Author Archives: Hometown Sounds

The Obsessives – Surfer Rosa

If you’re a fan of indie rock, you don’t need us to point out the reference in the title of the new single by The Obsessives. The duo of Nick Bairatchnyi and Jackson Mansfield have been playing together since the age of fifteen, making a big splash with their debut album Heck No, Nancy back in 2015. The pre-order is now live for their second album, self-titled this time on Lame-O Records, and the music video for “Surfer Rosa” is a playful attention-grabber. Director Corrinne James turns life into a weird video game with cartoonish flying saucers punishing our young rock stars for making the wrong choices. Don’t miss them playing at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday March 21st opening for Modern Baseball.

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Hand Grenade Job – New Year

Hand Grenade Job sounds like a young, cheeky punk band you’d see at a DIY basement show, and the duo of Beck Levy and Erin McCarley do draw some inspiration from that scene. But their minimalist sound, which they dub “post-Americana”, is decidedly more mellow and thoughtful. Pre-orders of their new album Devotionals, coming out on cassette via Sister Polygon Records, went up on their Bandcamp page today, as did the second music video from it. “New Year”, directed by Levy, is a sped-up meditation on raising children and making art in the face of an uncertain future. Being a mom sometimes means you’ve got marker all over your face. Their album release show is Thursday February 23rd at the Black Cat with Pissed Jeans.

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Dawkins – Bad Faith

Dawkins is a new band in DC gaining attention by crafting their own unique style. Jazz will always be a staple of live music in DC, despite unfortunate venue setbacks and closures in 2016, but it’s often revered as a traditional expression we’ve heard many times before. Dawkins is inspired by the experimentation of Animal Collective and Radiohead, but fuses it with an unmistakeable jazz groove to craft what they call “splatter-pop”. These 5 young players were raised in Bethesda and collaborate on music remotely while studying far apart. The first taste of their sound for home and office consumption is “Bad Faith”, with accompanying subtly distorted war footage to unsettle us all.

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The Cornel West Theory – Mr Colvin (sir)

In 2017, I’m hoping we see less of the street tough, drugs and women style of some DC rappers and more of the confrontational politics of The Cornel West Theory. Tim Hicks and his crew had hoped to drop The T.A.B.L.E. Too, the follow up to last year’s free release The T.A.B.L.E., late in 2016, but issues with the album’s mix delayed its release to 2017, when everything is right with the world and no one is upset about anything in America. Just kidding. Here’s their latest music video from the upcoming release, “Mr Colvin (sir)”, vintage 70s soul/funk samples underpinning trademark fiery quips and disturbing visuals. Get ready.

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KAAN – Oochie Wally Remix

2017 could go any number of ways, but I can confidently predict that K.A.A.N., MD rapper and star of one of our fave music videos of 2016, will continue to deliver a steady flow of amazing rhymes, tracks and videos. His latest layers K.A.A.N.’s knowledge over the classic 2001 track by Nas and Bravehearts “Oochie Wally”, and includes a lengthy preamble showing a glimpse into K.A.A.N.’s work ethic, involving keeping a neat desk and smoking weed the right way. He takes it all seriously.

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Reesa Renee – Radio Unplugged

Singer Reesa Renee can belt out a soulful song with the best of them, but her wide, fun loving smile and nerd glasses style complete the package as a memorable entertainer. 2017 is going to be a standout year for Renee, with new music coming in February and a cover feature on DC’s Modern Luxury magazine gracing the stands now. Her newest music video is this mellow unplugged rendition of “Radio”, originally from her 2012 album Reelease, featuring fellow DC musicians TK of Cloud 9 and Jay Rojas of Top 5.

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Podcast for January 3rd, 2017

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Paul DJs mashups at a burlesque show on New Year’s Eve, while Tony makes full use of an Olive Garden gift card.

