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, 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.
Food and Drink, The Features

Summer Loving, and Eating

Photo courtesy of kimberlyfaye
courtesy of kimberlyfaye

Dates. Those awkward, exciting, beautiful things we all go on at some point. I am by no means an expert in this field- quite far from it- and I don’t have a magical solution for how to make your next date the best you ever had, so unfortunately you won’t be finding the next We Love DC dating service here (sigh). The inspiration for this post really came from a conversation with a friend of mine the other day. He asked me where he should take a girl out, wanting to strike the right balance between serious young professional, trendy and casual. I realized many of us have gone through this mental exercise before. The exhausting over-planning and over- analyzing we do: choosing the right spot for that first interaction (or second or third), focusing on every detail from time, to dress code, to the big goodbye, mulling over tiny logistics as a method of defense to shift our thoughts away from the weirdness that could ensue.  But enough of that.

I think a shared meal is the perfect way to break the ice, a way to bond over something simple that brings anyone, no matter what level of culinary expertise you may have, together. We all share stories around a dinner table, have memories of a favorite meal, and can reveal oneself through a dish. So for me, sharing a meal is a perfect way of getting to know someone, whether it be a sit down dinner or a casual picnic. I decided to write some recommendations for where you can break bread and the ice along the way, in case you need to outsource thinking on the next time your big date is lined up. I polled some of the We Love DC crew for their suggestions as well, as not all of us are food focused daters.

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

The Winning Ticket: Young Magic, Quilt, & The Tender Thrill @ Comet Ping Pong

Poster via Lindsay Johnson www.theLAjohnson.com

Today we are giving away a pair of tickets to see Young Magic, Quilt & The Tender Thrill at Comet Ping Pong, Friday, June 29th!

Young Magic played at Black Cat a few months ago, opening for Korallreven. Their performance was enthusiastic and energizing. The trio, currently based in New York City is comprised of Australian ex-pats Isaac Emmanuel, Michael Italia, and Indonesian-born Melati Malay. They mixed dreamy vocals and ambient guitar with tribal-sounding rhythyms and hypnotic, thumping beats.

The Tender Thrill are classic americana rock & roll, and their debut LP is out now on Cricket Cemetery.

Quilt are art school duo pop. Their self-titled debut LP is out now on Mexican Summer.

For your chance to win these tickets simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address between 9:00am and 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 at Comet Ping Pong. The tickets must be claimed with a valid ID. This is an all-ages show!

Sasha Lord and Micah Greenberg Present…
Friday June 29th, Quilt, The Tender Thrill & Young Magic
$10, 10pm and All Ages at Comet Ping Pong

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

Q&A with Eternal Summers

 

all photos courtesy of Eternal Summers

Eternal Summers is a dreamy, indie-pop trio hailing from Roanoke, VA. They’re currently on North American tour in support of their second album, Correct Behavior, coming out on Kanine Records July 24th. They’re making a stop in DC at Comet Ping Pong this Saturday, June 16th. We Love DC got the chance to chat with Nicole Yun Hirschmann of Eternal Summers this week about being on tour, having Sune from The Raveonettes  as a fan, the effects of cool older sisters, and some of her musical inspirations.

Alexia: So I first met you in the music school at JMU, and knew you as a very talented pianist and cellist. How did you first get into writing your own music and playing in rock bands?

Nicole: Well I have played in bands ever since I was in the eighth grade, when my sister Eileen bought me a bass guitar for my birthday.  I started playing bass for Rubber Policeman, which was basically a Rage Against the Machine cover band at my school.  I started writing songs when I was a Junior in high school and started focusing more on guitar.  I know I really annoyed my parents with the scrappy songs I was plunking away at in my room!

Alexia: What were some formative bands or albums for you growing up?

Nicole: Smashing Pumpkins early work until Mellon Collie, the Verve and Pulp, Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville album, as well as the Velvet Underground, the Clash and Bjork were all huge for me.  I was the lucky benefactor of cool older sisters!

Alexia: How did Eternal Summers come together?

Nicole: It came together as an outlet to write more pop based songs.  I had just been in a band called Mommies that was more angular and mathy and was really looking for a way to write some nice melodies.  Daniel joined super casually because we just wanted to play a show and record a few songs.  Three years later… Continue reading

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

The Winning Ticket: Eternal Summers @ Comet Ping Pong, 6/16/2012

photo courtesy of Eternal Summers

Today we are giving away a pair of tickets to see Eternal Summers, Go Cozy, and Beach Week at Comet Ping Pong, Saturday, June 16th. Roanoke’s Eternal Summers bring sunny, reverb-drenched indie-pop, and are on tour now in support of their new album Correct Behavior, out July 24th on Kanine Records. Check out their new video for the album’s first single, “Wonder.”

For your chance to win these tickets simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address between 10:30am and 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 at Comet Ping Pong. The tickets must be claimed with a valid ID. This is an all-ages show!

Comment away!

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

Q&A with Coup Sauvage & the Snips

photo by Erin Smith

Coup Sauvage & the Snips is a soulful, sassy new DC band. The band may be new, but the members have been on the scene for a while. Members’ past and current endeavors include She.Rex, First Ladies DJ Collective , Troll Tax, Hott Beat, Mess up the Mess, Capital City Symphony, and Downbeat:Beatdown. We Love DC Music Editor Alexia got a chance to chat with the group this week, and here’s what they had to say.   

Alexia: How did the idea for the group come about?

