Music Park: K A G @ Comet Ping Pong — 12/1/16

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Katie Alice Greer performs as K A G at Comet Ping Pong on Dec. 1, 2016.

Katie Alice Greer stood focused on her electronic rig Thursday night at Comet Ping Pong, presenting quite a contrast to her explosive persona as lead vocalist of Priests.

Rather than wailing at the top of her lungs as DC metro’s resident punk banshee, Katie instead sang minimally over droning beats, often directing her voice into an old telephone receiver plugged into her gear. In so doing, Katie made her cassette release party as solo project K A G a far cry from her frenetic kinetics in Priests.

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Music Park: Sex Stains @ Comet Ping Pong — 9/15/16

Sex Stains
Allison Wolfe of Sex Stains (Photo by Theresa Sanchez)

In 2016 riot grrrls use Snapchat.

Don’t believe me? Not punk enough?

Boisterous, bespectacled redhead Allison Wolfe would beg to differ.

“I’m learning Snapchat,” said Allison to the capacity audience at Comet Ping Pong in Washington, D.C., last Thursday, September 15. She was thanking Governess and Coup Souvage & The Snips for opening and had captured part of each local band’s session with her phone using social media app popularized by Millennials. “You can’t see it because it disappears in like 2 seconds. I’m supposed to be learning [technology] though. I am taking a class for that.” She’s enrolled at the University of Southern California and even wrote a song about it called “USC,” which kicked of the Sex Stains set that night.

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Don’t Miss: Sex Stains @ Comet Ping Pong, 9/15/16

Sex Stains_Debi Del Grande-2
Sex Stains (Photo by Debi Del Grande)

Forty years after the debut record by The Ramones, Sex Stains are here to remind us that women are also a kinetic part of punk rock history. And so welcome the return of Allison Wolfe of riot grrrl bands Bratmobile and Cold Cold Hearts as she takes up lead vocals in new band Sex Stains.

Sex Stains, a Los Angeles-based punk quintet, released its debut self-titled record on Sept. 2 via Don Giovanni Records, and they launched a national tour to promote it! They slide into our ears locally at Comet Ping Pong on Thursday, Sept. 15, courtesy of Sasha Lord Presents.

Inspired by late ‘70s and early ‘80s post-punk, Sex Stains recorded 12 rapid-fire dance tracks rife with discord. Sex Stains previously released the lead single, “Don’t Hate Me ‘Cuz I’m Beautiful,” a brief, perfect punk punch.

Listen to “Don’t Hate Me ‘Cuz I’m Beautiful” by Sex Stains on YouTube:

Formed in 2014, Sex Stains consists of Allison, fellow lead vocalist Mecca Vazie Andrews, drummer David Orlando, guitarist Sharif Dumani, and bassist Pachy Garcia. Turn up to dance to sassy tracks with catchy cadences and buoyant melodies!

DC bands Coup Savage & the Snips and Governess open for Sex Stains. Tickets are available at the door.

Sex Stains
w/ Coup Savage & the Snips, Governess
Comet Ping Pong
Thursday, Sept. 15
Doors @9pm
$12
All ages

Snapshots: Shopping, Gauche, Stef Chura @ Comet Ping Pong — 8/9/16

Stef Chura
Stef Chura (Photo by Kristie Chua)

Last fall, UK post-punk trio Shopping released their second album, Why Choose, via FatCat and embarked on a worldwide tour in support of it.

And the stopped to play at Comet Ping Pong on Tuesday with openers Gauche and Stef Chura! Guitarist Rachel Aggs, bassist Billy Easter, and drummer Andrew Milk have only a few more US dates on this leg of the tour, including a show for Berserktown III on Sunday in Los Angeles.

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Don’t Miss: Shopping @ Comet Ping Pong, 8/9/16

Shopping by  Jenna Foxton
Shopping (Photo by Jenna Foxton)

Last fall, UK post-punk trio Shopping released their second album, Why Choose, via FatCat and embarked on a worldwide tour in support of it.

Now the fantastically catchy band are returning to the United States for a spate of shows in 2016, with a date at Comet Ping Pong on Tuesday, August 9. Guitarist Rachel Aggs, bassist Billy Easter, and drummer Andrew Milk are making their way to the Athens Popfest on Thursday, and they will wrap in a show for Berserktown III on Sunday in Los Angeles.

