If the city of Cincinnati has a specific sound, then that’s what you’ll hear tonight at the Black Cat. Don’t expect the oompah of German polka bands or the toot of steamboat foghorns, just the so-called “Midwestern drone” of Wussy and Heartless Bastards. Both bands formed in the early 2000s, and while the Bastards have since left Cincy for Austin, the sonic similarities remain, especially in their languid, twangy guitars. Both bands are also fronted by women, and are touring in support of critically acclaimed new records. NPR’s Tom Moon swooned for the Bastards’ Erika Wennerstrom. “She has this way of transforming ordinary words into majestic creations,” he gushed in his review of the band’s 2012 release, Arrow. Meanwhile, legendary rock critic Robert Christgau has long been infatuated with Wussy’s Lisa Walker, and says that while she’s lost a bit of her “angelic purity” on Strawberry, her voice is still “like homemade lemonade with a big sprig of mint.” Come, listen, and choose your own metaphor.
Heartless Bastards, Wussy, and Dana Falconberry perform at 8 p.m. at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $17. (202) 667-4490. blackcatdc.com.