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Local Natives – Breakers

Easily one of my favorite albums from 2010, Local Natives‘ debut Gorilla Major is another building block to my growing passion for music. They’re back this year with Breakers, first single off their upcoming 2013 release Hummingbird, slated for a January 23 release via Frenchkiss/Infectious.

Breakers is an intensely satisfying track. The seamless collaboration of so many moving parts is next level shit. Percussion, keys, and beats from every direction. I’d say it’s impossible not to ride their unbreakable harmonies into a deep daydream. It’s vanilla.

And guys, it’s your lucky day. I have it on good word that Local Natives are going on a huge tour early next year. In fact, I already have my ticket. An exclusive artist presale is up on their site and they’re hitting DC April 5 @ the 9:30 Club. Tour details after the jump…
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Concert Review: Reptar @ Gibson Guitar Showroom

Reptar, Washington DC, All Things Go, New Noise 2, Gibson Guitar Showroom

Photo courtesy All Things Go; Laura Lopez

Hands down, one of the coolest things I have ever done. The good people at All Things Go certainly know how to throw a party. ATG’s New Noise series at the Gibson Guitar Showroom is a show that every audiofile should experience. There were three great bands that brought down the roof for New Noise 002, but I am going to focus solely on Reptar‘s performance. But trust me, Casual Curious and Fort Lean were excellent and made the night all the more special.

So, I mentioned the venue being awesome. DC’s Gibson Guitar Showroom supplied an intimate experience the likes I have never been apart of in my concert going days. There is no “stage” so the hyped, sold out crowd was able to basically stand in with the bands as their sound poured over the audience. I was lucky enough to sidle up to the front of the crowd for a good majority of the show. The only down side was when one of the 6’6″ behemoths at the show happened to wonder in front of me, essentially giving me a great view of flannel. Oh, I am also forgetting the open bar stocked with Flying Dog and liquor (later cases on cases of Bud Light). Those that were smart enough to get there early were more than tuned up for Reptar’s brain melting set.

Every time I begin to talk about what I experienced during Reptar’s performance, the words seem to get stuck somewhere near my heart. It was mind-blowing, earth rattling, sex inducing, raw power. People were losing their shit. I mean everyone expected something amazing, but what this DC crowd got was something different. In a moment of mid-show reflection, the thought crossed my mind; “Oh, so this is what it’s like to be in a cult”. And I was ok with it.

I honestly have little to no recollection of the setlist, sorry. What I do know is that a new religious movement signed its charter immediately after Stuck In My Id was through. This song might already be my anthem for 2012, but the live performance takes it to new heights. The entire crowd moved and sang as one while Graham Ulicny belted the lyrics into oblivion. Reptar’s electronic synths and bouncy rhythmic instrumentation are made for live performances. Blastoff and Rainbounce once again got the crowd moving. Every note and key is delivered with an intensified passion all capped by Ulicny’s fierce sound. That behemoth I mentioned earlier, yea he nearly took down the entire stage and crowd in the tornado created by Reptar.

What an incredible night. Not to mention, I went to the All Things Go after party and had an epic battle game of landmines with band members and show goers. I’m pretty sure I asked the Reptar guys if their name had anything to do with Rugrats, but I was too bombed to remember their response. That’s for sucking at spinning a quarter. I love music.

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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Concert Review: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. @ Red Palace

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. Red Palace

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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