Author Archives: Hometown Sounds

Wes Felton x The Product – Stranger Fruit

What did you do at summer camp this year? If you were lucky enough to attend Hands On The Future, a youth program that trains and prepares teens and young adults for the entertainment industry, then you got to hang with and learn from DC rapper Wes Felton, well known as one half of The CrossRhodes with singer Raheem DeVaughn. Felton’s upcoming mixtape King In The Wilderness with producer Derek “Product” Wilson drops soon through Fresh Kids Music Group, and in the meantime Felton released this video for the advance single “Stranger Fruit”, described as “an outcry to our ancestors and young people who have died at the hands of society’s traps and gimmick”. The video was shot at the summer camp, comprising half rhymes and singing and half inspirational tribute to nature and bonfires.


Teen-Beat – Dischord. Arlington, VA

This video [Teen-Beat catalog #535] is a little unusual, so let us explain. Record labels are the glue that binds musical creativity together into a product that can stand the test of time. The DC area in general, and Arlington in particular, greatly benefited from two independent labels that did amazing work documenting and organizing their scenes. Teen-Beat is a record label founded by Mark Robinson of the band Unrest in 1984. It has since moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, but in its DC heyday featured indie rock bands such as Tuscadero, Phil Krauth and Jonny Cohen’s Love Machine. This video was shot and scored by Robinson at Dischord House, the Arlington home of Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson’s label documenting the punk, post-hardcore and rock output of DC for decades. It’s a brief and intense glimpse into the creative space that’s shaped our city’s musical legacy, and it moves pretty fast so get ready with that pause button. Remember, do not attempt to visit Dischord House.

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Don’t Stay Home This Week 9/18

Ok, brief intermission over! Hometown Sounds is back in the saddle with live music picks to show you how DC is rocking all week long.

Tuesday 9/18:
Head to DC9 for an all-DC bill tonight. The groovy Lovejet celebrates the release of their new EP This Band Called Lovejet, with support from Reed Appleseed and the girl-power pop band Not Your Groupies.

Wednesday 9/19:
How about a good excuse to check out the new Dangerous Pies venue on H St. NE? Two DC bands, psychedelic band FuzzQueen and moody rock newcomers Casual War, share the stage with touring acts The Stone Eye and Mountain Tamer. Also the pies are THA BEST.

Thursday 9/20:
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain at Pearl Street Warehouse‘s occasional free DC music shows. Thursday night Backbeat Underground, veteran of our Kennedy Center Millennium Stage showcase, lays down the funk along with jam band leader Gordon Sterling.


Podcast for September 14th, 2018

Paul laments the closing of his college radio station, while Tony gets shaken down by Facebook.

Ultra Beauty – Get Pure [S/T]
Escape-ism – What Sign Was Frankenstein? [The Lost Record]
Pet Parade – Paw Paw [Heart Full of Honey, Handful of Smoke]
Max Gowan – Wishing Bone [Exit Line EP]
Saba Abraha – Do’s & Dont’s [Sweet Mirage]
Jasmine Gillison – In My Chest [Little Light]

Right-click to Download

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

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Bad Moves – Crushed Out

Indie pop supergroup Bad Moves has earned the distinguished moniker. Their upcoming debut full length album Tell No One on Don Giovanni Records is the most anticipated release in months, and last week the album’s fourth, that’s right FOURTH, music video premiered on Stereogum. “Crushed Out” is a delightfully catchy song about those queer high school crushes that overwhelm at the time but seem so obvious in retrospect. Clyde Peterson and Max Otero get the band into adolescent cosplay for the video, and Katie Park’s forlorn singing will grab your heart and not let go. Insanely, the album release show Friday September 21st at Black Cat isn’t sold out yet, so consider yourself warned.


Don’t Stay Home This Weekend 9/07

You made it to the weekend, and there’s a lot of fun to be had all around town. Here are our picks for the best #DCmusic all weekend long.

Friday 9/07:
The Dew Drop Inn has some hot newness for you tonight. Erotic Thrillers is a new band featuring Basla from Beauty Pill and Kristina of Edie Sedgwick. Not Bored is “DC Protest Punx”, and anchoring the night is the adorable indie rock band Spirit Plots. You can also drop in on the Three Sheets Lecture Series and discover what beverage Andrew Grossman of The North Country pairs with his lecture on German electronic band Kraftwerk.

Saturday 9/08:
There’s a lot of great shows going down Saturday night, but we have to give the nod to the FTW FR fundraiser at Black Cat. Mock Identity, Park Snakes, Jail Solidarity, Clear Channel, Winzday Love and the Nightshade DJ Collective come together to raise money for Ayuda and HIPS.

Sunday 9/09:
Adams Morgan Day has had its ups and downs over the years. Sunday‘s 40th anniversary of AdMo’s celebration of its eclectic and vibrant style is going to be the best in years, with a music lineup that includes Trouble Funk, DuPont Brass, Batala, Kino Musica, Lavender and Bossa’s resident West African griot musician Cheick Hamala Diabate.


