Crystal Fighters @ Black Cat 04/14

crystal fighers

Sasha Toophanie, Music Director

On April 7th, 2017, Washington D.C.’s Black Cat was humming with anticipation for Crystal Fighters! The electronic/folk band hails from London and their third studio album, “Everything is My Family” released October 21st, 2016. Crystal Fighters have gained a loyal following since their first album release in 2010, and much of their DMV fan base supported the UK band.

Machineheart opened the show with a phenomenal set, including tracks like, “Stonecold”, “Best Thing”, and “Speak”. Electric energy poured from the artists into the crowed and the pit could not get enough of Machineheart! They used the smaller stage to make the set more intimate between themselves and the audience. Despite one minor technical difficulty, Machineheart created an incredible atmosphere for Crystal Fighters.

After intermission, six men and women dressed in Native American garb began chanting as they took the stage. Sebastian, the lead male vocalist, waved a bundle of leaves at the crowd and began their set with, “Follow”. The interesting approach to their set stirred an outburst of adrenaline among the audience, and a surge towards the stage encouraged Crystal Fighters of their support. That opener was followed by 15 additional songs like, “LA Calling”, “I Love London” and “Everything is My Family”, and an encore. The unmistakable energy the audience produced for Crystal Fighters will be one for the books!

Lit&Local: Electric Heart

Electric Heart

Based in Sterling, VA, Electric Heart pulls at the strings of music lovers everywhere. The duo consists of Padi Goudarzi and Sean Ghosh, two childhood friends who mix soul, folk, alternative, and indie into their own distinct genre. They reach out to the D.C. and Virginia area by playing at open mic nights and local gigs. Almost a capella, Ghosh adds to the soulful vocals by switching it up with some raspy guitar, wispy and acoustic at its finest. Much of their music is rooted in optimism, very much alike the works of local artists Cinema Hearts and Nemes. Sometimes a guitar and a voice or two is all you need, and they show listeners the endless possibilities of music, simplified and amplified. Electric Heart duets with passionate melodies, wagging instrumentals, and a la-dee-da energy that goes beyond the typical Kumbaya vibes.

Interview with DJ Jackie Reed

Surrender – unreleased track

“Wanderer” – from their Be Alive EP (2017)

 

For a full setlist of their Be Alive EP (2017), check it out on Spotify, iTunes, and Bandcamp.

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/0REQkGerEKHhaDQl30ObBo

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/electric-heart/id1122232737

Bandcamp: https://electricheart.bandcamp.com/releases

Check out Electric Heart’s Facebook for news and updates.

Electric Heart will also be playing at Epicure Café, Friday, April 28. Free copies of their Be Alive EP (2017) and merch will be handed out. For more information, go to https://www.facebook.com/events/235404703595716/.

Warped Tour 2017

Rachel Handschuh

WGMU Blogger

warped tourWarped Tour 2017 is about to be upon us, and the internet is raging about it. Warped tour is the longest running touring music festival in North America, beginning in 1995. It is also the largest touring festival in the United States, with this year having forty-one stops, not including the Rewind at Sea event. For this year’s tour, huge companies including Journeys, Monster Energy, and Music Save Lives are sponsors. Major bands such as Neck Deep, Counterparts, and Bowling for Soup are in the recently announced lineup as well as eighty-seven other bands playing. The lineup was announced via webcast on March 22nd, 2017, and ever since then, ticket prices are going up as well as the tickets being sold out themselves. Ticket prices range greatly depending on the venue, which is a concern if you live in an expensive ticket state such as California and you want to see your favorite bands. This shows that fans of the festival largely approve of this year’s lineup, which is a change from last year’s slightly negative reviews. If you want to check out the full lineup, tour dates, and links to the venues with ticket pricing, go to the Warped Tour website: http://vanswarpedtour.com/

Grande?! No Way!!

Kyle Kuhn

WGMU Blogger

Ariana Grande performs onstage during her "Dangerous Woman" tour at Madison Square Garden on February 23, 2017 in New York City.

Twenty-three years old, $10 million net worth, and a fan amount equivalent to Beyoncé’s, is what we all wish for, right? Well, in 2009, this wish soon became a reality for hit pop star, Ariana Grande. Ariana, now debuting her “Dangerous Woman” tour, has gone from Broadway shows to concerts holding over 20,000 people. From Madison Square Garden to our very own Verizon Center, Grande has always left an unforgettable mark after her concerts. Not only has Grande performed at the Verizon Center previously, but will be returning this year.

