Snapshots: Holygram @ Wave Gotik Treffen (Leipzig, Germany) — 6/5/17

Holygram @ WGT 2017Holygram performs at Wave Gotik Treffen 2017. (Photo by Paivi)

The annual Wave Gotik Treffen music festival in in Leipzig, Germany, was certainly a terrific showcase for established bands of goth/post-punk/alternative leanings but it also proved to be a great opportunity for new bands to emerge before big audiences as well.

Case in point: Holygram from Cologne, Germany, who released their self-titled debut EP on Feb. 17 via Reptile Music. Parklife DC photographer Paivi caught the band in action on June 5.

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Music Park: Gwenno @ Moogfest 2016 — 5/21/16

Gwenno 15 Gwenno performs during Moogfest in Durham, NC, on May 21, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Toward the end of her show, Welsh songstress Gwenno apologized for the sad lyrics of songs on her debut solo album, Y Dydd Olaf, which after all was inspired by a Welsch dystopian science fiction novel of the same name from 1976. (The title translates as “the last day.”)

“This song is called Calon Peiriant, which means the heart of the machine,” said Gwenno during a performance at the First Presbyterian Church in Durham, NC, on Saturday, May 21. “But you can pretend it’s about something much happier since it’s written in Welsh and you may not know the lyrics in a foreign language anyway. So this song is called ‘Heart of the Machine,’ or if you prefer, ‘I Love Red Wine.’”

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

kraftwerk
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

Don’t Miss: Suuns @ DC9, 4/27/16

SUUNS-©-Nick-Helderman-1
Suuns (Photo by Nick Helderman)

Suuns means “zeroes” in Thai, and it’s also the name of neo-psychedelic quartet from Montreal that released their third album Hold/Still last Friday via Secret Canadian.

The last album sees Suuns delivering 11 tracks of cold, austere psychedelia, where words become part of the instrumental mix as singer/guitarist Ben Shemie gives voice to desire. The album thematically centers around sex, Ben said in its press notes — “perhaps not the act specifically, just [themes] of a sexual nature. But there’s also a spiritual undertone that points to another kind of searching.”

The song “Paralyzer,” for example, features pulsating rhythms that mirror the longing expressed in the lyrics. Watch the official music video for “Paralyzer” by Suuns on YouTube:

Ben and his bandmates in Suuns — including Joe Yarmush on guitar, Max Henry on synths, and Liam O’Neill on drums –- are touring in support of the new album with a stop at DC9 on Wednesday, April 27.

Interestingly, indie rocker John Congleton, who produced the new Suuns album, also produced acts like St. Vincent, The War on Drugs, and Sleater- Kinney. John is coming along to serve as opener with his own new project The Nighty Nite, which released an album on April 1. Tickets are available online.

Suuns
w/ John Congleton and The Nighty Nite
DC9
Wednesday, April 27
Doors @8:30pm
$12
All ages