It started with a full moon–a television hummed a strip of colorful lines across the screen. He walked onto the stage, his hair a flurried mess, his pants neatly pressed, suspenders suspending and shirt hanging on him the way E.L. James would describe. Jack White stole Bonnaroo. For me, at least, he was the biggest surprise of the entire festival. Yeah, Jack White, he’s a talented dude. Sure, I’d heard of The White Stripes and The Raconteurs, heard “Seven Nation Army”, but never did I expect a show like that. He began with “High Ball Stepper”, making it known that this was going to be a guitar heavy rock concert. The stage was lit blue, but besides that, there were no distracting graphics or blinding lights like other headliners (eh, Kanye). If you’ve never seen Jack White, he looks like Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands, minus the hardware of course. There’s a very genuine demeanor to his stage presence. He makes it known that he is there solely to entertain, to please and excite the crowd. He’d ask the crowd if we wanted him to keep playing, which, of course, we did. In between songs, he would thank the crowd, he would thank young musicians, and tell stories about his family and children. He was a very humbled performer which made him even more exciting to watch. And then there’s the music itself. My gosh, never have I ever heard a guitar played with such conviction. And he was backed by a pedal steel guitar and a theremin. Yes, a freaking theremin, because Jack White is that cool. Highlights included his performance of “Steady As She Goes” and his 10-minute, amazing, scream-sing worthy rendition of “Seven Nation Army”.
After Yours Truly and Adidas Originals announced their pairing of R&B prince Jeremih and WeDidIt cofounder Shlohmo for their Songs From Scratch series, one could say the Internet was a little more than overeager. Shlohmo’s renowned remix abilities have given listeners an impossibly relaxing yet tasteful take on Jeremih and Natasha Money’s smooth croons in “All The Time” that turned into lazy mornings and late night plays of the remade “Fuck You All The Time.”
Despite legal and label issues along the way, Shlohmo and Jeremih kept building the hype for their No More EP by releasing the eponymous single “No More” on Valentine’s Day. Today, July 17, has a double purpose as Jeremih’s 27th birthday and the album release date. Nab the six track EP for free here.
Not very often do DC Hip Hop artists, the district’s finest in fashion, and the city’s entrepreneur community collaborate for an event.
Yet this Saturday, July 19th from 1pm-6pm all three of these collectives are coming together for Independence Day, presented by Empire of Kings Music Group.
Call it a networking event, a celebration of the DC’s finest young minds, a music show, or whatever makes sense to ya’ll, it’s going to be DOPE and if you can make it out to Renaissance Square in Hyattsville, MD (4307 Jefferson St. right across from the Hyattsville Bus Boys and Poets), well than yo..be there!!
Performances by DC’s own Hand$um Robb, Flex Kartel, Dugee F. Buller, Jamaal & Amber Lamaaj Monae and appearances by Caitlin Martin, Alex Byrd, and the Bucktown native who “cultivates greatness“, Mental Supreme.
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of catching Philly native and bedroom pop extraordinaire Alex G in Brooklyn with a whole bunch of great bands, courtesy of a day long festival put on by Exploding in Sound Records and Impose Magazine. Playing near the end of the day, Alex burned through a 30 minute set with enough raw and visceral energy to impress America’s hippest and harshest critics, while still delivering his simple, thoughtful, blend of indie rock. Read the rest of this entry
Already in its sixth year, the Mad Decent Block Party has spread to an unprecedented 22 North American cities with an even bigger lineup of 58 banging artists.
What’s this “mad decent” shindig we speak of? It’s the brainchild of producer-DJ-label founder-radio host-TV host-extraordinaire Thomas Wesley Pentz, aka Diplo. What started out as a record label showcase channeling quintessential block party vibes from Philly, the MDBP has now spread across the nation into Canada and South Africa and is set to follow the likes of Holy Ship with its own Mad Decent Boat Party into The Bahamas.
This year’s DMV stop is once again at Merriweather Post Pavilion on August 1 and tickets are still available. Diplo, Dillon Francis, Sleigh Bells, Flux Pavilion, Cashmere Cat, Trippy Turtle, Wolfgang Gartner, Wave Racer, and Children Of The Night are all slated to perform to a crowd yearning for one last weekend of dancing before summer ends and heralds the beginning of the school year grind.
Death Grips have stepped out of the shadows again and brought with them their new release “niggas on the moon,” which is technically side A of a double album is titled The Powers That B. This release is the first half of a double album and contains only 8 tracks at the moment. At this point in Death Grips’ career you’re probably familiar with their shtick and know what to expect when it comes to their releases. The Sacramento-based experimental hip-hop creates music that mixes elements of hip hop and electronica in a way that results in violent and sometimes frightening music that pushes the limits of the genre. This time around Death Grips don’t disappoint, delivering their signature alternative hip-hop style. Death Grips have come back with a refreshing release that is a satisfying agglomeration of the past years of their work.
Opening for Crystal Stilts at the Rock & Roll Hotel were three bands that brought an interesting and diverse mix of music to the table.
The Rock & Roll Hotel was filled….with all of 10 people to listen to Trump Weeds, a band that has only recorded a single song. Despite the moderately empty room, the band grooved on, not minding the lack of an audience one bit. The young trio was there for the music and no more. You could feel that it was just one of those lets-jam-and-make-some-music-even-if-the-room-is-empty kind of performances–simple and solid.
When I first heard that one of my favorite DC venues, U Street Music Hall, was putting on a daylong music and food festival, I couldn’t have been happier. It boasted an impressive lineup of artists of both local and international renown and I began counting down the days to the day of the concert. Although there are many festivals around the country this summer, this one easily had one of the most interesting lineups. From UK producer Jamie xx to psychedelic poppers Animal Collective to the entire Moombahton Massive crew, there was something for everyone who was ready to get down.
Going to shows at The Black Cat backstage in the middle of June is a commitment; what you sacrifice in sweat and personal space, you usually make up for with kick ass lineups and dedicated fans. Tomorrow’s bill, featuring the Atlanta bluesy psych band Gringo Star and the seemingly omnipresent, constantly touring NYC band Ski Lodge is no exception, and will no doubt deliver just the right amount of grit and perspiration every good summer concert needs. Read the rest of this entry