The first time I heard Bad Bad Hats, they were opening for Hippo Campus at Black Cat in the fall of 2015. I remember the feeling exactly. To say that it was love at first sight would be a little cliché…it was more of a crush. One that I had to tell any and every single person I knew about. Chances are if I hung out with you at any point during the month following that show, I made you listen to their EP and full-length at least twice, and subjected you to constant humming. (Warning: their songs have a way of getting stuck in your head and staying there for weeks on end.)
Anyway, fast-forward a year and a half later and I’m perusing my New Yorker for once. (I often let my subscription pile up and cause me quite a bit of anxiety.) Right there in my hands is a feature on Bad Bad Hats, my old crush. To say I was proud would be pretty strange, considering I have no connection to the band, but that’s how I felt. It was almost like having a really cool friend admit your crush is cute. You obviously didn’t need them to say it too, because you’ve known all along, but it always feels good to hear it.
This past July, I got the chance to see Bad Bad Hats play two shows. The first one was just down the street from where I grew up in Vienna, VA, at coffee shop/restaurant/venue, Jammin’ Java. Opening band, Milo in the Doldrums, had a stellar set as well. I’d seen them play once before at Epicure cafe in Fairfax, VA. The Northern Virginia band has a certain fuzz that manages to be both familiar and fresh at the same time. (And their name is based off of one of my favorite childhood books, The Phantom Tollbooth!) Check out their music on https://milointhedoldrums.bandcamp.com/.
The next day, I booked the Bad Bad Hats to play an in-studio set, followed by an on-air interview at WMUC. Both sets were filled with hilarious banter from Kerry to the audience and those out there in “radio land.”