Category Archives: shows

Makeup Girl – Something New

Young indie rock band Makeup Girl totally charmed us at their Fort Reno show this past summer. Brody, Bryce, Caleb and Avery make delightfully fizzy songs for wiling away a beautiful day in the nation’s capital. The subject of their new music video, “Something New”, mostly agrees with this assessment, even though he’s a faceless, posable mannequin dressed to blend in with DC office workers. It’s impossible not to share his delight in this warm, sunny weather and his sassy rage at the powers-that-be. Grab makeup girl’s new EP also called Something New and check them out live this Saturday night at the Mild Manor Murder Mystery show at a secret location in College Park.


Paperhaus – Told You What To Say

Doing It Together (DIT™) indie rockers Paperhaus truly pulled out all the stops in promoting their third full length album Are These The Questions That We Need To Ask? on Misra Records. Billboard helped rack up the play counts for their first single “Go Cozy”, and exclusive music video premieres on Tidal and Apple Music followed. “Told You What To Say” is the newest single, with a beautifully glitchy and brutalist video from three directors: photographer Chris Prosser, art director Corynne Ostermann and Flash Frequency, vet of gorgeous DC vids from Dawkins and Will Eastman. Paperhaus’s album release tour lands in DC at the Black Cat next Friday October 27th, with a choice lineup of Tony Kill, Go Cozy and DJ Alex DB.

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Mr. Daywalker – Porcelain

Mr. Daywalker, the nom de musique of Donovan Duvall, attempts to use mind, body and spirit to connect with others and understand their perspective through music. His EP Warmth lurks on streaming platforms waiting for discovery. Though primarily a drummer, Daywalker recorded all the instruments himself to fully capture his vision of spiritual sonic experimentation. His new music video “Porcelain” features two fine upstanding gentlemen desperately running to escape a mysterious creature, but stay tuned to the end for the twist. Check this guy out opening for Brooklyn psych-soul band Space Captain at the Black Cat on Wednesday November 8th.


Derek Evry & Ryan Walker – Rainbow Connection

Clarendon’s only full-time music venue Iota hosts its last live performers this weekend, as redevelopment pushes out the long time home of NOVA songwriters and acoustic performers. We’ve seen the end coming from a long ways off, but that doesn’t ease the mournfulness for many performers and music fans who loved the size, feel and community that Iota fostered over its more than two decades. Saturday the live music starts at noon and goes deep into the night, with many surprises and emotional moments in store from Justin Jones, No Second Troy, Gist, The Cowards Choir, Jumpin’ Jupiter and much more. We don’t usually run unedited phone camera videos on this blog, but sometimes the power of rules is knowing when to bend them. Last weekend Derek Evry played a release show for his delightful new album Pop Perspective, and ended the show as he often does with his version of Kermit The Frog’s “Rainbow Connection” with help from The Beanstalk Library’s Ryan Walker.

Live Music Forever.

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The North Country – Island

This weekend the Andrew Grossman fronted band The North Country celebrates the release of their long-simmering third album In Defense Of Cosmic Altruism with an audio-visual experience at St. Stephen’s Church on Saturday night September 30th. Earlier this year NoCo crowdfunded a similar show they called The Garden, and at the direction of their longtime manager Hersch Herschel they brought in legendary music video director Sphinx to film the band performing the psychedelic-tinged 70s soft rock song “Island”. Expect a heavy dose of black light neon beauty and lasers by Zak Forrest to compliment Grossman’s thoughtful songwriting.

If you remember, Hersch Herschel didn’t think highly of NoCo’s last music video. Let’s check in to see his reaction to Sphinx’s creation.


Presenting Humble Fire @ Millennium Stage

We are bummed to announce that John from Run Come See is recovering from an injury, so they can’t perform for our October #DCmusic showcase. They’ll be back with us in 2018, and we are absolutely thrilled that dream pop band Humble Fire has stepped up to play the show!

