VENUE OF THE WEEK: U Street Music Hall

U Street Music Hall

1115 U Street NW



Photo Courtesy of

Since its opening in 2010, U Street Music Hall has been booking some of the top DJs in the music business; and even if you’re not into electronic music, you’ll be into this venue. Everything about it feeds the soul with something you can only experience from live music. As an added bonus, they include a whole paragraph on their website regarding the U Street Music Foundation, highlighting the importance of music education programs for DC’s youths.

Located in the basement on the side of U Street, this venue means serious business when it comes to how they present themselves. Walking down the street looking at my phone, I almost missed it entirely. Only when I practically ran into a fence did I look up and see the black doors opening up to the black stairs leading into the black room that is U Street Music Hall. With only about 6 stools in total and three booths off to the side, the rest venue is empty space, leaving all the room in the world for dancing (something they stress considerably on their website). The main bar takes up the length of the room with a secondary bar off to the side next to the booths. The red and blue lights, disco balls, two-foot-high stage, and relatively low ceilings all add up to a close, intense feeling that makes every show here enjoyable.

U Street Music Hall houses a lot more talent than just DJs. With upcoming sold out shows such as Lo Fang, Kimbra, and Walk the Moon, this place turns every performance into an intimate connection between the audience and the artist. Walking into this venue makes you feel like you’re about to have one of the best nights of your life. The pounding acoustics make even the lamest people want to get up and dance. Before you decide to purchase tickets, make sure to check the ages for each event, because they do tend to have more 21+ shows. All in all, U Street Music Hall is definitely an important stop to make while in DC.

If you’re interested in booking a show, email them at

Upcoming Shows:

10/29: Digitalism (Live). Steven Faith. Doors at 9. ($15) 18+

11/1: Derrick Garter. Juan Zapata. Joe L. Doors at 10. ($12) 18+

11/2: This Will Destroy You. Future Death. Silent Land Time Machine. Doors at 7. ($15)

11/4: Walk The Moon. Doors at 7. ($20)

11/5: Hot Since 82. Chris Nitti. Doors at 10. ($15) 18+


- Shannon Turner

ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Hannah Diamond


Image Courtesy of Hannah Diamond

Believe me when I say that I’ve spent a very long time trying to figure out what genre Hannah Diamond (and her fellow PC Music cohorts) falls into. She’s pop, but not quite pop. Edgier? More saccharine? Definitely electronic, but almost exclusively so. Her music seems like it was made entirely using computers, no instruments. The list could go on and on, but the point of this is that Hannah Diamond is virtually impossible to lump into only one genre, if at all. In today’s world, everyone is scrambling to smack labels on whatever new music comes out, leading to (sometimes) ridiculous and obscure names in an attempt to explain whatever song / artist you’re listening to. If I were to come up with a genre, it would be something along the lines of sparklewave or ringtonecore. (I’ve even heard the phrase “glitter trap” thrown around.) Disgusting, right?

PC Music, and more specifically, Hannah Diamond, is a prime example of the difficulty of labelling. Don’t get me wrong, I was a fan immediately upon hearing her track “Attachment,” and went on to become obsessed with every other track of hers (2, including a feature on a labelmate’s song) and every subsequent yet-to-be-released track, but every time someone asked me what kind of music she made, I’d find myself stumbling over a long list of adjectives. Hannah Diamond’s music is born out of the internet age. Diamond clearly draws inspiration from all things computerized, as well as everything that is sickly sweet and sparkly. Her almost-chipmunk vocals sound like they shouldn’t work and wouldn’t make sense, and under any other circumstance they wouldn’t, but somehow I can’t imagine her music with out these over-the-top edits. Hannah Diamond’s music is maximalist, leaving no room for guesswork. It’s abrupt, up front, cheeky, and completely new. Give her a listen, and find yourself trying to put her music into just one box.

- Lotanna Obodozie


DMV Local flavor: RDGLDGRN and Redline Graffiti @ 9:30


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I went to the 9:30 club Thursday night, but it felt like I went to a block party. The concert featured RDGLDGRN (pronounced red gold green) with opener and fellow DMV native Redline Graffiti. The best part about the night? The devotion DC fans showed for their local music culture. In a time when DC’ fast-growing urban art scene is emerging from underground to popular venues like the 9:30, RDGLDGRN’s performance demonstrates how much a strong fan base matters.

