Don’t Miss: Dan Croll @ 9:30 Club, 10/31/16

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Dan Croll (Photo courtesy Communion Music)

Dan Croll likes things to be a little off-center, much like Norwegian siren Aurora, for whom he is opening at the 9:30 Club on Monday. (Aurora? Catch up with her in our preview of her show!)

The UK electronic folk artist sings in an agreeable manner, but he enjoys putting a bit of an uncomfortable twist on his work, such as in the video for his latest single “Swim,” released in August.

Watch the official music video for “Swim” by Dan Croll on YouTube, and see what I mean:

Dan is an intriguing musician to watch, which is what makes it compulsive to come out early and see him at the 9:30 Club on Monday, Oct. 31. “Swim” is the first single from his upcoming second album, due in 2017 via Communion Music. Judging from the new song, Dan may be angling for more of an R&B sound than he employed in his debut album Sweet Disarray in 2014, but he’s always voiced admiration for approaching pop music from different angles.

Show up early for Dan Croll! Tickets are available online.

Dan Croll
Opening for Aurora
9:30 Club
Monday, Oct. 31
Doors @7pm
$20
All ages

Don’t Miss: Aurora @ 9:30 Club, 10/31/16

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Aurora Aksnes performs at U Street Music Hall on April 21, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Earlier this year, petite Aurora Aksnes gathered a large crowd into booming U Street Music Hall for a show packed with big ideas.

This time around, Aurora, the sensational Norwegian singer-songwriter, is performing at an appropriately larger venue, where the stage at the 9:30 Club is sure to provide a better platform for her artistic expression and the accompanying concert hall a better space for large crowds.

So come out on Monday, Oct. 31, to see Aurora as she sings, bounces, dances, and pantomimes along to the darkly glorious songs of her debut album, All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend, released in March by Decca Records and Glassnote.

Following songs like “Runaway,” “Half the World Away” (an Oasis cover!), “Conqueror,” and others, Aurora released a sixth single, “I Went Too Far,” from the new album. You know an album has legs when it can support six singles!

Watch the official music video for “I Went Too Far” by Aurora on YouTube:

Parklife DC reviewed Aurora at U Street Music Hall on April 21. (Revisit our full review and pictures here.) After seeing her, I said, “Although petite in size, the Norwegian folk popstar, who goes by only her first name, has a big voice that fits her ambitious songs of flight or fight. She also has a habit of physically moving where her music takes her. This somewhat off-kilter acting out of her own words and melodies might readily draw some comparisons to her fellow Scandinavian artist Bjork.”

I added, “Aurora’s folk pop is as spritely as she is, but it does carry dark overtones of struggling to find yourself, to be free, or to fight.”

You’ll want to be free for this show on Monday! Tickets are available online.

Aurora
w/ Dan Croll
9:30 Club
Monday, Oct. 31, 2016
Doors @7pm
$20
All ages

Music Park: All Things Go Fall Classic @ Yards Park — 10/8/16

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Here they come to save the day! Sophie Hawley-Weld of Sofi Tukker has the world in her hand at All Things Go Fall Classic on Oct. 8, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Last week, I ruminated on how things seemed to be going swimmingly for the All Things Go Fall Classic, held in DC on Saturday: Hurricane Matthew wasn’t going to approach DC, Passion Pit had not canceled, top act Empire of the Sun released exciting new music.

Then, Saturday came with consistent and gloomy rain despite no hurricane, turning all of Yards Park into a giant mudpit. Everything got splashed with mud, and the Fall Classic was turning into a Tough Mudder for the dancehall set, whether you liked it or not.

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Music Park: EZTV @ Lincoln Theatre, 9/18/16

EZTV 02 EZTV perform at the Lincoln Theatre on Sunday, Sept. 18.

Ms. Jenny Lewis toured the 10th anniversary of her seminal album Rabbit Fur Coat recently and brought her friends EZTV along to open for her when she and The Watson Twins stopped at the Lincoln Theatre in DC on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17-18.

Frontman Ezra Tenenbaum played guitars alongside Shane O’Connell and Michael Stasiak as the trio delighted the very full room with some bright, jangly guitars. Maybe it was the influence of their headliner, but the Brooklyn power pop trio delivered a sunny set of songs that were overall a bit more folky than what might have been anticipated. That was more than fine by our audience, who were bopping and grooving along to EZTV’s easy-going vibes by the end of their show.

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Music Park: Haley Bonar @ Black Cat — 9/14/16

Haley Bonar 01 Haley Bonar plays guitar at the Black Cat on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016.

Haley Bonar struck the perfect note from opening with new song “Hometown” in concert on Wednesday at the Black Cat. It’s sweet and melancholic yet peppy all at the same time. Her music will feel empowering to you but also haunting in ways that make you consider your past.

“Hometown goes wherever you go,” she warns with her signature cool Midwestern flavor, voicing the thought that your past follows you from place to place. In a similar manner, the past of Haley’s music follows it. The pep in her step comes from an embrace of synthesizers and other materials that build her folk and slowcore songs into power pop — an energizing move that suits her well.

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Music Park: Ruby the Rabbitfoot @ 9:30 Club — 9/7/16

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Ruby the Rabbitfoot (Photo by Natalie Neal)

Ruby the Rabbitfoot stepped on to the 9:30 Club stage Wednesday night as the opener for Of Montreal, making a striking first impression in her bright blue and red bolero jacket and skirt. As she begins her set with the song “Second Wind,” Ruby’s splashy look and punkish peroxide locks contrast with the subtle introspective nature her sound.

Punctuated with tight electronic rhythms and bright sounding keyboard flourishes, Ruby the Rabbitfoot’s music is nevertheless moody and contemplative. Equally balanced between romantic optimism and cheeky cynicism, this is a sound suited to a Sunday afternoon journal writing session. Yes, it’s very pleasant, as the sunbeams cut through the curl of steam rising from her coffee mug, but the words she commits to the page nevertheless look back on a love affair that could have gone better.

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Music Park: Esme Patterson @ 9:30 Club — 7/21/16

EsmePatterson 05 Esmé Patterson sings at the 9:30 Club on Thursday, July 21, 2016.

In 1977, Townes Van Zandt sang of “Loretta,” a waitress in a bar that he comes around to romance on occasion.

Learning the sang sparked a fire in Esmé Patterson, who got angry at Townes’ narrator as she picked up the song. So she wrote a response to it on her second solo album, Woman to Woman.

“I’ve been that bartender,” Esmé told an intimate and hushed crowd at the 9:30 Club on Thursday night. “I’ve been that waitress.”

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