We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Reston’s keepers of the Byrdsian flame, Pete and Maura Kennedy, want no confusion about their new album. “A New Kind of Music From the Kennedys” reads the front cover of the duo’s fourth long-player, Evolver. Still, how un-Kennedyesque can an album be when it’s named in homage to the Beatles’ Revolver and features a cover of “Here Without You,” a Gene Clark song from Mr. Tambourine Man? The difference, it turns out, is “programming,” a new credit added to Pete’s customary “guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, percussion.” Album-opening electrothuds aside, however, synthetics haven’t changed the twosome’s sound that much. In fact, Evolver sounds like a slightly trippier version of the band’s 1996 release, Life Is Large, even when it ventures toward Lida Husik territory in “Good Morning Groovy” and the breathy, burbling hidden track. Evolver’s stately janglers are much more “Turn! Turn! Turn!” than “King of Snake,” and when the Kennedys enlist some pals to sing along, they’re from the Continental Drifters, not Atari Teenage Riot. Somewhere, I’m sure, some folk-rock fundamentalist is practicing his shout of “Judas” for the his next Kennedys gig, but when Maura sings “I come alive to the jungle beats and the tambourine,” you know it’s the latter that really gets her moving. The Kennedys perform with Garth Ross at 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13, at IOTA, 2832 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. $8. (703) 522-8340. (Mark Jenkins)