Category Archives: TVD Washington, DC

TVD Ticket and Vinyl Giveaway: James Vincent McMorrow at the Lincoln Theatre, 11/8

Three years after the U.S. release of his first full-length album, singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow released his follow-up LP, Post Tropical, this past January. 

Making his music debut in 2010 with a folk, acoustic album, Early in the Morning, Irishman James Vincent McMorrow takes a new approach to his second release. Recorded in eight months on a pecan farm near the Mexican border, his second album, Post Tropical, emerged. Differing from his debut, McMorrow incorporates electronic instruments, creating a soulful, R&B sound.

Just ending the European leg of tour, McMorrow will be touring the U.S. in November. He will be performing at DC’s Lincoln Theatre on Saturday, November 8. We happen to have a pair of tickets, and we’re giving them away, along with a copy of the new album!

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TVD Recommends: Pete Yorn at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 11/2

With its soaring ceilings, domed roof, and rows upon rows of pews, there are some acts that seem ready-made to perform at Washington, DC’s Sixth & I historic synagogue. Pete Yorn’s “You & Me Acoustic” tour is surely one of them. Yorn is bringing his guitars and folk-inspired catalogue to Sixth & I on November 2 for a stop on his first-ever solo acoustic tour.

Yorn hasn’t released an album under his own name since 2009, which saw an astounding three Yorn albums, including a set of duets with Scarlett Johansson. Fans can rest assured that he has a new solo album on its way, but while he’s finishing up his next release, he decided to take some time off for this tour.

Johansson isn’t expected to make an appearance at Sixth & I, but it doesn’t mean their songs are off-limits for the show—and the same goes for his work with The Olms, Yorn’s side project J.D. King; his past records, including his 2001 hit debut musicforthemorningafter; and even new material. Yorn has said that he’s playing without set lists and taking requests, seeing what works for each night.

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TVD Recommends: Samhain at the Howard Theatre, 10/31

Samhain. A Gaelic holiday that marks the end of the harvest and the coming winter. Adopted in the 20th century by Wiccans and Neopagans, the origins of the Samhain celebration date back as far as the 10th century. As Christianity made its way across Europe, the annual observance began the metamorphosis into what we today call Halloween. This Friday, Halloween night, Samhain will rise again at the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C.

This time, it is not a harvest we’re celebrating, but rather the return of the gothic rock band fronted by the mighty Glenn Danzig. Celebrating “30 Bloody Years,” they have returned to play a handful of dates in 2014, including Riot Fest in Chicago. Danzig has brought back original members London May on bass and Pete Zing on drums, with Peter Adams of Baroness taking over the guitar duties.

What started as a side project became Danzig’s full-time band, as Samhain rose from the ashes of punk legends The Misfits. Drawing from varied influences and layering that with the horror-themed punk of his former band, Danzig, along with bassist Eerie Von, drummer Steve Zing, and an assortment of coming and going musicians, released Initium in 1984. A dark, experimental journey of heavy gothic deathrock, the album was not commercially accepted but gained a huge cult following. The blood-soaked, devil-locked band image on the cover became iconic, as did the first use of the skull that would be associated with Danzig for his entire career.

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: The Presets at the 9:30 Club, 11/2

Sydney-based duo The Presets are known for putting on spectacular live shows. This fall, the electronic pair will be bringing a brand new show to the U.S. as a part of this year’s Check Yo Ponytail tour.

The Presets, composed of Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes, formed in 2003. Between the two of them, the pair’s musical resume includes performances at Coachella and SXSW, as well as opening for Daft Punk. The pair has also been awarded several ARIA awards for their singles and albums. Since the release of their album Pacifica in 2012, The Presets have put out two singles, “Goodbye Future” and “No Fun” this year.

In addition to writing and producing their own music, Hamilton and Moyes have worked on songs for other artists, including Lenny Kravitz.

