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Audiophile Concert Series – Glass Animals w/ Gabriel Garzón-Montano @ 9:30 Club


Musicheads,

It was a fine Wednesday to spend in the nation’s capitol enjoying some quality live music.  That is exactly what everyone at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC got thanks to the performance of UK band Glass Animals.

Before I get to the headliners though, I do want to make mention of the opener Gabriel Garzón-Montano.  This solo artist hails from Brooklyn and was born from a unique mix of French and Colombian parents.  His musical style is that of neo-funk and soul and draws instant connections to Stevie WonderJason MrazMaxwell and John Legend.

Considering these lofty comparisons and obvious influences there is a lot of potential clearly visible in his music and voice.  Unfortunately, he hasn’t seemed to get it completely right just yet.  While his voice is unique and draws comparisons to that of Stevie Wonder, he falls just a bit short.  His compositions and production are similar to Maxwell and John Legendonce again something is just a bit off or missing.  It’s not anything glaring in his performance or compositions that makes his sound just that bit off, but more of a bunch of small things that a bit of coaching could fix.  Don’t get me wrong, he has composed some excellent tracks already, the perfect example was his opener on the evening Everything Is Everything.

It’s his other compositions unfortunately that miss the mark.  The potential is definitely there, things just need a bit of a tweak.  It seems both in his recorded performances as well as live he tends to zig when he needs to zag and things fall flat consequently.  It is a shame, because the potential is clearly visible, and I believe a slight nudge in the right direction may be all it takes to garner fantastic results, as the cat definitely has talent.   We shall see if he receives that sort of attention.

Sooooo, now let’s move onto the main event of the evening, Glass Animals.  The UK lads really brought it to the sold out 9:30 Club that evening. Kicking the show off with Black Mambo the boys knew how to get the show started on the right foot.  The band’s mellow yet sensual vibes permeated the room all night, while lead singer Dave Bayley remained active on stage all night and continuously danced around.

The show included a rendition of Gooey that seemed to go on forever (of which no one in the crowd was complaining) and a super slow version of Hazey.  Toes was another track that the band mellowed the hell out of and made it sexy as all get out.  To add to the already enjoyable show, the band debuted live for the first time a track they released earlier that day online as well, Gold Lime.  The track is a fusion of Erykah Badu’s The Healer and Yeah Yeah YeahsGold Lion in the typical Glass Animals format with fantastically catchy results.

The group played an hour-long set before departing the stage, to a roaring sustained ovation from the crowd.  They returned for a brief but excellent two-song encore, beginning with their popular Kanye cover Love Lockdown and closing with a massive performance of Pools.

All in all, this was a fantastic show for a Wednesday night.  Relatively low-key in musical style, yet high in peanut buttery vibes; a perfect mid-week breakup of the work week.  Be sure to check out some photos from the show on the Instagram and in the full photo album linked below.

Instagram: @AudiophileAkwitz

More of my photos from the night: Glass Animals w/ Gabriel Garzón-Montano @ 9:30 Club

 

Akwitz

Now Playing: Glass Animals – Gold Lime

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Audiophile Concert Series – RAC Something Classic Tour w/ Penguin Prison & Speak @ 9:30 Club


Musicheads,

You never know what to expect from a Sunday show.  Are the artists going to phone it in as they gear up for other venues for the upcoming week or are they going to play like it’s a Friday night and the feeling’s alright?  Well, let me just put the unease to rest, this past Sunday’s show at 9:30 Club was lights out!

 

The show kicked off with a band out of Austin, TX by the name of Speak.  These fellas are an synth-pop group with a lot of potential.  The group breezed through a quick half an hour set of tracks off both their new album released earlier this year (such as Gates) as well as tracks from their 2011 début  I Believe In Everything, including a performance of their track Carrie.  The band then gleefully exited the stage and told the crowd they would see them again quite soon.  I had never personally heard their music before, but I can say now that they made at least one new fan last night.  These fellas have a lot of charisma and are very comfortable onstage, despite their overall nerdy appearance.

 

Next up was the electro-pop outfit out of New York, Penguin Prison.  Chris Glover and company came our raring to go and they quickly ratcheted up the crowd’s energy.  An entertaining performance was laid out on what would be the band’s final date on RAC’s Something Classic Tour.  The group played the hits from their 2011 self-titled album Penguin Prison such as The Worse It Gets and the ever-popular Don’t Fuck With My Money.  The group did also perform some newer tracks expected to be out on the groups’ newest upcoming album including the expected first single, Calling Out.  They also brought out Andre Allen Anjos (aka the face of RAC) for a cameo performance to come and jam for a track as well.  Expect a new album from Penguin Prison very soon in the coming months.

 

Now let’s head on over to the headliners, Remix Artist Collective, (or RAC for short).  The headliners were truly that.  Equipped with one killer light show (check out all the pics with varied light patterns and colors), the live show for the evening consisted of Andre Allen Anjos, the talented boys from Speak, including Karl Kling and Pink Feathers (aka Liz Anjos, Andre’s wife) on keys and sharing vocals. 

Kicking off the show with their mix of  ODESZA’s Say My Name, they enlivened the already excited crowd into a raucous affair. The show only went up from there.  The group has a tremendous repertoire to lean on, as RAC’s SoundCloud page boasts almost 250 tracks to choose from.  The multiple vocalists on stage quite adequately provided the much-needed depth and variance to cover a whole slew of the various covered artists, including performances of their mixes of  Two Door Cinema ClubYeah Yeah Yeahs, Alex EbertFoster The People, Phoenix and many others.  If that was not enough, at one point, they brought Chris Glover back out to perform his own track Hollywood, which was also found on RAC’s latest album Strangers.  The entire show was an amazing visual and auditory performance.  Jumping back and forth between male and female-led vocalists, the show had its share of tempo and mood changes, all the while keeping an utter dance party going.  The second single from their latest album, Cheap Sunglasses, was yet another excellent performance among the stellar set.

