Monthly Archives: December 2017

Top 5 Videos of 2017 #1: Bumper Jacksons – I’ve Never Met A Stranger

All this week we’ve done our annual countdown of the best #DCmusic videos of 2017, and now it’s time for the big finish. And there weren’t any videos bigger than the title track from the new Bumper Jacksons record I’ve Never Met A Stranger. Even though the sprawling hot jazz ensemble led by Jess Eliot Myhre and Chris Ousley have released multiple albums over their 5+ year history, this was their first music video, and it’s unforgettable. They started with the simple idea of playing the ode to drunken good times while riding bikes and followed it to the logical conclusion of a colorful and costumed mass ride through the city led by songwriter and video director Ousley. Washington Pedicab and BicycleSPACE provide transportation for the small musical crew that eventually grows to huge proportions as it winds through some of the most beautiful spots in DC. The visual feast rewards multiple viewings, especially on a living room sized TV, with new joyous and whimsical touches you hadn’t noticed before. This crazy, messed up, emotional and trying year of 2017 should go out on a high note, and for us there’s nothing better than this. Cheers.


Top 5 Videos of 2017 #2: Humble Fire – Taliesin

Dream pop band Humble Fire brought much needed beauty into 2017. Their long awaited album Builder dropped back in July, and we were honored to feature the quartet in our Kennedy Center Millennium Stage #DCmusic series in October. We also got two music videos, and our #2 pick in the Top 5 Videos of 2017 is the first, “Taliesin”. Dancer Sadie Leigh choreographed, directed and performs in this poignant tribute to the late father of singer Nefra Faltas. He was an architect and Faltas wrote the cathartic song on a journey to the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture in Taliesin West, Arizona. The lyrics, sounds and movement combine to create transencent grace.


Top 5 Videos of 2017 #3: Bad Moves – The Verge

Baby Pony Food Productions are masters at crafting great music videos. The directing team of Ben Epstein and David “Spoonboy” Combs showed up in the #3 slot in our Top 5 Videos of 2015 with “Sun’s Early Rays”, the first in the action-twisted trilogy by The Max Levine Ensemble. For 2017 the duo used a simple and mesmerizing motif of pouring water for the debut single “The Verge” by Combs’s pop supergroup Bad Moves. The waitstaff at Torrie’s diner in Shaw handle the refilling chores in gorgeous slo-mo, giving the viewer ample opportunity to contemplate what the hell is going on in this establishment. The quartet of Combs, Daoud Tyler-Ameen, Katie Park and Emma Cleveland head to the studio early next year to lay down a full length album for Don Giovanni Records, and we simply cannot wait.

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Top 5 Videos of 2017 #4: allthebestkids – DreaMastR

Number 4 was a real tough choice this year. “Confetti”, the infectuous single by hip-pop band allthebestkids, is our fave single of the year, and the video that the band shot at this year’s Funk Parade on U Street is a fun and worthy accompaniment to earworm’s big marching band style. But earlier this year, the band seized on a golden opportunity to craft a video for “DreaMastR” from last year’s full length album Go Out With A Bang, and totally captured the year’s zeitgeist in town. In the spring of 2017 everyone in DC either flooded social media with selfies taken in the Kusama Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Hirshhorn, or grumbled at the near impossibility in acquiring tickets. Cody Valentine, frontman for the bestkids, not only got in but managed to film an entire music video surreptitiously in it. As an exhibit staff member confronts the cosmic rapper, the lyrics “What you can’t do is what you can’t prove” let us in on the secret.


Top 5 Videos of 2017 #5: The Deadmen – Everything

2017 was the year The Deadmen gave it their all. Justin Jones took time out from leading his own backing band to join Justin Hoben (aka John Bustine), John Scoops and DC/Gypsy Eyes expat Josh Read to finally release the long awaited full length follow-up to their 2014 self-titled debut EP. Local label 8 Gang Switch handled the release of the album, also self-titled, and commissioned filmmaker Patrick Mason for two music videos to promote it. The first was “55 Days”, a beautiful and dark narrative video of an escaped convict attempting to return home, but the second caught everyone’s attention immediately. “Everything” is simplicity in filmmaking, showing nothing but the faces of the singers belting out acerbic lyrics of the pointed and anthemic song. Brash, frank, sardonically joyous in rage: this is the mission statement of The Deadmen. Climb aboard.


