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

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

Music Park: Loud Boyz 7” Release Party @ Comet Ping Pong, 1/10/15

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The Loud Boyz (Photo courtesy of Cricket Cemetery)

The Loud Boyz, DC’s buzzy punk rock quintent, released a 7” record on Tuesday, and they are heading to Comet Ping Pong Saturday to play a vinyl release show.

The 7” disc includes two songs from Kenny, Mitchell, Devin, Rory and Alex: “Hard Feelings” and “4 The Ladies.” Catch the video of “4 The Ladies” below.

“Loud Boyz always bring the fight live, and aren’t afraid to crack a smile while doing it,” says their label Cricket Cemetery. You can order the vinyl, limited to 300 copies, from Cricket Cemetery or undoubtedly buy it at the show on Saturday (for $6).

The Loud Boyz debuted the “4 The Ladies” video on YouTube in December after filming it at the Gibson Guitar showroom in DC’s Chinatown. In the video, the band rocks out through a 2.5-minute jam for a room full of ladies. Listen to some of their songs on Soundcloud:

DC garage rockers Shark Week perform with the Loud Boyz Saturday. Tickets are available at the door.

Loud Boyz Release Party
w/ Shark Week
Comet Ping Pong
5037 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC
Saturday, Jan. 10
10pm
$12
All ages

Music Park: U.S. Royalty Release “More to This” Video

DC indie rock stalwarts U.S. Royalty debuted a new video today for their song “More to This.” The video follows the band as they drive languidly along California highways, exploring Malibu, Venice and Mulholland Drive.

The song “More to This” takes the quartet down for a turn into hazy psychedelic rock, and the result is definitely quite easy on the ears. The song is about wanting out of a relationship where nothing more apparently is going to happen.

Vocalist John Thornley, guitarist Paul Thornley, bassist Jacob Michael and drummer Luke Adams report they have been writing new material. They have a few dates planning, including a stop at the 9:30 Club on Thursday, Jan. 22 with Dr. Dog, and another show in New York City’s Webster hall on Friday, Jan. 23.

Meanwhile, the band is planning to release a limited edition vinyl version of its first album, Mirrors, which is nearly four years old now. (Hard to believe!). Preorders of the vinyl include a digital download of the album and previously unreleased bonus tracks.

I last saw U.S. Royalty perform a little under a year ago after the release of their second album, Blue Sunshine. They were in good form then, and it will be interesting to see where a third self-released album and lingering major label ambitions take them this year.

Don’t Miss: Bliss w/ The Juan MacLean @ U Street Music Hall, 12/27/14

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Nancy Whang and Juan MacLean of The Juan MacLean (Photo by Tonje Thilesen)

Of course, you probably already know that DJ Will Eastman hosts his personal dance party Bliss on the last Saturday of every month at U Street Music Hall, which he co-owns and manages.

And of course, U Street Music Hall has become the place to experience exciting new house music.

But I would say they’ve really taken it up a notch with the Christmas edition of Bliss on Saturday, Dec. 27, by hosting DJ sets from The Juan MacLean, the duo of Juan MacLean and Nancy Whang (she formerly of LCD Soundsystem).

This means an unparalleled amount of DFA Records-inspired goodness will drop on DC this weekend. The production-savvy MacLean and Whang know how to make the most of sounds great and small, transcending subgenres from electroclash to deep house.

Of the two as a band, DFA Records says, “Throughout, Nancy is the triumphant leader–front and center; Juan works his magic with the arrangements and production, quoting freely from house, techno, and disco, yet surpassing genres all together. Together, Juan and Nancy play with the lyrics and melodies, as well as the arrangements, creating an interplay remindful of classic disco records. The sounds you’re just not supposed to reach for, the Juan always reaches for.”

If that wasn’t enough, the lineup for Saturday night also features Ben Browning, bassist for Australian new wave/house band Cut Copy. Browning has formed a special relationship with DC, spending some time here in general and spinning specifically at U Street Music Hall.

Tickets are available online or at the door.

Bliss
w/ Juan MacLean, Nancy Whang and Ben Browning
U Street Music Hall
Saturday, Dec. 27
Doors @10pm
$10 (Free for 21+ before midnight)
18+ (Advance tickets required for 18-20)

Music Park: Nicole Atkins @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 12/19/14

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As a half-full room at the Rock and Roll Hotel looked to the stage, the performer they came to see walked in through the doors behind them.

With her guitar hung around her shoulders, Nicole Atkins, a tiny chanteuse with a big voice, strode into the middle of the room and opened her set from the floor with her anthem “Neptune City,” the folky Americana ode to her hometown in New Jersey.

The audience reconfigured itself in a crowded circle around her and sang along Friday night, giving one of the warmest welcomes to a performer in my concert-going experience.

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