Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Area Weekend: Welcome Back! Part Three

I thought I would never say this, but the weekend is finally coming to an end. Fortunately (for me), Sunday is much lighter in action than the past two nights. Don't forget to check out Friday and Saturday for bands that are playing multiple dates.

Canadian Invasion
(via bands myspace)

The M-Room is hosting a great line-up featuring indie-popsters Golden Bloom and Philly's own Canadian Invasion. Rounding out the show is Jersey City's Sudden Ensemble, who have gotten the attention of famed radio personality John Peel. That's pretty high praise. I highly recommend this show.

Pree just had a CD release party for their new disc A Chopping Block, now they are back for another show, this time at The Loft in Fredericksburg with locals Hot Lava, Kana Zink and His Royal Shyness. This is part of the all ages series, so all of you can experience the best of local music.

To finish off the weekend, check out one of these two shows. Indie-rock masters We Are Scientists are set to concoct something musical at the Hard Rock in DC, while beat heavy Futurecop! shakes up DC9.

mp3: Canadian Invasion - One Hand Claps the Other (via
mp3: Golden Bloom - Doomsday Devices (via
mp3: Pree - In The Parlor (via The Kora Records)


Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Area Weekend: Welcome Back! Part Two

Hope you all had fun last night. Tonight and Sunday are just as loaded, so without further delay, here's what to check out:

(photo by brantley gutierrez, via bands myspace)

Some bands are starting their multiple city stops on Saturday. The one I recommend is Eulogies joining up with our friends Middle Distance Runner, set to drop a new album very soon, and The Payola Reserve, who already had a show on Friday. Catch them at IOTA in Arlington tonight for a nice up-close and personal show. Those in Baltimore can get them Sunday at Metro Gallery.

mp3: Eulogies - Two Can Play (via
mp3: Middle Distance Runner - Brother John (via band)
mp3: The Payola Reserve - Music Is Not Music (via band)

The dirty, bluesy Southern Rock of J-Roddy Walston & The Business is at Baltimore's Ottobar Saturday before opening for The Hold Steady Sunday at the Recher. And that is a free show.

mp3: J Roddy Walston & The Business - Used to Did (via
mp3: The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy (via vagrant records)

TK Webb & The Visions are joined by Appomattox for a double city stop. Saturday's DC9 show also features Gods & Queens, while the Sunday Talking Head show in Baltimore has David Heumann of Arbouretum fame set to open.

mp3: TK Webb & The Visions - Teen is Still Shaking (via kemado records)

Baltimore's own Ponytail is also hitting two cities this weekend. First stop is at American University in DC with Mittenfields. The next stop is a slot on the Los Campesinos! show at the TLA in Philly Sunday night.

mp3: Ponytail - Celebrate the Body Electric (via

Time for those that are playing just one venue this weekend. Still quite a bit to go.


Big show at the Warner Theater as comedian-musician Stephen Lynch takes the stage. This is going to be very entertaining.

Another huge show is at The Troc, featuring Jersey's The Gaslight Anthem and Ohioans Heartless Bastards. Also on the bill is local group Good Old War. This show is already sold out! Enjoy if you have tix. If not, find a way to get in.

Philly's M-Room is featuring an electronic show with Arms and Sleepers, The Circadian Rhythms and Anni Rossi. Baltimore and DC have some to chose from as locals Squaaks (you may know Elena from Ace of Cakes...Yummy!) and ...So I Had To are joined by The Minneapolis Henrys at Metro Gallery. Black Cat has a great line up with The Drones from Australia sharing the stage with Deleted Scenes and Pretty & Nice.

mp3: Stephen Lynch - 3 Balloons (via
mp3: Heartless Bastards - The Mountain (via Sneak Attack Media)
mp3: Arms and Sleepers - A Mission To Prague (via
mp3: Anni Rossi - Wheelpusher (via
mp3: Squaaks - Be Dry My Bleeding Heart(via band)
mp3: Deleted Scenes - Turn To Sand (via band website)
mp3: Pretty & Nice - Tora Tora Tora (via Hardly Art Records)

Ok, so this massive weekend ended up becoming three parts. Sunday will posted soon!


Friday, March 27, 2009

The Area Weekend: Welcome Back! Part One

When I saw the calendar for the weekend, I initially thought that Joe was out of his skull and put down shows for the wrong dates. Then after some quick fact checking, I found the truth. Every band and their mothers, uncles and 3rd cousins once removed are either coming back home from Austin or making the IA area the next stop on their East Coast swing. With so much to tell you about, it is best to break it up into two (or more) posts). Part One (this post) will focus on those performing on Friday as a single show or making a double (or triple) stop sometime from now til Sunday. Part two comes later (obviously).

