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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Entertainment, Music, Night Life, We Love Music

We Love Music: Thurston Moore, Kurt Vile @ Black Cat 2/6/2012

photos by author

At Monday night’s Black Cat show Thurston Moore  dished out jokes about Dischord house, stories about Black Flag, Jello Biafra, conspiracy theories about Jimmy Carter, credited Reagan for the birth of Hardcore, and had a gin & tonic chugging contest with his guitarist. Oh yeah, and played some amazing music too.

Moore, frontman of the iconic experimental/noise/post-punk band Sonic Youth is on tour in support of his latest solo album Demolished Thoughts, released in 2011 on Matador. He brought with him fellow Matador recording artist Kurt Vile, as well as a band on his own label, Ecstatic Peace RecordsHush Arbors, which features his touring guitarist, Keith Wood. Continue reading

Adventures, Entertainment, Music, We Love Music

We Love Music: All Tomorrow’s Parties NY 2010 (Day Three)

All photos by author.

Coverage of Day One
Coverage of Day Two

The All Tomorrow’s Parties music marathon continued into day three on Sunday. The line-up for the third day of ATP NY is always hand-picked by an invited curator. In years past the curators of ATP NY have been My Bloody Valentine and The Flaming Lips. Being a DJ, I think this is one of the most unique and cool festival traditions ever; the curator basically gets to program their own music festival, sharing and sometimes inflicting their eclectic tastes with/on the world. This year ATP invited Jim Jarmusch to curate day three of ATP NY. Jarmusch is known as an guiding light in indie film making with films like “Mystery Train” and “Dead Man”, but he also has strong musical connections that make him an inspired choice to curate. Jarmusch’s films are chock full of great music and he has employed a host of great musicians as actors over the years ranging from Joe Strummer to GZA. Perhaps the most interesting and little known Jim Jarmusch music factoid is that the man himself was in a No Wave band in the early 80’s called The Del-Byzanteens. He even did a secret jam with No Age in a hotel room at ATP NY 2009.

Jarmusch did not disappoint as curator. His hand-picked programming featured a wide-range of styles including hip-hop, lo-fi, heavy psych, hardcore punk, blues, and doom metal. Attending ATP on Sunday was like living inside Jim Jarmusch’s iPod for a day. I spent most of the day hanging out at the second stage, which is set up in a large dining hall where one could imagine wedding receptions and bar mitzvah parties taking place for the last 50 years. ATP transforms this room into a bunker nightclub by blocking all outside light with blackout curtains which adds a weird London Blitz vibe to the place too. Second stage makes for a very odd setting to see live music performed and watching a day full of guitar freak-outs and psychedelic melt-downs there seemed like a perfect fit. Adding to the surreal nature of my second stage day, I kept seeing Jim Jarmusch everywhere!*

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