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Music Park: Gang of Four’s New Single (Appearing @ 9:30 Club, 3/3/15)

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Hailing from Leeds, England, Gang of Four pracitically created the blueprint for dynamic post-punk music, and the latest lineup of the band is set to perform at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday, March 3.

Shortly before they visit DC, however, Gang of Four will release its eight studio album, What Happens Next, on Feb. 24 on Metropolis Records. On the upcoming album, the band employs a number of guest vocalists: The Big Pink’s Robbie Furze, German singer/actor Herbert Grönemeyer, and The Kills and The Dead Weather’s Alison Mosshart.

Today, Consequence of Sound debuted the two tracks featuring Ms. Mosshart, including the lead single “Broken Talk.”

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/175796257″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

The full tracklist for What Happens Next:
01. Where The Nightingale Sings
02. Broken Talk (feat. Alison Mosshart)
03. Isle of Dogs
04. England’s In My Bones (feat. Alison Mosshart)
05. Dying Rays (feat. Herbert Grönemeyer) [English version]
06. Obey The Ghost Of The Colony
07. First World Citizen
08. Stranded
09. Graven Image (feat. Robbie Furze)
10. Dead Souls (feat. Hotei)
11. Dying Rays (feat. Herbert Grönemeyer) [German version]

Lead vocals for Gang of Four are now handled by new member John Sterry, formerly of Gaoler’s Daughter, who replaced Jon King, the band’s founding vocalist (who departed after 2011’s Content). The Gang of Four lineup now includes founder and guitarist Andy Gill, bassist Thomas McNeice and singer Sterry.

Gang of Four
w/ Public Access T.V.
9:30 Club
Tuesday, March 3
Doors @7pm
$30
All ages

Music Park: French Admirals w/ Feral Conservatives, Exit Vehicles @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 1/16/15

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The Admiral and Rob France (Photo courtesy French Admirals)

French Admirals, the DC power pop trio, headlined a crowded bill of indie rock bands at the Rock and Roll Hotel Friday night.

The room got agreeably about a third full, and the audience danced along and engaged with all of the bands. I unfortunately missed the first opener but the French Admirals, Feral Conservatives and Exit Vehicles gave me plenty to hear once I arrived.

The Admirals opened with “We Will Create Our Own Reality” from their debut LP Closer Than Brothers. It’s a breezy punk song that showcases the guitar and bass work of vocalist Robert France and bassist The Admiral respectively. If there’s one thing you can bet on when it comes to the French Admirals, however, it’s that they are never just going to “sound the same” as the last song. The next song “It’s All There” is really rather reminiscent of the Counting Crows. Later, “Feelings at 4am” evokes a similar vibe of listening to 90s alternative radio rock.

Parklife Event: Synchronicity: New Wave Party @ DC9, 1/24/15

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Original Patrick Nagel tribute by Jared Eberhardt

New Wave music hit its commercial zenith in 1985 — and this weekend, ParklifeDC and DC9 are going to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its cultural dominance.

Join me, Mickey McCarter, and DJ Swank at DC9 (1940 9th St. NW, DC) on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 10pm for SYNCHRONICITY: New Wave Party to revisit some of the tracks that made the genre so appealing.

New Wave is a cultural movement that began in 1977 and crystalized into a music genre — the defining elements of which are easier now to identify through the lens of time nearly 40 years after its launch. While New Wave music peaked commercially in 1985, bands continue to identify with the genre yet today, melding the best elements of rock, glam, disco and punk to assert their individuality and to define “cool.”

SYNCHRONICITY will celebrate the 30th anniversary of New Wave’s commercial peak with selections like “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” (which actually turns 30 this year)!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdqoNKCCt7A&w=640&h=480]

SYNCHRONICITY: New Wave Party
w/ Mickey and DJ Swank
DC9
Saturday, Jan. 24
10pm
Free
21+

Music Park: The Vaselines w/ Amanda X @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 1/14/15

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Frances McKee and Eugene Kelly of The Vaselines

“I have only one question for you,” Frances McKee of The Vaselines told the audience at the Rock and Roll Hotel in DC Wednesday night. “Where is the White House?”

