King Shelter at The Metro Gallery

By Sara Valenzuela

King Shelter and friends rocked the Metro Gallery, bringing Baltimore some fun on a hot friday night. King Shelter is an independent indie/alternative rock band based out of Southern California. They’re currently touring with The Frights and On Drugs on their Wet Hot Summer Tour, up to September 9th (get your tickets here). The band has been pretty busy this year with the release of their new singles ‘Gimmie Knowledge’ and ‘Gholy Host’, also touring the west coast with their friends The Frights and Hunny. Hope to see more of King Shelter in the DMV in the near future, they’ll keep us waiting till then.

 

Follow King Shelter on Twitter!

 

Listen to King Shelter on Spotify!

 

Buy King Shelter’s Merch!

Neon Indian Live at The Teragram Ballroom 

Photos and words by Kayla Fernandez

Hailing from Denton, Texas, Neon Indian (Alan Palomo) made his way to starry-lit downtown LA to perform a sold out gig at the Teregram Ballroom. Palomo’s endless energetic dance moves kept the crowd alive. From performing older hits like “Mind Drips” to covering Prince’s “Pop Life”, Neon Indian kept the audience on their toes. Palomo never missed a beat and carried that charisma throughout the entire set, inspiring the crowd to try and mimic his hip swaying dance moves. Having seen Neon Indian before, I can say this is the best I’ve seen him yet; he illuminated the room with laughter, cheers, and the audience’s echoes of his songs. 

Review + Photos: Current Joys 

Review and Photos by Corynne Fernandez 

As the crowd poured into The Echo last night for Reno natives, Current Joys sold out show, there was an all-encompassing sense of excitement and eagerness. Prior to Current Joys taking stage, Gap Girls and Bane’s World opened up the night, both giving dreamy performances that made the audience swoon for every note. 

By the time Current Joys made their way on, everyone was teeming with bottled up energy, and as soon as Nick Rattigan—lead singer and guitarist— started with one of the many songs on their diverse set list, the room transformed into a jumping frenzy. Songs like ‘New Flesh’ and ‘My Motorcycle’ ignited a mass sing-along only adding to the night’s vitality. What was really distinct about the whole evening was the understanding between the audience and the band—each one fed off what they gave the other. That notion proved to be more true as the set drew to a close, with Nick performing the last few songs solo. While the venue was already pretty intimate, everything fell into place perfectly for those final moments leaving everyone on a high. 

Review + Gallery: Frank Iero and the Patience

Review by Lilli Banks

Photos by Sara Valenzuela

A Friday night in Washington, D.C. is never a dull one. Frank Iero and the Patience (consisting of Frank Iero: Lead Singer + Guitar, Evan Nestor Guitar+ Backup Vocals, Alex Grippo: Bass, Matt Olson: Drummer + Backup Vocals) brought their sound to U Street! On their US run, they promoted sophomore album, “Parachutes” released last October. In the fall, the New Jersey based band will be heading to Europe and the UK to promote their music overseas.

 

Frank, the lead singer and guitarist, started various projects after the breakup of the world known band, My Chemical Romance (MCR). Frank Iero and the Patience released their debut album, “Stomachaches” in 2014, still keeping the alternative rock scene that he brought to his past work.

 

Loyal fans that reign from MCR continue to show support to his new music! The dedicated fans from DC mentioned how they saw him back in MCR and they were thrilled that he was back. The band put all their energy into their electric performance and interacting with the audience! Frank was overjoyed at the crowd and the enormous support he has received since.

After the show, a few preview photos were released to get our readers excited for what’s to come. Frank’s fans quickly saw and the internet was ecstatic! They made sure to comment on his recent ‘hair makeover’. The first photos to debut it were the buzz on Tumblr and other social media!

 

Needless to say, the band put up an impressive performance and won DC over. Their fan base is strong and continuing to grow. We hope to hear great things from Frank Iero and the Patience soon. DC will definitely be waiting for their return to the local stages.

Keep up with the band on Frank’s Twitter

You can find their upcoming UK and European tour dates here.

 

Gallery + Review: Broods

By Lilli Banks

New Zealand’s own BROODS stopped at Rams Head Live in Baltimore last month while on their 12 date North American Tour! BROODS are known for Georgia and Caleb Nott, brother and sister, as they started the band together.

Georgia, lead singer, mentioned how they have heard stories about Rams Head Live being a venue that many people love and are eager to play. They were more than happy to be in Baltimore.

Georgia moved along the stage with her exquisite dance moves and connecting with each side of the audience. All their fans were in awe and singing along happy as ever!

A trend with Rams Head Live is that it holds the same types of people that you see: the jocks, couples, loners, fanatics. Each person is different with how they react to seeing a concert.
Lots of people let their hair loose and danced more than other shows I have seen, especially in Baltimore. BROODS music makes you want to dance with your friend and enjoy the night!

