Music Park: The Zombies @ Lincoln Theatre — 10/8/15

Live at the Muni Art Centre, Pontypridd - The Zombies
Colin Blunstone (front) and Jim Rodford at The Muni Arts Centre, pontypridd, Wales, May 29, 2013 (Photo by Sean Rowe)

The Zombies had not played their song “I Want You Back Again” for a while but then they heard Tom Petty cover it.

The band then recalled what a good song it was, and they determined that they should revisit it in their live sets. This led them to record a new version of the song for their latest album, Still Got That Hunger, released Friday, Oct. 9, via Cherry Red Records.

“If it is good enough for Tom Petty, it is good enough for The Zombies,” quipped Colin Blunstone before a performance of the song at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on Thursday night. The band then launched into their new rendition of “I Want You Back Again,” a single the original band first released in 1965.

Colin sings very soulfully on the song, dedicated to a woman who should return to the lonely narrator. The Zombies cofounder Rod Argent plays some lonely blues piano and he spearheads a rather lovely musical interlude early in the song. Rod is a keyboard maestro who really gets into the zone during moments like that interlude, and it’s a pleasure to watch him behind the piano most of all.

Continue Reading

Don’t Miss: Electric Six @ Black Cat, 10/11/15

E6_Photo01_ChrisBetea-770x472
Electric Six (Photo by Chris Betea)

It’s a long holiday weekend in DC, and many of us have Monday off thanks to Columbus Day. In this case, what better way to spend your Sunday night than seeing a concert?

For our money, your best bet may be Detroit-based collective Electric Six, appearing at the Black Cat on Sunday, Oct. 11. Headed by Dick Valentine, the Electric Six are electric, eclectic, and loud! The official lineup of Electric Six today has only five members: Dick Valentine (vocals), Da Ve (guitar), Johnny Na$hinal (guitar), Tait Nucleus? (synths), and Percussion World (drums). They are still best known perhaps for their 2003 debut album, Fire, which spawned several hits in the United Kingdom — “Danger! High Voltage,” “Gay Bar,” and “Dance Commander.”

As you can see from those three songs alone, Electric Six have a unique way of traversing genres — going from the depths of hard rock to positively new wave. They keep the pace high with their 11th studio album, Bitch, Don’t Let Me Die!, released on Oct. 2 via Metropolis Records. They also stay absolutely quirky with song titles like “Slow Motion Man,” “When Cowboys File for Divorce,” and “Kids Are Evil.” If anything on this new album, Electric Six are more than ever crossing the hard rock lyrics of early AC/DC with the sweeping progressiveness of a middle-period Styx.

Electric Six don’t seem to have released a new music video in a while, so let’s revisit “Danger! High Voltage” and recall how damn catchy it is.

Watch the official video for “Danger! High Voltage” on YouTube:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-FxmoVM7X4]

Oh, hey, Baltimore, we see Electric Six had to cancel their show tonight at Metro Gallery due to a personal emergency. Come party with us on Sunday! Tickets are available online and at the door.

Electric Six
w/ Yip Deceiver
Black Cat
Sunday, Oct. 11
Doors @7:30pm
$15
All ages

Don’t Miss: The March Violets @ Recessions, 10/10/15

Lineup_1984_2
The March Violets in 1984 (Photo courtesy The March Violets)

As many a member of Generation X knows, the songs appearing on soundtracks to the films of John Hughes in the 1980s are critical elements of those movies.

Where would we be without “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds in the Breakfast Club or “If You Leave” by OMD in 16 Candles?

And so we also embrace “Turn to the Sky” by the March Violets in “Some Kind of Wonderful,” where it sets the mood for a club scene with Eric Stoltz and Mary Stuart Masterson.

Watch the official video for “Turn to the Sky” by the March Violets from 1986 on YouTube:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qrr6sj1Ra2c]

The latest lineup of the post-punk/goth quartet from Leeds, England — featuring vocalists Simon Denbigh and Rosie Garland — is set to perform in DC on Saturday, Oct. 10, at the Spellbound dance party, which takes place weekly at Recessions (1823 L St. NW, DC). (They also play at the Mercury Lounge in New York City on Friday night.)

The March Violets have been rather active since their reformation in 2007, releasing a new album Made Glorious in 2014 after a very successful Pledge Music campaign.

The band has launched a new Pledge Music campaign to fund yet another album, Mortality, and they already have achieved more than half their goal with more than 70 days remaining in the project.

