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May 2014 Concert Round Up

As usual there’s tons of stellar music in our fair city this month, so Mickey and I have pulled together recommendations that span venues and music genres. Enjoy!

The 1975
Monday, May 12
9:30 Club
SOLD OUT

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You’ve likely heard The 1975′s “Chocolate” all over the radio, but they’re so much more than what the corporate DJs of the world would have you hear. Heralding from Manchester, UK, the quartet’s songs focus on sex, love, drugs, hope, death, and fear – you know all the stuff that’s on a millennials mind. Definitely going to be an energy filled way to kick off the week. — Rebecca

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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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Music, The Features, We Love Music

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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Music, The Daily Feed

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+