Category Archives: shows

BRNDA – Snacks

Sometimes Dave wears a dress. Sometimes Leah wears a tie. Sometimes Johnny wears a full suit. Sometimes Alex wears a totally sweet hot pink blazer. BRNDA infuses the post-punk aesthetic with a hugely welcome dose of wackiness, as balloons, streamers and painted banners cover the debut music video for “Snacks” and render the well-known DIT venue Paperhaus almost unrecognizable. “It’s a party!” Dave howls, and BRNDA’s high-energy performances always make it party-time, with or without snacks. BRNDA’s new album Year of the Manatee is out now on Babe City Records, and their next show is at the newly relocated Bathtub Republic on Saturday September 19th with Puff Pieces, Positive No and Teen Liver.

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#TBT The Cowards Choir – Is This A Wrecking Ball

Here’s the thing about being a fan of local bands: the only thing constant is change. Local bands can come and go, change their names, lineups and style, sometimes before you even realize what happened. Casual music fans don’t have to worry about this so much with Walk The Moon or The Weeknd or whoever, but at the local level, all bets are off.

Andy Zipf’s talented quartet The Cowards Choir, with Ben Tufts, Adam Neubauer and Ryan Walker, came together by accident but quickly developed some powerful chemistry and one of last year’s best releases, the four song EP Cool Currency, which you can still download for whatever price you like at NoiseTrade. When people would ask me who was worth checking out in the DC music scene, I’d generally first steer them towards The Cowards Choir, and made them as many new fans as I could.

Sadly in 2015 things stalled for the band as they prepared material for an anticipated full length album. First percussionist Ben Tufts announced his imminent departure, and recently drummer Adam Neubauer followed suit. The last two shows featuring the original lineup are tonight at the Black Cat and Saturday at the annual Ben Tufts & Friends charity fundraiser at Jammin’ Java. While Andy Zipf will continue on both solo and with other supporting musicians, these are your last chances to see his finely crafted songs backed by two of the finest drummers in this town.

It’s #TBT so watch the excellent music video they made last year for “Is This A Wrecking Ball”. See you at the show.

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Jonny Grave – Tear Me Down (Live at the Corcoran)

The mellowness of DC in the middle of August provide some excellent opportunities for local musicians. Tonight DC’s blues troubadour Jonny Grave headlines the prestigious 9:30 Club with support from Derek Evry & His Band of Misanthropes and Olivia Mancini & The Mates. Jonny, Derek and Olivia are three very different musicians who share a love of the city and its musical scene. If you don’t yet know them personally, you might be surprised at the level of enthusiasm these talented personalities are going to generate at DC’s finest venue tonight. For a Friday afternoon warm up, watch Jonny Grave perform “Tear Me Down”, from his 2013 solo album The Hammer, live at the Corcoran in the Salon Doré last year. See you tonight, obviously.

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American Television – Optimist

A lot of concert goers in DC never make it past the usual well known spots like the 9:30 Club, Black Cat, DC9, etc. When one does decide to branch out and try something new, St. Stephen’s Church is a likely choice due to its scrappy DIY spirit and long punk rock tradition of hosting fundraisers for Positive Force and other organizations. The bands that typically play shows there are enthusiastic about their craft in infectuous ways, which leads me to the new DC pop-punk band American Television. Even though they only have one song up on Bandcamp, that didn’t stop them from making this music video for “Optimist”, a still-unreleaesd track from their forthcoming EP. The band’s unbridled excitement to play a show this Saturday 8/15 is obviously no joke as they practice, flyer well known DMV record shops and beef up at the gym. This killer all-ages Saturday night show includes Baltimore’s Canker Blossom along with locals Rememberables, Six Foot Machine and Boardroom Heroes.

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Wylder – Sunstroke

Indie folk band Wylder are four young & talented men recently graduated from the University of Mary Washington. Now spread between Northern VA and points further south in the Commonwealth, the band they started in college as “Save The Arcadian” gears up for the release of their debut album with a single & music video for “Sunstroke”, a feel good folk tune with snappy violin and a singalong chorus that you can download for free right now. July saw Wylder make it to the finals in Jammin’ Java’s Battle of the Bands, so if “Sunstroke” is your new summer jam, don’t miss them compete against Jocelyn Faro, Port Harbour, Calm The Waters and Aztec Sun on Saturday August 21st!

