Don’t Miss: The Ting Tings @ 9:30 Club, 4/11/15

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Jules De Martino and Katie White go disco with Super Critical.

A few years ago, Katie White and Jules De Martino took to the island of Ibiza. There, the pop duo known as the Ting Tings found Andy Taylor, formerly guitarist of Duran Duran.

The Ting Tings enlisted Andy to assist with producing their third studio album, Super Critical, which finally saw release last fall. And frankly, it was a match made in heaven.

The Ting Tings were looking for a different sound, and Andy comes armed with a deep love and admiration for the music of David Bowie and Chic, among others. And so they produced a wonderful little dance album of nine tracks that remind you of why you fell in love with the band when they debuted in 2007.

Now, Super Critical is not the same lightning bolt of glossy electropop that is debut album We Started Nothing. But the smooth funky tracks like “Wrong Club” and “Do It Again” make equally good use of Katie White’s alluring vocals and Jules De Martino’s ability to strike a perfect note on almost any instrument. The sound fits them very well, and Katie’s upbeat, kinetic voice and Jules’ beats make for a perfect dance record.

In a press release, Katie said of the track “Wrong Club,” “It’s about what happened to nightclubs that made them not sexy, how the tempo became so fast that nobody moves any more, they just jerk, its gesture not rhythm. We wanted to make a song that felt exactly like the opposite of that. It’s very Ting Tings to do a sad song with uplifting music. That’s just who we are.”

The Ting Tings have launched a tour in support of Super Critical, and they visit the 9:30 Club on Saturday, April 11 in an early show. Take our word for it, this is going to be a great show.

Brooklyn soul duo Kaneholler open for the Ting Tings.

The Ting Tings
w/ Kaneholler
9:30 Club
Saturday, April 11
Doors @6pm
$25
All ages

Interview: Midge Ure @ Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, 3/8/15

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Midge Ure (Photo by Andy Siddens)

Editor’s Note: Midge Ure has announced his return to Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016! (Tickets are available online.)

I had the distinct pleasure of chatting with a great Scotsman, singer-songwriter Midge Ure, best known in the United States as the frontman of Ultravox in the 1980s. Midge is in the midst of a solo acoustic tour at the moment, and he stops by the DC metro area to perform at Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club in Bethesda, Md., on Sunday, March 8. Tickets are available online and at the door.

Midge was quite generous with his time and shared his perspectives on touring in America, writing hit songs and his history with Ultravox as well as his late friend Steve Strange, his bandmate in Visage. (This may be a lengthy interview, but there was so much wisdom in so many of his answers that I couldn’t bear to cut it!)

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Don’t Miss: Leisure Cruise @ DC9, 2/22/15

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Born in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Leisure Cruise pairs the synth-driven instrumentation of Dave Hodge (known for Broken Social Scene and Bran Van 3000) and vocalist Leah Siegel. As the story goes, Hodge saw Siegel passing by while sitting in a Brooklyn café after the storm and shared some songwriting with her. And now together, they have written a debut album, Leisure Cruise, set for release on May 6.

Last year, Leisure Cruise released their debut album, and now they set sail on a 12-date tour of east coast and west coast cities, starting in Boston today making their third stop DC9 in DC on Sunday, Feb. 22.

I’ve been listening to the 11 tracks listed on the Leisure Cruise SoundCloud, and these are some excellent songs.

The album opens with the soaring synths and lush vocals of “Double Digit Love” (a truly catchy song), progresses to the relaxed and hypnotic “Earthquake,” and the very new wave “Crime Tip.” The album gets more exciting as it progresses with sci-fi allusions to sex and travel.

According to the band’s press, the album is “something sounding like the future as imagined in the past-yet rooted in the now. Imagine the music of a John Hughes film if it had been written by Bowie, remixed by Johnny Jewel, and fronted by a female Prince, and you’ll start to get the idea.”

Watch a live performance of “Crime Tip” from BalconyTV:

Tickets are available online and at the door.

Leisure Cruise
w/ Tigers Are Bad for Horses
DC9
Sunday, Feb. 22
Doors @8:30pm
$10
All ages

Parklife Event: Synchronicity: New Wave Party @ DC9, 1/24/15

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Original Patrick Nagel tribute by Jared Eberhardt

New Wave music hit its commercial zenith in 1985 — and this weekend, ParklifeDC and DC9 are going to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its cultural dominance.

Join me, Mickey McCarter, and DJ Swank at DC9 (1940 9th St. NW, DC) on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 10pm for SYNCHRONICITY: New Wave Party to revisit some of the tracks that made the genre so appealing.

New Wave is a cultural movement that began in 1977 and crystalized into a music genre — the defining elements of which are easier now to identify through the lens of time nearly 40 years after its launch. While New Wave music peaked commercially in 1985, bands continue to identify with the genre yet today, melding the best elements of rock, glam, disco and punk to assert their individuality and to define “cool.”

SYNCHRONICITY will celebrate the 30th anniversary of New Wave’s commercial peak with selections like “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” (which actually turns 30 this year)!

SYNCHRONICITY: New Wave Party
w/ Mickey and DJ Swank
DC9
Saturday, Jan. 24
10pm
Free
21+

Don’t Miss: Operators w/ Pleasure Curses @ DC9, 2/16/15

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Note: DC9 closed early last night due to a water main break, forcing cancellation of this show! Operators have been rescheduled for Monday, Feb. 16

DC9 (1940 9th St. NW, DC) hosts a pretty exciting electronic line-up — now on Monday, Feb. 16!

The main act Operators is the latest band from Canada’s Dan Boeckner, who formerly supplied guitar and vocals to Montreal quartet Wolf Parade. Operators puts a big emphasis on dance music and the band released its first offering EP1 last year.

For Operators, Boeckner has partnered with keyboardist Devojka, hailing from Macedonia, and drummer Sam Brown (the latter of whom he also worked with in Divine Fits). Their EP1 supplies us with five tracks, including the likes of “True,” a very new wave track with funky vocals and pleasantly pulsating electro.

Listen:

Opening for Operators is DC’s own Pleasure Curses in their first show of 2015. Pleasure Curses, hailing from the very electronic label Prince George Records, recently released the track “Burn,” a slinky single that shows off their increasingly polished, and dare we say seductive, sound.

The duo of Jahn Alexander and Evan Maxwell say they have big things planned this year, but catch up on their catalogue to date below:

Tickets are available online and at the door.

Operators
w/Pleasure Curses
DC9
Monday, Jan. 12
Doors @8:30pm
$12
All ages

Don’t Miss: Thomas Dolby Supporting Amanda Palmer @ Sixth & I, 11/12/14

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Thomas Dolby (Photo courtesy Conqueroo)

Thomas Dolby, the English musician best known for his ubiquitous new wave hit “She Blinded Me With Science,” now lives in Baltimore.

Dolby moved there earlier this year to accept a faculty position from Johns Hopkins University as its first Homewood Professor of the Arts.

The move, undoubtedly an intellectually stimulating endeavor for Dolby, also is proving fruitful for music enthusiasts like myself as he settles into the region and continues to experiment and expand upon his musical repertoire.

The professor makes one of his first appearances as a local tonight as a guest of Amanda Palmer during her The Art of Asking Book Tour at the Sixth&I historical synagogue in DC. Palmer’s book is described as, “Part manifesto, part revelation, The Art of Asking is the story of an artist struggling with the new rules of exchange in the twenty-first century, both on and off the Internet.”

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