Monthly Archives: March 2020

The North Country – Island

Andrew Grossman, frontman of The North Country, turns his full band into a multi-layered solo project for The Quarantine Sessions. The first offering is “Island”, originally from the 2017 album In Defense of Cosmic Altruism, a mellow ballad given new meaning in our lockdown days. It’s nice to see the reappearance of the logo from the 2015 album There Is Nothing To Fear, and we wish it were true.

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Podcast for March 26th, 2020

Hometown Sounds is podcasting from home! Tony researches swimwear, while Paul rounds up online board games to play remotely.

Tracklisting:
Beauty Pill – Pardon Our Dust [Please Advise]
The Screamies – ReduxReduxRedux [Disco Fixins]
Nicole Saphos Band – Can’t Get Along [Takoma Sessions]
Hannah Jaye and the Hideaways – New Frames [Hannah Jaye and the Hideaways]
Jackie and the Treehorns – Hidden Cameras [unreleased]
Janel Leppin & Anthony Pirog – I’m On Fire [single]

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

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Beauty Pill – Pardon Our Dust

Finally, we have some good news to share. At long last, experimental pop band Beauty Pill (one of Time Magazine’s Top 10 of the 2010s!) have signed with Brooklyn label Northern Spy Records and posted the new 4 song EP Please Advise on Bandcamp for pre-order. All formats are covered, including cassette, CD, regular black vinyl and limited edition “bone” colored vinyl. The album comes out May 8th, but you’ll want to get that pre-order in ASAP, because today Bandcamp is waiving their fees and directing all proceeds to labels and musicians.

Today’s new music video is the EP’s first single “Pardon Our Dust”. The music comprises an intriguing mix of crisp electronics and warm brass, hearkening back to Beauty Pill’s performance at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage back in 2018 that featured the Beauty Pill Symphonette. We heard an early version of this song then, with mastermind Chad Clark on vocals. Now the singing comes from new band-member Erin Mitchell Nelson, who also performs as a classically trained dancer. Video director Meredith Bragg captures Nelson’s sublime grace mixed with interesting visual quirks that one expects in a Beauty Pill video. Nelson is a company member at Taffety Punk Theatre Company, which just last month remounted the play “suicide.chat.room” that featured Beauty Pill’s score Sorry You’re Here.

As you read the song’s lyrics in this video, you’re probaby wondering what Matt Damon is doing in this song. We’d direct you to timestamp 17:54 in Beauty Pill’s Millennium Stage show for Clark’s explanation. Instead of feeling like we’re all locked up at home with nowhere to go, let’s instead live inside our own hearts.

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Please Stay Home

One of our primary missions at Hometown Sounds is to get more people to see DC bands play live. To that end, for the last two years we’ve run a twice weekly feature called “Don’t Stay Home”, attempting to recommend a show featuring DC bands every day. Today we’re putting that feature on hold, as the coronavirus pandemic begins to impact the day-to-day life of everyone in the area. There are so many shows we want to recommend and go to, starting with tonight’s Black Cat bill featuring Hammered Hulls and Light Beams. But now is not the time. We are very aware of the impact show cancellations will have on musicians in particular, so we strongly encourage all DC music fans to create a Bandcamp account and buy some albums. Here’s a couple of recommendations to get you started.

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Podcast for March 11th, 2020

Paul and Tony fret about the coronavirus’s impact on the DC music scene.

Tracklisting:
Ardamus – Astro Blocks [Astro Blocks]
Modern Trap – Irish Goodbye [single]
Seán Barna – Eastern Junk Dancing [single]
Flo Petite – Blue [single]
Hailu Mergia – Abichu Nega Nega [Yene Mircha]
The Escape Artist – Solaris [Wildbright]

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

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Free Soil – Black

WORLD PREMIERE!

It’s been quite an intense week, right? The race for the Democratic presidential nomination winnowed down to the insurgent versus the establishment, the dreaded coronavirus haunts public gatherings and airplanes, and we all re-learn to wash our hands.

