Hopefully your Monday morning did not start out like the beginning of Beyond Modern‘s new video. Tonight, the catchy new video from last year’s pay-what-you-want self-titled EP, is a heartfelt ode to house-partying and, well, monument-partying. Beyond Modern, breakout stars of last year’s Trillectro festival, transcend genre tropes by incorporating elements of dubstep, EDM and pop music with their assured rapping. The young duo of Mick Marx and and Sur Jazz are surely poised to rock some amazing parties and festivals.
Yesterday Teen Vogue paired an interview with singer Bobbie Allen with the premiere of Young Summer‘s debut music video Fever Dream, the title track of the EP which you can grab now at NoiseTrade. Lots of folks are pretty excited about this new sound, so get on board in advance of Young Summer’s full length album coming very soon. Dreamy!
The fine folks at Fort Knox Recordings are taking over U Street hotspot Tropicalia Saturday night for the auspicious 4/20 celebration. In addition to the regular weekly Sao Funky DJ night by Fort Knox Five, Asheru and Nappy Riddem will provide the funk and hip-hop vibes to start off the evening early at 7 PM. The duo of Nappy Riddem, Mustafa Akbar and Rex Riddem, is well loved after their successful reggae and funk album One World Sovereignty. New material from Nappy Riddem is coming soon, including this track Rocksteady, performed earlier this year at Jammin’ Java.
Asheru is one of my favorite rappers in DC. His smooth delivery and deft lyrics always amaze. Most well known for the Boondocks theme song, the 4/20 show will feature a rare appearance by Ash’s full band The ELs. Here’s Ash collaborating with Nappy Riddem on the title track of their album.
This will be a fantastic night of music, and Tropicalia is the perfect spot to get down with the funk. The cover charge for the Nappy Riddem/Asheru show is $5, but we’ve got two guest list spots to give away to one lucky winner! Just leave your email address in the comments or like the post on Facebook, and you’re entered to win. The winner will be announced Friday afternoon, good luck!
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.
Max Holiday, known by his initials M.H., is a fave around the Hometown Sounds “studios” (hint: we have no studios, yet). His big band Orchestra puts on quite a show, and his recent track Washington DC featured in our Tribute to DC Podcast. Yesterday M.H. slipped a new video into his Facebook feed for the as-yet unreleased instrumental track Waltz. As Max says, “Sometimes you just need to waltz”, and I think a sweet, peaceful track like this is just what we all need today.
Here’s a video I missed posting when it came out last year. Jarret Nicolay and Olivia Mancini’s band Astra Via made this video for the ballad Lone Traveller from their name-your-price debut EP Folie a Deux. They’re currently in the studio making new music.
The folky trio Kindlewood just released a new video for Give & Take, the limited edition vinyl single released last year. The gorgeous, meditative video comes from director Cory Pampalone, shot recently in Baltimore. Kindlewood, comprised of husband and wife duo Kelci and Galen Smith and guitarist Jamison Lyman, promise a release of their upcoming sophomore album very soon.
Whether you know him as Wes Felton or the more formal W. Ellington Felton, you should definitely grab a free copy of this rapper & singer’s latest mixtape Spatial Intelligence featuring guest spots from Uptown XO, Javier Starks and more. His lastest video is Fences, produced by Goony Swillz. Nothing fancy or overproduced, just a nice taste of Felton’s laid-back, assured delivery.
I first learned of Alex Vans and his band The Hide Away from a Facebook ad they purchased to promote one of their shows. So hey, maybe those kinda work? Anyway, I’ve spent a ton of time the last few days with DJ Booth, the full length Vans released in January, and there’s really a lot to love.
Let me unpack that a bit: According to Vans, one of the themes running through the album involves the routinely erratic nature of taste and pop culture. On album opener “Good Enough”, Vans admits that this capriciousness is equally true of not only his audience but also himself when he divulges, “I wish I had a passion / I want to have beliefs / My obsessions that just change from week to week”. This fickleness benefits both parties, as DJ Booth is full of enjoyable twists and turns.
“Good Enough” has all the strut and swagger of a good Spoon number, in addition to being dotted with scuzzy synths and bleep-bloops that lend the song a fun, futuristic sheen. “Faith” begins with atmospheric solo electric guitar section before the mid-tempo track builds to include some very pretty piano, curious chord changes, and enormous percussion sounds.
Then there’s the single, “Chase the Night”, which is Vans’ stab at party time dance rock. We actually featured the track a couple months ago when the group made the smart decision to release a music video to go along with the track. To be honest, I’m really happy that we already covered “Chase the Night” as a news item so I can say a bit about what’s actually my favorite tune on the album, “Wait”. An ode to the inner monologue of talking yourself out of approaching a pretty lady, the number is delightful alt country pop built on an ear wormy riff that’s pinged out first via cute glockenspiel, and then sung full voice by the gang.
Alex Vans & The Hide Away take the stage this Friday with Andrew Leahey & the Homestead (Richmond country) at The Dunes, which is located in the northern end of Columbia Heights. If you haven’t been before, catching a show at The Dunes is another reason to make it out: Part art gallery, part performance space, its blonde hardwood floors and warm lighting provide an uncommonly sophisticated show-going experience. Alex and Co. have been touring in support of DJ Booth extensively since the winter, so expect a seasoned band to deliver you a great set as they make a stop in their hometown. I’ll be flying home from Portland this Friday, and I’m royally ticked I can’t be there. So head out, get your groove on. I’m not jealous at all.*
*Actually, I’m really jealous. If someone will live stream the show, I’ll shell out for the in flight WiFi. I’m not even kidding.
Having the support of a quality label like Mello Music Group behind him allows Uptown XO to create quite a lot of top notch music videos. His latest is Evolution, allowing frequent producer AB the Pro to step up to the mic. Grab the new album Colour de Grey now!