Gomez (via band myspace)

So many acts are pulling double duty this weekend. Where do I even begin? The obvious choice is the band kicking off the weekend at XPNs Free at Noon. Gomez is set to drop a new album, A New Tide. This show is already sold out, but you can catch them 3 more times in the IA area. After the lunch show, they head west to Lancaster and The Chameleon Club. Killer soul/funk band from Austin Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears are set to open. Saturday they head back to Philly and the TLA for a show with Blind Pilot. They then head to the 9:30 Club Sunday and rejoin Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears to close out the weekend. All still have tickets available, but they may go fast. And to make this a little more confusing, before heading to Philly, Blind Pilot has a solo show at IOTA Friday night.

mp3: Gomez - Mix (via

Another triple city set of shows is in the works for Asobi Seksu, with their mix of sugary late '80s pop and early '90s shoegaze and support from the lo-fi band from Michigan, Tyvek. Start in Baltimore Friday at the Ottobar, featuring local favorites Thrushes, then follow them to DC and the Rock & Roll Hotel and finish Sunday in Philly at Johnny Brenda's. Worth the road trip.

mp3: Asobi Seksu - Familiar Light (via
mp3: Thrushes - Loyalty

Yet another band is hitting three cities in three days. DD/MM/YYYY are starting their journey at The Red & The Black in DC with Chambersburg's The Shackeltons. Also on the bill for this show is locals Surprise! Arizona and Brooklyn's Cinema Cinema. I would make every attempt to go to this show. They then head to Baltimore for one more show with The Shackeltons, this time joined by Magic Missile. Finally, Philly get the finishing act at Kung Fu Necktie with Reading Rainbow.

mp3: DD/MM/YYYY - Infinity Skull Cube (via
mp3: The Shackeltons - Your Movement (via band)
mp3: Cinema Cinema - I Don't Wanna Be Yr Boyfriend (via band's website)
mp3: Reading Rainbow - Be Who I See (via band's myspace)

A little more reserved are Phosphorescent and Deer Tick as they hit only two cities this weekend. The G-Spot is the venue for Friday, while Johnny Brenda's hosts Saturday's show. As an added treat, local troubadour Peasant is also set to perform for the Philly show.

mp3: Phosphorescent - A Picture of Our Torn Up Praise (via Ocean)
mp3: Deer Tick - Long Time (via
mp3: Peasant - We're Good (via Paper Garden records)

Brooklyn's The Jaguar Club is also performing in two cities this weekend. First stop is the Metro Gallery in Baltimore with an all-local supporting cast. E. Joseph and the Phantom Heart are set to perform as they channel the Bunnymen and The Church, as are FFHH and The Jennifers. TJC then head to The Red & The Black Saturday. Joining them are Loose Lips, Paperhaus and Mary Bragg.

mp3: The Jaguar Club - World Gone By (via band)
mp3: E. Joseph & The Phantom Heart - Pulling Me Under (via band)
mp3: FFHH - From the Shadows (via band)
mp3: Loose Lips - Heels Under Head (via band's website)

Not quite done yet. Still some bands playing only Friday night. Here's what else to consider.

As previously mentioned in an earlier post, Death By Sexy is dropping a new disc and they are having a party at the Black Cat to prove it. Join them with locals Cobra Collective and Blackjacks for what is going to be a hell of a show.

mp3: Death By Sexy - I Ain't Gonna Chase You Down (via band)
mp3: Cobra Collective - Hannibal at the Gates (via band)

At the Zodiac in Baltimore, locals Arbouretum perform some new tracks off their latest release Song of the Pearl, as well as your favorites. Get their early for The Existencils and Happy Salmon.

Johnny Brendas is hosting a great show for all of you in Philly. Say Hi is joined by local favorites East Hundred and Seattle's and Merge artist Telekinesis. I may have to make my way to Fish Town for this one.

mp3: Say Hi - Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh (via band's website)
mp3: East Hundred - Slow Burning Crimes (via band's website)

The Danes are coming to the First Unitarian Church in Philly in the form of 10 member strong Efterklang. Fellow countryman and sometimes band member Peter Broderick is also set to perform.

mp3: Efterklang - Step Aside (via

Glasvegas has a huge following. West Chester, PA is a small college town. The Note is a small venue in said town. This Friday night should be interesting. For those interested, the show is obviously sold out.

mp3: Glasvegas - Geraldine (via

The North Star gets sultry and soulful as Eli "Paperboy" Reed hits the stage. Set to open is Baltimore's The Payola Reserve. And for those up in the Harrisburg area, head to Messiah College for two great singer-songwriters, Josh Ritter and John Francis

Part 2 coming soon.


Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears

There's only one way I can truly describe Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears - they take it to church...  As in catching the holy ghost, shout it out loud, hands in the air soulful funk the likes of which Sam and Dave, James Brown and Booker T. would be proud to call their own.