Redline Graffiti opened up the night with smooth electronic beats and easy-listening vocals. The Indie upstart has a flow familiar to The Internet’s modern R&B feels, and a name referencing a DC landmark only locals will known love. The breezy and memorable tunes such as Junior June and Cuddlebug made the four piece act a perfect opener for a night of DC flavor.

Redline Graffiti warmed up the crowd, and RDGLDGRN brought the party. Before the band came on stage red, gold and green lights flashed to the crowd’s chants. People sported their favorite member’s colors, from red headband’s to hats and shirts from the band’s new merch. Red played guitar, Gold bass, and Green was the front man on vocals, each receiving love from fans in the crowd. For a band starting out, RDGLDGRN did a commendable job gaining loyalty in their hometown.

It is hard to place RDGLDGRN in a single genre of music. The group is clearly based in rock, but Green’s vocals range from pop hooks to raps about life in the DMV. The blend of Indie pop rock with left-field hip hop results in a sound that is stylistically unique. This makes sense for the band who attributes their main influences to Bob Marley and the Beatles, two musical giants who are completely different than the sound of RDGLDGRN but similarly developed their own revolutionary styles in their respective eras. Not to mention, RDGLDGRN has a Go-Go vibe to their rhythms, a reprise of old DC culture that any DMV resident will appreciate.

Their fusion of genres has gained attention from producer Kevin Augunas (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Cold War Kids) who signed them to his label, Fairfax Recordings (Gotye, Tribes). The band has also collaborated with Dave Grohl, who did all the drum backings on they debut self-titled EP. The hip-hop side of their album a was picked up by Pharrel who proceeded to produce their song “Doing the Most”. RDGLDGRN’s first spotlight came when friends, family, and eventually local fans listened to their self-produced song “I Love Lamp” posted on youtube. RDGLDGRN just released “Elevators”, “Turn”, and “Elevators”, the latter the first song for their set at 9:30.

The crowd surprisingly knew a majority of the lyrics, and if you were just a casual fan it was easy to sing along to the catchy and upbeat choruses. The support did not go unnoticed by the trio who returned the love with an energetic performance and the most crowd inclusion I’ve ever seen at the 9:30 club. Green jumped in the barricade, gave out free shirts, and later had some decked out fans up on stage to dance with them. Hosting the band in their home city made RDGLDGRN that more hyped and celebrated. You could say it was the bigger fan base, but I think there’s a bit of DC pride there for a band this good starting up in our backyard. Thursday’s performance reminded me why local music makes the best concerts.

An Interview with DC’s Own Pleasure Curses

Pleasure Curses 3

How did you guys get started?

Evan: Well, we met a long time ago at this music camp Day Jams. It was this weird rock and roll music day camp for little kids to go to. But recently, I was going to school at JMU and his significant other at the time was going to JMU and we met up and started making music after not really talking to each other for like 12 years or something like that. We’ve just kind of been doing this thing ever since.

Jahn: Yes, that is what happened.

What kind of music did you listen to growing up?

Evan: I listened to a lot of hip-hop. My older brother is from Southern California so I had this real weird regiment of older brother hip-hop and pop punk music and stuff. Then I was in a middle school wannabe DC hardcore band so we started listening to Fugazi and then we got really into the scene and we realized we were just 12 year olds in Alexandria not really attached to anything in DC.

Jahn: I listened to a lot of Beatles growing up, like pretty much everybody. My dad was big into Elvis Costello. I think we both mutually shared a love of bands like sort of dance-punk bands. I was in a dance-punk band in England.

Evan: Yeah, early 2000s indie dance that was the coolest thing I was hearing at the time.

Jahn: Respected bands kind of dissolved so we dabbled in electronic music because you don’t need as many people…

Evan: Just a computer.

Jahn: …and we kind of joined our resources to do this.

What would you describe “this” as?

Jahn: People come up to us and say “Do you guys know Depeche Mode?” and it’s like yes, we know of Depeche Mode, New Order, and all that. We’re definitely aware we’re not reinventing the wheel but it’s pop/electro whatever.

Evan: We like making people dance, we like funky music. And fun music and that’s just the mist we’re trying to communicate to people. You know have fun and dance and let loose. What we’re trying to do might not translate perfectly in exactly the right message to someone but as long as you’re receptive to it and you’re digging it, it’s all good. Even if you don’t like it, that’s still a relationship to it so I’m cool with that.

So you guys have a house show later tonight?

Evan: We do. It’s this cool DIY venue. It’s called Mr. HQ. We’re playing with another band Champagne Fever from DC, Output Message from DC, and Alark from NY.

Do you guys do a lot house shows?

