Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Youth Code w/ Technophobia, Coming @ Black Cat, 1/26/14

Much of modern industrial music sounds like so much noise, but a subgenre of it known as “electronic body music” can be identified by danceably coherent melodies that almost recall happier, upbeat music. Enter Youth Code, a duo from Los Angeles, who have decided to pervert that paradigm by borrowing the brighter synths of EBM and marrying them to hardcore punk lyrics. The result is cold wave instrumentation that compels you to be light on your feet while simultaneously heavy vox beats you about the head.

Youth Code released their debut self-titled LP on Dais Records last year, drawing inspiration from early Wax Trax records and hardcore punk, something DC knows a lot about. Bandmates Ryan William George and Sara Taylor tackle synth and vocals with several different approaches, but the band is most arresting when she sings and he dirges, as demonstrated in their video for “Carried Mask.”

They strike me as being kind of like the Sleigh Bells of the industrial genre, in the way the indie pop group sought to blend genres and be loud. (I wouldn’t repeat that observation to any goth friends, however, if you care about saving face in front of them. :) )

One of the bands opening for Youth Code at the Black Cat this Sunday is DC’s own Technophobia, which recently released recordings of their songs “Bleeding Hands” and “A Coping Mechanism” to add to their first single, “Waltz Demise.”

With its driving beats from Katie and Stephen Petix and soaring vocals from Denman Anderson, “A Coping Mechanism” is truly one of the best songs from Technophobia, offering accessible dance music with soul-searching lyrics that avoid falling into routine despair or self-loathing. The darkwave outfit also does quite a bit to expand upon the appeal of what we consider the goth domain by intelligently applying more traditional pop formulations to their music, opening it sonically to a wider audience than you might anticipate.

You have a unique opportunity to check them both out this Sunday, Jan. 26, when they take over the backstage of the Black Cat. In addition to openers Technophobia, Youth Code are bringing L.A. trio Coming along with them to open as well.

Youth Code
w/ Coming, Technophobia
Black Cat
Sunday, Jan. 26
Doors @8pm
All ages

Entertainment, Music, We Love Music

We Love Music: Gary Numan @ Black Cat 10/20/10

Gary Numan @ Black Cat
all photos by Erin McCann.

New Wave icon and synthesizer guru Gary Numan performed at the Black Cat on Wednesday night to a packed house of devoted fans. It was a weird but enjoyable performance that felt like two very different concerts in one. For the first hour, a very ill Gary Numan lead his band through a performance of his 1979 classic album “The Pleasure Principle”. The performance was a strange one due to Numan’s illness; the band sounded fantastic however as Numan tried to make the best of not having a voice by asking the crowd to sing some of the songs for him. The situation lent some impromptu fun to the performance of Numan’s ice-cold classic. By the end of the album portion, I was beginning to visualize my forth-coming rave review. Then, as if magically revitalized, Numan and his band suddenly launched into a set of guitar-driven, psuedo-industrial tunes that saw Numan belting out vocals like a banshee.

The two hours of Wednesday night’s concert featured very different sounding music, had entirely different energy levels, and felt like they were performed by two completely different bands. I am a fan of the first band, not so much of the second.

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