Ronny Moorings fronts Clan of Xymox at Union Stage on Nov. 21, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
I’m going to say it right out of the gate — Clan of Xymox deserve to be a much bigger act than they are.
As seen at DC’s Union Stage recently, frontman Ronny Moorings and company walk a straight line through buoyant synthpop — a bit more dark and distracted than their contemporaries in New Order and a bit less complicated than The Cure.
Matt and Kim light up 9:30 Club on Nov. 20, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
In 2009, Brooklyn indie pop duo Matt and Kim released Grand, their sophomore album, and party bands were never the same again. The couple celebrated 10 years of the record by playing it in its entirety in a super sold-out show at 9:30 Club recently.
Rose Riot performs at Union Stage on Nov. 19, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Should ever you found yourself in DC listening to a local cover band that isn’t White Ford Bronco, odds are that you’ve been struck by the blonde lightning bolt that is Cathy DiToro. The vocalist and guitarist appears regularly in ’80s coverband The Legwarmers, ’00s coverband So Fetch, and ska partyband Party Like It’s.
In addition to raising money to support women in music as chief of Project HERA, Cathy has been honing some original tunes as a solo artist for a while. So, it’s only natural that she would assemble a band to play more originals. Rose Riot, that very band, started playing around DC in November, and the quartet opened Letters to Cleo at Union Stage recently.
Kay Hanley fronts Letters to Cleo at Union Stage on Nov. 19, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
At about one-third of their way through their recent return to DC, Letters to Cleo played “I Got Time” from Go!, the band’s third studio album, at Union Stage.
Go!, as it turned out, was released in 1997, which was also the year Letters to Cleo last played in DC for an appearance at 9:30 Club, leading guitarist Greg McKenna to observe, “This song was new the last time we played in Washington.”
Michael Fitzpatrick fronts Fitz and The Tantrums at the Conrad Washington, DC, on Nov. 8, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Fitz and The Tantrums came to town for a private show recently, and the band got things cooking behind the scenes and on the stage for an exclusive party at the Conrad Hilton Hotel Washington, DC.
Katie Perry headlines The Anthem on Oct. 11. 2019. (Photo by Dave Barnhouser, 13th Hour Photography)
About 10 years ago in India, Katy Perry met Bob Roth, who taught her transcendental meditation, the singer said at The Anthem recently. She credited transcendental meditation with providing her peace and focus.
“I’m always searching for something — searching for light and searching for consciousness and deeper meaning — and this is the No. 1 thing that has brought me that,” Katy said. “And of course it has helped with many hangovers!”
David Schelzel fronts The Ocean Blue at Union Stage on Oct. 4, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Here’s how I like to imagine it happened: Teenaged David Schelzel stood on an overlook above Hershey Park in Pennsylvania and pondered the decade that was coming to a close. “I’m going to take the very best of the ’80s and synthesize it into one band,” he said, reaching deep into England, where the very best new wave and psychedelia had emerged, and scooping all of those sounds into one impossibly sweet band.
And so was born The Ocean Blue, which published its first self-titled album in 1989, and captured the zeitgeist of cool alternative music in one quartet (or so we say!). Quite active in recent years, The Ocean Blue again reminded us just how cool they are in a sold-out show at Union Stage last week.