Live Review: Fantastic Negrito w/ Mike Montali @ 9:30 Club — 6/22/22

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Fantastic Negrito performs at 9:30 Club on June 22, 2022. (Photos by Rashad Polk; Words by Mark Engleson)

Fantastic Negrito’s latest album, White Jesus, Black Problems, is deeply personal. It delves into family history, into the story of his seventh-generation great-grandparents, an enslaved Black man and indentured Scottish servant woman, who came together in Virginia in 1759. That’s not to say his other albums aren’t personal as well: The Last Days of Oakland is very much about the city where he was raised as one of 14 children. But the focus in his recent performance at the 9:30 Club was on telling the story of that interracial union.

“I wasn’t who I thought I was,” Fantastic Negrito explained. “But I’m exactly who I need to be.”

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Live Review: Still Woozy w/ Wallice @ 9:30 Club — 1/31/22

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Still Woozy performs at 9:30 Club on Jan. 31, 2022. (Photo by Katie Child)

I’ve always found that indie-pop artists throw the most memorable shows. My theory unquestionably remained true during Still Woozy’s recent gig at DC’s 9:30 Club. With just over five million Spotify monthly listeners, Still Woozy has definitely established himself in his genre. With movement-inducing hits “Goodie Bag” and “Hush,” it was no surprise that his audience brought all the life and energy to the floor of the club.

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Song of the Day: “Ready to Die” by Body Double

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Body Double (Photo courtesy Force Field PR)

Recently, Oakland post-punk band Body Double shared the third single from its debut LP, Milk Fed, which is due Sept. 18 via Zum. Below, catch the accompanying music video for “Ready to Die” (directed by Dalton Blanco of the band Prissy Whip and co-starring earthworms and grasshoppers).

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Song of the Day: “Phenom” by Thao & The Get Down Stay Down

thao_the_get_down_stay_down3Thao & The Get Down Stay Down (Photo courtesy Sacks & Co.)

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, the Oakland-based band fronted by singer and songwriter Thao Nguyen, recently released Temple, the band’s fifth studio album on Ribbon Music.

The band then shared a video for the single “Phenom.”

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Song of the Day: “Sucker” by Madeline Kenney

Madeline Kenney __ _Sucker's Lunch
Madeline Kenney (Photo courtesy Grandstand Media)

Madeline Kenney released her critically acclaimed sophomore album Perfect Shapes in 2018, and recently she announced its stunning follow-up, Sucker’s Lunch. Madeline recently shared the album’s lead single, “Sucker,” featuring vocals from Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner.

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Song of the Day: “Dissolve the Floor” by Houses of Heaven

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Houses of Heaven (Photo by Effixx)

Layering synths, guitars, electronic percussion, and live drums, Houses of Heaven fuses early industrial and techno rhythms with the melodicism of shoegaze and a heavy dose of dub-influenced effects. Formed in Oakland, California, by Keven Tecon, Adam Beck, and Nick Ott, the band follows up the Remnant EP with their first full-length album titled Silent Places, available May 1 via Felte.

Today, the band released a video for “Dissolve the Floor” from that debut album.

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Live Review: Raphael Saadiq @ 9:30 Club — 2/9/20

RaphaelSaadiq1 Raphael Saddiq performs at 9:30 Club on Feb. 9, 2020. (Photo by David LaMason)

A few years ago, I was a commuter, making the trip from Baltimore to DC every day through rush hour traffic and some time on my hands while stuck in that bumper-to-bumper grind. My one saving grace was this album, “Stone Rollin'” that I became obsessed with. It felt old but in a new way — bright production with an old soul.

I knew of Raphael Saadiq’s group in the late 80’s, Tony! Toni! Toné! due to my brother’s R&B CDs (I was more of a punk rock youngster myself), but there was something about Saadiq’s solo work that clicked with me.

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Preview: Raphael Saadiq @ 9:30 Club, 2/8 + 2/9/20

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Raphael Saadiq (Photo by Aaron Rapoport)

Raphael Saadiq released Jimmy Lee, his fifth studio album, last year, and he’s launched a winter tour in support of it. Raphael appears at 9:30 Club for two shows on Saturday, Feb. 8, and Sunday, Feb. 9. General admission for the Saturday show is sold out, but tickets are still available for Sunday!

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Snapshots: Guapdad 4000 & P-LO @ Songbyrd Music House — 10/9/19

Guapdad 4000 strikes a pose at Songbyrd Music House on Oct. 9, 2019. (Photo by Chris Castillo)

Akeem Hayes, better known as Guapdad 4000, soon releases his debut studio album, Dior Deposits. Meanwhile, Guapdad 4000 dropped by Songbyrd Music HOuse recently for a show with P-Lo, and Chris Castillo took some pictures!

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Music Park: Raphael Saadiq @ The Kennedy Center — 7/27/18

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Raphael Saadiq performs at The Kennedy Center on July 27, 2018. (Photo by Jati Lindsay)

Singer, songwriter, producer and all-time soul music great Raphael Saadiq made a recent stop in DC to play for a sold-out audience at The Kennedy Center. The Grammy-winning architect of R&B hits performed music from his illustrious career — past and present

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