Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Pat Green @ 9:30 Club, 4/16/14

patgreenCountry singer Pat Green released a second album of covers, Songs We Wish We’d Written II, in 2012. With his cover series, the Texas country artist explores more of the influences in his nearly 20-year career with songs like Joe Ely’s “All Just to Get to You.” But he also surprises by reaching outside of his genre with a song like “Even the Losers” by Tom Petty, to which he adds his affable demeanor and mellow croon.

Green is probably best known for his song “Wave on Wave,” which hit #3 on the U.S. Country chart in 2003. He makes his mark with his easygoing, laidback style, which serves as hallmark to that song and others. Tomorrow, Green performs at the 9:30 Club, which may not be a traditional venue for country artists. But after selling out shows by Loretta Lynn, why shouldn’t the 9:30 Club host some country folks who can work D.C.’s best space? Pat Green might just fit that bill.

Pat Green
w/ Cory Morrow
9:30 Club
Wednesday, April 16
Doors @7pm
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: The Sounds @ 9:30 Club — 4/12/14

Maja sings at Jesper in Philadelphia

Maja sings at Jesper in Philadelphia

The Sounds brought plenty of shake-shake-shake to the 9:30 Club Saturday.

In a very nearly totally sold-out room, the Swedish quintet kicked off the night with “Emperor,” a song from their new album. If some in the audience didn’t know it that well, the band got their attention with better-known “Song with a Mission” from their popular second album, Dying to Say This to You, and kept the crowd jumping and squealing in delight for the rest of the night.

All members of The Sounds performed with a furious energy. Vocalist Maja Ivarsson was in good form, singing huskily through selections from all five of the band’s albums as she writhed, hopped and slinked across the floor. Ivarsson however did not perform too many of her trademark kicks Saturday. I caught The Sounds earlier in the week at the Union Transfer in Philadelphia, and Ivarsson was striking out with her legs in dramatic fashion as she pranced along the stage in heels with some disregard as to how much of her underwear she showed off. Still, Ivarsson stomped and vamped through the set — at one point during the end of the show, she even slid down on her belly to sing seductively into a microphone that had fallen on the ground.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Space Oddity: A David Bowie Dance Party

There is no more important figure in modern rock history than David Bowie. And there’s a Bowie party you should put on your calendar for Thursday, April 10, at the Satellite Room–Space Oddity: A David Bowie Dance Party!

I’ve long called Bowie “The Godfather of New Wave,” as he married glam guitar to synthesizers and produced a blueprint that revolutionized European pop music in the late 1970s. An entire subset of fashionistas, the New Romantics, took their inspirations directly from him and wrote amazingly intricate dance songs that still endure today.

Bowie the man, the myth, the icon still inspires today, as he has for more than four decades.

In my opinion, Hunky Dory with the likes of “Life on Mars?” and “Queen Bitch” was his first thoroughly great album, but he then followed that up with the opus The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, perhaps everyone’s favorite Bowie album. During the very prolific years that followed, Bowie produced the famous Berlin trilogy—Low, Heroes and Lodger—and then hit his commercial zenith with the amazing Let’s Dance soon after. He put out a new album every several years, taking any significant break only recently 2003-2013. Last year’s The Next Day was an absolutely wonderful return, for which Bowie deservedly won a BRIT Award.

So a Bowie party should be an impressive undertaking as diverse and as captivating as the man himself. In New York City, they have an excellent fellow named Michael T., who performs regularly at Bowie parties (hosted by Twig the Wonderkid) and himself is practically a Bowie impersonator. But here in DC, we haven’t had as many Bowie parties. The last major one that I recall was in 2007 at the Rock and Roll Hotel—hosted in part by our own perfect fellow to produce a Bowie party, DJ Chris Strange (who always capably adapts, like Bowie, to his environment with his partner in crime DJ Medusa).

DJ Ed Metaphysical will spin Thursday’s Bowie party, and I’ve heard good things, although I’ve never personally caught the man in action. All of the cool cats will be there, and so should you!

Space Oddity: A David Bowie Dance Party
Satellite Room
Thursday, April 10
Show @10pm
21+ to drink

Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: All That Remains @ 9:30 Club, 4/9/14

All That Remains (Photo by P.R. Brown)

All That Remains (Photo by P.R. Brown)

DC has been enjoying an interest in all things metal lately, particularly with the spectacular Spirits in Black monthly at various locations and Monday Heavy Metal nights at Satellite Room.