Fronted by the-way-more-soulful-sounding-than-anyone-his-age-should Joe Lewis, and backed by the tightest rhythm and horn section this side of the Soul Generals, the Austin, TX band is taking its party nationwide, stopping in the region this weekend for a couple of dates with Gomez.

Just listen to that nasty funk organ groove bubbling underneath "Sugarfoot," the first single off their debut release Tell Em' What Your Name Is! Can you really keep that booty from shaking just a little? I think not.

3/27/09: Chameleon CLub, Lancaster, PA
3/29/09: 9:30 Club, Washington, DC

mp3: Sugarfoot (stream)


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Honey Claws

Let's take a trip in the way back machine (Sherman and Peabody? Rocky and Bullwinkle? Anyone?... Bueller? God, I'm old). Anyway, we've arrived in 1986 and for some strange reason, Peter Gabriel, Adam Yauch and Mike Diamond are hanging out at some crappy post-modernist art exhibit in SoHo. Imagine, if you will, that instead of releasing So and Licensed to Ill, they bail on that scene, jump in that crazy old time machine, pick up Pharrell Williams somewhere along the way and land in Austin, Texas in 2009. Assuming you're still with me, I have just attempted to describe the electro-funk oddity that is Honey Claws.

Although they occasionally veer into art school b-boy overkill, Honey Claws' big boom bap and willingness to f-around with the mixing board, to ear-pleasing effect, cannot be denied. Have a listen to "Pemporer" off of their new EP, Healer.

mp3: Pemporer (Provided By Sneak Attack)


Live Fast... Die Sexy

Death by Sexy. Let that honeyed phrase roll off your tongue a few times. Yes, it's the punchline to a really bad joke that you've probably heard a million times, as well as the title of an Eagles of Death Metal album, but forget all that. What you really need to know about Death by Sexy (or DXS to groupies and bloggers), is that it's the given name of the DC-based purveyors of some of the nastiest, smokin'est guitar noise around.

Having just given a few spins to their debut full-length, Curse the Curse, I can best describe this as a mix of the Ramones, Bleach-era Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, the Burning Brides, and Chuck Berry. If that doesn't melt your brain a little bit, then kudos. But if more brain melting is required, be sure to swing by the DXS CD release party at Black Cat this Friday, March 27th.

For a preview, take a listen to "I Ain't Gonna Chase You Down," the album's grinding opener.

mp3: I Ain't Gonna Chase You Down


Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Photo From band's Myspace

A little crunchy, a little, salty and a little sweet, like Crunch n' Munch for your ears. That's Alligators in one pop-culture referencing, brand-name approved nutshell. "Where Does it Hide?," the first single off of their debut Piggy and Cups, is such a mind-bendingly catchy tune that it almost toes the line of guilty pleasure throwaway pop a la the Fountains of Wayne and Cheap Trick (with harmonies that would make Brian Wilson himself cry). At the same time, fans of The Bends era Radiohead and the Shins will get their dose of shimmery, wailing guitar and sweet melancholy.

This track has been stuck in heavy rotation on my iPod for weeks now, so I'm looking forward to the full-length CD dropping on April 7. Stay tuned for Alligators tour information. They are bound to come east soon.

mp3: Where Does it Hide? (Provided By Fanatic Promotion)


No, It Ain't No Surprise

Photo By Ron Krisel

You know what too much self-proclaimed "rock music" is missing these days? Swagger. Sure, some acts out there can talk the talk, and some can walk the walk, but few, if any, seem to be able to accomplish both at the same time anymore. Now, hey, I have problems rubbing my tummy and patting my head consecutively, so I get that doing multiple things at once is not easy. However, that excuse simply doesn't cut it when I'm looking for some good, old fashioned rock 'n roll.

San Francisco's Leopold and His Fiction must have received my memo, because they bring the full package on their sophomore release, Ain't No Surprise. The band does not so much create new ground as they do revere what is holy and good about your '60s-era rock 'n roll. I'm not talking about psych-pop, or acid rock or heavy metal--I'm talking what the Rolling Stones were pumping out back when they were worth a damn. That's what Leopold is putting down and, quite frankly, you should pick it up, my friends.

mp3: Ain't No Surprise (Provided By Green Light Go)


New Rock Burger of Fire?

DC's own New Rock Church of Fire is having a little party at DC9 Wednesday night celebrating their induction into the menu. I'm talking about The New Rock Church of Fire Burger. Having entertained numerous fans all of the District and beyond for the past three years, some would say it's about time they got their due. And the burger looks like it will please them yet again. It is topped with things that should remind one of the band: beer, whiskey, smoke and mushrooms (thats beer-battered onion rings, John Powers Whiskey BBQ Sauce, smoked Gouda and of course, mushrooms). Sounds pretty darn good to me. And the music that will go with it makes it an evening that will have you grabbing for plenty of napkins. Make sure to get their early to grab a burger of your own and catch the openers Daimera, Man Without Wax and Meow vs. Meow.

mp3: New Rock Church of Fire - Europa (via band)

note: like the artwork for the poster? check out Barf Comics


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Livening Up Your Tuesday

Tuesday is usually a bland day. Not quite hump day and just beyond Monday. Luckily, the IA area has quite the line-up to choose from to make this Tuesday a little bit better.

