Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #23: Thee Oh Sees

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: Thee Oh Sees

WHAT: Drop

WHEN: April 2014

WHERE: Castle Face Records

WHY: Drop is all over the place, and I absolutely love it. Consider it a case of multiple personality psych rock (MPPR, to get technical about it). Thee Oh Sees mastermind John Dwyer is no retiring violet, and Drop isn't a record to shy away from your eardrums. Each song is alive with manic energy, be it wrapped in sludge or a more frenetic effort. It's all over the place, but it makes perfect sense.       

My jams: "Penetrating Eye," "Encrypted Bounce," "Savage Victory," "Drop," "Camera (Queer Sound)," "Transparent World," "The Lens"







[posted 4.28.15]

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #24: Lorelle Meets The Obsolete

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: Lorelle Meets The Obsolete

WHAT: Chambers

WHEN: March 2014

WHERE: Captcha Records

WHY: I was introduced to the wonderful world of Lorelle Meets The Obsolete by some wonderful friends. Chambers is a seriously great listen, a technicolor swirl of dizzying, honeyed drones and waves of intoxicating fuzz. It's the kind of music that can turn your mind to slush, make time slow down, and make everything feel pretty dang good. If this slipped by you last year, there's no time like the present to pounce on Chambers.    

My jams: "What's Holding You?, "Dead Leaves," "I Can't Feel The Outside," "Music for Dozens," "Grieving," "Sealed Scene," "Thoughts About Night Noon"






[posted 4.28.15]

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2015 #25: Acid Baby Jesus

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: Acid Baby Jesus

WHAT: Selected Recordings

WHEN: Novemeber 2014

WHERE: Slovenly Recordings

WHY: We all know that Athens, GA is a hotbed of musical activity, but what about the other Athens? You know, the original one. If Acid Baby Jesus is any indication, Greece has it going on. Selected Recordings is full of heady, sludgy, mystical psych rock that blankets both the jangly end and the more experimental end of the spectrum. All told, it's a wonderfully potent clatter, just the right side of chaotic.  

My jams: "Diogenes," "Ayahuasca Blues (Unmanned Drone)," "Who's First," "Trouble Maker," "I'm Becoming a Man," "Omonia," "You & Me," "All of Your Love"  






[posted 4.28.15]

Monday, April 27, 2015

Video Of The Day #42: Happy Mondays

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.

Mondays are the worst. But they don't have to be! If you're already over this week and sitting despondently in your office/cube/communal work space gazing off into the dregs of your coffee mug and that pile of work you need to be doing something with, I've got a little something for you that will dramatically improve your day starting now. Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for some Happy Mondays

Yes, everyone's favorite Mancunian baggy bad boys, this clip for "Kinky Afro" offers up everything you need to get up, have a little dance around, and feel generally better about things. It's everything that was so good about the Happy Mondays. Some of what's in this video should stay buried. Shaun Ryder's bowl cut, for example. Their take on the Robert Palmer girls is pretty amusing, however. And Bez will live forever. 

Also, please note: Some of the persons in this video might possibly be under the influence of something...pharmaceutical. Just maybe.








[posted 4.27.15]

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #26: Chad VanGaalen

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: Chad VanGaalen

WHAT: Shrink Dust

WHEN: April 2014

WHERE: Sub Pop

WHY: I have a happy, faded memory of seeing Chad VanGaalen play the Black Cat many moons ago, and I recall liking what I hear. But then, it happened that between that show and my falling for the myriad, labyrinthine charms of Shrink Dust, quite a large chunk of time went by. To which I can only say...oops. You see, friends, Shrink Dust is a wonderful thing indeed. It's a record full of oddball cosmic psych folk jumbles, introspective and eccentric and charming. Worthy of many, many listens.  

My jams: “Cut Off My Hands,” “Where Are You?,” “Lila,” “Weighed Sin,” “Monster,” “Evil,” “Leaning On Bells,” “Weird Love,” “Cosmic Destroyer”







[posted 4.27.15]

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #27: Die! Die! Die!

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: Die! Die! Die!

