Music Park: Paperhaus Tribute to Kraftwerk @ U Street Music Hall — 12/14/14

Kraftwerk Trans-Europe Express with Sheldon Cooper
DC’s own Paperhaus paid tribute to Kraftwerk Sunday night

Wow, Paperhaus knocked it out of the park last night at U Street Music Hall.

The psych rock quartet were joined by Erik Sleight of Br’er and Stronger Sex to stage a performance of the Kraftwerk album Trans Europe Express. I had little to prepare my expecations for the experience, but it didn’t matter. Even if I had the highest of expectations, the band would have exceeded them easily!

First and foremost, of course, Paperhaus augmented their synthesizer arsenal. Alex Tebeleff, normally on guitar and vocals, dedicated himself to a synthesizer while Erik supplemented him. Eduardo Rivera took occasional synth duties in addition to his guitar and backing vocals.

After a brief introduction, the band ably leapt into the first track, Europe Endless, and they sounded great! Alex enunciated his words in such a way as to lend them a Kraftwerkesque aura, while Eduardo occasionally sang into a vocoder.

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Wear an Ugly Sweater and Don’t Miss: Scythian @ 9:30 Club, 12/13/14

Group Shot

Unpack and brush off the moth balls from your ugliest Christmas sweater, it’s time for the annual Scythian show at the 9:30 Club.

This Saturday, Dec. 13, the local boys of Scythian will descend on DC once again and play their unique brand of Celtic rock.

If you’re not familiar yet with Scythian, they started playing weekly shows in DC over a decade ago in local Irish bars, like Finn MacCool’s (now Molly Malone’s in Barracks Row) and Fado (Chinatown).

They will be playing new music from their latest album released this past summer, Jump at the Sun, and many of their old classics.

Whomever wears the ugliest sweater to the show, will win VIP tickets to DC’s Shamrockfest held in March at RFK Stadium.

Vintage 80s Mountain Range Tacky Acrylic Ugly Christmas Sweater

Tickets are available here.

Scythian, with Driftwood (opener)
9:30 Club
Saturday, December 13
8pm doors
$17

Photo Reel: DC Prohibition-Era Photos via Dupont Circle Hotel

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After a thrilling chase through the busiest streets of Washington, a couple of bootleggers and their car are apprehended by the Capitol police, on Jan. 21, 1922. (Original photo courtesy Library of Congress)

The Doyle Collection Hotel Group, owner and operator of the Dupont Circle Hotel (1500 New Hampshire Ave. NW, DC), has restored and colorized some Prohibition Era photos from the Library of Congress to commemorate the 81st anniversary of Repeal Day.

“The vivid colors bring these images to life, perfectly capturing both the fashion and atmosphere of this fascinating chapter in American history. Many of these historic photographs are set in Washington, the home of our own Dupont Circle Hotel,” Doyle Hotels say on a blog dedicated to the photos.

As DC only celebrated Repeal Day last week, we all may recall that the 18th Amendment outlawed alcohol throughout the United States in 1919 in a ban that lasted for 13 years until the 21st Amendment overturned it.

“Throughout the 1920s, the government worked to enforce Prohibition, although those who opposed the law found ever-creative ways to enjoy a drink! Bootlegging (the illegal manufacturing and sale of alcohol) was rampant, as were stores and clubs who secretly served liquor. These became known as speakeasies, since customers had to keep their voices down to avoid attracting police attention,” says the blog.

You can view all of the restored pictures online at the Doyle Collection Hotel Group website.

Interestingly, the Ireland-based Doyle Collection Hotel Group has eight hotels throughout Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States, but our Dupont Circle Hotel is the only U.S. location.

Music Park: Paperhaus @ Black Cat — 12/9/14

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqKUZzvcBr8&w=640&h=360]

Paperhaus is a band in touch with its feelings.

And those feelings often manifest themselves in six-minute songs that project the majesty of a space or an idea — “Mountains are moving high against wide sky,” vocalist Eduardo Rivera sings by way of example on the very new “Untitled.”

In that way, Paperhaus often wear their prog-rock influences on their sleeve. The band’s ethereal and lengthy guitar riffs and often-mystical references certainly *smack* of King Crimson or early YES but its winning formula of two guitars, bass and drums and a love of jamming out feed their self-described psychedelia. Lyrically, Paperhaus explore topics like the joy of being alive or the pain of lost love.

The band debuted some new songs backstage at the Black Cat on Tuesday, Dec. 9, opening for Jamaican Queens. The kicked off with “Untitled,” a selection from their self-titled debut album set for release in February. “Untitled” seems to celebrate being alive with references to a bit of religion and a bit of nature, and the pleasant, ambling guitar work couples well with Eduardo’s airy, soft voice.

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Music Park: Paperhaus to Perform Kraftwerk @ U Street Music Hall, 12/14/14

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DC psychedelic band Paperhaus are set to perform the entire Kraftwerk album Trans Europe Express at U Street Music Hall on Sunday, Dec. 14.

Lead vocalist Alex Tebeleff took a few minutes out of a busy day today to tell ParkLifeDC how the show came about.

“We are doing Kraftwerk because we love their music!” Alex said. “It’s truly some of the most innovative, interesting, and beautiful music I can think of.

