Porches @ the Rock and Roll Hotel – North East D.C.

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Maya Laner and Aaron Maine from Porches at the merchandise table before performing.

Sunday evening, September 04, 2016 I had the pleasure of seeing one of my all-time favorite bands, “Porches” at the Rock and Roll Hotel in D.C.. I previously purchased my tickets a month prior to coming down to the D.C. venue, but knew that this was one concert I could not miss. I was unfortunately sick all of this weekend with a stubborn head cold, but that wasn’t going to stop me from going – music has a special place in my list of priorities.

If you’ve never heard of Porches, it’s about time you had! In particular, they’re an indie rock band that includes electronic synths in the majority of their songs. New York based, the band formed in 2010 and has rapidly been growing a larger fanbase. Their Fall Tour includes their performance of their newest album, “Pool” which was released in February of this year.

My personal favorite song from the album is, “Security” which includes a lot of heavy electronic synths. The lyrics also resonated with me, because they referred to the need for having a sense and place of security. It’s just a song that’s really been with me in times of feeling troubled, and I have a natural tendency to favor songs with a lot of electronic synth. However, the entire album is absolutely breathtaking and this August Porches also released a varying version of “Pool” as a single called “Water” which includes six songs from Pool that are fashioned in a more acoustic sounding, ambient remix. It also includes two additional songs, “Black Dress” and “Black Budweiser T-shirt” which just provide solidarity that Porches has that incredibly unique sound like no other band.

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Porches pin – I’m an avid pin collector, so I had to add this one to my collection. Only $5 on tour, so bring some cash if you think you’ll be seeing them this Fall!

Before purchasing any merchandise, I spoke with Maya Laner, bass guitarist, at the merchandise table and was a little awestruck, however I didn’t hesitate to buy a couple items to sport my love for the band and represent the indie music culture scene that I’m proud to be a part of. I showed her my Frankie Cosmos pin on my jean jacket that I purchased about a month ago when I saw her perform, and told her I was a pin collector, so I had to get a Porches pin. She jokingly laughed after I showed her and exclaimed, “What are you waiting for? You have to buy a pin, only then will I know you’re a true collector!” It should also be known that the lead singer of Frankie Cosmos, Greta Kline, that I had seen a while back a couple of times, is actually dating Aaron Maine, the lead singer of Porches, so I thought it would also be cute to get a Porches pin, as a way of having a pair – two great bands, who are ironically pretty close. It should be known that I placed these pins together on my jacket, close to my heart too. I really cherish both of these bands in general.

In a recent interview conducted by A Music Blog? Yea on YouTube, Aaron describes “Dark Muscle” (which you can see pictured on the pin above) as the term used in the way that he feels the energy from the music he creates. Similar to receiving dark vibes from his unique and electric sounds, with this term he refers to the human heart – where it’s dark inside your body, but “you imagine the heart lit up” which reflects the impact the music has. I thought it was interesting concept since I wasn’t really aware of how the term came about at first since it isn’t listed as a song.

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I was towards the very back when Porches performed, only because I wasn’t feeling well, but even from the distance where I was standing, every song resonated within me. They came back on stage for an encore and performed Security as well at the end of the show. Honestly I consider this one of the best concerts I’ve seen in quite some time, and I’m not just saying that as a biased reviewer, it was a solid performance that left a good kind of vibe within the atmosphere. Their sound includes variety that is generally great for all audiences. The majority of people in the audience seemed to be in their early to late twenties, but I even saw some folks that looked as if they might have been older. At smaller venues like the Rock and Roll Hotel in D.C., you get a more personal feel for the music, and you get to talk with the artists when they’re not performing. If that’s not considered cool, then I don’t know what is!

Opener Bands – Japanese Breakfast and Rivergazer

Also, as a side note, Japanese Breakfast and Rivergazer performed as Porches‘ openers and their sounds were unique in their own right. Lead singer, Michelle Zauner, performs in Japanese Breakfast, and she signed “Psychopomp,” her newest album, for me. Rivergazer’s Kevin Farrant also plays lead guitar for Porches, but opened the concert with a few songs from their album, “Only 4 U” which you can check out here on their bandcamp.

Something interesting that I learned after reading an article in Rookie Magazine about Michelle, is that the band name, Japanese Breakfast, has nothing to do with her ethnicity – in fact she’s actually half Korean. She stated in the article’s interview that she simply liked how both words sounded together. How “breakfast” was a very Americanized term, whereas Japanese sounded more foreign and mysterious. People would automatically assume she was Japanese, which wasn’t the case at all. I guess it’s just important to note that not every name associated with something necessarily has to define the way something is. Michelle was super sweet and down to earth, and I’ve been playing her album on repeat with the portable CD player I own. “Psychopomp” is definitely an album worth giving a listen – with its experimental indie pop vibes, it’s definitely a sound you’ll want to keep listening and grooving to.

If you were interested in hearing some of Porches‘ music, take a look at this really rad music video to their song, “Car.”