Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: The Return of the 80s Dance Party (@ Black Whiskey — 8/31/13)

For many years, the toast of Adams Morgan was a video dance party playing music generally from the 1980s at Heaven and Hell on Thursday nights. The 80s Dance Party eventually came under the management of DJ Neal Keller, calling himself “The Angel,” and promoter Steve Donahoe, who kept it going strong for all that time.

For various reasons, that team eventually parted ways with the club and pursued different nightlife opportunities. But now, they have reunited to bring back the 80s Dance Party as a monthly party on Saturday nights to Black Whiskey on 14th St. NW near Logan Circle. The event debuts this Saturday, Aug. 31, at Black Whiskey, at 9pm.

I chatted with Mr. Keller, an old friend of mine after hosting me at many of his dance nights, about the expectations for the new party, the importance of good partnerships and the excitement of being in a vibrant, albeit different, neighborhood.

Mickey: Let’s get down to what’s important! What are people going to hear at the new 80s Dance Party?

Neal Keller: 80s Dance Party has always put an emphasis on the New Wave, Post Punk, Synthpop, Underground and New Romantic artists from the era. That means New Order, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Duran Duran, Yazoo, The Clash, Siouxsie and The Banshees, Love and Rockets, Flock of Seagulls, Blancmange, Heaven 17, Clan of Xymox, Simple Minds, Visage, Psychedelic Furs, Talking Heads, Joy Division and similar artists.

I think the change of scenery over to the 14th Street area will allow us the opportunity to focus more on the alternative and underground sounds of the 80s, and to back away slightly from the mainstream pop and cheesy stuff.  During much of the history of the event, we were catering to a more touristy crowd in Adams Morgan, and so we became known for the Top 40 music from the 80s.  But even back then there was a strong contingent of DC’s night people, replete with thick eyeliner and Manic Panic, who exerted a strong pull toward the more obscure material. You may remember, they pretty much annexed the seating to the left of the DJ booth, near the projector screen.

At the new location, Black Whiskey, there’s an edgier feel, and we hope that will attract more discerning New Wave enthusiasts.  In fact, the look of the place is a lot closer to the kind of places that first got me out clubbing back in the 80s. I’m hoping the atmosphere will be reminiscent of the humble beginnings of the event, when you were about ten times more likely to hear an Echo and The Bunnymen track than you were to hear Loverboy.

Having said that, I still want to honor guilty pleasures like “The Safety Dance” and “Love Is A Battlefield” — with the video. You’d be amazed how many alternative people request When In Rome. And I reserve the right to play some Prince — maybe more “Controversy” era, though.

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The Winning Ticket: Tommy Keene @ 9:30 Club, 9/13/13

TommyKeeneF

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 Tommy Keene at the 9:30 Club on Friday, Sept. 13.

The prolific Keene, a DC-area native, has returned with a new album, Excitement at Your Feet, on Second Motion Records. His return to the 9:30 Club marks a continuation of his long-time relationship with co-owner Seth Hurwitz, who managed Keene at the start of his solo career in the early 1980s! In the past few years, Keene has shown no signs of slowing down, releasing several albums and putting out a two-disc career retrospective in 2010. (Indeed, he kinda strikes me as our hometown version of Elvis Costello!)

For your chance to win these tickets, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address between 9am and 4pm today. Feel free to leave any comment, but perhaps share your favorite song by Tommy Keene (or one of his many collaborations)! 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 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 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.

Tommy Keene
w/ The Deadmen (with Justin Jones), Hero Jr.
9:30 Club
Friday, Sept. 13
doors @5pm
$15
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark @ 9:30 Club — 7/13/13

If you are head over heals in love with a woman, and you don’t know what to say to her, you might take your cue from Andy McCluskey, a bouncy dynamo of a man at age 54, when he sings “Sailing on the Seven Seas”:

Because I’m so in awe of you/That I don’t know what to do/And I’m sailing on the seven seas so blue

If you wish she were closer, and you still don’t know what to say, Paul Humphreys, a vibrant virtuoso of the keyboards, might have some words he could lend you from “(Forever) Live and Die”:

I never know, I never know why/You make me wanna cry

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Hot Ticket: OMD w/ Diamond Rings @ 9:30 Club, 7/13/13

Paul Humphreys and Andy McCluskey (Photo courtesy Big Hassle)

Paul Humphreys and Andy McCluskey (Photo courtesy Big Hassle)

For my money, one of the top five acts at the Coachella Valley Music Festival this past April was Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, or OMD. The synthpop band was in top form, performing fresh with the release of its latest album, English Electric. This new album is a little more mellow than the jaunty History of Modern, released in 2010 after the reformation of the classic OMD lineup of vocalist and guitarist Andy McCluskey, keyboardist Paul Humphreys, drummer Malcolm Holmes and keyboardist Martin Cooper.

