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!

WE LOVE OUR PARTNERS: Zipcar
Now, “having wheels when you want them” is easier than ever thanks to our partner Zipcar. The car sharing service, with locations throughout the District and surrounding areas, allows non-car owners to use vehicles for those trips that just aren’t possible with metro or bus.
Zipcar is even on District university campuses. Through ZipcarU, students can easily reserve and utilize Zipcar for everything from grocery shopping to weekend getaways and attending concerts!
Zipcar representatives will be on local campuses in coming months. Find out when they’re coming to your campus (below) so you can set up an account and hit the road to Echostage, Patriot Center, and more! Who knows - your first Zipcar trip may just be to see Little Dragon at Echostage on October 15. Visit with Zipcar on your campus for your chance to win tickets!

George Mason University - September 29
American University - September 30
Howard University - October 1
University of Maryland - October 2 

WE LOVE OUR PARTNERS: Zipcar

Now, “having wheels when you want them” is easier than ever thanks to our partner Zipcar. The car sharing service, with locations throughout the District and surrounding areas, allows non-car owners to use vehicles for those trips that just aren’t possible with metro or bus.

Zipcar is even on District university campuses. Through ZipcarU, students can easily reserve and utilize Zipcar for everything from grocery shopping to weekend getaways and attending concerts!

Zipcar representatives will be on local campuses in coming months. Find out when they’re coming to your campus (below) so you can set up an account and hit the road to Echostage, Patriot Center, and more! Who knows - your first Zipcar trip may just be to see Little Dragon at Echostage on October 15. Visit with Zipcar on your campus for your chance to win tickets!

George Mason University - September 29

American University - September 30

Howard University - October 1

University of Maryland - October 2 

CONTEST: Signed Copy of MØ’s No Mythologies to Follow
If you haven’t yet heard MØ’s No Mythologies to Follow, what are you waiting for?! The Danish singer-songwriter’s debut album is a twenty-song amalgamation of electronica, indie pop, and soul that keeps spirits high and smiles wide. As we found out at the energetic songstresses’ U Street Music Hall show earlier this year, songs like “Walk This Way” and “Don’t Wanna Dance” are even dancier live, which we didn’t think was possible!
Needless to say, we’re pumped to dance with MØ again this Monday at the Club and want to see you there! For your chance to win a pair of tickets to the show and this beautiful, signed copy of No Mythologies to Follow (the cover of which features MØ blowing a bubblegum bubble), do one of the following: 
Post an Instagram selfie of yourself blowing the biggest bubblegum bubble possible. Be sure to tag us (@930Club) and hashtag #MØ930.
Send a selfie of yourself blowing the biggest bubblegum bubble possible to contests@930.com.
Submit your entry by 6 pm on Friday, September 19 for your chance to dance! Get to blowin’ them bubbles!

CONTEST: Signed Copy of MØ’s No Mythologies to Follow

If you haven’t yet heard MØ’s No Mythologies to Follow, what are you waiting for?! The Danish singer-songwriter’s debut album is a twenty-song amalgamation of electronica, indie pop, and soul that keeps spirits high and smiles wide. As we found out at the energetic songstresses’ U Street Music Hall show earlier this year, songs like “Walk This Way” and “Don’t Wanna Dance” are even dancier live, which we didn’t think was possible!

Needless to say, we’re pumped to dance with MØ again this Monday at the Club and want to see you there! For your chance to win a pair of tickets to the show and this beautiful, signed copy of No Mythologies to Follow (the cover of which features MØ blowing a bubblegum bubble), do one of the following

  • Post an Instagram selfie of yourself blowing the biggest bubblegum bubble possible. Be sure to tag us (@930Club) and hashtag #MØ930.

  • Send a selfie of yourself blowing the biggest bubblegum bubble possible to contests@930.com.

Submit your entry by 6 pm on Friday, September 19 for your chance to dance! Get to blowin’ them bubbles!

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!

