It’s our annual holiday #DCmusic episode, spreading Tony’s special holiday cheer to the DMV and beyond!
Maryjo Mattea – War on Christmas [single]
Hiphopmcdougal – Party Up the Chimney [single]
Dennis Kane & Q – Christmas Will Be Just Another Lonely Day [DK & Q Xmas Music]
The Caribbean – Christmastime Is Here [single]
Sun Machines – Last Minute Christmas Song [single]
Luna Honey – I Wonder As I Wander [unreleased]
Amy K. Bormet – Give Me Love at Christmas Time [unreleased]
We’re running two music videos to get you fully caught up for Friday night‘s big release show at the Pie Shop, so you’re welcome. First up is lush synthrock band Color Palette (vets of our Millennium Stage series, of course!). Rehabilitated after a wicked knee injury, frontman Jay Nemeyer is finally ready to release Color Palette’s long-awaited sophomore album. Earlier this year the album’s first single “Dark Days” appeared in this music video directed by David Ashton of Sequoia Pictures, featuring unmistakable visual cues for 2019’s pervasive societal trauma.
Color Palette member Maryjo Mattea, well known around these parts, opens the Pie Shop show with her own eponymous rock band releasing the collection of singles from 2019 called The Other Side (one of which we premiered back in June!). Today’s video for “A New Normal”, about her evolving musical partnership with Two Dragons and a Cheetah drummer Joel Wu, was recorded live at Ivakota Studios by director Casey McAdams. We are noted enthusiasts for live in studio music videos, and this one’s quick-action camera swiveling is a fun original touch.
DC’s Maryjo Mattea has one more single to release from her upcoming EP The Other Side, and Hometown Sounds jumped at the chance to premiere it for you. Just like you’d expect from the detailed cover art, “Candlelight and Roses” is dark, cynical and yet still sweetly adorable. “The last thing the world needs is another tortured love song” Mattea croons, before cueing in pounding drums, jangly guitar and crisp hand claps. From her early days in the duo Two Dragons and a Cheetah, Mattea’s songs have always been driven by vocals, lyrics and songwriting. Stretching her horizons as an in-demand member of dance-rock band Color Palette, synthpop diva Loi Loi, and grungy Endless Winter has sharpened her chops and improved the songs she delivers under her own name. “Candlelight and Roses” is a polished throwback pop song with Mattea’s harsh take on the reality of modern romance. We think the full EP is going to be an essential feature in music lovers’ Bandcamp collections and Spotify playlists.
Maryjo and her backing band kick off a packed night at the Black Cat on Saturday night, opening for Pleasure Train and celebrating Jonny Grave’s masterful new full band instrumental EP Impala.
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.
SONG PREMIERE! Maryjo Mattea has the charisma and the songwriting chops to rise above lesser singers and develop a substantial following. The garage-rock formula from her previous band Two Dragons And A Cheetah worked because of Maryjo’s captivating stage presence, and clearly none of the bro’s in her new outfit Maryjo Mattea & A Pile of Dudes are going to take away from that. Her solo EP Four Minute Symphonies comes out on April 28th with a release show at Songbyrd featuring Uptown Boys Choir and Party Like It’s, and Hometown Sounds is all atingle to premiere the second single from it. Unlike the first single, the catchy power-pop number “Rocket Science”, “Getting Over You” starts out as a classic torch song before ramping up the drums and slide guitar courtesy of blues rocker Jonny Grave. RSVP here to see Maryjo and her guitar summit the biggest pile of dudes in the city.