Evan: We do. We try to at least, that’s the most fun.

Jahn: We’ve played a lot of sort of shows where we just snuck in before they got shut down, or whoever owned the building decided to turn it into a condo or something.

Evan: It’s such a cool experience of being up in someone else’s business in the best way possible. I’ll be sweating and other people will be sweating with me. I don’t look as weird standing in a radio station. It’s a weird communion at a sweaty night party. It’s the best.

What has been your favorite gig?

Jahn: It’s no longer in existence but we headlined this show at The Dunes and we tried to get off stage and they dragged us back on to do an encore and everybody was feeling it and it was…

Evan: The ideal night.

Jahn: Yeah it’s when people aren’t staring at you blankly…

Evan: Not responsive…

Jahn: …and they was a great show we played in California, Philadelphia. The town was called California in Pennsylvania.

Evan: It was a little college town but it looked like October Sky. It was this little mining community but it was the coolest house show.

Jahn: We were playing in a basement next to the washing machines.

Evan: Everyone was super down for it because it was the only thing to do in the town so they were all really down to hang out and dance and have fun. Our set up is really as self sufficient as we can make it, which can run into problems at times but it’s very portable for these house shows because that’s really our element.

I’m pretty surprised at how condensed you are while still having a very large sound and only being two people, too. That’s truly amazing.

Evan: That’s kind of what we’re shooting for. People come up after shows all the time and say “So when are you guys getting a drummer?” or “Are you guys going to have guitars come with you, being a band?” and I’m open to that and I think we both are because bands are fun but it’s something awesome where I hand him the microphone and we plug in cables and we just start and all the music starts happening and it’s more fun that way.

Plus you drum…

Evan : I like to think I hold it down as much as I can.

Part bassist, part drummer…

Evan: Part paranoid schizophrenic because have to work so many hats but it’s more fun when you can manage it yourself rather than trying to make someone else do it for you. Sometimes it can be mutually not beneficial.

Jahn: and the more people the more dynamics you have to work with. I think if we were playing regularly bigger shows we’d probably expand but at the moment it’s just easier to turn up with this.

Evan [chuckles]: Just to turn up as it were

So do you at this moment have a future goal in mind?

Jahn: Our future goal is when we first started we’re still learning but we were trying to perfect our set up and we didn’t quite know what our sound was and now that’s triangulating into a style. So, we’re going to go outside of Chicago into a house and record and just sort of be isolated…

Evan: …Yeah, bunker down.

Jahn: …There’s like no furniture, running water and heat, no Internet. It’s just isolation, turn our phones off and just try to work vigorously with material we’ve been kicking around.

Evan: Just to expand on all the stuff we’ve learned, playing out way too much around DC and use it with all the new music we’ll hopefully write and be awesome and everyone will love and dance to.

The new song you played, “Burn”, that was awesome live.

Evan: “I’m so glad you like it. That was our main worry because we’ve had a lot of versions of it so when we’ve been working on different versions live it’s always like we don’t know what people respond to each one even if the one we intended to is not that way.

I love that you a) have a bass and b) have live vocals because I don’t think most people associate electronic music with those things nowadays.

Jahn: We’re not DJs but we’re also not a bass, guitar, drums live band. We float in between. We are musicians. We started as musicians. The things that we play, if it’s being triggered by us at the moment it was something that we played at some point live.

Evan: People feel uncomfortable about it. People don’t really know how to place it. We’ve played at places where they probably should’ve gotten a DJ to play thereand nobody appreciates necessarily what we’re doing that’s different from a DJ. “Do you have Beyoncé?” It’s rough but in the same way it means that it’s new and it’s interesting and not the same thing over and over again.

Jahn: The more variety we throw in it the less it feels like a karaoke because I would really feel awful if we were just going up there and just going through the motions, backing tracks where I’m just lip synching.

I know you said you’ll be recording soon. Do we have an album or EP to look forward to?

Evan: It’s hard. Everything is weird because the way that people like to organize songs on the Internet is super weird so we’re trying to figure out how our stuff should be organized and what’s easiest for people to the vibe we’re really trying to communicate for each release we’re working on. I’d say definitely something, definitely an EP maybe a single before that but regardless steady output in the next couple of months. So we’re really excited about that.

Jahn: When we first started we were very excited about what we were doing but still learning so production wise it was like “ok it’s done, it’s done now, let’s put it out immediately” but it’s like no you have to hold your cards a little closer to your chest…

Evan: …But we’re excited and in that way it’s more exciting because you know there’s something you’re excited about that you hope other people will be excited about and it generates this kind of buzz. But you want to show people; you just want to share. It is more quality control at this point.

