Category Archives: video

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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South Rail – Wayfaring Stranger

It’s never too late for a top quality live video, I say. Today folky Americana trio South Rail released a new music video shot during the recording of “Wayfaring Stranger”, from last year’s EP Stars produced by the legendary Don Was. This sultry, languid version of the well-known 19th century Western ballad was recorded in Santa Monica CA and features Lara Supan’s captivating vocal delivery alongside quiet, bluesy instrumentation. Fill your growlers with local beer and catch South Rail performing live this Saturday July 18th at Port City Brewing in Alexandria.

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Footwerk – No Hurry

DC’s hip-hop fusion ensemble Footwerk released their debut album Casual Encounters last month, and today the newest music video “No Hurry” dropped. The song has a throwback 90s summer jam vibe, so the band decided to pay tribute to the MTV proto-reality TV series The Real World in this music video. There are many many good reasons to not live with your band, especially if it’s got 6 people in it. Make your way to Clarendon’s Whitlows on Wilson to catch this band live tonight!

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Seaknuckle – Shake Shake Shake

Many music fans bemoan the sorry state of music journalism these days. Poor research, insincere opinions and general asshattery generate page clicks and drive the state of music consumption among those that follow the trends. Frederick MD’s indie rock band Seaknuckle have struck back at this, writing a review of their own new album Get Over It for hyperlocal music blog Frederick Playlist. Who better to know every nuance, reference and backstory throughout the 11 songs than the four lads that lived through every minute of the album’s creation? And better to be too close to an artist work than too far away, I’d say. Music criticism is saved!

Seaknuckle’s lead off video for the new album “Shake Shake Shake” employs guest stars Dr. Rich Del Grande and Nurse Louie to show how hard this band rocks. Their album release show is this Saturday at 200 E Patrick St., a vacant space recently transformed into an artistic wonderland, featuring Rozwell Kid, Silent Old Mtns, the Maryland Ensemble Theatre doing live comedy improv, and a beer pong tournament. That’s one hell of a Saturday night right there.

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Clones of Clones – Float On

To bridge the gap between the 2014 EP I Don’t Need Your Love and their full length album anticipated for late 2015, indie rock band Clones of Clones worked up their favorite cover song for an actual full single release. “Float On”, the massive 2004 single by Modest Mouse, gets worked over by singer Ben Payes and his talented rock crew, and the result is a pleasing hybrid between the original and CoC’s electronic rock sound. The band even shot this haltingly charming music video, showing Payes in full on Corey Hart dreamboat mode dancing and playing near the Key Bridge in Georgetown, shooting one frame every six seconds for two hours. Float on, indeed.

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Beauty Pill – Afrikaner Barista

Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are is full of unique sounds and Chad Clark’s distinctive lyrics, but “Afrikaner Barista”‘s funky bassline groove makes it my favorite song on the album. Beauty Pill tapped acclaimed music video director Jeff Sheven for the accomapnying visuals, and a theme emerges with the third video for “Afrikaner Barista”. The videos focus on the faces of the songs’ singers, first Jean Cook with “Dog With Rabbit In Mouth Unharmed” and Clark on “Steven & Tiwonge” and this one. Clark’s eyes are just hypnotic as he sings while abstract and sometimes concrete images play over his face. Read more about the music video collaboration over at the blog Death & Taxes.

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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.

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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.

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