OMD return to the 9:30 Club to promote their new album on Saturday, July 13. With English Electric, OMD have gone straight back to their love of Kraftwerk, paying homage to the German electronic pioneers in particular on their song “Metroland,” which clearly has influences of Kraftwerk’s “Endless Europe.” The new single “Dresden” recalls some of the very best of OMD’s work like “Enola Gay” and “Joan of Arc.”

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We Love Music: CSS @ 9:30 Club — 7/1/13

Lovefoxxx and her rowdy gal band CSS stormed through the 9:30 Club Monday night, playing a ridiculous amount of catchy new wave and reggaeton.

It’s a show more people should have come out to see! Sponsored by Nylon magazine, CSS actually shared the bill with newcomers Io Echo. When the Brazilian girls took the stage at 9:30pm, they opened with a curious selection, “Art Bitch” from their first album, but it really set the mood for funky fun, which they delivered through to the end with their last song, the goofy rap “I’ve Seen You Drunk Girl and You’re Not Drunk Yet,” which way more entertaining than I would have anticipated.

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Hot Ticket: CSS, Io Echo @ 9:30 Club, 7/1/13

Never really tired of being sexy! (Photo courtesy of CSS)

Never really tired of being sexy! (Photo courtesy of CSS)

Is there anything that says crazy danceable fun as much as CSS? The Brazilian girls released a fourth album, Planta, last month, and they hit the 9:30 Club tonight touring in support of it.

The latest single, “Hangover,” is a bit more reggae than new wave, potentially marking a change in direction for the band since their chief songwriter (and only guy in the band) left in 2011. Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio took over production duties on the new album. And vocalist Lovefoxxx and company are all about dancing, so they are surely set to revisit crowd pleasers from all four of their albums, including “Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death from Above,” “Music Is My Hot Hot Sex” and “City Grrl.”

Los Angeles-based Io Echo, meanwhile, recently put out their first album, Ministry of Love, which espouses a goth pop aesthetic. Io Echo have been through the DC metro area at least once, opening for Garbage at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, Md., on March 24. The band goes from being atmospheric and airy on songs like “Outsiders” to bouncy if distorted with “When the Lilies Die,” all the while demonstrating a taste for Japanese imagery and minimalism.

If the two bands have anything in common, it’s a love of the Velvet Underground — an inspiration that they run away with in two different directions! It should be interesting to hear how they sound together tonight. Hope to see you there!

CSS
w/ Io Echo
Monday, July 1
Doors 7pm
$25
9:30 Club
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Totally 80s Summer Tour @ Tally Ho Theatre, Leesburg, Va., 6/29/13

Martha Davis (Photo courtesy of The Motels)

Martha Davis (Photo courtesy of The Motels)

The Motels, Bow Wow Wow and Gene Loves Jezebel have put together a tour and they are coming to the DC metro area! It’s been a long time since these bands were on the charts in 1983 — but this show 30 years later at the Tally Ho Theatre in Leesburg, Va., should prove to be a rare treat for new wave afficionados like myself.

The incomporable Martha Davis heads up the Motels, best known for their songs “Only the Lonely” and “Suddenly Last Summer.” Davis has been active touring the west coast from her native California in recent years, and it’s good to see her finally get out our way. The Motels are billed as Martha Davis and the Motels these days, and she’s reported to be touring with a new group of musicians to include  Nick Johns (bass/keyboard), Eric Gardner (drums), Clint Walsh (guitar) and Brady Wills (bass). I’ve always been an admirer of Davis’ voice on her band’s new wave, often wistful, slightly melancholy reflections on love, loss and the passage of time.

