Monthly Archives: February 2018

Wes Tucker & The Skillets – Get Back

We readily admit our unabashed love for videos of studio recording. There’s no awkwardness in lip and performance syncing, just pure authenticity in laying down the cut of the song for the ages. Wes Tucker and his friendly Skillets are reserved veterans of the roots rock scene, releasing four studio albums over many years. Tucker is here for the long haul, as his upcoming fifth album took three years of hard work to get right. The videographers at Bard Tales Productions captured the recording of “Get Back” at The Brink Studios, showcasing Tucker’s assured and approachable delivery and his band’s tight blues-rock groove. Alexandria’s Port City Brewing hosts the band Friday night at 7 PM, so bring your growlers and go home happy.


Don’t Stay Home This Week 2/12

We don’t care how many Netflix shows are in your bingeing queue. Don’t stay home, damnit! Hit the town and see some live music.

Monday 2/12:
For many years Iota set the standard for open mike nights. Now that it’s gone, many more are rising in popularity, none more so than Bloomingdale’s Boundary Stone. Reed Appleseed hosts the show every week, and music kicks off around 8:30 with $5 drafts all night.

Tuesday 2/13:
Laissez les bon temps rouler! It’s Mardi Gras time, and the Wharf is the place to party tonight. DuPont Brass lead a second line parade through the neighborhood at 6 PM. Then The Grandsons play a free show at Pearl Street Warehouse at 7 PM before the fireworks finale pops off at 8.

Wednesday 2/14:
If you are happily partnered, your Valentine’s Day plans probably involve a fancy dinner, flowers, perhaps ballroom dancing. For the single DC denizens, DC9 hosts A People’s Choir, a Portland import devoted to group sing-alongs. This night is their fourth annual Breakup Songs party, so bring your bitter lack of closure and singing pipes and let it all out.
heart candies

Thursday 2/15:
Two great choices to agonize between tonight. The Wharf’s Union Stage hosts a night of forward looking folk music with LA’s yOya, DC’s beloved expat crooner Seán Barna and Steve Kolowich’s magical ensemble Stranger in the Alps (vets of our Millennium Stage series!)

Another of our Millennium Stage greats, the jazzy hip-hop band The Lucky So & So’s, mash up genres by joining up with pop-punks Ménage À Garage and ska band Barking Carnies at DC9 this night.

We’re back on Friday with your weekend reasons to not stay home!


Don’t Stay Home This Weekend 2/09

DC music lovers, welcome to our brand new twice-weekly feature Don’t Stay Home. There are many great roundups of live music in DC, but none give the proper love to actual #DCmusic that we think our town deserves. As always, Hometown Sounds gives you all the DC music and nothing but. Here are the shows and events we recommend this weekend:

Friday 2/09:
Have you made it to the new Pearl Street Warehouse yet? Friday night is a great opportunity to check out The Wharf’s cozy new venue with Aztec Sun bringing the party funk and a not-to-be-missed opening set from jazz-gogo mashup band The JoGo Project.

Sat 2/10:
Love & Solidarity Collective, formerly the Lamont Street Collective, hosts a musical, visual and interactive arts experience called Heart Warming 2018 featuring Ocean Childe, Stephanie Mathias, Whitney Tallarico, Skaii, Skyline Hotel and house band allthebestkids. Plus handpoked tats by kate!

Sun 2/11:
This pre-Valentine’s Day Sunday night is pretty quiet for live DC music, so we say head over to Politics & Prose at 5 PM to celebrate the release of the fifth annual volume of District Lines, their print-on-demand anthology of poetry, art, fiction and essays by DC-based contributors. Hear readings from some of the writers and get your copy signed.
District Lines V cover


Reesa Renee – Ask Round Town

While soulful singer Reesa Renee gears up for two major releases this year, let’s catch up on a warm and sunny music video from last summer. “Ask Round Town” shows Reene’s versatility at both singing and rapping, while clowning around at the H Street Festival followed by Yah Yah of Minister Cinema on the cameras. Renee’s first drop of 2018 is an EP called The Cure with Philly funk & soul collective Killiam Shakespeare, and we cannot wait.


