Monthly Archives: January 2014

Awthentik + Ethan Spalding – So Clean video

Don’t be fooled, DC. This song is not at all clean. Rappers Ethan Spalding, a.k.a. Violet Rocker, and Awthentik collaborated on a free mixtape called Beef & Broccoli way back in June 2012, and just last week released a music video for the track “So Clean”. This dirty Southern crunk-style slow jam is so thick with weed, you might cough just watching it. Viewer discretion advised!

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Zo! – We Are On The Move video

Keyboardist Zo! is back with another snazzy music video from his excellent 2013 album ManMade on The Foreign Exchange label. “We Are On The Move”, featuring Eric Roberson and Phonte, has such a deep and funky groove it would fit in perfectly in a deep house DJ set from the mid-aughts. The throwback style of this video, featuring four well-dressed gentlemen strutting and dancing through the streets of downtown Raleigh, fits with Zo’s previous Sesame Street-themed video Count To Five. If you are a fan of Zo, go deep into the making of the ManMade album in this 45 minute long documentary.


The Highballers – King of the Plains video

This Saturday night Iota hosts the release show for the new self-titled album by my fave alt country band in DC The Highballers, with an opening set by North Carolina’s John Howie Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff. Last year’s release show for their debut album Soft Music and Hard Liquor was a raging success, so get to Iota early this time so you don’t miss it! Singer Kendall Jackson imparts just the right amount of swagger and sass in his twangy songs, providing a respite from music that takes itself too seriously on songs like “I’ll Break Something More Than Just Your Heart” and “I Need My Ass Kicked”. Their newest music video for “King of the Plains” tells the story of a confrontation between a humble country farmer and a wayward alien invader, with wacky animation by Matt Rasch. If you’ve never seen The Highballers live, trust me on this. They are on the short list of the most entertaining live acts in DC today, and they only continue to get better with every show I’ve seen.



Pacman & Peso – Escape To North Korea video

After the viral success of Pacman & Peso’s insane Kickstarter campaign to film a music video in North Korea, today we’re finally able to see the result. The Guardian has the exclusive backstory of the young rappers from SE and the connections they made to achieve this strange accomplishment. The video, presented by the Forest Hills Tenleytown Music Group, is surprising for its rare glimpse at everyday streetlife in Pyongyang, but the Guardian profile of the trip is a gripping must-read. DatPiff hosts the duo’s latest mixtape Coming Soon featuring DJ Vega as a free download.


Dale and the ZDubs – Nothing At All video

The polar vortex of icy hell has gripped the nation and my Twitter feed is full of rants and jokes about how cold it is. Well DC, a feel good music video of pop-reggae band Dale & The ZDubs jamming out in t-shirts on the roof of Union Market can remind us that warm weather will come again soon. “Nothing At All” comes from DZD’s 2013 debut full length album Leave The Drama, a generous FREE download to add to your iTunes library.


Honest Haloway – New Year’s video

Synthpop band Honest Haloway made the Best DC Music Video of 2013, and the release of their new EP Perigee early in 2014 is eagerly anticipated. New songs from the EP are beginning to trickle out, including the appropriately-timed “New Year’s”, from HH’s performance last fall at now-legendary DIY venue Paperhaus. Here’s the video from that performance, shot by Cesar Perdomo and Walker Foley. Mark your calendars for a night of top-notch synthpop at the Black Cat on Thursday January 30th when Honest Haloway and Motion Lines open for NYC’s Spirit Animal.


Back From The Dead: An Interview with Presto Bando

Photo Jan 05, 2 10 21 AM

Without a doubt, the DC music scene became several decibels quieter in the months following Presto Bando’s final performance on January 4th of last year. Their Southern-fried punk rock was hard to ignore, and singer Brandon Ables’ vocals encroached on the terrain of a deranged “future Dylan”. The band’s live shows were always a highly energized spectacle, and set a high watermark for performance art few other bands were able to match. During the band’s final set, Ables (vocals, guitar) cheerily described the “hatred” he and his bandmates had developed for one another to an uncomfortable audience, urging them to take their CDs, “because we’re just going to throw them in the trash anyway.”

Following their “break up”, Corey Shinko (bass, vocals) and Ables told me of plans to do a “posthumous” release, and this was a topic I pestered them about incessantly throughout the spring and early summer of 2013. Finally, there was an oddly timed July 4th “Pre-Release” Party thrown by Emanuel Pires, who Ables and Shinko claimed to be recording with at his home studio in Annandale, Virginia. Several more months passed, and I admittedly began to wonder if the project had been scrapped before I received a text from Shinko in November asking if I’d like to meet with him and Ables to discuss the now-complete 11 song record, entitled Witchtopher Columbus.

Read our full interview with Presto Bando after the jump, where they discuss the reasons behind their “break up”, the recording of Witchtopher Columbus, and Ables experiences working as an ice cream man.

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Rasta Rock Opera & Flex Mathews – No More video

Happy New Year DC! I hope your new years resolution is to check out more great DC music. Hometown Sounds is as excited as always to show you all the great stuff being made right here.

Freestylin’ rapper Flex Mathews collaborates with so many different musicians (Justin Trawick, Buster Brown & The Get Down, See-I, Congo Sanchez, Matisyahu) you’d think he’s that rarest of commodities, a talented drummer. The new music video “No More” features Flex the Handsome Grandson trading verses with Stevie Marco of Rasta Rock Opera on a special song about children affected by gun violence.

It’s time to put an END to bullying and senseless gun violence, Flex Mathews, Stevie Marco and The Rasta Rock Opera have joined forces with Kid Power Inc., Jefferson Middle School, and Bancroft Elementary School of Washington D.C to create this important piece of art. On November 1st 2013, Jefferson Middle School was the site of a youth rally and music concert where hundreds of students signed the “Key is Love” banner” and also participated in the filming of a new youth empowerment music video. The release of the “No More” music and film anthem on New Year’s Day 2014 symbolizes the END of the hate and violence and the beginning of a new youth empowerment revolution that calls for resolving any and all conflict respectfully and peacefully.

Rasta Rock Opera’s full album Respect And Love Revolution drops on January 24th, but you can preview it now on SoundCloud.

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