Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: London Grammar w/Haerts @ 9:30 Club — 4/14/14

A booming sad voice fills the air from the very first song.

“Hey now, letters burning by my bed for you.”

Melancholy yet so very strong, the voice of Hannah Reid of London Grammar is so powerful an instrument that you are forced to wonder if she could simply tour as an a cappella act and be tremendously successful solo.

But no. Given a bit of time at Monday night’s sold-out performance by London Grammar at the 9:30 Club, the gentle guitar of Dan Rothman and playful keyboards and drums from Dot Major swell under the vocals and provide each song with a full sound, as with the opener, “Hey Now.”

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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
$35
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: 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
$20
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.

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

Concert Round Up, Entertainment, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital

April 2014 Concert Round Up

This chick knows exactly how I feel about the shows going on in DC this month. KA-POW! Our music scene is always strong, but this month it’s on steroids or GHG or whatever Lance Armstrong was doping with. Yeh, some shows are sold out, but don’t be disheartened because there are a ton of options still out there and Mickey, Rachel and I have got your covered. And BTW, if a show you want to see is sold out, don’t be defeated. Nothing worth having ever came easy ;).

After the jump: The Sounds, TRUST, Boy George, The Dreamscapes Project, I Break Horses, and LOADS more. Continue reading

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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Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Galactic @ 9:30 Club, 2/13/14

galactic930As 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 Galactic at the 9:30 Club on Thursday, Feb. 13.

It must be funk week here at We Love DC, what with our talk of Black Joe Lewis yesterday. But this is Galactic — the New Orleans sextet whose long career has seen them undergo stylistic changes to cast a wide net over various music genres. The core instrumental band brings in guest vocalists for many songs like their new song, Dolla Diva, which they released just last week.

This jazzy jam band may be just the thing to put you in the mood for Mardi Gras a few weeks early.

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 Galactic! One entry per email address, please. Tickets for this show are also available through Ticketfly.

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.

Galactic
w/ Ryan Montbleau
9:30 Club
Thursday, Feb. 13
doors @7pm
$30
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Black Joe Lewis @ 9:30 Club, 2/18/14

blackjoelewispressHailing from Austin, Texas, Black Joe Lewis has emerged as a funk dynamo since grabbing national attention with his band’s performance at the SXSW Festival in 2009. Last year, he released a new album, Electric Slave, which maintains Black Joe Lewis’ reputation as a funk and soul innovator. To my ear, the title track sounds like it also indulges in a whole lot of psychedelia.

Lots of folks cite James Brown when they talk about Black Joe Lewis but perhaps it’s time to cite Jimi Hendrix as well?

You be the judge! Catch Black Joe Lewis at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Black Joe Lewis
w/ Pickwick
9:30 Club
Tuesday, Feb. 18
Doors @7pm
$20
All ages

Entertainment, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, Music, The District

We Love Music: Phosphorescent @930 Club – 01/22/14

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 1.47.30 PM
Last night, playing in front of a sold out crowd at the 930 Club, Phosphorescent laid down a poignant, vibrant, and captivating show.

Matthew Houck, the sole member of Phosphorsecent, donned a cream white, eagle crested bolero jacket paired with a straw cowboy hat and glistened in front of the stage’s shimmering floor to ceiling metallic curtains. Backed by a seven person band, Houck pulled from his six albums to lay down a serious jam session set along the lines of the Allman Brother’s Jessica and Led Zeppelin’s Kashmirone seriously got lost in the wonderous, free-flowing sounds Houck and his band created.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Cowboy Mouth @ 9:30 Club, 1/24/14

cowboymouthAs 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 Cowboy Mouth at the 9:30 Club on Friday, Jan. 24.

Cowboy Mouth! Well, I saw them once, opening for Barenaked Ladies at American University’s Bender Arena when I was a grad student in the late ’90s and some old friends were in town to see the bands. Good times!

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 Cowboy Mouth! One entry per email address, please. Tickets for this show are also available through Ticketfly.