The Courteeners
(via bands myspace)

If you happened to see Morrissey Sunday night at the Academy of Music in Philly and got there early enough, you caught the next big thing out of Manchester. If you didn't, you get another shot to catch them. The North Star Bar and Philly Girl About Town bring The Courteeners back to the City of Brotherly Love for an encore performance. They have won the Guardian's debut album of the year for 2008 and are on the most recent cover of NME. I highly recommend getting out to see this band in this kind of setting. You may be only able to see them at larger venues from now on. Opening are locals Toy Soldiers and Kettle Pot Black.

Elsewhere in Philly, The Fire in Northern Liberties has Boston's The Motion Sick. You may have caught the dance remix of "30 Lives" on the latest Dance Dance Revolution. Garnering Spin's Band of the Month for their first release Her Brilliant Fifteen, they have since released their second offering The Truth Will Catch You, Just Wait... Their music is tinged with social commentary, but the band keeps it simple and never too serious.

mp3: The Motion Sick - 30 Lives (via

Canada and locals meet at the First Unitarian Church after a night in the District, as one of our favorites Cotton Jones (former Page France) share the stage with The Magic, best described as a weird lo-fi band and a collaboration of two beloved Canadian troubadors, Jim Guthrie (of Royal City) and Nick Thorburn (of Unicorns and Islands), known as Human Highway. Great setting for a great show.

mp3: Cotton Jones - Had Not A Body (via band)
mp3: Human Highway - The Sound (via

The Lone show in DC is at the Black Cat, but it features a lineup that should not be missed. Big in the UK really doesn't mean much across the Atlantic, but in the case of White Lies and Friendly Fires, it should. Throw in SoCal's blog buzz band and new Kemado Record artist The Soft Pack (formerly The Muslims) and you are in for one hell of a night. Don't worry Philly crowd, no need to make a trip down I-95 (unless you want to), all hit the First Unitarian Wednesday.

mp3: White Lies - To Lose My Life (via Filthy Dukes Remix (imeem stream)
mp3: Friendly Fires - Jump in The Pool (via
mp3: The Soft Pack - Extinction (via

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Friday, March 20, 2009

The Local Weekend: Moz, Bloc Party and Much More

The Ting Tings (via band's myspace)

Guess it doesn't matter that half of the regional artists are in Texas or slowly making their way back home, because there are some absolutely stellar shows this weekend to check out. Loads of huge names, plus quite a few locals that you don't see much of.


The Ting Tings are at 9:30 Club for a sold out show (seems to be a lot of them recently). Along for the ride is Hottub.

Mikael Jorgensen of Wilco has a little side project called Pronto. They are in town for two shows, first and the North Star in Philly Friday. Get there early to catch some great local acts. Opening are New Motels, The Knobs and Levee Drivers. Saturday its an early show at IOTA (5pm!) with the District's own Shortstack. And be sure to check out Pronto's latest release on Contraphonic, All is Golden.

mp3: Pronto - When I'm On The Rocks (via
mp3: New Motels - Drama of the Hollywood Scene (via band's Sonicbids)
mp3: Shortstack - Pretty Saro (via band's website)

Echo & The Bunnymen and The Church are reincarnated in the form of Baltimore's E Joseph and the Phantom Heart, playing music that takes me back to my formative days. These guys are good and they are heading to DC for a show at The Red and The Black.

Not so bad for a Friday, but Saturday and Sunday get even better.


What can I really say about Bloc Party that hasn't already been said. I have been hooked since I saw them at ACL in '05 and picked up Silent Alarm the same day. The live show is incredible and to make it even better, Longwave is the opener for the two shows in the area. Philly's Electric Factory has them Saturday, while DC's 9:30 Club gets the honors Sunday.

mp3: Longwave - Sideways Sideways Rain (via, direct link)

Storytelling musicians can be found at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue Saturday when The Mountain Goats and John Vanderslice come to town. This should be a great show, up close and personal.

mp3: The Mountain Goats - Sax Rohmer No. 1 (via band's website)
mp3: John Vanderslice - White Dove (via artist's website)

Now most of you won't known the name Glenn Tilbrook and the Fluffers, but I can tell you, the music is very Squeeze-esque. Maybe because Glenn is a founding member. Head to the State Theater Saturday and be sure to catch The Spring Standards opening.

mp3: The Spring Standards - Your Lie (via band)

