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9:30 Club

Interview by Hatchet Staff reporter Carson Rolleri

Photo courtesy of Delta Rae's Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of Delta Rae’s Facebook page.

A summer festival favorite is coming straight into the heart of D.C.’s music scene.

Six-member Americana folk rock band Delta Rae, named Time Magazine’s band to watch in 2013, is a group defined by bellowing vocals and soulful lyrics, looks to bring their new EP, “Chasing Twisters,” to the 9:30 Club Feb. 15.

The Hatchet spoke with the singer of the band’s current single, “If I Loved You,” Elizabeth Hopkins, about touring, their new music and the diplomatic processes that exist between a band of four singers.

Hatchet: So how did you come up with the band title, “Delta Rae”?

Hopkins: Three people in our band are siblings, the fair-haired Hölljes kids, and their mother is a writer. She was working on a novel at the same time our band was starting about a girl named Delta Rae whose father is in a coma, and she awakens the Greek gods to help her awaken her father. The book takes place in the south and we were a band that was coming of age in the south as well. And it just felt very aligned with what we were doing because a big part of our sound and landscape that we like to tell stories in is southern and gothic and mystical. The name is also related to the Greek gods and larger, mythical stories. The character is a very adventurous risk-taker and I think we are also that as a band.

Hatchet: You mentioned there are four of you that sing. So how do you, as a band, decide who sings what song?

Hopkins: The writers, Dan and Eric, will complete a song on their own and then they bring it to the group and they play it for us. And usually in the course of it being played to us, we can sometimes just feel where the song feels right, because we’ve been working together for so long and know each other so well. We’ve never really had a disagreement about who should sing what song. We all have different vocal ranges. It’s usually that something feels right and something sinks in. Like Ian will sing it and we’ll say, “That’s you man, it’s awesome.” Or one of us will jump up and say, “I want to try it!”  and then one of the girls tries it  and it feels great, or if it doesn’t we all move on and have someone else try it. But it’s usually a very diplomatic process. And a song will speak to someone in a very specific and personal way, and that’s usually who ends up singing it.

Hatchet: Can you tell me a little about your new EP, “Chasing Twisters,” and how it’s different from your first album?

Hopkins: “Chasing Twisters” came out in November. It’s a five song collection with a rerecording of “Dance in the Graveyards,” which we also had on our debut album “Carry the Fire.” This recording is a little more robust and loud and more true to form in the way the song ended up evolving live. And then we have “If I Loved You,”  which is our current single, which we were very fortunate to have Lindsey Buckingham play twelve-string guitar, and join us and collaborate with us on that. That was a dream come true that I think all of us still have a hard time believing. That such a legendary guitar player from a band that we all really respect wanted to work with us on that song. And the title track, “Chasing Twisters,” which has a cow-boy feeling to it, very western, and makes me think about rolling, south-western landscapes. And this song was really inspired on some of the nights that we were driving through the Southwest when we were on tour.  And then you’ve got “Run,” which is this super high energy, big, percussive, triumphant, joyful, anthem.  Anyway, we are really excited about this EP and it’s the material we are most proud of to date, and it’s really just an appetizer for our album, which is going to be coming out in Fall. And this album is full of songs that we never have performed live for anyone that we’ve currently are getting ready for the road. And we are really excited for the “Chasing Twisters” tour. It’s a new phase for Delta Rae that’s more passionate, and bigger.

Hatchet: What’s your favorite part about being on tour?

Hopkins: It is really connecting with audience members. The moment when I look into someone’s eyes and they are singing the song that I’m singing right back to me, it’s unlike any other feeling I’ve ever had.

Hatchet: What’s it like to record and tour simultaneously?

Hopkins: We are a very tour-heavy band.  For the most part, we were a band that was sort of born live. We were touring for two years before we ever recorded anything. Recording happened after we grew into our song, into who we were and what we wanted to sound like.  We wanted a way to transfer all of the sweat and the energy and the percussion into it. There’s moments during the show where all six of us are banging on something. So it’s very loud and it’s kind of a visual experience, and I think it can feel very freeing for people to know that they don’t have to be a drummer to feel a song or to feel a beat. I think that everyone has that capacity within themselves to feel something so much that they can’t just sing, that they have to play something, whether it’s banging on a drumstick or a bass drum. I read something written last year about Delta Rae where they described the band as three siblings, four singers, and six drummers.

Hatchet: Will you be playing songs from your upcoming album?

Hopkins: We will be playing some of the new stuff on tour! People should come out because of course we will be playing songs from “Chasing Twisters EP”, but new songs from the album will be sprinkled throughout, including songs that are even not on the album. So we are keeping everyone on their toes. And we are so excited to come to the 9:30 Club in February!

