Don’t Miss: Laura Marling @ 9:30 Club, 7/31/15

Laura Marling18810_Final_RT2Photo courtesy of PRESS HERE

In support of her new album, Short Movie, Laura Marling comes to the 9:30 Club this Friday, July 31st. Short Movie is her fifth full length album, and has been described as ‘bolder and looser’ than her previous work. The album is an introspective work, brought about by time spent reading (poetry), hiking (near the Joshua Tree) and reflecting, which led to songs about salvation, peace, and humanity.

Rolling Stone said “Marling is the most compelling singer-songwriter of the U.K. roots-revival scene, with a voice that conjures young Joni Mitchell.

Marling is from Eversley, England and won the 2011 Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist. After three of her previous albums were nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, and having received critical acclaim for her last album, Once I Was An Eagle, she brings a new sound and a new attitude.

Let’s join her this Friday!

Tickets are available here.

“I Feel Your Love”

Laura Marling
w/ Marika Hackman and Johnny Flynn
9:30 Club
Friday, July 31
Doors @ 8:00pm
$30
All ages

Music Park: Basement Jaxx @ 9:30 Club — 6/30/15

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Simon Ratcliffe and Felix Buxton of Basement Jaxx (Photo courtesy Atlantic Jaxx)

Felix Buxton of Basement Jaxx centered a rare live show for Americans Tuesday night, standing on stage behind his impressive array of synthesizers as madcap music and melodies unfolded around him at the 9:30 Club.

Clad as a hip wizard of synth, Felix took the stage alone toward the end of the show for an instrumental break beginning with the track “Buffalo” from the most recent Basement Jaxx album, Junto — released last summer. His mix concluded with a flourish and Handel’s “Zadak the Priest (Coronation Anthem for George II)” as performed by the Ambrosian Singers. At this point in the show, I’m completely impressed and chuckling to myself at something I would consider a Pet Shop Boys-level of synthesizer style.

Only a few songs later, the London house maestro takes to the front of the stage to dance and sing out the lyrics to “Where’s Your Head At?” in delightfully frenetic fashion, closing out the main set of the Basement Jaxx show with the 2001 U.S. dance chart topper.

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Music Park: Royal Blood @ 9:30 Club — 6/10/15

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Mike Kerr of Royal Blood at the 9:30 Club on June 10 (Photo by Katerine Gaines/AmbientEye Photography)

Royal Blood are loud. Improbably so, considering it consists of only two members — bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher.

Mike’s vocals recall the spirit of 70s hard rock bands that inspired them, most notably Led Zeppelin, and Mike and Ben’s powerful instruments echo sounds from 90s grunge bands, notably Nirvana.

I realize that I’m repeating things that Jimmy Page and Dave Grohl themselves have said here, but the duo’s top song “Out of the Black” speaks its own case in volumes. At a sold-out show at the 9:30 Club on Wednesday, June 10, Royal Blood closed an all too brief 11-song set with the number, thundering their way into the hearts of the excited crowd.

People came to rock out, and Royal Blood gave them that opportunity. “Out of the Black” deals lyrically with a classic theme of the surprise of being rejected by a lover and as a result, “It broke your skin and shook through/Every part of me, every part of you.” In that way, Royal Blood follow in the footsteps of grunge bands who were always eager to sing about the negative emotions in their lives.

But Royal Blood aren’t here to wind down their statements into an empty cacophony of strings and drums. Rather, they are here to rock.

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Don’t Miss: Basement Jaxx @ 9:30 Club, 6/30/15

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In 2014, dance duo Basement Jaxx appeared at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami, performing live in the United States for the first time since 2006.

This summer, they are about to truly break that streak by headlining their first U.S. concerts in nearly 10 years, and they only have three live appearances scheduled. One of those is at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday, June 30.

Basement Jaxx returned to the national spotlight in the United States last year when their song “Never Say Never,” which came along with a clever video featuring the manufacture of a TWERKbot (or rather “TW3RK-BOT 1.0”), hit #1 on Billboard’s U.S. Hot Dance Club Chart. (Basement Jaxx were also nominated for a Grammy thanks to the song!)

Here’s that video:

The live show consists of Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe, aka “The Jaxx,” and perhaps another 10 performers in a dynamic performance. The show supports the release of their seventh studio album Junto, which was released in August 2014 and includes “Never Say Never.”

The Los Angles Times praised the latest album upon its release, saying, “Thirteen songs that strive for peaks as high as a flooded dance-floor rocking ‘Where’s Your Head At’ at full volume, Junto hits with heated bangers while also stepping away from the steam to cool off.”

Watch “Where’s Your Head At” live At Kendall Calling 2013 in the United Kingdom:

Tickets are available online and at the 9:30 Club box office.

Basement Jaxx
9:30 Club
Tuesday, June 30
Doors @7pm
$35
All ages

Music Park: The Wombats @ 9:30 Club — 4/30/15

THE WOMBATS @ O2 ACADEMY OXFORD
Matthew Murphy of The Wombats performs at the 02 Academy in Oxford, England on April 15, 2015.

“We have a roadie named Grossman,” said Matthew Murphy, the lead singer of The Wombats. “He eats four chocolate muffins a day.

“He’s the only man who can eat four chocolate muffins a day and still get thinner!” Matthew declared.

The audience caught and ran with the irreverent banter about Mr. Grossman during the sold-out show at the 9:30 Club on Thursday evening. At various points throughout the evening, they would shout, “Grossman!” — both spontaneously at the beginning of a song or at the behest of the lead vocalist.

“Actually, Grossman isn’t even his real name,” Matthew said later. “We keep calling him that in hopes that it will stick — like Reek in Game of Thrones.”

Erudite and entertaining, Matthew had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand as he led his band through a merry romp of songs from the three albums by The Wombats to date, including the latest Glitterbug, released last month. The new songs were very well received, and much of the audience already knew the words to quite a few of the songs.

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Music Park: Spandau Ballet @ 9:30 Club — 4/28/15

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Tony Hadley sings in New York City on May 2, 2015.

Wow, Spandau!

Golden-voiced Tony Hadley jumped to the stage of the 9:30 Club Tuesday night and nailed the lyrics of more than two dozen amazing songs by his band Spandau Ballet into the collective consciousness of everyone within earshot.

In the process, Tony and his bandmates *almost* had more fun than the audience at the very so nearly sold-out show. And they most certainly made certain that after a decades-long absence from the United States that they would not be forgotten here generally or in DC specifically any time soon.

Buoyed by the confidence of a band in the thick of strong friendships and camaraderie and confident in a catalog of songs unmatched in their strength and appeal, Spandau Ballet stormed the 9:30 Club with soulful new wave tunes that left men and women aged 20 to 50 screaming for more.

Spandau Ballet weren’t just good — they were superb.

Tony hit the right note immediately with new song “Soul Boy,” also the title track of a new documentary Soul Boys of the Western World, about the band, premiering tonight, April 29, at the IFC Center in Manhattan with the band’s participation. During the song, the audience gets its first taste of the indefatigable Steve Norman on saxophone.

Steve is everywhere — almost always with his trademark sax in one hand — appearing on bongos in one song, slinging a guitar in another and trading his sax for an oboe in a big finale. The man is a one-man band, and perhaps the strongest player in Spandau Ballet if not the entire history of rock and roll. (If that sounds like glib hyperbole, I dare you to watch him in action and then challenge me on that statement.)

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