Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Video of The Day #161: Ultimate Painting

There’s a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video Of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

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








[posted 8.30.16]

Good Cover Version: Mu Does Kate Bush

Pulp gave the world the song "Bad Cover Version." But seeing as I'm a sonic optimist, I'm of the belief that there's more likely than not more good cover versions floating around than bad ones. Good Cover Version celebrates the good, and leaves all that bad and ugly stuff alone.

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




[posted 8.30.16]

Singles Club: Communions

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

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



[posted 8.30.16]

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Video of The Day #160: Robbing Millions

There’s a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video Of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

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





[posted 8.28.16]

Saturday, August 27, 2016

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

You love going to shows. I love giving you tickets to shows. It's a match made in heaven. Read on for how you can win some tickets.

I've been going to shows at the legendary 9:30 Club since I was a teenager, and have seen some of the best of the best grace that venerable stage. It is a pleasure to be offering a pair of tickets to several upcoming 9:30/IMP shows over the next few months. 

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

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



[posted 8.27.16]

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

An early Saturday morning seems as good a time as any to plot ones weekly live music schedule, I think. Let's take a look at what's happening in the greater DC metro this week, shall we? Hot diggity!

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

And as an aside, if you've got a show coming up you'd like me to consider including in my weekly calendar, just shoot me an email with "Calendar" somewhere in the subject line. Thanks y'all!

MONDAY, 8/29/16

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

TUESDAY, 8/30/16

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

WEDNESDAY, 8/31/16

-Banks + Steelz (9:30 Club)

THURSDAY, 9/1/16

-The Mountain Goats (State Theatre)

FRIDAY, 9/2/16

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

SATURDAY, 9/3/16

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

SUNDAY, 9/4/16

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

[posted 8.27.16]

Monday, August 22, 2016

Video of The Day #159: Carl Broemel

There’s a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video Of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

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



[posted 8.22.16]

Sunday, August 21, 2016

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

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

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

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

  



[posted 8.21.16]

[photo by Megan Petty]

Good Cover Version: Weaves Does the Beatles

Pulp gave the world the song "Bad Cover Version." But seeing as I'm a sonic optimist, I'm of the belief that there's more likely than not more good cover versions floating around than bad ones. Good Cover Version celebrates the good, and leaves all that bad and ugly stuff alone.

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



[posted 8.21.16]

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Video of The Day #158: Cosmonauts

There’s a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video Of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

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





[posted 8.20.16]

On The Road Again: Honeyblood

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

HONEYBLOOD TOUR DATES


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



[posted 8.20.16]

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

An almost pleasant Saturday afternoon seems as good a time as any to plot ones weekly live music schedule, I think. Let's take a look at what's happening in the greater DC metro this week, shall we? Hot diggity (with mercifully less of an emphasis on the hot)!

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

And as an aside, if you've got a show coming up you'd like me to consider including in my weekly calendar, just shoot me an email with "Calendar" somewhere in the subject line. Thanks y'all!

MONDAY, 8/22/16

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

TUESDAY, 8/23/16

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

WEDNESDAY, 8/24/16

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

THURSDAY, 8/25/16

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

FRIDAY, 8/26/16

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

SATURDAY, 8/27/16

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

SUNDAY, 8/28/16

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

[posted 8.20.16]

Friday, August 19, 2016

Video of The Day #157: Cheshires

There’s a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video Of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

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


Cheshires - Love This Feelin' from Cheshires on Vimeo.



[posted 8.19.16]

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Singles Club: Lightnin' Ray

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

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



[posted 8.18.16]

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Week in Shows: 8/15-8/21

A Saturday night full of some hot hot heat definitely 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 (and still with an emphasis on the hot)!

Just a little public service type announcing, y'all, if you're in the DC metro (or anywhere else with a heat advisory), please be sure to hydrate, stay inside whenever possible, and don't leave pets in your cars. Or small children. This heat is brutal. But as per just about usual, there's a lot to see in DC my friends. Make sure you get out there this week and support your bands of choice. So here we go, a look at some recommended shows for the coming week. See a show with an asterisk? I'll be there, so let's hang. 

