Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: The Dismemberment Plan w/Paint Branch @ 9:30 Club, 10/20/13

The Dismemberment Plan (Photo courtesy the band)

The Dismemberment Plan (Photo courtesy the band)

How excited is DC about the honest-to-gosh return of The Dismemberment Plan, who dropped their first new album in 10 years this past week?

The new album Uncanney Valley recaptures the classic wit and fun of The Dismemberment Plan, according to critics. Friday, they perform in New York City and then hit the 9:30 Club for two shows in a row on Saturday, Oct. 19, and Sunday, Oct. 20.

The shows are generating a lot of buzz around town. (Take a look at a personal D-Plan playlist from bar critic Fritz Hahn of The Washington Post posted today!) And it seems only appropriate that The Dismemberment Plan have recruited two rising local bands to open up for them this weekend.

On Saturday, Deleted Scenes open and on Sunday, Paint Branch take the reins.

Paint Branch presents a particularly intriguing opportunity to catch some veterans of the DC music scene as John Davis and Chris Richards of Q and Not U reunite to try something different. Richards, a music critic at The Washington Post, muses, “Maybe we could sound like CSNY or Harry Nilsson or other bands John had gotten me into. There could be guitar solos and vocal harmonies and lyrics about personal bummers – common things that felt too common for our old band, or maybe just too self-indulgent. (Funny how common things could feel thrilling now.)”

Sunday then may present a rare opportunity to check out something new and interesting from two sets of musicians who have made our city home.

The Dismemberment Plan
w/ Paint Branch
9:30 Club
Sunday, Oct. 20
doors @7pm
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Cute Is What We Aim For @ 9:30 Club, 6/9/13


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 at 9am once a week or so 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 Cute Is What We Aim for at the 9:30 Club on Sunday, June 9. The emo pop trio appears in an early show with The Dangerous Summer and Made Violent.

Continue reading

We Love Music

We Love Music: Pinback @ Black Cat, 5/1/11

Pinback @BlackCatDC-16
All images courtesy of Paivi Salonen

Bands using video projectors at their live shows can be hit-or-miss. At their best, you can have a band like Godspeed You! Black Emperor, who count their projectionist as a full-on band member. He moves back and forth between four(!) projectors, mixing up a series of dark images to add to the brooding feel of the music. At their worst, you might as well stare at the iTunes visualizer on your laptop.

As I arrived at Pinback’s show on Sunday night at the Black Cat, the first thing I noticed was the projector. I had mixed feelings about how openers Judgement Day used it; it seemed gimmicky to me at first, but I was convinced by one song, where their playing synced perfectly with their video track. It was sick, to say the least; it showcased their skills as virtuosic musicians with creativity beyond musical composition. Pinback, on the other hand, wasted an opportunity to do anything exciting with their visuals. They weren’t very dynamic as performers either, so their use of a projector felt like a crutch, just to try to make their show more visually appealing.

Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, We Love Music

We Love Music: Thursday & Underoath @ 9:30 Club, 2/22/11

All photos by Andrew Markowitz

I was not expecting such a great night of metal at 9:30 Club on Tuesday night. To my surprise, the show was sold out by the time I arrived. Animals as Leaders, a local progressive metal outfit, blazed through a set that left everyone at the show talking about them for the rest of the night. Plus, the headliners Underoath, a metalcore group I’ve been writing off for years, wowed me with their flashy stage show.

So that was a nice surprise, but really I was there for emo / post-hardcore group Thursday. To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of its release, Thursday played their debut album “Full Collapse” in its entirety. Let’s just say I’m pretty familiar with it. It comes up pretty frequently when I want to scream alone in my bedroom. The words to all the songs are permanently engraved in my head, or at least in my diary.* Confession time: Thursday is the band I’ve seen most live. I lose a ton of cred in the ‘metal scene’ for this, but you know what? Every time I see them, I walk away thinking about how Geoff Rickly is a grade-A frontman, who brings undeniable energy to every performance. I just can’t pass up a chance to see him.
Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Hot Ticket: Thursday & Underoath @ 9:30 Club, 2/22/11

Thursday - Full Collapse [2001]

It might be easy to lump the group Thursday, playing tomorrow at the 9:30 Club, in with other aging emo bands such as the Get Up Kids. But Thursday have come a long way since they first cracked the scene in 2001 – their full-length debut “Full Collapse” spawning the hit singles “Cross Out The Eyes” and “Understanding in a Car Crash”. Well, they were hits in my mind, at least. This was always one of my favorite emo bands – they were dramatic and serious, and just a bit heavy. Tomorrow night, they’ll be playing this album in its entirety.

Since then, they’ve consistently revived their style on each album. Lately, frontman Geoff Rickly has been working with a side-project, United Nations, which is sort of a tribute to extremely heavy 90s hardcore bands like Orchid and Pg. 99. Geoff’s instincts have consistently driven Thursday in a heavier direction – even 2003’s “War All the Time” was much darker and angrier than “Full Collapse”. Since splitting ways with Island Records in 2007, Thursday have toured with bands that don’t quite match their emo style – heavy bands like Converge and Envy.

Tuesday night’s pairing with Underoath is a perfect example. Underoath is a metalcore group from Florida, combining the vocal style and attitude of hardcore punk with metal riffs. I personally love this style of metal – it means I can scream along with the lyrics, or just bang my head to the riffs. A Skylit Drive do something similar, with alternating screaming and melodic vocals – but I’m most excited about Animals as Leaders, one of my favorite progressive metal bands. This DC-based group delivers quick bursts of heavy, jazzy, complex riffs without the pretention or epicness of bands like Dream Theater.

I caught Thursday last year at the Black Cat, and it had one of the most energetic crowds I’ve seen in DC. Dozens of kids shove their way to the front of the pit for the chance to shout lyrics in Geoff’s face. Look out for me – I’ll be the guy in the black hoodie in the front row.

Thursday & Underoath
w/ A Skylit Drive, Animals as Leaders
9:30 Club
Tuesday, Feb. 22nd, 2011