John Taylor signs my copy of his autobiography during a soiree at Il Gattopardo in New York City on Nov. 4, 2013. (Photo by Eddie Malluk)
Observers of Duran Duran, as well as the band itself, have often cited its primary inspirations as English glam band Roxy Music and New York disco funksters Chic. Listening to the sounds of boyhood friends Nick Rhodes and John Taylor, you can even discern how the primal elements of the two bands fused into the new wave gem of a band they started in 1978: Nick, stylish to synthy; John, fun to funky.
As John noted in his 2012 autobiography, In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death, and Duran Duran, his prized possession is the bass left to him by the late Chic bassist Bernard Edwards, who helped him form Power Station while on a break from Duran Duran circa 1985. It is of course then absolutely meta that Nile Rodgers, the artistic mastermind behind Chic, opened for the band on its latest tour, The Paper Gods Tour, undertaken in celebration of the 14th album by the UK trendsetters.
Nile, for his part, knows what makes Duran Duran tick, and he mixed “The Reflex,” which became Duran Duran’s first #1 hit in the United States. And of course, Nile took to the stage with Duran Duran for several songs Friday night in a big, bright show at the Verizon Center to play two incredible songs he produced for the band — “Notorious” from the 1986 album of the same name and “Pressure Off” from last year’s Paper Gods (but sadly not “The Reflex,” despite an intense audience rally from the very full house on behalf of the ever-popular song).
The Dandy Warhols (Photo courtesy Dine Alone Records)
The Dandy Warhols have returned with their ninth studio album, released only last week, and they hit the 9:30 Club to promote it on Sunday, April 17.
With Distortland, published April 8 via Dine Alone Records, The Dandys continue their penchant for an outsider perspective set to groovy psychedelic jams. The well-regarded Portland-based quartet received generally favorable reviews with the new 10-track album, according to Metacritic.
Watch the recently released official music video for “You Are Killing Me” by The Dandy Warhols, which features cult actor Joe Dallesandro as a writer that undergoes a bad psychedelic trip:
And of course, as consummate performers, The Dandys themselves are always ready to put on a show with vocalist and guitarist Courtney Taylor, keyboardist Zia McCabe, guitarist Peter Holmström, and drummer Brent DeBoer. The band initially recorded Distortland in Courtney’s basement on and old-school cassette recorder before enlisting Jim Lowe, who’s worked with Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, to mix it. It should be fascinating to see these new songs live!
When I last saw The Dandys at the 9:30 Club in 2012, I observed: “Although the band worked together remarkably well as a band, Courtney Taylor carried the show with a jovial swagger. At times, he would evoke the grunge scene that he quickly grew beyond and mumble through some muddled lyrics and at others he would belt out his words clearly like he was channeling Iggy Pop.”
Louisiana garage gospel quartet Seratones open for The Dandy Warhols. Tickets are available online! You also can purchase a VIP Nation upgrade, Dandys Hang Out Experience Upgrade (for $75), which requires that you already have a regular ticket but which allows you to hang out with the band.
The Dandy Warhols
Sunday, April 17
Fortnightly Record: 3-2-3 (9 pts)
Overall: 56-18-9 (120 pts)
Finally. The Washington Capitals get to start their Stanley Cup run.
It couldn’t have come at a better time, as the Caps have been slogging along over the last couple weeks, after clinching the best record in the entire NHL. They lost three games in a row for the first time all year. They did give key players some rest in the last game, a 2-0 loss to the Ducks.
The Caps finished with the most wins in a single season in their history.
Alex Ovechkin just reached the 50 goal milestone (his seventh time!), with an incredible hat-trick against St. Louis on Saturday. He wanted it.
Now the playoffs. It’s time to ratchet the energy level back up to mid-season form when they couldn’t lose to anyone. You know expectations are at an all time high.
The Caps play the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round.
Game #1 starts here in DC, at the Verizon Center, on Thursday, April 14. Then Game #2 is here on Saturday, April 16.
Get your tickets to the games here.
Aurora (Photo courtesy Glassnote Records)
Norwegian singer Aurora Aksnes has been taking the US airwaves by storm with the release of her debut full-length album, All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend (released March 11 via Decca Records), and her subsequent television appearances leading up to a North American tour that stops at U Street Music Hall on Thursday, April 21.
