Saturday, August 31, 2013

Video Vixens: Soup Dragons

Oh, the 90s. What a decade you were. Full of good music and rather questionable fashion choices. But today, we'll focus on the good music.

I've loved the Soup Dragons song "Divine Thing" since the 90s, though only recently noticed the band was Scottish (it's no wonder I loved this song so much). A little ditty about a bad, bad girl, given a jangly, hip-shakin' production that pretty much makes it impossible to ignore. It's a touch on the baggy side, nodding to the trendy Madchester scene, though it's definitely a bit too fluffy to be real baggy.

The video itself is pure early 90s fodder. Think Brit band goes to New York and makes a bright, silly video with cameos by Amazonian NYC model types. I think it actually captures the essence of its day quite well, and serves as a great little slice of 90s nostalgia for those of us that were there. Whippersnappers, take notes.  


Live Review: Elephant Stone @ Black Cat, 8/11/13

How shall I put this? To say I was excited to see Montreal's Elephant Stone at the Black Cat would be one heck of a massive understatement. They'd managed to elude me, but thankfully the stars finally aligned, and I can now contentedly report that it was well worth the wait.

I was sold pretty much as soon as the band took the stage, strolling out to recorded sitar grooves and a visual display of undulating orange, purple, and green circles. But it wasn't just a dizzying swirl that got my attention. Over the course of their set, the band slanted and enchanted their way from heavy, hypnotic psych to their patented "Hindie rock," touching the dreamiest reaches of the psychedelic spectrum.

Nice and noisy, the band stormed through gorgeous guitar washes, kicky jangles, and Rishi Dhir's breathy, almost tender vocals. At times, Elephant Stone became indeterminable from bands fifty years their senior, so much can they bring the old school into their sound. Song after song, the band captivated with swirling, creeping tentacles of pretty psych gloss. The way they retain an air of lightness while pummeling softly with their noise is quite special indeed. 

New song "Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin" was a knockout, adding a touch of live rawness to the delirious psych pop. Their set seemed to fly by, and I was less than pleased when the instruments were set down and the band left the stage. Happily, however, the solid crowd and a Sunday night bonhomie led the band to return, and their last treat for us was a spooky whirligig of a cover of The Doors' "L.A. Woman." Classic. 

All told, I had a great time. Don't hesitate to see this band when you get the chance, my friends. 




[photo by Bowen Stead]  

Friday, August 30, 2013

Sounds Of Hopscotch 2013 #10: Waxahatchee

Hard as it may be to believe, it's once again time for Hopscotch. One of my favorite festival happenings, Hopscotch is a mere hop, skip, and a jump or two from the DC metro in lovely Raleigh, North Carolina. For the past few years they've been reeling in some seriously impressive lineups, and this year looks to be no different. Thanks to scheduling conflicts, I won't be heading down for this year's sonic extravaganza, but (not at all surprisingly) I've got recommendations on who to check out if you're heading to the fest.

Sure, I'm quite content to be a music scribe. But there's a part of me, deep down in there, that wishes I could rock the fuck out with a guitar. Waxahatchee, as it happens, lives that dream for me. Miss Katie Crutchfield pulled up stakes from Alabama, moved to Brooklyn, and proceeded to be badass. While definitely not new on the scene, Waxahatchee is relatively new to me. From what I've heard, Waxahatchee keeps the aim true to her punk roots while sashaying around melody and extreme likeability like nobody's business. Oh, and this girl can absolutely wail with her guitar, too. I'm sold. 
  

Sounds Of Hopscotch 2013 #9: Night Beds

Hard as it may be to believe, it's once again time for Hopscotch. One of my favorite festival happenings, Hopscotch is a mere hop, skip, and a jump or two from the DC metro in lovely Raleigh, North Carolina. For the past few years they've been reeling in some seriously impressive lineups, and this year looks to be no different. Thanks to scheduling conflicts, I won't be heading down for this year's sonic extravaganza, but (not at all surprisingly) I've got recommendations on who to check out if you're heading to the fest.

