedelia clipped from Brian Wilson, the Beatles, and more obscure harmonizers. Now, I’m pretty sure Dan Snaith’s dad never made him take a dump in front of his mother, but he’s got Wilson’s fragile, psychedelicate sensibility just right. What makes Pet Sounds so great is its utter sadness cloaked in beauty. Manitoba comes as close to that beauty as anyone else has, as close as tourmate Broadcast did on the recently released Haha Sound. Take it all inwithout headphoneswhen Manitoba plays with Broadcast at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, on the Black Cat’s Mainstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $12. (202) 667-7960. (Jason Cherkis)