Saturday, May 27, 2017

Newsflash!: Win Tickets to The Avalanches @ 9:30 Club, 6/5/17

You love going to shows. I love giving you tickets to shows. It's a match made in heaven. Read on for how you can win some tickets.

I've been going to shows at the legendary 9:30 Club since I was a teenager, and have seen some of the best of the best grace that venerable stage. It is a pleasure to be offering a pair of tickets to several upcoming 9:30/IMP shows.


It's been a long (and I do really mean long) time coming, but The Avalanches is coming to the US. Finally. Touring last year's release Wildflower, the Aussies will be calling at the 9:30 Club on June 5. This is one of only a smattering of North American dates, so if you're into what The Avalanches are putting down you won't want to miss this show.

Luckily, I have a pair of tickets up for grabs. To be eligible to win said tickets, here's what you need to do. Send me a message, and tell me something you thought would happen before you'd ever get to see The Avalanches in person. Best entry wins the tickets. Piece of cake! 

Fine print: Contest is for two (2) tickets to this show. Contest closes at noon Eastern on Saturday, 6/3/17.

Best of luck, my lovely friends!



[posted 5.27.17]

Live Review: Skating Polly @ DC9, 5/21/17

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

"Ooo it's loud." Kelli had just switched with Peyton and was tuning the guitar. "That's good."

Actually, it's not good. It's fantastic. I have a habit of leaving my earplugs slightly loose at the onset of sets to partake more fully in the sonic assault. I would push them in deeper later on to protect my hearing. I waited until the last song to push them in for Skating Polly.

I would be lying if I said I wouldn't regret going deaf over the Washington trio, but there's immense solace, even joy, in knowing that that's the last thing I will ever hear. By "that" I mean a kaleidoscope of all sounds, the holy grail of music I have been seeking my entire existence. As a lover of many genres, I often have to settle for a single flavor with any given band. With Skating Polly, I get to scoop mint choco chips, root beer, and cookie dough all at once!

One hand cradling the mic, Kelli cooed with a tenderness on "Perfume for Now" that beguiled the angsty shouts which followed moments later. Her arms were extended outwards and ended with her palms facing downwards. She looked and sounded ready to rocket into the sky like Supergirl. Peyton, in contrast, was too cool for school. While almost expressionless, her voice carried an authority and strength that could move planets. The amalgam of the two voices swinging wildly from saccharine to sharp left me breathless and virtually on my knees.


And we have yet to add the magic wands both wielded. The guitar twinkled with magnificence and twirled with purpose. The bass thumped at all the right times and throbbed at all the right places, plus some I didn't even know I had. The drums drove unrelentingly towards the inevitable bliss.

Putting everything together resulted in fireworks. The exhilarating manner in which Kelli high kicked the air in tandem with each crash of the cymbal imbued me with a satisfaction I will likely never experience again. Then there's that euphoric moment in "Hail Mary" when the beat paused and Peyton slid her pick along the string. Anyone struck by that note is sure to reach nirvana like I did.


Now as I sit here, still feeling residual pain in my ears, all I can think about is when I can do it all over again.



[words and photos of Skating Polly by The Paper]

[posted 5.27.17]

Good Cover Version: The Raveonettes Does Stone Roses

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.

One of the best, baggiest Stone Roses songs of all time is "I Wanna Be Adored." It's really not up for debate. I recently stumbled upon a startling cover of said song, startling only because I had no idea it existed until now. The Raveonettes covering the Stone Roses is as magical as I could possibly have hoped, the band wrapping the baggy beats up into their patented luscious fuzz and come hither web. They keep true to the original vibe of the song while managing to make their own strong impression on this legendary nugget.    



[posted 5.27.17]

The Week In Shows: 5/29/17-6/4/17

A Saturday morning at the start of a long weekend 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!

Hallelujah, it's Memorial Day weekend. I don't know about you, but I've got a lot of sleep inked into my schedule. I'm resting up for the good stuff ahead. Including what I anticipate to be an influx of good shows. And now, without further ado, here's a look at some of those very 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, 5/29/17

-Mystery Friends + H A U N T E R + Broke Royals + Silo Mentality (DC9)


TUESDAY, 5/30/17

-Moonchild (Songbyrd Music House - SOLD OUT)


WEDNESDAY, 5/31/17

-Frightened Rabbit + Torres + Kevin Devine (9:30 Club)
-Tim Kasher + John Bradley + Campdogzz (DC9)
-The Radiographers + Antarcticats + The Pellys + XK Scenario (Velvet Lounge)


THURSDAY, 6/1/17

-Richard Lloyd + Dot Dash (Black Cat)
-Pallbearer + Inter Arma + Gatecreeper (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Amy Shark + Surf Rock Is Dead (DC9)
-Burnt Seeds + The Red Fens + No Dead Monsters + Meatbot (Velvet Lounge)


FRIDAY, 6/2/17

-(Sandy) Alex G + Japanese Breakfast + Cende (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Tuxedo + Gavin Turek (U Street Music Hall)
-The James Badfellows + Ear + Speculative Friction (Slash Run)


SATURDAY, 6/3/17

-Blossoms + Wilderado (Songbyrd Music House)
-Tall Friend + Dove Lady + Rat Pack (Comet Ping Pong)
-Red Light Distraction + Venn + Copes (Black Cat)
-Lulu (Birchmere)
-Seventh Annual Stanine Festival (BOAT BURNING, The Caribbean, Greenland, and more) (Dew Drop Inn)


SUNDAY, 6/4/17

-Daughters + Dälek + Odonis Odonis (DC9 - SOLD OUT)
-Camp Howard + Julian + Baby Grill (Black Cat)


[posted 5.27.17]

Video of The Day #277: Onesie

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.

