Don’t Miss: Cold Cave @ Rock and Roll Hotel, 1/25/17

ColdCave_PhotoByMaraMckevitt
Amy Lee and Wesley Eisold of Cold Cave (Photo by Mara McKevitt)

Cold Cave released a new EP, The Idea of Love, on Sept. 9 via Heartworm. 

The title song is a synthpop dirge that veers a little bit more into industrial territory than some of Cold Cave’s more recent offerings — although the band certainly continues to occupy that perfect space encompassing the poetry of Joy Division with the middle-period electronics of Depeche Mode.

With the release of the single, Cold Cave began touring again, and the band visits the Rock and Roll Hotel in DC on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017.

As Cold Cave, musician Wesley Eisold started out with very artful pop in 2007 and then flowered into well-defined synthpop gems with very good albums like Love Comes Close and Cherish the Light Years. He has certainly not been shy about spreading his artistic wings on his own Heartworm Press label, however!

Watch the official music video for “The Idea of Love” on YouTube:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izyCuvsXvTs]

Still very much the standard-bearer for darkwave dance music, Wesley reminded us of his pop sensibilities with a very lovely cover of “Your Silent Face” by New Order earlier this year.

According to the Guardian, “Wesley Eisold is an absolutely new, young god of nihilism and despair — he brilliantly captures Cold Cave’s aesthetic: the Morrissey of ‘How Soon Is Now’ wailing over Nitzer Ebb beats and New Order melodies.”

It’s great that Cold Cave visits DC regularly, and we look forward to seeing Wesley again in January! Los Angeles goth trailblazer Drab Majesty opens for Cold Cave. Tickets are available online.

Cold Cave
w/ Drab Majesty
Rock and Roll Hotel
Wednesday, Jan. 25
Doors @7pm
$15
All ages

Music Park: The Faint @ 9:30 Club — 10/8/16

The Faint
The Faint (Photo by Bill Sitzmann)

Taking in the reaction from the crowd attending The Faint’s show at the 9:30 Club Saturday night, it’s clear that I’m amidst a pack of longtime fans.

While the band’s video for “Agenda Suicide” was on my playlist at some point way back, I am otherwise rather pathetically uninitiated with their extensive catalog. It’s evident that the band richly deserves the enthusiastic fan base that surrounds me, though. They let it be known that they have been paying attention for the preceding seventeen years.

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Don’t Miss: The Faint @ 9:30 Club, 10/8/16

THEFAINT2016photo credit- Bill Sitzmann
The Faint (Photo by Bill Sitzmann)

Synthpop quartet The Faint released a new song this year, and it’s pretty damn good… one of their better singles in quite a few years, I daresay!

The single will also see inclusion on an upcoming retrospective release by The Faint — CAPSULE: 1999-2016, due Sept. 30 via their longtime label Saddle Creek. To celebrate the release, The Faint are going on tour, and they stop at the 9:30 Club on Saturday, Oct. 8.

Listen to “Young and Realistic,” the catchy new single by The Faint, on Soundcloud:

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/264856931″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

The CAPSULE compilation arrives 17 years after the first release by The Faint — 1999’s Blank-Wave Arcade. The band rapidly matured and by 2001 released what many consider their masterpiece, Danse Macabre. The upcoming “greatest hits” includes contributions from albums Blank-Wave Arcade, Danse Macabre, Wet From Birth, Fasciinatiion, and Doom Abuse as well as “Young and Realistic” — and two brand new songs “Skylab1979” and “ESP.”

To me, the interesting thing about The Faint is that they almost always hit the perfect mark for what I consider “dark wave.” The Faint are a new wave band, but they eschew a lot of the sunny optimism of most new wave bands to drum up spikey dirges warning of difficult choices ahead. However, they never quite fall into the gloomy despair or overly distorted sound of modern industrial bands, saving them from easy categorization. And The Faint frontman Todd Fink is a joy to behold on synthesizer. (Seriously, it’s hard to find someone who can play synth with half as much energy!)

Opening for The Faint are Andy Gill’s new-look Gang of Four and Brooklyn dark-waver Travis Egedy, better known as Pictureplane. Don’t miss this action-packed bill!

Tickets are available online.

The Faint
w/ Gang of Four, Pictureplane
9:30 Club
Saturday, Oct. 8
Doors @6pm
$25
All ages

Don’t Miss: MS MR @ 9:30 Club, 10/1/15

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Q_pruH6aN4]“Criminals”

Do you wanna way out? Do you? When it comes to MS MR, I know I don’t.

Lizzy Plapinger (the MS) and Max Hershenow (the MR) storm the 9:30 Club on October 1, bringing their dark-themed, yet uplifting pop music that once you’ve heard it, you can’t get enough.

The single, “Criminals”, from their second album, How Does It Feel, asks the opening question, and the answer is no, because, ‘I just wanna be a criminal with you. We’re criminals’.

Another song from How Does It Feel, “Wrong Victory”, is a slow ballad that shows off Lizzy Plapinger’s vocal range, especially the acoustic version. The plaintive refrain, ‘When your skin doesn’t feel like home’, where the word ‘home’ is sung as four syllables…well, I like it.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_6srsj92R0]“Wrong Victory (Acoustic)”

I last saw MS MR at the 2014 Firefly Music Festival, and I can assure you, you will enjoy them live.

Their second album isn’t quite as good as their first, Secondhand Rapture, but it is very close. And I like it.

For some reason, tickets are still available. Rectify that situation.

MS MR
w/ Circa Waves, Crater
9:30 Club
Thursday, October 1
Doors @7:00pm
$30
All ages

MS MR

Don’t Miss: Technophobia (Opening for Citadel) @ Black Cat, 8/9/15

technophobiaband
Katie Petix and Steve EP of Technophobia (Photo courtesy Technophobia)

Our friends Steve EP and Katie Petix have jettisoned their past catalog for a new-look Technophobia, which is set to perform backstage at the Black Cat on Sunday.

The experimental electronic duo already made their local reintroduction opening for Laibach at the Black Cat in May. In the interim, I caught them with their compatriots Pleasure Curses (opening for Ki:Theory) at DC9 in June.

Technophobia affixes Steve to his keyboards and Katie on vocals, at times sampling various dialogue or sounds and at times soaring high into alt-dance rhythms that invite you to get your dark groove on.

The new songs from Technophobia seem to focus on emptiness or nothingness. And they demonstrate an affinity for Jean-Paul Sartre’s play “No Exit,” as lifted from a film version, in their sampling of dialogue.

In “Negative Space,” Steve inserts lines from lesbian Inez: “You can’t throttle thoughts with hands.” The sparkling synths that follow belie the lyrics sung by Katie of places in between other places, where lies nothingness.

Watch Technophobia perform “Negative Space” at the Black Cat on May 11, 2015, in a fan-made video:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipp4lnu4a70]

Another song “Fall to Nothing” lifts dialogue from Garcin of “No Exit” for its intro: “I’d never have believed it. You remember all we were told about the fire and brimstone, the torture-chambers, the burning marl? –Old wives’ tales! There’s no need for red-hot pokers. Hell is other people!”

This of course sets the stage for Katie to sing of a moment transfixed in time when a powerful loss occurred. The song is chilling but buoyed by layered synthpop.

Technophobia open for DC doom metal band Citadel backstage at the Black Cat on Sunday. Tickets are available online and at the door.

Technophobia
Opening for Citadel
Sunday, August 9
Doors @7:30pm
$10
All ages