McKee related a tale of trying to find the location of the presidential mansion as a tourist that day, but getting lost for about 90 minutes, then trapped in the Metro system, leading her to hop a turnstile to get home (without seeing the White House).

“What did you do today?” she asked her bandmate and longtime acquaintance, Eugene Kelly.

“I didn’t get lost and then break the law!” he proclaimed.

“He stayed in hostel room all day,” McKee said to the audience, “–wanking!”

“I saved enough for your face later,” Kelly quipped.

The exchange was representative of the humorous banter of potty language exchanged between the two longtime friends and former lovers from Glasgow who make up the core of Scottish punk band The Vaselines. The occasionally course language is somewhat more startling because the two otherwise seem so damn polite. I mean, really. They are sharply dressed, soft-spoken and well-mannered but spit out jokes about sex left and right.

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.

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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.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/users/58983468″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

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.

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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

Food Park: Discover the History of Food @ National Geographic and the Smithsonian

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El sabor de México // Bodegón de Chiles
Do you like spicy food?

One thing we can all agree on. We have to eat. We like to eat. Whether it’s on the cheap, or healthy, or five star spicy, or an indulgently expensive tasting menu, we like our food. We all have our favorites.

But what do we really know about the food we consume? Why do we eat this and not that?

What do you know about the history of food?

Both National Geographic and the Smithsonian are doubling down that you care to discover the answers, through a range of classes, exhibits and a TV Show.

Here’s a taste:

Food: Our Global Kitchen (Exhibition)
National Geographic Museum
Through February 22, 2015
Open Daily, 10am – 6pm
Included with Museum admission ($11)
All ages

This exhibition illuminates how our world eats and the future of food. There are sections about growing, transporting, cooking, eating and tasting. There is also opportunities to taste seasonal treats in the working kitchen, cook a virtual meal, see rare artifacts and peek into the dining rooms of famous figures throughout history.

The Test Kitchen is open 11am – 4pm, with the upcoming themes:

January 19-February 1: Soups and Stews
February 2-15: Chocolate
February 16-22: Spice of Life

Eat: The Story of Food (TV Show)
National Geographic Channel

Nat Geo has also produced a six-part mini-series, showing us how food has driven nearly everything we’ve ever done as a species.

Two episodes air tonight, 1/14, at 9pm on the National Geographic Channel.

Food: American History After Hours (Series of courses)
Presented by the National Museum of American History
Warner Brothers Theater at National Museum of American History
12-part Monthly series
6 – 8:30pm
$40

Evenings of food, drinks and conversation that connect with the past to make sense of the present and shape the future of food.

January 23: Brewing Up History
Join for a beer talk and tasting featuring Bluejacket brewery’s Greg Engert and beer historian Mike Stein as they discuss the art and science of brewing. Enjoy food and beer samples, book signings, and rarely exhibited brewing history collections objects out-of-storage.

Tickets for January.

February 26: The Craft Distilling (Re)Revolution
Join author James Rodewald, author of American Spirit: An Exploration of the Craft Distilling Revolution, in discussion with DC’s own Derek Brown and Michael Lowe of Green Hat Gin as they explore the current and historic revolutions in American distilling. Enjoy food, cocktails, and book signings and see rarely exhibited cocktail history collections objects.

Tickets for February.

See full schedule of the American History After Hours series.

Are you hungry yet?

Around Town: Capital Bikeshare’s Open House @ MLK Library, 1/28/15

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Capital Bikeshare on the Mall

Capital Bikeshare has become the primary way I navigate DC.

It’s easy. It’s cheap. It’s faster than most other options available. (Yes, sometimes even faster than a car. And you don’t have to find a place to park.) And you get a bit of exercise along the way.

Its popularity has skyrocketed since it started in late 2010. More users, more stations and more bikes.

