Monthly Archives: January 2018

Wylder – The Lake (Live at White Star Sound)

Musicians sometimes first make “album versions” of songs that later evolve into new realms after countless performances shape the structure and flourishes we first encountered in our headphones. There’s a disconnect between fans that play a song’s album version over and over to learn it by heart and the musicians that perform it night after night and can’t help but tinker with it each time. Indie folk quartet Wylder bridges this by updating two songs from their 2016 debut album Rain and Laura to accompany two new songs recorded at White Star Sound in Charlottesville VA. Reminiscent of HTS loves The Cowards Choir, Wylder brought in cameras to film the recording experience, and today they released this video for the dreamy new song “The Lake”. The four song EP Live at White Star Sound comes out just prior to their next show headlining U Street Music Hall on Saturday February 17th, so you can pre-order the EP and buy your advance tickets right now.


Presenting Backbeat Underground at the Millennium Stage

DC’s most dedicated music site Hometown Sounds returns to the Kennedy Center’s free Millennium Stage series to present Backbeat Underground on Monday February 5th, part of our monthly showcase of the best in #DCmusic.

Born in the depths of subterranean groove gatherings, Backbeat Underground is a five-piece instrumental funk group from Washington, D.C., with a smooth soul-jazz sound. They often invite guest musicians and vocalists to their shows which results in fresh improvisation, heavy toe-tapping, and head-bopping pockets galore. Bringing their years of collective experience in the DC and NYC music scenes, the band delivers tight, energetic sets steeped in fresh improvisation and head-bopping, booty-shaking pockets. Backbeat Underground recently released a single on DC’s own Fort Knox Recordings, has performed every year in the annual Funk Parade, and the band is quickly gaining notoriety for their organic and smoldering blend of soulful funk and jazz.

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

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Podcast for January 17th, 2018

Paul recaps his recent DJ night, while Tony wants to be a nerd rap mogul.

Lauren Calve & Run Come See – Ain’t Gonna Change My Mind [single]
Hiphopmcdougal – Let Me See That Sushi Roll [El Returno]
Carol From HR – Hurrd (Believe It) [LIVE! from Washington DC]
Chopteeth feat. Head-Roc – Free DC [Bone Reader]
Near Northeast – Clusters [Etxe Records at 10 Years: A Compilation]
The Bitter Dose Combo – It’s A Sin

Right-click to Download

Or listen in SoundCloud:

Subscribe to the Hometown Sounds podcast in Apple Podcasts, Overcast, TuneIn or your favorite podcast app! (and tell a friend too!)

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Be Steadwell – Leo

The future of (some) music is direct patronage. The majority of music consumers these days sadly don’t believe music is worth paying for and owning, streaming music platforms have rendered obsolete managing libraries of MP3s, and most people don’t have optical drives, turntables or cassette decks anymore. Despite some bumps in 2017, Patreon is proving the viability of its platform to provide direct and ongoing support to more niche creatives, and we’ve been curious when a DC musician would sign up. The first we’ve seen is queer pop singer Be Steadwell, now in her fourth year of working as a full time musician. Patrons that want to sustain her music beyond buying albums and attending shows can sign up and get previews of upcoming releases and of course undying gratitude. While we patiently wait for Steadwell’s promised next album of love songs, her latest music video takes us back to 2017’s Breakup Songs with the adorable and self-reflective (and kinda-NSFW) “Leo”. Don’t miss Steadwell open for Letitia VanSant’s album release show at Black Cat on Tuesday February 6th.


Light Beams – Grow Pt. II (for PJ Harvey)

It’s pretty rare that live video shot at a house show has enough quality to make it worthy of sharing to you, dear DC-area readers. Justin Moyer’s new dance-rock project Light Beams played at the underground house venue The Beehive back in November, and Rob Parrish captured this lively performance of “Grow Pt. II (for PJ Harvey)”, from their debut release S/T Cassette on Don Giovanni Records. As someone who’s attempted to shoot Moyer’s energetic performances at official clubs, I appreciate Parrish’s camera work even more here. You’d be a fool to miss the next Light Beams show, because the Washington CityPaper presents them and Time Is Fire for absolutely free at the Luce Unplugged series at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on Friday January 19th.


