David Wax Museum- 930 Club by sightlyworn
As a guy who has photographed many musicians, I know the challenge in capturing the intensity and energy of a live show. Slightlyworn nailed it with this photo. The motion blur is what really makes this photo, because you can just see the guitarist moving and howling into the mic, pouring his heart into every verse. It’s a strong composition; he didn’t focus too closely on the musician, which left plenty of room for the purple and blue divide caused by the stage lights, which is one of the most important features of the photo. Adding a second singer to the frame and including part of the drum kit definitely frames the context of a musical machine working together. Well done, sightlyworn.
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Zach Condon breezes on stage before the sold-out audience with his shirt-sleeves rolled up and smiles as he takes his spot in the center. To either side of him are the five other musicians who make up the current line-up of Beirut, sharing amongst the six of them about a dozen instruments, but this one-time solo bedroom project remains clearly Condon’s band and he looks comfortable in the starring role.
Beirut’s distinctively lush and exotically-influenced style is recreated beautifully live. One notices early in the set that Condon really, truly sings more than the average male indie vocalist – and when he does it is stunning. Presumably honed by years of projecting out over the massive crowds on the European festival circuit, he fills the Black Cat with his voice. When not singing, he alternates between six-string ukelele and trumpet and, at one point, switched to piano.
There is a sophistication to the whole band’s performance that set it apart. There is a trope in concert reviewing to describe musicians as having “raw energy” or “blistering power.” That is not Beirut. Which is by no means to say they lack emotional intensity or seem unenthusiastic about live performance. Instead, the band simply seems rehearsed – not surprising given the time they have spent with the majority of the night’s songs at this point – and genuinely musically proficient and talented. Continue reading →
Sometimes you don’t have your best gear with you. Sometimes a camera phone or point and shoot are all that’s allowed in, or all that you happen to have. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that Flickr contributor spiggycat was not too thrilled to not have the use of her big DSLR.
But she did capture a wonderful image, regardless, using a point and shoot (albeit a top notch Canon G12). Once again, the photographer’s eye and instinct is much more important than the tool available to take the picture.
Buzzcocks launched the U.S. leg of their “Another…Bites Tour” at the Black Cat on Tuesday night with an exuberant set of their classic, reverb-drenched, pop/punk, sing-a-longs. Since their early-90’s revival, original members Shelley and Diggle have been performing non-stop in the US and UK. Right up there with Stiff Little Fingers, Buzzcocks are one of the longest running and quality-consistent graduates of the original UK Punk class. To mix it up on this tour the band are performing their brilliant first and second albums back-to-back (both released in 1978) along with “other hits”. While album-entirety shows are becoming quite trendy of late (not that I mind), for Buzzcocks I think this dual-album attack is a great move. As their legacy becomes tied more and more to their ability to write amazing singles (as collected on the essential “Singles Going Steady“) this dual album tour is here to remind us that Buzzcocks were also responsible for crafting some brilliant albums; each with an energy flow, sonic imprint, and lyrical themes that deserve their place in rock history as well. Actually Tuesday night’s show did much more than gently remind us of this fact; in typical Buzzcocks pop-roar fashion the show served as a blaring klaxon alarm that made the relevance of “Another Music in a Different Kitchen” and “Love Bites” impossible to ignore.
Norwegian, neo-shoegazer, wunderkinds Serena Maneesh (finally!) returned to the DC area on Wednesday night when they played a painfully short but brilliant set at DC9. It has been four long years since Serena Maneesh first brought their mammoth live sound to our area; when they played to an embarrassingly small crowd at the State Theater in 2006. I was one of the lucky few in attendance that night and I have been a babbling fool about this band ever since; singing their praises every time the shoegazer revival is up for discussion and playing just about every track off their first self-titled debut at my DJ nights over the years. If you read my original review and then their #2 spot on my 2006 best shows list, it is obvious how taken I was by their My Bloody Valentine-esque approach to live performance. The State Theater show is one of the best shows I have ever attended. Hence my many years of agony awaiting their return. Continue reading →
Sad news, music lovers: DC 101’s Festivus concert, originally scheduled for Wednesday, December 9, has been cancelled. Weezer (the headliner for the event) has cancelled all of their remaining tour dates for their new album, Raditude, after a tour bus accident this weekend. A bus carrying lead singer Rivers Cuomo, his family, and his assistants hit some black ice and tossed everyone around, but it sounds like they should make a full recovery. Get better soon, Rivers!
Although it might be hard to remember with our current snowpocalypse, Friday’s Tapes ‘n Tapes show at the Rock and Roll Hotel was on an unseasonably warm night, and frontman Josh Grier was feeling the heat. As more and more people packed into the sold-out venue, he wasn’t the only one sweating through his pants (as verified by a show of hands). Continue reading →
I hadn’t heard of Ten out of Tenn until recently, and I don’t know exactly how that happened. TOT is a group of awesome indie folk/rock artists from Tennessee who play together and release CD under the Ten out of Tenn name, even though each one is trying to make it big on their own. The result of this collaboration is something like a mix CD on stage, which is just about the greatest idea ever.
Ten out of Tenn came to Iota Saturday for their Christmas tour, and the venue was definitely decked out to reflect that–white Christmas lights on the ceiling, giant red bows on the mike stands, and stockings in the back with each TOT artist’s name on it. I was ready: bring on the holiday cheer. Continue reading →
Britney Spears, everyone’s favorite train wreck, released her new album today, but the real news is that she’s coming to DC!
Welcome, crazy dad, dangerous paparazzi, and baby daddy drama. The madness won’t descend on DC until March 24, but the internet presale started today and goes through December 5th at 10pm. If you’re willing to spend upwards of $300 three months before the actual show, all you have to do is enter promo code IHEARTBRIT at checkout. Don’t say I never did anything for you.