So it’s a perfect time to get out tomorrow and catch All That Remains as they hit the 9:30 Club Wednesday as they prepare to release their seventh studio album in the near future. Meanwhile, the band recently released a video for their song “What If I Was Nothing” from their last album, 2012′s A War You Cannot Win.

Sonically, A War You Cannot Win covers a lot of ground! Songs like the opening track “Down Through the Ages” and “You Can’t Fill My Shadow” are prime examples of the “metalcore” for which the band is known–howling hardcore choruses over thumping metal guitar riffs. Watching the video above, however, you would accurately conclude that the band is not without its sensitive side, capable of breaking out sweeping ballads to express wistful reflections of sorrow. Metalheads can be sensitive too!

Clearly, these guys have some tricks up their sleeve. Come out and see what other surprises they have in store for us!

All That Remains
w/ Darkest Hour, Wilson, Wings Denied
9:30 Club
Wednesday, April 9
Doors @7pm
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Kraftwerk @9:30 Club—4/4/14 (By Christine Hall)

Kraftwerk graphics (Photo by Christine Hall)

Kraftwerk graphics (Photo by Christine Hall)

(Editor’s note: Long-time Kraftwerk aficionado Christine Hall was kind enough to report on last week’s Kraftwerk concert — a very important show indeed — as yours truly was out of town.)

Robots! Space travel! The Autobahn! For those who yearn for what was once “the future,” Kraftwerk’s sold-out, two-show, 3D spectacular at the 9:30 Club on Friday, April 4, was wondrous.

The best part was the man in the machine.

The artistic concept is impressive: four man-machines in matching neoprene uniform-jumpsuits (in an irregular, phosphorescent grid), expressionless and stationary before (luminescent-trimmed) cuboid synthesizers, making robot-music, accompanied by retro-3D animation (and some black-and-white film sequences).

Versions or elements of the show were previously presented at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, London’s Tate Modern and Munich’s Lenbachhaus. Visually, the 3D animation, ca. 1980s/early CGI, is thrilling to behold (through good old-fashioned 3D glasses), especially when a flying saucer bears down on you with unsettling urgency (see: Spacelab) or a giant man-machine head peers around and speaks at you rather eerily.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Galantis @ 9:30 Club, 4/24/14

GalantisFAs a way to say thanks to our loyal readers, We Love DC will be giving away a pair of tickets to a 9:30 Club concert to one lucky reader periodically. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to find out what tickets we’re giving away, and leave a comment for your chance to be the lucky winner!

Today, we are giving away a pair of tickets to see Galantis at the 9:30 Club on Thursday, April 24.

For your chance to win these tickets, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address between 10am and 5pm today. Feel free to leave any comment, but perhaps share your favorite song by Galantis (or one of their related projects)! One entry per email address, please. Tickets for this show are also available through Ticketfly.

Galantis! They came to dance! Galantis is Christian Karlsson of Miike Snow and Linus Eklöw aka Style of Eye. They are making their live debut at Coachella on April 12 then embarking on a brief tour that ends at the 9:30 Club on April 24. They will bring with them their self-titled debut EP, which includes dance tracks such as “Smile” and “Revolution.” Lest you wonder what these gents know about dance (I mean, other than the Miike Snow thing), Karlsson has co-produced tracks such as “Toxic” for Britney Spears and Eklöw produced “I Love It” for Icona Pop. So there you go.

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 5pm and a winner will be randomly selected. The winner will be notified by email. The winner must respond to our email within 24 hours or they will forfeit their tickets and we will pick another winner.

Tickets will be available to the winner at the 9:30 Club Guest List window one hour before doors open on the night of the concert. The tickets must be claimed with a valid ID. The winner must be old enough to attend the specific concert or must have a parent’s permission to enter if he/she is under 18 years old.

9:30 Club
Thursday, April 24
doors @10pm
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Blouse and Dum Dum Girls @ Black Cat — 3/22/14

Dee Dee Penny of the Dum Dum Girls (Courtesy of Sub Pop Records)

Dee Dee Penny of the Dum Dum Girls (Courtesy of Sub Pop Records)

The Black Cat hosted two female-fronted bands well worth an evening of listening on a sold-out Saturday night.

