NEW TRACKS: Generationals, “Black Lemon”
The Generationals’ new track, “Black Lemon,” is just what we need to hang on to these last moments of summer. As with everything that Generationals produces, “Black Lemon” is sweet, easy-going, and upbeat. I’ve been following this duo for a while now (my first ever Half Past blog post was about Generationals and how much they rock) and with each album, Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer polish their retro pop foundation even more. Get psyched because album number four, Alix, comes out 9/16!
See Generationals at U Street Music Hall on Saturday, October 11!
SHOW PREVIEW: We Are Scientists & Surfer Blood at U Street Music Hall
Sometimes there exists a lineup so delectable, so wonderfully crafted, it would be a huge bummer to pass it up. This is one of those times. Friday, October 3rd at UHall will feature not only the tried-and-true pop rock of scene vets We Are Scientists, but the (sort of) fresh-faced Floridian guitar slacktivism of Surfer Blood.
Surfer Blood made waves (sorry) with 2010’s awesome Astro Coast, created the ole-fashioned way – as lo-fi as possible, in a dorm room. They then released 2013’s Pythons, a display of maturing songwriting that sacrificed none of the band’s love of loud guitars, the ocean, and weird cryptic metaphors. Their live shows flawlessly translate their crunchy shoegaze, swirling around in deep sea blue light. There’s also the occasional weird choreography. But if maritime shoegaze isn’t your thing…
We Are Scientists’ great 2014 release TV en Français is filled with smart, personal pop tunes dusted with cynicism. Unsurprising given their 14-year career. But don’t let that fool you into thinking they’re not in the prime of their lives. As the recent tour-shot video for “Sprinkles” shows, they’ve never had more fun playing live shows. You, yes YOU, could witness the same spectacular events captured in the video, simply by buying a ticket! We can’t outright promise strip teasing singers or crowd surfing bassists, but we can strongly hint.
Catch We Are Scientists & Surfer Blood at U Street Music Hall on Friday, October 3!
SHOW PREVIEW: Benjamin Booker
Who’s Benjamin Booker? Well, he’s a 25-year-old blues rocker from Tampa Bay, FL, and his self-titled debut album hits stores today! The album was produced by Andrija Tokic, who has also produced albums for Alabama Shakes and Hurray For The Riff Raff. The opening track is his single, “Violent Shiver,” and the first thing you’ll notice is the extremely catchy blues riff that recurs throughout the song and leads straight into his noticeably raspy vocals. The whole album consists of plenty of fast-paced blues rock with several tracks that slow down a bit without losing your interest.
So, he nailed down a good producer for his debut album. Pretty good start, right? Welp, there’s more. Over the course of the summer, Benjamin spent much of June opening for Courtney Barnett, as well as eight dates in July with Jack White (!), arguably the best in the biz right now. Not only that, but he scored slots in the lineups of Lollapalooza, Newport Folk Festival, and Austin City Limits… And all of this happened before the guy even released an album! This guy’s on a roll, and it’s only just the beginning.
After all of these huge shows, now he’s playing U Street Music Hall, and seeing him in that intimate of a setting is an absolute steal.
9:30 presents Benjamin Booker at U Street Music Hall on Monday, October 20!
SHOW PREVIEW: Rubblebucket
As hard-touring indie darlings go, it’s hard to find a group with more clocked experience than Rubblebucket. The Brooklyn, NY dance pop group incorporates all kinds of pseudo-world sounds in its bright tunes, drawing from the more tropical ethnic neighborhoods of the Big Apple. They’re kind of like Friendly Fires at a Cuban dance hall. Taking that global-mindedness to its logical next step, they’ve played pretty much everywhere. They’re adept at bringing the party to as many spaces as they can manage. Their touring ensemble is approaching Arcade Fire-sized, and once you see them at U Street Music Hall, you’ll understand why their live show has garnered awards and critical praise.
Rubblebucket will play U Street Music Hall on Friday, September 19. Tickets are still available.