Presenting Time Is Fire at the Millennium Stage

Hometown Sounds brings punk mysticism to the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage with our September #DCmusic showcase featuring Time Is Fire!

Time is Fire is a band rooted in Washington DC’s punk scene but reaching out to embrace rhythms from across the world. The five-member group summons a kaleidoscopic sound that knows no borders – a sonic blast of radio distortion from a country that doesn’t exist. Fronted by an Iranian-born Sufi poet and backed by players steeped in punk, dance and experimental music, Time is Fire mixes pan-cultural rhythms, floor-shaking funk grooves and acid-laced guitar leads into a mind-expanding geopolitical dance party.

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Monday September 24th!


Jasmine Gillison – In My Chest (Song Premiere)

Today Hometown Sounds is delighted to premiere the debut single “In My Chest” by singer/songwriter Jasmine Gillison.

We’ve had our eye on Gillison for a few years now, since we shared her performance of “I Get It” from a very early episode of Justin Trawick’s podcast The Circus Life back in 2013. Her debut album Little Light has been a long time coming, though she never imagined it as a bright-eyed 5th grader playing in the school band. It wasn’t until after college, thanks to the encouragement of friends, that she got up in front of a crowd at a local Open Mic Night and performed her first official set – a few cover songs on guitar. Thanks to those friends, she’s been writing and performing ever since.

The debut EP is a bit of a departure from her usual acoustic performances, with new arrangements highlighting the depth and width of Gillison’s aptitude for storytelling. Jasmine was fortunate to work with many talented musicians in the DC/MD/VA area on this project, including Producer Ben Tufts (educator and percussionist in bands such as FuzzQueen, Virginia Creep and Uptown Boys Choir), Producer and Session Bassist Howard Rabach of Machine Room Studio in Arlington, VA., as well as a host of other musicians and great friends. The song’s instrumentation, including vibraphone playing from Tufts, is reminiscent of the lovely and influential early downtempo work from the French band AIR.

The Wharf’s Pearl Street Warehouse hosts the Little Light EP release show on Sunday September 16th. The early show starts at 5 PM and features Nardo Lilly and Laura Tsaggaris along with Gillison’s headlining full band performance.


Don’t Stay Home This Week 9/04

Welcome to unofficial fall, which still feels like swampy summer to us. Here are your #DCmusic picks for the upcoming week.

Tuesday 9/04:
Tonight DC9 has you covered with a choice lineup. Brooklyn’s grungy punk Oceanator is the out of town act, supported by DC indie rock band Bottled Up and the experimental groove of the Rob Stokes Band.

Wednesday 9/05:
The loss of Aretha Franklin reverberated around all corners of the music world last week. On Wednesday evening Songbyrd hosts an evening of soulful rememberance for the Queen of Soul. With a house band that includes Zo! and Micah Robinson on keys, Eliot Seppa on bass, Dante Pope on drums, and Zachary Cutler on guitar, the evening boasts a huge list of vocal talent: Sy Smith, Wayna, Cecily, Alison Carney, Tamika Love Jones, Denise Henderson, Patience of BOOMscat, Tamara Wellons and Tashera Robertson. This one is going to be powerful, so grab your tix in advance while you can.

Thursday 9/06:
Bal Boheme is a new name on the scene, but includes members of The Fire Tonight and The North Country. Come see this new indie folk trio celebrate their self-titled EP release, with support from beloved DC vets Near Northeast at DC9 on Thursday evening.


Don’t Stay Home This Weekend 8/31

To the hardy few who stay in DC for Labor Day weekend, we salute you. Now go see some #DCmusic while you’re here.

Friday 8/31:
Our monthly DC music showcase returns to the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage after work today. Grab a seat before 6 PM and check out the dance-punk of Light Beams, one of the most exciting new bands in town.

Saturday 9/01:
The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities’s annual tradition of hosting a free show at the Lincoln Theatre on Labor Day weekend continues. Saturday is “Latin Flavor Night” and features Verny Varela, Pablo Antonio y La Firma, and Elena & Los Fulanos.

Sunday 9/02:
Sunday’s lineup at the Lincoln Theatre’s Labor Day Weekend Music Festival is devoted to “Go-Go Fusion”. DuPont Brass, The JoGo Project, Full Throttle Band, and The Experience Band & Show make this one a can’t miss event!

Monday 9/03:
The last day of the summer season requires some outdoor dancing. The Capital House Music Festival takes over Meridian Hill Park on Monday from noon to 9 with DJs and live performances including The Ecussionist, Deacon Izzy & the Congregation, DJ Jay Jay, Chosen, Andy Grant of DC House Grooves, Benoit, Tee Alford, DJ Tantra and of course Sam “The Man” Burns. The whole thing is free, so consider donating to their GoFundMe to keep the soul of house music thriving in DC.