Entertainment, Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Hot in Herre dance party @ 930 Club, 3/8/2013

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Today We Love DC is giving away a pair of tickets to the 2000s dance party “Hot in Herre”, this Friday, March 8th at 930 club. DJ Will Eastman and Brian Billion (whose ’90s dance night No Scrubs has sold out the club before) will spin their favorite hits of the 2000s. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketfly or in-person at the 930 club box office. (#HIH930)

For your chance to win a pair of tickets to the Hot in Herre dance party, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address until 4pm today. One entry per email address, please.

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 4pm 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 will-call window of the 930 Club on the night of the party. 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.

Comment away!

Entertainment, Interviews, Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

Q&A with GEMS

photo courtesy of GEMS

photo courtesy of GEMS

GEMS is the newest creative vehicle for Clifford John Usher and Lindsay Pitts, formally formed in August of 2012. Their sound is dreamy, lush, hypnotic, melancholic pop. Previously the duo went by the name Birdlips, and had a more acoustic driven, organic, though equally gorgeous sound. Both incarnations feature beautiful vocals and highlight harmonies, nestled in layers of lush sounds. GEMS will be playing this Wednesday, March 6th, at Rock & Roll Hotel along with Ex Cops and Dead Professional, before hitting the road to SXSW. (* note- due to inclement weather, this show has been canceled.* )We Love DC got the chance for a brief chat with Cliff this past week, and here’s what he had to say.

Alexia Kauffman: So how did you you first start playing music?

Clifford John Usher: Well Lindsay and I met in Charlottesville, Virginia, I guess it was in 2007, and started playing in a college band that we had, and that band broke up after school, and we started Birdlips then, just the two of us. And then this new band was started this past August. We had known that we wanted to start a new band for a while, so it was kind of a progression.

Alexia: So what brought about the whole metamorphosis into GEMS?

Cliff: It was really a variety of factors, I guess. We did Birdlips for over five years, and I think the last year and a half of Birdlips we were pretty certain we wanted to do something else. I think we just wanted a clean break. We wanted to kind of start over in a lot of different areas, and not feel like we were obliged to keep playing old material. We didn’t want to feel constricted by what we had done in the past, I guess. We knew we wanted to do something louder, more electric. We wanted to get away from the whole folk association that we kind of had in Birdlips. It was hard, you know, even at the end of Birdlips we were doing something that I don’t think was really folk at all, and we still felt kind of trapped by the folk or psych-folk genre. So that was a big part of it. And we just had been playing more with electric guitars and with different recording techniques, so it kind of just made sense to us to start a new band. We’ve also been playing with a drummer. Which all the shows we’ve done as GEMS so far we’ve done with a drummer. Although the string that we’re getting ready to do- going down to South by Southwest we’re just going as a duo. Continue reading

Entertainment, Night Life

Your Cheat Sheet To The 85th Academy Awards

It may not be the Super Bowl, DC’s Super Bowl (Election Night or State of the Union), or even Nerd Prom but this weekend will be a big weekend for Hollywood and I’m sure a lot of you will be tuning into Sunday’s Academy Awards. Washington old and new is well represented within this year’s nominees: ArgoLincoln, and Zero Dark Thirty make up the leading contenders for Best Picture.

I’ve prepared myself by watching as many Oscar nominated films as I could and after devouring 50 out of the 53 nominated films I’m ready to tell you who to pick in your Oscar pool as well as where to watch in DC if you want to get dressed up (or not).

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Entertainment, Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Bebel Gilberto @930 Club, 2/28/2013

bebel gilberto

Today We Love DC is giving away a pair of tickets to see Brazilian chanteuse Bebel Gilberto at the 930 Club on Thursday, February 28th! Escape from the bleak winter with an evening of tropical tunes and sultry sambas. To purchase tickets online, click here! Tickets can also be purchased in-person at the 930 club box office. (#BebelG930)

For your chance to win a pair of tickets to see Bebel Gilberto, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address until 4pm today. One entry per email address, please.

