Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Singles Club: Yndi Halda

More years ago than I can believe, I saw a show at a small Richmond gallery that really got under my skin. The humid confines of that artistic space really made the noise of yndi halda even more enveloping and all-consuming than they might have been in a larger space. It was an intense night of expansive noisescapes, and I walked away into the Richmond night totally hooked. 

Somehow, it's been over eight years since the band's last record, but they're (finally) back and sharing an excerpt from their forthcoming sophomore effort Under Summer (due March 2016). "Golden Threads From the Sun" continues in their stylistic moving of heaven and earth in each and every song, and it's a beautiful, messy, reverent symphony. 

[posted 11.25.15]

Singles Club: Idle Bloom

There's a whole lot of good stuff coming out of Nashville that doesn't fall in line with the city's expected country inclinations. For example: Idle Bloom

"Some Paranoia" offers quite a bit to love, from the glowering din of noise to the ferociously feline purr of vocals singing lines like "I lit the match." It's a well put together little number, and I for one can't wait to hear more. 

[posted 11.25.15]

On The Road Again: SPORTS

Jangly and clever and all sorts of catchy, SPORTS is a joy to listen to. The band of indeterminate number (sometimes it's a foursome, sometimes five) creates a gallivanting, gleeful racket that is nothing short of infectious on record. In person, I can't help but have a sneaking suspicion that they've got something even better in store. 

Let's all find out, shall we? 

SPORTS Tour Dates

12.27.15 - Washington, DC @ Songbyrd DC

12.28.15 - Philadelphia, PA @ Everybody Hits

12.29.15 - Brooklyn, NY @ Baby's All Right (w/ Long Beard, Vagabon, Pinegrove)

01.02.16 - Hadley, MA @ The Asbestos Farm

01.03.16 - Providence, RI @ Aurora

01.04.16 - Boston, MA @ Middle East Upstairs (w/ Bent Shapes, Gravel)

[posted 11.25.15]

Singles Club: Pom Poms

Oh sure, it's popular these days to attempt emulation of that most golden of eras, the girl group/wall of sound Spector-ian beauty. But where many try, not many can rightfully claim success.

Pom Poms, however, now that's a different story. With "Betty" the band cagily coos their way through a song that successfully hits the mark, without it sounding like a mere tribute song. It's a song you might well find yourself listening to repeatedly, and not minding it one bit. 

[posted 11.25.15]

Good Cover Version: Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders Does Dire Straits

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.

Sometimes all it takes to win me over is a little lap steel and a voice that gives the impression that its owner has downed all the whisky and smoked many of the cigarettes within a five mile radius yet still somehow retains a heck of a honey-coated croon. In Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders' cover of the Dire Straits song "So Far Away," that's what you'll hear plenty of. Yours truly is in favor.  

[posted 11.25.15]

Crossing The Pond #42: Post War Glamour Girls

From Leeds comes Post War Glamour Girls, a foursome that's these days fond of creating expanses of sinewy, smoky murk fraught with tension and pressure. Or, that's the impression one gets after having a listen to this big bad wolf of a song. 

Clocking in over eight minutes, "Feeling Strange" elicits a sense of gloom, teeth-bared menace nibbling at the corners and finally, here and there, getting a bit of release. Plucked from the record by the same name, the band's second, "Feeling Strange" is all things stormy and noisy and wonderful.   

[posted 11.25.15]

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

On The Road Again: In The Whale

It's no secret that it doesn't take a great number of band members to make a great heaping wail of noise. Denver's In The Whale is further proof of this notion.

The two-headed "balls-to-the-wall" rock monster takes the show on the road for a good long while at the end of this week, and if you like your face getting rocked off, you just might be into it. There's plenty of dates (alas, none in this neck of the woods), so be sure you check these dudes out.  

