Monthly Archives: December 2018

Top 5 Videos of 2018 #1: Flasher – Material

Flasher‘s refinement of DC’s angular aesthetic of post-punk feels welcome and inevitable. The trio’s 2018 full length album Constant Image on Domino Recording Company is one of DC’s finest this year, spawning no less than four music videos ranging from dour to garish to inscrutable. But the big finish is “Material”, a video artfully designed to both delight and frustrate the large market segment that listen to music via YouTube. If you’re one of the lucky few who’s watching this for the first time, we’ll kindly let you enjoy director Nick Roney’s wild ride unspoiled. Congrats to Flasher for making our favorite music video of 2018, and for all their huge success in a breakout year!

And with that we’re putting the lid on 2018. See you next year DC!


Don’t Stay Home This Weekend 12/21

It’s Friday and we still have a #1 music video of the year post to write. Let’s get to it! Here are your #DCmusic show picks for the coming weekend.

Friday 12/21:
We’re going to bet you haven’t heard of Pinot Grisly before. Word on the street is, if you like and miss The Deadmen, check out this brand new band at DC9 tonight. Core band troubadours Justin Jones and John Bustine share the marquee.

Saturday 12/22:
Everyone knows the holidays aren’t complete without an Ugly Sweater Party. Choose your best worst garment and head to Black Cat Backstage for an all-DC band lineup of Fellowcraft, Coral Benders and Color Palette, alums of our Millennium Stage showcase.

Sunday 12/23:
You guys, did you realize that The Messthetics are headlining the Black Cat Backstage on Sunday night? Do you know this is Joe Lally and Brendan Canty from Fugazi, plus guitar shredding wizard Anthony Pirog? Why is this not sold out already? Is everyone leaving town? Plus the lineup includes Anna Connolly and Black Myths, a new duo featuring Luke Stewart on bass and Warren G. “Trae” Crudup III on drums. Merry Christmas eve eve!


Top 5 Videos of 2018 #2: Black Masala – Trains and Moonlight Destinies

Coming in at #2 in our 2018 music video countdown is the debut vid from high-energy gypsy brass band Black Masala, the title track from their glorious new album Trains and Moonlight Destinies.

In our original post we wrote: “We’ve been fans of this high-energy group for many years now, easily recommending them for fans of Gogol Bordello and Rebirth Brass Band. This vid by Eyelum does a fantastic job of capturing both the mystery and surreality of their lyrics and the punk power of their live show. Co-signers Mike Ounallah and Kristen Long each take parallel Lynch-ian journeys, with camera jump cuts mirroring the song’s brass cadence. Bravo!”

Come to Black Masala’s Holiday Party Friday night at The Wharf’s Union Stage, and you’ll also see Philly’s Swift Technique and our own Shamans of Sound and then you will go home very happy. Pro tip: buy tix right now!


Top 5 Videos of 2018 #3: SHAED – Silver Knife

ICYMI, the polished dreampop of singer Chelsea Lee and twins Spencer and Max Ernst as SHAED is blowing up nationally. “Trampoline”, the monster new single from their 2018 EP Melt, has about 9M plays on Spotify thanks to its prominent feature in the newest MacBook Air campaign from Apple. But we have to give our #3 music video pick of 2018 to the EP’s first single “Silver Knife”. The crisp finger snaps, rolling bassline and high falsetto put us in an MJ kind of mood. The mysterious Max Haben-directed video features mesmerizing choreography from dancer Anna Pinault, who bears a startling resemblance to Lee. SHAED bring their Trampoline tour to the hometown on Saturday March 2nd at U Street Music Hall, and we’ll eat our Santa hats if this doesn’t sell out in advance.


Top 5 Videos of 2018 #4: Bacchae – Dig

Feminist punk band Bacchae had quite a year, with tons of support for their 2018 self-titled EP released on cassette on Get Better Records. The theme of its first single “Dig” is toxic relationships, so its accompanying band-directed music video sends up video dating, a horrific and real life way people used to meet before the heavenly era of smartphones and swiping. We love the video’s kitschy VHS effects, 80s-era graphics, on-point costumes and delightful cameos, while the song barrels through tough guitar riffs and catchy lyrics. Bacchae kick off 2019 with an opening slot for T-Rextasy at the Pie Shop on Wednesday January 16th, so open that Facebook event link and click Interested like you know you should.