They took a chance to slow down the night. They wanted to connect and talk to the audience since the venue allowed that intimacy. They mentioned a little bit of how they came together. They sang “Mad World” which was a song that helped initiate the band. The crowd helped them sing and it brought such a wondrous smile to the bands faces!

They were more than thankful for the crowd that came out and put on a show that makes you want more.

If BROODS comes to a city near you, bring a group of friends, prepare to let go and enjoy yourself!

Listen to their second album titled, “Conscious” which was just released last year here.

A Night At The DC9 with Arlie!

by Sara Valenzuela 

The Nashville-based indie pop band, Arlie, went on their first tour in May of this year and they made sure not to forget DC. These happy boys made the crowd dance with their recently released debut single “Big Fat Mouth”; Only released this past February, they seem to offer a promising future in the music industry. 

Follow Arlie!

Spotify

Instagram 

Twitter

Review: Sundara Karma

April 14th at Songbyrd Cafe: Sundara Karma on The Advanced Placement Tour with 888 and Coast Modern

A Review by: Jada Moore

With their first visit to DC after releasing their debut album, “Youth Is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect,” Sundara Karma definitely put on a show not soon to be forgotten! Sundara Karma, an indie band hailing from Reading, England; made up of lead singer Oscar “Lulu” Pollock, guitarist Ally Baty, bassist Dom Cordell and drummer Haydn Evans, sure know how to put on a good show! After waiting for years it was finally time to seem them! Waiting all day at the venue was definitely worth it all. Not only did I meet Oscar and Ally, but I was front row and had such an amazing view and experience. Not to mention each member’s way talented, smart and down to earth. Talking to each member and really getting to know the band, you can just tell just how humble and gracious they are but also how aware they are of the issues currently affecting the globe. April 14th was definitely a night worth reliving!

7:00 pm
The stage was illuminated by the luminescent glow of white fairy lights, with a blue guitar sat on the stage waiting. The room was dark with anticipation, and out of my peripheral view the setlist sat on the stage called to me. The sound of clapping caught my ears, it was time for the show to begin!

First up was their hit single, “A Young Understanding.” From the strums of the guitar to the sweet melody of Oscar’s voice, the crowd was pumped and excited for the night!
image9

Next, the pounding of the drum along with the start from Oscar’s powerful vocals. Lyrics beating “Oh no, Olympia says she loves me,” comes out of his mouth. With its catchy beat and lyrics, this was definitely a song that had me in my element. I think everyone enjoyed themselves especially because this song (being an older single) had an evoking moment of nostalgia for the audience.

image1image6

Following came the funky and dreamy beats of: “Fleshbloom,” “Flame” and “Watching from Great Heights.” Definitely the songs of the night that had everyone in the audience screaming and dancing in joy. I know my friends and I were dancing our heads off!

image4image2
Next all I heard was, “She said I don’t wanna go out dancing….” and mentally something in my head and body immediately clicked! I realized that my break out dance song was being performed right in front of my eyes! I honestly was so excited and having so much fun and I knew that sadly their set was soon coming to an end (insert frowny face.)

image7image8

The soft melodious chords to “Happy Family” began. As soon as the beat dropped my friends started a bit of a mosh and man was that great, the cheerful beat of the song definitely had everyone feeling nostalgic and cheerful. One of my favorite songs, if not my favorite from the album as the song evokes happy memories in my head and I felt at ease dancing the night away.
As the chords to the last (but not the least in anyway) began, I think the crowd was having the best songs. Shouting out the lyrics to “Loveblood,” while also dancing the rest of the night away the whole audience was captivated. I just remember shouting and dancing along with my friends and having the best time. As the song came close to an end, with the soft “ooohs” I just closed my eyes and was taken away. As the finishing lines continued I don’t think I had ever been having so much, I remember my friends and I all dancing and bumping shoulders. That moment had to be the best one of the night.

Follow Sundara Karma:

Spotify

Instagram

Twitter

 

Interview: Awkward Prom Dates

After only being together for roughly three years, southern California natives, Awkward Prom Dates, just released their third record, Hellvetica. The foursome made up of James(vocals/guitar), Eli(vocals/guitar), Nico(bass/vocals), and Parker(drums) delved into new waters with their release by composing songs with fast pace tempos and sudden interjections of slow melodies. While keeping true to their dreamy, shoe-gaze roots—a genre that seems to have taken the music community by storm—APD audibly progress as a band, and give their listeners warmly vague tunes that are reminiscent of any slow-motion dream to be had. With songs like, Everglade, I am instantly reminded of one of my favorite Cure songs, Fascination Street, with the eerie strums of each guitar string and synth backing accompanied by a shadowy voice. Even with three contributing vocalists, there is a fluidity among them all and a haunting rawness. Overall, Hellvetica is nine songs of pure ecstasy and emits prismatic effects throughout, making it a more than ideal listen for anything to mindless wanderings to a lover’s dream soundtrack.

