Tag Archives: Millennium Stage

Presenting Run Come See @ Millennium Stage

DC’s original source for homegrown music Hometown Sounds is really excited to present Run Come See for our December #DCmusic showcase at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.

Run Come See is a project of Washington, DC musicians Lauren Calve (slide guitar/vocals), John Figura (guitar/vocals), and Tom Liddle (upright bass/vocals). Each bringing their own sensibilities of songwriting to the band, Run Come See is a distillation of soulful blues, rock, and country. As a trio, Run Come See creates a deceptively full sound weaving together powerful lead vocals, intricate harmonies, and arrangements that highlight the beauty, power, and range of each instrument. Sharing songwriting, taking turns singing lead, and featuring each instrument, the band is a balanced collaboration between seasoned musicians who respect each other’s skill and musical voice while pushing each other in new directions. After the release of their recent debut album, the trio has been exploring new territory with Fred James on drums and DC jazz legend Thad Wilson (trumpet) leading a dynamic horn section.

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Wednesday December 27th!

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Presenting The Sara Curtin Five @ Millennium Stage

Hometown Sounds continues its core mission to spread the word about awesome #DCmusic with our November Kennedy Center Millennium Stage showcase presenting The Sara Curtin Five!

It isn’t easy to pigeonhole Sara Curtin’s sound. The Washington City Paper describes her 2017 album Or So It Seemed as “a full portrait of a human being: nuanced, complex, and contradictory.” She writes honest, autobiographical songs which invite the listener to explore the human experience. Born and raised right here in Washington, DC on The Beatles, Michael Jackson, musical theater, and Joni Mitchell, the influences present in her songwriting are eclectic. AudioFemme calls her music “smart yet delicious, like a kale smoothie as yummy as a milkshake.”

Sara Curtin is a CMJ.com premiered artist and her 2015 album Michigan Lilium charted on the CMJ Top 200 charts. That Music Magazine calls her “a gifted songwriter who understands that you don’t write because you want to say something, but because you have something to say and she sure as heck says it exquisitely.” Sara made a name for herself in the folk scene with her duo The Sweater Set (with Maureen Andary), who performed across the US, UK, and Ireland, and were former Artist-In-Residence at Strathmore. Sara is also a current Artist Fellow with the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities (2014 – 2018). Brightest Young Things names her “One of D.C.’s finest.” In 2017, Curtin founded Local Woman Records.

To support the fall 2017 release of Or So It Seemed, Sara toured the East Coast, Midwest, and West Coast and is thrilled to finish the year by playing such an esteemed venue as The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage presented by Hometown Sounds!

The Sara Curtin Five consists of Maureen Andary, Olivia Mancini, Brendan Polmer, and Ryan Walker – each established and highly talented artists & songwriters in their own right.

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Tuesday November 21st!

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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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Presenting BRNDA @ Millennium Stage

All of us at Hometown Sounds are totally excited to present BRNDA at our September #DCmusic showcase at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.

BRNDA, a four-piece from DC, has been compared to Adam and the Ants, Parquet Courts and Pixies. Perhaps this panoply of cultural post-its is unavoidable at a time when all music is
listenable, always pilferable. BRNDA, like any honest band, admits to the plundering, but they do have a few rules: No covers, No love songs. Also, simple is always better. So if they have scoured the late 70s, 80s and early 2010s for musical detritus, they haven’t made off with just anything salvageable. No, only the least ostentatious, most off-kilter will do. And so, if you find yourself unable to put your finger on just what you’re hearing, it is because BRNDA is not just some rehashed comfort listening. Couple the music with the world-wary, at-times indecipherable lyrical meaning of the vocalists (they all sing), and you might begin to doubt yourself…but you might also enjoy it. This is exactly how BRNDA wants you to feel.

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Thursday September 7th!

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Presenting Stranger in the Alps @ Millennium Stage

Hometown Sounds kindly invites you to the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage for our July #DCmusic showcase featuring Stranger in the Alps.

Stranger in the Alps is a music project founded in 2013 by singer-songwriter Steve Kolowich and his friends in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of Washington. The band started as a lark, performing at open mic nights and in living rooms. The band’s name comes from the edited-for-TV version of an unspeakable line from the film The Big Lebowski. Its sound evolved through a combination of design and happenstance as a rotating cast of D.C. musicians elaborated on Kolowich’s demo recordings.

The band released its first album, Honey If You’re Lucky, in 2013, and its second album, Pattern Matching, in 2015, both of which were produced by D.C. pop wizard Louis Weeks. The Washington City Paper called Pattern Matching “a rich mix of alt-country, electronic, and chamber pop,” and later named Stranger in the Alps the “best folk troubadour” in the city.

In 2016 the band released a single, “The Most Photographed Barn in America,” a meditation on tourism — inspired by a scene in the novel White Noise by Don DeLillo — featuring a woodwind arrangement by the New York jazz player Ethan Helm. Collectively speaking, Stranger in the Alps is a sucker for harmony, Americana, and language games. They are grateful for your time and attention.

