Monthly Archives: September 2013

Andy Zipf – What’s Going On video

On this terribly tragic day in DC, I’m hoping that a song can provide a little bit of peace for everyone. Here’s a cover of Marvin Gaye’s 1971 single What’s Going On by singer-songwriter Andy Zipf and drummer Adam Neubauer of The Cowards Choir, recorded live a few months ago for The ONE Campaign‘s agit8 series of covers of classic protest songs.

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The Walking Sticks – Send The Night video

Between Miyazaki, Ra Ra Rasputin, Honest Haloway and many others, it’s a great time to be a fan of synthpop in DC. The brand new free EP Send The Night by The Walking Sticks fits this trend and should be added to your weekend playlist immediately. The Silver Spring trio of twin brothers Max and Spencer Ernst and singer Chelsea Lee took a much dancier turn from their 2012 acoustic album World So Bright. Watch the new music video for the title track of their new EP and catch them changing up the usual vibe dramatically at the Old Brogue Irish Pub in Great Falls tonight.

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Fresh Tracks! – Uptown Boys Choir / “One More Good Thing”

by Tony Porreco

de Souza Bass

Welcome back to Fresh Tracks, where we nudge the spotlight toward the very latest in noteworthy DC music. Today’s Fresh Track is “One More Good Thing”, the exciting new single from Uptown Boys Choir.

Multi-instrumentalist Kevin de Souza writes, records, and performs songs under the moniker of Uptown Boys Choir. If you find yourself at an Uptown Boys Choir show and find yourself wondering whether or not there’s a backing band, don’t be mistaken: There is, and guess what? You’re in it.

“The idea is that the audience is the choir. The goal is for everyone to be part of the show,” says de Souza. With a hollow bodied electric guitar and sparse percussion (only a raised wooden platform for stompin’, and a set of ankle bells affixed to his right leg), de Souza teaches the crowd the backup vocal parts to his songs. The effect of his approach forms a unique, inclusionary bond that functions to unite performer and audience.

We first featured Uptown Boys Choir on the Hometown Sounds podcast this past April with the quiet, contemplative track “This City”. In the months since, Choirmaster de Souza has continued write and record, in addition to getting out to play the occasional show and direct the masses in song. But now he’s ready to show you what he’s been working on, a new single entitled, “One More Good Thing”.

Uptown Boys Choir - One More Good cover art

Arriving at Sonic Sweets Recording (Beltsville, MD) last winter with just the first two lines of a chorus written, de Souza developed the song slowly from the bottom up over several months of scattered recording sessions with Virginia Coalition’s Jarrett Nicolay (guitar, piano) and Scott Robinson (drums, mixing, production), “One More Good Thing” is a true pop gem with a full-bodied, sparkling arrangement.

Sonic Sweets

The first element on the cut is de Souza’s reverbed voice, alongside the attention-hijacking chatter of short drum rolls played on improvised percussion and the light chop of some electric guitar chords. But 15 seconds in, the sounds that suggest a breezy reggae or beach rock number are deftly swapped out in favor of a stout rhythm section and crisp production.

What follows from the second verse onward is a truly delectable palate of sounds and instrument choices suggesting a cheerful stroll through a candy-coated aural landscape. Between the glockenspiel that dots the song’s progression and the pleasant quarter note thunk of an upright piano, it’s really the kind of song that wouldn’t feel out so of place on a quirky Fox Searchlight indie comedy.

When asked about the song’s lyrical narrative, de Souza provided an amusing take as to what’s going on in “One More Good Thing”. “

The song’s open ended, but it’s sort of a plea for someone to consider the potential of a relationship when they’re finding themselves soured on love. The way I’d describe it is of a girl whose dog has just died, and every day she walks by a pet store, where there’s this really cute puppy who’s always trying to get her attention. Then one night, the girl ends up getting mugged and the puppy breaks out of the pet store, transforms into a big German Shepherd, and rescues her before returning to the store. And the next day, she buys the puppy.

De Souza is hopeful yet pragmatic about where he’s heading with future Uptown Boys Choir material “I want to write songs that can work with one person on a guitar or an eight piece band… but I do hope that [Uptown Boys Choir’s] music is tied together by a more optimistic spirit than the music I wrote when I was younger.”

