Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Fashionably Late Top 50 of 2015: Julien Baker

I am forever running late. While it may not be a part of my charm, I would refer you to the old saying about better late than never. In any case, after probably way too much thought, I finally settled upon my favorite 50 records from the year that was 2015. I'm also mixing it up a little this year, y'all. Instead of ranking every record, I'm giving you my picks in alphabetical order, saving my number one, very favorite record of the year for last. So sit back, relax, and refresh your memory of last year's best with a group of records that I hope will tickle your fancy.

Who: Julien Baker

What: Sprained Ankle

When: October 2015

Where: 6131 Records

Why: I was admittedly completely bowled over the first time I heard Julien Baker's voice. In the glorious voice of this very young tenderfoot live a myriad of emotions, all expressed with a hesitant, golden tone. With the help of some good ole Richmond recording assistance, Baker offers up nine songs that aren't necessarily trying to, but might end up breaking your heart. 

My very favorite jam: "Something" but perhaps also "Vessels"




[posted 5.5.16]

The Fashionably Late Top 50 of 2015: Joanna Gruesome

I am forever running late. While it may not be a part of my charm, I would refer you to the old saying about better late than never. In any case, after probably way too much thought, I finally settled upon my favorite 50 records from the year that was 2015. I'm also mixing it up a little this year, y'all. Instead of ranking every record, I'm giving you my picks in alphabetical order, saving my number one, very favorite record of the year for last. So sit back, relax, and refresh your memory of last year's best with a group of records that I hope will tickle your fancy.

Who: Joanna Gruesome

What: Peanut Butter

When: July 2015

Where: Slumberland

Why: Peanut butter isn't just for snacking on, friends. Peanut Butter, Joanna Gruesome style, is full of the same crunchy, smirking fuzz and raging riffs that hallmarked the excellent Weird Sister, churning through heavy shit while all the while sounding deceptively buoyant and bubbly. A solid listen from start to finish, these Cardiff noisemakers keep getting better.

My very favorite jam: "Separate Bedrooms"




[posted 5.5.16]

The Fashionably Late Top 50 of 2015: Hot Chip

I am forever running late. While it may not be a part of my charm, I would refer you to the old saying about better late than never. In any case, after probably way too much thought, I finally settled upon my favorite 50 records from the year that was 2015. I'm also mixing it up a little this year, y'all. Instead of ranking every record, I'm giving you my picks in alphabetical order, saving my number one, very favorite record of the year for last. So sit back, relax, and refresh your memory of last year's best with a group of records that I hope will tickle your fancy.

Who: Hot Chip

What: Why Make Sense?

When: May 2015

Where: Domino

Why: By now, it's safe to say that Hot Chip owns the dancefloor. But not in the boring old big, cheesy beats and hands in the air kind of way. Always eccentric, the Hot Chip gents throw down geek chic hipness and a good time vibe that seems to inherent emanate from every song. Never ones to ignore the slow jam, the fellows also know how to take it down a few notches. The vocal dynamic of Alexis and his more falsetto notes and Joe's deeper, rich tones continues to all sorts of rule. Never a dull moment. 

My very favorite jam: "Huarache Lights" and "Easy to Get" and "Need You Now"




[posted 5.5.16]

The Fashionably Late Top 50 of 2015: Holy Wave

I am forever running late. While it may not be a part of my charm, I would refer you to the old saying about better late than never. In any case, after probably way too much thought, I finally settled upon my favorite 50 records from the year that was 2015. I'm also mixing it up a little this year, y'all. Instead of ranking every record, I'm giving you my picks in alphabetical order, saving my number one, very favorite record of the year for last. So sit back, relax, and refresh your memory of last year's best with a group of records that I hope will tickle your fancy.

Who: Holy Wave

What: The Evil Has Landed Pt II

When: December 2015

Where: Reverberation Appreciation Society

Why: Texas has some pretty rarified psych rock air, and Holy Wave only adds to the mystique of the Lone Star movement. This extended play features some of the haziest, all-encompassing psychedelic noise you're going to hear. These dudes can jangle, they can drone, and they can pretty much do it all with devil-may-care ease.

My very favorite jam: "Hood Dreams" for chillin, "Madonna's Operation" for shakin' it. 




[posted 5.5.16]

Otherwise Engaged: The Brian Jonestown Massacre

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.

All that really needs to be said is that The Brian Jonestown Massacre is one of the best live bands out there. Led by Anton Newcombe, this ever-evolving psych outfit offers up some of the tightest, and flat out best, psychedelic noise you're going to hear. DC, there's really nothing better, so get out to the 9:30 Club tonight and see it for yourselves. 




