Author Archives: Morgan Swank

TVD Ticket Giveaway: matt pond PA in the city and venue of your choice

New York by way of Philly-based favorite matt pond PA is hitting the road across the nation as part of a 10-year anniversary tour in celebration of one of their most beloved albums, Several Arrows Later.

Several Arrows Later will be played in its entirety along with a sampling of songs from their upcoming album The State of Gold, which will be released later this year. We’ve got three pairs of tickets to award to three of you to attend one of the band’s shows on any date and in any city of your choosing.

Matt Pond and current core members Chris Hansen, Tierney Tough, and Shawn Alpay, are revisiting Arrows—which harbored standout tracks like “Emblems” and “So Much Trouble—in a live setting, although the band says that the decision to do the tour wasn’t just about homage, but rather the right manner to launch their new album The State of Gold, which takes the band’s sound to a wildly different place.

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9:30 Now: Laura Tsaggaris vs. Justin Jones, Phox, Francisco the Man, Ariel Pink, Jukebox the Ghost

February is upon us, which means one thing—it’s time to fall in love with some music this month. Have a special Valentine this year? Why don’t you do something extra special like take your loved one to one of the many kickass shows happening at the 9:30 Club to show your appreciation. Here’s a selection of upcoming shows on sale at the 9:30 NOW—and your chance to win tickets to the concert of your choice from the list below.

Laura Tsaggaris vs Justin Jones & The B-Sides, 2/4 | Let’s talk about some of the most famous “versus” in history. There’s Louis vs. Schmeling, Tyson vs. Holyfield, and now there’s Laura Tsaggaris vs. Justin Jones & The B-Sides. Yes, these two songwriter heavyweights are coming together to battle for your love with some soulful music.

Laura Tsaggaris recently put out a new record, Live At The Atlas, back in September 2014. Funded entirely by pre-orders and fan contributions, the album was inspired by some of the best live albums of all time, albums that Laura says inspired her as a songwriter. Virginia native Justin Jones and his cleverly named band The B-Sides join Laura to complement her acoustic sound with their raw rock ‘n’ roll. Watch the battle up close when the pair come to the 9:30 Club on Wednesday, February 4.

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TVD Live: Hangout Music Fest, 5/17–5/18

This year marked our return to the Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama, after two years, and man, what an anniversary it was. We spent three days drinking bottomless cocktails on the beach and watching some legendary acts, all in the name of journalism. So, let’s get on with it—here are our Hangout Highlights from this past weekend. 

Friday’s festivities were sweaty blurs of hip-hop crowds and lots of smoke in my lungs, but it was the ideal way to kick off a music festival on a beach with top-notch performances. I ended up (accidentally) starting my day off seeing Wiz Khalifa while relaxing in a hammock to the left of the stage. The audience was really pumped to see the show, and the overwhelming smell of weed blowing by the flower headband-adorned crowd in the ocean breeze was evidence enough of it. Wiz was introduced by Sway and his wife Amber Rose, who got an equally loud reception to Khalifa himself.

He performed a mix of his best-known songs, throwing in some Martin Garrix remixes before closing out the show with a performance of “23” sans Miley Cyrus. I was a little disappointed she wasn’t a surprise guest for the event, but it was an energetic set and got the crowd going.

Gary Clark Jr. played the main Hangout Stage at the festival and really, really delivered. His performance was being talked about backstage in the media area for hours after he had gone off. They have a point. He set the bar incredibly high for the festival, and he wasn’t even the night’s headliner.

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TVD’s 9:30 Club November Concert Preview

November is here, which means I can already hear the premature sounds of Christmas jingles from department store parking lots. If you are as annoyed as I am with the never-ending parade of sleigh bells before you even get your box of scarves out for the winter, have no fear.

There’s another round of excellent shows coming to the 9:30 Club all month long to ease your pain. Here is your November preview and an extra chance to win tickets to the show of your choice from the list below.

Poliça (late show), Wed 11/6

It’s been less than a month since Poliça released their second studio album Shulamith. The name was inspired by the radical feminist Shulamith Firestone and is drenched in themes of modern feminism and societal norms of today. The first single “Tiff” features Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and has been described by vocalist Leaneagh as “a portrait of a woman as her own worst enemy.”

Poliça is the late show on Wednesday, November 6, so you can prep up all the feminist anger you can muster and head over to the 9:30 Club at 10:00 PM (doors) to catch a great show.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 8 Comments

TVD’s 9:30 Club October Concert Preview

It is now officially the best month of the year! October is here, and with it comes the pretty autumn colors, buckets of candy corn, and watching the drunk “sexy nurses” puking on your neighbor’s front lawn at 2 in the morning on Halloween. Is that just my life?

It also means that there’s another round of excellent shows coming to the 9:30 Club all month long. Here is your October preview and an extra chance to win tickets to the show of your choice from the list below.

Flaming Lips, Fri 10/4 at Merriweather Post Pavilion

On November 29, the Flaming Lips will release their EP Peace Sword, inspired by the science fiction novel Ender’s Game. Originally, the band had signed on to write a song for the film adaptation in theaters November 1, but decided to extend the project to a full-length album.