We had the chance to sit down with the guys of Awkward Prom Dates ahead of their release, and chatted about all things music while also getting the scoop on some upcoming gigs promoting, Hellvetica.

LD: Eli and James, you guys were the founding members of the band what initially made you want to start APD?

James: We didn’t want to be a band at first; we just wanted to write songs for ourselves. We didn’t have any intentions of showing anyone.

Eli: Then I showed my friend, Chris, Won’t Stop and Marjorie, and he really liked it, so we started showing our material to more people. We needed to build more confidence before we put ourselves out there.

LD: How did you all meet to form APD?

Eli: James and I met in another band; after a few months, we got a manager who started to take control of the band and stopped us from writing original music so we could be more like a cover band. I wasn’t about that so I left, and then James left. From there, we started making music together on the weekends and that’s how we got to where we are. We met Nico and Parker at a backyard show last summer and instantly knew we wanted to recruit them from their band to our band. Then, over the next few months their band faded away and we brought in Parker, and eventually, we could bring in Nico.

LD: ‘Awkward Prom Dates’ is a unique name, how did that come about?

Eli: It took us a long time to figure out a name, and eventually my sister started throwing out names and Awkward Prom Dates was the product of that.

LD: You released two albums in the past year and you are about to release your third album, which is unlike the timing that most bands put out their material. Are you afraid that putting out that much material will leave you without much to explore in the future?

Eli: Sometimes, but the way we’ve always ran our music, writing wise, is casual and was born out of our love to write it. We never get bored. I mean, we’re going to take a break after the release of Hellvetica, but that’s not going to stop us from continuing to write and make new material.

LD: Do you guys write based on your personal experiences or the perspective of others?

James: [laughing] I don’t. If I wrote about myself, it’d probably suck. I’ll notice some patterns in my writing, where I’ll listen to a song and realize in hindsight that it was about a certain situation but never intentionally.

Eli: For me, we started writing with a concept in mind. More recently, I’ve delved into exploring lyrics on a more personal note; I feel it adds more emotion to the piece.

Nico: It’s hard for me not write based on personal experiences and I often do it subconsciously. Initially I think I am writing lyrics about something random, but I’ll go back to it and see it was something I was going through at the time.

LD: Do lyrics or music come first in the recording progression?

Eli: The music usually. Music almost always comes first and then we decide what goes along with it. For this album, it’s conceptual, so every song is from a different perspective but there are still personal ties to each one.

LD: While making each song, is it a collaborative process?

James: It used to be more collaborative. The way it would work is, Eli would write the lyrics while I would do the music but with time we started swaying in to different things. On this upcoming album, I would say we each wrote about half the album and then maybe collaborated on one song. In the future, we are planning to collaborate more as a group [Eli, James, Nico, and Parker]. Overall, our focus is putting the best songs on the record no matter who originated it.

LD: Parker, being that your 6 months new to the band, do you actively add to the recording process?

I contribute more to the live performances as the drummer; I like playing really loud and being energetic, so sometimes the sound changes a bit but we kind of just roll with it. It tends to get more collaborative when we are practicing.

LD: Your sound is very reminiscent of artists like Wild Nothing, DIIV and could easily fall into the shoe-gaze category. Do those musicians/genre have an influence on you, or when you first formed the band was that the sound you made instinctually?

Eli: For James and I, in the beginning, we set out to write a dream-pop album and that’s what we did. The newer stuff, we were trying to set out to make a shoe-gaze record, but we pulled inspiration from our older projects so it’s sort of one big melting pot. It happened for a reason because it’s the music we love and what enjoy playing.

LD: What artists specifically  inspire your sound?

James: Well, as far as the first album of ours, we borrowed sounds from Joy Division, keeping to the bare essentials—guitar, bass, drums, and raw vocals.

Nico: I remember when James and Eli first started out, James said to me a couple of times he wanted them to be as big as Radiohead but by way of their own sound; I thought it was very admirable.

LD: What can we expect from the new album, Hellvetica?

Parker: I didn’t really help with writing as much this time around, but I did give them some ideas as I was listening to the album. What I can say is that it’s different from the other two records, but if you liked the previous material, you’ll probably like our new release even more. We don’t stray too far away from our old sound, but on the new album we took the best aspects of the last ones and combined them.

Eli: I agree. The new record, Hellvetica, flushes out a bit of what we did on the second album and takes pieces from the first while exploring new avenues and going on a tangent of its own.

LD: Was there any band, album or song that made you realize that you wanted to learn and create music?

James: mmm… not really.

