The music that Bryce Connolly records as a solo artist sounds a lot like the pseudonym he uses: Mindchatter. His lyrics often feel like unedited sections of an inner monologue, and along with production choices that are softer than the usual electronic music, this provides an intimate listening experience. On the song “Scared to Go Home,” from his “Imaginary Audience” album, Mindchatter sings about becoming a party for too long. But the song is not about the party – instead, the listeners are brought into the mind of a party participant who is not sure what he is doing there. Mindchatter sings, “you put the music on my tongue / I can only taste it sometimes,” and reflects on moments of clarity that can tear you out of a party mood. The song’s technical bells and whistles provide a melodic instrumental. “Google Thinks for Me” is a groovy surprise during the second half of the album, featuring a head-waving bass and an irresistible whistle. As you dance, however, Mindchatter contemplates a society in which everyone shouts the same, unoriginal footage. Instead of participating in an infinite echo chamber, he concludes, “why raise your hand or open your mouth / I will let Google think for me.” Another glimpse of his mind’s talk. March 30 at 20 at Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. unionstage.com. 20 USD.
With the last few years of global uncertainty and general chaos, it feels right that the exciting pop-punk genre that dominated the early years is on its way back. Wisconsin native KennyHoopla (real name Kenny La’ron) is at the center of this comeback – even along with an all-star from that era. His 2021 project with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker titled “Survivor’s Guilt: The Mixtape //” is filled with nostalgic, yet exciting, bangers. The final punk anxiety appears in full on the prominent “Estella //”, which KennyHoopla sings-screams about confessing to a loved one: “I just die / at the thought of being alive / at the same time as you,” and expands his vocals with knotted drums show the way. The faster “Hollywood Sucks // ” is a naughty song with such funny lyrics as” Hollywood sucks / can you please move your Prius? “And” Your friends are really idiots / can we still date? “A light-hearted pit stop, KennyHoopla shows a versatility and ability not to take himself too seriously.Poppunk’s characteristic anxious energy is back on “Smoke Break //”. “KennyHoopla’s pure punk credentials can not be denied, that’s for sure. March 31 at 7.30pm (doors open) at Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. blackcatdc.com. 20 USD.
“I do not wanna kiss you / yeah, I just wanna feel you,” Snoh Aalegra sings in his 2019 song, “I Want You Around.” Listeners may not technically know what she means, but they understand. That’s what Aalegra’s songs do: say the obvious in a less obvious way. Her voice is inherently romantic, which makes her love songs resonate. Her 2019 album “Ugh, They Feels Again” contains Aalegra’s related considerations about the modern dating scene. She titles songs with such internet buzzwords as “Situationship”, which is about navigating this younger generation’s anti-label attitude to relationships. Her latest album, “Temporary Highs in the Violet Skies”, continues where “Ugh” left off. Aalegra’s meaningful observations about casual dating have turned into full-blown thoughts about love – the good and the bad. On “Tangerine Dream,” she sings, “I went to pick up my luggage, that was when you checked out.” It’s a sad scene she sets that someone leaves when one is most vulnerable with them. But as listeners, we get the most out of Aalegra’s music, the more vulnerable she becomes. March 31 at 8pm at Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. theanthemdc.com. Out of stock.
Note: Proof of coronavirus vaccination is required to access these shows. Check the venue’s websites for details.