Category Archives: video

Escape-ism – Rome Wasn’t Burnt In A Day

Escape-ism is Ian Svenonious’s darker, weirder solo project, sometimes reinterpreting songs from his 60s garage-pop band Chain & The Gang. “Rome” was a stand-out track from Chain & The Gang’s delightfully cheeky 2017 album Experimental Music, reappearing with a moody shuffle as “Rome Wasn’t Burnt In A Day” on Escape-ism’s The Lost Record from 2018. The music video from director Alexandra Cabral simply presents Svenonious in grainy black & white grooving to his own beat, as no more style is needed for this icon of DC music.

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Pearie Sol – Love Is For The Loving

Perry Fustero plays in the Sister Polygon oddball wing of DC punk music, both in the bands Gauche and Teen Liver and helming his solo project Pearie Sol (geocities lol). In sharp contrast to Sol’s dolled-up debut music video “Alley” from 2016, “Love Is For The Loving”, also directed by Drew Hagelin, is somber in black and white with mournful lyrics and alienating storyline. Grab Sol’s self-titled EP on Bandcamp and stay tuned for Gauche’s new music video coming next week.

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Oh He Dead – This Time Around

We’re going to start out our 8th year of covering DC’s music videos with a soulful bang. Oh He Dead grabbed our throats last year with the Alt-J-esque tune “Blood In The Water”, the title track from their too-brief debut EP. To tease a new release hopefully coming soon, the band just premiered this deft music video for new song “This Time Around”, showcasing Cynthia Johnson assured vocals and biting lyrics with well-timed guitar licks from musical partner Andrew Valenti. The widescreen vid from director Colin Faust delivers a no-cuts wandering performance from Johnson through a series of rooms that make us ponder the purpose of this strange undulating work space.

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Top 5 Videos of 2018 #1: Flasher – Material

Flasher‘s refinement of DC’s angular aesthetic of post-punk feels welcome and inevitable. The trio’s 2018 full length album Constant Image on Domino Recording Company is one of DC’s finest this year, spawning no less than four music videos ranging from dour to garish to inscrutable. But the big finish is “Material”, a video artfully designed to both delight and frustrate the large market segment that listen to music via YouTube. If you’re one of the lucky few who’s watching this for the first time, we’ll kindly let you enjoy director Nick Roney’s wild ride unspoiled. Congrats to Flasher for making our favorite music video of 2018, and for all their huge success in a breakout year!

And with that we’re putting the lid on 2018. See you next year DC!

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Top 5 Videos of 2018 #2: Black Masala – Trains and Moonlight Destinies

Coming in at #2 in our 2018 music video countdown is the debut vid from high-energy gypsy brass band Black Masala, the title track from their glorious new album Trains and Moonlight Destinies.

In our original post we wrote: “We’ve been fans of this high-energy group for many years now, easily recommending them for fans of Gogol Bordello and Rebirth Brass Band. This vid by Eyelum does a fantastic job of capturing both the mystery and surreality of their lyrics and the punk power of their live show. Co-signers Mike Ounallah and Kristen Long each take parallel Lynch-ian journeys, with camera jump cuts mirroring the song’s brass cadence. Bravo!”

Come to Black Masala’s Holiday Party Friday night at The Wharf’s Union Stage, and you’ll also see Philly’s Swift Technique and our own Shamans of Sound and then you will go home very happy. Pro tip: buy tix right now!

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Top 5 Videos of 2018 #3: SHAED – Silver Knife

ICYMI, the polished dreampop of singer Chelsea Lee and twins Spencer and Max Ernst as SHAED is blowing up nationally. “Trampoline”, the monster new single from their 2018 EP Melt, has about 9M plays on Spotify thanks to its prominent feature in the newest MacBook Air campaign from Apple. But we have to give our #3 music video pick of 2018 to the EP’s first single “Silver Knife”. The crisp finger snaps, rolling bassline and high falsetto put us in an MJ kind of mood. The mysterious Max Haben-directed video features mesmerizing choreography from dancer Anna Pinault, who bears a startling resemblance to Lee. SHAED bring their Trampoline tour to the hometown on Saturday March 2nd at U Street Music Hall, and we’ll eat our Santa hats if this doesn’t sell out in advance.

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Top 5 Videos of 2018 #4: Bacchae – Dig

Feminist punk band Bacchae had quite a year, with tons of support for their 2018 self-titled EP released on cassette on Get Better Records. The theme of its first single “Dig” is toxic relationships, so its accompanying band-directed music video sends up video dating, a horrific and real life way people used to meet before the heavenly era of smartphones and swiping. We love the video’s kitschy VHS effects, 80s-era graphics, on-point costumes and delightful cameos, while the song barrels through tough guitar riffs and catchy lyrics. Bacchae kick off 2019 with an opening slot for T-Rextasy at the Pie Shop on Wednesday January 16th, so open that Facebook event link and click Interested like you know you should.

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Top 5 Videos of 2018 #5: The CrossRhodes – Praying Prayers

If you happen to be a new friend of ours, every year we count down our favorite music videos of the year. Kicking off the top 5 is this powerful and emotional video from hip-hop and R&B icons Wes Felton and Raheem DeVaughn, aka The CrossRhodes.

“Praying Prayers”, from their comeback 2017 album Footprints on the Moon, uses the familiar names of black victims of police violence as emotional punctuation marks. “When the video was shot, 667 people were reportedly murdered by police officers since January 2016”, and the number is surely higher now. As we wrote in our original post back in March, “With so many huge problems besetting Americans of all races, creeds and orientations, we crave art to show us what’s important and the consequences of inaction, even if solutions remain elusive.”

DeVaughn next headlines the Kennedy Center’s festive New Year’s Eve Show with Backyard Band, so buy your tickets now while you can!

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Broke Royals – Christmas Cookie Blues

The holiday season is upon us, and Broke Royals know what’s up with heartache and festive gatherings. We featured their classy entry into the DC holiday music canon, “Christmas Cookie Blues”, on our podcast this week. But this well-dressed band went the extra mile for YOU and delivered this snazzy music video directed by Tyler Scheerschmidt. Stuff your stockings with tickets for their two night “Royal Holiday” stand at Vienna’s Jammin’ Java on Friday December 28th and Saturday December 29th.

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Tired All The Time – 2 Videos

In unofficial polling when we chat with friends at shows about what resonated in DC music in 2018, Tired All The Time comes up often as the most exciting new find. The anthemic, danceable synth-rock paired with true dedication to a bleak corporate aesthetic is a winning combo. Earlier this year we featured their debut music video “Bone Dry” from their 2018 EP Be Well on Flag Day Recordings, so as the year’s end looms, let’s catch up on two more recent vids. “Little Pieces” is the dark flipside to “Bone Dry”‘s cheery optimism, questioning life as an unappreciated and failing business worker. “Only Exception”, our fave track from the EP, perks things back up with an Indian duo doing a joyous dance routine that doesn’t even attempt to sync up with the song. We love it! Complete their customer satisfaction survey to maintain close corporate ties to the band.

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