To no one’s surprise, our local show has sold out! And those who have tickets will enjoy the 19-year-old Aurora’s lyrically rich art-pop sensibilities. She likes to sing in metaphors relating to battles with songs like “Conquerer” and “Warrior” and often takes a look at the dark side of the human condition with songs like “Running with the Wolves,” a song of escape, and “Murder Song (5,4,3,2,1),” a story of a mercy killing perhaps but ultimately about loss.
Ultimately, where Aurora makes her mark, however, is with her voice, unique in its haunting timber.
Watch the official music video for “Conquerer” by Aurora on YouTube:
Said Aurora in press notes on the song, “I know that I’m very sensitive. In many ways, I’m weak. But if you’re weak, you’re also very strong. Because you need to work a bit harder to survive as well… You have to find the conqueror in yourself at first, I think. That’s what I think about in the song. It’s just a person who hasn’t realized that yet. That person is still trying to find the conqueror in someone else. You have to find the conqueror in yourself to land on your own feet. You are the only one you need to survive. Then other people will make your life a good life as well. It’s important to be strong in yourself.”
Singer/songwriter Tor Miller from New York opens for Aurora. The show is sold out.
w/ Tor Miller
U Street Music Hall
Thursday, April 21
Let’s Play Ball! But not with these.
Today is your Washington Nationals home opener!
Baseball is back in the Capitol!
The Nationals play the Miami Marlins tonight at 4pm. If you didn’t get tickets, don’t worry they play again on Saturday and Sunday. Then they welcome the Atlanta Braves for a 4-game series, starting Monday, April 11.
Find tickets here.
For today’s game, here are four things to look forward to:
- The first 25,000 fans to enter the ballpark through ALL GATES will receive a pair of Nationals sunglasses presented by GEICO.
- The 25 Millionth Fan will walk through the gates at Nationals Park. This lucky fan will receive a pair of Opening Day tickets for the next 25 years, as well as a special Nationals jersey and jacket, Nats Bucks credit, acknowledgment in-game on Nats HD and a visit to the Ownership Box.
- Flyover by the 71st Fighter Training Squadron “Ironmen” from Langley Air Force Base.
- White Ford Bronco will perform at the Budweiser Terrace.
For the upcoming season, here are four more things to look forward to:
- Star Wars Day – On Saturday, August 13th, the first 20,000 fans will receive a special T-shirt. And there will be Teddybacca! (Teddy as a Wookie)
- New food from the Pitch Your Product Culinary Contest – The two winners were Haute Dog and Fries and Pinch Dumplings.
- 80’s Night – On Friday, June 10, the first 20,000 fans get a fanny pack! And music!
- Pin Exchange – In one of the Team Stores, there will be a board with Pins, which you can add one and take one. Or you can just buy the one you really love. I mention this, because there was a really cool one from the Baltimore Orioles.
MLB: Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Classic Joe Satriani (Photo Credit: Jon Luini)
For nearly two hours and 45 minutes, Joe Satriani took the rapt Lincoln Theatre audience on a sonic journey of rock guitar riffs and solo jams that mirrored the theme of his newest album, Shockwave Supernova. He styled the tour as From Surfing to Shockwave.
Joe started nicely with the new album’s self-titled song, which fired the crowd up. Days before, I had caught the Living Colour show at the Howard Theatre and between the two shows, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many middle-aged men grinning from ear to ear and moving like they could dance. (They can’t. And fine, don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of women and young people too, but they didn’t grin as big…)
Many of his song titles spark the imagination, describing space-age out-of-this world locations and adventures, like “Crystal Planet”, “If I Could Fly” and “Surfing With the Alien”.
Season Record: 0-2-3 (3 points)
Well, well. Not a prodigious start for DC United. Five games into the 2016 season, and they have zero wins. In 2015 they started strong, with a 3-1-1 (10 points) record after the first five games.
This Saturday they play the Vancouver Whitecaps, who are no slouches, and need a result to start to turn the tide. Vancouver finished in 2nd place in the Western Conference last year and are in 6th place this season with 7 points.
The only offensive bright spot for the United so far is Lamar Neagle’s one goal and one assist. They only have three goals total.
This upcoming game also comes amid some controversy with the supporter groups (DC United recently banned a fan for a year for using smoke during the March 26th game.)
It’s not time to panic, but it is time to rise up and really play some football (or soccer).
Get your tickets here.
See the full season schedule.
MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps at DC United
Saturday, April 9, 2016