Sunday, August 13, 2017

Singles Club: Frankie and The Witch Fingers + Versing + Jess Cornelius

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.

Like Ogden Nash gone psych rock, the new single from LA's Frankie and The Witch Fingers is all sorts of out there. From forthcoming long player Brain Telephone, "Learnings of The Light" is a dizzying, stratospheric trip through supernatural strawberry fields, an immersive sonic experience that might very well leave you breathless by the time it's over.     



From the forthcoming Nirvana EP, "Radio Kinski" is a powerhouse. It's Seattle band Versing's vehement, raucous think piece on people who do shitty things but don't get called out about it. Full of unpredictable, textured and tempestuous shifts and about-faces, this one's hard to ignore.  



Jess Cornelius has a pretty fine band, Teeth & Tongue. "Jealousy" is her first solo single, and the lyrical content focuses on that nagging sin we've probably all been saddled with from time to time. The song showcases an ethereal, yet raw voice, simmering with an undeniable smolder. 



[posted 8.13.17]

On The Road Again: Downtown Boys

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

I've been seeing so much about the new Downtown Boys record on social media lately, it almost feels like everyone's talking about it. And with good reason, it must be said.

The Providence punk purveyors are taking to the road in honor of the release of Cost of Living, and they're not messing around. This tour is long, and it is thorough. Which means, of course, there's lots of chances for lots of folks to go support this badass band.

DOWNTOWN BOYS TOUR DATES    

8/13: Portland, ME @ Space Gallery
8/14: Burlington, VT @ ArtsRiot
8/15: Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
8/16: Buffalo, NY @ Sugar City
8/17: Detroit, MI @ Marble Bar
8/18: Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
8/19: Omaha, NE @ MAHA Festival
8/20: Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
8/21: Lawrence, KS @ White Schoolhouse
8/22: St Louis, MO @ Off Broadway
8/23: Nashville, TN @ DRKMTTR
8/24: Birmingham, AL @ Syndicate Lounge
8/25: Knoxville, TN @ Pilot Light
8/26: Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar
8/27: Cincinnati, OH @ Northside Yacht Club
8/28: Columbus, OH @ Rumba Cafe
8/29: Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Roboto
9/2-9/3: Philadelphia, PA @ Made In America Festival
9/4: Washington, DC @ DC9
9/5: Durham, NC @ Pinhook
9/6: Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade - Purgatory
9/7: New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
9/8: Houston, TX @ Walters
9/9: McAllen, TX @ Yerberia Cultura
9/10: Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas
9/11: San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger
9/12: Dallas, TX @ Dirty 30
9/13: Springfield, MO @ Outland Ballroom
9/14: Iowa City, IA @ The Mill
9/15: Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock
9/16-9/17: Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest
9/19: Vancouver, BC @ Fox Cabaret
9/20: Seattle, WA @ The Vera Project
9/21: Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
9/22: San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
9/23: Los Angeles, CA @ Summer Happenings at The Broad
9/24: Oakland, CA @ Starline Social Club
10/9: Leffinge, Belgium @Cafe De Zwerver
10/10: Paris, France @ Le Point Ephemere
10/11: Brighton, UK @ The Haunt
10/12: Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
10/13: Edinburgh, UK @ Sneaky Pete’s
10/14: Glasgow, UK @ Stereo
10/16: Dublin, Ireland @ The Workman’s Club
10/17: Liverpool, UK @ The Shipping Forecast
10/18: London, UK @ Dome Tufnell Park
10/19: Sheffield, UK @ Picture House Social Club
10/20: Manchester, UK @ Deaf Institute
10/21: Bristol, UK @ Simple Things Festival
10/22: Birmingham, UK @ All Years Leaving Festival
10/24: Cologne, Germany @ Tsunami Club
10/25: Berlin, Germany @ Urban Spree
10/26: Hamburg, Germany @ Hafenklang
10/27: Amsterdam, Netherlands @ London Calling Festival
11/15: Baltimore, MD @ Windup Space
11/16: Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts - Black Box
11/17: Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Night Bazaar



[posted 8.13.17]

Live Review: The Zombies @ The Birchmere, 7/17/17

I didn't plan on reviewing this show. Having reviewed (and been totally wowed by) The Zombies once before, this was meant to be an off duty outing. I bought tickets to the show as a birthday present for my mother (who's a huge fan of the band), and I was so serious about being a total spectator that I didn't even have a notebook with me at the show. But as the set went on, it became apparent that I would once again be talking about just how much I love seeing The Zombies live.

