Masquerade Affair: 11.30.13 at Ultrabar

By Garrett Blakeman in DC Events, Dc Nightclubs, DC Nightlife, Ultrabar DC
Monday, November 18, 2013, 7:55pm. (Updated: 12/01/13 at 7:08am) Add comments
Panorama Productions and Ultrabar Present:

Masquerade Affair

Saturday, November 30, 2013 10pm – 3am
Ultrabar • 911 F Street NW • Washington, DC

Masquerade Affair

Everything is more fun with a little mystery so we’re throwing a Masquerade affair Saturday night at Ultrabar!

We’re providing the masks and beads for you to get in the spirit and have a bit of semi-anonymous fun. Who are you dancing with? Who knows? Who cares? It’s all about the fun of the night.

  • 5 Levels, 4 DJs spinning Top 40, House and International
  • $150 bottles of Stoli
  • Bottle service available at (202) 271 1171
  • Ages 18+ w/ valid ID
  • Dressy Casual

Music Format:
– Main Floor: DJ Saam (Top 40, Mashups, Hip Hop)
– Vault: DJ George (House, Dance, International)
– Bedroom: DJ Suelto (S. American + International)
– Chroma: DJ Geometrix (Top 40, Mashups, Hip Hop)

 

I ♥ Zombies: 11.23.13 at Ultrabar

By Garrett Blakeman in DC Events, Dc Nightclubs, DC Nightlife, Ultrabar DC
Monday, November 18, 2013, 4:56pm. (Updated: 11/24/13 at 8:14am) Add comments
Panorama Productions and Ultrabar Present:

I <3 Zombies
Zombies are Coming to DC!

Saturday, November 23, 2013
Ultrabar • 911 F Street NW • Washington, DC

20131123_iheartzombies

Zombies are coming to DC! Keep calm and carry on? Don’t think so. Run to Ultrabar this Saturday for a I Heart Zombies Party! If you’re attacked by a zombie, don’t hide or shoot…dance and drink!

  • 5 Levels, 4 DJs spinning Top 40, House and International
  • $150 bottles of Stoli
  • Bottle service available at (202) 271 1171
  • $6 Zombie drinks
  • Ages 18+ w/ valid ID
  • Dressy Casual

Music Format:
– Main Floor: DJ Saam (Top 40, Mashups, Hip Hop)
– Vault: DJ George (House, Dance, International)
– Bedroom: DJ Suelto (S. American + International)
– Chroma: DJ Geometrix (Top 40, Mashups, Hip Hop)

 

Flash

  • Venue Type: Club/Bar
  • Amenities: Photobooth, Two Levels, Full Bar, Outdoor Patio, Coat Check, Bottle Service, Street Parking
  • Hours: Wed – Thurs: 6pm – 11pm, Fri – Sat: 6pm – 3am
  • Dress Code: Casual
  • Age Requirement: 21+
  • Location: U Street/Shaw District
  • Address: 645 Florida Ave NW
  • Contact: (202) 827-8791
  • Website: http://www.flashdc.com

 

Venue Overview:

Flash is a new dance venue located in the Shaw District. When you first walk in, the ground floor is a trendy, modern bar with a food menu (currently being updated), and a patio area out front. One of the coolest features of Flash is the photobooth on the first floor. The line to get upstairs to the main room gets a little long sometimes, so the photobooth provides a nice distraction and an awesome way to document the night out with friends. Admission is usually free before 11 pm, after that there is a cover charge of $10-$15 depending on the night.

The main room at Flash nightclub’s upstairs level upstairs isn’t that big – capacity of 200 people – but what Flash lounge lacks in space, they make up for with tasteful decoration and sound. Once you see the DJ booth, you’ll understand why they called the venue Flash; the back wall surrounding the DJ booth is made up entirely of  old camera flash attachments that light up and “flash” during the DJ set.  Flash is also the only nightclub in the District to use Full Fat Audio amplifiers, so the sound is extra loud. If you’re into deep house, tech house, or underground, then Flash is the place for you. The club was recently filled to max capacity for Hot Since 82’s North American tour.

Seating upstairs is plentiful, with booths and tables lining both walls. Be careful with your drinks though, the tables are a little uneven and drinks tend to spill if you put them in the wrong spot. Bottle service is available upon request.

 

Photo Tour:
Entrance

Entrance

 

Photobooth - First Floor

Photobooth – First Floor

Stairwell

Stairwell

Main Room - Second Level

Main Room – Second Level

DJ Booth

DJ Booth

Bar - Second Level

Bar – Second Level

DJ Booth

Aerial View – Second Level

 

 

Back Wall- Close Up

Back Wall- Close Up

 

 

 

 

Panorama Productions and Ultrabar Present:

Nightmare on F Street
DC’s Wildest Costume Party

Saturday, November 2, 2013
Ultrabar • 911 F Street NW • Washington, DC

Nightmare on F Street

On Halloween weekend, you’re invited to bust out the monster mash and dress up like you’re going to a graveyard smash! Or you can dress up sexy! No one’s going to judge you .. it’s HALLOWEEN!!

