Sunday, April 30, 2017

Video of The Day #262: A Place to Bury Strangers

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.

This one's just your typical boy takes stroll in the park, boy gets followed by some shady warlock type, boy gets chased and subsequently abducted by said warlock type, shady warlock takes boy back to his laboratory and uses him as a science experiment story. And all the while, the delicious delirium of A Place to Bury Strangers penetrates and pummels the senses most agreeably.  



[posted 4.30.17]

Good Cover Version: The Black Angels Does The Beach Boys

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.

The mirror cracked from side to side, and what was lurking underneath the broken glass was this Black Angels cover of the Beach Boys classic "Good Vibrations." The Austin outfit's masterful psychedelic reworking of the surf pop standard is, of course, coated in a murky, fuzzy haze, with more dead of night darkness than seaside sunshine. And that's what makes this cover such a winner.  



[posted 4.30.17]

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Week In Shows: 5/1/17-5/7/17

The last Saturday 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!

Out goes April, in comes May. We're a third of the way through the year already. Time keeps marching and the shows keep coming. 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, 5/1/17

-The Messthetics + Mellow Diamond (Galaxy Hut)
-Astronoid + We Were Black Clouds (DC9)
-Smileswithteeth + Lillian King (Comet Ping Pong)

TUESDAY, 5/2/17

-Red Kross + Foul Swoops (Black Cat)
-Andy Shauf + Julia Jacklin (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Mastodon + Eagles of Death Metal + Russian Circles (Fillmore Silver Spring)

WEDNESDAY, 5/3/17

-Mono + Kikagaku Moyo + Holy Sons (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds The Final Performances (Lincoln Theatre)

THURSDAY, 5/4/17

-Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds The Final Performances (Lincoln Theatre)
-#SanctuaryDC Benefit Concert (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Deb Talan + Matt the Electrician (The Hamilton)

FRIDAY, 5/5/17

-Cue The Deer (Velvet Lounge)
-Loud Boyz + Nappy Nappa + Bacchae + Jarvis (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Breakin' Even Fest Day 1 (Songbyrd Music House)

SATURDAY, 5/6/17

-The xx + Sampha (Merriweather Post Pavilion)
-Clap Your Hands Say Yeah + Laura Gibson (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Breakin' Even Fest Day 2 (Songbyrd Music House)
-Black Lips + Surfbort (Black Cat)
-Broccoli City Festival 2017 (Gateway DC)

SUNDAY, 5/7/17

-Slowdive + Japanese Breakfast (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)
-Bleeker + Beware of Darkness + Badflower (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Tycho + Nitemoves (Echostage)
-Courtney Marie Andrews + Luke Mitchem (DC9)


[posted 4.29.17]

Video of The Day #261: Tashaki Miyaki

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.

Divine LA duo Tashaki Miyaki is definitely a favorite around these parts. The band's Paige Stark wanted to make daydream music to soothe the savage mind with the band's gorgeous "Out of My Head," and you can consider that mission accomplished. The accompanying video is both cinematic and everyday at the same time, monotony with a twist. The song's the thing, though, and it's quite glorious.  





[posted 4.29.17]

Friday, April 28, 2017

Live Review: The Coathangers @ DC9, 4/18/17

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

One hazard of a music journalist is that it can distract from the experience. When something noteworthy occurs, I have to debate between scrambling to take a few words down or mentally committing it to memory, both of which take my attention away from the moment. Even if nothing special is happening, I often find myself searching for something that may not be there or simply thinking about what I can write later. I gave up doing so for The Coathangers.

It's somewhat disorienting trying to think when the floor is rocking like a boat on savage seas thanks to the energy of the crowd. It was so intense I wondered if the mathematics of the architecture accounted for such stress. It doesn't help that a good number, encouraged by Julia, sang along loudly to almost every song. She even applauded their efforts on
a few occassions in the same manner of a coach conveying a job well done. The trio's energy is always so contagious.