Nashville holds quite a special place in my heart these days. And Night Beds (aka Winston Yellen) is starting to carve out a place there in his own right. So lonesome they could cry, the songs of Night Beds are pretty as can be, aching compositions that draw you in and don't let go. Yellen's voice often reminds of me Ryan Adams, sometimes Jeff Buckley (most often in that mystical coo Buckley was so very good at). Reminiscent without being derivative, Night Beds sounds too good to miss. The fact that Night Beds is with ridiculously awesome label Dead Oceans? Icing on the cake, y'all.

mp3: 22 (Night Beds from Country Sleep)

Sounds Of Hopscotch 2013 #8: Speedy Ortiz

Hard as it may be to believe, it's once again time for Hopscotch. One of my favorite festival happenings, Hopscotch is a mere hop, skip, and a jump or two from the DC metro in lovely Raleigh, North Carolina. For the past few years they've been reeling in some seriously impressive lineups, and this year looks to be no different. Thanks to scheduling conflicts, I won't be heading down for this year's sonic extravaganza, but (not at all surprisingly) I've got recommendations on who to check out if you're heading to the fest.

I was pleased as punch to see Speedy Ortiz on the lineup card for this year's Hopscotch. After all, I've loved up on these Massachusettians before, and frankly, they're only getting better. Led by badass riot chick Sadie Dupuis, Speedy Ortiz sounds like all the best of the 90s, cutting the chaff and sticking with the wheatiest riffs, muddiness, and attitude. In other words, it's not music for the faint of heart. A definite must-see. 


Album Review: The Snowy Owls - Summer EP

O, the love I have for those Snowy Owls. Undoubtedly some of the finest musician-types in Richmond's ridiculously fertile scene, the dudes recently unleashed a four-song EP dedicated to summer. Let's just say that was a good move on their part. The four songs collectively embody the steamy haze of deepest summer, and I expect once fall and winter roll around they'll sound just as pretty.

Summer, of all seasons, can be the most magical, the rarest of days, but by the same token feels the most like catching lightning in a bottle. It's here, and it's gone. To that end, "Time gets the best of us sometime," sings Owls mouthpiece Matt Klimas in the crunchy, droned-up hip shaker "All Summer Long," a song that takes what summer gives and splendidly so. "What Summer is For" has the season down pat, all languidly idyllic and drenched in romantic reverie.  

While I love the EP as a whole, there are a couple songs that particularly speak to my inner summer girl. My favorites bookend the EP, starting with the deliriously, just like honey goodness of "Feels Like Summer" and closing with the towering, beautiful bittersweet fuzz of "Next Summer," replete with guitar freakouts and an almost heavy air of something left unspoken.   

The EP really speaks to the effervescent, dreamlike spirit of summer, the tantalizing first weeks of what seems endless to the last weeks, when autumn waits in the wings and life begins to return to normalcy. If you're in search of the perfect late summer listen, look no further. 

   

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sounds Of Hopscotch 2013 #7: Ex Cops

Hard as it may be to believe, it's once again time for Hopscotch. One of my favorite festival happenings, Hopscotch is a mere hop, skip, and a jump or two from the DC metro in lovely Raleigh, North Carolina. For the past few years they've been reeling in some seriously impressive lineups, and this year looks to be no different. Thanks to scheduling conflicts, I won't be heading down for this year's sonic extravaganza, but (not at all surprisingly) I've got recommendations on who to check out if you're heading to the fest.

I'm seriously crazy for Ex Cops. Their deliriously perfect, shimmery pop gems call to mind endless remembrances and touchstones, referential yet gloriously unique. Little surfer girls should especially dig "Spring Break Birthday Song," while something about the droll rhythms of "Seperator" makes me think of The Magnetic Fields. They're sweet as pie, these Brooklyners, and I suspect they put on a mighty fine show together. 



Monday, August 26, 2013

The Week In Shows: 8/26-9/1

Monday morning is the perfect time 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, with the added bonus of filling you in on what I'll be taking in over the course of the week. Hot diggity!

And all of a sudden, it was the last week in August. I don't know about y'all, but I have no idea how that happened. Not that I'm not totally stoked. I make no bones that Fall is my favorite (and the best) season, so I'm loving the creepingly shorter nights and occasional smidge of autumnal breeziness. In the meantime, let's put our heads together to see what's happening over the course of the last week in August. Shows I plan on attending are double starred, as always.


