Oh Land (Nanna Øland Fabricius) is coming to Merriweather Post Pavilion this Sunday, touring with Of Monsters and Men. She was born in Denmark, where she released her first album, Fauna, in 2008.
She released her fourth album, Earth Sick, in late 2014. The lead single, “Head Up High”, is a techno-laden song, that speaks to staying positive in the face of your partner’s infidelity. And you can dance to it.
Many of Oh Land’s newer songs have a very poppy, danceable quality that will no doubt energize a live audience. As an aspiring ballet dancer, an injury caused her to change course. Given her family pedigree (both parents were musicians/performers), and the songs I’ve listened to, a music career seems like the right path.
Some of her earlier songs, especially from her self-titled album, Oh Land, have an airy, almost ethereal, sound. The dance beats are there, but very subtle, waiting to burst forth. There’s an eclectic mix of style and sound throughout her wide range of songs, that all work together.
In the open air of Merriweather, Oh Land is the perfect way to start your evening before Of Monsters and Men perform.
Get there early and enjoy!
(Opening for Of Monsters and Men)
Merriweather Post Pavilion
Sunday, September 20
Doors @6:30pm; Show @8pm
Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour
“The problem with being married is that when you’re married — your husband think you only belong to him!” Madonna exclaimed from the stage at Verizon Center Saturday night. “But I belong to all of you. I’m married to all of you!”
The rapturous applause following Madonna’s proclamations made the not-quite-sold-out show at Verizon Center sound larger than life. Madonna certainly had the crowd eating out of her hand as she delivered a show that was part Cirque du Soleil-style spectacle and part acoustic concert.
Moving from staged set to stage set, Madonna traveled through four different configurations for her concert, kicking off with a string of songs drawn heavily from her latest album, Rebel Heart, which she is touring worldwide through March 2016. DC was her second stop after launching the tour last week in Toronto, Canada.
The show began with a bang to the heavily choreographed Iconic, which introduced a scene where backup dancers masqueraded as a sort of Egyptian-styled religious cult with video that made effective use of guest spoken-word contributor Mike Tyson. This quasi-religious theme would run through a number of songs and fuel a kinetic display that included acrobatics and dancing nuns on stripper poles (as Madonna herself put it, nothing too “provocative,” eh?)
Australian actress and musician Ruby Rose is best known for her role in the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black,” but she’ll bring her musical chops to Echostage on Friday, Sept. 4.
In a live performance, Ruby Rose will perform a few singles, including “Guilty Pleasure” and “Break Free.” Then she’ll hit the decks as a DJ.
Ruby Rose first recorded “Guilty Pleasure,” an EDM-inspired dance marathon, with well-regarded U.K. collaborator Gary Go in 2013. It’s
Watch the video for “Guilty Pleasure” on YouTube:
Her more recent solo number “Break Free,” a ballad that concerns itself with gender roles. Over the course of the video, Ruby Rose changes from overtly feminine garb into something quite more androgynous.
Watch the video for “Break Free” on YouTube:
Joining Ruby Rose is English producer and DJ Michael Woods. Tickets are available online.
w/ DJ Michael Woods
Friday, Sept. 4
$25 and up
GEMS (Photo by Kristen Wrzesniewski)
Dreampop duo GEMS debuted a new single via All Songs Considered on NPR Monday, announcing the release of their first full-length album, Kill the One You Love, due out on Oct. 30 via Carpark Records.
The single, “Living as a Ghost,” is a soaring evocation of the search for fullfullment with sweeping synths countered by a slightly melancholy backbeat.
Listen to “Living as a Ghost” on Soundcloud:
Originally from DC, bandmates Lindsay Pitts and Clifford John Usher recently moved to Los Angeles. But they clearly kept some connections here, as evidenced by their upcoming release on DC-based Carpark. GEMS have not yet announced a tour, but we predict they return for a show sometime this year.
“Living as a Ghost” is “the culmination of a process that we in DC have watched. They are a twosome meant for each other, with Usher’s guitar and electronic production punctuating Pitts’ soaring, swirly shimmer,” said NPR’s Bob Boilen.
The album is available for preorder on Carpark Records’ website.
Ride (Photo by Piper Ferguson)
Legendary shoegazers Ride reunited and performed a homecoming show at the 02 Academy in London back in April — their first show in almost 20 years!
They followed that up with a few US dates, including stops at the Coachella Music Festival, but now they are returning in force for a proper tour, showcasing material from their beloved four studio albums.
“More than a decade later, the bristling wall of sound was just as brooding, rumbling and heavy as we had remembered,” Rolling Stone said of Ride’s initial shows.
The gents kick off the next leg of their reunion tour at the 9:30 Club on Thursday, Sept. 17, then continue on a string of US dates over the next several weeks.
Watch Ride perform “Leave Them All Behind” at The Warfield in San Francisco on April 13, 2015:
Surely, this was the best possible outcome from the dissolution of Oasis follow-up band Beady Eye. With Oasis and Beady Eye on hold, guitarist Andy Bell was free to reunite with Ride bandmates Mark Gardener, Laurence “Loz” Colbert, and Steve Queralt, reminding fans of what made shoegaze so unique when it blossomed in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
This is a unique opportunity to see a seminal band perform its signature tunes in a first-class show. Tickets are available online!
Thursday, Sept. 17
Jenny Hval (Photo by Jenny Berger Myhre)
Norwegian artist Jenny Hval may offer a totem for the modern DC working woman with the cover of her new album, Apocalypse, girl, which depicts a woman slumped over a medicine ball, apparently having collapsed, disconnected with the task at hand.
On the album, Jenny actually seems very connected to her surroundings, eerily so! Her songs amble along with dreampop reflections as she sometimes narrates her thoughts and at other times sings gently. The experimental nature of her albums is reflected in her videos, including the latest for the track “Sabbath,” at first glance a disjointed collection of memories but more accurately a small treatise on questions of identity.
The video features bandmates Jenny (vocals, synth), Håvard Volden (electronics), Annie Bielski (performance artist and Apocalypse, girl cover model) and Zia Anger (visual enhancement), and it was shot entirely on Zia’s iPhone during a recent tour of Europe.
Watch the video for Jenny Hval’s “Sabbath” on YouTube:
Tracks like “Sabbath” put the “dream” in Jenny’s dreampop, and the dream isn’t always the most lucid although it’s often concerned with sex. She launches a US tour in support of the album later in August, and the tour makes a stop at DC9 on Wednesday, Sept. 9. Seattle singer-songwriter Briana Marela opens for Jenny.
Listen to Apocalypse, girl, out now on Sacred Bones, via Soundcloud:
Tickets are available online.
w/ Briana Marela
Wednesday, Sept. 9
Laura Burhenn performs in Dallas in 2010.
Laura Burhenn, former DC native transplanted to Omaha, Neb., has done her share of traveling in recent days. The hypnotic chanteuse had been touring with her frequent collaborators Black English, opening for the Psychedelic Furs, when she got the call to open for The Pixies at the 9:30 Club Sunday night.
She flew back to DC Sunday morning, and several members of Black English supported her as her band in The Mynabirds, which also played an intimate show at the POV Lounge at the W Hotel in DC on Monday night.
At the W, The Mynabirds performed a lush 11-song set, half of which roughly consisted of new songs from an upcoming third album, Lovers Know, due on August 7 on well-regarded indie label Saddle Creek.
Monday was my first time catching a performance by Laura and The Mynabirds, and one thing immediately was clear: Laura sings with purpose. Generally her songs are concerned with devoting yourself to something 100 percent –- and when you have to do so, you fight.