Music Park: Sleigh Bells @ U Street Music Hall — 9/7/16

_DSC0301_2Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells (Photo Credit: Molly Dauphin)

“It’s so loud, I can’t hear myself think!” boomed Alexis Krauss, lead singer of Sleigh Bells, during their sold out show at the U Street Music Hall on 9/7/16.

Sleigh Bells are back in full force. Their upcoming fourth album, Jessica Rabbit, releases in November. Yet, they only played three new songs, including “Hyper Dark”, which Alexis asked the crowd if they could practice playing for the first time live. Sure! “Hyper Dark” is a departure from the usual frenetic, fuzzy, distorted anthems they typically play. It leisurely builds to a chorus, “So, you like trouble, I think we have a problem”, where Alexis’ voice slowly and confidently burns over synth-laden beats. Played live, it’s hard not to love (and to stay still to). Thanks for practicing on us.

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Don’t Miss: Sleigh Bells @ U Street Music Hall, 9/7/16

Sleigh BellsSleigh Bells (Photo Courtesy of Grandstand Media)

Sleigh Bells descends on DC next Wednesday, September 7th at the U Hall Music Hall.

Stepping up with their energetic brand of noise rock, they are touring in support of their upcoming fourth album, Jessica Rabbit (out November 11th).

I’ve had a chance to listen to a couple of the songs, and the first single “Hyper Dark” is a funky, slow burning song that doesn’t shred and kick like many of their previous songs. Intriguing. And for something completely different, “Rule Number One” brings us back and thrashes just as we’d expect from the Sleigh Bells.

Their newest video (released August 29th) is “It’s Just Us Now” and toes the line between the other two songs. It’s pop without the noise.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnuMMkDGjmE]

Sleigh Bells is the duo of Alexis Krauss on vocals and Derek Miller on guitar and production.

The show is sold out, but if you want it bad enough, I’m sure you can find someone willing to sell you a ticket.

Sleigh Bells
w/ Miya Folick
U Street Music Hall
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Doors 7:00pm
$25 (Sold Out)
All ages

Music Park: LP @ U Street Music Hall — 7/26/16

LP 18
LP performs at U Street Music Hall on Tuesday, July 26, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

When you listen to LP’s new single, “Lost on You,” the most amazing thing about it is her voice — it’s a singular voice that occasionally flies high through the air and occasionally swings low through gravel. And yet the voice always sounds like it belongs to the same woman.

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Don’t Miss: LP @ U Street Music Hall, 7/26/16 (Also Opening for Bryan Ferry)

LP-2-Michel-Comte
LP (Photo by Michel Comte)

She’s a little bit folky and a little bit punky. And she’s written hits for others like Rihanna “Cheers (Drink to That).”

Her name is LP (born Laura Pergolizzi), and she has three LPs of her own under her belt. Now, LP is touring from Los Angeles opening for English glam icon Bryan Ferry, and she comes to DC with Bryan on Saturday, July 23, and Monday, July 25, to open for him at the Lincoln Theatre prior to playing a solo headlining show at U Street Music Hall on Tuesday, July 26.

And LP arrives with new music in the form of a spaghetti-western inspired ballad “Lost on You,” which appears on a new EP, Death Valley, released June 17 on Vagrant Records. The EP was smartly produced by Mike Del Rio from Republic Records’ duo POWERS.

In songs like “Lost on You,” LP hits her stride with her powerful, longing voice coupled in the video with her cinematic sensibilities. (Bryan Ferry surely is proud to have an appropriate tourmate!)

Watch the official music video for “Lost on You” by LP on YouTube:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hn3wJ1_1Zsg]

“Lost on You” hit #3 on Hype Machine’s Popular Chart, and landed #6 on Spotify’s Viral Chart in its debut week. Internationally, “Lost on You” just hit #1 in Greece and #2 in Portugal. So if you suspect good music might be lurking on foreign music charts, you may be right!

Tickets for LP’s headlining performance at U Street Music Hall are available online. Tickets for her show opening for Bryan Ferry are available on Monday, July 25, also online.