MONDAY 8/26/13

-Geographer + GRMLN (DC9 - SOLD OUT)
-Lawson + Dinner and a Suit + Crash Boom Bang (Rock'n'Roll Hotel)


TUESDAY 8/27/13
-Diarrhea Planet + The So So Glos + The Black Sparks (DC9)
-The Coathangers + Teen Liver + Dudes with Heidi Glum + DJ Joshua (Comet Ping Pong)

-Passenger (9:30 Club)


THURSDAY 8/29/13

-Joan of Arc + Co La + After The Lights (DC9)

FRIDAY 8/30/13

-Juan McLean (dj) + Lane 8 (U Street Music Hall)

-The Bar-Kays + Taste of Honey + Brick (Howard Theatre)
-Punk Rock Karaoke Benefit (Black Cat)

SATURDAY 8/31/13
-Salt-N-Pepa (Howard Theatre)
-Rock'n'Shop: A Rock'n'Roll Garage Sale (Black Cat)
-Priests + Downtown Boys + Neonates (Comet Ping Pong)

-The Burlies + Railsplitter + Golden Looks (Velvet Lounge)
-Starryville + Long Arms (Jammin Java)


SUNDAY 9/1/13

-Hearts & Spades + The Shifters (DC9)
-Movie Star Junkies + Harness Flux + Cosmic Halitosis + DJ Kid Congo Powers (Comet Ping Pong)
-Fire & The Wheel + The NRIs (Black Cat)**



Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sounds Of Hopscotch 2013 #6: Rose Windows

Hard as it may be to believe, it's once again time for Hopscotch. One of my favorite festival happenings, Hopscotch is a mere hop, skip, and a jump or two from the DC metro in lovely Raleigh, North Carolina. For the past few years they've been reeling in some seriously impressive lineups, and this year looks to be no different. Thanks to scheduling conflicts, I won't be heading down for this year's sonic extravaganza, but (not at all surprisingly) I've got recommendations on who to check out if you're heading to the fest.

Rose Windows is a band more than a little in my wheelhouse. Their heady, heavy retro-fueled psych is both intoxicating and haunting, the perfect fix. On single "Native Dreams," the youthful Left Coasters remind me a lot of fellow heavy psychsmiths Black Mountain, bombastic and booming, with spirit and noise to spare. The guitar wails, the vocals seduce, and the whole magical mess is impossible to resist. Yes indeed, yes indeed, yes indeed.

mp3: Native Dreams (Rose Windows from The Sun Dogs)  

Sounds Of Hopscotch 2013 #5: Expo '70

Hard as it may be to believe, it's once again time for Hopscotch. One of my favorite festival happenings, Hopscotch is a mere hop, skip, and a jump or two from the DC metro in lovely Raleigh, North Carolina. For the past few years they've been reeling in some seriously impressive lineups, and this year looks to be no different. Thanks to scheduling conflicts, I won't be heading down for this year's sonic extravaganza, but (not at all surprisingly) I've got recommendations on who to check out if you're heading to the fest.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. There are certain musicians that can, to brazenly borrow from Spacemen 3, take you to the other side. Kansas City's Expo '70 (i.e. Justin Wright) is one such musico. Expo '70 songs are epic, fantastic foreverscapes, cacophonies of lush noise that undulate with rhythms of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It's wonderfully weird, wacky wizardry, and I like it. 


Crossing The Pond: Coves

I like to dig, y'all. Hunt. So there I was, faffing around on Bandcamp a few days ago, digging for treasure, when I came across something that made me sit up, take notice, and do more than a little swooning. 

That something was a cover of Chris Isaak's classic "Wicked Game," and the band doing the covering, Coves. I do so love a well done cover, and this is nigh on impeccable. With a honey hush voice in the vein of Hope Sandoval and a delicious sugared drone coating, the dynamic duo that is Coves works over an iconic 90s song, both staying true to the essence of the original while unquestionably turning it into their own slow-burning, smoldering shoegaze meets indiepop meets psych masterpiece. To say I'm addicted to this song, and very probably this band, is definitely putting it mildly.
   

