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Music Video: Drop Electric – Empire Trashed

Drop Electric will haunt you. Their sprawling, grandiose soundscape digs deep into your inner mechanics. Chills reverberate through my body as their cinematic post rock tosses me straight onto the set of some indie-grunge Sundance short. Empire Trashed hits all ranges of emotions – serving up pain strained by frustrations for the main course; finishing with an inexplicable sensation elation and relief. I’m not one to suggest that Drop Electric will play with your emotions, but you won’t be upset with the end result regardless. This stunning video is produced by DC/NYC studio Dedalus Moving Pictures.

Drop Electric, a DC based band, just released four new tracks as a “sampler platter“. These four tracks show maturity and an added dimension coming off their 2010 hit debut Finding Color in the Ashes.

From all the reviews I’ve read, these guys are not one to miss live. Luckily, the District has two great chances to witness their face melting post rock. Drop Electric will headline the Capitol Groove Fest on July 28. In addition, they headline the STPP Fest Benefit @ Black Cat August 3, which also features RIF approved Conveyor.

Check out the Sampler Platter ATJ…

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Epic Week in Concerts

The music scene literally explodes this week in DC. I have shows lined up Wednesday through Saturday and I might even pick up a Sunday ticket. Bowerbirds! Gotye! Polica! Youth Lagoon!! There is no way I’m going to be able to review all these shows (new job!!) so here’s a quick preview of the upcoming week in music. My favorite part about this week? Four concerts, four different venues all with a best friend in town. I will survive?

Unfortunately most of these are sold out (minus Bowerbirds). If you’re up for joining, snag some last-minute craigslistings, it’s going to be special.

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Of Monsters and Men – US Tour

Of Monsters and Men, US Tour, Into the Woods

Ladies and gentlemen, Of Monsters and Men have announced their 2012 North America tour. I first introduced Of Monsters and Men early on in RIF’s existence and have been awaiting their tour schedule ever since. It has been a while since I have felt such excitement and jubilation surrounding an up and coming band (read Mumford & Sons). When trying  to describe OM&M, all I can say is remember the last time you immediately fell in love with a band?… yea this is bigger than that.

Make sure to greet and treat our mega-talented guests from Iceland wherever their tour touches your corner of the map. DC is so blessed that we have the honor of hosting this incredible band at Black Cat on a Monday night to kick off April.

Full Tour Lineup + Little Talks Music Video After the Jump

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District Spotlight: Lightfoot

Lightfoot, Scarlet Sails, Black Cat, Album Release

People! It’s high time Rarity In Form dipped into the local DC music scene. The District is rapidly heating up with tons of great venues between Arlington and DC for local talent to grow a fan base. For this first installment, we look to a charming group with DC and Richmond roots. Lightfoot is fronted by Jessica Louise Dye, who has a pretty crazy back story leading up to her involvement in Lightfoot. Some of the highlights include a time with the Air Force, lost love, and a brief stint living out of her car.

Lucky for everyone, Dye found inspiration in music along the way and her incredible talent is spearheading the charge for Lightfoot. Dye uses the adversity she has faced in life to deliver heartbreaking and heartwarming ballads featuring her stupid-good vocal range and heavy-pop guitar. Lightfoot’s sound comes together in a folksy, sometimes airy dream that is ever cozy yet will definitely make you do some soul searching.

Lightfoot will be hosting an album release show for their new EP Scarlet Sails at Black Cat this Friday, January 27! What an awesome venue to experience this dynamic group first hand. They will even be running some promotions for the show so be sure to book your ticket ASAP and pick up their brand new EP.

Read on for Lightfoot’s new music video for 1963 (my personal favorite). Which features iconic local sights from my hometown of Richmond. Thanks for making me miss home, especially Belle Isle.

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Concert Review: Real Estate @ Black Cat

Real Estate, Live, Black Cat, Washington DC

Real Estate is an ever building force wrapped in nostalgia. On an icy night in DC, these guys from Brooklyn provided the perfect energy to close out the weekend. Real Estate being big Giant’s fans, delayed the show several minutes while waiting out the end of the playoff game. Luckily they didn’t wait through overtime because the sold out Black Cat crowd was itching to start moving.

Real Estate touched all bases with their set but the main focus was on tracks from their 2011 album Days. They led off with Green Aisles and Easy which set the crowd to fully primed. By the time It’s Real hit in the middle of the set, Real Estate could not be touched. The flow created by Real Estate’s sound lulls you into an effervescent state of mind that only gets better with every song.