SHOW PREVIEW: Sir Sly & Wolf Gang
If I told you that you could see two amazingly talented bands co-headline in a super intimate space, would you be pumped? Of course you would be. Well, it just so happens that two super awesome bands, Sir Sly and Wolf Gang, are teaming up for a rad fall tour. Sir Sly is a three-piece indie-pop band from Los Angeles which has found considerable success in its short two years together. The song “Gold” has reached 27th on the US Alt Rock charts and was featured in commercials for the popular video games Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and MLB 14: The Show. Sir Sly’s debut EP Gold is dark but still distinctly pop and singer Landon Jacobs’ unique voice shines. Wolf Gang is a four-piece from London, England and has opened for some of music’s biggest names like Coldplay, Keane, and The Killers. The band’s debut album, Suego Faults, cracked the Top 100 on the UK Charts and singles off the record were featured on hit shows like Gossip Girl. Right now, Wolf Gang’s Black River EP is out everywhere and the second album is set for release this year. Now, seeing either of these bands live would awesome but both on one stage is a once-in-a-lifetime event. So what are you waiting for? Get on these tickets before it’s too late!
Sir Sly & Wolf Gang will perform at U Street Music Hall on September 8.
SHOW PREVIEW: Ben Ottewell
When you listen to Gomez it’s pretty impressive that Ben Ottewell’s voice stands out in the crowd. Coming from a band with three singers, Ben Ottewell leaves a pretty strong impression. If you’re unfamiliar with the name, he’s the one with the deliciously raspy voice. Not quite Tom Waits-raspy, but you’ll still know it when you hear it.
Now touring in support of his now second solo album Rattlebag, which was funded through Indiegogo and is only available to buy at his shows, Ottewell is establishing his cred as a solo artist. While not quite the same as Gomez, his solo sound should be pretty familiar — the voice is there, of course, but the instrumentation is a little darker and a little more acoustic than his work with the band.
If you’re unsure what to expect at the show, don’t you worry, he’s said himself that he’ll be playing songs from both his solo albums along with some Gomez favorites.
Ben Ottewell will perform at U Street Music Hall TOMORROW, June 19!
SHOW PREVIEW: Fanfarlo
So what exactly is a Fanfarlo? While the band’s name was derived from 19th century French poet Charles Baudelaire’s novella “La Fanfarlo,” this indie pop five-piece from across the pond boasts tunes that are far from old and stuffy. Orchestral pop brilliance ensues when old tired instruments such as mandolins, cellos, and clarinets are beautifully blended with a rousing guitar and a touch of good old stompin’ and clappin.’ Formed in London circa 2006, Fanfarlo consists of main songwriter Simon Balthazar (a dude blessed with an awesome last name and killer vocals), Cathy Lucas, Leon Beckenham, Justin Finch, and Amos Memon. For fans of The Head and The Heart, Freelance Whales, and Broken Bells, Fanfarlo’s infectious folk-pop beats are sure to inspire. 2014 is set to be one hell of a year for the five-piece, with a brand new album: Let’s Go Extinct fresh on the shelves, and a hot spring tour underway. If you’re looking for a good time, be sure to check out Fanfarlo live at U Street Music Hall April 26.
Fanfarlo will perform at U Street Music Hall on April 26.
SHOW PREVIEW: MØ
Whether you know it or not, you’ve probably heard MØ before. The Danish singer has lent her hypnotic voice to big name electronic musicians like Avicii and Diplo throughout 2013, making her a contender for the queen of cool collabs. Fueling the success, 2014 is going to be MØ’s biggest year yet. The songbird just released her debut No Mythologies to Follow, a powerful, dance-infused album full of soon to be hits. For fans of AlunaGeorge and/or Quadron, MØ’s got a similar vibe, you’ll dig tracks like her popular “Don’t Wanna Dance” and the funky cool “XXX 88”. If you’re as fond of this wonderful lady as we are, be sure to check out MØ live at U Street Music Hall.
MØ will perform at U Street Music Hall on May 20.