NEW TRACKS: Julian Casablancas + The Voidz - “Human Sadness”

"Human Sadness" is dark, abstract, and spans a whopping 11 minutes. While this is still Julian Casablancas, he certainly contrasts his work compared to what he showcases in short and vibrant Strokes songs. The length and content of this song are beautiful, with great sound effects including distorted guitar riffs. I love the distinct turns that this song takes, from muted and lonely to loud and powerful. It is great to hear Casablancas’ voice take on a new project with the Voidz. Luckily, we have only a few more weeks until we are able to hear all of the uniqueness that Tyranny is sure to bring when the album drops on September 23rd.

-Lauren Rosalanko

See Julian Casablancas + The Voidz at 9:30 Club on Friday, October 17!

CONTEST: Grouplove and Portugal. The Man Meet & Greet
Bless the gods of the Honda Civic Tour for sending us the most solid of lineups to kick off fall.
The punchy pop power of Grouplove, the art-rock of Portugal. The Man, and the melodic folk collective of Typhoon makes for a healthy serving of all the indie-rock food groups! With a common thread of psychedelia, these three bands are poised to hypnotize and energize this Saturday at Merriweather!
Do we have you sweating this show yet? Let us turn up the heat one more notch by letting you enter to win a pair of tickets AND a meet & greet with Grouplove AND Portugal. The Man! 
THREE WAYS TO ENTER:

Tweet: Post about our show on your feed! Tag #HCTMPP, @MerriweatherPP and make sure to include this link: http://ticketf.ly/1qCf3Ni
Instagram: Post the rad flyer above to your account and tag #HCTMPP and @MerriweatherPP (+ your friends, duh).
Invite: See our FB event? Invite your pals! Send a screenshot to contests@930.com

We’ll have prizes for the most social of sharers and pick our lucky GRAND PRIZE meet & greet winner at 6PM on WEDNESDAY, September 10th.

Need a ride to and from Merriweather? Take the Rock & Bus!

CONTEST: Grouplove and Portugal. The Man Meet & Greet

Bless the gods of the Honda Civic Tour for sending us the most solid of lineups to kick off fall.

The punchy pop power of Grouplove, the art-rock of Portugal. The Man, and the melodic folk collective of Typhoon makes for a healthy serving of all the indie-rock food groups! With a common thread of psychedelia, these three bands are poised to hypnotize and energize this Saturday at Merriweather!

Do we have you sweating this show yet? Let us turn up the heat one more notch by letting you enter to win a pair of tickets AND a meet & greet with Grouplove AND Portugal. The Man! 

THREE WAYS TO ENTER:

Tweet: Post about our show on your feed! Tag #HCTMPP, @MerriweatherPP and make sure to include this link: http://ticketf.ly/1qCf3Ni

Instagram: Post the rad flyer above to your account and tag #HCTMPP and @MerriweatherPP (+ your friends, duh).

Invite: See our FB event? Invite your pals! Send a screenshot to contests@930.com

We’ll have prizes for the most social of sharers and pick our lucky GRAND PRIZE meet & greet winner at 6PM on WEDNESDAY, September 10th.

Need a ride to and from Merriweather? Take the Rock & Bus!

We’re conducting a Twitter Q&A with Parachute on Wednesday at 1pm! Have any burning questions for the band? Submit them on Twitter using the hashtag #Parachute930!

We’re conducting a Twitter Q&A with Parachute on Wednesday at 1pm! Have any burning questions for the band? Submit them on Twitter using the hashtag #Parachute930!

NEW TRACKS: Interpol - “The Depths”
From their new album, El Pintor, Interpol take us on a trip to “The Depths.” Yes, Paul Banks does a bit of lyrical wallowing, but the actual sound of the track is pretty sleek and shiny. It has a lot of distinctively Interpol elements, with some slight differences.
Drummer Sam Fogarino kicks things off with a meaty beat, four-on-the-floor with a handful of tasteful inflections. Guitarist Daniel Kessler adds some drawn-out chords, covered in reverb. There’s more space in the mix than in the past, likely due to the group now only having one guitarist. It’s a little more U2 than Television, at least from an instrumental perspective.
On the vocal side, Banks remains reliably deadpan. When he sings of being “out selling bibles to babies,” you have to appreciate his commitment. And he has a way of making existential ennui sound compelling, rather than listless. You’re right there with him, lost and adrift in the big city but as resolutely cool as ever.
Listen to “The Depths” here.
-Joe Ciccarello
See Interpol on Sunday, November 30 at 9:30 Club.

