Saturday, April 22, 2017

Remix Fix: LO MOON/Hudson Mohawke

In theory I like the idea of the remix: taking someone else's song and tweaking it the way you want it done. It's a great means for completely redoing something, and for reinterpretation. Sometimes remixes go awry, and sometimes they're better than the original. Remix Fix is all about the happy medium when a remix totally nails it and makes a song that much better.

Bright young things LO MOON have been making waves this year, not least of all because of the strength of the towering, ghostly perfection of the epic single "Loveless." While it's hard to improve upon the breathless beauty of that rather majestic original, Hudson Mohawke has given the song a rejigging, and the end result of this tinkering adds some 80s-esque bleeping to make the song shimmer. While the slinky electro-gloss sound has a totally different appeal, the song's heartbeat remains the same.  



[posted 4.22.17]

Video of The Day #256: Douglas Firs

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.

Sneaky visual tricks, roosters, and a lap steel cameo. Perhaps not the most obvious combination of video effects, but the shenanigans here are obviously coloring outside the lines just a smidge. I think you'll find that this collection of delightfully obtuse imagery in the video for Douglas Firs' "Shine 'Em Up Sadie" is just right for the fuzzy, impish scuzz pop of the song. 






[posted 4.22.17]

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Live Review: Molly Burch @ DC9, 4/14/17

Intrepid mysterious Special Guest Star The Paper went in search of good live sounds, and the following is what transpired when he took in Molly Burch at DC9.

Molly Burch was a sorely welcomed change of pace for me that I didn't realize I needed. 

I would imagine the same for others judging solely by the more than hour-long battle I fought against Friday DC traffic. 



Her fingers brushed over the guitar strings idly, like one with not a care in the world. When she sang into the mic, her voice compelled time to slow. The hustle and bustle outside ceased to exist. In its place was a forlorn tranquility. Molly's singing conveyed the weight and reach of a past she can't escape. In fact, she appeared to be sitting in bed alone talking to her diary. And it was at this juncture that I realized the beauty of her voice. It possesses will. While her past may always manifest in the present, her singing helps her to take control in shaping her destiny.

The band contributed further to the longing atmosphere, mirroring her leisurely pace as if it was a sweltering summer night. The moody bassline and unhurried drums conjured images of wide hips swaying in long, flowing skirts and the drop of water clinging to the mouth of a tall, icy glass of lemonade. Even at its most agitated, the lead guitar imparted an air of politeness. Indeed, the band played second fiddle to Molly's voice. It almost felt like a concerto for her voice and band, especially on the song where she went without her guitar.



Now that it's another new week, I ache to return to Friday, where Molly's timeless voice offered a quiet refuge of a simpler time and place.






[words and photos of Molly Burch by The Paper]

[posted 4.20.17]

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Week In Shows: 4/17/17-4/23/17

A perfect spring Sunday morning in April 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 Easter Sunday, so I'll keep it brief. The good shows are here, please go out and see some. And now, without further ado, here's a look at some of the shows I happen to recommend for the coming week in the greater DC metro area.

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, 4/17/17

-Sondre Lerche + Dedekind (U Street Music Hall)
-Hemlines + Hiccup + Chill Parents (DC9)
-Alex Parez + Sunchild (Galaxy Hut)

TUESDAY, 4/18/17

-The Coathangers + RESIDUELS + Venn (DC9)
-Kinky Friedman (The Hamilton)

WEDNESDAY, 4/19/17

-Den-Mate + Nuex + Purrer (Black Cat)
-Lydia Ainsworth + Ami Dang (DC9)

THURSDAY, 4/20/17

-Aimee Mann + Jonathan Coulton (Lincoln Theatre)
-GIRL BAND + BAMBERA (DC9)
-Vita & The Woolf + Margot McDonald (Black Cat)
-Sophie Auster + SEE (IOTA Club & Cafe)

FRIDAY, 4/21/17

-Drive-By Truckers + Hiss Golden Messenger (9:30 Club)
-Surfer Blood + Paperhaus (DC9 - SOLD OUT)
-Happy Abandon + Toma + Bleach Bones (Velvet Lounge)
-Calm & Crisis + Black Dog Prowl + StockSmile (Songbyrd Music House)

