Entertainment, Music, The Features, We Love Music

DC represents at Coachella 2013! Lineup announced.

the evens

My jaw dropped when I looked at the Coachella lineup this morning and saw The Evens on there! The Evens are a DC-based duo consisting of hometown hero Ian MacKaye (founder of Dischord Records, Fugazi, Minor Threat…) and his wife Amy Farina (formerly of The Warmers). The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival is a big, three-day music & arts extravaganza that happens outside of Palm Springs, California every April. It is a strange event to imagine the super-DIY/indie duo appearing at, but kudos to them! That’ll be something to see!

Also representing our nation’s capital at the Coachella Festival will be the recently reunited Make-Up. Frontman Ian Svenonius (formerly of Nation of Ulysses, Weird War, currently in Chain & the Gang) is well-known for his style and crazy southern-revival-type stage antics. The group reunited in 2012 for the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival (along with a couple DC shows). (Svenonius also has a book out right now titled Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ‘n’ Roll Groupwhich is awesome- laugh-out-loud funny, smart, artfully written and educational at the same time. I highly recommend it.)

Hooray for DC bands representing the District at Coachella!

Entertainment, Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Our Favorite Shows of 2012

photo courtesy of The Faint

It’s the end of a great year, and the music writers of We Love DC- Mickey,  Jonathan & Alexia have pulled together their respective top 10 favorite shows of 2012.

Mickey: This has been a great year for shows! For me, it’s been a return to old favorites. I caught a few acts that I’ve been into for most of my life and a few that became new favorites in the last 10 years. Interestingly, it wasn’t a big year for acts new to me although I did some promising new stuff.

Of my top 10 shows of 2012, I reviewed eight of them for We Love DC. I didn’t review two of them because they were out of town and I was quite busy! Without further ado, here in reverse chronological order then are my top 10 concerts of 2012.

 

1. The Faint

930 Club, Dec. 5

It’s become all the rage for a band to tour on the strength of a single album and to perform it in its entirety these days. Most of the time, we see that happen with bands celebrating the 20th or 25th anniversary of an album. But although the album is only about 10 years old, The Faint toured earlier this month on a reissue of Danse Macabre, a record that strikes a powerful chord and compels you to dance like crazy. And dance like crazy the audience did at a very full show at the 9:30 Club on Dec. 5. The album sounded as amazing as ever and The Faint even snuck in a new song, suggesting there is more to come from Nebraska’s favorite electronic sons.

 

2. Shiny Toy Guns

Rock and Roll Hotel, Nov.4

It’s a great feeling when a band justifies your faith in them. And so it goes with Shiny Toy Guns at the Rock and Roll Hotel on Nov. 4. This stellar new wave band recently put out its third and best album, III, bouncing back strong after a temporary split with their female vocalist Carah Faye and a disappointing second album. The sold-out crowd welcomed the band back like old friends. (And Jeremy Dawson gave me the inside scoop on reuniting with Carah Faye.)

 

3. Saint Etienne

U Street Music Hall, Oct. 25

Few things are more amazing than an intimate show with one of your absolute favorite niche bands. Saint Etienne has captured a Europop sounds so fresh and invigorating that they surprisingly sound timeless and modern all at once. They captivated a large group composed of mostly men who came out to dance and fawn over Sarah Cracknell, the most modest of divas, when they played at U Street Music Hall on Oct. 25. Although I loved the actual show to bits, my experience was bittersweet as the lovely lady who introduced me to the band went to the show with someone else. As Saint Etienne knows, “Only love can break your heart!”

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Entertainment, Essential DC, History, Life in the Capital, Music, News, People, Special Events, The District, We Love Music

We Love Music: The 9:30 Club 30th Anniversary Concert

Bob Mould performing at the 9:30 Club 30th Anniversary concert
“Bob Mould” photo taken by author.

“The reason this is the best club in America is the people that work here. Trust me, most nightclubs are terrible places. You don’t want to go there.” – Neill Fallon of Clutch.

“I can not imagine a DC without the 9:30 Club. It is unimaginable. It’s just unimaginable” - Mark Noone of The Slickee Boys.

“I love the fact that I’m from DC!” – Henry Rollins

“Let’s kick on the way back machine and get this thing over with.” – Bob Mould.

One of the truly singular music events I have ever attended took place on Monday night at the 9:30 Club. It was a special free concert held in celebration of this legendary club’s 30th anniversary. The night was also a celebration of the people who work (and have worked) there, the icons who got their start there, and the wonderful music that has been played there over the last 30 years. The night was full of anecdotes and music from 13 bands and artists that have strong ties to both the old and new 9:30 Club locations. For some the evening was a living, breathing, crash course in DC music history; for others it was a fun and at times even emotional trip down memory lane.

The 9:30 Club (original location) is the nightclub I cut my teeth on when I moved here in 1993. Within a few days of arriving I was catching my first show there (British twee-band Heavenly); and in the months and years after many, many more shows followed. I once took a date there to see The Boredoms and she left with a black-eye. My little brother did his first stage dive when I took him there to see Helmet. I was completely enthralled with industrial music after hearing Einstruzende Neubauten on the PA before the melodramatic, dynamite-strapped Sheep on Drugs brought the house down with their industrial-dance mayhem. And I was seduced along with everyone else in the crowd by Toni Halliday and the sounds of Curve. The old club opened my mind to most of the music that I still passionately love today.

The V st. location is without a doubt the best club-venue in the country. I’ve been to concert halls all over the U.S.A. and it always comes back to the 9:30 Club’s awesome sound-system (which I have written/gushed about at length over the years). Seeing a concert at the 9:30 Club is a sublime experience for a die-hard music fan. Perhaps none more-so than the amazing show that club-owner Seth Hurwitz treated dedicated DC music fans to on Monday night.

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