Power poppers Onesie found themselves an interesting star for the video for "This Minstrel" - an FAO Schwarz Jim Henson puppet. She's the perfect star for this chirpy yet grounded ditty, with her unchanging facial expression and endless wanderings through Brooklyn. Highly metaphoric, no doubt. And highly enjoyable.   





[posted 5.27.17]

Friday, May 26, 2017

Live Review: Perfume Genius @ 9:30 Club, 5/15/17

Intrepid mysterious Special Guest Star The Paper went in search of good live sounds, and the following is what transpired when he took in Perfume Genius at the 9:30 Club.

I have seen over a hundred bands every year for five out of the last six years. Not once was the headliner scheduled to go on as early as half past seven. Besides, the overwhelming majority of the time, sets never start on time. I am dismayed to report that I missed the first three songs of Perfume Genius. Thankfully, many did not make the mistake I did given the mostly filled venue. In fact, Mike remarked that this was the biggest DC crowd yet.

"DC loves you!" someone shouted.

"I love you too!" replied Mike.

That simple exchange encapsulates the spirit of the show. There was a tender intimacy throughout the band's hour long set. Even the louder dance numbers induced more swaying than they did headbanging. Actually, there was none of the latter, just mere nods. Aside from applause, the audience was eerily silent. Usually this might convey displeasure or disinterest, except in this case everyone was transfixed by Mike's performance. He saunterd about the stage, gyrating his body with grace as he sang. Combined with the soft melodies floating in the air, it mesmerized everyone.

The effect grew moreso for the twenty minute encore. Starting solo at the keyboard, he was then joined by Allen who shared the same seat. The four hands proceeded to dance across the keys, to my awe. Finally, Tom and Irving reappeared on stage on bass and drums respectively to end on a loud note in which we saw Mike curtsey off the stage while the band carried on.

[words and photos of Perfume Genius by The Paper]

[posted 5.26.17]

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Video of The Day #276: Foliage

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 head over heels for this new Foliage single, my friends. This "dreamy jangly surfy 'gaze" captures an It moment - youthful sweetness with wistful what-ifs. It's a song that's as easy to swoon over as it is to dance to (which i find pretty easy on both counts), in the vein of Beach Fossils and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. The enchanting "Dare" features a video that's full of the agony and ecstasy of young love. Stay tuned for more Foliage to come on the super rad Spirit Goth Records.  






[posted 5.25.17]

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Video of The Day #275: Manchester

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 still processing (or, more accurately, trying to process) what happened in Manchester yesterday, as I imagine you are too. While I'm still at a loss for words, I'll go ahead and let the videos of some of my favorite Manchester musicians do the talking and try to bring as much joy to you in the aftermath as they've brought me countless times over the years. 

Hug your loved ones, tell the people who matter to you how much you care, and go live your life. Love to you all. 























[posted 5.23.17]

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Video of The Day #274: Cartoon Lizard

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.

There's an idyllic sweetness to Cartoon Lizard's "All In The Cards," a feeling that carries over into the claymation video for the song. The buoyant, sun-dappled psych pop bounds and gently jangles along in dreamy waves, with this Canadian outfit sounding just a smidge Laurel Canyon.  


All In The Cards from Cartoon Lizard on Vimeo.



[posted 5.21.17]

Remix Fix: British Sea Power/Dutch Uncles

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.

What's better than a remix, you might ask? Reciprocal remixes, of course! For example, the recipro-remix swap between British Sea Power and Dutch Uncles. You're hearing a lot of the 80s in both retooled efforts, with the remixes coming across both grandiose and a little bit flash. Says Martin Noble of BSP, who performed the remix on the Dutch Uncles song "Big Balloon;" "Mine's a bit moody and brooding while Robin's has got a bit of that classic 80s champagne glitz. I'd hope that Patrick Bateman would approve."   





[posted 5.21.17]

On The Road Again: Washed Out

Well, well, well. Look who's taking their show on the road?

This one gives me the shivers, y'all. I'm thinking it's going to be time for a drive on down to Norfolk to see the kickoff show of this dainty string of Washed Out dates in July. Everyone's favorite dreamweaver is a must-see live, so consider a roadtrip to catch him on this here run of shows.   