And speaking of older Brit popsters, I will be at The Academy of Music in Philly Sunday enjoying the musical stylings of on Steven Patrick Morrissey. Oh there will be new songs and there will be old songs and Boz will play the hell out of the guitar and you better believe some old Smiths gems will be unleashed. Set to open is the next big thing out of the Manchester scene The Courteeners, hand-picked by Moz himself

On the local scene, favorites Telograph is at the Rock & Roll Hotel with The Picture out of Brooklyn and Mittenfields Saturday. You can also catch Mittenfields Sunday with Portland's Oh Captain My Captain at Galaxy Hut.

mp3: Telograph - The Fever (via band)

Baltimore's Future Islands teams up with Double Dagger and Child Bite at the Zodiac Saturday. You may hear some of DD's new stuff off of the forthcoming album More, which is set to be released on Thrill Jockey in May.

mp3: Future Islands - Old Friend (via band's website)
mp3: Double Dagger - The Psychic (via band)
mp3: Child Bite - I Like Friends (via

In the mood for something a little more electro, get to The Red & The Black for Blip Blip Bleep. Also on the bill is Achtung Panda and JMC.

The Philly area has a couple of local shows for Saturday evening. Johnny Brenda's is hosting Frog Holler for a CD release party. Hezekiah Jones is slated to kick off the festivities. Down Wilmington way, a couple of my local favorites The Sky Drops and East Hundred entertain at Mojo 13.

mp3: Frog Holler - To Turn Back Now (via band's website)
mp3: Hezekiah Jones - Nothing's Bounds(via band's website)
mp3: The Sky Drops - You Don't Crawl (via band's website)
mp3: East Hundred - Slow Burning Crimes (via band's website)


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pree CD Release

DC's May Tabol, formerly of Le Loup, is now fronting Pree. Very reminiscent of Modest Mouse and also likened to Regina Spektor and Joanna Newsom, they are having a little throw down at Black Cat tonight for the upcoming release of their new EP, A Chopping Block, which is set for official release on The Kora Records March 24.

Many musicians from some of your favorite area bands also made a contribution to the record, such as John Thayer and Susan Hsu of Exit Clov, Tom Hnatow of These United States, Vanessa Degrassi of Ash Lovely, and Randy Scope of Donny Hue and the Colors/The Sleeping Secrets. Along with Tabol on keys, guitar and vocal duties, the core band is Chris Dewitt on drums, Vanessa Degrassi on mandolin and flute, and David Barker on electric guitar.

Get there early to catch opener and fellow labelmate Meredith Bragg, as well as Birdlips.

mp3: Pree - In The Parlor (via The Kora Records)
mp3: Birdlips - Some Kind of Death (via the band's website)

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

DC Does Texas

These United States

What happens when the bands from the District and surrounding area head down to Austin for SXSW? You get something like this: Billed as DC Does Texas, you get some of the best acts from the region playing in one place. So if you are some of the lucky ones who are making the trip, head to the Friends Bar on 6th (in the center of it all). It starts early Wednesday, so you may want to turn that St. Patty's Day bender into a 48 hour affair.

The line up includes:

12:30 - Carol Bui
1:15 - Laura Burhenn
2:00 - Deleted Scenes
2:50 - Middle Distance Runner
3:40 - US Royalty
4:30 - These United States

In my opinion, it doesn't matter who is playing elsewhere, I would grab some lunch at Chuy's or Freebirds, then park myself at this location for the duration of the afternoon, but I'm biased.

mp3: Carol Bui - This Is How I Recover
mp3: Deleted Scenes - Turn To Sand
mp3: Middle Distance Runner - Brother John
mp3: US Royalty - Every Summer
mp3: These United States - West Won
(all songs via artist)

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Show Us Your Green!

Happy St. Patty's Day! For those of you sober enough to read, keep drinking! If you want some music for your Irish self (if only for a day), plenty of good stuff going on. And will someone kindly pick me up a shamrock shake.

9:30 Club is hosting a night with the original Irish punks, The Pogues. If you missed Monday's show or just wanted to wait for the holiday, too bad. Sold out! There is a third show Wednesday and tickets are available.

If you are left out in the cold at 930, don't fret, Bellman Barker and Greenland add a local flavor to the festivities at Asylum. Or head out to DC9 for another great local line-up featuring Rose, Revival, John Bustine and Brandon Butler.

mp3: Bellman Barker - Two Bees
mp3: Greenland - Solace
mp3: Rose - Someone's Kind
mp3: Revival - Favorite One
mp3: John Bustine - Jesus, Jesus Not Again
mp3: Brandon Butler - Sparks
(all songs provided by artist)

Other than pure drunken debauchery, those in the Philly area can check out AC Newman of The New Pornographers with The Broken West at Johnny Brenda's.

mp3: AC Newman - Submarines of Stockholm (via Matador Records)

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Friday, March 13, 2009

This Week's Mix

As everyone gets their liver ready for the most celebrated non-official holiday, here is some music to get you by. No coherent theme this week, just some great music to enjoy.