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sounds Of Hopscotch 2013 #4: Beloved Binge

Hard as it may be to believe, it's once again time for Hopscotch. One of my favorite festival happenings, Hopscotch is a mere hop, skip, and a jump or two from the DC metro in lovely Raleigh, North Carolina. For the past few years they've been reeling in some seriously impressive lineups, and this year looks to be no different. Thanks to scheduling conflicts, I won't be heading down for this year's sonic extravaganza, but (not at all surprisingly) I've got recommendations on who to check out if you're heading to the fest.

I'm always in favor of festivals that utilize their local scenes, and Hopscotch most certainly does that. Of course, the Triangle isn't exactly hurting for talent, and there's always plenty to take in. Beloved Binge is one such local outfit, and has a short drive from Durham to Raleigh for their festival appearance. I've found myself instantly smitten with their mix of sweetly wry jangle and artsy quirkiness, keeping it real whilst also keeping it fun. Definitely worth checking out. 

   

Sounds Of Hopscotch 2013 #3: Richard Youngs

Hard as it may be to believe, it's once again time for Hopscotch. One of my favorite festival happenings, Hopscotch is a mere hop, skip, and a jump or two from the DC metro in lovely Raleigh, North Carolina. For the past few years they've been reeling in some seriously impressive lineups, and this year looks to be no different. Thanks to scheduling conflicts, I won't be heading down for this year's sonic extravaganza, but (not at all surprisingly) I've got recommendations on who to check out if you're heading to the fest.

Anyone who knows me knows my weakness for all things Scotland. Enter Richard Youngs, currently based in Glasgow. Not my typical pick from north of the Borders, Youngs relies chiefly on his voice, using his clear, lovely tones to anchor his songs against whatever noise he decides to throw at them, telling a thousand tales in each. A decidedly interesting listen, and I'd imagine a decidedly interesting live persona. 


Sounds Of Hopscotch 2013 #2: Water Liars

Hard as it may be to believe, it's once again time for Hopscotch. One of my favorite festival happenings, Hopscotch is a mere hop, skip, and a jump or two from the DC metro in lovely Raleigh, North Carolina. For the past few years they've been reeling in some seriously impressive lineups, and this year looks to be no different. Thanks to scheduling conflicts, I won't be heading down for this year's sonic extravaganza, but (not at all surprisingly) I've got recommendations on who to check out if you're heading to the fest.

There's a sort of reverie to be had in the music of Water Liars. Beautiful, hazy, and humid, the duo currently based in Oxford, Mississippi draws from folk, traditional, good old rock and roll, and even spiritual elements in their songs, resulting in a tender frankness and acceptance of the way things really are. Utterly addictive, I declare them a must-see for any Hopscotch-goer. 
   

Sounds Of Hopscotch 2013 #1: Protomartyr

Hard as it may be to believe, it's once again time for Hopscotch. One of my favorite festival happenings, Hopscotch is a mere hop, skip, and a jump or two from the DC metro in lovely Raleigh, North Carolina. For the past few years they've been reeling in some seriously impressive lineups, and this year looks to be no different. Thanks to scheduling conflicts, I won't be heading down for this year's sonic extravaganza, but (not at all surprisingly) I've got recommendations on who to check out if you're heading to the fest.

We shall begin with Detroit. Protomartyr, the collection of sons of Motor City in question, comes off all sorts of cagey and jittery, decidedly dark and grimey, and perhaps even a touch surly. Their smoldering, live-wire sound is reminiscent of Iggy, surely, but also the finest of post-punk Brits (their Hopscotch bio namedrops The Fall, and you'll find no argument here). The more I hear, the more I like, and the more I suspect that this is a band that can really take your breath away live.
       

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Week In Shows: 8/19-8/25

Monday morning afternoon is the perfect time 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, with the added bonus of filling you in on what I'll be taking in over the course of the week. Hot diggity!

August is ticking away, and the nights are getting just that wee bit shorter. Summer might be waning, and this week it feels the same can be said about shows. There's a few shows I think we should all keep on our collective radar, so here we go. As ever, my probable shows are denoted with double stars. Check it, y'all. 