WHAT: S W I M

WHEN: August 2014

WHERE: EtCetera Records

WHY: Many years ago, I almost literally had Die! Die! Die! knocked into me. Thankfully the mic stand missed, and I lived to write another day, though I didn't escape without becoming a total fangirl. Undeniably one of the most intense live acts around, New Zealand's Die! Die! Die! doesn’t skimp on the noise on record. Their discordant, wiry sonic diatribes still reign supreme on S W I M, with Andrew Wilson's jittery guitars and petulant, primal angst playing perfectly against a dynamite drumming and bass duo. At their best when agitated and acerbic, the trio proves once more that they're a force to be reckoned with. 

My jams: “SWIM,” “Out Of Mind,” “Best,” “Get Hit,” “Angel,” “She’s Clear,” “Trigger,” “Sister,” “Mirror”






[posted 4.27.15]

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #28: The Blind Shake

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 Blind Shake

WHAT: Breakfast of Failures

WHEN: October 2014

WHERE: Goner Records

WHY: Upon hearing Breakfast of Failures for the first time, my initial thought was to wonder how in hell I hadn't really listened to The Blind Shake before. After all, this is a tempestuous, ballsy rock record, full of gritty, grimy, scuzzed to the great beyond sturm und drang. And y'all know that's definitely my speed. From the hellhound-chased opener "Old Lake" to the towering, masterful menace of "Nobody Else," this record is thing of brutal, bruising beauty.   

My jams: “Old Lake,” “Dots In The Fog,” “Breakfast Of Failures,” “Go Lie,” “Pollen,” “In A Trance,” “Mildew,” “Nobody Else”







[posted 4.26.15]

The Week In Shows: 4/27-5/3

A Lou Reed "Perfect Day" perfect 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!

It's a legitimate spring. I'm getting some spring fever (or maybe it's just my allergies). 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, 4/27/15

-US Christmas + Generation of Vipers + Caustic Casanova + Tone (The Pinch)

TUESDAY, 4/28/15

-Spandau Ballet (9:30 Club)
-Coup Sauvage & The Snips + Olivia Neutron-John (Black Cat)

WEDNESDAY, 4/29/15

-War (The Birchmere)
-Toro Y Moi + Vinyl Williams (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)
-Water Liars + Hatfield McCoy (DC9)
-The Soft White Sixties + Native Lights (Black Cat)

THURSDAY, 4/30/15

-Mittenfields + Greenland + Magnetar Flares + Night Streets (Black Cat) (Extra Recommended!)
-Ava Luna + Young Rapids + Wing Dam (Comet Ping Pong)

FRIDAY, 5/1/15

-Ex Hex + The Shirks + The Ar-Kaics (Black Cat - SOLD OUT)

SATURDAY, 5/2/15

-Two Gallants + Blank Range (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Fat White Family + Sun Club + Sherman Whips (Metro Gallery, Baltimore - Worth the drive)
-Baby Bry Bry & The Apologists + Crocodiles + Congo Sanchez (The Lot - finale)

SUNDAY, 5/3/15

-Fat White Family + Sun Club (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Stephen Merritt (6th & I)
-Lord Huron + Hamilton Leithauser (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)
-Oh Land (U Street Music Hall)



[posted 4.26.15]

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #29: Ttotals

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: Ttotals

WHAT: Let Everything Come Through

WHEN: November 2014

WHERE: Twin Lakes Records

WHY: It really should come as no surprise to find Ttotals on my list of favorites. These two Nashvillians have been wrapping me around their collective little finger for years now with their transcendent, life-affirming psych noise. The release of their long player Let Everything Come Through is the culmination of years of hard work and constantly tweaking their work. Expertly contorted guitars, big ole drums, dissonant sax guest spots, and an overall sense of undeniability are all loud and clear on this delicious, lushly loud record, and to top it all off there's even a Spacemen 3 cover ("Mary Anne"). What more could a psych fan ask for? Long live the Outer Blues. 