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 4pm 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 will-call window of the 930 Club 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.

Comment away!

 

Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Kishi Bashi @930 Club, 2/3/2013

Today We Love DC is giving away a pair of tickets to see Kishi Bashi at the 930 Club on Sunday, February 3rd! Plume Giant will open the night. To purchase tickets online, click here! Tickets can also be purchased in-person at the 930 club box office.

For your chance to win a pair of tickets to see Kishi Bashi, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address until 4pm today. One entry per email address, please.

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 4pm 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 will-call window of the 930 Club 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.

Comment away!

Entertainment, Inaugupocalypse, Life in the Capital, Night Life, Special Events, The Features

Inaugural Ball Flashback: The We Love DC Crew Hits The Town On Inauguration Night

We all know Washington, DC is a city that likes to drink and party. Add The President and you have a good reason to grab a tux or gown and brave the cold. That’s what many of our We Love DC crew did as they hit up the Official and Unofficial parties celebrating the  Inauguration of Barack Obama. Here’s what they saw and heard.

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Entertainment, Inaugupocalypse, Life in the Capital, Night Life, Special Events, The Features

The Inaugural Parade: Photos, Drinks, and Empty Metro Cars

Four years ago I trudged down to The Mall and stood in the cold to see Barack Obama get sworn in as President of the United States of America. This time around I avoided The Mall and checked out the Inaugural Parade instead. I still ended up waiting outside in the cold but it wasn’t that bad.

Read on for lots of photos from the parade route.

Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Datsik @930 Club, 1/13/2013

 

Today We Love DC is giving away a pair of tickets to see Datsik at the 930 Club on Sunday, January 13th! Datsik brings his dark, dirty dubstep to the club with his “Firepower Reloaded” tour. Tickets can be purchased for the show online through Ticketfly, the 930 club website, or in person at the 930 club box office.

For your chance to win a pair of tickets to the show, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address until 4pm today. One entry per email address, please.

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 4pm 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 will-call window of the 930 Club 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.

Comment away!

Entertainment, Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Drive By Truckers @ 930 Club, 12/30/2012

 

photo courtesy of Drive By Truckers

Today We Love DC is giving away a pair of tickets to see Drive By Truckers at the 930 Club on Sunday, December 30th! Drive By Truckers are playing three nights in a row at the legendary 930 club- December 29th, 30th and 31st, for three times the fun! Tickets can be purchased for all three nights through Ticketfly, the 930 club website, or at the 930 club box office.

For your chance to win a pair of tickets to the December 30th show, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address until 4pm today. One entry per email address, please.

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 4pm and a winner will be randomly selected. The winner will be notified by email. The winner must respond to our email in 24 hours or they will forfeit their tickets and we will pick another winner.

Tickets will be available to the winner at the will-call window of the 930 Club 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.

Comment away!

Entertainment, Interviews, Music, Night Life, People, The Features, We Love Music

Q&A with Shana Falana

photo courtesy of Shana Falana

Shana Falana is a shoegaze/dream-pop band, currently based in New York. They mix dreamy female vocals, often looped and layered, with reverb-drenched guitar sometimes heavy, sometimes airy, for beautiful and sometimes hypnotic results. They are currently on tour, and play DC’s Comet Ping Pong this Friday, November 30th.  We Love DC’s Alexia got the chance to ask the group’s founder/front-woman Shana a few questions this week, and here’s what she had to say.

Alexia: How did you first start playing music?

Shana: Started playing in San Francisco in 1992- got an electric guitar and reverby amp to learn some surf guitar, The Cramps and Mazzy Star.

Alexia: Was there one artist or song that first made you fall in love with rock music?

Shana: PJ Harvey!!!

Alexia: How did Shana Falana come together as a band?

Shana: I have had so many bands for each of my projects with different band names, to separate out all my different songwriting sounds, but 2 years ago I decided to not pick them apart and to make them all one band with different sounds, under my own name Shana Falana. My sound is complex!!!

