Laughing Man – Bodycop

Be Black Baby. Residing on the slightly odder fringes of DC music, art-punk band Laughing Man also prominently stands as one of the only without a white dude in sight. With racial issues dominating headlines and discussions for months, Laughing Man chooses to make political statements subtly through their music and videos. Bodycop is a mostly bluesy, laconic song with occaisonal bursts of energy, and director Zak Forrest created this video showing singer Brandon Moses’s seemingly lifeless body lying around various locations in touristy DC. Laughing Man kicks off a night of far-out music at the always interesting Union Arts, followed by Janel Leppin and touring acts Palberta and Circuit Des Yeaux.

Podcast for June 30th, 2015

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Tony commits social media terrorism and Paul encounters an all too familiar shirt. And the freshest DC music around!

Tracklisting:
The Raised By Wolves – Gorgeously Yours [SoundCloud single]
Slim Rosa – The Orchard [When All Is Light]
Incredible Change – Black Body Radiation [Incredible Change]
Giants of Diving – Separation Song
Exit Vehicles – Circular [Stages]
Andy Zipf – Waterloo Crossing

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Justin Trawick & The Common Good – Goodbye

After a string of releases in the late 00s and early 10s, singer/songwriter Justin Trawick decided to try a lot of different music projects to expand his profile and develop connections. His web video series “Unrehearsed DC” tasked photog Rafael Suanes with filming musicians performing in unusual settings, like a hat store, a snowy field and Iota’s bathrom. His weekly interview podcast “The Circus Life” is still going strong with one shy of 100 episodes. And The 9 Singer/Songwriter Showcase, floating to venues near and far away, invigorates that scene like nothing else has.

But fans (namely this one) long for new Justin Trawick songs, and finally we get one. To coincide with his performance at last week’s TEDxPennsylvaniaAvenue conference, Trawick and his band The Common Good relesaed the single “Goodbye” that’s been a staple of live shows for months now. Bringing everything together, Rafael Suanes captured the recording of the song at Cue Recording Studios by Justin’s podcast co-host Sean Russell. I am a sucker for many things, and live studio videos and big group singalong finishes are two of the big ones. Well played, sir.

Lowercase Letters – Open Blinds

Today’s DC music video is just criminally sexy. Indie neo-soul band lowercase letters mixes a healthy dose of rock in their sultry sound, and the single “Open Blinds” takes things further with singer Alphie Williams crooning lyrics of coy exhibitionism. The video, presented by their longtime home House Studio and directed by Kimshimwon, really delivers as a visual interpretation of the song. It’s not overtly explicit but your boss might raise an eyebrow. The soulful foursome open a fine Sunday night of music with Nigerian singer-songwriter Nneka at Vienna’s Jammin’ Java. Brush up on their tunes with their debut self-titled full length album released last November.

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RDGLDGRN – No Pixar

Remember that hot new jam from RDGLDGRN in yesterday’s episode of the Hometown Sounds podcast? (You did listen, right? Of course you did.) Well there’s already a music video for it! Now your Wednesday is made too. “No Pixar” features King Green rapping about the state of the band and its art in 2015, how they aren’t backed by corporations like Pixar or Disney but instead keeping things simple and DIY. The video reflects that, just Green spitting verses with subtle clips off to the side. Don’t miss RDGLDGRN’s big hometown show Thursday night at U Street Music Hall!

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Beauty Pill – Steven & Tiwonge

Today NPR Music premiered the newest video from Beauty Pill‘s transcendent new album Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are. “Steven & Tiwonge”, a lyrical work of speculative fiction about a transgendered person pursued by the Malawian police, thankfully did not get a literal music video interpretation, which could easily have been overwhelmingly bleak. Instead director Jeff Scheven shot more abstract, mood setting visuals along with singer Chad Clark’s mesmerizing deadpan delivery to focus the attention on the interplay between lyrics and sounds. So great to see Clark and his collaborators getting the long overdue attention this music deserves.

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Podcast for June 16th, 2015

This week Paul tells of a recent encounter with a tow truck, and Tony launches a new podcast called Splish Splash!

Tracklisting:
Nick Garcia – Sun Jam [District Summer compilation]
RDGLDGRN – No Pixar
Color Palette – Seventeen
The Lucky So and So’s – Function Tax [The EP]
Lookout Gang – Hope [Secondhand Canvas]
The Wine Dark Sea – Breaking Through the Cracks of Our City [Geographies]

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Or listen in SoundCloud:

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Makeshift Shelters – Lighterfluid

“Nothing that makes you feel good can last”, sings Ella Boissonnault on Makeshift Shelters‘ undeniably catchy single “Lighterfluid”. Sadly that sentiment seems to have extended to the young band itself, as their recent tour seems to have put an end to their musical collaboration. Earlier the band tweeted “We aren’t a band anymore. Whatever”, leaving fans stunned and saddened. I hope you got to see them while they lasted, because they definitely had some great musical chemistry. Makeshift Shelters gives us a lovely parting gift with this music video for “Lighterfluid”, showing their violent disdain for springtime love and public displays of affection. Also, nice cameo Hole in the Sky.

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Shark Week – Waste of Time

Just as stylish surf/garage rockers Shark Week wind down their tour presenting their long-awaited debut album Beach Fuzz on PaperCup Music to a wider audience, we’re treated its first music video. “Waste of Time”, a single with propulsive drums and singalong harmonies, gets extensive visual decoration from Daisy Heroin, an artistic nom de plume of Colin Dawson, guitarist of Seattle band Stickers and formerly Haunted Horses. Daisy Heroin could very well become a solo musical project for Dawson, but for now he’s bringing his Terry Gilliam-esque cutouts to music videos from Poseurs, VHS and other weird art projects. Baltimore Soundstage is the Shark Week tour’s penultimate stop on Thursday June 18th opening for The Toadies, but they’ll land back in our town in mid August at the Black Cat, opening for JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound.

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EALU – Meet Again

In addition to a lengthy solo career, DC rapper Uptown XO is most well known as part of the trio Diamond District with yU and Oddisee. Like yU’s new project The 1978ers with producer Slimkat, XO has teamed up with favored producer Aleem Bilal aka AB the PRO for a new duo they call EALU, for “Everybody Ain’t Like Us”. (As as software guy I keep mistyping this as EULA “End User License Agreement”)! EALU’s simply named debut release Vol. 1 came out a month ago, as did this music video for “Meet Again”, and the production on this cut is smooth and top notch. One thing’s for sure, they have the dopest logo in the DMV.

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