Monthly Archives: May 2011

Concert Review: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr at The Camel

Seeing Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. should be on every American’s bucket list. In fact, bump your date up to soonish (rapture?) and see them immediately. The show these two guys from Detroit put on at The Camel is one I will remember for some time. The stage was modest aside from the two sets of giant “JR JR” light-boards that blasted the crowd with brights during their mobilizing jams. Oh, and I can’t forget the bubble machine. Before DEJJ got up to full speed, the guys stripped out of their customary NASCAR jumpsuits, revealing baller-status business suits; an homage to the transition from A Horse Power EP. They then opened with a captivating performance of Morning Thought, the first single of their debut album, A Corporate World. *See the symbolism there?? 

Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott commanded the crowd like a group that has been doing this for years. Their basement crafted ingenuity translated perfectly to the intimate stage of The Camel. I really haven’t seen anything like what DEJJ offered for crowd interaction. During Skeletons, they asked for volunteers to come on stage and lead the “Skeleton Choir”. This led to three lucky individuals leading the chorus wearing skeleton masks. Each song had its own customization. There was passion, energy, raw talent and the whole thing was too enjoyable to translate to the wandering reader. You simply had to be there.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., The Camel, Richmond, VA

DEJJ’s set featured three cover songs; including, Steve Winwood’s Higher Love and God Only Knows by the Beach Boys. They utilized their amazing talent for remixing to spin each cover into something unique and brilliant. The entire night came to the perfect end when DEJJ closed the encore with Nothing But Our Love. They could have gone on for hours more, and I wish they had. I can’t wait to see these guys again with a full album under their belt.

I was lucky enough to meet Josh and Daniel before and after the show. Awesome dudes, wish I had been able to stick around to show them how to party in Richmond. This band has legs and you should join as they blitz the music industry.

Read my previous Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. post, here. Includes a couple of songs ripe for listening.

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Bon Iver – Calgary

Bon Iver album art

Bon Iver just released the first track, Calgary, off their highly anticipated, self titled sophomore album. If you’re not up on Bon Iver yet, where the hell have you been? Step 1: Listen to For Emma, Forever Ago. Step 2: Go pre-order Bon Iver here (because I know  you will be hooked immediately). Step 3: Buy tickets to see Bon Iver in Richmond @ The National – July 30 (because I’ll be there and it’s going to be awesome).

Listen: Bon Iver – Calgary 

Concert Review: Foals

I was held speechless for several hours following this show. To some degree, I am still having trouble articulating what exactly happened that Friday night at the 9:30 club.

The two opening acts, The Naked and Famous & Freelance Whales, were awesome but, in the end, no match for what the Foals did to the 9:30 stage. Check back for songs from the openers after the jump.

The Foals brought it and it was insane. The energy hit the crowd immediately. Where people could openly hold conversations during the opening sets, not a word could be spoken while the Foals were ripping on stage. It was loud, in your throat, infectious energy.

Foals at 9:30 club

The lead singer, Yannis Philippakis, used the entire stage to stomp around and throw every bit of crazy into each song. Actually, there were several instances where the stage wasn’t enough for Yannis. He took a full speed stage dive and followed that by climbing on top of a giant speaker to get to a tiny balcony where he continued to tear into the guitar. Yannis’ microphone helicoptering was the cherry on top of it all.

Foals at 9:30 club

Total Life Forever, got the crowed amped up early on. It was at this point that I realized I was in for something wild.

The highlight of the show was a suspenseful, show-stopper rendition of Spanish Sahara. After lulling the club into mellow non-awareness, the song slowly built up to a raucous pitch that, by the end, had the crowd whipped into an all out frenzy.
Foals – Total Life Forever
Foals – Spanish Sahara

When it was all said and done, the club was completely out of breath. I’ve been to a lot of shows and the Foals are definitely up there with the best I have seen. It’s no wonder they were recently nominated for best live band.

