Author Archives: Tatiana Tenreyro

Antemasque Release Self-Titled Debut Album

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The Mars Volta and At the Drive In’s Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodríguez López are reunited, just like their good ol’ days, performing as Antemasque. While their work as Antemasque is quite recent, their self-titled debut album will surely fulfill the expectations of old fans and attract new ones, too. The official release of the album was yesterday, Nov. 10. 

About a year ago, after the breakup of Mars Volta, fans thought they’d never see them reunited onstage again, especially after an intense Twitter feud. Luckily, they’ve put their differences aside and gone back to their roots, showing that they truly belong together as a band. Their debut album features Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers as bassist and Dave Elitch, former The Mars Volta drummer. It was temporarily released on Bandcamp before the digital album release, along with YouTube videos of their creative process, allowing fans to get a preview of it.

The band recently toured the UK and showed that they’re better than ever. I had the chance to attend their London gig at the Electric Ballroom and was able to experience listening to their album live for the first time. Once Antemasque hit the stage, fans were quickly riled up, and mosh pits ensued. Bixler-Zavala told the crowd that it was the first time in 10 years that the former members of The Mars Volta and At The Drive In have performed in England, and it was clear that everyone was ecstatic about their return.

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An evening with the Einar Stray Orchestra

Einar Stray Orchestra are a group of young, talented musicians from Norway. While they are still not very well-known in their country, they are considered a big name in Germany. They are currently on their European tour and headlining for the first time in London at The Islington. Their performances are raw—no synthetics, no backing tracks—just five singers and musicians, accompanied by their instruments. 

What’s so special about them is how comfortable they are on stage. Most of the band performs with their shoes off, sitting barefoot, while playing beautiful music. Unlike other artists, their music sounds exactly the same live as it does in the album—maybe even better— and they care about giving their audience a performance that showcases their skills and what they’ve worked so hard to accomplish. If you’re not familiar with their music, it’s about time you check them out.

Before their performance, I sat down at the pub to chat with three out of five members of the band—Ofelia Østrem Ossum (cello/vocals), Simen Aasen (bass guitar/vocals), and front man Einar Stray (piano/guitar/vocals). Their new album, Politricks, came out in the UK on the same day as the gig. While the album features beautifully performed songs, they discuss harsh topics such as the loss of innocence, war, and the challenges of religion.

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Julian Casablancas +
the Voidz at the 9:30 Club, 10/17

Julian Casablancas from The Strokes is currently on tour with his new band Julian Casablancas + The Voidz and will be able to fill your Strokes void when they come to DC’s 9:30 Club.

His work with Julian Casablancas + The Voidz may be different from what his fans are used to; their album, Tyranny, is darker and credits Casablancas as sole songwriter. Working with The Voidz allows him  to experiment with new sounds, deeper lyrics,  heavy use of synthesizers, and grittier guitar riffs.

Casablancas spoke to The Guardian about the album and said, “It’s kind of a protest record. It feels like one to me. It’s more to do with morality than politics. We have the sense that we’ve moved on from the system where the centres of wealth arbitrarily decide what is law and what wars we fight, etc. But I really don’t think that we are removed from that. The [US democratic] system is very similar to a monarchy.”

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 6 Comments

TVD Ticket Giveaway: Yelle at the 9:30 Club, 10/11

Yelle are currently on tour to promote their new album, Complètement fou, and will be coming to DC’s 9:30 Club on October 11, and we’d like them to be avec vous, so we’re giving away a pair of tickets.

Chances are that even if you’re not familiar with foreign music, you’ve at least heard of Yelle. They are a French band fronted by lead singer and songwriter Julie Budet, along with producers GrandMarnier and Tepr.  They gained international popularity after their song “Je veux te voir” was posted on Myspace in 2005. The song topped the charts in France and soon after, they released their debut album, Pop Up.

Appreciating Yelle and their live shows requires no understanding of the French language. The electropop band has a large following in the US and it’s easy to understand why—they offer quality dance-pop, and Julie Budet is a very talented frontwoman who is able to showcase her abilities as a singer/songwriter while also having an incredible stage presence.

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TVD Vinyl Giveaway: SOJA, Amid the Noise and Haste

“We were always into counterculture music. But reggae was the one the spoke for the little guy. I don’t know… it’s attractive. You got all your [other genres] here, and then you have reggae, which talks about people starving, people in the dark. This guy, Bob Marley, was not just talking about what goes on in his neighborhood, but he was talking about what’s going on in the world. We love that.”

In 2012 we chatted with SOJA’s main man Jacob Hemphill for a bit of insight into the Arlington, Virgina band’s roots reggae awareness, and in 2014 all is well with the band—and that includes a brand new, full-length release.

“I collect old reggae records and put them all over my house. I’ve got Peter Tosh’s Mystic Man, Bush Doctor, and some of his stuff after Bob Marley died. I also have Columbia Records [age] Peter Tosh. I have an old 45 of Marley’s “Ambush in the Night.” I own a few,” Hemphill told us at the time.

SOJA are releasing a brand new album this month—and it’s on gold vinyl to add to Jacob’s expanding record collection. Amid the Noise and Haste hits store shelves August 12th and we’ve got an exclusive look at the pressing of the glorious gold LP coming into being at Nashville’s United Record Pressing. If there ever was such a thing as vinyl porn, this is it.

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TVD Ticket and Vinyl Giveaway: The Deadmen at the 9:30 Club, 8/9

The Deadmen are bringing Americana rock to the nation’s capital and are definitely a band to look out for this year. Despite their morbid name, The Deadmen are alive and kicking in the DC music scene and are here to stay.

The band is composed of three talented singer-songwriter-guitarists—Josh Read, Justin Jones, and Justin Hoben— and bassist John Hutchins. They each bring new elements to the style and writing of their music. Although they formed The Deadmen recently, they have been performing individually for more than a decade.

