Category Archives: Uncategorized
There are many things about Moby’s new album Innocents that will resonate with his prior fans: the atmospheric background of strings, the occasional piano key, and the peculiar softness of Moby’s voice. However, there is one thing about this album that may throw many devout Moby fans off-kilter: the presence of other artists. Moby traditionally is not known for collaborating with other musicians, but has successfully managed to create some of his best compositions yet due to the various arrays of voices and sounds implemented.
The opening track, “Everything That Rises,” is typical of Moby: creating an ambient “safe-space” with synthesized strings against calming drum patterns, but with an extra sitar-esque exoticness that brings the track to another level. “Almost Home” is a track that would be appreciated by fans of artists like Bon Iver, with falsetto-dominated vocals and depressing/inspiring lyrics (depending on which way you decide to take them). The album is full of highly variable tunes; the listener moves from one genre to another just by skipping to the next track, or sometimes not even that. “The Perfect Life” travels from verses filled with distorted, galactic-sounding, warped guitar reminiscent of a Space Odyssey-era David Bowie, to choruses with church choir vocals and powerful female voices.
Innocents may diverge greatly from the dancy disco beats of Moby’s past, but is another step in a similar direction of his most recent albums falling from mainstream appeal. It is an album best appreciated on a cold, autumn night, relaxing with friends. In a world where dubstep and rapid-beat “rager” music dominate mainstream electronic music, it is nice to hear something a little calmer and a lot more beautiful.
Notable Tracks: Everything that Rises, Almost Home, The Perfect Life, Don’t Love Me
Review by Mikaela Moschella
Bristol pop-rockers Neotropics are making waves on the charts recently, and for good reason. Stating that their self-described “nostalgic blend of Sonic 80′s Synth Pop & Modern Anthemic Rock” is catchy is an understatement to the inherently danceable characteristics of their music. Here is a band that sounds like the keyboards of M83 with a tip of the hat to The 1975 (whom they recently opened for at two sell out shows) and pop-punk all conveniently available in one package undoubtedly destined for greatness in the coming months. The three person outfit’s most recent single “Closer” (available on Soundcloud) will likely become your iPod’s guilty pleasure in the coming weeks, like any decent alternative-pop song, but it’s ok to admit that there are some pop performers with a lot of talent. Besides “Closer”, make sure to also listen to “Reflections” for a more downbeat but just as catchy break from all the dancing you’ll be doing.
Review by Conner McInerney
I’ve never been to Black Cat’s Backstage, having always seen the shows upstairs on the Mainstage, so when I got there to see Tennis and Night Sweats, I was a little surprised to find them playing in the tiny Backstage. After all, Tennis is a pretty buzz band, having done a tour to support their second album, Origins, through Europe, North America and elsewhere around the world. They could’ve easily sold the Mainstage by itself, especially with the other bands on the billing such as ON AN ON, Savoir Adore and Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats.
After experiencing mega success with their 2006 debut album, Costello Music, The Fratellis called it quits in 2009. Four years and several side projects later, they regrouped to record their third studio album, We Need Medicine. Before their show at U Street Music Hall, the DC leg of their almost sold-out North American tour, I sat down with bass guitarist, Baz Fratelli, to talk about the band’s past and present.
Perhaps we will remember 2013 in music as the year of hype: Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, Kanye’s Yeezus, and Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City all featured extensive and unconventional marketing campaigns, not to mention scores of crazed Internet fans fawning over their singles and leaked files. On-the-ground promotional stunts like projections, cryptic videos, and rooftop bus rides ranged from being labeled as fun and innovative to excessive and illegal. Mainstream, indie, whatever, it’s becoming impossible for fans to escape this new kind of “creative” advertising that’s sure to be the norm surrounding future high profile releases.