Last year’s Halloween party was absolutely insane and this year it’s going to be even wilder! Even the Ultrabar staff gets in on the action: bartenders, bouncers, managers, DJs, busboys, and VIP hosts…everyone gets dressed up!

  • 5 Levels, 4 DJs spinning Top 40, House and International
  • $150 bottles of Stoli
  • Bottle service available at (202) 271 1171
  • $4 Dos Equis, $6 Rum & Coke, $6 Sex on the Beach Shooters
  • Ages 18+ w/ valid ID
  • Dressy Casual

Music Format:
– Main Floor: DJ Saam (Top 40, Mashups, Hip Hop)
– Vault: DJ George (House, Dance, International)
– Bedroom: DJ Suelto (S. American + International)
– Chroma: DJ Geometrix (Top 40, Mashups, Hip Hop)

Passion Pit: 10/31/13 at Echostage

By Garrett Blakeman in Dance Music Events, DC Concerts, Dc Nightclubs, Pop Music
Monday, October 21, 2013, 3:00pm. (Updated: 11/01/13 at 4:48am) Add comments
I.M.P. Presents:
Passion Pit
The Joy Formidable

Tickets On Sale Now
Thursday, October 31, 2013 – Doors 6:30pm | Show 8:00pm
Echostage • 2135 Queens Chapel Rd NE • Washington, DC
Tables Available – 202.503.2331

echostage ticketspassionpit_tall

 


From Passion Pit:

Passion Pit – Gossamer

Michael Angelakos – vocals, keyboards

Ian Hultquist – keyboards, guitar

Xander Singh – synthesizers, samplers

Jeff Apruzzese – bass, synthesizers

Nathan Donmoyer – drums

* * * * *

 

Getting to Where We Belong: The Making of Passion Pit’s Gossamer

“Hideaway”

Hundreds of hipsters, college kids and music biz schmoozers gather under a massive white tent to see Passion Pit. It is an afternoon shindig hosted by the blog Brooklyn Vegan, at the 2009 South by Southwest festival. The sun is setting and it is a classic make-it-or-break-it moment for Passion Pit, who is headlining despite having just released a lone EP, Chunk of Change. The crowd is giddy on both free Izze fruit soda and the Boston band’s bubbly pop. Between songs, frontman Michael Angelakos runs his fingers and sweat through his thick, curly, Greek hair. He starts to rant—about a shirt he bought for his new girlfriend, about veganism, about inane blog comments. After a few awkward minutes, the music kicks back in. By the end of the performance, Michael is rolling on a red Persian rug amongst many, many keyboard and effects pedal cables, clutching his microphone, wailing in his signature helium falsetto. The audience cheers, the Tweeters tweet, the bloggers blog ecstatically.

Michael leaves the stage and begins crying. He has made it, and he has broken.

When the festival ends, the rest of the Passion Pit guys van back to Massachusetts. Michael stays behind in Texas. He calls a friend for support and begs her to come be with him. In a panic, he buys her a plane ticket. It is for the wrong year, 2010. He calls his parents in Buffalo, New York. “I’m going to a hospital,” he tells them.

Michael is standing with his father outside a hospital in Houston, looking at mock-ups of album artwork on his cellphone. Passion Pit has just signed to Columbia Records, and a debut album, Manners, is due in a couple months. The record cover is green and messy and murky. Michael is not crazy about it, but there is no time, as the hospital is about to take his phone away from him. “It looks fine, Michael,” his dad says. “Just go.”

In the hospital, Michael is not allowed to talk about work. “Up there, onstage, you’re alone, darling, ” a nurse tells him. “And if your life evolves into ruin, everyone will watch what you’re doing.” Michael thinks these would make good lyrics. His friends smuggle in positive reviews of Manners. When one magazine blesses the record with an 8 out of ten, he almost cries again.

——————-

“I’ll Be Alright”

This first sentence was not always the first. Originally, I was going to start with a simile: Michael Angelakos’ brain is like a shaken can of spray paint with no nozzle. Millions of particles of bright ideas bounce around in there. When inspiration punctures his head, art sprays out. Often, someone else must puncture the can, or smash it. Only, if you hold Michael’s bursting skull up to a canvas, you would not get a cloudy splatter of dripping bits. The paint would land perfectly in a detailed map of the knotty Tokyo subway system.

You can hear this “I’ll Be Alright,” the second song on Gossamer, in which a sudden seizure of skittering programmed drums swarms over diced synths. “My brain is racing and I feel like I’ll explode!” Michael sings amidst the orchestral glitch. He compares it to the sensation you feel after an orgasm.

