Monthly Archives: March 2018

Don’t Stay Home This Weekend 3/16

DC, here are the best #DCmusic reasons to not stay home this weekend, in chronological order:

Friday 3/16:
This one’s easy, people. Des Demonas leads the Black Cat showcase of DC bands that didn’t make the trek to SXSW in search of stardom. Go see Quattracenta, Cool People, Passing Phases say “FXCK SXSW” and remember, “The South Will Never Rise Again.”

Saturday 3/17:
Slash Run offers two excellent vocal-drive indie rock bands Saturday night. Bleach Bones and ROM are both hidden DC gems that might just satisfy you even more than the Run’s buzzworthy burgers.

Sunday 3/18:
The Washington Women In Jazz Festival always features a strong lineup of the wide variety in the DC jazz scene. The 2018 season wraps up Sunday night at Rhizome with Sarah Hughes‘ Coy Fish improvisational ensemble. The show celebrates Hughes’s debut album and also features her original prose and visual art.


Shy Glizzy – Keep It Goin’

You may know him as Shy Glizzy, you may know him as El Jefe, but either way the head of the Glizzy Gang just dropped a new music video for his army of fans. “Keep It Goin'” comes from Quiet Storm, Glizzy’s late 2017 album and a reference to the smooth & sultry R&B radio genre pioneered right here at DC’s WHUR in the late 70s. Both this song and the music video feature Glizzy’s trademark mix of buttery smooth production and street-level thug life, as armed and hooded thieves attempt to break into his plush mansion.


Podcast for March 14th, 2018

Paul finds DC music through a British writer’s email list, and Tony muses about FM radio DJs in the modern age. Also a special intro from The Caribbean’s Michael Kentoff!

Des Demonas – The South Will Never Rise Again [Des Demonas]
Time Is Fire – Ey Ajaba [Stories Untold]
The Internal Frontier – Ghost Town Underground [single]
Elizabeth II – Lonely [single]
Cecily – Pisces [single]
KidGusto – Woza Beat feat. HBDC [Woza Beat]

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Bad Moves – Cool Generator

If the world worked the way it should, Bad Moves would be crushing FM radio with their approachable pop-punk songs. The supergroup featuring the Max Levine Ensemble’s David “Spoonboy” Combs, Katie Park of Hemlines, Daoud Tyler-Ameen of Art Sorority for Girls and Emma Cleveland of Bad Moves are back with “Cool Generator”, the lead single from their upcoming full length album on Don Giovanni Records. The band has a lot to say about the lyrical content of this song:

We’ve often introduced this song as being about how the art and fashion produced by marginalized people, people of color and queer people specifically, are the source material most often appropriated by the mainstream entertainment industry. And yet, those communities themselves are the most likely to be at risk — of poverty, police violence, mental illness, et cetera.

The New York Times Popcast did a great interview recently on the subject of rap stars being targeted by the criminal justice system, which gets at some of the same ideas that originally inspired us. Kenneth J. Montgomery, a criminal laywer, talks about the entertainment narrative of the “young black dangerous guy,” and he says, “Everybody benefits off of that, except the people that generate it.” Basically, there are cultural producers who are happy to profit off of a criminalized version of black identity for its entertainment value, while doing nothing to protect those cultural generators from a system that disproportionately targets them.

As far as synthesizing that complicated social dynamic into the lyrics of a power-pop party jam, we did our best. It’s a song about how certain people take the markers of culture and benefit from them without being put at risk, and how, when we consume a commoditized version of culture uncritically, we ignore the social precarity of the people who generate it in the first place.

Watch the VHS-grade music video courtesy of the multi-talented Combs and make plans to catch their post-SXSW tour kickoff show at Union Stage on April 18th.


Don’t Stay Home This Week 3/12

Behold DC, I bring you good tidings of great joy. The sun now sets one hour later! It’s easier than ever to stay out late and check out these #DCmusic shows.

Monday 3/12:
Even though U Street’s Bohemian Caverns is sadly no more, trumpeter Joe Herrera and saxophonist Brad Linde keep its namesake big band going strong. The ensemble visits College Park hotspot Milkboy Arthouse for one long set tonight.

Tuesday 3/13:
The Kennedy Center is in the midst of its Direct Current music festival celebrating cutting edge new art and music across many genres. The free daily Millennium Stage performances are some of the most interesting in this festival, especially Tuesday’s show featuring the Irreversible Entanglements collective, presented by DCDIT. The politically-driven free jazz group features DC’s Luke Stewart on bass.

Wednesday 3/14:
U Street Music Hall continues its eighth birthday celebration week with a can’t-miss hip-hop show Wednesday night featuring DC expat Oddisee, whose love for his hometown can’t be quashed by the hipness of Brooklyn. If you show up fashionably late you’ll miss Slizzatrism master Ras Nebyu opening the show, so don’t do that.

