Ronny Moorings fronts Clan of Xymox at Union Stage on Nov. 21, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
I’m going to say it right out of the gate — Clan of Xymox deserve to be a much bigger act than they are.
As seen at DC’s Union Stage recently, frontman Ronny Moorings and company walk a straight line through buoyant synthpop — a bit more dark and distracted than their contemporaries in New Order and a bit less complicated than The Cure.
Alan Palomo of Neon Indian performs at the 9:30 Club on Nov. 16, 2019. (Photo by Brenda Reyes)
Neon Indian took the stage recently at the 9:30 Club. Sporting a Toyota sweatshirt, Alan Palomo led his bandmates in a show that revealed what a Neon Indian concert is. Also, Brad Oberhofer warmed up crowd while also playing later with Neon Indian on synth/keys.
Black Marble (Photo by Ashley Leahy)
Cold wave musician Chris Stewart, best known as the creative force behind Black Marble, released a third Black Marble full-length album, Bigger Than Life, recently via Sacred Bones Records. He’s hitting the road with a date at Black Cat on Sunday, Nov. 24, and you can win tickets to go with Parklife DC.
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.