[posted 5.5.16]

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Video of The Day #129: ETCHES

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.

Those of you who remember the hilarious show "Peep Show" should appreciate this clip from Liverpool's ETCHES. A bird's eye view of date night gone awry is soundtracked by the ever so slightly quirky, butter-smooth slink of the song "Love Is," and the simple approach works like a charm. 






[posted 5.4.16]

The Fashionably Late Top 50 of 2015: The Helio Sequence

I am forever running late. While it may not be a part of my charm, I would refer you to the old saying about better late than never. In any case, after probably way too much thought, I finally settled upon my favorite 50 records from the year that was 2015. I'm also mixing it up a little this year, y'all. Instead of ranking every record, I'm giving you my picks in alphabetical order, saving my number one, very favorite record of the year for last. So sit back, relax, and refresh your memory of last year's best with a group of records that I hope will tickle your fancy.

Who: The Helio Sequence

What: The Helio Sequence

When: May 2015

Where: Sub Pop

Why: I'm probably well past fashionably late when it comes to The Helio Sequence. After all, the greater Portland duo has been together since 1996. But better late than never, eh? This self-titled effort from 2015 is addictive from the word go, with the band weaving together all manner of lush noise into gorgeous, enrapturing songs. At times more grounded, while at others the duo's compositions float into ethereal planes, singing into the sunset a million miles away.

My very favorite jam: "Red Shifting" but also "Deuces" and perhaps too "Phantom Shore" but then there's "Battle Lines"...oh hell. 




[posted 5.4.16]

The Fashionably Late Top 50 of 2015: Happyness

I am forever running late. While it may not be a part of my charm, I would refer you to the old saying about better late than never. In any case, after probably way too much thought, I finally settled upon my favorite 50 records from the year that was 2015. I'm also mixing it up a little this year, y'all. Instead of ranking every record, I'm giving you my picks in alphabetical order, saving my number one, very favorite record of the year for last. So sit back, relax, and refresh your memory of last year's best with a group of records that I hope will tickle your fancy.

Who: Happyness

What: Weird Little Birthday

When: March 2015

Where: Bar/None

Why: Who can resist the lure of "not quite a concept album about a boy who shares his birthday with Jesus Christ and eventually is driven insane with jealousy?" Throw in the lo-fi, just gritty enough sound that brings to mind the 90s with clever, oft-amusing lyrics, and South Londoners Happyness score a direct hit.

My very favorite jam: "Leave the Party"




[posted 5.4.16]

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Fashionably Late Top 50 of 2015: Gwenno

I am forever running late. While it may not be a part of my charm, I would refer you to the old saying about better late than never. In any case, after probably way too much thought, I finally settled upon my favorite 50 records from the year that was 2015. I'm also mixing it up a little this year, y'all. Instead of ranking every record, I'm giving you my picks in alphabetical order, saving my number one, very favorite record of the year for last. So sit back, relax, and refresh your memory of last year's best with a group of records that I hope will tickle your fancy.

Who: Gwennno

What: Y Dydd Olaf

When: August 2015

Where: PIAS

Why: Having been a Pipettes fan, I was inherently going to gravitate towards Gwenno's record. However, her evolution from hipster pop strumpet to Welsh language dance slink indie pop was more impressive than I was expecting. With a candied sugar purr and retro Euro beats, it turns out that Y Dydd Olaf is a rather excellent record. And with a message, too, these are no mere glossy pop songs. 

My very favorite jam: "Patriarchaeth" and "Golau Arall" and "Fratolish Hiang Perpeshki" - dead heat




[posted 5.3.16]

The Fashionably Late Top 50 of 2015: Grooms

I am forever running late. While it may not be a part of my charm, I would refer you to the old saying about better late than never. In any case, after probably way too much thought, I finally settled upon my favorite 50 records from the year that was 2015. I'm also mixing it up a little this year, y'all. Instead of ranking every record, I'm giving you my picks in alphabetical order, saving my number one, very favorite record of the year for last. So sit back, relax, and refresh your memory of last year's best with a group of records that I hope will tickle your fancy.

Who: Grooms

What: Comb the Feelings Through Your Hair

When: February 2015

Where: Western Vinyl

Why: Another record full of intelligent, clamorous post punk with just a hint of psych from Grooms. Comb is a wonderful collection of songs, brimming with quirky riffs and bountiful, disparate noises that work beautifully together. From the hazy, blurred exit of "Cross Off" to the taut, riotous intro of "Bed Version," this is quite a compelling listen indeed.    

