Heirs to Realness


When the Black Cat opened 20 years ago, 14th Street did not have giant, fancy condos.

Local up-and-comers Coup Sauvage + The Snips — who play the Black Cat’s anniversary show Saturday — know the old 14th Street. They sing the gospel of those who’ve watched D.C. change over the decades, as arts enclaves became shopping centers with million-dollar digs on top.

CS+TS (who’ll have a video out in the fall, with a single to follow) remind me of the glory days of bands who sang about what life in D.C. meant — bands like Q and Not U and the Nation of Ulysses.

Their song “Heir to Nothing” hits home when I look at the condos across from the club: “I am the heir to nothing/ But I’m a have, not a have-not.” If you know Laurel, Md., “Laurel” will make you laugh: “If you’re from MoCo/ don’t come solo/ even if you like Go-Go.”

CS+TS blends D.C.’s best musical traditions — part girl-group soul, part punk. It takes up what’s long been D.C.’s musical call to arms: calling the truth out, pulpit-style. CS+TS is going to speak — “It’s more divine/ right down here in the other 99,” goes “Heirs” — and we should listen.

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Dr. Andrea Bonior · September 10, 2013