“Our involvement is only with the music directors of the movie … but yeah … these are conflicts all big projects have to deal with. We try to do cool things with cool people that, obviously benefit us and the cool people we doing stuff with.” Catch them at Merriweather Post Pavilion on October 4, and maybe you’ll get to hear some of the sci-fi madness.

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TVD’s 9:30 Club September Concert Preview

It’s September! That means gradually bringing out the winter wardrobe, using up the last of your July fireworks collection, and groaning at department stores for putting up Halloween decorations too early.

It also means that there’s another round of excellent shows coming to the 9:30 Club all month long. Here is your September preview and an extra chance to win tickets to the show of your choice from the list below.

Spiritualized, Sun 9/8

Born in Rugby, Warwickshire in 1990, Spiritualized was created by Jason Pierce, aka J. Spaceman, after the collapse of his previous band Spacemen 3. And no, this isn’t a 30 Rock joke from the mind of Tracy Jordan; this is real life space rock. Spiritualized have released a grand total of seven studio albums, with 1997’s most notable Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, which NME magazine named as their Album of the Year.

J. Spaceman reflects on their last album, 2012’s Sweet Heart Sweet Light, “When you make a record, it has to be the single most important thing in your world. This time around, I wanted to do something that encompassed all I love in rock ‘n’ roll music. It’s got everything from Brötzmann and Berry right through to Dennis and Brian Wilson. I’m obsessed with music and the way you put it together and I don’t believe there are any rules.”

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 1 Comment

TVD’s 9:30 Club August Concert Preview

It’s August already! Although its arrival snuck up on me, that just means there’s another round of excellent shows coming to the 9:30 Club all month long. With that being said, here is your August preview and an extra chance to win tickets to the show of your choice from the list below.

MH & His Orchestra, Fri 8/9

M.H. stands for Max Holiday, or rather the 20-year-old composer and lead vocalist behind M.H. & His Orchestra. Their debut album titled The Throes was released in July and crosses genres between R&B, Calypso, Latin, and indie pop.

The orchestral spectacle that Holiday and his merry band bring to shows is a sight to behold and hear. Catch the eleven-piece bring its symphonic beats to the 9:30 Club on Friday, August 9, and see for yourself. Get there early to see local DIY tastemakers Paperhaus perform.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 1 Comment

TVD Ticket Giveaway: Fiona Apple and Blake Mills at the Lincoln Theatre, 10/25

It’s been a week since Fiona Apple released her Paul Thomas Anderson-directed music video for “Hot Knife.” Sadly, the video isn’t a new single off an upcoming album, but a reminder of her 2012 release The Idler Wheel… Here’s to hoping!

Just when we thought she would fade back into the woodwork of the “mysterious artist” facade, she announced a fall tour with Californian singer-songwriter Blake Mills, aptly titled “Anything We Want: An Evening with Fiona Apple & Blake Mills.”

“We know it’ll be something special, and we aren’t being coy here,” Apple and Mills said in a statement to Consequence of Sound. “It’s just that we have about 26 percent of an idea of what the fuck we will be playing for you.”

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 18 Comments

TVD Ticket Giveaway: Father John Misty Solo at the 9:30 Club, 10/23

What happens when you take the drummer from indie A-listers Fleet Foxes and mix with a bloody, raccoon-eyed Aubrey Plaza throwing shit around a cabin in the woods? The answer is last year’s first music video from the creative stronghold known as Father John Misty.

J. Tillman, also known as the former drummer for Fleet Foxes, released debut album Fear Fun under his new moniker Father John Misty in May of 2012. When discussing his inspiration for the new name, Tillman paraphrased Philip Roth, “‘It’s all of me and none of me, if you can’t see that, you won’t get it.’ What I call it is totally arbitrary, but I like the name. You’ve got to have a name. I never got to choose mine.”

In order to deliver such a creative departure from his earlier work, Tillman turned full-on Kerouac to create Fear Fun with the help of some psychedelic influence.

“I got into my van with enough mushrooms to choke a horse and started driving down the coast with nowhere to go. After a few weeks, I was writing a novel, which is where I finally found my narrative voice….It was a while before that voice started manifesting in a musical way, but once I settled in the Laurel Canyon spider-shack where I’m living now, I spent months demoing all these weird-ass songs about weird-ass experiences almost in real-time, and kind of had this musical ‘Oh-there-I-am’ moment, identical to how I felt when I was writing the book.”

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 16 Comments

TVD Vinyl Giveaway: SKATERS, “I Wanna Dance (But I Don’t Know How)” 7″

The New York trio SKATERS created quite a buzz this past year with the release of their EP “Schemers,” and after signing with major label Warner Bros, the boys have already released their single for “I Wanna Dance (But I Don’t Know How)” 7″. It’s pretty rad, and we’ve got a copy to give away to one lucky winner!

