Kasabian (Photo courtesy Press Here)
Neo-psychedelic quartet Kasabian play at the 9:30 Club this Sunday, Sept. 28, in support of their new album, 48:13 (named for its running time), and amazingly tickets are still available.
Kasabian sold out the 9:30 Club the last time they were here and reminded us why they’ve collected a lot of awards for best British live band. We Love DC chatted with guitarist and writer Sergio Pizzorno about the new album, some of its messages and why the band are great performers.
Mickey McCarter: The new album sounds great. How did it come together?
Sergio Pizzorno: From the outset, we try to make futurist rock and roll. The vision at the start was to make a forward-thinking rock record.
When we approach it, we don’t go in there to jam out. It comes from loops and drum patterns. The groove is so important. From the opening tune, when those drums kicks in, you know what it is. It’s become our signature.
Rivers Cuomo of Weezer proves his band still has it (Photo courtesy of Firefly Music Festival)
Four days is a long time to commit to a festival, but it actually buzzes right by when you follow your festival roadmap of bands to see.
The final day of the Firefly Music Festival, Sunday, June 22, was a short day for me as my compatriots and I determined to return to DC from Dover at a reasonable time (say, around 9pm instead of midnight or later).
I’ll wrap my festival diary then with a short nod to the three bands I caught on my last day, starting with Misterwives, who performed on the festival’s small forest stage.
The New-York based quintet is a young band that’s been around for not quite a year and a half. But they got a record deal pretty quickly, even if they don’t yet have a Wikipedia page. Vocalist Mandy Lee is total sweetheart, chatting with the audience from stage and then breaking into equally sweet, fast-paced song, such as with the band’s single “Reflections,” also the title track of their only EP so far. “Reflections” lyrically reflects Ms. Lee’s sunny attitude — maybe there’s some possibilities still ahead? And it’s neo-psychedelic rythms speak to a band that likes to whip up a good dance number — a band that includes guitarist Marc Campbell, drummer Etienne Bowler, bassist William Hehi and keyboardist Jesse Blum.
Misterwives performed a bright, upbeat cover of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer,” which the forest stage audience embraced quite quickly. There was much dancing. Misterwives have an upcoming show where they support Bleachers at the 9:30 Club on Wednesday, Sept. 3, if you’re interested in checking them out.
Dave Grohl at Firefly (Photo courtesy Firefly Music Festival)
Yesterday’s list of summertime cover songs by bands playing at the ever-growing Firefly Music Festival was by no means exhaustive, as you’ll see below.
The second day of Firefly, Friday, June 20, started around 12:30pm and stretched until 2am. (And for morning people, unlike myself, Red Bull sponsored a breakfast series where you could awake even earlier and catch some up and coming bands.)
My day, however, began with neo-psychedelic band Basic Vacation, hailing from New York City. Vocalist and guitarist Chris Greatti, bassist Jon Paul and drummer Mike Montalbano formed a snappy trio, playing their established songs like “I Believe” as well as new songs like “Sirens.” They also played a damn catchy cover of Tears for Fear’s “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” Greatti said at the time that the band would not play it again after Firefly, but c’mon, guys! That was a really good cover, and you really put your own spin on it.
It was during the performance of Basic Vacation on the lawn stage that I began to notice an odd phenomenon. Lots of kids were carrying large cut-out heads of random celebrities, like Nicolas Cage and David Bowie and Bryan Cranston. I have no idea why they carried them, but these large cut-out heads showed up on the viewscreen monitors surprisingly well when the cameras cut to the audience during any particular show. If anyone can explain to me how this got started, I would be very interested in knowing.
Temples (Photo by Ed Miles)
A time-tested strategy for independent bands to gain buzz and build an audience: releasing a few singles, playing a lot of shows, becoming the toast of many reviews.
Temples, the UK quartet from the English Midlands, find this strategy paying off for them with the release of a full album not yet due until the second week of February. But unlike many bands who follow the independent band strategy, Temples are well worth the hype, as they demonstrated in an extraordinary eight-song set at DC9 on Wednesday, Nov. 27.
Listening to Temples’ SoundCloud page in preparation for the show, as I did, prepares you for a band with rolling melodies and a lush full sound. For example, their latest single, “Keep in the Dark,” offers some great melodies among band members and some really pleasing psychedelic guitar riffs. So it’s no surprise that it’s a good song—one apparently a catchy acknowledgement of the comforts of staying up late as well as perhaps remaining unenlightened. But the live show simply takes it to another level.
Temples (courtesy Pitch Perfect PR)
Pysch-pop outfit Temples seem to be one of those bands that broke into UK public consciousness faster than the band could keep up with it! Not due to release their premiere LP Sun Structures until February, they already have opened for the likes of Suede and Kasabian. Now they are making their first solo tour in the United States, and they are hitting very accessible venues like DC9 this Wednesday, Nov. 27.
James Baghaw (vocals, guitar) and Tom Warmsley (bass) only formed the band in Kettering, England, in 2012, enlisted Sam Toms (drums) and Adam Smith (keyboards) and promptly started releasing singles on Heavenly Recordings in the same year.
As you can see in the band’s latest video above, for the song “Keep in the Dark,” they have a flair for classic psychedelic sounds and looks with modern theatrics and visuals. They might get too big to ever see them at a venue as intimate as DC9 again, so don’t miss out on this opportunity–particularly since the next day is a holiday!
Local shoegazers Myrrh Myrrh open.
w/ Myrrh Myrrh
Wednesday, Nov. 27
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. (In this case, it’s actually a concert at U Street Music Hall presented by the 9:30 Club!) 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 Ariel Pink at U Street Music Hall on Monday, June 10. The prolific Los Angeles native has a local connection, having issued some of his first recordings under a label owned by the band Animal Collective. He has released his last two albums on the famous London-based label 4AD, billed with his band as Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti.
Django Django got moves like Devo.
And I say that in the most sincerely flattering way. The young London-based quartet is by no means copying anything from their Ohio-born predecessors. Django Django have their own neo-psychedelic sound that comes off as a breath of fresh air — something somewhat unique in a time when a lot of people are embracing a lot of electro-pop tunes that recycle a lot of the same sounds. Django Django makes music that soars yet soothes and they don’t really retread any ground covered by Devo.
However, there is something in their presentation — the way they play with careless abandon, the way they sometime move in unison like robots and the way they sometimes look like geeky young fathers instead of rock stars — unmistakably smacks of the off-kilter, art-punk Devo. In the same way Devo approached new wave and shook it up with new approaches and occasionally different notes, so too does Django Django approaches its neo-psych with a fresh perspective, borrowing from surf rock and African melodies when it suits them.