MONDAY 8/19/13

-Cake & Calculus + Soft Punch (Galaxy Hut)

TUESDAY 8/20/13

-Black Kids + k i d s (DC9)
-Crunk Witch + Showpony + Junker Grain + Electric Grandmother (Velvet Lounge)**

THURSDAY 8/22/13

-The Black Cadillacs + The Dirty Names + Star Fk Radium + David Newbould (Iota)

FRIDAY 8/23/13

-The Deadmen + The Glenmont Popes + Justin Jones (Iota)
-Matthew Sweet + Olivia & The Mates (The Birchmere)

SATURDAY 8/24/13

-Oh So Peligroso + The OK Corral + Brittany Jean (Velvet Lounge)
-Luray + Kindlewood (6th & I)**
-Soft Metals + Pleasure Curses (Comet Ping Pong)
-The Torches + This Way to Egress (Bier Baron Tavern)

SUNDAY 8/25/13

-North Country + Minibone (Galaxy Hut)
-Pree + Plastic Vision + Bad Cop (The Paper Haus)
-Blockhead + Human Shield + Thee Lolitas (Sealab 2021)
-The Torches (Kennedy Center Millennium Stage)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Super Furryism #8

For those that don't know, this blog borrows its' name from the title of the debut long player record by wily Welsh cosmic psych poppers Super Furry Animals. As far as I'm concerned, that's certainly reason enough to start talking about them at random times, and for no real reason other than just because I darned well feel like it.

I recently finished up reading SeƱor Nice, Howard Marks's autobiographical romp through Welsh history and Latin America. It was quite a read, I must say. The tie-in with the Super Furries is evident, not only were the Furries mentioned in the pages of the book but the band and the legendary naughty boy Marks are what you might call amigos. Hence, this song. Off the brilliant Fuzzy Logic LP, "Hangin' With Howard Marks" is quite likely to induce all sorts of bad behavior, filled as it is with audacious guitar and an overwhelming sense of mischievousness. And I'm sure the band, as well as Mr. Marks, would approve of any such shenanigans.

Live Review: Dead Professional @ DC9, 8/7/13

Having seen John Harouff do his thing a time or two as part of the excellent Cinnamon Band, my expectations for his solo set as Dead Professional at DC9 were definitely a wee bit high. Naturally, Harouff's one man band did everything but disappoint.

Unassuming and instantly affable, Harouff began, a slight hum of feedback providing a hint of growing pains throughout the set. One song in I was charmed. Harouff possesses one of those voices that can really draw you in with honeyed ease, with just a hint of a knowing wink behind the warmth.

Dead Professional's sounds could be considered some sort of new Americana, modern but with a nod to history, speaking to rushes of fresh air and moments of excitement that have yet to happen. In the name of homage, Harouff threw a dandy of a curveball by including a T. Rex cover in the set ("Main Man"). Turns out Harouff's voice is rather well-suited to take on Marc Bolan, and he gave the glam rock tune a very likable backroads treatment. "Don't Be Cruel" was a highlight for me, a testament to Dead Professional's potential appeal and full of shimmy. Just dandy.

The set, while too short for my liking, was definitely a success. With Dead Professional, Harouff proves he can stand on his own, and not just in the studio. Don't dare miss him when he comes to town. 

       


[photo by Megan Petty]

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Meet Pontiacs

With the exception of the legendary Os Mutantes, I'm pretty woefully lacking in my knowledge of South American psych rock. But I like to think I'm making up for lost time with the divine find that is Chile's Pontiacs (if the name sounds familiar around these parts, it could be because I threatened a little while back to talk about them some more). I'm convinced it was divine providence that led me to them.

What really hooked me was their 2010 release, Kidnapped By Natives. They've got all the elements a psych fan could possibly want, tipping their plumed hat reverentially to bands like Deep Purple, The Zombies, and Iggy's Stooges, while also putting together hallucinogenic, cinematic noises that trend Spindriftian at times. 

They also sound a little off their collective rocker at time, which is always exciting. Coyotes on peyote. Infinite doors of perception. Free love for the past, present, and future. And a song about John Wayne ("John Wayne (Kidnapped)") that is so good and so out there that you won't be able to stop listening to it. 

Far fucking out and then some.    

  

The Good Ship Rediscovery: A Place To Bury Strangers - A Place To Bury Strangers

We all forget about the older stuff from time to time, in our quest to stay up to speed with the latest and greatest. But one should always respect their elders. So don’t forget about them, y’hear?

Y'all know how smitten I am with those noisy scoundrels
A Place To Bury Strangers. Yet for all the time I spend talking about them, I've not yet touched upon their self-titled debut long player. I do believe it's time to go there.

