Friday, June 24, 2016

The Week In Shows: 6/27-7/3

A bummer of a post-Brexit Friday 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'm so bummed by this UK out of the EU thing, I have to say. But do let's think of happier things. Like the good shows we can go see here in the DC metro area. The holiday weekend is coming (the last one for a little while), which means the week is a bit light, but make sure you get out there and have you a darned good time this coming week/end. 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.

MONDAY, 6/27/16

-Quasi + Saqqara Mastaba (Rock & Roll Hotel)

WEDNESDAY, 6/29/16

-Pinegrove + Ratboys + Half Waif (DC9)
-Mayer Hawthorne (9:30 Club)

THURSDAY, 6/30/16

-Dead Kennedys + The Welch Boys + Walk The Plank (9:30 Club)
-Fear of Men + Puro Instinct (DC9)

FRIDAY, 7/1/16

-Flag + War On Women + The Dirty Nil (Black Cat)

SATURDAY, 7/2/16

-We Were Promised Jetpacks + Prism Tats (Jammin Java)
-Mousetrap Dance Party (Black Cat)



[posted 6.24.16]

Otherwise Engaged: BRONCHO

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.

Someday, BRONCHO, someday. My favorite Oklahomans are in town this weekend, and once again I have to miss them. Please o please go and pack out DC9, and show these sweet little rock and rollers a good time. They'll definitely show y'all one in return.  






[posted 6.24.16]

Video Of The Day #138: Jarvis Cocker

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.

Admittedly, I'm pretty much horrified by the state of affairs in the world today. Don't even get me started on this Brexit nonsense. I believe no one has captured the sorry situation better than the one and only Jarvis Cocker. This French tv performance is a doozy, and really sums up the view from the 99%. Jarvis speaks the truth, y'all. 



[posted 6.24.16]

Singles Club: Fort Not

Well hello, Fort Not.

Legend has it that this dynamic duo "emerged out of the fumes of gin and tonic during a hot west coast summer night," and you can hear both the west coast (California, of course) and probably the booze in this nugget. 

"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" is not a Stones cover, but it is a heck of a scuzzed, stoned and dethroned doo wopping piece of fuzz. The song speaks to restlessness and lovesickness in the catchiest, most rough-around-the-edges kind of way. It's a dandy little gem, this song, and I'm looking forward to hearing more from this Scandinavian pair.    





[posted 6.24.16]

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Whither Festivus: Macrock 2016 Recap

A little while ago, your humble blogstress ventured out to Harrisonburg once more to indulge in a weekend of music and mountains, better known as Macrock. I adore this little festival, because it's reliably full of solid local bands, and I never fail to stumble upon some great music that was previously unbeknownst to my ears. This year was no different, happily.

Arriving in Harrisonburg felt like leaving a weight behind. The friendly confines of the mountain city instantly put me in a good mood. After picking up my press badge from some of the incredibly friendly staffers, I took up a perch at the Artful Dodger, where I soaked in some rad tunes. Up first was Bless, purveyors of a sassy, jittery little jangle with just a hint of raunch. I was impressed, both with the sounds and the expert hair-tossing. The rambunctious grit with the occasional exaggerated vocal really grew on me, I must say. A solid beginning indeed. Next up was Plattenbau (pictured), who definitely ended up being my favorite discovery of the weekend. I was instantly on board with the trio's mighty fine, angular post pinkishness, with a whole lot of shredding and snarling.

After taking it easy on Friday, I pulled a longer shift on day 2. My day started with the late afternoon, melodic jangling sweetness of Charlottesville's Borrowed Beams of Light (pictured). Adam Brock, formerly of Invisible Hand, has a winner with this power poppy, easily digestible good times. "All of our songs are about the Apocalypse," says Brock, so let's call them pre-Apocalypse pop. Music to while away the End of Days to. I next took in locals Flyying Colors, who ask the question "What is life if not a continuous experiment in drone pop?" Indeed. Their sound was rather dreamy, rather mesmeric. Music to lose all track of time to.