Alexia: You used to be in a Bulgarian Women’s choir, and mention that it has some influence on your music- can you tell us a little about that?

Shana: Dissonant harmonies are so interesting!!! For me it’s so much more stimulating to my senses and I use them throughout my music. I sang medieval harmonies as well and try to sneak them in there too! In the Bulgarian choir we would sing these chants that are very circular and layered, and when I perform my live vocal looping I incorporate that layering and dissonance.

Alexia: I read that you have more than two years sober now. I am also a musician, with a little over five years sober. I really admire hearing about musicians who are still doing their thing in the rock scene after finding sobriety. How did you realize you needed to stop using? Are there any challenges you’ve found?

Shana: There was a voice in my head four years ago telling me that I wouldn’t have a career in music unless I got completely sober. I will have three years December first! I do everything for my music so I did sobriety too. It’s not hard being around people that are drinking- I really don’t crave it at all, and I don’t lose my gear, and I perform better. The only downside is touring and staying at someone’s house who’s partying and waiting for them to get sleepy.

Alexia: Is there anyone you’re listening to right now that you are really excited about?

Shana: Thee Oh Sees, Naomi Punk, Mac DeMarco. Bands to “watch”: Breakfast In Fur, out of New Paltz, New York, and a band we tour with, Crawlbabies out of Brooklyn.

Alexia: What’s next?

Shana: Canadian tour in April, and Europe in May and June. Possibly a 7″ release with two new tracks this spring 2013.

 

See Shana Falana at Comet Ping Pong this Friday, November 30th!

Shana Falana

with The Deads

and Pinkish Black

All Ages/$10/10pm/Comet Ping Pong

 

Entertainment, Interviews, Music, Night Life, People, The Features, We Love Music

Q&A with Silo Halo

photo courtesy of Silo Halo

Silo Halo are a DC-based trio that combines guitar, bass, keys and male and female vocals into a dark shoegaze-indie-dream-fuzz sound. Christin Durham(bass, vox), Christopher Goett (guitar, vox) and Greg Svitil (guitar, keys, vox) have all been players in the DC music scene for years (in bands including The Antiques, Girl Loves Distortion, Victor Victoria, Soft Complex, The Parlor Scouts…) but came to play together in 2010, first under the name Night and the City, and in 2011 as Silo Halo. They released their first album this year, titled Night and the City, on Etxe Records, an independent label founded by Goett. Full disclosure- I first met Greg when I joined the band Soft Complex in 2004, and have remained friends with him since then. I’ve always been in awe of his musicianship, creativity, kindness, and general awesomeness as a human being. I’ve been lucky enough to get to know Christin and Chris through Greg in the past year, and one thing that really impressed me about the trio is their dedication to contributing to the creative community in the DC area, not just with their own music, but with tireless enthusiasm and support of others. You can see Silo Halo play Black Cat tonight along with The Mean Season and Golden Looks!

 

Alexia: How did Silo Halo come together as a band?

Christin: I asked Greg if The Antiques would like to play in my basement when I lived in Arlington. I was playing in a queer-centric 80s cover band at the time, and we would practice and play parties down there, so I eventually decided to put on more formal shows, calling the venue The Basement Speakeasy. That first show with The Antiques and Screen Vinyl Image was December 2008, and it ended up being The Antiques last show. Greg asked if I’d like to collaborate with him for a new project not long after that.

Greg: I saw Christin’s band Victor Victoria and was energized by hearing her sing and play bass, which suited what I had in mind as far as forming a band in which I wouldn’t be the main singer and songwriter.  At the same time I was connecting a lot with Chris, but his band Girl Loves Distortion was still pretty active, and so it was a few months before we could bring him in to write, play, and sing.

Chris: Greg and I met via a regular community potluck of musicians, independent music label types, and recordists.  We connected on several levels musically and personally.  As The Antiques reached antiquity, I became aware of the new musical project. Christin and I met at We Fought The Big One, and that was another strong and instant connection.

Alexia: What song or artist first made you fall in love with rock music?