In the midst of all this, we’d like to introduce you to Free Soil, the new group on the experimental label Verses Records. Taking their name from a short lived political party in the early 1850s (motto: “free soil, free speech, free labor, and free men”), this anti-fascist, non-partisan band seeks to “provide documented demonstration in the form of audio/visual presentation both in media and live events”. For now, the quartet is withholding their identities to “prevent retaliation from government, state, corporate, and fascist entities who serve to provide false information in benefit of special interests”.

Their debut release “Black” is an absolute gut-punch on the fraught subject of fascism. An automated narrator iterates through the 14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism, documented years ago in an article by Dr. Lawrence Britt. The video, compiled under the Fair Use Act, showcases the dangers of our current political climate and bad actors. Eschewing monetary compensation, Free Soil endeavors for a grass-roots campaign to disseminate this powerful work, with downloads enabled through Vimeo or at this link.

Free Soil plan more releases soon with works concerning government and corporate corruption, gun violence, colonialism/imperialism, climate change, and current social issues. Their live presentation promises a sensory overload, incorporating gut rattling sonic dynamics, challenging video content and hypnotic strobes and lighting. Don’t miss them next on Wednesday March 18th at the VFW 9274 in Falls Church along with DC’s Luna Honey, Fix Your Hearts and NYC post-metal acts Kayo Dot and Psalm Zero.

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Don’t Stay Home This Weekend 3/06

Friday 3/06:
Lots of great #DCmusic options on this night, but our Friday night pick goes to 7DrumCity’s lineup at the Pocket with blues magician Jonny Grave leading a trio, along with alt-folk solo artist Zoë Ravenwood and power-pop band Flowerbomb.


Saturday 3/07:
Saturday night’s your chance to see the legendary Chuck Brown Band, OG of go-go, hit the Wharf’s Pearl Street Warehouse hard. We still tingle that we got to host them at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage back in 2018!

Sunday 3/08:
Funky rap/rock party band Strangers That Clique (sup Ardamus!) release their long-awaited EP Fight Nice Sunday night with a show at the Pie Shop featuring Quad Cities emcee Soultru.

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Venray – No Place

Perhaps you’re familiar with DC’s reputation for “doing the standing still” at shows. Garage rock duo Venray clearly want you shake your money maker, and have provided visual inspiration in the un-official music video for “No Place”, the new single from their upcoming EP dropping later this year. It’s a fun romp through some classic TV footage. Show off your dance moves tonight at Songbyrd as Venray opens for DC’s Caustic Casanova and A Deer A Horse from NYC.

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2DCAT – Delaware Is Burning

Today is Super Tuesday, with Virginia voters casting their ballots for the Democratic candidate for President. Synthwave duo 2DCAT is looking ahead to September 15th, the day that residents of Delaware cast their ballots in a primary challenge for Senator Chris Coons by political newcomer Jess Scarane. Their new music video, the title track from their recently released EP Delaware Is Burning, minces no words about 2DCAT’s animosity towards the junior senator from “The First State”. The band’s trademark style of presenting 80s-era sci-fi dystopia in a small CRT-shaped vintage television fits their aesthetic perfectly. Donate to Scarane’s senate campaign and get the new EP for free!

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Don’t Stay Home This Week 3/02

Monday 3/02:
See our fave snackcore band BRNDA at Songbyrd’s Vinyl Lounge tonight, sandwiched between Ohio fuzzy rock band Vacation and Posmic, a new Baltimore band featuring members of Post Pink, Wildhoney and Saturday Night.

Tuesday 3/03:
The Pie Shop on Tuesday night is the place to catch dreamy solo project Space Phase and indie pop band swerves from Fredrick MD support Ohio’s Mark Twang.

Wednesday 3/04:
We honestly don’t know this NYC band called A Dear A Horse, but we do know top-notch DC rock bands Caustic Casanova and Venray. Go see this Wednesday night show at Songbyrd’s Vinyl Lounge & tell ’em Hometown Sounds sent ya.

Thursday 3/05:
Get your fill of acoustic folk vibes (and of course delicious BBQ) at Hill Country on Thursday evening with Griefcat, Gramophonic and Bellweather Bayou. Yum.

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