Music Park: Laura Tsaggaris @ 9:30 Club — 2/4/15

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Justin Jones affectionately calls her “L.T.”

And the alt-country crooner recalled playing with her over the years, getting their respective starts at the Grog and Tankard (formerly 2408 Wisconsin Ave NW, DC) in Glover Park.

“We’ve both come a long way,” Justin said Wednesday night at the 9:30 Club. She in question is DC singer-songwriter Laura Tsaggaris.

For her part, Laura is a hard-charging, dedicated musician whose perseverance pays off in a number of rock-and-roll songs that are at turns a little bit country, a little bit folk or a little bit blues. Her joint show with Justin Wednesday was billed as Laura Tsaggaris vs. Justin Jones and the B-Sides, but it was honestly a mutual musician’s concert of admiration.

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Don’t Miss: Laura Tsaggaris and Justin Jones & The B-Sides @ 9:30 Club, 2/4/15

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Americana singer-songwriter Laura Tsaggaris takes to the stage at the 9:30 Club (815 V St. NW, DC) Wednesday, Feb. 4, in a co-headlining show with Justin Jones & The B-Sides.

With the show, Laura will mark the release of her fifth CD, Live at the Atlas. The live album was recorded over the weekend of Friday, Sept. 26, and Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Atlas Performing Arts Center (1333 H St. NE, DC). It features 16 songs from her previous CDs, rearranged acoustically in the footsteps of some of Laura’s favorite live albums (like Nirvana: Unplugged and Ani Difranco: Living in Clip).

Live at Atlas features songs like Laura’s “Dig” from her 2013 album, Everyman.

Laura self-publishes her music through her own DC label Overtime Records, and Live at Atlas was supported by a successful Indiegogo campaign that raised more than $20,000. This is a great chance to see what all of the buzz is about and to catch up with Justin Jones at the same time.

Tickets are available online and at the door.

Laura Tsaggaris
Justin Jones & The B-Sides
9:30 Club
Wednesday, Feb. 4
Doors @7pm
$20
All ages

Music Park: Zola Jesus @ Black Cat — 1/29/15

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Zola Jesus (Photo by Santiago Felipe)

A little over halfway through her performance at the Black Cat on Thursday, the petite Nika Roza Danilova climbed a mountain of speakers to her left and lounged upon the very top of them like a cat watching down from somewhere high as she continued to sing.

The song she was singing was “Lawless,” which starts as a slowly drifting number marked by its percussion until it erupts into a soaring chorus about making it on your own.

Of course Ms. Danilova is better known as Zola Jesus, she typically quickly and rather inaccurately labeled “goth” or “gloompop,” and of course she’s known for having a good stage presence. But seeing is believing, and Zola Jesus throws herself, literally, into her songs as she sweeps across the stage, disappears into an interpretive dance or climbs speakers to sit, cat-like, along the ceiling.

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Don’t Miss: Zola Jesus @ Black Cat, 1/29/15

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Late last year, Zola Jesus released her fifth studio album, Taiga, and did so on perhaps my favorite record label ever — London’s Mute Records.

Tonight she brings the tour in support of the album to the Black Cat, and tickets are still available.

In a press statement, Zola Jesus said of the record: “I used to be very scared of failure, of the responsibility of doing the one thing I knew I was born to do. This record was made in an effort to try to make the most massive record I could, shunning all fear and any sense of smallness I ever once had.”

To record the album, she retired to the isolation of Vashon Island in the Puget Sound. The album’s name similarly comes from the Northwoods, or taiga, encompassing where she grew up in Wisconsin. At first listen, the new album sounds orchestral, haunting and thunderous all at the same time.

As reported by Noisey, Zola Jesus hasn’t been afraid to be different, as usual, on this tour. In Brooklyn on Jan. 26, while performing at Saint Vitus, she took her show out onto the street and into the snow. Watch a video of her performing “Nail” from Taiga in the snow below.

L.A. musician Deradoorian opens for Zola Jesus. Tickets are available online and at the door.

