Around Town: Biscuit Jam @ Industrious Warehouse — 8/6/16

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The Bumper Jacksons perform at Biscuit Jam 2016 in DC on Saturday, August 6. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

The Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. turned two years old recently, and instead of simply selling $2 biscuits or some other kitschy idea, it threw a proper birthday bash in Ivy City and called it the Biscuit Jam.

Held at the Industrious Warehouse (1900 Kendall St. NE, DC) on Saturday, Biscuit Jam offered up music, drink, food, and art on a sunny day. The full entertainment line-up consisted of a slate of regional bands: Jonny Grave & The Tombstones, Justin Trawick & The Common Good, Oh He Dead, Jahnel Daliya, Brian Farrow & What Got Over, Ampersand Stringband, and The Bumper Jacksons.

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Don’t Miss: Mariachi Flor De Toloache (Opening for The Arcs) @ 9:30 Club, 12/14-12/15/15

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Flor de Toloache (Photo by Andrei Averbuch)

The Arcs are the new band helmed by Dan Auerbach, guitarist and vocalist of The Black Keys. They are a bit unusual in several aspects, being a kind of large garage chamber pop band.

One of the unusual aspects of the band is that they are backed by members of Mariachi Flor De Toloache in concert. The all-female mariachi band from New York City provides vocals, horns, and strings to the bluesy ensemble.

The Arcs are touring in support of their debut album, and they are bringing Flor De Toloache along with them as the opening act with two nights at the 9:30 Club on Monday, Dec. 14, and Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Founded by Mireya Ramos, Mariachi Flor de Toloache themselves released a self-titled debut album in April. The band today includes up to 13 rotating members who play traditional mariachi instruments: violin, trumpet, guitarrón (bass), and vihuela (five-string guitar). Mireya and co-leader Shae Fiol provide vocals, and Shae also designs the band’s outfits.

Watch Mariachi Flor De Toloache play Blue Note’s Subrosa in New York City for their record release party on April 4, 2015:

Taking its name from a poisonous night flower used as a love potion in Central America in the past, Flor De Toloache infuse various musical genres into their mariachi mix, including salsa, bachata, cumbia, gypsy music, and Latin jazz as well as pop, hip-hop, and soul, according to a profile of the band in the Wall Street Journal published earlier this year.

The first show on Monday, Dec. 14, sold out, but tickets are still available online for a second show on Tuesday, Dec. 15!

Mariachi Flor De Toloache
(Opening for The Arcs)
9:30 Club
Monday, Dec. 14
Tuesday, Dec. 15
Doors @7pm
$40
All ages

Ticket Giveaway: Darwin Deez @ Black Cat, 12/9/15

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Darwin Smith (Photo by Krista Schlueter)

Brooklyn-based quartet Darwin Deez released a third studio album, Double Down, in September via Lucky Number — and the band, led by Darwin Smith, has been touring in support of it. They hit DC with a stop at the Black Cat on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

Last month, Darwin Deez produced a clever video for the single “The Mess She Made,” which features Darwin singing as various international currency is superimposed over his head.

Watch the official video for “The Mess She Made” on YouTube:

Joined by Charly Bliss on the current tour, Darwin Deez promises smart choreography and high energy to accompany their blend of soulful and bluesy pop.

And you have a chance to see it for yourself, as Parklife DC is giving away a pair of tickets for this show. To win, follow us on Twitter, or retweet or like the tweet announcing this ticket giveaway. (You can follow us at http://www.twitter.com/ParklifeDC!)

For the rules of this giveaway–

We will choose a winner at random from Twitter follows, retweets, and likes by 5pm on Wednesday, Dec. 2. The winner will be notified by Twitter! The winner must respond to our communication within 24 hours or they will forfeit their tickets, and we will pick another winner.

Tickets also are available online!

Darwin Deez
w/ Charly Bliss
Black Cat
Wednesday, Dec. 9
Doors @7:30pm
$15
All ages

Don’t Miss: Drenge @ U Street Music Hall, 10/1/15 (Opening for Wolf Alice)

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Drenge (Photo courtesy Press Here)

Grunge and punk have a long, complex relationship, and bands in the United Kingdom like Royal Blood have been adding layers to that relationship in recent years.

Enter the Brothers Eoin and Rory Loveless, who formed a U.K. band called Drenge, an outfit that plays bluesy punk wrapped inside a grunge aesthetic. The simplicity of the formula is appealing, and the brothers manage to sound like a much bigger band. On tour, they actually are a bigger band with the addition of bassist Rob Graham.