The Australian duo will be among the artists featured on this year’s Check Yo Ponytail Tour, hosted by IHEARTCOMIX. Begun in 2006, Check Yo Ponytail (CYP) is “an open-genre, multimedia-driven events series” that “has premiered some of today’s top performers with a few tried and true legacy acts in between,” according to CYP’s official site.

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Osaka Monaurail at Tropicalia, 10/31

Showmanship. James Brown set the bar pretty high for most of us and made it look pretty easy while doing it, but it doesn’t come easy. The Godfather of Soul virtually defined showmanship for the 20th century. His bands were always dressed to the nines and danced together with tight, choreographed moves, while delivering the most irresistible in-your-face funk and soul of the century. The stage is about ownership. Once you step up there, it’s time to testify. Most bands get about an hour to deliver their sermon and it becomes the intersection of passion and artistry.

Enter Osaka Monaurail from Japan. Rolling nine-deep in matching suits, spinning trumpets, and a lead singer doing the Mashed Potato, they’re known as Japan’s premiere funk orchestra and have been burning up stages since 1992. If you want to get a taste of what a classic soul revue might have been like in the ’60s then check out this video for their song “(She’s A) Riptide.” The group is currently on an exclusive 3-city US tour with a stop in Washington, DC on October 31.

Osaka Monaurail’s frontman, keyboard player and bandleader Ryo Nakata talked with us about his band, his favorite artists, who he’d love to work with and what we can look forward to on their first ever show in Washington, DC at Tropicalia on Halloween with Black Masala.

Please tell us a bit about Osaka Monaurail and what you do?

Osaka Monaurail is a Japanese funk band. I don’t mean we play Japanese funk, but we are Japanese and we play funk! We got together in 1992. So, it’s been more than 22 years. We are currently a nine-piece band. And I am the lead singer in the group.

You’re on your first US tour, right? Does playing Washington, DC, aka “Chocolate City,” have some particular significance for you? It’s the home of so much jazz, soul, and rare groove. The venue where you’re playing, Tropicalia, is located near the U Street Corridor, Marvin Gaye’s old neighborhood and Duke Ellington’s childhood home.

Yes, this is our very first tour ever in the U.S., and I am very excited. It will be my first time visiting Washington, DC. I heard and read much about the U Street District, Howard University—of course Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack attended it. Go-go music, etc. But I think I haven’t studied enough. I gotta learn more. Oh, one more thing, Mr. Sir Joe Quarterman is from Washington, DC, and we played the same night a few years ago in England. His song “(I Got) So Much Trouble In My Mind” is almost like a rare groove anthem. Is this song big in DC? His album is now available on CD for Japan on my label!

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TVD Live: Darkest Hour at Empire, 10/20

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNS | For almost twenty years, Virginia’s Darkest Hour have been hammering away at the metal scene, carving a niche with their distinct class of melodic death metal. 2014 has brought a new, critically acclaimed album, a new rhythm section, and high-powered live shows, including a run on this year’s Mayhem Fest. Monday night at Empire in Springfield, VA, both the band and the fans were treated to one hell of a homecoming. 

With seven bands on the bill, things got off to an early start. I missed some of the local support and Black Crown Initiate while interviewing Darkest Hour guitarist Mike Schleibaum (look for that interview next week). I came back in with enough time to grab a good spot for Kansas’ Origin. The four-piece unleashed an assault of balls-out, intense technical death metal. Vocalist Jason Keyser’s wailing, guttural vocals were otherworldly, and drummer John Longstreth’s blast beats drove the band at warp speed.

A small pit opened up on the floor as they went into “All Things Dead.” Bassist Mike Flores and guitarist Paul Ryan seemed to be in a finger war, seemingly trying to outmatch each other in a technical duel. The crowd was a bit meager due to the early hour, despite being four bands into the set at this point. As Keyser was introducing “The Aftermath,” he hadn’t even finished saying the name of the song, and the band blasted in with a roar akin to a tractor-trailer crash. Hair windmills and headbangs ruled the moment, and Keyser commanded the crowd to start the next song with a silent wall of death, beginning the music as the two sides of the split crowd collided.