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Concert Review + Photos: M83 @ Black Cat

M83, Live, Black Cat DC

Holy shitmazingepic! {{Early Show Review}} Formulating coherent thoughts into a review is going to be near impossible for this show. M83 pure killed it at Black Cat. You must see these guys live, it will change your life. The entire show was a blur of lights, reverb rhythm, and infectious sound. Without a setlist for reference, I would not have be able to discern one song from the next. Halfway through the show I was in a near ethereal state. Thank you M83!

Intro and Midnight City led off the show. Never before have I experienced such an adrenaline spike at the beginning of a concert. Midnight City was every bit as good live, and them some. The sold out crowd was completely caught off guard hearing that song so early on… just got the chills reminiscing. Morgan Kibby was incredible throughout the night and never more so while belting out lyrics for Intro. Without her, M83 is a much lesser band. I was a little worried that they peaked too early but those thoughts were quickly and emphatically extinguished.

M83 brought back the classics with Kim & Jessie followed closely by We Own The Sky. The latter was definitely a highlight of the main set. Everyone jumping, dancing, swaying…it was special. Gonzalez chose to close out the night with one of the most popular songs off Saturdays = Youth, Couleurs. And what a perfect way to end it all; the crowd was completely hypnotized and electrified by the instrumental fueled jam session.

Unfortunately we did not get to hear Raconte-Moi Une Historie. I was almost positive Gonzalez would lead the group back out for one final closing song. It was not meant to be. That was the only let down for the night but if I’m being honest with myself, I never should have never to hear that song. It would have felt forced and out of place on this night.

I am going to be talking about this show for some time to come. Happy it was shared with some good friends. I greatly look forward for the next go around, and so should you. — RIF

Setlist and more (read great) concert photos after the jump.

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Stream M83 “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming”

M83, Hurry Up We're Dreaming

Folks, hurry on over to Urban Outfitters ‘Features’ for an exclusive stream of M83’s upcoming double album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. The good people over at UO include a pretty solid interview along with the music.

If you’re lucky enough to find tickets to either of M83’s two sold out Black Cat shows, don’t pass up the opportunity. I have no idea how all of these new tracks will translate into a live performance but, boy, am I looking forward to the show. Hope to see some of you there on October 28. Chao.

Phantogram – Don’t Move

Phantogram, Don't Move, Nightlife

I think it’s about time I fill you guys in on Phantogram.  This duo from Saratoga Springs, NY is composed of the incomparable Sarah Barthel (vocals and keyboards) and Josh Carter (vocals and guitar). Their debut, Eyelid Movies, was a perfect meld of their trip-hop fueled beats. Phantogram’s spaced out synths provide an off balanced yet rhythmic elctro-beat that keeps you coming back on tracks like When I’m Small and Mouthful of Diamonds.

In Don’t Move, you hear the maturity that has been developing throughout Phantogram’s early career. The sound has a happier, lighter flow. I feel like everything is more in sync and there an understated confidence in the single. Impressive. That confidence might have something to be with being named a “must see act” for several top music festivals this year. This single comes off the upcoming mini-LP, Nightlife, which is set to drop November 1.

If you live in the DC area, man o man are you lucky! Phantogram will be playing @ Black Cat DC on Wednesday November 16. This is going to be a dynamite show.  How could you pass up the chance to witness the supreme talent of the super sexy Sarah Barthel. She’s easily my No. 1 crush on the indie music scene. So get your tickets now so we can dance our faces off to Phantogram.

Phantogram – Don’t Move [audio|titles=Don’t Move|artists=Phantogram]

More tracks after the jump…

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M83 – Midnight City

M83 Midnight City Black Cat

Electro-pop band, M83, has been around for a few years but they are just now bursting onto the music scene. Midnight City is a tour de force of high energy, electric beats wrapped around stilled vocals. This song is infectious and will have you wanting to get up and move immediately. Not to mention the killer horns solo halfway through, damn, what a song. I would highly recommend grabbing the album, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.

Listen: M83 – Midnight City [audio|titles=Midnight City|artists=M83]

Be sure to grab tickets to see these guys at The Black Cat DC on Friday, October 28. I have tickets to the early show because I plan on jetting over to 9:30 afterward to catch The Naked and Famous. It’s going to be an epic night of music entertainment, do join.

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