Writing about creativity is like architecturing about dance. When I sat down to describe Michael’s thought process, a can of paint formed in my mind for whatever reason. After that, I thought no nozzle, because I like the alliteration. Then I tacked on a subject and verb. I start with a phrase, an image or a rhythm of words and construct around it. I’m not a beginning-to-end sentence builder. Michael asked me to write this piece because he intuited, correctly, that my writing is akin to his song crafting.

A spark of a Passion Pit song might be found in the fuzz of a guitar pedal. It might be a stumbled-upon drum loop, the tintinnabulation of layered chimes or some gibberish harmony he’s humming. It might be one of the 200 scratch melodies Michael has stored on his iPhone. Later, Michael might sit at a keyboard and work out a melody. “I do things backwards,” he admits, “and I’m a maximalist.” Indeed. The songs on Gossamer carry anywhere from 60 to 200 instrumental tracks, according to Michael. If you ask Alex Aldi, Michael’s engineer, they number 80 to 120. (The maximum output on their version of ProTools is 120 tracks.) Whatever, it’s a fuckton. But it’s important to talk to Alex.

——————-

“Constant Conversations”

When Alex and Michael set forth to record Gossamer in January of 2011, the two first rented a studio near the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood. Well, it was technically an office space. The new Passion Pit headquarters shared the building with digital media start-ups, dot.coms, that sort of thing, which were not appreciative of gut-rumbling bass bumps rattling the uninsulated walls.

“We’d blast these huge R. Kelly–like booms,” Michael says. “There would be fists pounding the walls,” Alex remembers.

The duo began working from 6PM to 6AM, partly to avoid pissing off the neighbors, partly because Michael is “really OCD about who’s hearing me” In the wee hours, Michael would toil at his array of keyboards, sequencers and computers.

The fruit of this first stage is the stunning slow jam “Constant Conversations.” It’s the kind of stank-faced, flesh-slapping R&B groove that makes a name like “Passion Pit” sound positively filthy. That is, until you pay attention to the lyrics. They are not nocturnal; they are dark. “I’m drunker than before / They told me drinking doesn’t make me nice,” Michael sings. “Well, you’re standing in the kitchen and you’re pouring out my drink.”

It’s important to pay attention to the lyrics.

——————-

“Slip-ups in this town are like a sentence to life.” –“Mirrored Sea”

What makes Southern California’s orange sherbet sunsets so gorgeous? It’s the life-strangling smog. Toxic clouds can sometimes lead to beauty.

In June of 2011, Michael headed to L.A. to continue work on Gossamer with a variety of big name producers. One producer would bring in pretty girls to sit on a couch in the studio. He would play back tracks at top volume. If the girls got up and danced, it was a hit.

Michael slept in another studio beneath the control room, where he could hear some dude fucking people’s brains out all night. The walls were marble.

Michael slept where Fiona Apple once slept. Michael recorded in a fancy house outside of which photographers snapped models in lingerie. Michael worked with a prominent hip-hop producer. They tinkered with “Hideaway,” an upbeat tune set to a speech a nurse once gave him. Michael played the hip-hop producer his demo. “You don’t need anyone to produce you,” the producer humbly admitted. Michael flew back to Brooklyn, ending what he now calls his “June gloom.”

“Everyone let’s me make these mistakes,” Michael says.

——————-

“Carried Away”

“He plays music so loud in his headphones, I can hear everything he’s doing. When he’s working, he won’t get up to use the bathroom or to take a sip of water. Watching him is watching someone in their element, someone doing what they were born to do. But it can be a waiting game for him to get an idea. Then, bam, ninety minutes later there’s this amazing finished song. He does stuff on the fly. Michael thrives on that, the immediate pressure. Everyone else game-plans. The game-plan is in Michael’s head and he’s twenty steps ahead. Conveying that is difficult. It’s information overload.’” — engineer Alex Aldi

——————-

“It’s Not My Fault, I’m Happy”

Aside from the sarcastic “Love Is Greed,” all the songs on Gossamer are one-hundred-percent true. I know this because I’ve compared the lyric sheet to a 3,672 word life story Michael emailed me. It begins, “A main talking point seems to be about the fact that there is a dichotomy in my music.” It ends with, “The next day I quit drinking.” I read it one evening while listening to “It’s Not My Fault I’m Happy” repeatedly as tears welled in my eyes.

Unlike some songwriters, Michael does not write in character. He compares the album to a collection of John Cheever stories. “It’s non-fiction, but dramatized. It’s euphoric pain,” he tells me.

The record is more intimate than that. Listening and reading along, I feel as if I am reading his chart. I am eavesdropping. I am putting him inside one of the TSA’s full-body millimeter wave scanners.

