Don’t Miss: Bayonne @ Black Cat, 6/7/16

Bayonne (Photo by Dustin Cohen)

Bayonne (born Roger Sellers) is an intriguing musician from Austin, Texas, who plays synths and drum while singing Americana-tinged ambient pop.

The man is certainly a unique performer, and tonight, he opens for Two Door Cinema Club in a sold-out show at the Black Cat!

Yes, the show is far sold out (some tickets released yesterday went fast!), but if you’ve already got your ticket, show up early for Bayonne.

Bayonne released his debut album, Primitives, on Mom+Pop on March 25, and he’s been touring to promote it. It features very catchy, melodic tunes like “Appeals,” which draw you in with its rhythm and intensity. It’s a song about a failure to launch, and the music and lyrics melt together perfectly.

Watch the official music video for “Appeals” by Bayonne on YouTube:

Interestingly, Bayonne is a big admirer of Phil Collins — and I can kind of see the influence actually.

Show up early and catch Bayonne if you’re going to the Black Cat tonight! The show is sold out.

Opening for Two Door Cinema Club
Black Cat
Tuesday, July 7
Doors @730pm
Sold out
All ages

Music Park: Modern English @ Ottobar — 6/4/16

Modern English 04 Modern English perform at Ottobar on Saturday, June 3, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

When I last saw Modern English three years ago, the band’s appearance struck me as if they were the wise college professors of new wave and post-punk.

And they truly strike quite the air of a band that has seen it all. Vocalist Robbie Grey with his simple black ensemble, sports coat, and shock-white hair certainly looks like he could break out into a philosophy lecture at any time. Bassist Michael Conroy emits a similar sort of stoic wisdom, while guitarist Gary McDowell strikes you as someone who may have lived a more bohemian life and would have some wild tales to share of walks in more artistic and spiritual places.

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Don’t Miss: Careless Memories: A New Wave Party @ Dodge City, 7/14/16

New Wave & Punk

Last month, I visited Durham, NC, for the Moogfest 2016 synthesizer festival. Among other things, I caught three nights of synth pioneer Gary Numan as he performed his first three albums.

While in Durham, I also took some time to explore the city. At a comfortable little club room called Arcana, local DJs host a monthly new wave night called “Durham Durham,” imitating the name of top new wave band Duran Duran. (The sign for the new wave club night mimics the cover of Duran Duran’s album “Seven and the Ragged Tiger!”)

Driving back to DC, it struck me: Our fair city no longer has a monthly party dedicated solely to new wave music. We have plenty of retro parties, many of which are very new wave-friendly. But at this time, we were lacking a dedicated monthly party for bands like Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Tears for Fears, New Order, The Human League, ABC, Culture Club, Eurythmics, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Ultravox, Visage, Blondie, Talking Heads, DEVO, Missing Persons, Berlin, Romeo Void, The Cars, and many others.

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Around Town: The Capitol Riverfront Outdoor Movie Series @ Canal Park (Thursdays)

The View from the Top of Canal ParkCanal Park (just needs you)

Movies! DC is alive with the sound of movies! Every neighborhood is picking up the mantle to show free movies and give citizens the chance to picnic communally.

The Capitol Riverfront is putting on their own Outdoor Movie Series at Canal Park this summer. Every Thursday until the end of August.

The first movie was on June 2nd (Ocean’s Eleven).

This Thursday they will screen Inside Out for your Pixar fix.

Looks like some fun movies will be offered, including the new Star Wars (June 30) and Matt Damon’s stint on Mars (August 11).

See the full upcoming schedule:

  • June 9: Inside Out
  • June 16: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
  • June 23: Hitch
  • June 30: Star Wars The Force Awakens
  • July 7: Mean Girls
  • July 14: Jurassic World
  • July 21: Minions
  • July 28: Creed
  • August 4: Pitch Perfect 2
  • August 11: The Martian
  • August 18: Skyfall
  • August 25: Rain Date


The Capitol Riverfront Outdoor Movie Series
Canal Park (200 M St SE)
June 2 through August 25 (Thursdays)
7:00pm start arriving (Movie at sundown)
Free Admission
All ages

Adroit Theory @ SAVOR Craft Beer, National Building Museum — 6/3/16

SAVOR 05 Mark Osborne at SAVOR 2016.

The owners of Adroit Theory Brewing Co. are fond of following their musical inspirations when making beer. And that led to a beer called Black Celebration, which was born of a collaboration with New York-based DJ Dieselboy.