Blouse, a synthpop trio from Portland, Ore., recently traded their keyboards for guitars on their second album, Imperium. They opened for the Dum Dum Girls, the increasingly popular quartet from Los Angeles celebrating a third full-length release with Too True. This music reporter was pretty happy with both bands overall thanks to the shades of 80s post-punk that shown through in the music of their two sets.

Given my predilections, you’ll have to excuse me — when I first heard Blouse, I absolutely was hooked by their first album, and it’s been difficult for me to fairly judge their second by the standard that it set. I took notes during the show only to find myself scribbling praise for the songs from the band’s first self-titled album from 2011.

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Entertainment, Life in the Capital, Music, Night Life, The District, We Love Music

We Love Music: NO. @ DC9 – 03/20/14


Try to Google “NO.” and you’ll have a hard time finding this LA – Echo Park specifically – based rock group. But keep looking (hint: add “Echo Park”,) the extra 5 seconds of typing/navigation will land you with a band that, after their performance at DC9 last Thursday night, is a strong contender for my artist of the year.

I stumbled across this relatively unknown indie rock group after returning home from another concert and mindlessly turning on my basic cable TV while I fixed myself some noms. Unfortunately, Carson Daly was on. Fortunately, NO. had just begun their set.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Cut Copy @ Echostage — 3/20/14

Cut Copy (by Michael Muller)

Cut Copy (by Michael Muller)

The first time I saw Cut Copy, the band performed with The Presets at the 9:30 Club in a September 2008 show that people universally remember as being really damn good.

Part of the reason for the success of that show was some pretty strong material the band released earlier that year in its sophomore album, In Ghost Colors, which was all around a great album. Indeed, I’ll go so far as to hail it as one of the Very Important Albums of the past 10 years—a definitive moment in the full embrace of New Wave-inspired dance music as indie kids again were deciding that dominant synths were not only socially acceptable but completely desirable. At Echostage on Thursday, March 20, the audience still gave its biggest reaction to “Hearts on Fire” and “Lights and Music” in the Cut Copy setlist, underscoring how those songs have managed to stick in the collective consciousness of the dancehall masses.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Little Daylight @ Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, 3/25/14

littledaylightFresh from SXSW, Brooklyn trio Little Daylight are set to join fellow bands Terraplane Sun and Flagship in what’s being billed as the “Three of Clubs” tour, hitting the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in DC on Tuesday, March 25.

I single out Little Daylight, soon to release their first full-length album, Hello Memory, because they represent a kind of music I always adore — great electronic dance music with cool female vocals, as showcased by their latest single, “Siren Call.”

Nikki Taylor, Matt Lewkowicz and Eric Zeiler got their start remixing singles for the likes of Passion Pit and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes but now they have broken out as a full-fledged dreampop band with some catchy tunes that somehow bear ambient atmospherics over strong rhythms. Check out their video for “Overdose” and see for yourself.

The Three of Clubs tour also includes Flagship, from Charlotte, NC, (some of us may have seen them open for The Wombats at the 9:30 Club) and Terraplane Sun, from Venice Beach, CA.

Three of Clubs Tour
Terraplane Sun, Flagship and Little Daylight
Sixth and I Historic Synagogue
Tuesday, March 25
Doors @7pm, show @8pm
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

Q&A with Steve Hackett (performing @Lincoln Theatre, 3/26/14)

Steve Hackett live color publicity photo credit www.iconphoto.chSteve Hackett, formerly of Genesis, is one of the world’s greatest guitar players. And he’s bringing the classic Genesis catalog to a tour of the United States starting with a show in DC at the Lincoln Theatre in a little over a week on Wednesday, March 26. We Love DC had the remarkable opportunity to chat with Hackett about the show, what else the future may hold for him and his advice for young guitarists! We also couldn’t resist asking a bit about Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins, his old bandmates in Genesis (with whom he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010).

Mickey McCarter: I’m excited to see you’re coming to DC next week. Can you tell us a little bit about the show? What can we expect?

Steve Hackett: It’s a show of Genesis music that was written between ’71 and ’77. It’s classic Genesis. I’m doing exclusively Genesis music on that show. We have a six-piece band.

It hails from the era when we worked as a five-piece and we had five different writers — Peter Gabriel, myself, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins. I’m highlighting the era when the band was at its most creative, I think.