Thursday 3/15:
Jamal Gray’s Uptown Art House and CMPVTR CLVB collective brings its cosmic vibes to the Black Cat Thursday night with a show called Aquaculture, “An Underwater Exploration of Contemporary Sound”. Bring your wetsuit and goggles for future soul music from OG Lullabies, Winzday Love and Twin Jude.


Don’t Stay Home This Weekend 3/09

We all made it to Friday! Here are your #DCmusic picks for the weekend to come.

Friday 3/09:
Run Come See, the powerful and classy blues folk ensemble that played our Millennium Stage showcase back in December, pull double duty tonight at the Black Cat. The band celebrates the release of their new single “Lightning Bird”, arranged by bassist Tom Liddle, while simultaneously promoting Light/Dark, the sophomore album by singer/lap steel guitarist Lauren Calve‘s sophomore album Light/Dark. DC’s Peyote Pilgrim and Hardworker from Durham get the night started off proper.

Saturday 3/10:
Acoustic singer Crys Matthews crafts songs of inclusion, resistance and hope. Don’t miss a rare performance with her full band Saturday night at the Wharf’s Pearl Street Warehouse, along with Brooklyn’s Echo Bloom.

Sunday 3/11:
U Street Music Hall begins their 8th annual celebration of their music-centric nightlife destination by bringing legendary go-go band Trouble Funk back to U Street Sunday night. PG County’s DJ Baronhawk and the afro-focused DJ collective Sol Power All-Stars make this a perfect night of funk!


Flasher – Skim Milk

To get you caught up, Flasher is a post-punk supertrio featuring Taylor Mulitz of Priests, Daniel Saperstein of Bless and Emma Baker of Big Hush. Their debut EP and teaser 7″ on Sister Polygon Records got them lots of attention and tour gigs with Protomartyr and The Breeders last year. Their current tour with Ought takes them to SXSW, so now’s the time to tease their upcoming release on Domino Recording Company. “Skim Milk” is the album’s debut single, providing an urgent anthem for rebellion against nebulous future obligations with the refrain “No Future, No Fate”.


The CrossRhodes – Praying Prayers

Freddie Gray. Korryn Gaines. Sandra Bland. Eric Garner. The now-familiar names continue ricocheting throughout “Praying Prayers”, the new music video from The CrossRhodes from their 2017 album Footprints on the Moon. The powerhouse duo of Wes Felton and Raheem Devaughn remind us that “When the video was shot, 667 people were reportedly murdered by police officers since January 2016” in the intro to the Xaivia Inniss video providing a taste of dangerous life on the streets. With so many huge problems besetting Americans of all races, creeds and orientations, we crave art to show us what’s important and the consequences of inaction, even if solutions remain elusive. Check out their recent appearance at Bob Boilen’s Tiny Desk for a delicious mix of concert, spiritual service and motivational rally.

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BRNDA – House Show

BRNDA, the self-professed “Serious Band from Washington DC”, is back doing what they do best: releasing cassette tapes, touring far and wide, and promoting house shows. Bandmembers Leah Gage and Dave Lesser run the prominent DC house venues Bathtub Republic and 453 Florda, respectively, so naturally their new single “House Show” takes us through the glories of playing them, with misbehaving equipment, very friendly hosts and cool cool nights. If you were making a music video for this, would you include pics and video of some of the many many shows hosted by these distinguished individuals? Wouldn’t that make more sense than, well, potato chips? That’s exactly why Dave and Leah and Christian and Alex are in BRNDA, and the rest of us are sadly not. Pre-order BRNDA’s third release thanks for playing now before it drops on cassette March 30th courtesy Nashville’s Banana Tapes label, and wish them luck as their tour hits SXSW 2018.


Don’t Stay Home This Week 3/05

We’ve got DC music show picks for you every single night of the week. Go out every night, we dare you.

Monday 3/05:
The Dubya Bush-era political post-hardcore band Report Suspicious Activity heard the call to resume activity with the results of the 2016 election. Fronted by Articles of Faith’s Vic Bondi and featuring J Robbins and Darren Zendek, RSA presents songs from their new album Destroy All Evidence with support from Two Inch Astronaut and Anna Connolly at the Black Cat tonight.

Tuesday 3/06:
Grab a can of Monster and stay up late at Comet Ping Pong‘s Tuesday night show with another chance to catch recently recommended experimenters Dove Lady, far out Babe City rapper Nappy Nappa and New York’s Crumbs.

Wednesday 3/07:
Georgetown’s legendary club Blues Alley hosts a rare DC appearance by Zo!, soulful keyboarist extrodinaire and musical director for The Foreign Exchange, as he takes the stage with frequent collaborator Carmen Rodgers. Two shows at 8 and 10, so grab tix now while you can.

Thursday 3/08:
Literary bar Petworth Citizen hosts some of the coolest events in town. Thursday nights Herb Scott programs DC jazz sessions, and this night progressive jazz saxophonist Tedd Baker throws down some fierce improvisation like this.