And as an aside, if you've got a show coming up you'd like me to consider including in my weekly calendar, just shoot me an email with "Calendar" somewhere in the subject line. Thanks y'all!

MONDAY, 8/15/16

-Gringo Star + Silent Old Mtns. (DC9)*
-The Plank Stompers + Deltaphonic (Galaxy Hut)

TUESDAY, 8/16/16

-River Whyless + The Social Animals (Jammin Java)

WEDNESDAY, 8/17/16

-Beat Connection + Kodak to Graph + Iance Neptune (DC9)

THURSDAY, 8/18/16

-Ed Schrader's Music Beat + Escape-Ism (Comet Ping Pong)
-Drug Church + Donovan Wolfington (DC9)

FRIDAY, 8/19/16

-Loud Boyz + Pie Face Girls (Comet Ping Pong)
-The Julie Ruin + Olivia Neutron-John + Sneaks (Black Cat)
-The Beanstalk Library + The Fire Tonight + The NRIs (Rock & Roll Hotel)

SATURDAY, 8/20/16

-White Ford Bronco (9:30 Club)
-Black Masala + M. H. & His Orchestra + The Shadow Girl Sound Collective (Black Cat)

SUNDAY, 8/21/16

-Ex Hex + Flasher + Simon Doom (Rock & Roll Hotel 10th Anniversary Show)
-The Bangles + Cardiac (9:30 Club)
-Hoops + Leggy + Trunkweed (Songbyrd Music House)
-Black Sabbath + Rival Sons (Jiffy Lube Live)

[posted 8.13.16]

Video of The Day #156: Alvvays

There’s a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video Of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

It's been a couple years since this record came out, but I'm still totally smitten with the adorable Alvvays. I've been listening to their self-titled long player a lot this summer, and "Next of Kin" totally fits the season with those surf's up, pale-skin-by-the-seaside fuzzed-out vibes. The video is a fitting visual feast of bright colors, shore scenes, and meaningful glances.  





[posted 8.12.16]

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Singles Club: No One Mind

With an unrelenting, aggressive energy that acts as the heartbeat of No One Mind's "Tiger," it's easy to imagine the song's creation as a sort of aural revenge. 

Whether or not that's the case, the Raleigh outfit has unleashed quite a gem with this deliciously bloodlusty little song. "I'll meet you in your wildest dreams," the song promises with a sneer. The entire thing pulsates with a focused, almost obsessively fixated force, and the catchiness of the rhythm section makes this a tough song to shake loose. I'm looking forward to hearing more out of this here project.    



[posted 8.11.16]

On The Road Again: JEFF The Brotherhood

Those Orrall boys are at once again, y'all, taking their rollicking rock and roll antics out on the road. This string of dates is in support of JEFF The Brotherhood's newest long player, Zone, out tomorrow (8/12) on Dine Alone Records. 

It's hard to believe this Nashville twosome has been rocking and rolling for over ten years now, and if you haven't seen them live in all that time I strongly suggest you make up for lost time and go see this tour. They'll show you a sweaty good time and then some.  

JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD TOUR DATES

Sept 16 Lexington, KY @ Burl
Sept 17 Ft. Wayne, IN @ Middle Waves Fest
Sept 18 Louisville, KY 2 Zanzabar
Sept 25 Winston-Salem, NC @ The Garage
Sept 26 Washington, DC @ Black Cat Backstage
Sept 27 Brooklyn, NY @ Market Hotel
Sept 28 Somerville, MA @ ONCE
Sept 30 Providence, RI @ Fete Lounge
Oct 1 Portland, ME @ Waking Windows Fest
Oct 2 Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
Oct 3 Morgantown, WV @ 123 Pleasant St
Oct 4 Harrisonburg, VA @ Golden Pony



[posted 8.11.16]

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Video Of The Day #155: The Coral

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.

Remember those visualizers that went along with early computer audio programs? Well, Liverpool stalwarts The Coral are bringing back the visualizer in a big way with their clip for "Million Eyes." And it's pretty rad. As is the song, which is an interesting amalgamation of psych, prog, and synth (with lots of big riffs for you axe lovers). I dig it, and I hope you will too. 



[posted 8.10.16]

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Newsflash!: Win Tickets to Gringo Star @ DC9, 8/15!

