The Howard Theatre is probably one of the most beautiful venues I have ever been to; it’s definitely the cleanest. People could roll around on the floor and stand up cleaner than they were before. I was almost afraid to touch anything, fearful that I would taint such a magnificent building. But even with all of the mind-blowing splendor, The Howard Theatre has an extremely grounded feel that makes you crave for more places like this.
Back in early 2010, everybody was looking forward to MGMT’s Congratulations. Personally, it was a flop. Congratulations represented, for me at least, the epitome of a sophomore slump album. It tried too hard to be something that blew everyone’s mind. Sure, Oracular Spectacular was amazing because it was weird. It was just that Congratulations pushed the boundaries past the line where it seemed acceptable.
The new Youth Lagoon album, Wondrous Bughouse, reminds me a lot of that attempt to go down the path where MGMT’s second album failed. To begin with, the name Wondrous Bughouse makes the album scream feel weird. That is exactly what it is. From the get go, with the first song, “Through Mind and Back”, I found myself wondering what was going on. What mess did I get into? Did I just enter the mindspace of some avant-garde film?
Yet again does a slew of bands help advocate towards a joyful Friday night on Washington D.C.’s (in)famous U Street; an avenue scattered with clubs and venues that host live music nightly. While the 9:30 Club hosted Randy Rogers Band, and Mos Def was putting on a show out in Maryland, Beach Fossils along with Go Cozy and Young Rapids came around to give the first day of March a jangly vibe at DC9. Touring off their new album, Clash the Truth, Beach Fossils had arrived fresh in the Capital, and welcomed two bands within the District area as their openers for the night. In a venue as small and intimate as DC9 (normally serving as a bar), there is no evasion of the artistry and presence put on by each band, as they are merely feet in front of your face, or in my case, high-five range.
I can tell you a lot about Fareoh’s music from my classical standpoint, about his uplifting lyrical lines and stunningly complex yet melodic tracks, but the technicalities are irrelevant once you hear his work. You don’t need to know any music theory to realize that his music is more than just well put together—it’s artistically created and has an optimism that is infectious. Although each track of his is undoubtedly distinct, there is unique sound that makes its creator evident.
I recently had a chance to interview Fareoh a few days after he opened the sold-out Madeon concert at the 9:30 Club. At 20 years old, he’s part of a new generation of DJs and producers moving towards a more progressive house vibe. Polite and well-spoken with an incredibly charismatic stage presence, he’s definitely going to be a major player in the EDM scene. You can read the interview below to learn more about his inspirations, beginnings in classical music, and upcoming projects.
Starfucker, also known by their “safe-for-work” moniker, STRFKR, released their third LP Miracle Mile last week, along with dates for their ensuing tour (including a trip to the 9:30 Club on March 13th). The band’s previous record, Reptilians, was very popular among critics and fans alike, and showed excellent progress from their self-titled debut. Known for their mix of indie pop, electronica, and sometimes-funky dance numbers, Starfucker has achieved status as a major name, first in their hometown scene of Portland and more recently worldwide.
For their die-hard supporters, Miracle Mile is another solid chapter in the Starfucker catalogue. It has the same kind of hooks, catchy guitar twangs, and slightly obscure references to 19th century poets we’ve become accustomed to since their debut. Still, as much as it appeals to their fan base, the album refuses to climb out of the ever-growing pool of generic, boring indie pop music. Even at its highlights with the songs “Kahlil Gibran” and “Atlantis”, the listener is subjected to adolescent lyrics expressing vague and rather clichéd ideas.