Sunday, April 30, 2017

Good Cover Version: The Black Angels Does The Beach Boys

Pulp gave the world the song "Bad Cover Version." But seeing as I'm a sonic optimist, I'm of the belief that there's more likely than not more good cover versions floating around than bad ones. Good Cover Version celebrates the good, and leaves all that bad and ugly stuff alone.

The mirror cracked from side to side, and what was lurking underneath the broken glass was this Black Angels cover of the Beach Boys classic "Good Vibrations." The Austin outfit's masterful psychedelic reworking of the surf pop standard is, of course, coated in a murky, fuzzy haze, with more dead of night darkness than seaside sunshine. And that's what makes this cover such a winner.  



[posted 4.30.17]

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Week In Shows: 5/1/17-5/7/17

The last Saturday afternoon in April seems as good a time as any to plot ones weekly live music schedule, I think. Let's take a look at what's happening in the greater DC metro this week, shall we? Hot diggity!

Out goes April, in comes May. We're a third of the way through the year already. Time keeps marching and the shows keep coming. And now, without further ado, here's a look at some of the shows I happen to recommend for the coming week in the greater DC metro area.

And as an aside, if you've got a show coming up you'd like me to consider including in my weekly calendar, just shoot me an email with "Calendar" somewhere in the subject line. Thanks y'all!

MONDAY, 5/1/17

-The Messthetics + Mellow Diamond (Galaxy Hut)
-Astronoid + We Were Black Clouds (DC9)
-Smileswithteeth + Lillian King (Comet Ping Pong)

TUESDAY, 5/2/17

-Red Kross + Foul Swoops (Black Cat)
-Andy Shauf + Julia Jacklin (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Mastodon + Eagles of Death Metal + Russian Circles (Fillmore Silver Spring)

WEDNESDAY, 5/3/17

-Mono + Kikagaku Moyo + Holy Sons (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds The Final Performances (Lincoln Theatre)

THURSDAY, 5/4/17

-Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds The Final Performances (Lincoln Theatre)
-#SanctuaryDC Benefit Concert (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Deb Talan + Matt the Electrician (The Hamilton)

FRIDAY, 5/5/17

-Cue The Deer (Velvet Lounge)
-Loud Boyz + Nappy Nappa + Bacchae + Jarvis (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Breakin' Even Fest Day 1 (Songbyrd Music House)

SATURDAY, 5/6/17

-The xx + Sampha (Merriweather Post Pavilion)
-Clap Your Hands Say Yeah + Laura Gibson (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Breakin' Even Fest Day 2 (Songbyrd Music House)
-Black Lips + Surfbort (Black Cat)
-Broccoli City Festival 2017 (Gateway DC)

SUNDAY, 5/7/17

-Slowdive + Japanese Breakfast (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)
-Bleeker + Beware of Darkness + Badflower (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Tycho + Nitemoves (Echostage)
-Courtney Marie Andrews + Luke Mitchem (DC9)


[posted 4.29.17]

Video of The Day #261: Tashaki Miyaki

There's a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

Divine LA duo Tashaki Miyaki is definitely a favorite around these parts. The band's Paige Stark wanted to make daydream music to soothe the savage mind with the band's gorgeous "Out of My Head," and you can consider that mission accomplished. The accompanying video is both cinematic and everyday at the same time, monotony with a twist. The song's the thing, though, and it's quite glorious.  





[posted 4.29.17]

Friday, April 28, 2017

Live Review: The Coathangers @ DC9, 4/18/17

Intrepid mysterious Special Guest Star The Paper went in search of good live sounds, and the following is what transpired when he took in The Coathangers at DC9.

One hazard of a music journalist is that it can distract from the experience. When something noteworthy occurs, I have to debate between scrambling to take a few words down or mentally committing it to memory, both of which take my attention away from the moment. Even if nothing special is happening, I often find myself searching for something that may not be there or simply thinking about what I can write later. I gave up doing so for The Coathangers.

It's somewhat disorienting trying to think when the floor is rocking like a boat on savage seas thanks to the energy of the crowd. It was so intense I wondered if the mathematics of the architecture accounted for such stress. It doesn't help that a good number, encouraged by Julia, sang along loudly to almost every song. She even applauded their efforts on
a few occassions in the same manner of a coach conveying a job well done. The trio's energy is always so contagious.

I first saw them as a four piece and was floored when they took turns playing each other's instruments. This is infinitely impressive given their lack of formal music training. I was delighted to see this practice has not changed. They each bring their trademark style to the performance evoking a superhero team aesthetic akin to the Powerpuff Girls, with the added bonus that their abilities/weapons are interchangeable. I especially liked Julia's pacing back and forth in tandem with the beat.

Equally unique is their sound. There's an infectious and dance-inducing catchiness to the shouts not typically found in punk rock. Speaking of which, all three have distinctive voices that add colorful texture. This was most noticeable when they chanted in unison after a carousel of vocal duties.