Why Choose is full of hot riffs and cold relationships, such as with break-up song “Straight Lines.” Watch the official music video for “Straight Lines” (featuring the band getting naked) by Shopping on YouTube:

The New York Times pretty much nails it when they say, “Jagged guitar truncheons joust with stomping bass lines while the front woman, Aggs, howls like she’s descended from Ari Up and the Slits. The jocularity of the B-52’s bubbles up from time to time.”

This should be a great show for such an intimate space! Tickets are available online and at the door.

Shopping
w/ Gauche and Stef Chura
Comet Ping Pong
Tuesday, August 9
Doors @9pm
$12
All ages

Don’t Miss: Time Is Fire @ DC9, 1/28/16 @ Comet Ping Pong, 3/5/16

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Time Is Fire perform at The Howard Theatre on April 20, 2015. (Photo by Kay Said/Courtesy Time Is Fire)

Back in July, I went to the Black Cat to check out the noir cinema pop of Brooklyn band KATIEE. However, like everyone else there, I was rather stunned by the opening act, DC psych quartet Time Is Fire.

The four men in Time Is Fire cite DC punk as an influence on their band, and occasionally they marry some post-punk guitar structures to their upbeat musical style. However, when they really get rolling, they become a full-blown psychedelic jam ready to enthusiastically throw down as a wandering dance party all by themselves.

Sometimes frontman Kamyar Arsani sings in English and sometimes Farsi, and the instruments in the band tend to move with him from more traditional rock to hazy Middle Eastern rhythms. It’s totally appropriate given that Kamyar is a daf player and Sufi poet who grew up in Tehran, where he absorbed both Western and Persian music. He is joined by drummer Jim Thomson (CSC Funk Band, Bio Ritmo, GWAR, Alter Natives), guitarist Matt Perrone (Alma Tropicalia), and bassist Ashish Vyas (Thievery Corporation, GoGoGo Airheart).

In November 2015, Time Is Fire released their self-titled debut EP, produced by Fugazi’s Brendan Canty, via Electric Cowbell. You can listen to the EP, and buy it, on Bandcamp:

Time Is Fire really come alive in concert. When they play, they are fully in their own world, weaving a sort of hypnotic field, but they also enjoying themselves so fully that it’s downright infectious.

Watch the official music video for “Fetneh,” which really manages to capture the energy of Time Is Fire in performance:

The band have announced two shows in the coming months. They open for Social Station at DC9 on Thursday Jan. 28, and then they appear with Prince Rama and SISTR MD9IGHT in a lineup at Comet Ping Pong on Saturday, March 5. Tix for the DC9 show are available at the door; tix for the Comet Ping Pong show are available online.

It’s well worth your time to check them out!

Time Is Fire
Opening for Social Station
DC9
Thursday, Jan. 28
Doors @8pm
$8
All ages

Time Is Fire
w/ Prince Rama and SISTR MD9IGHT
Saturday, March 5
Doors @10pm
$12
All ages

Music Park: A Sunny Day in Glasgow @ Comet Ping Pong — 1/3/16

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A Sunny Day in Glasgow (Photo by Ever Nalens)

Philadelphia-born sextet A Sunny Day in Glasgow returned to DC in lush, hazy glory Sunday evening.

The shoegaze collective hit Comet Ping Pong at the end of a short tour that provided them the opportunity to play new songs from a nine-track double EP, Planning Weed Like It’s Acid/Life is Loss, released last November. The new songs showcased the band’s well-known strengths — sweet harmonies from vocalists Annie Fredrickson and Jen Goma as well as big, fuzzy guitars from founder Ben Daniels and Josh Meakim.

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Don’t Miss: A Sunny Day in Glasgow @ Comet Ping-Pong, 1/3/16

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A Sunny Day in Glasgow (Photo by Adam Herndon)

As the year 2015 winds down, we at Parklife DC are looking forward to our first recommended show of 2016!

And it’s going to be a pretty good one: Shoegazing collective A Sunny Day in Glasgow have returned with a new double EP, Planning Weed Like It’s Acid/Life Is Loss, and they are returning to DC to perform at Comet Ping-Pong on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016.

