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 Bamarni 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 Bamarni 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 Bamarni:

 

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/

 

Lit&Local: Transviolet on Tour, Changing the Meaning of Pop

picL.A. based band Transviolet is one indie ensemble that is taking the pop revolution by storm. No less than amateur, their upbeat Cali-style classics, mixed with their dark demeanor, is an updated collection up against seemingly alliterated sounds of pop, Top 40 “hits”. Now on tour alongside LANY, coasting through the East Coast, The Kinda Tour connects viewers and ticket-buyers to a colossal experience, abundant of their underground sound that challenges the genre of modern pop. There is no perfect way to define the extraordinary, undeniable talent of Transviolet. Their limited selection of songs leave listeners in awe, curious, and eager for a new album or future collab. Songs like “Girls Your Age” is a sexy song reminiscent of relationships, innocence, and human emotion that anyone can reflect on. Noted by artists like Katy Perry and Harry Styles, “live life while you’re young, honey/don’t go chasin’ love, chasin’ love” is one of the many messages representative of Transviolet’s sultry and haunting vibes. Aside from the powerful sound, they revolutionize the pop genre with lively tunes like “New Bohemia” and “LA Love”, bringing joy and easy-going energy, along with realistic and vulnerable meaning, in a contrasting fashion.

See Transviolet opening for LANY, live at 9:30 Club, Monday, October 24. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets are $20.

Link to show: http://www.930.com/event/1227929-lany-washington/

Transviolet’s “Bloodstream”

 

A Talk With Keith Wortman, Creator/Exec. Producer of Dear Jerry 2

dj2_lets_play_2_facebook_shareOver the weekend, Blackbird Presents played out two Jerry Garcia tribute shows alongside featured artists to embrace the musical legend’s 30 years of work and musical diversity. Last night, Dear Jerry 2 attributed Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia in a methodical performance that honors the artist who challenged the standards of music up until now. Before showtime, WGMU’s Director of Marketing Grant Silvestri and Local Music Director Jackie Reed met with creator and executive producer of the show, Keith Wortman, to talk about the production and development of the Dear Jerry 2 project.

Reminiscent of Friday night’s Dear Jerry 1 show at DAR Constitution Hall in D.C., Wortman did feel that the execution of the first show exceeded the expectations in his vision. Wortman says, “…and you saw in the audience last night there was an emotional response to the show,” the ultimate generation of energy between how much effort is put into production and how attendees are gratified by it. At last night’s show at EagleBank Arena, he hoped that the audience at the show would share the same response as those at DAR.

Usually hosting massive concert celebrations, shows attributing artists like John Lennon, Johnny Cash, and the Neville Brothers, Wortman felt the production of Dear Jerry 2 was one of the easier projects to collaborate. Instead of working with 15-17 artists to produce a large show, this one featured the Avett Brothers and Warren Haynes, a lesser amount of artists to oversee. With a musical network of 200-300 musicians, Wortman refers back to his vision, asking, “What’s the right discipline, what’s the right sound?” to connect musicians to his projects.

The creator goes on to explain that the assembly of talent for Dear Jerry 2 was at his discretion, in assistance with creative partner Don. The choice to bring the Avett Brothers and Warren Haynes at the EagleBank Arena made sense to Wortman because the audience and the location. The Avett Brothers played at EagleBank six months before, and have a steady following of college students and young adults. Warren Haynes, member of Government Mule, has had years of experience working with Garcia with touring and shows. Though unable to make last year’s Dear Jerry tribute show at Merriwhether Post Pavillion, Haynes was able to make up for it by being a lead in last night’s show. As for the location, EagleBank Arena acted as a “nexus”, a balance between what was possible and what was ideal. Last year’s Dear Jerry show was hosted at Merriwhether because Grateful Dead has played there before, so there is a “big market for the consumption of Garcia product,” not only recognized by emotional response, but also, by numbers. Approximately 20,000 tickets were sold for last year’s show, a huge success for Blackbird. EagleBank was the chosen venue, because of the talent, being the Avett Brothers’ following, and because of Blackbird’s experience with the D.C. music scene. Their previous show with Emmylou Harris was showcased in D.C. at the DAR, because Emmylou grew up in Virginia and in the area, so it held a particular significance.

The production, timing, and collaboration in regards to the performance made it all worthwhile. Seeing the response and heart viewers had for Garcia was Keith Wortman’s primary reason for making it happen. His vision crafted a passionate response in attendees, and that is something that cannot be shaped in any other way.

Website: https://blackbirdpresents.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blackbirdmusicgroup/?fref=ts

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blackbirdmusicgroup/

Twitter: @BlackbirdProd

Lit&Local: Nemes Live Acoustic Performance, Talks about Touring

NemesBoston Band Nemes (pronounced knee-miss) joins Local Music Director Jackie Reed in the live on-air studio to talk about their tour throughout the East Coast, reminiscing about last night’s show at the Camel in Richmond. Since 2008, Nemes has experimented with the genre of indie and folk rock in creating a sound that sets them apart from everyone else. They have travelled mainly in the New England area, expressing their talents from the most public of places, expanding to exclusive, well-known musical venues. Nemes is an upbeat group close to home, that reminds listeners of the goodness of life and the heartwarming nature of good vibes.

Below are audio clips from the live on-air performance.

Introduction:

Acoustic Performance:

Butterfly

Black Streak

Phone Call & Song Request from Bill, fan from Philly/Part Two of Black Streak

Rolling Stones Cover, You Can’t Always Get What You Want

 

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Thanks again members for visiting WGMU!