We just had a conversation about this the other day, how albums are released nowadays and how sometimes they put the singles listings on iTunes, sometimes they don’t, sometimes people drop five singles off an album and how it’s very interesting how it works now.

Evan: It’s definitely interesting. We were just talking about this. We had played a show last night in New York and we were driving back at 3 in the morning and we were talking about how it’s all about context. Because now, there’s no music that doesn’t exist without you knowing a lot about the context of the music and so you have to see how you can package it for people to make it interesting. There’s certain things that people have seen before and even if they’ve seen it before they can think of some creative way to put a cool spin on it so that they receive the material in an interesting way because that’s where we’re at right now. A lot of things have been done. It’s 2014 and music’s been around for quite awhile especially organized music so you have to re-box it and try to put a cool new spin on things.

Jahn: You notice our parents, they grew up on vinyl when they were in college and then they rebought their vinyl collection for cds. They would still listen to it like vinyl, from the first track to the end. So this idea of shuffling and you can choose is not always within them. So I know I grew up with my parents’ sort of greatest hits so when you look at a band’s discography it’s not as shocking that they have a song that’s very different style form song to song. Like what is a track? What is an album?

Evan: Yeah, the Internet makes everything kind of weird. It’s been fun learning the processes of that and learning how to share music with people. You have to be progressive.

Jahn: So our way of being progressive is coming out with vinyl.

Evan: Vinyl is still pretty cool.

So a couple of us noticed you have an 80s flare about your music.

Evan: We love that whole culture; we grew up in that culture. I have a tattoo based on a New Order song so I love the 80s but all we try to do consciously is to really allow it to be an influence and not a box. We want to use that as a reference point and change it and make it a little more modern and run with it as opposed to trying to let it govern what we do. But I can’t fight it. I was a kid and recorded me singing “Personal Jesus” into my dad’s tape recorder and it happened and I can’t take that back. I think we try to use the 80s as much of a tool as we can because we both love it so much.

The DIY music scene is exploding right now, almost as a renaissance in a way. So many people are working together to make these pop-up venues. How do you guys feel you are fitting into that or working within it?

Evan: I love the DIY community in DC. There’s people that are bending over backwards to make things really awesome for people and they don’t have to. Seeing that intrinsic motivation for something you interact with and respect so much is so nice. It’s a great time to be a rising band in DC music.

You guys do a lot of the production and visuals yourselves. Is that all self taught?

Evan: That’s pretty much what we really pride ourselves on is that we started with some knowledge and Jahn has some art background and he went to school for music and I didn’t go to school for music but I’ve always loved music. So we just started doing it. And we didn’t do it great at first so then when you start to try to do it better, you learn a lot. We have self-taught a good deal. It is hard to go on your own morals of “I’m just going to figure this out” but it’s way more rewarding that way.

Jahn: Instead of having friends, I would dick around on computer programs and experiment with shapes and stuff and it helps with an environment if you want people to focus not necessarily on what we’re doing or how cool we look but the vibe. And it’s not about the two of us being in front of you as a spectacle.

Evan: You should just look at each and vibe out and dance. Creating a vibe is key…That’s the tagline for the DC movement we’re trying to do.

Any last thoughts or cool fun facts we should know?

Jahn: Guilty pleasures don’t exist. So if you like a song, and it’s deemed uncool or whatever, it’ll probably come around and become cool again and elements of that. If you like something you shouldn’t be ashamed of what you’re listening to because it’ll come around and be important.

Evan: I want to dance with you. If you’re at a show, I want you to dance and I don’t want you to feel bad about dancing. No one should feel bad about enjoying themselves. I feel like some people think they’re not going to look cool if they’re enjoying themselves and that’s not their fault, that’s the fault of the environment they’re in. And I just want everyone to just pull together and dance. And I don’t think that’s crazy to ask.

Jahn: And anything you do, try to do as much of it as possible. On your own. At least attempt, even if you’re failing, try it yourself because you’ll surprise yourself in how much you can do on your own and how much you’ll learn and become a well-rounded person in your output creatively.

Well, if you ever decide to make a career change, I highly recommend going in the self-help/book writing route.

Evan: Well, we may be coming out with a musical tour and self-help tour and a motivational side project for that then. That’ll be the next move.

Jahn: We should do that. We should do books on tape. “7 Highly Affected Habits of Pleasure Curses”.