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TVD Live Shots: Bombay Bicycle Club at the 9:30 Club, 10/19

London’s Bombay Bicycle Club played an electrifying set to a sold-out crowd at the 9:30 Club last Sunday night. Touring in support of 2014’s So Long, See you Tomorrow, the set was a solid mix of older and new material that easily had the Club kids enraptured, including “How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep,” “Eyes Off You,” a fervent “Home By Now,” and a cover of Robyn’s “With Every Heartbeat.”

We sent ace photographer Richie Downs to the 9:30 to catch the first 3 songs in the set. (No flash, please.) —Ed.

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TVD Recommends:
The Goddamn Gallows
at Revolution, 10/27

There are moments in the life of a concertgoer when you go to a show and the band has gotten prettied up in their rock clothes, strut and strike poses on the stage, and maybe even sing a love song or two. The Goddamn Gallows are not that band.

On Monday, October 27th at Revolution in Centreville, VA, the Gallows are kicking off the Halloween week by bringing their bizarrely unique strain of music to the DC area. Call them gutterbilly, call them gypsy punk, call them what you will, the fact remains that there is absolutely no one out there like them.

Their live shows are raucous, at times feeling more like you are watching a musical episode of Looney Tunes rather than a live performance. Singer/guitarist Mikey Classic is the eye of the hurricane, sometimes leading the charge, other times, practically being swept up in the chaos surrounding him.

The primary purveyor of that chaos would be accordion player and percussionist TV’s Avery. His comical interactions with bassist Fishgutzzz bring to mind Bugs Bunny taunting Yosemite Sam, and you never know what will happen between Avery and banjoist Joe Perrezze. Rounded out by drummer Baby Genius, the band is a cast of unique characters but ones that mesh well together, and always put on a fierce, unpredictable show.

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TVD Live Shots: Warpaint and Liam Finn at the Fillmore, 10/17

“Dream Pop” is not a term that you get to use everyday. For me, the term began to take shape in the form of a beautiful stage setting, complete with subtle strands of lights laid across the stage floor at The Fillmore Silver Spring when the well loved band, Warpaint took the stage. 

Beforehand however, the LA based Warpaint played host to New Zealand’s Liam Finn, the second opener of the night. Liam performed his experimental psych-rock for an enthusiastic crowd and led his band with tight rhythms, wild guitar fills, and sudden bursts of energy with his unexpected solos. The vocal harmonies were the big surprise of the night and could not have worked better with any other arrangements.

If you are not familiar with Liam Finn, he is the former frontman of the New Zealand band Betchadupa as well as the son of famed recording artist Neil Finn of Split Enz and Crowed House. Despite the completely different approaches to writing and performing music, both Liam and Neil Finn are both geniuses.

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TVD Live: J Mascis at
the Black Cat, 10/16

Sometimes it truly is an honor to see a great act in a very intimate, and personal setting. Thursday night at the Black Cat’s backstage proved to be one of those nights as indie-rock legend, J Mascis performed to a small audience lucky enough to have a ticket to his sold out appearance.

J Mascis needs no introduction. He could easily be labeled an indie-rock guitar god and the master-musician and guitar virtuoso behind indie pioneers, Dinosaur Jr., not discounting the incredible talents of Mr. Lou Barlow. Mascis has also been associated with acts like The Fog, Witch, and Deep Wound, and over the past 25 years Mascis has displayed his talents was a writer, performer, studio musician, and producer, and has even scored and has been featured on multiple soundtracks, notably 1992’s Gas Food Lodging.

Besides his work on his own material, Mascis has been involved with the countless projects of other musicians including Sonic Youth, the late, but intrepid GG Allin, The Hold Steady, Mike Watt, and Firehose.

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