On February 27 at 7 p.m., Ariana Grande will bring her “Dangerous Woman” tour to our nation’s capital to make her mark and leave her story. Not only will this newly performed tour include hit songs like “Dangerous Woman.” “Side to Side,” and “Into You” but will feature special guests and much, much more. Following her early 2016 album, “Dangerous Woman,” Ariana has themed this tour exactly like the album in hopes the crowd will “play along.” She plans to include every song on the album and perform many more hits as well. Ariana says that she likes to incorporate all her new stuff into her set list but also like to play songs that she knows the crowd will remember and like to hear. Not only will she be playing songs from her past couple of albums, but rumor has it that Grande will be debuting songs from her not yet released 2017 album. After posting a video on Twitter back in late November 2016 stating she had a new release coming soon, fans and critics are saying to expect something big this year from the hot star.

Now it may seem that this is just an ordinary tour for any other ordinary professional performer, but this tour has something a little different to it. Ariana Grande and her mother, took on the concert work themselves. After losing her manager in February 2016, Ariana knew she would be out of luck in terms of management for her tour that had already released dates. Grande then decided that she would take on the task herself and make it her own. With the help of her mother, the two could not only produce a concert series, but manage the staff, band and themselves in the process.

Ariana Grande has not only made a wish come true, but has managed to keep herself together, produce tours, and perform like it is a new concert every night. Her “Dangerous Woman” tour kicks off February 14 in Tennessee and then will soon make its way to the District where she will headline and have the famous “Little Mix” as her opener. For more information on this tour and tickets you can go to www.arianagrande.com/tour!

If you are an Ariana fan, WGMU recommends you become a “Dangerous Woman” and move “Side to Side” at a concert you will never forget!

The Greatest Show on Earth!

Kyle Kuhn

WGMU Blogger

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Clowns. Lions. Magic. Thrill. Are you ready for the circus? Because we know that the Circus is ready for us. Founded in 1871 by none other than the original Ringling Bros., The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be appearing at the Eagle Bank Arena! If you are into extraordinary performers, exotic animals and the ultimate circus experience, be prepared to buy your tickets as soon as possible. Between April 7 and April 16, you will have the opportunity to witness their final show. Prepare to take a ride to the intergalactic space-age to join the adventurous family in a futuristic show as they present “Out Of This World.” Audiences will be able to join the Circus fleet as they go on a good versus evil hunt, letting them expand their imagination and experience unexpected surprises and thrills.

Through the eyes of a magic telescope, The Ringling Bros. have outdone themselves in presenting a story that will blow your mind. Including gravity-defying acrobats, majestic animals, fearless daredevils, humorous clowns and orbital aerialists, the show will include various acts to make sure you are on the edge of your seat the whole entire time! To find out more about the Ringling Bros and their upcoming shows, you can visit www.ringling.com!

More good news?! If you can’t make the shows at the Eagle Bank Arena, they will also be holding shows at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. March 31 to April 2!

Get Ready…Because Ladies and Gentlemen, this is…THE GREATEST SHOW ON THE EARTH!

 

Coachella 2017: Three Artists to Watch

Kaitlyn Koegler

WGMU Blogger

perform onstage during day 3 of the 2016 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Club on April 17, 2016 in Indio, California.

Under the beating sun of the California desert, famous annual music festival Coachella is just around the corner. And, like many years before, an impressive line-up of well-known superstars and rising underdogs will be taking the stage once again to perform at one pop culture’s most well-known festivals.

Sporting a huge line-up every year, Coachella spans two weekends in April. And for many that attend or simply track the play-by-play online, the sheer number of artists to check out can be miles long.

Luckily for most there are some artists that stand out just by name. But many others, while not recognizable by first glance, are artists you’re going to want to keep an eye on at this year’s festival.

Here are three artists to watch out for at this year’s Cochella festival:

1. Swet Shop Boys: Forming in 2014, Swet Shop Boys are a hip-hop group consisting of rappers Heems and Riz MC and producer Redinho. Just releasing their very first full-length album in 2016, Swet Shop Boys are new in the music scene. That certainly hasn’t stopped them from chasing success, however. Their album Cashmere scored high praise from music reviewers and critiques and with a gig at Cochella soon arriving, we may be witnessing the birth of a rising star.

2. Kiiara: Many that know Kiiara from her smash hit Gold have failed to dig deeper into this 21-year-old electropop princess’ insanely solid discography. Her music totes an almost dream-like quality with a certain air of darkness lacing her enchanting voice. Sure, she’ll probably perform Gold at Cochella; no doubt about it. But to not know her other tracks is denying oneself quite the musical treat.

