CONTEST: RAC Tickets + Shirts
RAC’s career is a unique one. What originally started as an international collective of remixers has since essentially become the solo project of André Allen Anjos. Anjos, who founded RAC in 2007, began infiltrating the music world by directly emailing artists and their agents, asking to do remixes of their material. His big break came when he was given the go-ahead to remix The Shins’ “Sleeping Lessons.” That remix inevitably caught the attention of indie royalty like Tokyo Police Club and Ra Ra Riot, and paved the way for what RAC now is 7 years, 200 remixes, and 1 original album later.
On the heels of releasing Strangers (the aforementioned album of originals that features vocals from the likes of Tegan & Sara and St. Lucia)earlier this year, RAC is embarking on the “Something Classic” tour. In addition to carrying Penguin Prison and Speak (both of whom were guests on Strangers) as support, the tour also features live vocals by RAC collaborators Karl Kling and Pink Feathers.
For your chance to win a pair of tickets to the Club date of the “Something Classic” tour and a sweet RAC shirt, email email@example.com with the subject line “RAC Classic” to tell us your favorite remix RAC’s ever done. Two lucky winners will be chosen Wednesday, October 22 at 5pm.
REASONS TO COME EARLY: Wet
Like an overblown, delicate flower that’s four times the normal size of a regular one, Wet employs an elegant sparseness that strikes hard. Juxtapositions are rampant with Wet. The EP cover displays a black, shapeless, stone statue that, at the same time, has a face and hands that hold more meaning than I can make out. The band’s website, http://kanyewet.biz, is appropriately tongue-in-cheek, but don’t misunderstand - this is a serious affair.
“Feel all those feelings but don’t make that call” is the standout line in the opening song, “Dreams,” which expresses the conflict of emotions that dominate the bulk of the songwriting on the EP. Not to mention, the stutter beat pairs perfectly with the sentiment. These same ideas are again immediately present on the next song, “You’re the Best,” with the line “All I know is / when you hold me / I still feel lonely / lonely when you hold me.” The lyrics are cold, then a guitar strums some warmth into the song. Bright chords and scattered, trappy elements really do an amazing job at masking the desperation of trying to figure it all out.
The entire endeavor leads up to the unfurling of the bloom that is “No Lie,” the final song of the EP. It’s just that - the most honest, straightforward track, exposing raw emotions after so much unsureness. “Rain keeps falling / you don’t call me / I can’t shake this / I’m so anxious,” is sung in the middle of the song before the beat picks up and lead singer Kelly Zutrau sings, “I’ve had enough” and decides it’s “time to give it up.” The soul power behind Wet is finally exuded to close out this spectacularly emotion-filled EP.
SHOW PREVIEW: 9:30 presents Lo-Fang at U Street Music Hall
Matthew Hemerlein, known to most as Lo-Fang, is bringing classical music to the indie rock world and we love it! After opening up for pop queen Lorde on her US tour earlier this year, Lo-Fang has been gaining attention for his smooth voice, sharp lyrics, and ability to play a myriad of instruments. The Columbia, Maryland native is classically trained in violin, cello, bass, piano, and guitar—he performs all the instrumentation on his debut, Blue Film. Hemerlein takes his old school skill set and expertly blends it with modern indie rock/electronic music, creating a sound that’s entirely his own.
Blue Film was recorded all over the world. From Cambodia, Bali, and London to his parents’ home in Maryland, the album was inspired by Hemerlein’s nomadic musings. His desire for wanderlust is directly translated to Blue Film as Hemerlein explores a musical genre that he’s crafted for himself. It also features two covers: a steamy version of Boy’s “Boris” and a haunting take on the Grease hit “You’re the One that I Want,” which both showcase Lo-Fang’s ability to turn any song into one of the coolest tunes you’ve ever heard. If you’re looking to celebrate Halloween in style this year, be sure to snag your tickets to see Lo-Fang perform at U Street Music Hall on October 31st!
NEW TRACKS: “Harvest Home” - Mark Lanegan
Mark Lanegan’s craggy voice serves as an appropriately grave tour guide on his new track, “Harvest Home.” The song starts off with jangly guitar, playing an arpeggio figure with a delay effect. A muscular drumbeat joins, followed by Lanegan. He says that he’s happy, but the image of him “walking the floors with the ghosts all alone” hints otherwise. Eventually, an eerie synth comes in, adding to the moody melodrama. It all adds up to a solid little tune, boding well for Lanegan’s new album Phantom Radio, due out later this month.
REASONS TO COME EARLY: The Family Crest
You know how you have a list of your favorite songs, not necessarily written down but filed and placed in your head somewhere? Well, one on my list is “Marry Me” by The Family Crest off of The Headwinds EP. It’s swooping strings and haunting horns build the orchestra-like-sound to the climactic line, “Marry me marry me love our symmetry it simply defines us / Marry me marry me love my dear.” Now, what warm-blooded female would not like that lyric?
I then began to listen to more from the quirky San Francisco-based indie band. With songs like “Love Don’t Go” and “The World,” my appetite for continuously high energy building melodies was fulfilled. I learned quickly that this band does not adhere to conventions, but is ambitiously pursuing a pathway where the artist and audience become one.
This seven-piece, core band has worked with an “extended family” of 400 members. Yep, that’s right - 400 - on their 2 EPs and 2 LPs. The zany bunch is all about creating an interactive community for their music. Laura Bergmann (flute/keys) says, “We live in a very disconnected age, so it’s a really special experience to have a recording session in a café that’s open to the public and to sing next to people you’ve never met before, doing something together that’s tangible and very meaningful.” Connecting communities through music is what The Family Crest is all about, and I like it.
Come early to connect with The Family Crest later this month on Monday October 13th at U Street Music Hall! They’re opening for Motopony, and you won’t want to miss the cinematic-esque boundless soundscapes of the artistic collective known as The Family Crest.
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.
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!
DC HAPPENING: Capitol Bacon Festival
There’s not much in this world we love more than music, but bacon’s definitely up there. Luckily for us, our partner Capitol Bacon Festival is blending the best of both the bacon and music worlds this Saturday, September 20!
Taking place at the Half Street Fairgrounds (near Nats Stadium), the Capitol Bacon Festival celebrates America’s favorite breakfast meat with a jam-packed day of cooking demos, bacon tastings, an eating competition, and much more. With a menu featuring 40,000+ bacon-loaded items, including candied bacon, bacon jerky, and bacon on a stick, this is truly the Bacon Lover’s Dream.
And who doesn’t love jammin’ while gettin’ their grub on? Regional bands Dale and the ZDubs, Warden, Chasing Verity, and others will be provide the perfect soundtrack for your love affair with all types of bacony goodness.
Catch us between bacon bites at the 9:30 Club table, where we’ll be giving away tickets to 9:30 presents Stick Figure at U Street Music Hall, I.M.P. presents Beats Antique at Echostage, and Run the Jewels at 9:30 Club!