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Tuesday July 18th!

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Presenting Aaron “Ab” Abernathy @ Millennium Stage

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Hometown Sounds continues our partnership with the Kennedy Center in presenting soulful vocalist and keyboard player Aaron “Ab” Abernathy and his live band Nat Turner for our January #DCmusic showcase at the Millennium Stage.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Abernathy comes from a long-line of historical pioneers including Civil Rights Leader, Rev. Ralph David Abernathy and student of the same high school music program as the late R&B great Gerald Levert.

He joined the ranks of artists like Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack as a graduate from the prestigious music program at Howard University, where he sharpened his vocal abilities and musicianship. With outstanding talents as both a pianist and a vocalist, he has acted as musical director for global touring acts Black Milk and Slum Village and collaborated with Grammy-nominated artists including Jack White, The Foreign Exchange, and Eric Roberson.

In the Spring of 2015, Abernathy and his band Nat Turner opened up for Black Milk on his “Play Like Hell European Tour” to rave reviews from European audiences. Ab’s aggressive combination of gospel-inspired vocals, tight change-ups, and raw funk vamps has been compared to D’angelo’s Voodoo tour. Ab’s performance on stage reveals his diligent study in the Prince and James Brown schools of showmanship. Abernathy co-produced his band Nat Turner’s collaborative effort with Black Milk titled “The Rebellion Sessions” and has toured most of 2016 for the Rebellion Tour with Black Milk, to support the album. In addition, this summer he co-headlined the 2016 Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival with Chick Corea.

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Friday January 13th!

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Presenting We Were Pirates @ Millennium Stage

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Hometown Sounds is stoked to present We Were Pirates for our December #DCmusic showcase on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.

We Were Pirates is the musical brainchild of Mike Boggs, a multi-instrumentalist who writes and records songs in his home studio in the DC area. Boggs has released three albums, an EP, and a film score for ‘Dear Mr. Watterson.’

Wired magazine featured We Were Pirates in their March 2012 issue following the release of the second album, Change. The feature said, “You heard this band’s public radio-friendly pop on This American Life and you heard its tracks on MTV’s: The Real World: DC. So don’t miss ‘Better Off Without You’ from the new album. Catchy synths will have your crew dancing a jig.”

2016’s Matter finds Boggs exploring a mellow, electronic aesthetic. A return to simple, melodic songs. Existential questions are asked about life, loss, and love.

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Friday December 9th!

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Presenting The Cowards Choir @ Millennium Stage

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Hometown Sounds is honored to present The Cowards Choir for our November showcase of DC music at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.

Fronted by singer-songwriter Andy Zipf, The Cowards Choir crafts exquisite chamber-folk music with Ryan Walker on bass & keys, Dayana Yochim on cello, Alissa more on violin and Logan Lamons on percussion. After a successful PledgeMusic campaign earlier this year, The Cowards Choir released their debut full length album Name The Fear with an ambitious accompanying ‘visual score’ by NC filmmaker Will Davis of Small Creatures.

Our show caps off Thanksgiving weekend on Sunday November 27th at 6 PM. Like all Millennium Stage shows, there’s no cover charge and plenty of seating starting at 5:30. RSVP here! & bring your whole family!

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Presenting Stronger Sex @ Millennium Stage

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The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage has presented free live performances 365 days a year for nearly two decades. Expanding their commitment to showcase rising stars in the DC music community, the Millennium Stage now partners with Hometown Sounds in a monthly series of musical performances.

For our inaugural performance, Hometown Sounds is proud to present Blight Records artists Stronger Sex. Stronger Sex is an electroexotic experimental post-croon cabaret duo brought to you by DC’s Johnny Fantastic and Leah Gage. That may seem like a random stringing together of strange words, but it’s only because Stronger Sex is a wild stringing together of strange sounds. Born out of a love for the classics with an eye toward the electronic revolution, the band tries to make bedfellows of the most unlikely genres. At times, you feel lost in the foggy haze of an 80s night club only to be called back by the familiar croon of Frank Sinatra. With beautiful soundscapes and infectious beats, Stronger Sex often feels like a dream where anything is possible and the universe isn’t big enough to hold your imagination. “Making music this way is like rummaging through an old woman’s closet,” says Johnny, “So many colors, such a wide range of materials and textures, the trends of many decades past, all to be combined any way you wish. I guess it’s no surprise that a lot of our threads come from old women’s closets, too!” When this dynamic duo isn’t performing with Stronger Sex, they can be seen playing in other popular DC bands. Leah plays drums with BRNDA and The North Country; Johnny has toured extensively with Paperhaus and Pree, and currently plays in Dais and Loi Loi.

RSVP here and come to the free performance at 6 PM on Sunday October 23rd!

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