LP
U Street Music Hall
Tuesday, July 26
Doors @7pm
$15
All ages

LP
(Opening for Bryan Ferry!)
Lincoln Theatre
Friday, July 23
Monday, July 25
Doors @6:30pm
$55-75
All ages

Music Park: Bands Performing at Firefly Music Festival Playing Nearby, June 2016

The Backyard Stage at night at Firefly Music FestivalThe Backyard Stage at night at Firefly Music Festival (Photo Credit: Danilo Lewis)

We all know the 5th Annual Firefly Music Festival is coming to Dover, Delaware from June 16-19.

We all know you want to go (and there are still passes here).

But for whatever reason, you can’t make it. Well, not to fret, you can still catch many of the artists and bands nearby in the DC area!

 

For those of you going, this also serves as a good list of bands to catch at Firefly.

Two Door Cinema Club
Local show: Black Cat, Tuesday, June 7
Firefly: Thursday, June 16 @ 10:00pm

CHVRCHES (preview)
Local Show: Rams Head Live!, Sunday, June 12
Firefly: Saturday, June 18 @ 6:00pm

Ellie Goulding
Local Show: Merriweather Post Pavilion, Monday, June 13
Firefly: Friday, June 17 @ 8:30pm

Whilk & Misky
Local Show: U Street Music Hall, Wednesday, June 15
Firefly: Thursday, June 16 @ 8:30pm

Tame Impala and M83 (together)
Local Show: Merriweather Post Pavilion, Thursday, June 16
Firefly: Friday, June 17 @ 9:30pm (Tame Impala)
Firefly: Saturday, June 18 @ 9:00pm (M83)

AlunaGeorge
Local show: 9:30 Club, Friday, June 17
Firefly: Thursday, June 16 @ 9:45pm

Fitz & the Tantrums
Local show: 9:30 Club, Saturday, June 18
Firefly: Friday, June 17 @ 6:15pm

Oh Wonder
Local show: 9:30 Club, Tuesday, June 21
Firefly: Thursday, June 16 @ 8:00pm

Silversun Pickups and Blink-182 (together)
Local show: Merriweather Post Pavilion (Kerfluffle), Saturday, June 26
Firefly: Saturday, June 18 @ 8:15pm (Silversun Pickups)
Firefly: Sunday, June 19 @ 6:45pm (Blink-182)

 

If I find others, I’ll add them!

Don’t Miss: Ladyhawke @ U Street Music Hall, 6/25/16

Ladyhawke - Wild ThingsLadyhawke (Courtesy of Girlie Action Media)

Ladyhawke (Pip Brown) comes to DC on June 25th, gracing those looking to dance at U Street Music Hall with her new indie pop songs from Wild Things.

Her third album, Wild Things, is set to be released on June 3rd via Polyvinyl Records. Find it here.

“Let It Roll” and “A Love Story” are dance-worthy, energetic songs that bode well for her return.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUwAnVX2ylc]

Born in New Zealand, she performed in a couple of bands early in her career before going solo in 2007. Her first album, Ladyhawke, brims with catchy synthpop songs like, “Paris is Burning”, “My Delirium” and “Magic”.

I’ve seen Ladyhawke twice now in DC as she toured for her previous albums (2009 and 2012), so I’m looking forward to seeing her again with a new set of songs. Roughly every four years…she’s due.

Come and get dancing!

Ladyhawke
w/ Psychic Twin
U Street Music Hall
Saturday, June 25
Doors 7:00pm
$20
All ages

Music Park: AURORA @ U Street Music Hall — 4/21/16

Aurora Aksnes 10 Aurora performs live at U Street Music Hall on Thursday, April 21. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Aurora Aksnes is a powerfully expressive performer.

Although petite in size, the Norwegian folk popstar, who goes by only her first name, has a big voice that fits her ambitious songs of flight or fight. She also has a habit of physically moving where her music takes her. This somewhat off-kilter acting out of her own words and melodies might readily draw some comparisons to her fellow Scandinavian artist Bjork.

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Don’t Miss: Aurora @ U Street Music Hall, 4/21/16

aurora01
Aurora (Photo courtesy Glassnote Records)

Norwegian singer Aurora Aksnes has been taking the US airwaves by storm with the release of her debut full-length album, All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend (released March 11 via Decca Records), and her subsequent television appearances leading up to a North American tour that stops at U Street Music Hall on Thursday, April 21.