I wasn't alone in that feeling, either. The Birchmere was totally packed, by the time we got there (well before the show started) the only seats available were way in a dark back corner. The crowd was mixed, the band drawing new generations of fans along with the generation who came of age listening to their impeccable songs. 

From the opening notes of first song "I Love You" it was clear that this was going to be a special night. I don't know how it's possible, but this band manages to sound even better than they did on record all those years back. Colin Blunstone delivered every line with a beatific smile, simply beaming as his heavenly voice gilded each note. 

The banter between songs was charming, my favorite moment perhaps being the anecdote about the band playing a Zombies cover of a Tom Petty cover of a Zombies song ("I Want You Back Again"). The entire 19-song set (encore included) was nothing but gem after gem, so many wonderful songs flowed from this band. All were delivered with precision and passion. But more than that, all were delivered with heart and soul. I don't mean that in a cliched or cheesy sense. I mean it in the sense that this band, more than quite possibly any other band I've ever seen live, plays in a way that expresses just how much they love what they do. And to have been playing these songs for so many years and still give that impression, well, it's a special thing indeed. 

I was almost moved to tears because of the overwhelming feeling of joy that was bestowed upon the audience from these wonderful musicians. It was truly incredible. This show reminded me just how amazing it can be to experience music made by musicians who love what they do, and who love sharing their music with others. To see The Zombies is to see something truly special, and I hope they'll be back soon so more fans can experience it. And when they come back, I hope they'll add their version of "Got My Mojo Workin'" to the set. Because to me, that would truly make them perfect. As it stands, they're pretty darned close.

[photo copyright Megan Petty]

[posted 8.13.17]             

Video of The Day #324: Split Enz

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.

File this one under "oldie but (very) goodie," my friends. I've loved this Split Enz gem for a long time now, and the video is sheer 80s silliness. The song itself is blissful new wave addictiveness, perfect for lazing about on a Sunday afternoon. Or, frankly, just plain perfect.   



[posted 8.13.17]

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Week In Shows: 8/14/17-8/20/17

A humid as all get-out Saturday afternoon in August 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!

Talk about a dark and stormy night last night. Are we closing in on the Dog Days? As long as there's good music around, who cares, right? 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, 8/14/17

-Ezra Mae and The Gypsy Suit + J. Flax & The Heart Attacks (Galaxy Hut)
-Abrams + Jacuzzi Suit (DC9)
-Venn + Looms + Flowerbomb (Jammin Java)

TUESDAY, 8/15/17

-Witch Coast + Growl + Rom (Comet Ping Pong)
-In The Valley Below + Flagship (DC9)
-Olivia Mancini & The Mates + Lisa Said Project + Park Snakes (Black Cat)

WEDNESDAY, 8/16/17

-Fyonha + Nuex (Black Cat)
-Mark Lanegan Band + Duke Garwood + Lyenn (Rock & Roll Hotel)

THURSDAY, 8/17/17

-Oak House + Easter Island + Collider (Black Cat)
-Mystery Friends + Breakfast. + Queue (Rock & Roll Hotel)

FRIDAY, 8/18/17

-The Districts + Sam Evian + Soccer Mommy (9:30 Club - win tix!!)
-Lee Fields & The Expressions + Aztec Sun (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Bacchae + Ear + Keeper (Black Cat)
-Milo In The Doldrums + Color Palette + Kid Brother (Comet Ping Pong)

SATURDAY, 8/19/17

-Boat Burning + Jao Ocean (Bossa)
-Get The Led Out (The Hamilton)
-Redline Graffiti + Jenna Camille + Crue (Rock & Roll Hotel)

SUNDAY, 8/20/17

-The Beach Boys (Wolf Trap)


[posted 8.12.17]

Friday, August 11, 2017

Video of The Day #323 (Premiere Edition): Wall of Ears

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.

My loves, it brings me the greatest of pleasures to premiere the video for this oddball psych pop nugget from Wall of Ears

This kooky kaleidoscope of impossibly catchy sonic curiosities comes from Seattle, CW Lott and company creating a far out, frolicsome gem that's so very weird and wonderful. For an outfit with a mission to "create a surreality we can all live in together," with "We Go Outside" they tick all the boxes. From the new record Hello Beautiful Nothing, the song inhabits all manner of pleasingly peculiar places. It's succor for those who crave the delirium a song like this can inspire.   