Songwriter Ben Daniels, the band’s founder, brings regular players with him in the form of drummer Adam Herndon, vocalist and cellist Anne Fredrickson, vocalist Jen Goma, vocalist and guitarist Josh Meakim, and bassist Ryan Newmyer. The six-person cooperative are in good form with their new material, their first release since their critically applauded 2014 album, Sea When Absent, which Pitchfork said “has an atmospheric, bleeding-watercolor quality that makes it sound a little bit like a My Bloody Valentine record if the moodiness and pensiveness were replaced with a feeling of almost violently explosive joy.”

The happy, hopeful attitude continues on their most recent synthy single, “Hey, You’re Mine,” which singer Jen described to Spin as an internal conversation with yourself about moving forward.

Watch the official wrestling-themed music video for “Hey, You’re Mine” on YouTube:

NYC power poppers EZTV and Baltimore folk rockers Outer Spaces open for A Sunny Day in Glasgow. Tickets are available online and at the door. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see these shoegazer innovators!

A Sunny Day in Glasgow
w/ EZTV and Outer Spaces
Comet Ping-Pong
Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016
Doors @9pm
$12
All ages

Music Park: Des Ark @ Comet Ping Pong — 12/16/15

Des-Ark2Des Ark (Photo Credit: Marc Krause)

After a lengthy sound check that turned into a request to switch off the PA system in the second song, Des Ark finally got into their groove at Coment Ping Pong on December 16th.

Des Ark consists of singer/guitarist Aimée Collet Argote and drummer Tim Herzog, along with a few others.

Their latest album, Everything Dies, highlights Aimée ‘s folky, breathy voice and starts off with songs of angst and pain, from the perspective of women who are wronged or abused. The title is apt and the lyrics are heartbreaking. But then there comes a perceptible shift towards quiet optimism. Towards something worth fighting for.

Des Ark started off their set with such a more optimistic song from the album, “French Fries Are Magical”, which has the affecting question, “What can I believe, until you believe in me?” at its heart.

A few songs later, they played their strongest song (or at least my favorite) from Everything Dies, “Snake Stuff”, about heartbreak in love. “If I don’t learn to love, I’m going to die of fear.” The melody soared above the small, but tightly packed crowd.

Put together, the song writing and lyrics can incite a sense of melodically, while the gentle melodies and almost atmospheric music bring the mood into quiet harmony.

“Don Taco & His Hot Sauce Toss” starts off with a twangy banjo and moves into a happy acknowledgment of youth in love.

I didn’t catch the names of all eight or so songs Des Ark played, so I focused on the ones I knew from listening to Everything Dies.

The Comet Ping Pong space is small, and one side is simply blankets hanging down separating the music room from the restaurant. But it’s a perfect, intimate venue for a band like Des Ark, who has songs to deliver that are quiet and important to hear.

Check out Everything Dies, and give Des Ark a listen.

The Comet Ping Pong show was their last in 2015, but they pick up again in mid-January in North Carolina, then tour through mid-February throughout the country, before ending in Savannah, Georgia (3/12/16) after a month gap.

Don’t Miss: Des Ark @ Comet Ping Pong, 12/16/15

Des-ArkAimée Collet Argote of Des Ark (Photo Credit: Marc Krause)

Listening to Des Ark’s latest album, I had to chuckle at some of the song titles.

Des Ark, coming to Comet Ping Pong on Wednesday, December 16th, is primarily singer/guitarist Aimée Collet Argote with a mix of rotating members.

It is clear Aimée likes the word ‘motherf***r’ a great deal, as two of the songs feature the word in the title. It is also clear that she has a bit of a sense of humor, with songs titles like, “French Fries are Magical” and “Don Taco & His Hot Sauce Toss”.

Everything Dies is the title of their third full length album, and is a quietly strong set of songs that are both sentimental and slightly folky in nature.

Apparently (though I have yet to experience it myself), their shows are a wide mix of music styles, from loud rock to the softer, compelling ballads.

Their video, “Snake Stuff”, is more akin to the softer side.

 

Come out to Comet Ping Pong and see what the fuss is all about.

Des Ark
w/ Pygmy Lush and The City And I
Comet Ping Pong
Wednesday, December 16
Doors @ 9:00pm
$12
All ages