Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Video of The Day #161: Ultimate Painting

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.

"Song for Brian Jones" is gorgeous. The video for "Song for Brian Jones" is gorgeous. I would say Ultimate Painting is gorgeous, however I'm still cranky with them about not playing a DC date on their upcoming US tour. But in all seriousness, I think the video is stunning. Beautiful, artistically-angled landscapes are overlaid by shots of the twosome playing together in the studio, all while the song's hypnotic washes of blissful psych melodies envelope your ears. Yeah, I'm sticking with gorgeous. 








[posted 8.30.16]

Good Cover Version: Mu Does Kate Bush

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.

I must say, the more I listen to Mu's cover of "Running Up That Hill," the more I like it. The Canadian duo has given Madame Bush a frosty, synthy treatment, all the while keeping the fierce, feline ferocity of the original. The electro twist offers an unexpectedly awesome new lens with which to experience this truly classic song.   




[posted 8.30.16]

Singles Club: Communions

You may recall when last month I posted (and gushed a little) about the charming sonic delights on offer from the Seattle-Copenhagen outfit Communions. I've decided that I like them so much it's time to talk about them once again.

New song "Eternity" carries the John Hughes flick 80s pop sweetness with just a touch of grit. "Hand in hand/it ain't fair/all these roads/they lead nowhere" goes the song, harkening to the pouty desolation that makes certain songs so captivating. A deviously catchy song, filled with both frothy sugar and good old angst.  



[posted 8.30.16]

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Video of The Day #160: Robbing Millions

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.

The cheeky, slightly sarcastic psych pop of Robbing Millions is enjoyable enough on its own. Add in the delightfully wacky, 80s-throwback video for "Dreams Like Photographs," and I suspect I won't be the only one succumbing to the warm fuzzies about these Belgian sonic satyrs.   





[posted 8.28.16]

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Newsflash!: Win Tickets to Dinosaur Jr. @ 9:30 Club, 9/8/16

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 over the next few months. 

One of those bands that has inspired scores of others, Dinosaur Jr. really needs no introduction. If you want to see these straight up legends, as well as the also-excellent Cloud Nothings, when they come to the 9:30 Club on Thursday, 9/8, pay attention. There are rules.
  
RULES: Spin me a yarn. Not just any yarn. I want a dinosaur story. It can be something about a real dinosaur, or a made-up dinosaur. Or even Dinosaur Jr. I don't need a manuscript, just a brief tale. Send your dino entry to me NO LATER THAN NOON DC TIME ON TUESDAY, 9/6. Subject line should read "I Want Dino Tix." Winner will be notified via email.

To get you in the mood, here's a new video from the Dinos. Good luck, y'all!       



[posted 8.27.16]

The Week In Shows: 8/29-9/4

An early 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!

I have never found it to be so true that one works for the weekend that much harder when there is a long weekend on the horizon. Such is the case this week, with Labor Day weekend dangling out there in front of us. We'll get there, friends. Eventually. In the meantime, make sure you get out there this week and support your bands of choice. So here we go, a look at some recommended shows for the coming week. See a show with an asterisk? I'll be there, so let's hang.

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, 8/29/16

-Hockey Dad + Muuy Biien (DC9)
-Cabin Creek + Two Ton Twig + Handsome Hound (Jammin Java)
-The Escape Artist + Bent Knee + Cartoon Weapons (Black Cat)

TUESDAY, 8/30/16

-Bells and Hunters + North by North + Hello Dharma + Uptown Boys Choir (Velvet Lounge)

WEDNESDAY, 8/31/16

-Banks + Steelz (9:30 Club)

THURSDAY, 9/1/16

-The Mountain Goats (State Theatre)

FRIDAY, 9/2/16

-Humming House + Keelan Donovan (Jammin Java)
-Labor Day Weekend Music Festival (Lincoln Theatre)
-Mousetrap Dance Party (Black Cat)

SATURDAY, 9/3/16

-Kraftwerk 3-D (Music Center at Strathmore)
-I Love The 90s (Salt-N-Pepa, Tone Loc, and more) (Wolf Trap)
-Kevin Seconds + Steve Soto (Black Cat)
-Labor Day Weekend Music Festival (Lincoln Theatre)

SUNDAY, 9/4/16

-Porches + Japanese Breakfast + Rivergazer (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Labor Day Weekend Music Festival (Lincoln Theatre)

[posted 8.27.16]

Monday, August 22, 2016

Video of The Day #159: Carl Broemel

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's easy to feel a strong sense of wanderlust while watching Carl Broemel's video for "Sleepy Lagoon." The scenes of a stunningly pastoral lakeside in dreamy lighting are so very evocative, both in terms of a sense of peacefulness and in the sense of getting away from it all. It's all a perfect match for Broemel's earthy, homespun honey vocals and smooth sonic moves. 



[posted 8.22.16]

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Live Review: Gringo Star @ DC9, 8/15/2016

For some reason, it frequently seems to be stormy weather when I go to see Gringo Star. Braving pre-apocalyptic skies and Monday night malaise, I ventured over to DC9 to see those Hotlanta honeys do their thang. And, as always, it was worth it: a broken snare drum, frequent instrument switcheroos, and an almighty good time. Take that, severe thunderstorms.

Touring the imminently forthcoming long player The Sides and In Between, the foursome did their darndest to get the kids moving on a Monday night, and with their cheeky chappy psych pop it was hard to resist. New ditties "Still Alive" and "Rotten" commingled delightfully with stalwarts like "All Y'All," "Shadow," and one of my personal favorites, the irrepressible nugget "Make You Mine." 