I inadvertently caught several DC bands I wasn't yet familiar with, the first of which was fresh-faced duo Dove Lady. The twosome was a little all over the place (in a good way), causing quite a racket with their irreverent, exuberant punk outbursts. I next popped over to the Dodger once more to see Pete Curry (dreamy Richmond bedroom chill songsmithing) and Go Cozy (DC's dreamy heart-palpitating prettily fuzzy noise). Zooming back to Court Square Theatre, I caught Crown Larks and their very rambling, very organized chaos. Dissonance was peppered into their tumultuous thrum, occasionally feeling almost tribal. One Chicago band was followed by another, as ONO took the stage and took the cake. Theirs is true performance art, with a singer whose voice could melt mountains (and who is adept at quick changes from hazmat suit to wedding gown). Political, historical, and fantastical, I hadn't ever experienced a band like ONO before.

The expression about saving the best for last actually applied to my Macrock weekend, as my final band of the weekend was the divine Shana Falana (pictured). The lovely Miss Falana and her beau Mike (banging the drums so well) created such a beautiful, dynamic sound together. Shana's vocals can easily transition from floaty and gossamer-like ethereality to throaty and powerful. The Artful Dodger was packed to the gills, and the crowd was captivated by the show-stealing Falana. "That was rad!" someone proclaimed enthusiastically at the end of the set, which both perfectly sums things up and can't even begin to express how great the two were. It was a splendid way to end the weekend. Talk about going out on a high note.

If you've never been to Macrock, especially if you're not at all familiar with it, I strongly encourage you to give it a spin. The little festival that could, it's a long-running, small but mighty festival that truly celebrates independent music and is well-supported by a dynamic little city. Oh, and the setting ain't too shabby. Hope to see you there next year. 

[posted 6.23.16]

[all photos copyright Megan Petty]
          

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Otherwise Engaged: The Cure

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.

There are a few bands that every music lover with any modicum of good taste really ought to see at least once in their life. The Cure is one such band. I saw them in the 90s, so many moons ago, and it was an incredible gig. If you've yet to see Robert Smith and company, get thee to Merriweather Post this evening. And even if you've already seen them, go again. It's never enough (see what I did there?). Wednesday, I'm in love.  



[posted 6.22.16]

Monday, June 20, 2016

Singles Club: Steady Holiday

When I saw "Ennio Morricone" and "Nina Persson" used to describe the sound of Dre Babinski, AKA Steady Holiday, I thought "yes, please."

As it would happen, both counts are true. "Superstar" has the effortless cool and ever-so-slightly kitsch slink that hallmarks many a Morricone composition, while Babinski's vocals echo the whispered purr of Persson with an added tremor of fragility. This is quite a wonderful little song, indeed. 



[posted 6.20.16]

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Video of The Day #137: The So So Glos

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.

We've all been there, stoic and absorbed in trying to be invisible whilst taking public transportation. In this clip from The So So Glos, a mundane trip on an NYC subway car takes a deliriously enjoyable turn thanks to a bevy of breakers (the most impressive W.A.F.F.L.E. Crew) doing all manner of serious moves on a moving train while the breakneck jangle of the Glos rolls the good times along. Ladies and gentlemen, this is "Dancing Industry." And it's a jolly good time indeed. 





[posted 6.19.16]

On The Road Again: Methyl Ethel

Yes indeed, Fall is already shaping up to be an incredibly excellent gig-going season, my friends. I don't know about you, but my October dancecard is already looking spectacular.

New favorite Aussies Methyl Ethel have joined the future party, as they're due to bring their delicious, sun-drenched, pop-psych entanglements to the US for a good number of shows. Color me all manner of excited.    


METHYL ETHEL TOUR DATES

10.01.16 - Mac Hall Ballroom - Calgary, AB*
10.03.16 - WECC - Winnipeg, MB*
10.04.16 - Fine Line Music Cafe - Minneapolis, MN*
10.05.16 - Thalia Hall - Chicago, Il*
10.07.16 - Crofoot Ballroom - Pontiac, MI*
10.08.16 - Danforth Music Hall - Toronto, ON*
10.11.16 Virgin Mobile Corona Theater Montreal, QC*
10.12.16 - The Sinclair - Cambridge, MA*
10.14.16 - Warsaw - Brooklyn NY*
10.15.16 - First Unitarian Church - Philadelphia, PA*
10.16.16 - Rock & Roll Hotel - Washington DC*
10.18.16 - Masquerade - Atlanta, Ga*
10.19.16 - Gasa Gasa - New Orleans, La *
10.21.16 - The Mohawk - Austin, TX *
10.25.16 - Valley Bar - Phoenix, AZ *
10.26.16 - The Irenic - San Diego, CA *
10.28.16 - The Roxy - Los Angeles, CA *
11.02.16 - Neumos - Seattle, WA *

*Supporting Preoccupations



[posted 6.19.16]

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Otherwise Engaged: Dungen

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've had the pleasure of seeing Dungen live, albeit briefly, and it was an incredible experience. Top-notch, kaleidoscopic prismed, melodic psych with a Swedish accent, this will be a show to lose all sense of reality to. So be sure to venture over to the Rock & Roll Hotel tonight and take in some mindbendingly good sounds.   



