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The Winning Ticket: ASTR @ U Street Music Hall, 12/12/13

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Given the craptastic weather this week, let’s start your weekend a little early with two tickets to ASTR at U Street Music Hall Thursday night. The duo is opening for Ghost Beach and The Chain Smokers making this a kill-a-rific show that will rage until the wee hours of Friday morning. Get the coffee ready for your Friday morning wake up.

FYI: ASTR is poised to release their first EP in the new year and is already getting heavy buzz for their track “Operate.”  

For your chance to win these tickets, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address between 10am and 5pm today. Feel free to leave any comment, but please limit yourself to one entry per email address, please. Continue reading

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Charli XCX @ U Street Music Hall—11/16/13

The fashionable Charli XCX was perfectly at home at U Street Music Hall, backed by a talented all-girl band, as she purred and roared to a sold-out audience in the packed underground club.

But U Street Music Hall was absolutely packed so full that space to breathe was difficult to find unless you were far at the back end of the hall, suggesting that Charli really ought to be in the 9:30 Club or some other larger venue next time she comes to DC!

Charli’s cool visual style—in a pale dress and white leather jacket, contrasted to the short black dresses of her band—set the tone visually for a buoyant and electric show. She opened, however, with a rap song, “What I Like,” which isn’t in step with her overall darkly new wave sound. Once into the set, she really hits her stride with “Nuclear Seasons” and “Lock You Up”—both stunningly lush yet spiky pop songs that really set the tone for her album True Romance. It’s songs like these—songs of loneliness and alienation set to a powerful dance beat—that really form the foundation of True Romance, and I was absolutely thrilled to her sing them with vitality and passion.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Charli XCX @ U Street Music Hall, 11/16/13

Charli XCX (Photo by Dan Curwin)

Charli XCX (Photo by Dan Curwin)

Charli XCX is best known for something for which we don’t associate her—she wrote the hit song “I Love It” for Icona Pop. That alone suggests that she’s pretty clever.

But listening to her latest album, True Romance, confirms that she does indeed have good ears for good beats. Charli has a talent for lacing together different musical threads into what critics have labeled “neon goth.” What does that mean exactly? Well her pop songs tend to be upbeat and sometimes even upbeat but with dark musical textures. Take her single “Nuclear Seasons” for example. The lyrics compare the aftermath of a rocky love affair to the desolation of nuclear war. Some “summer lovin’!”

Ultimately, the lady comes to dance, so come out to dance along with her collection of catchy songs. I’ve heard she’s an energetic and charismatic performer, and I’m looking forward to finding out firsthand at an early show at U Street Music Hall on Saturday.

Charli XCX
w/ Kitten, Liz
U Street Music Hall
Saturday, Nov. 16
Doors @6pm
$20
All ages

Concert Round Up, Concert Roundup, Entertainment, Essential DC, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital, Music, The District

November 2013 Concert Round Up

Heeeyyyyyyyyyyy kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiddddz! It’s time for Mickey, Rachel and I to give you our thoughts and recommendations for the DC shows you should check out this month. I have to admit that October was a killer month in the DC music scene. But we think November can hold its own as there are WAY too many solid acts and they all seem to be coming back-to-back. So, get your daytime naps in, get your proper nutrition and hydrate well because you’re going to need to be in peak concert going form.

After the jump, Albert Hammond Jr., The Limosines, Kate Nash, Steven Kellogg with St. John, Minor Alps, Tiffany Thompsen, and many, many more.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: The White Mandingos @ U Street Music Hall, 9/27/13

WhiteMandingosF

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 The White Mandingos at U Street Music Hall on Friday, Sept. 27.

The White Mandingos is a bicoastal supergroup, featuring MURS, Darryl Jenifer from Bad Brains and Sascha Jenkins. The hip hop/rock fusion trio released their debut album, The Ghetto is Trying to Kill Me, on Fat Beats/Fontana on May 28.

For your chance to win these tickets, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address between 10am and 4pm today. Feel free to leave any comment, but perhaps reveal your favorite composition by MURS, Bad Brains or Jenkins, or this new supergroup! 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 U Street Music Hall Guest List window after 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.

The White Mandingos
w/ 301
U Street Music Hall
Friday, Sept. 27
doors @ 7pm
$20
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: El Ten Eleven @ U Street Music Hall, 9/21/13

ElTenElevenF

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 El Ten Eleven at U Street Music Hall on Saturday, Sept. 21.

