Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Metronomy @ 9:30 Club — 9/17/14

Metronomy (Photo courtesy Press Here)

Metronomy (Photo courtesy Press Here)

Metronomy blew into the 9:30 Club late Wednesday night in a fresh breeze of guitars and synthesizers, charming an impressive crowd who gathered for a midnight show to dance and cheer.

I say guitars and synthesizers but let me applaud the standout player from Wednesday night, drummer Anna Prior. The sole woman in the group distinguished herself quite remarkably on the drums and the synthesizer with a winsome smile and playful grace. She even takes over lead vocals on the sunny and sweet song “Everything Goes My Way” from the band’s remarkable third album, The English Riveria. I’ve seen Metronomy previously but Ms. Prior stole the show for me last night.

Of course, everyone put on a great show, starting with band leader Joseph Mount. Looking dapper in the band’s coordinated white suits, Mount sang, swayed, played guitar and synthesizer and drums, and he generally seemed to be having a marvelous time doing it. Opening the set with “Holiday” from second album Nights Out, which got a lot of respect on this show, Mount led his touring quintet through a setlist that was very soulful without being too much and very electronic without being chirpy or bleepy. In other words, we experienced a band that truly sounded like everyone was contributing to the greater whole, and the result was just very good music with the occasional wry wink to the audience.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Metronomy @ 9:30 Club, 9/17/14

Earlier this year, Kiera Knightly told Entertainment Weekly that Metronomy’s “Love Letters,” the title track from the English quartet’s fourth studio album, was one of her favorite “romantic songs.” As a bonus, IMO, the video for the song is directed by Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”).

Talented multi-instrumentalist Joseph Mount continues to lead the band with new innovations. Metronomy have certainly evolved lushly since their debut, the instrumental Pip Paine (Pay The £5000 You Owe), in 2006. Tonight, they return to DC in support of their new album, Love Letters, performing a late show at the 9:30 Club.

For a glimpse of Metronomy’s live show, watch a recent live performance of the single “I’m Aquarius” below.

w/ Dawn Golden
9:30 Club
Wednesday, Sept. 17
Doors @10pm
All ages

The Nationals

Nats top Braves, clinch second division title in 3 years

Mediacademie 2014 Sep 16

Photo courtesy of the Nationals

It’s going to take weeks for MASN’s Dan Kolko to smell anything except Miller Lite.

The most unremarkable of wins is absolutely the most remarkable. After the Nationals topped the Braves in a 3-0 game that was closer than the score, the Nationals left their spikes in the hallway, and celebrated their second division title in three years. With a 12 and a half game lead on the National League East Division, and 12 games remaining, their position in the postseason is secure. All they have to play for now is home field advantage, something first year manager Matt Williams is keen to acquire.

There are still a dozen to play, and the Dodgers are just a game and a half behind the Nationals in pursuit of that number one position, so don’t expect the Nationals to cruise their way into October. There may be more games off for veterans and rookies alike, but don’t expect anything but a relentless drive toward the postseason. It’s clear there’s unfinished business here for the Nationals.

Tanner Roark and Aaron Harang had traded five inning of shutout ball, parrying challenge after challenge. Harang would blink first, giving up a walk to Jayson Werth, followed by a mammoth home run blast off the bat of Ian Desmond to put that Nats up 2-0. 

Roark went seven strong, bringing his total on the season to 192 and a third innings, during which he’s allowed a 1.10 WHIP, with an ERA of 2.85. Roark’s 20th quality start of the year brought him his 14th win. Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen pitched perfect 8th and 9th innings, and then it was celebration time.

While the corks flew, and while Matt Williams quoted Robert Frost, fans across the city were rejoicing in bars, homes and on social media. While it was a disappointment not to clinch the playoffs at home in front of tens of thousands at Nationals Park, clinching it in Atlanta after some early season struggles against them has meaning for many. 

During the postgame celebration, for which Dan Kolko has to win some sort of award, there was a lot of discussion of what this season has meant to those playing day in and day out. At one point, Denard Span got very sober in front of the camera and thanked the Lerner Family and Mike Rizzo for bringing him to Washington where he’s been able to play to his potential, and it was a very touching moment, but the reverie was short-lived as someone turned a champagne bottle and a couple of beers on Span and Kolko.

This was a recurring theme of the evening, with Kolko asking great questions, only to be interrupted by the celebrating players with cold beer. In fact, there are some absolutely brilliant vines of this exact thing. My deepest respect to Kolko for doing a hard job well under very difficult conditions.

I really do hope that he can smell something other than Miller Lite today.

The Nationals return home on Tuesday for their final homestand of 2014 before the playoffs. October baseball is returning to Washington.

Featured Photo

Featured Photo

There are a lot of ways to take a picture of a building and most them are not very exciting. Seriously, do an image search on “building” and see what you get. Oh sure, some of the buildings have interesting designs but the images, themselves, are pretty blah. But every once in awhile, we see a new, exciting perspective that helps us view the familiar in a new way. I think Kevin Wolf’s photo does that.

I’ve never really been that interested/good at shooting architectural photos, which is why I really admire people who have an eye for that sort of thing. Kevin made a couple artistic decisions here that I like. Two of those decisions were made when he was taking the picture: Obviously, he stood close to the building and shot directly up, using the long, leading lines in the building to draw our attention across the frame and he used a long exposure (15 seconds) to give the clouds a surreal appearance. That happens because while the shutter is open, the clouds are moving, creating that streaky effect. This also tells us he likely used a tripod to prevent camera shake that can happen during long exposures and a neutral density filter to reduce the amount of light getting through to the camera’s sensor. Otherwise, the amount of light hitting the sensor during a 15 second exposure at 8:30 a.m. would have completely blown out the image.

The other decisions he made occurred when he processed this photo with his editing software. He converted the image to black and white (though a lot of new cameras have a mode that allows you to actually shoot in monochrome). That decision allowed him to create some rich contrast between the windows and the rest of the building. He also darkened the sides of the frame, a “vignetting” effect that pushes our focus towards the center of the picture where our eyes then catch a ride on the leading lines to the top right corner. You can see the larger version of this photo on Kevin’s flickr page.


The Nationals

Nats Fall 6-2 in Series Finale vs Braves

Wednesday evening was a tough loss to swallow for Washington as the Nationals fell 6-2 against the Atlanta Braves during the series finale of their recent three-game set. Washington took two of three in the series and are eight games ahead of their division rival with a magic number of ten.

The Nats remained in good spirits despite the loss but are aware of the challenges that still lie ahead as the stakes get higher. “It’s nice to be able to win a series, be able to come out strong [and] really play good baseball these past couple days,” outfielder Bryce Harper said after the game. “You’ve got to go in to win ball games. If you don’t win the ballgames then something could happen. If you win ballgames then what you want to happen happens.”

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