My jams: “My Eyes Are Open,” “Life Thus Far Out,” “Tricks of the Trade,” “Hearts Always Start Up,” “Let the Light In,” “Sometimes You Just Are,” “Opposite Rabbits,” “String of Life,” “Mary Anne”








[posted 4.26.15]

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #30: Archie Bronson Outfit

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: Archie Bronson Outfit

WHAT: Wild Crush

WHEN: May 2014

WHERE: Domino

WHY: I've been a Bronsonite for a good long while now, and was over the full moon about the fact that the Archie Bronson Outfit FINALLY released another record last year. Over the years they've ventured from the initial bluesy boozy mess of debut record Fur to more experimental sonic climes, and Wild Crush sees the Bronsons making an unholy racket of many shapes and sizes. Warbling vocals, great riffs, and an unwavering penchant for kooky noises make Wild Crush a great introduction for the uninitiated into the world of England's engagingly eccentric Archie Bronson Outfit. 

My jams: “Two Doves On A Lake,” “In White Relief,” “We Are Floating,” “Lori From The Outer Reaches,” “Cluster Up and Hover,” “Glory, Sweat and Flow,” “Hunch Your Body, Love Somebody”








[posted 4.26.15]

Saturday, April 25, 2015

(Faux) Live Review: Generationals @ Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City, 3/29/15

[Editor's note: In all my years of going to shows (19, to be exact), I've never experienced anything quite like what happened when I ventured out to see Generationals play with Yip Deceiver and Of Montreal in Salt Lake City. After a lengthy delay, it was announced that my favorite New Orleansian dudes Generationals, the sandwich meat on this great bill, was not going to be playing, and it did not feel like a happy situation. I wasn't happy, that's for darn sure, and neither were the gents of Generationals. So, in lieu of actually reviewing the show, for the first and, quite possibly, the last time, I'm going to make up a live review. Yes, my loves, I'm giving you a fictional account of what might have happened had Generationals actually been able to play on that fateful night in Salt Lake City. I hope you'll get a kick out of it. And who knows, maybe it'll actually come to pass one of these nights. Generationals, y'all take note. I might be hinting.]

It was a pretty cool aligning of the stars that happened when I helped my bestest friend move to Salt Lake City last month. We discovered that Yip Deceiver, Generationals, and Of Montreal just happened to be playing in town while I was there. I've seen Grant, Ted, and friends play many a time over the years, but had yet to see them touring latest release Alix. So I was especially excited for the show. After the epic ugly sweater game and sass Yip Deceiver laid down, there was palpable excitement coursing through the Urban Lounge as the SLC hipsters waited for the Big Easy boys to start. Finally, lights went down, confetti floated down from the ceiling, and the dudes took the stage, dressed in gear John Hughes would most definitely approve of.

I've always thought that Generationals songs would be great for John Hughes flicks, and they took that notion and ran with it. Not only were Grant and Ted decked out in threads akin to those worn by Blaine and Stef in Pretty In Pink (Ted in a white linen suit, of course), they also included a number of Hughes flick covers in their set (my favorite was, as you might expect, their cover of OMD's "If You Leave."). The rest of the set was a mix of Generationals songs pulled from each lp and ep, and I was tickled pink to hear the bouncy sheen of "Carrying The Torch" and the prismatic flutter of "Victim of Trap," both from the splendid Trust ep included on the setlist.

The Lucky Numbers ep, a favorite of mine, was played in its entirety, starting with the playful synthy ripples of "Lucky Numbers" to the oh-so-Hughes drama of "Hazel House" to the darker bursts of "Sale City." It was definitely a treat to hear songs that aren't often played live. A Duckie-alike and Geek-alike were frequently on the stage along with the band, doing their best Duck and Geek dances and getting the crowd good and lathered up. The folks on the dance floor were going nuts, and it was a great night to let your inner 80s dancer out. Think the Pretty In Pink prom scene minus the ridiculous frothy dresses and bad pastel tuxes and you've got it. The newer songs, from Alix, sounded delightful, the SLC crowd loving the tropical tones and good time vibes of songs like "Charlemagne," "Black Lemon," and "It Took a Minute." 

The set, though it went on for nearly two hours, passed by in a flash, and Of Montreal had a heck of a touch act to follow. All in all, another great Generationals gig. 

