SHOW PREVIEW: 9:30 Presents Sondre Lerche at U Street Music Hall
Norwegian darling Sondre Lerche releases Please tomorrow, September 23. It is Lerche’s first collection of brand new songs since his 2011 eponymous album. And just three days later, he’ll be in town for a show at U Street Music Hall.
The singer-songwriter has been professionally recording for 14 years now. He was discovered as a Bergen teen, playing underage in a club where his older sister worked. He completed his debut LP, Faces Down, in 2000, but the release was delayed until 2001 in Norway so that he could finish high school. The record did not reach the States until 2002, where it was noticed. Six albums later, Lerche has maintained comfortable popularity worldwide.
Lerche is a melody-maker; a master of arrangements. He has a firm grasp of sounds, effortlessly moving throughout genres. Classifying his music is so easy, it’s hard. His cherished A-ha, Elvis Costello, and bossa nova can be heard all at once. The lyrics are quirky - at times amusing in their simplicity and flatness - an endearing quality that can be found only in the English of a foreigner. 
Slight of build, Lerche still possesses, in essence, the exact same doe-eyed-face of his 17 year old self. He is particularly beloved in his home country and recently appeared on a Norwegian postage stamp, looking like a cosmonaut. Actually, he always somewhat looks like a cosmonaut, a Soviet one—think Yuri Gagarin—bright, calm, earnest.
As Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks is often referred to as his “divorce album,” so we have Lerche’s. After 7 years of marriage, Lerche and actress/model/director Mona Fastvold quietly divorced in 2013. (They met when she appeared as “The Girl” in the music video to accompany “Days That Are Over,” off Two Way Monologue.) His label, on which Please will appear, is (still) called Mona Records. 
The first single, “Bad Law,” is uncharacteristically biting. Hear him sing-song-sneer the lyrics of the electro-dance track, alongside a fuzzy guitar. It’s fun! But almost not quite. The accompanying video features a sloppy Lerche terrorizing his way through a party - tearing down streamers, gulping liquor from the bottle, dancing like a fool possessed - and was apparently based on actual events. Check it out; he gives one hell of a performance.
Making music half his life, Lerche has remained ostensibly inoffensive, charming, profanity-free. At the risk of sounding crass, let’s look forward to some edge from this handsome boy-wonder. 
-Ren Cooper
See Sondre Lerche on Friday, September 26 at U Street Music Hall!

SHOW PREVIEW: 9:30 Presents Sondre Lerche at U Street Music Hall

Norwegian darling Sondre Lerche releases Please tomorrow, September 23. It is Lerche’s first collection of brand new songs since his 2011 eponymous album. And just three days later, he’ll be in town for a show at U Street Music Hall.

The singer-songwriter has been professionally recording for 14 years now. He was discovered as a Bergen teen, playing underage in a club where his older sister worked. He completed his debut LP, Faces Down, in 2000, but the release was delayed until 2001 in Norway so that he could finish high school. The record did not reach the States until 2002, where it was noticed. Six albums later, Lerche has maintained comfortable popularity worldwide.

Lerche is a melody-maker; a master of arrangements. He has a firm grasp of sounds, effortlessly moving throughout genres. Classifying his music is so easy, it’s hard. His cherished A-ha, Elvis Costello, and bossa nova can be heard all at once. The lyrics are quirky - at times amusing in their simplicity and flatness - an endearing quality that can be found only in the English of a foreigner. 

Slight of build, Lerche still possesses, in essence, the exact same doe-eyed-face of his 17 year old self. He is particularly beloved in his home country and recently appeared on a Norwegian postage stamp, looking like a cosmonaut. Actually, he always somewhat looks like a cosmonaut, a Soviet one—think Yuri Gagarin—bright, calm, earnest.

As Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks is often referred to as his “divorce album,” so we have Lerche’s. After 7 years of marriage, Lerche and actress/model/director Mona Fastvold quietly divorced in 2013. (They met when she appeared as “The Girl” in the music video to accompany “Days That Are Over,” off Two Way Monologue.) His label, on which Please will appear, is (still) called Mona Records. 

The first single, “Bad Law,” is uncharacteristically biting. Hear him sing-song-sneer the lyrics of the electro-dance track, alongside a fuzzy guitar. It’s fun! But almost not quite. The accompanying video features a sloppy Lerche terrorizing his way through a party - tearing down streamers, gulping liquor from the bottle, dancing like a fool possessed - and was apparently based on actual events. Check it out; he gives one hell of a performance.

Making music half his life, Lerche has remained ostensibly inoffensive, charming, profanity-free. At the risk of sounding crass, let’s look forward to some edge from this handsome boy-wonder. 

-Ren Cooper

See Sondre Lerche on Friday, September 26 at U Street Music Hall!

The uber talented Kiesza takes over our Instagram on 9/24 ahead of her 9:30 presents show! Be sure to follow along and double tap/comment on her pictures for your chance to win a pair of tickets to the sold out show!

The uber talented Kiesza takes over our Instagram on 9/24 ahead of her 9:30 presents show! Be sure to follow along and double tap/comment on her pictures for your chance to win a pair of tickets to the sold out show!

ALBUM REVIEW: Generationals - Alix

I don’t know about you, but I have been mourning the end of summer since the first day I had to wear shoes that aren’t flip flops. The upcoming days of jackets, scarves, and piles of snow have me desperately trying to hold onto the carefree feeling of summer. Well, I guess New Orleans duo Generationals heard my prayers because their new album, Alix, is the perfect summer record.