They currently have 347 stations in DC, Virginia and Maryland and over 2,500 bicycles available.

So, eventually you knew they would have to raise the usage prices. I’m okay with that. It’s still cheaper than anything else available.

See the price increases.

To learn more about the pricing and to give your own input into the future of the system, head over to the MLK Library (Wednesday, January 28 from 6-8pm) for Capital Bikeshare’s annual Open House.

Fun Fact: Dupont Circle has been the busiest station in the system for three straight years. But in 2014, Union Station usurped its reign and took over the top spot with 132,813 trips! Read more.

 

Capital Bikeshare Open House

Martin Luther King Jr. Library
Wednesday, January 28
6-8pm
Free

Around Town: The Return of Awesome Con @ Washington Convention Center, 5/29-5/31/15

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Awesome Con, which debuted last year as DC’s biggest pop culture/comic book convention, has announced it will return again this year to the Washington Convention Center (801 Mount Vernon Place NW, DC) on May 29-31, 2015.

Guests this year include no less than four actors from the original Power Rangers serial: Austin St. John, David Yost, Karan Ashley and Walter Jones. (And you can get a Power Rangers VIP pass if you really dig it.) Comic book professionals in attendance include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles creator Kevin Eastman, artist Mike McKone, artist Tom Raney and cartoonist Bryan Turner, among others.

Other celebrity guests include none other than Jason Mewes (Jay of Jay and Silent Bob of course!), actress Dina Meyer and actor Michael Biehn (known for Terminator and Aliens, surely, but I kinda liked him in Topher Grace’s 80s coming-of-age tale Take Me Home Tonight). And DC’s own horror host Count Gore De Vol, who’s been screening scary movies since 1973, will return this year as well.

I had fun at last year’s convention, mostly hassling Dirk “Starbuck” Benedict and being wowed like everyone else by the R2D2 droids developed and displayed by the R2-D2 Builders Club. Let’s hope those guys are back again this year!

Tickets are available online for single day passes, weekend passes and VIP passes.

Awesome Con
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Friday, May 29: 12pm – 8pm
Saturday, May 30: 10am – 7pm
Sunday, May 31: 10am – 5pm
$30-$350
All ages

Stars and Bars: The Return of The Passenger?, 2/8/15

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The Passenger - God Save the District

Update: Fritz Hahn, bar sage of the Washington Post, reports on Jan. 15 that the Passenger is holding a pop-up in its former neighbor Bar 7 (1015 Seventh St. NW, DC) on Sunday, Feb. 8 from 7pm-1am. Apparently, Tom Brown will hold a series of pop-ups.

“Brown promises live-band karaoke with the Hari Karaoke Band, a special cocktail menu and possibly tiki drinks in Bar 7’s lower-level lounge,” Fritz says.

Personally I don’t see the point. Tom could just go work at another joint and make his cocktails there while waiting for a new space for the Passenger?

The Twitter account of The Passenger, the popular DC cocktail bar that closed New Year’s Eve, suggests it may return to a new location faster than many anticipated.

Via Twitter, the afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 13: “Mark Sunday, February 8th on your calendar! Deets forthcoming. #wemissyou”

Many mourned the passing of The Passenger, founded by DC mixologist Derek Brown, when it announced last fall it would close its old location (1021 7th St. NW, DC) on Dec. 31, 2014. For the previous five years, the bar sat on a block long-scheduled for demolition. Its inventive cocktails, dive bar atmosphere and gracious ambience appealed to a wide audience, including myself — and I’m a beer guy. I visited the bar on its last day around dinnertime and I found things as congenial and the cocktails as tasty as ever.

Derek Brown went on to co-found three new bars outside the Shaw metro station but vowed his brother Tom Brown, the popular and friendly face usually behind the bar at The Passenger, would reestablish the bar in a new location, hopefully in the Shaw neighboorhood.

It appears The Passenger may indeed already have found a new home?

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.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5mmOeZC2jY]

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?)

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=1894486049 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]

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