Zola Jesus
w/ Deradoorian
Black Cat
Thursday, Jan. 29
Doors @8pm
$17
All ages

Music Park: Juggernaut: Alpha/Omega from the Periphery, 1/27/15

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The Periphery (Photo by Jonathan Thorpe)

The Periphery, DC’s preeminent progressive metal band, released a double album today on Sumerian Records—Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega.

The band currently are on the Juggernaut tour on the West Coast (in Portland, Ore., tonight, and Seattle, Wash., tomorrow), and they play locally at The Fillmore (8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md.) on Friday, Feb. 13. (Buy tix online!)

Rolling Stone had a good word to say about the double album recently:

“The group’s most ambitious project yet, it features some of the band’s most accessible music; there’s plenty of the heavily syncopated Meshuggah-worshipping tech metal with which Periphery first made their name, but there’s also pulsing electronica, emo-inflected hard rock, spacey jazz-fusion and hooky acoustic pop – sometimes in the same song.”

The Juggernaut double album is the Periphery’s third full-length release since their debut album in 2010. Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega tell the story of a character who is torn between good and evil.

“Given the nature and complexity of the Juggernaut story, we’ve actually done something different and exciting in regards to the release,” drummer Matt Halpern said in a press release. “Juggernaut is a story that is told through our music, and we want our audience to fully digest the whole experience. Because Juggernaut is very detailed and dense in terms of character development, peaks and valleys, climaxes and resolutions we’ve divided the story and music in two, in the form of two separate albums. Juggernaut: Alpha, the first part of the story, focuses on the back story and character development, while part two/album two, Juggernaut: Omega, focuses on some pretty serious and gut-wrenching events, taking you for a thrill ride along the main character’s complex journey. Although the albums are split in two physically, the story is only complete when the albums are digested consecutively, allowing the listener to recognize and hear the lyrical and musical overlapping themes, foreshadowing, and connected ideas.”

In addition to Halpern, the Periphery include vocalist Spencer Sotelo, guitarist Misha Mansoor, guitarist Jake Bowen, guitarist Mark Holcomb, and bassist Adam Getgood.

Buy “Juggernaut: Alpha/Omega” today on iTunes and all digital outlets!

iTunes “Alpha”: http://hyperurl.co/Juggernaut_Alpha

iTunes “Omega”: http://hyperurl.co/Juggernaut_Omega

Google Play “Alpha”: http://hyperurl.co/Alpha_GooglePlay

Google Play “Omega”: http://hyperurl.co/Omega_GooglePlay

Music Park: Gang of Four’s New Single (Appearing @ 9:30 Club, 3/3/15)

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Hailing from Leeds, England, Gang of Four pracitically created the blueprint for dynamic post-punk music, and the latest lineup of the band is set to perform at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday, March 3.

Shortly before they visit DC, however, Gang of Four will release its eight studio album, What Happens Next, on Feb. 24 on Metropolis Records. On the upcoming album, the band employs a number of guest vocalists: The Big Pink’s Robbie Furze, German singer/actor Herbert Grönemeyer, and The Kills and The Dead Weather’s Alison Mosshart.

Today, Consequence of Sound debuted the two tracks featuring Ms. Mosshart, including the lead single “Broken Talk.”

The full tracklist for What Happens Next:
01. Where The Nightingale Sings
02. Broken Talk (feat. Alison Mosshart)
03. Isle of Dogs
04. England’s In My Bones (feat. Alison Mosshart)
05. Dying Rays (feat. Herbert Grönemeyer) [English version]
06. Obey The Ghost Of The Colony
07. First World Citizen
08. Stranded
09. Graven Image (feat. Robbie Furze)
10. Dead Souls (feat. Hotei)
11. Dying Rays (feat. Herbert Grönemeyer) [German version]

Lead vocals for Gang of Four are now handled by new member John Sterry, formerly of Gaoler’s Daughter, who replaced Jon King, the band’s founding vocalist (who departed after 2011’s Content). The Gang of Four lineup now includes founder and guitarist Andy Gill, bassist Thomas McNeice and singer Sterry.

Gang of Four
w/ Public Access T.V.
9:30 Club
Tuesday, March 3
Doors @7pm
$30
All ages