Bat Fangs – Rock the Reaper

Ex Hex bassist Betsy Wright takes the lead in a new duo with Flesh Wounds drummer Laura King of North Carolina called Bat Fangs (nanananananana Bat Fangs!) Their self-titled album dropping next month on Don Giovanni Records looks to fill the sophomore-Ex-Hex-album-shaped hole in our hearts with huge 80s-era stadium rock riffs and punk attitude. “Rock the Reaper” is the album’s second advance single, after last year’s headbanger “Wolfbite”, and this flashy music video from Drew Hagelin of The El Mansouris gives the duo ample opportunities to look badass. The DC album release show is Friday February 9th at Comet with Faunas and Warm Sun, and you’d be smart to grab advance tix now.


Silo Halo – Casa Alta

Fans of the darker, moodier output of the Etxe Records label have waited 3 years for new songs by Silo Halo, the post-punk duo of Greg Svitil (Teething Veils) and label head Christopher Goett (Girl Loves Distorition). “Casa Alta”, the advance single from Silo Halo’s new self-titled album, presents a meditative desert road trip to Goett’s melancholy lyrics directed by Julie Goett. The avant-garde label celebrates its 10th anniversary by showcasing its current lineup of Silo Halo, Teething Veils, The Red Fetish and Near Northeast at Capital Fringe on Saturday January 20th, so RSVP now and don’t miss this impressive display of musical community.

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Podcast for January 4th, 2018

Tony identifies the little pleasures in these colder temps, while Paul meets a “mystery friend”.

Astra Via – This Will Be Our Year [single]
Mystery Friends – The Lost Ones [This Is Not What I Expected]
Echelon the Seeker – Vesuvius [ɛʃəlan ðə sikər ep]
Lavender – Dangerous Game [You Are In The Right Place]
Bottled Up – Higher [Bottled Up EP]
The Nighttime Adventure Society – The Tourist [Chapter Three: The Last Chapter]

Right-click to Download

Or listen in SoundCloud:

Subscribe to the Hometown Sounds podcast in Apple Podcasts, Overcast, TuneIn or your favorite podcast app! (and tell a friend too!)

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Presenting Super! Silver! Haze! at the Millennium Stage

The monthly #DCmusic collaboration between Hometown Sounds and the Kennedy Center’s free Millennium Stage goes supersonic in January as we present Super! Silver! Haze! on Thursday January 18th at 6 PM.

Super! Silver! Haze! features Brendan Canty (composer, film maker, audio engineer) on drums and percussion instruments, Doug Kallmeyer (Verses Records label collective organizer, composer, sound designer, audio engineer) on bass guitars, keyboards and loopers, and Monica Stroik (Verses Records art director, Visual designer, multimedia artist) on video. Collectively the group represents decades of composition, performance and international touring experience coupled with modern, visual technologies.

“The sound travels between quiet string and ambient key pads to immense drones with psychedelic riffs and pounding beats. Vivid, large scale visual projections are manipulated in real time as an integral component of each composition resulting in an immersive, cinematic experience.”

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Thursday January 18th!

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Astra Via – This Will Be Our Year

Happy New Year DC! 2017 is safely in the books, and now’s the time for pundits and prognosticators to analyze it in gory, frustrating, negative detail. The pop duo of Olivia Mancini and Jarrett Nicolay as Astra Via instead send us a hopeful message with a timely cover of the 1968 classic “This Will Be Our Year” by English rock band The Zombies. Mancini crafted this uplifting video of 2017’s many inspiring moments that shouldn’t be forgotten as we power into 2018. Will we be blessed with new Astra Via originals to follow their 2014 EP SUPERBESTLUCKYSONGS?

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