Upon first listening to A Place To Bury Strangers, the band's intent is clear: full-scale sonic destruction. It's an objective the band clearly accomplishes for the duration of the LP. But eardrum annihilation isn't the band's only specialty, no sir. The songs are complex, well-concocted, and played to perfectly imperfect perfection. There's even a smidge of romanticism (and broken-heartedness) to be found down there in the depths of the cacophony of noise.

The first three songs, "Missing You," "Don't Think Lover," and "To Fix The Gash In Your Head" (which is not at all romantic and more than a little grumpy, but is definitely a favorite of mine) leave one breathless with their unapologetic, riotous noise. My one grumble about the record is the comedown song that follows, "The Falling Sun." I've always found it a little too sticky wicket molasses for my liking.

All is love after that, however, as the band rebounds with the impeccable "Another Step Away." Ever so industrial and ever so slightly tinny, the song is pure rebellion, and pure magic. The leering lines of "I Know I'll See You" are flawless, and the song shimmies suggestively and wolfishly, definitely baring teeth. It's another favorite. The juggernaut that is "My Weakness" hints at the direction the band would take for their next LP, Exploding Head. Slightly more polished, the song has two distinct parts: loud and super fucking loud. Pick your poison, it all ends well. 

Things shut down with "Ocean," a song I've always loved for many reasons, not least of which because it seems to nod to the early songs of The Verve. The dream-laden drone and dizzy, swirling guitar effects go in a completely different direction, of course, towards their own small-scale industrial revolution. In its' way, it's violent, but in true APTBS form it's not without beauty.   

The band has come quite far in the six years since the release of this record, all the while staying true to the foundation living here. If this one's not yet in your collection, there's no time like the present.          

Live Review: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club @ 9:30 Club, 5/6/13

For me, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is, and has been for years, one of those bands that I can always count on to show a gal one hell of a good time. I could see them a hundred times, and it would probably always feel like seeing them for the first time. So, as you might expect, I was thrilled to bits to see them here in DC this past May. And, as you might also expect, BRMC didn't disappoint.

Touring their sixth studio LP, Specter At The Feast, the band packed our venerable local venue, the 9:30 Club, and we the assembled were in for quite a night. They must have played for over 2 hours, and absolutely stormed through a set packed with the new and peppered with old favorites. The new songs were blistering testaments to the rock ethos that BRMC has established over the years, all black-clad riffs and beautiful drone. 

The oldest of their songs, songs I've loved for over ten years, such as "Red Eyes And Tears," "Whatever Happened To My Rock & Roll," "Love Burns," "White Palms," and especially "Spread Your Love" warmed the blood and got the juices flowing. "Sweet mercy," I wrote in my notes. As the years go by the band loses none of the bite found on their debut LP, and the live versions always morph into gorgeous, monstrous images of themselves.

I was also pleased to have "Beat The Devil's Tattoo," "Ain't No Easy Way," "The Window," "Conscience Killer," and "Stop" included in the set, touching upon various stages of the BRMC progression. The new songs fit right in, loud and aggressive and impossible to ignore. I was particularly taken with "Lose Yourself," the sprawling, dreamily blissful close of the new LP. An impeccable lighting display offered further enhancement, though this is a band that would be more than fine with just simple spotlights while their songs do the talking. 

Whatever happened to my rock & roll, you might ask? It's alive and well, and under the thumb of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

[photo copyright Megan Petty] 

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Week In Shows: 8/12-8/18

Monday morning is the perfect time 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, with the added bonus of filling you in on what I'll be taking in over the course of the week. Hot diggity!

It's the Dog Days of August, which to me usually means it's time to crank up both the air-conditioning and the killer music. Thankfully, there's a fair bit to take in out there this week. My scheduled shows are noted with the double asterisk. Let's hang out, y'all.  