Ah, I think, “Take A Walk” must be about his father and his father’s father, his Papou, who sold old roses and owned a candy kitchen, using his savings to bring his village to America.

Hearing the celestas and xylophones skittering about the opening of “Love Is Greed,” I envision bolts of blue electricity flashing across Michael’s grey matter. The systolic, panicked pulse of “Mirrored Sea” is awash in adrenaline and amphetamine salts. The pomp and silver twinkle of “On My Way” is confetti for a forthcoming wedding.

“Are you sure you want to be this open,” Alex asked when he first heard the lyrics.

“This music is so on point with myself, I don’t know that I could do it any other way,” Michael replied.

Yes, Michael’s music juxtaposes dark subject matter and ebullient pop. It is at once escape and reality. It is also consciously androgynous. In the past, this was suitably captured with Michael’s falsetto. Now the unisexuality is enhanced by Erato, a female Swedish a cappella trio, two brunettes and one blonde, who went viral with a performance of Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend” on empty yogurt cups. Michael likes the idea of us not being able to discern if he or they are singing in certain parts. This is not duality or dichotomy. This is depth and honesty. Human beings are emotional, messy and murky creatures.

——————-

“On My Way”

It is a misconception that Manners was written for a girl. It was a record about Michael. Gossamer was written for a couple. “It’s an album about making an album that’s straining the relationship that’s helping you make that album. But say it better than that,” he tells me.

Kristy is an editor for a prominent food website. Her face appears throughout the Gossamer artwork. The back cover is a letter Michael wrote to her. He proposes to her in the chorus of “On My Way.” Originally the tune was called “Ballerina.”

“Just believe in me Kristina,” he sings. “All these demons, I can beat ’em.”

——————-

“Where We Belong”

Upon returning to Brooklyn from California, Michael reconnected with producer Chris Zane, who helmed Manners. Here is a sporting analogy, hockey specifically, according to Michael:

“Chris is the general manager and Alex is the coach. Without Chris I wouldn’t have been able to do this record. Without Alex I wouldn’t have been able to do anything.”

Alex is ten years Michael’s senior, Chris a little older. Michaels refers to them as his older brother and his older, older brother. The trio hunkered down in Gigantic Studios and started over on Gossamer as a mild winter fell upon New York. Michael admits he will often redo songs “like thirteen times. It’s one of my worst habits.”

Manners was largely built on three keyboards. There was a conscious effort this time to avoid the same process, to use more organic ingredients. Composer Nico Muhly dropped in, dueling pianos with Michael on “Love Is Greed” and arranging strings. That being said, there were still dozens of keyboards, walls of keyboards, “some Herbie Hancock shit.” Yamahas, Moogs, Arps, MS-20s, SH-101s, Junos, Prophets, a Japanese piano. They flipped over a couch in the control room to stuff in even more keyboards. Ask Michael to explain the differences between these many keyboards and he synesthetically describes it by texture: “One is felt, one is 100% cotton, one is tweed…” Alex would watch and listen in a busted La-Z-Boy recliner permanently stuck in the recumbent position.

“I did a calculation of the time I spent on this record. It was 4% of my life,” Alex tells me. He has recently heard the finished record. We chat about the sequence of the songs and debate the decision to cut a string section that originally opened the album. “It dawned on me this morning” he says. “After having a best friend for thirteen months, Michael is gone. I’m like, what the fuck do I do now?”

When I hang up, I must immediately play Gossamer again.

Written by, Brent DiCrescenzo

Masquerade Affair: 10/19/13 at Ultrabar

By Garrett Blakeman in DC Events, Dc Nightclubs, DC Nightlife, Pop Music, Ultrabar DC
Monday, October 14, 2013, 6:38pm. (Updated: 10/20/13 at 8:01am) Add comments
masqDCCLUBBING

Everything is more fun with a little mystery so we’re throwing a Masquerade ball this Saturday at Ultrabar!

20131214_ffinals2_sm

Final Exams are a pain in the ass! Blow off some steam and take a break from studying to come party with us.

DC Nightlife Interviews: Photographers

By Heather in DC Clubs, Dc Nightclubs, DC Nightlife
Sunday, July 21, 2013, 5:32pm. (Updated: 9/10/13 at 5:26pm) Add comments
doug van sant

These are the people who never stay in one spot at the club and are usually recognized more for their camera than their face. Here’s what they have to say about photographing DC nightlife.

naughtyschoolgirlDCCLUBBING

Let your school spirit show!

Beach Party: 7/13/13 at Ultrabar

By Garrett Blakeman in dc bars, DC Clubs, DC Events, Dc Nightclubs
Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 3:25pm. (Updated: 7/14/13 at 7:46am) Add comments
beachpartydcclubbingweb

Bummed you havent made it to the beach recently? Don’t worry because we’re bringing the beach to the club baby!

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