The post-rock duo have an unusual story for the today’s world of electronic music. Bassist Kristian Dunn and drummer Tim Fogarty formed the band in 2002. They say they’ve been influenced by their life experiences, including having divorces and child(ren). And they got known partly by lending their talents to documentaries about graphic design, like Helvetica. (One awaits the examination of the rise corporate mass design, Calibri. Kidding.)

Anyway, El Ten Eleven put out a new album, Transitions, last year, so they have fresh instrumental goodness to share in their performance at U Street Music Hall next week!

For your chance to win these tickets, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address between 10am and 4pm today. Feel free to leave any comment, but I would be curious as to your favorite composition by El Ten Eleven? (This is how I learn things!) 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 U Street Music Hall Guest List window after 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.

El Ten Eleven
w/ Eliot Lipp
U Street Music Hall
Saturday, Sept. 21
doors @ 6:30pm
$14
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Skylar Grey @ U Street Music Hall, 7/14/13

Skylar

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 Skylar Grey at U Street Music Hall on Sunday, July 14. The Wisconsin native has wrote quite a few hit rap songs for the likes of Dr. Dre, Rihanna and Eminem. Today, Grey releases her debut album, Don’t Look Down, under her name Skylar Grey. (She previously recorded as “Holly Brook.”)

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Ariel Pink @ U Street Music Hall, 6/10/13

ArielPink_flier

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.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Flume, Lovelife @ U Street Music Hall — 4/3/13

Flume (courtesy Pitch Perfect PR)

Flume (courtesy Pitch Perfect PR)

Wunderkind DJ Flume brought some good energy and urbane smoothness to a packed U Street Music Hall Wednesday night, pleasing the crowd with R&B-tinged trance-like mixes that got everyone dancing, particularly when mixed up with some effectively frenetic beat-matching to add some spark to the mix.

A good selection of songs put everyone in the mood to relax and shimmy along. Flume wisely chose songs that complement his own, favoring his full-length self-titled debut released last fall. He put the crowd at ease with the very down-tempo “Get Free” by Major Lazer before he cleverly slid into his own “Insane,” featuring a dreamy vocal by Moon Holiday. “Insane” is a pleasing slow jam that opens with some effective minimalism and builds up to a steady pulsating groove, effortlessly putting you at ease despite it’s perhaps threatening refrain of “go insane.”

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Moby (DJ Set) @ U Street Music Hall — 1/19/13

Four years ago, Moby teamed up with DC staple Will Eastman to perform put on a DJ show at the 9:30 Club in honor of President Obama’s first inauguration. It ran late into the night, but the power went out on the block sometime around 1:30am, shutting everything down for about an hour.

For a bit, Moby tried to gamely improvise by turning a trash can into a drum. The effort sort of fizzled out after a manic 15 minutes or so. As We Love DC reported at the time, “many left dejected and impatient before…the power restoration.” (I too was there and about half the room departed.) But once more space opened up, the remaining people really cut loose with some dancing.

So it was something of a logistical success for Eastman to bring Moby back in a much more intimate venue at U Street Music Hall this past Saturday. Everything ran like clockwork and the sold-out show offered plenty of comfortable elbowroom for people to mill about and check out the scene.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Saint Etienne @ U Street Music Hall — 10/25/12 (or “Hey, NYC! I’ve Got Your Music!”)

Hey, NYC. This is your little brother DC talking. I’m not one to talk trash much (particularly when it comes to concerts), but I’m going to talk a little trash to you. You see, we just hosted a once-in-a-decade event at a cool little joint we have here called U Street Music Hall. The show was none other than Saint Etienne, the amazing disco/house band from London.

We sold that out and it was all kinds of amazing. (At least I think we sold it out, Mr. Eastman?) I see they are playing at Webster Hall tonight and somehow there are still tickets available. Now I know you get bands like Pulp and New Order up there and you know how to treat them right, right? Then, don’t miss out on Saint Etienne!

Let me tell you what you would be missing.

Sarah Cracknell (vocals), Bob Stanley (synths) and Pete Wiggs (more synths) are simply the smartest, lushest Eurodance band ever to hit the stage. Let me not fail to mention their capable fourth touring member — Debsey Wykes, formerly of UK post-punk band the Dolly Mixture, on backup vocals and cowbell! Now, Saint Etienne are indeed English, so they are a bit proper — and Cracknell, bless her, seemed earnestly embarrassed by the adulation she and her bandmates received at U Hall, as we fondly call it. But they earned every moment of frenzied screaming throughout their 17-song set.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Dead Milkmen @ U Street Music Hall, 2/18/12

Photo courtesy of xrayspx
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courtesy of xrayspx

The Dead Milkmen, Philadelphia’s top punk export, stunned a sold-out crowd at U Street Music Hall with the nervy verve of their declarations against mainstream America along with an amazingly acute understanding of their musical niche and a nod to DC hardcore punkers Fugazi.

