Short & sweet today DC. It’s almost Memorial Day weekend and most of you are probably out the door already anyway. Here’s some abstract goodness from Droo Bandos, aka Is and Of The. Acrobatic comes from the free EP of the same name.
Local filmmaker Hantz is quickly becoming a force in DC music videos. We recently featured his interview with low country blues-man Jonny Grave (new album out this week!), and today he released a new short film called Best Friends, which asks the timeless question “What are best friends for, if not this?” The music backing this film is “Elysian” by Nacey, producer for “aquawave” band Misun, and like just about all of this young producer’s top notch music, this song is free to download.
Hot off the presses, we got a brand new video from rapper Phil Adé. It’s been nearly a year since Adé’s last mixtape Friday II, and today’s video Nas Told Me serves up our first taste of his upcoming release R.O.S.E., dropping this summer. Sunny Norway provides the beat for this track, and man is it a killer. Adé’s deft vocals and tight hook on the chorus makes this one a dancefloor winner.
Featuring guest hosts Tony Porreco and Mark McInerney!
Black Masala – Trouble
Imperial China – The Last Starfighter
Mobius Strip – Sixty-Seven
Title Tracks – Piles of Paper
Dinosawh – Tide Rider
Petticoat Tearoom – Jubilee Melody
Pree – Hi Livin’
Vakirai – Oliver
Tom McBride – Song In My Heart
Peanut Butter & Dave – Ghost Strokes on the Bell
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Afropop band Elikeh embodies the global cultural diversity that makes DC such an interesting place for music. Frontman Massama Dogo comes from Togo and has performed with many bands, both local and worldwide (Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, The Wailers, Vieux Farka Toure, Bombino). Elikeh’s 2012 album Between 2 Worlds appeared in more than a few top albums lists last year, and they’ve recently appeared at the Howard Theater, the Black Cat and the Strathmore. This Saturday night they headline a Global Dance Party at Rosslyn’s Artisphere, with top-notch opening sets from reggae/funk band Nappy Riddem and gypsy horn ensemble Black Masala. This is going to be an amazing night of world music!
Now look DC, I worked in Rosslyn for years and I know that it’s a bit of an odd place to go on a Saturday night. The Artisphere is a great space with some bold programming choices and an expansive dance floor. There’s a Metro station close by, and did you know that the Artisphere offers FREE validated parking on weekends? Yup, that’s right, FREE! No way you’re getting that on U Street or H Street NE. Also I hear the fine folks at ridesharing app SideCarDC are offering free rides this weekend! The $12 show kicks off at 8 PM in the Artisphere’s ballroom.
For today’s DC music video of the day, here’s the latest from Elikeh, No Vision. From their 2012 album Between 2 Worlds, the video was shot by singer Dogo’s younger brother Edouard Zucker.
If you listened to the latest episode of the Hometown Sounds podcast, you heard the newest single “Blow Darts” by indie rock band Fire and the Wheel. Today the quartet released a short video taking us behind the scenes of recording the new song at Bastille Studios in Arlington. Personally, I love this peek into the music making process and the camaraderie these four talented musicians share. Fire and the Wheel appears live next Friday May 24th at the Velvet Lounge along with an all-DC lineup including Brenda, Linsay Deming of SweetBread Jim’s and Andrew Grossman of The North Country.
Did you catch Jon Fisher’s excellent profile of Kid Congo Powers in last week’s CityPaper? If not, damnit, read it now! Powers is well known as both as musician and DJ around town, spinning a truly unique garage-soul sound. He’ll be leading the Kid Congo Power’s Hour at Sunday’s Sound Bites, an outdoor street festival of music and food at the 9:30 Club with a lineup that includes Deathfix, DJ Will Eastman, Batala and Rich Morel’s Hot Sauce, all to benefit DC Central Kitchen.
Here’s an appropriately trippy music video for Rare as the Yeti, from Kid Congo’s 2009 album Dracula Boots.
Pop-punkers Boardroom Heroes from Bethesda know their way around driving beats and catchy hooks. They’ve got the polish and youthful energy of Dookie-era Green Day down pat, as you can see in their brand new video Tomorrow Came Early, from their 2012 album Another Year. This live performance video was shot in the Kay Spiritual Life Center, a growing nexus for local shows at American University set up by their student-run internet radio station WVAU. Catch them live next at Casa Fiesta with a lineup of other local punk bands on Sunday June 9th.
Who: Drunk Tigers
When: Thursday May 16th Song You Must Hear Today: “Photos of Sad Brokers”
I’m about five months into writing Live Picks!, and I think I deserve a break. So shoot me: I’m taking a “me” day on this one. Forgive my candor, but Drunk Tigers is the kind of band I would write up every week if only I were a little less self-aware of my punk/pop roots, and was totally okay with becoming the guy who highlights exclusively punk-ish acts: The rhythm section is bold and brash, there’s intriguing yell/sing-y vocals, but in the end, the bulk of the real melodic action lies in the manic, adventurous guitar playing. And that’s the connection between me and a lot of my favorite rock artists, this desire to stir up excitement via catchy, frenetic squalls of electric guitar.
Admittedly, I kinda rushed you there, so I’ll help you up out of my passion pit and let you clean yourself off while I cover some back story on the band. Originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, Drunk Tigers formed in 2008, and released a small handful of EPs. In 2012, following 2 years of “indefinite hiatus”, primary members Matt Bierce (vocals/guitar) and Zach Carter (guitar/vocals) have fielded a new rhythm section and are back at it this year, playing a number of local shows in the past two months, each in quick succession of one another.
Anyway, back to the music. Drunk Tigers actually opened for my snot-rock heroes Cloud Nothings at a 2010 show in Charlottesville, and they certainly fit that bill. The tunes are fast, straight ahead, and replete with winding guitar lines. They’re also not afraid of the occasional abrasive change up: “Lessons, Hurricane” sports a section with a deliciously malevolent repeating chord change, and “Outer Banks Inner Peace” moves back and forth between a couple benign arpeggios and some great Pavement/slacker-stomp guitar freak outs.
My favorite track of all their offerings, however, is a number called “Photos of Sad Brokers”, which is a wild ride, start-to-finish. Some nifty features include a nitro-propelled intro section, and an abrupt tempo U-turn at the start of the first verse. Then immediately prior to the chorus, you get a guitar riff that rips off Sam Cooke’s “Wonderful World” note-for-note, but the effect is delightfully familiar, rather than offensive. There’s also the chorus’ lyric “It’s not my birthday / It’s not my problem”, which I can’t make heads or tails of, but the disconnect between the two topics leaves me grinning nonetheless.
I plan on taking a second “me” day on Thursday to see them open for Arum Rae, who’s an Austin-based psych-blues songstress. This is one of those shows where I want to know every song and jump up and down accordingly. My enthusiasm and I will be there. You and yours should too.
Post script: Until last year, Drunk Tiger member Matt Bierce performed in another band called Infinite Jets, which (I hope!) is a pun on Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace’s awesome novel of epic length (it’s so long it weighs 5 lbs. [unless you have it on Kindle like me, in which case, I guess it weighs 10.2 ounces]).
Here’s another video in Margot MacDonald‘s Floor Sessions series, pairing a well-produced live video with a free audio download. Most people are familiar with the original Magnetic Fields version of The Book of Love, but I really got into the version Vandaveer did for their Daytrotter Session back in 2009. This new acapella version by Margot, queen of the vocal loop pedal, is just gorgeous. She’ll be opening for local indie poppers Simone & The Spectrum this Thursday at Jammin’ Java.