The tactics for Arcade Fire’s fourth studio album, Reflektor were no different – the Reflektor “logo”, based on Haitian veve drawings, sprung up in white spray paint and chalk on city walls all over the country. Even before it had an official name and release date, the album was hugely anticipated. In the month leading up to its release, the band temporarily became “The Reflektors,” performing secrets shows in masks and costumes, including a comical Saturday Night Live special directed by Roman Coppola.
Athens, GA is a cesspool of musical goodness recently. Mama’s Love is just one of a handful of talented groups from the area, specializing in soulful harvest rock. The band’s distinctive 1970s sound features smoky vocals and a sense of ”hairy-chested” revival rock. They’re heading up two consecutive shows with The Royal Noise at The Bayou on Penn this weekend, November 7th and 8th at 10:30pm. You know The Bayou– the New Orleans bar with the purple awning on Pennsylvania avenue on your way to Georgetown. Again, this is the bar we’re talking about, not the apartment above it.
See you there!
Although San Fermin is often described as falling under the incredibly vague and often misleading genre “baroque-pop”, their sound is much more expansive than the narrow scope encapsulated by the phrase. Flowing through their album Thursday night, San Fermin put on an almost operatic performance as they lead the crowd through their concept album (eponymously named San Fermin), which follows a melodramatic male character and an aloof female character through discussions of their relationship, hitting both notes of wistfulness and freneticism. Written by contemporary classical composer, Ellis Ludwig-Leone, the album utilizes his background to tell a lush musical story of the insecurities faced in relationships while the live performance is an ultimately cathartic experience. Read the rest of this entry
They were the band you listened to in high school, or at least you remembered them for their hit singles: “How to Save a Life” and “You Found Me”. Maybe you spent your early angst-filled teens listening to “Over My Head (Cable Car)” to remedy your crush. Maybe nostalgia has you still listening to them.
Grammy nominated rock band, The Fray, played both new and familiar songs for the GW community on the Saturday of Colonials Weekend. It was a night of mutual redemption, with lead singer Isaac Slade’s passionate and soothing vocals filling the Smith Center. Songs like “Turn Me On” hyped up the crowd with its strength of longing, reuniting the band and their fans in concert since their last official tour in Fall 2012.
The line was long and the majority of the crowd was…short. As we walked up to the Black Cat last Saturday to see Jacuzzi Boys, King Tuff, and Wavves, we were met with a wide-ranging crowd in terms of age. There were old D.C. punks who clearly had been frequenting the pit since Fugazi, masses of preteens who were enjoying their first outings of parental freedom, and then the occasional laid back older teenager—of which a strange majority were wearing Hawaiian printed shirts. In lions riding pineapples they trust! [No, really, there was a kid who had that shirt. And it was all right.]
Upon finally making it in after dealing with the disgruntled gatekeeper of the Black Cat, guest list confusion, denial of admittance, more confusion, calls to managers, and the final admittance, Max Blackman [Shoutouts to The Schoolyard, tune into that!] and I made our way to the front. We easily slithered up the side and onto the edge of the pit. I’m not one for mosh pits—I can’t say I enjoy getting man handled and punched by other sweaty individuals. But, I enjoyed watching it. There were some goofy kids hopping and jumping and singing their hearts out while elbowing other kids in the face—and something about it was strikingly heart-warming.
Myron & E are a duo off of Stone Throw’s Records who just released their first album, Broadway. The album begins with the song “Turn Back,” and we are instantly reminded of the opening drum beat from Led Zeppelin’s “Since I’ve Been Loving You”—but the similarities stop there. Myron & E’s actual song is far trippier and reminiscent of a nice drive down a sunny California road. However, their lyrics are strikingly cliché and the voice does not match the soothing vibe the music is trying to achieve. The album improves with “If I Gave You My Love,” because a certain Blues Brothers sax comes through and shows their ability to produce music that is reflective of multiple eras. “Everyday Love” gets you dancing, but the layering of Myron’s voice on the track makes it sound like a bad vocal mash up.