courtesy of ‘C.Davenby’
Sometimes, when they’re not too busy hosting/organizing a showcase of DMV-area talent* , local musicians like Alex Vans get a chance to perform solo at one of DC’s better-known music halls. Tuesday night, Vans will take the stage at the Velvet Lounge (915 U Street NW) at 8 p.m.
Vans is a self-proclaimed troubadour with a deep voice, simple lyrics and confident stage-presence. He lets the music speak for itself and doesn’t try to dominant a live performance with too much talk, akin to the likes of a young Bob Dylan.
For a sample of Vans’ work, check the video after the page break. Continue reading
courtesy of Spectrum.
It was a psychedelic throw-down at the Velvet Lounge on Thursday night when Spectrum dropped in to kick-off their current U.S. tour. In what is easily the best live set I have personally seen performed at the Velvet Lounge, the equipment heavy 4-man unit turned the tiny stage into their own personal sound laboratory and dazzled the small but dedicated crowd with an explosive evening of controlled feedback and groovy repetition.
For the uninitiated Spectrum is the most traditional of the many music projects led by Peter Kember aka Sonic Boom. Sonic Boom was one of the members of the hypnotically brilliant Spacemen 3, a legendary UK guitar band from the 80’s underground. Since Spacemen 3’s demise in the early 90’s, Sonic Boom has been pushing the envelope with experimental projects like Experimental Audio Research and Spectrum. The material Sonic Boom records as Spectrum began with a sound very similar to his former band but quickly evolved away from guitars and for many years became based around vintage keyboards and organs. His music has always maintained a ‘head’ music atmosphere even with the move away from guitars and feedback into tone drones and synth symphonies. On Spectrum’s latest EP, “War Sucks“, the band’s sound seems to be cycling back into guitar freak-out territory. I first saw Spectum at All Tomorrow’s Parties NY in 2008. The set was an equal mix of keyboard and guitar manipulations that also featured a nice dose of Spacemen 3 songs. The whole 2008 set was a laid-back fuzz-fest. So it was with the new EP and the 2008 show in mind that I went into Thursday night figuring the concert could go either way. In other words I didn’t really know what to expect.
If you’ve been searching far and wide for “that ultra-catchy sound that you’ve always wanted” to hear but couldn’t seem to find, go see one of L Magazine‘s “8 NYC Bands You Need To Hear in 2009” tomorrow night at the Velvet Lounge.
Savoir Adore started out as a two-piece band featuring singer-songwriter Deidre Muro on keyboards and Paul Hammer on drums but is up to a six-man roster, complete with female vocals (compliments of Sasha Brown).
Savoir Adore is joined by fellow rockers Ra Ra Rasputin & Bellflur.
Doors open at 9, show starts 10. It’s 21+ with an $8 cover.
Photo by Rachel Levitin.
courtesy of ‘pinguino’
For those of you who need to shake off the traditionalism of fireworks and hot dogs for the 4th, Velvet Lounge has your answer: INDIEpendence Day. From 9pm until close, DJs including DJ KC from Fatback DC will be spinning the tunes, male and female models will be having their bodies painted, bands upstairs will be rocking your socks off, and general mayhem will ensue. $3 downstairs, $8 upstairs.