MONDAY 8/12/13
-Sun Club + Tan Vampires + We Were Pirates (Black Cat)-Liz & The Lost Boys + The Sea Life + Annie Stokes (DC9)


TUESDAY 8/13/13
-Little Comets + The Dig (The Hamilton)
-Adam Ant & The Good, The Mad & The Lovely Posse + Prima Donna (9:30 Club)


WEDNESDAY 8/14/13

-The Missionaries + Soft Punch + Paleography (Tree House Lounge)**
-The Octopus Project + The Dead Women + Mobius Strip (DC9)

THURSDAY 8/15/13

-Thievery Corporation (9:30 Club)
-Daugh Gibson + Hiss Golden Messenger (Black Cat)
-Showpony + Electric Grandmother + Catscan! (Velvet Lounge)**


FRIDAY 8/16/13

-Thievery Corporation (9:30 Club)

-7th Anniversary bash f/ Miyazaki + Medals + Black Hills + Denman (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Olivia & The Mates + Luella & The Sun + Nine Times Blue (Iota)


SATURDAY 8/17/13
-Thievery Corporation (9:30 Club)
-Technophobia + Lenorable (Black Cat)

SUNDAY 8/18/13

-Ghosts of Sailors at Sea (Galaxy Hut)
-The California Honeydrops (Hill Country)





Saturday, August 10, 2013

Singles Club: Teen Fortress

Side projects! Sometimes I love 'em. This is one of those times. Zach Donney (of brashly fun New Zealanders Bang Bang Eche) fills some of his spare time with Teen Fortress, a "DIY everything" project under which he makes, wait for it, brashly fun jams.

I can't stop listening to "To The Beach," a song that exudes the party life to the max. Is it possible to have a bad song with the line "We don't give a fuck?" Probably not. The song feels giddily haphazard, and is, as you might expect, perfect for parties. Or the beach. Or parties at the beach. You get the idea. It's nothing short of a loud, dirty racket. And I like it.  

   

Friday, August 9, 2013

Free For All: Shark Week

Times are tough out there, and for many of us buying music has become quite an indulgence (albeit a necessary one). Happily, there are some lovely musician folk out there that have offered up some fruits of their labors to the masses, free of charge. Free For All celebrates these wonderful people, and you, dear reader types.

Shark Week is winding down, friends. If you're getting close to having your fill of big-finned apex predators (me too), I'd like to share a little something that shares a name but has a decidedly longer shelf life: Shark Week. I'm newly converted to the cult of the believers of this DC outfit, and I have to say I think they're quite special. Just the right amount of sleaze courses through their 2012 three-song EP, and the muddy scuzz and bitingly clever lyrics hit all the right, gritty notes. Terrifically trashy,  this EP proves quite a worthwhile repeat listen.
   

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Meet Major Leagues

Seeing as it's Shark Week, I'm in the mood to talk about Australia. Not that I'm ever not in the mood to talk about Australia, really, but you get my point. Today, I'd like to bring to your attention Major Leagues, and their beautifully, adorably, breathlessly, charmingly, effortlessly infectious little gem "Endless Drain." 

The song is short, simple enough, and once you've heard it, impossible to ignore. It's a tantalizing burst of beachy delirium, hazed and scuzzed to perfection with surfer girl vocals and enough dizzying fizz to last all night, and I like it very much. 

  



Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Meet Dead Professional

I think we can all agree that it's a bummer when bands we like go on "hiatus." It tends to foreshadow a parting of the ways, and that's even more bad news that just taking a break. 

However, there is occasionally light at the end of the hiatus tunnel, as is the case here, with The Cinnamon Band's John Harouff, and his newest venture Dead Professional. Harouff retains that earnest, small town sincerity that hallmarked The Cinnamon Band while adding a casual, confident sophistication in lyrics, production, and overall attitude. Oh, and more than a little catchiness, too. Dangit, if that song "Downtown at Sundown" isn't already all over my brain. 

Dead Professional appears at DC9 tonight. 




Monday, August 5, 2013

Crossing the Pond: Jr. Sea

I don't know about y'all, but I do so love a good mystery, and Jr. Sea (aka J.R.C.) is certainly that.

Hailing from, well, somewhere across the pond (details are mysteriously few and far between), the one-man show has managed to catch my attention with debut single "Out of Body Auto-Reply." Weird and quirkily wonderful, the song bounces along with gleeful eccentricity and bubbling abandon. A corker, as they say, and I can't wait for more. 


Video Vixens: Elephant Stone

"Elephant Stone" is one heck of a Stone Roses song. It's also the name taken by a gaggle of Montreal musicians, who happen to have formed one heck of a band. 