3. Glass Animals: A frequent flyer when it comes to festivals, Glass Animals has made a rise to stardom within the alternative rock community. Their 2016 release, Life Itself did relatively well on alternative rock charts. And with appearances at other noteworthy festivals like Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, this little band from England might just be the next big thing.

Cochella runs from April 14 to 16 and from April 21 to 23.

Lit&Local: OK Go at Hirshhorn, Awarded for Music Video Visuals

photoFormed in Chicago, Illinois, rock quartet OK Go defines imagination with daring exhibition and innovative graphics. Their most recent release “The One Moment” literally scopes the idea of creating something out of a blank slate. “The One Moment” comes from their 2014 album Hungry Ghosts (2014), and its video works as an addition to their complex portfolio of well-acclaimed music videos popularized on YouTube – let’s not forget “This Too Shall Pass” with their Rube Goldberg machine, or their more recent “Upside Down & Inside Out”, with the bandmates freeform dancing, mind you on a Russian jet, mind you again, in zero gravity.

OK Go (Damian Kulash, Tim Nordwind, Dan Konopka, Andy Ross) may not be flashy about their talents or overtly flashed by paparazzi, but maybe it’s better that way. Fans pay attention to not only their sound, but the experience associated with it, the visual arts that embrace their music. Seeing their videos is like watching a story unveil, with the guidance of a single camera, and seeing a visual film unfold from the comfort of your computer. The videos are widespread, have a universal “wow” factor, and have an ingenious motion. Each video and work claims their territory in whatever setting they are examined under – an urban bar, a city hotel, a quiet gas station television, anywhere!

Their music has evolved from their 2002 boy band vibes with hits like “What To Do” and “Return”, to now, a streamline collection of upbeat anthems like “Turn Up The Radio”, “The Writing’s On The Wall”, and now, “The One Moment”. Think of them as a fusion between Weezer’s iconic storylines, Rooney’s distinct use of guitar, and Vampire Weekend’s dynamic identity.

The band and directors associated will be receiving the American Ingenuity Award for Visual Arts for their “Upside Down & Inside Out” music video, provided by Smithsonian Magazine in DC. Damian Kulash, lead singer and guitarist of the LA-based band, is a DC-native, so the experience will be a momentous homecoming for him and a success for his team.

OK Go’s The One Moment

OK Go’s The One Moment, Behind The Scenes

OK Go will be at The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden this coming Friday, December, 9, at 6:30 p.m. They will be having an unplugged performance and exclusive conversation about the artistry behind their music videos. Free tickets will be released online tomorrow, Monday, December 5, at 10 a.m. EST. The event will also be available for livestream on Hirshhorn’s Facebook page.

Link to tickets: http://hirshhorn.si.edu/collection/programs-calendar/#detail=/bio/ok-go-conversation/&collection=programs-calendar

Link to Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1779811782293846/

Livestream the event: https://www.facebook.com/hirshhorn/?fref=ts

More information about OK Go and the Ingenuity Awards 2016:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/ingenuity-ok-go-visual-arts-anti-gravity-180961102/

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/2016-smithsonian-american-ingenuity-awards-180961117/

Facebook/YouTube: https://www.facebook.com/okgo/?fref=ts / https://www.youtube.com/user/OkGo & https://www.youtube.com/user/OkGoVEVO

Instagram/Twitter: @okgo / @okgo

Website: http://okgo.net/

 

Lit&Local: Sweater Beats, Getting Cozy & Ready “For The Cold”

14046145_1159632220777778_4720892689247195437_nMaryland native Antonio Cuna, better known by his DJ name Sweater Beats, debuts his For The Cold tour this holiday season, stopping by U Street Music Hall in D.C., November 23rd. His singles and mixes are a bundle of sharp production, textured sound bites, and modal elements of EDM rooted with R&B and pop undertones. He has opened for EDM superstars Flume and Chet Faker (now Nick Murphy), along with rap gods like Chance the Rapper. His experience working with big name artists, along with years of work in production and remixed tunes, will make for a noteworthy performance next week. It is a show you do not want to miss.

 

Below is a conversation Local Music Director Jackie Reed had with Antonio Cuna, talking about his upcoming show at U Street:

 

Sweater Beats’ Did You Wrong (feat. MAX)

Sweater Beats is performing at U Street Music Hall, Wednesday, November 23rd. Tickets are $20, Doors open at 10:30pm.