Greg:  There’s a clear moment when rock n roll gripped me, which happened when I was ten years old, sitting two feet in front of the TV.  The Ronettes came on, singing “Be My Baby.”  Years later, I learned that the clip I saw was from Shindig in 1965.  Their time and place was mysterious to me.  At ten years old, I couldn’t place where or when they came from, and the music didn’t sound like anything I’d ever heard before.  It still doesn’t.  The sound was just enormous.  I was mesmerized by their voices and how they looked and how they moved.  A few months later, I discovered that my older sister had a tape of the song- it was the Dirty Dancing soundtrack- and I thought that she must be the coolest person on earth to have the capability to cue up the Ronettes at the drop of a hat.  During my teenage years, the whole Ronettes catalog became some of the most important music in the world to me, and as an adult, it still is.

Christin: Speaking of The Ronettes, one of the songs Greg saw Victor Victoria perform was “Take Me Home Tonight” by Eddie Money, so seeing me sing Ronnie’s parts probably solidified his notion to ask me to make music with him, or at least that’s the theory I like, haha.  A friend at the Christian school I attended for grades K through 3 played me “Crazy For You” by Madonna on her walkman.  I’ve loved the devil’s music ever since.  My older sister got me into bands like The Cure and REM at an early age.

Chris: I would have to credit my older sisters with my musical tastes and exposure as well.  I have vivid recollection of my sisters and their friends sitting around and spinning their vinyl, socializing and discussing music.  Most of this would now be classified as “first wave” music.  However, the first really transformative musical experience for me was seeing Public Enemy play to a stadium full of people in 1992.  The visual imagery, the ferocity, the command of the crowd, and the message were amazing and changed how I thought about recorded music.  I’ve been an avid concert goer ever since.

Alexia: What inspires you?

Chris: My loved ones, friends, and neighborhood.  Ordinary folks doing extraordinary things in their own way, on their own scale.

Greg: People’s lives, whether they’re those who I know, or those who I see on screen or hear or read about.

Christin: I’m a highly empathetic and emotional person, so I’m easily moved and inspired.  Like most people, it’s easier for me to say what I don’t like and what doesn’t inspire me: indie brodeo, reality television, money, career, capitalism, suburbia, shopping malls…

Continue reading

Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Submerge 2012 shows/happenings 11/16-11/17/2012

GEMS, photo courtesy of GEMS

Two shows happening this weekend are part of the 2nd annual Submerge, the tail end of a nine-day flash “art happening”. From their site:

Submerge 2012  is an ‘ode to the District,’  an art exhibition and creative art space that will pay homage to the town of its creation; Washington DC. Submerge, the exhibition, will be a “group exhibition” uniquely created from a collection of solo-exhibitions. Participating artists both emerging and mid-career, were presented with the unique opportunity to craft a cohesive concept and body of works in what amounts to micro-installations and exhibition, organized under one roof. As a creative space, it will play host to a number of creative and cultural happenings to fully complement and augment this cities colorful identity.

No Kings Collective will will transform this temporary space on the historic H Street Corridor in an unusual mash up of art and culture. Submerge will surface at this project located at 700 H Street NE. Submerge will be a well curated, transformative environment, one that will cater to the expectations and curiosities’ of the novice and the experienced onlooker.

Friday, November 16
6pm-2am

Get Fashion will showcase local designers and vendor retail pop-ups from 6-11pm, live musical performances from 9pm-2am, H Street only food vendors, local DC brews, and artwork featured in the Submerge exhibition.

DJ starts at 6pm – Music starts at 9pm…

Featuring performances by:
Pree

GEMS
Margot MacDonald
DJ Skim

This event is free and open to public.
FB Event page

Young Rapids, photo by Kate Bentley – Passenger Photography

Saturday, November 17
8pm-2am

All Things Go x Listen Local First x DC to BC

All Things Go and Listen Local First and DC to BC help curate a night of music during the Submerge artfair in the temporary gallery and music venue on the historic H Street Corridor.  This is a great chance to check out some fun, exciting sounds in a cool and temporary space. Saturday night’s show will feature live sets from Turning Violet Violet, Dance For The Dying, Young Rapids, BRETT and Body Language. The night will also feature DJ sets from Nacey of Nouveau Riche and DJ Spicoli. The event will start at 7PM and go until around 2AM. Tickets are $12.