Rodney Anonymous and crew tore through about 30 3-minute musical selections in a show at U Street Music Hall on Saturday, Feb. 18, to a largely respectful crowd who formed perhaps the most civil mosh pit in history at the front of the stage as the show reached its halfway point. By its halfway point, the Dead Milkmen had dispensed with some of their comparatively polite standards like “Punk Rock Girl” and “Methodist Coloring Book,” which thumb their nose as social acceptance, as well as new song “Fauxhemia,” which rails gently against things people are “supposed” to like, such as NPR. These songs, while rooted firmly in the Dead Milkmen catalog, hit their targets with a bit more of a slap upside the head than a kick in the ass. Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Zola Jesus @ U Street Music Hall, 2/16/12

Synth-chamber-electronic songstress Zola Jesus and her band performed to an enthusiastic crowd at U Street Music Hall Thursday night. They were supported by openers Talk Normal, a female experimental rock duo from Brooklyn who are accompanying them on much of their tour. They are in the midst of a US tour before heading over to Europe at the end of March.

This was the third time singer Nika Roza Danilova, who performs as Zola Jesus, had played in DC. Previously she has toured as on opener for acts including The XX and in Europe toured with Fever Ray. Her music is dark, moody, heavily electronic, with some piano and strings mixed in, with dramatic vocals. At times it brings to mind Massive Attack, other times Fever Ray, even hints of Kate Bush, but Danilova’s vocals are the unique element of her music. Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, Night Life, The Daily Feed, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Zola Jesus @ U Street Music Hall, 2/16/2012

photo courtesy of Zola Jesus

Goth/synthpop princess Zola Jesus will be performing her enchanting, dark tunes Thursday night at U Street Music Hall. She has toured with Fever Ray and The XX, and collaborated with M83, LA Vampires and Burial Hex, among others.  Check out her video for “Vessel,” off of her 2011 album Conatus, out on Sacred Bones Records.

Zola Jesus

U Street Music Hall

7pm/$15/All Ages

Entertainment, Music, We Love Music

We Love Music: Drop The Lime @ U Street Music Hall, 10/20/11


courtesy of Drop The Lime.

On Thursday night, I descended into U Street Music Hall to catch the choice underground double bill of The Japanese Popstars and Drop The Lime. Both were billed as performing live so with The J-Popstars being hailed as the best new live electronica act from Ireland and Drop The Lime finally unveiling his rockabilly-meets-electro project I was expecting a pretty great time. The Japanese Popstars however failed to perform live at all; instead they delivered the weakest DJ set I have personally experienced at U Street Music Hall. Rumor has it they refused to perform live because the crowd was too small. This was a major disappointment but the night was ultimately salvaged thanks to the combination of Drop The Lime ripping the roof off of the place and local spinner DJ Stereofaith closing out the night with a strong electro set.

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The Daily Feed

Hot Ticket: Drop The Lime @ U Street Music Hall – TONIGHT!!!

Well now here is something you just don’t hear everyday. NYC’s Drop The Lime has somehow managed to perfect the unlikely fusion of banging electronic beats and classic Rockabilly to create a sound that feels completely new and 100% from the heart.

During he past decade Drop The Lime has gone from clawing his way up out of the New York City DJ minor leagues, to running the highly influential dance music label and club night Trouble & Bass. He’s made a name for himself as a chameleon-like international DJ that is as comfortable remixing mainstream dance moguls like Armand Van Helden or Moby as he is dropping cutting edge originals with an seemingly endless series of EPs and 12″s.

This year however Drop The Lime has unleashed his most original creation to date; a mutant blend of 50′s rock-n-roll and twisted electronic beats. What is most impressive about this new phase of Drop The Lime’s career is that his new sound is much more than just another studio creation; he has been hitting the road hard with a full live band and working the Brian Setzer-inspired vocal duties himself. Drop The Lime brings his new sound, his full live band, and his impeccable hair-style to U Street Music Hall tonight!

