Monthly Archives: January 2017

Stranger in the Alps – Pattern Matching (Tiny Desk Contest)

Steve Kolowich’s folk band Stranger in the Alps is now a 3 year veteran of NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest submissions. This year’s entry “Pattern Matching”, the title track from their pay-what-you-want 2015 EP, got a well-deserved feature on the contest’s official Tumblr. The witty lyrics and laid-back production by Louis Weeks give this track a lot of replay value.

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Near Northeast – COL (Tiny Desk Contest)

‘Tis the season for the annual Hometown Sounds spotlight into the best DC area submissions to NPR Music’s annual Tiny Desk Contest. Submissions closed last night, and we’ve found some great gems to share with you.

Indie folk band Near Northeast took great advantage of last year’s blizzard for their 2016 contest entry, playing “What To Say” in the middle of the snow. This year they seized on the climate of protest in our city to play a show at Capital Fringe on Inauguration Day with a community of artists, musicians, actors, and activists. Their new song “COL” derives its name from the lowest point of a ridge or saddle between two peaks, typically affording a pass from one side of a mountain range to another, and reflects on our current situation. Be on the lookout for their long awaited sophomore album coming out this spring.

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Tuscadero – Hollywood Handsome

Time for a #TBT! There was a lot more going on in DC in the 90s than just Fugazi. Melissa Farris and Margaret McCartney’s indie rock band Tuscadero blew up quickly, moving from Arlington’s beloved Teen-Beat record label to the majors with Elektra. They toured with Sebadoh and Cheap Trick before Elektra lost interest and dropped them. Teen-Beat never fell out of love, and the band has reunited a handful of times to support the label and their affiliates. Last month Teen-Beat boss Mark Robinson unearthed and posted this music video, featuring footage of the band’s fictitious appearance on 70’s institution The Gong Show playing “Hollywood Handsome” from their seminal record The Pink Album.

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Presenting Wylder @ Millennium Stage


Hometown Sounds loves DC music like no one else around, and this month we’re rather excited to present indie folk upstarts Wylder for our February #DCmusic showcase.

Embracing the best elements of indie pop and folk, Wylder instills clear and memorable melodies against a layered acoustic backdrop. Through an eclectic mix of stormy orchestral movements and fun, infectious energy, Wylder evokes emotional peaks, where lyrics of longing and loss take center stage. Their debut album Rain and Laura, released in April of 2016 to enthusiastic reviews, proving them an emerging voice in the independent music scene.​​

We’re told there is some sort of American football game going on this day as well, but we’re confident you won’t miss anything good seeing this show!

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Sunday February 5th!

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The El Mansouris – The Greys

The El Mansouris are likely the only band ever to have headlined the 9:30 Club before actually publishing a single song. The band, composed of Alex Braden, Drew Hagelin, Fiona Kohrman, Margot MacDonald and Sam Raymond, have buzzed about DC playing shows for a couple of years now, teasing an album that is finally almost here thanks to DZ Tapes and Babe City Records. Sadly, the self-titled album‘s release also brings the band’s demise, as members move away and onto other projects. Their last hurrah is this Friday at Smith Public Trust, along with the swan song of another much hyped band, The Young Rapids. Watch bassist Drew Hagelin’s video for the single “The Greys” and catch this band one last time.

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Kingpen Slim – D’mons

Kingpen Slim had some fun with last year’s slinky EP Fxck Lxve, but his strength has always been his versatility in creative output. His full length album Life After Doubt got a little fuller with the release last week of the Deluxe Edition with a few bonus cuts, a new cover and this music video for the dark track “D’mons”. Jay Gregory crafted this video to accompany the story line of the song, a violent street beef between armed killers with tragic consequences.


Lightshow – Now

DMV rapper Lightshow celebrates his success in his newest video “Now”. Chop N Shoot Films made this slick video from footage of Lightshow’s sold out album release show for Life Sentence 3 at the Howard Theatre, with plenty of DC sports jerseys and one slick ride as bonus. There’s a nice balance between boasting and jubilation from this young rapper with a bright future.


Podcast for January 19th, 2017


Paul invents new magazines, while Tony invents a new restaurant.

The El Mansouris – The Grays [The El Mansouris]
Sarah Stardust – Supernova [Sarah Stardust]
Railsplitter – Tiger Papers [Tiger Papers]
PHZ-Sicks – Hurt [single]
Flash Frequency – Omni (live) [single]
Teething Veils – Here’s to to the State of Donald Trump [single]

Right-click to Download

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

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The Obsessives – Surfer Rosa

If you’re a fan of indie rock, you don’t need us to point out the reference in the title of the new single by The Obsessives. The duo of Nick Bairatchnyi and Jackson Mansfield have been playing together since the age of fifteen, making a big splash with their debut album Heck No, Nancy back in 2015. The pre-order is now live for their second album, self-titled this time on Lame-O Records, and the music video for “Surfer Rosa” is a playful attention-grabber. Director Corrinne James turns life into a weird video game with cartoonish flying saucers punishing our young rock stars for making the wrong choices. Don’t miss them playing at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday March 21st opening for Modern Baseball.


Hand Grenade Job – New Year

Hand Grenade Job sounds like a young, cheeky punk band you’d see at a DIY basement show, and the duo of Beck Levy and Erin McCarley do draw some inspiration from that scene. But their minimalist sound, which they dub “post-Americana”, is decidedly more mellow and thoughtful. Pre-orders of their new album Devotionals, coming out on cassette via Sister Polygon Records, went up on their Bandcamp page today, as did the second music video from it. “New Year”, directed by Levy, is a sped-up meditation on raising children and making art in the face of an uncertain future. Being a mom sometimes means you’ve got marker all over your face. Their album release show is Thursday February 23rd at the Black Cat with Pissed Jeans.

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