Goodness sakes alive, y'all, it makes me a very happy gal to be able to tell you the good news. As you know, the irrepressible Gringo Star will be in town next week (August 15, to be exact), and your humble hostess is able to dangle a pair of tickets to said show in front of your eyes.

So, in order to snatch and grab this pair of tickets to see the Gringo boys do their Atlanta psych-60s shimmy, you will need to send me an email, no later than high noon this Saturday (8/13) telling me why this pair of tickets should be yours all yours. Piece of cake! 

Now, get a move on and you just may end up a big ole winner!   



[posted 8.9.16]

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Week In Shows: 8/8-8/14

Yet another Monday morning definitely 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 (and still with an emphasis on the hot)!

I don't know if y'all noticed, but the light has changed. It's beginning to feel just a smidge like my favorite season. Excitement! Once again, there's a lot to see in DC my friends. 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.

And as an aside, if you've got a show coming up you'd like me to consider including in my weekly calendar, just shoot me an email with "Calendar" somewhere in the subject line. Thanks y'all!

MONDAY, 8/8/16

-Jaguardini + Ships in the Night (Galaxy Hut)

TUESDAY, 8/9/16

-Shopping + Gauche + Stef Chura (Comet Ping Pong)

WEDNESDAY, 8/10/16

-Dr. Dog + Palehound (9:30 Club)
-Diet Cig + Solids (DC9)

THURSDAY, 8/11/16

-Lemuria + Looming + The Max Levine Ensemble (Comet Ping Pong)
-Dr. Dog + Sun Club (9:30 Club)
-BRNDA + Leapling + Zula + Brushes (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Savoir Adore + The Wild Wild + Paperwhite (DC9)

FRIDAY, 8/12/16

-Kyle Craft + Mass Gothic (DC9)
-Happy Abandon + Lighting Fires + The Pinkerton Raid (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-L7 (9:30 Club)

SATURDAY, 8/13/16

-The Cowards Choir + Christopher the Conquered + Old Sea Brigade + Dean Fields (IOTA)
-Belly (9:30 Club)
-The Mind Set + Traverse + My Enemy Complete (Velvet Lounge)

SUNDAY, 8/14/16


-Great Good Fine OK (DC9)
-Lenclair + Out on the Weekend + XK Scenario (Velvet Lounge)
-Fellow Creatures + Stranger In the Alps + Museyroom + Frenemies (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-The Dick van Dykes + Black Flood Dixon (Galaxy Hut)

[posted 8.8.16]

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sounds of Secret Stages 2016 #20: Sydney Eloise & The Palms

It's sweltering out there, which can only mean it's getting to be about time for the 2016 installment of Alabama's awesome little music festival, Secret Stages. In a mere few days, a bunch of great local/regional/further afield bands will descend on Birmingham for what promises to be a heck of a good time. (Once again) I won't be there, dangit, but here's who I think is really worth checking out from the excellent lineup.

"I could be any color you choose," croons Sydney Eloise with her candied girl group-ready voice, and you're left with no choice but to believe it. Along with her Palms, Eloise precociously flits between decades with a nod and a wink, soaking up the sounds and moving on with a breathless kiss.  



[posted 8.6.16]

Sounds of Secret Stages 2016 #19: Men's Renewal

It's sweltering out there, which can only mean it's getting to be about time for the 2016 installment of Alabama's awesome little music festival, Secret Stages. In a mere few days, a bunch of great local/regional/further afield bands will descend on Birmingham for what promises to be a heck of a good time. (Once again) I won't be there, dangit, but here's who I think is really worth checking out from the excellent lineup.

You might not associate the state of Alabama with experimental ambient soundscapes, but Men's Renewal is looking to change that. Shapeshifting and liquid, nothing stands still but instead is constant evolving. Simply put, this is music to fly to.   



[posted 8.6.16]

Sounds of Secret Stages 2016 #18: Sun Seeker

It's sweltering out there, which can only mean it's getting to be about time for the 2016 installment of Alabama's awesome little music festival, Secret Stages. In a mere few days, a bunch of great local/regional/further afield bands will descend on Birmingham for what promises to be a heck of a good time. (Once again) I won't be there, dangit, but here's who I think is really worth checking out from the excellent lineup.