DJ Bearson and Different Sheep will be opening the show.

Link to show tickets: http://www.ustreetmusichall.com/event/1349547-sweater-beats-washington/

Facebook/SoundCloud: https://www.facebook.com/sweaterbeats/ / https://soundcloud.com/sweaters

Twitter/Instagram: @sweaterbeats / @sweater_beats

Website: http://www.sweaterbeats.com/

Lit&Local: The Strokes’ Valensi, Sheds “New Skin” With CRX Tour

14909901_1667412903570447_7619501183182998757_nNick Valensi, NY-native and Frontman of CRX joins WGMU staffers Jackie Reed and Mikey Barmani in an exclusive phone interview to talk about his fall tour. Known as the guitarist for headlining band The Strokes, having him a part of WGMU is something that Reed and Barmani assumed to not just let go, or “Give [It] Up”, if you will. The album, New Skin (2016), is a cutting-edge presentation, with an abundance of deep basslines and pop undertones, and a diverse expression of creativity reminiscent of discographies’ the band members have built up over the years. Literally an “On Edge” collection of pop hits and colorful mixes, the new album is an experience Valensi will surely enjoy, something that will keep him musically active during his time off with The Strokes.

Below is an interview with Nick Valensi, facilitated by Local Music Director Jackie Reed and Assistant to the Program Director Mikey Barmani:

 

CRX’s “Ways To Fake It”

CRX is performing at U Street Music Hall, Wednesday, November 16th. Tickets are $15, Doors open at 7pm.

The Streets of Laredo and The Gloomies will be opening the show.

Link to show: http://www.ustreetmusichall.com/event/1338683-crx-washington/

Social Media Sites:

Facebook/YouTube: https://www.facebook.com/CRXmusic/?fref=ts / https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHSvaQrqHSVrHuHy6mGmLPQ

Twitter/Instagram: @crxmusic / @crxmusic

Snapchat: @crxmusic

Website: http://www.crxmusic.com/

Lit&Local: Live with Aztec Sun, Bringing Funk and Fire to New EP

14955939_1247238402001202_4944903430312449899_nDC-based funk band Aztec Sun joined Local Music Director Jackie Reed, Friday, November 4th, on WGMU Radio to talk about their EP, “Set You Free”, coming out this December. The 8-piece ensemble is a coming together of multiple musical disciplines, a creative space for them to express their sound as everyday virtuosos. Their tracks go beyond the funk scene in DC; they mix soul, jazz, Motown, blues, and much more. Their harmonious lyricism combined with electric guitar lines and popped-out piano chords makes for a great listening experience. Aztec Sun is a musically adaptive collective of artists melodically embracing their talents through personable concert sessions and community events along the U Street district. Their upcoming EP will have an exciting selection of songs dedicated to the members’ various skills and talents, a physical expression of their interwoven experiences as refining artists and individuals. Prepare for a change in innovative style, something way beyond their storyline classics “Confuse Me” and “My Way Home”, a “Revolution” in musical form and level, if you will.

Below includes the clips of the live on-air interview with Aztec Sun, in addition to stripped down performances of their songs:

Pt. 1 of Interview:

Pt. 2 of Interview:

Intro & Confuse Me:

Revolution:

My Way Home & Conclusion:

 

See Aztec Sun live at the following dates and times:

Thursday, November 10th, at Boundary Stone DC, starting at 6 pm. FREE – https://www.facebook.com/events/990819387693241/

Friday, November 11th, at Blue Side Tavern in Frederick, MD, starting at 9:30pm. With SoulXChange. Tickets are $5 – http://thebluesidetavern.com/event/soul-xchange-tbst/

Friday, November 18th, at The Camel in Richmond, VA, doors open at 8pm. With Dance Candy. Tickets are $10 – http://www.thecamel.org/event/1378636-kings-cookout-dance-candy-richmond/

AZTEC SUN EP Release Party – Saturday, December 10th, at Songbyrd Music House & Record Café in DC, starting at 9pm. – https://www.facebook.com/events/586446421547903/

Social Media Sites:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/aztecsunband/

Bandcamp: https://aztecsunband.bandcamp.com/

Facebook/YouTube: https://www.facebook.com/aztecsunband/ / https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC6KZ5ND7_hGgECRYZnJlsg

Twitter/Instagram: @AZTECSUNBAND / @aztecsunband

Website: http://aztecsunband.com/