My very favorite jam: "Bed Version"



[posted 5.3.16]

The Fashionably Late Top 50 of 2015: Girls Names

I am forever running late. While it may not be a part of my charm, I would refer you to the old saying about better late than never. In any case, after probably way too much thought, I finally settled upon my favorite 50 records from the year that was 2015. I'm also mixing it up a little this year, y'all. Instead of ranking every record, I'm giving you my picks in alphabetical order, saving my number one, very favorite record of the year for last. So sit back, relax, and refresh your memory of last year's best with a group of records that I hope will tickle your fancy.

Who: Girls Names

What: My Arms Around a Vision

When: October 2015

Where: Tough Love

Why: I shouldn't play favorites, as to get in this list a record already IS a favorite. However, like all parents surely do, I have a few secret favorites. Had I been ranking every record on this list, friend, My Arms Around a Vision* would have ended up in the top 5, no question. Jauntily jarring, the post punk, incredibly catchy gloomery of Girls Names really hits its stride here, unholy rackets of noise creating a clattering aural vision of dark, terrifying beauty. I truly cannot recommend this one enough.  

My very favorite jam: All of 'em. Seriously. 





[posted 5.3.16]

*this record floats around with both the title My Arms Around a Vision and Arms Around a Vision. It's awesome either way. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Week In Shows: 5/2-5/8

A rainy, gloomy, sleep-all-day 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!

Once more, another month has snuck up on us. Hello, May. I always thought it was April showers bring May flowers, but right now it's May showers for days. And shows! There's a lot of good music coming through the greater DC metro this week. As a reminder, you might catch me at any show with an asterisk (provided I'm not in an allergic coma or waterlogged). 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, 5/2/16

-Sales + Tall Friend (DC9)
-Matt Tarka + Derek Evry (IOTA)
-Bob Boilen in conversation with Carrie Brownstein (6th & I)
-The Trews + Brian Dunne (Jammin Java)
-Death Index + Olivia Neutron-John + Wildhoney + R.G. (Saint-Ex)
-Local H (Rock & Roll Hotel)

TUESDAY, 5/3/16

-Born Ruffians + On and On (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Robbie Krieger's Jam Kitchen (Birchmere)

WEDNESDAY, 5/4/16

-Vetiver + Range of Light Wilderness (The Hamilton - win tix here!)
-Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires + No Ice + Mirror Motives (DC9)

THURSDAY, 5/5/16

-The Brian Jonestown Massacre (9:30 Club)*
-Woods + Ultimate Painting + The Sea Life (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Matthew Logan Vasquez (of The Delta Spirit) + Dustin Lovelis (DC9)
-Cracker (State Theatre)

FRIDAY, 5/6/16

-Lou Douillon (U Street Music Hall)

SATURDAY, 5/7/16

-Lvl Up + Big Hush + Paperhaus + Furnsss (Above the Bayou)
-Mellow Diamond + Super! Silver! Haze! + Hothead (Comet Ping Pong)
-Cate Le Bon + Mega Bog (Rock & Roll Hotel)

SUNDAY, 5/8/16

-James Wolf + Insect Factory + Dennis Kane (Galaxy Hut)
-Thurston Moore + J. Robbins + Give (Black Cat)
-Frightened Rabbit + Caveman (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)

[posted 5.1.16]

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Video of The Day #128: Dilly Dally

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.

Dilly Dally plays tonight with Fat White Family, so in honor of that I say let's tip our collective cap to their video skills. "Purple Rage" is shot tinted with purple, and features the exploits of singer Katie Monks wandering around city and wilderness dolled up like a purple swamp thing. Somehow, it works, given the band's teeth-gnashing snarl punk sound. Good watch, and probably an even better rendition happens in the flesh. The song, not the getup.  





[posted 4.30.16]

April 30: Fat White Family Day

Y'all, this is such an exciting day. Not only is it a Saturday, but it's also now to be known around these parts as Fat White Family Day. Hurrah!

Yes, from now on please associate this the 30th of April with the noisy no good (in such a good way) shenanigans of FWF. 

If you're in DC, come celebrate this monumental occasion with the Fat White Family/Dilly Dally double bill of excellence a the U Street Music Hall this evening. And if you're not able to make the show, well, here's a little something for you, my friend.    




[posted 4.30.16]