Ticket Giveaway: Of Montreal @ 9:30 Club, 3/25/18

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Of Montreal (Photo courtesy Ticketfly)

Kevin Barnes and company release White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood, the 15th studio album for Of Montreal, on Friday, March 9, via Polyvinyl Records. The band perform at 9:30 Club on Sunday, March 25, and you can win tickets to go with Parklife DC.

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Music Park: Kimbra @ 9:30 Club — 1/30/18

Kimbra 29 Kimbra performs at 9:30 Club on Jan. 30, 2018. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

In a recent conversation with Parklife DC, Kimbra explained the delay of her new album, Primal Heart, would allow fans to spend time with individual singles and get to know them better prior to the album’s ultimate release in April.

In a very crowded show at 9:30 Club on Tuesday, Kimbra’s wish appeared to come true, as she smoldered through a 15-song set that drew almost entirely from Primal Heart. Audience anticipation was very high, and Kimbra had full command of the crowd’s attention from the first song to the very last.

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Snapshots: The Body @ Black Cat — 2/27/17

The Body
The Body performs at Black Cat on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017 (Photo by Paivi).

In a sold-out benefit for Planned Parenthood Monday, Portland metal duo The Body dropped by the Black Cat backstage to entertain alongside a few experimental DC bands.

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Music Park: The Residents @ 9:30 Club — 4/29/16

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The Residents perform at the 9:30 Club on Friday, April 29, 2016. (Photo by Crystal Dunn – http://www.ladyvile.com)

Prior to their show at the 9:30 Club Friday night, I have previously seen The Residents perform live on only one other occasion. This was at the George Washington University Lisner Auditorium back in 1990, and it was for The King and Eye Tour.

I have been a longtime if sporadically engaged fan since the 1980s, having discovered the group through my interest of the Swiss band Yello. The Residents’ record label, Ralph Records, was the source of a lot of wonderfully strange music back in the early 1980s. In addition to the first two Yello LPs, their roster also included releases by Renaldo and the Loaf, Snakefinger, and Tuxedomoon.

The catalog insert inside of my copy of the “Claro Que Si” LP led me straight to Residents fandom. This was a period of near-fanatic record collecting for me, accompanied by some of the most memorable live performance that I have witnessed. It was in that same period of time that Lisner also hosted Laurie Anderson, The The, and an amazingly rare performance by David Sylvian. These were the kind of shows and the kind of creatively unbounded music I saw myself pursuing as I grew with the music scene — intricate, thought-provoking, cinematic, and ambitious. Seeing The Residents at the 9:30 Club this past weekend, a seated show that offered a cerebral experience, helped me reminisce about the heyday of “new music,” prior to grunge and hip hop’s reset of popular sensibility to digestible rock and roll idolatry.

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Don’t Miss: Kraftwerk @ Strathmore Music Center, 9/3/16

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Kraftwerk in performance (Photo by Peter Boettcher)

The legendary synth pioneers Kraftwerk are returning to the DC metro area to launch a tour at the Strathmore Music Center on Saturday, Sept. 3.

Ralf Hütter, Henning Schmitz, Fritz Hilpert and Falk Grieffenhagen witll return with their Kraftwerk 3-D Concert, which they launched in the United States in 2014, including a previous stop at the 9:30 Club.

Now brought to you by IMP Productions, the Kraftwerk tour reignites with the German synthpop band’s groundbreaking compositions coupled with their performance art. It’s “gesamtkunstwerk” – a total work of art, as they say in German. Tickets for the Strathmore show go on sale Friday, April 29, at 10am!

Watch “The Robots” by Kraftwerk in an official 2013 retrospective video on YouTube:

In 2014, Kraftwerk toured a show concert series THE CATALOGUE – 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 with stops in US cities like New York City. Said Jon Pareles of the New York Times of the NYC United Palace Theatre show: “Kraftwerk has billed itself as the man-machine, and its songs are equally enthralled and wary of the emotionless precision and pervasive reach of computers, media, high-speed transportation and other inventions with unintended consequences. ‘Business, Numbers, Money, People,’ flashed in midair in ‘Computer World,’ a song released in 1981 that was tersely prescient about big data and surveillance.”

Ralf and Florian Schneider founded Kraftwerk in Germany in 1970, setting up their famous electronic Kling Klang Studio in Düsseldorf, where they conceived and produced all Kraftwerk albums. By the mid-‘70s, the band were hailed as innovators influencing bands across many genres of music globally. When I saw Kraftwerk at Moogfest 2014 in Asheville, NC, I wrote, “Although the concert offered many highlights, I was particularly pleased with a stretch of songs from my favorite Kraftwerk album, The Man-Machine. Released in 1978, the album was certainly among the more pop offerings put forth by Kraftwerk, as I believe at the time they were riding the tide of a generation of musicians they themselves had influenced.”

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to see Kraftwerk in action.

Kraftwerk
Music Center at Strathmore
Saturday, Sept. 3
Doors @6:30pm
$68-88
All ages

Music Park: Julia Holter @ Rock and Roll Hotel — 2/25/16

Julia Holter 11/11Julia Holter performing live at Village Underground on 11/11/2013. (Photo by Zoe Klinck)

With a strong fiddle player at her side, Julia Holter charmed the Rock and Roll Hotel crowd with a mix of experimental pop and folk-like songs.

At one point she whispered to the crowd, “Everything happens here…in DC…that’s important.” Whether this is true or not is debatable, but it did spark the crowd to start a lively round of shouts throughout the concert. The most entertaining being when one guy (and I assume the winner of every Louis C.K. look-alike contest) shouted, “We love you!” And he did. And they did.

Julia played a number of new songs off her latest album, Have You In My Wilderness, which received a great deal of buzz in the press in 2015.

One such new song was, “Feel You”, which she described as the ‘dorkiest song’ on the new record. Yet, I thought it was the strongest effort from the 13-song set she performed.

For the style and the sound, often individual songs segued into a cacophony of different vocal sounds and arrangements and pantomimed gestures that flowed around the lyrics, changing the dynamic and the mood from moment to moment. Hence, why some have dubbed her music experimental.

I found this eclectic mixing most interesting in the form of the “Sea Calls Me Home” (which was also the last song of the encore), where the song transitions from an airy pop song to a drumbeat chant of the chorus.

The lyrics of the funky “Vasquez” and “Silhouette” syncopated and slithered, while the three member band (drums, guitar and fiddle) kept time and the audience swayed. The Rock and Roll Hotel was mostly full, and it appeared a good number were quite familiar with Julia’s catalog and were having a fine time indeed.

Give the album, Have You In My Wilderness, a listen here.

Julia’s tour continues in Canada and the Midwest through March, then she picks up again in May at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington state (it’s a beautiful setting for music, you should check it out) for the Sasquatch Music Festival, before heading to a couple European cities!