Pritzker Pavilion; Mon 7
A friend once described Washington, D.C., as the “Haight-Ashbury of punk rock,” and at the time (1995) that made sense. During its post-punk heyday in the early ’90s, the city was a bustling creative hub, fueled by a triumvirate of respected indie labels: Dischord, Simple Machines and Teenbeat. The three underground brands’ respective flagship acts—Fugazi, Tsunami and Unrest—established an ethos that made a deep imprint upon today’s indie standard-bearers.
The Capitol’s latest enfant terrible, Le Loup (yet another wolf band, albeit disguised in French), began as the solo project of Sam Simkoff, who wrote and recorded Le Loup’s 2007 debut, The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’ Millennium General Assembly (Hardly Art). It was a freak-folky, banjo-heavy affair. Painfully indebted to Panda Bear and the rest of Animal Collective, Simkoff wears his influences on his sleeve—titular nods to Dante drive home the album’s apocalyptic-yet-romantic tone.
If Le Loup is any example, the days of the District as a post-punk mecca are long gone. Simkoff recruited members for a live band via Craigslist, rather than at brick-and-mortar institutions like the 9:30 Club or Black Cat.
Similar to Grizzly Bear’s considerable creative shift after founding member Ed Droste assembled a working band, Le Loup’s live show is a marked departure from Simkoff’s trapped-in-the-bedroom approach. Currently six members strong, the band is reportedly working on new material. This afternoon’s free concert at Pritzker Pavilion should provide more than ample acoustics for the band’s ragtag approach.