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.

Cowboy Mouth
w/ Fifth on the Floor
9:30 Club
Friday, Jan. 24
doors @6pm
$25
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Camper Van Beethoven & Cracker @ 9:30 Club — 1/11/14

David Lowery brought both of his bands, Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, to the 9:30 Club Saturday night for a mellow night of clever wordplay and occasional social jabs that form the crux of the music in the two outfits.

Billed as the “Come Down the Coast” tour, Lowery’s double bill came very close to selling out the 9:30 Club, which was comfortably full of high-spirited concert-goers, nodding their heads along to very full sets of alt-country ruminations and reflections. Camper Van Beethoven played 18 songs, beginning with the oddly titled instrumental “ZZ Top Goes to Egypt.” It was a good way to set the tone actually, introducing the audience to quirky titles and various musical textures that go into Camper Van Beethoven compositions

As Lowery sang and strummed along softly, drummer Frank Funaro added some punk-flavored kick, and violinist Jonathan Segel filled out many of the songs with classical flourishes. Funaro, who also is in Cracker, was the only person in the five-member Camper Van Beethoven who was not in the original lineup. Nevertheless, Camper Van Beethoven classics like “Take the Skinheads Bowling” now have less of a jangly sound to them when performed live these days and more layers and sophistication instrumentally.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Cracker w/ Camper Van Beethoven @ 9:30 Club, 1/11/14

crackerWhen I was an undergrad, “Low” by Cracker was absolutely inescapable on college radio. As a concert newbie, I ended up seeing one of my first shows off-campus during a visit to Salisbury, Md., where some friends and I caught a bill that included Cracker, Gin Blossoms and Spin Doctors (hey, I was young).

But my musical tastes always have run to being a bit more subversive in general. And so I was surprised to learn lately that Cracker’s lead singer founded another, perhaps more subversive, band–Camper Van Beethoven. Vocalist and guitarist David Lowery (who also is a mathematician!) fronts Camper Van Beethoven, as he did before, after and now while also singing in Cracker. And this Saturday at the 9:30 Club, he has the luxury of opening for himself as Camper Van Beethoven takes the stage before Cracker!

In 2013, Camper van Beethoven released a new album, La Costa Perdida, and they are sure to perform new songs like the title track or “Northern California Girls”–an allusion to Cracker’s home as well as the Beach Boys–and some of their classics, like “Take the Skinheads Bowling.” Cracker released their last album, Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey, in 2009, but the band also has been working on new songs. Join me and hear it all in one spot!

Cracker
w/ Camper Van Beethoven
9:30 Club
Saturday, Jan. 11
Doors @6pm
$25
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue @ 9:30 Club, 12/31/13

TromboneShortyF_V2

As 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 Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday, Dec. 31.

Troy Andrews aka Trombone Shorty is bringing this band Orleans Avenue to celebrate New Year’s Eve at the 9:30 Club — two weeks from tonight! Trombone Shorty himself is a funky jazz bandleader who is an unparalleled performer on the trombone and trumpet. This performance will actually cap off a three-night run at the 9:30 Club, and it will include a complimentary champagne toast at midnight.

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 Trombone Shorty! One entry per email address, please. Tickets for this show are also available through Ticketfly.

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.

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
w/ Trouble Funk
9:30 Club
Tuesday, Dec. 31
doors @9pm
$75
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Gogol Bordello @ 9:30 Club, 12/27/13

GogolBordelloF_V2As 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 Gogol Bordello at the 9:30 Club on Friday, Dec. 27.

Bringing Eastern European culture to us via New York City, Gogol Bordello released its sixth studio album, Pura Vida Conspiracy, back in July. As has become a tradition, the self-proclaimed “gypsy punk” band is hitting the 9:30 Club for two nights of revelry on Friday, Dec. 27, and Saturday, Dec. 28.