Join them tonight at Blue Side Tavern in Frederick, MD: http://thebluesidetavern.com/events/

Website: http://www.nemesband.com/

Bandcamp: https://nemes.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nemesband/?fref=pb&hc_location=profile_browser

Twitter/Instagram: @nemesband / @nemesband

 

Made in the USA, Fairfax Performance this Saturday

From Fredericksburg, Virginia, Made in the USA is not your typical bar band. They are greater than the bar crowds filled with greasy food, watered down cocktails, and sweaty people. Instead, they bring the “class” in classic rock. Made in the USA is a cover band that plays classic rock ranging from Bruce Springsteen to ZZ Top to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. They play several songs from around the 70s up until now, exciting the bar crawl with some recognizable tunes. Considering their close accuracy, they bring listeners up close and personal with nostalgic rock mixed with their experienced team of virtuosos.

Joined today on Jammin’ with Jackie, Tony, one of the many members of Made in the USA, talks about the band’s passion in covering classic rock, the experience they gathered over the years, and their insightful plans for the future.

Below is the live on-air phone interview earlier today, hosted by Jackie Reed:

Part One

Part Two

 

Check out Made in the USA’s performance this Saturday at 9pm at Fat Tuesday’s – University Mall. Link to that at http://fatsfairfax.com.

For more information about Made in the USA:

Website: http://madeintheusarockband.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Madeintheusaband/?fref=ts

Glass Animals @ Echostage 9/25

GlassAnimalsHailing from Oxford, England, Glass Animals are a psychedelic meets alternative meets indie rock band but they would happily tell you that they’re genre-less. Following their breakout success of their debut full length Zaba in 2014, the group released How to Be a Human Being August 26th earlier this year. The new album has a clear upbeat tempo and an early 2000’s R&B/Hip Hop style. With  tracks including a 36 second rap titled “[Premade Sandwiches]” and a clear influence of the Red Hot Chile Peppers on their track titled “Poplar St.” the new album brings every type of sound and style to the stage. Glass Animals kick off a full US run with an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers and will be playing with Pumarosa at Echostage on September 25th. Expect a night with a lot of dancing and chill vibes as they play hits like Gooey, Life Itself, Pools and Season 2 Episode 3. Fans of Chet Faker, CHVRCHES, and MØ will enjoy their eclectic blend of synths, bass and drumbeats.

Where: Echostage Washington DC

When: Sunday September 25th @ 7PM

Where to buy: Ticketmaster

Lit&Local: The Radiographers Scheduled To Play in DC Tonight!

The RadiographersJoined today on DJ Jackie Reed’s show, “Jammin’ with Jackie”, was Mike Houser, guitarist and vocalist of The Radiographers. As a last minute conversation, Houser took time to speak about his band, musical influences, and information about tonight’s show at DC9. The feel good indie band formed at the University of Maryland, and has been together since. Started up in College Park, MD, they have come from different regions of the East Coast: Philadelphia, DC, and Baltimore. Houser explained in the live on-air interview with Jackie that the band formed at school, and have gotten listener traffic through their many performances in DC and Baltimore. In addition, Houser is heavily involved with the University of Maryland’s official radio station, WMUC 88.1 FM. Their style of music is redefining the face of pop/indie music. Songs like “Missy May” and “The Story of Jafar” are a couple of the many songs featured on their first album, Talk with Transperancy (2016). It’s the kind of music that you want to blast in your car during a long road trip: calm, complex, and filled with The Smiths vibes. Talk with Transparency is a mélange of soft rock and heartwarming indie, a mix ample of catchy tunes and narrative lyricism. In the future, they hope to consolidate their sound and create new songs that will entice any listener who has an ear for talent and musical expertise.

9/19 show:

Bandcamp: https://theradiographers.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/theradiographers/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/theradgs

 

 

Review: Oh, Hello with Nick Kroll and John Mulaney

Originating their characters on The Kroll Show on Comedy Central, Nick Kroll and John Mulaney decided to take their two-man show on the road. Oh, Hello features Nick Kroll as Gil Faizon and John Mulaney as George St. Geeland, two older gentlemen from the Upper West Side of New York City. On Gil and George, the New York Times said,

“They are angry, insular, out of touch, egregious cultural stereotypes who perceive the rest of the world in similarly stereotypical terms.

What’s more, they think they’re really funny, which they’re not. Which is exactly what makes them really, really funny.”

This show is essentially a two-man stand-up theatre show. Which sounds confusing, because it’s a really weird concept. They go along a plot and they have some lines, but a lot of it is improv. And it’s absolutely flawless. The fact that these guys can go two hours speaking in these absurd accents, interacting with the audience, and keeping all of their jokes hilarious is something I was not expecting. One hour, maybe an hour and a half, but two hours without losing the crowd is something I wasn’t ready for.

Background knowledge of their characters on the Kroll show is recommended, but not required. I personally did not know much about their characters on the show, but still found the performance to be incredibly funny. Perhaps I’m biased because John Mulaney is my favorite and Nick Kroll is perfection in The League, but perhaps that also means my expectations were set high. Their witty banter, sarcasm, and ability to stay in character kept me laughing for the entirety of the show.

If you have the chance to see this show, do it. If you don’t have the chance, then sorry but you’re certainly missing out.

Kathy Griffin WGMU Exclusive Comedian Interview

Comedian Kathy Griffin chats with WGMU GM and “Improv4Mason” host Jesse Robinson and 4th Estate Lifestyle editor Savannah Norton. Griffin brings her comedic styling to Fairfax next week for GMU’s Homecoming Week. Tickets are available at Student Involvement or Ticketmaster!

Follow @Improv4Mason and host @JesseRobinson94 on Twitter!

“Improv4Mason” airs Tuesdays nights form 9-10 PM on WGMU Radio!