For the past three years, WRGW has hosted its Spring Concert at 6th & I, the historic synagogue in Chinatown. In 2012, we saw Red Line Grafitti and Reptar bring the house down. Last year, we teamed up with other local college radio stations to bring Deerhunter, Mas Ysa and Jackson Scott to DC. This year, we are so proud to announce a very special lineup that reflects WRGW’s fresh, new focus.
Concertgoers had no doubts whether or not Shark Week and Bass Drum of Death would deliver on Friday night. Simply, the DC locals and the Mississippi garage rockers tore the roof off the Black Cat Backstage. The crowd was so dense, in fact, that BDoD proved themselves more than worthy of booking the renowned Black Cat mainstage in a year or so following their next album (we’re crossing our fingers for that record to come soon)
Attention GW students! This Saturday, the alternative string quartet SYBARITE5 is performing at Sixth and I Synagogue in Chinatown, and we couldn’t be more excited. Merging the popular with the classical, the ensemble “has taken audiences by storm all across the U.S., forever changing the perception of chamber music performance.” Finding inspiration from Radiohead to Mozart to Brubeck, their experimental compositions and arrangements fall far from traditional expectations (and limitations) of classical music.
The last time we saw DC locals Shark Week, they were opening for Mac DeMarco in the basement of an American University academic building. This Thursday, they’ll rile the crowd for Mississippi’s Bass Drum of Death at the Black Cat. Shark Week’s wild psych sound comes alive through performance, almost as if infused with a new, rawer soul. That rough ’round the edges sensibility is the perfect match for Bass Drum of Death, the Southern princes of garage rock. The black and white checkerboard floor of the Black Cat could withstand a number of things tomorrow night: grooving, stomping, head banging, crowd surfing and plenty of beer spillage.
I’ll be uploading my recordings of “Something Good”, “Matilda”, and “Taro” sometime soon– look for those links here!
With the various distractions ever present in our lives, Alex and I arrived to the show about halfway through the opening performance of the dreamscape-esque band Hundred Waters. With two-part vocal harmonies and a plethora of crescendo-ing tremolos on the part of the lead female singer Nicole Miglis and her counterpart Sam Moss, the 9:30 Club (with the aid of talented light-smiths) appeared to have been transported to a mystical region of our collective consciousness with roving thoughts and endless terrain. With synthetic beats, a live drummer, and occasionally guitar and bass, the entire performance seemed to fluctuate, with the echoes of the bass and drums pumping through veins in the close-knit space that is General Admission at the 9:30 Club. For a first time listener, I would suggest “Boreal,” a true soundscape of a piece played at the end of their set, amplifying their harmonies and the rise and fall of their tones, even including brief moments of flute playing on the part of Ms. Miglis.
Fast forward about half an hour to the act we’d been waiting for: Alt-J. Coolly walking on stage and assuming their stage positions were (left to right): keyboardist & backup vocalist Gus Unger-Hamilton, lead vocalist and guitarist Joe Newman, guitarist & bassist Gwil Sainsbury, followed by drummer Thom Green, who was situated oddly on the far right side of the stage rather than comfortably behind Mr. Newman as one would assume. The set began with “Intro”, the tite track on their album An Awesome Wave. Throughout the performance of “Hundred Waters,” there was an intriguing backdrop of interwoven branches and twigs, with the ability to see each tree dependent upon its width and the lighting of the stage; with Alt-J now onstage however, it becomes clear: the hand-painted background was very specially crafted to represent the album cover of An Awesome Wave, with a blast of color adding new dimensions to not only the images themselves, but to the performance as a whole. By the time they dove into a classically foot stomping rendition of “Tessellate”, the crowd was caught under the influence of this visual and auditory transposition. For anyone familiar with the band, its sound and soul varies greatly from that of most bands, failing to truly be categorized and instead merely existing, and being felt.