Parklife Event: Synchronicity: New Wave Party @ DC9, 1/24/15

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Original Patrick Nagel tribute by Jared Eberhardt

New Wave music hit its commercial zenith in 1985 — and this weekend, ParklifeDC and DC9 are going to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its cultural dominance.

Join me, Mickey McCarter, and DJ Swank at DC9 (1940 9th St. NW, DC) on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 10pm for SYNCHRONICITY: New Wave Party to revisit some of the tracks that made the genre so appealing.

New Wave is a cultural movement that began in 1977 and crystalized into a music genre — the defining elements of which are easier now to identify through the lens of time nearly 40 years after its launch. While New Wave music peaked commercially in 1985, bands continue to identify with the genre yet today, melding the best elements of rock, glam, disco and punk to assert their individuality and to define “cool.”

SYNCHRONICITY will celebrate the 30th anniversary of New Wave’s commercial peak with selections like “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” (which actually turns 30 this year)!

SYNCHRONICITY: New Wave Party
w/ Mickey and DJ Swank
DC9
Saturday, Jan. 24
10pm
Free
21+

Music Park: The Vaselines w/ Amanda X @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 1/14/15

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Frances McKee and Eugene Kelly of The Vaselines

“I have only one question for you,” Frances McKee of The Vaselines told the audience at the Rock and Roll Hotel in DC Wednesday night. “Where is the White House?”

McKee related a tale of trying to find the location of the presidential mansion as a tourist that day, but getting lost for about 90 minutes, then trapped in the Metro system, leading her to hop a turnstile to get home (without seeing the White House).

“What did you do today?” she asked her bandmate and longtime acquaintance, Eugene Kelly.

“I didn’t get lost and then break the law!” he proclaimed.

“He stayed in hostel room all day,” McKee said to the audience, “–wanking!”

“I saved enough for your face later,” Kelly quipped.

The exchange was representative of the humorous banter of potty language exchanged between the two longtime friends and former lovers from Glasgow who make up the core of Scottish punk band The Vaselines. The occasionally course language is somewhat more startling because the two otherwise seem so damn polite. I mean, really. They are sharply dressed, soft-spoken and well-mannered but spit out jokes about sex left and right.

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Don’t Miss: French Admirals w/ Exit Vehicles, Feral Conservatives, Oppo @ Rock and Roll Hotel, 1/16/15

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Indie rockers French Admirals headline a Friday night bill at the Rock and Roll Hotel that includes two other DC bands and a Virginia Beach duo.

French Admirals are launching a tour to support their first album, Closer Than Brothers, released last August. The trio of vocalist and guitarist Robert France (Rob Kuczynski), bassist the Admiral (Mike Lashinsky) and drummer the General (Mark Kuczynski) promise a power pop experience blending garage, post punk and alt country.

DC quartet Exit Vehicles are working on their debut album, expected to be released this year. The band includes twin brothers Brian and Adam Polon, drummer Jacob McLocklin (also of Cake and Calculus), and vocalist Brian Easley.

The visiting band is Feral Conservatives, fuzz-folk rockers who have an affinity for the 90s. Multi-instrumentalists Rashie Rosenfarb and Matt Francis go for vocal harmonies and moving string arrangements. They’ve released a few EPs and they are poised to release their full-length debut, The Feeling Noise Becomes, on Richmond’s Egg Hunt Records.

I know absolutely nothing about the very first opener, Oppo, a new indie rock trio hailing from DC (and not apparently a fitness tracker). Oppo promise to “wrap plaintive melodies, textural guitars and thumping rhythms around vignettes of moral crisis, redemption and the invisible world of things beyond language and knowing.” Well, then! Show up early and see if they fulfill that promise.

Tickets are available online and at the door.

French Admirals
w/ Exit Vehicles, Feral Conservatives and Oppo
Rock and Roll Hotel
Friday, Jan. 16
Doors @8pm
$12
All ages

Around Town: The Return of Awesome Con @ Washington Convention Center, 5/29-5/31/15

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Awesome Con, which debuted last year as DC’s biggest pop culture/comic book convention, has announced it will return again this year to the Washington Convention Center (801 Mount Vernon Place NW, DC) on May 29-31, 2015.

Guests this year include no less than four actors from the original Power Rangers serial: Austin St. John, David Yost, Karan Ashley and Walter Jones. (And you can get a Power Rangers VIP pass if you really dig it.) Comic book professionals in attendance include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles creator Kevin Eastman, artist Mike McKone, artist Tom Raney and cartoonist Bryan Turner, among others.

Other celebrity guests include none other than Jason Mewes (Jay of Jay and Silent Bob of course!), actress Dina Meyer and actor Michael Biehn (known for Terminator and Aliens, surely, but I kinda liked him in Topher Grace’s 80s coming-of-age tale Take Me Home Tonight). And DC’s own horror host Count Gore De Vol, who’s been screening scary movies since 1973, will return this year as well.