To no one’s surprise, our local show has sold out! And those who have tickets will enjoy the 19-year-old Aurora’s lyrically rich art-pop sensibilities. She likes to sing in metaphors relating to battles with songs like “Conquerer” and “Warrior” and often takes a look at the dark side of the human condition with songs like “Running with the Wolves,” a song of escape, and “Murder Song (5,4,3,2,1),” a story of a mercy killing perhaps but ultimately about loss.

Ultimately, where Aurora makes her mark, however, is with her voice, unique in its haunting timber.

Watch the official music video for “Conquerer” by Aurora on YouTube:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmVAmlpbnD4]

Said Aurora in press notes on the song, “I know that I’m very sensitive. In many ways, I’m weak. But if you’re weak, you’re also very strong. Because you need to work a bit harder to survive as well… You have to find the conqueror in yourself at first, I think. That’s what I think about in the song. It’s just a person who hasn’t realized that yet. That person is still trying to find the conqueror in someone else. You have to find the conqueror in yourself to land on your own feet. You are the only one you need to survive. Then other people will make your life a good life as well. It’s important to be strong in yourself.”

Singer/songwriter Tor Miller from New York opens for Aurora. The show is sold out.

Aurora
w/ Tor Miller
U Street Music Hall
Thursday, April 21
Doors @7pm
$15
All ages

Don’t Miss: HÆLOS @ U Street Music Hall, Canceled

HAELOS_DAVEMA_LONDON_LORES-5
HÆLOS (Photo by Dave Ma)

Editor’s Note: This show has been canceled entirely, the 9:30 Club announced on Monday, August 22.

Editors Note: Originally set for Monday, March 28, the concert by HÆLOS at U Street Music Hall has been rescheduled to Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016.

With its minimalist electronics, airy vocals, and chilled-out tempo, “The Sun Rising” by UK duo The Beloved is a leisurely wonderful dance track that absolutely nails how new wave music might morph into house.

Already a brilliant song, it was ripe for covering by a band that could use it as a foundation upon which to build. Enter London trio HÆLOS, admirers of trip hop bands like Massive Attack and Portishead.

HÆLOS added some steady percussion, a trip hop hallmark, around the song’s electronics, and harmonized in forward vocals, a trip hop necessity, to lend their own flavor to the song. And to great effect!

Listen to HÆLOS cover “The Sun Rising” by The Beloved on Soundcloud:

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205090722″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Now Lotti Benardout, Arthur Delaney, and Dom Goldsmith are set to release their debut album, providing us with lush original music they call “the music you put on after the club.” It’s energy and euphoria mixed with memories, according to the band.

Dom, the main lyricist, takes on the drums; Arthur takes up the synths; Lori, Dom, and Arthur all sing. The results are heady, ascendant trip hop for introspective dancers who don’t want their hearts to stop beating quickly in the form of songs like the single “Separate Lives.” The band released a music video for this engaging, soaring number today!

Watch the official music video for “Separate Lives” by HÆLOS on YouTube:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IY0JVKORfR4]

HÆLOS will release that first album, Full Circle, on March 18 via Matador Records. And they are launching a US tour that leads them through SXSW in March and onto the Coachella Music Festival in April. The band stops locally at U Street Music Hall on Monday, March 28, as part of that tour, which is sure to be a uniquely awakening experience.

Tickets are available online.

HÆLOS
U Street Music Hall
Monday, March 28
Doors @7pm
$15
All ages

Music Park: Dragonette @ U Street Music Hall — 11/25/15

Dragonette-2015-by-Mackenzie-Duncan-lores
Dragonette (Photo by Mackenzie Duncan)

If your goal was to let loose and enjoy a night on the town before Thanksgiving since you were still in DC anyway, you could have done no better than to start famously at the U Street Music Hall. 

Martina Sorbara and Dan Kurtz, of Dragonette, were on hand to make you dance, in every way possible. With Dan’s keyboards and Martina’s golden voice, they electrified the crowd with a frenzy of their songs played to match the DJ-inspired venue, as house and club beats. 

Dragonette hails from Toronto originally, and also includes Joel Stouffer on the drums.

Let’s call much of the crowd’s response to their infectious songs, the ‘super dance’, bouncing up and down in unison.

The crowd grew to a respectable size (almost full), given that you might expect many potential revelers to be out of town for the holiday.

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