Before I jetted off to Chicago for the Pitchfork Music Festival this past weekend (photos of which are here, here and here), I swung by the Middle East last Wednesday night for a great double bill with Cincinnati indie rockers Wussy and Boston underground supergroup E.
I’ve shot both E and Wussy elsewhere this year, but that’s no reason not to shoot them again. Wussy are a cult-favorite act with good reason. Co-led by guitarists/vocalists Chuck Cleaver and Lisa Walker, the band boasts a decade-plus back catalog of catchy, expertly constructed tunes which they deliver on stage with a charmingly self-effacing sense of humor. They’re also the kind of band who will request use of your empty Narragansett can for a guitar slide, which always earns points in my book.
E are a relatively new Boston-based trio consisting of vocalists/guitarists Thalia Zedek and Jason Sanford and drummer Gavin McCarthy. Zedek is a mainstay of the local music scene, having fronted Come with guitarist Chris Brokaw in the 1990s and led the Thalia Zedek Band (who opened Wussy’s April show at the Midway) since the early 2000s. Sanford is one of the masterminds behind the avant-rock group Neptune, an inventive band in the literal sense who construct their own instruments. McCarthy is formerly of Geoff Farina’s post-jazz-rock project Karate. Together, the three create a tense, electric sound that’s informed by their esteemed backgrounds but twists those influences into something uniquely arresting.
I’ve been working with the band on some promo portraits as they prepare for the release of their debut LP (which is out on Thrill Jockey later this year), but it’s with an unbiased ear that I say there’s reason to be excited for the record. The songs sounded even better here than they did at the Sinclair show back in March.
Check out photos from both sets at last Wednesday’s show below.