Category Archives: video

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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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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Top 5 Videos of 2016 #3: Ras Nebyu – No Love

Washington Slizzards crewleader Ras Nebyu made his musical mark on 2016 with his excellent third mixtape Slizzatrism. His music video highlight “No Love” originally surfaced back in 2015 as a SoundCloud single produced by Casito Del Frisco. Chop N Shoot Films, the studio responsible for a string of DMV hip-hop vids from Lightshow, Phil Ade, Godsilla and others, touches on Nabyu’s Ethiopian heritage and family in the “No Love” video, our pick for #3 DC music video of the year. Nebyu channels two alter egos, Malcolm and Drew, in singing the harsh breakup song and throwing a party to forget the heartache.

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Top 5 Videos of 2016 #4: K.A.A.N. – Phoenix

K.A.A.N. – Knowledge Above All Nonsense. Columbia, MD rapper Brandon Perry has delivered anything but nonsense in his prolific output this past year. He kicked off the year with a 5 song EP called Eclectic Audio with epic and cinematic production work from ORBT. Since then he’s posted new songs to his SoundCloud at a rapid clip, mirroring his signature nimble vocal delivery. Many of the songs have been filmed as music videos, unmatched in quantity by any other in our area. The best of the bunch is the first one we featured, Perry’s violent and surreal tale “Phoenix”, with direction by Josh Sallee and Logan Meis. KAAN stands apart in the DC hip-hop scene, and is bound for rising fame in 2017.

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