Local Natives - Stranger Things (via the band)
The Traditionist - I Know My Ocean (via Better Looking Records)
LoveLikeFire - Signs (via the band)
Tiny Animals - All The Way Down (via North Street Records)
Honey Claws - Pemporer (via the band)
Awesome New Republic - Birthday (via Honor Roll Music)
Alligators - Where Does It Hide? (via Fanatic Promotion)
Larytta - Wonder Vendor (via Terrorbird)
BEARBOT - Me and You (via the band)
Tokyo Police Club - The Baskervilles (Amplive Remix) (via 1776)

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The Local Weekend: Where's Everyone Going?

Yeah, it is about that time for bands to migrate southward towards Austin and the music festival know as SXSW. Philly and Baltimore are very sparse, DC has a bit more. Guess we will see a surge in the coming weeks as bands come home or continue their tours. Still, some great shows to see this weekend. Here is what's happening:

Bell X1 (via bands myspace)

With their new album Blue Lights on the Runway just released last week, Bell X1 is pulling off the World Cafe double. First making your lunch hour more enjoyable with the XPN Free at Noon session, then playing the Cafe in the evening with Harlem Shakes, who's Technicolor Health is to be released at the end of this month. Unfortunately, Duke Special couldn't gain entry to the country, so they will not be performing.

If you don't have your tickets for this weekends Modest Mouse shows, you are going to have to belly up to the bar and take what's coming to ya. The Friday show at 9:30 and Saturday's at the Electric Factory are both sold out.

Most of you, our faithful readers, were barely out of grade school when The Feelies played their last full-on proper gig. But these guys are one of the original leaders of the post-punk era. The Johnny Brenda's show Friday is sold out, but tickets still remain for Saturday's show at 9:30.

mp3: The Feelies - Loveless Love (via

Morrissey is back on tour for his latest release. He is in DC this Saturday at the Warner Theather. Philly, we get him next week. I got my tix for next Sunday, do you?

Another pulling a two city stop is N.A.S.A. Catch them at The Barbary on Friday and the Rock & Roll Hotel Saturday.

mp3: N.A.S.A. - Spacious Thoughts (via Anti- Records)

The last few weekends, new CDs have been released by numerous locals. Continuing the trend is Philly indie mainstays Canadian Invasion. Head to the World Cafe Saturday for the release show for Three Cheers for the Invisible Hand that is already getting rave reviews.

mp3: Canadian Invasion - One Hand Claps The Other (via Green Light Go)


As I said Philly is sparse. Other than those mentioned above, Harrisburg's Midtown Arts Center has the lone PA show for the start of the weekend featuring Brooklyn electronic outfit Project Jenny, Project Jan.

Baltimore also has a light load, but it's a good one. Ottobar is featuring The Death Set with Team Robespierre and Ninjasonik.

DC is where everything is happening for Friday the 13th with almost every kind of style. Sugar sweet indie-pop can be found at the Black Cat as Bishop Allen comes back to town. Be sure to get there early for Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band and Sing Sing & Mar Mar.

Want a more soulful experience? The Rock & Roll Hotel is hosting Eli "Paperboy" Reed. If you didn't know he was a white boy from Massachusetts, you'd think you were listening to a Motown/Philly soul compilation.

If you are feeling a bit folky, DC9 has William Elliott Whitmore with Samantha Crain and local Justin Jones performing solo acoustic.

More on the Americana side of folk, Junior League Band is performing with 6 Day Bender as NoVA gets into the act with a great local showcase at IOTA.

mp3: The Death Set - Negative Thinking (via bands website)
mp3: Ninjasonik - Tight Pants (via
mp3: Bishop Allen - Dimmer (via
mp3: Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band - Anchors Dropped (via
mp3: William Elliott Whitmore - One Mans Shame (via Southern Records)
mp3: Samantha Crain - Get The Fever Out (via
mp3: Justin Jones - The One That Got Away (via
mp3: Junior League Band - I Will (via


Female singer-songwriters are always good in my book. One of my favorites, Rachael Yamagata is teaming up with a huge name of the Philly folk scene Birdie Busch in Annapolis at the Rams Head Tavern Saturday.

Get your local fix with two great shows Saturday. At the Black Cat is Travis Morrison Hellfighters and Poor But Sexy, while Baltimore's Talking Head has Thrushes with London's Let's Wrestle and fellow Baltimore band Baby Aspirin.

Philly has a a good show lined up at the M Room, featuring The Rosewood Thieves and local favorites The Swimmers. Opening is Swivel Chairs.

