Monthly Archives: September 2016

Janel Leppin – Wedding Song

Janel Leppin is DC’s preeminent experimental cellist. That might sound rather niche, but I’ve seen Janel, frequently paired with husband/guitarist Anthony Pirog, perform with a wide variety of musicians. This past weekend Janel & Anthony took time out from the Sonic Circuits festival, a natural home for their often challenging music, to play a couple of John Lennon songs for an audience of baby boomers at a tribute show at the Hamilton.

Leppin started her own record label, Wedderburn Records, earlier this year to put out two long-simmering releases, an album recorded in 2012 under the moniker Mellow Diamond and an EP called Songs for Voice and Mellotron, recorded in 2015 when Leppin had injured her elbow, leaving her unable to play the cello. NYC filmmaker Mónica Savirón created this video for the subtle romantic ballad “Wedding Song” using discontinued Eastman Plus-X Negative 16mm film, hand processed with coffee and beer instead of chemical developers. The lyrics suggest a wonderful life ahead while the video presents powerfully wistful nostalgia. Bravo.

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K.A.A.N. – Chill Bill

This is the 4th video we’ve featured this year from rapper Brandon Perry’s moniker K.A.A.N. (Knowledge Above All Nonsense). A look at his SoundCloud and YouTube feeds shows this young talent just can’t stop slinging song after song up online with determined regularity. His newest is Chill Bill, his unmistakeable rapid fire rhymes over the well-known track with the whistle sample from Kill Bill originally from San Diego’s Rob $tone. The_Faiz_Phase again mans the camera as K.A.A.N. spits fire about police brutality from a smelly alley somewhere in Maryland.


The Remembrables – The Stranger

Oh Emma. Why you gotta do my Remembrables boy wrong? He seems like a good dude. He has a jacket and the requisite amount of stubble. He probably has a job with an important sounding title. Works long hours. You two swiped right, chatted, had drinks, probably made out in the back of an uber. Could you tell that our boy likes to hit the sauce a bit hard? Probably a smart move, Emma. Block and avoid a messy situation. The rest of you though, head to the Black Cat Backstage this Sunday night to see this fuzzed-out indie punk band play their first show since recording new material, opening for Tenement and Dusk.


Be Steadwell – Leo

One take, no edits, no lip syncing. Be Steadwell quite literally keeps it real on her newest track “Leo”, released last Friday. It’s a self-diagnosis and rallying cry for her own creativity, and Steadwell’s talent and charisma keep me hooked as the song flows deftly over her own produduction, including adorable kitten meows. Stay tuned after the song for Be’s commentary on the song, and mark your calendars for November 15th when her fall tour hits the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.


Black Alley – Bad Girl

Black Alley is the cultural mixing bowl that DC desperately needs. Combining R&B, go-go and a whole lot of rock, they musically compliment just about any crowd and scene in the city. Tomorrow they play a coveted slot from 4-5 PM at the FREE 202 Arts & Music Festival at Canal Park alongside Sugar Bear & EU, Chopteeth and no less than George Clinton & P-Funk. If you miss this, you’ll be sad about it all winter. Get hyped with Black Alley’s fashionable music video for “Bad Girl” from their 2012 album Soul.Swagger.Rock.Sneakers.


Young Sir – Look At Me

Hip-hop continues to dominate the DMV music video world, such as it is. Rapper Young Sir is fresh on the scene with a polite name mismatched to his confrontational, middle-finger-salute style. The smooth clubby production on his new track “Look At Me” also contrasts with the music video’s primary location of a trashed, derelict building with rain dripping inside on dead vegetation. Even the name of the video’s director, Vintage Modern, is an oxymoron. Consider our interest in his debut mixtape Gift to the Game piqued, so look for it later this year.


Podcast for September 7th, 2016


Paul returns from vacation refreshed, while Tony returns from moving, the opposite of refreshed.

Ms. Fridrich – Lighter Bones and Eyes That See For Miles [Lighter Bones]
The Beanstalk Library – Wait [Returns EP]
Warm Sun – In A Moment [In A Moment/Seven Sisters]
MILK$ – Wonder Woman [Zodiac Sines]
Will Eastman – Knowing You [single]
Tölva – BassIItxNitro [single]

Right-click to Download

Or listen in SoundCloud:

Subscribe to the Hometown Sounds podcast in the iTunes Store or your favorite podcast app! (and tell a friend too!)

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Mark Sre – Paper

Fredricksburg VA is not known as a hot spot for hip-hop, but that’s not stopping 20 year old MC/producer Mark Sre. His ambitions for success are clear in “Paper”, his newest music video directed by YCImaging and produced by CamGotHits that brings a very DC street level vibe. Follow Sre on his SoundCloud and Bandcamp accounts while he readies the follow-up to his 2015 album Weirdo.


Wylder – Bitter

Indie folk band Wylder are on a mission to charm their way through your ears right into your heart. Known for catchy melodies and singalong choruses, Will McCarry and his band also seem to have mastered the art of the romcom-esque music video. Their debut outing “Swells” [haven’t you seen it already?] told a dating story ruined by overzealous band mates, and now they’re back with a new music video for “Bitter”, the second single from their debut album Rain and Laura. Director Samuel Rogers delivers a tight and satisfying narrative of searching for closure, or a stylish sweater, after a bad breakup. Wylder plays next at Gypsy Sally’s next Thursday September 8th as part of the Trio of Indies with Valley Queen and Courtesy Tier.


Cinema Hearts – Daydreaming

Dreamy indie pop band Cinema Hearts released their first music video today, and it’s as charming as you’d expect of this young and talented band. “Daydreaming” comes from their debut album Feels Like Forever which came out earlier this year.

Singer Caroline Weinroth described the song and video in their email newsletter:

This summer, we took a road trip to go camping in the mountains and play music for folks outside of our hometown. It was our band’s first small weekend tour (a friend of Erich’s scoffed at the idea that I called this getaway a “tour,” arguing that a “real band tour” would include more nights sleeping on strangers’ floors and more concert dates in far-off cities. But for a girl who has never left home, a weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a thrilling and nerve-racking adventure).

When I drive down Route 81, I am always in awe of the vast farmland, the tacky billboards advertising roadside attractions, and the grand mountains looming beyond the skyline. We stopped in the small town of Harrisonburg, Virginia, and I thought of how my closest friends and strongest crushes moved there and attended school at the town’s big spirited university, while I remained at the local commuter college and lived at home. I wrote “Daydreaming” during a 3-hour lecture class I had on Fridays. I was daydreaming about a boy I liked who went to school in Harrisonburg, and the possibility that we could date in the summertime when he returned (he never called me again).

Driving in Southern Virginia fills me with opposing feelings: the quirky landmarks excite me and the quaint towns bore me; visiting friends with their laid-back Southern habits makes me envious of their routines, yet their lifestyles convince me that I truly belong with the rushing hubbub of the North. I often wonder what my life would have been like had I gone to school in Harrisonburg too, and then I realize that this band, my favorite thing, never would have happened.

Cinema Hearts plays next at Comet Ping Pong opening for Death Valley Girls on Saturday October 1st.