Don’t Miss: Ride @ 9:30 Club, 9/17/15

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Ride (Photo by Piper Ferguson)

Legendary shoegazers Ride reunited and performed a homecoming show at the 02 Academy in London back in April — their first show in almost 20 years!

They followed that up with a few US dates, including stops at the Coachella Music Festival, but now they are returning in force for a proper tour, showcasing material from their beloved four studio albums.

“More than a decade later, the bristling wall of sound was just as brooding, rumbling and heavy as we had remembered,” Rolling Stone said of Ride’s initial shows.

The gents kick off the next leg of their reunion tour at the 9:30 Club on Thursday, Sept. 17, then continue on a string of US dates over the next several weeks.

Watch Ride perform “Leave Them All Behind” at The Warfield in San Francisco on April 13, 2015:

Surely, this was the best possible outcome from the dissolution of Oasis follow-up band Beady Eye. With Oasis and Beady Eye on hold, guitarist Andy Bell was free to reunite with Ride bandmates Mark Gardener, Laurence “Loz” Colbert, and Steve Queralt, reminding fans of what made shoegaze so unique when it blossomed in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

This is a unique opportunity to see a seminal band perform its signature tunes in a first-class show. Tickets are available online!

Ride
9:30 Club
Thursday, Sept. 17
Doors @7pm
$35
All ages

Music Park: Grand Opening @ Soundcheck, 8/12/15

DANCEFLOOR
A rendering of the dancefloor at Soundcheck (Art courtesy of MoKi Media)

A new intimate nightclub will open on K Street, courtesy of the owners of Echostage, on Wednesday, August 12.

Soundcheck (1420 K St. NW, DC) will open with a DJ set by Kennedy Jones as part of a weekly event Bass Nation from promoters Steez Promo.

While the large Echostage covers more than 30,000 square feet, the boutique Soundcheck will encompass only 4,400 square feet. The Soundcheck concept is a homage to ‘80s and ‘90s club spaces fondly remembered by Echostage and Soundcheck Managing Partner Antonis Karagounis, who reflected on that time in an interview with Fritz Hahn of the Washington Post on August 4.

“With Soundcheck, we’re interested in tapping into the atmosphere of early DC nightlife while still delivering what makes Echostage so popular: quality sound, outstanding artists, and an unparalleled sensory experience,” Karagounis said in a press release.

Soundcheck will house a German-imported d&b audiotechnik Y-series sound system, state-of-the-art music technology. The acoustics mimic those of a recording studio in a nightclub setting with the installation of 4,000 square feet of cork hardwood floors and 4-inch-thick soundproof foam in its walls and ceiling. The venue will have two bars, 14 tables and a dance floor as well as six LED TVs and three LED video projectors. Two walls will be floor-to-ceiling LED screens. The room has roughly 85 lighting fixtures, which will support a nightly laser light show, and two jumbo disco balls.

Club-goers can reserve private tables for bottle service or get more ambitious and reserve the private “purple room,” which has a dedicated private bar. In addition to hosting club nights, Soundcheck will be available for corporate events as well.

In addition to Bass Nation Wednesdays, Soundcheck will host Glow Thursdays to focus on EDM. A regular feature called Afterglow, which hosts techno artists, will occur on Sundays.

“Soundcheck will be the perfect complement to Echostage,” said Soundcheck Partner Pete Kalamoutsos in a press release. “In addition to booking the superstars, we’ll be able to take more risks by welcoming up-and-coming talent during our new Afterglow party on Sundays. We want to be a part of their growth as artists.”

For more information, visit http://www.soundcheckdc.com. VIP 2-2
A rendering of a VIP area in Soundcheck (Art courtesy of MoKi Media)

Music Park: Watch Ex Hex @ Pitchfork Music Festival — 7/18/15

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Mary Timony and Betsy Wright jam at NOS Primavera Sound on June 6, 2015. (Photo by Ana Viotti)

Ex Hex, DC’s top power pop trio, performed at the Pitchfork Music Festival at Union Park in Chicago on Saturday, July 18. They next perform in DC at the Landmark Music Festival on Saturday, Sept. 26.

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Music Park: Laura Marling @ 9:30 Club — 7/31/15

From When Brave Bird Saved – “Take the Night Off” (at 1:05)

“I’m a fool to do your dirty work, oh yeah.”

