Happy Friday! Here’s the roundup of how to spend your weekend right!
Baronhawk on the patio at 18th Street Lounge
For Bliss this Saturday, the awesome people at Mr. Funglasses are setting up shop with their ultra cool limited edition U Street Music Hall Stunners, and they’ve been awesome enough to give us two pairs to give away. All you need to do is make sure like our Facebook page and mail your name and favorite new song to firstname.lastname@example.org. You have til 5 PM on Friday so get on it! Winners can pick up their glasses at the show…and while we’re at it, don’t miss Bliss this weekend with Will Eastman and one of our local favorites Keenan Orr!! A portion of the proceeds also go to charity, so you get to help others while you get down. What’s not to love?
New York’s A/Jus/Ted have been making some huge waves over the last year. With some massive singles and a steadily growing collection of killer remixes for the likes of Holy Ghost! and Blood Orange, they’ve coined a great sound that sits comfortably in the deep house pool but borrows easily from both techno and disco. The duo of vetran producer Justin Strauss and newcomer, Teddy “Eddie Mars” Stuart, are making their DC debut this Friday at Little Miss Whiskey’s, and they were nice enough to share a few words about themselves. Check out the interview below and make sure not to miss them with local favorites Man & Woman and newcomer Yomimbi.
Have you played in DC before as a duo? Any big plans for the weekend outside the show?
We have not, but are looking forward to it! We heard Joe’s Record Paradise is vinyl heaven so we’re definitely planning on hitting that up for some digging.
How did your recent MoMA set go?
Justin: The MOMA PS1 Warm Up parties are one of the best things about summer in New York and always been a dream to close the day out at one. An amazing day.
Teddy: Love the crowd – definitely an open minded group, which makes everything so much more enjoyable. Blood Orange came out as a surprise guest and we played our remix live with him, some synthesizers and stuff. So much fun.
With both having successful careers in your own right, how’d you come together to form a/jus/ted?
We were both into each other’s work and our mutual friend Charles Damga, who runs UNO NYC, which we had both done projects for, introduced us. We met a few times, had some coffees, and hit the studio pretty much immediately.
What’s your writing process like between the two of you? How does it translate when you DJ?
T: Our writing process is always changing to keep us inspired. Our latest approach is to jam for an hour with hardware drums and synths, record it and then edit it into a 3 – 4 track EP over the course of a couple months.
For DJing we just jam and take each track one at a time. It’s not like “2 records each”, we just play, and when one person takes off the headphones its a signal for the other to take over.
J: For me djing has always inspired my production work. And it’s been great djing with Teddy and inspiring each other with new and old tracks.
What’s your favorite part about the dance scene in New York?
J: That the scene is constantly reinventing itself. Just when you think it’s all stagnate something comes along and reignites it.
T: Going past 4 am!
We’re really loving the new Blood Orange remix! How’d you hook up with Dev?
J: Thanks! We met Dev through mutual friends and he told us he was a fan of the A/JUS/TED stuff he heard and we were big fans of his work. When I first heard “Uncle Ace” off his last album I knew it would be the perfect track of his for us remix and we were stoked he asked.
It’s been a hot minute since you’ve released “Stay Up Here” and “A Brighter Light”. What’s next for the project in 2014?
Both of our Holy Ghost! Remixes (Bridge & Tunnel and Okay) are coming out on a double sided 12″ on DFA sometime this summer. We’re also doing one more remix that we’re pretty pumped on. But above all else we’re concentrating on finishing as much original music as possible.
What are a few of your favorite tracks to play out at the moment?
T: I think we are both loving this Andre Bratten track Trommer Og Bass. It’s nuts!
J: Also love the new Genius of Time release “Juno Jam”
It’s that time of the week again! Forget about your 9 to 5 and come dance the district with our residents!
Sunday July 13
The NeedlExchange at Velvet Lounge with Baronhawk, Bil Todd, and Tommy Cornelis
Steven Faith at Heist DC with Jerome Baker III
If you don’t know the very, very, very, very (YES EACH VERY WAS NEEDED) talented Brooklyn based singer/songwriter Tei Shi, right now is your chance to correct that. Tei Shi is headed to U Street Music Hall on Tuesday July 8th to play with the UK’s very own Glass Animals. Her sound is classic R&B meets chill indie-synths & experimental vibes. Think Sade meets Devon Hynes/Blood Orange & James Blake. We sat down with Tei Shi and got to know her and how she makes her signature “mermaid music” sound, the importance of drink tickets, and collaborating with tour headliners Glass Animals for their track “The Holiest.”
So you call your sound “mermaid music,” what’s key to that sound?
-I first used the term when I was unsure of how to describe the music on my facebook page. I thought it was kind of funny and weird, and I love mermaids…in a way I think it also fits with the music. The “key”, I suppose, is the heavy emphasis on the vocals which creates a kind of siren-y sound with more ambient production. That’s at least true of Saudade for sure!
