Music in the District

A look at our favorite D.C. acts

by Emily Katz
Hatchet Reporter

GW's own Jukebox The Ghost will be performing at the Black Cat in the next few weeks, but they are not the only promising act with roots in D.C. If you've ever wondered what other musicians call the District home, look no further - Hatchet Arts has compiled a (by no means exhaustive) selection of well-known groups to come out of D.C., along with up-and-coming bands we hope to see make it big.

The Dance Party
Tracks like "Ultra Radical" and "Renegade," off of 2007's "Friction! Friction! Friction!," embody this quartet's sound, an energetic combination of punk, new wave and synth-pop. More recently, The Dance Party signed with Hell Ya!/Atlantic Records, and is currently writing and recording a new album scheduled to be released during the summer or early fall. Although there is no date set yet, the group plans to play the 9:30 Club soon and is part of SXSW's 2010 festival line-up.

Will Eastman
The DJ behind the Black Cat's "Bliss" dance nights is quickly making his mark on the music industry. His remix of Minneapolis band Ruby Isle's "So Damn High" was a highlight on music blogs last year, and he released his first original single, "Feelin'," in late 2009. Make sure to catch him in the flesh next month at the Black Cat, as he puts his high-energy spin on both classic songs and current hits.

Bluebrain
Brothers Hays and Ryan Holladay's latest group released its first full-length album, "Soft Power," in February. The album's mellow, electronica-tinged sound is similar to what the brothers recorded with their first group, Brooklyn-based The Epochs, but it's dreamier, catchier and just more fun to listen to. Bluebrain will also be playing at SXSW, and recently finished a month-long residency at Pianos in New York City.

Wicked Liquid
You might recognize the name from the current season of the Real World D.C. With a Red Hot Chili Peppers-esque sound, the band is bound for success far beyond the MTV audience. Punk-rock cast member Josh Colon fronts this band, and while he may be Philly-based, the band is currently touring around the greater D.C. area. Catch them at The Rock & Roll Hotel April 10.

Jukebox The Ghost
What makes Jukebox The Ghost one of the most promising bands on the indie scene? Not the members' GW diplomas - although those couldn't possibly hurt. Spin Magazine calls them a ".a refreshing reminder that the lighthearted electricity of a fantastic pop song is still filled with live wires." Currently touring through Europe with alternative sensation Adam Green (50 percent of The Moldy Peaches, of Juno-soundtrack fame), Jukebox The Ghost will be in D.C. to perform at the Black Cat March 25.

Wale
The man behind "Chillin'" and "Mirrors" has always been a creative rapper, releasing a Seinfeld-themed mixtape in 2008. Mark Ronson signed him to Allido, his personal record label, and produced his debut album, 2009's "Attention Deficit." Slated as the next big thing on the D.C. hip-hop scene, Wale's stock is still on the rise. We're hoping for another collaboration with Lady Gaga.

U.S. Royalty
This alt-rock group recently played a show at The Rock & Roll Hotel, and are working on a follow-up to their 2009 EP "Midsommar." Until then, you can catch the group at SXSW (where it seems a lot of D.C. bands will be heading this year).

Fugazi
Although they have not released an album since 2001, Fugazi was one of the major bands of the 90s punk scene, playing many shows at the landmark D.C. venue, the 9:30 Club. Unlike other punk bands of its time, Fugazi's sound carries both funk and reggae undertones. Its epic 1988 show at the 9:30 Club is available for download; the group also made a 1998 documentary, appropriately called "Instrument."

Thievery Corporation
If you've ever been to the Eighteenth Street Lounge, you've been to the stomping grounds of electro-bossa nova band Thievery Corporation. Since the group's formation in 1996, Rob Garza and Eric Hilton have released five studio albums, and recently performed five sold-out shows at the 9:30 Club.

Citizen Cope
Alt-folk artist Citizen Cope, a.k.a. Clarence Greenwood, began his career playing clubs around D.C. and Baltimore. He released his fifth album, "The Rainwater LP," in February.

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