I first saw them as a four piece and was floored when they took turns playing each other's instruments. This is infinitely impressive given their lack of formal music training. I was delighted to see this practice has not changed. They each bring their trademark style to the performance evoking a superhero team aesthetic akin to the Powerpuff Girls, with the added bonus that their abilities/weapons are interchangeable. I especially liked Julia's pacing back and forth in tandem with the beat.

Equally unique is their sound. There's an infectious and dance-inducing catchiness to the shouts not typically found in punk rock. Speaking of which, all three have distinctive voices that add colorful texture. This was most noticeable when they chanted in unison after a carousel of vocal duties.

At the conclusion of the hour long set, Julia mentioned two names no one recognized, until she offered the punchline that they were dogs. I was too busy eyeing the red object in her hand to consider her comment. That is, until she held it up to the mic and squeezed. It was a dog chew toy. The squeaks from the toy complimented the aptly named "Squeeki Tiki" song perfectly inducing the crowd to head bang. I am unaware of such cleverness by other bands, and it just confirms what The Coathangers has known all along. Playful imagination rocks!




[words and photo of The Coathangers by The Paper]

[posted 4.28.17]

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Video of The Day #260: The Obsessives

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.

Don't be fooled by the amusing video for "You're My God." There's some acutely awkward discomfort to be found in the impeccable slacker fuzz of The Obsessives. Ah, the growing pains of youth. If only it always sounded this good.   






[posted 4.26.17]

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Good Cover Version: The Districts Does Leonard Cohen

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.

Another iconic Leonard Cohen song, another cover. I quite fancy The District's mighty fine treatment of "Lover Lover Lover." The Philadelphia Fat Possum signees handled the song with care, adding their tender fuzz and slightly tremulous vocals to the lyrical poetry of Cohen's words. The end sees the song explode into glorious clamor, which feels fitting somehow. Repeated listening encouraged.   



[posted 4.25.17]

Video of The Day #259: The XX

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'm pretty addicted to The xx's impeccable, lovesick rush of "Say Something Loving." The video's focus on attractive boys and girls being sweetly lovey-dovey is interspersed with closeup, angular shots of London as well as the band, black-clad and smiling, adding a touch of nostalgia. As usual, the sultry back and forth of the band's his-and-hers vocals and abundance of slick beats are just about impossible to resist.    




[posted 4.25.17]

Monday, April 24, 2017

Video of The Day #258: Black Asteroid f/ Zola Jesus

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.

Cinematically stunning in haunting black and white, the video for Black Asteroid's "Howl" offers the same sense of tense but beautiful desolation that can be felt listening to the song. Featuring the spell-casting vocal talents of Zola Jesus, the song simmers beatily, building to intense, dark crescendos. Perfect viewing for a gloomy Monday (and any day of any week).   





[posted 4.24.17]

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Good Cover Version: Amber Arcades Does Nick Drake

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.

To do Nick Drake justice, a cover has to be pretty great. I'm of the opinion that this Amber Arcades interpretation of "Which Will" is pretty great indeed. Turning Drake's ghostly masterpiece of magnificent melancholia into a dynamite dream pop diamond is no easy feat, but that's exactly what's happened. Between the heavenly guitar and Annelotte's sugared, sparkling (and somewhat haunted) vocals, this reimagining is truly a treasure.     



[posted 4.23.17]

Video of The Day #257: The Babe Rainbow

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.

Shot in a way that recalls home movies of the 1960s and 70s, the video for The Babe Rainbow's "Peace Blossom Boogy" hits a sweetly nostalgic note. The Aussie band's magical mystery sound goes on a magical mystery tour on a double-decker bus around some idyllic country, letting the song's dreamy, fuzzed up witchcraft provide the perfect soundtrack. I'm definitely looking forward to getting my hands on the band's forthcoming debut record, out in the very near future.    



[posted 4.23.17]

The Week In Shows: 4/24/17-4/30/17

A lovely, lazy 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!