An In-Studio with Pleasure Curses (October 10th 2014) by Scar Tissue On Wrgw on Mixcloud


9:30 Club

815 V Street NW


Image Courtesy of

Image Courtesy of


As one of DC’s most well-known venues, the 9:30 Club has been establishing a name for itself since its opening in 1980. During its younger years, the club hosted mainly alternative and local bands and artists, and eventually became the home for DC’s punk scene. As the years progressed, the 9:30 club became a hot spot for all types of artists, booking bigger shows for The Ramones, Bob Dylan, The Beastie Boys, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the like.

With such a rich history in its back pocket, the 9:30 club radiates a classic ambiance. On the outside, it looks like just another brick warehouse with a couple of blue accents around the door. And if you’re visiting for the first time in the daylight, you might not actually be sure you’re in the right place. But as soon as you walk in it hits you. You’ve just stepped inside the epitome of a great venue. With standing room only, you can either stay on the main floor or go upstairs to the balcony, which borders the walls around the stage. I prefer the main floor because nothing can replace the feeling of being just a couple feet away from your favorite band. However, you can get a great view and perfect sound wherever you choose to stand.

Although the 9:30 club started out as a punk/alternative/rock hub, the venue has blossomed to envelop many more types of music. Allowing all ages to attend every show encourages both young and old alike to come and appreciate incredible bands and artists in the comfort of one of DC’s supreme venues. No other location has such musical history and character. If you haven’t been yet, go buy tickets for a show right now. Everyone who lives in the district needs to attend a performance at the 9:30 club at least once to fully experience the magic.

If you’re interested in booking a show, email them at

Upcoming Shows

10/24: The Jayhawks. Trapper Schoepp. Doors at 5:30. ($35)

10/28: Temples. Spires. Doors at 7. ($22)

10/31: Smallpools. Magic Man. Waters. Doors at 5. ($18)

11/1: Run The Jewels. Ratking. Despot. Doors at 10. ($25)

11/7: The Budos Band. Electric Citizen. Doors at 8. ($20)


- Shannon Turner


The Foo Fighters To Host Surprise Show At Black Cat

Courtesy of Black Cat

Courtesy of Black Cat

On Friday the Foo Fighters will be returning to famed D.C. venue Black Cat to film for their new HBO series Sonic Highways. Unfortunately for the casual fan, tickets sold out within the first 90 minutes of the show’s announcement on Tuesday in a rather frantic and social media driven race to the box office.

The venue unveiled their bombshell at 2:00 this afternoon, and soon after began providing potential ticket-buyers with humorously stark play-by-play tweets outlining the next to impossible chance of one even seeing- let alone purchasing- a ticket. In response, hopefuls camped outside of Black Cat for hours in a line that spanned over a block and a half; predictably, many went home defeated.

While I have never been a Foo Fighters fan, there is no denying that Friday will be both electric and well deserved. It is only right that The Foo Fighters feature D.C. as one of the cities on their new show, which aims to highlight the evolution of American music. The District lays claim to some of the most progressive and variable punk bands of the 80’s, as well as being the birthplace of Go-go. Of mainstream musicians today, Grohl seems to be one of the more aloof in terms of appreciating music culture and the impact it has had on defining generational rifts, and I’ll guess that in addition to a spectacular show, the Black Cat will host a more somber element on Friday; one of recognition for a city that has done so much for so many.

-Elliot Greiner

Shows To Know: Snakehips & STWO @ U Street Music Hall 10/22


Purveyors of all things involving awesome electronic music in the District, Closed Sessions is back at it and they’re bringing Snakehips and STWO (along with Royal and Hunt For The Breeze) to U Street Music Hall this Wednesday. Happy hump day!

SNAKEHIPS: For some reason, music made in the UK (and beyond) always slaps, and Snakehips is no exception to this rule. Their particular brand of electronic music is entrenched in soulful vocals, swishy synths, and deep bass. Is slow-house a thing because if so, Snakehips has it down pat. Their music manages to blend elements of house and soul, with a warmth that is not to be lost on the dance floor. Their remixes are amazing. Their original songs are amazing. This is a show you cannot miss.

STWO: Pop over to France, and there you’ll find STWO. Combining elements of trap, chillwave, and a whole lot of bass, this Parisian’s sounds will be right at home at U Hall. His songs are darker and moodier than his co-headliner, and this balance will provide for a great show.

Get there early, and catch DC natives, Royal and Hunt For The Breeze lay down some rad sets. See you there!