Humble Fire owes its origins to Craigslist, which first brought guitarist Dave and singer Nefra together through another project and later recruited Xaq, bassist, who responded to Dave’s ad with a purposeful manifesto that will forever go down in band history. While not the band’s original drummer, Jason had long been a friend and active musician in the DC DIY music circuit before signing on in 2016. In its current form, the band celebrates the diverse musical influences that each member draws from–from bluegrass and classical, to punk and hip hop–weaving addictive rhythms and vulnerable vocals through tightly wound guitar and bass melodies.

Humble Fire’s album Builder explores physical and emotional experiences around loss and reconstruction, from family deaths and failed romances to the shocks and stresses they have navigated as a band. Through those experiences, they’ve come to appreciate that reconstruction isn’t something you can tackle on your own: it requires an entire crew. Builder, then, is as much about that process of putting yourself back together, as it is about the relationships that can help or hinder that process. Since Humble Fire’s members have known each other over the past five or so years, they’ve all shown up for each other in different ways as part of that reconstruction crew. They’re lucky to have found family in each other in that way.

Somewhat accidentally, the album also ended up being about working out questions of identity. “Who am I now, in this world without my parents in it”, for example? “How can I take care of others without losing myself?” When the band first listened back to the fully assembled album, they realized it had become a sort of therapy in working out some of those questions. More broadly, Humble Fire’s collective identity is also something they try to be very intentional about. As a DC-based band, they’re immersed in and identify with the tradition of DIY independence and social awareness typically associated with the politics of hardcore punk (despite not working in the genre). They strive to embody those values as a band as much as in their personal lives.

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

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Footwerk – Retrograde

There’s a time to get upset and anxious about all that’s going on in the world today, but that time is not while partying with Footwerk. This bedadzzled DC pop outfit is fronted by Kyle and Melissa as a self-described “friendzone” power couple, and uses many modern dating tropes in their mythos. The follow-up to their 2015 debut album Casual Encounters drops soon, but its new single “Retrograde” is here now. This clubby pop song is a perfect end of summer anthem, as the warm weather lingers here in DC and Kyle repeats the refrain “Let’s make this last forever.” Grab tickets now to see Footwerk open for SOJA at The Anthem on December 29th.


Elena & Los Fulanos – Ponle Fin

Bilingual folk rock band Elena & Los Fulanos has a whole lot to say in the era of Trump. Singer Elena Lacayo originally hails from Nicaragua, and the plight of undocumented immigrants and other members of marginalized communities are frequent subjects of her pointed songwriting. “Ponle Fin”, translated as “Put An End”, is the lead single from her sophomore album Volcán, successfully crowdfunded earlier this year and set for release on October 20th. The song and Ellie Walton-directed music video feature the always-dapper Christylez Bacon on an English verse, and though the rest of the song is in Spanish, we don’t think you’ll miss the message. Catch Elena & Los Fulanos tonight at the Black Cat opening for Guatemalan singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno.


The Electric Grandmother – Feedback Lives

You may know the distinctive Javier Diaz from the bands Spirit Plots or the newer Trajectories. His brother Nestor is a veteran of post-punk trio Golden Looks. But now, in the surreal fictional reality of The Electric Grandmother‘s new album Cancelled, the Diaz brothers are corrupt cops in the shlocky TV drama “Cop Force”, rival to the feel-good neighborhood romp “Police Department” from their previous music video. They’re probably better at violating civil rights than catching high-profile criminals, but these law enforcement officers always rock hard. Grab Cancelled for free while you can, and catch The Electric Grandmother next at the Uptown Art House on Monday October 16th.


Chain & The Gang – If I Was An Animal

Ian F. Svenonious’s sardonic pop outfit Chain & The Gang ready the release their 5th full length album Experimental Music on September 29th through Ian’s own label Radical Elite, in partnership with DC’s flagship Dischord Records. The album’s second pre-release single “If I Was An Animal” is the first with a music video, and you can get it now by daring pre-ordering the album now, as of course we did. Svenonious’s extreme wit and uncompromising style are on full display as he sings about what the animal world must think of the planet’s dominant species. We enthusiastically recommend Ian’s next show at Comet Ping Pong on Saturday September 23rd under his solo moniker Escape-ism celebrating a split 7″ with Justin Moyer’s new band Light Beams.