Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Lovelife @ Living Social — 5/4/13

Ally Young and Lee Newell are Lovelife. (Photo by author)

Ally Young and Lee Newell are Lovelife. (Photo by author)

Londoners Lovelife played at Living Social headquarters Saturday, bringing a sharp set of tunes in a break from their tour with Capital Cities.

The Speakeasy stage at Living Social turned out to be a good place to see the band, who opened with six songs for Philadelphia-based Vacationer. Not having previously seen a concert at Living Social, I was charmed a bit by the very dark, urban bar space, where you could get a drink on the lower level and look up at the band on a gallery above. Standing on the mezzanine, you could watch the band play standing right next to you and occasionally look down at the bar patrons looking up at you. Lee Newell, Lovelife’s lead singer, did just that with some amusement while singing down to the crowd below during one number.

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Entertainment, Food and Drink, Fun & Games, Special Events

Celebrating Cinco De Mayo At LivingSocial BeerFest

This past weekend I was invited to celebrate Cinco De Mayo with beer instead of the traditional tequila. Sunday afternoon I went down to the Half Street Fairgrounds by Nats Park and walked around the final day of LivingSocial’s BeerFest. Craft beers, crazy party games, and a silent disco certainly made my Sunday Funday a good one.

Take a look at some photos I snapped at the festival below.

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Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Lovelife, Vacationer @ Living Social, 5/4/13

Lovelife at Bowery Electric, 2012 (courtesy of Lovelife)

Lovelife at Bowery Electric, 2012 (courtesy of Lovelife)

Living Social is kicking off an irregular showcase of emerging artists at its F Street headquarters starting Saturday May 4. Normally, I wouldn’t give it a second look but they managed to get something special for their inaugural date with Lovelife, Ghost Beach and Vacationer — a lineup better suited to the Black Cat or at least the Rock and Roll Hotel.

It’s worth mentioning what Living Social say about Lovelife because it’s not quite right. “After a name change and a transatlantic hop from London to Brooklyn, this synthpop act recently dropped new tracks El Regreso and The Fourth Floor.”

Well, our Atlantic-hopping musicians are well worth checking out. And lead singer Lee Newell was fronting a band called Viva Brother in London. But that band didn’t simply change its name and move. Newell met Ally Young, who at the time was in another band called Mirrors. The two really clicked musically, and Young, a bona fide synth genius, left Mirrors to form Lovelife with Newell.

That was really quite too bad, in my personal opinion, as Mirrors were a great synthpop band in the tradition of The Human League or Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark. But Young wanted to do something different, and it perhaps more organic and diverse. Lovelife still have a strong synth strain augmented by the capable guitar and drums of Sam Jackson and drummer Frank Colucci, respectively. But the new band has a taste for soul and R&B that permeate its music. While I wouldn’t call it neosoul by any stretch, it’s at the very least soulful synthpop. And well worth a listen — trust me!

Check out “Your New Beloved” from the latest Lovelife EP:

Vacationer, originally from Philadelphia, also are well worth checking out. They last came through DC and played at the Rock and Roll Hotel in January. Before that, I caught them opening for Walk the Moon in June last year. They play sunny, soulful indie pop that wistfully transports you to distant shores, much as their name Vacationer suggests.

The bands are accompanied by Ghost Beach, who will be performing a DJ set.

Lovelife are predicting this show will sell out, so grab a ticket now and don’t miss out on a good show!

w/ Lovelife and Ghost Beach
Saturday, May 4
Doors 7pm; show 8pm
Living Social
918 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004

Entertainment, Music, Night Life, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Switchfoot at 918 F Street

Photo by Nicholas Donner Photography

If I had the ability to create an award for the “Best Hidden Treasure Venue in D.C. to See Live Music” then it’d have to go to Living Social‘s 918 F Street. It combines the intimacy of a speakeasy with crystal clear acoustics to make way for one of the most creative spaces for live music in town. An intimate crowd of 200 fans opted-in to a Living Social deal featuring an exclusive Switchfoot acoustic performance from the Grammy Award winning band on Friday June 1 complete with a post-concert meet and greet option for a higher ticket price to a limited amount of fans.

Frontman Jon Foreman and his fellow bandmates made it a point throughout the night to emphasize the fact that the evening’s performance special. It was apparently a throwback to their earlier days back when Foreman, his brother/bassist Tim, and drummer Chad Butler were a three-piece band playing fraternity parties. While the show wasn’t quite a frat party, it did have a laid back feel. It might’ve been the fact that Switchfoot calls San Diego, Ca. home. It also could’ve been a direct result of the room’s floor plan. I’ll venture to guess it’s somewhere in between the two. Continue reading

Food and Drink, The Features

Sneak Peek: SŪNA Pop-up

The pop-up restaurant phenomenon is taking over DC, but if you are looking for a place to pop your taste bud cherry, here it is. From March 21-25, three incredibly young and talented chefs are taking over the new Living Social event space for a unique culinary collaboration to showcase what they have in store for us at their upcoming restaurant, SŪNA. The triple threat team is made up of Chefs Johnny Spero (Komi and Townhouse), Erik Bruner-Yang (Toki Underground), and Ari Gejdenson (Acqua Al 2). SŪNA, due to open at the end of this year in Eastern Market, will offer Spero’s unique perspective on modern progressive cuisine that reflects both his professional and personal experiences. I was invited for a sneak peek of the pop-up menu and witnessed firsthand how chef Johnny Spero literally creates art, of the tastiest kind, on a plate. Not only are the dishes aesthetically beautiful, but they are also creative, delicious, and given the same attention in every detail. This is what a pop-up experience should be made of– energy, dedication, innovation.

Chef Johnny Spero will be spearheading the SŪNA project and continuing his strong focus on sustainability, supporting local farms and cooking seasonally as he and his co-chefs develop the menu and concept. Chef Spero’s culinary resume is impressive; he worked at Komi here in the District and Townhouse in Virginia, and has traveled the globe to stage at some of the best restaurants, including NOMA in Denmark (oh hey, it was rated #1 in the world), and spent a week at Alinea in Chicago.

Tickets to this coveted culinary event are priced at $120 and include an 8-course meal with 4 pairings. For a visual tasting of what to expect from it, read (and drool) on…

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The Daily Feed

Your lunch tomorrow might just be $1

Photo courtesy of
‘Two Dollar #8’
courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

If you possess a smartphone and don’t have the Living Social Instant Deals app installed, you might want to consider getting it today.  Tomorrow, Living Social will be rolling out new lunch specials, including California Tortilla’s Chinatown location, and Sticky Rice on H Street, for just a buck.  You can check out their Instant Deals online, or by mobile phone, or download the app.  Cheap eats? Always relevant.