Category Archives: shows

Justin Trawick – The End (NPR Tiny Desk Contest submission)

Troubador Justin Trawick stays as busy as possible with The 9 Singer-Songwriter Showcase, his weekly podcast The Circus Life, and his own performances with his backing band The Common Good. His twangy vocal delivery and signature trucker hats are unique in the DC music scene, and his hard work never seems to get the love it deserves. Hopefully the fine folks at All Songs Considered will notice Trawick’s submission to this year’s Tiny Desk Contest, the wistful ballad “The End”. Come help celebrate Trawick’s birthday, rescheduled from January’s blizzard, at Iota on Friday February 19th.

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Sara Curtin – V D A Y (NPR Tiny Desk Contest submission)

It looks like Snowzilla forced stir-crazy musicians everywhere to record their submission to NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest while thoroughly snowed in a couple of weekends ago. That’s what Sara Curtin did, enlisting fiancé Brenden Chaney to film this solo version of seasonally-appropriate “V D A Y”, an old song thoroughly reworked for Curtin’s outstanding 2015 album Michigan Lilium. Curtin & her full band join with two other powerhouse DC women musicians, Lauren Calve and Marian McLaughlin, at Songbyrd in AdMo on Friday February 12th.

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Kitchen Noise – The Host (NPR Tiny Desk Contest submission)

This is the best time of year to be a music video blogger. Bob Boilen’s now annual Tiny Desk Contest encourages so many musicians to set up the video cameras and polish off long-gestating new songs, and we’re excited to bring you the cream of the crop from our hometown. Kitchen Noise has been the off-and-on solo folk project of Cory Foley-Marsello for a few years, but now he’s recruited a full band to give his songs the depth they deserve. KN’s only album release, Ceramics, was way back in 2012, so check out the new material, including “The Host”, at the rescheduled album release show for Aaron Tinjum & The Tangents at the Rock & Roll Hotel on Sunday, February 21st along with producer extraordinaire Louis Weeks.

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The Cornel West Theory – RAFIQ

Hip-hop group The Cornel West Theory dropped “RAFIQ”, the second video from their newly released album The T.A.B.L.E. The incendiary lyrics are strangely juxtaposed with against the 1989 Razzie-award winning movie Harlem Nights, starring Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy and directed by Murphy, creating a sharp constrast between Hollywood’s vision of black culture and violence in the 1930s and its representation today in rap music. The Cornel West Theory are a fearsome live act, so don’t miss their next show at the MLK Library on Thursday February 4th with Time Is Fire and The Black Sparks, presented by the DC Punk Archive.

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The Duskwhales – Living Room

Everyone we spoke with agreed, the standout act from last month’s Magnificent Intentions DC Music Festival was The Duskwhales. Their songs veer from experimental to catchy at just the right time, and their mop-top, besweatered look has charm to spare. While the band records their most recent batch of songs, the first single “Living Room” got this deliciously jangly music video that premiered last month. With more songs and videos on their way early in 2016, this band is poised for a breakout year. The trio has a lot of shows around town on the books in January, but the best is a headlining spot at Rock & Roll Hotel on Friday January 15th with YUM and Kid Claws.

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The Walking Sticks – The News

In our roles as purveyors of DC music, it’s a pleasure to see bands start up from nothing and grow into themselves as performers and songwriters, or you know, partying too much and flaming out. The Walking Sticks have developed a confidence in their dreamy synthpop sound over the last few years that shows how determined they are to join the ranks of GEMS, Beauty Pill and Ex Hex achieving the national spotlight. Today no less than Paste Magazine premiered this new music video for their latest single “The News”. You can count on seeing the lights, smoke machine and singer Chelsea Lee’s sultry power on display Saturday night at Songbyrd with a fully DC support lineup in Cautious Clay, Moonlight Mask and Redline Graffiti.

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The Cornel West Theory – Pillz

Hip-hop provocateurs The Cornel West Theory took a while to drop their full length album Coming From The Bottom a few months ago, but the hype is building already for a new release late December called The T.A.B.L.E. The collective tease their mysteriously acronymical album with a music video for “PiLLz”, featuring sinister sounding rhymes over old soul samples. Whoever booked TCWT at this Sunday’s DC Punk Funk Revival show at U Street Music Hall really knows what’s up, as this lineup with Loud Boyz, UCB and Drew Kid is completely unmissable.

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Polyon – Blue

Polyon‘s fuzzy, loud and drone-y take on rock has surprised longtime fans of singer Ryan McLaughin and shown his wide and developing taste in songwriting. Their pay-what-you-want EP Blue recently came out on Funny/Not Funny Records (pre-order a cassette!), and now the title track has a music video to show off the release. “Blue” is undoubtedly one of the messiest videos of the year, and it’s oddly and completely satisfying watching others get covered in paint and flour, for art. You can catch Polyon live this weekend as part of the 6th anniversary celebration of Brandon Wetherbee’s live talk show You, Me, Them, Everybody on Saturday night at the Black Cat.

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Middle Distance Runner – The Unbeliever

Our favorite music festival of the year, the all DC based Magnificent Intentions, spreads its wings tonight at Iota and tomorrow at DC9. As we said on this week’s podcast, you won’t find a better way to check out such a wide variety of excellent DC bands live. Saturday night’s show features the album release party for Secret Things by Middle Distance Runner, who’ve kept us waiting for 6 years for a new full length from the hook-laden rock band. In case you’re new to these fine fellows, watch this claymated music video for “The Unbeliever”, the lead single from their 2009 album The Sun and Earth. See you this weekend at the festival!

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Heavy Breathing – I NO LUV

Once upon a time, before the proliferation of swipe-to-date apps led by Tinder, lonely singles logged into anonymous internet chat rooms to search for love. This obviously never really worked because of geography and outright lying about everything from looks to gender, but psychedelic electronic rock band Heavy Breathing still looks back on this dark era nostalgically in the new music video “I NO LUV” from their just-released album Airtight. The only thing Heavy Breathing takes seriously is their ability to make you feel weird and exhilarated, and in this “I NO LUV” succeeds like only their live shows have before. Heavy Breathing is one of DC’s must-see live acts, and you’re in luck as they’re anchoring a fantastic late-night bill this Saturday night at Comet Ping Pong with Tone and The Caribbean, where’s you’ll be able to score the new album on vinyl. Be warned, don’t watch this video at work like I just did.

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