How did you develop the sound?
-I had been writing and working on the songs throughout a few years, and I teamed up with Luca Buccellati who has been producing everything with me and really helping me shape the sound. I brought the songs for the EP to him and we re-recorded them, developed the arrangements further together, added instrumentation, and really shaped it. I think the development of the sound is still happening, and it’s a combination of my own style of songwriting I guess, with growing experimentation and playing around with sounds and production. So it’s really still developing, but the basis is always the song and bringing Luca’s production skills into the mix.
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest and Bogata had to expose you to quite the spectrum of music, what has been your biggest musical influences? And the one we might find the most unexpected?
-I grew up all over the place, my family is spread out all over the world and I’ve definitely bounced around a lot, even in the past few years. So that kind of lifestyle and desire for change is something that’s really influential to me as a person. I was also exposed to a lot of different cultures and music as a result, and I think that played a big role in causing me to develop a really eclectic taste in music. I would cite everywhere from Queen, to Fleetwood Mac, to James Blake, to Mariah Carey as an influence. All of the artists and music that I consider to be influences on me musically you probably don’t hear at all in my music–I consider my musical influences more as artists who kind of opened my eyes and ears to different ways of being and expressing, rather than directly shaping my own sound. Recently I’ve been listening a lot to Ariana Grande and I love her, so that would probably be an unexpected one to some people…but I’d really love to write a song for her.
Your duet with Glass Animals, “The Holiest” is a simply stunning track. What or who inspired the track?
-Thank you! It’s still kind of funny and surprising to me how that track came about, it really just kind of happened and turned into something really cool without much planning or intention on either part. Dave from Glass Animals sent over some instrumental loops he had been working on (we were put in touch as they were looking to do collaborations and liked my music-for some odd reason). I remember listening through a few loops and when I came across the one that came to be Holiest, I was really drawn to it. I loved the clicky melodic thing at the beginning of the song, and that prompted me to just start writing this melody and lyrics over it, and the song just kind of came out. I wrote the melody and lyrics and recorded my vocals over the loop I think all in one sitting, and I sent it over to Dave. He really liked it and took it into his hands from there, played around with it, recorded his vocals on it, finished the track and got it mixed. It was all a really smooth and kind of surprisingly quick process. I’d like to think we kind of both inspired each other with what we brought to the track, and because of that we were both able to build on it really fast and easily. It was a really awesome way of working together.
Any remixer for any of your tracks. GO!
-James Blake remix of Adder(f)all. That would be my final wish.
Now that you have your first sold out show, supporting Glass Animals, do feel you have made the jump from online to real life?
-It’s really awesome to be playing a sold out show, especially alongside Glass Animals. They are so awesome and have been so supporting of me, and it feels really rewarding to be able to share the stage with them. In terms of making the jump from online to real life…I don’t know if I will ever really feel that jump haha. Things like playing these shows and having people be really responsive to my music still don’t feel real to me at all, and although I definitely think in a way that’s a symptom of the age we live in, and the fact that success measured in the digital realm is so intangible and hard to translate, I also think that any kind of ‘success’ or opportunity that has come my way is really surreal. A year ago I wasn’t even sure that I would put the EP out at all, and now I’m playing at these awesome venues and getting to collaborate with wonderful musicians and go on the road, and it’s all kind of surprising to me. I think the jump to reality will happen once I’ve put out a good amount of music and can actually hold an album in my hand and call it mine, and interact with people and their responses to the music personally.
What has been the most important part of that transition from having your first self made EP to touring?
-The most crucial part has been the coming together of the live band and the process of us kind of uniting and diving into touring and all that. It all happened really quickly, the band came together a couple of weeks before the very first show during CMJ, last October. Since then things have been happening pretty quickly and we’ve had to adapt to each other and learn to work together and bring the music to life on stage. Which has been really weird and a huge learning experience for me since I had never payed live before this project. The band has gone through a lot of change, and our live set up has changed a LOT since October. We’ve really bonded as a group too and have become really close as people, so that has been the biggest foundation in terms of making that transition. Without Gabe (who plays drums in the band) and Luca (who plays guitar and keyboard), I think I would feel really lost. They are incredible musicians with way more live experience than me, and they’ve really supported me and been the backbone for me in that transition.
What makes a venue not just a good one, but a great one for you as an artist?
-Two things: The sound (the quality of the sound system and whether the sound guy can put up with us), and second in line would probably be how many drink tickets we get. hahaha.
For your first trip to perform in DC, what are your must see sites off stage?
-This will actually be my first time in DC ever, I would love to stay and get to know the city a bit, do all of those obligatory touristy things like seeing the White House and all that. We’re having to leave and drive back to NY right after our show though, so the site seeing will unfortunately have to wait til next time!
PERFECT! Now we have even more excuses to get you back down to play for us again!