SE DC’s rap-rock band Black Alley just released this new music video for “Maybe?” from their 2018 album Dirty Laundry and whoa. What was a raunchy party anthem is enhanced by this video into a dark vision of corruption and excess. It’s entertaining to see how far director Tyler Scheerschmidt will go to make over-indulgence in drink and smoke look terrifying and wicked. Grab tix while you can to see Black Alley perform Friday night at Ivy City’s Big Chief.
Last night soulpunk band Lightmare debuted their new music video “Good Night White Pride” to their supporters at the Looking Glass Lounge. We think this fun therapeutic romp of a song is worth a few minutes of your day too. Gender-neutral singer Shady Rose shouts into a megaphone and dances up a storm while their crew stretches and warms up for their attacks on the divisive political issues of 2019. To all the curators of new protest song playlists, drag “Good Night White Pride” right to the top. Lightmare’s release Dream Glitch is available now.
The shutdown ends, the polar vortex approaches. There’s always something here in DC. Let’s get out and see some live music this week, shall we? Here are our #DCmusic picks for the week ahead.
Soul-punk band Lightmare celebrate the release of their debut music video “Good Night White Pride, from their debut EP Dream Glitch, tonight downstairs at the Looking Glass Lounge. Lightmare’s vocalist Shady Rose bartends and spins DC music all night.
Wednesday 1/30: The Strathmore‘s Artist-in-Residence program has nurtured and developed many outstanding DC area musicians. This Wednesday the Strathmore’s intimate Mansion hosts current AIR, soulful vocalist and percussionist Dante’ Pope in an exploration the roots of African music.
In 2017 we were honored to host Grammy-nominated hip-hop legend Kokayi on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. Now in 2019 he’s back on the Terrace Gallery stage as part of the #KenCenHipHop Festival this Saturday night for two sets. Do not miss this fantastic opportunity to see one of DC’s finest beatsmiths and rappers.
The studio and practice space 7DrumCity has become one of the most important focus points of the DC music community. Sunday at the Wharf’s Union Stage they host a Pop-Up Festival with an astounding 11 bands affiliated with the studio and its potluck jams and Flashband showcases, including Lovejet, Higher Numbers, The OSYX, Smokin’ On Planes and more. If you’re a musician looking to get more involved, you can’t miss this event.
“Workplace Tyranny”. “Fire Your Boss”. “Abolish Work”. Bold statements for buttoned-up, hard working DC. As we all know, when meeting someone new here, the common question asked is “So what do you do?” Ambient musician Tristan Welch suggests we leave our day jobs behind and find peace and fulfillment elsewhere. His minimalist, repetitive songs subtly evolve over time, rewarding meditative listening. Welch is a self-taught musician that always performs in suit and tie, in his words to “give the art the respect it deserves.” Welch works to spread the message that “we can only truly change what we have by withholding our labor, uniting as a working class to stand up against oppression. This is ambient music (drenched in reverb, delay and distortion) for the social consciousness.”
We’re quite proud to help premiere the music video for “Monday”, the lead off track from Welch’s fourth release 40 Hours on Verses Records. Visual artist Monica Stroik of Super!Silver!Haze! created this music video showing Welch holding up protest signs, as the background transitions from driving on 95 to the Washington Monument to a forest in Vermont.
The 40 Hours EP drops on February 22nd, but you should absolutely pre-order it right now to grab one of the limited edition 140 gram vinyl editions. Welch performs Saturday night at new DIY spot Dwell with Antonia, singer for punk band Mock Identity, and Coven Tree, the duo of strings players Hannah Burris and Alexia Kauffman. Mark your calendars for Welch’s 40 Hours release show on February 23nd at Mobius Records in Fairfax with Jake Reid of Screen Vinyl Image.
Dischord instrumental band The Messthetics are touring far and wide in early 2019. The merging of guitar shredder Anthony Pirog with Fugazi’s rhythm section, Brendan Canty on drums and Joe Lally on bass, made quite an amazing band straddling a nonexistent line between jazz and rock. As they tour the world on their 2018 self-titled album, they recently stopped by Candyland Studio in Cincinnati to record a live session for SofaBurn Records. We’d quite like to get our hands on the whole thing soon, but for now enjoy this up close live performance of the album’s opening track “Mythomania”. Pro tip: you’ll want to grab tickets for the Messthetics opening for Ex Hex at the 9:30 Club on May 10th as soon as they go on sale, so don’t nap.
Hometown Sounds continues our dedication to the music of DC in all its many forms with a February #DCmusic showcase at the Kennedy Center’s free Millennium Stage featuring Champion Sound Band. Champion Sound Band blends their love for jazz, blues, funk, soul and hip-hop to create something all their own. With passions for tried and true musicianship and exploration, their ever-evolving soundscapes feel both warmly familiar yet one of a kind.
Champion Sound Band draws from their individual backgrounds to form a special harmony. With shared passions for tried and true musicianship and exploration, their ever-evolving soundscapes feel both warmly familiar yet one of a kind.
The Washington Post most recently described the group as “a sensitive soul-jazz sextet”. Going on, The Post’s Chris Richards affirms in his review– “after a couple of years songwriting in this current lineup, a tender touch comes reflexively, with everybody working delicately around (Anastasia) Antoinette’s blue-flame voice until their supporting gestures coagulate into a song.”
Champion Sound Band blends their love for jazz, blues, funk, soul and hip-hop to create something all their own. A community of like-minded musicians who feel kindred. The love and care they have for each other translates to their art, and the music is at once positive and empowering. With a sense that we are all champions, the aim is clear– to uplift and inspire. Altogether, the vibration is tranquil and transformative. This dichotomy delivers an impressive result. It’s music you won’t soon forget. A feeling of enchantment. Something worth sharing. And Champion Sound Band invites all to join their family.
The band includes Anastasia Antoinette on vocals, Gudo on drums and production, Kareem ‘Reemz’ Johnson on keys and production, John Eamon on sax, Jimmy Keith on bass and Alex James on guitar.
RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Thursday February 28th!
Huge props to the hardy DC music fans who bundle up and brave the winter cold to fill our many venues. Here are our #DCmusic picks for the week ahead.
Tuesday 1/22: Drew Kid brings his soulful jazz compositions to the Kennedy Center’s free Millennium Stage tonight, leading a group that includes Mike Kurtz, yU, Roddy Rod, Christian Hizon, David Diongue, Mike Gary and Kelton Norris. As always, the music starts at 6 but seats start filling up at 5:30.
We made it to Friday, DC. Everything feels fraught, messed up, on edge, and so frustrating. But for many it’s a holiday weekend, MLK Day is on Monday, and the DC music community is ready to bring you some hard-earned joy. Here are our show picks for the weekend.
Friday 1/18: DC9 showcases the future of DC reggae tonight. Shamans of Sound is a new band featuring members of Nappy Riddem, Incwell, Dub City Renegades, Awthentik, Feel Free and Tropik Sol. They’re joined by Nkula, a DC band led by Ethiopia’s “Ras Abel” Mekonnen. Vibes will be thick and heavy, so come early as the music starts at 8.
“The hard-earned grit and sweat of Jonny Grave’s down-home blues stylings both reflect brightly and soak through his wildest release to date.” Who said that? We did, of course. Jonny Grave always delivers a memorable night of blues and rock, so head to Hill Country BBQ on Saturday night to see his quartet play for no cover charge.