SATURDAY, 4/22/17

-Drive-By Truckers + Hiss Golden Messenger (9:30 Club)
-Methyl Ethel + Blonder (DC9)
-Handsome Hound + Odell Fox (Songbyrd Music House)
-Hat Band Showcase (A Benefit for Girls Rock DC - Black Cat)

SUNDAY, 4/23/17

-Taraka Larson Now Age Lecture (Comet Ping Pong)
-Joy On Fire + 3rd Grade Friends + California Accent (Galaxy Hut)
-The Jayhawks + Johnny Irion (The Birchmere)


[posted 4.16.17]

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Video of The Day #255: SOFTSPOT

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 won't beat around the bush. The video for SOFTSPOT's "Habits" is stunning. The bold black and white is modern and mesmerizing, and complements the beautiful, wild unpredictability of the song. This Brooklyn band has certainly made me sit up and take notice, that's for sure. 






[posted 4.15.17]

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Video of The Day #254: Placebo

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.

Years ago I was a huge Placebo fan. It's not that I'm not still a huge Placebo fan, just that I don't listen to them as much as I once did. Which is a crying shame. Last night I put on the album Without You I'm Nothing, a firm favorite in the early Naughties, and to my surprise I might like it even more than I did back then. It's aged rather well. "Every You Every Me" is one of my very favorite songs from the record, and this alternate version of the song's video is goes along with the dramatic tension quite well. Also, how can I not show you a video involving a Gemini Club, where there's pairs of slinky people doing dodgy things?   






[posted 4.13.17]

Sunday, April 9, 2017

On The Road Again: Air

Well, well, well. Look who's taking their show on the road?

It is happy news indeed, y'all, to be able to say that dreamy French duo Air is coming back to the States in a matter of mere weeks. And as an aside, I can't believe that the slinky, stargazing bedroom noise of Moon Safari turns 20 next year. There aren't many dates on this run, so expect these to be molten hot tickets. Do not miss out. 

AIR TOUR DATES 

SUN 06.04 - NEW YORK CITY, NY @ THE GOVERNORS BALL
MON 06.05 - BOSTON, MA @ ROYALE
WED 06.06 - WASHINGTON, DC @ STRATHMORE
TUE 06.20 - CHICAGO, IL @ AUDITORIUM THEATRE
FRI 06.23 - SAN FRANCISCO, CA @ THE MASONIC
SAT 06.24 - SANTA BARBARA, CA @ SANTA BARBARA BOWL
SUN 06.25 - LOS ANGELES, CA @ THE GREEK THEATRE




[posted 4.9.17]

The Week In Shows: 4/10/17-4/16/17

A perfect spring Sunday afternoon in April 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!

The weather is divine, for now. Just in time for the preponderance of shows that is imminent in the area. We are lucky indeed. And now, without further ado, here's a look at some of the shows I happen to recommend for the coming week in the greater DC metro area.

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, 4/10/17

-Xiu Xiu + Br'er (Songbyrd Music House)
-The Octopus Project + Deaf Scene (DC9)
-Emily Wells + Be Steadwell (Black Cat)
-American Television + Highway Cross (Galaxy Hut)

TUESDAY, 4/11/17

-Son Volt + Anders Parker (9:30 Club)
-Pontiak + Penguin (DC9)
-The Felice Brothers + The Brother Brothers (The Hamilton)

WEDNESDAY, 4/12/17

-Baroness + Trans Am (9:30 Club)
-Roadkill Ghost Choir + Sir Cadian Rhythm (The Hamilton)
-Why? + Eskimeaux (Black Cat)

THURSDAY, 4/13/17

-Diet Cig + Daddy Issues + Bad Moves (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-PILE + Gnarwhal + Two Inch Astronaut (DC9)
-Heavy Breathing + Des Demoanas (Black Cat)

FRIDAY, 4/14/17

-The Wedding Present + Colleen Green (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Sallie Ford + Molly Burch (DC9)
-Coast Modern + 888 + Sundara Karma (Songbyrd Music House)
-Marian McLaughlin (Gypsy Sally's)
-The Weight (The Hamilton)

SATURDAY, 4/15/17

-Biffy Clyro + O'Brother (9:30 Club)
-Dr. Yes + The NRIs + I Am The Kaleidoscope (Velvet Lounge)
-Stolen Jars + Julian + Thet Wel (Comet Ping Pong)

SUNDAY, 4/16/17

-City of The Sun + Dope Francis (Songbyrd Music House)
-Betty Who + Verite (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)
-Permanent Waves + Escape-ism + Aaron Leitko (Comet Ping Pong)
-Sweet Spirit + Milo in The Doldrums (Black Cat)
-Tony Risotto + Poster Boy (Galaxy Hut)


[posted 4.9.17]

Video of The Day #253: Heavy Heart

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.

