All this week Hometown Sounds counts down the top 5 music videos of 2013. DC bands made a ton of amazing videos this year and my long list of nominees was quite long indeed, but now it’s time for the best of the best!
Vocal folk duo Vandaveer took top honors in the Hometown Sounds Top 5 DC music videos of 2012, and they have a long history of gorgeous videos with many French directors. 2013 saw Vandaveer release their PledgeMusic-funded album Oh, Willie, Please…, a collection of murder ballads that could have used a breath of levity somewhere in its dark subject matter. For Pretty Polly, the sole video release from the album, Vandaveer tapped director Jared Varava, who with his brother Justin have helmed videos from These United States and Devendra Banhart under the creative banner An Illusion Of Movement. The song’s old historical tradition is rendered visually with this Deadwood-esque video treatment.
Today marks the release of hot new albums by three of Hometown Sounds’ favorite local musicians.
Oh, Willie, Please… by Vandaveer
The duo of Mark Charles Heidinger and Rose Guerin should be well known to everyone in DC. In addition to making award-winning videos, their clear and assured vocals quiet a chatty room more than anyone else. Their latest effort is a collection of old-time murder ballads, more bleak than previous efforts but still musically spot-on. Pick this release up on their webstore on FLAC for only $1 more!
With Innocence by Taylor Carson
Taylor Carson is a singer songwriter with a captivating voice and a low-key, honest style. He’s toured with Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers, Edwin McCain, and just the other night opened for Carly Rae Jepsen at a fundraiser hosted by President Bill Clinton. His new album With Innocence, the first in three years, fills out his sound with a full band and guests Marc Roberge, Andy Poliakoff and Stephen Kellogg. Come out to Iota Saturday night for the album release show!
10 Years by Fort Knox Five
Has it really been 10 years since I was buying early FK5 singles at DJ Hut? That midtempo funk groove was just what I needed as I learned how to spin vinyl just as that artform was overtaken by MP3s. Jon Hovarth is the head of both Fort Knox Five and their strong local label Fort Knox Recordings, putting out fantastic releases by See-I, Nappy Riddem, Empresarios, All Good Funk Alliance and more. Fort Knox Five’s DJ sets, regularly appearing at U Street’s Tropicalia, are a funky, feelgood breath of fresh air from the other nearby clubs that are still spinning Call Me Maybe and Gangnam Style. Their new retrospective collection 10 Years Of Fort Knox Five includes a tasty selection of hits from their 2009 debut album Radio Free DC and other assorted and remastered singles, including the brand new track Stand Up.
All right DC, here comes the good stuff. Folk duo Vandaveer just released a brand new music video for Pretty Polly, the lead-off track of their new collection of murder ballads, Oh, Willie, Please… coming out April 30th, unless you supported the album via PledgeMusic and already have it. The song Pretty Polly has a long historical tradition, originally from England, Canada and Appalachia and notably performed by The Byrds, Judy Collins and Pete Seeger. This gorgeous video, directed by Jared Varava, evokes the tone of HBO’s Deadwood in trademark Vandaveer slo-mo. Check out the premiere post at PopMatters for lots more info. Vandaveer earned the top spot in Hometown Sounds Best Videos of 2012, and Pretty Polly is quite a strong entry for 2013.
All this week we’ve counted down the best DC music videos of 2012, and I’m so happy to finally declare Vandaveer as the winner! The perfectly matched duo of Mark Charles Heidinger and Rose Guerin create the sweetest harmonies, and I was stunned by their ability to quiet the whole club when I saw them perform at Iota a couple of weeks ago. Their new album Oh Willie Please comes out in early 2013, but we were recently blessed with a final music video from their 2011 release Dig Down Deep. The video for Spite comes from French director Loïc Guilpain, and my esteemed and secret panel of judges unanimously judged it as a favorite. Congratulations Vandaveer!
It’s a great day when we’re blessed with another video by Vandaveer. The duo of Mark Charles Heidinger and Rose Guerin have made amazing folk music together over the course of three full length albums, with a fourth, “Oh, Willie Please…”, due out in early 2013. They are dynamic and captivating performers on stage and you really should catch them headline at Iota on Sunday December 9th. Check out the video for Spite, from their 2011 album Dig Down Deep, which I think was perhaps subtly influenced by The Incredible Hulk.
Today we’ve got a video from DC’s sweetest crooners Mark Charles Heidinger and Rose Guerin, together known as Vandaveer. The Nature Our Kind comes from Vandaveer’s 2011 album Dig Down Deep. Vandaveer’s been quiet around town the last few months, so keep checking their website for upcoming shows.
DC music videos of the day! Two great local shows tonight deserve a double video feature on Hometown Sounds. First up is folk troubadors Vandaveer, part of a truly fantastic lineup tonight at the Black Cat with fellow locals The Beanstalk Library and Astra Via (Olivia Mancini from Washington Social Club and Jarrett Nicolay of Virginia Coalition). Their song The Great Gray comes from Vandaveer’s 2011 album Dig Down Deep.
The second video comes from the extremely popular reggae band Soldiers of Jah Army a.k.a. SOJA. They’ve worked hard over a long 15 year career to build a die-hard fan base that’s clearly shown in two sold-out shows at the 9:30 Club this weekend. Today’s video is the title track from their current album Strength To Survive.