The group shortly thereafter departed the stage to a roaring crowd not ready to call it quits.  The much-anticipated encore took the show to a whole other level.   Kicking it off with a top-notch cover of the Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros smash hit Home, and the crowd went wild.  The group then laid into the massively successful single Let Go.  Before one final track to end the fantastic evening.  I was really taken aback by the visual stimuli of the entire set and therefore took A TON of pictures and video.  Be sure not to miss out on the album below.

Instagram: @AudiophileAkwitz

More of my photos from the night: RAC w/ Penguin Prison & Speak @ 9:30 Club

I will leave you with the studio version of RAC’s mix of the Edward Sharpe track , however, I can say for certain, the live version performed last night was incredibly moving and gave me such a feeling of utter euphoria as they opened their encore that it truly doesn’t compare.

Akwitz

Now Playing: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home (RAC Mix)


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The Audiophile’s Voter’s Choice & Top 51 Tracks of 2013


Musicheads,

The votes are in and everything has been counted.  This year a lot of talented artists put out a lot of good music, some in bunches, some in one singular piece of musical goodness.  To keep this vote interesting I only chose 1 song per group for the list (although I could have easily thrown in a number of tracks from a few certain artists to round out my top 51).  But what did YOU, the reader select for your favorite track of the year?  It seemed to be a common theme among the voters.  2013 was a year for robots!

That’s right, Daft Punk’s smash single Get Lucky took the crown for this year’s top track of 2013.  With over 100 million streams of the track on Spotify alone, the French duo took the world by storm with its hard to forget beat and easily danceable sound.  Partnering up with legendary guitarist Nile Rodgers and the smooth-voiced Pharrell Williams, the robots had a hit machine in the works before the album even dropped.  Partnered with the incredible publicity campaign full of track snippets (see Daft Punk…a decade without) and even a 30-sec looped promo teaser that even made its way around the internet and even radio for a week before being labelled for what it was.  This song continues to be incredibly catchy and just makes you want to do and sing along.  Just look, even Colbert is doing it!

http://vimeo.com/71943827

That right there is why people love it and that is why it won in the voter’s ears and why I believe it rightly deserves the top place of honor as 2013’s Song Of The Year!

A close second in my book was the Scottish trio CHVRCHES‘ incredibly catchy tune The Mother We Share.

Listening to this song, you are not only uplifted, but want to dance and sing along to the synthesized notes and vocal samples.  It’s an instant mood changer and the pixie-ish lead singer, Lauren Mayberry, you can’t help but smile at. And the funniest/ironic part? It’s actually a very lyrically melancholy song.  This was actually the goal of the group on the song, to make a song that, while lyrically sad, tricks you with a false feeling of empowerment and excitement built in the music.  It really is quite a feat, and one the Scots pull off very well.

Feel free to continue to enjoy the Spotify Playlist linked below and here is the complete list in order of the Audiophile’s top 51 tracks of 2013:

Playlist: The Audiophile: Top 51 Tracks of 2013

  1. Daft Punk – Get Lucky (feat. Pharell Williams)
  2. CHVRCHES – The Mother We Share
  3. Vampire Weekend – Step
  4. Bastille – Pompeii
  5. Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?
  6. Haim – The Wire
  7. Local Natives – Heavy Feet
  8. SavagesShut Up
  9. Jake Bugg – Lightning Bolt
  10. NONONO – Pumpin Blood
  11. Bat For Lashes – All Your Gold
  12. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Sacrilege
  13. Foals – My Number
  14. London Grammar – Strong
  15. Classixx – Holding On
  16. Phosphorescent – Song For Zula
  17. Wild Cub – Thunder Clatter
  18. Lorde – Royals
  19. St. LuciaAll Eyes On You
  20. San Fermin – Sonsick
  21. The Head & The Heart – Shake
  22. The Knocks – Modern Hearts (feat. St. Lucia)
  23. Crystal Fighters – You & I
  24. RAC – Let Go (feat. Kele, MNDR)
  25. MS MR – Hurricane
  26. Paramore – Still Into You
  27. Phoenix – Trying To Be Cool
  28. Arcade FireAfterlife
  29. Cut CopyWe Are Explorers
  30. Jagwar MaCome Save Me
  31. Capital Cities – Safe and Sound
  32. Frank TurnerRecovery
  33. Steve Martin & Edie BrickellLove Has Come For You
  34. The 1975Chocolate
  35. Noah And The Whale – There Will Come A Time
  36. The Naked And Famous  Hearts Like Ours
  37. Small BlackNo Stranger
  38. Everything EverythingCough Cough
  39. Atlas Genius – Trojans
  40. Lord Huron – Time To Run
  41. James Blake – Retrograde
  42. Leagues – Spotlight
  43. Cage The ElephantCome A Little Closer
  44. Royal TeethWild
  45. RudimentalFeel The Love (feat. John Newman)
  46. The Limousines – Love Is A Dog From Hell
  47. Temples – Shelter Song
  48. Kings Of Leon – Supersoaker
  49. Cayucas – High School Lover
  50. Disclosure – Latch
  51. New Politics – Harlem

I look forward to everything to come in 2014 and hopefully our ears will have the pleasure to have just as competitive a list to determine next year!

Feel like I missed someone or left them off the list?  Let me know.  Discussion is always appreciated.

and don’t forget to follow on Facebook and on Twitter @AudiofileAkwitz at to get even more music updates that don’t make the posts.

Akwitz

Now Playing: The Audiophile: Top 51 Tracks of 2013