Eli: When I was little, I really liked the Red Hot Chili Peppers and I wanted to play bass and be cool like Flea. Overall, music really interested me and that spiraled into me learning a whole bunch of stuff.

Parker: Well, I have ADHD and as a kid I was always tapping on everything, so my mom just threw me into drum lessons and IT WORKED. I picked it up relatively fast and kept wanting to learn more. My favorite musician would have to be Dave Grohl.

Nico: I’ve been playing trumpet for 8 years now, and around my junior year I started really getting into John Coltrane. Hearing some of the stuff he did and getting into other artists in that genre, like Charles Mingus, made me want to pick up bass, as well the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

LD: Being that you are quite a new band, is it hard getting used to the feeling of performing in front of people?

Eli: At first. I really enjoyed our first show, but it took a while to figure out how to get a crowd going. Now, I deal with being awkward and having fun with that.

James: Performing versus writing songs is very different for me. I like writing songs and trying to articulate them to make them a masterpiece, whereas playing shows, I realized people want loud music they can dance to a sing along with. It varies for me; I’ll always get a bit nervous before a show, even playing in front of my grandma of all people.

LD: What’s your favorite song to perform live?

Parker: For sure, Black Blizzard. It starts off at a good tempo that’s fun to dance to, but then it picks up and gets really heavy.

Nico: My favorite to play live would probably have to be Loosen Up because I love the bass line paired with James’ vocals on it. Annabelle is fun too—I love the way the crowd responds to it.

James: Even though we’ve only played it twice, Night Ride, has always been one of my favorites. As far as right now, it would most likely be Annabelle, because towards the end, Eli sings and I can take a break.

Eli: For me, Annabelle is also my favorite. We all love Anabelle because that was the first song we played that ever had a mosh pit.

James: The thing about that song, is that we have a good energy in it. The first time we played it, I went in the mosh pit with my guitar, and when I got out, it was crazy out of tune and I had to play the rest of the song with it sounding horrible. I was cringing after we finished, but then I looked over at the guys, and they all said it was the best song we’ve ever played.

LD: If you could curate a festival, who would make up your dream festival headliners?

James: Radiohead, Paul McCartney, and Smashing Pumpkins if they play their old stuff.

Eli: Gorillaz, My Bloody Valentine,

Parker: Twitch, Space Dot [James’ side project], and Nico Alter Ego (insert heavy sarcasm)

James to Parker: You just blew my mind.

Nico: Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Growlers, and Miles Davis.

LD: With the upcoming release of your new album, do you have any gigs lined up?

Eli: We currently have one we’re about to start promoting, but for now it’s under wraps.

James: We’ve got a lot more planned, so stay tuned.

Follow Awkward Prom Dates!

Instagram

Spotify

SoundCloud

NE-HI’s Electric Visit to DC

Review and Photos by: Sara Valenzuela

NE-HI delivered an amazingly energetic performance at the DC9 this past week. Being a Monday night concert, it was an absolutely kicking way to start the week.

 

NE-HI are a Chicago based rock band created in the warm summer of 2013. The foursome, made up of Alex Otake (Drummer), James Weir (Bassist), Jason Balla (Guitarist), and Mikey Wells (Guitarist) started as being in their friend’s film that summer and it took off from there. They continued making music and since then have toured around the east coast and Midwest of the US, with bands such as Twin Peaks and Car Seat Headrest. They are currently finishing out their current tour (tickets available here). Beyond their venue shows they’ve done festivals such as Midpoint, Pygmalion, and North Coast Music Festival. Also, they’ll be making an appearance at Pitchfork Music Festival this July.

 

With dreamy DC natives Makeup Girl opening the show, NE-HI’s performance did not disappoint the DC crowd. The Chicago band gave us a phenomenal performance that woke up us from that frigid Monday night and left everyone in a buzz. Proving their mastery in live music, they have set their ground as one of the best rising American rock bands today.

 

Check out NE-HI’s latest album, Offers, on Spotify!

 

Keep up with them on Twitter and Facebook!

 

Kane Strang Comes To U Street

Review and Photos by Sara Valenzuela

Red line. 12 am. On my way back home. The only thing keeping me awake is the ringing of my ears. First Monday night out on chilly U Street for a gig; shook my head little. Well worth it.

On their US tour, Kane Strang and his pals performed at the DC9 this past Monday night. His sound gave 80’s vibrations as soon as he performed Full Moon, Hungry Sun from his debut album Blue Cheese. It was dreamy, his voice made it feel as if we were in slow motion. Leaving me in a haze. A sterling show that left DC wanting more of Kane Strang.

Make sure to check out Kane Strang’s Blue Cheese as well as his new single Oh So You’re Off I See on Spotify and iTunes.

Blue Cheese by Kane Strang

 

Oh So You’re Off I See – Single by Kane Strang

 

Kane Strang on Spotify