BY BEN KRON// It was one of those cold, late-fall D.C. Sundays where you just can’t seem to get out of bed when I stumbled across Wim Wender’s masterpiece of a film, Wings of Desire. As thought provoking and mesmerizing as the film was, there was one scene that seemed to stick in my head, even weeks following the day I watched it. It was a smoked filled basement… or venue (an image, I’m sure many of us are familiar with) in West Berlin during the Cold War, where a tall man dressed in tight leather jeans, stood bellowing the lyrics to “Six Bells Chime” as a crowd of people lost themselves in the heavy drums, and ‘gothic rock’ guitar riffs.
DEANNA REYES// Carlos Vives Colombian Vallenato with a twist has been a staple in my life since I was born. The Grammy winning singer songwriter has a career that spans over 30 years, all filled with innovation and appeal to all ages and Latinos across the globe. Vives wasn’t always a music giant, he began his career acting in telenovelas before releasing his ballad album ‘No Podras Escapar De Mi’ which was preceded by two more ballad albums, which failed to popularize. Vives found his sound when he collaborated with a Vallenato band called ‘La Provincia’ and began to infuse rock and indigenous Colombian sounds into a classic Vallenato composition. The album led to success all over Latin America and charted in American Billboards Charts, and Vives has become a legend amongst Latino artists.
Vives’ recent hit “La Bicicleta”, a collaboration with other Colombian superstar Shakira, swept the Latino music world by storm. The track combines cumbia, pop, as well as some indigenous wind instrument, in fun way which incites people to get up and dance. The song came along with a video which was filmed in both artists’ hometowns and features the real people living in them in a nostalgic and colorful background.
BY TORI SWIACKI// Courtney Barnett, the indie darling of Australia, is returning to Washington, DC this Tuesday, July 24.
Barnett and her music have always held a certain staying power, between the blend of folk guitar dressed up with garage rock influences and her deadpan lyrics giving fans no shortages of witty quotes to swap. The most recognizable, and perhaps my personal favorite, will perhaps always be, “Give me all your money, and I’ll make some origami honey,” from her 2015 sophomore album, “Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit.”
Putting the sometimes pithy nature of her usual lyrics aside, other tracks reveal a soft, queer love, like “Depreston,” telling the story of moving in with a partner and what it feels like to choose a new home for oneself. In her newest album, “Tell Me How You Really Feel,” Barnett shows a rare display of aggression in the middle track, “I’m Not Your Mother, I’m Not Your Bitch,” which is neatly balanced out by the opening track “Hopefulessness,” with a simple plucked melody that never fails to hypnotize.
NUEX, a Washington, DC-based duo has been producing dark-wave electronic/pop music since the pair met at a local eatery. Having performed at both Liv Nightclub and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, NUEX’s music is uniquely introspective and caters to a diverse fanbase.
Their latest single, EYES, becomes available on all music platforms today! They’ve also announced their debut EP, Affectus, for release on May 25. Comprised of singer-songwriter Camille Michelle Gray and drummer-producer Teddy Aitkins, Affectus is a five-track collection that fuses haunting synths with kick-clap, hip-hop influenced rhythms.
BY SARAH SOPHER// Canadian indie pop/rock band, Stars, is bringing their ninth studio album to life on their North American 2018 tour. On April 23 at the 930 Club in Washington DC, fans will be able to experience the relatable and touching performance of thisfamilial band.