U Street Music Hall presents
Blisspop Disco Fest: Holy Ghost! (DJ Set)
Nancy Whang, Juan MacLean (DJ Set), Jacques Renault
1115 U Street NW
Washington, DC, 20009
This event is 21 and over
Holy Ghost! (DJ Set)
Since 2007 Alex Frankel and Nicholas Milhiser have written, recorded, produced and released music under the name Holy Ghost!. With a production style leaning towards spaced-out analog synthesizer based compositions, the New York City natives have become a worldwide fixture of the electronic music scene,most recently releasing the four song Crime Cutz EP alongside the short film Crime Cutz: The Movie. The duo is currently in the studio working on their third LP, intended for release in early 2019
Nancy Whang (DFA/LCD Soundsystem/The Juan MacLean) is among the few who can lay claim to being a key figure in the heady early days of the rise of DFA Records, and her DJ sets remain faithful to the post-punk party aesthetic upon which DFA was founded. Nancy's contributions on early 12"'s by LCD Soundsystem and The Juan MacLean quickly lead to her full-time involvement as a permanent member in each of those bands. Shortly after, guest appearances on Soulwax's seminal track 'E Talking' and Munk's 'Kick Out The Chairs' solidified her place as a highly sought after vocalist in the burgeoning alternative dance music scene.
It was this auspicious debut upon which Nancy has since built an electrifying career as a touring and recording member of LCD Soundsystem. Logging years of touring miles, Nancy was instrumental in establishing LCD as one of the decades most exciting live bands, headlining some of the greatest festivals worldwide in addition to endless club gigs. As if that were not enough, in LCD's downtime Nancy also fronted DFA act The Juan MacLean, again setting off on rigorous touring schedules of both festivals and clubs across the globe. Her appearance on The Juan MacLean's massive dance hit 'Happy House' once again solidified her place as a sort of hitmaking voice of underground dance music.
Of course, all of this live band action is only half of the DFA equation; DJ'ing has always been equally prominent. Like James Murphy, Juan MacLean, Holy Ghost, Shit Robot, Eric Duncan and other members of the DFA collective, Nancy found herself honing her skills as a DJ at various afterparties and special events. While many of her peers at DFA ventured out into the world of late night club-friendly dj'ing, Nancy has stayed firmly rooted in the eclecticism of what could now be considered the defining style of DFA. Her sets have an emphasis on fun, an echoing of the glory days of the NYC scene of the 80's in which disco, proto-house, postpunk, noise, electro, and latin influences all conspire to keep things interesting. No loopy late-night darkness here. Nancy's sets might feature dance party friendly tracks by Liquid Liquid, Deee-Lite, Nu Shooz, Annie, Sexual Harassment, Frankie Knuckles, Kraftwerk, Lipps Inc., and of course the newest and classic tracks from her own DFA label.
Nancy continues to fill her schedule with worldwide DJ bookings while working on the next full album by The Juan MacLean.
Juan MacLean (DJ Set)
The dance world way too often privileges the new, and not many dance artists write albums as good as In A Dream, the third full-length album by The Juan MacLean, this far into their career. The Juan MacLean have weathered electroclash, disco-punk, electro-disco, techno, house, deep house, and whatever we can call the sound of today. They never feel totally in step with the moment, but somehow always feel right and necessary. Put differently: there's always something exciting to say about the music, regardless of the release date.
Let's start with Nancy Whang. Nancy's voice has always been a kind of secret weapon on The Juan MacLean records, but this album is her triumph. Just take a look above at the album art where she's front and center. This is the Nancy Show -- you get all sides of Nancy on this record, a wide range of expression. These are all love songs, but emotions run wild. And you can't pull this off without Nancy -- she's not living in these songs, she's leading them.
Like every Juan record, this one quotes freely from house and techno and disco. Dead drums and vintage synthesizers are abundant. This is a DFA record, after all. But early on in their career, The Juan MacLean stopped sounding like genres and just started sounding like The Juan MacLean. Part of that is lyrical -- how the words interact with the melodies that carry them. The diction is always off in all the right ways. Another distinction is how much fun Juan and Nancy have with the arrangements of their songs. Different parts interact and play off one another in a way that's remindful of the interplay on classic disco records.
The Juan MacLean always get away with EVERYTHING. For one, they always figure out a way to make the very old sound very new. For instance, the main groove on the album's first track, "A Place Called Space," is a combination of epic prog/rock, phased hi-hats, Moroder bass, vocals on delay, spacey lyrics. You've heard this before. But the surprise chorus halfway through is what makes it work: "It's too late, don't play your games here anymore," Nancy sings. All that color and emotion . . . like she's chastising the song itself. Secondly, they always GO THERE. The sounds you're just not supposed to reach for, the Juan always reaches for.
Jacques is a DJ and producer from the Washington, D.C. are a who lives and works in Brooklyn. He runs Let's Play House, a roving house, disco, and techno party as well as a n imprint of the same persuasion, with friend and partner, Nik Mercer. He owns three plants, a rotary mixer, thousands of records, and a similar number of T-shirts. Despite working within the confines of a different genre, Dischord Records is still probably his favorite label.
$20 - $25
U Street Music Hall presents the first-ever Blisspop Disco Fest, a two-day celebration of the evolution of disco featuring performances from some of the most recognized names in dance music. Giorgio Moroder, the pioneering producer who is rightly called the "Father of Disco," and acclaimed German dance DJ/producer Claptone will headline separate shows at the 9:30 Club. Late-night festivities at U Street Music Hall will include DJ sets from London-based queer disco collective Horse Meat Disco, DFA's Holy Ghost!, Juan Maclean, and Nancy Whang (of LCD Soundsystem) and more.
The weekend's four shows will let listeners appreciate disco’s past, present, and future, with performances by international superstars and sets from some of the area’s best disco DJs and producers. Don't miss out, disco fans!
***$25 day of show.***
No photo/video allowed. Advance ticket sales end one hour before doors.