Lavender – Fade (Tiny Desk Contest)

Bedroom dream pop band Lavender found a unique way to make their debut submission to NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest stand out. They recorded their song “Fade” from their name-your-own-price debut EP You Are In The Right Place in guitarist Alli Vega’s bedroom, at the same desk where the EP came together. It’s tough to squeeze four musicians in a bedroom into one camera frame, so guitarist Trent Burns filmed the performance in 360 degrees. Swipe or drag your mouse around to see all of them, or just check out Alli’s cool wall art and lighting. Their next show is Sunday April 22nd at Slash Run with DC’s BabeRage and Richmond band Blush Face, so don’t miss it!

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Handsome Hound – Austin (Tiny Desk Contest)

Folk ensemble Handsome Hound decided to film their 2018 entry to NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest in front of a live audience. Ace portrait photog and Bathtub Republic resident Mark Williams Hoelscher shot the band’s entire show recently at Union Stage, and much of it has found its way to YouTube. “Austin”, the advance single from Handsome Hound’s debut full length album Mountain On Fire, also serves as the contest entry, hoping to woo Bob Boilen and judges with its unabashed love of America’s live music capital. The new album drops Friday May 18th with a show at the Black Cat featuring Dupont Brass and Lauren Calve.

Presenting The Chuck Brown Band at the Millennium Stage

Hometown Sounds celebrates both the past and the future of #DCmusic with our April showcase at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage with the classic go-go sounds of the Chuck Brown Band!

The Chuck Brown Band toured the world with the Godfather of Go Go for the most prolific period of his life, when he had 5 Billboard charting releases and a Grammy nomination over a ten year period. They continue to honor him by carrying the torch, keeping the beat alive and keeping the party going. Chuck Brown was always known for having only the best musicians from DC in his band. This often translated into having the best musicians, period. With the addition of Frank Sirius leading the band forward on guitar and vocals, the Chuck Brown Band is arguably the Crankin’est Band on the Planet. Chuck’s daughter KK has always been a part of the show, and Chuck’s son Wiley Brown has joined the band, keeping Chuck’s “Family Affair” vibe as much a part of the band as it is a part of the relationship between the band and the audience. Digging through the vault of Chuck Brown classics from Run Joe and Go-Go Swing to more recent hits like Chuck Baby and Beautiful Life as well as new material by the band interspersed with other Go-Go hits, the Chuck Brown Band combines the best of the Godfather and the best of Go-Go in an uplifting, show stopping performance. Infusing the Godfather’s mix of jazz, funk, and soul, along with audience call and response, his legacy continues. The Chuck Brown Band has been joined on stage by Ledisi, George Clinton, Dwele, Raheem DeVaughn, Lil Mo, Doug E Fresh, and others.

The Godfather may be gone, but his legacy continues as the Chuck Brown Band carries his funky groove forward without missing a B-E-A-T. Wind Us Up, Chuck!

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Thursday April 26th!

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Don’t Stay Home This Week 4/02

If you like to go out every single night of the week, we have you covered. And even if you only have one night of live music in you, we’re here to help.

Monday 4/02:
DC area metal shows seem to have found synergy with the city’s indie brewing works. Monday night Atlas Brew Works hosts two Colorado bands, Primitive man and Spectral Voice, and two hometown gems, Ilsa and Genocide Pact. If the phrases “Home Is Where The Hatred Is”, “Eroded Corridors of Unbeing”, “Corpse Fortress” and “Order of Torment” speak to you, then you know where you need to be.

Tuesday 4/03:
The Black Squirrel is well known in Adams Morgan, but did you know they have an outpost in Virginia’s Dunn Loring? Songwriters’ Association of Washington hosts their Tuesday night open mike night, and Jason Mendelson, famous for writing songs about every single metro station in the system, is the featured performer. Here’s the song Mendelson wrote about Dunn Loring.

Wednesday 4/04:
Frank Mitchell Jr is one of the funkiest sax players in town, blowing for See-I, Black Masala, The Funk Ark, The Harry Bells and many more. His current group is Three Man Soul Machine, with Carter Stevens on organ and Mylie Durham IV on drums, and they hold down a residency the first Wednesday of the month at Colony Club on Georgia Avenue.

Thursday 4/05:
When Justin Trawick was coming up as a developing songwriter, he hit upon a winning formula to showcase the genre successfully to diverse audiences. His 9 Songwriter Series is still going strong, and this Thursday it hits Union Stage at the Wharf with featured performers including Sol Roots and Elena Lacayo.


Don’t Stay Home This Weekend 3/30

Twice weekly we pick out the best options for you to get out of your house and see some #DCmusic. Here are your weekend recommendations:

Friday 3/30:
Experimental DIY space Rhizome continues its expansion into rock territory tonight with two fantastic acts we love. Heavy Breathing is known for intense psychedelic jams, while Warm Sun features DC music icons Devin Ocampo, Jason Hutto and Renata Burger.

Saturday 3/31:
We told you a few weeks ago about the fire that severely damaged long time Maryland rockabilly roadhouse Hank Dietle’s. Saturday night Bethesda’s Rock Creek Mansion hosts a fundraiser to help the bar rebuild. See The Nighthawks, Rock-A-Sonics and many other bands, or donate online through GoFundMe.

