Helen Marnie fronts Ladytron at Brooklyn Steel on Oct. 2, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Ladytron opened the show with “Black Cat,” sung in Bulgarian by Mira Aroyo, and you could be excused for believing you were watching the timeless synthpop band eight years ago — when the quartet visited last visited Brooklyn.
But no, it was indeed 2019, and Ladytron also played a host of new songs from an exciting new self-titled album released in February. It was a very welcome return indeed when the band performed at Brooklyn Steel recently!
The B-52s perform at The Anthem on Sept. 17, 2019. (Photos by Jason Nicholson; Words by Mickey McCarter)
“Forty years ago, we used to stay up all night and drink coffee to make big plans about the future,” said Kate Pierson of The B-52s. “We called ourselves the Deadbeat Club.” With that, the band launched into the song bearing the title “Deadbeat Club” from 1989’s Cosmic Thing in the middle of their concert at The Anthem recently.
Touring on a 40th band anniversary, which coincides with Cosmic Thing’s 30th anniversary, The B-52s could have stuck to that sunny album of earworms and pleased the bustling crowd at The Anthem. But delightfully, The B-52s took the opportunity to celebrate their entire career with the anniversary show, and played selections both familiar and quirky from across six of their seven studio albums.
Joined by openers Berlin, the California new wave collective, and English synthpop quartet Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, The B-52s tour proved consistently entertainingly and downright beguiling while turning The Anthem into a nonstop dance party.
Alexis Taylor fronts Hot Chip at 9:30 Club on Sept. 7, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Synthpop collective Hot Chip hit the 9:30 Club recently in a sold-out show that fulfilled the collective dance dreams of house and disco fans of all stripes.
Unassuming frontman Alexis Taylor demonstrated once again that he’s got rhythm to spare in an engrossing set of sparkling tunes that accented the band’s maturity with new numbers from A Bath Full of Ecstasy (truly)!
Lower Dens brings the love to Rituals on Sept. 1, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)
Although it’s only been four years in between albums and only three years since I saw them perform last, I really missed Lower Dens. They covered the gap recently in a show at Ritual in Baltimore.
OMD performs at The Fillmore Charlotte on Aug. 31, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
You could feel the “electricity” in the air long before you heard the song of the same name when Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, or OMD, played a headlining show at The Fillmore Charlotte recently. OMD thrilled the very full house to its core as the quintessential English synthpoppers hit the second of four solo shows in a break from opening for The B-52s.
Todd Fink fronts The Faint at 9:30 Club on Aug. 3, 2019. (Photos by Paivi Salonen; Words by Mickey McCarter)
The Faint have a great new album — the dark wavers’ seventh studio effort — released earlier this year via Saddle Creek. And they reminded 9:30 Club of what they do best in a show there recently: Delight and mystify us with glistening synths and thoughtful moods.
Justin Trawick, The Circus Life podcast host and lead singer of Justin Trawick and the Common Good, performs at 9:30 Club, July 27, 2019. (Photo by Ari Strauss/ aristrauss.com)
“Life’s a circus and this is The Circus Life.”
Frequent listeners to the Circus Life podcast recognize that phrase because it’s how host Justin Trawick begins each episode of the podcast which is recorded live in remote locations in and around the nation’s capital. The interview-based podcast features conversations between Justin and influential and interesting individuals in music and culture.