The psych lovers among you will surely recognize Elephant Stone, as their star has risen quickly since the band formed in 2009. Accurately and succinctly (and wittily) pinpointing their sound as "Hindie-rock/psyche pop," the band is touring the release of a self-titled lp, and will be in DC at the Black Cat this coming Sunday evening.

This, the video for the song "Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin," is as undeniable as is the song itself. Hazy and full of swirling light effects, the video is subtle enough to really let the song do most of the work. Jangling, chirpy psych pop is just the ticket these days, and I suspect you'll be hearing more about Elephant Stone in the not so distant future. 

   

The Week In Shows: 8/5/13-8/11/13

Monday morning is the perfect time 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, with the added bonus of filling you in on what I'll be taking in over the course of the week. Hot diggity!

This week, Shark Week is the biggest of all deals, but there's some mighty fine music to be had as well. My picks, and my scheduled dates (look for the double asterisks y'all), are below. 

MONDAY 8/5/13

-Sunwolf + Mary Christ (Fort Reno)

TUESDAY 8/6/13

-Flower Girl + Twin Steps + Tulsa (CD Cellar - Wilson Blvd.)

WEDNESDAY 8/7/13

-Beth Orton + Dawn Landes (9:30 Club)
-Poor Young Things + Harmonic Blue + Dead Professional (DC9)**

THURSDAY 8/8/13

-The Dustbowl Revival + The Sweater Set + Ugly Purple Sweater (DC9)
-Greenland + Sea Lanes + Harness Flux (Velvet Lounge)**
-Quivered + Paint Branch (Fort Reno)

FRIDAY 8/9/13

-MH & His Orchestra + Paperhaus + Atoka Chase (9:30 Club)

SATURDAY 8/10/13

-Hunx & His Punx + Chain & The Gang + Hunters (Comet Ping Pong)

SUNDAY 8/11/13

-Elephant Stone + The Vacant Lots (Black Cat Backstage)**
-Whirr + NOTHING + Carni Klirs (DC9)
-Speedy Ortiz + Two Inch Astronaut + Soccer Team (Comet Ping Pong)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Newsflash!: A Loose Lips Reunion/Final Farewell

Many of us were more than a little bummed out when irrepressibly likable local indie heroes Loose Lips called it a day more than a year ago.  

That bummed out-edness can definitely be mitigated a smidge with the Sunday funday event that is the Loose Lips reunion. It's also the start of Shark Week, so there's all sorts of winning to be had in one day. 

Digressions about one of my favorite weeks of the year aside, I'm all sorts of excited about this here reunion. After all, the best way to mitigate the sadness of a farewell is by having a reunion (even if it's also the last of the last hurrahs).   

To coincide with the show, the band has released a "lost" record of Lips gems, songs that perfectly capture the lively, effortless energy of the band at peak form. Rough and tumble recordings are just what they should be, and serve as a fine and fitting tribute to the band's career. Download the whole shebang and then request your favorites this Sunday afternoon, when the band takes over the Velvet Lounge nice and early-like. See you there, y'all.
     

LP Lust: Bull Moose Edition

I've done a fair bit of traveling over the past couple of months (it seems it's much easier to do when one doesn't have a day job to worry about), and of course, I've tried to buy some vinyl wherever I've gone.

For my birthday this past June, I went to Maine. It was part of my endeavors to see all 48 of the "Lower 48," and possibly Alaska too one of these days. I'd never been to the land of lobsters and lighthouses, so to Maine I went. While in Portland, a stop at Bull Moose records was deemed imperative. And it turned out to be quite a worthwhile visit. 

If you've never been to Maine, I recommend it. Quite a lovely and chilled out kind of place. Below you'll find the spoils of my trip to Bull Moose, which, by the way, is very much worth your attention should you find yourself in Maine in future. Great selection of vinyl and CDs and books, and super friendly folks staffing the place. Thumbs up for sure. 

*The Pine Hill Haints - To Win Or Lose

*Orange Juice - The Orange Juice

*Brian Jonestown Massacre - Methodrone

*Neon Neon - Trick for Treat

*Diamond Rugs - Diamond Rugs

*Generationals - Heza

*Choir of Young Believers - Rhine Gold

*Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Specter at the Feast