We interviewed Justin Jones last year to discuss his “I Can Feel It Tour 2013” and the upsurge in the popularity of rock ‘n’ roll. Jones puts a lot of value into creating quality rock, and it shows.  He told us, “We played a show in Indianapolis a while ago and someone came up to me afterwards and said, ‘I just wanted to thank you for playing fucking rock and roll—no xylophones and whistles and melodicas and shit.’ And I love all that stuff, but you know what I’m talking about. I never really paid particular attention to the newest trending thing. When stuff gets a little too derivative, it just starts to sound like watered-down whatever it’s trying to rip off. To me, it’s just never as good as the real thing.’ 

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 12 Comments

TVD Recommends: The Big Boom! at U Street Music Hall, 7/3

Can’t wait till the Fourth of July to party? Fort Knox Recordings, Quid Promo, and D.C.M.J. have teamed up to make this year’s The Big Boom the best Fourth of July eve at U Street Music Hall.

Gigamesh and DJ Stickybuds will be headlining the event, and DC’s own Fort Knox Five, All Good Funk Alliance, and Qdup will also perform. You’ll be getting a fantastic head start to celebrate the Fourth of July, and there will be extended hours from 9pm until 4am. The event is 18 and up to enter, with $10 limited advance tickets and $15 at the door.

Gigamesh is a Minneapolis-based multi-platinum music producer and DJ who has made a huge impact on global dance music. His remixes, singles, and EPs have made him a household name, and URB magazine considers him “One of today’s most-influential dance-floor tastemakers.”

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Sharon Van Etten at the 9:30 Club, 6/17

Sharon Van Etten is currently on tour promoting her recently released album, Are We There, and will be making a stop at DC’s 9:30 Club on June 17, and lucky for you, we’re giving away a pair of tickets.

The Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter is known for her indie folk confessional-style songwriting and soft, melancholic voice. She became interested in writing and performing after ending a destructive relationship. She wrote songs about her relationship and the emotions she held inside during that time and found a therapeutic passion in music.

After making self-released records and giving them to TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone, she was able to start performing in New York and gain recognition. In 2010, her music was covered by bands such as Bon Iver and The National.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 15 Comments

TVD Recommends: Andrew Bird at the Lincoln Theatre, 6/8

Andrew Bird—singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist—is currently on a summer tour and will be making a two-night stop at the Lincoln Theatre. He has his new album, Things Are Really Great Here, Sort of coming out on June 3.

Andrew Bird is one of the biggest names in the indie music scene and has been performing for almost 20 years. His music has a large following, and he even has a Tumblr dedicated to his jaw—that’s how much recognition he gets. His music mixes elements of swing, jazz, folk, and rock.

What makes him such a successful musician is his ability to experiment with different sounds while still creating a masterpiece each time. Each album presents a part of him, heavy with lyrics and soft melodies. Pitchfork declared his last album, Break it Yourself, “…a piece of music no one else could have made, on an album no one else could have made.”  His music contains odes to his state, Illinois, and verbose lyrics.

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of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes, The TVD Interview

of Montreal frontman Kevin Barnes is a highly accomplished musician. Each album he releases contains lyrics that represent a part of his emotions—heartbreak, depression, bitterness, whimsy, and joy. He attracts a large amount of fans due to his sincere, personal lyrics combined with catchy and danceable tunes. As former band member Dottie Alexander says in the trailer for of Montreal’s upcoming documentary The Past is a Grotesque Animal, “Either you’ve never heard of us, or we’re your absolute favorite band.” 

Each show is special and unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. Seeing of Montreal live is like stepping into Kevin Barnes’ mind and experiencing the power of his imagination. It’s a psychedelic, theatrical experience. of Montreal’s show at the Ottobar over the weekend quickly sold out. The small venue was crowded with college kids who most likely grew up listening to Hissing Fauna, which is the ultimate of Montreal masterpiece and soundtrack to modern teenage angst.

Kevin Barnes was introduced onstage by David Barnes, his brother, who appeared wearing a luchador-type outfit. The rest of the show was filled with people onstage dressed as skeletons,  a lizard woman, stage diving, and feathers shot from cannons into the audience. It’s hard to realize that although most of the songs the band performs have a joyful tune and can turn the show into a huge dance party, the lyrics reveal a harsh reality of despair and madness.  

The band is currently finishing up their North American tour after being on the road since the beginning of the year. Before their stop at Baltimore’s Ottobar, I was fortunate enough to be able to speak to Kevin about the band’s documentary The Past is a Grotesque Animal, Georgie Fruit, and their most recent album, lousy with sylvianbriar

Jason Miller’s documentary The Past is a Grotesque Animal is screening in June in which you document your personal struggles. What made you decide to share such a personal aspect on film? 

Well, I think everything is basically available anyways, you know, because I sort of expose my personal life in my music and I don’t really have that many secrets. I guess I don’t really feel like I have to hide it anymore.

It seems like there’s a common theme about failed relationships in your albums. Is it easy for you to open up about your personal issues, especially when it involves talking about other people’s as well?

I think that how my music relates to life is a way for me to sort of work on things, so if I’m going through a difficult period in my personal life or psychologically or whatever, it’s put into the music, and when I’m writing I’m not really thinking about the outside world or thinking about how, you know, what they may think about the song being released or anybody listening to it and playing it.

And so, when I’m finished, I feel good about it. I feel like it’s a well written piece of music and there, the lyrics are in some way engaging or powerful, or whatever, you know I tend to just release them without really worrying about how, uh, it might affect someone else’s life. Which I guess I not very nice of me. But, at the same time it’s just the way it goes, ya’ know.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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