Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Gary Numan @ Black Cat — 10/27/13

I quite like Gary Numan — the musician and the man.

His new album Splinter (Songs From a Broken Mind) undeniably shows influences of his association with Nine Inch Nails — but to be fair, Nine Inch Nails have long been admiring Numan. So it perhaps is only fair that the two musical acts would commingle. Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck played on some of Splinter’s tracks and joined him live on several recent tour dates.

The influence clearly was felt in the show at the Black Cat on Sunday, Oct. 27. Numan was energetic and in good form with a strong band that handled their goth guitar pretty well. They were very tight on “Everything Comes Down to This,” a new song from Splinter, demonstrating impressive range. The song is at times sparse and ethereal and at other times full and frenetic. Numan’s voice was strong and his physical flourishes added a great deal to his performance.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Gary Numan @ Black Cat, 10/27/13


Gary Numan has come a long way since he hit number one on the UK charts with “Are Friends Electric” in 1979. He’s hit some highs and lows in that time, and he recently immigrated from England to Los Angeles.

It’s interesting how much music has changed during that time. At the start of his career, Numan received criticism for seeking success—15 years later glory-seeking was an actual characteristic of Britpop bands. In that time, Numan changed his sound quite a bit, traversing from synthpop auteur to gothic acoustic. In recent years, he’s come back around a bit, re-embraced his synth, and still sounds like he’s light-years ahead of the pack.

Numan has a new album, Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind), released Oct. 14, and he comes to the Black Cat Sunday to tour it. The new album continues a trend of gloomy self-examination but frankly he remains one of the most intriguing artists in any genre.

Numan last came to the Black Cat almost exactly three years ago, and sold-out a highly anticipated display for the 30th anniversary of his album, The Pleasure Principle, which featured his most globally famous song, “Cars.” His recent set lists suggest he hasn’t forgotten that world tour was pretty good for everyone, so this is a great opportunity to catch him explore songs old and new. Don’t miss out!

Gary Numan
w/ The Color Film
Black Cat
Sunday, Oct. 27
Doors @8pm
$25 advance/$30 doors
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Totally 80s Summer Tour @ Tally Ho Theatre, Leesburg, Va — 6/29/13

Chloe Demetria and Leigh Gorman of Bow Wow Wow (photo courtesy the band)

Chloe Demetria and Leigh Gorman of Bow Wow Wow (photo courtesy the band)

I have a storage unit outside of Baltimore where I store some stuff at a much more affordable rate than I could in DC metro. I drove out there Sunday night, and to my surprise, I saw a roadside dive advertising the 80s band Bow Wow Wow.

I had seen them the night before at the Tally Ho Theatre in Leesburg, Va., billed as part of the Totally 80s Summer Tour, where they joined Gene Loves Jezebel and The Motels as a package of 80s bands. In the case of all three bands, each has a lone original band member who has chosen to carry on the legacy of the band and perform on tour — and each were pretty entertaining. I reflected on this when I caught Bow Wow Wow a second time at that bar, the House of Rock in White Marsh, Md., so I’m going to start with them.

Bassist Leigh Gorman has carried on the band without Annabella Lwin, who decided not to carry on with it. Gorman is a classic act, who deserves consideration for his talent among peers like Boz Boorer, John Lydon and Adam Ant. (Gorman was indeed one of the original Ants.) The man sounds great on bass as he revisits all of the catchy Bow Wow Wow classics like “I Want Candy,” “C30-C60-C90 Go” and “Do You Wanna Hold Me?”

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

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!

w/ Io Echo
Monday, July 1
Doors 7pm
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
All ages

Entertainment, Night Life, We Love Music

Upcoming: Revolution @ FUR 6/17/10

Revolution @ FUR

This Thursday the DC alternative music scene makes its return to a proper dance club with the launch party of “Revolution” at FUR Nightclub. For years industrial, goth, 80’s, and punk music has been surviving (and in some cases thriving) in basements and bars around the DC area. The underground was not always relegated to the shadows in this town however. For the first fifteen years that I lived in the DC area, there was always a large format dance club giving Industrial/Goth/Punk/80’s dance music a home. Cavernous clubs with huge dance floors and sick sound systems lending themselves once-a-week to the alternative crowd for epic dance parties. For many, these clubs were the epicenter of not just music but also of a thriving nightlife community. Hell, I met my wife at one of those clubs and had my wedding reception after-party at another!

It has been too long since a kick-ass, proper dance club has opened its doors on a regular basis to this scene. This Thursday the Industrial/Goth/Punk scene will come roaring out of the underground and take over FUR Nightclub for the first of a bi-weekly, genre, dance-party called “Revolution”. I was invited to be one of the DJs for this awesome event and I happily accepted. After speaking with the event organizers it was obvious to me that we share the same idea about bringing these genres to one of DC’s nicest and most well-equipped dance clubs. The organizers, the other DJs, and I are all dedicated to creating a great dance party that won’t simply evoke the old, scene, dance clubs; we are determined to create a unique event that will hopefully grow to become legendary in its own right. With a great sense of history for the Industrial/Goth/Punk/80’s scene in DC, we all hope to begin a new era of massive dance parties with our party “Revolution” at FUR. Continue reading