If only it had actually happened. 

[Editor's note: Definitely go see Generationals if they come through your neck of the woods. They're well worth your time, Hughes theme or not.]   






[posted 4.25.15]

[photo copyright Megan Petty]



Singles Club: Ash

Ash was one of those bands that I considered pretty crucial when I was in high school, working on developing my impeccable taste in music. These days, the Northern Irish outfit is gearing up for the release of yet another record, their first since 2007 (has it really been that long?!). The lead single from the aforementioned forthcoming lp is the spirited "Cocoon," a dizzy little ditty that fits in seamlessly with Ash classics like "Girl From Mars" and "Kung Fu." It's got riotous drums, Tim Wheeler's signature impish vocals, and an irrepressible sense of giddiness, making it perfect spring/summer listening.

So, to recap. New Ash single, followed by even more Ash, and a record with a title (KABLAMMO!) that calls to mind the endearing kitsch of Adam West-era Batman episodes. I could almost close my eyes and convince myself it was 1996 all over again. Hurrah!  





[posted 4.25.15]

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #31: Graveyard Club

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: Graveyard Club

WHAT: Nightingale

WHEN: September 2014

WHERE: Self-released

WHY: Perhaps it's got something to do with this record having been recorded in the basement of an old Minneapolis mansion, but there's a little some ghostly about Graveyard Club's fine, synth-laced dream pop record Nightingale. Perhaps, too, it's because these sweet songs have a bite - scratch just beneath the surface and you'll hear forlorn moments filled with modern day laments. It's all elementary, however. This record came out of left field and wrapped me around its little finger. If you're susceptible to dream pop, be advised the very same thing might just happen to you. 

My jams: “Into the Dark,” “The Night is Mine,” “Easy, Killer,” “Sleepwalk,” “Stay Young,” “Fire in the Sky,” “October,” “Skull & Crossbones”







[posted 4.25.15]

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #32: Parquet Courts

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: Parquet Courts

WHAT: Sunbathing Animal

WHEN: June 2014

WHERE: What's Your Rupture

WHY: I'm admittedly a novice to the wonderful world of Parquet Courts (or Parkay Quarts if you're nasty), but I'm learning fast. The droll, decidedly bumpy ride of Sunbathing Animal is not to be missed. They will saw your lumber, they will inspire your outlandish dancefloor solo, they will soundtrack your car sticky summer car rides with the windows down. At times they sound almost like a branch of the Beat Happening tree, though with fewer sharp angles and more muddiness, and I don't know about y'all but I dig that a whole heck of a lot. And these dudes get bonus points for throwing Moleskine into a song lyric ("Dear Ramona"). If you somehow missed this one when it was released, there's no time like the present to get to it. 

My jams: “Bodies Made Of,” “Black and White,” “Dear Ramona,” “Always Back In Town,” “Sunbathing Animal,” “Up All Night,” “Instant Disassembly,” “Ducking and Dodging,” “Black and White 7inch Version”





[posted 4.25.15]


The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #33: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

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 Pains of Being Pure at Heart

WHAT: Days of Abandon

WHEN: May 2014

WHERE: Yebo Music

WHY: I've been in smit with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart for several years now, and with each record I fall further under that sweet, smart, ridiculously cute dream pop spell. Days of Abandon saw some major changes in terms of band structure, but the result was a triumphant cache of effervescent pop daydreams too lovely to resist. Driven by the breathless charm of Kip Berman's forever young, forever darling vocals, this record makes an excellent addition to the TPOBPAH oeuvre. At this point, resistance is an exercise in futility. 

My jams: “Art Smock,” “Simple and Sure,” “Kelly,” “Beautiful You,” “Eurydice,” “Masokissed,” “Until The Sun Explodes,” “Life After Life”






[posted 4.25.15]

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #34: Spoon

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: Spoon

WHAT: They Want My Soul

WHEN: August 2014

WHERE: Loma Vista/Republic

WHY: For me, They Want My Soul felt like a very standard Spoon record, very much in the Spoon comfort zone. This could only be Spoon and no one else. But it's not those fellows just coasting on autopilot, no sir. There's plenty here for Spoon fans old and new, and some songs ("Do You," "Let Me Be Mine," and "New York Kiss") go above and beyond and both induce shimmying and impress quite a lot. Well worth a whole lot of your time. 