FB EVENT PAGE
This event is Ticketed. Tickets available here.

Entertainment, Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Justin Jones @ Rock & Roll Hotel, 11/10/2012

photo courtesy of Justin Jones

Today We Love DC is giving away a pair of tickets to see Justin Jones at Rock & Roll Hotel this Saturday, November 10th! Also on the bill Saturday are Luray and The Vagabond Union.

For your chance to win these tickets simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address until 4pm today. One entry per email address, please.

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 4pm and a winner will be randomly selected. The winner will be notified by email. The winner must respond to our email in 24 hours or they will forfeit their tickets and we will pick another winner.

Tickets will be available to the winner at the ticket window of the Rock and Roll Hotel 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.

Comment away!

 

Justin Jones

w/Luray

The Vagabond Union

at Rock & Roll Hotel

This Saturday, November 10th

Doors 8pm/Show 9pm

$12 adv/$15 door

tickets available here!

 

 

Entertainment, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Tickets: Music worth checking out this weekend!

Tonight you can satisfy your musical cravings whether you prefer a dance night or a live show.
Black Cat starts a new dance night tonight on the backstage- Catalyst, “a party for people who like great music.” The night will be hosted by a rotating cast of awesome local DJs. Tonight’s kicks off with DJ Steve EP, and is $5.
Also at Black Cat tonight on the mainstage is The 9 songwriter series. Tonight’s edition features some great talent including Sam McCormally of Ugly Purple Sweater, Ryan McLaughlin of Typefighter, Victoria Vox, and Christylez Bacon. $10/9pm
Meanwhile, Comet Ping Pong has an awesome lineup of local and international bands tonight that will make you want to dance. Starting off the night are one of my favorite DC bands, Coup Sauvage & the Snips.  Their super-sassy neo-soul-punk realness is super-entertaining, not to miss. DC’s Drop Electric is also on the bill, and headlining the night are Berlin’s  Thieves Like Us, bringing their delicious blend of nostalgic disco-dream-pop. (If you like M83 or Miami Horror, check them out!) $10/10pm/All-ages.
Saturday night Chicago’s JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound bring their post-punk/soul extravaganza to U Street’s Tropicalia. Also bringing the grooves is DJ Baby Alcatraz. This is an early show! $10/7pm doors, music starts at 8pm!
Sunday, if you feel like a change of pace, or a touch of culture, why not head over to the National Cathedral? The Cathedral Choral Society will be performing their “Glory of France” concert, featuring the Durufle Requiem & Saint-Saens’ Symphony No. 3. Beautiful music in a gorgeous setting. 4pm, tickets from $20.
Entertainment, Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Gotye @ Merriweather, 9/30/2012

 

photos courtesy of Gotye

Chart-topping Australian artist Gotye* and his band played an outstanding show at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Sunday, September 30th. They are in the midst of a world tour, and joining them for this leg were openers Jonti and Missy Higgins. Gotye and his group of super-talented multi-instrumentalists radiated enthusiasm, talent and boundless energy onstage. The weather may have been cold and drizzly, but their exuberant performance was enough to lift the audience up.

Most of you readers may have only heard Gotye’s number one hit “Somebody That I Used To Know”, and I will admit, I hadn’t heard much more than that myself before Sunday night. Back in April I caught part of Gotye’s impressive set at the Coachella Music & Arts festival, which was so packed the crowd was sprawled densely well beyond the borders of the tent he was performing in. What I did catch was super, and enough to know I wanted to see more. Sunday night Gotye and his band owned the stage, showcasing their talents on a host of instruments- organic and electronic, from lap-steel guitar to midi pads, synth-drums to two full drum-kits, and Gotye never seemed to stop moving the entire time.

