• Le Loup's Blissful Chaos

    "We should play for them, probably no one would notice," one fan commented at the Le Loupshow last night (Dec. 10). This isn't quite true, of course -- thechaos that erupted onstage when the D.C.-bred septet played theirhometown was a controlled one -- but it does help explain what make LeLoup's shows so exciting, so breathlessly talked about among theDistrict's cultural cognoscente. The audience at the Black Cat wastaken along for the ride, and essentially became part of the band in asmall way, as choruses swelled and demanded to be sung... no shouted,along to. Head conspirator Sam Simkoff spurted like a vegan Craig Finn,and whatever folded arms might have been in the college indie kid crowdtotally disappeared.

  • Rock&Roll

    Who? Rock&Roll is comprised of Parisians GrichaBerekachvili on vocals and guitar, Paul Louis Viguier on drums,L.A.M.F. on bass, and Matthias Cadeac d'Arbaud on guitar and backingvocals. They toured the U.S. earlier this fall, and their record Losers, Boozers, Jacuzzi Users is available now digitally. What's the Deal?Album-opener "Made It to New York" begins with the matter-of-factdeclaration, "I gave my soul rock and roll," and the rest of the recordfills its twenty minutes with attempts to prove it. From the moodyblooze of that track to the beautifully malevolent "Pretty Little Wife"(sample lyric: "I'll steal your wife, I wanna steal your wife... like athief in the night") to the glitter pop sheen of album-closer "OnlyFools Die," one gets the sense that these guys mean it, as if theylistened to Springsteen and didn't necessarily understand every wordbut got the point anyway.

  • Working For a Nuclear Free City

    Who? Working For a Nuclear Free City began as a studioband in 1999 comprised of Phil Kay on production and keyboards and GaryMcLure on guitar. In 2004, the band became a live entity with theaddition of John Kay on drums and Ed Hulme on bass. Their U.S. debut, Businessmen & Ghosts, out now on Deaf Dumb and Blind Recordings, compiles their eponymous British debut with their Rocket EP and some odds and ends in to a sprawling double-disc set. What's the Deal?Working For a Nuclear Free City is, frankly, the British Isles, or atleast the last 40 odd years of its music.

  • Rogue Wave Washes Over the District

    "Thanks for coming out on Monday night," singer Zach Rogue saidbefore the encore at the decidedly not packed Black Cat last night(Nov. 5).

  • Le Loup

    Who? Le Loup is comprised of Sam Simkoff (banjo/keys), Christian Ervin (guitar), Mike Ferguson (guitar), Nicole Keenan (keys/French horn), Dan Ryan (bass), Robert Sahm (drums), May Tabol (guitar), and Jim Thomson (guitar. And everyone sings. The band just finished a week in New York for CMJ Music Marathon and are now touring throughout the South with Georgie James. Their debut LP, The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly, arrived on the Sub Pop imprint Hardly Art earlier this fall. What's the Deal? Le Loup sounds like a lonely trip in to the unknown, composed for banjo. "Planes Like Vultures" offers multi-tracked vocals to gloriously spooky effect, "Breathing Rapture" is a series of sweet nothings from the end of time, and "I Had a Dream I Died" spreads out and meanders distractedly like the best Broken Social Scene.

  • It's Sex and Death for Stars

    "Here's a song about fucking someone to death, we hope you enjoyit," Torquil Campbell said chipperly before his band, Stars, broke into "One More Night (Your Ex-Love Remains Dead)" at the 9:30 ClubSaturday evening (Oct. 20). Well then. Following Australian piano-quirksinger New Buffalo, and touring behind recent release In Our Bedroom After the War,the Montreal collective spent much of the night making Freud proud,illuminating the twisting connections between sex and death. Thoughthe band is a sextet, the focus was solely on Campbell and co-vocalistAmy Millan. Habitués of heartbreak hotels, the two took turns rippingthemselves apart, notably on "Personal," where the singers alternatedsole possession of the (literal) spotlight in order to tell the tale ofa Craigslist romance that never happened.

  • Plastiscines

    Who? Parisians Katty Besnard (vocals/guitar), Marine Neuilly (guitar), Louise Basilien (bass), and Zazie Tavitian (drums) formed Plastiscines in 2005. Signed to Virgin France, and distributed by the Caroline imprint in the U.S., the band released LP1 last month. With Alixe currently manning the sticks -- founding member Zazie and recent drummer Caroline have since departed -- the teenagers from the City of Light are currently touring Europe. What's the Deal? Ever wondered what the Strokes would be like if they were pretty French girls instead of pretty American boys? Well, that's probably too reductive, but it's a pretty good approximation of Plastiscines. Purveyors of sodapop punk that buzzsaws through your brain, they grab you and won't let go, except maybe to spin you around.

  • Glam-Pop Cabaret with Patrick Wolf

    It was probably a good sign that, before the show, a staffer atBlack Cat was making sure the disco ball was working. Playing to asmall crowd last night, the vivacious Patrick Wolf pouted and preenedlike a candy-coated soul-man Monday night (Oct. 1), and truth be told,the glimmering disco ball probably wasn't even necessary to get theglamour across. Coming on like a cross between Peter Pan and DavidBowie, Wolf took the stage shirtless except for a vest, with feathersin his creamsicle-orange hair.

  • Simian Mobile Disco

    Who? Simian Mobile Disco is the musical embodiment of James Ford and Jas Shaw. Both remixers and producers (Ford was the man behind the boards for the Arctic Monkeys latest, Favourite Worst Nightmare), the two Manchester, England natives use synthesizers and drum machines to create their bedroom club bangers. Their debut album, Attack Decay Sustain Release arrives Sept. 11 via Interscope. What's the Deal? You might recognize Simian Mobile Disco from last year's "We Are Your Friends," Justice's remix of Simian's "Never Be Alone." Now that one half of the equation behind the indie club classic has already blown up this year, the rhythm section from the other is looking to do the same.

  • Deer Tick

    Who? Deer Tick is Providence, RI's singer/guitarist John McCauley, backed by drummer Dennis Ryan. The band's debut release, War Elephant, arrives September 4th via the Houston-based Feow! imprint. The band plays New England shows this fall. What's the Deal? Google "Deer Tick," and you're greeted with some pretty gruesome pictures -- arachnid wildlife and open sores do not make for pleasant feelings. War Elephant does, though -- McCauley sings, "I should have been an angel / But I'm too dumb to speak" with such conviction that you sort of forget that not only is he speaking, he's doing it beautifully. The record recalls summer nights in the woods where one might pick up his band's namesake, shot through with a drawl somewhere between Nashville and nowhere (or the Northeast -- whatever).

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