Category Archives: stuff

LIVE PICKS! with Tony Porreco: Louis Weeks at Rock n’ Roll Hotel, Thurs Sept. 11


louie live

Who: Louis Weeks with Mutual Benefit, Soft Cat and Stranger in the Alps
Where: Rock n’ Roll Hotel
When: Thursday, September 11, 2014
Song You Must Hear Today: “naïve_melody” (cover)

I can’t stay away from Louis Weeks. He’s all around me, playing shows, making blogs – a couple months ago he even showed up in my mail. His performance at the Strathmore this January appeared in their mailer for the upcoming performance season.

Another reason he’s all around me is that I can’t stay away from his Bandcamp page. The weird way I’ve come to describe it is (metaphorically) an android fumbling for mysticism by way of technology. The tracks are replete with mysterious keyboards and healthy sprinklings of glitch that are a most chic inducement of hypnotization.

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Yesterday, he released a slo-mo cover of Talking Heads’ classic “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)”. I don’t generally like hearing covers of this song. I’ve heard too many of them that are just too close to the original to be of any interest, but this one’s a pretty great re-imagining of the song. Electronic percussion lumbers along, and Weeks’ effects-laden vocals sound bellowed out of the deepest canyon.

His stated motives behind the cover resonate with the frequently spiritual feel of his music. “I’ve always related to the particularly meditative aspects of this song. To me, it’s a song about living ‘in the moment’ – learning to make your home in constant change and the passing of time. My version takes this interpretation literally and slows everything down and tries to stay in the moment as long as possible.”

He performs tomorrow at Rock & Roll Hotel with the earnestly charming DC folkster Stranger in the Alps, Soft Cat (Baltimore) and Mutual Benefit (NYC), two other fine folk acts. You’re going because (a.) I am and (b.) Louis Weeks’ music compels you to.

Bearshark promo code!

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Bearshark, the recently retired post-rock/indie band that kicked off yesterday’s episode of the Hometown Sounds podcast, has a special offer for DC music fans! Head over to their website bearsharkmusic.com and use the promo code “hometownsounds” to get 20% off everything on the site! This includes their two essential EPs, 2011’s Gorilla Defense and the new Canyonlands EP, as well as a limited edition print from the new EP and this totally sweet USB drive/bottle opener!
usb drive

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And Now, A Brief Hiatus

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I confess, postings have gotten pretty sporadic around Hometown Sounds lately. Real life is doing a bang-up job of getting in the way of my passion for spreading the word about DC music. Rather than half-ass my way through this difficult period, unfortunately it’s time for me to step away for a bit and fix a ton of bugs for the day job. See you again real soon, DC.

-Paul

Ex Hex – Hot and Cold video

Since wrapping up the brief but insanely catchy project Wild Flag with Carrie Brownstein, Mary Timony assembled a new band with drummer Laura Harris of The Aquarium and Besty Wright called Ex Hex, after the title of Timony’s third solo album in 2005. Ex Hex has generated a lot of excitement in the music scene recently, signing to Merge Records and blowing lids at SXSW last week. The 7″ single for “Hot and Cold” is out today, as is a brand new music video directed by Lara Gallagher, featuring Chain & The Gang’s Ian Svenonious and his luxurious mop-top in a dinner date ruined by the precocious band.

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Junior Marvin & Nappy Riddem at the Hamilton

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True reggae fans already have tickets to The Hamilton Friday and Saturday night, but it’s not too late for you to get in on the action! Junior Marvin, one of Bob Marley’s original Wailers, celebrates his legacy by performing two classic Marley albums in their entirety. Friday night Marvin and his Force One band perform Marley’s final album Uprising in its entirety, while Saturday night they give the same tribute to the breakout album Exodus.

Red hot DC reggae band Nappy Riddem open both nights with their funky spin on the island vibes. Get into the spirit with a new remix from the Riddem boys of Mamaye by Novalima (FREE DOWNLOAD here!)

Rex Riddem and Junior Marvin made a video message about these shows as well:

Your only choice is: Friday, Saturday or both?
Junior Marvin's Force One with Nappy Riddem
Photos by John Shore

Lowercase Letters – The Electric Slide

Many years ago, before I came up with this idea to DJ DC music, I DJed weddings for my music fix. It was stressful and a lot of work, but I had some really fun times making big crowds dance to cheesy pop music. But the first song on every Do Not Play list was always Marcia Griffiths’ 1989 song Electric Boogie, what we all know as The Electric Slide. Seems like an odd choice for a cover by Lowercase Letters, but their injection of soul and fun makes for an entertaining cover in House Studio DC‘s $5 Music Video series.

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SOJA – When We Were Younger video

Homegrown reggae stars SOJA (originally Soldiers of Jah Army) couldn’t be more excited to play their biggest DC area show yet, tomorrow evening at Wolf Trap with The John Butler Trio and Alice Smith. From last year’s full length release Strength To Survive comes a brand new music video for the song When We Were Younger. The touching video, featuring footage of the band members in their earlier days, comes from vocalist/guitarist Jacob Hemphill with a dedication to the memory of his father and musical inspiration William Hemphill. Head over to Wolf Trap’s ticketing page and help make this show a sell-out homecoming for this fantastic band.

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New Rock Church of Fire – Untitled Song video

They couldn’t come up with a name for this song, but New Rock Church of Fire did enlist Morgan Hungerford of DC’s Panda Head Magazine to shoot a video for it. It’s a few years old, but still a fun little video. If you haven’t checked out last December’s Issue 7 of slick style mag Panda Head, what are you waiting for?

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Paperhaus – Helicopters video

Indie rock stalwarts Paperhaus, deep into their Kickstarted tour, just released a brand new music video for Helicopters, the lead off track of their EP Lo Hi Lo that doesn’t come out for another agonizing month. Their close ties to the DC scene manifest in this charming video, from the extras in the party scene to the grand cameo by Andrew Grossman of The North Country to the Paperhaus DIY venue itself. Show your continued support of these house show hosting gents by picking up advance tickets to their hometown show at Rock & Roll Hotel on June 7th with hot hot openers Shark Week and Young Rapids.

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Harmonic Blue – Silver Spoon video

Harmonic Blue is a band with one foot in Baltimore and one in DC, and their debut music video for Silver Spoon provides ample footage of both cities. Their sound blends blues, jazz funk and rock for a pleasant, laid back vibe. Silver Spoon comes from their pay-what-you-want 2012 EP Villa Borghese.

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