They started out the night with the hypnotic, groovy “The Only Way” from Gotye’s 2006 album Drawing Blood, and it was instantly apparent that we the audience were in for an exciting ride. The band’s energy was high, Gotye especially- partway through the song running to one of the drum kits and having two-kit drum freak-out, ending the song full tilt. Most of the music was from Gotye’s most recent album Making Mirrors, and the energy level never really dropped for the entire night. In addition to the amazing musicianship of all the players, the audience was treated to beautiful, weird, trippy and even hilarious videos and visuals playing on a huge screen behind the band along with almost every song. The combination was a completely entertaining multimedia extravaganza. Continue reading

Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Laetitia Sadier @ DC9, 9/25/2012

photo by author

French-born singer Laetitia Sadier and her band played a beautiful, uplifting, fun set at DC9 Tuesday night. Sadier, currently on US tour, is the former front-woman of the UK-based experimental-indie-lounge-pop group Stereolab. She released her first solo album, The Trip, in 2010 after Sterolab went on hiatus, and released her sophomore record, Silencio, this year. Earlier this month I had the pleasure of interviewing Sadier, and you can check that out here.

Tuesday night brought Sadier and her trio (drummer James Elkington, and bassist Julien Gasc) to the small stage of DC9, where they were surrounded by adoring, attentive fans. Sadier’s presence onstage was graceful, happy, and quietly engaging. The group started off their set with the quiet, contemplative “The Rule of the Game,” which set the mood for the evening- introspective, melodic, lovely, serene. At times the group broke out with more spastic rock moments, or in the case of the song “Between Earth and Heaven” they took a turn towards samba. Though DC has a reputation for not dancing at shows, my friends and I couldn’t contain our glee, and wiggled and shook our way through the samba-infused number. Sadier rewarded us by thanking “the dancers” afterwards and smiling.  

While many of the songs on her latest album Silencio have strong political themes, and Sadier did speak a bit about her thoughts on the sad state of democracy today, it never felt heavy or preachy. For the most part she let the music speak for itself, and it rang out. Sadier’s presence, her smiles, and commentary to the audience added charm to what was a soulful, stimulating, soothing and ultimately satisfying performance.

Entertainment, Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: The Gossip @930 Club, 9/24/2012

photo by Rankin

It’s easy to be impressed by big stage productions- stunning light shows, elaborate screen set-ups, jaw-dropping hydraulics, bells and whistles. So sometimes, like Monday night, it takes a band with a bare stage, wearing jeans and t-shirts, or in Beth Ditto’s case a dress from Avenue*, to prove you don’t need anything fancy to blow the sock off of your fans, you can do it by just being ****ing amazing, and singing, dancing and rocking your ass off! The Gossip brought it like none other on Monday night to the 930 Club, shaking, dancing, screaming, sweating and rocking their way through a super-fun, energized set to a full house of adoring fans.
 
Originally formed in Olympia, Washington, The Gossip has a sound that blends bluesy rock, soul, punk and synth-dance-rock. The resulting combination makes for non-stop hip-shaking, head-bopping, fist-pumping exuberance. The group started off their set with the dancey “Love Long Distance“, and got the crowd moving and shaking right away. After that song front-woman Beth Ditto looked up to the backstage balcony and said “Well Ian was clapping, so that’s a good thing.” (referring to the Make-Up frontman Ian Svenonius, who was clearly enjoying the show, though ducked out of sight when he was called out.)
 
The dancing and shaking never really stopped, except for in-between some songs when charismatic Ditto would have conversations with audience members, or tell stories or jokes, or rant. That was an equally entertaining part of the show- her personality is larger-than-life.
 
While The Gossip played plenty of great original material, Ditto liked to mix it up by throwing in lines or choruses from other bands’ songs, making for some fun mash-ups. Highlights included their song “8th Wonder” mashed up with Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl” (complete with dedication to Bikini Kill drummer Tobi Vail), their song “Listen Up!” mashed with Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer”, and their disco-drenched “Get Lost” with an interlude of Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita.”
 