The Sweater Set celebrates 10 years of harmonious music with a live album recording Saturday night at Tonal Park Studios (formerly Airshow) in Takoma Park. This is an amazing chance to be a “Fly on the Wall” for singers Sara Curtin and Maureen Andary and be a part of their creative process.

Sunday 4/01:
Easter is a time of family brunches and potluck meals. Music school and studio 7DrumCity gathers their musical fam together for their monthly potluck jam at 6 PM this evening. Bring a dish, grab a nametag and introduce yourself to some new musicians.


Two Dragons and a Cheetah – Five by Five


Grungey garage rock band Two Dragons and a Cheetah are not afraid to wear their hearts on their sleeves. We last heard from the animalistic duo late last year with the political and emotional protest song “November 8, 2016”. Singer/guitarist Maryjo Mattea joined us on our podcast to tell the story of meeting drummer Joel Wu at a work function, and how an enthusiastic bar patron accidentally gave them their name at their first show. Really, go listen now if you missed the show. These personal histories bring us closer to the musicians, and they’re a big reason why we love DC music so much.

“Five by Five”, their new single premiering here today, tells the story of what happened when Wu decided to quit his day job and travel the world for a year. We may dream of doing that when traffic is inexplicably standing still and meetings never seem to end, but Joel actually pulled the trigger and peaced out from DC life. That would have ended most musical partnerships, but this one proved stronger than distance. The video, “a glorified slide show assembled by Maryjo Mattea in iMovie” shows some of those good stories Wu experienced in many many locations.

Wu now lives in Minnesota, but every so often he brings the Two Dragons back to town to rock out with the Cheetah. We strongly suggest you not miss their next show Friday April 6th at the Red Panda House with allthebestkids.

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Stranger in the Alps – The Day They Put a Man on the Moon (Tiny Desk Contest)

According to NPR Music’s official Tiny Desk Contest rules, videos must “feature a desk (there must be a desk—any desk—in the Video)”. Stranger in the Alps, veteran of our Millennium Stage #DCmusic series and here a duo of Steve Kolowich and Kristine Pietsch, used the desk to display the 50 year old diary entry by Dinah Hall of England that inspired their 2018 entry. Kolowich often writes thoughful ballads about very specific stories, and “The Day They Put a Man on the Moon” draws you into the period setting with delicate guitar work and lovely harmonies.

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Podcast for March 28th, 2018

Tony contemplates compulsive hand washing, while Paul reveals his stance on the popular sparkling beverage of the day.

Bad Moves – Cool Generator [single]
CrushnPain – Bacchus Step [Tendrils Vol. 1]
Bound – Hold [No Beyond]
Odd Mojo – Sticky Notes [Channel Yo Mojo]
BRNDA – House Show [thanks for playing]
Woodgrove – Broken Glass (Oracular Rhythm : Repetitive Hymn) [squintyoureyesandseegod]

NOTE: We said on the podcast that Blight Records released the CrushnPain track, and that is incorrect. We regret the error and will give ample consideration to seppuku.

Right-click to Download

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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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Near Northeast – Mostly Just Sand (Tiny Desk Contest)

In case you’re new to this game, every year Bob Boilen and his NPR Music crew invite submissions of live performances (behind a small desk, of course) for the immensely popular Tiny Desk Contest. Since we love music videos so much at Hometown Sounds, we dig deep and highlight the best submissions created by the DC music community. This is the third entry from indie folk band Near Northeast, and their first submission “What To Say” in the midst of 2016’s epic Snowzilla remains tops in our hearts. “Mostly Just Sand” comes from Near Northeast’s 2015 debut album Curios, and this live rooftop version includes an unexpected and yet very DC contribution at the end. Boss move to use this take.

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Don’t Stay Home This Week 3/26

Seeing live music is good for your health and your soul. We’re here twice a week to clue you in to the good stuff being made right here in DC.

Monday 3/26:
Catch a couple of strong DC indie rock bands, Flowerbomb and Reyna Valencia, support Canadian touring band Bike Thiefs tonight at Slash Run.

Tuesday 3/27:
Rhizome has firmly established itself as the home of experimental music in DC, but it’s great to see the Takoma Park DIY space branch out into other areas, like poetry readings, making yogurt, and punk music. Tuesday night you should catch Mock Identity and Park Snakes support Minneapolis queer punks Royal Brat.

Wednesday 3/28:
There aren’t enough quality hip hop shows in DC these days. Wednesday night College Park’s MilkBoy ArtHouse hosts the 10th Anniversary Tour of Fake Four, the DIY label run by Ceschi Ramos. See him spit fire alongside Onry Ozzborn, Moodie Black, ESH and a couple of our DC faves, Ardamus and Prowess The Testament.

Thursday 3/29:
This Thursday night one of those nights with a lot of strong DC music options. We have to give the edge to quirky snackcore rockers BRNDA (vets of our Kennedy Center Millennium Stage series) for their tape release show at Dew Drop Inn, with DC’s Puff Pieces and Heatmap from NY/Philly. Plus, all of BRNDA’s tape sales, and a portion of the door donations will go to benefit Homeless Children’s Playtime Project.