On the Black Cat's Web site you can click on a band name on the schedule and you'll get a paragraph or two describing what to expect. For tonight's Comet Gain show, it simply says: "Awesome. Legendary. Believe it." And, really, that's all that needs to be said. If you know Comet Gain, you don't need anyone to tell you how awesome and legendary they are. And if you don't know Comet Gain, well, it might not be your thing. And that's not meant to sound snobby or iconoclastic. It's just that Comet Gain makes music for a very, very specific segment of the population. The British band covers the indie-pop spectrum, from jangly strummers to dance-night rave-ups to wistful ballads, all littered with lyrical references to mixtapes, cigarettes, French New Wave movies, obscure bands and characters whose lives are perpetually on the verge of falling into complete chaos. Do you like mixtapes, cigarettes, French New Wave movies, obscure bands and is your life hanging on by a thread? Of course, yes (unless my dad is reading), oui!, duh and good God, yes. Therefore Comet Gain is one of my favorite bands in the world. True to form, the group can rarely get its act together well enough to hit the road, so tonight's show at the Black Cat is its first D.C. appearance in eight or nine years. It will be epic. Normally openers Crystal Stilts and Cold Cave would merit more than just a passing mention -- same with the fact that We Fought the Big One DJs will be providing between set tunes -- but there's only one main attraction tonight.
--David Malitz, April 2009