Monday, May 25, 2015

Remix Fix: Emmy The Great/Tom Vek

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 better song to celebrate the opening of pools across the country than this slinky, sultry remix of Emmy The Great's "Swimming Pool" by Tom Vek? The vocals are luscious, and the song itself feels a bit hedonistic as it builds tension to a heady crescendo. Perfect for listening to while lounging suggestively by your favorite pool. 








[posted 5.25.15]

On the Road Again: Basement Jaxx

When I heard the news that dynamic dancefloor duo Basement Jaxx was coming to the US this summer, I could scarcely believe my ears. It's been a long time. 

Somehow, the twosome has released seven albums, and they even garnered a Grammy nod in the process. Expect heaving dancefloors when these two Brits come to town. If you've got dancing shoes, this is the show to wear 'em to. Dates and a little ditty to practice to below. 




Friday June 26 : San Francisco @ Public Works*

Saturday June 27 : Denver @ Beta*

Sunday 28 : Los Angeles @ The Hollywood Bowl #

Tuesday June 30 : Washington DC @ 9:30 Club

Wednesday July 1 : New York @ Central Park Summerstage



* DJ date only

# with Bootsy Collins and Tuxedo (Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One)






[posted 5.25.15]

Singles Club: Porcelain Raft

To sleep perchance to dream perchance to listen to Porcelain Raft

The professional wanderer's latest single is a study in delicate, decadent dreaminess, all gossamer, sugarspun swirls of dreams remembered and the sleep-laden stupor of waking dreams. It's a gorgeous, ethereal gem, perfect for the hazy summer days to come (and just about any other day, too).
   





[posted 5.25.15]

Video of the Day #45: The Bad Years

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 enjoy a good, random ramble around cities, so when I got an eyeful of LA's The Bad Years doing just that, I was into it. Sami and Aaron spend the entirety of the clip goofing off and looking too cute for words, backed by their pretty excellent fuzzed-out, jangly, sultry lo-fi pop racket. The video and the song both give off serious Southern California vibes, in a rather idyllic, laid-back kind of way. Looks and sounds so good one look and listen just won't do.   








[posted 5.25.15]

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Good Cover Version #15: Tennis System Does A Flock of Seagulls

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.

Oh man, that hair. A Flock of Seagulls mastered the art of insane 80s hair, along with the whole synthpop thing. "Space Age Love Song" is actually one of my favorite songs from the decade that saw hair like this in vogue, and LA 'gazers Tennis System just released their take on this little gem. It's a pretty fine cover, taking the song into dreamspun, heavy breathing sultriness and giving it an ethereal lightness while also making it a little bit sexy. And who knows, you might even feel inclined to get up to what is being gotten up to in the clip. 







[posted 5.23.15]

Singles Club: Dave Monks

I used to really, really dig Tokyo Police Club (and still do), so I was obviously pretty excited to get an email about Dave Monks

For fellow TPC fans, Monks' first single, "Gasoline," is quite different from the boisterous, quirky eccentricities that hallmark Tokyo Police Club songs. Delicate piano cameos and some acoustic strumming provide a backdrop for a clear, penetrating voice opining about love. It's a more grown up Monks here, as he sings "I just need someone to rely on." 

A release date of June 16th will be here before we know it, so make sure to get your hands on the full record when it comes out. 







[posted 5.23.15]

Video of the Day #44: Pet Sun

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.

Y'all know I love a good kitschy video, and Pet Sun has obliged me with their clip for "Never Quit." The excellent stoner sludge of the song plays perfectly against the somewhat silly vibe of the video, with the brightly colored drip effects, crazy ghost cameo, and band members pulling funny faces. Loving the song, loving the video, loving these dudes. 







[posted 5.23.15]

Crossing The Pond #33: C Duncan

Glasgow is quite a place, and it's quite a place to find some quite good music. Such as C Duncan. A true bedroom recording, Duncan's forthcoming long player Architect was recorded in a bedroom in a Glasgow flat, and if "Garden" is any indication, it's going to be a heck of a record.

