The year+ following Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr’s 2011 release of It’s A Corporate World was filled with all sorts experimental forays into different musical mediums. Whether it was DJ’ing or dominating the remix, all of that time has led up to this very exciting next step for the dynamic duo out of Detroit.
If You Didn’t See Me bombards us with DEJJ’s trademarked charm and energy. All of their basement mix mastering has clearly payed off here. This song has the feel of love and care that only comes from years of perfecting a craft. Layered and looped and ever-changing, it’s likely we won’t here anything better than this all year… at least until the next single.
This is addicting. Like, I just got an advance on my next pay check to score as much of this song as possible. So please pardon my brevity in this review as I will likely be huddled in SoundCloud for the next few days waiting for more Jr Jr.
Having already seen DEJJ live four times, I already cannot wait for them to tour with the new material. Keep posted to their site for tour updates and news on their upcoming EP Patterns, due out April 16!
Rarity In Form favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. have released a brand new music video for We Almost Lost Detroit off their debut album It’s A Corporate World. One of my favorite DEJJ tracks, the Gil Scott Heron re-imagination packs powerful energy and an infectious, upbeat rhythm.
The video, directed by Andrew Smart, takes us through the streets of Detroit and delves into the sub-culture of the Motor City. We are introduced to numerous small business settings and eclectic characters; all highlighting the resurgence of Detroit and its battle back mentality. Eventually the guys of DEJJ take center stage and we see a very familiar set/atmosphere if you have ever had the privileged to witness this duo live. All that’s missing is the bubble machine.
Zott and Epstein share a very strong connection to their hometown and had this to say about what the video and Detroit mean to them:
As Detroiters, we are born and bred with a civic pride that we are continually told is somewhat uncommon. We wanted the city, and the people in the city, to be the video for this simple reason. It is an exciting time to be from Detroit–as we believe it’s a city that is in the midst of reinventing itself in a huge way.
Wow. What a year this has been for live music. I’ve seen so many incredible shows throughout DC, Northern VA and Richmond. It’s not going to be an easy task getting this down to five. Just to give you an idea of how great this year was, Mumford & Sons, Fleet Foxes, Iron & Wine, among other great shows, didn’t make the cut. There have been a fair share of “damn, can’t believed I didn’t get tickets” and “shit, I missed them?” moments throughout the year. I only wish I could have seen every concert.
I have never rated anything like this before, so I don’t really know what I’m doing here. Just go with it, I guess. I’m such an amateur that I couldn’t narrow this thing down to my top five. So you get a bonus and we start at…
6. The Black Keys @ Merriweather Post / Free Fest
The Black Keys were the sole reason I trekked to the shitty state of Maryland and the techno vomit that was Free Fest. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of great bands there (Cut Copy, Okkervil River, Two Door Cinema Club) but it seemed like all everybody wanted to see were the “press play-button” artists. I was there for the Keys. And man, did they deliver. It doesn’t matter where you are, the energy oozing from The Black Keys is enough to impregnate all within earshot. Closing with I Got Mine was one of the musical highlights of my life.
5. Foals w/ The Naked And Famous @ 9:30 Club
I’m going to call #5 the upset of the year. I bought the tickets on a whim and went in with zero expectations. The Naked And Famous played the part of primer to perfection. Everyone was juiced, jazzed and ready to go by the time Foals came on. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough because I was very quickly gaping at the spectacle unfolding before me on 9:30 Club’s historic stage. Yannis Philippakis tore the rafters from the ceiling while leading a stage-diving, microphone-coptering, speaker-climbing all out rage. Once I finally got my mouth off the floor, I realized I was right in the middle of one hell of a show.
It is becoming difficult to describe the special connection I feel towards Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. Seeing this group from Detroit tear down stage after stage will never get old. You can, and should, listen to their debut album Morning Thought every day, but you will never know the creativity, intensity, and passion in which they deliver these tracks until you witness them live.
The set from DEJJ was essentially the same from months ago back in Richmond. The sold out Red Palace offered a rocking venue. A special touch was added when they paid tribute to recently disbanded REM with an inspiring segue into Everybody Hurts. Nostalgia, yes!
In my opinion, you won’t see many other live songs that top DEJJ’s version of Gil Scott-Heron’s We Almost Lost Detroit. Repping their hometown threads, Epstein and Zott took the roof off with a performance that has, to this day, left me speechless.
The encore was… insane! I would never would have called Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody as the lead off. That whipped the DC crowd into a frenzied momentum which carried on well after the show had ended.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – We Almost Lost Detroit
Concert Pictures After the Jump…
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So, I cannot contain my excitement any longer. In a matter of hours, I will be reliving one my favorite concert experiences. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is set to tear down the Red Palace in DC tonight. I’m overly joyed at the thought of seeing my new favorite band live again and experiencing a new venue for me in DC. Here is a video of the guys performing Nothing But Your Love Live from Austin City Limits this year. Imagine that energy and creativity up close and in person! Oh, goosebumps. Enjoy.
Peeps! My DC/VA concert list has been updated. Navigate to the ‘Concert Pulse’ page to see my recommended shows! Lots and lots of great music coming to the area. Get at me if you want to hit any of these shows.
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.
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.
“We are a musical project, with high-speed aspirations.”
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.