Ah, the beauty of folk tears. Not the tears of folk lords and ladies, mind you. Folk tears as in the self-identified genre of Nashville's Sun Seeker. They've added their name to the Third Man roster, and with their rarified, golden hour folksy feels it's not hard to see why. Sounds like watching an especially stunning sunset cast a burnished glow over the Tennessee mountains.  



[posted 8.6.16]

Video Of The Day #154: Crocodiles

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.

From the sixth Crocodiles record Dreamless (coming soon YAY) comes "Telepathic Lover." The undulating, shimmer of their expansive dreampop masks something darker, typical of the majestic moodiness of Crocodiles. There's a lot less fuzz and grit, but the band's signature is still obvious. The video is a great fit for the song, with a seemingly happy couple's minds wreaking havoc on their relationship. Watch, love, repeat. 

Euro friends, check the band's page for details about their October tour on your side of the world. 
  





[posted 8.6.16]

Friday, August 5, 2016

Sounds of Secret Stages 2016 #17: Nest Egg

It's sweltering out there, which can only mean it's getting to be about time for the 2016 installment of Alabama's awesome little music festival, Secret Stages. In a mere few days, a bunch of great local/regional/further afield bands will descend on Birmingham for what promises to be a heck of a good time. (Once again) I won't be there, dangit, but here's who I think is really worth checking out from the excellent lineup.

Smoky Mountain high, Carolina. Asheville's Nest Egg might just make your mind melt, y'all. With a wall of sound that's thick as mud, vocals swirling like mist through the mountainside all around you, and a devilish dirge of a rhythm section, this is some serious psych noise. And they can thrash, to boot. Surely not to be missed up close and in person.   




[posted 8.5.16]

Sounds of Secret Stages 2016 #16: Will Stewart

It's sweltering out there, which can only mean it's getting to be about time for the 2016 installment of Alabama's awesome little music festival, Secret Stages. In a mere few days, a bunch of great local/regional/further afield bands will descend on Birmingham for what promises to be a heck of a good time. (Once again) I won't be there, dangit, but here's who I think is really worth checking out from the excellent lineup.

Birmingham boy Will Stewart is a relative musical aberration. That is to say, after making the move to Nashville for a little while, Stewart picked up and went back to Birmingham. At home in his native land, Stewart is once again getting down to business creating his electric, moody and evocative Southern gothic compositions.   



[posted 8.5.16]

Sounds of Secret Stages 2016 #15: Monday/Friday

It's sweltering out there, which can only mean it's getting to be about time for the 2016 installment of Alabama's awesome little music festival, Secret Stages. In a mere few days, a bunch of great local/regional/further afield bands will descend on Birmingham for what promises to be a heck of a good time. (Once again) I won't be there, dangit, but here's who I think is really worth checking out from the excellent lineup.

While I admittedly don't listen to much hip hop these days, back in my (much) younger days I was way into it. Atlanta's dastardly duo Monday/Friday sound like they'd fit right in with the early 90s dudes, and that makes me both nostalgic and pretty happy. With the best throwback beats and melting butter vocals that would sound good saying anything, M/F highlight all the modern stresses and all hit all the right spots. 



[posted 8.5.16]

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Sounds of Secret Stages 2016 #14: Thayer Sarrano

It's sweltering out there, which can only mean it's getting to be about time for the 2016 installment of Alabama's awesome little music festival, Secret Stages. In a mere few days, a bunch of great local/regional/further afield bands will descend on Birmingham for what promises to be a heck of a good time. (Once again) I won't be there, dangit, but here's who I think is really worth checking out from the excellent lineup.

Hearing Thayer Sarrano, I'm instantly reminded of Hope Sandoval and that haunted, gorgeous voice. Cut through with longing and sadness, Sarrano's songs are a vision in ghostly dreampop, dark folk songs filled with shadows and memories. 




[posted 8.4.16]

Sounds of Secret Stages 2016 #13: Snacks

It's sweltering out there, which can only mean it's getting to be about time for the 2016 installment of Alabama's awesome little music festival, Secret Stages. In a mere few days, a bunch of great local/regional/further afield bands will descend on Birmingham for what promises to be a heck of a good time. (Once again) I won't be there, dangit, but here's who I think is really worth checking out from the excellent lineup.