Bow Wow Wow originally consisted of rowdy Brits helmed by vocalist Annabella Lwin. It seems Lwin is no longer in this incarnation of the band, after making a minor splash reincarnating the band during Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. Now bassist Leigh Gorman soldiers on with new lead singer Chloe Pappas. It should be interesting to catch the new lineup tackle classics like “I Want Candy” and “C·30 C·60 C·90 Go,” famously known for being the song on the world’s first cassingle.

Gothy Gene Loves Jezebel originally consisted of twin brothers Michael Aston and Jay Aston. The thematically darker Michael know tours in the current version of Gene Loves Jezebel, playing classic songs like “Desire” while also playing newer material such as 2003′s “Exploding Girls.”

This will be my first trip out to Tally Ho, so it’s a great opportunity to take a look at a different venue. Join me there for a voyage back to 1983!

Totally 80s Summer Tour
w/ Martha Davis and the Motels, Bow Wow Wow, Gene Loves Jezebel
Tally Ho Theatre
19 West Market Street
Leesburg, Va. 20176
Saturday, June 29
Doors 7pm
$30
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Metric @ Ram’s Head Live, Baltimore, Md. — 6/7/13

I am now going to unabashedly gush about Metric, who played a sold-out show at Ram’s Head Live in Baltimore Friday night.

The combination of the sweet, breathy vocals of Emily Haines along with the rock guitar of James Shaw and the dependable rhythm section of bassist Joshua Winstead and drummer Joules Scott-Key make for an irresistible concert performance. The band always has been a favorite of mine since I first heard the single “Combat Baby,” and their first album, “Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?” In that song and many others on their first few albums, the band relied on catchy melodies and wordplay to create fun, thoughtful songs.

But in their last two albums, Metric have stepped it up a quite a bit. The fourth album, Fantasies, and the fifth, Synthetica, which came out about a year ago, marked a quantum leap in exhibiting their capabilities in songwriting and crafting infectious dance music. The strengths of the band members and the power of the Synthetica album were on full display Friday as they opened with “Artificial Nocturne,” which starts out in a sweet and fragile vocal and sparse instrumentation before blowing up into a full-blown disco thumper — a favorite Metric tactic. It’s an entrancing, intoxicating song that is readymade to be a concert opener, luring you in and then opening you up to more intricate sounds as the song moves along.

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We Love Music: Sweetlife Festival @ Merriweather Post Pavilion — 5/11/13

Phoenix headlined the festival (Photo courtesy Sweetlife Festival)

Phoenix headlined the festival (Photo courtesy Sweetlife Festival)

The Sweetlife Festival very much fulfilled the promise implied by its name Saturday, May 11, delivering la dolce vita in a well organized celebration of music and food at the Merriweather Post Pavilion.

I’m not traditionally the biggest fan of going to concerts at the DC-area outdoor pavilions — much less festivals after the chaos that accompanies the Virgin FreeFest annually at Merriweather. But Sweetlife made excellent use of the place, offering a mainstage, a “treehouse stage,” and a dance floor in the small 9:30 Clubhouse (officially, the 9:32 Club) on the grounds — all of which dissolved into an energetic performance by headliner Phoenix at the end of the night.

Food vendors, trucks and restaurants set themselves up in neat rows in various portions of the grounds and concertgoers queued up to patronize them around the clock. My companion and I parked and shuffled into the pavilion without difficulty and make our way toward lunch, pausing to check out Solange Knowles, performing an early set on the main stage. To our surprise, she struck up a cover of “I Could Fall in Love” by late Tejano singer Selena. While we didn’t really hang around to check her out, her soulful voice was crowdpleasing and the main stage attracted a sizable gathering for the time.

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We Love Music: Cold Showers, Veronica Falls @ Black Cat — 3/6/13

So last week, I ventured to the Black Cat to catch Veronica Falls, a band that a lot of my indie-minded friends have praised at one point or another. They have released their second album, Waiting for Something to Happen, which offers up more of the bright speedy pop found on their debut album.

Songs like “Broken Toy,” “Waiting for Something to Happen” and “If You Still Want Me” — which were played to good effect in the middle to latter half of the set — all come urgently while showcasing sweet harmonies between Roxanne Clifford and James Hoare, who share vocal duties while playing their guitars. Those guitars got louder as the show progressed, as the band seemed to arrange their set list to build up the sound and the layers as the show progressed.