Always a bit playfully tongue-in-cheek, the rascally psychedelia-meets-British-Invasion tomfoolery went over very well indeed with the Monday night crowd. The boys are out on the road for a long time coming, so do yourselves a favor and go check Gringo Star out, y'all.    

  



[posted 8.21.16]

[photo by Megan Petty]

Good Cover Version: Weaves Does the Beatles

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.

How do you take one of the most recognizable songs in the entirety of pop music history and make it your own? Just ask Weaves. They've taken on "Help!" as done by the Fab Four and have spun the classic early Beatles paragon and turned it into an irreverent, bleepy, smoky soul-lounge-funk-rainy Sunday treat. 



[posted 8.21.16]

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Video of The Day #158: Cosmonauts

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.

When I first happened across Cosmonauts, it was whilst pulling together interesting bands from the 2012 Austin Psych Fest. My sentiments from that first impression remain unchanged, especially when it comes to not standing a chance against digging their sound. "A-OK!" is the title track from their new record, and the video's simple but effective bright lights and tight closeups purr right along with the infectious daydream believing psych noise of the song.   





[posted 8.20.16]

On The Road Again: Honeyblood

My obvious and oft-admitted propensity to adore all things Scot aside, in the humble opinion of yours truly, it's hard not to fall in smit with the noise of Honeyblood. This spiky Scottish duo is set to bring their grunged-up ruckus to the US come the fall, and I know that makes quite a few of us rather happy. And don't forget, friends, the ladies have a new long player, Babes Never Die, that's out in late October on FatCat.

HONEYBLOOD TOUR DATES


10.24.16 - Metro Gallery - Baltimore, MD
10.25.16 - Ortliebs - Philadelphia, PA
10.26.16 - Baby's All Right - Brooklyn, NY
10.28.16 - Subterranean - Chicago, IL
10.30.16 - 7th Street Entry - Minneapolis, MN
11.3.16 - Barboza - Seattle, WA
11.4.16 - Bunk Bar - Portland, OR
11.6.16 - The Chapel - San Francisco, CA
11.7.16 - The Echo - Los Angeles, CA



[posted 8.20.16]

The Week In Shows: 8/22-8/28

An almost pleasant Saturday afternoon 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 (with mercifully less of an emphasis on the hot)!

August is halfway over, which hopefully means the icky gross heat we've been having here in greater DC is almost out the door as well. The nights may be getting darker earlier, but there's still lots of summer shows to enjoy. Make sure you get out there this week and support your bands of choice. So here we go, a look at some recommended shows for the coming week. See a show with an asterisk? I'll be there, so let's hang.

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, 8/22/16

-Lower Dens + Cigarette (Rock & Roll Hotel 10th Birthday Bash)
-Ciaran Lavery + Danny Burns (Jammin Java)

TUESDAY, 8/23/16

-Titus Andronicus + Two Inch Astronaut (Rock & Roll Hotel 10th Birthday Bash)
-David Crosby (Birchmere)

WEDNESDAY, 8/24/16

-Downtown Boys + Big Hush + Bad Moves (Rock & Roll Hotel 10th Birthday Bash)
-ZZ Top + Jonny Two Bags (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)
-Butch Walker + The Wind & The Wave + Suzanne Santo (U Street Music Hall)

THURSDAY, 8/25/16

-Trash Talk + Nappynapa + Sir E. U. (Rock & Roll Hotel 10th Birthday Bash)
-Skye & Ross from Morcheeba + DJ Christine Moritz (9:30 Club)
-Wing Dam + Witch Coast + Hand Grenade Job (Black Cat)

FRIDAY, 8/26/16

-Milemarker + Puff Pieces + The Effects (Rock & Roll Hotel 10th Birthday Bash)
-Aretha Franklin (Wolf Trap)
-Boat Burning - Anthony Pirog Quartet (Black Cat)

SATURDAY, 8/27/16

-William Elliot Whitmore + Tim Barry (Rock & Roll Hotel 10th Birthday Bash)
-My Son Bison + Br'er + Near Northeast (Bathtub Republic)
-Bob Log III + The Kevin Dowling Fitness Hour (DC9)

SUNDAY, 8/28/16

-Surf Curse + Lala Lala + Shirt/Pants (Songbyrd Music House)

[posted 8.20.16]

Friday, August 19, 2016

Video of The Day #157: Cheshires

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 was a really, really big Remy Zero fan back in the day, and it makes me pretty darned happy to see that Shelby Tate (otherwise known - really - as Remy Zero) is once again making some wonderful music. This time it's as part of trio Cheshires, and the sounds in "Love This Feelin'" are a deliriously golden whirlwind of bloody catchy 60s pop meets early 90s college rock. The video picks up the technicolor vibes and runs wit them, through vintage film clips and saturated shots of the band. Hello again, Shelby.   


Cheshires - Love This Feelin' from Cheshires on Vimeo.



[posted 8.19.16]

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Singles Club: Lightnin' Ray

What gal wouldn't be tickled to have this little ditty written for her? 

Lightnin' Ray, of the oh-so-fertile Atlanta rock proving grounds, wears his heart on his sleeve in this sweetly swaggering valentine of a song. Serious 70s and 80s throwback vibes abound, and hopefully he won't kill me if I say there's a little nod to one D. L. Roth in the vocals. This here is a perfect go and cozy up to your crush song, so don't be shy, y'all.  



[posted 8.18.16]