Category Archives: TVD Washington, DC

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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TVD Live: The Nearly Deads at the Treehouse Lounge, 10/15

Somewhere in the world there lies a perfect balance between pop and punk music. The Nearly Deads seem to have found this perfect mix and are taking it on the road to share it with the world, along with a splash of their own personalized zombie culture.

Two weeks into their current tour to support their recent album, Invisible Tonight, Nashville’s The Nearly Deads had a surprise stop in Washington, DC for a show at The Treehouse Lounge. It’s a real treat for me to get to see a band like The Nearly Deads at a smaller place like this one—it doesn’t get more intimate than watching a band perform their set five feet in front of you. You get to take in all the little nuances that you normally don’t get to experience on larger stages. Stuff like their whispers to each other in between songs as well as the breaths they take in-between vocal runs…really cool stuff, I love it.

With her bright, smooth voice and good looks, Theresa Jeane fronts this band with style and with ease. She certainly has all the necessary charisma and her amazing vocal range cut right to the top of the mix during Wednesday night’s performance. She has somewhat of this grungy-grit to her obviously trained voice that is really mesmerizing. As a band, The Nearly Deads fall comparatively somewhere in the realm of acts like The Distillers and Paramore, but with a fresh twist—a perfect mix of progressive pop and zombie-punk.

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TVD Live Shots: Placebo at the Fillmore, 10/9

Placebo played a triumphant show to a packed house at the Fillmore Silver Spring last Thursday evening and the band proved once more that they have the staying power to span multiple generations—and musical climates.

Formed in 1994 in London, Placebo were particularly well received all throughout Europe and eventually bled their way to the airwaves in the States, offering some relief from our musical crisis of creativity at the time—and they sound fresh even now.

Placebo uniquely utilizes elements of electronic music combined with explosive guitar parts and harmonic vocals which has garnered the band an almost cult-like following. At their show on Thursday the band was on top of their game and even sounded invigorated.

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TVD Live Shots: The Kooks at Rams Head Live, 10/8

Touring to promote their September 2014 release Listen, The Kooks rounded out their current US tour with a stop at Rams Head Live in downtown Baltimore last Wednesday evening.

Playing for a packed in crowd of loyal fans, The Kooks happily stumbled through their somewhat nostalgic setlist with their classic favorites and added some new tunes to to their set as well. The ecstatic fans in Baltimore seemed to revel in the night’s set as guys and gals alike danced and sang along. Here’s a look at the evening’s performance.

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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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TVD Live: Charli XCX at the 9:30 Club, 10/2

The stunning Charli XCX visited the 9:30 Club last Thursday night for a late-late show and performed an amazing set in full-blown pop icon fashion. Playing to a sold out and very enthusiastic audience, the 22 year old English songstress provided ample reason for her DC area fans to believe that she is indeed “so fancy.”

Accompanied by her band, the aptly named Charli’s Angels, Miss XCX hit the stage like an explosion wearing a white and blue cheerleader’s outfit with the title of her forthcoming new album, Sucker printed across the front of her chest. Her band, a classic three-piece—guitar, bass, and drums, and dressed as her backup cheerleading squad—lent her sound a raw, punky-rock edge to it. I loved it right from the first chord.

With her stunning good looks and the flawless delivery of her semi-choreographed dance moves, Charli owned the stage in a way that she never has before. If the audience is any indication, they hung onto every moment of the night’s performance and screamed louder and louder as the evening went on, singing along with every word of every song.

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Little Dragon at Echostage, 10/15

Swedish band Little Dragon captivates audiences with songs that are as fantastical as the mythical creature in their name. 

The synthpop four-piece comprises Yukumi Nagano, Fredrick Wallin, Håkan Wirenstrand, and Erik Bodin. The quartet formed in 1996 and has released four albums. Their fourth and most recent album, Nabuma Rubberband, was released this past May. Nabuma Rubberband takes on a different approach than its predecessors, having been inspired by “Janet Jackson’s slow jams Yukumi used to listen to walking around Gothenberg during the unrelenting winter,” according to a statement released by the band.

To promote the new album, Little Dragon is playing a handful of dates in America as a part of an international tour. Among these is a stop at D.C.’s Echostage next Wednesday, October 15, and we’ve got a pair of tickets to give away!

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TVD Live: Afghan Whigs at the 9:30 Club, 10/1

Touring to support their seventh studio album, Do to the Beast, the Afghan Whigs performed at the 9:30 Club last Wednesday to a sold out and eager crowd.

In usual style, the Whigs performed nearly every minute of the show in almost complete darkness. Without the occasional prom style laser and twirling blue lights, I don’t think you could have seen the band at all. Thanks to the infrequent blue or yellow spotlight thrown from behind the stage, I did manage to grab a couple of photos of the band. I suppose these images serve as photographic proof that the Afghan Whigs were indeed present at the 9:30 Club and in fact did not send stunt doubles into the darkness to play for Washington, DC.

Despite the extreme mood lighting, the Whigs delivered a rock solid performance and played a mix of classic favorites along with newer material. I have long been a believer that Afghan Whigs are a great live band and Wednesday’s show confirmed it once again—in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard them sound so damn good. The heavy, gritty guitar sound the Whigs’ produce live is an entirely different animal from their recorded material. Sailing right into the new track “Parked Outside” as they took the stage, the Whigs’ showed they were at the club to rock. It was the perfect introduction to a great night of music.

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Ian Hunter,
The TVD Interview

It’s not often that you get to talk to a bona fide rock legend—and one of your biggest heroes to boot. So I was thrilled to get the opportunity to speak by phone with Sir (I added that myself; why wait for the Queen to get around to it?) Ian Hunter, of Mott the Hoople and solo artist fame. I’ve been listening to Mott since I was 14, and getting the opportunity to speak one on one with him was something I never considered possible. It seemed to me as likely as getting the chance to talk to Robert Johnson, or Napoleon.

Anyway, Ian Hunter and band are coming to The Hamilton in Washington D.C. on Sunday, November 2, and Hunter was interested in hyping the show. Unfortunately he was talking to a deranged fanatic, and he had to remind me of that fact about three-quarters of the way through our hour-long interview. My sincerest apologies, Ian. But I learned a lot. 

I’ve heard rumors of a Mott reunion? True?

We’ve done two, and I think that’s enough. We’re all a bit older now and I think we’ve done enough.

Damn. Well, let’s start at the beginning. You were a Teddy Boy?

I came out of gangs. Teddy Boys—they were all about style. Edwardian clothes and violence. Drainpipe trousers, jackets that came down to your knees. There was a lot of fighting involved. I’d be playing pubs, so I wasn’t engaging in much violence. But they had my back. If somebody hit me, all I had to do was call some guys, and there’d be five Teddy Boys tapping the guilty party on his shoulder. They were poor people, a lot of them had grown up in boy’s homes, but they weren’t stupid. They were angry, but not stupid.

Do you have an all-time favorite rocker?

Little Richard. “Whole Lotta Shakin’.” I found your American artists’ names very confusing. I thought Jerry Lee Lewis was Jerry Lewis (of The Nutty Professor fame), and as for Elvis Presley, what kind of name was Elvis? What was up with that? I saw Little Richard in 1957. In those days artists couldn’t afford to bring their own bands to England, so Sounds Inc. [a British instrumental pop group] served as Little Richard’s backing band. And he had Sam Cooke singing back up. It’s funny about Sam Cooke—he always sounded very quiet on record, but he had a very loud voice on stage.

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