While it’s a given that Veronica Falls are labeled shoegaze by many critics, they don’t exactly play like shoegazers. The guitar players notably keep their heads up and their instruments are rather quite free of the fuzzy guitar feedback that serves as a hallmark of the classic shoegaze sound. Their playing is muscular yet jangly, however, defying easy classification.

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We Love Music: The Faint @ 9:30 Club — 12/5/12

When I was growing up, my fellow kids and I used the term “dark wave” to describe a certain kind of band. They were gloomy, yes, and they used synthesizers. But they also seemed more committed to putting their stamp on that thing we called “new wave,” which also consisted of a lot of rockers who picked up synths. “Dark wave” bands like The Cure, Depeche Mode, and Siouxsie and the Banshees, to us, wanted to make more distinct sounds with the same set of instruments.

When I think of this subgenre today, the first contemporary band that pops into my head is The Faint. To me, the term dark wave captures what The Faint are all about. They aren’t goth and they aren’t exclusively always about being down. In fact, some of the actual music can be quite bright, snappy, and upbeat. But they are not always the most optimistic people when it comes to human nature. And nowhere does the band capture all of these elements better than on its outstanding album Danse Macabre.

The Faint’s former label, Saddle Creek Records of Omaha, Neb., remastered and re-released Danse Macabre in October, some 11 years after its first release. The timing of this remastered project is somewhat mysterious — it seems like it comes a little too soon. Nonetheless, The Faint haven’t had a new full-length album since 2008′s Fasciinatiion, so they seized the opportunity to tour on the reissue of Danse Macabre, playing all nine songs of the album in a row in the middle of a robust set that served as an excellent career retrospective.

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We Love Music: Sky Ferreira @ DC9 — 11/30/12

Sky Ferreira

Sky Ferreira, she of slight frame and smoldering voice, took to stage backed by a three-piece band at DC9 Friday night, presenting a short set of occasionally melancholy but consistently wonderful songs.

Her latest EP, Ghost, turns out to be a collection of five wistful songs full of longing and daydreams. Ferreira sang them plaintively but earnestly to a packed room that seemed pretty impressed with the 20-year-old’s range. “Sad Dream” was full of regret for a lost love while “Ghost” consigns another love to the past with a recognition that the relationship must end.

At the other end of the spectrum, “Lost in My Bedroom” is a catchy reprieve, basking in the joy of being tucked away in your own private space.

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Hot Ticket: The Faint @ 9:30 Club, 12/5/12

The Faint

Saddle Creek recently released a remastered edition of Danse Macabre, the third studio album by The Faint — not only considered the band’s best album but largely thought of in my circles as one of the best albums of the previous decade.

The Faint last put out an album–Fasciinatiion–in 2009 and toured with Ladytron in support of that release, which they put out on their own label. But they’ve been quiet until now, when they decided to mount a tour in support of the Saddle Creek remaster of their masterpiece.

And what an album it is. Instantly danceable with new wave panache, the album lyrically offers up quite embraceable lyrics that otherwise mostly reflect modern goth sensibilities. The nine songs include such instant classics as “Agenda Suicide,” which looks with disdain upon working one’s life away to achieve stale victories, such as buying “pretty little homes,” preferred by mainstream society.  “Posed to Death” seems to express disdain for false celebrities while “Violent” laments seemingly ubiquitous crime headlines.

The Faint come to the 9:30 Club on Wednesday, Dec. 5, to perform Danse Macabre in its entirety along with other selections from their career. Don’t miss this opportunity to catch a great band revisiting their best material.

The Faint
w/ Trust and Icky Blossoms
Wednesday, Dec. 5
Doors 7pm
$30
9:30 Club
18+

The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Men Without Hats @ The State Theatre — 11/29/12

Lou Dawson and Rachel Ashmore of Men Without Hats

What’s in a name? That which we call Men without Hats
By any other name would sound as sweet;
-New Wave Juliet

Men Without Hats today occasionally will wear hats. Half the quartet also are women. So are they Men and Women Maybe Without Hats?

The Men Without Hats who visited The State Theatre Thursday were a lineup recruited by lead singer Ivan Doroschuk and not the classic band. But does it matter? Ivan was the only consistent member throughout the years anyway and the new lineup sounded amazing with James Love on guitar and duo synthesizers played by Lou Dawson and Rachel Ashmore — a killer duo with impressive synth skills.