My jams: “Rent I Pay,” “Inside Out,” “Do You,” “Outlier,” “They Want My Soul,” “I Just Don’t Understand,” “Let Me Be Mine,” “New York Kiss”






[posted 4.25.15]

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #35: Real Estate

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: Real Estate

WHAT: Atlas

WHEN: March 2014

WHERE: Domino

WHY: There are plenty of adjectives one could use to describe Real Estate's Atlas record. Dreamy, ethereal, rustic, charming, pastoral, incandescent, solid...and all of the above is true in spades. I sometimes forget how good this record is, and then I revisit it and hear plenty of reminders. "Talking Backwards" feels especially poignant, but the whole record is full of loveliness. This is some lovely, folksy psych to revel in time and time again. 

My jams: “Had To Hear,” “Talking Backwards,” “April’s Song,” “The Bend,” “Primitive,” “Horizon,” “Navigator”







[posted 4.25.15]

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #36: The People's Temple

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 People's Temple

WHAT: Musical Garden

WHEN: February 2014

WHERE: Hozac Records

WHY: I have all sorts of love for Michigan psych band The People's Temple. They're one of the closest bands to touching the muscular Motor City magic of the MC5, as far as I'm concerned. Filthy, brazen riffs and built-in swagger ooze from every song, especially the audaciously excellent "Smooth Moves" and "Masters Touch," most notably. Musical Garden is a fantastic throwback to an era filled with greatness.

My jams: “Crimson Rose,” “Smooth Moves,” “Handsome Nick,” “I Heard You Singing,” “Male Secretary,” “Fast Thrills,” “Masters Touch,” “Dreamer”






[posted 4.25.15]

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #37: Ex Hex

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: Ex Hex

WHAT: Rips

WHEN: October 2014

WHERE: Merge Records

WHY: Ah, Ex Hex. Local DC heroines kicking up one heck of a ruckus. Sounding so very feisty and so very 80s classics (think The Cars, "Jessie's Girl" et al), these three ladies churn out song after song of rambunctious, fuzzed out rock and daggum roll. It's a mighty fun, mighty fun record, and if it's not on your radar, well...don't admit it. And get to listening immediately. 

My jams: “Don’t Wanna Lose,” “Waste Your Time,” “You Fell Apart,” “Waterfall,” “Hot and Cold,” “Radio On,” “Everywhere,” “Outtro”






[posted 4.25.15]

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #38: VANIISH

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: VANIISH

WHAT: Memory Work

WHEN: June 2014

WHERE: Metropolis Records

WHY: VANIISH's brand of vampiric industrial scuzz has grown on me quite a bit over the past several months. Falling somewhere in between 1980s Manchester and the soundtrack to The Crow, Memory Work is a chilling, biting collection of brooding, danceable gothic songs from the city by the bay. Keep an eye on these folks.

My jams: “Memory Work,” “Search and Replace,” “Merge,” “Succession,” “Cold Fascination,” “La foi au fil de l’eau”






[posted 4.25.15]

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #39: Woods

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: Woods

WHAT: With Light And With Love

WHEN: April 2014

WHERE: Woodsist

WHY: There's just something about Woods, for me. This 2014 effort, With Light And With Love, is filled with off-kilter, ramblingly popped-up dreamy log cabin folksiness,  and that's a sound I have plenty of time for. It's also perhaps not as sunny as you might think. I adore the hallmark breathy, falsetto vocals, not to mention the appearance of some sweet slide guitar hither and thither (and do I even hear a theremin?)  It's got serious spirit, this record, and I like it.   

My jams: "Shepherd," "Shining," "With Light And With Love," "Moving To The Left," "Twin Steps," "Full Moon," "Feather Man"











[posted 4.19.15]

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Week In Shows: 4/20-4/26

A postcard-perfect 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!