London's Heavy Heart takes a decidedly 90s-inspired tilt in their video for the charming "Fruitfly," one of those songs that sounds full of fuzzy sweetness and light but underneath is anything but. Against a backdrop of beans, pills, and soda, the band waxes less than nostalgic about family life. The sugar rush of the song has a bit of a bite besides being ridiculously catchy. Well played indeed.  






[posted 4.9.17]

On The Road Again: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Well, well, well. Look who's taking their show on the road?

It's been a good little while, but everyone's favorite fuzzily twee dreampoppers The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are getting back out there on the road to play some new tunes (and presumably some of the old favorites, too). It's been about three years since the last record was released, somehow, and I'm pretty excited to see what new sounds Kip Berman and co. have been concocting. Use a Sharpie when you ink this on your calendar, y'all.   

THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART TOUR DATES

06/08 Hamden, CT - The Ballroom at the Outer Space %
06/09 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg (Northside Fest) %
06/14 Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair *%
06/15 Portsmouth, NH - 3s Art Space *%
06/16 Montreal, QC - Bar le Ritz PDB *%
06/17 Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern *%
06/19 Cleveland, OH - The Grog Shop *%
06/20 Detroit, MI - El Club *%
06/22 Minneapolis, MN - First Ave. 7th St. Entry %
06/23 Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon %
06/24 Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall %
06/25 St. Louis, MO - The Firebird %
06/27 Nashville, TN - The High Watt %
06/28 Atlanta, GA - The Earl %
06/30 Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 %
07/01 Washington DC - Rock & Roll Hotel %
07/02 Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Downstairs %

* = w/ Frankie Rose
% = w/ Ablebody




[posted 4.9.17]

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Live Review: Jay Som + The Courtneys @ DC9, 4/1/17

Intrepid mysterious Special Guest Star The Paper went in search of good live sounds, and the following is what transpired when he took in Jay Som and The Courtneys at DC9.

I have waited years to see The Courtneys. The last time they were in town, they opened for Tegan and Sara. That show sold out and as I stood outside haggling with a scalper, I could catch the thumping within. It was like sitting at home watching the tube while listening to a party rage on the other side of the apartment wall. I wasn't going to botch my second chance.

On tour to support their new record II, the trio made a convincing argument for their inclusion in the top ten of the year. Jen had pulled her drumkit towards the front of the stage just behind her bandmates, eliminating the gulf typically reserved for rocking out. It was an audacious statement given crowd energy often feeds from stage antics but the band was prepared to move us via music alone. 

Spoiler alert: they succeeded.

Courtney makes playing the guitar look effortless. Having asked twice for more snares in her monitor, she maintained a contented expression like one actively enjoying the music that's playing. Sydney was just as carefree belting out the bass line, but don't let appearances fool you. Loud and hazy, they carried a momentum that could push spring into summer. Jen looked the most hardworking possibly due to a condition that had her reaching for a handkerchief several times. Or maybe singing and drumming is no easy feat. Her serene voice floated above all that steady thumping I looked forward to all these years later and it was perfect.

I had seen Jay Som solo last year when she opened for Mitski. Now playing with a band for the first time to support her new record Everybody Works, I was far more impressed. Especially given that she gave a shout out to not dying after having consumed lots of cough syrup the night before.

It was an immense delight to watch Melina conduct throughout the set. On more than one occasion, she would count in another member of the band just like a conductor would signal the brass section to join in with a gesture of the baton, except she had to use her head, guitar, or whispers. The adorable interactions would sometimes mirror the musical conversation the four piece carried on and off as each took turns rocking out. Other times, the band would take the sold out crowd to the beach where pianissimo waves would crescendo into pleasant crashes over and over, leaving everyone soaked in welcomed splashes.

Jay Som rolled nonstop like the tireless sea. A drum beat or loop pedal would march or whine between songs before the band built into the song. The particular manner in which Melina and company would sometimes start and stop into a song led me to wish I was more just a bit more familiar with their material. It was unclear if the act follows from the record or was simply live improvisations. Judging by the prevalent cheers, my confusion was moot. Both worked.