WASHED OUT TOUR DATES

7/8 - Norfolk, VA @ The Norva
7/9 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle
7/10 - Charlotte, NC @ The Underground
7/11 - Charleston, SC @ Music Farm
7/13 - Orlando, FL @ Plaza Live
7/14 - Jacksonville, FL @ Mavericks Live
7/15 - Tampa, FL @ Orpheum
7/17 - Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse





[posted 5.21.17]

Singles Club: Wild Cub + The Legends + Siberian Traps

Consider Singles Club your musical matchmaker. I do hope you'll give all these ready to mingle bachelors and bachelorettes your ear as you listen to some new favorite tunes. Read on in the hopes of finding your musical love connection.

I'm feeling the beginnings of summertime sass, so in the interest of bringing a little shimmy to your Sunday, all three songs below are wonderfully danceable. 

Wild Cub has been keeping a little bit of a low profile for the past few years, but that's likely to change with "Somewhere." Lovesick and glossy, this is synthpop meant for meaningful, stolen glances and quite possibly dancefloor singalongs.  



Meanwhile, The Legends (AKA Johan Angergård of Labrador Records) takes a slinky, slightly nerdy 80s approach to his synth machinations. "Summer In The City" is glitchy and fabulous, masking the undercurrent of gloominess with vocoders and video game flourish.



A move from Nashville to Ft. Worth has agreed with Siberian Traps, it would seem. Their "Outtasight" is pretty much outtasight itself, with an enthusiastic clamor building throughout their vintage rock racket. Perfectly warbling vocals, some rad shredding, and a hint of the past add to this little nugget's appeal. Oh, and it's probably going to make you cut a rug a little bit of a rug at some point.



[posted 5.21.17]

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Video of The Day #273: Gringo Star + Shantih Shantih

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.

Let's do a little something special today, y'all. Since a) two members of Gringo Star are married to two members of Shantih Shantih, and b) because both bands are in DC tomorrow night, it felt like the right time to share a video from each outfit. 

Starting with the ladies (as should always be the way), Shantih Shantih's clip for "Winter in September" feels just a touch campy, which y'all know I dig. The song's feisty for days, and has a heck of a demon beat. And may I just say, the retro, spooky surf shenanigans these ladies throw down will get your foot tapping right quick. 

As for the fellas, it's more of that irrepressible sunshine psych scuzz from my favorite Gringos. "Get Closer" is a dynamite ditty, with a video that nods and winks to the quality of retro film reels. 

Don't be scared to come out and have a good time tomorrow night, y'all. The Black Cat is for sure the place to be, as I think you'll agree after checking out these two smoochin' bands.    









[posted 5.20.17]

The Week In Shows: 5/22/17-5/28/17

An overcast and somewhat humid Saturday morning 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!

Between the cicadas and this icky sticky faux summer outside, May is kind of being a pain. There is only one kind of sweat I don't hate, and it's got nothing to do with above 90 degree temperatures and one thousand percent humidity. Just a reminder that summer is coming and it's going to be yucky. What isn't yucky is the volume of good shows to choose from this week. 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, 5/22/17

-Animal Collective + Circuit des Yeux (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)


TUESDAY, 5/23/17

-Kevin Morby + John Andrews & The Yawns (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Mac DeMarco + Tonstartsbandht (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)
-Lincoln Durham + Will Varley (DC9)
-Venn + Fleece + Slight (Comet Ping Pong)


WEDNESDAY, 5/24/17

-Mac DeMarco + Tonstartsbandht (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)
-Bon Iver + Hiss Golden Messenger (Merriweather Post Pavilion) 
-Br'er + Odetta Hartman + Nappy Nappa (DC9)
-The Good Side + The Dolly Rockers + No Hugs + Never Elected (Velvet Lounge)
-Christopher Paul Stelling (Gypsy Sally's)
-RVIVR + Max Levine Ensemble + Hemlines + Anti-Androgen (Comet Ping Pong)
-Drunk Education (Black Cat)


THURSDAY, 5/25/17

-Marian Hill + Opia (9:30 Club)
-Sigur Ros (Merriweather Post Pavilion)
-Thomas Wynn & The Believers + Rent Party (DC9)
-Joe Strummer Foundation Benefit f/ Stone Driver + Classified Frequency + Derek Evry (Black Cat)


FRIDAY, 5/26/17

-Vancouver Sleep Clinic + Venn (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Urban Cone + Nightly (DC9)
-Box Era + Surprise Attack + Urban Shaman Attack (Velvet Lounge)
-Elf Power + We Capillaries (Songbyrd Music House)
-Life on Mars: A Tribute to David Bowie (Songbyrd Music House)
-Told Slant + Hello Shark + Anna McClellan (Comet Ping Pong)
-John Mayall + Bill Carter (The Hamilton)
-Elizabeth Croydon (Black Cat)


SATURDAY, 5/27/17

-Sylvan Esso + Lucy Dacus (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)
-The Orwells + The Walters (Black Cat)
-Mousetrap Dance Party (Black Cat)
-Jeff Buckley Tribute (IOTA Club & Cafe)


SUNDAY, 5/28/17

-LP + Josiah and The Bonnevilles + Lauren Ruth Ward (U Street Music Hall - SOLD OUT)
-Sylvan Esso + Lucy Dacus (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)


[posted 5.20.17]