The Gossip delivered a short but powerful encore- first a super-charged cover of the song made famous by Tina Turner, “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” which had the audience going crazy and belting along to the chorus. They ended the night with their biggest hit, the knock-down, drag-out “Standing In the way of Control”, and Miss Ditto was not out of steam yet, starting it off with a soul-wrenching howl, and even turned this hit into a mash-up, throwing some of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” into the mix partway through.  The Gossip had everyone in the club jumping and singing along to the very end, and of course left their fans full of joy, but starving for more.
 
 
*Avenue is a clothes store for big girls. Beth Ditto gave a shout-out to all the big girls in the audience and let them know she got her dress, a curve-hugging shimmery black number, from Avenue, on sale “really reasonable” and advised them to go get it themselves. Work it, gurl.
Entertainment, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Dance for the Dying, Ugly Purple Sweater @ Red Palace, 9/29

photo courtesy of Dance for the Dying

Today We Love DC is giving away a pair of tickets to see Dance for the Dying, Ugly Purple Sweater, and  Fire and the Wheel at Red Palace, this Saturday, September 29th! Tickets are on sale now through the Red Palace website or Ticket Alternative, and tickets can be purchased at the door. This is an EP release party for Dance for the Dying. Check out Dance for the Dying’s song “Thug Love“, and Ugly Purple Sweater’s “The Water’s Edge“. 

For your chance to win these tickets simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address until 4pm today. One entry per email address, please.

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 4pm and a winner will be randomly selected. The winner will be notified by email. The winner must respond to our email in 24 hours or they will forfeit their tickets and we will pick another winner.

The winner will be on the guest list (plus one) at Red Palace 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 be accompanied by a parent or guardian if he/she is under 18 years old.

Saturday, September 29th

Dance for the Dying (EP Release)

Ugly Purple Sweater

Fire and the Wheel

Red Palace

Doors 8pm/show @ 9pm/$8/18+

Entertainment, Interviews, Music, Night Life, People, The Features, We Love Music

Q&A with Laetitia Sadier

photo courtesy of Laetitia Sadier

French singer Laetitia Sadier has a beautiful, dreamy, captivating voice, and for about two decades was the front-woman of the London-based experimental/psychedelic/pop/lounge ensemble Stereolab. In 2010, after Stereolab went on hiatus, Sadier released her first solo album, The Trip. In July of this year she released her second solo album, Silencio. It is beautiful, introspective, lush, groovy at times, with political themes woven through. You can catch Laetitia Sadier live at DC9 this Tuesday, September 25th! We Love DC’s Alexia Kauffman was thrilled to have a conversation with Laetitia recently, and here’s how it went.

Alexia Kauffman: So what was the experience of making your most recent album, Silencio, like? And was it different from making your first solo album?

Laetitia Sadier: Oh yes, I guess it was kind of the same and it was kind of different from one to the other, but what do you want to know exactly?

Alexia: What went into making the new album, what inspired you on this album? I know you collaborated with some different people- just kind of what the experience was like?

Laetitia: Well, you know I guess the intent was to have a political content, because I find the situation – the political and financial and economical and social situation you know kind of getting worse. I mean especially the state of democracy, you know, is kind of worsening in Europe certainly, and in America, very seriously, and I thought that all should be voiced. So that was a very central concern regarding the album. But I didn’t want it to just be kind of aggressively political, you know, I have other centers of interest. I study Chinese medicine and we look at the human body, the human being in a kind of holistic way, and they are part of the universe, you know, so it is kind of on the other side of what capitalism teaches us to be, which is kind of selfish, self-centered consumer. It looks at people elementally, and I focused somehow on fire, on the fire element. And the fire in people, you know, the passion, the heart, the spirit, which are all kind of fire-related, and how these things are really essential to life, but they are things which can’t be bought. And the idea was to bring back the attention on us human beings as non-exchangeable, non-buyable beings that we are, you know, humans, and that’s a sacred notion around this that can’t be touched by money. So those were my concerns for this album, and, of course, the title “Silencio”, which, I don’t know if you heard the record?

