Music Park: Diana Ross @ Wolf Trap — 7/25/17

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Diana Ross performs at Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile, on July 8, 2013. (Photo by Claudio Poblete)

Diana Ross arrived on the stage at Wolf Trap as the personification of 25 years of popular music packed into a regal package. The nearly sold-out show, attended by people of all races and generations available, roared heartily throughout the ensuing show-stopping performance.

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Music Park: Adult. @ DC9 — 5/11/17

ADULT. 15 Adult. perform at DC9 on May 11, 2017. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

One of the quintessential band configurations is the fantastic synthpop duo — usually (but not always) a man on synthesizers and a woman on vocals.

Adult. certainly have realized the power of this duality and distilled it to a primal form. Adam Lee Miller and Nicola Kuperus, husband and wife artists from Detroit, opened up their songwriting process to contributing artists who actually lived with them in their house for three weeks at a clip, resulting in their latest album Detroit House Guests, released via Mute Records on March 17. The duo visited DC9 on Thursday to perform some of those songs.

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Music Park: Electric Six @ Black Cat — 10/2/16

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Dick Valentine fronts the Electric Six at the Black Cat on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath /Instagram+Twitter: GrillworksBen)

The Electric Six are a band that gets straight to the point.

“Buy our new album so the Electric Six can continue touring,” said Electric Six frontman Dick Valentine at the Black Cat on Sunday night. “Buy our new album so that we can buy gas and pay tolls on our way to Philadelphia — including that one expensive toll over that bridge in Maryland where you don’t know why you have to pay a toll.”

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Don’t Miss: Electric Six @ Black Cat — 10/2/16

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Dick Valentine vamps it up. (Photo by Cortney Armitage)

Detroit dance funk band Electric Six are celebrating Halloween in October with the release of a new album — Fresh Blood for Tired Vampyres, out Oct. 7 via Metropolis Records!

Electric Six frontman Dick Valentine sure seems like he’s going to live forever given the way his band knocks out a new album every year. And with this new album, Dick and company have strived to group all of their past lives in one place by combining electropop, R&B, dance and more genres into one album.

And with the new album comes a tour! Electric Six return to the Black Cat this Sunday, Oct. 2!

Listen to “I’ll Be in Touch” from the new album by Electric Six via YouTube:

Fresh Blood for Tired Vampyres covers a lot of ground from the Grandmaster Flash-inspired “Number of the Beast” to the smooth tour of the NYC outer boroughs “Mood Is Improving” as well as radio-ready pop tracks “Dance with Dark Forces” and “I’ll Be in Touch.”

And never fear! The Electric Six have long memories, and after 12 albums they still remember how much everyone loves their 2003 debut, so we may well hear “Dance Commander” or “Danger! High Voltage” or “Gay Bar” also!

Tickets are available online.

Electric Six
w/ In the Whale
Black Cat
Sunday, Oct. 2
Doors @7:30pm
$15
All ages

Don’t Miss: Timmy’s Organism @ DC9, 2/17/16

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Tim Lampinen aka Timmy Vulgar (PR Photo)

Third Man Records, the Nashville-based treasure trove of a publisher, has been supporting some interesting acts in Detroit, including the legendary Tim Lampinen, now channeling his cult following through his band Timmy’s Organism.

The trio consists of vocalist and guitarist Tim (aka Timmy Vulgar) and bassist Jeff Giant and drummer Blake Hill. The band released its latest album, Heartless Heathen, via Third Man in 2015, and they are now touring in support of it with fellow Detroit band Regression 696 (which actually is two-thirds of Detroit noise-rockers Wolf Eyes) and VIDEO from Austin. The tour, labeled Audio Social Dissent 2016, stops at DC9 tonight, Wednesday, Feb. 17.

Listen to Timmy’s Organism’s first single from Heartless Heathen — “Get Up, Get Out,” a raucous punk rock record:

Timmy’s Organism cite Captain Beefheart and Destroy All Monsters as well as classic punk bands like Chrome, Crime, and the Damned as influences. Go to DC9 tonight for a rare opportunity to see Detroit legends throw a thundering rock ‘n’ roll party in our fair city.

Tickets are available at the door.