The band opened with “This War,” a song whose lyrics may remind us that “love is a battlefield” but it has a wonderfully driving electronic sound that could have sprung right from a basement club in 1979. The song hails from the new album, Love in the Age of War. Released in June, it’s a collection of 10 songs by the current lineup that serves as a mighty credit to the Men Without Hats catalog.

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Hot Ticket: Men Without Hats @ The State Theatre, 11/29/12

Photo courtesy of Epiclectic
My Hot, Fury Myth
courtesy of Epiclectic

We can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
Cause your friends don’t dance
And if they don’t dance
Well they’re no friends of mine!

I have trouble telling you my favorite song on any given day, but I can absolutely list in perfect order my top 10 dance anthems of the 1980s. Clocking in at #3 is the eternally awesome “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats, who broke out from Montreal in 1982 with their first album, Rhythm of Youth.

Before Men Without Hats broke up less than 10 years later, they hit the international charts a big way a second time with “Pop Goes the World.”

The classic lineup of the band consisted of three brothers and a drummer but singer and keyboardist Ivan Doroschuk reformed the band in 2010 with three new musicians, a la Terri Nunn and Berlin and similar reenergized bands. The new band has a new album, Love in the Age of War, which itself could have broke out in 1982. The Montreal new wavers come to the State Threatre in Falls Church, Va., tomorrow on Nov. 29, marking the first time to catch Doroschuk and company locally in quite a while!

They band has been touring with The Human League and the B-52s — and they once were set to join Martin Fry and ABC on one of those Regeneration Tours — but they haven’t made it to the DC area until now. Buy a ticket but bring your friends along! (Because they *will* dance…)

Los Angeles quartet Right the Stars serve as openers.

Men Without Hats
w/ Right the Stars
Thursday, Nov. 29
Doors 7pm; show 8:30pm
$19 advance/$23 door
The State Theatre
18+

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Shiny Toy Guns @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 11/4/12

Carah Faye and Jeremy Dawson. Copyright and Courtesy, CJ Lucero.

The Shiny Toy Guns rode into DC Sunday night on soaring symphonic sounds and pulsating waves of light that dazzled a sold-out crowd of very enthusiastic admirers at the Rock and Roll Hotel.

Actually, the Shinys literally rode into town in a tour bus dragging a trailer packed full of supplies for victims of Hurricane Sandy in Hoboken, NJ, where they were headed not only to donate those supplies but offer a cadre of fans a lift across the river to a Monday night show in Manhattan. And that’s part of the appeal of this four-member band, which was celebrating the return of original singer Carah Faye Charnow — they are such genuine folks despite their love of glam glitz and big gothy boots.

Carah Faye does more than sing damn well — she trades off on synths and bass with Jeremy Dawson, keyboardist, bassist and all-around mastermind. Carah was away for the band’s second album but now she’s back for their third, III, and the chemistry between her and the rest of the band was superb. Besides jumping onto the keyboards when Dawson rotated off, she meshed very well with her fellow vocalist Chad Petree, who also mesmerizes on the guitar. Drummer Mikey Martin, of course, ably supported all three of his band mates with delightfully glam percussion.

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We Love Music: Ladyhawke @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 9/10/12

Photo courtesy of stusev
Ladyhawke @ Club Capitol (14/11/2009)
courtesy of stusev

The most incongruous thing about Pip Brown, better known as Ladyhawke, is her look — the grunge aesthetics of flannel and t-shirts all the way — despite her sound — a catalog comprised of very accessible and danceable new wave rock gems.

The rest of it all comes together rather well! Sonically, Ladyhawke dwells in that space in the late 1970s when female rock musicians began to be backed by an increasing amount of technology, notably synthesizers. With many of those women, like Pat Benatar, the electronic edge remained just that — an edge. With others, like Kim Wilde, the synthesizer permeated the songs, tripping the wire that fuses guitar to keyboard and thus producing new wave.

Ladyhawke, as her adopted name from the 1985 movie suggests, is very much aware of how to produce that sound but she does it so easily and so naturally you are left with the impression that the music just happens that way. How could it sound any differently?

