Spoon (Photo by Zackery Michael)
In a few short weeks, Spoon will find themselves in a three-night residency at SXSW, and then the very next day they will release their new album Hot Thoughts on Matador Records. Spoon will then continue a tour that will eventually land them at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, on Sunday, July 30.
Stronger Sex perform at The Hamilton Live on Sept. 3, 2016.
The definition of fantastic? fan·tas·tic /fan’tastik/ [adj.] imaginative or fanciful; remote from reality.
Enter Johnny Fantastic, whose up-tempo electronic cabaret certainly fits his name — and in a good way. Let’s add to the mix Leah Gage (also of local band BRNDA), who stands beside Johnny on synthesizers and vocals, and you have a Fantastic Duo indeed in DC indie synth outfit Stronger Sex.
The Residents perform at the 9:30 Club on Friday, April 29, 2016. (Photo by Crystal Dunn – http://www.ladyvile.com)
Prior to their show at the 9:30 Club Friday night, I have previously seen The Residents perform live on only one other occasion. This was at the George Washington University Lisner Auditorium back in 1990, and it was for The King and Eye Tour.
I have been a longtime if sporadically engaged fan since the 1980s, having discovered the group through my interest of the Swiss band Yello. The Residents’ record label, Ralph Records, was the source of a lot of wonderfully strange music back in the early 1980s. In addition to the first two Yello LPs, their roster also included releases by Renaldo and the Loaf, Snakefinger, and Tuxedomoon.
The catalog insert inside of my copy of the “Claro Que Si” LP led me straight to Residents fandom. This was a period of near-fanatic record collecting for me, accompanied by some of the most memorable live performance that I have witnessed. It was in that same period of time that Lisner also hosted Laurie Anderson, The The, and an amazingly rare performance by David Sylvian. These were the kind of shows and the kind of creatively unbounded music I saw myself pursuing as I grew with the music scene — intricate, thought-provoking, cinematic, and ambitious. Seeing The Residents at the 9:30 Club this past weekend, a seated show that offered a cerebral experience, helped me reminisce about the heyday of “new music,” prior to grunge and hip hop’s reset of popular sensibility to digestible rock and roll idolatry.
Yannis Philippakis of the Foals performs at La Route Du Rock in France on Aug. 16, 2015. (Photo by Alter1fo)
“This song is about what happens when Trump gets into office,” said the very Greek Yannis Philippakis, frontman of the UK band Foals, when introducing a new song, “A Knife in the Ocean.”
The shimmery psychedelic song is both a departure and an affirmation of previous songs by the Foals in that it is more slowly paced but still built upon remarkable guitarwork. The song, from the band’s fourth studio album What Went Down, is about losing things to time as if they were washed away by the sea. Apparently, Yannis believes we will lose many things of value if Donald Trump becomes US president.
Politics aside, Yannis and his three bandmates played a sold-out show at the Lincoln Theatre on Wednesday, Dec. 16, enrapturing an enthusiastic audience with new material like “Knife” that stacked up well with the Foals’ more familiar songs.
Django Django’s music inspires one to compare and contrast it to other artists and styles. But as hard as you try, in the end, their sound cannot be easily confined to such comparisons.
You would be wont to hear a great deal of Beach Boys influence in their music. From songs such as “Hail Bop” to “Life’s a Beach” to ‘Wor”, the surf music undercurrent throughout is palpable.
You could find a healthy number of drumline dance beats, from “Waveforms” to “Reflections”, to groove to.
You could even find a bit of Irish music in their instrumental, “Slow West”, from the movie soundtrack of the same name and a bit of riding horse/rattlesnake country in “Love’s Dart”.
The point is, they don’t confine themselves to one sound, one approach or one genre. Hence, why the moniker “art rock” has been used to describe them.
Photo courtesy of Pitch Perfect PR
Django Django, whose members met in Edinburgh and later migrated to London, England, are described as an ‘art rock’ band, or experimental or avant-garde rock, that draws from many influences, including classical and psychedelia.
They bring their stylistic rhythms and harmonies to the 9:30 Club on Wednesday, July 29th, in support of their second album, Born Under Saturn. Their first self-titled album, ranked among Rolling Stone’s Top 50 albums of 2012. Their second album is on track for similar acclaim.
The funky single, Spy Hunter theme crossed with beach music, “Shake and Tremble”, is a good example of the range their sound can take on. A sound that defies pure categorization.
The first single off of Born Under Saturn, was the deeply resonating but airy, “First Light”.
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Tickets to their show, which should prove to be a lively and unique experience, are available online here.
Come out and see Django Django!
w/ Beat Connection
Wednesday, July 29
Doors @ 7:00pm