photo credits: Theresa Highsmith

Concert Pulse – 5/13

Concert Pulse will be a weekly updated list of concerts that I think you all should attend. The shows will mostly be in the DC area with some Richmond and Charlottesville dates. PLEASE, let me know if you’re interested in attending any of these concerts as I am always looking for people to go to shows with. If you can’t attend, you should at least check out the bands, they all have my backing.
  • Friday May 13; Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (Red Palace, DC)
  • Tuesday May 17, The Antlers (Black Cat, DC)
  • Tuesday May 17; Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (IOTA Club, Arlington)
  • Wednesday May 18; Damien Jurado w/John Vanderslice (Black Cat, DC)
  • Tuesday May 31; Alexander of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, DC)
  • Friday June 10; Other Lives (Red Palace, DC)
  • Friday June 17; Noah and the Whale (9:30).
  • Wednesday June 22, Foster the People (9:30)
  • Wednesday July 20; Phantogram, Glitch Mob, and Com Truise (9:30); Phantogram is who I really want to see here
  • Wednesday July 27; Eels (9:30)
  • New! Saturday July 30; Bon Iver (The National – Richmond); Tickets on sale TODAY @ 10am for all Bon Iver shows
  • New! Monday August 1; Bon Iver (9:30)
  • New! Tuesday August 2; Bon Iver (9:30)
  • Wednesday August 3; The Decemberists w/ The Head and the Heart (Cville Pavilion); I have tickets
  • Thursday September 29; Mogwai (9:30)
Drop a hot comment if any of these shows tickle your interest. I’d love to make all of these.

Concert Pulse

Concert Pulse will be a weekly updated list of concerts that I think you all should attend. The shows will mostly be in the DC area with some Richmond and Charlottesville dates. PLEASE, let me know if you’re interested in attending any of these concerts as I am always looking for people to go to shows with. If you can’t attend, you should at least check out the bands, they all have my backing.
  • Friday May 6; Foals, Freelance Whales, and the Naked and Famous (9:30 Club, DC)
  • Thursday May 12; Besnard Lakes (Black Cat, DC)
  • Friday May 13; Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (Red Palace, DC)
  • Tuesday May 17, The Antlers (Black Cat, DC)
  • Tuesday May 17; Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. (IOTA Club, Arlington)
  • Wednesday May 18; Damien Jurado w/John Vanderslice (Black Cat, DC)
  • Tuesday May 31; Alexander of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, DC)
  • Friday June 10; Other Lives (Red Palace, DC)
  • Friday June 17, Noah and the Whale (9:30).
  • Wednesday June 22, Foster the People (9:30)
  • Wednesday July 20; Phantogram, Glitch Mob, and Com Truise (9:30); Phantogram is who I really want to see here
  • Wednesday July 27; Eels (9:30)
  • Wednesday August 3; The Decemberists w/ The Head and the Heart (Cville Pavilion)
  • Thursday September 29; Mogwai (9:30)
Drop a hot comment if any of these shows tickle your interest. I’d love to make all of these.

Music Video: Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math

Check out this new music video from Manchester Orchestra for the title track off their upcoming album, Simple Math. This marks Manchester Orchestra’s third full-length album and it is already getting great reviews. Good luck cracking the code on the band’s site. If you’re successful, you will be able to stream the album for free before it’s released next week.

ps. I am putting off studying for an Enterprise Architecture certification exam to post this, so you better watch this.

Introducing: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

“We are a musical project, with high-speed aspirations.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. pic

That just about says it all from this duo hailing from Detroit. In my opinion, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.’s upcoming full length LP, It’s a Corporate World, should be one of the most anticipated releases of the summer (June 7). Don’t let the name fool you, this band is definitely playlist material. DEJJ has thrown their hat into the ever-popular electronic tune trend, and they have come up with music that is fresh and exciting. There is something addicting behind DEJJ’s music…you’re just going to have to listen for yourself to figure it out.

Listen: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – Nothing But Our Love

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – Morning Thought

**Concert Alert! Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. will be playing two shows in the DC area THIS MONTH:

  • Friday, May 13: Red Palace, DC
  • Tuesday, May 17: IOTA Club, Arlington

I plan on going to both of these shows, so let me know if you’re interested in tagging along. FYI: the show at IOTA is going to be epic, I highly recommend joining.

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