Buy or listen to the album Made Glorious on Bandcamp:

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=1489389526 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]

Tickets are available at the door! “Space will be limited, so get there early!” say the promoters.

The March Violets
Recessions
Saturday, Oct. 10
Doors @9pm
$15
21+

Don’t Miss: YACHT @ U Street Music Hall, 11/7/15

YACHT-Tomboys
Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans (Photo by Ricky Tompkins)

Disco-punk duo YACHT are about to release a new album, I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler, via Downtown Records — their third full-length effort operating as a band rather than as a solo project by founder Jona Bechtolt.

After the new album’s release on Oct. 16, YACHT will appear mystically at U Street Music Hall soon after on Saturday, Nov. 7, in a tour stop to support the album.

The new album finds Jona and his songwriting partner Claire L. Evans concerned about the quality of life and the future of mankind — two themes that preoccupied them in previous albums See Mystery Lights and Shangri-La, which lyrically assessed topics like the lack of an afterlife and utopia, despite mostly being earnest dance records. Aside from being an arresting performer, Claire is also a science journalist, writing and blogging about science for the likes of National Geographic, OMNI and Vice.

The first single from the new album “L.A. Plays Itself” is a love letter to their adopted city, inspired by the 2003 Thom Andersen documentary Los Angeles Plays Itself and incorporating 163 production location signs.

Watch the video for “L.A. Plays Itself” on YouTube:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaAqe5nMAuA]

YACHT cites a mind-boggling array of influences on The Future Would Be Cooler — including 80s Japanese electronic reggae (Sandii & The Sunsetz, Haruomi Hosono), 70s and 80s post-punk and no wave (Family Fodder, The Waitresses, Suburban Lawns, Killing Joke, A Certain Ratio, Devo), Norwegian disco (Todd Terje, Lindstrøm, Prins Thomas), and Grand Royal Records-era alternative music (Cibo Matto, Luscious Jackson, Money Mark).

Tickets are available online.

YACHT
w/ Larry Gus
U Street Music Hall
Saturday, Nov. 7
Doors @7pm
$20
All ages

Don’t Miss: Lane 8 @ U Street Music Hall, 10/15/15

Lane8PressPic20141
Lane 8 (Photo courtesy Pitch Perfect PR)

Deep house composer Lane 8 released his debut album Rise in July, and he’s launched a supporting tour including a stop at U Street Music Hall on Thursday, Oct. 15.

Lane 8, born Daniel Goldstein, hails from San Francisco, but he’s been living in Leipzig, Germany, and he’s signed to Anjunadeep, the house label established by English progressive trance trio Above & Beyond.

As you can hear in his lead single “Ghost,” which features vocals by Patrick Baker, Lane 8 favors dreamy melodies and soothing vocals.

Watch the official music video for “Ghost” by Lane 8:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG5huIYWuoY]

Lane 8’s 10-track debut album offers a journey across melodic instruments and dreamy electronics, and it inspired remixes by ODESZA, Eric Prydz and Above & Beyond.

New York-based DJ duo whiteowljaguar open for Lane 8. Tickets are available online.

Lane 8
w/ whiteowljaguar
U Street Music Hall
Thursday, Oct. 15
Doors @10pm
$12
18+

Music Park: FFS @ Lincoln Theatre — 10/5/15

IMG_9500
Alex Kapranos flanked by the Mael Brothers — Russell and Ron in DC on Oct. 5, 2015.

Starting from the very opening lines of Franz Ferdinand’s “Do You Want To?”, you could easily imagine the 2005 second album lead single as a classic Sparks song.

“When I woke up tonight, I said I’m…/Gonna make somebody love me!”

Consider songs from Spark’s 1983 opus In Outer Space — songs like “Popularity” and its similar glam/post-punk beats:

“I like you and you like me a lot/And it’s nice to be all alone with you too”

In hindsight, it’s little surprise that indefatigable Franz Ferdinand and the trailblazing Sparks also saw the synergies and combined forces to become the supergroup FFS (which of course is a shorthand for Franz Ferdinand Sparks… and not “for fuck’s sake” as some member of the audience called out on Monday night much to the amusement of singer Alex Kapranos).

FFS struck glam gold in a thunderous performance Monday night at the Lincoln Theatre in DC, charming an ecstatic audience who were clearly hyped to see the smooth blend of old school meets new school and the resulting theatrics.