The North Star is hosting locals Bells Bells Bells with Brooklyn based The Art of Shooting and Cinema Cinema.

Sunday at the Black Cat is a must see. Aaron Estes of Bellman Barker performs with Ryan Little of Tereu Tereu along with Wakey! Wakey!. This is a great show to end the weekend.

Channeling Joy Division and Bauhaus is Crystal Stilts. Catch them at DC9 Sunday with Women and locals True Womanhood.

Philly, head to the Khyber for the last gas of the weekend for Nancy, all the way from Brazil.

mp3: Travis Morrison Hellfighters - All Y'All (full album stream)
mp3: Thrushes - Loyalty (via band)
mp3: The Swimmers - In The Park (via
mp3: Bells Bells Bells - The Doctor (via band)
mp3: Cinema Cinema - I Dont Wanna Be Yr Boyfriend (via bands website)
mp3: Bellman Barker - Two Bees (via band)
mp3: Tereu Tereu - Lion Bear (via band)
mp3: Wakey! Wakey! - Get Away (Here We Go Again) (via bands website)
mp3: Women - Black Rice (via
mp3: True Womanhood - A Diviner (via band's Last FM site)


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This Week's Releases

Another week with a long list of releases. This week features more experimental music than normal, which is great for those of us who are fans of bands pushing genre boundaries. There are too many albums that I enjoyed listening to for me to point out one or two, so make your way through the list as there is something for everyone.

Sleepy Eyes Of Death

Dark Signals EP - "Pierce The Air" (via

Dead Heart Bloom

In Chains EP - "Flash in a Bottle" (via

Handsome Furs

Face Control - "I'm Confused" (via

Elvis Perkins in Dearland

Elvis Perkins in Dearland - "Shampoo" (via


Song Of The Pearl - "False Spring" (via

Chin Chin

The Flashing, The Fancing - "GG and the Boys" (via

Los Fabulosos Cadillacs

La Luz Del Ritmo - "Padre Nuestro" (via


All is Wild, All is Silent - "Harm & Boon" (via

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone

Advance Base Battery Life - "Old Panda Days" (via


Mystery EP - "Lakeside" (via

Bishop Allen

Grr... - "Dimmer" (via band website)

tUnE yArDs

BiRd-BrAiNs - "Sunlight" (via

Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band

Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band - "Anchors Dropped" (via & Full Album Stream

Chris Joss

Sticks - Full Album Stream

Tim Hecker

An Imaginary Country - "Sea of Pulses" (via


All Is Golden - "When I'm On The Rocks" (via


(a)spera - "Gone Are The Days" (via

Anni Rossi

Rockwell - "Wheelpusher" (via

All The Saints

Fire on Corridor X - "Fire on Corridor X" (via

Extra Golden

Thank You Very Quickly - "Anyango" (via

The Weight

Are Men - "Closer than a Friend" (via


White Flag - "Sorry" (via

Julie Doiron

I Wonder What You Did With Your Day - "Consolation Prize" (via

Knot Feeder

Light Flares - "You Are My First Choice (To Throw Out A Window)" (via

Romi Mayes

Achin' In Yer Bones - "Achin' In Yer Bones" (via

Rocco Deluca & Burden

Mercy - Full Album Stream


Mama, I'm Swollen - "From the Hips" (via


Friday, March 06, 2009

The Local Weekend: A Little Warm Up

(via bands myspace)

After that blast of snow Monday and the frigid temps the rest of the week, the weekend is shaping up to be a good one, so no excuses. Get out and see a show or few.

A few bigger name acts are pulling double duty this weekend, hitting two cities in the IA area.

Always a crow pleaser, OK Go is rolling through the Mid-Atlantic, hitting the TLA Friday and then down to Towson and the Recher Theater Saturday. And be sure to get there early. Opening is Longwave and Oppenheimer. I saw Oppenheimer open for TMBG, well worth the early admission.

stream: OK Go - Invincible (via band website)
mp3: Longwave - Secrets Are Sinister (via

There is something about most female Irish singers that send me swooning. The slightest hint of brogue in the enunciation of the lyrics, the lilting quality of their voices. Simply beautiful. Not getting what I'm saying? Get yourself to the World Cafe Friday or 9:30 Club Sunday and get caught up in the melodic stylings of Dublin's Lisa Hannigan and hear what I mean. Opening is Providence's Americana-folk group The Low Anthem. Rich and harmonic, this band could be the next CSN&Y. Get there early.

mp3: The Low Anthem - Live Show (World Cafe 12/5/08)

The anti-folk movement is strong and the de facto leader Kimya Dawson is out and about once more. Best known for her work with The Moldy Peaches and the Juno Soundtrack, get to the 2640 Space in Baltimore Friday and the Black Cat Saturday to experience more of her music. Don't worry Philly fans, she's in the area early next week.

mp3: Kimya Dawson - I Like Giants (via artist website)

Finishing off the multi-city stops is the electronica-indie of Heart of Darknesses and Lemonade. They are pulling off the area trifecta. Danger Danger Gallery in Philly hosts on Friday, Floristree in Baltimore Saturday and the best place for food and ping-pong in DC, Comet Ping Pong has the honors Sunday.

mp3: Hearts of Darknesses - One Twenty (via
mp3: Lemonade - Blissout (via


Ladies and gentlemen, the next chapter in the continuing saga of The Adventures of Kid Catastrophe is now available. Illinois' epic journey is still moving along and the 5th installment is set for release. Catch the Buck County natives at The Fire in Philly with another local favorite Cheers Elephant.

