Music Park: Near Northeast @ Songbyrd Music House — 10/8/17

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Near Northeast performs at Songbyrd Music House on Oct. 8, 2017. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

October’s first weekend was a frantic one for Near Northeast. On Saturday, the band performed at Porchfest in Adams Morgan, then loaded up their gear for a quick trip to Norfolk, Virginia, for a secret SoFar show. Then it was back up to the District to support headliner Sam Amidon at the Songbyrd Music House Sunday.

The quartet, named for the D.C. neighborhood where it originated, takes its work and art  seriously: relentlessly performing whenever and wherever a gig is to be had.

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Music Park: Bonobo @ 9:30 Club — 5/1/17

Bonobo 18 Szjerdene sings with Bonobo at 9:30 Club on Monday, May 1, 2017.

Bonobo may be a man, specifically Englishman Simon Green, but he’s got an impressive team. That team took a sold-out crowd at 9:30 Club on a lengthy tour of majestic sonic landscapes on Monday, dazzling us with engaging electronics, uplifting orchestral arrangements, and a soulful, winsome vocalist.

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Ticket Giveaway: Trentemøller @ 9:30 Club, 3/26/17

Trentmoller Trentemøller (Photo by Sofie Nørregaard)

Danish producer Anders Trentemøller released his fourth album Fixion in September 2016 on his own label, In My Room, and he’s hitting the United States in a long-awaited return that includes a stop at 9:30 Club on Sunday, March 26. You can win tickets with Parklife DC.

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Ticket Giveaway: Sunn O))) @ 9:30 Club, 3/12/17

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Sunn O))) (Photo by Estelle Hanania)

Seattle drone metal band Sunn O))) is launching a tour at the 9:30 Club on Sunday, March 12, and you have an opportunity here to win tickets to see Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson bring their very loud live show to DC.

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Music Park: Angus Tarnawsky @ 9:30 Club — 3/27/16

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Angus Tarnawsky performs at the 9:30 Club on Sunday, March 27, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Angus Tarnawsky is a drummer, but in performance he’s not a traditional percussionist.

The Australian-born New Yorker takes to the stage with an electronic dashboard, bursting with knobs and wires, as well as a deconstructed drum set — cymbals to his left and a drumhead to his right. As he moves his way from song to song, Angus creates deliberate, focused sound on his drum set, samples it, and then loops it into an electronic selection that can dissolve into ambience or hopscotch into tribal rhythms.

Performing as the opener for UK quartet Savages at the 9:30 Club on Sunday night, Angus held the attention of a very full room. The gathering crowd waited politely when the lights dimmed to signal the beginning of his set, not fully knowing what to expect. But soon, concert-goers were pleased to travel along Angus’ experimental sonic landscapes. Angus was a perfect opener for Savages, who handpicked him as the first act for the first three weeks of their US tour, which began Sunday night. (He’ll jump off the bill during the time the band perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in mid-April.)

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Don’t Miss: Moogfest 2016, 5/19-5/22/16 (Part 1)

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Gary Numan will play three performances at Moogfest 2016, each dedicated to a different classic album. (Photo courtesy BB Gun)

Moogfest 2016: Initial Details Revealed!

In 2016, the top music festival for celebrating the synthesizer returns to North Carolina. Moogfest 2016, named for Dr. Bob Moog and his innovative synthesizers, will come to Durham, NC, from Thursday, May 19, to Sunday, May 22, 2016. In Durham, the festival will encompass 17 different venues across the core downtown area of the city.

This year’s festival, the 10th Moogfest, will feature headliners Gary Numan (for a three-night residency) and GZA (for two-night residency), as well as Odesza, Laurie Anderson, Oneohtrix Point Never, Suzanne Ciani, Blood Orange, and Sun Ra Arkestra, with keynotes by transhumanist pharma tycoon Dr. Martine Rothblatt and virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier.

Watch comedian Reggie Watts announce the lineup for Moogfest 2016:

The rest of the festival includes more than 100 music acts, such as Explosions in the Sky, Sunn O))), The Orb, Daniel Lanois, DJ Harvey, Tory Lanez, Robert Hood, Simian Mobile Disco, Ben Frost, Floating Points, King Mez, Kode9, Hundred Waters, Empress Of, Mad Professor, Mike Dean, Moses Sumney, Mac McCaughan, Lunice, Ryan Hemsworth, Tim Hecker, and YACHT!

Moogfest 2016 offers a range of activities for day and night. By day, festival-goers can explore tech and art with a conference consisting of panels, workshops, and displays. By night, revelers indulge in performances by synthpop pioneers and newcomers alike.

You can find a full list of performers at the Moogfest 2016 website.

If that doesn’t sound enticing enough yet, Laurie Anderson will host a daytime conversation as well as a night-time performance. Blood Orange will present a performance of future soul. Brian Eno protégé Daniel Lanois will experiment with ambient sounds. GZA leads the biggest hip hop presence at Moogfest ever with artists like Lunice, Tory Lanez, Denzel Curry, Dr. Dre protégé King Mez, and Well$.

Ryan Hemsworth brings together a crew of international DJ/producer friends for a kick-off party. And in a segment that is free and open to the public, DJ Lance Rock and Yo Gabba Gabba bring guest hosts Mark Mothersbaugh of DEVO, Bootsy Collins, DJ Nanny Canteloupe, thereminist Dorit Chrysler, and others to celebrate electronic music for kids.

Tickets are available online.

Moogfest 2016
The City of Durham, NC
Thursday, May 19-Sunday, May 22, 2016
Exact schedule TBA
$249 General Admission; $499 VIP
$1,000 Engineer VIP includes two-day synth-building workshop
All ages

Music Park: KATIEE @ Black Cat — 7/23/15

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KATIEE (Photo by Sabine Rogers)

With a low and smoky voice, Katie Eastburn likes to let her inner cinephile run wild when composing songs with her latest band, KATIEE, a smart electronic quartet from Brooklyn.

In performance backstage at the Black Cat on Thursday night, Katie described their song “Sudden Fear,” for example, as inspired by the 1952 movie of the same title starring Joan Crawford.

KATIEE certainly have a sound appropriate for a modern reflection on such film noir, combining Katie’s sometimes hushed voice with unhurried percussion and ambient synths. Jim McHugh, Jeff Tobias and Jason Robira fill in the atmospheric sounds of assorted synths, saxophone, guitar and drums along with Katie, who plays a synthesizer herself.

Resulting tunes like “Bad and the Beautiful” are crisp and sometimes a little eerie. “Bad and the Beautiful” of course takes its title from another classic movie starring Lana Turner and Kirk Douglas.

The artful video for “Bad and the Beautiful” reflects the feeling of listening to KATIEE’s songs, and it also underscores Katie’s keen experience and continued interest in choreography.

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