The video is exactly as it should be, the vintage footage and effects (and a few don't-try-this-at-home moments) playfully and perfectly giving visual life to the song's every colorfully jangling note.

Check out the video, check out the record, and keep your eye on Wall of Ears.
       





[posted 8.11.17]

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Newsflash!: Win Tickets to Waxahatchee @ 9:30 Club, 8/21/17

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 only natural to be excited about the idea of seeing Waxahatchee live. Badass babe Katie Crutchfield is touring her second long player for Merge, Out In The Storm, and what I've heard so far is mighty fine.

One of the stops on the Waxahatchee summer tour just so happens to be the 9:30 Club, and I've got a pair of tickets that could be yours. 

To win these tickets, send me some email telling me why going to see Waxahatchee would make your day.  

Fine print: Contest is for two (2) tickets to this show. Contest closes at noon Eastern on Saturday, 8/19/17.

Good luck my pretties! 



[posted 8.10.17]

Video of The Day #322: Frankie Rose

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.

This here new Frankie Rose song "Dyson Sphere" positively purrs, my friends. Coupled with a divinely brooding, so very 80s synth heartbeat, the honeyed smoke coil of the vocals make this a hard to resist little gem. The video keeps it simple, almost as though the camera was bewitched by the song.   





[posted 8.10.17]

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Video of The Day #321: Bloody Knees

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 kind of obsessed with the Bloody Knees song "Not Done." Their fuzzed to the heavens, 90s grunge-inspired ditty is inescapably addictive, all growling riffs and shouty vocals. The video picks up on the throwback feel with grainy home movie footage, showing the band both in action and gallivanting in fields, arcades, and bodies of water. Highly recommended.     


Not Done by Bloody Knees on VEVO.



[posted 8.9.17]

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Video of The Day #320: Blond Ambition

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.

Just what is it that makes "Stupid Boy/Girl" so impossibly and maddeningly catchy? The sparkling fizz of the breezy pop beats? Brian Harding's breathy, breathless lilt? A heck of a shimmy-worthy hook? It's definitely a little of all of the above. The video for this Blond Ambition ditty is fabulously shot and features some drag-centric exploits in both performance and preparation. Not bad, not bad indeed.     





[posted 8.8.17]

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Video of The Day #319: SPINN

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.

It won't take long at all for the lovesick, puppy dog dream pop of SPINN's "Notice Me" to get stuck in your head. The song's got hooks for days, and a dandy danceability to boot. The Liverpool lads jangle and shimmy to perfection, and the video's sweet, "notice me" ending aligns oh so well with the song. Highly addictive.    





[posted 8.6.17]

Good Cover Version: Tristen Does Television

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.

Much like Katy & Greta's excellent covers album Take It, It's Yours, Tristen's cover of the seminal Television track "See No Evil" takes masculine muscle and reimagines it from a feminine point of view. The spiky guitar is still much in the vein of the original, but Tristen's throbbing, feisty vocals take the song to entirely new places. And if you don't mind, I'd like to stay a while.    



[posted 8.6.17]

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Sounds of Secret Stages 2017 #20: Young Valley

Alabama in August is a pretty hot place, and it's not just because of the heat (and the humidity). Secret Stages has been keeping things hot in Birmingham for years, staying true to their mission of showcasing musical talent from across the South (and beyond). This year is no different. If you're free August 4-5, you might just take a jaunt down to Bham to check out this Dixie dandy.

When it is said of a band to "put on your dancing shoes and say you're prayers," I'm probably going to be interested. And I'm pretty dang interested in Young Valley. These Mississippi gents incorporate vintage country into their intricate, unapologetic rock noise, and the result is always a mighty fine song.  



[posted 8.5.17]

Sounds of Secret Stages 2017 #19: Wolfpack ATL

Alabama in August is a pretty hot place, and it's not just because of the heat (and the humidity). Secret Stages has been keeping things hot in Birmingham for years, staying true to their mission of showcasing musical talent from across the South (and beyond). This year is no different. If you're free August 4-5, you might just take a jaunt down to Bham to check out this Dixie dandy.

Of all the bands on the Secret Stages roster this year, Wolfpack ATL is probably one of the most fun. With a bevy of brass, this sizable outfit is full-on, improvisational jazzed-up goodness. Creative Loafing bestowed upon them the honor of "Best Band to Blow the Roof off the Joint," so you know that when they're onstage it's going to be a little bit nuts. In the best possible way. 



[posted 8.5.17]