- Lotanna Obodozie

VENUE OF THE WEEK: The Howard Theatre

The Howard Theatre

620 T Street NW


Courtesy of The Howard Theatre

Image Courtesy of The Howard Theatre

The Howard Theatre is probably one of the most beautiful venues I have ever been to; it’s definitely the cleanest. People could roll around on the floor and stand up cleaner than they were before. I was almost afraid to touch anything, fearful that I would taint such a magnificent building. But even with all of the mind-blowing splendor, The Howard Theatre has an extremely grounded feel that makes you crave for more places like this.

When I first walked up to the venue, I honest-to-god thought I had travelled back in time and was about to step into the 30s. The building itself was built in 1910 and restored only a couple years ago to its full grace and beauty. The lobby and main room both have incredibly high ceilings, making you feel microscopic in the vastness of such a place. The bar is close to the main room doors so when you actually go far enough in, the venue opens up like a clam with tons of room on the floor to go crazy with dancing. The entire building is designed to look like an old-school theater, and boy do they accomplish that.

The Howard Theatre hosts so many various events, including a weekly Sunday brunch that has a great menu of real soul food- it puts Founding Farmers to shame. They aim so far to please their customers that on their website there is a tab specifically for regular people to request an artist to come and play for them at the theatre. And with all shows appropriate for every age, they know how to draw in a crowd. Everything about The Howard Theatre just screams classy. I would definitely recommend checking this venue out because nothing else even compares.

If you’re interested in booking a show, go online at and send them a message!

Upcoming Shows:

10/20: Gregory Porter. Doors at 6. ($37.50-$70)

10/21: Mali Music – Jordan Bratton. Doors at 6. ($25-$40)

10/22: Cocoa Tea in Concert ft. Etana & Louie Culture. Step by Step Band. Doors at 6. ($25-$60)

10/23: Leisure Cruise. The Asteroids Galaxy Tour. Doors at 6. ($15 in advance, $17 at door)

10/24: DJ Zu. Keith Sweat. Doors at 6. ($46.50 in advance, $55 at door)


- Shannon Turner

THE DC MoVement: DCMD & Raise Your City’s Autumn Spectacular

Autumn Spectacular

A night of great local music, art, and comedy, DC Music Download and Raise Your City present their Autumn Spectacular to raise money for the Guitars Not Guns foundation. Their fall event celebrates and promotes local music- something that D.C. has no shortage of.



Typefighter is a garage pop band with enough teenage angst to make you want to dance in your underwear. Their punk meets glam rock vibe makes you want to bob your head along to their uptempo emo streams through you.




The Sea Life is bubbly dreampop band with an easy flow that makes your body sway. Their cleverly titled track “Prozac & Merlot” was recorded in their living room, proving their true indie status.

They also have a show October 18th at The Lot @ Atlantic Plumbing.


Teen Mom is like a toned-down version of Joan Jett. (Can I say this if it’s an all dude band?) They’re fuzz pop meets indie rock with the same deep vocals. They’ve got an edge and a sampling of punk they’ve managed to mix with an soft elegance.



They have a house show on October 12th as well.

lowercase letters

lowercase letters is an R&B meets soulful indie band with female vocals to die for. Her soothing, sultry voice makes you get lost in the music. Combined with they’re sweet guitar riffs, lowercase letters is an eclectic conglomeration of indie rock and PBR&B.


Shows to Know- The Funk Ark and Black Masala @ Black Cat -10/10

On October 10 Black Cat will be hosting the album release of one of D.C.’s most innovative funk groups, The Funk Ark, accompanied by gypsy-brass act Black Masala. The Funk Ark has been a large part of the D.C. funk scene since its inception just a few years ago, and is known for its deep-driving funk and Afro-beat grooves that drip with a vivid sense of rhythm and drive. The seven-piece outfit’s upcoming release, Man is A Monster, is the next addition to an already stellar discography, which started with 2011’s spirited declaration, From The Rooftops. The band is remarkable for their technically stunning interplay that weaves through grooves that are as engaging as they are inventive, and culminate in a funk-rock vibe that hearkens back to the late sixties.

Black Masala is a D.C. outfit that has found success riding off of its own inventiveness. Experimenting with a flirtatious combination of gypsy punkiness and brass, the band can expertly churn an audience of awkward head-bobbers into a livened stew of aspirant dancers. Their big-band sound seems able to adapt to any venue; readily filling out the cavernous space of the 9:30 while simultaneously fitting to match the intimacy of Tropicalia. For them, no groove is off limits.

-Elliot Greiner


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