At the conclusion of the hour long set, Julia mentioned two names no one recognized, until she offered the punchline that they were dogs. I was too busy eyeing the red object in her hand to consider her comment. That is, until she held it up to the mic and squeezed. It was a dog chew toy. The squeaks from the toy complimented the aptly named "Squeeki Tiki" song perfectly inducing the crowd to head bang. I am unaware of such cleverness by other bands, and it just confirms what The Coathangers has known all along. Playful imagination rocks!




[words and photo of The Coathangers by The Paper]

[posted 4.28.17]

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Video of The Day #260: The Obsessives

There's a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

Don't be fooled by the amusing video for "You're My God." There's some acutely awkward discomfort to be found in the impeccable slacker fuzz of The Obsessives. Ah, the growing pains of youth. If only it always sounded this good.   






[posted 4.26.17]

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Good Cover Version: The Districts Does Leonard Cohen

Pulp gave the world the song "Bad Cover Version." But seeing as I'm a sonic optimist, I'm of the belief that there's more likely than not more good cover versions floating around than bad ones. Good Cover Version celebrates the good, and leaves all that bad and ugly stuff alone.

Another iconic Leonard Cohen song, another cover. I quite fancy The District's mighty fine treatment of "Lover Lover Lover." The Philadelphia Fat Possum signees handled the song with care, adding their tender fuzz and slightly tremulous vocals to the lyrical poetry of Cohen's words. The end sees the song explode into glorious clamor, which feels fitting somehow. Repeated listening encouraged.   



[posted 4.25.17]

Video of The Day #259: The XX

There's a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

I'm pretty addicted to The xx's impeccable, lovesick rush of "Say Something Loving." The video's focus on attractive boys and girls being sweetly lovey-dovey is interspersed with closeup, angular shots of London as well as the band, black-clad and smiling, adding a touch of nostalgia. As usual, the sultry back and forth of the band's his-and-hers vocals and abundance of slick beats are just about impossible to resist.    




[posted 4.25.17]

Monday, April 24, 2017

Video of The Day #258: Black Asteroid f/ Zola Jesus

There's a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

Cinematically stunning in haunting black and white, the video for Black Asteroid's "Howl" offers the same sense of tense but beautiful desolation that can be felt listening to the song. Featuring the spell-casting vocal talents of Zola Jesus, the song simmers beatily, building to intense, dark crescendos. Perfect viewing for a gloomy Monday (and any day of any week).   





[posted 4.24.17]

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Good Cover Version: Amber Arcades Does Nick Drake

Pulp gave the world the song "Bad Cover Version." But seeing as I'm a sonic optimist, I'm of the belief that there's more likely than not more good cover versions floating around than bad ones. Good Cover Version celebrates the good, and leaves all that bad and ugly stuff alone.

To do Nick Drake justice, a cover has to be pretty great. I'm of the opinion that this Amber Arcades interpretation of "Which Will" is pretty great indeed. Turning Drake's ghostly masterpiece of magnificent melancholia into a dynamite dream pop diamond is no easy feat, but that's exactly what's happened. Between the heavenly guitar and Annelotte's sugared, sparkling (and somewhat haunted) vocals, this reimagining is truly a treasure.     



[posted 4.23.17]

Video of The Day #257: The Babe Rainbow

There's a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

Shot in a way that recalls home movies of the 1960s and 70s, the video for The Babe Rainbow's "Peace Blossom Boogy" hits a sweetly nostalgic note. The Aussie band's magical mystery sound goes on a magical mystery tour on a double-decker bus around some idyllic country, letting the song's dreamy, fuzzed up witchcraft provide the perfect soundtrack. I'm definitely looking forward to getting my hands on the band's forthcoming debut record, out in the very near future.    



[posted 4.23.17]

The Week In Shows: 4/24/17-4/30/17

A lovely, lazy Sunday afternoon in April seems as good a time as any to plot ones weekly live music schedule, I think. Let's take a look at what's happening in the greater DC metro this week, shall we? Hot diggity!

This is a landmark week, y'all. There's not one show but two shows I'll be going to this week! If you're out and about, I just might see you around. And out and about you should be, given how many great shows are on offer this week. As always, those shows I'll be going to are asterisked. And now, without further ado, here's a look at some of the shows I happen to recommend for the coming week in the greater DC metro area.

And as an aside, if you've got a show coming up you'd like me to consider including in my weekly calendar, just shoot me an email with "Calendar" somewhere in the subject line. Thanks y'all!