In The Whale Tour Dates

11/27 - The Hideout - San Diego, CA

11/28 - Tiki Bar - Costa Mesa, CA

11/29 - Whisky A Go Go - Los Angeles, CA

12/01 - Rockbar Theater - San Jose, CA

12/02 - Bottom of the Hill - San Francisco, CA

12/03 - Shea's Tavern - Reno, NV

12/04 - Volcanic Theatre Pub - Eugene, OR

12/05 - Dante's - Portland, OR

12/06 - El Corazon - Seattle, WA

12/07 - Garibaldi Lift Co - Whistler, BC

12/08 - Rickshaw Theatre - Vancouver, BC

12/10 - Denizen Hall - Edmonton, AB

12/11 - Dickens - Calgary, AB

12/12 - The Vat - Red Deer, AB

12/14 - Club X - Salt Lake City, UT

12/15 - Aggie Theatre - Fort Collins, CO

12/16 - Bluebird Theatre - Denver, CO

02/02 - Launchpad - Albuquerque, NM

02/03 - Blue Max - Midland, TX

02/04 - Paper Tiger - San Antonio, TX

02/05 - Scout Bar - Houston, TX

02/06 - Siberia Bar - New Orleans, LA

02/07 - Vinyl Music Hall - Pensacola, FL

02/09 - Beachside Tavern - New Smyrna Beach, FL

02/10 - Debauchery - Melbourne, FL

02/11 - The Inlet - Fort Pierce, FL

02/12 - West End Trading Co - Sanford, FL

02/13 - Propaganda - Lake Worth, FL

02/15 - The Foundry - Athens, GA

02/16 - The Jinx - Savannah, GA

02/17 - The Sparrow - Charleston, SC

02/18 - Local 506 - Chapel Hill, NC

02/19 - The Rabbit Hole - Charlotte, NC

02/20 - The Earl - Atlanta, GA

02/21 - Grey Eagle Music Hall - Asheville, NC

02/24 - Exit/In - Nashville, TN

02/26 - The Hi-Tone - Memphis, TN

02/27 - Shrine - Tulsa, OK

[posted 11.24.15]

Singles Club: Timber Bones

I'm a proponent of escapism through music. With "Travelling Song" from Aussie outfit Timber Bones, escapism seems to be the order of the day. 

Shimmering like so many mirages on a steamy summer day, the song bounds along with irrepressible abandon and an undeniable lightness. A song for letting it all go and letting your hair down, in the right state of mind the jaunty folk ramble of this song can really hit the spot.   

[posted 11.24.15]

The Week in Shows: 11/25-11/29

A quite brr Tuesday evening  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!

It's Thanksgiving week here in the US of A. As much as I love Halloween, there's something I really do love about Thanksgiving. And as a reminder, this is a holiday with origins in Virginia, so don't swallow that pilgrim guff you might have heard. Short calendar this week, and a little less going on than there has been, though there are still shows to be seen. So here we go, a look at some recommended shows for the coming week. Happy Thanksgiving to all! 

WEDNESDAY, 11/25/15

-The English Beat (9:30 Club)
-Dragonette + Avan Lava + Young Empires (U Street Music Hall)

THURSDAY, 11/26/15

-Give thanks for friends and family!

FRIDAY, 11/27/15

-The Nighthawks + The Skip Castro Band (State Theatre)

SATURDAY, 11/28/15

-Keller Williams' Thanksforgrassgiving (9:30 Club)
-Glen Hansard + Richard Thompson (Constitution Hall)
-Citizens! + High Waisted (U Street Music Hall)

SUNDAY, 11/29/15

-The Sword + Royal Thunder (Rock & Roll Hotel)

[posted 11.24.15]

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Otherwise Engaged: Dead Professional

It is an unfortunate reality for the serious concertgoer that on occasion, there will be more than one show on any given night that you really, really, REALLY wanna go to. Since the vast majority of us don't own a time machine, nor have the ability to either clone ourselves or split ourselves in half (or thirds or quarters depending on the night in question), this tends to present a problem. Difficult decisions are made based on a variety of variables (perhaps some of you even make lists of pros and cons), and ultimately, a show is chosen. But those other shows are still gonna be killer, and I'd like to give a little face time to the shows that, while I can't go myself, are still highly recommended.

