Monthly Archives: December 2012

Free Herb Alpert Dubplate by Empresarios

Eclectic latin dance band Empresarios headline an impressive lineup of local bands Saturday night at The Hamilton that includes Thievery Corporation drummer Congo Sanchez and reggae rockers Nayas. If you haven’t yet been to The Hamilton, it’s a glamorous space and a perfect spot to have dinner and see live music. The Empresarios created their own “dubplate especial” of Bittersweet Samba by Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass and they’re giving it away like an early Christmas present.

Download it for free on their Facebook page and RSVP for the show here.

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Best Video of 2012 #1: Vandaveer – Spite

All this week we’ve counted down the best DC music videos of 2012, and I’m so happy to finally declare Vandaveer as the winner! The perfectly matched duo of Mark Charles Heidinger and Rose Guerin create the sweetest harmonies, and I was stunned by their ability to quiet the whole club when I saw them perform at Iota a couple of weeks ago. Their new album Oh Willie Please comes out in early 2013, but we were recently blessed with a final music video from their 2011 release Dig Down Deep. The video for Spite comes from French director Loïc Guilpain, and my esteemed and secret panel of judges unanimously judged it as a favorite. Congratulations Vandaveer!


Best Video of 2012 #2: Oddisee feat. Olivier Daysoul – You Know Who You Are

Is it a stretch to count this one as a DC music video? I don’t care, it’s too beautiful to ignore. Oddisee is a well known hip-hop producer and MC with deep roots in DC, and still frequently collaborates with locals like Uptown XO, yU and Toine. You Know Who You Are is a FREE bonus track from Oddisee’s latest album People Hear What They See on the Mello Music Group label, featuring soulful vocalist and part-time DC resident Olivier Daysoul on acoustic guitar. This video is simple, direct and classy, the second best video of the year. What will be number one? Find out tomorrow!

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Best Video of 2012 #3: Teen Mom – I Wanna Go Out

Teen Mom are poised to be the next breakout stars from DC. As I write this, they sit at #6 on the Hype Machine’s list of 10 Most Blogged Artists, driven by the success of their recently released 12″ EP Mean Tom on Analog Edition Records. The debut video from that release, I Wanna Go Out, comprises footage from a 1980 French film called La Boum, and the perfect marriage between video and song lands them in the #3 spot on our top 5 music videos of 2012.


Best Video of 2012 #4: Redhead – Baggage

Stephen Redhead had quite a breakout year. The nerdy rapper’s prominent single Talk White led to a distribution deal with Fontana/Universal Records. And his innovative and powerful music video for Baggage, from his FREE mixtape The Schemata, really cemented me as a fan. Baggage earns the #4 spot in our top 5 DC music videos of the year, and I expect much more great things from Redhead in 2013.


Best Video of 2012 #5: Caustic Casanova – Short Commute, Live Forever

All this week we’re counting down the top 5 DC music videos of 2012! Starting off our countdown is Short Commute, Live Forever from Caustic Casanova. Their latest album Someday You Will Be Proven Correct came out earlier this year and got a lot of attention with their mix of rock, metal, post-punk and psychedelia. The amazing music video, a bit reminiscent of Franz Ferdinand, was created by animator Wesley Belak-Berger. Be on the lookout for Caustic Casanova playing at a Hometown Sounds Showcase early in 2013!


Special Holiday Mixtape

Right-click to Download

Happy Holidays from Hometown Sounds.

Wes Felton – Jingle Bellafante
Fort Knox Allstars – Xmas Dub Time
Wes Felton – Let It Snow feat. Danni Deville
We Were Pirates – Merry Christtmas
Vegas With Randolph – Snow Day
Loose Lips – Let’s Hibernate
Lenorable – Last Christmas
Birdlips – Do You hear What I Hear?
Justin Jones – Christmas Night
Lightfoot – Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time
Sam Cooper & The Sleepwalkers – Snow
Tom McBride – O Holy Night
Wytold – Carol of the Bells / O Holy Night
Vandaveer – Silent Night

Or listen in SoundCloud:

Subscribe to the Hometown Sounds podcast in the iTunes Store


Justin Jones – Christmas Night video

This is the last Hometown Sounds DC music video of the day post for 2012. Next week we’ll be counting down our top 5 DC music videos of the year, and it was not easy picking only 5 from such a long list of great videos. Come back all next week for the best of the best!

Justin Jones closes out the year with a touching and mellow video for Christmas Night, from his 2012 solo album As It Turns Out. Hometown Sounds wishes everyone in DC and beyond a happy and safe holiday season, and much more music and fun in 2013.


One Year In

This Saturday, December 15th, the Hometown Sounds internet music stream turns 1 year old. We’re celebrating with the first in a monthly series of showcases at the brand new venue 9th & Beats. It’ll be a rare afternoon show, from 1 to 7, featuring five great DC bands you may not have heard of yet: The Torches, Peanut Butter & Dave, The Grey Area, The North Country and Black Checker. This weekend there’s no cover charge, so I hope you’ll stop by, check out the new space and hear some great music.

I run this Hometown Sounds thing on pure love. My day job has nothing to do with music, and I’m very lucky that it affords me a little bit of time here and there during the day to run a DC Music Video of the Day post and send out some tweets. Most of the cool people I know in DC have a day job that pays the bills and provides the health insurance, and the evenings and weekends are spent at band practice or theater rehearsals or in the art studio or pecking away at the keyboard. A very select few make music their day job. For music, at least, I want to do what I can to connect ears to the hard working musicians in this town.

I started with the 24/7 music stream, available on computers and mobile devices (through the free TuneIn app) from day one. Next came the DC music video of the day posts. Some thought I’d run out of videos after a month or two, and I’ve still got a whole lot in reserves. Then the Hometown Sounds podcast, which does pretty decent numbers in the iTunes Store and on SoundCloud. And finally with what I’ve wanted to get into for months now, presenting and simulcasting live shows. All this to make it as easy as possible for people to hear DC music.

I think it’s great to be a fan of local bands. You get to see them play more often. You see their friends’ bands share bills, and maybe you like them too. Scenes occasionally pop up, like the Federal Reserve shows at Iota or the Fort Knox Recordings bands all remixing and guesting on each others’ tracks. You might even make friends with your local music idols, not a likely prospect with bands featured on KCRW or All Songs Considered. That’s why I think DC music is worthy of special attention.

Thank you for all the kind and positive words everyone has had for Hometown Sounds this past year. Please send feedback and suggestions to or chat with me at one of the monthly showcases. I know there’s a lot of great music coming in 2013 and I’m excited to share it with you.

Hometown Sounds Showcase Flyer

Hometown Sounds Showcase Flyer

Ugly Purple Sweater – DC USA video

Folk rockers Ugly Purple Sweater just released a brand new video for DC USA, the title track from their new EP coming out next month. These guys are some of my favorite musicians in DC, and I think this video and new EP are really going to put them on the map. DC USA is the shopping complex and parking garage in Columbia Heights, and director Paul Abowd shot DC rapper Superstar Butta as a boxer warming up in that neighborhood. Catch Ugly Purple Sweater live at their EP release show at the Black Cat on Saturday January 12th with another excellent band, Boston’s Kingsley Flood.