Well, with selections like her most popular song, “Paris Is Burning,” which she played to enthusiastic, thumping cheers toward the end of Monday night’s show, it could not possibly sound any better. Ladyhawke took the stage roughly half an hour late (par for the course at the Rock and Roll Hotel) and the audience instantly swelled from about 70 polite bystanders for her opening acts to nearly 200 enthusiastic dancers.

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Hot Ticket: Marina and the Diamonds, Ms Mr @ 9:30 Club, 8/14/12

Photo courtesy of laviddichterman
Marina & the Diamonds at Showbox at the Market – Seattle on 2012-07-14 – _DSC5364.NEF
courtesy of laviddichterman

What can I say? This show has been sold out for quite some time. But you should definitely see if any of your friends has a spare ticket!

Welsh-born Marina Diamandis is an awesome and attractive presence in the burgeoning new wave scene. She has all of the sophistication and self-awareness of a post-modern Madonna with a healthy infusion of attitude from off-kilter new wave women like Lene Lovich and Toni Basil. The final product is undeniably hot and sounds more exciting to my ears than almost anything else being released right now. Marina’s second album, Electra Heart, dropped last month, bringing with it a fuller sound and an even more intense interest in glam ballads than her simpler albeit totally fun debut.

Ms Mr, visiting from Brooklyn, bring with them a newly released dreampop song “Hurricane” — an initial listen to which pleasantly places them alongside contemporaries like The Hundred in the Hands. The unnamed female vocalist (Ms) and unnamed male synthesizer player (Mr) have preferred to remain mysterious to the press so far, but their talents will be on display Tuesday night as Marina’s opening act.

If you had them, tickets to this all ages show would have cost you $22 plus fees. If you don’t have them, check with those aforementioned friends for extra tickets, search Craigslist, or go stand in front of the 9:30 Club begging for them. You won’t regret it. Doors at 7pm; Marina at 9:30pm.

Music, We Love Music

Q&A with Eli Maiman of Walk the Moon

Photo courtesy of TIFFANY DAWN NICHOLSON (TDNphoto)
Walk The Moon
courtesy of TIFFANY DAWN NICHOLSON (TDNphoto)

Walk the Moon, a new wave quartet from Cincinnati, Ohio, comes to headline a sold-out show at the Black Cat this Friday, June 22, after passing through DC a couple of times already in the past year. They arrive on the heels of their debut album, Walk the Moon, available today. We Love DC caught up with Eli Maiman, the band’s guitarist, to talk about mostly other awesome bands like the Talking Heads and The Police, as it turns out, but also about appreciating dedicated fans and getting big fast.

Mickey McCarter: The first time I ever heard of you guys, I was here in Washington, DC, and I was hanging out at the Black Cat. And the band played a sold-out show at the backstage room at the Black Cat. All of your fans were going in there and I saw all of these young girls in the warpaint and the feathers. I was like, wow! That visual really left an impression on me and I didn’t even know who you guys were yet.

How did that come about? How did the warpaint get started?

Eli Maiman: The very idea of the facepaint occurred when we were working on the idea for the “Anna Sun” video. Our director, Patrick Meier, wanted to include some reference to The Lost Boys. The facepaint was his idea. And it became the central theme in the “Anna Sun” video. At our video release party, we had a facepaint station and people really took to it. They really enjoyed it, so much so that people started showing up at other shows in facepaint.

It’s evolved from there where people will come in facepaint and we will provide facepaint at shows. We’ll wear the paint ourselves on stage. It has really become this unifying element of the live show. It’s a visual expression of the community that we have and this group experience we all have together.

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We Love Music: Party Like It’s 1989

Photo courtesy of Daniel Bevis
80s Kid
courtesy of Daniel Bevis

The upcoming Poseurs club reunion set for Saturday, Aug. 4, at the Rock and Roll Hotel got me thinking that it’s a pretty good time around DC for dance parties featuring 80s music.

As a diehard new waver, I actually dislike the term “80s music,” because my genre is a growing one that started up around 1976 and continues to see new bands and innovations until this day. (New wave is indeed enjoying a major renaissance now.) Thaaaaaaaat said, everyone knows what I mean when I use the term and these parties build their set lists based on the idea that you know what they mean when *they* use it as well.

So without further ado, here is a brief tour of the major 80s parties going on in the District right now with an emphasis on what you can catch next.

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