Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Saint Etienne @ U Street Music Hall — 10/25/12 (or “Hey, NYC! I’ve Got Your Music!”)

Hey, NYC. This is your little brother DC talking. I’m not one to talk trash much (particularly when it comes to concerts), but I’m going to talk a little trash to you. You see, we just hosted a once-in-a-decade event at a cool little joint we have here called U Street Music Hall. The show was none other than Saint Etienne, the amazing disco/house band from London.

We sold that out and it was all kinds of amazing. (At least I think we sold it out, Mr. Eastman?) I see they are playing at Webster Hall tonight and somehow there are still tickets available. Now I know you get bands like Pulp and New Order up there and you know how to treat them right, right? Then, don’t miss out on Saint Etienne!

Let me tell you what you would be missing.

Sarah Cracknell (vocals), Bob Stanley (synths) and Pete Wiggs (more synths) are simply the smartest, lushest Eurodance band ever to hit the stage. Let me not fail to mention their capable fourth touring member — Debsey Wykes, formerly of UK post-punk band the Dolly Mixture, on backup vocals and cowbell! Now, Saint Etienne are indeed English, so they are a bit proper — and Cracknell, bless her, seemed earnestly embarrassed by the adulation she and her bandmates received at U Hall, as we fondly call it. But they earned every moment of frenzied screaming throughout their 17-song set.

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

Q&A with Volta Bureau

photo by Jonathan Luna

Volta Bureau is an electronic trio based in DC. The group is made up of DJs/producers/instrumentalists/vocalists Will Eastman, Miguel Lacsamana (Micah Vellian) and Bernard Farley (Outputmessage). Almost exactly a year ago I had the pleasure of asking Miguel a few questions as the group was just starting to play out. It’s been a busy year for Volta Bureau, with live performances, high-profile DJ sets, and worldwide acclaim for their tracks. They’re in full-force and ready to kick off the next year with more live shows, new recordings and remixes. Tonight you can experience their magic live as they take over the mainstage of Black Cat.
Alexia: Just a year ago you were playing your first show as a live act- so much has happened in the past year for you- what have been some personal high points?
Miguel:Hearing Pete Tong, Annie Mac and Toddla T talk about Alley Cat was pretty ace, but the fact that we are getting to do this at all is probably the biggest high point for me.
Will: Aw man, the year has passed really quickly. As Miguel mentioned, Pete Tong playing our track and shouting it out on BBC Radio 1 was really amazing and surreal after following his show for so long. Playing live at U Street Music Hall‘s second anniversary was a really special moment for me. It was a culmination of a lot of things I’d be working very hard on for awhile. Going to Miami and playing WMC with the guys and just having lots of good times being creative and laughing and playing music with my buds has been the best part.
Alexia: Volta Bureau has done a lot of appearances doing DJ sets- is there a plan to do more live shows in the future? Which do you prefer?
Miguel: We are definitely planning to do more live shows. 
Will: We originally conceived of Volta Bureau as a live band. We’re all three DJs and doing DJ sets is important to us, but the live performance is something we’ve put a lot of thought and planning into. We’ve wanted to refine it and practice a lot before rolling it out. I think we’re now at a stage where we’re ready to do more live shows outside of DC and we’re looking forward to making that a priority for 2013. Continue reading
Entertainment, Interviews, Music, Night Life, People, The Features, We Love Music

Q&A with Volta Bureau


Photo by Josh Sisk

Volta Bureau is the new electro/house/dance collaboration of DC’s movers & shakers of the electronic music scene Will Eastman, Micah Vellian (Miguel Lacsamana) and Outputmessage (Bernard Farley). I have known Will and Miguel for several years, initially through my old band Soft Complex. Miguel (then under the moniker Person) did a remix for our 2006 EP, and we had the pleasure of performing a live set at Will’s Bliss Pop dance party at the 930 club in 2007. I was super excited to hear they had come together to form this new group, along with Bernard Farley- they all have talent, drive and style in spades. I have a feeling this trinity is one to watch!

This week I had a chance to chat with Miguel, aka Micah Vellian, and ask him a few questions about Volta Bureau. Continue reading