Drop The Lime (LIVE)
w/ Japanese Popstars & Stereofaith
@ U Street Music Hall
9/20 – 9pm
$10

Entertainment, Interviews, Music, Night Life, People, The Features, We Love Music

Q&A with Volta Bureau

 
 
 

Photo by Josh Sisk

Volta Bureau is the new electro/house/dance collaboration of DC’s movers & shakers of the electronic music scene Will Eastman, Micah Vellian (Miguel Lacsamana) and Outputmessage (Bernard Farley). I have known Will and Miguel for several years, initially through my old band Soft Complex. Miguel (then under the moniker Person) did a remix for our 2006 EP, and we had the pleasure of performing a live set at Will’s Bliss Pop dance party at the 930 club in 2007. I was super excited to hear they had come together to form this new group, along with Bernard Farley- they all have talent, drive and style in spades. I have a feeling this trinity is one to watch!

This week I had a chance to chat with Miguel, aka Micah Vellian, and ask him a few questions about Volta Bureau. Continue reading

Entertainment, Music, We Love Music

We Love Music: Miami Horror @ U Street Music Hall, 3/26/11


courtesy of Miami Horror.

Guest reviewer Alexia Kauffman of The Torches was at the show for We Love DC.

Melbourne’s electro-disco-pop outfit Miami Horror rocked out to a packed U Street Music Hall Saturday night.

I first heard Miami Horror last summer and was fortunate enough to catch their first DC show at U Street Music Hall last year. For that show the hall was probably only 1/3 full, but the audience was super enthusiastic and the band clearly had fun. I bought their album “Illumination” at that show and I couldn’t stop listening to it for the rest of the year. It is definitely one of my favorite albums of 2010. I had the pleasure of interviewing Ben Plant, the group’s founder, last week, and you can check that out here. Now on with the show.

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Entertainment, Interviews, Music, We Love Music

Q&A with Benjamin Plant of Miami Horror

Our guest writer Alexia Kauffman of The Torches enjoyed Miami Horror’s show so much the first time they played DC that we asked her if she’d like to interview the band’s creator for us in advance of their return this weekend.

Miami Horror is the electro/disco-pop creation of Australian DJ/producer/artist/musician, Benjamin Plant. Originally a solo endeavor by Plant, Miami Horror has grown into a full band and has done remixes for Gorillaz, The Presets & Bloc Party to name a few. Miami Horror is currently on an extensive world tour promoting their 2010 EMI release “Illumination”.

These charming gents played U Street Music Hall last year and their show was super fun, energetic, and a little goofy. They are returning to U Street Music Hall this weekend. If New Order and Air met at Studio 54 and had a torrid affair, Miami Horror would be their futuristic disco love-child. We Love DC was lucky enough to catch up with Ben for a chat amidst the band’s insane tour schedule; fresh off a week that included shows in Mexico City and Austin’s SXSW music festival.

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Music, The Daily Feed

U Street Music Hall’s (Twitter) Manifesto

There are many, many reasons that I love and support U Street Music Hall. One of them that I don’t get to write about very often is the dedication of U Hall’s owners to making their club a great experience for music fans and music makers alike.

On Saturday night, in the middle of UK DJ/Producer Sinden’s set, a customer reached into the DJ booth from the dance floor and angrily slammed Sinden’s laptop shut after being denied a request that had already been played. This is a very uncool thing to do in general, but particularly when you consider the facts that a laptop is a key component to a DJ’s arsenal, Sinden was in mid-set entertaining a packed club, and LAPTOPS DON’T GROW ON TREES AND ARE EXPENSIVE TO REPLACE. The incident really upset/incensed co-owner Will Eastman, who prides himself on offering a great U Hall experience for both the audience and the talent. Starting on Saturday night, Eastman began twittering about the incident. His tweets carried over into Sunday and he even had a few on Monday. Eastman’s tweets read like an informal manifesto for his club. Some choice tweets are reprinted here with Eastman’s blessing.

@willeastman:

“Public service announcement: an asshole closed @gsinden laptop because he wouldn’t play a request. Said asshole is now banned for life.”

“Public service announcement: DJs @uhalldc do not play requests.”

“I love every U Hall supporter & I want everyone who supports U Hall to know douchebaggery will never, ever be tolerated there. Period.”

“Ok, I may lose some followers here, but I’m going to tell it like it is.”

“If you don’t really love music, if you just wanna get drunk and try to get laid, don’t come to @uhalldc It’s not for you.”

“If you like to fight, go worry about your tiny penis somewhere else. Do not come to U Hall.”

“If you like to grind on girls, go to a strip club. Do not come to our club.”

“If you’re too drunk to read the sign that says Emergency Exit, you should go home.”

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