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Jack On Fire – Condos

Masters of saying the wrong thing at the right time, punk provocateurs Jack On Fire bring a long-awaited overdose of snark to the Fort Reno stage tonight. As long as the rain holds off, the season of outdoor shows draws to an all-too-early close before the August doldrums/mass evacuation. From their pay what you want download Greatest Hits Nov. 2014​-​Feb. 2015, littered with gems like “The NSA Has My Dick Pics”, “Andy Harris Needs To Smoke Some Weed” and of course “Cocaine (Will Turn You Into An Asshole)”, enjoy one full minute of JOF’s catchy single “Condos”.

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A MARC Train Home – Coarse Hairs

Last month’s announcement of the departure of lead singer Lia Pisa-Relli caused some to worry about the future of dream rock band A MARC Train Home. But never fear, DC! They quickly found Genevieve Moore to take over vocal duties and their first show with the new lineup Friday night at the Rock & Roll Hotel is getting the full stage treatment with lights and fog machine courtesy of Ramtin from Drop Electric. With These Quiet Colours, Technicians and Uptown Boys Choir filling out the bill, your Friday night DC music plans are set. Here’s the music video for “Coarse Hairs”, track 1 from their FREE debut full length album It’s Easier To Make A Mess. Be on the lookout for the hot Starfleet tattoo on video model Shoshie Sennett, if you’re a nerd like me.

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Mellow Diamond – Namesake

Life and musical parnters Janel Leppin and Anthony Pirog are the secret sauce that makes a whole lot of DC music more interesting. It’s an uncommon joy to see one or both of them appearing live with a wide variety of bands including Wanted Man, The El Reys and Laughing Man. In addition to collaborating on a pair of excellent albums as Janel and Anthony, their individual outlets are equally amazing. Last year’s album Palo Colorado Dream by The Anthony Pirog Trio landed on a number of jazz critics’ year-end best-of lists, while Janel’s all-female quintet Ensemble Volcanic Ash made a solid impression with audiences at this year’s Washington Women In Jazz Festival with an instrumental lineup including harp, stand up bass and Janel’s trademark effected cello. While we wait patiently for the debut album release by her solo ambient moniker Mellow Diamond, Janel and Michael Hindert created this video accompaniment for the dreamlike song “Namesake”. And guess what! Janel and Anthony play a free show the Fringe Fest this Saturday evening with Brooklyn vocalist Marilyn Carino. Open your mind to some truly exceptional and very different forms of music.

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Sara Curtin – Sweet Dreams

Singer Sara Curtin takes the title of her new single “Sweet Dreams” literally in the music video directed by Paul Abowd. Amongst the dreamy shots of Curtin singing are close ups of ingredients on their way to becoming a cake. Personally, I was a bit bummed the dessert didn’t turn out to be browines. Nothing better in this than a brownie ice cream sundae, amiright? Curtin’s new full length album Michigan Lilium drops July 24th, and everyone celebrates the release on Thursday August 6th at the Rock & Roll Hotel with openers Stranger in the Alps and The North Country. What better way to celebrate an album’s birthday than with cake for everyone? Just sayin’.

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Bumper Jacksons – I’ve Got My Whiskey (I Don’t Need You)

The Garage Video Sessions is an online music video collaboration between husband and wife duo Pando Creative and the Charlottesville VA music venue The Garage, filming live takes of local and touring acts as they come through town. DC’s roots revivalists Bumper Jacksons recently breezed through and laid down this foot stompin’ version of singer Chris Ousley’s original song “I’ve Got My Whiskey (I Don’t Need You)”. If that wet your whistle for more, their new album Too Big World is streaming now on their Bandcamp in advance of the CD release show next Saturday July 25th at the Birchmere with the newly revived Junior League Band.

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