Category Archives: TVD Washington, DC

TVD Live Shots: OMD at the 9:30 Club, 3/6

In what seemed like a vivid, overly luscious synth-pop dream, famed British new wave outfit Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark (OMD) performed at the 9:30 Club last Tuesday after a two-year absence from the metro area. In fact, other than a few LA gigs, they haven’t toured the US at all since 2016. For their DC engagement, OMD delivered a solid performance with the highest caliber of showmanship.

For a band who nearly birthed the synth pop genre, OMD’s audience expects quite a lot—and make no mistake about it, this band delivers. OMD pours every bit of their heart, energy, and talent into their live show, and hearing their dreamy, synthesized layers come together in a live setting is intoxicating.

Right out of the box, lead vocalist and founding member Andy McCluskey was on fire with the set opener “Ghost Star” from the new record—even dropping some expressive dance moves across the stage like he was a man on a mission. Trading vocal duties throughout the night with the band’s co-founder Paul Humphreys on tracks like
“(Forever) Live and Die,” OMD took the venue through their catalog while highlighting new tracks “Isotype,” “What Have We Done,”and “One More Time.” Cell phones were held high to record the band’s ever famous hit from 1986, “If You Leave.”

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Play Something Good with John Foster

The Vinyl District’s Play Something Good is a weekly radio show broadcast from Washington, DC.

Featuring a mix of songs from today to the 00s/90s/80s/70s/60s and giving you liberal doses of indie, psych, dub, post punk, americana, shoegaze, and a few genres we haven’t even thought up clever names for just yet. The only rule is that the music has to be good. Pretty simple.

Hosted by John Foster, world-renowned designer and author (and occasional record label A+R man), don’t be surprised to hear quick excursions and interviews on album packaging, food, books, and general nonsense about the music industry, as he gets you from Jamie xx to Liquid Liquid and from Courtney Barnett to The Replacements. The only thing you can be sure of is that he will never ever play Mac DeMarco. Never. Ever.

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Play Something Good with John Foster

The Vinyl District’s Play Something Good is a weekly radio show broadcast from Washington, DC.

Featuring a mix of songs from today to the 00s/90s/80s/70s/60s and giving you liberal doses of indie, psych, dub, post punk, americana, shoegaze, and a few genres we haven’t even thought up clever names for just yet. The only rule is that the music has to be good. Pretty simple.

Hosted by John Foster, world-renowned designer and author (and occasional record label A+R man), don’t be surprised to hear quick excursions and interviews on album packaging, food, books, and general nonsense about the music industry, as he gets you from Jamie xx to Liquid Liquid and from Courtney Barnett to The Replacements. The only thing you can be sure of is that he will never ever play Mac DeMarco. Never. Ever.

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TVD Live Shots: G3 featuring Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, and Phil Collen at the Warner Theatre, 2/14

My introduction to guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani would be his 1987 album, Surfing with the Alien. One could never forget that vivid album art featuring Marvel Comics’ Silver Surfer on the front against that stunning red background. Inside, the record’s sleeve was adorned with the artwork of yet another Marvel character, Galactus—a Silver Surfer foe and planet devourer—also from the Fantastic Four comics series. 

Obviously, Surfing with the Alien was not just about the artwork. The album marked the second and then most notable studio effort by Satriani and helped cement his position as one of the greatest guitar soloists of our time. The album is ranked #4 in Ultimate Guitar’s “Top Rated Instrumental Albums of All Time” and it’s one of the best-selling instrumental works to date, boasting two of Satriani’s fifteen Grammy award nominations over his career. The album is truly masterful and it’s nearly impossible to speak of Joe Satriani without bringing it into the conversation.

On tour with his annual G3 guitar excursion, Joe Satriani enlisted the help of two larger than life names in rock and metal for his 2018 lineup, Phil Collen (of Def Leppard) and John Petrucci (of Dream Theater). For this year’s DC stop, the host was the beautiful Warner Theatre.

Since its inception in 1995, the G3 tour has featured some of the most well-respected guitarists in the business and has taken to the road almost annually. While one could assume that the G3 tour would be an evening of all out guitar shredding and a complete solo-speed fest, they’d only be half correct. It is true that showing off their various talents as axe-men is certainly the fun part of the show, but when performing their own songs, it’s exceptional to me to hear the tone of their amps, the sustain of their instruments, and the pure craftsmanship of their songwriting. The G3 tour allows guitarists to do this—and it’s an experience all its own.

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Play Something Good with John Foster

The Vinyl District’s Play Something Good is a weekly radio show broadcast from Washington, DC.

Featuring a mix of songs from today to the 00s/90s/80s/70s/60s and giving you liberal doses of indie, psych, dub, post punk, americana, shoegaze, and a few genres we haven’t even thought up clever names for just yet. The only rule is that the music has to be good. Pretty simple.

Hosted by John Foster, world-renowned designer and author (and occasional record label A+R man), don’t be surprised to hear quick excursions and interviews on album packaging, food, books, and general nonsense about the music industry, as he gets you from Jamie xx to Liquid Liquid and from Courtney Barnett to The Replacements. The only thing you can be sure of is that he will never ever play Mac DeMarco. Never. Ever.

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TODAY! The DC
Record Fair returns
to Penn Social, 2/18!

Back for its 9th year is Washington, DC’s (almost) twice yearly record rummage, The DC Record Fair which sets up shop on February 18, 2018 in the cavernous confines of downtown Washington, DC’s Penn Social.

As with each event, we’ll have 40+ vinyl vendors from up and down the East Coast, the DJ line up, the bar, the food, raffle items up for grabs just for coming through the door, plus the random other surprises that make the DC Record Fair a special community event.