Dieselboy wasn’t really a “beer guy” but he’s a true foodie, having been profiled in several food magazines, explained Adroit Theory owner Mark Osborne during a salon at the SAVOR Craft Beer and Food Experience at the National Building Museum in DC on Friday. Even better, Dieselboy had introduced a cocktail called the Higgins.

“We reached out to him to make a beer that would taste like his cocktail,” Mark said.

The resulting Black Celebration, named after a song by Depeche Mode, is an Imperial porter aged in oak barrels, clocking in at 9.99% ABV. Adroit Theory likes their beers strong, and generally dark. The lowest ABV beer ever made at Adroit Theory is a powerful 7% ABV, and the lowest on tap right now at the brewery’s tasting room is 7.3%, Mark said. A range of 8-10% ABV is typical for Adroit Theory’s beers.

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Don’t Miss: CHVRCHES @ Rams Head Live! (Baltimore), 6/12/16

CHVRCHES (Photo by Danny Clinch)

Synthpop trio CHVRCHES are quite popular on the festival circuit lately, and they are indeed heading to the Firefly Festival in Dover, Del., this month. But on the way, they’ve booked some independent shows, including a newly announced concert at Rams Head Live! in Baltimore on Sunday, June 12.

What a fantastic time and place to see CHVRCHES, who released one of the best albums in 2015 with their sophomore effort, Every Open Eye, on Sept. 25 via Glassnote. With their second album, they accomplished the rare feat of making an album better than their excellent debut, The Bones of What You Believe.

Glasgow’s favorite sons and daughter — Iain Cook, Martin Doherty and Lauren Mayberry — recorded both albums in a hometown studio (their own Alucard Studios), and the second time around they found even more gold in the sparkling synthesizers of the gents and the lilting, pleasing voice of the lady.

Check out the results in the official music video for “Clearest Blue” by CHVRCHES on YouTube:

One of the things I love about CHVRCHES is that they write, record, and produce everything themselves. Not to say there isn’t room for collaboration in the future, in my opinion, but I enjoy their focus and purity of vision.

New songs are about getting over heartbreak (“Leave a Trace”) — and making your own way unapologetically (“Bury It,” “Never Ending Circles,” “Playing Dead”) — and moving on to better things (“Down Side of Me,” “Afterglow,” “Clearest Blue” [above!]).

All in all, it’s fantastic synthpop, very much evocative of New Romantic synthpop from the early ’80s and groups like the Eurythmics, Cocteau Twins, and even Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.

Tickets are available online.

Rams Head Live!
Sunday, June 12, 2016
Show @8pm
All ages

Don’t Miss: Chris Cornell @ Hippodrome Theatre (Baltimore), 6/23/16

Chris CornellChris Cornell

After experiencing Soundgarden in Seattle in December 1996, and subsequently learning that would be the last time they would tour (they officially disbanded in April 1997), my thought was, “Oh no, this is terrible.” An end of an era, an end to a truly great band.

Luckily for Chris Cornell, music was too much a part of who he is, and thus he continued to record, his first solo album, Euphoria Morning, was born in late 1999, just in time to enjoy before the world ended over Y2K.

After three solo albums (plus a live acoustic album) and multiple tours, a fine 6-year, 3-album stint with Audioslave, and a euphoric revival of Soundgarden in 2010 (I went to the 2010 Lollapalooza in Chicago just to see their glorious comeback!), Chris is once again touring solo with a new album, Higher Truth.

Seeking a higher truth in life is never easy, and truth evolves as we grow and learn. Things become more or less important as experience sharpens us or brings us down. Seeking truth in music specifically, is also not easy. It is a reflection of personal taste, experiences, time and place, associations linked to people or events and much more, that shapes what we seek and enjoy. I felt one such ‘musical truth’ the first time I heard Chris Cornell’s voice, on the blood-pounding “Outshined” (on MTV late at night no less) and later as I snatched up Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger and was hooked. I remember sitting in front of the TV screen (no remote), ready to turn the channel if my Mom walked in. At the time, it seemed like something your parents warned you about.

All that to say, I always look forward to seeing Chris Cornell live, in any formation. Unfortunately, I’ve only seen him seven times (five times with Soundgarden, once with Audioslave and once solo).

And now I’m enjoying Higher Truth, especially songs like “Dead Wishes” and “Before We Disappear”. The 15 songs are slower, introspective ballads that just might help one seek their own truth.

Let’s leave you with the video for “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart”, a crazy micro western focusing in on your date with the hangman. But which fate is better?


Put Chris Cornell’s June 23rd show on your calendar immediately. Get tickets today!


Chris Cornell
w/ Fantastic Negrito
Hippodrome Theatre (Baltimore)
Thursday, June 23
All ages