DC LIVE: Jah Wobble / Nick Waterhouse / Preoccupations (FKA Viet Cong)


On any given night of the week in the DMV, there are myriad options for live music, which is why we’ve started the segment DC LIVE to call out our picks.

To kick off this edition we have the English musician Jah Wobble, who will be playing Rock & Roll Hotel with his band The Invaders Of The Heart September 23. Drawing on influences of dub, jazz and world music, John Wardle aka Jah Wobble has had a long and storied career. Originally known as the bass player for Public Limited Ltd (PiL), he later went on to fashion his own solo career, releasing his new album Everything Is No Thing with The Invaders this August. If you enjoy a good rhythm and blues section, listen to the single “Cosmic Blueprint” and check out his show at Rock & Roll this week.

Continuing the theme of rhythm and soul, Nick Waterhouse also has a show coming up at Rock & Roll Hotel on October 12. The LA-based musician is releasing his third album Never Twice (via Innovative Leisure) on September 30, which showcases his signature pastiche of R&B-rooted sounds. Calling upon some of his favorite artists to contribute to the record–Waterhouse solicited Jazz musician Bob Kenmotsu’s on the flute, Tom Waits and Elvis Costello collaborator Ralph Carney on sax, and Dr. Lonnie Smith protégé Will Blades on organ–amongst others. Waterhouse also collaborated with Grammy-nominated artist Leon Bridges on the track “Katchi,” which you can hear below. For a night of doo wop and neo-soul swag, be sure to come out for the show.

And finally, the band formerly known Viet Cong, recently rechristened as Preoccupations will also be playing Rock & Roll Hotel this October 16 (killing it with the bookings much R&R?). Working with Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck) on their new self-titled LP through Jagjaguwar, the post-punk Canadian group’s new album reflects their present state at the time of recording — one of flux within both their professional and personal lives. Listen below to the album’s opus, an amorphous 11-minute journey entitled “Memory” featuring Wolf Parade‘s Dan Boeckner on vocals.

Small Black – No One Wants It To Happen To You


Brooklyn’s Small Black has released a couple of tracks in anticipation of their forthcoming album, Best Blues due out this fall. The follow-up to their 2013 LP Limits of Desire is “about loss, the specific loss of precious people in our lives, but also the loss of memories and the difficult fight to preserve them,” according to a press release. In fact, the synthpop outfit’s new single “‘No One Wants It To Happen To You'” was meant as a mantra,” says vocalist Josh Kolenik. “Something an older, wiser friend told you once that you might cling to in order to get through a terrible situation. The phrase you keep folded up in your pocket, letting you know better will surely come.” Cheers to that — Best Blues is set to release October 14 via Jagjaguwar.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love


Last week Unknown Mortal Orchestra announced the release date of their new album, Multi-Love, due out May 26 on Jagjaguwar. This will be the group’s third studio album and follow-up to their 2013 record II. UMO also shared the title-track, which according to a press release is a reflection on relationships: “airy, humid longing, loss, the geometry of desire that occurs when three people align. Where [frontman Ruban Nielson] addressed the pain of being alone on II, Multi-Love takes on the complications of being together.”

Stream the swoon-worthy track and check out their upcoming North American tour dates below.

UMO North American Tour Dates:

06/02 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
06/03 – Montreal, QC @ Theatre Fairmount
06/04 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
06/05 – Pontiac, MI @ Pike Room
06/06 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
06/08 – Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
06/09 – Omaha, NE @ Waiting Room
06/10 – St. Louis, MO @ Firebird
06/11-14 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
06/13 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
06/14 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
06/15 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
06/16 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
06/17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
06/19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw

RMX ROUNDUP: Young Summer + backstroke. / Small Black + Dave Harrington / Gotye + Supermayer


Time for a Remix Roundup, Memorial Day weekend style edition! First up, I’m digging this backstroke. remix of DC’s own Young Summer. A fellow DC resident, backstroke. takes the affective original (“Waves That Rolled You Under”) and adds a lush layer of bass and electronic beats. Young Summer’s EP Fever Dream was released last June, 2013 and I’m loving this local talent. Next we have Dave Harrington of Darkside’s retouch of “Lines of Latitude,” the new single from Brooklyn’s Small Black. Although I’ve not featured them on the blog before, Small Black have built up quite the following for their subdued, synthy lovesick pop sound. By upping the tempo and looping the synths, Harrington magnifies the original (off their recent Real People EP via Jagjaguwar) into a dreamy, sun-drenched reworkcurrently on repeat in my playlist. And lastly, after having recently watched Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, I stumbled upon this punched up remix of Gotye’s “Hearts a Mess” from German production duo Supermayer, off the single’s remixes EP. Get lost in these almost-summer creations below.


It’s not all the time
Just when it strikes
The lines I crossed for you

-‘Lines of Latitude,’ Small Black

Sharon Van Etten – Taking Chances


Sharing the first single from her upcoming album, Sharon Van Etten reveals the plaintive, downtempo track “Taking Chances.” In a departure from her traditional folk sound, the Brooklyn singer-songwriter employs an exquisite blend of electronic drums and layered vocals on the track. Her LP Are We There will be released May 26 via the label Jagjaguwar (Angel Olsen, Bon Iver, Unknown Mortal Orchestra).


Sharon has quite the busy agenda this summer:

5/08 Northampton, MA – Iron Horse Music Hall
5/09 Hudson, NY – Helsinki Hudson
5/10 Providence, RI – Columbus Theatre
5/11 Hamden, CT – Ballroom at the Outer Space
5/25 Brussels, Belgium – Le Botanique
5/28 Paris, France – Café de la Danse
5/30 Barcelona, Spain – Primavera Sound Festival
6/01 Cologne, Germany – Studio 672
6/02 Berlin, Germany – Privatclub
6/03 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Bitterzoet
6/05 London, England – KOKO
6/11 Boston, MA – Sinclair
6/12 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg (Northside Festival)
6/13-14 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
6/17 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
6/18 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
6/19 Millvale, PA – Mr. Small’s
6/20 Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
6/21 Nashville, TN – Exit In
6/24 Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
6/25 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
6/28 Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre
6/29-30 San Francisco, CA – The Independent
7/02-03 Portland, OR – Doug Fir
7/05 George, WA – Sasquatch Festival
7/06 Vancouver, British Columbia – Rickshaw Theatre
7/08 Calgary, Alberta – Republik
7/09 Edmonton, Alberta – Starlite Room
7/14 Fargo, ND – Aquarium
7/16 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
7/17 Madison, WI – University of Wisconsin
7/18 Chicago, IL – Pitchfork Music Festival
8/14-17 Wales, England – Green Man Festival