There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
“I’m like a sugar bomb,” Lenka Kripac sings in “Skipalong,” and that about sums it up.
The former vocalist/keyboardist for Australian post-rockers Decoder Ring played a decidedly un-post-rock set at DC9 last night. In sharp contrast to her old band’s material, Lenka’s solo writing is basically straight-up indie pop, and almost relentlessly upbeat—even the breakup song (“Knock Knock”) is bouncy. She’s the kind of artist many of the folks at BrightestYoungThings would totally lose their shit over, and even I—as a grumpy City Paper curmudgeon—found myself caught up in the feel-good vibes.
That said, Lenka’s self-titled album is a concise 40 minutes, but in concert things began sounding a bit samey about halfway through. Thankfully, there were two pretty nifty surprises towards the end of the set: first, an a capella piece that Lenka sung against a backing of radio static, which is essentially her solo music’s only nod to her post-rock past. The second surprise proved to be the highlight of the show; the encore, according to the setlist, was supposed to be a cover of M. Ward‘s “Vincent O’Brien,” but for whatever reason the band decided to do something that Lenka rather sheepishly introduced as “a live disco remix” of her single “The Show.” Hilarious, amazing, and, all things considered, pretty awesome.
Also of note were openers The Spring Standards (below), whose energetic indie-rock was very well-received indeed. They were led by a vocalist with a remarkable range and cleverly overcame their lack of a drummer by splitting a full drum kit up among their three members: one member with the bass drum, one with the snare, one with the hi-hat. Worked surprisingly well.
I took an absurd number of photos, mostly because Lenka proved to be one of those performers who seems to gravitate towards cameras.