The record includes the title track and a B-side titled “Armed.” There’s no doubt of New York City’s influence on the band throughout the tracks. The vibe is pretty consistent with the whole “New Yorkers not giving a shit” attitude we’ve come to love in the music from the area.

SKATERS are currently writing their debut full-length album back in the city at iconic Electric Lady Studios with producer John Hill. The band is making rounds this summer on the UK and US festival tours.

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Loretta Lynn at the 9:30 Club, 7/26

It’s no secret that country music isn’t what it used to be. With the changing times, we’ve gone from country-folk, to rap-country-rock combinations, to indie rock with banjos, to country-pop Top 40 hits. In the midst of Taylor Swift’s tear-stained guitars, there seems to be no hope in saving the sounds of classic country. Fortunately for us, there is one legend still around to be our saving grace. Her name is Loretta Lynn.

It’s been over 50 years since Loretta’s song “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl” was released, yet Loretta’s music sounds as fresh today as it did half a century ago. Born a humble coal miner’s daughter in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, Loretta Lynn’s successful career has transcended many generations and still continues to reign supreme.

She was named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association in 1972, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988, and in 2010, she was honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. She has been inducted into more music halls of fame than any other female recording artist in the world.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 29 Comments

TVD Ticket Giveaway: The Monkees at the Warner Theatre, 7/21

I have extremely fond memories of being a toddler sitting in complete silence in my grandmother’s lap as she played the 1966 self-titled debut album by The Monkees. When I was 20, I ended up finding that exact same album in a hole-in-the-wall thrift store and took it over to her house for Christmas. She was just as giddy as she was when I was a kid.

It’s been 47 years since The Monkees graced us with their presence on television screens and record players, and they’ve been collecting different generations of daydream believers ever since.

Although The Monkees haven’t come out with a new album since JustUs in 1996, they’ve been making the rounds with reunion tours for the past few years with positive reinforcement. “I’d love to make a new [record]. We haven’t had any discussions about that beyond, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to have a new one?’ We’re just taking this whole thing one step at a time,” says drummer and vocalist Micky Dolenz. We’d love that too, Micky!

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 17 Comments

von Grey:
The TVD Q and A

It isn’t every day that you see a group of four teenagers making their way through the music stratosphere as successfully as the sisters of Atlanta’s von Grey. Hell, when I was a teenager I don’t even think I watched Conan or Letterman, yet the folk quartet has successfully graced both stages, on top of performing a set at Bonnaroo and having embarked on a nationwide tour, all before the age of 20.

With a vibe similar to other folk-based artists like The Civil Wars and The Lumineers, von Grey enlists their classical background to create a sound decades older than the ladies of band themselves, and they have already released a self-titled EP recorded at Third Day’s studio in Kennesaw, Georgia with the help of producer Nick DiDia (of Bruce Springsteen, Train, and Pearl Jam fame).

After catching the band at Bonnaroo this summer, I was able to chat with Annika von Grey to get a fix on exactly what these girls are doing so right.

As teenagers I find it amazing that you’ve been able to break into the music scene so successfully. How early did you start to make music?

Well, growing up we started with classical music. We did weddings and events like that. I guess about four or five years ago, we decided to break out and explore more representative styles to our tastes. It was a slow evolution, but eventually we got there.

Did playing classical music first help you figure out your sound?

Yes, definitely. Playing so many instruments is most helpful with folk music because it allowed us to understand the components of the instrumentals better. We love older country like Dolly Parton and the new folk sound like Nickle Creek and Mumford & Sons, so those were also influences for us in realizing how to get the sound we wanted both organic and synthetic.

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TVD Ticket Giveaway: Lynyrd Skynyrd with Bad Company at Jiffy Lube Live, 7/14

“After three or four albums, Lynyrd Skynyrd transcended the Southern-rock tag. They became one of the greatest rock & roll bands in history. They feared no one. On their very first national tour, they opened for the Who. And got encores!” says Al Kooper for Rolling Stone‘s 2013 “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” countdown.

After the devastating plane crash of 1977 that killed three of Lynryd Skynryd’s members, the world wasn’t sure if the band could continue on. Thirty-six years later, and they are as rowdy as ever, drawing crowds young and old alike.

Also, they’ve apparently been buddying up with the Pawn Stars, because we all couldn’t escape that promo commercial playing on repeat on History Channel, right?

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 5 Comments

TVD’s 9:30 Club July Concert Preview

It’s July, which means if you’re like me, you’re still coming off of a 4th of July weekend-long hangover. I’ve got the cure for your “independence daze” with the sweet sound of you attending the best shows at 9:30 Club all month long. With that being said, here is your July preview and an extra chance to win tickets to the show of your choice from the list below.

Belle & Sebastian, Fri 7/12 at Merriweather Post Pavilion

Although it’s been three years since Belle and Sebastian gave us an album that spoke to our folky jangle-pop soul, the band has managed to give more material to keep the masses happy.

In February, Pitchfork released an oral history of Belle and Sebastian’s seminal record If You’re Feeling Sinister. After touring festivals all summer, the band intend to get straight back into the studio and hope to produce new songs by 2014.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 2 Comments

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