[words and photo of The Courtneys by The Paper]

[posted 4.8.17]

Video of The Day #252: Diet Cig

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.

NYC duo Diet Cig released their latest record Swear I'm Good at This yesterday, and "Maid of The Mist" is one of the spitfire fuzzy pop-esque nuggets. The video's cute crayon drawing style is a dynamite visual for the song, all defiance and sulking and completely inescapable catchiness.

Diet Cig also happens to be just getting their latest tour underway, so be sure to check them out when they roll through your town. 
   





[posted 4.8.17]

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Video of The Day #251: Arc Flash

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 first came across Kansas dudes Arc Flash while geeking out over this year's Treefort lineup. These self-professed mutant space punks make a dynamic and diabolically catchy noise, a taut, nervy jangle that's just divine. The clip for "Future" captures their raw energy, along with shades of their far-out space thing. Very highly recommended. 





[posted 4.2.17]

The Week In Shows: 4/3/17-4/9/17

A beautiful, sunny first Sunday in April 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!

April is here, and so far so good. Peak concert season is just about upon us, and I think there's going to be no end of good shows in our future, my friends. And now, without further ado, here's a look at some of the shows I happen to recommend for the coming week in the greater DC metro area.

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, 4/3/17

-Half Waif + Stronger Sex (DC9)
-George Clanton + Negative Gemini (Black Cat)
-Distant Creatures + Burnt Seeds (Galaxy Hut)

TUESDAY, 4/4/17

-Goodnight, Texas + Kellyn Marie Goler (Black Cat)
-Kolars + NAH. (DC9)
-Andrew Combs Band + Erin Rae (Gypsy Sally's)

WEDNESDAY, 4/5/17

-Gauche + Bat Fangs + Faunas + DJ Tariq (Comet Ping Pong)

THURSDAY, 4/6/17

-Witch Coast + Kal Marks + BRNDA (Comet Ping Pong)
-The Weeks + The Lonely Biscuits (DC9)

FRIDAY, 4/7/17

-Boss Hog + Escape-Ism + Anna Connolly (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Crystal Fighters + Machineheart (Black Cat)
-Pigeons Playing Ping Pong + ELM - Electric Love Machine (9:30 Club)
-Peyote Pilgrim + Burn the Dirt (DC9)

SATURDAY, 4/8/17

-Justin Jones + Beccs + Down Dexter (Rock & Roll Hotel)

SUNDAY, 4/9/17

-Gold Connections + Suburban Living (DC9)
-Lisa Prank + Aquareef + Dogbreth + Lavender (Comet Ping Pong)
-Damaged City Fest (Black Cat)
-Human Energy Field + Axxa Abraxas (Galaxy Hut)


[posted 4.2.17]

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Video of The Day #250: Jay Som

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.

Seeing as Jay Som is in town tonight for a sold out show with The Courtneys at DC9, it felt like the right time to highlight this lovely lady and her video for "Baybee." While languid, lo-fi grooves and Melina's breathy, purring vocals shimmer in glistening waves, we're treated to alpine views and sweet choreographed dance moves inside trams. It works, trust me.   






[posted 4.1.17]

Newsflash!: Win Tickets to The Black Angels & A Place To Bury Strangers @ 9:30 Club, 4/30/17

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.

If you were to ask me about shows I had probably dreamed about happening, this union of The Black Angels and A Place To Bury Strangers would be pretty high on my list. This Death March tour brings together two of the loudest, most wonderful bands I've ever had the pleasure of seeing live - one paragons of the current US psych scene and the other purveyors of blood-chillingly loud sonic assaults. It's a match made in heaven, as far as I'm concerned. This is the kind of show that will probably drag me out of my hermitage. And if you're as excited about this show as I am, you're in luck.

I've got a pair of tickets to this killer show at the 9:30 Club up for grabs. To win, you need only send me an email telling me why you should be the winner and go see these two incredible bands joining forces. The most compelling entry will be decreed the winner.  

Fine print: Contest is for two (2) tickets to this show. Contest closes at noon Eastern on Thursday, 4/27/17. 

To get you inspired, I've tracked down a couple favorites for you to listen to. Good luck and godspeed, my lovelies. 
  






[posted 4.1.17]