Laura Marling ended a captivating evening at the 9:30 Club last Friday, July 31st, with a cover of Steely Dan’s “Dirty Work”. Based on a few blank faces nearby, it seemed just possible some of the younger crowd weren’t as familiar with the song (which I happen to love, too bad for them). But they soon warmed to it once the refrain kicked in and Marling’s voice took on new intensity.

Marling, a British folk singer-songwriter, started off her show with long, flowing renditions of “Take the Night Off” and “I Was an Eagle”. Afterwards she promised that would be the last of the 10-minute songs, yet no one would have minded if she continued.

The guitar she opened with lit up like Christmas ornament, as it reflected light from many angles. She relied heavily on a steady rotation of guitars, to match the song and the mood.

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Don’t Miss: Technophobia (Opening for Citadel) @ Black Cat, 8/9/15

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Katie Petix and Steve EP of Technophobia (Photo courtesy Technophobia)

Our friends Steve EP and Katie Petix have jettisoned their past catalog for a new-look Technophobia, which is set to perform backstage at the Black Cat on Sunday.

The experimental electronic duo already made their local reintroduction opening for Laibach at the Black Cat in May. In the interim, I caught them with their compatriots Pleasure Curses (opening for Ki:Theory) at DC9 in June.

Technophobia affixes Steve to his keyboards and Katie on vocals, at times sampling various dialogue or sounds and at times soaring high into alt-dance rhythms that invite you to get your dark groove on.

The new songs from Technophobia seem to focus on emptiness or nothingness. And they demonstrate an affinity for Jean-Paul Sartre’s play “No Exit,” as lifted from a film version, in their sampling of dialogue.

In “Negative Space,” Steve inserts lines from lesbian Inez: “You can’t throttle thoughts with hands.” The sparkling synths that follow belie the lyrics sung by Katie of places in between other places, where lies nothingness.

Watch Technophobia perform “Negative Space” at the Black Cat on May 11, 2015, in a fan-made video:

Another song “Fall to Nothing” lifts dialogue from Garcin of “No Exit” for its intro: “I’d never have believed it. You remember all we were told about the fire and brimstone, the torture-chambers, the burning marl? –Old wives’ tales! There’s no need for red-hot pokers. Hell is other people!”

This of course sets the stage for Katie to sing of a moment transfixed in time when a powerful loss occurred. The song is chilling but buoyed by layered synthpop.

Technophobia open for DC doom metal band Citadel backstage at the Black Cat on Sunday. Tickets are available online and at the door.

Technophobia
Opening for Citadel
Sunday, August 9
Doors @7:30pm
$10
All ages

Music Park: Duran Duran @ Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY — 8/1/15

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Simon LeBon, Roger Taylor, John Taylor, and Nick Rhodes preparing to go on stage in Port Chester on August 1. (Photo courtesy Duran Duran)

The last time I chatted with Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran in November 2013, I asked him if his band might bring back any material from side project Arcadia, given the approach of the 30th anniversary of Arcadia’s sole album.

“I’ve played around with the idea of including Lady Ice in a set list sometime,” Nick told me, “but you know how it is when you play a slow song at a big show like a Duran Duran concert. Everyone in the first two rows will be transfixed because they cannot get enough but the rest of the audience will go to sleep.”

Given Nick’s response, I was pleasantly surprised to witness Duran Duran resurrect Arcadia single “Election Day” in a sold-out show at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY, on Saturday, August 1.

I made the trek to Port Chester inspired by the opportunity to see Duran Duran in their first US show in a few years, since they wrapped up touring for the great last album, All You Need Is Now. Armed with a funky new single, “Pressure Off,” Duran Duran are poised to release their new album Paper Gods next month.

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Music Park: Django Django @ 9:30 Club — 7/29/15

“Reflections”

Django Django’s music inspires one to compare and contrast it to other artists and styles. But as hard as you try, in the end, their sound cannot be easily confined to such comparisons.

You would be wont to hear a great deal of Beach Boys influence in their music. From songs such as “Hail Bop” to “Life’s a Beach” to ‘Wor”, the surf music undercurrent throughout is palpable.

You could find a healthy number of drumline dance beats, from “Waveforms” to “Reflections”, to groove to.

You could even find a bit of Irish music in their instrumental, “Slow West”, from the movie soundtrack of the same name and a bit of riding horse/rattlesnake country in “Love’s Dart”.

The point is, they don’t confine themselves to one sound, one approach or one genre. Hence, why the moniker “art rock” has been used to describe them.

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