I took this show last year on the road and it took off in such a big way. We ended up doing a show in London and we have a DVD from that which is just finished.

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Music, Special Events, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Krist Novoselic Plays ‘Royals’ with The Cowards Choir & The Beanstalk Library

Photo Credit: Roxplotion

Photo Credit: roXplotion /// Pictured: Krist Novoselic (left) and Andy Zipf of The Cowards Choir (right).

DC rockers The Cowards Choir and The Beanstalk Library got to add another rock and roll story to their journals this week: performing with Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic.

The instrumental cover collaboration of Lorde’s Grammy-winning song ‘Royals’ happened on Sunday, March 9 at a FairVote event hosted by Republic in Takoma Park. The performance – which featured Novoselic on accordion – has since been mentioned by several musical outlets online including Pitchfork, Stereogum, and Rolling Stone.

But how did these two DC-based bands land one of the most unique gigs of their professional lives thus far? Continue reading

Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Steve Hackett: Genesis Revisited @ Lincoln Theatre, 3/26/14

SteveHackettF (1)
Steve Hackett first revisited material by the prog-rock band Genesis in a 1996 album of reworked songs by the band. And in 2012, he did it again, recording lush guitar solos with various guest singers who reinterpreted selections from the six classic studio albums Hackett made with the band.

Hackett is taking Genesis Revisited II on the road starting with a date in D.C. on Wednesday, March 26 at the Lincoln Theatre.

It’s a rare stateside opportunity to see a guitar master in his element, playing the songs that put him on the map. After all, he’s likely to revisit guitar classics like “Horizons” (from Foxtrot) and “Dancing with the Moonlit Knight” (from Selling England by the Pound).

According to his Wikipedia entry, Hackett refined several guitar techniques for the age of classic rock, introducing tapping and sweep picking to a new genre of songs. The end result sounds great on the recordings, which manage to capture a bold mystic and occasionally romantic sound. But let’s not put our stock in critics and recordings. Let’s go see the man himself and hear him live.

Steve Hackett: Genesis Revisited
The Lincoln Theatre
Wednesday, March 26
doors @7pm
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: U.S. Royalty @ P.O.V. Live, the W Hotel — 3/6/14

U.S. Royalty (Photo by Guy Aroch)

U.S. Royalty (Photo by Guy Aroch)

The W Hotel hosted U.S. Royalty for a vinyl release party for the band’s second album, Blue Sunshine, Thursday as part of its P.O.V. Live series in its rooftop lounge. People packed the venue to listen to a free show and drink a new beer from DC Brau, aged in Buffalo Trace barrels.

Fans of the D.C.-based band were in high spirits, and there were many singalongs and impromptu danceaways when the band took to the stage for a healthy set. Blue Sunshine was initially released in January, so it seems like a lot of folks had time to learn the words to recite along with singer John Thornley and company.

Prior to the concert, the band sat down with an interview conducted by Svetlana Legetic of Brightest Young Things. For U.S. Royalty, it proved to be a good opportunity to launch a charm offensive, where they spoke plainly about their love of D.C. and their desire to land a record contract with a major label.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Ex Hex @ Black Cat — 3/5/14

exhexMary Timony’s new band is a breath of fresh air.

The three ladies of Ex Hex played a catchy and relaxed 10-song set of fuzzy glam-pop and even added a few songs in an encore in the first performance of their first major tour at the Black Cat Wednesday. They were extremely polished, their workmanship honed in other bands clearly on display, producing a concert experience quite unlike seeing many other new bands.

And Ex Hex is sure to pick up some of that “new band buzz” in the coming month, as they are going to sneak in at least one performance at SXSW in Austin on March 12 (playing for Pitchfork at the French Legation Museum at 4pm). Meanwhile, they sold out the Black Cat’s backstage with an enthusiastic if diverse mix of alt-rockers, cuddling couples and bona-fide D.C. notables (yes, Ian MacKaye was there). It’s an impressive start out of the gate for a band that only played its first show back in October.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

Q&A with Charlie Hilton of Blouse

Charlie Hilton (center) of Blouse talks to We Love DC (Photo courtesy Captured Tracks)

Charlie Hilton (center) of Blouse talks to We Love DC (Photo courtesy Captured Tracks)

Blouse come from Portland, Ore., to open for the Dum Dum Girls at the Black Cat on Saturday, March 22. (Remarkably, tickets are still on sale for this awesome lineup!) Last fall, Blouse released their second album, Imperium, and they easily could be headlining a tour of their own at this point! We Love DC caught up with vocalist Charlie Hilton to talk about the differences between the new album and the band’s synth-y first album, doing what you love and what the future holds.