[posted 6.18.16]

Good Cover Version: Fjord Does Neil Young

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.

Canadians covering a Canadian! In which the timeless, righteous Neil Young is given a complete reinvention by Quebecers Fjord. This rejigging of one of Young's best songs (so says me) renders it completely unrecognizable, with cold as ice, silky, sauntering beats and gossamer vocals taking the place of Young's gruffness and guitar. Young purists may disagree, but I think it's rather a lovely tribute to a fucking great song.  




[posted 6.18.16]

The Week In Shows: 6/20-6/26

A lovely, sunny, and not terribly hot Sunday 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!

My goodness, here were are more than halfway through the month, meaning we're now more than halfway through 2016. Wild. Good shows are ever present around here, and there's no shortage of social outings to make involving music this week. I do believe this is the most sold out shows in one week I've ever seen. As a reminder, you might catch me at any show with an asterisk. 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.

MONDAY, 6/20/16

-Mutual Benefit + Florist (DC9)

TUESDAY, 6/21/16

-Violent Femmes + Ava Mendoza (Lincoln Theatre - SOLD OUT)
-Oh Wonder (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)
-Pup + Rozwell Kid + Pkew Pkew Pkew (DC9 - SOLD OUT)
-Mark Lanegan + Sean Wheeler (Rock & Roll Hotel)

WEDNESDAY, 6/22/16

-The Cure + The Twilight Sad (Merriweather Post Pavilion - SOLD OUT)
-Wye Oak + Teen (Rock & Roll Hotel - SOLD OUT)
-Natural Child + Burnt Seeds (DC9)

THURSDAY, 6/23/16

-Tone + RLYR + Psychic Teens (DC9)
-Sam Lewis Band + Rosedale (Gypsy Sally's)
-Kevin Morby + Jaye Bartell (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-BRNDA (American Art Museum)
-Two Ton Twigs + The Dupont Brothers (IOTA)

FRIDAY, 6/24/16

-Pere Ubu + Obnox (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Anthony Pirog & Jarrett Gilgore + Other Colors + The Marian McLaughlin Trio (Comet Ping Pong)
-The Low Anthem + River Whyless (U Street Music Hall)
-Polyon + Handsome Foxes + Almost People + Curse Words + Cory Call & Stephen Lee (Velvet Lounge)

SATURDAY, 6/25/16

-Broncho + Dead Professional (DC9)
-Mitski + Japanese Breakfast + Jay Som (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Black Mountain + Majeure (Black Cat)
-Ladyhawke + Psychic Twin (U Street Music Hall)

SUNDAY, 6/26/16

-Guns N Roses + Alice in Chains (FedEx Field)
-Mystery Lights + Teen Liver (Black Cat)
-Hemlines + Worriers + Mikey Erg + Art Sorority for Girls (DC9)
-Sleep + Windhand (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)



[posted 6.18.16]

Video of The Day #136: Thrushes

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.

Yet another of those beautiful bands from Baltimore, Thrushes scratches many an itch with their gorgeous "Two Ships." Lovelorn lyrics sung with a haunting forlornness, lyrics that verbalize things I've been wrestling with on a personal level. The steady, ever present churning noise. And a crescendo of racket nearly two minutes long (given aural life in the video with scenes of the band playing amidst a backdrop of strobe lighting, naturally). Simply wonderful all over the place.   





[posted 6.18.16]

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Otherwise Engaged: Tame Impala

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.

One of these days, heaven help me, I'll see Tame Impala. I am positively dying to see the Aussie psych experimental wonderland tomfoolery live and in the flesh. It just won't be happening tonight. If you're inclined to venture out to Merriweather, though, by all means you absolutely should. Especially seeing as M83 is also on the bill. Swoon.  




[posted 6.16.16]