Music Park: The Juan MacLean @ U Street Music Hall — 5/1/15

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John MacLean and Nancy Whang of The Juan MacLean

Anticipation. That’s what happens before a The Juan MacLean show.

Doors opened at 10:00pm at the U Street Music Hall for the modest line that had formed outside. Once inside, the sign at the ticket counter hinted the band was scheduled to go on at 11:30pm.

With time to kill, with a drink and a conversation, one could groove to Tommy Cornelis owning the DJ booth. He gave the growing crowd, many fitted with full backpacks, amble reason to dance.

And dance they did, because 11:30 came and went. Tommy kept the momentum going. Finally, just after midnight, the members of The Juan MacLean, including it’s namesake John MacLean, took positions. After building even greater anticipation, Nancy Whang, formerly of the disbanded LCD Soundsystem, appeared on stage and began to sing in earnest.

Yet it was as if the sound was on mute. Singing was evident, but none of the lyrics escaped the stage.

Partway through the second song, something snapped and the sound came alive. The crowd let out a riotous cheer. Dancing took over, and unconvinced head nodding was a thing of the past.

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Don’t Miss: Bliss w/ The Juan MacLean @ U Street Music Hall, 12/27/14

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Nancy Whang and Juan MacLean of The Juan MacLean (Photo by Tonje Thilesen)

Of course, you probably already know that DJ Will Eastman hosts his personal dance party Bliss on the last Saturday of every month at U Street Music Hall, which he co-owns and manages.

And of course, U Street Music Hall has become the place to experience exciting new house music.

But I would say they’ve really taken it up a notch with the Christmas edition of Bliss on Saturday, Dec. 27, by hosting DJ sets from The Juan MacLean, the duo of Juan MacLean and Nancy Whang (she formerly of LCD Soundsystem).

This means an unparalleled amount of DFA Records-inspired goodness will drop on DC this weekend. The production-savvy MacLean and Whang know how to make the most of sounds great and small, transcending subgenres from electroclash to deep house.

Of the two as a band, DFA Records says, “Throughout, Nancy is the triumphant leader–front and center; Juan works his magic with the arrangements and production, quoting freely from house, techno, and disco, yet surpassing genres all together. Together, Juan and Nancy play with the lyrics and melodies, as well as the arrangements, creating an interplay remindful of classic disco records. The sounds you’re just not supposed to reach for, the Juan always reaches for.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AokIMW5Ehpo]

If that wasn’t enough, the lineup for Saturday night also features Ben Browning, bassist for Australian new wave/house band Cut Copy. Browning has formed a special relationship with DC, spending some time here in general and spinning specifically at U Street Music Hall.

Tickets are available online or at the door.

Bliss
w/ Juan MacLean, Nancy Whang and Ben Browning
U Street Music Hall
Saturday, Dec. 27
Doors @10pm
$10 (Free for 21+ before midnight)
18+ (Advance tickets required for 18-20)