They are touring now in support of their second album Undertow, released earlier this year. And they stop in DC to perform at U Street Music Hall tonight, Oct. 1, opening for fellow U.K. band Wolf Alice. Yesterday, they released a new video for their song “The Woods.”

Watch for the video for “The Woods” by Drenge on YouTube:

We were going to recommend that you hit the show, but you can’t buy tickets because the show sold out! We’ll tell you how it was in a few days. Watch this space!

Drenge
Opening for Wolf Alice
Thursday, Oct. 1
Doors @7pm
$20
All ages

Music Park: Ultimate Painting @ Comet Ping Pong — 9/21/15

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Ultimate Painting perform at Rough Trade East in London on Oct. 31, 2014. (Photo by Paul Hudson)

Ultimate Painting take their name from a piece of artwork created by Drop Artists of the Drop City commune of Colorado in 1966. Around the same time in New York City, Lou Reed and John Cale formed the Velvet Underground.

Just a few years back, James Hoare of Veronica Falls and Jack Cooper of Mazes formed a third band, drawing its name from the colorful piece of art and its sound from guitarwork by Reed, Cale and Sterling Morrison. The result is a jangly, occasionally bluesy, sort of psychedelic rock that pays tribute to the ’60s quite masterfully while sounding fresh.

The duo played a show at Comet Ping Pong on Tuesday as a stop on their tour in support of their new album, Green Lanes, released in August by Trouble in Mind. They kicked off their set with some songs from their debut, a self-titled album released in 2014.

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Music Park: Gin Wigmore @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 9/11/15

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Gin Wigmore performs in London on June 10, 2015 (Photo by The 405)

You could very much appreciate Gin Wigmore as you might Amy Winehouse.

The Los Angeles singer, born in New Zealand, has a sad bluesy voice that simply grabs you. And that voice did indeed grab a sold-out room full of eager listeners at the Rock and Roll Hotel Friday night as the audience marveled at her soulful yet girlish sound and struggled to catch a glimpse of the lithe, tattooed blonde behind it.

Similar to the late, great Ms. Winehouse, Gin often sings of bad love and despair. Her powerful voice belies her small frame, and her striking blue eyes look as if they are peering through you from some otherworldy place while she sings as transfixed as you might be.

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Don’t Miss: Gin Wigmore @ Rock and Roll Hotel, 9/11/15

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Gin Wigmore (Photo courtesy Girlie Action)

Gin Wigmore seems like she was custom-tailored for a Quentin Tarantino movie.

I say that because Gin has a penchant for gritty cinematic capers where something clearly has gone awry in the story as depicted in new videos for her third album, Blood to Bone.

The striking 29-year-old New Zealander also seems like she would be at home in a modern Tarantino gangster flick with her intense eyes and bluesy voice. Indeed, Gin sings some bluesy folk tunes on her new album, due out on August 28 via Mercury Records.

But Gin gets a bit edgier than some in depicting things like the sensation of falling for someone such as in the song “New Rush,” which plays out like a mad version of “The Most Dangerous Game.”

Watch the video for “New Rush” on YouTube:

Gin is touring in support of the new album, and she visits the Rock and Roll Hotel in DC on Friday, Sept. 11.

Blood to Bone marks a change in direction for Gin, and I think she’s going to find a receptive audience next month.

“The whole idea for this album was to write songs that pushed me beyond my comfort zone. There were so many genres of music that I was not ready to appreciate prior to making this album. It’s like a whole new part of my palette and appetite for music opened up before embarking on the writing of Blood to Bone,” Gin said in a press release.

“I liken it to when you’re a kid and can’t bear the thought of Brussel sprouts and mushrooms. With maturity, you find ways to make it work in your life to often be one of the tastiest items on your plate — you just have to be ready,” she said.

Tickets are available online.

Gin Wigmore
w/ Patrick Park
Rock and Roll Hotel
Friday, Sept. 11
Doors @8pm
$15
All ages

Music Park: Nicole Atkins @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 12/19/14

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As a half-full room at the Rock and Roll Hotel looked to the stage, the performer they came to see walked in through the doors behind them.

With her guitar hung around her shoulders, Nicole Atkins, a tiny chanteuse with a big voice, strode into the middle of the room and opened her set from the floor with her anthem “Neptune City,” the folky Americana ode to her hometown in New Jersey.

The audience reconfigured itself in a crowded circle around her and sang along Friday night, giving one of the warmest welcomes to a performer in my concert-going experience.

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