Huntsville's Snacks is a shadowy and rather elusive outfit, but that's alright when the music is good. Sometimes grunged up good and proper, sometimes sounding like a good old 60s pop song run into Kevin Shields, Snacks keep the fuzz quotient high. And y'all know that makes this gal pretty happy.   




[posted 8.4.16]

Sounds of Secret Stages 2016 #12: Jeremy Squires

It's sweltering out there, which can only mean it's getting to be about time for the 2016 installment of Alabama's awesome little music festival, Secret Stages. In a mere few days, a bunch of great local/regional/further afield bands will descend on Birmingham for what promises to be a heck of a good time. (Once again) I won't be there, dangit, but here's who I think is really worth checking out from the excellent lineup.

New Bern is a pretty little city in a pretty corner of North Carolina, full of scenery both faded and lovely and more than a little rough around the edges. Jeremy Squires carries in his voice the undeniable charms of the small Southern city, as well as a darker, haunted undercurrent. The occasional chill can and should be expected when listening to this talented songsmith.  



[posted 8.4.16]

Video Of The Day #153: Lee Hazlewood & Nancy Sinatra

There’s a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video Of The Day are a cut (or two) above.

It's hard to believe that it's been 9 years to the day that the world lost that one-in-a-million, gravel-voiced, smooth operator that was Lee Hazlewood. In honor of Lee, and his impossibly perfect recording relationship with Nancy Sinatra, here's the video to accompany one of my favorite of the pair's recordings. 




[posted 8.4.16]

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Sounds of Secret Stages 2016 #11: Null

It's sweltering out there, which can only mean it's getting to be about time for the 2016 installment of Alabama's awesome little music festival, Secret Stages. In a mere few days, a bunch of great local/regional/further afield bands will descend on Birmingham for what promises to be a heck of a good time. (Once again) I won't be there, dangit, but here's who I think is really worth checking out from the excellent lineup.

There's something a little threatening about Null. The way these Birmingham boys can create noise like the gathering of billowing, electric storm clouds. The way the lyrics are delivered with a dark reverence of an obsessive chant. The slow, deliberate, inevitable creep of the instrumentation. Sturm und drang gone to Dixie. When you see them, don't forget the earplugs. Something tells me you'll need them.  



[posted 8.3.16]

Sounds of Secret Stages 2016 #10: Seminole Strut

It's sweltering out there, which can only mean it's getting to be about time for the 2016 installment of Alabama's awesome little music festival, Secret Stages. In a mere few days, a bunch of great local/regional/further afield bands will descend on Birmingham for what promises to be a heck of a good time. (Once again) I won't be there, dangit, but here's who I think is really worth checking out from the excellent lineup.

It's not hard to imagine Seminole Strut recording in the legendary Muscle Shoals area way the way back in the 1970s, with their potent moving and shaking and good time bluesy rock and roll. This Huntsville outfit strikes a balance between the nuanced rock of folks like The Band and the shimmy-friendly poppiness of early 80s radio rock & roll. I'd hazard a guess that their shows are good old fashioned sweaty fun, and who among us doesn't love that kind of get down?  



[posted 8.3.16]

Otherwise Engaged: Avers

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.

Part of that magical, ridiculously talented music scene down in Richmond, Avers is bringing their magical, ridiculously talented noise up to DC this very evening. The heady psych makers are touring latest release Omega/Whatever, and from what I've heard it's a peach of a record. If you're free, get thee over to DC9 to soak it all in.  



[posted 8.3.16]

Video Of The Day #152: Sugar Candy Mountain

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.

What is it about the desert of Southern California that makes it such a perfect backdrop to any number of things? In the lovely video for Sugar Candy Mountain's "Windows" the desert in the 29 Palms vicinity hosts the band as they languidly flit here and there with instruments in tow. The sunbleached skies and forgotten landscapes provide a good visual for the song, which is itself a treat with its breathy, siren song girl group-cooing vocals and dusty lounge throwback vibes. Watch it and go back for more (and/or stream the band's long player 666, below).  





[posted 8.3.16]