I had fun at last year’s convention, mostly hassling Dirk “Starbuck” Benedict and being wowed like everyone else by the R2D2 droids developed and displayed by the R2-D2 Builders Club. Let’s hope those guys are back again this year!

Tickets are available online for single day passes, weekend passes and VIP passes.

Awesome Con
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Friday, May 29: 12pm – 8pm
Saturday, May 30: 10am – 7pm
Sunday, May 31: 10am – 5pm
$30-$350
All ages

Stars and Bars: The Return of The Passenger?, 2/8/15

The Passenger - God Save the District

Update: Fritz Hahn, bar sage of the Washington Post, reports on Jan. 15 that the Passenger is holding a pop-up in its former neighbor Bar 7 (1015 Seventh St. NW, DC) on Sunday, Feb. 8 from 7pm-1am. Apparently, Tom Brown will hold a series of pop-ups.

“Brown promises live-band karaoke with the Hari Karaoke Band, a special cocktail menu and possibly tiki drinks in Bar 7’s lower-level lounge,” Fritz says.

Personally I don’t see the point. Tom could just go work at another joint and make his cocktails there while waiting for a new space for the Passenger?

The Twitter account of The Passenger, the popular DC cocktail bar that closed New Year’s Eve, suggests it may return to a new location faster than many anticipated.

Via Twitter, the afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 13: “Mark Sunday, February 8th on your calendar! Deets forthcoming. #wemissyou”

Many mourned the passing of The Passenger, founded by DC mixologist Derek Brown, when it announced last fall it would close its old location (1021 7th St. NW, DC) on Dec. 31, 2014. For the previous five years, the bar sat on a block long-scheduled for demolition. Its inventive cocktails, dive bar atmosphere and gracious ambience appealed to a wide audience, including myself — and I’m a beer guy. I visited the bar on its last day around dinnertime and I found things as congenial and the cocktails as tasty as ever.

Derek Brown went on to co-found three new bars outside the Shaw metro station but vowed his brother Tom Brown, the popular and friendly face usually behind the bar at The Passenger, would reestablish the bar in a new location, hopefully in the Shaw neighboorhood.

It appears The Passenger may indeed already have found a new home?

Don’t Miss: The Vaselines w/ Amanda X @ Rock and Roll Hotel, 1/14/15

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Frances McKee and Eugene Kelly (Photo by Niall Webster)

The Rock and Roll Hotel (1353 H St. NE, DC) hosts one of the United Kingdom’s most engaging punk bands Wednesday when the Vaselines come to town.

The Vaselines specialize in refreshing short punk rock songs in the fashion of The Ramones. The Glaswegian duo of Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee formed their band in 1987 but broke up soon after finishing their first album. After their breakup, the Vaselines reached wide exposure when Nirvana covered their song “Son of a Gun.”

Thankfully, they reformed and put out a new album in 2009, and they have stayed busy since. Last year, they released the album V for Vaselines through their own label, Rosary Music. Watch the video for the third single, “Crazy Lady,” below.

If you like great classic, melodic punk with a great beat, don’t miss this show.

Philadelphia’s punk rockers Amanda X open for the Vaselines. The chirpy female trio are a perfect opener for their tourmates from Scotland, so come early and hear the sweet vocals and rollicking guitars as featured on their album Amnesia. (Seriously, these ladies could have been on DC’s own Teen Beat Records, no?)



Tickets are available online and at the door.

The Vaselines
w/ Amanda X
Rock and Roll Hotel
Wednesday, Jan. 14
Doors @7pm
$20
All ages

Don’t Miss: Operators w/ Pleasure Curses @ DC9, 2/16/15

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Note: DC9 closed early last night due to a water main break, forcing cancellation of this show! Operators have been rescheduled for Monday, Feb. 16

DC9 (1940 9th St. NW, DC) hosts a pretty exciting electronic line-up — now on Monday, Feb. 16!

The main act Operators is the latest band from Canada’s Dan Boeckner, who formerly supplied guitar and vocals to Montreal quartet Wolf Parade. Operators puts a big emphasis on dance music and the band released its first offering EP1 last year.

For Operators, Boeckner has partnered with keyboardist Devojka, hailing from Macedonia, and drummer Sam Brown (the latter of whom he also worked with in Divine Fits). Their EP1 supplies us with five tracks, including the likes of “True,” a very new wave track with funky vocals and pleasantly pulsating electro.

Listen:

Opening for Operators is DC’s own Pleasure Curses in their first show of 2015. Pleasure Curses, hailing from the very electronic label Prince George Records, recently released the track “Burn,” a slinky single that shows off their increasingly polished, and dare we say seductive, sound.

The duo of Jahn Alexander and Evan Maxwell say they have big things planned this year, but catch up on their catalogue to date below:

Tickets are available online and at the door.

Operators
w/Pleasure Curses
DC9
Monday, Jan. 12
Doors @8:30pm
$12
All ages