NEW TRACKS: Interpol - “The Depths

From their new album, El Pintor, Interpol take us on a trip to “The Depths.” Yes, Paul Banks does a bit of lyrical wallowing, but the actual sound of the track is pretty sleek and shiny. It has a lot of distinctively Interpol elements, with some slight differences.

Drummer Sam Fogarino kicks things off with a meaty beat, four-on-the-floor with a handful of tasteful inflections. Guitarist Daniel Kessler adds some drawn-out chords, covered in reverb. There’s more space in the mix than in the past, likely due to the group now only having one guitarist. It’s a little more U2 than Television, at least from an instrumental perspective.

On the vocal side, Banks remains reliably deadpan. When he sings of being “out selling bibles to babies,” you have to appreciate his commitment. And he has a way of making existential ennui sound compelling, rather than listless. You’re right there with him, lost and adrift in the big city but as resolutely cool as ever.

Listen to “The Depths” here.

-Joe Ciccarello

See Interpol on Sunday, November 30 at 9:30 Club.

ALBUM REVIEW: The New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers

The Vancouver rockers with the cheeky name present another round of offbeat earworms on Brill Bruisers. Frontman A.C. Newman continues to craft catchy hooks, and the production value gives them the scale they need. Surrounding him is an excellent cast of musicians, particularly Neko Case and occasional songwriter Dan Bejar.

To start things off, the title track erupts with a burst of happiness, the band united behind a wordless chant. It gets right into the action much like the opening to 2005’s Twin Cinema. These guys know how to do instant gratification power-pop when they want to.

“Champions of Red Wine” brings down the intensity level a bit. It begins with a bubbling electronic figure laid over lightly strummed acoustic guitar. Neko Case enters, her voice welcoming but with a hint of sadness. A few verses later, Kathryn Calder joins in to harmonize. Her singing complements Case’s well, as it has a higher and breathier quality.

The fourth track, “War on the East Coast,” is the first on the album written by Bejar. It feels at times like it’s right at the edge of spinning out of control, but in a good way. Bejar winds up tension in the verses, singing over a chugging single chord. The last few minutes feature a repetition of the chorus with frantic drumming and psychedelic fragments of sound.

The next two tracks reflect an expanded use of electronics. “Backstairs” opens with a robot voice effect straight out of Daft Punk. About halfway through the song, there is a bridge with a dance music style buildup. On “Marching Orders,” an arpeggio shimmers constantly in the background, giving the feeling of a less dramatic Muse song.

Track ten, Bejar’s “Spidyr,” is an interesting specimen. He starts the song half-singing, half-speaking. A wash of synth turns into a murmuring line, which then leads to a wistful harmonica solo. Bejar repeatedly calls out to the title character, a mysterious but magnetic figure. And then it all explodes into a wall of sound. It’s an impressive evolution, moving from restrained to anthemic in just two and a half minutes.

The New Pornographers have a clear idea of their sound and don’t stray too far from it. They’ve managed to find ways to keep making accessible songs with just enough eccentricity to stay fresh. The addition of stylistic touches like electronics, as well as Bejar’s quirky writing, helps with this. Case’s voice also works as a mature, grounding presence. All together, these factors make Brill Bruisers another strong entry in the band’s catalog.

-Joe Ciccarello

NEW TRACKS: Benjamin Booker, “Violent Shiver”

We can pretty much count on ATO Records to turn out a steady stream of great roots-oriented garage rock. The latest from these fine folks is Benjamin Booker, a New Orleans-based blues punker (influences include The Gun Club and T. Rex). His song “Violent Shiver” is just off-kilter enough to feel like true rock and roll. It tumbles out of your speakers with manic blues licks and passionately shouted choruses giving way to soulfully muttered verses. Keep an eye on this one.

-Kelsey Butterworth

See Benjamin Booker on Monday, October 20 at U Street Music Hall!