Fake Bodies – Everything You Love

It’s our last new music video post of 2017! Come back all next week for our annual Top 5 Music Videos of the Year Countdown, because 80s era MTV is deep in our DNA. Tonight DC’s epic music photographer roXplosion presents a fantastic lineup of DC rock at Comet Ping Pong. FuzzQueen celebrate the release of their debut album with support from instrumental post-rock band Super!Silver!Haze! and Woodbridge’s Fake Bodies, whose youthful cheek is on full display in their debut music video below. “Everything You Love” comes from their upcoming release Not Much, and on this cold gray winter day this video makes me look forward to seeing punk bands at Fort Reno in 2018.


Holiday Podcast for December 13th, 2017

It’s our Holiday Spunktacular! Paul & Tony celebrate the season with some choice selections of DC holiday music.

Andrew Grossman of The North Country – Don’t Shop Just Love [single]
The Harry Bells – Frosty the Snowman [Holidays with the Harry Bells]
Veronneau – River [Snow Time]
Sub-Radio – Holiday Hangover [Holiday Hangover]
Samuel Prather – All I Want For Christmas Is The Funk [A Groove Orchestra Christmas]
Aaron Myers – Love All Year [Snowing In Vegas]
Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers – Merry Christmas Baby [The Spirit of Christmas]

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Ace Cosgrove – More Advice

Many rappers in DC hype their nappy heads, but let’s be real for a minute, no one does nappy like Ace Cosgrove. The young and fiery rapper just dropped a new music video for “More Advice”, a stand-out track with exquisite big production from BobMoeKill on this year’s 7 song release Ms. Claire’s Basement. The video by Perry features Ace drifting away from his bros to romance tattooed model Ashley Mills in a field filled with gorgeous sunflowers, but things go awry back in the city. Be on the lookout for more Ace Cosgrove shows in 2018, because this guy always delivers.


Tag Cloud – Measured Mile


Thanks in large part to Rhizome, the experimental music scene in DC is thriving. Open minded audiences are flocking to the Takoma Park house venue for mind-altering jazz and ambient sounds both improvised and meticulously planned. The crew at Verses Records, led by Dennis Kane and Dave Harris, began 2017 with a pair of charity benefit compilations with 40+ tracks each, including some of our faves like Yoko K and Super Silver Haze, and that was just the warm-up. The label also dropped beautiful releases by The Hunted Hare, Gel-Sol and James Wolf, before capping off the year with the fourth album by Tag Cloud, released today digitally and on limited edition CD. Pattern Recognition is 5 ambient excursions of varying length by Chris Videll, who also collaborates as BLK TAG with James S. Adams (BLK w/Bear, Stylus) and Zschwishenzug with Gary Rouzer and Phong Tran (Halo Valley, The Shouts from the Sea). Today we are excited and honored to premiere Tag Cloud’s new music video for “Measured Mile”. As with James Wolf’s recent video, Dennis Kane helms the visuals here, mixing colorful analog static with J.G. Ballard-esque cityscapes. This ambient beauty is exactly the peaceful excursion we could all use in 2017.

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Honest Haloway – I Need An Audience

Hey DC, if synth-rock is your jam then then your presence is required at the Black Cat tonight. First up is Mystery Friends, they’re new on the scene but they sound fantastic. They put out an EP a few months ago called This Is Not What I Expected that’s beautiful and sublime. Next is Incredible Change, you know them right? Really tall lead singer whose name is truly Brock Boss. Their new EP with the tongue-twisting title Millennialopolis just dropped last week. And finally you’ve got our old faves Honest Haloway, back after a brief hiatus with a revamped lineup and sound that’s evolved and mature. Earlier this year they recorded new songs live at a farm out in Sperryville VA, and they released the fourth in the series to coincide with tonight’s show. Watch the dream-grooved single “I Need An Audience” below and hi five us at the show tonight!