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An artist's rendering of the movie theater's lobby. Photo courtesy of The JBG Cos.

An artist’s rendering of the movie theater’s lobby. Photo courtesy of The JBG Cos.

Want to catch a movie near U Street?

Landmark Theatres, which specializes in independent films, will bring a six-screen movie theater to 8th and V streets next year, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The theater, Landmark’s fourth in the D.C. area, will be part of a mixed-use development down the street from the 9:30 Club, and the lobby will feature an indoor-outdoor cafe. Atlantic Plumbing, a development from The JBG Cos., will include 310 residential units, artist studios and 11,500 square feet of retail space in addition to the movie theater.

Landmark announced in November that it would open a theater in the NoMa neighborhood as well. The chain has also partnered with JBG for the project, which will wrap up in 2016.

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Margaret Kahn.

Kate Nash may be on a mission to outdo James Franco, the unchallenged king of multitasking.

The singer chuckled at the comparison, but can’t deny that she’s been busy. These days, Nash’s agenda includes acting, managing her own record label and overseeing an organization with the aim of empowering young girls, Rock ‘N’ Roll for Girls After School Music Club.

Kate Nash performing in 2010. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Kate Nash performing in 2010. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

“I have a lot of energy,” Nash told The Hatchet. “I thrive off doing a lot of different things.”

Nash is performing a sold-out show at the 9:30 Club Nov. 11 at 7 p.m., and she’ll show shot off a musical repertoire that has evolved from soft, quippy tracks to heavy, punk-inspired singles.

Nash’s debut album, 2007’s “Made of Bricks,” was composed of simple tunes that employed Nash’s lilting voice over piano and an occasional drum machine. “Girl Talk,” released in March, is thrashing and loud, full of clanging drums and guitars.

“What I’ve gone through, some of my difficult stuff [brought me to punk,]” she said. Nash suffered from a nervous breakdown while touring in 2008.

What’s stayed consistent throughout Nash’s musical career is her thick Cockney accent, always laced with swears, whether she’s telling a bad boyfriend to “stop being a dickhead” or telling him he’s “full of shit.”

But when record label executives dropped her from Fiction Records after disappointing sales on her second album, “My Best Friend is You,” Nash dropped the bitterness and plunged into independent artistry, creating her own record label, Have 10p Records, and produced “Girl Talk” herself.

She also produced the first album of American teen indie band SUPERCUTE! this year.

“It was cool to be on the other side of things. It’s a lot more pressure.” she explained. “Working with someone else, I learned a lot. Now, I think about everything in a completely different way. You think about every single sound, every single note.”

In the midst of touring for her latest album, Nash is also celebrating the third film she has acted in, “Powder Room,” which is slated for a Dec. 6 release in the United Kingdom.

Nash is also maintaining work with the Rock ‘N’ Roll for Girls After School Music Club, which she founded in 2010, to help aspiring young musicians in the United Kingdom.

“A lot of my fans are young girls and they open up to me. I take that very seriously. I felt very frustrated [by sexism in the industry], and I was becoming very bitter,” Nash explained. “I decided to stop moaning and started acting. [I wanted] to be there for girls and try to encourage them.”

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Colleen Murphy.

Torquil Campbell ditched a microphone during his band’s encore Monday night, screaming out into the 9:30 Club crowd. Campbell and the rest of the Canadian group Stars like to go off script, throwing some spontaneity into their carefully crafted indie pop sound.

Indie-pop group Stars played the 9:30 Club Monday.

Indie-pop group Stars played the 9:30 Club Monday. Colleen Murphy
| Staff Photographer

On Monday night, the band even reminisced that it first hit the 9:30 Club stage when opening for Death Cab for Cutie in 2005. Now, as Stars ended their yearlong North American tour and after six albums, the band knows it has the credibility and following to enliven its live shows.

The group, led by Amy Millan and Campbell, played in front of a nearly-sold-out crowd in promotion of their September 2012 album, “The North.” The show was opened by Australian pop group High Highs, who toured with Vampire Weekend earlier this year.

Stars last played the 9:30 Club on September 23, 2012. Campbell said it was that show that made them feel, for the first time, like they had a chance to make a living off of their music. 

That was on full display Monday night, as the audience waved flowers throughout the performance, and cheered when Stars mixed things up with a more amped-up, electric vibe for songs like “We Don’t Want Your Body” and “Take Me to the Riot.”

Stars’ biggest hit, “Your Ex-Lover is Dead,” was a singalong with the audience, as was the slow love song “My Favourite Book,” which Millan led as a call and response.

The setlist drew heavily from “The North,” and centered on low-key, lesser-known songs with a few pumped up versions of their biggest hits. Stars opened with “The Night Starts Here,” and dug even deeper into their discography by playing “Krush” from a 2001 EP.