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Don’t Miss: The Head and the Heart @ DAR Constitution Hall, 12/9/14

The Head and the Heart at the Columbia City Theater.

In 2010, Sub Pop Records signed the folk rock band The Head and the Heart and shortly after re-released their previously self-released album, The Head and the Heart.

The band formed in Seattle, Washington in 2009 from a collection of transplanted musicians, including Jonathan Russell (vocals, guitars) from Richmond, Virginia.

I had an opportunity to see them at the Firefly Music Festival in Delaware in 2012, but declined in favor of going to the beach. I had not listened to much of their music until their second album, Let’s Be Still, and now I’m looking forward to seeing them live.

Tickets are still available. Don’t be left out.

 

The Head and the Heart
DAR Constitution Hall
Tuesday, December 9
7pm doors
$36

Music Park: New Build @ U Street Music Hall — 12/2/14

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New Build: Felix Martin, Joy Joseph and Al Doyle at U Street Music Hall

Al Doyle and Pat Mahoney are rather moved to be sharing a stage again.

Not that the two men share a band any longer since the dissolution of LCD Soundsystem. But their two new bands are touring together in a perfect pairing, forming something of a double bill for a tour that kicked off Tuesday night at U Street Music Hall in DC. And of course Doyle and Mahoney took time during their respective sets to voice their appreciation for each other and their new bands.

“He’s like my twin brother except I’m the balder, fatter one,” Mahoney joked of his relationship with Doyle.

Doyle’s new band New Build recently released a second album, and Mahoney’s band Museum of Love have released a debut. The plan generally is for Museum of Love to open for New Build, but a car accident prompted New Build to play first last night. (Fear not, as apparently no one was hurt!)

New Build includes Doyle and Felix Martin, both of Hot Chip. And the New Build music, although its own unique form of ambient pop, sometimes resembles the slower songs from their other shared band.

They opened their show with “The Sunlight,” the first track from the new album, Pour It On. And it’s a good opening number as it slowly builds and draws you in with its sweet synths and light drums. Doyle sings gently and slowly as he references themes that recur throughout many of New Build’s songs: the struggle of people to find themselves through analogies of lightness and darkness.

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Music Park: Interpol @ 9:30 Club — 11/30/14

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When a band has gone through some big lineup changes, and releases a fifth album, you don’t necessarily expect the songs from that album to be the most exciting ones played on the next tour.

But then this is Interpol, the post-punk standard-bearers that have been defying expectations since they formed in New York City roughly 17 years ago. And so it seems the band can do little wrong as long as the wall of guitars that make up Interpol’s signature sound includes bandmates Paul Banks and Daniel Kessler behind it.

The band released El Pintor, its latest album, in September and embarked on a tour to support it. In a sold-out show at the 9:30 Club on Sunday night, the opened with “Say Hello to the Angels” from their first album, Turn On the Bright Lights — and the first and second albums continued to get quite a bit of love throughout the show.

But the second song, “My Blue Supreme,” is from the new album, and as the band continue with the set, you can see that the new songs symbolize the continued spirit of their collaboration. Interpol could have hit a speed bump without founding bassist Carlos Dengler, who departed after the last album, but instead they embarked on a remarkable distilling of their sound and thematic messages to produce an album as wholly fresh and exciting as their debut.

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Don’t Miss: New Build @ U Street Music Hall, 12/2/14

NEW BUILD PHOTO 2014

Guitarist Al Doyle, bassist Felix Martin (both of Hot Chip) and composer Tom Hopkins make up ambient synthpop band New Build, which is headlining at U Street Music Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 2. New Build are joined by Museum of Love, which features Pat Mahoney (of LCD Soundsystem) and Dennis McNany.

New Band recently released a second full-length album, Pour It On. Doyle, who also was in LCD Soundsystem, took time to talk to publicists about his past in LCD and his future with New Build

Q: What was your favorite LCD gig?

Al Doyle: Probably the one which I thought was my last ever gig, at the end of the Sound of Silver tour when James said he wasn’t making another record. We played “New York, I Love You” and I was totally in tears, just broken down and sobbing, and to add to it James started singing “Al Doyle, I Love You” and that was just too much. Never been so mushed up on stage before or since — actually, talking about it now it probably wasn’t my “favorite” gig, but it was a singular experience. Very grainy footage here:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dB0OhXTPv4]

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Music Park: Furniteur @ DC9 — 11/26/14

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I gotta say that it seems Prince George Records is doing something right.

I knew of the DC label as the backer for dance duo Pleasure Curses, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Prince George has more artists in its roster, and one in particular which could prove a breakout act in the next year.

Enter Furniteur, who opened for Frenchman David Grellier performing under his bandname College at DC9 last Wednesday. With the recent electronic release of a four-track EP, Furniteur have been playing several small shows around DC in places like The Dunes and Comet Ping-Pong. They are well worth catching at your earliest opportunity.

Furniteur’s frontwoman is local chanteuse Brittany Sims, who studied art in New York City and decided to form a band back home in DC after graduating. She’s recruited Kevin Bayly and Mike Toohey of Brett (formerly the Dance Party) and presented Furniteur as a smoldering synth-driven trio.

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