Monthly Archives: April 2015

Beauty Pill – Dog With Rabbit in Mouth Unharmed video

DC’s music “scene” has always been, and will always be, fragmented and disjointed, but we are lucky to have a few “elder statesmen” to class the place up. The usual suspects cast a long and highly visible shadow over DC, but Beauty Pill‘s Chad Clark has faded from attention somewhat during his well-documented illness and recovery. Clark’s legacy goes back to the late 90s with the locally influential Dischord band Smart Went Crazy, and his production roles for such bands as The Dismemberment Plan, Fugazi, Georgie James and Mary Timony (heard of a new band called EX HEX?) went a long way to shape what the whole country thought of DC music. Beauty Pill’s last DC show was in July of 2007 at Fort Reno, and any longtime resident can tell you how much has changed around here since then, especially musically. That’s why last week’s release of Beauty Pill’s long-gestating album Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are, and its well-deserved avalanche of hype, is such a triumph for DC as well as Clark and his bandmates. Beauty Pill’s ethereal and sometimes experimental new tunes might sound oceans away from DC’s well known punk history, but Clark’s ethos, determination, creativity and empathy represent the best of what DC should be known for. Watch Beauty Pill’s new music video for “Dog With Rabbit in Mouth Unharmed”, featuring singer Jean Cook’s swirly and distorted face, directed by Jeff Sheven.


“Based On Love” Part 4 – A Conversation With Asha Santee


Catch up on parts One, Two & Three.

Ben: So you’ve lived in a few different cities. How is DC different for you, and why are you still here?

Asha: Well, DC is definitely different for me because it’s my first time living in a city life, in the fast paced life. And this is my first time actually, really LIVING.

B: What does that mean?

A: Like, being myself. You know what I’m saying? I date women, and that was always something that… I just never opened up about, when I was in Texas.

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Jonny Grave – Bona Fide video

Jonny Grave‘s vintage roadhouse blues sound doesn’t fit into any of DC’s neatly categorized music scenes, and that’s why we love him. The folk, punk, indie rock, go-go and funk that rule the club bookings get mined sometimes to the point of exhaustion, but Grave is smooth and comfortable introducing listeners to the unique product of his classical muse, the blues. Paul and Luke from always-stylish rock band US Royalty shot this video of Grave talking about his origin and process and a new song called “Bona Fide”. Grave and his obviously-named band The Tombstones recorded a new full length album in just 24 hours back in February, and its first single, the gritty and wailing “Going Down to the Well”, streams on YouTube to your heart’s content. Social media posts indicate that this album was sold at a show back in March, but I can’t find it for purchase or streaming anywhere online now. Stay tuned!


B Side Shuffle – Wobble (Live at the 9:30 Club)

Funky jam band B Side Shuffle has filled their summer schedule with big music festivals, including the Mad Tea Party Jam, All Good Festival and Camp Barefoot. Though we won’t be able to see them play more sold out shows in DC for a little while, they recently released this live performance of an unreleased song called “Wobble”, recorded at the 9:30 Club back in December, to tide us over. Like punk and go-go, big brassy funk music is in DC’s musical DNA, fed by a long tradition that will continue for generations.


The 1978ers – Far video

Unflappable rapper yU “The Humble King” and producer Slimkat‘s collaboration The 1978ers (so named after their mutual birth year) recently premiered another music video from their debut full length album People Of Today, out on the almighty Mello Music Group label. The clip for “Far”, directed by Jay Brown, reminds me that we rarely see the stars in hip-hop videos, and I like the notion of yU and Slimkat looking to the heavens for inspiration.

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Pleasure Curses – Lust video

On a recent episode of our DC music podcast, we speculated on the nature of the “audio/visual concept release” of Pleasure Curses’ new EP Pure/Lust on Prince George Records. Turns out that in addition to a limited edition cassette and lots of bonus ephemera, the synthpop duo created music videos to accompany the tracks, and “Lust” is the first out of the gate. Jahn Alexander Teetsov directs this strange montage of robot hands playing with a number of brilliantly blue objects, some musically and some rather lustfully. Pleasure Curses join another great synthpop duo Champagne Fever to open a show Saturday night at DC9 for New York’s Tei Shi, so don’t miss out!

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“Based On Love” Part 3 – A Conversation With Asha Santee


Catch up on Parts One & Two!

In this third part of the interview, Asha and I discuss gender issues in music and life, and where inspiration for her music comes from…

Ben: Which artists inspire you?

Asha: A lot of my inspiration comes from Marvin Gaye, Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Tank, Tresongs, Chris Brown, Floetry, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Hiatus Coyote I love—

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Podcast for April 21st, 2015 with Fancy Breakfast


This week Gabe Fry from The Mean Ideas and The NRIs makes fancy breakfast for Paul and Tony. Also we go a bit overboard with bee puns. Sorry about that.

Den-Mate – Demo [SoundCloud]
Lejeune – Sea Legs [ADIEU EP]
Sun Machines – Arms and Legs [Human Subjects]
Waltz Brigade – Christchurch [Slow Mountain EP]
Braddock Station Garrison – Hey Cindy [A Hint of Recognition]
The Orchid – Shadowling Lull [Shadowing Lull EP]

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The Hartford Pussies – Thunder Lizard video

In reviewing the Facebook timeline of jangly indie pop band The Hartford Pussies, I followed a link to a Mashable story about iconic childhood dinosaur favorite Brontosaurus just recently getting its majestic name restored from crazy revisionist paleontologists who somehow thought that the legendary “thunder lizard” was just another type of Apatosaurus. Seriously, that’s destroying my childhood like Pluto getting downgraded from planetary status. Is Pluto back to being a planet now? Never mind, I don’t even want to know. Clearly The Hartford Pussies are overjoyed that the “Thunder Lizard”, the first single from their brand new album Judy, is back in the pantheon of our planet’s original lizard overlords. This video mixing colorful, goofy images of the band with plastic dinosaurs fighting, partying and protesting successfully fuses play time with 90s slacker vibes. Seriously, Galaxy Hut, book this band already.


Priests – Modern Love / No Weapon

As you all must know, Priests headline U Street Music Hall tonight, presented by Sasha Lord & the 9:30 Club, and by some miracle of God it’s not yet sold out. The hottest punk band in DC puts on a scorching live show, so you’d best not miss out. Today’s featured DC video isn’t an official Priests release, but it’s got enough local cred to pass muster with us. Matt Dunn conceived and shot this video of Melinda Diachenko and well known photographer Michael Andrade from an idea spawned from image Andrade captured at a show by Baby Bry Bry & The Apologists last fall, and set the short film to “Modern Love / No Weapon” from Priests’ debut EP Bodies and Control and Money and Power. Read the CityPaper’s post for the full story, but do enjoy this little warm up for tonight’s blowout early punk show at U Hall.