Well, it's time to really enjoy the couple weeks of DC's official spring. The cherry blossoms are hitting the road, which means our summer should start any day now. While we wait for the hotness to arrive, make sure you get out and take in the pretty. 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, 4/20/15

-Manic Street Preachers + U. S. Royalty (9:30 Club) (Extra Recommended!)

TUESDAY, 4/21/15

-Elvis Perkins (6th & I)

WEDNESDAY, 4/22/15

-Trampled by Turtles + Web of Sunsets (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)
-Faded Giant + Matt Townsend & The Wonder of The World + Electric Grandmother (Velvet Lounge)

THURSDAY, 4/23/15

-Marian Hill + Furniteur (DC9 - SOLD OUT)

FRIDAY, 4/24/15

-Justin Jones & The B-Sides + Susto + Down Dexter (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-They Might Be Giants (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)
-Dot Dash + Jake Starr & The Delicious Fullness + The Combs (Comet Ping Pong)

SATURDAY, 4/25/15

-Tei Shi + Pleasure Curses + Champagne Fever (DC9)
-Darlingside + Bombadil (IOTA)
-Beech Creeps + Heavy Breathing (Capital Fringe)
-Smallpools + Grizfolk + Vinyl Theatre (U Street Music Hall)
-Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival (Kingman Island)

SUNDAY, 4/26/15

-Low Cut Connie + Great Cities + Thee Lexington Arrows (Comet Ping Pong)
-The NRIs + The Working Effective (Black Cat)
-The Jet Age + Cliffs + Sansyou (Velvet Lounge)



[posted 4.18.15]

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Video Of The Day #41: Broken Water

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 am so in favor of a new Broken Water video, y'all. Heck yes. Here we have the muddy, unrelenting churn of "Wasted" taken to the great outdoors, with sun-dappled shots of nature (and a houseboat!) cut and pasted with some band action. It's got a rough feel, which works just fine with the song. At just over two minutes, you'll want to watch it a few times to really get your fill.








[posted 4.11.15]

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #40: Native America

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: Native America

WHAT: Grown Up Wrong

WHEN: November 2014

WHERE: Inflated Records

WHY: Native America has been on my radar for a little while now, and I was stoked to finally hear their latest record, Grown Up Wrong. Full of fuzzy jangling, scuzzy riffs, and a little sassy shimmying, Grown Up Wrong does indeed prove that this Big Easy band has grown up just fine. This collection of songs feels like it's more 60s pop-based than earlier efforts, though they've still got plenty of snarky ne'er-do-well in there.     

My jams: "Rabo," "Dance With Me," "Naturally Lazy," "Old Friends," "Digital Lobotomy," "All About You," "Well Understood," "Jenny" 






[posted 4.11.15]

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #41: Merchandise

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: Merchandise

WHAT: After The End

WHEN: August 2014

WHERE: 4AD

WHY: It might be hard to categorize Merchandise, but it's damned near impossible not to love them. Stubbornly anti-shoehorning, the Tampa outfit still sounds like a trip down an English musical memory lane while at the same time turning their defiant attitude into an album of majestic, sprawling songs. With one of the best voices around, as well. After The End isn't the record I had been expecting from Merchandise, and that's a great thing indeed.  

My jams: "Enemy," "True Monument," "Green Lady," "Telephone," "Little Killer," "After The End," "Exile and Ego"








[posted 4.11.15]

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #42: Literature

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: Literature

WHAT: Chorus

WHEN: August 2014

WHERE: Slumberland

WHY: Effervescent, gorgeously fizzy, clever dream pop from Philly? Good gosh almighty, yes! Literature keeps it warm and fuzzy on Chorus, deftly crafting icy cool, enchanting pop gems ever so studiously. Short and sweet, the songs on Chorus hit it out of the park. Easily mistaken for vintage 80s Brits (or perhaps Kiwis), Literature is well worth curling up with.

My jams: “The Girl, The Gold Watch, and Everything," "The English Softhearts," "Blasé," "Court/Date," "Chorus," "Jimmy," "Dance Shoes," "Kites"







[posted 4.11.15]