Top 5 Videos of 2018 #5: The CrossRhodes – Praying Prayers

If you happen to be a new friend of ours, every year we count down our favorite music videos of the year. Kicking off the top 5 is this powerful and emotional video from hip-hop and R&B icons Wes Felton and Raheem DeVaughn, aka The CrossRhodes.

“Praying Prayers”, from their comeback 2017 album Footprints on the Moon, uses the familiar names of black victims of police violence as emotional punctuation marks. “When the video was shot, 667 people were reportedly murdered by police officers since January 2016”, and the number is surely higher now. As we wrote in our original post back in March, “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.”

DeVaughn next headlines the Kennedy Center’s festive New Year’s Eve Show with Backyard Band, so buy your tickets now while you can!


Don’t Stay Home This Week 12/17

Your week in #DCmusic is here. Hometown Sounds has picks for every night of the week.

Monday 12/17:
We’re still bummed that DC’s legendary jazz venue Bohemian Caverns is closed, but its namesake orchestra led by Brad Linde and Joe Herrera continues to warm our hearts. Their holiday concerts are some of their most popular, and tonight you can see the big band interpret the classics at Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street NE.

Tuesday 12/18:
The Black Cat Backstage continues to kill it with DC music bookings in its final month. Tuesday night Time Is Fire, psychedelic alums of our Millennium Stage series, join Flowerbomb and FuzzQueen, fresh from a west coast tour, in saying farewell to another great space that accomplished so much development of the DC music scene.

Wednesday 12/19:
Three women-fronted bands rocking out hard at DC9 sounds like a solid Wednesday night plan to us! Ginny Hill’s original group Higher Numbers joins The Invisibles and The SuperChargers for a musically inspirational show.

Thursday 12/20:
Look at that, the Black Cat booked another alum of our Millennium Stage series this week! Kenny Pirog’s bluesy rock band Wanted Man headlines the Backstage Thursday night, with support from two rock goddesses, blue-haired Elizabeth II and Maryjo Mattea of Two Dragons and a Cheetah.


Broke Royals – Christmas Cookie Blues

The holiday season is upon us, and Broke Royals know what’s up with heartache and festive gatherings. We featured their classy entry into the DC holiday music canon, “Christmas Cookie Blues”, on our podcast this week. But this well-dressed band went the extra mile for YOU and delivered this snazzy music video directed by Tyler Scheerschmidt. Stuff your stockings with tickets for their two night “Royal Holiday” stand at Vienna’s Jammin’ Java on Friday December 28th and Saturday December 29th.


Don’t Stay Home This Weekend 12/14

As always, we’ve got fantastic, not-sold-out options for you to get out of your house and bring your friends to see some #DCmusic. Here are your weekend picks!

Friday 12/14:
The Blackbyrds are true DC legends, crafting unforgettable R&B and soul jams as “Walking In Rhythm”, “Happy Music” and “Rock Creek Park”. Don’t miss your chance to see them live tonight at City Winery in Ivy City.

Saturday 12/15:
This Saturday the Wharf’s Pearl Street Warehouse hosts a holiday-themed tribute to Anacostia Delta guitar master Danny Gatton. It’s a rare treat to see both Pirog brothers Anthony (The Messthetics) and Kenny (Wanted Man) shred guitars on the same stage together. Admission is free but RSVP to guarantee admission.

Sunday 12/16:
We have loved CapitalBop‘s intense dedication to DC’s jazz scene for many years (though we confess we can never remember if it’s CapitAL or CapitOL). Their Jazz Loft live music series shows their excellent curation when the right space aligns to host it, though those perfect spaces (Red Door, The Dunes) don’t stick around forever. Now the Loft has a new Sunday night home at Takoma Park’s Rhizome, so make Gio & Luke feel welcome as they host an all-star group including Nate Scheible, Layne Garrett, Sarah Marie Hughes, Steve Arnold, Elijah Easton and Allen Jones. Bring cash for the door and drinks to share.


Holiday Podcast for December 13th, 2018

It’s our annual holiday music roundup! Tony recaps the new Cirque de Soleil show, while Paul brainstorms about gift wrapping.

Sub-Radio – Santa Tell Me [Holiday Hangover]
Broke Royals – Christmas Cookie Blues [single]
Javier Diaz – Late December Feelings [single]
Visto + Pinky KillaCorn – Hippie Holiday [single]
Front Porch Orchestra – Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy [Bluegrass Nutcracker]
Luke Brindley – Carol of the Bells [Holiday Guitar]

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