Tag Archives: u street music hall

on my boombox: bonde do role & major lazer

1 Aug

The title of this post might read “on my boombox,” but truthfully this could fall under a couple of categories- so, COMBO POST TIME!

Anyway, artist of choice today: Bondo do Rolo. You’re already intrigued, I know. Brazilian names are intriguing.

But thankfully, these guys deserve the attention they automatically garner for their exotic roots. Bonde do Role is bringing favela funk music straight from Rio de Janeiro to the U.S., and I couldn’t be more stoked about it.

What is favela, you ask? Don’t worry, I wouldn’t know either, if it weren’t for NPR. But sometime in fall 2010, I listened to an NPR piece about this Brazilian dance music (also called “baile funk” or “funk carioca”) taking the world by storm, and I fell in love with what I heard. Ever since, I’ve hoped favela would creep out of Rio to infiltrate mainstream and indie dance music in the U.S.- rest assured, it has, and in large part thanks to these guys.
Bondo do Role got their big break in 2006 when mega-producer Diplo found the band’s Myspace page (nothing says 2006 like a Myspace page, am I right?). Ever since, their music has subtly made waves by being featured in numerous commercials, games (such as FIFA), movie previews, etc- it’s possible you’ve listened to these Brazilian party people without evening knowing it.

This summer, I’ve renewed my appreciation for Bonde do Role due to some choice collaborations and remixes that have popped up across the internet; one of them, “Bang” featuring Das Racist, I featured on RwR’s July playlist. This time, I’m featuring their work with the same man who discovered them, Diplo.

See, Diplo is not only Bonde do Role’s producer and a successful solo artist, but he is also one part of the DJ duo Major Lazer. The crazy-awesomeness of Major Lazer’s outrageous, raunchy, Jamaican dancehall-influenced electro music deserves a post of its own, but rest assured it’s epic. For now, just be excited about the below track that combines the favela force of Bonde do Role with their mentor and DJ extraordinaire, Major Lazer.

Oh, and the reason I said this post was a combo? It could also be an “on deck” post, because Major Lazer is going to blow the lid off of U Street Music Hall on Thursday, October 25. Oh. hell. yes.

Are you dancing yet?

Major Lazer, “Get Free” (Bondo do Role remix)

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on deck: u street music hall’s two year anniversary week

13 Mar

It’s hard to believe that just two short years ago, DC existed without U Street Music Hall. The now legendary danceclub/music venue/electro basement has played such a crucial role in my DC nightlife experience right from the get-go that I simply can’t imagine my life in DC sans UHall. No place has so often made me curse the weeknight Metro schedule, sing the praises of Natty Boh, or lose my voice from shouting over an eardrum-blasting soundsystem than U Street Music Hall.

Ok, mushy stuff aside, let’s get serious. You know the folks at UHall wouldn’t let an anniversary pass without throwing down in a big way to celebrate… all week long. Make it to one event, make it to them all- you owe it to UHall. They do so much for the young and bass hungry of this city. So go forth, don your glowsticks, and toast to many more successful years spent dancing at one of the nation’s best clubs, right here in our hometown.

Tuesday: Anniversary week launches with a live performance from one of the most highly respected and prolific DJs in the game, Four Tet. So respected, in fact, that he was one of a handful of DJs who received the ultimate privilege of remixing Radiohead for the King of Limbs 12″ remix series. Tet will be joined by New York-based garage/Hip-Hop/dubstep-influenced electronic producer FaltyDL and local mixmaster Harry Ransom. Advance tickets are sold out (womp) but a limited number of additional tickets will be available at the door.

Four Tet, “Pinnacles”

 

Wednesday: MOOMBAHTON. A homegrown electro subgenre that is doing amazing things for DC’s rep on the national electro scene. The 13th installment of UHall’s monthly Moombahton Massive features Moombahton pioneer and D.C. native Dave Nada with partner Matt Nordstrom (a.k.a. Nadastrom), resident DJ Sabo (Sol Selectas, Los Angeles), and special guest Toddla T of BBC Radio 1.  Oh, and HUGE bonus points for arranging Dave Nada’s mother, “Mama Nada,” to hold down the kitchen and whip up an assortment of her homemade empanadas all night. Yes please. 

Nadastrom, Rum & Coke EP

 

Thursday: D.C. electronic music blog Blisspop.com presents DJ sets from Ellum Audio, Maceo Plex, Catz N Dogz, along with Bristol’s bass-heavy house producer Eats Everything and Blisspop’s DC favorite Lxsx Frxnk.

Lsxs Frxnk, “Lost and Sound” (teaser)

 

Friday: I admit my trips to UHall more often occur on weeknights and Saturdays, but UHall has a weekly house party called Red Friday. This week the lineup includes house pioneers Derrick Carter and Alan Braxe, with a set from local DJ Juan Zapata.

Derrick Carter, “Get On It”

 

Saturday: Ok, here’s the biggie– Bliss, one of D.C.’s mainstay parties fronted by UHall co-owner Will Eastman, will host a special anniversary night featuring a selection of D.C.’s hometown heroes including the debut club performance of Volta Bureau (Will Eastman, Outputmessage and Micah Vellian), Starks & Nacey of Nouveau Riche, and UHall’s resident DJ, Brian Billion. Holy ish. Gold on gold on gold. This is basically DC’s royal family on the turntables all night, and this lineup is the only one that could bring me to a place that doesn’t serve Guinneess on St. Patrick’s Day. I went to anniversary night last year, and it’s definitely not one to miss.

Volta Bureau, “Alley Cat”

on deck: zola jesus at u street music hall

16 Feb

If you read my post about the David Lynch remix of Zola Jesus’ track “In Your Nature,” then you saw my excitement about tomorrow night’s show at U Street Music Hall unfold in real time. I was going nuts over an artist, only to discover a) she was coming to DC,  b) the show would be at one of my favorite venues, and c) it was part of a collaborative effort between three of my favorite venues (Black Cat + 930 Club + Uhall). Score on score on score.

Thankfully, that remix led me to do more than just buying two $15 tickets to her show (duh, steal). It led me to delve into the rest of her discography—an impressive 3 EPs (Tsar Bomba, Stridulum, Valusia), 3 LPs (New Amsterdam, Spoils, Conatus), and some various and sundries with other artists.

Only when I started talking to friends about my newfound obsession did I realize how hard it is to describe her sound. But the one point I always hit home? Obviously, her voice. What. A. Voice. After learning that Zola received extensive opera training as a child, it became easier to understand why this college-age electro-goth songstress’ voice had enough range, depth, and thunder to compete with any six-time Grammy winner (ahem). Fans of Florence and the Machine, take note.

It will be a refreshingly new experience to watch a slower and more calculated performance on Uhall’s normally bombastic stage. Nonetheless, the venue’s small space, dark lighting, and crystal-clear speakers provide the perfect atmosphere to see this lady bring down the house.

Watch the video, listen to the tracks, soak up the voice.

(Also check out BYT’s recent interview with the singer).