Third Man Records Presents: Audio Social Dissent 2016
Timmy’s Organism
w/ VIDEO and Regression 696
DC9
Doors @8pm
$12
All ages

Music Park: Protomartyr @ Black Cat — 2/14/16

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Protomartyr perform for NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concert” series on Oct. 19, 2015. (Photo by Alison Hurt)

Joe Casey sings with determination. He grips the microphone and barks and growls in a defiant manner that suggests he’s not backing down.

Fronting the band Protomartyr, Joe is joined by three men who sound as seasoned as he: guitarist Greg Ahee, bassist Scott Davidson, and drummer Alex Leonard. Collectively, they produce guitar-driven music that is occasionally shimmery, occasionally pounding, and always a bit sardonic.

Sounding quite grim compared to some of their fellow post-punk standard-bearers, the prolific quartet from Detroit — three albums in four years! — dropped by the Black Cat on Sunday night to play a very full set dominated by their latest record, The Agent Intellect, released last October via Hardly Art.

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Don’t Miss: Protomartyr and Priests @ Black Cat, 2/14/16

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Protomartyr (Photo by Zak Bratto)

There are so, so many ways to say, “I love you,” on Valentine’s Day.” And many of them involve music!

But really, if you want to show your companion that you care, don’t make them listen to terrible music. Rather, take them out to hear some really good music! And I have a suggestion for you, of course.

The very excellent post-punk quartet Protomartyr are on tour to support their third album, and they stop in DC at the Black Cat on Sunday, Feb. 14. The band released The Agent Intellect last October via Hardly Art, and it’s a stunner.

Vocalist Joe Casey manages all of the intellectual growling and disaffected gaze of fellow Detroit native son Iggy Pop and the youthful English icon Ian Curtis. His bandmates — guitarist Greg Ahee, drummer Alex Leonard, and bassist Scott Davidson — might well be mistaken for Wire if you heard them blind!

Now, you might think that lyrics off new lead single “Why Does It Shake?” might not be that romantic: “False happiness is on the rise/See the victims piled high in a room without a roof.” But hey, I said this was *good* music — and you only want the very best for your Valentine, right?

Protomartyr recently visited NPR for a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 4, 2015. Watch them perform “Why Does It Shake?,” “Devil in His Youth,” and “Three Swallows” on YouTube:

But wait there’s more! For our DC show only  For a run of five shows beginning in Cleveland on Feb. 10 and ending in DC, Protomartyr share the stage with our contemporary high citizens of punk rock — Priests! Vocalist Katie Greer, guitarist Gideon Jaguar, bassist Taylor Mulitz, and drummer Danielle Danielle always deliver a pulse-pounding show as they spit on consumerism, bad relationships, and other cultural ills.

Watch Priests perform “Doctor” from their album Bodies and Control and Money and Power live at the Wilderness Bureau for WAMU 88.5’s Bandwidth on May 28, 2014:

If all of that weren’t enough, Protect-U duo Aaron Leitko and Mike Petillo will open the show from behind the decks with their alluring ambient pop. So much good music, guaranteed to be a Valentine’s Day hit.

Tickets are available online.

Protomartyr and Priests
w/ Protect-U
Black Cat
Sunday, Feb. 14
Doors @7:30pm
$15
All ages

Music Park: Electric Six @ Black Cat — 10/11/15

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Electric Six with Dick Valentine (left) (Photo by Frank Nash)

Much of the appeal of the Electric Six comes from the band’s desire to have fun and to make you dance by any music necessary.

And that sense of fun was on full display Sunday night at the Black Cat, where frontman Dick Valentine (born Tyler Spencer) and company absolutely packed the backstage beyond capacity. To be fair, the band originally were slated to play on the larger mainstage, but were moved backstage for some reason as the DC federal holiday weekend approached.

“The Electric Six were demoted!” Dick proclaimed early in the set. “Write to the Speaker of the House, whoever that may be, and have us remoted!”

I personally have never been in a more crowded show backstage, so I fully embrace Dick’s sentiment. At the end of the day, however, the Electric Six brought everything it had to bear in a genre-bending stampede of music that went from funk to punk to metal and even to country. It was a double-barrel shotgun blast of raucous dance music.

At a midpoint in the concert, Dick declared that it was time to break out the dance music, although 99 percent of the show consisted of dance music, as evidenced by an audience that was actively bopping and hopping. The declaration came as an intro to a medley of the band’s songs “Improper Dancing” and “(Who the Hell Just) Call My Phone,” one song from the band’s popular debut album Fire and another from their 2014 album Human Zoo.

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