Coup Sauvage & the Snips: The idea for the band came from a Capricorn who wanted to keep the spirit of Boney M, Pepper LaBeija and Mahogany-era Diana Ross alive. Two Pisces and three Aries later, the Haus of Sauvage is here and ready to let DC have it. Most of us have known each other for years and been part of the same DIY and creative circles in DC. But it wasn’t until we discovered our mutual love of 70’s variety shows, ball culture and Rosie Perez-inspired dance routines that we decided to join forces last spring. We’ve been together ever since, and we’ll stay together. For the children.

Alexia: How did you all come up with the band name?

CS&tS: Elizabeth had a friend who visited Glastonbury, England. While she was there she met a man known as “The Wizard of Glastonbury.”  He was a blissed-out guru who was a hairdresser in London during the height of glam rock. One night, when everyone was well gone on whisky and dolls, the Wizard offered Elizabeth’s friend a haircut. The result was a massive mushroomy mullet that resulted in uncontrollable sobbing. The story goes that the Wizard was super insulted and said “You don’t like this cut?! I gave this cut to everyone in the 70′s! I gave it to Bowie! It’s the Coupe Sauvage!”  We dropped the “e,” but kept the rest. Without the “e” it means “savage blow” in French. But in honor of our wizard friend we like to use his meaning, “savage cut.” And since Gladys had her Pips, we’ve got our Snips.
Alexia: What are some of your musical influences?

CS&tS: We’re inspired by everything from the soundtrack to “The Wiz” and “Wattstax” to 60s girl groups like The Exciters. We take a lot of our cues from disco, electroboogie and 70’s/80’s dance artists like ESG, Giorgio Moroder, Sylvester, Grace Jones, Labelle, Klymaxx and Kid Creole & The Coconuts. We’re also influenced by 90’s dance music like CeCe Peniston and Inner City. We like to think of them all as our “spirit guides.” The past few months have actually been pretty hard since we’ve lost a lot of our spirit guides – Whitney, Don Cornelius, Donna Summer, Robin Gibb, Chuck Brown. We like to pay tribute to them during our show with the song “Maegan’s Jam.” It’s a dance tribute that involves lots of audience participation. Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, The Daily Feed, We Love Music

We Love Music: Kid Congo Powers & The Pink Monkey Birds @ Comet Ping Pong, 2/18/11

IMG_7572
all photos by author.

If you were not at Comet Ping Pong on Friday night, then I am sorry to say that you missed it: the first great set of 2011.

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The Daily Feed

Hot Ticket: Kid Congo Powers and The Pink Monkey Birds @ Comet Ping-Pong, 2/18/11

The Gun Club
The Cramps
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

What do these legendary bands of the underground have in common? At one time or another Kid Congo Powers has been their guitar player! Never staying still for long, Kid Congo Powers has loaned his trademark guitar skills to all three of the bands through some of their best sounding periods. He co-founded The Gun Club but didn’t join them on a recording until the mid-80′s. Mainly because he was too busy helping Lux Interior and The Cramps corner the market on fried-brain, psychedelic, surf punk on their second and best album. Congo also collaborated with Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds on a few choice recordings in the early 90′s. Through all of this, there was no mistaking Kid Congo’s distinctive style.

This mad chicano’s instantly recognizable open-tuned, twang guitar sound will be front an center when Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds hit the back room at Comet on Friday night. The new band’s sound is very much in the vein of The Gun Club and The Cramps, with the damaged fuzz of 60′s sleaze rock gone punk. I’ve been hearing great things about this underground rock veteran’s recent shows; like his personality behind the microphone is as larger-than-life as his legendary guitar playing. This one’s going to be a helluva good time!

Kid Congo Powers and The Pink Monkey Birds
@ Comet Ping Pong
2/19/11 – 10pm
$12

Entertainment, We Love Music

We Love Music: Fern Knight/The Plums @ Comet Ping Pong, 2/5/11


Courtesy of Fern Knight.

The back room is filling up at Comet Ping Pong in anticipation of two intriguing bands set to showcase their sound and songs. Ping Pong tables are being pushed aside to make way for the crowd as the rather confused method of having people go back and pay a cover charge takes place. Martin Bisi and band [correction: The Plums]* set up and go through the laborious sound check as everyone eagerly awaits the music. And this is a fine bill with the talented New York based producer/engineer Bisi leading a band that sound a bit like some of the bands he has worked with such as Sonic Youth and Swans followed by Fern Knight, an always interesting DC/Philadelphia band with wonderful psyche and folk elements in their songs.

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Food and Drink, We Love Food

We Love Food: Comet Ping Pong

Photo courtesy of
‘Outdoor Ping Pong’
courtesy of ‘M.V. Jantzen’
Over the last couple of years, I’ve eaten in a lot of nice restaurants. And after the foie gras, the caviar, the course-upon-course of decadent food, what have I learned? I’ve learned I love pizza. I really love pizza. I love it in all its forms – artisan Neopolitan right down to the new crust at Dominos. But if I have to pick one incarnation, it’s always going to be the personal pizza with the funky toppings. That leaves me with 2 Amys, 7th Hill, and my personal favorite, Comet Ping Pong.

The first time I tried Comet, I had high hopes for the pizza. The food didn’t disappoint, but I was most impressed with the feeling of the place. It left me a little bummed that I wasn’t, ahem…a few years younger and that I couldn’t turn this restaurant into my high school hang out. My Peach Pit, if you will.

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