MONDAY, 4/24/17

-Chew + Nice Breeze (Galaxy Hut)
-Local H + Collider (Jammin Java)

TUESDAY, 4/25/17

-Tobin Sprout + DTCV (DC9)
-Panama Wedding + Sun Seeker (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Juliana Hatfield + Laura Stevenson (Jammin Java)

WEDNESDAY, 4/26/17

-Fenech-Soler + Knox Hamilton (U Street Music Hall)
-Overcoats + Yoke Lore (DC9 - SOLD OUT)
-Froth + Wildhoney + Kid Claws (Songbyrd Music House)

THURSDAY, 4/27/17

-Generationals + Psychic Twin (Black Cat)*
-Matthew Logan Vasquez + Mail The Horse (DC9)
-Lucky Chops + Madaila (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Big Thief + Infinity Crush + Twain (Songbyrd Music House - SOLD OUT)

FRIDAY, 4/28/17

-The New Pornographers + Waxahatchee (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)
-The Wild Reeds + Blank Range (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Lewis Del Mar + Anna Wise (U Street Music Hall - SOLD OUT)
-R. Ring + Split Single + Flasher (Comet Ping Pong)
-From Cradle to Stage: In Conversation with Virginia Grohl and Dave Grohl (Black Cat - SOLD OUT)
-Bob Mould + Brendan Canty (DJ set) (Black Cat)

SATURDAY, 4/29/17

-The New Pornographers + Waxahatchee (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)
-Moon Duo + Jackie Lynn (DC9)
-Pinegrove + Hovvdy + Shannen Moser (Rock & Roll Hotel - SOLD OUT)
-Casa Ruby Benefit Show: Homosuperior + Lady Bits + Post Pink (Comet Ping Pong)
-Arto Lindsay + Beauty Pill + Br'er (Black Cat)
-Mousetrap Dance Party (Black Cat)

SUNDAY, 4/30/17

-The Black Angels + A Place to Bury Strangers (9:30 Club)*
-Shonen Knife (Black Cat)
-Derek Evry + Kosi (Galaxy Hut)


[posted 4.23.17]

LP Lust: Record Store Day 2017 Edition

Records and nothing but. That's what LP Lust is made of. 

Yesterday morning, I took a hiatus from my Record Store Day hiatus and got myself up bright and early in the name of buying some records. 

I headed over to the CD Cellar in Falls Church, and was in line a few minutes after 6 in the morning. Half asleep, I waited patiently with other record lovers, more folks joining the line as the minutes ticked by. My list of purchases was short but meaningful: all four were titles from bands I adore and have adored for years upon years. When the doors opened and the melee began, I wasn't actually confident that I'd get anything on my list, so lusty was the crowd and so dispersed were the records. The list that follows is what I came away with: 

*The Black Angels - Death Song (special black light/glow-in-the-dark limited edition)

*Primal Scream - Mixomatosis (special remix vinyl)

*Super Furry Animals - Fuzzy Logic (20th Anniversary release)

I did not, sadly, get my hands on the Brian Jonestown Massacre record I wanted. Whether all the copies were already snatched up or I just couldn't see it amongst all the fray is anyone's guess. But don't worry, I'll get over it. Probably.

All told, I enjoyed my Record Store Day 2017 experience, even without a 100% success rate tracking down my records. The CD Cellar staff was awesome, especially considering how difficult a day yesterday surely was. Kudos to all involved for keeping smiles on their faces. My only complaint is that when the doors open, everyone was able to rush in and start clogging up the aisles. There was no real benefit of being there so early, other than maybe getting to rush in sooner than folks closer to the end of the line. I prefer when stores let a certain number of people in at a time, and then have all the RSD titles in a small area so they're easy to grab (or ask for). But that's a personal preference. Maybe you don't feel the same way. 

In any event, I came away with my number one want: the Super Furry Animals Fuzzy Logic vinyl. Obviously, having the namesake record of this here blog on wax means quite a great deal to me. Being able to procure the new Black Angels record and some Primal Scream as well also made me feel like a gold medal winner. I hope that if you were out and about on RSD, you were able to get your paws on your favorites. 


[posted 4.23.17]    

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Remix Fix: LO MOON/Hudson Mohawke

In theory I like the idea of the remix: taking someone else's song and tweaking it the way you want it done. It's a great means for completely redoing something, and for reinterpretation. Sometimes remixes go awry, and sometimes they're better than the original. Remix Fix is all about the happy medium when a remix totally nails it and makes a song that much better.

Bright young things LO MOON have been making waves this year, not least of all because of the strength of the towering, ghostly perfection of the epic single "Loveless." While it's hard to improve upon the breathless beauty of that rather majestic original, Hudson Mohawke has given the song a rejigging, and the end result of this tinkering adds some 80s-esque bleeping to make the song shimmer. While the slinky electro-gloss sound has a totally different appeal, the song's heartbeat remains the same.  



[posted 4.22.17]

Video of The Day #256: Douglas Firs

There's a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

Sneaky visual tricks, roosters, and a lap steel cameo. Perhaps not the most obvious combination of video effects, but the shenanigans here are obviously coloring outside the lines just a smidge. I think you'll find that this collection of delightfully obtuse imagery in the video for Douglas Firs' "Shine 'Em Up Sadie" is just right for the fuzzy, impish scuzz pop of the song. 






[posted 4.22.17]