Continue Reading

Don’t Miss: The Zombies @ Lincoln Theatre, 10/8/15

SXSWAndrewEcclesZombies
The Zombies (Photo by Andrew Eccles)

Several years ago, English rockers The Zombies came to DC to play at The Howard Theatre as part of an annual tour the band now undertakes.

Their last show here, on August 9, 2012, was a smashing success. Writing for the blog We Love DC at the time, I observed, “Best known for orchestral arrangements of their classic rock songs, The Zombies played stripped down versions of their own classics, pleasing the audience of roughly 250 or more who came out to see them for a seated show at The Howard. The audience was positively pleased for folks who looked like they had been waiting for the opportunity to see the veteran rockers for some time. They were pleased enough to deliver a standing ovation after ‘Hold Your Head Up’ [originally by Argent] in particular.”

Now organist and vocalist Rod Argent along with lead vocalist Colin Blunstone are coming back to DC to perform at the Lincoln Theatre on Thursday, Oct. 8 with their bandmates guitarist Tom Toomey, Jim Rodford, and Steve Rodford.

At the Lincoln, The Zombies will perform their seminal 1968 album Odessey and Oracle in its entirety! –something they never have done in the United States prior to this tour.

Watch The Zombies perform “Time of the Season,” one of the long-enduring hits from that album, at Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop in Austin, Texas, during SXSW 2013 on March 16, 2013:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY2rTqD3dhk]

Tickets are available online!

The Zombies
Lincoln Theatre
Thursday, Oct. 8
Doors @6:30pm
$45
All ages

Music Park: MS MR @ 9:30 Club — 10/1/15

MS MR

“God damn, it feels good to be back in DC!”

Bounding on to the 9:30 Club stage with fiery red hair and a silver jacket on Thursday, Oct. 1, Lizzy Plapinger’s energy was barely containable for MS MR’s opening song, “Reckless”. She danced so furiously to the uptempo beat, that one could only assume it would take weeks of recovery to heal.

‘Furiously’ is probably the wrong descriptor anyway, as Lizzy’s radiant smile hardly ever leaves her face. Let’s go with ‘enthusiastically’.

MS MR, from New York, is Lizzy (MS) and Max Hershenow (MR) with accompanying band members on bass and drums. Lizzy and Max met at Vassar College and formed a perfect union that metes out infectious, yet often dark-themed, music.

On their newly released second album, How Does It Feel, they often take it down a notch, with a few more introspective slow jams than their first album.

Continue Reading

Music Park: Drenge @ U Street Music Hall — 10/1/15

150131-01-091 copy
Drenge (Photo courtesy Press Here)

The song “We Can Do What We Want” is a snarling 3-minute banger that tells the listener to fuck off.

It gets straight to the point, but man, you sure can dance to it as well. Is it a dash of The Clash? A bit of Ramones?

Whatever it may be, it involved a whole lot of youthful energy from the three-man band Drenge, fresh to the United States from Sheffield, England, where the gents have refined their mastery of blistering punk beats over the course of two records. Drenge are touring in support of the second record, Undertow, and they stopped by U Street Music Hall in a sold-out show to open for Wolf Alice as a stop on the tour.

I don’t know if the crowd was expecting an opening act as kinetic as Drenge, but I do know that Drenge was expecting a crowd. From the start, drummer Rory Loveless served as a spokesperson and announcer for the band, addressing the audience in crisp accented English. His brother and guitarist/vocalist Eoin Loveless followed his lead to engage in a bit of banter here and there, but Rory kept the show moving.

Continue Reading

Music Park: FIDLAR @ Black Cat — 9/28/15

FIDLAR
Zac Carper demonstrates his likely reaction to most things while in Boston on Oct. 23, 2013. (Photo by digboston)

FIDLAR are a certain kind of punk band — the kind that wants to have fun and thumb its nose at everyone else while doing so.

Fans of the band already knew this dating back to FIDLAR’s self-titled 2013 debut album, which captured a very big slice of California living in terms of sun, fun and girls. But mostly on the fun — consisting of cocaine, cheap beer, etc. — and what a pain in the ass it is to have to wait around, or worse yet work, while waiting for fun to happen.

Well, fun is happening on the FIDLAR tour in support of their second album, Too, released only a month ago, and the band lit up a lot of smiling faces who came to thrash along at the Black Cat in DC on Monday night.

Continue Reading