While the band (through various lineup changes) have consistently recorded high-energy klezmer, their off-the-wall live shows are truly the toast of their fans. Here is your opportunity to see what it’s all about for free — or perhaps to attend another? (I once knew a guy who went to more than 50 Gogol shows!)

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 Gogol Bordello! One entry per email address, please. Tickets for this show are also available through Ticketfly.

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.

Gogol Bordello
w/ Man Man
9:30 Club
Friday, Dec. 27
doors @8pm
$35
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: The Hives @ 9:30 Club, 12/10/13

TheHivesFAs 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 The Hives at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

They live in stately Hive Manor. They record on Disque Hives. The Hives are law, you are crime. Garage punk rockers The Hives are all about style — and quite a bit about goofy fun. Fronted by Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist, the live shows by the Swedish quintet have become legend. The Hives released a new album, Lex Hives in 2012, and they are coming back around to the 9:30 Club in support of it again. What crazy things will Almqvist say or do? What matching outfits with the band wear? How much moshing will occur? This is your chance to find out for free. Don’t be shy, see The Hives!

As an extra bonus, you’ll be one of the first to get a look at the new band from local guitar legend Mary Timony — Ex Hex. Timony, formerly of Helium and Wild Flag, started up the new band and put out a single, “Hot and Cold,” back in October. They already have a record deal with an LP due out in April. The glam tendencies of this all-female band likely will serve as a great segue/counterbalance to the rambunctious Hives.

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 The Hives! One entry per email address, please. Tickets for this show are also available through Ticketfly.

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.

The Hives
w/ Ex Hex
9:30 Club
Tuesday, Dec. 10
doors @7pm
$35
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Matisyahu’s “Festival of Light,” 12/9/13

MatisyahuFAs 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 Matisyahu at the 9:30 Club on Monday, Dec. 9.

Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu last year put out a new album, Spark Seeker, which hit the top of the reggae charts. More importantly, however, Matisyahu is bringing his annual celebration of Hanukkah to the 9:30 Club this year, which makes this a particularly unique performance! How often can you celebrate the holiday with your favorite artist? And Matisyahu’s cool, laidback attitude is certain to spread holiday cheer for everyone who goes, regardless of religion.

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 Matisyahu! One entry per email address, please. Tickets for this show are also available through Ticketfly. (Check out that VIP package!)

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.

Matisyahu’s “Festival of Light”
9:30 Club
Monday, Dec. 9
doors @7pm
$35
All ages

 

Concert Round Up, Concert Roundup, Entertainment, Essential DC, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, Music, The District

November 2013 Concert Round Up

Heeeyyyyyyyyyyy kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiddddz! It’s time for Mickey, Rachel and I to give you our thoughts and recommendations for the DC shows you should check out this month. I have to admit that October was a killer month in the DC music scene. But we think November can hold its own as there are WAY too many solid acts and they all seem to be coming back-to-back. So, get your daytime naps in, get your proper nutrition and hydrate well because you’re going to need to be in peak concert going form.

After the jump, Albert Hammond Jr., The Limosines, Kate Nash, Steven Kellogg with St. John, Minor Alps, Tiffany Thompsen, and many, many more.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Sparks @ 9:30 Club – 10/27/13

Ron and Russell Mael (photo courtesy Sparks)

Ron and Russell Mael (photo courtesy Sparks)

Sparks are certainly an acquired taste. The brothers Ronald and Russell Mael have been touring their Two Hands, One Mouth show for several years now. In so doing, Ron Mael (two hands on keyboards) and Russell Mael (one mouth on vocals) have condensed their catalogue into a vaudevillian presentation of their efforts to deconstruct pop music.

It’s not music for the masses, so its reception in any given venue is going to be a bit of a mystery. The Maels openly wondered if they would be well received at the 9:30 Club on Sunday evening after a long absence from D.C. At the end of the show, they seemed quite pleased with the comfortably half-full club, which contained quite a few admirers of Sparks’ clever word play and occasionally theatrical posturing.

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