Generationals’ Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer have perfected the art of indie-rock/electronic music and are definitely delivering on their new, fourth release. Alix shows off the duo’s vocal talents, particularly their smooth falsetto, and proves that these two know exactly how to craft the perfect track. Songs like “Welcome to the Fire” have a distinct ’80s vibe but still retain modernity, mostly due to the band’s vocals.

This record was produced by alt-rock superstar Richard Swift who has also worked with The Shins, Foxygen, and Guster. His influence can definitely be seen throughout the record with some Shins-esque beats on tracks like “Now Look At Me.”

So, if you’re like me and struggling to accept the end of sunshine and sand, make sure to send a thank-you to Generationals for providing a summery gem exactly when we need it most.

-Janice Freeman

See Generationals on Saturday, October 11 at U Street Music Hall!

SHOW PREVIEW: 9:30 Presents How to Dress Well at U Street Music Hall
If I told you that you could see a super critically acclaimed, crazy talented artist perform in a super intimate venue, would you be frickin’ pumped? Of course you would. Well, it must be your lucky day because awesomely talented singer, How to Dress Well, is coming for DC on Saturday.
Since beginning his music career in 2009 by posting free EPs on his blog, Tom Krell (aka How to Dress Well) has released three very well received studio albums. The artist’s complex sounds have earned the attention of the music review website, Pitchfork, which has designated each of How to Dress Well’s albums as “Best New Music.” Stereogum listed How to Dress Well as one of the “40 Best Bands of 2010” after the debut record, Love Remains,was released.

Sonically, How to Dress Well is one of the most layered and complex artists out there. Krell’s beautiful falsetto melds perfectly with his ambient-rock-meets-R&B sound. So, get ready for an incredible, moving, and beautiful performance and make sure to get yourself down to UHall on 9/20.
-Janice Freeman
See How to Dress Well at U Street Music Hall on Saturday, September 20!

SHOW PREVIEW: 9:30 Presents How to Dress Well at U Street Music Hall

If I told you that you could see a super critically acclaimed, crazy talented artist perform in a super intimate venue, would you be frickin’ pumped? Of course you would. Well, it must be your lucky day because awesomely talented singer, How to Dress Well, is coming for DC on Saturday.

Since beginning his music career in 2009 by posting free EPs on his blog, Tom Krell (aka How to Dress Well) has released three very well received studio albums. The artist’s complex sounds have earned the attention of the music review website, Pitchfork, which has designated each of How to Dress Well’s albums as “Best New Music.” Stereogum listed How to Dress Well as one of the “40 Best Bands of 2010” after the debut record, Love Remains,was released.

Sonically, How to Dress Well is one of the most layered and complex artists out there. Krell’s beautiful falsetto melds perfectly with his ambient-rock-meets-R&B sound. So, get ready for an incredible, moving, and beautiful performance and make sure to get yourself down to UHall on 9/20.

-Janice Freeman

See How to Dress Well at U Street Music Hall on Saturday, September 20!

SHOW PREVIEW: 9:30 Presents Generationals at U Street Music Hall 
If you’re like me and are trying to hang on to summer for as long as humanly possible, look no further than Generationals. Grant Widmer and Ted Joyner, the duo responsible for these old-school tunes, have nailed indie pop. The New Orleans natives have been friends since childhood and were members of The Eames Era until 2008, resulting in creative collaborations long before Generationals came to be. Post-The Eames Era, the two began making modern day indie rock songs infused with sunshine pop from the ‘60s and ‘70s under their new name. Tracks like “When They Fight, They Fight” and “Put a Light On” are bright, airy, and so incredibly catchy, you’ll happily be listening to the band on repeat to bring back that sweet summer nostalgia. 
The bands’ fourth studio album, Alix, will be released September 16th, so that gives you plenty of time to learn those tunes before they grace the U Hall stage! Catch Generationals at U Street Music Hall on October 11th. 
-Kelly McDonald

SHOW PREVIEW: 9:30 Presents Generationals at U Street Music Hall 

If you’re like me and are trying to hang on to summer for as long as humanly possible, look no further than Generationals. Grant Widmer and Ted Joyner, the duo responsible for these old-school tunes, have nailed indie pop. The New Orleans natives have been friends since childhood and were members of The Eames Era until 2008, resulting in creative collaborations long before Generationals came to be. Post-The Eames Era, the two began making modern day indie rock songs infused with sunshine pop from the ‘60s and ‘70s under their new name. Tracks like “When They Fight, They Fight” and “Put a Light On” are bright, airy, and so incredibly catchy, you’ll happily be listening to the band on repeat to bring back that sweet summer nostalgia. 

The bands’ fourth studio album, Alix, will be released September 16th, so that gives you plenty of time to learn those tunes before they grace the U Hall stage! Catch Generationals at U Street Music Hall on October 11th

-Kelly McDonald

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!

-Emily Hirsch

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.
-Kelsey Butterworth
Catch We Are Scientists & Surfer Blood at U Street Music Hall on Friday, October 3!

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.

-Kelsey Butterworth

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.
-Alec Moss
9:30 presents Benjamin Booker at U Street Music Hall on Monday, October 20!

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.

-Alec Moss

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.
-Kelsey Butterworth
Rubblebucket will play U Street Music Hall on Friday, September 19. Tickets are still available. 

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.

-Kelsey Butterworth

Rubblebucket will play U Street Music Hall on Friday, September 19. Tickets are still available.