Presenting The Caribbean at the Millennium Stage

Our #DCmusic showcase at the Kennedy Center’s free Millennium Stage continues on Sunday March 4th with experimental pop group The Caribbean, composed of Michael Kentoff, Matthew Byars, and Dave Jones. The band has been critically acclaimed for its deconstructionist approach to pop music, its wry, literary lyrics, and its eclectic sound, which incorporates elements of American pop, indie rock and experimental rock, IDM, cool jazz, folk music, lounge music, and Brazilian music.

The Caribbean is an American experiment started in 2000 as a sort of “Steely Dan on a shoestring” – a response, perhaps, to being hemmed in (in past lives) as a pop group or a DC post-punk group or a trio or a quartet or an octet.

If I had to contrive a term for the music of The Caribbean, it would be “storycore.” If you sit down with the lyric sheet — and you should, you should — you’ll find a unique hybrid of narrative specificity and mischievous surrealism. As a songwriter, Michael Kentoff has quietly and modestly (but, make no mistake, deliberately) struck upon his own language. Caribbean songs are peppered with invented names and terms, populated by bureaucrats, clerks, spies, actresses who moonlight as spies, light bulbs and their switches, all glimpsed sideways with sympathy and bemusement, all in the middle of something happening. For the most part, the stories don’t appear to have beginnings or endings as far as I can suss. Kentoff is primarily concerned with the middle. As a result, the words read like a Raymond Carver anthology that fell in the pool and became almost too blurry to make out. Perhaps some musicologist historian of the future will spend time to dissect the Caribbean’s curious mythology. Maybe then we’ll learn how much of it was real and how much imagination. Until then, just enjoy the tunes.
– Chad Clark (Beauty Pill, Silver Sonya Studios)

You’re forced to occupy their barren pop architecture…. You don’t understand it, but, though you might not admit it, you do hope it will understand you. Or at least not destroy you…. You feel like there’s a real live pop song in there somewhere, but it seems that most of the essential moments have been recorded over with silence or incidental noise. There’s obviously still a skeleton to hang a song on, but you start to wonder whether you’re the one who was supposed to bring it…. These songs are for real, but they’re not about disappointment, or complacency, or shame, or attention, or glee. They’re about themselves. Without ironic distance, such oblique experiments can seem exhausting. But only on the giving end: it takes a humble and prolific writer, some cunning musicians, a very patient engineer, and an overarching commitment to self-censorship to pull an album like this off.
– Pitchfork

They’re taking Brill Building songs and writing them in invisible ink, turning jazz standards into Twilight Zone episodes, turning folk songs into clouds of fog.
– PopMatters

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Sunday March 4th!

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The Aquarium – Performer

The dynamic keys-n-drums duo The Aquarium, featuring Jason Hutto of Soccer Team and Warm Sun and Laura Harris of Ex Hex, was seriously one of our fave DC bands of the mid aughts. They put out a catchy AF full length self-titled album on Dischord in 2006 and a two song 7″ follow-up in 2009. And now, 9 years later in 2018, the A-side of that 7″ “Performer” just got a brand new music video. Stephen Guidry-White of The Torches shot this footage at the Hosiery in spring of 2009, and then, well, it got shelved or something, who really knows. Like a time capsule miraculously rediscovered, the band and director finished it up and dutiful DC music archivists Dischord Records recently released it. What other unfinished music videos lurk in the dark corners of aging hard drives?

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SOJA – Tried My Best

Reggae rock band SOJA would like you to know that being part of a successful musical project that tours the globe and sells out large stadiums isn’t all fun and games. The tour life is hard, sleep is elusive sometimes, traveling can take it out of you. But getting on stage and performing feel good music to thousands of cheering fans puts it right back in. “Tried My Best” is the 3rd video from their 8th album Poetry In Motion, as directors Daniel Ferro & Marvin Campos show the tedium of touring and the glory of performing in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru. SOJA’s nationwide US tour resumes in March.


Podcast for February 1st, 2018

Tony gets a strange match on Tinder, while Paul admits his biggest embarrassing flaw.

MC Dara Z – Ode to a Bar [Fast Poems]
Venray – Nobody’s Listening [Nobody’s Listening]
Justin Trawick & The Common Good – Ten Long Years [The Riverwash EP]
Swoll – Slow [Swoll]
Kyle Guffey – Fireplace [Good Mood]
The JoGo Project – One For Pops [One For Pops]

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