I'm turning into a little bit of a broken record with this here band, y'all. Be it vacation or, as is the case this time, vile sickness, I just can't seem to catch a break when it comes to checking out Dead Professional live. But you can make up for my absence tonight at DC9, make sure you get out and show these purveyors of clever, polished, tuneful mountain pop a wonderful Sunday evening. I know they'll return the favor.  

[posted 11.15.15]

The Week In Shows: 11/16-11/22

A rather chilly Sunday 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!

Last week my target was time changes, this week it's the common cold. Your bloggatrix has been rather sick this week, which is rather no fun. Whenever possible I've been in pajamas drinking tea and sniffling. But hey, there's some pretty good shows in town this week. You never know, you might just run into yours truly at any show with an asterisk (if I decide it's worth the while to go spread my germs among the general populace). As always, I'll be picking one extra special show as my super extra recommended show of the week, which you should probably go to if at all possible. So here we go, a look at some recommended shows for the coming week.

MONDAY, 11/16/15

-Shakey Graves + Those Darlins (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)

TUESDAY, 11/17/15

-Priests + Shopping + Puff Pieces (Black Cat)
-Hiss Golden Messenger + Frazey Ford (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-U.S. Girls + Escape-ism + Elmapi (Comet Ping Pong)
-Together PANGEA + White Reaper (DC9)

WEDNESDAY, 11/18/15

-The Yardbirds (AMP)
-Made of Oak + Tuskha (DC9)
-Hot Jam Factory + Jon Garcia & The Hopeless Romantics + Matt Tarka (Velvet Lounge)
-2 Inch Astronaut + Infinity Girl + Wing Dam (Songbyrd)

THURSDAY, 11/19/15

-!!! + Stereolad + Heavy Breathing (Black Cat)
-Health + Pictureplane (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Beat Connection + Phantoms + Lanceneptune (DC9)

FRIDAY, 11/20/15

-An Evening with Okkervil River (Black Cat - SOLD OUT) (EXTRA RECOMMENDED!)
-Polyon + Hurry + Homosuperior + Governess (Songbyrd)

SATURDAY, 11/21/15

-The Ocean Blue (Jammin Java - SOLD OUT)
-Diarrhea Planet + Music Band (Black Cat)
-Slow Magic + Giraffage + Daktyl (9:30 Club)
-Hemlines + Company Calls + Psychic Subcreatures (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Alex Bleeker & The Freaks + Gingerlys + Go Cozy (DC9)

SUNDAY, 11/22/15

-Lights + The Mowglis (9:30 Club)
-The Max Levine Ensemble + Sundials + Maneuvers (Black Cat)
-Flavor Waster + The El Mansouris (Songbyrd)
-Quiet Company + Bombadil (IOTA)
-Macy Gray (Howard Theatre)
-Moonbees + Snow Panda (Galaxy Hut)

[posted 11.15.15]

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Whither Festivus: Hopscotch 2015 Recap

In 2012 I called Hopscotch "one big warm fuzzy hug of a festival" that is "run well by good, music-loving folks." Having been to Raleigh for this year's installment of Hopscotch, I can happily say my sentiments remain unchanged. And I've got to tell y'all, the more of these that I go to, the more I think Hopscotch is angling to be my very favorite festival on the circuit. 

Sadly, work constraints kept me from enjoying the first full day of festival goodness (including Godspeed You! Black Emperor, OBN IIIs, and Bully, all of whom I would love to have seen). Having missed all the goodness of Thursday, I arrived on Friday, and by the time I left Sunday I was full of smit for all the bands I'd been lucky enough to see.

It was hot and humid most of the weekend, with the occasional shower adding to the moisture. Mmm, a weekend full of sweat. It was a constant refrain. Friday night was a really good one, filled with a pretty darned good City Plaza performance from TV On The Radio and an epic CAM showing by Moon Duo. In all honesty, after seeing Moon Duo I could have left Raleigh a sated girl, so spine-tingling was their set. I'd waited a long time to see them, and Moon Duo didn't disappoint. CAM was filled with sensational psych fuzz and overall noisiness, and it was a beautiful thing. In a pinch, I'd call Moon Duo my favorite band of the whole weekend. 