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This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Colleen Murphy

U Street is rife with music clubs and vintage clothing stores, but the neighborhood’s metamorphosis to hipster hot spot could be complete this fall with the arrival of a Brooklyn-based flea market.

Aerial view of Brooklyn Flea, a massive outdoor market for antiques and crafts coming to D.C. this September. Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Flea.

The founders of Brooklyn Flea, New York’s massive outdoor market, announced this week that they will be opening a D.C. location on U Street for six Saturdays starting Sept. 14.

The market, which sells locally-made crafts, antiques, vintage clothes, food and drinks opened in New York in 2008 and expanded to a third location in Philadelphia this June. Smorgasburg, Brooklyn Flea’s food market, offers a range of food, from handmade popsicles to maple bacon cupcakes, from over 70 vendors.

It has become an economic engine in New York’s trendiest borough, with The New York Times calling founders Jonathan Butler and Eric Demby ”kings of the Brooklyn small-purveyor scene.”

District Flea will sit on 37,000 square feet of land up the street from the 9:30 Club. They are currently accepting vendor applications, and will sell wares from artisans in the District, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York.

The District is already home to Eastern Market and Georgetown Flea Market, both open on Sundays.

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Lincoln Theatre, located neared 12th and U streets, once drew acts such as Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The owner of the 9:30 Club and the Merriweather Post Pavilion has set its sights on creating a third music hub for the District.

Lincoln Theatre at 1215 U St. NW, will begin booking acts this fall with the help of I.M.P. Productions, according to the Washington Post.

The company’s chairman Seth Hurwitz said that the venue would accommodate seated shows and comedy acts that had previously been booked at the 9:30 Club. He got the green light for the project from the city last week.

Hurwitz called the indoor spot, which has previously hosted big-names such as Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday, an ideal venue for pop, folk and indie-rock shows.

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Monday, April 29, 2013 12:59 p.m.

It’s Monday

Reading week is finally here. Engage in a little procrastination and check out news from around the District. 

President Barack Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Photo courtesy of the White House

– Release your end-of-the-semester stress at yoga studios in the D.C. area for free this week during the 8th annual D.C. Yoga Week. More than 40 studios are offering free classes, some of which will take place on the National Mall.

– Check out this year’s star-studded and hilarious highlights from the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Nerd Prom, Washington’s Worst Night of the Year or whatever you want to call it.

– D.C.’s 9:30 Club was named the top big-room venue in the country by Rolling Stone. It even beat out Radio City Music Hall and the House of Blues. See what all the fuss is about here.

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Monday, Jan. 28, 2013 5:43 p.m.

It’s Monday…

27th President William Howard Taft will join Presidents Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and Roosevelt as a “Racing President” for the Washington Nationals. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons License.

Look forward to a warmer week — it’s expected to be 68 degrees on Wednesday — with these tidbits of D.C. news. 

- Say hello to the newest presidential addition to the Washington Nationals.

- Celebrate hump day with ska heroes Reel Big Fish on Wednesday at the 9:30 Club. Tickets for the 7 p.m. show are $25.

- And if you thought your inauguration celebration come-down was rough, check out this guy’s.

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Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 8:01 p.m.

Weekend Outlook

Washington National’s pitcher Jordan Zimmermann will attend NatsFest this Saturday with his teammates, greeting fans and signing autographs. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons License.

Inauguration festivities may have left you feeling exhausted, but the city hasn’t slowed down one bit. Muster up the energy to enjoy a weekend out.

- Eager to show off your D.C. sports pride? Head to NatsFest Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., where Nationals players will meet fans and sign autographs. Tickets for the event, held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, are $20.

- Can’t afford tickets to an actual Daft Punk show? No worries, 9:30 Club has your back, presenting “One More Time — The Tribute to Daft Punk” Thursday at 10 p.m. With tickets running at only $17, there’s no excuse for die-hard fans not to attend.

- Ignore the notion that vinyl is antiquated, and head to the D.C. Record Fair Sunday at Penn Social. Tickets to the event, which features live music, start at just $2.

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One of D.C.’s hottest concert venues just became a lot friendlier.

The 9:30 Club launched a rewards program Monday called Friends with Benefits. Anyone can become a “friend” for free and get access to pre-sale tickets for the 9:30 Club and Merriweather Post Pavilion, an outdoor venue in Columbia, Maryland.

Matt & Kim play a sold-out show at the V Street venue, 9:30 Club, in 2010. Hatchet File Photo.

Friends rack up points by purchasing tickets and concert gear at either location, and can redeem points for more merchandise, like 9:30 Club water bottles, and tickets.

Just for signing up, members receive a complementary t-shirt and a cupcake upon their birthday. You can sign up here.

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