Alexia: Yes.

Laetitia: The last track basically explains the situation as to how this title came about- it wasn’t, you know, “Shut up, everybody! Let’s have some silence around here!”, it was about connecting deeply with oneself because I think that to have a revolution you need to be connected to yourself, to your sense, to your better self, and your sense of it. And then you can derive some ideas to lead some kind of action for change, for progress, for moving forward, not being stuck in the system, which I think disconnects people from their deeper and truer natures, you see?

Alexia: That’s very powerful. I appreciate your album because I can clearly hear the political themes in it, but yet it’s beautiful and makes you want to listen to it, and I don’t know, it’s like the best kind of art where it has a message but it’s transcendent, you know?

Laetitia: Yeah, I mean to me art is about you know putting what’s the most important to you, and I guess transcend to some degree. Of course, transformation, I mean that’s the real alchemy of art. You know, art is alchemical, or it can be, it can transform your life. And I know it sure has mine. If you’re open to it, and of course it should be really kind of essential stuff, the stuff that really matters, and not the mindless stuff.

I mean listen to the radio- it’s just appalling, the quality of the music. I think it’s really about demolishing people, and their truer connection, you know their connection to themselves. It’s just soul-breaking and heart-numbing. It’s numbing, I want to protect myself from it, to not receive it, not feel it, it’s so obnoxious. I don’t know, I find it super-dangerous. So it’s true, I’m kind of reacting against that, in a way, you know, that’s my purpose, it seems.

Alexia: You have a very beautiful and distinct voice. Are there any vocalists or singers that inspired you when you were growing up or even now?

Laetitia: Yes, of course. Carmel- she was an Irish singer in the 80s, she kind of had semi-hits, but she never really took off, you know? But the first album she ever did was a six-track kind of experimental jazz piece, and it was very, very bare, and kind of badly recorded, but really good. I was fascinated, and it’s still one of my favorite records. So she was a real inspiration in terms of “I want to sing”, in terms of “Yes, this is what I want to do.” I guess Morrissey also inspired me to sing. He has an incredible voice, and I love that first album that they did, cause I’m a first album girl. And besides that, um, France Gall also really inspired me. And then there’s of course singers like Dionne Warwick- the perfection, you know? Like wow! I wish I could sing like that! Divas like that. I like distinctive vocals. I like white women that sound like black women- I really like that. And I like an open and sincere voice, you know? We can hear the heart and the personality of the person, rather than a super-trained voice, you know, a super-technically-apt, but kind of affected, rather than natural. So that’s what I am most attracted to.

Alexia: Are there any artists right now or albums or songs that really catch you currently?

Laetitia: I’m a big fan of the French band called Holden. They really, really touch me- their music really touches me. And they’re about to release a new record, and I saw them live recently, and they really really blew me away- so much grace and beauty. They played some new songs, and I’m like “Oh my God! They’re doing it again!” I played the record by Connan Mockasin, which is really interesting and fun to listen to.  Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Win before you can buy: The Killers w/Tegan & Sara @ Patriot Center, 12/18

We Love DC is giving away a pair of tickets today to see The Killers at the Patriot Center before you can buy them! The Killers will be playing along with openers Tegan & Sara at George Mason’s Patriot Center on Tuesday, December 18th. Tickets go on sale this Friday, September 21st at 10am through ticketmaster. You can also purchase tickets in person at the box office of the Patriot Center or the 9:30 club.

For your chance to win these tickets simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address until 4pm today. One entry per email address, please.

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 4pm and a winner will be randomly selected. The winner will be notified by email. The winner must respond to our email in 24 hours or they will forfeit their tickets and we will pick another winner.

Tickets will be available to the winner at the will-call window at the Patriot Center 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.

Comment away!