Tracklisting:
Furniteur – Redundant Buzz [single]
Tarica June – Four Unit (My Life) [Stream of Consciousness Vol. 1​.​5 EP]
Stephen Redhead – Cap Heights [Exxxactly]
American Television – Explosions in This Guy [Reaction EP]
KPH – Thorns [Patreon]
Super!Silver!Haze! – The Fastest Way From Here To There Is Not A Straight Line [Code Red: An International Compilation to Benefit the ACLU]

Right-click to Download

Or listen in SoundCloud:

Subscribe to the Hometown Sounds podcast in the iTunes Store or your favorite podcast app! (and tell a friend too!)

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Presenting Aaron “Ab” Abernathy @ Millennium Stage

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Hometown Sounds continues our partnership with the Kennedy Center in presenting soulful vocalist and keyboard player Aaron “Ab” Abernathy and his live band Nat Turner for our January #DCmusic showcase at the Millennium Stage.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Abernathy comes from a long-line of historical pioneers including Civil Rights Leader, Rev. Ralph David Abernathy and student of the same high school music program as the late R&B great Gerald Levert.

He joined the ranks of artists like Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack as a graduate from the prestigious music program at Howard University, where he sharpened his vocal abilities and musicianship. With outstanding talents as both a pianist and a vocalist, he has acted as musical director for global touring acts Black Milk and Slum Village and collaborated with Grammy-nominated artists including Jack White, The Foreign Exchange, and Eric Roberson.

In the Spring of 2015, Abernathy and his band Nat Turner opened up for Black Milk on his “Play Like Hell European Tour” to rave reviews from European audiences. Ab’s aggressive combination of gospel-inspired vocals, tight change-ups, and raw funk vamps has been compared to D’angelo’s Voodoo tour. Ab’s performance on stage reveals his diligent study in the Prince and James Brown schools of showmanship. Abernathy co-produced his band Nat Turner’s collaborative effort with Black Milk titled “The Rebellion Sessions” and has toured most of 2016 for the Rebellion Tour with Black Milk, to support the album. In addition, this summer he co-headlined the 2016 Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival with Chick Corea.

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Friday January 13th!

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Top 5 Videos of 2016 #1 American Television – Explosions In This Guy

Here we are folks, this is big finish to our year in music videos, and taking the 2016 crown is American Television. These guys charmed the hell out of us with their 2015 debut music video “Optimist”, and their 2016 EP Reaction showed that 90s style pop-punk can still be relevant and fun as hell. “Explosions In This Guy”, a play on the bro-approved post-rock band (so much fist-pounding when I saw them at 9:30 in May), is our favorite music video of the year, and it’ll only take you a minute and a half to find out why. Director Brad Howard, who also gave us the recent romantic video by Cinema Hearts, presages the ridiculous creepy clown scare of Autumn 2016 with this brief tale of a bad day in the life of a children’s entertainer.

There’s going to be a lot more benefit shows in 2017 as DC struggles to adapt to the changing atmosphere. Start making plans in 2017 with American Television’s show to raise money for the International Rescue Committee at the Velvet Lounge on Saturday January 14th with Railsplitter and Washers. And we’ll be back in January to continue our mission to show you and everyone how DC rocks. Thanks for listening!

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Top 5 Videos of 2016 #2: Wylder – Bitter

Indie folk band Wylder, and their debut full length album Rain and Laura, was my favorite find of 2016. They display a delightful mix of youthful exuberance and impressive pop music chops that really should land them on FM radio and select Pandora stations. Their debut video “Swells” is a ridiculously catchy earworm, but it’s the irresistible follow-up “Bitter” that lands as our #2 music video pick for 2016. Director Samuel Rogers delivered such a charming tale of singer Will McCarry’s quest for the last relic of a lost relationship. Bands like Near Northeast, Handsome Hound and Wylder are giving DC’s typical angular and moody sounds a refreshingly positive spin, and we are going to need that in 2017 like we never have before.

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