"Garden" is bursting with energy, and the song romps along through lush, cascading shimmers of noise that at times call to mind shades of Tame Impala and Temples. The classically-trained Duncan clearly has a knack for putting a song together. Architect is out soon on FatCat, and I don't know about y'all, but I'm quite forward to it.  





[posted 5.23.15]

Good Cover Version #14: Miracles of Modern Science Does Foo Fighters

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.

Many a Foo Fighters song has been a pretty big deal over the past couple of decades, and "Everlong" was probably one of the biggest of big deals. I still remember watching the wacky video for the song, and I still get a kick out of the Foos silliness. New Yorkers Miracles of Modern Science decided, after watching the Foos do Letterman, that they wanted to try their hand at "Everlong," and their version is rather enjoyable. It's a folksy, stringsy (yes, there's a violin and a cello in there somewhere) interpretation that sounds lively and buoyant, and it's none too shabby. 

As an added bonus, you can grab the cover free of charge. AND you can check out MOMS on a little 7-date jaunt mid-June (if you happen to live in Philly, DC, Charlottesville, Louisville, Chicago, Columbus, or Pittsburgh). 








[posted 5.23.15]

The Week In Shows: 5/25-5/31

An absolutely lovely Saturday morning three day weekend kickoff 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 a holiday weekend, and I know how y'all like to indulge in pools and booze. Just remember not to drink and swim. In any event, shows! Go to some! It's a little thin this week, seeing there's a holiday and all, but there's some quality outings to be had. Here's some picks for the next few days. And remember, y'all, each week I'll be picking one show that is my seriously, go to this recommended show of the week. And here we go, a look at some recommended shows for the coming week.

MONDAY, 5/25/15

-Nice Breeze + Jack On Fire (Galaxy Hut)

TUESDAY, 5/26/15

-Stronger Sex + Grand Vapids + Sealab (The Pinch)

WEDNESDAY, 5/27/15

-Patrick Watson + The Low Anthem (9:30 Club)

THURSDAY, 5/28/15

-Mittenfields + Heavy Lights + Sealab (Velvet Lounge)
-Cartoon Weapons + Time Columns + Motherknuckle (DC9)
-Fidlar + Metz (9:30 Club) (Extra Recommended!)

FRIDAY, 5/29/15

-People's Champs (Tropicalia)
-Purity Ring + Braids + Born Gold (9:30 Club - both shows SOLD OUT)
-Clap Your Hands Say Yeah + Teen Men (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-The Highballers (Hill Country Live)
-Hudson Mohawk (U Street Music Hall)
-Coup Sauvage & The Snips + Baby Bry Bry & The Apologists + Hemlines (St. Stephen's)

SATURDAY, 5/30/15

-Brnda + Daddy Issues + The Pretty Greens + Cool People (Babe City)

SUNDAY, 5/31/15

-The Sea Life + Swings + All People + Pope (Black Cat)
-The Tallest Man on Earth + Madisen Ward + The Mama Bear (Lincoln Theatre - SOLD OUT)
-Sweetlife Festival (Merriweather Post Pavilion)



[posted 5.23.15]

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Video Of The Day #43: Taffy

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 don't often get the chance to post about Japanese shoegaze, but I'm pleased to be doing so now. This dizzying assault on the eyes comes to us from Taffy, an outfit with a sound that's half shoegaze and half mid-90s Britpop. Gleefully marauding guitar riffs play against sugary sweet lady vocals to rather enjoyable effect, and this clip for "dr K" offers up a great impression of what this band can do. I'm definitely more than a little intrigued.  






[posted 5.20.15]

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #1a: The Horrors

2014 was quite a year. Not the best of years, on a personal level, but a rather good year from a music standpoint. Having given a listen to record after record after record from the year that was, I’ve pulled together a list of favorites, finding it next to impossible to whittle the list down any further beyond 60 (I tried). In this group of 60 you’ll find records from old, faithful friends, upstart newcomers, and even a headscratcher or two. You’ll probably see some records that were a Big Deal not on this list. I either didn’t bite or didn’t buy the hype. I’m pleased as punch with this list, and I hope you’ll come across something that might have otherwise passed you by. And so, without further ado, my favorite records of 2014.