De Souza next next performs on Saturday September 28 at Foundation Gallery and Liveroom in Kensington, Maryland as part of Justin Trawick’s roving singer/songwriter series, The 9.

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Wes Felton – Thy Will Be Done video

Prolific and soulful singer and rapper Wes Felton, also known as W. Ellington Felton, just released a new record called Imagine The Future on his Bandcamp page. All 12 tracks were produced by Kenny Allen at East Africa Studios in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and the full length album is another strong entry into Felton’s deep back catalog. The first video from the album, Thy Will Be Done, is a bit sexy and racy but still pretty SFW. Felton officially celebrates this new release Friday night at Art Under Pressure on Georgia Avenue with soundscapes provided by Munch.

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Myrrh Myrrh – Post video

Dreamy post-rock band Myrrh Myrrh picks up where indie folk group Hurlebaus left off earlier this year. The reconfigured band will soon release a 7″ of two tracks from their earlier Ghostwood EP, Liminal and Post. Evan Evans from north eastern Pennsylvania band Grey Zine produced this video for Post, probably involving VHS tape and magnets. Do not attempt to adjust your YouTube player.

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Lens Flair – These Future Saints / M.H. & His Orchestra / Classified Frequency at IOTA (Fri 9/6)

Photos by Heaton Johnson
Written by Tony Porreco

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Last Tuesday we brought you the Fresh Track “Blackjack”, from These Future Saints‘ new EP, Ellerslie Ave. In the spirit of following up, I made the short trek out to Clarendon’s IOTA to catch the band with Classified Frequency and M.H. & His Orchestra for their EP release show. Now, I’m not especially fond of show recaps; I think it’s far better to be there for the actual experience of the show rather than to learn about it via whatever vapid sludge I’m capable of churning out.

As such, we’re thrilled team up with the very talented photographer Heaton Johnson to bring you Lens Flair, a new photojournalism series documenting the DC show experience. There’s an alluring vibrance to Johnson’s stills that does a remarkable job of taking you “there” in lieu of hollow verbiage (or time travel).

So without further delay, the installment of Lens Flair!

Classified Frequency

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These Future Saints

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IOTA Club & Cafe

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M.H. and His Orchestra

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Trus Real – Hometown (DMV) video

Hat tip to my esteemed colleagues at DC Music Download for today’s DC music video. Silver Spring rapper Trus Real dropped a music video today that expresses his love of DC like no other. The crew at 1:57 Entertainment captured really great footage of so many parts of the DMV, including a lot more love than Rosslyn ever gets. Head over to Trus Real’s Bandcamp page for a few free mixtape downloads.

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Deathfix – Dali’s House video

It’s brand new music video day for DC supergroup Deathfix. In case you’ve forgotten, Dischord alums Brendan Canty from Fugazi, Devin Ocampo from Faraquet and Mark Cisneros from Medications added vocalist and keys player Rich Morel (Blowoff with Bob Mould) and released an excellent 7 song self-titled album on the venerable DC label earlier this year. The song that stays with you most from that album is Dali’s House, and after watching today’s video, you’ll be making up your own lyrics for the rest of the day. Catch them opening for Pinback at the 9:30 club on Sunday September 15th.

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Podcast for September 5th, 2013


Right-click to Download

Back from summer vacation!

Tracklisting:
Dot Dash – (Here’s To) The Ghosts Of The Past
Loose Lips – Love Song
Teen Mom – Kitchen
Black Dog Prowl – No Robots
The Beanstalk Library – Feeling My Way In The Dark
Alex Minoff – Two Things
Olivia Mancini – Singing The Chorus
Will Eastman – Rabid
Pleasure Curses – Bounce Above
Mike and Cody – Monster Soul

Or listen in SoundCloud:

Subscribe to the Hometown Sounds podcast (& rate it!) in the iTunes Store or your favorite podcasting app!

Primary Element – Blasphemy video

House Studio DC displays their commitment to forward thinking with their Artist Grant program, developing new talent and providing them with the resources to jumpstart a musical career. Malik H. Carter, a rapper and producer from PG County under the name Primary Element, is the latest from House Studio’s grant program to deliver a music video for their $5 Music Video series. The zombie infested song Blasphemy is also available as a free download from SoundCloud.

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