Musicians from Austin have a special place in my heart. Austin-based Seth Walker is making his way to Puck Live in Doylestown for an intimate show of Americana-blues in support of his extremely new album (released this week) Leap of Faith.

Couple of widely known acts pull through as well. Johnny Brenda's is hosting Georgians Black Lips with Gentleman Jesse & His Men and The PoPo, while the Ottobar has Michigan's mega-group Anathallo with locals We Read Minds opening.

mp3: Illinois - She's So Funny (via band email)
mp3: Cheer Elephant - Wide Eyed
mp3: Seth Walker - Rewind (via Hyena Records)
mp3: Black Lips - O Katrina! (via
mp3: Anathallo - The River (via


CD release alert! Philly's jangly country/rock/soul band The Mean is dropping a new disc upon the populace. Also on the bill is West Philly's The Great Unknown and a collaboration between Hezekiah Davis and Tone Whitfield known as Johnny Popcorn.

Elsewhere in Philly, the North Star is hosting Pete & J along with the ever increasingly popular local band Drink Up Buttercup and Carmen Costa. Over at the Tritone, catch The Volunteers. They have been likened to two Philly joke-rock bands Ween and The Dead Milkmen.

DC is definitely a hot bed of activity, with great shows to choose from. New Orleans comes to DC as songstress Theresa Andersson entertains at Jammin' Java. Big show at the Rock & Roll Hotel as Lydia and Black Gold share the stage. All the Day Holiday open. Here We Go Magic teams up with fellow Western Vinyl artist Callers at The Red & The Black. Typefighter opens. And Velvet lounge has a great local show with the (mostly) all-girl band Five Four, indie-metal act Caverns and Mother.

mp3: Drink Up Buttercup - Young Ladies
mp3: The Volunteers - Rock and Roll (Will Kill You)(via email)
mp3: Black Gold - Plans and Reveries (The Teenagers Remix)(via
mp3: Here We Go Magic - Only Pieces (excerpt, via Western Vinyl)
mp3: Callers - More Than Right (excerpt, via Western Vinyl)
mp3: Five Four - Creepy Cool Ways (via band website)


Johnny Brendas does is again, this time hosting DC and Philly (and our) favorite Jukebox the Ghost before they get very well known as they open for Ben Folds in the near future. The show retains the local flavor with The Armchairs and Hop Along Queen Ansleis.

The Caribbean is out and about and is joined by Catbird Records artist Fulton Lights at Galaxy Hut.

The Chameleon has Madi Diaz, now of Nashville, but originally from Western PA, joined by other PA bands Perkasie and Slimfit.

mp3: Jukebox the Ghost - Hold It In (via band)
mp3: Hop Along, Queen Ansleis - For the Bonsai Tree U Bought 4 Me (via band)
mp3: The Caribbean - The Go From Tactical (via band website)
mp3: Fulton Lights - I Love Your Point of View and Full Album ZIP(via Catbird Records)
mp3: Madi Diaz - Nothing At All (via


Monday, March 02, 2009

Extra Golden

Photo via band's website

Bailouts, economic catastrophes, war, global warming... and that's just in the first ten minutes of the Daily Show.

Thus, in the immortal words of Shaggy, I suggest we all "shut up and dance"... to Extra Golden. With a new CD, Thank You Very Quickly, set to drop on March 10th, and stops all over the IA region in April, it's a great time to get your afro-funk-rock on.

So forget pretentious "World Music" a la Starbucks corporate approved CD issuances. Don't worry if you can't understand all of the lyrics. Just know that this love-child of Robert Randolph and Fela Kuti, by way of the Allman's and the Family Stone, will be inducing a booty quake of epic proportions.

Armed with a new singer, Bilongo, and an ever tight rhythm section, the DC by-way-of Nairobi, Kenya band should be a can't miss party at all of their tour stops, and in regular rotation on your playlist.

4/09/09: Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, PA
4/10/09: Floristree, Baltimore, MD
4/14/09: Comet Ping Pong, Washington, DC
4/15/09: Messiah College, Grantham, PA

mp3: Anyango (provided by Thrill Jockey Records)