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all photos by: London Venturelli
all words by: Sal

Writing for BYT has allowed me to expand upon my jam-based music world.  For example, I was able to interview a Turkish Flautist. Cool, some might say, but for me it was only the cusp of my true potential.  That potential manifested itself on Saturday night at the Rock and Roll Hotel with an international tour d’force in Datarock and Karin Park.  Also if you say both their names in that Swedish/Norwegian accent they even sorta rhyme.

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I had the opportunity to interview Karin on Thursday afternoon to get a little preview of her show and what I should expect.  It went something like this:

BYT: Hey Karin, I almost didn’t pick up because you called on a restricted number.

Karin:  Ha, that’s because I’m on Skype.

BYT: Oh awesome, where are you?

Karin:  I’m in New York actually, we have some shows here and then we are coming down to Washington on Saturday.

BYT: Is this your first time in America?

Karin:  Yes this is my first time.  So far all we have had is one show in Boston and one in New York, but this will also be my first time ever to Washington.

BYT:  Wow that’s really awesome.  So I listed to a little sampler of your new album, what was it like working with Datarock.

Karin:  Oh it was so great.  This is the first album that they produced for someone else so I am happy it was for me.  It just started with like them doing one song, then another, and basically we did a whole album.

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BYT:  Where do you get your inspiration for your music?

Karin: Well when I used to sing before, the songs I sang had a different voice.  When I sing cover songs I sing a different way for each song but when I write my own music my voice is the voice that comes out.  My voice is constantly changing and when I find inspiration in something I use it but I get inspiration from different things.

BYT:  Who are your top 3 favorite artists of all time?

Karin:  Joy Division, The Cure, Depeche Mode

BYT: Yeah, I love Joy Division, they’re awesome.

Karin:  Well you need a special vibe with your music and they definitely had that.

BYT: So doing anything fun with the rest of the time in America?

Karin:  I’ve never been to a baseball game in America so I’m going tomorrow to see a Mets game.

BYT:  Ahh that’s my team, I’m jealous that I haven’t even been to the new stadium yet but you get to go.

Karin:  Yes I am very excited.

BYT:  What’s it like being in America for only 5 days?  It’s kind of a whirlwind tour wouldn’t you say?

Karin:  I love America so far.  I had a bad first impression because in Boston some guy promised us an apartment and we sent him money and he ripped us off so we had to find a hotel.  But since then it has been really great.  We have only met nice people and the hotel was great.  Everything is really different.  It’s all way bigger than I’m used to.  It’s also different to play concerts here because we were just thrown into the first gig.  The thing I like most is how people talk to each other on the street or in the subway.  In Scandinavia nobody talks to each other.

BYT:  That’s not normally the impression people get from Boston or New York but maybe you are finding the right people.  You should come in early on Saturday and check out this street festival that’s happening right in front of the venue.  There people will be talking and having a good time.

Karin:  Oh I will definitely have to!  Thanks for the advice and hopefully I’ll see you there!

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Well Karin took my advice and went to the festival and good times were had by all.  Later that evening, I saw Karin Park live in concert.  Her and her brother make up the band but you would never know it from the sound that they create.  First of all, her voice is beautiful.  Rarely is there an artist who should probably sing opera rather than whatever genre s/he currently sings.  Above the drumming and electronic noise, Karin’s voice pierced through, clear and resonant.  Her brother’s drumming was also pretty awesome.  He was able to combine standard drum beats with synth drum noises for a really great effect.  Sadly, they only played a few songs; I wish they had been able to play more.  Definitely check them out in the future because next time they come to America, they will be the headliner, not the openers.

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I decided to hop over to Taylor for some late night snacking because, obviously, when on H st. one must always go to Taylor.  I came back in time to see Datarock.  I’m not much of a dancer, mostly I go to shows to stand in the crowd and sorta bend my knees to the beat, hands in pockets.  I swear it’s fun.  But Datarock, (and alcohol) got me moving.  It’s impossible not to move when listening to these guys, especially when everyone else is going nuts too.  The show they put on is magnificent.  They come out wearing matching red Datarock jump suits, which seem to be made of suede or something. As the set progressed they started stripping their clothes off in a quasi-greg gillis fashion.  Their music just kept inspiring the dance steps. They managed to keep people moving with infectious grooves.  I’ve rarely seen a band that captivates it’s audience in this dance trance for so long.  By the end of the evening, sweaty and gross, the crowd and the band made it out of the venue into the cool night air (Datarock sans shirts).

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