I was sad to learn recently that DC9 will end its weekly Liberation Dance Party, the premiere indie pop dancehall experience in DC, on Friday, Jan. 18.
Not only has Liberation kept up with the best mix of britpop, glam, new wave, post-punk, dreampop, shoegaze, house, nu disco, hip hop, grime, sheer guilty pleasures, and more since its inception in 2004, it has done so as a video party. For me, the resulting effect has been very similar to a modern equivalent of taking mid-1980s MTV, cutting any of the soft rock crap, and making a party out of it in your favorite third space.
I’m not instantly comfortably anywhere, but I was always at home at Liberation Dance Party, cloaked in the sounds of Franz Ferdinand, the Kaiser Chiefs, Hot Chip, The Sounds, The Killers, and some occasional New Order. I was introduced to new favorites like Dragonette and Goldfrapp. I learned to love Kylie almost as much as Bill Spieler, the host with the most. (Thank you, Bill, for bringing the party for so many years.) VJ Matt Dunn dependably brought David Bowie with him every time and VJ Shannon Stewart played Lady Gaga until Bill got sick of her and banned her from the club (Gaga, that is, not Shannon!).
Sky Ferreira, she of slight frame and smoldering voice, took to stage backed by a three-piece band at DC9 Friday night, presenting a short set of occasionally melancholy but consistently wonderful songs.
Her latest EP, Ghost, turns out to be a collection of five wistful songs full of longing and daydreams. Ferreira sang them plaintively but earnestly to a packed room that seemed pretty impressed with the 20-year-old’s range. “Sad Dream” was full of regret for a lost love while “Ghost” consigns another love to the past with a recognition that the relationship must end.
At the other end of the spectrum, “Lost in My Bedroom” is a catchy reprieve, basking in the joy of being tucked away in your own private space.
courtesy of David Boyle
Sky Ferreira last month released Ghost, an EP with a set of songs that sound so diverse that you have to wonder if she’s ready to take on the world or just too easily distracted.
But Liberation Dance Party put the video for “Everything Is Embarrassing” into rotation these last few months — and it’s got a great DIY new wave vibe for a slow dance. The song certainly offers echoes of Ferreira’s reported heroes, Nico and Debbie Harry. Her husky voice captivates. By the time the song is over, it seemed way too short (and it kind of wisely is, clocking less than 3 minutes).
Ferreira’s debut album is due to drop very soon — after clashes with label EMI last year over the direction they expected of her as The Next Big Thing. But the 20-year-old Ferreira wanted to be more “indie” than “mainstream.” Interestingly, instead of breaking off the relationship, EMI chose to nurture her.
So what’s she really all about? I’m curious to find out when she performs this Friday, Nov. 30, as part of Liberation Dance Party at DC9. (All I truly know about her is that she really can’t wait for the release of The Hobbit.) Doors for Liberation usually open at 9pm and bands generally start up around 11pm. In the meantime, watch videos and dance dance dance the night away.
all photos by author.
Last Friday night DC was treated to a very special, one-off, U.S. headlining gig by the new stars of the British dance music scene, Delphic. This singular opportunity to catch one of the UK’s hottest bands was hosted at the unlikely venue of DC9 thanks to the savvy programming of Liberation Dance Party. Those in the know about these kinds of things were totally freaking out at this random chance to see Delphic perform in one of DC’s most intimate spaces. At home and in the rest of Europe, Delphic have already risen to festival main-stage status; but for the Eyjafjallajokull Icelandic volcano preventing them from making their Coachella Music Festival U.S. debut last Spring, they probably would be well on their way to playing large venues stateside as well. Their mind-blowing performance at DC9 on Friday proved that they are more than ready too.
‘The Golden Filter’
courtesy of ‘yousayyeah’
On Friday night, DC9 mainstay, Liberation Dance Party brought in New York’s The Golden Filter for a special appearance to amp up the already crazy dance party LDP hosts week after week. Unsurprisingly, the result was an even crazier dance party. The Golden Filter delivered a killer set of sexy electro-pop to a packed house eager to dance, dance, dance! And dance they did, taking to the riser boxes, standing on the booths, shaking and grinding while the band delivered on the promise of their amazing debut album, Voluspa, with a live performance that was a delight to watch through the filter of moving bodies.
‘Opal Restaurant in Santa Barbara 102409Sa’
courtesy of ‘vmiramontes’
Local music lovers agree — DC9 is an institution when it comes to intimate venues to hear live acts in this city. And today, DC9 turns six!
Go celebrate with some of DC9’s biggest fans tonight at 9 with the Liberation Dance Party DJs. There will be an open bar from 9-10:30 with rail cocktails only.
The cover is $7 at the door and it’s 21+ to party.