Music Park: Christine and the Queens @ 9:30 Club — 5/31/16

Christine Queens 06 Héloïse Letissier aka Christine and the Queens performs at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

“I don’t quite fit. It’s like Tetris, and I’m the wrong piece,” said Héloïse Letissier, known by her stage name Christine and the Queens, in her sold-out show at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday.

But that is okay by Christine and the Queens. And in fact, the musician has a mantra, tattooed on her arm: “We accept you.”

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Music Park: Caravan Palace @ 9:30 Club — 5/26/16

Caravan Palace 02 Caravan Palace get into the swing of things at the 9:30 Club on May 26, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Clad in an elegant, short black dress, Zoé Colotis slides out onto the 9:30 Club stage and starts to sashay and sing, shooting rapid-fire words as she wiggles her hips.

In “Lone Digger” from the new album by her band Caravan Palace, Zoé makes a call for getting out to dance. And her audience Thursday night responds in kind, jumping, dancing, and clapping along to the rare treat of the French electroswing band.

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Interview: Andy McCluskey of OMD (@ Wolf Trap, 6/15/16)

Andy McCluskey (left) and Paul Humphreys of OMD (Photo courtesy Big Hassle)

As a champion of new wave music in general and synthesizers specifically, one of my biggest musical heroes is Andy McCluskey, frontman for the groundbreaking British synthpop band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD). A decade ago, Andy reunited with collaborator Paul Humphreys and relaunched the classic OMD lineup, which has been publishing new albums in recent years. And here in the United States, OMD remains celebrated for ‘80s singles such as “Enola Gay,” “So in Love,” and of course “If You Leave” (the band’s contribution to the soundtrack of the John Hughes film Pretty in Pink).

I had the singular honor of chatting with Andy recently about OMD’s upcoming tour of America, recent projects (including a new OMD album in the making), and matters of state in the European Union! [We also discussed more politics, but I cut some of that in favor of length and focus.]

Mickey McCarter: Hello, Andy!

Andy McCluskey: Mickey, hello again, how are you?

MM: Great! How are you?

AM: Great! I just got home from a very successful concert in Stockholm over the weekend, and the sun is shining in England, so all is good. [OMD played in Stockholm recently on May 21.]

MM: Fantastic! Since you mention that concert, you’ve been doing quite a bit of live album shows and releases, and that all seems to be going very well.

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Music Park: La Sera @ 9:30 Club — 5/12/16

La Sera 04Katy Goodman of La Sera @ 9:30 Club, 5/12/16

La Sera kept the night alive on May 12th, as they opened for the punk-laden Titus Andronicus, a late counterpoint to the early Parquet Courts show at the 9:30 Club.

Each decked out in matching ‘uniforms’ (white tees and black jeans), La Sera played a poppy, breezy 13-song set for the expectant hordes. That the horde was there for loud, unrepentant punk rock was obvious, but still La Sera won the crowd over (or me) with Katy Goodman’s vocal stylings and an at times twangy, surf-like rock sound.

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Music Park: Parquet Courts @ 9:30 Club — 5/12/16

Parquet Courts 11 Andrew Savage of Parquet Courts gets cathartic at the 9:30 Club on Thursday, May 12, 2016.

Parquet Courts were not happy about their early timeslot at the 9:30 Club last Thursday, and their stage banter reflected that.

“It’s pretty early. It’s happy hour, isn’t it?” suggested vocalist Andrew Savage. “If it’s happy hour, you got into the show for half price, right?”

“9:30 Club? More like the 6:30 Club!” agreed other vocalist Austin Brown. At the end of the show, he added, “Have a good time later. Tonight. When it’s dark.”

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Don’t Miss: Caravan Palace @ 9:30 Club, 5/26/16

Caravan Palace (Photo by Antoine Delaporte)

Electro-swing septet Caravan Palace will launch a North American tour, visiting from Paris, this week in support of their third full-length album, <|°_°|> (also known as Robot Face), released last year via Le Plan Recordings.

PopMatters hailed the album as the #2 pop record of 2015, and it hit #3 on the Billboard Electronic/Dance Album chart. The band officially released two singles from the album so far, including the high-energy “Lone Digger,” which came with a smartly animated video (viewed more than 12 million times!) that reminds us perhaps why natural enemies in the animal kingdom shouldn’t drink together.

Watch the official music video for “Lone Digger” by Caravan Place on YouTube:

During their tour, Caravan Palace stops locally at the 9:30 Club on Thursday, May 26 — a perfect place and a perfect time to get out and party.

Caravan Palace consists of vocalist Zoé Colotis and founding members Hugues Payen (violin), Charles Delaporte (upright bass) and Arnaud Vial (guitar) alongside Antoine Toustou (trombone, machines). They take their cues from influences as diverse as Cab Calloway and Daft Punk. All in all, Caravan Palace are a high-energy, upbeat dance machine with a refreshing sound built around horns and keyboards. Check them out!

Tickets are available online.

Caravan Palace
9:30 Club
Thursday, May 26
Doors @7pm
All ages