Our friends at the Fillmore Silver Spring put together the above feature a while back that outshines any descriptive copy we could devise—hit play.

Mark your calendars! 
THE DC RECORD FAIR

Sunday, February 18, 2018 at Penn Social, 801 E Street, NW
11:00–12:00, Early Bird Admission $5.00
12:00–5:00, Regular Admission $2.00

RSVP and follow via the Facebook invite!

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TVD Live: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at the Anthem, 2/12

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNSMuch as he wants to get away from it, The Beatles thing continues to dog Noel Gallagher, long after his band Oasis has broken up.

Of course, that group got the comparisons in part from the younger Gallaghers in the band making some boastful claims. Plus they had some great songs that held up British rock at a time when it was sinking into synths. Now on tour to promote the third album by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, which stopped at the Anthem in Washington, DC, Monday, he’s acting like a solo Beatle immediately after their breakup—downplaying the work of his old band, even though that was the stuff that really got the crowd going.

It was reserved seats all around for the Anthem show—an odd choice, since old Oasis fans aren’t quite that old yet, and Gallagher’s music maintains an edge and a rocking core. But everybody stood from beginning to end, owing to how compelling so much of his new music is.

Gallagher has always had a knack for rock-based hooks; by now he also uses that cleverness to devise songs that work because of their simplicity and the kind of repeated phrases that bolstered rock ’n’ roll from the outset. With a swirl of arresting video on a circular screen behind him, he and his various Flying Birds appeared at first as mere silhouettes against the screen before a staccato barrage of lights illuminated the musicians.

Now 50, Gallagher looks much as he always did—lean and cool in his black turtleneck and leather jacket, his hair in a Roman cut that predates the Beatles, the everlasting scowl framed by a few more distinguishing lines. His band has the power to enliven his material, expanding from a low of five on stage to a maximum of a dozen, including three backing vocalists and a three-man horn section.

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Play Something Good with John Foster

The Vinyl District’s Play Something Good is a weekly radio show broadcast from Washington, DC.

Featuring a mix of songs from today to the 00s/90s/80s/70s/60s and giving you liberal doses of indie, psych, dub, post punk, americana, shoegaze, and a few genres we haven’t even thought up clever names for just yet. The only rule is that the music has to be good. Pretty simple.

Hosted by John Foster, world-renowned designer and author (and occasional record label A+R man), don’t be surprised to hear quick excursions and interviews on album packaging, food, books, and general nonsense about the music industry, as he gets you from Jamie xx to Liquid Liquid and from Courtney Barnett to The Replacements. The only thing you can be sure of is that he will never ever play Mac DeMarco. Never. Ever.

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TVD Live: First Aid Kit at the Lincoln Theatre, 2/9

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNSThe strongest anthem for the #MeToo movement was written and released by a couple of Swedish sisters in their mid-20s, months before the Harvey Weinstein revelations in the New York Times last year. “I am so sick and tired of this world,” First Aid Kit sing, with a venom that is more spat than sung. “All these women with their dreams shattered / From some man’s sweaty, desperate touch.”

Played defiantly to electric guitar that’s closer to punk, the song “You Are the Problem Here” is so different from the rest of the music First Aid Kit usually play that after issuing it as a single nearly a year ago, the two left it off their most recent album, Ruins, that came out last month. Still, it was presented as a mid show highlight to their sold out show at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC, Saturday.

The duo of Klara Söderberg, 25 and Johanna Söderberg, 27, started more than a decade ago as teens, when they found that their harmonies matched their love of the kind of Americana and ’70s singer/songwriter era they often listened to and is reflected in exquisite tracks like “Emmylou,” which drops the names of influences like Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, June Carter and Johnny Cash in a sprightly love song. (If the Söderberg sisters knew they were in the city where Parsons first discovered Harris playing in a bar in Georgetown, they might have been excited about that).

The nod to Americana is aided by the backing of pedal steel guitar of longtime member Melvin Duffy. The addition of drums, played for the past three years by Scott Simpson, has added a more booming rock sound to First Aid Kit; it’s rounded out by Steve Moore on keyboards and trombone, which he plays more often than one might expect.

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TVD Live: The Posies
and Parthenon Huxley
at the Hamilton, 2/4

PHOTOS: RICHIE DOWNSFor a band celebrating its 30th anniversary of making music, The Posies initial tour of 2018 is pretty austere, featuring only founding singer songwriters Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow on electric guitars. Later this year, three of their ’90s albums, Dear 23, Frosting on the Beater, and Amazing Disgrace, will each get reissued on vinyl and CD with extras, accompanied by a tour with a fuller band—the returning rhythm section of their Frosting album, Mike Musburger and Dave Fox.

For the penultimate stop on their duo tour Saturday at the Hamilton Live in Washington, DC, though, it was just the two of them, as it was in the beginning when they were teenagers in Bellingham, WA in the late ’80s—trading tunes and harmonies. It was left to fans to imagine the bass lines or do air drums to things like the sly “Flavor of the Month,” with which they opened, or “Solar Sister” which closed the main set, and a dozen or more songs from four different decades in between.

An awful lot of the power pop came from the two old chums, who each now live as ex-pats in Europe. Their harmonies are still in check, as when they did a stunning “You Avoid Parties” away from the microphones. But to keep their guitar interplay working, they had to do an awful lot of tuning.

After they were introduced and got on stage and before nearly every song, they had to pause and really concentrate on getting the strings right. Stringfellow said it was because of their weird winter touring trajectory—the February shows jagged from Minneapolis to Seattle to DC to Austin. (Were they just bent on building up the frequent flyer miles?)

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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