Mickey McCarter: You guys are coming to DC in a couple of weeks, opening for the Dum Dum Girls, at the Black Cat. Have you been in DC before?

Charlie Hilton: We have! We actually played at the Black Cat once before. It was so cool. It was one of my favorite shows. That was on a tour we did with Bear in Heaven a couple of years ago. That was my first time in D.C., and it was so brief. I’m glad to be back.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: White Lies w/ Frankie Rose @ 9:30 Club — 2/22/14

whiteliesShortly after the halfway point in their show at the 9:30 Club on Saturday, White Lies played “Unfinished Business,” their very first single, which was released nearly five years ago now.

The very full club listened respectively and bobbed along in place to the catchy melodies of the song as lead singer Harry McVeigh sang plaintively to the crowd. “You’ve got blood on your hands/And I now it’s mine/I just need more time/So get off your low/let’s dance like we used to.”

That first song serves as a blueprint for the post-punk trio, who perform as a quintet. In a very real way, by sticking to their formula of uplifting melodies but darkly reflective lyrics, White Lies have grown their name recognition and their audiences in the United States tremendously on their latest tour, heralding last year’s album Big TV.

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Entertainment, Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: A Q&A with Graham Colton

Photo Courtesy of Grandstand Media

After passing through the area to play an intimate solo acoustic show at Catoctin Creek Distillery in Purcellville, VA as part of the Buncearoo Presents series this past summer, Graham Colton returns to the DC-area this weekend to promote his newest album Lonely Ones. Colton’s efforts on his latest release are a result of working hard to push himself as an artist and collaborate with trusted friends and musicians.

Catch the DC-area installment of the Lonely Hearts Tour at Jammin’ Java this Sunday, February 23.

With the release of Lonely Ones and the tour you’re currently on, what can you tell us about your artistic reinvention and how would you describe the catalyst that encouraged you to get outside of your comfort zone?

I wouldn’t say it’s a reinvention but more of a snapshot of who I am and where I am now. My life looks and feels totally different than a few years ago and I hope it means I’ve grown a lot. I put my creative trust in my friends in Oklahoma and for the first time didn’t travel to Nashville, LA, or NY to ‘make music.’ These are some of the most talented musicians I’ve ever worked with and all of them know where I’ve come from but wanted to push me into a new space. Continue reading

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Hot Ticket: Morrissey @ Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 6/10/14

IMP_Morrissey_Art_V2Late last year, Morrissey published his best-selling Autobiography. The book is full of witty recollections of various experiences in the life of the British crooner, and many of the details dwell on various grievances as the man strikes back against those who have crossed him at various points in his life.

But the book largely has a happy ending. He spends dozens of pages describing the euphoria of his performances in recent years, and how crowds have embraced him and his music from Sweden to Mexico. Morrissey wraps it all up in a cheery giddiness of sorts, reflecting his attitude that the only time he truly feels alive is when he is on the stage.

Fresh off publishing that book and recording a new album in France, Morrissey is set to return to the stage this year, coming to visit Baltimore, Md., at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on Tuesday, June 10. Alas, the Mancunian turned Angeleno booked no date in the fair city of D.C., but I.M.P. Productions, owners of the 9:30 Club, are handling promotional duties for the show at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

Not much is known about Morrissey’s new album as of yet, but he just released a cover of “Satellite of Love” in honor of one of his heroes Lou Reed, who passed away last year. So perhaps we can expect to hear that, along with several select selections from the new album and his time in The Smiths as well as another dozen or more from across his career.

Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, Feb. 21, at noon. A presale distributed by the 9:30 Club, however, starts today at 10am, so those in the know may buy a ticket earlier. Either way, portents suggest this will be a good year for Moz, so put on your thinking cap, dive into your love for old movies, and make a push and a rush to make those tickets yours!

w/ Kristeen Young
Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Baltimore, Md.
Tuesday, June 10
Doors @7pm
All ages