Saturday was all about the day parties, mainly the Let Feedback Ring shindig (highlights include a solo Hoax Hunters set and the impressive Patois Counselors), and the great party at Ruby Deluxe that yielded an absolutely incandescent set from the stunning River Whyless. At the end of the night, after nearly an hour in line, I was able to check out some of the insanely rambunctious King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard set at Slim's. Crowd surfing, sweat, and Aussie accents. Can't beat it, y'all. The psych rock monsters from Down Under were in top form, and they made the wait well worth it.

In all seriousness, if you ever have the opportunity to attend Hopscotch, do it. It's so well run, it offers a great variety of live music to see, and it's growing at the right kind of pace. Raleigh is an excellent host city. It makes for a hell of a weekend. My only complaint, really, is that it's sometimes a problem to pinpoint which bands to see, since there's just so dang many good ones on the lineup. But I suppose there are worse problems to have. 

Bottom line: I heart Hopscotch. And I already can't wait for next year. 

[posted 11.8.15]

[photos of Moon Duo, Patois Counselors, and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard copyright Megan Petty]

Video of The Day #85: The Spook School

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 do so love to see a band having a grand old time, and that's exactly what goes down in Edinburgh outfit The Spook School's clip for "I Want to Kiss You." Tomfoolery with brightly-colored foodstuffs transpires against a backdrop of jangly sweetness that I can't get enough of. As an added bonus, check out the infectious clamor of "Binary" to double your pleasure.  

[posted 11.8.15]

The Week in Shows: 11/9-11/15

A crisp, gorgeous Sunday morning that really, actually, finally feels like November 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!

All I have to say is time changes are the work of the devil. But hey, there's some pretty good shows in town this week. You never know, you might just run into yours truly at any show with an asterisk. As always, I'll be picking one extra special show as my super extra recommended show of the week, which you should probably go to if at all possible. So here we go, a look at some recommended shows for the coming week.

MONDAY, 11/9/15

-GWAR + Born of Osiris + Battlecross (9:30 Club)
-Surfer Blood + Ski Lodge + Collider (Comet Ping Pong)
-Toadies + In The Whale (Birchmere)
-Son Little + Baby Bry Bry Duo (DC9)

TUESDAY, 11/10/15

-PIL (U Street Music Hall - SOLD OUT)
-Moving Units + The Milestones (Black Cat)

WEDNESDAY, 11/11/15

-Givers + Doe Paoro (U Street Music Hall)
-EL VY + Flock of Dimes (9:30 Club)
-Mitski + Palehound + PWR BTTM + Painted Zeros (DC9)

THURSDAY, 11/12/15

-The Charlatans + Eyelids (Howard Theatre) (Extra Recommended!)
-Rachael Yamagata + Tony Lucca (9:30 Club)
-Natalie Prass + Loamlands (Rock & Roll Hotel)

FRIDAY, 11/13/15

-Nada Surf + Slothrust (U Street Music Hall)
-Fuzz + Walter (Black Cat)
-Wild Child + Royal Canoe (9:30 Club)
-The Weathervanes + The Walkaways + The Reserves (IOTA)
-The Sea Life + Triathalon + The Laughing Man (Songbyrd)
-Grimes + Nicole Dollanganger (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)
-The Last Waltz Tribute (The Hamilton)

SATURDAY, 11/14/15

-Clones of Clones + Color Palette + Furniteur + Cruzie Beaux (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Walk the Plank + Loud Boyz + Honah Lee + American Television (The Pinch)

SUNDAY, 11/15/15

-More Humans + Passing Phases (Galaxy Hut)
-Diane Coffee + The Duskwhales + Dead Professional (DC9)
-Shakey Graves + Those Darlins (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)

[posted 11.8.15]