WHO: The Horrors

WHAT: Luminous

WHEN: May 2014

WHERE: XL Recordings

WHY: My fandom for this English outfit has been steadily growing over the past few years, but after listening to this record lord knows how many times, it's safe to say I'm a fangirl. It was actually quite appropriate of The Horrors to call this spectacular record of theirs Luminous, because that word can very easily be used to describe it. Every song on it is a masterstroke, thoughtfully composed and positively running over with elegantly epic, grandiose swirls of impeccable, polished, and flat out gorgeous rock. Faris Badwan's vocals, once they've snared you, are impossible to resist, and the smoldering, smoky delivery of his really shines on Luminous. It's a lush record filled with sensuous shadows, and a record that I find nigh on impossible to resist (not that I'd ever feel like putting up much of a fight, mind you).  

My jams: All of 'em




[posted 5.20.15]

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #1b: Sturgill Simpson

2014 was quite a year. Not the best of years, on a personal level, but a rather good year from a music standpoint. Having given a listen to record after record after record from the year that was, I’ve pulled together a list of favorites, finding it next to impossible to whittle the list down any further beyond 60 (I tried). In this group of 60 you’ll find records from old, faithful friends, upstart newcomers, and even a headscratcher or two. You’ll probably see some records that were a Big Deal not on this list. I either didn’t bite or didn’t buy the hype. I’m pleased as punch with this list, and I hope you’ll come across something that might have otherwise passed you by. And so, without further ado, my favorite records of 2014.

WHO: Sturgill Simpson

WHAT: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music

WHEN: May 2014

WHERE: High Top Mountain Records

WHY: The first time I heard Sturgill Simpson's voice I about had to pick my jaw up off the floor. This man has a holy hellfire gorgeous voice, a voice out of time, like he should have been coming out of Nashville in the 70s but instead he's in the here and now (and thank heaven for that). For everyone who has bemoaned the drivel that is popular country music these days, this record is enough to restore your faith. A play on the title of that classic Ray Charles record Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, on Metamodern Sounds in Country Music Simpson effortlessly croons his way through not nearly enough modern country classics, turning trials and tribulations into nigh on perfect songs. It doesn't hurt that he throws in an unexpected, tear-jerkingly tender cover of one of my favorite 80s synth pop songs "The Promise." As far as I'm concerned, Sturgill Simpson can do no wrong. This one's going to stick with me for a good long time.  

My jams: All of 'em




[posted 5.20.15]

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Week in Shows: 5/18-5/24

An overcast Monday 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!

It's the week before Memorial Day, and I know some of y'all are getting excited about pools being open. There really is nothing like the sweet smell of chlorine in the morning. In any event, shows! Go to some! Here's some picks for the next few days. And remember, y'all, each week I'll be picking one show that is my seriously, go to this recommended show of the week. And here we go, a look at some recommended shows for the coming week.

MONDAY, 5/18/15

-Downtown Boys + Gauche + Sneaks (Black Cat)

TUESDAY, 5/19/15

-Dead Heavens + Polyons (DC9)
-Buffy Sainte-Marie (The Hamilton)
-TV on the Radio + Bo Ningen (Echo Stage) (Extra Recommended!)

WEDNESDAY, 5/20/15

-Follakzoid + Amos Piper (Black Cat)
-The Caribbean + Mattress Financial + Talk It (DC9)

THURSDAY, 5/21/15

-William Fitzsimmons + Denison Witmer (U Street Music Hall)
-Black Masala + Tipsy Oxcart + Ottomania (Tropicalia)
-Red Sword + The Netherlands + HellPie + Showpony (Velvet Lounge)
-Body Language + Lightwaves (DC9)

FRIDAY, 5/22/15

-Pleasure Curses (American Art Museum)
-The O's (Hill Country Live)

SATURDAY, 5/23/15

-The Autumn Defense + Hollis Brown (The Hamilton)

SUNDAY, 5/24/15

-Chain & The Gang + Puff Pieces (Capital Fringe)
-Bob Dylan 74th Birthday Tribute Show (Jammin' Java)



[posted 5.18.15]