This is a landmark week, y'all. There's not one show but two shows I'll be going to this week! If you're out and about, I just might see you around. And out and about you should be, given how many great shows are on offer this week. As always, those shows I'll be going to are asterisked. 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, 4/24/17

-Chew + Nice Breeze (Galaxy Hut)
-Local H + Collider (Jammin Java)

TUESDAY, 4/25/17

-Tobin Sprout + DTCV (DC9)
-Panama Wedding + Sun Seeker (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Juliana Hatfield + Laura Stevenson (Jammin Java)

WEDNESDAY, 4/26/17

-Fenech-Soler + Knox Hamilton (U Street Music Hall)
-Overcoats + Yoke Lore (DC9 - SOLD OUT)
-Froth + Wildhoney + Kid Claws (Songbyrd Music House)

THURSDAY, 4/27/17

-Generationals + Psychic Twin (Black Cat)*
-Matthew Logan Vasquez + Mail The Horse (DC9)
-Lucky Chops + Madaila (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Big Thief + Infinity Crush + Twain (Songbyrd Music House - SOLD OUT)

FRIDAY, 4/28/17

-The New Pornographers + Waxahatchee (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)
-The Wild Reeds + Blank Range (Rock & Roll Hotel)
-Lewis Del Mar + Anna Wise (U Street Music Hall - SOLD OUT)
-R. Ring + Split Single + Flasher (Comet Ping Pong)
-From Cradle to Stage: In Conversation with Virginia Grohl and Dave Grohl (Black Cat - SOLD OUT)
-Bob Mould + Brendan Canty (DJ set) (Black Cat)

SATURDAY, 4/29/17

-The New Pornographers + Waxahatchee (9:30 Club - SOLD OUT)
-Moon Duo + Jackie Lynn (DC9)
-Pinegrove + Hovvdy + Shannen Moser (Rock & Roll Hotel - SOLD OUT)
-Casa Ruby Benefit Show: Homosuperior + Lady Bits + Post Pink (Comet Ping Pong)
-Arto Lindsay + Beauty Pill + Br'er (Black Cat)
-Mousetrap Dance Party (Black Cat)

SUNDAY, 4/30/17

-The Black Angels + A Place to Bury Strangers (9:30 Club)*
-Shonen Knife (Black Cat)
-Derek Evry + Kosi (Galaxy Hut)


[posted 4.23.17]

LP Lust: Record Store Day 2017 Edition

Records and nothing but. That's what LP Lust is made of. 

Yesterday morning, I took a hiatus from my Record Store Day hiatus and got myself up bright and early in the name of buying some records. 

I headed over to the CD Cellar in Falls Church, and was in line a few minutes after 6 in the morning. Half asleep, I waited patiently with other record lovers, more folks joining the line as the minutes ticked by. My list of purchases was short but meaningful: all four were titles from bands I adore and have adored for years upon years. When the doors opened and the melee began, I wasn't actually confident that I'd get anything on my list, so lusty was the crowd and so dispersed were the records. The list that follows is what I came away with: 

*The Black Angels - Death Song (special black light/glow-in-the-dark limited edition)

*Primal Scream - Mixomatosis (special remix vinyl)

*Super Furry Animals - Fuzzy Logic (20th Anniversary release)

I did not, sadly, get my hands on the Brian Jonestown Massacre record I wanted. Whether all the copies were already snatched up or I just couldn't see it amongst all the fray is anyone's guess. But don't worry, I'll get over it. Probably.

All told, I enjoyed my Record Store Day 2017 experience, even without a 100% success rate tracking down my records. The CD Cellar staff was awesome, especially considering how difficult a day yesterday surely was. Kudos to all involved for keeping smiles on their faces. My only complaint is that when the doors open, everyone was able to rush in and start clogging up the aisles. There was no real benefit of being there so early, other than maybe getting to rush in sooner than folks closer to the end of the line. I prefer when stores let a certain number of people in at a time, and then have all the RSD titles in a small area so they're easy to grab (or ask for). But that's a personal preference. Maybe you don't feel the same way. 

In any event, I came away with my number one want: the Super Furry Animals Fuzzy Logic vinyl. Obviously, having the namesake record of this here blog on wax means quite a great deal to me. Being able to procure the new Black Angels record and some Primal Scream as well also made me feel like a gold medal winner. I hope that if you were out and about on RSD, you were able to get your paws on your favorites. 


[posted 4.23.17]    

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]